We are delighted to welcome Toronto based Astrologist and Psychic Joey Wargachuk to the IPHM family.
Joey, 36, is the founder of the Wargachuk Academy with 13,000 students worldwide. He’s an Event and Marketing Manager, a novelist, a crystal buyer and fair trade campaigner, and a social media influencer with 15,000+ followers. He’s busy! So we were really happy to share some call time with him to find out more about how he got started, how he’s developed his business, and the things that are important to him.
Tell us where your interest in all things Spiritual began?
I was traditionally trained by my Irish Grandmother in the art of divination, crystal reading and tea leaf reading when I was 12 years old. At the time I was a rascal, getting into trouble and she taught me it as a kind of mindfulness.
Something I was good at was creating relationships and guiding people, so performing readings gave me a positive focus. It was something I continued to do after leaving home aged 16.
What did you do next?
The wonderful thing about tarot is that it permeates a host of different cultures, and inspires lots of things. I used it as I moved into fashion marketing, design, esoteric art and creation for clients.
Then about 5-6 years ago I was asked to do a workshop on tarot and crystals. It was hard at first as I didn’t have an association with a company, or premises to work from. That’s when I turned to social media, using Facebook and Zoom as a classroom. For face to face training I was forced to rent out various conference rooms which wasn’t ideal.
How did things change then?
It was a struggle until the Happy Souls crystal store opened up across the street from where I live. It gave me the partnership I was looking for, and premises to work from, which enabled me to kick into high gear.
I started experimenting with online education platforms like UDEMY and Skillshare doing a lot more stuff on line. By advertising through the Happy Souls store my online presence doubled pretty much overnight.
About 2 and a half years ago I started awarding a Certificate of Completion for my crystal courses and tarot readings. This made what I was offering authentic for new practitioners and my business continued to grow.
How many students have you worked with, and how have you reached so many people through social media?
At that point I had trained 10,000 students on line and 1000 in person. I was the go-to training provider in Toronto because I gave good value and offered payment options to students.
When I was younger I did the expo circuit; I’ve met so many people through this and through Happy Souls and developed my network.
But digital marketing has made the biggest difference and I’m so proud to have developed a strong Instagram following by sharing all sorts of content. For example, I have an interview series where I’ve spoken with crystal experts, tarot readers, tarot authors etc. I’m a person who loves to ask questions so that I keep learning too.
Lots of people who are students and team members are located all around the world and when we meet online it feels like we all pile into my living room. The energy for the work and connecting knows no distance, until someone's internet connection cacks out. lol
What made you decide to seek accreditation as a training provider?
It’s important to me to take a detailed approach to qualifying my students, including assessing their case studies and having them do a reading for me at the end. I want to ensure high standards as they move on to become practitioners.
So it made sense to reach out to a regulation board to give the Wargachuk Academy worldwide credibility through accreditation of our processes.
Why did you choose the IPHM, and what has it done for your business?
I wanted to be accredited for both the online and face to face training I provided. So I did some independent research and checked what colleagues were choosing, which membership covered more and which was highly recognised.
This led me to the IPHM as people were saying that it’s the gold standard for accreditation.
I’m pleased I’ve become a member as, since I joined 4 months ago and have been able to display the logo, there has been a surge in online and in-person sign ups.
We’re glad to hear that!! So, we know you’re more than just a training provider; what else do you do?
I’m the Event and Marketing Manager at Happy Souls. My job there is to vet all the psychics and workshop leaders who work with us to ensure they meet our standards for excellence.
Also I travel all over America to meet crystal hunters and prospectors on behalf of private customers and for the store. Linked to this, I have a big passion for the organisational oversight of ethical crystal practices. It’s hugely important that we increase the awareness about accountability for the sourcing of crystals, particularly their authenticity and crucially no child labour involvement. So I network with other crystal stores to promote fair trade.
It’s fair to say you’re busy, how do you manage it all.
I am busy but I’m organised and try to use my time to the best of my ability. I incentivise myself to stay motivated and get a lot done.
I’m lucky to work with a great team at the store as well engaging the services of a virtual assistant and a PHD student in Toronto who helps to ensure my content is 100% accurate.
I’ve got a team of experts around me that I use to develop content. And I use my network, including a closed VIP Facebook group of 850 students to bounce ideas off.
You must have learned a lot along the way. What tips would you give practitioners who want to progress to become trainers?
It’s a big step, you’re putting the horse in front of the cart. These are the things that helped me:
• I personally learn really well by teaching. Having a community and forum where I’m learning helps me become a better teacher
• Write down what your fears and self doubts are and work on those limiting beliefs
• There’s always going to be somebody who wants to learn from you; even if you don’t have a great deal of experience you just need to be a few steps ahead of your learners, and keep learning yourself.
• You have to ask yourself ‘is what I’m teaching coming from a place of guidance and love’ If it’s all about money or ego then your mind set needs to change. Those of my students who’ve become exceptionally successful have changed their energy and attitude about money. You have to unlock this whether you want to tutor one to one or to a classroom full.
• Make sure what you’re sharing is accurate. I pay a network of academics for their skills and expertise to ensure what I do is properly researched before I talk about it
• How we learn now is completely different to 15 years ago, don’t limit yourself to face to face training. Because of social media anyone can be an influencer if they build their followers to 5000+ through the value of their content
Taking you back almost 25 years, would your Grandma have envisioned your success?
I really think so. She used to say to my mum that I’d either be a sage or a serial killer! She saw that I had a way of influencing people, they open up to me, and through her guidance with tarot, crystals and all things spiritual I’ve been able to help people and do a lot of good.
What about the future?
In terms of what’s happening right next, I’m looking forward to a series I have coming up in May about Astral projection. I’ll be teaching energy defence and protection, spiritual protection, psychic development and grounding.
But moving in to the future, things are moving quickly because of technology and I think crystals are the key. Everything we believe about spirituality with crystals is matching up with the hard science, and it’s proving that mysticism & spirituality and science & technology are the same thing, just different languages. It’s an exciting time.
As a futurist, I’ve written a series of teen sci-fi novels about time travel. I tend to think about things in a Doctor Who kind of way. There will be big leaps in cleaning up the environment as well as scientific advancements. The things we believe as magic will become the norm. I can visualise a kind of Jurassic Park full of unicorns and dragons. Anything we can imagine will be able to be reality, and we’ll only be bound by what our imaginations can create.
It’s going to be important to stay grounded and strive to be a good example. Teaching people that tarot and crystals will ground us.
Joey says having accreditation with the IPHM has made a real difference, not only to my customer base, but to my own strive for excellence – something I’m really proud of.
Joey is an approved accredited IPHM Executive Training provider and you can find all his contact details including website and instagram accounts here: Contact Joey here