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Bankier.pl
(03-04-2011)
Katarzyna Devraj has been interviewed by A Polish business portal known as bankier.pl. You can read the interview below (translated from Polish).

1.How did you get the idea for feng shui business?

Feng shui has been my passion for the last 7 years. In the beginning of my adventure with feng shui I did not think of it in the category of my future business or work but rather a passion even though the courses and seminars took a lot of my time and financial resources (for all courses I went directly to the source namely, Asia).

My education was business related and I graduated with Masters in Economics, hence was certain that my future career will be associated with my education. I started to think of feng shui career seriously when during the Masters Consultant Exam with 40 participants from all over the world, did I not only pass with distinction but was the only recipient of the Award of Excellence.

It was a great honor for me to receive the award especially because the participants were comprised of those who have been practicing the art for the last 30 years. I think it was then that I got the confidence that I really do know and understand this science and I am good at it.

I was also irritated and annoyed that in the European market; this science is very often misconstrued, misunderstood and also wrongly taught – mainly by people who do not have the necessary competence and knowledge about the topic. Advices are being dished out with no real feng shui merits, the level of knowledge that these so called consultants possess are minimal at best. I wanted to make a difference and I knew I could.

2. How in few words would you characterize feng shui. What is it?

Feng shui literally means wind and water. This is a science based on the study of 5 elements and about living in harmony with the surrounding environment and its influences on mankind. It is an exacting study on how to live in harmony with our environment and harnessing it for our benefit and how to fully exploit our potential.

3. Can feng shui show us the way to deal in business? How to manage your company?

I have written many articles on the matter and the answer is yes to both. Feng shui can be used and applied in every aspect of our lives and especially in business. With the help of this science we will be able to tap our potential to the fullest; make more money, get a better job or a raise etc. We can enhance our performance as well as our employees' and it will teach us how to surround ourselves with the right individuals and most importantly help us make those important business decisions with minimal risk overtures.

4. What services do you offer to your clients?

My company offers full list of services for individual clients as well for business people, companies and corporations. We offer consulting services to people or companies at the time of buying, designing and constructing property such as houses and commercial buildings, we also consult at a time of large commercial developments. We cooperate with architects in Poland and Russia.

We help with choosing most suitable people for key positions in companies; we create internet sites, logos and name cards – materials created in line with feng shui rules.

We conduct courses for individuals, architects, interior designers and Human Resources employees.

5. What is the price for a feng shui service? Can an average individual afford it?

The prices vary according to the level of complexity and the time I have to allocate. I must admit I am pricier than my competition but then I am one of the most accredited qualified individuals in Europe at the moment.

I decided that all walks of life should be given an opportunity if they so seek to learn this incredible oriental science at the minimum cost which is the reason for my very many free articles and almost 20 free calculators that are readily available for all on my site http://www.efengshui.org.

6. Why did you decide to open your own company instead of working in a corporation?

Working in a corporation generally means working from 9am to 5pm (usually much longer) and due to my lifestyle choices, is not possible. I love traveling and very often I travel overseas that is why I decided to start my own company. This not only allows me to work in the hours set by me but also allows me to do what I love most. I must admit shamelessly that I have been very fortunate to afford a life of luxury without the need to work due to my marriage, however having been educated with tertiary education and having spent large sums of money traveling and attending courses on feng shui over a number of years, I felt that this would have been a waste if I did not share my knowledge and contributed to society as a productive individual.

7. Did you have any problems to open your company?

I have been in business from 2008, the first year, I was apprehensive as to how I will be accepted and whether my services will ever be needed. I must admit that the response has been overwhelming and I now have clients in quite a few countries besides Poland. In 2010, I decided to increase investment in my business as I felt that my business has a real future, so there were no problems, a boost to my confidence.

8. What is the demand for feng shui services?

Feng shui service in Asia is of very high demand and is a very profitable undertaking but in those regions, novices have no place and the service is provided by true professionals. A good feng shui consultant there can easily make 100,000 Euros a month and this is just the average. I do believe that Europe is slowly catching on the reasons for the success of the east and this is not due to them just being shrewder businessmen and politicians. They themselves avail more than what they let others know the use of feng shui to their benefit.

9. How is your offer better than your competition?

After having traveled extensively and having had interesting discussions with exclusive feng shui consultants who have their individual clients (Asian billionaires have their exclusive consultants that they pick in the market) and understanding this science thoroughly, I now offer a unique service that is primarily the science without the need of oriental culture to be mixed in it. I keep the European as a European and it will be very hard for the uninitiated to be able to identify the feng shui’ed property that I do due to its absence of Chinese influences and culture that is so dominant today.

10. How much money does someone need to start their own business on feng shui?

There are a few elements that are necessary to start this business. First and most important is – qualifications. All depends where you want to learn and acquire your knowledge.  In Asia the cost easily can exceed 50000 Euros mostly due to constant travel and living expenses. It is much cheaper to learn in the country of your residence but then you do not have the access to the biggest authorities in the World in this field.

Second – advertisement/promotion and costs of setting your business (internet site, registration of the company etc). The cost of advertisement, like in any field, may differ depending on your strategy.

11. Do you have many clients? How do you get clients?

I must admit that my husband provided the bulk of my clients initially through his business contacts here and in Russia and some came from my website, but I am proud to state that referrals by word of mouth have so far sustained me and kept me growing. Today my appointments are on a two months waiting list. I am not being arrogant but this does make me feel quite secure.

12. Is this a profitable business? How long did you wait for your first profits?

This is a highly profitable business to the qualified consultant as charlatans have very short life span. I must admit I have been profitable from the very start (after 3 months) due to the help provided by my husband but today I hit an average of five figures (in Polish zloty) monthly due to the referrals that are constant. I now pour in vast amount of investment to create a better site that I hope will further benefit my business.

13. What are your future plans for your business?

Whatever I do I try to be the best. My saying is “Think Big”. At this moment I am opening an office in Moscow and I am concentrating on the Russian market at this moment, where I already have many clients.

I have many ideas and with my team I have at present, I am sure I will keep trying to be at the forefront of this business here in Poland at least; however I have a global outlook.

14.  What is your advice for people who are not sure whether to start their own company?

You have to know what you want and go for it. Never give up when problems arise but learn from it and do not make the same mistakes again.

The most important aspect of this business is qualification and discretion. You can’t become a consultant just after one or two courses. Many individuals and companies do not wish to tell anyone that they apply feng shui so you have to respect that.

This career is for those who generally like people. You have to be able to understand that there are individuals who are going to go very far with your assistance in life both financially and in status. This is not a vocation for a jealous, weak minded individual.

You have to take on a role at times of a psychologist, diplomat, interior designer, creative person and someone who can basically listen.

Like they say advertisement is crucial. You can be the best consultant in the world but if no one besides you knows about it, you won’t succeed.

Lastly, keep in mind that competition never sleeps so even though today you are the leader it does not mean it will remain like this forever.  Always find new ways to develop yourself and your company to be at least one step ahead of competition.

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