In this podcast, I speak with Sally Hawk, the founder of Very Soul and a medium, to talk about her journey from working in high-powered banking to becoming a successful medium. During the conversation, Sally discusses the inspiration behind starting Very Soul and how it has grown into a platform that provides quality mediumship services to people worldwide.
Here are some of the topics covered during the podcast:
1. Sally's background and career in the banking industry.
2. How Sally discovered she could connect with spirits.
3. The challenges Sally faced transitioning from a corporate career to mediumship.
4. The importance of formal training in evidential mediumship.
5. What is deep blending, and how it relates to mediumship.
6. Sally's experience with deep blending and what it feels like to connect with spirits.
7. The types of spirits Sally connects with and how they communicate with her.
8. The inspiration for starting Very Soul and why the platform is unique.
9. The services Very Soul offers and how it helps people connect with loved ones who have passed. (free and paid sessions)
10. The future of Very Soul and its goal of reaching a million people worldwide.
Sally started her corporate career as an actuary and risk manager and eventually ran a series of large, global financial businesses with complex risks. After retiring from corporate life, she refocused on giving back by mentoring teens working to overcome poverty and executives with strong pay-it-forward potential. She also started to research more about the spirit experiences she had been having and eventually realized she was a Medium.
She began her formal training as an evidential Medium in 2020, studying with some of the top experts in the world. In early 2021 she received a series of detailed inspirations about a global platform needed to address the unique needs of Mediums and their clients.
VerySoul started as a simple, 20-person prototype in October 2021 and has already grown to over 2,000 users in 31 countries. VerySoul’s goal is to help over a million people around the world experience quality mediumship over the next few years.
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Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we've been buried. But what if, like a seed we've been planted, and having been planted would grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I've got with me Sally hawk. And Sally has started a very interesting service for mediumship, which I think is very much needed. I've tried it out myself. It's awesome. So I can't wait to talk to you about it today. Sally is a medium and she's the founder of very soul. It's very sold.com as the website where you could find this mediumship service. She started her corporate career as an actuary and a risk manager and adventurer ran a series of large global financial businesses with complex risks. After she retired from corporate life, she will focus on giving back my mentoring teens working to overcome poverty, and executives with strong paid for potential. She also started to research more about the spiritual experiences she had been having, and eventually realized that she was a medium. She began her formal training as an evidential, medium, and 2020 studying with some of the top experts in the world. And in early 2021, she received a series of detailed inspirations about a global platform needed to address the unique needs of mediums and their clients. So very soul started as a simple 20 person prototype. And October of 2021, is already grown to over 2000 users in 31 countries. Very souls goal is to help over a million people around the world experience quality mediumship over the next few years. So with that, I want to welcome to grifter growth. Sally hawk.
Sally Hawk 2:10
Hi, Brian, thank you so much for having me.
Brian Smith 2:13
I'm really excited to talk to you today, Sally about what you're doing and how you got to be doing what you're doing. It sounds like you had a pretty high powered corporate career and you retire from that. What made you inspired to start with like, very soul.
Sally Hawk 2:27
You know, it's such a strange story, how it all comes together, you know, all these things that we do on our lives, even banking, how that plays into something like doing mediumship the way very soul came to be was I was studying mediumship. And about a year into my studies, I was working with a teacher who was helping me do what we call deep blending. And deep blending is when we learn to really open ourselves up to the experience of spirit. And to blend very fully with that. And that resulted in me starting to have experiences beyond my mediumship sessions. So what was happening was I was, you know, in bed ready to go to sleep, and ping, something would come into my mind. And in particular, I remember it was about it was February, I felt like I was being handed engineering packets. And I couldn't go to sleep until I would go write down copious notes about the things that were coming into my head. And at first, I didn't fully understand what was being asked of me. Because it was just coming so frantically every night every night and I have, you know, notebooks full of this information. When I did start to understand that the patterns and the trends and what was being asked, I thought, you know, this is crazy. Are they really asking me to build a platform like this, like I just retired. I'm really enjoying my retirement. Um, but when I started to share it with some of my friends who were also mediums and some of my friends who aren't mediums. Everybody said it makes so much sense that they would be asking for this and it makes really good sense that they would choose you to pass the information.
Brian Smith 4:20
Interesting. So what So you were when you were before you retired? And you said you started selling miniatures after you retired? Right? So what what prompted you to start studying mediumship
Sally Hawk 4:32
you know, a bunch of things I had, having experiences throughout my life, but probably the biggest one about seven years ago when I was still in banking and traveling all over the world and very busy with my corporate life. I had a relative my husband's mother passed in another country. And the night she passed before anyone else knew she had passed she visited And my daughter, who was in bed with me that night, she visited my daughter to say, goodbye. And I experienced that energy. It was visual for me like I could see her I couldn't see a face. It was beautiful. I knew it was loving energy. And somehow I knew who she was and why she was there. She had a very tight bond with my daughter. And she came to say goodbye. And about a half hour after that happened, my husband called from this was in Canada, they were living in Canada. My husband called and said, the hospital just called my mother died unexpectedly during the night. And I said, I know, Oh, wow. Wow. That was for me the very beginning of really wanting to explore this deeply and understand what is that? And then I quickly came to understand from reading books and doing research that it's actually not an uncommon experience. You know, that a lot of people have these kinds of experience, but nobody wants to talk
Brian Smith 6:09
about it. Yes, absolutely. I understand that after my daughter passed, and we had a few experiences and started sharing them with people that we had known for 20 plus years, then suddenly, they were like, oh, yeah, well, I had something similar. So I understand what you're saying that people have these experiences. They don't typically share them.
Sally Hawk 6:27
Yeah. Yeah. And then and then you go through your own reckoning process with it, right? Because your logical mind wants to say, did I make that up? Did I dream that? Was that real? No, in your gut, that was real. And then all the evidence says that was real. I mean, for me to have that experience. 30 minutes before the hospital called? Yeah. And she was not she was not expected to pass. She was, you know, she was fine. She was in for a routine procedure. So it that was I just, I knew it was real.
Brian Smith 7:02
So you knew it was real. Okay. And then you you've retired, I assume much after that. But when you retired, apparently, you started getting some nudging to start studying mediumship.
Sally Hawk 7:15
Well, I got I got more nudging before I retired, I got to retire. I had lots of different experiences. But yeah, after I retired and decided that I wanted to spend more time helping the community and doing things that I wasn't doing as a banker, I started to have gained some understandings of how some things work and started to be more open to things like meditation, for instance, I went to my first meditation retreat. And in that process, I had some pretty profound experiences. And just my first weekend, even though in the first three hours of it, I couldn't sit still, I couldn't stop, you know, my monkey mind kept going. But by the end of the weekend, I was thinking things completely differently. So it was gradual, and then from time to time, I would have other experiences with spirits in different ways, either coming directly to me or coming to me through a medium to get to somebody else. And I have some pretty significant experiences like that. So you know, it all just kind of snowballing.
Brian Smith 8:29
Right? So you started studying mediumship? It sounds like with some pretty, pretty high level mediums, I guess, for lack of a better word. And did it come to you right away the the ability to connect with people on the other side,
Sally Hawk 8:43
it took me about three months to be able to make what I would call a purposeful connection. Okay, I firmly believe that we all have accidental connections, getting out where we're not trying, but for one reason or another, somebody, you know, reaches through, and that will often feel to us like intuition, or it'll feel like, you know, I feel compelled to do this, and I'm not sure why. You know, those are kind of our accidental experiences. But it took me about three months of training to have my first purposeful experience and then you know, then it's just a matter of how quickly can you kind of relax into it. So for somebody like me, I'm pretty type A it's hard for me to relax into it, it's hard for me to not want to over achieve on something that you just cannot over achieve on and you just really be one and let it happen.
Brian Smith 9:42
So so then you started getting these these downloads, I think as you call them, these inspirations you call them packets. So what were they wasn't like, start a website or what were the packets like,
Sally Hawk 9:55
you know, some of it was what I would call like mission statements. Some of That was, you know, the parameters, kind of the guidelines, the boundaries, so things like, you know, build no barriers, keep it agnostic. You know, things like that. Some of it was very, very detailed in terms of the engineering of how things should work, how to access the site, how people could get matched to a medium. So for instance, in the medium matching process that will be coming out in our new system. I was asked to install a random number generator in certain parts of that matching process that allows for influence from Spirit to help make sure people get matched to the best instrument for them.
Brian Smith 10:50
Interesting. Yeah, very interesting. Yeah. Sorry. No, go ahead.
Sally Hawk 10:56
Oh, I was just gonna say it's a it's, it's kind of a, I think one of the most misunderstood things for people who enjoy mediumship, but don't do mediumship is, I think we're all looking for who is the medium who is the one who can connect me to my loved one, right. And in fact, it doesn't really work that way, each medium, needs to have a certain amount of skill needs to have a certain amount of ability, and confidence to do the work. But then we're each unique instruments, you know, they they use our knowledge, our experiences, the memories in our brain, they use all of that, to help communicate to the person they're trying to talk to. And that means that any one medium might not be the best medium for everyone. Right, and in fact, is not the best medium for everyone.
Brian Smith 11:53
Right? Right there. I absolutely believe that 100% I've had lots and lots of readings. And sometimes with some of the best people, you think it's going to be a great connection, and it's not so great. And sometimes it might be someone that you've never heard of, and they just really, you know, they really tap into your loved one in you. It's a three way connection. And there has to be that fit.
Sally Hawk 12:14
Absolutely, absolutely. And and it's hard for us as it's hard for us to logically get to that fit. So what I tell clients, when they're when they're struggling, you know, they might go to somebody who they've been referred to by so and so or they've been referred to by five people, and then that that mediumship session doesn't go as well as they'd like, I tell them, Don't try so hard. You know, look at the pick list of choices. Find a group of mediums, you know, you can trust list of choices and see who you're drawn to. Where's your intuition take you because that's when you're allowing them to help you make a good choice?
Brian Smith 12:54
Yes, that's exactly what I say. Because people ask me all the time, because of what I do, you know, Can you recommend a medium to me? And, of course, I know lots and lots of mediums are like, Oh, which one's the best one for me? And I can't tell you that you know, which one's the best medium there? I can't tell you that either. It's like, I'll give them a lesson say Just who are you drawn to? What's your what is your intuition tell you?
Sally Hawk 13:15
Yeah. Which I know from having been on the other side of that, you know, when I was looking for mediums to have experience, that can feel frustrating, because, you know, sometimes it's expensive. Sometimes it's a long waitlist. Yes. And you and you don't know who to trust and you don't know who's even qualified, you don't know who's a real medium and who's the pretend medium. There's a lot to navigate there. And especially when it feels really important because of who you're trying to get in contact with. You don't want to go through the wringer on this, you don't want to have to try 20 times. Every time it doesn't work, you then start to question, are they really there?
Brian Smith 13:58
Yes, absolutely. I understand that. I that that almost desperation to get it right. And to know this the right person. But as I said, I've also seen people spend a lot of money and wait for many months for a particular medium, because they've been told that that person is like the best person. And then they get really disappointed when it doesn't when it doesn't work out.
Sally Hawk 14:20
Yeah, it's disappointing for the client, but it's also disappointing for the mediums. Sure. The mediums, no, they are not the best instrument for every client and for every spirit, they know that right. So, but they generally have a high intention to serve. Well. Yeah. It serves everyone the best if that if that matching process can be done in a way that allows for intention.
Brian Smith 14:47
Yeah, absolutely. So as far as very soul goes, I'm really curious about you know, how do you even go How do you get started even doing something like this coming from a banking background?
Sally Hawk 15:00
Yeah, so um, so just to give you kind of the range of things in my background that I think are playing into why I was chosen to do this. And I learned a little bit more about this every day as we hit barriers and new issues, and we have to solve them, I think, oh, that's why I had that. Yeah, that's how this thing comes into play a couple of things, one, my work in actuarial work and, you know, heavy mathematics of risk management is all about complexity, and dealing, not just the complexity of numbers, and systems, but also the complexities of human behavior. Because when you're trying to manage a portfolio of any kind of risk, take a stock market portfolio, for instance, you need to you need to know how, what kind of fear or will drive certain activities in the market, you need to know. So you're not just looking at things from a numerical standpoint, you're looking at things from a human standpoint, at the same time. Another aspect of my background that's proven to be really important, and actually kind of insanely important. I worked for GE, mid career. And one of the things that I did with GE was I helped them start what's called their Six Sigma program. It's an engineering program that helps to reduce waste, and to help make things streamline processes and make them work more smoothly. And in that work, I discovered not just how to make things super efficient, which is part of what very soul does, it's taking a very inefficient process of how mediums develop, how they practice, and then how they deliver their service to clients and how clients find those mediums. Taking a very inefficient process and making it efficient. But it also gets to a really important point about root cause analysis. So in Six Sigma, you're trying not to solve at a symptomatic level. So let's say there's a, you know, there might be an issue, everybody knows what the outcome of the issue is, for instance, one of my projects at GE was to look at, why are we not able to hire top executives? Why do a lot of top executives not choose us? When we analyze that, it came to a root cause of fear. It wasn't fear on their part, it was the fear of the people who were part of that recruiting process. So what was happening was we were interviewing these executives, like, we're putting them through like 2025 different interviews. And after a while, if you're an executive, you think, well, that's bureaucratic, I don't want to be part of that. Right, exactly. But it was the fear, nobody wanted to let go over the possibility or in the hierarchy, that they might not have touched that client. So things like that. So it's the engineering is the streamlining, but it's also understanding that fear and why people might behave in ways that aren't necessarily to their best images.
Brian Smith 18:20
Yeah, well, you've done a fantastic job with them. I'm curious, how do you go about finding your mediums? How do you go about qualifying them? What do What's that process? Like?
Sally Hawk 18:29
Yeah, so um, so first of all, the the platform does a couple of things, it helps mediums. Practice with other mediums, which is the first stage of mediumship, most people don't know this, they never hear about this part of the process. Mediums take classes they study, but then they have to do hundreds and 1000s of practices, just to refine their skills, because at the very beginning, like I told you that I had my first purposeful connection, three months in, that doesn't mean that I interpreted all the information correctly. Because what happens is, at the very beginning, as a medium, you you get sensations, you get information, but your your mind can interfere. So for instance, if I if I get balloon, my mind might layer in red balloon, and that makes it wrong. So you have to learn to kind of differentiate and separate what's them and what's me and you do that through practices. So we welcome any mediums who can make a purposeful connection to join our platform, and they are kept in that practice zone. And through their practices after every practice. They are reviewed by their partner and after their reviews show that they're ready. So they'll do hundreds of those practices. Once the reviews start to show so compelling results, then we invite them to the next level, which is a select client base. And I say select because they've been selected to be people who aren't in a high need people who we really can't hurt if we get it wrong. They're kind of like our practice clients. Once the mediums have compelling results with the practice clients, then they can move on to what we call the outreach clients. And that's where we provide donated sessions free sessions to the general public, for people who can't afford to, to buy a session with a professional medium. And then once they have compelling results at that stage, then they can move on to be a professional medium with us.
Brian Smith 20:49
Wow, that is that's impressive. I have to say, it's really impressive, because one of the things again, with mediumship is there are no regulatory bodies, there's no objective tests that we can really put people through. I know a few people are doing some testing and mediums, but most mediums aren't. So anybody could put themselves out there and say that they're a medium. And I love the process that you're saying you because you're not turning people away if they're not at that level yet, but you're allowing them to develop within a safe environment.
Sally Hawk 21:20
Yeah, and helping them to feel safe to because that's important, right? Part of the, you know, you make yourself so vulnerable in this work. And most people come to the table not used to being wrong. You know, my first year was pretty rough. But another way to look at it is in the United States, you're right, Brian, like there isn't much in the way of regulatory bodies or, you know, any kind of career pathing or anything like that. There is a bar in the UK pretty standardized process through their spirits, spiritualist national union. And so I think part of what this was, was taking some of those pieces of what has worked there, but streamlining it making much more efficient. And bringing it online.
Brian Smith 22:14
Yeah, absolutely. And I know very soul setup as a public benefit company. What does what does that mean?
Sally Hawk 22:20
Yeah, so public benefit company, allows for profit. But more importantly, it allows you to be a mission first company. So right now, we are privately held. So there's no, there's no problem with being mission first. But if it ever wasn't privately held, which is not our intention, if it ever wasn't privately held by being set up as a public benefit corporation, we could still keep an admission first company. So that structure allows mediums to earn money and be paid the same time that that we are delivering a lot of free sessions.
Brian Smith 23:02
Yeah. Yeah, it's, as I said, I bid on it a couple of times. I had a reading just last week with someone I was very impressed with, what the process was the finding a medium, the way that that set up the way that it goes so smoothly. And there are a few issues when you're looking for a medium, you know, one is, are they going to be any good? The other is, you know, what are they going to cost? And are they going to be available? Because oftentimes, people again, they'll get their heart set on somebody, and they've got a six month waiting list or a two year waiting list for some of the very popular ones. And you've solved all those issues.
Sally Hawk 23:40
Yeah, I mean, you could say I solved it, but I didn't solve it, I'd love to take credit for it. I think this is a brilliant design, but I can't take credit for it. I'm just the implementer along with a team of people, including, you know, full timers and lots and lots of volunteers. So but yeah, it does solve a lot of the problems. And it also, it also takes up a lot of the slack, in terms of there was a lot of wasted potential in what I would call the intermediate level mediums who are regularly, you know, delivering great sessions. But they were stuck doing that for other mediums, because they didn't have easy access to find clients to share those skills with and didn't feel ready to charge yet. So, you know, this just does a beautiful job of maximizing the potential at every stage without putting anyone at risk without you know, without creating an unsafe environment for the mediums or the clients in any way. It's just it's, it's brilliant.
Brian Smith 24:54
Yeah, it really is. And as I said, it's very much needed because people we don't Nowhere to go there's not a there's not a clearinghouse to go to the Find mediums and to find out who's good and who's not good and to find mediums that are again, that are affordable and available? Because we don't we know we all want that. So I'm really happy to have it for myself as a resource to refer my clients to. So how's it been? So far? In terms of recruiting mediums? Are you getting the number of people that you need?
Sally Hawk 25:24
Yeah, so far, we have about 1200 mediums on the platform, and I have it on good advice from my team, my spirit team, that will be 10,000, by the end of this year, we had to make some big technology decisions last fall. And when I asked them for guidance, you know, this way or that way, you know, this way or for if it's going to be this big this way, if it's going to be that big number 10,000 came, and now I see I mean, back down. And when that happened, we were still in the early hundreds. But now I can say, Absolutely, it's going to be 10,000. Because what's happening is, you know, every medium that has a good experience with this than tells they're three or four friends, right? And the need that it fills for the mediums is so significant, you know, they really, they're in this work to serve. They don't necessarily want to be sending zoom links, and spending time on their email making appointments, and, you know, trying to find clients and marketing themselves, and most of them are very uncomfortable marketing themselves. They're just, that's not who they are. They want to be of service and they want to help people.
Brian Smith 26:47
That's a great point, I never even thought about it from that perspective. But you're right, most mediums they're not, they don't necessarily business minded, they're not in it to make money in spite of what some people think they want to serve. And as someone who runs my own business and has for a long time i That's a lot of it's a lot of work. And it requires a pretty particular skill set, to be able to market yourself and set appointments and all that kind of stuff. And so you've, you've solved that for the meeting. So I could see why it'd be so attractive to people say, I can just come in, put in my availability, you know, put up my rates, and then, you know, clients come to me.
Sally Hawk 27:24
Yeah, and, you know, the other part of it is, if they are comfortable with that kind of thing, and they do want to go that direction, they're free to do that, right? Now, this is No, by no means are we trying to like capture, you know, capture the mediums or anything like that they're welcome to come in practice, ramp up their skills and go off on their own, that's completely fine. Or they're welcome to have a foot in both on both sides of that, you know, to have their own website to take clients through very soul. That's okay, too. We, we've had an interesting number of mediums who already were out on their own websites, and already were charging clients and had good skills, you know, decent skills, but not the level of skills that it would take to be considered professional on our platform. And they are willing to come in and just go back to the practice zone, which is where we start everybody in the practice zone. Yeah. Well, it's serving a purpose there, too, which is, you know, to bring the skills of everyone up,
Brian Smith 28:31
it does, and I have been a test setter for other people. And you know, it's interesting. Sometimes people think they're better than they are, I don't know of a polite way to say that. And that you get them in a test situation. And they're just, they're just not up to standard. So having this more objective standards that you're able to offer people into, again, to bring them along, if that's what they need to do. I think great, and also gives people confidence, if I come to your site, and I pay for reading, it's going to be someone who at least has shown some level of proficiency.
Sally Hawk 29:08
Yes, and I think that goes both ways. Brian, I mean, I think there are some mediums who, who think they're further along than they are in terms of developing their skills, but I think there's a lot more mediums who are actually on the other side of that, who don't have as much confidence in their skills as they should have. And so you end up with this kind of out of balance model. And so I think very soul is really about let's get that imbalance. Let's help people have a good balance. You know, I talk to the mediums about having a good balance between confidence and humility, right. And if you're too humble that if you're so humble that you don't have confidence in your skills, you'll have a hard time doing the session because there's a lot to navigate and you really have to requires a lot of trust on our part. In that connection, if you're overconfident and you lack humility, it's a different problem, it creates some other blockages for the communication. So really finding that that sweet spot in the middle where I'm well calibrated, I understand what I'm good at and understand what I'm not good at. And I've got a good balance between humility and confidence. That's, that's what we're trying to do. That's what we're trying to get people.
Brian Smith 30:25
So do you, um, do you offer training to the mediums also, are they still doing the training? I know they have the practice zone. But do you do any anything beyond that with them?
Sally Hawk 30:35
Yes, we don't specifically do training, there's really great training all over the world with very talented teachers who have invested a lot of time and who are, you know, just so good at what they do. So very soul really is intended to support the whole ecosystem of mediumship. So we don't want to get in the way of any of that. But what we do do is we help we help the mediums know about trainers training that's available. And we've actually got some things in the works right now that we haven't published yet about doing that. But it's going to help mediums, find teachers that are a good fit for them a little bit easier and faster. But we also, in the process of the practices, through their feedback, they get a lot of feedback from each other, which means they're getting feedback from the perspective of multiple teachers, because each student is a student of some teacher. They're also getting feedback from a diverse range of perspectives just in life, right? Like, I'm an extrovert, so I'm going to give certain types of, you know, feedback versus somebody who's more introverted might give different, you know, solid, different things on the range of personalities. They get that, but also, we have some what we call coaching sessions, we do we do have debrief sessions, where mediums can sign up at any time, if they're super confused about an experience they've had, and sign up with one of our expert coaches to have a short session to help them work through that. We would never we'd never want to replace the great one on one coaching relationships that one for months. We just we use this as kind of a stopgap measure to help people understand what what coaching can help them with, so that they seek out the right teachers.
Brian Smith 32:24
Awesome. And I know that feedback is important for mediums. So how do you how does that work with with very soul?
Sally Hawk 32:31
Yes, very soul may be the first place where evidential mediums regularly get written feedback from every session, whether that be a practice partner, whether that be, you know, an early stage client or an outreach client or, you know, paying client every time they get feedback. And we ask people to be very honest in that feedback, because it's helping the mediums understand themselves from other people's perspective. And that's the calibration process we were talking about right? Is too confident in their skills. And maybe their their evidence isn't very compelling, yet, it's too general, they need to hear that. And the first time that they hear it, it might hurt a little bit. But you know, what the right headset, we encourage them to take the information, you know, figure out what's valuable in that and then move on, go do an obsession. So that it's like this giant self coaching machine is the way I would explain it.
Brian Smith 33:37
Yeah, it is. I think it's I liked the fact that, you know, after I had my session, you know, you you sent me a feedback form, and I could get feedback and medium because it will do both things. You said it can build their confidence and also maybe let them know, these are some things that you need to work on. If if they're not doing it. So so well. It's it's so it's a it's a nice feedback loop to continue to get them to be able to improve.
Sally Hawk 34:00
Yeah, it also gets to one of the basic design tenants that I was given, which is build resiliency, okay? You know, so as mediums, we can be very sensitive. I mean, we're sensitive in a lot of ways, including sometimes we're emotionally sensitive. And so that's that feedback could really hurt if it's direct. But you know, if I get feedback like that every third time, after a month doesn't hurt me so much, right? I'm a little more resilient. And I learned a little bit more about being the facilitator that I'm supposed to be because some people come to mediumship thinking they're going to be the healer. And that's not really our job. Our job is to be the facilitator of a beautiful healing energy that knows what it wants to do. Right. And we don't meet him we don't really participate in that outcome. Like we participate in the process, we can feel the energy we get, you know, feel the love of that the outcome is going to be what the outcome is going to be.
Brian Smith 35:10
Right, right. So I know your goal is to serve a million people over the course of the next few years. How do you how do you see yourself getting there?
Sally Hawk 35:19
Um, yeah, it's you. So we're, we're at about, where are we now? I would say we're close to 2000 sessions so far. So that seems like just a little drop in the bucket compared to a million, right. Except that we just started doing these sessions late last year. Yeah. And we've been slowly ramping up the number of mediums that are public facing, facing, right. So the way we're going to do it is we're going to continue to graduate mediums as they're ready into that outreach, client pool and professional status. And the math works is the best I can put in graduate them, and they all do their two or three sessions a day, you know, five days a week, we will definitely get to a million people. Yeah, I
Brian Smith 36:17
think it'll start to grow exponentially. I think it'll, it'll, it'll ramp up very quickly as word gets out. So Are most of the mediums part time? Are they full time with you or a mixture?
Sally Hawk 36:29
You know, it's interesting, because that that was one of the things that came through in the original packet of engineering packets, was about the flexibility of what we had to build, because we have mediums in all different situations, we have mediums who have full time careers in other technical skills. We have mediums who are raising a family full of kids, you know, when they've got the busyness of that life, we've got mediums who are retired and commit their whole day to this process. We've got mediums who only want to do one session a week, we've got mediums who want to do five sessions a day, we've got mediums who don't know what their schedule is going to be more than, you know, 48 hours in advance. So you know, we really had to create the system to be able to accommodate all of that. We've got even more to deliver to make sure that that happens. But one of the one of the capabilities that we're going to have up and running as soon as our on demand system, where clients can come on and immediately get matched to a medium who's just ready to go doesn't have an appointment that day, and is ready to do a session right away.
Brian Smith 37:45
Oh, wow. That's, yeah, the I'm an engineer. So I'm fascinated with the background with the behind the scenes, because I know, you know, having that that scheduling flexibility. And I can imagine I know mediums are so some of them, as you said, I know one. She's a full time hairdresser. And she just does mediumship on the side, and the people there want to do mediumship full time, and people have not. So it's nice that you're giving the mediums that flexibility, as well as, again, the clients because that can be a big issue when people are looking for a medium is there. A lot of them are getting booked up. Now. I mean, it's not just the celebrity ones. It's some of the other ones too. And when people feel like they want to redeem they know, they don't want to necessarily wait two or three or four months.
Sally Hawk 38:30
Yeah, yeah, it's, you know, there's there's a misperception that there's a few mediums can now. Yeah, yeah. It started with the celebrity mediums. You're right. It's gotten broader, but still, there's a misperception of how few mediums there are, there's actually a lot of really good mediums out there, a lot of them. Just clients don't know how to find them.
Brian Smith 38:53
Right. Right. So are you are you doing any advertising at all? Or is this all is it's all growing organically at this point?
Sally Hawk 39:01
You know, we haven't started doing a lot of advertising yet. We haven't needed to because, you know, at the beginning, we we didn't have any problems recruiting, recruiting the first rounds of mediums. Up until December of last year, we were pretty much working behind the scenes and not out to the public yet. Right. I just started doing some podcasts like this to start getting the word out. We interestingly enough, though, about a year ago, actually was over a year ago, they gave me the first commercial. So we already had a commercial before we even wanted to advertise. Yeah, personally sitting is still sitting in is still highly applicable. It's just we haven't played it anywhere yet. Yeah. And there's also other marketing pieces that they gave me that are ready to go and we're just not we don't quite have the capacity to handle what they could what it could create yet. So we're opening slowly.
Brian Smith 40:02
Yeah, it's, I have to ask you, how can you offer so much for for free? I mean, for as little as you are? How are you able to do this?
Sally Hawk 40:10
Yes. So, um, so along with the engineering plans, believe it or not, came some funding, and then I can't get into a lot of details on the funding. With that funding, also came a promise of, don't worry, there's gonna be plenty. And given how compelling the rest of this is, all of my experiences with spirit, and, you know, the engineering and how this business plan, how everything just made sense. You know, I'm just gonna just keep going, and we'll just keep trusting.
Brian Smith 40:48
Yeah, I have no doubt, as I said, I've been working kind of in this business for about four years now working with mediums for long in that price six or seven years. And, you know, I see the gaps, the problems, you know, availability, affordability, how do I know the mediums any good, you know, people they do, they put everything into this, you know, they get a reading schedule for six months out or something, they paid $500 or $800, and then they get disappointed. And this just, this just eliminates so many of those problems, I have no problems, you know, directing someone to very soul to say, I think this is a platform that you can trust. And it's, it's not so much of a risk when you're because you're not waiting at that amount of time, you're not spending, you know, hundreds and hundreds of dollars on readings, because nothing can guarantee that every reading is going to be great. But we can do things to kind of make that in a more, more probable.
Sally Hawk 41:48
Right, right. So, you know, a couple things aligned to that one through the feedback, we can see if there's problems, you know, so we can see if there's a trend of problems, for instance, right, just knowing as a client that somebody's watching, that, I think should help give people confidence Exactly. To the prices that we charge that our mediums charge are pretty reasonable. Now, they pick their own prices, and 100% of that pay goes directly to them. So we have no vested interest, and whether somebody gets paid gets paying session, or whether it's a donated session. And I think that's a really important thing to know about vericel because that way you can trust that we're not promoting somebody or something. Because there's revenue generated for us there isn't any revenue generated for us. So I think, trust, being able to trust the platform, trust the vetting process, and just know that somebody has taken the time, you know, that that together, we've taken the time to ensure that we have credible providers. Right, exactly. And And if something doesn't go right, well, we'll figure that out. We'll figure that out together.
Brian Smith 43:10
So let's talk about the donated sessions versus the paid sessions. If I'm, if I'm a person I'm interested in, I come to your site, what am I going to see?
Sally Hawk 43:19
Yeah, so you would first say that you can choose between the paid or the free session, we do recommend to people who can't afford to pay that they choose the professional session, that'll help us deliver more free sessions to the people who really can't afford it. But we understand sometimes people are reluctant to open their pocketbook until they're sure it's good. So we also have in our professional offerings, we have mediums who are willing to be paid after the session. So after a session is completed successfully. So you'll have choices of who your medium is, if you choose a professional session. If you choose a free session, you'll get assigned to a, a medium, the mediums who are doing the donated session, there's a mix of mediums. So some of those mediums are a little bit earlier and their development, they still have very, very good skills. They're just not at the stage yet where they're charging. Right. If you choose a paid session, obviously, they're all they've all been approved for charging.
Brian Smith 44:26
Yeah, that's, that's, that's great, because it offers again, when I looked at the prices, just the other day, the prices are very reasonable. So it's not that much of a risk for people that are that are new to mediumship, who might not you know, might not be confident in it. They can I think they can come here and again, it's not such a big a big risks to take. And so currently what it is, is so if I do for a session, I'm going to be scheduled for some time in the future. So I pick a time that the medium is available, is that correct?
Sally Hawk 44:57
That's right. That's right. You pick a time that's convenient for you. They've already said that time is convenient for them. And then you're both sent an email with a zoom link.
Brian Smith 45:06
Okay. And I know you mentioned earlier, you're working on even an on demand system, which would be really awesome.
Sally Hawk 45:12
Yeah, we call it our little Uber Uber of mediums, right? Yeah. Call a taxi driver, we want you to be able to, you know, connect with a medium.
Brian Smith 45:22
Yeah, I can said I am. I think this is so cool. I'm really glad to have you on today to talk about it. I've experienced it a little bit. And a couple of times as you've been going through the beta I had I had a session last week, it was, it was awesome. She was she was really good. And it goes so smoothly with so it was so easy to set up the appointment. Now. She was on time and everything, did it by zoom. So I could do it just from from my house. So I am very impressed with the way things are going so far.
Sally Hawk 45:55
Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, it's, you know, it's been interesting, Brian, that, you know, as a, as somebody who's run large, complex businesses, and as a risk manager, I'm always looking for what could go wrong next, instantly, you know, I'm on the lookout for that. And, and I'm used to in the corporate world having more things go wrong. And frankly, this has been pretty smooth. I'm not saying there aren't, you know, challenges along the way that we have to address. But I continue to be surprised by how brilliant this plan is. How well it serves everybody. Not just the clients, not just the mediums, but you know, it's helping serve the teachers who get more opportunities from this. And it's, yeah, it's just,
Brian Smith 46:49
yeah, I really well, I hadn't thought about it from the mediums perspective, until you know, you mentioned it, but I could see it actually, you know, growing the mediumship community, as people find that, you know, yes, I can, I can train I can, I can come into this platform, I can do it. Again, low risk, it doesn't have to be a full time thing. I don't have to develop my own website, I built a couple of websites for people that are mediums, and, you know, they're trying to figure out how do I, how do I get my name out there do I go to do I do spiritual fairs, or, you know, what, and this, this is a, this is a great way reminds me of I use Fiverr all the time to hire people to work on my business, it's a great way to bring bring people together. So to bring the mediums to a place where I can go, I can trust that this person is legitimate, I can trust very soul. You know, because you've talked about how this works. And from the meetings perspective, it just makes their lives, I think it's gonna be a lot easier as well. So congratulations, I think he's doing a fantastic job. Thank you,
Sally Hawk 47:50
thank you. It, it also helps make sure that we retain mediums, because that's, that's the one thing like in a corporate world, you come from a corporate world. So you know this, right? Like, you watch your retention numbers, you don't want to spend all the time and money to bring talent in to only have them lead three or four months later, right? If people have these skills and have an interest in these skills, we want them to be successful with it. We want to make it as easy for them as possible, because the potential benefit of these skills is so enormous for the things that we're up against in our world. You know, it's for the suffering that people experience. I frankly, and my husband, I have this conversation, right, I cannot think of a more important thing that we could be doing for the world, then bringing these kinds of skills to greater use and to bigger fruition.
Brian Smith 48:49
Yeah, well, that's, that brings up another point, you know, that maybe a good medium reading can be as healing as several years of therapy. If people are have a great medium reading, and this is this is what's been proven by people have done studies, they've taken people through therapy, and they've also had them do medium readings. And they're like, they'll say that the medium, I find that connected with my soul, the therapist connected with my head, but they connect with my soul and knowing that our loved ones are still here. And still caring is such a healing thing. And mediumship is one of the primary ways of doing that. And again, we talked about several times all the problems and all the risks that we have here in the US because it's not regulated because we don't know how well trained they are. We don't know if they're just if they're, I tell people, they're great mediums through good mediums, there are bad mediums and there are frauds. They all exist just like in any other profession. So it makes sense to be cautious and try to to mitigate our risks as much as we can. When we're going out to look for medium. I always tell people get referrals don't just like we don't have yellow pages anymore, but just don't go you know, look cup of medium in your neighborhood as someone you know, and then the thing about very soul is you are a referral service you are you're actually vetting these people before you put them on your website.
Sally Hawk 50:09
Yeah. And we're vetting them in a way that is more representative of what you will experience. Right? For instance, we could put them through a test. Some people do do tests. The problem with the test is that if I'm a nervous test taker, I might not do well on the test, right? Because in fact, the last the thing that's worst for mediumship is being nervous, you know, like, it shuts you down? Yes, your mediumship? Well, you have to be open and relaxed, and comfortable and confident. And so we didn't want to do tests, we certainly don't want one person judging somebody skills we want to see like, in in the diverse population, has this person perform them to do it on their schedule?
Brian Smith 50:59
That is a really good point, too. And I do want to stick with that for just a moment. Because I I've done testing, you know, of mediums. And as you said, the medium gets very nervous. It's a very unnatural environment, because, you know, you're you're, they know, they're being judged, and it's a, you know, yes, no type thing. And it's really hard to design a great medium to test because it's more of a feeling. I mean, there, there does have to be evidence as well, but it's like, how did you make the client feel? Do they feel like there was a connection? Did they get healing from it? That's, that's the most important thing. So I like the fact that your environment is much more organic as people are going through this process.
Sally Hawk 51:44
Yeah, that's not to say that the testing environments are bad. They're not. But I before I became a medium, I had I bought sessions with Mediums who had those credentials. And they weren't always stellar ratings. For lots of the reasons that we already discussed,
Brian Smith 52:04
yeah. So yeah, and I didn't mean to knock the testing environments at all. Because again, it's just it's something that's not easy to test, you know, it's, it's, it's more of a it's more of a feeling, it's more of a it's that it's that human connection that you make with a medium. And so there's always this debate in mediumship, like, Well, is it about the message? Or is about the evidence? And it's both?
Sally Hawk 52:27
Yeah, yeah. But what's interesting is, you know, it, when you see it, you know, I get to see 1000s, and 1000s of reviews. And you can tell the difference between what I would call a arm's length reading, you know, where I may have given you some important evidence, but I didn't feel like I was a part of it, right? Versus when the evidence has a depth has a tener has a, you know, an emotion that you can connect to, and you just know that that's your person. It's pretty clear in the reviews, and it's pretty compelling. And I'm proud to say that our mediums who are doing the outreach and professional work, like the things people are saying in those reviews about how life changing it is for them, it's, it's phenomenal. Yes, I'm gonna, yeah, let me get back to one thing, Brian, because this is this is important. It just reminds me of one of my early experiences. I remember when I was when I was first coming into my intermediate level mediumship. And one of my coaches said, I needed to get out of my head more, you know, I'm a very analytic person. And she could tell that I was holding myself back. And she said, you just need to get out and start working with some clients. And she didn't mean that to be frivolous. She meant you've got the skills. You need to get out of the practice environment, because you're overanalyzing it, you just need to go feel it. And so I did I, you know, I reached out to some friends and I said, who knows somebody who wants a reading, like I'm still early on, don't have high expectations, but anyone volunteer, I would take this. I take the time with them. And one of the first people that I read for was a young man could have been more than 22. And I didn't feel like the session was technically that good. I knew that we were making connection and I could tell from his reactions, that he was pretty in awe of what was happening. That was helping him connect to a father figure. He had never had a father in his hit that this this guy was a father figure to him, had passed 20 years earlier. 20 years earlier, so I don't know maybe this guy he will spend more like 30 years Something anyways. But he filled out a form for me afterwards, he's life changing. I never thought I would hear from him again. I'm so glad God puts you on my path. Like he just went on and on a young man who was generally consumed by things that are not of a spiritual nature, right. And I thought to myself, who am I to judge? What we just experienced together? I was sitting there judging my my, you know, performance call it formants and faking it. I mean, my
Brian Smith 55:40
No, I understand. Yeah, yeah.
Sally Hawk 55:41
Did I did I do it, you know, to the book the right way. Were all my skills, work the right way. I was judging it from that perspective, instead of just letting it happen.
Brian Smith 55:51
Right? Well, that's the again, that's the that's the art to it. As opposed to that there's a technical stuff. And I've worked with mediums and I have friends that are trained as training as mediums. And I know some of the teachers and the way they're like, drill sergeants, it's got to be this way. And it's got to be that way. You can't say this. And you can't do that. And I'm like, No, I don't. It's, it's organic. It's making that connection. And the readings I really remember are what I when I felt like I connected with the medium and the medium connected with my loved one. And the evidence is really, really cool. But it's more of that. It's a feeling that you get when you have that reading that, you know, you just know that your loved one was there.
Sally Hawk 56:34
Yeah, yeah. And, you know, one of the interesting things I found out in hanging out with mediums and doing classes with mediums and, you know, being in these Facebook groups with mediums, I had no idea that many mediums start from trauma. Yeah, you know, I would say a good 15 to 20% of our mediums have have lost children have, you know, lost a spouse early, have experienced some kind of significant childhood trauma that really causes you to consider your life differently and consider that energy differently. Yeah. And so a lot of mediums that are coming from easy lives, their current from pain, but they figured out how to translate their experience, to a service to a service that they can experience as well.
Brian Smith 57:31
I just, I can only speak in my own experience. I've known a lot and lots of mediums. Of course, there's some in it to make money. And there's some that are I know, some that are celebrity mediums. But every one I know is in it for service, they may be making money, but they're in it because they they want they want to serve they want to they want to provide that healing, they want to provide that that connection. It's a it's a very sacred calling. It's, it's I believe it's a calling me, some people argue that anybody can train them in medium. I don't know whether that's true or not. But there are people that feel like this is just this is what I'm here to do. And then they're going to do it whether they get paid or not.
Sally Hawk 58:13
Yeah, I'm in the camp that you can that anyone can train to be a medium because if I can, I mean, I'm highly analytic. I'm type A I'm like, everything a medium should not be. Yeah, I could train to do it. I really think anyone can.
Brian Smith 58:27
I've heard that I have a friend that says you can train anybody to sing. I challenged him that that I done a little bit of studying in mediumship. I'm still convinced I can't do it. But we'll see. Maybe.
Sally Hawk 58:38
Oh, no, Bob Dylan. You know, she was a singer. Right?
Brian Smith 58:41
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So thanks for being here today. Thanks for for talent. So it's very sold.com. So it's a very, very easy website to remember the ry s o u l. You're open for business so people can come check it out. Yeah. So yeah, I encourage you, if you're thinking about getting a rating, it's a great place to go. I just said I've had a couple experiences there. They've been good experiences. So I'll be recommending it to people.
Sally Hawk 59:08
Awesome. Thank you so much, Brian. I really appreciate your time. Yeah,
Brian Smith 59:11
good seeing you. Thank you. I'm excited to not I have a great new resource. It's called gems, four steps to move from grief to joy. And what it is it's four things that I've found that I do on a daily basis to help me to navigate my grief. And I'm offering it to you free of charge. It's a free download. Just go to my website, www dot griefed to growth.com/gems G m s and grab it there for free. I hope you enjoy it.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Sally Hawk, founder of Very Soul, is a shining example of the power of embracing one's true calling.
Before discovering her gift, Sally excelled in the banking industry, working as an actuary, risk manager, and eventually leading global financial businesses with complex risks. Her dedication to giving back led her to mentor teens overcoming poverty and executives with pay-it-forward potential.
It wasn't until she delved deeper into her own spirit experiences that Sally realized her calling as a medium. In 2020, she embarked on her formal training as an evidential medium, learning from some of the world's top experts.
In early 2021, Sally received a series of inspirations about a global platform designed specifically for mediums and their clients. This marked the birth of Very Soul. Launching with a 20-person prototype in October 2021, the platform has since grown exponentially, now boasting over 2,000 users across 31 countries.
Very Soul stands out as a unique platform that offers a variety of services to help people connect with their loved ones who have passed. These include both free and paid sessions, ensuring accessibility to all. With a mission to reach over a million people worldwide, Very Soul is on a trajectory to revolutionize the mediumship experience.
Join us in this captivating conversation with Sally Hawk as she shares her remarkable journey and the vision for Very Soul's future.