She may be petite, but Miss May Sim has big dreams and ambitions beyond the horizon. The founder of Selfstrology is the first Asian to graduate from the International Academy of Astrology (IAA) and might be the only western practicing astrologer in Singapore. May is a lady of sincerity; just as how she would like to tell people that Astrology is all about guiding one’s true personality in the right direction.
As much as Astrology might seem like a niche area of professionalism in Singapore, May felt that the biggest challenge is not in pursuing her Astrology degree, but rather in people’s perception and misunderstanding of this ancient art.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, I’m May. I’m a professional astrologer and I’ve practiced Astrology for about 14 years now. Last year, we’ve set up our own astrology academy at Bussorah Street, which is somewhere in the Bugis area.
You started practicing Astrology way before you took it up as a full-time profession. Astrology is an ‘ancient art’. What sparked you to be so intrigued by Astrology and taking it up seriously?
Well as you’ve mentioned that Astrology is very ancient, I think it easily has about 5 to 6000 years’ worth of history. And I figure if humans have bothered to study that long, through our history, then there has to be some merit in it. I think I was personally very intrigued by how the birth charts unerringly tell us so much about a person’s personality, and also where the inclinations lie.
How can Astrology improve lives?
Often, when most people think of Astrology, they think of it as fortune telling, and that’s how, quite frankly, it has been used traditionally. I think in modern context you find that modern western astrologers are more interested in psychological counseling, we’re interested to see how some of these behavioral patterns either can help us or they can get in our way. So it’s a great way to identify repeated patterns in our lives and also how to use these energies constructively.
You’re the first Asian to graduate from the IAA (International Academy of Astrology) What are some of the challenges you’ve faced thus far whilst pursuing this career?
Actually, pursuing my degree at International Academy of Astrology was the easy part. It’s true that I was the first Asian, but being Singaporean, because we speak English well, it’s not difficult for us to connect with the westerners. Generally speaking, the study part was easy. I think the setting up business part is a little bit different. Astrology is just like any other business, and the challenges I faced, I think, are very similar to what other entrepreneurs faced. So it’s really about defining your target audience, figuring out how to get to them, and also most importantly, how to deliver value to the customers. So I think some of the difficulties that I might have faced specifically with Astrology is that, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding about Astrology, many people think it’s religious, or that it’s purely fortune telling, which I can tell you none of my students or my clients will tell you that this is the case. I think the penetration that we can get into a person’s psyche; why do some people decide to become entrepreneurs like me, and why do some people never become entrepreneurs, why some people want to be parents and some people should never be parents. So, it’s actually very deep rooted into a person’s personality.
Any piece of advice to budding female entrepreneurs?
I don’t think the situation is very much more different for women. Especially in Singapore, where I don’t think there’s any prejudice against female entrepreneurs, I think the opportunities given to us are exactly the same as for male entrepreneurs. The kind of foundation work that we need to do for our business is exactly the same as with the men. I would say for most women, don’t let gender be an issue when it comes to starting a business. If you believe strongly in what you want to do, just do it. I don’t think anyone cares if you’re a woman or a man.
Can you share with us what your first consultation was like?
There’s actually quite a story that comes with it. Because I’ve actually been studying Astrology for many many years, and I never dared to see a client. Because I wasn’t convinced that I was good enough at doing this. So it was actually a friend who had covered a bit of the cost for me for an overseas trip (so basically I owed him money) He didn’t want his money back, and in fact, he said, “I want you to be seeing clients, and I want you to be collecting money from them. That money that you owed me? Never mind, forget about it, take it as if I’ve just paid for your first three clients. So, essentially he sent three of his friends to me, people who he thought needed such a consultation. I saw them, and in my mind, it’s very important because I think there is a barrier between doing something for free, and actually charging for it. And that’s when you make the transition into professional work. So, that was how I saw my first three clients. As you can expect, well, in the first place I didn’t see clients because I wasn’t confident yet. So, you get a lot of second guessing yourself, trying to see if some of your techniques work, whether your interpretations are on track. But, I think it was a very valuable experience. Definitely, I didn’t deliver to those customers what I do for my clients today. But, they are a very big part of my business – because had it not been for these 3 people who gave me a chance, when I wasn’t quite on a professional level, I wouldn’t be where I was today.
Photo Credits: Selfstrology
Any inspirational quote to live by?
I think most people should just make a clear decision about what you want to do with your life, and be very very good at it.
Selfstrology Moving Forward:
I think some of the organizations that we’d really like to work with, Number one, dating agencies. We’ve actually done very well with dating agencies. Especially when we have access to a group of people who are motivated to improve themselves because they are preparing for the next stage of their life, which is to commit to a partner. And the same thing also applies to companies who are doing corporate training, or individuals who are looking to develop themselves for the next level of professional development. I would say, some of the groups that we are interested in are people dealing with families, even families who may be dealing with conflict or certain difficulties, or just family members who are looking to connect better with each other. Of course, our academy is always open to people who loved to learn Astrology, you don’t need any special psychic abilities, you don’t have to be the “chosen one” to learn this. It’s a language, and anyone can learn this.
For more information, visit www.selfstrology.com