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Hello, I’m Annie Ridout, founder of Raise your SQ™.

As a child, I believed in magic. Most of us do: the Tooth Fairy, Father Christmas, making wishes on candles etc.

But as a teenager, when lots of people stopped ‘believing’, I started to become more interested in magic, spirituality and ‘woo’.

I’d sit on my bedroom floor, crossed-legged, with a stick of incense burning, saying a form of prayer (though not religious) or spell.

And because my mum is spiritual too, this was only ever encouraged.

In fact, for my 16th birthday, my mum sent me off to do reiki (energy healing) level one. So that I became a healer.

Soon, I was reading books on healing, leading seances with my friends – to connect with the spirit world – and performing magic spells and rituals.

When I was 19, after a year spent travelling around India and Thailand – an incredibly spiritual experience; visiting temples and ashrams and sharing the streets with ‘holy’ cows – I started university.

But it wasn’t going well.

So I returned home to London to talk about it with my mum. She pulled out a deck of oracle cards and invited me to ask these angel cards what I should do.

The answer I read was: leave university.

So I did. I dropped out.

And started again, a bit later, somewhere else. Somewhere better.

Spirituality has been woven through my life since birth, because of how I was raised – we didn’t go to church (except as tourists) but we did believe in spirits and energies and the power of the mind.

My mum taught me about spirituality, hope and belief and my dad – a successful business owner – taught me about how to launch and grow a business (with integrity).

Now, I run my own business and incorporate spiritual practices into my working day. They make me feel calmer, more joyful and really focused.

I use a tarot deck to help with decision-making, cast spells for growth and success and call on deities to support and guide me.

These SQ (spiritual intelligence) tools help me to set exciting goals and achieve them, as having a high SQ helps with self-belief too.

That’s how, during the pandemic, I found myself running a brand new business – The Robora – and turning over six figures. In year one, that was almost entirely profit.

I took an organic approach, using social media and a growing newsletter to sell my courses and coaching programmes.

Approaching ‘selling’ with lots of energy, positivity and enthusiasm, which came across in my messaging. Basically, connecting with people.

And I took a spiritual approach too: reciting magic spells, daily, calling for support from my deities and using manifesting tools to get clear on what I wanted, and how to make it happen.

Not only has this helped me to grow my business but it’s also how I have:

  • Secured three non-fiction book deals.
  • Been commissioned to write articles for the Guardian, Telegraph, Red Magazine, Grazia, Independent and more.
  • Written poetry that has gone viral (after being shared by Paloma Faith, Busy Philipps and thousands of other wonderful women).

So now – through my work as an author, journalist, poet, coach and entrepreneur – I’m on a mission to teach others how to raise their SQ.

It helps you to elevate your business; find more meaning, joy and creativity in your work – and add some magic to your life.

And who doesn’t need a bit more magic in their life?

Head to the magazine to read about ways to raise your SQ.

Annie x