I was brainstorming my next topic that I was going to write for you, when it occurred to me that you probably have no idea who I am or why it is you should even listen to me. So, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you my back story on how I ended up here talking to you wonderful folks.
When I went to college at The Ohio State University in 1995, I truly had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had received a scholarship for filed hockey, so besides playing my sport and having a blast in the process, I had no true direction or career aspirations. Looking back, I regret wasting the amazing opportunity that was given to me to envelop myself in my education. Don’t get me wrong. I had a great time, but I wish I had the where with all to focus on the things that truly mattered, which was my future career. When I enrolled at OSU I declared Special Education as my major. I had worked at a home called St. Edmond’s Home for Crippled Children all through high school, so I figured this is what I was supposed to do. The curriculum was a breeze. I barely had to study, which left plenty of time for partying and hanging with my friends. I will say that I do have a gift of being able to care for and help special needs children. The tricky part was that I did love it, but I knew deep down that it wasn’t my calling.
After graduation I accepted a position teaching 7 years old children with Down Syndrome. They were the cutest, most wonderful jewels on the planet. I loved each and every one of those kids, but I felt completely drained both physically and emotionally. I can’t even describe to you the exhaustion that I felt at the completion of each work day. It wore on me and it wore on me fast! The summer going into my second year of teaching I was expressing my disappointment in my career choice to my mother. She suggested that I start my own business. I initially laughed it off. I mean, what on earth would I do? She asked me what it was that I love to do most? I answered in jest, I wouldn’t mind playing with dogs all day. Well, that one little statement was like a lightening bolt that struck my life,which in turn has never been the same since. During my second year of teaching I did nothing but plan for the the opening of my very own pet sitting business. I gave my notice to our principle about mid-way through the year, giving her plenty of time to fill the position for the following year. Then in June of 2001, on the last day of school, I opened the doors to Pet Nanny-Pet Sitters of The Main Line.
For the next 5 years it would be me, myself and I, all alone. I did everything for the business. Every single pet sitting visit, dog walk and overnight stay. I answered the phone. I did the accounting. I did the emails. I had created nothing more than another J.O.B for myself and my boss was my clients. I thought that the entire point of going into business for myself was to have the freedom to do the things that I loved. Ummmm… not!!! I never slept in my own bed, because I was always staying at one of my client’s houses. I did the 6am morning visits, the afternoon dog walks, the dinner visits and the 10pm evening visits. I was absolutely exhausted and very unhappy. On top of the rigorous schedule that I had created for myself, my clients took unbelievable advantage of me. I had no policies or procedures in place and I never wanted to be rude, so I just let them take advantage. Uh! Looking back, I want to grab that 24 year old girl, shake her and tell her to toughen up and to get with it! But this is what learning is all about, right? We all need to have our struggles to show us what we really want.
So after 5 years of running myself straight into the ground, I decided to either get serious about the business and expand or go back to teaching. I chose option A…expansion!!!! The problem was I had not a clue on how to achieve this. There was no real solid business eduction out there that I knew of. In truth, I had NO IDEA on where or how to start. Then, like a miracle, a person came into my life by almost miraculous fate. I attended the NAPPS pet sitting conference that year and a woman named Fabienne Fredrickson of Client Attraction spoke. Well, I just dove into her teachings. I read every email, every newsletter, I purchased every product, I attended every event and I eventually joined her Platinum Mastermind Program. You see, I found a mentor. I found someone to teach me what I didn’t know, which was everything. Through Fabs I also found other great teachers that I started to follow and learn from as well. I kind of became a product junkie. I ready every book, took every course, attended every event and purchased every program that I could get my hands on. I had a thirst for business knowledge. I loved learning, then applying what I learned to Pet Nanny and then seeing how my business just kept growing and growing and growing.
I hope it’s okay with you, but I am going to share some numbers. I realize that some people can be off-put by this, but I just want to show you the surprising results that I experienced as a result of applying all the great nuggets of wisdom and information from my mentor and all the many programs that I had invested in. This is what happened to my business…
In 2005 I had earned a gross revenue of $47,282.32. In 2006 after applying all that I had learned, I earned a gross revenue of $95,992.50. That is a 103% increase!!!! Since then my business has grown by exponential numbers each and every year, even in the down economy. How do I do it? I keep learning. I still purchase programs and attend seminars and apply what I learn to my business. I will never reach a pet sitting business nirvana, where I will say “that’s good enough.” No way!!! I believe the sky is the limit for Pet Nanny. I truly mean that. Those of us that are in the pet sitting industry have chosen an excellent field. Our clients are obsessed with their pet’s and we provide them with the solution on how to provide loving care for them when they can’t be at home. We will never, ever have a shortage of clients. This I can promise you.
It is now 2014. Pet Nanny has 1000+ clients, a staff of 32 pet sitters and a full-time office administrator. I have created a mobile application, Pet Watchman for the betterment of my business by adding additional value to our clients. It can also be used as a tool for other pet sitting businesses. I am generating a high 6-figure revenue. I get to spend my time doing what I love. This includes working on my business, playing paddle or tennis every day, entertaining our friends and family, vacationing at our beach house, playing with my kids and attending all of their school events. This is what my definition of success is. FREEDOM! I make enough income where I can enjoy my life. I will be honest, it feels good.
To sum up, in the 13 years that I have been in business I have learned tons of things, but the most important thing and the #1 secret that I have to finding success within your own pet sitting business is to find a mentor. Find someone that you connect with, and that you respect and want to emulate. This is the shortcut to success. You saw my numbers. I had 103% growth in the year that I started working with my mentor. The numbers don’t lie. That is rock solid evidence to the power of a mentor.
So, this is my story and I’m sticking to it. I hope you found this article helpful. I’m interested in hearing your stories. Please leave me a comment below. I want to hear about your dreams, your struggles and your obstacles. I want to help! I mean that.
There is a saying that I love, “when the student is ready, the Mentor will appear.” If you are ready to take the next step in your business I am here to take it with you. I know it can be scary to take that step, so if you’re interested in scheduling a FREE call with me you can do so, by clicking this link. We can chat about your business and how I can help you reach your business goals. You can also shoot me an email to email@example.com.
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: Find yourself a mentor.
I believe in you,