This week, we are focusing on how to conquer overwhelm, getting all of those dastardly tasks and things we need to do out of our heads and start taking action on them so we can move our business forward.
I’ve been noticing a very common denominator among the pet-sitting business owners I speak or work with. And it’s something that most business owners struggle with at one point or another.
It happens when you’ve got so much going on that you can’t see through the trees! Most likely, you’re out still walking the dogs, taking care of the pets, and you don’t really have a whole lot of time to work on the business. That’s when overwhelm kicks in.
When you start feeling overwhelmed, you might want to give up. But don’t do that! I’m going to show you how to push through to the other side and avoid burnout.
Here are some concrete tips on how to overcome your overwhelm, conquer that overwhelm, really start focusing on moving your business forward and reach the goals you’ve set for your business.
#1 Brain Cleanse
The first step is to get everything out of your head. You want to do a total brain cleanse. Just go ahead and dump everything. Every single thing that you can possibly think of – get it out of your head and get it on paper.
Below this video, I’m going to link to some awesome dry erase sheets that you can put up on a wall and write everything down. If you have a whiteboard, use it. If you prefer doing it on your phone, or in your notes, do that.
You can use a mind-mapping tool like MindMeister if that works better for you. A notebook works great. However you do it, just get it out of your head and onto paper.
The second step to conquering overwhelm is to organize everything you wrote down into projects. Then beneath the projects, list out the steps that need to take place for you to complete the project. You might end up with five or six projects in front of you.
Next I want you to prioritize the projects you created. What are we going to do first? What comes second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth?
Now that you have everything that used to be floating around in your head written down, organized and in order, you are going to actually schedule these into your calendar.
Take the time to write everything down. Walking around with everything competing for bandwidth in your brain means you are much less likely to get it done. Get it out of your head and start working on those projects that you’ve wanted to get done for a long time. I know you can do it!
I love to read, and I think it’s so important in helping to move yourself and business forward. Below are my top 6 books to grow your pet sitting business. It was super tough to narrow them down. There are so many good ones, but these were the ones that have made the most significant impact on me. Enjoy!
I honestly thought this was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, but after opening my mind to the possibility of having an upper-limit problem, I will never again be the same. This was a game changer that brought my life and business to the next level of success.
Esther and Jerry Hicks had been teaching the law of attraction for decades before it became all the range. This book tells their story of how they learned to channel information from the spiritual realm. If this sounds utterly crazy to you, I get it! I thought the same thing, but I’m now a believer. I read their daily email of inspiration and listen to Esther’s YouTube channel (Jerry has since passed away) every single day. It tunes me in each morning. Check out the website, http://www.abraham-hicks.com
Gabrielle Bernstein is a-a-a-amazing! I love her and her teachings. This book changed my life. Seriously. She also has an info-packed website filled with inspiration. Check it out here, https://gabbybernstein.com
Your Homework Assignment: Get reading or listening to books that will teach, motivate and inspire you!
Get your 9 Proven Steps to Building a Successful and Profitable Pet Sitting Business here:
Today I’m giving you a dose of mindset for pet sitters. We should all try and do mindset work on a daily basis to move us closer to our personal and business goals.
Upper Limit Problem is a phrase coined by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks in their book, The Big Leap. So what exactly is an “Upper Limit Problem?” It’s a sneaky form of self-sabotage that creeps into your life just when things are starting to get really good.
As Gay Hendrick defines it…
The ULP is the human tendency to put the brakes on our positive energy when we’ve exceeded our unconscious thermostat setting for how good we can feel, how successful we can be, and how much love we can feel.
Below are ten signs that you may have an Upper Limit Problem
1.) You have an income cap that you can’t break.
New businesses should experience exponential growth in the first few years of business. After that, you may not have as large of jumps in revenue, but you should continue to make more every year that you’re in business. If you can’t seem to break a specific number, you’ve got an upper limit problem.
2.) You can’t get past a certain number of customers.
This goes along the same lines as number one, not being able to break through a cap on customers. I had this problem for a while. I couldn’t seem to get past 612 customers. After I realized that I had an upper limit problem, I have since tripled that number. (Awareness of the issue plays a large part in overcoming the issue.)
3.) You pick fights about nothing.
You just had a fabulous week! You signed ten new customers; you hired three new sitters; you created a new referral partnership. Things are going great when inexplicably;e you find yourself picking an unnecessary fight. If you find yourself getting overly angry just after something good has happened, it’s probably not a fluke.
4.) You never invest in hard assets.
You may invest in classes, trainings, courses, masterminds, live events or retreats, but when it comes to purchasing tangible things that you need for the growth of your business. If you find yourself having no trouble spending to learn, but you’re unwilling to spend to earn your subconscious mind just may be keeping you in continuous student status, which is holding you back on becoming a professional. This is an upper limit problem.
5.) You desert money-making projects right after the idea origination phase.
You come up with a stellar new idea for your business. Your customers are going to love it! You make notes, you create a project plan, and then you never look at it again. If you leave these great ideas unimplemented on a continuous basis, you may be subconsciously leaving them in the idea phase so that they don’t come to fruition. This is self-sabotage.
6.) You leave projects 70-90% done.
Similar to the last problem, where you desert projects at the idea phase, in this example you’re leaving things when they’re almost entirely grown. Your website is nearly done, your Procedures Manual is virtually complete, your new mailing campaign is ready to mail.
If this is you, you’re leaving projects in the final phases, so they never come into being. This is most definitely an Upper Limit Problem.
7.) You get sick right after you have a BIG win.
Sometimes it’s not your mind that objects and rebels. Sometimes it’s your body that protests your advancement. Do you ever get hit was an illness right after you achieve something great and then that illness stops you in your tracks. This happens to me with the gym. Without fail anytime I start a new workout routine, BAM! I get taken out with a virus which makes it insanely hard to get back to the healthy routine. Upper Limit, pet sitters!
8.) You walk away from deals.
You have terrific opportunities just waiting for you to seize. A new house sitting client needs you to housesit their mansion all summer. A new Monday through Friday, two times per day, dog walking client wants you to start ASAP, and you never get back to them. This is most surely a sign of an Upper Limit Problem.
9.) Your leave your money uncared for.
You have money waiting to be deposited, and you sit on it. I used to find checks in my pockets months after a service had been completed. My roommate used to find checks laying around the apartment and in my jackets. This was definitely a sign that I was suffering from an Upper Limit Problem.
10.) Other people’s difficulties throw you off your momentum.
When you’re in your “zone of genius” and making great things happen, nothing can throw you off your game. You’re focused and intentional, and nothing can penetrate you. If all of a sudden you find yourself being derailed by things that wouldn’t usually phase you, you may be suffering from an Upper Limit Problem. Your subconscious is looking for any reason to stop your momentum.
So how do you battle your Upper Limit Problem?
You battle your Upper Limit Problem by becoming aware of the issue. In his book, Hendricks refers to benign vigilance as “paying keen but relaxed attention.”
Start looking for patterns in your behavior and go on high-alert when good things start to happen to you. If you find yourself beginning to pick an unnecessary fight, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ground yourself. Say to yourself,
The concept of accountability buddies for pet sitters came into my existence years ago when I was part of a Mastermind Group. We were assigned a new accountability buddy each quarter, and we were told to have a five-minute conversation with them every work day. On the call, we were to tell the other person the three tasks that we were to work on that day. The following day we would hold each other accountable and then tell each other our three tasks for that day and so on and so forth.
In my experience, this was just too much! The conversation was supposed to only be five minutes, but if you had a chatty partner, you would be on the phone for much longer than that which ate up valuable time in my day. I then started to dread these calls, which utterly defeated the purpose.
Pick a standing day and time that you will meet each week and put it on repeat on your calendar with reminders, so you don’t forget.
Share your top 3 goals/tasks for the week.
Why Accountability Buddies for Pet Sitters are so Powerful
Being in business for yourself, you only need to answer to yourself. You don’t have a boss who gives you strict deadlines. You’re the boss, and if you don’t feel like doing something, nobody is going to make you do it. But if you have an accountability buddy, you now have someone to answer to, and you are going to be much more likely to complete your tasks. This process turns your “good intentions” into actual “to-do’s.”
Identify Your Champagne Moment
Cara Bentley of Lifehack Bootcamp coined the phrase your “Champagne Moment.” This is what you really need to focus on what’s really going to move your business forward.
Do this exercise weekly (ideally with your accountability buddy!) on Sunday night to sort out the critical tasks from the seemingly important tasks.
1: What could you do this week that would deserve popping a bottle of champagne and truly celebrating? Think beyond “shallow work” like emails and meetings. What’s a moment that would really propel your life or career forward?
2: What’s the #1 goal this week that would help you get to that result?
3: How many hours would take you to accomplish your goal? Is it doable in a week?
4: What’s the #1 task you can complete on MONDAY to get you to your weekly goal?
5a: Write down 3 potential things that could DISTRACT or PREVENT you from reaching your goal.
5b: What’s your “plan of defense” to STOP those things from happening?
Would you feel like popping open a bottle of champagne and CELEBRATING when your weekly goal is complete? If not, repeat this exercise! It’s not a Champagne Moment unless you would want to CELEBRATE it.
When I started my pet sitting business I knew nothing about business. I didn’t know how to systematically get new pet sitting and dog walking clients or how to efficiently manage my business. I pretty much knew nothing, but we all have to start somewhere, right? So how did I learn? I read. I took courses. I went to live events and most importantly I took a ton of action. Learn…implement. Learn…implement. That’s how it went.
Now looking back on my pet sitting journey I have boiled down my 4 top tips for growing a wildly successful pet sitting business.
Tip #1. Create a Mindset for Success
Success is not an accident. It’s something we have to make happen on purpose, day in, day out. It all starts with knowing what you want and conditioning yourself for success, so that you can make it happen. You should fill your brain with positive, motivational books, quotes, videos and podcasts so that you can train your brain to achieve the success that you desire. You need to make this part of your daily routine. I pay for YouTube Red. I listen to all my favorite mentors daily to tune me in and keep me in a positive state of mind. YouTube Red is commercial free and the videos still play even when you navigate away from the app. I love this tool!
Tip #2. Get Really Good at Marketing Your Business
Once you’re focused on being the best version of yourself to create the success you want, you need to focus on what action you need to take. MARKETING = GETTING CLIENTS. A big piece of that action is centered around getting your pet sitting business out there! You need to have a clear message that speaks to your ideal client. Every single day you need to be doing at least one thing to get your business out there in front of your ideal prospects. You need to expand your reach and make them say, “this pet sitting business is the answer to my prayers.”
If you want to scale your business you need to get systems and processes in place. This is a crucial step! Things can really become a mess if you don’t nail this step. Read The E-Myth! It is a must read! It truly changed the trajectory of my business. Your systems need to be replicable, documented and delegated. The system is what runs the business and the person runs the system.
Tip #4. Grow Your Team
Don’t wait for five years (like I did) to grow your team. Building a team of talented pet sitters is a must. The more sitters who are on your team, the more ideal clients you can service. The more ideal client you can service, the more revenue you will generate. The more revenue you generate, the more you can invest in marketing which will in turn attract more ideal clients. And I didn’t even mention the freedom it creates in your life. That was my WHY. I crave freedom!
As the owner of a pet sitting business who wants to grow and scale their business by building a team, there is a concern about the people you hire/your pet sitters going behind your back and stealing your clients. There is also a concern regarding your clients cutting you, the business owner out of the transaction. Both of these are genuine concerns and have both happened to me.
Here is my opinion on these issues:
Issue #1. Pet Sitters Stealing Your Clients
There is a very real possibility that you may make a less than a stellar decision with someone that you hire to join your team and that this less than impressive individual could go behind your back and offer their services directly to your pet sitting clients or dog walking clients. This scenario could very well happen and will most likely happen, but don’t let it stop you from growing your team.
TIP: Have Them Sign a Pet Sitter Non-Compete Agreement
What I suggest you do to prevent something like this from happening is first to have every pet sitter/dog walker sign a non-compete agreement. In this agreement, it should clearly spell out that the sitter is more than welcome to start their own business at any time; they’re just not able to do so with your company’s clients.
You should go over this non-compete with your pet sitter prospects thoroughly and ask them if they fully understand the agreement and if they have any questions. You can then tell them you will take them to court if it is revealed that they have done something so dishonest. This scares them!
Issue #2: Clients Poaching your Pet Sitters
You may also have the unpleasant experience of having your clients trying to poach your sitters. Meaning they go behind your back and try to cut you out of the transaction.
TIP: All Scheduling Must Go Through the Pet Sitting Business Owner’s Office
I would make it part of your company policy to have all scheduling go through the office. Any scheduling that is done and any service that is provided without the knowledge of your company will immediately void the service agreement between you and the client. Your company can not be held liable for any damages that takeplace while the client’s pets and home are under the sitter’s care.
Your pet sitters also need to entirely understand this policy as well because they could find themselves in a situation where they are uninsured and making themselves liable.
Final Thoughts on This Subject
Pet sitting clients that try to poach your pet sitters are what I call “non-deal clients.” (Go here to learn how to create your ideal client profile.) These people are not the type of pet owners that you want on your client roster. Let them go immediately and make room for people who you love working with.
Pet sitter or dog walkers that try and steal your clients are dishonest people. If your clients want to do business with someone that would behave in such a manner, you are better off without either of them. I firmly believe in karma. Let go of the negative energy and let karma work its magic. You stay focused on finding impressive, honest people to join your staff and to providing fantastic service to your roster of ideal clients who you absolutely love working with!
‘Tis the season, pet sitters! Have you thought yet about your holiday marketing and how you can maximize your profits this holiday season or are you just dreading the arrival of the holidays with no plan in place?
My guess is that most of you are in the second group of pet sitters who haven’t planned any holiday offerings, sales or discounts. Let’s change that with some ideas for Holiday Marketing for Pet Sitters!
This is a great time of year to attract new prospective clients, show appreciation to our current customers and ensure a profitable New Year, which will be here before you know it.
Below are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Holiday Marketing for Pet Sitters
Customize your website with a holiday theme.
Holiday countdown timer
Create holiday infographics for your pet-loving clients
Write holiday blog posts
Create a holiday email series
Holiday posts on Facebook
Holiday Facebook Ads
Create a time-limited saving offer
Design a holiday-themed Facebook Timeline image
Run a holiday contest
Run a direct mail promotion
Thank your current customers with a gift
Here are Some Examples of our Holiday Logos:
Tip: You can have these created on www.Fiverr.com for just five bucks!
Here is our 2015 Christmas Video
Here are Some Examples of our Holiday Email Templates
Your Homework Assignment:
Create a holiday marketing calendar.
Break down everything you will need to implement the calendar, ex. images, videos, email copy etc.
Put your plan into action and watch the sales roll in.
Howdy, Pet Lover! Are you struggling with attracting new clients to your pet sitting business? Would you like to have a consistent pipeline of new clients coming to your business? Well, wait no longer, my friend.
Today I am going to reveal my #1 Pet Sitting Business Secret that increased my bottom line by 103% in 1 year.
In this video I talk about my personal journey and how I ended up where I am today.
A Little Background
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 field 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 seven 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 before 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 lightning 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 opening of my very own pet sitting business. I gave my notice to the 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.
The Start of My Pet Sitting Business
For the next five years, it would be me, myself and I, all alone. I did everything for the pet sitting 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 6 am morning visits, the afternoon dog walks, the dinner visits and the 10 pm evening visits. I was utterly 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 of me. 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 need to have our struggles to show us what we really want.
My Wake-Up Call
So after five years of running myself straight into the ground, I decided to either get serious about the business and expand or possibly go into pharmaceutical sales. I chose option A…expansion!!!! The problem was I had not a clue on how to achieve this. There was no real solid business education 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.
Me with my Coaches, Fabienne and Derek Fredrickson
Let’s Talk Numbers
I hope it’s okay with you, but I am going to share some numbers. I realize that some people can be put-off 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 pets, 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.
Currently. Pet Nanny has 1000+ clients, a staff of 40+ pet sitters, a full-time Client Happiness Manager, and a part-time Sitter Manger. The business is generating a high six-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.
In this video I speak about the power of a mentor at minute 14:03
My #1 Secret Revealed
To sum up, in all of the years that I have been in business I have learned tons of things, but the most important aspect and the #1 secret that I uncovered 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 of the power of a mentor.