Get More Done in Your Pet Sitting Business by Creating a Model Calendar

Get More Done in Your Pet Sitting Business by Creating a Model Calendar

Pet sitters struggle with time management, especially if you are still out doing the dog walking, pet sitting, and house sitting. Thus, it makes it challenging to work on the business to move it forward. I talked about this previously when writing about Creating a Container Around Your Time. Today’s lesson has to do with Making a Model Calendar.

Make a Model Calendar

The model calendar is a strategy wherein you get a Google Calendar, then create a structure and routine for yourself.

For example:
– Monday 7:00 am: Plan your week. This is your planning power hour.
– Tuesday to Saturday 7:00 am: Admin work. Check customer emails, respond to customer requests, etc.

Put Focus Time on your calendar.

This is when you are committed to showing up for yourself, to work on and grow the business. If you stick to your calendar, you are going to be so much more productive. But the trick is to show up for yourself. The only person you’re letting down by not following your model calendar is you.

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Don’t forget to test your model calendar.

You may find out that you don’t show up for your Monday power hour sessions. So you may decide to move that to Sunday afternoons.

You may find out you need more time for admin work on Mondays and Fridays. So you may increase those hours.

You may find out you’re not showing up for your focus time and implementation time to work on the business at that specific time for whatever reason. Move the time.

The hours of service can vary among pet sitters. You need to test things out to figure out what works for you.

So creating a routine, structure, and framework for your week helps get much more done. Go to Google, create a Model Calendar, and get to it.

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Work Smarter Not Harder In Your Pet Sitting Business

Work Smarter Not Harder In Your Pet Sitting Business

Are you still working too many hours in your business?

Every day in my free Facebook group, the Pet Nanny Coach Community, I post a tip of the day to help you grow your pet sitting business.

Last week one of the tips was to get seven to nine hours of sleep at night. It’s not groundbreaking advice, but most of us don’t do it.

However, I was surprised by the responses. Some people said, “Huh, tell the dogs that.” Some people said, “Yeah, right.”

But one specific comment stuck out. A member of our community said that following my advice to hustle and work hard on your business means that she works from 5.00 AM to 11.00 PM every day, leaving absolutely no time to get even seven hours of sleep a night.

I teach working less and making more

And I thought this is not at all what I teach my students.
Yes, I want you to hustle. Yes, I want you to take action. Yes, I want you to implement all these amazing business strategies in your business.
But that does not mean working from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM!  As a lifestyle that is going to cause burnout and most likely is going to cause you to quit.
It’s not sustainable. And I know because I lived it for five years.
What I teach is working less and making more.
The more you work in your business (rather than on your business) the less money you’re going to make because there’s only so many hours a day that you can trade for dollars which puts a glass ceiling over your head.
Work Smarter Not Harder In Your Pet Sitting Business
But when you leverage yourself through a team of heart-centered pet care professionals that will take exceptional care of your clients’ pets, the sky is truly the limit in how big you can grow your business.
I teach my clients how to get more clients, make more money, and have more freedom.
Freedom is an integral part of what I teach. Your business is supposed to add to your life, to give you a lucrative income stream and provide the time to be able to do the things that you love.

Grow a pet sitting business that serves you

Freedom comes from team building and creating systems and processes in your business, which is what I teach in my Multiply Mastermind program.
My tip today for you, my friends, is to start thinking about how you can work smarter and not harder.
How you can get out of the day-to-day grind, trading hours for dollars, and how you can grow an exceptional, awesome business that serves you, serves your life and gives you the freedom to enjoy your life. Because that is what I want for all of you.

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How I Raised My Family While Growing My Pet Sitting Business

How I Raised My Family While Growing My Pet Sitting Business

Growing my pet sitting business while growing a family

As a business owner who is also a Mom, I get asked the question so many times, “Colleen, how did you build the business you did at the same time you were raising the kids?”

So I thought I would share my experience of growing my pet sitting business while raising a family and dealing with all the hundreds of tasks and responsibilities which come with both those jobs.

It almost started by accident when I was pregnant with my first baby, Lucy.

I really wanted to spend the first three months with her completely and not work at all in my business doing any pet sitting or managerial duties.

Working while the baby sleeps

So I hired my first manager with the plan that she was going to leave after three months, but I fell so much in love with my daughter and with mothering that I decided to make the manager permanent.

Having someone to take care of the day-to-day running of the pet sitting business freed me up, during the quiet times when the baby was napping, to work on business growth strategies and marketing the business.

The result: I ended up increasing the revenue by $53,000.

And that was when I realized just what a powerful tool it was hiring someone to manage the pet sitting team.  The more time that you take to work on your business and stop working in your business, the more quickly you’re going to be able to scale your businesses.

How I Raised my Family While Growing My Pet Sitting Business

 

Then, when our family grew to include my two boys, I still made business growth a priority.

The kids would go to a babysitter for a few hours a day so that I could still continue to work on the business. But that also meant that during the second half of the day I could completely focus on them.

And now, everyone’s at school until 4 PM, so unless I’m doing a coaching call at night that’s when I stop work.

I get to work from home, so whenever they’re sick, they get to stay home with me. We never have to worry about that. I’m at every school function, and I get to be with them during school vacations.

Hiring a team let me focus on my priorities

My pet sitting business has given me the freedom and flexibility to enjoy my family.

So that’s how I did it, guys. I had already hired my team of sitters before starting a family, but hiring a manager really made the difference in allowing me to focus my time and energy where the business, and my family, needed it the most.

That’s my advice to you,  you need a team to do the client work and a manager to do the administrative work so that you can have the time to grow and multiply your business.

With that strategy, I raised these three little kids (see video above) all the while growing a company that I love.

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How to be More Productive in Your Pet Sitting Business

It’s time to get focused on our pet sitting business growth plan. The plan starts by identifying and eliminating our productivity time sucks so that we can accomplish great things in our businesses. Below are my 7 tips on how to be more productive.

#1. Take a Pause Between Tasks

There are some days when I wake up and realize that I have a never-ending list of tasks to complete. I frantically write them all down in my notebook and then jump on trying to get them all completed. This is NOT an efficient way to manage your time or your tasks.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Prioritize what is immediately necessary.
  2. Take a quick pause between tasks and ask yourself, “does this really matter,” or “is this moving me closer toward my pet sitting business goals.”
    • If the answer is no, then move onto the next immediately important task.
    • You can go back to the previous tasks when your more important tasks have been completed.

Tip: Trust me on this one. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried barreling through my tasks just to realize that my day was gone, and I had gotten nothing of actual importance completed. Prioritization is key!

#2. Steer Clear of the “Perfectionism Predator”

According to communication expert Anett Grant: “Perfectionism is the predator of productivity.” This is another point that I have great familiarity with. I suffer from something called “perfectionism paralysis.” This characteristic can be defined as aspiring towards impossibly high goals. The thought of or the inability to reach certain perfection sets me on a procrastination and paralysis cycle where I look for any reason to not release a product or program for fear of criticism that the project is not perfect. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I catch myself doing this quite often. I really need to keep myself in check with it.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

Here is some advice for you that my mentor once told me, “good is good enough. Get it out there! You can always go back and make changes after it is released.”

pet sitting business

TIP: Read Getting Things Done by David Allen

#3. Beware of the Social Media Time Suck

The problem with social media is that you can log in to send out some work tweets or business Facebook posts, but then you check your news feed and then next thing you know two hours has passed, and you have gotten nothing of substance done.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Set specific time blocks per day for using social media for business.
  2. Save your personal social media time for after business hours.

You can also use it as a distraction. Every time you receive a notification that a picture was posted of you, or that you were tagged in a post, your immediate reaction is to go check it out. Am I right? These distractions are eating up valuable time in your day and keeping you from accomplishing your pet sitting business goals.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Turn off all notifications from your social media outlets.
  2. Set specific times to check for updates.

#4. Meditate for Massive Growth in Your Pet Sitting Business

Don’t run for the hills just yet. Meditation can be off-putting to some people. I’m not sure why, but it most definitely scares some. Don’t be afraid!

Meditation has been proven to reduce stress, improve focus and concentration, increase emotional intelligence, improve creativity and your overall health. These are all pretty awesome things, so why not give it a shot?

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

Download the HeadSpace App. This free app will get you started on a simple and easy meditation practice, and all it takes is 10 minutes per day. That’s it! I challenge you to give it a try.

#5. Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is trying to do more than one thing at a time and can be one of the worst productivity killers. In the age of smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, email, facetime and social media, it is so easy to multitask without even realizing it. And here’s a newsflash, our brains are not wired to work that way. Researchers found that when we attempt to multitask, the brain “bottlenecks” the information and quickly moves its attention from one thing to the next, instead of addressing the items simultaneously. Rather than becoming more productive when faced with multiple tasks to accomplish at once, this suggests we only become more frazzled—and thus less able to handle the challenges of a high workload.

Citation: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24516634

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  • Find a distraction-free place to work. I suggest the library.
  • Block out distractions by shutting off all of your devices.
  • Set a timer and work in two-hour time blocks without distraction.

Tips: Just in case you don’t trust yourself to block out all of the distractions on your own some apps can help you out. Check out:

  1. Dark Room, a full screen, distraction free, writing environment. Dark Room is just about you and your text.
  2. Anti-Social is an app that makes it easy for you to target and block any distracting website so you can be more productive.
  3. Rescue Time is an Internet tool that tracks what users do all day so they can learn where they’re wasting time, get better at self-management, and make changes that amp up productivity.

#6. Get a Grip on Email

How often do you feel swamped by email? My guess is pretty often. Pet sitters receive email all hours of the days and night with requests and changes from current clients, new client inquiries and emails from their staff. It is endless! I honestly feel like I can write an entire mini-course on this subject, but for today, I’m going to give you some quick tips.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Do not check email continuously throughout the day. Set specific times for when you will check and answer emails.
  2. Set boundaries and expectations with your clients by setting an autoresponder that clearly states your office hours and when they can expect to hear back from you.
  3. Create templates of often used replies so that you can quickly cut and paste.
  4. Unsubscribe from any emails that are polluting your inbox. (I hope they’re not mine, but if so, I get it. ;))

Tip: You can always create a Feedly account and subscribe to the RSS feeds from the writers who content you want to read. This way you’ll still receive the updates, but they’ll be neatly organized.

#7. Set Aside Time for Yourself

Taking time off is one of the most difficult things for a pet sitter to do. For whatever reason, you are expected to be on call 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. An expectation that I will never quite understand. This is not a healthy lifestyle and is most certainly a recipe to spoil your productivity. You need time off to clear your mind and recharge your engines.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Schedule your time off at the beginning of the year and alert your client list, so that they can plan their trips accordingly.
  2. I would also suggest hiring another pet sitter to cover your visits or contacting another local pet sitting business owner to cover your workload during your time off.

Bonus: My #1 Pet Sitting Business Success Secret

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TITLE - Create a Container Around Your Time

Create a Container Around Your Time

This post is written at the time of COVID-19, where many of my students and pet sitters are locked inside their homes. This allows them to work on their businesses. Here is the problem: they are having a hard time creating tangible results for their business.

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Most of the time, the issue is with Parkinson’s law: Work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Whatever time you allow yourself to work, you will find enough work to fill that time.

For example, if you give yourself seven days to complete a project, you will find enough work to fill that time. If you give yourself two days to work on the same project, it’s going to take you two days.

Remember, work does not only expand to fit the time. It also contracts to fit the time you allow for it. It’s best to decide how much time something is going to take.

How do you do this? By putting a container around your time.

Utilize Your Calendar

What results do you want to create by the end of the week? It’s not about watching a video or completing worksheets. It’s completing the worksheets and implementing strategies that are going to get you results. By putting a container around your time, this leads us to the next tip below…

Give Yourselves Deadlines

You can’t have loose, haphazard time parameters or it’s going to fill up that time. If you don’t give yourself a deadline for let’s say, building out a full hiring system for your company, it might take you two years to finish because you didn’t give yourself a container.

If let’s say, you give yourself two weeks for the same work, that work is going to contract and you are going to produce that result in two weeks.

The best way to grow your business is to work on your time management skills, creating a container around your time, and to utilize your calendar to complete your deadlines.

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. Grab my FREE report, 125 Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients. This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
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How to Stay Organized and Motivated When Working From Home

How to Stay Organized and Motivated When Working From Home

I haven’t done a pet sitting visit in about 13 years. So I know what it’s like to be in your house and trying to be productive and motivated. Here are nine tips for you on how to do this.

Create a Miraculous Morning

How you start your day is absolutely everything. Don’t turn on your phone once you open your eyes, reading the news of Twitter, and taking all negative information. You are not starting the day on the right foot.

I get up, have breakfast, do workout, shower, then do my meditation and prayer practice. These activities calm my mind, so I positively start my day. That can be your morning routine.

Get Dressed and Showered

A lot of people work from home in their jammies, dirty-ish type of clothes. Don’t spend your day in slippers or bare feet. It isn’t good for your mind or productivity. My suggestion is to get up and wear something clean and nice, with shoes. No need to wear anything fancy.

Have a Designated Workspace

Not everybody has a home office, but it does something for your mind and productivity to be able to go to a specific space where you can work. It could be a dining room table or a kitchen table.

See It Through Strategy

On a Sunday or Monday morning, sit down and have a power planning hour. You will dump every single thought and task you have on paper. It should take about an hour.

Get them out in your head and write it all down. Then schedule them on your calendar. You can also use Google Calendar. You’re taking everything on that list and organize on when you’re going to complete it. Then you throw that list of all your tasks and to-dos. You know you have already had everything written down, and you know your future self is going to show up and do it.

Have your Finish Friday Hour

Schedule time to go through all your tasks. See what you have and haven’t completed for the week. For the things you didn’t complete, you’re going to take note of those, and they will go into your next planning power hour. This is organizing and time management.

How to Stay Organized and Motivated When Working From Home quote

 

Do not mix your home chores and workday tasks

Work hours are for work hours. You have to be strict about this. If you stop what you’re doing to put in the laundry or to fold a load that’s in the dryer, everything is going to take you so much longer to get it done.

Define Boundaries with your Family and Friends

I don’t get it why people think I’m available to them at every moment. So guess what? My phone is now on do not disturb mode during office hours. I check it to make sure my kids are fine at school, but 95% of the time, I don’t respond to my friends. I am focused on what I’m doing.

Every time you hear that ding, you stop. It takes your focus off on what you’re working on, and if it is not urgent, it’s not going to help you with where you want to get in your business. Do be strict with yourself and put on the do not disturb.

Get up and move.

Have scheduled breaks where you get up and go for a walk. Take the dogs out for a walk. Get some fresh air. Or do some weight exercises. Put on some music and dance around to get in a good mood. Do anything to get your body moving. Have 10-minute breaks scheduled so you have time to breathe. This is going to help you with your productivity.

Meal prepping.

When working from home, you can get into some bad habits with what you’re putting in your body because the fridge is right there. My suggestion is to get your dinners ready for the week on Sundays. Prepare everything ready to go, so it’s nice and easy. Have healthy snacks on hand that you can grab, versus not having anything in the house except for something that’s not good for you.

Design an end of the day routine.

My end of the day time is usually at 4 PM. That is the time when my kids would get home from school. You need to have ‘triggers’ for your brain to shut down and be at home and present. Otherwise, you might become a recovering workaholic. So shutting down your email, shutting out of your Facebook, getting your inbox to zero, and then that’s it. You are done for the day.

We want to make the most out of our time when we are in our houses, and this is how you’re going to do it.

Below is a FREE PDF you can download as guide to being productive and motivated working from home.

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. Grab my FREE report, 125 Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients. This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
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Productivity Hack for your pet sitting business

Super Simple Productivity Hack for Pet Sitters

A simple tool to help pet sitters get more done with less stress

If there’s one thing I’m certain of, pet sitters are short on time, which is why I’m excited to share this week’s business building tip that will show you exactly how you can create more time and get more efficient in every area of your life.

You and I all have one million things going on in our brains each and every day that we need to get done.

For our pet sitting business, we need to get a newsletter out, we need to get marketing emails written, we need to schedule all those clients, we need to send that client a baby gift, we need to reach out to that sitter to figure out what’s going on with her summer schedule, the list goes on. And it never stops!

Then, on top of all of that, you have your personal stuff to take care of.

For me, it might be events at my children’s school or signing up the kids for camp, packing for a camping trip, getting the car serviced, etc.

When we have all this stuff swarming in our heads overwhelm sets in, and overwhelm causes inaction. When we have too much to do it’s easier to just ignore it than to actually get it done.

This is where my super simple productivity tool can help pet sitting professionals just like you.

The Weekly Brain Dump

STEP 1

Each week, preferably on Sundays, I want you to get out a piece of paper and do a thorough brain dump on every single task that you can possibly think of that you need to get done. Include personal tasks as well as those for your pet sitting business.

STEP 2

Cross off the things that you do not need to complete this week.

STEP 3

Schedule the remaining tasks onto a calendar of your choice. And the most important point – make sure you include due dates because if you don’t schedule it, it’s just wishful thinking.

I’m going to repeat that – make sure each task has a due date!

Make The Brain Dump one of your success habits to get you where you want to go, so much faster. It may be simple, but it’s an effective tool to help your pet sitting business grow.

FREE PDF Download For Pet Sitters

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. Grab my FREE report, 125 Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients. This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
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4 Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tips

Last week I discussed the importance of implementing with speed. This week I want to give you some very simple productivity tips. This is what I first teach my high-level pet sitting business coaching clients. I realize they may seem too simple to even matter, but trust me if you follow these tips you will become so much better at completing your tasks and growing your business faster.

Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tip #1: Before you start working on ANYTHING for the day, sit down for 5-10 minutes and WRITE DOWN your top 3 important tasks for that day.

Most people run straight to their email first thing in the morning. Don’t do this. Your email messages all come from people searching for answers from you. So, what happens? Your day starts by you reacting to the needs of everyone else. Not from a centered place where you are organizing the most important needs of your business for the day.

The 3 tasks that you choose for your day’s to-dos, should all be able to realistically be completed that day. The tasks can most certainly be part of a bigger project. Just be sure to keep them simple and attainable. The 3 tasks should also have importance to the growth of your business. Please nothing like, “call hairdresser.”

If you complete your 3 tasks, feel free to add more, but only start with 3. Too many tasks will overwhelm you, which will then cause procrastination.

Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tip #2: Always think of these two things when deciding which tasks to focus on…

  1. What tasks will bring me more pet sitting customers/leads for my business?
  2. What tasks will generate more revenue for my business?

When you focus your day on tasks that will GROW your business, you will start to see big results. You can also use my similar hack to plan out your week as I describe here.

Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tip #3: Tackle your hardest and most dreaded tasks first.

“The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex. But the payoff and rewards for completing these tasks efficiently can be tremendous.” ― Brian Tracy, Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tip #4: Work in 2-hour time blocks without interruption.

This means you turn off your cell phone, your email, your instant messaging, your Skype, your Facebook, your Twitter and anything else that is a time-suck for you. You then set a timer for 2-hours and you work without distraction until the timer sounds. You then get up and walk around and take a break for at least 15-minutes.

Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tips

 

Your Homework Assignment:
Start implementing these productivity tips tomorrow and do them all for at least 3 weeks. That’s how long it takes to create a new habit. I think you’ll be absolutely amazed at what you’re able to achieve. Let me know how it goes. Good luck!

Hey there, Newbie Pet Sitter! Are you feeling stuck or overwhelmed with starting your pet sitting business? Fret no longer, my friend. I’ve got ya covered!

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