Become a Full-Time Dog Pro, Part 3

In part 2 of this 4-part series on creating a transition plan to full-time dog trainer, dog walker, or other dog pro, we looked at assessments, adjustments, and priority-setting at home, at work, and in your business to help get you through your transition as quickly as possible. This month we turn to lining up the support you’ll need once you enter your transition period.

Become a full time dog proThe message here: Don’t try to go it alone. You’re probably already pretty busy as it is, right? Your current job, the business if you’ve already started one, the dogs. All the responsibilities of running a household—groceries, bills, cleaning, cooking. The endless errands we all face. Add to this the marketing work necessary to ramp up your current business or grow a new one, and taking on new clients as a result, and you can see how a little help could, well, help.

Getting Past the “Yeah, but…”
You may not feel you’re ready to hire help. Maybe your business isn’t making much yet (or you haven’t even started it). Maybe you prefer to do things your own way, to your own standards. But to get through your transition successfully—that means as quickly as possible and still in one piece, too—will be a tall order if you insist on doing everything yourself.

Hiring someone to do your bookkeeping or clean your facility or take over basic administrative duties for your business frees up hours you can spend marketing and working with clients or their dogs. Spending between $10-$20 for an hour of help so you can make $100 training a dog or guiding a group dog walk? That’s good math. And spending that hour on marketing in order to fill more hours with revenue-generating activity is a good trade, too—and a good investment in your goal to go full time.

And remember—you don’t have to hire full-time. Even bringing someone on for five hours a week buys you 20 hours a month you didn’t have before to push your business forward.

Help Outside the Box
If you’re not comfortable bringing someone in to help with your business, there are plenty of other ways to line up support. Here are a few examples to inspire your creativity:

Help with caregiving. Most of us have others to care for. Our dogs, for starters, and many a dog pro has lamented a lack of time for her own pooches during a transition to full time. Consider hiring a dog walker or sending your super social best friend to a daycare.

Have human kids, too? A few hours of extra babysitting so you can get your marketing done might be an option, or make school pick-up/ drop-off arrangements with a fellow parent to buy a bit of extra time.

Help with the daily grind. It may sound like a luxury, but just as hiring someone to help in your business is good math, so is hiring a housekeeper. What you pay to buy yourself those hours, you’ll make back in spades by spending that time marketing or being paid for your dog training or dog walking services.

Meal planning and cooking take up a lot of time, too, especially if you’re feeding a family. Think about hiring a personal chef (sounds crazy, we know, but it may be less expensive than you’d think to have someone fill your fridge with healthy, tasty meals for the week), or use one of the many meal prep services that deliver pre-planned meals that cook up quick. Or team up with some friends to share the load through a dinner club. Have each member pick a night to cook and deliver dinner to everyone else in the group.

Look for ways to reduce errand time, too. Most of us spend huge amounts of time in our cars running from spot to spot. Plan ahead for one grocery run per week, for example. Better yet, pay a helper to run errands for you or reach out to a friend for assistance.

Don’t Go It Alone
Do your best to turn off internal voices attempting to convince you to suck it up and do it all on your own. No doubt you can, but you don’t have to and the goal is going full time, not a merit badge for self-sacrifice. A good support plan will get you to full time faster and help protect you from burnout along the way. That means you’ll be in better shape to enjoy your success and give your best to your business and your clients.

Are You Ready To Go Full Time?
If you’re ready to put your career where your heart is, spend some time this month lining up support for your transition plan. Then read Part 4 of this series, on setting the actual steps of your transition plan, and how to know when to take each one–including when to quit your job and officially go full-time dog pro!

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