I won’t assume all of my readers conquer with me when I say I believe in a divine creator, a savior and a heavenly father. I will however take a leap of faith and say that we can all see the interweaving of a masterful plan unfolding in our lives from time to time.
My career has been as such -an unfolding story, each page only readable when the time is right. The years have been strewn with open and closed doors – locked tight.
This post will be not completely unrelated to my usual food and nutrition mantra – more of a prologue of sorts. The prequel to it all.
I began my first degree program a couple of years after highschool – set on a life as a veterinary nurse. I studied at any unfilled moment, memorizing dosages, drugs and dog breeds. I was completely committed and only about a couple years from graduating from the program when I realized I was terrible at it. Keeping track of harried, stressed out owners and dealing with unprofessional hospital settings all while working tremendously long hours at minimal pay was hard. I didn’t feel it was a path for me – in fact I prayed long and hard about the decision and was fairly certain the plan for me was pointing in a whole different direction – one of which I wasn’t quite certain of yet.
I did succeed at least two talents within my life as a veterinary nurse – and those were relationships with clients and nutrition education with owners in regards to their pet’s diagnosis. The nutrition education I provided included options for owners to purchase prescription pet food tailored to their pet’s disease state – helpful of me, but completely out of my scope of practice and constantly getting me in trouble with a couple of the veterinarians that desired no such assistance.
While I worked at the veterinary hospitals I quickly developed a client base of customers that weren’t keen on boarding their animals at the facilities while they vacationed – so I stayed at their house. It was casual and more of a favor than anything – initially. That was until I was considering resigning from the veterinary nursing position and a decision as to what I was planning on doing with myself had to be made. Like all big decisions – well maybe not all, I could certainly be more attentive – I prayed about it. I felt as if God was leading me start a pet sitting company in Orange County. I knew of other startup companies that the veterinary hospitals referred to, I already had a client set and I love creating a hype and gathering followers. That’s where Happy Tails Rowdy Dog Roundup all began.
I began by ordering simple business cards, designing a website and setting up accounts with the local “Coupon Clipper” to get my name and face into the community. These were pertinent and incredibly beneficial steps – the calls began to roll in and I was working sun up till sun down all over Orange County. Once summer rolled around I had more time to fit in clients and new client consults, this led me to getting a 5 star Yelp account started as well as Google and Facebook Ads. Before long I had interviews lined up with the local newspaper and an online Young Entrepreneur website. Word was getting out about my friendly demeanor, dependable care and trustworthy service.
From 2008- 2016 Happy Tails Rowdy Dog Roundup blossomed in Orange County and I grew as a person and young professional. My mentality dealing with clients became more organized and professional. I learned the importance of being confident and competence in your services so that your client may feel the same. I developed a knack for networking with small businesses that began to refer me their clients after I simply dropped off cookies and business cards – always a win. As the years rolled on I learned to not work for my company but make my company work for me – being more selective in my new clients, decling jobs I simply did not want, scheduling client needs around things that were important to me first and foremost and not idolizing money which had caused me to overbook my schedule in the past. I learned the ins and outs of taxes, 1099 contractors, contracts and marketing.
All that to say, I believe the most important lesson I gleaned from the experience was that if you dream of making a movement happen – whether it be a nonprofit, a mission trip, a small business or a new relationship – you must simply just take the first step. If it is within His divine plan for you and you’ve included him in that dream the next steps and open doors will likely fall before you without much effort. Happy Tails Rowdy Dog Roundup was never a business that caused me much strife -only when I began taking things into my own hands, over booking myself or worrying about income, did things become remotely difficult.
As far as where things are now with the business – I’ve closed shop as of last week. May 1st was the last day of my job as a pet care provider. It was a long time coming as I’ve longed to work more toward my future career as a dietitian.
I recently became employed with Quest Nutrition – which is incredibly exciting and dreamy in and of it’s self. We’ll see where the next doors may open, as long as I keep myself open to opportunity and willing to take a leap of faith I rest assured only great things lay ahead.