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July 2020

What's Your Plan B?

Copy of BONUS (Clubhouse  Room  Spaces  Event Templates) 11 Templates by Viral Marketing Stars®️-2

 

Thinking about a career away from the grooming table? You wouldn’t be alone. It’s estimated that the average person will change careers five to seven times over their lifetime.

Let’s face it, grooming is a physical job. Whether by force; perhaps an injury has sidelined you, your job has been eliminated, or you are just unhappy.

Or by choice; you want to do something different or want a less physically demanding job. Maybe your passion lies elsewhere.

You are going to want to plan your exit strategy rather than winging it when the time comes.

Decisions need to be made. Do you want to stay within the professional pet industry? Options may include shop managers, grooming instructors, speakers, writers, or receptionists. Or maybe pet sitting or dog training.

Or is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but life got in the way. Going back to school to finish degree? Starting your own business and hiring groomers?

Let’s get started!

  1. This will require some soul searching on your part. Grab your journal and start writing your thoughts down. It will help you organize and make sense of which direction you should go in.
  2. Do your homework. Careerbuilder.com is a good place to start to get pro’s and cons. What are your income expectations? Will you need some sort of healthcare coverage? Consider consulting a career counselor or job coach. Are there jobs available in that field? www.SCORE.org is another good resource.
  3. Make a plan. By that, I mean map it out. How are you going to get from here to there? Do you need a set of skills you don’t currently have? Do you have money saved to cover your expenses while you transition from one career to the next? Can you apply for loans? Your plan also needs to include your exit strategy. Will you stop suddenly. (For some, that will be your only option.) Or will you gradually stop working one place, while picking up more work in your new field? I like to work backwards. So, I would start with my end goal and map backwards each step I needed to do until I reached my starting point. A plan will also help to point out where you might need assistance. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”
    – Amelia Earhart
  1. Follow that plan. Get the education, the mentors, the coaches, and whatever else you need to make it a reality. Will it hard. Probably. Your subconscious will try to sabotage you here and there, which is why mapping out is so important. It will keep you on track when it seems easier to quit and stay where you’re at.
  2. Seek out a support network. Friends and families that will encourage, rather than give you excuses to quit. And Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
– Mark Twain

It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Possibilities are endless, you just need to make that plan.

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Mary is a business, wellness, and safety strategist who specializes in the pet industry. She has contributed to the professional pet industry as a consultant, speaker, writer, and progressive leader. If you are looking for your business to thrive instead of surviving, set up a free Am I A Good Fit For Your Business consultation, visit www.MaryOquendo.com.

Or drop me a message or email her at Mary@PawsitivelyPretty.com


Cat Grooming And Towels

Cat Grooming And Towels

Yes, there is a cat under that towel. I’d introduce you to Henry, but he prefers anonymity. As long as there is a towel covering Henry, I can do anything to him, including bathing, drying, and brush out.

Needless to say, I go through a fair number of towels during Henry’s groom.

But Henry isn’t an unusual cat when it comes to grooming. As a general rule, I use a lot of towels while cat grooming.

How do I use them?

  1. To relieve stress. Cats will knead their paws or grip on to something to relieve stress. The soft towels are purrfect as they won’t hurt their paws or claws. Whether in the tub or on top of the table, the cat sits on a pile of soft towels.
  2. To establish boundaries. Cats take comfort from defined spaces. It’s why they like boxes so much. For much of the groom, I keep the cat close to my body. Even rolling some towels and surrounding the cat may have a calming effect. It’s why towel wrapping AKA Kitty Burrito works so well while drying cats. Let’s not forget Happy Hoodies. In addition to protecting their ears, they are snug against their heads.
  3. To reduce stimuli. The whole “hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil” in action. Or more specifically; inaction. In the case of Henry, as long as he is loosely covered, he is a wonderful boy.

Towels have always been  an important part of my cat grooming tool kit.

Mary is a business, wellness, and safety strategist who specializes in the pet industry. She has contributed to the professional pet industry as a consultant, speaker, writer, and progressive leader. If you are looking for your business to thrive instead of surviving, set up a free Am I A Good Fit For Your Business consultation, visit www.MaryOquendo.com.

Or drop me a message or email her at Mary@PawsitivelyPretty.com


Disasters And Your Insurance Company

Disasters And Your Insurance Policy

Imagine spending 30 years building up a business to watch it float away during a flood. That’s your livelihood. More than likely, if your business is gone, so is your home.  And it’s happening more and more as climate change impacts weather patterns. Every year, the frequency of “once in a lifetime” storms increases. In 2017, the costs of these storms exceeded $2 billion.

If the disaster has been declared by your state, you may qualify for low cost FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) loans. But they do need to be paid back.  And the paperwork can be daunting.

When the disaster ends is when many business and homeowners owners find out they are either un/underinsured. That’s not the best time to come to that realization.

You could have a talk with your insurance agent, but keep in mind they are sales people. They may or may not be familiar with the limitations of your policy. Look at this way: if you buy a car from a dealership and there is a problem and you go back to the salesman, they redirect you to the company. Nothing they can do because the signed paperwork is what’s binding.

Instead, contact your insurance specialist. This person works for the insurance company, not the agency. As an example, my agency is Governors, but my insurance company is Travelers. I will call Travelers to talk to my specialist. When you speak with this person, have your policy with you. Go over page by page with the specialist. If it’s unclear, clarify it.

Have questions ready such as:

  1. Under what circumstances are you covered?
  2. What is not covered?
  3. What is your deductible?
  4. Are there limits?
  5. How long does business interruption coverage last?

You can make policy changes with the specialist as needed. The better prepared you are, the better your business can withstand a disaster.

Mary is a business, wellness, and safety strategist who specializes in the pet industry. She has contributed to the professional pet industry as a consultant, speaker, writer, and progressive leader. If you are looking for your business to thrive instead of surviving, set up a free Am I A Good Fit For Your Business consultation, visit www.MaryOquendo.com.

Or drop me a message or email her at Mary@PawsitivelyPretty.com


Organizing Your To Do Lists!

Organizing Your To Do Lists

You’re kidding me, right. I’ll put organizing my to-do list on my to-do list.

People love ‘em or hate ‘em. But, when used properly, the to-do list can dramatically boost productivity. When used incorrectly, the list just sits there and tasks get moved from one week to the next and very little gets accomplished.

A to-do list organizes sand outlines your tasks. It removes the overwhelm from having to remember tasks. Regardless of the method you choose, it should be printed out so that you can glance at it to keep you focused on what needs to be done.

First off, distinguish between goals and tasks. Goals should not be on to-do lists. Goals need to be broken down into orderly tasks. Those tasks go on the to-do list.

Next, decide on how to keep your to-do list. There are many options from apps to physical planners. I use a combination of both.

I start off in Asana. (My choice of app, there are hundreds to choose from. Get recommendations.) I’m still using their free version. I create several templates.

First would be Daily Tasks. Fill it out with everything you need to do every day such as responding to emails, returning phone call, lunch, and so forth. Print it out. Go over to your physical planner and schedule specific times of the day that you will do those tasks. Everyday tasks should not be done throughout the day. It’s not productive to stop and start such tasks. It takes the brain about 15 minutes to reconfigure every time you do that. Be consistent with the times. Your brain will begin to expect to do those tasks at that time and you will find that you get faster at doing them. I schedule two weeks at a time. This is a fairly important part of effective to-do lists. If you schedule the task, it is more likely to get done. Notice that I included lunch. We all need to take a break and refuel our bodies.

There are also thousands of planners to choose from. My planner may also change from year to year as my needs change. I recommend either getting a recommendation from a colleague for planners that are available online or head over to the office supply store and check them out. There will be an entire aisle devoted to them. My current planner is The Rockstar Planner by Geeky Girl. The smaller version.

The next template is weekly tasks. They need to get done sometime during the week. If you have larger projects, any tasks that are due that week will go here. Print it out. Now schedule time to do those tasks in your planner. I will schedule one week at a time unless I’m scheduling tasks of a larger project. Like the daily list, scheduling specific and consistent times of the day will help you get them done faster.

Then I create templates for recurring larger projects such as creating workshops, writing a book, social media content, or my VA’s tasks. Once the template is made, its simply duplicating the task with the name of the project. Then it’s printed out and the tasks scheduled into the weekly to-do list.

Creating templates means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. You already know what needs to be done, you just have to schedule the time to do them.

At the end of your day, look at your lists. Know what tasks need to be done the next day and check the times you scheduled them for. Were the scheduled tasks completed? If not, why not. Did you schedule too many things in one day? Outside of daily tasks, I look to complete anywhere between three and five weekly tasks. Is a particular task consistently being moved over from week to week? Maybe it’s not that important and you are overextending yourself. It’s OK to say no and set boundaries.

To-do lists form the cornerstone of my productivity. It’s the reason I have free time, yet run a business.

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Mary is a business, wellness, and safety strategist who specializes in the pet industry. She has contributed to the professional pet industry as a consultant, speaker, writer, and progressive leader. If you are looking for your business to thrive instead of surviving, set up a free Am I A Good Fit For Your Business consultation, visit www.MaryOquendo.com.

Or drop me a message or email her at Mary@PawsitivelyPretty.com