Friday, February 1, 2013

Getting Lost and Finding A Way Back Home……reconnecting with my passion.

Let’s face it grooming and all that goes with it is a hard job. Most of us are familiar with groomer burnout. The stresses of what you do slowly eat away at those feelings that brought you to this industry in the first place. This is my story and I am slowly finding my way back. This blog has sat idle for many months, over a year. A scissor hardly lifted, except to pretty up my own dog.  I have felt lost because this was my chosen profession. I have worked in this industry since I was very young and had big dreams. I have struggled with wondering who I was and why was I here on this earth. I found myself envious of those who were doing what they loved successfully. I was looking for something to fill the void.
After a series of incidents that brought me to my knees, I walked away from my passion. I even looked at the industry with disdain, not caring or bothering to keep up with the new trends and changes in the industry. I was lost! I have other passions in my life, but nothing that I had, at one time, devoted my life to. I am starting to come back. Who has inspired me???? You my readers have. I have been reading your posts on my Facebook page and your enthusiasm is contagious. I am not there yet but I can feel something inside me igniting. It’s actually kind of silly, I am almost scared to groom again. Did I forget? This is something I could do with my eyes closed before. Tomorrow I begin my journey back. I have accepted a position and I start tomorrow. It’s a new chapter in my life. Wish me luck!
So I want to finish this blog post with some suggestions to those of you who may be “burning out”. I know this stuff; I just never applied it to my situation because that situation was so complicated. It is food for thought and maybe, if it even saves one person from going through what I am going through, this post will be worth it.

#1. Take some time for yourself. This sounds easier than it actually is but sooo important. Have designated work times and when you are done, unplug. Read a good fiction novel at bedtime instead of a business magazine. Have business calls go to voice mail after a certain time. Think about if you had all the time in the world and the money to do it, what would you want to do?? Have you done something in your past that you loved and would like to do again? Have fun. Take a class, join a gym….and go! Exercise is great for the soul. Spend time with you and nurture yourself. We only live this one life. Think about how you can invigorate your spirit.

#2. Is there someone you admire in this industry? Have they written a book or do they speak at trade shows. Maybe they have a DVD that you can purchase. Look for a mentor. In this industry there is always something new to learn, no matter how long you have been  working in it. Many years ago I was very inspired by @Jarbos Gadoy. I heard him speak several times and hung on his every word. I was inspired by his success and tried to learn everything I could from him. With social media the way it is, it is even easier to seek out a mentor. Is there a particular groomer you admire? Call them, or write them. Maybe you can arrange a lesson from them. Just establishing a connection with a potential mentor can be inspiring. Reach out, it can be as simple as an e mail.

#3. Business owners should delegate tasks that they do not enjoy, or are not good at. It may mean hiring someone. If you cannot afford someone full time, consider a part time position. Offering an apprenticeship could be a solution and a win win situation for both of you. Also consider hiring a college student to do a job that will enhance their experience and learning as well. This, for many salon owners, may be the hardest to do, but doing this will go a long ways in preventing burnout.

#4. Nurture your relationships with those close to you. Make time for the ones you love and care about. They will give you energy and lift your spirits. People were not meant to go it alone. We are social creatures. We need connection. Reach out to a friend you have not heard from. Take your sister out to lunch. Accept the strength you will be given by having strong personal relationships.

#5. Reinvent yourself! Examine every aspect of your business and grooming. What can you do differently? What needs an overhaul? It may be that redecorating your salon may spark what you need. Consider writing a blog or start a Facebook page. How about experimenting with new ways to grow your clientele or learning a new skill, like hand stripping  terriers? We are artists and creative people. Change is good. Embrace it!

My journey back has just begun. I have some ideas in the back of my mind that I need to nurture and investigate. I am a firm believer now that you are what you think. So be positive. Do not let negativity or people who drain you affect your life. Do what makes you feel good. Be with people that make you feel good. It will make all the difference in the world.

Til my next post….Happy grooming!

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