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As I posted in another category, I just accepted admission into a 4 year University. As I get my degree I'd like to make money from home and/or with my own business rather than working a regular job. Time-wise, I really need to do it that way. 

I've had some ideas in the past and not done well with them.

I tried 3 different MLM businesses, but I do not do well with, essentially, cold-calling (only in person, but anyway). I don't like to be bothered when I'm minding my own business and I don't like to bother other people, so that's obviously not a good match for me. 

One thing I think I will try is selling on Etsy or a similar site, because I could make little craft projects at home w/o much expense and see how it goes. 

The other thing I really should do is start a dog training business, because I'm a certified dog trainer, I've worked with dogs off and on for years, and I've worked with vets for years (in the past). Also, the local humane society is very eager to have me volunteer for them, because they trust me with their dogs and feel that I make their dogs more adoptable.

Two days ago my neighbor was telling me that they were looking for a new dog and someone had suggested to them to hire a dog trainer and he said he would be happy to pay me to help them train their dog. He was all excited about it and I was terrified. All I could think about and always think about when people offer this, because it happens somewhat regularly, is that I won't be good enough. That I won't be able to answer their questions or for some reason it won't work with their dog, or someone else will give them other/better advice and they'll be upset at me because they feel like they didn't get their money's worth. 

So, in the past I've just given them advice for free or referred them to someone's group class with some excuse about how I'm not currently working in that field.

I should be able to charge $100+ for a private lesson, but I don't feel 'worth' that, or more accurately, I'm afraid that other people won't think I'm worth that. I know the field well enough to know that I am.

How do I overcome this obstacle?

I also get bogged down with the thoughts of how much I would have to put into making sure I have the right name for the business, market it correctly, avoid liability, etc. It's all just fear, really... 

Thanks in advance for your help!

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HI Christina,

You overcome the obstacle by doing. Not trying to jinx it but you will make a mistake at some point, mistakes happen. I do not know of any business, regardless of size, that hasn't goofed at one time or another. How you handle the mistake is the important issue. If people are already coming to you that means the believe you have the ability and skill they are looking for, that alone should alleviate your fears. As to the name, what about Christina's Canine Coaching

Hope this helps


CHRISTINA!!! People are begging you to take their money because they believe YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!!!

That said, I can relate to how you are feeling. It was actually the topic of last week's blog post (and many others. ;) ) So how do you overcome the obstacle? Just start! It's terrifying, but each step you take forward will help build your confidence.

Start with your neighbor. If it makes you feel better, offer him a guarantee. Don't worry about the business name, marketing, etc. You should probably look into the liability, but the other stuff will work itself out.

Another thing to consider is adding pet sitting and dog walking to your services. There's a woman locally who makes $80k per year walking dogs. And I have a friend who's a vet tech who earn a really nice side income pet sitting.

As far as marketing goes, word of mouth is already working in your favor. Put up some ads on Craigslist and nextdoor.com.

You got this! How exciting!!!

Thank you, Holly!

I have friends that are dog trainers, or used to be, but they seem so full of confidence and I never have been that way. I am open to sharing my knowledge and happy to, but charging for it means I believe in myself. It looks like I just need to take a leap. I guess I've always been scared that if I do take the leap but then mess up somehow, word of mouth will work against me. In a previous discussion (a while back!) someone suggested that my own trained dogs would work in my favor. I think this summer I'll work with my own dogs as well and make sure they are actually trained well and that will also allow me to brush up on my training skills again and hopefully my confidence.

I have considered other dog-related businesses, but I can't board dogs because I live in city limits and have my own dogs. Otherwise I would do board-and-train, no question. I can't do petsitting for the same reason. Dog walking I could do, possibly, but I always assumed that most people would want a dog-walker during the day and I'll be in school... 

Anyway, I'm equipped to train dogs (and their owners) now, so I'll start with that. 

I appreciate your encouragement.

I get that. Almost everyone I've ever met has had the same struggle. The people who get what they want in life are the ones who acknowledge their fears and do it anyway. You can do it!

My friend who does the pet sitting goes to people's homes to feed, water, walk, and check in. She has multiple pets at a time - especially over the holidays. 

The quicker you start, the quicker you'll build that confidence. :) Good luck! 

just start doing it.  You are going to make mistakes - get used to it.  Learn from them as quickly as you can, and try not to repeat them.  

I wouldn't try to come up with a clever name, just use your own.  People look for dog trainers by reputation, not necessarily by brand.  My wife has been breeding dogs for 15 years.  We do have a kennel name, but that's different than training.  If you are breeding, clever names are almost required.  Trainers are generally known by the name of the individual.  

Let me know if you need any help.


Thank you, Rob!

I appreciate it. I've been taught that I don't make good decisions and to just let others make them for me, so it's been a rough road recovering from that and beginning to believe in myself, but I'm getting there. 

I appreciate your advice. 

What breed do you have?

Hey Christina,

As long as you allow the voices in your head to be the voices in your heart you will sabotage your efforts. Every entrepreneur has had those "am I worth it" doubts at some point or another. I'm sure you've heard of professions that charge a fee just for showing up before they have even done anything, so rest assured you are providing a necessary service and should receive adequate compensation from doing so.

If all the dog trainers asked whether they were worth it, there might not be any providing the service. You know what your competition is charging. Move forward and go after your share. 

Many owners love a service that will come to their home and train their pet. Why not map our a radius of where you would travel and post that info at the local vet offices or hospitals to start to get some referrals. 

You are right. It is fear and fear has kept more people poor than taking a risk every has.

Please let me know if I can help you in any way. I offer a Complimentary Consult.


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