1: Never be more invested in the success of a clients dog than the client is. Your heart will break.
2: Don’t ever assume someone is going to sign up to your dog training service because they said they would. Only count money when it has been deposited into your bank account and the services have been rendered. This is a great way to prepare yourself for when a potential client cancels at the last minute.
3: Don’t assume that potential clients are the dream clients they make themselves out to be. If a potential client has worked with many other trainers, it may be that they just had horrible trainers, but it’s more likely that they are the types of people who have not been consistent with any trainers in the past. Unless you have really nice legs, chances are that they will not heed your advice.
4: Assume every dog you are around is going to try and bite you. When 95 percent of them don’t, you are lucky. When 5 percent do, you are ready.
5: If you are constantly having issues with clients, or if you have a lot of clients that do not finish your services, it’s likely that you are a dog trainer. And not an educator. That will need to be addressed.
The first five years in the dog training industry were like this almost without end. I get the frustration! Here is a few ideas.
1: As hard as it is, I always ask myself if there is any truth to what these people are saying. If the answer were yes,you will need to up my game. None of the things said about me have been true. I have had close friends turn on me and make up stories… bloggers attack me for no reason… the dog world is a nasty one!
2: Limit the amount they can pick on you.
–You can tweak the settings in your youtube account to automatically disable comments every time you post a new video.
–Disable the five star rating system on your business facebook page, as people who have never worked with you can post nasty fake reviews if they want to. It’s not fair… I get it!
–Avoid yelp at all costs. Yelp is not a good company… they are not an ethical company. They will hide your positive reviews and show your negative reviews if you do not advertise with them. People can make up stuff and it takes months to get yelp to take down fake reviews.
3: Do not engage with these nutters. That’s what they want, they want to get under your skin. It’s just like Jr High school all over again. The insecure kids make fun of the more secure kids to make themselves feel better about their low self worth. Being combative with them will only add fuel to the fire.
4: Do not go on your facebook page and post things like… “I am seriously done with these haters. I don’t even care anymore, haters gonna hate.” Why? it shows that you actually do care.
5: Remember that haters don’t actually take business away from people. All the hate I had thrown at me back in the day only brought me website traffic and that traffic turned into dogs that needed to be trained. My wife reminded me of this, shes a smart cookie. Every years I business doubled or tripled despite the haters.
6: Avoid acting defensively via legal action unless you absolutely have to. Defamation of character is something that will look really tempting to file, but avoiding these people tends to work better. Worst case scenario, have your lawyer send them a cease and desist letter should be more than enough.
7: Don’t google your name. Trust me on this one. It will just make you angry. You can’t change what google says… so why bother?
8: When to go to the authorities? If they threaten your life, call the police immediately.
9: Send them nice things in the mail, like thank you letters thanking them for all the website hits. They love those! I’m a smart ass.
10: Try and meet with them for coffee. Most of them will not be willing to do so… but the ones that are may lay off you if they meet you in person. Once you meet someone, now it’s personal. I know this has help me a lot over the years!
11: Pray for them. They need a life. I don’t blame them… it must be hard to be nice to people when you live in their parents basement with 13 cats.
Well it’s been six monthswith the flip phone. I’m in love. Yes in love.
I want to make it known that I am not suggesting smart phones are a bad thing, or that people should stop using them. A more accurate position is to say that I am not able to use a smart phone in a way that allows me to be more productive or efficient.
Hear me out. Smart phones were sold to me years ago under the premise that as a business owner I would be able to get more done with my 24 hours. That has not been the case.
About a year ago I watched a documentary about a stock trader millionaire. It was a fascinating documentary, but I must say I really only remember one thing. The trader had a flip phone. When asked about being a millionaire stock trader who has a flip phone he replied something along the lines of… “Stocks go up and down, and I don’t need to worry about them when I am out of the office”.
That was all the push I needed.
He went on to say that if he had an emergency, people could still call or text him.
That 20 sec clip started this whole thing. And I do realize that I am a weirdo. I like to challenge the way things are done.
So I started by turning off the notifications on my most used apps. That totally changed my life! I found myself looking at my phone or checking in much less frequently. Next I decided to delete my facebook app as it was the app I used most. Then other apps like instagram, etc.
The first week was terrible, I felt like a drug addict. Sitting on the toilet was the worst. I had nothing to do. No feed to scroll. Waiting in the grocery store line was awkward, I was the only one without a device to occupy my time. After the first week I felt like a prisoner being let out of prison. I walked down the street and stopped to smell flowers and really started to notice a lot more things I used to pass by.
I disabled texting, and it’s call me or nothing now.
To sum this whole thing up, I was not able to use the iphone responsibly. I used it more for entertainment than for business. For busi-ness, not for BUSINESS. If you are like me, make some changes. If you use your smart phone in a way that truly saves you time so that you can enjoy the real pleasures in life, I applaud you. You are a better women or man than I.
It’s like this. Chips are my addiction. I don’t have a sweet tooth. If I have chips in front of me, I always eat them. All of them. If chips are in the kitchen behind a cupboard door, I typically half of them. If chips are at the store, I rarely find myself driving to get them. If I am in the woods camping and didn’t bring any chips, there is a 0% chance of me eating chips.
Now you may actually need a smart phone. I don’t have 32 staff who need to check my shared calendar that is stored in the cloud. I don’t feel the need to live stream, but you may find massive value in that.
Smart phones are amazing technology. Too much tech in my situation to offset the huge amount of distraction they bring into my life.
In closing, I still have an iphone. It’s not hooked up, and has no data capabilities, I use it to make quick videos because thats why I bought it. It’s the fastest way to shoot video and upload to the web.
And by the way, If you have texted me in the last month and have not received a reply, it’s because my texting is turned off and I don’t get them. I do love you, but I have always hated texting. I loathe texting. Long live the flip phone. The time saver. P.s. I charge my phone about once a week. That’s amazing. Much love, Ted Efthymiadis.
I have to VS I get to.
If you find yourself saying … “I have to…” more than three times in your working day, you might want to start investing in a new career. Example… I have to meet with a client at 2pm. If you find yourself saying “I get to…” more than three times in a working day, you are onto something. As Chris Guillebeau says. Career should be Joy Money Flow.
Gone are the days where you could just walk into a business and get great service at the majority of them. With every year that passes, I find I get less customer service than ever before. It’s almost as though business owners and staff are now assuming that a potential customer has to make the first move.
Why are businesses playing hard to get?
Don’t get me wrong, I know that the world still has some mind blowing businesses that really desire to make the customer experience incredible. This is not a blanket statement. However, I am more often than not disappointed in the experience I get when I go to a companies websites, call for customer support, go to a restaurant, or walk into a retail location.
How is it that I can walk into a restaurant 6 times and the person seating us is still assuming we are new to the restaurant?
I want to feel like I feel when I go to a diner in Maine.
The 45 year old women greats me with a smile and calls me hun. If I show up a 2nd time, she acknowledges that I have been to that diner before. By the 3rd visit she remembers my name. By the 4th visit she knows my name and my order.
Why is it so hard to find a companies phone number on their website? Dollars. I get it. But if you want my business, make it easy for me to get ahold of someone, I will pay extra if I have to. I don’t like talking to computers.
Walking into a clothing store as a dog trainer is less than lovely. I have dog slobber on my jacket. People avoid me like I have a high contagious disease.
If I walk into a store and the staff doesn’t say hello, ask if they can help, etc within 2 min. I leave. Period. I will take my business to a business that gets it.
Businesses are leaving millions on the table by being snobs. By making it hard for customers to get the answers they need. Etc. Old school business will never goes out of style.
The world only holds two types of fear. Rational fear, and irrational fear. They are both very real and very raw. I get it, we all battle fears daily. One of the best things I have found to combat fear of either sort is to remind myself of two things. 1: Focus on what could happen if it works. (The benefit) 2: Ask myself what is the worst thing that COULD happen. By the end of doing this exercise, I always seem to go for it.
You can find a video on youtube with 24 million views on how to tie your shoelaces. You do not have an excuse. What seems like mundane stuff to you now, was once fresh and vibrant to you years ago. Everyone has somethings to share with the world. Don’t have a nice professional camera? Your cell phone camera can shoot better video than the $10,000 video cameras that were shooting TV shows just 8 years ago. Your cell phone is plenty capable. Use iMovie on your cell phone to edit. Or use the free software on your computer. (iMovie for mac, and movie maker for PC). Youtube has hours and hours of free video on how to edit videos! I believe in you, you can do it. Raw Raw Raw!
A few years ago, my life was a lot more chaotic. For many years I believed that my iphone would make me more productive. Well all these years later I am back to pen and paper. The alerts got out of control. The dings and bings started taking a toll on my ability to focus. Here is how I took my attention back.
I turned off all of the notifications on my phone. Unless my phone was ringing, I wasn’t going to hear it.
I started educating my clients on how I wanted them to contact me. Boundaries are highly underrated.
I decided that checking facebook more than twice a day was excessive. So I made that a priority.
I went off line on all days off.
I rarely text, more on that in a future blog.
I turned off my phone and internet while doing creative jam sessions.
I couldn’t be happier. Business hasn’t suffered. My mind is able to focus on one project at a time again. I don’t find myself throwing 30 minutes out the window several times a day because I got sidetracked while checking facebook or another social media platform.
In his book “The compound Effect, Darren Hardy dives into a daily ritual he performs called Jam Sessions. A jam session is a 60-90 minutes working session in which he focuses on one task for that entire time. No phones, or email allowed. No distractions what so ever. I highly recommend Jamming daily.
Feel free to Jam more than once daily. A good Jam is 60-90 minutes. My brain can only seem to Jam 2-3 times per day before it feels overwhelmed. Go off line while you Jam. It’s like having a massage. It may hurt in the beginning, but when you get into it, it’s mind blowing. You need to make this a priority in order to really see the massive effect it will have on your life. Over time the hours of extra productivity will add up and you will never go back! Focus is critical. Do not allow your brain to wander, check facebook to see if that person got back to you, etc. Before you know it you will have wasted 35 minutes. Focus, execute, rest, repeat.
“All this comes down to is whether you are on offense or defense. I think that if you survey the challenges in your life, which of those did you assign yourself, and which of those are you doing to please someone else? Are you working off your own to do list, or are you allowing everyone else in your life design your to do list via your inbox?” – Chris Sacca.