Putting you first and creating a pet business that makes you happy with Jane Ardern


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When you make a decision in your pet business, do you consider the impact on your physical and mental health, or do you tend to think about the money?

I’m chatting about this with my podcast guest Jane Ardern, and whether you really do need to grow a huge pet business.

Or if it’s ok to have one that brings in enough to pay the bills, gives you a comfortable lifestyle and time to enjoy with your own animals.

As solopreneurs, we have to think about money and bring in enough to survive.

But, our decisions also impact our health and well-being.

Jane is a dog trainer and behaviourist. She’s spoken at huge industry events, run a doggy daycare, managed teams, and much more.

She walked away from a well-paid corporate job in 2006 to follow her dream and train dogs, starting out dog walking before it was as popular a job as it is today.

In this episode, she talks about the lessons she’s learned along the way.

We chat about what it’s like to work for yourself in the digital age and the pressures that come with it, and that we put on ourselves.

Jane talks openly and honestly about events in her personal life, including a breakdown and being diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.

Whatever stage you’re at in your pet business, I think you’ll enjoy this episode and get lots from it.

Topics covered in this episode:

What to expect from this episode and why I wanted to speak to Jane after seeing a post about her seeking a quiet life on social media. (0.10)

How Jane found her way into her dog training business in 2006, starting out with a £50 dog training course. (2.04)

Taking a leap of faith into running her business by taking voluntary redundancy from Centrica and her corporate life. (3.51)

The changes Jane has seen during nearly 20 years and how dog walking was a novelty and new thing at the start! (6.44)

Trying out doggy daycare at Waggawuffins and deciding to step away from managing people and stick with training dogs. (8.35)

Why it’s easy to get wrapped up in the pressure of having to grow a huge business when you work online. (14.02)

Stepping away from social media and how this helped improve Jane’s mental well-being after she experienced a breakdown earlier this year. (16.55)

Why our bodies and minds struggle to cope with the pace of technology, the level of interaction and the stress and pressure of being online. (18.05)

Learning to tell the difference between what makes you happy and what feeds your ego. (19.04)

Considering how your decisions affect your mental and physical health rather than how much money they’re going to make you. (21.28)

How lockdown sent our nervous systems into fight-flight defence. (23.26)

Putting yourself first and your mental health and learning how to manage your time. (29.33)

Jane’s advice to new dog trainers – get good at dog training, then get better at dog training. (33.30)

Why you CAN build a business without being all over social media by being good, and being yourself will bring the right people to you. (35.30)

How having pressure put on you to do something you’re not ready for can lead to imposter syndrome. (40.51)

Jane’s advice for people coming into the industry or who might be finding work challenging at the moment. (46.45)

Where to find out more about Jane. (49.55)

Links mentioned in this episode:

Find out more about Jane on her website: https://www.waggawuffins.com

Connect on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/waggawuffins

Follow Jane on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/waggawuffins_canine_college/

And on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@8cockersandme

Enjoyed this podcast? Here’s what to listen to next.

Navigating the rollercoaster of running your pet business

How to feel more comfortable and confident talking about your pet business

Why every pet business needs a win folder


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