Groomer to Groomer

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It’s All About Attitude... Yours!

By Kathy Hosler

“When you are dog tired at night, it may be because you’ve growled all day long.” The author of that statement is unknown, but it speaks loudly about how your attitude — good or bad — can affect your life.

We all know that grooming can be a very high stress job with phones ringing, dogs barking, demanding clients, equipment breakdowns, and more. Almost all groomers deal with issues like these on a daily basis. While some take everything in stride and flourish, others barely survive or wind up leaving the profession. What do those who flourish do that is different from the others?

According to Oprah Winfrey, “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” Groomers that possess a positive attitude enjoy a huge advantage over those who don’t. These groomers don’t have fewer problems or stressors, but they always find a way to handle their difficulties and solve their problems.

“Begin with the end in mind,” says Stephen Covey, the author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He also said, “I am not a product of my circumstances; I am a product of my decisions.”

Groomers with positive attitudes are proactive not reactive. They do begin with the end in mind. They look at the big picture and try to eliminate the negativity from their lives. They don’t constantly complain about their problems; they set about eliminating them.

You might ask, “How can I be upbeat and positive all the time? Everyday is full of stress, and I feel overwhelmed and not in control. It seems that I don’t run my business; it runs me.” Whether you are a business owner or employee, your attitude and the way you look at things will determine how you treat the pets in your care and the kind of relationship you have with their owners. Every day can be a struggle, but the way you face your challenges will make all the difference.

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity,” says Winston Churchill. “The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Even on rough days, an optimistic groomer doesn’t broadcast his or her troubles to their clients or let it show in the performance of their work. No pet owner wants to trust the care of their precious pet to someone who is grumpy or in a bad mood.

Actress Patricia Neal said, “A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.”

Equipped with a “never say die” outlook, these groomers look for the best in every situation and strive for a successful outcome. Here are a few tips to help you become one of them:

Be enthusiastic and never stop learning: attend seminars, watch grooming DVDs, and enter grooming competitions. When you are confident in your skills and abilities, it shows in everything that you do.

Offering new services you’ve learned or products that you have brought back from seminars will let your clients know that you are up on all the latest trends in the grooming industry.

Use the best equipment that you can afford. Time- and labor-saving equipment will help make your job easier. Ear plugs, anti-fatigue floor mats, good shoes, and face masks will help protect your body and allow you to extend your career.

A groomer with a winning attitude follows the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared.” They regularly maintain their equipment and keep repair parts on hand, and they make sure that they have an emergency fund. If their water heater goes on the fritz or the generator goes out on their mobile van, it is merely an inconvenience – not a full-blown disaster. They know all about Murphy’s Law (if anything can go wrong, it will) and are ready. They plan for their future by saving and investing, even if they start with small amounts of money. Financial security eliminates mountains of stress and gives you a comfortable cushion of safety.

One reason smart groomers can maintain a positive attitude is that they make themselves a priority. It is imperative that you respect and care for yourself. When you are done grooming for the day, you turn off all your equipment and let it rest until tomorrow. But do you allow yourself the same consideration? Getting adequate rest and sleep is crucial to a productive attitude.

Do something just for yourself. Schedule a mental health day and allow yourself to spend a leisurely guilt-free day enjoying something that you never have the time to do.

If you are self-employed, charge adequately for the services that you perform. Being fairly compensated for your labor is essential in keeping a positive frame of mind.

No matter how much you try to please them, there are some clients that are so unreasonable, demanding, or undependable that you are better off without them. It’s perfectly okay to fire a client like that.

Get organized. Whether you want to computerize all your client information or just have all of your tools at your fingertips, being organized reduces stress and gives you an enormous feeling of empowerment.

Begin each day knowing that you have the choice to face every situation with an optimistic “Let’s make this work!” or with a myriad of “poor me” excuses about how unfair life is. The choice and the future are yours. ✂