I want to tell you a story.
About a year ago, I was in a really low place.
I had just taken on a new facility, three times the size of my previous one. Which also meant it was three times the price.
Not long after committing to that, I separated from my (now ex) husband, bringing the incomes coming into the house down to one. Mine. Alone.
I was working like a fiend, teaching classes 3 nights a week and both on Saturdays and Sundays. I was filling every other working hour with private sessions, because I desperately needed whatever money I could bring in.
Which meant working with every single client who came along, even the ones who were awful - to me and to their dogs, the ones who weren't invested in themselves or their dogs, the ones who I left feeling so emotionally drained I cried the entire way home.
I was working on my days off. If I wasn't seeing clients, I was answering emails and my brain never shut off about how I could make things better, do things differently and alleviate some of the crushing pressure I was feeling.
I was exhausted all the time. And yet, I couldn't sleep. 2am, 3am, 4am would all roll around before my panic released me enough to drop into a fitful sleep, from which I awoke feeling even worse.
I was depressed. Not in the flippant way that people sometimes use the word, to indicate feeling sad or down about something. But in the could barely get out of bed, never mind take proper care of myself way.
My dogs were my lifesaver. I was able to get out with them at least, so was getting some exercise and outside time. But I wasn't present for the time. I was in my head. Worrying. Stressing. Wondering how long I could keep doing this for.
All of this meant that I wasn't operating as my best self.
I was still able to work. To see clients. To serve clients. And if I felt that I wasn't able to give them service that was equal to what they were paying me, I'd reschedule for that day.
But that was all I could do. I was working or collapsed at home, mind racing, too exhausted to go anywhere. Which meant I had zero social time. Zero fun. Zero healthy outlet for stress and tension.
I woke up one morning with a very clear thought: "I can't keep doing this. It will literally kill me".
I had been following an amazing woman on social media for a while. She does coaching for dog trainers. I had never reached out because I knew that I couldn't afford it, so didn't even bother to try.
Except for that morning. Because the pain of staying where I was had finally become bigger than my fear of reaching out for help and what that might look like financially. So I messaged her.
We chatted, she told me she could help me. She talked me through my panic around the cost. She held me accountable. She coached me before I was even her client. She helped me realize that "I can't afford it" actually meant "I'm not worth it" in my head. And I needed that.
Because once I was on the phone with her and she told me the cost of working with her, my brain went into flat, panic mode.
Not because I didn't think her program and coaching weren't worth the cost. I knew they were. But because I didn't think I was worth the cost.
But I knew that I couldn't stay where I was and so I jumped.
And she caught me.
And I worked my ass off. I did everything she told me to. Even the things I HATED and didn't want to do.
Even the things that brought all of my personal stuff front and center in my life and my business.
Often, I was terrified. But I did it anyway.
Today, my life looks completely different.
I work about 4 x less than I did then. And I make more money than I did then.
I only work with THE BEST clients. The ones who are committed and invested and here to win. The ones who fill my cup every time I interact with them.
I sleep better. I eat better. I take care of myself better.
My dogs and I get out for our long treks, and I'm present with them and for them. And for myself.
I actually have social relationships again. I spend time with friends and family. I laugh more. I am more relaxed. I am happier. I have more fun.
I still have my hard days, of course (those don't ever go away, for anyone) but I cope with and deal with them in a completely different way.
So when I talk to other dog professionals and they tell me they don't have the time or the money to invest in changing things for themselves, my heart hurts for them.
Because I know how hard it is to be where they are.
And I know I can help them.
And I know how close they are to a completely different life.
And I wish I could take them by the hand and show them what their life COULD look like, one year from today.
So if any of this resonated at all with you, know 3 things:
1) You are not alone.
2) I can help... but only if
3) You decide to jump.
It WILL be hard. Some parts WILL suck. But it will suck a lot less than staying stuck where you are today.
You've got this. And I've got you.
I want to tell you a story.