After recently speaking with a new pet professional and an aspiring pet professional, their excitement about their industry  is nothing short of inspiring. Or for this seasoned pet pro, seriously re-inspiring. I absolutely love helping, giving advice, ideas and direction to new and aspiring pet professionals, and to those who may hit a plateau or just need to hear another perspective. 

Hearing their exuberance, energy and passion for their newfound careers, to the point of, “I didn’t even know this world, or my new career in the pet industry was a possibility!” It is beautiful music to my ears.

So much of what we do in the pet industry is the actual running of a business — and even though we love our chosen field, it is still a lot of work. The task of running a business no matter how much help you have — of the human kind or automated kind — is an enormous task. To run a successful business, you need to learn how to stay focused, organized as well as active and engaged with your customers or clientele every single day. It is not for everyone. It can also be daunting and a lonely place to be if you are a solo pet entrepreneur or have a small staff of employees. 

Sometimes you can get stuck in the “everyday” of running your business or your rescue group and not be inspired about your work as much as you were when you first started. It’s normal in any industry. 

Here are few tips that may help you get excited again:

  • Find pet peers who will make you remember why you got started here in the first place.
  • Become a mentor or business coach to someone just starting out.
  • Offer to speak about your expertise or give advice to local pet parents.
  • Create an accountability group of three to five other pet pros to help keep each other focused, stay on track and help you meet your goals.
  • Surround yourself with people who are more successful than you currently are in the industry.
  • Pitch yourself to speak at a conference. 
  • Don’t let fear do anything but fuel your fire for bringing new ideas to life.
  • Reconnect daily with what brought you to this industry in the first place.
  • Set weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual goals to accomplish what will propel your business forward. (It’s fun to go back a year later and see you accomplished those goals!)
  •  Don’t get lost in the clutter or distraction of social media. (Stop looking at other pet businesses’ feeds!)

That enthusiasm you had when you started out, it’s still there. You just have to keep that excitement alive daily. 

NANCY E. HASSEL is founder and president of American Pet Professionals, a networking and educational organization dedicated to helping pet entrepreneurs, businesses and animal rescues to grow, work together and unite the pet industry. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


This article originally appeared in the September-October 2017 edition of PETS+.