Our single greatest day in business isn’t any particular blue-ribbon event. It’s not a fundraiser or a grand opening. We’ve had events with huge turnouts and record-breaking sales. Those are great days but they’re not the best. The single greatest day isn’t earth-shattering but it is life-changing. Not for every life, but for at least one or two.

Our single greatest day in business is when we get it right. When our customers come to us for help and receive everything they needed and more. It’s when a new customer comes in and leaves with the feeling that they’re part of a new community. It’s when a longtime customer cries with us when they’ve lost a beloved pet and they know that we loved him the way they did.

Our single greatest day in business is when we turn off the lights and we all go home feeling like we didn’t just do a job — we didn’t just show up for work.”

Our single greatest day in business is any day we rise to the challenge.

It happens when our employees are happy. Working together, supporting each other. It’s when we feel like the family we’ve become — accepting each other, faults and all. It’s when we give each other the space to be grumpy, when we share a pizza, or offer silent support through whatever challenge faces us at home. It’s laughter — eyes-watering, side-splitting, can’t-even-form-words laughter. 

Our single greatest day in business is any day we are truly a team.

It’s a particularly nice job scissoring a Bichon. Sitting on the floor with a terrified big dog, gently clipping nails while the harried pet parent sighs with relief. A customer telling us something we recommended is really helping. It’s when we have the answers, the right toy, the ear to listen, the shoulder to cry on, the support to give. It’s the makeovers for shelter dogs and successful adoptions on the mobile van. It’s raising 1,000 pounds of food to donate.

Our single greatest day in business is any day we serve our community.

The best day is Friday morning, when our weekly customer brings us donuts, or when the right song comes on the radio and the salon collectively sings along. It’s sympathy cards and happy pictures and jokes on our Facebook page.

Our single greatest day in business is when we turn off the lights and we all go home feeling like we didn’t just do a job — we didn’t just show up for work. Instead, together with our customers, we created something bigger than all of us. I’m proudest of my crew when, collectively, we reach and surpass our potential. 

Every day we’re open has the potential of being the single greatest day. It could even be today.

Editor’s Note: Pets+ recently asked readers to write to us about their single greatest day in business. The top essayist received a $500 prize and publication in Pets+. Kris Minkle of The Whole Pet in Fort Smith, AR, took top honors with this essay. Check out petsplusmag.com throughout January for the runners-up.

Kris Minkle is the Pack Leader of The Whole Pet, a family-owned three-store chain in Arkansas. She has been in the pet industry since 2004. Her work family includes the businesses owners and pet industry long-timers, Jan and Bill McQuade, and 15 other superstars who keep the business running day in and day out. At home Minkle keeps busy with her three Briards — Ocho, Sephy and Disney — and standard poodle, Kismet. 


This article originally appeared in the January 2018 edition of PETS+.

 

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