We have a home! Yes, that’s right. After nine years of seasonally leasing space, we are moving into a year round facility, indoor/outdoor, and we’ll have a toilet!
It feels so strange to be so excited about this move, but there is something good about it, on pretty much every level!
It didn’t come easy either. When looking for a facility I faced about 50+ NO’s, weird covenants, and an unimaginable amount of messages that were simply never returned. Funny thing, in a town that is billed as dog friendly, landlords were specifically turning me down because they all felt dogs were a problem around town and didn’t want anything to do with that. For years I have said that Bozeman was not dog friendly, but dog tolerant. There are so many people in town that have become such bad ambassadors for dog ownership, that it almost crushed the possibility of us getting a great facility. Luckily I found an owner who did believe in our business to give us a shot!
When I founded my business a bit over nine years ago, I had not a clue about running a business. I wanted to train, I was fairly good at it, and I couldn’t imagine spending my days any other way. But just like any small business, if you follow your passion and neglect the business side, it’ll come and bite you in the ass. And it did.
I was happily training away, building my clientele, increasing my skills, competing in three sports, and totally avoiding my office. The paper work piles grew and took on a life force of their own, and started to walk on their own and follow me around the house. Yet I continued to avoid them. Surely the better I became at training, the more manageable the office would be? Not sure where that logic came from, but for all of you small business owners just starting out, a heads up, it didn’t work very well.
While I was making all of these business mistakes, my business continued to grow. How’s that for ya? I loved what I was doing so much, that word of mouth and some small advertising things here and there were creating a strong base. But as my bank told me, if not once than maybe a hundred times, ‘Nancy you have the tiger by the tail, you have the skills and the enthusiasm, now get your business act together’.
So I hired an accountant, who also did my book keeping, who also answered some of my business questions, and who listened, and I think was also my therapist. She inspired me to become better at business. And I did.
I found out I really liked running my business once I learned how to do it efficiently. Today after nine years I can tell you I love being a business person and a trainer.
Paws & People has a client base of over 2,600 today. That is a number that makes me smile from a very loving and grateful place. Some of our original clients are now starting their second or third dog with us, some have become my good friends over the years, and some have been invaluable with their kindness, humor, support, and random cups of coffee! That my clients trust me and keep coming back to learn more, well that does it for me. There is simply no better feeling, and no better way to say thank you.
Many of these clients have moved with us as we have moved to different locations around the valley. Some have helped fence with us, pick rocks, mow grass, and hang signs. Their belief in Paws & People inspired me. It’s kind of like I put out a ton of energy during classes and privates, and then it bounced and was given back to me. This exchange of all the right things is truly the base for all of the good that is happening. And it actually became the culture for my business before I knew businesses could have a culture.
I hope to chronicle the clean up, renovations, move in and grand opening! I’m so excited that I actually might buy a big fat ribbon, large scissors, and a bottle of champagne to christen the grand opening moment! Or we could just order in Taco Del Mar and beer and celebrate that way too?!
With gratitude and a freaking ton of happiness right now, Nancy
39 Comments Add yours
Great news! You’ve paid the dues, now you’re reaping the rewards…
Joe, thank you, this is the hope!
Congratulations! Can’t wait to join you there for some training with my new puppy!
Cheryl, that would be awesome!
I am so excited for you! I know how hard you have worked and how long you have looked for a place. If you need help just give me a call.
Sharon, you have been through the whole journey with me! Training in a hay shed, filming int he rain, classes, barn stuff, all of it! I will get ahold of you, but truthfully I would love to have you come over and see it when we get it up and going, and just sit back and enjoy!
Hooray for a new home – can’t wait to take the tour!
it will be fun to show it to you!
So incredibly happy for you! It is a nice circle of life when you love what you are doing and are humbled and grateful at the success. You’ll never ‘work’ a day in your life.
thanks Lisa, you’ll have to come and see it some day soon
As always, Wishing You The Very Best!!! Your story is an inspiration for me and your Enthusiasm is Awesome ~
Annie thank you. I love getting to know you through your products and on line, some day we will meet!
The kids and I cannot wait to come play at your new place and if you need anything before that help wise, give a call! As for the client base….we love you because you make each and everyone one of your clients feel like they are your ONLY client. You have that magic touch both human and canine.
It will be totally fun to have them all come down for a day and work in the new space! It’s big enough for a freestyle event, AND we will have mirrors for our freestylers!
You are a role model for living from both heart & brain, being both passionate & wise, following your bliss & becoming business wise. You have taught us in so very many ways. I am proud of you & honored to call you my friend.
Judy, love to you!
Nancy, I’m absolutely thrilled for you!!! Best of everything to you as you make your move!! What you are doing for our animals is incredible!! Making us better owners, one family at a time!!
Lucky & Boo thank you!!
Cathleen, thank you!
I’m so excited for you Nancy, congratulations!
Bring the girls…! woop!
Congratulations Nancy – well deserved! We are so incredibly excited for you and look forward to classes in your new home.
Liz, Zeus and Bela
so good to see you today, thank you so much for the lovely words of encouragement…!
how exciting! makes me wish i had another puppy coming up to train with you.
Saca B still has freestyle to learn! you don’t need a new puppy for that…! Hope all is well with you my dear friend
You go girl! I’ll bring the gin and tonics! (-:
WOOP! that will be fun… and tacos!
CONGRATULATIONS! You have worked long and hard for this moment. You have pressed on when, when I’m sure, you thought, is it worth it? At times, as in anyone’s life, things at home became neglected but you pressed on, following your passion. I envy you Nancy, wish I were younger but you are accomplishing it for me. Guess we get out of life what we put into it. I am so proud of you and keep that passion rolling on.
Sandy I love you!
This sounds fantastic Nancy. Your talents are priceless and your drive to improve the lives of dogs and their companions knows no bounds. Abby and I wish you the best and we’ll be there.
Alice, thank you!
Congratulations Nancy – and Franny and Ocean and Story and Seeker!!! You are all so very deserving.
Prairie, you’ll need to stop by and check it out!
Congrats Nancy! Daisy Girl and I are proud to know you and excited to watch and be part of this next chapter of Paws and People.
Thanks Genevieve. And tell Driving Me Crazy Miss Daisy that we will have mirrors for our dancers! woop!
Noah, Spencer and Miss K will love the space. Lots of room to work!
Congratulations, Nancy! Lucky and I will have to come visit you soon at your new place– she could use the refresher! PS. The raspberry transfer was successful– thank you!