Thank you so much Kristin for taking the time to answer my questions. You are such a huge inspiration to pet lovers everywhere wanting to turn their passion into a rewarding career, financially and personally.
How did you get started as a pet sitter and dog walker?
I was in a place of wanting to make a career transition and I kept trying to figure out what field to go into but nothing was calling me. I had always loved animals and from a very early age had wanted to work with animals. I felt very frustrated that I couldn't figure out what to do for work that would feel fulfilling so I just let it go realizing “If my brain can’t figure it out, I've got to just let it go and trust that it will find me.”
Two years after I ‘let go’ I was on a bike path and noticed a woman on a bike path who had a dog walking business. I talked to her and she asked if I wanted to work for her. Within 24 hours I was hired! After working with her for awhile I then went on to start my own pet sitting and dog walk company. That was in 1995.
Was it fun to own a pet sitting company?
It was at first. For a couple of years I felt like I’d died and gone to heaven! What a dream job—pets and exercise. I loved it. But after a couple of years I had a lot of clients and felt very stressed out. I was working 12 hour days often 7 days a week and had no time for me or the people in my life and the non-work activities that had nourished my soul before I started my business.
I was considering selling my business when I had an idea: I decided to give myself a year to transform my business into a business that I loved running…or I would sell it or walk away from it.
Were you able to transform it?
I was! Within a year I doubled my profit and went from working 7 days a week to working 3 days a week. It felt like a miracle but it was me really thinking outside the box and being willing to make some big changes in the way I ran my business and also let go of the reins a bit by hiring a manager to help me run the business.
What did you do with all your free time?
I wrote 2 books for pet business owners so I could share my success tips with those in need. I wrote Six-Figure Pet Sitting and Six-Figure Pet Business (for groomers, dog trainers, doggy day care owners). I coached a lot of pet business owners (and still do). I began offering monthly webinars and now have pet business owners from all over the world attending. It’s very exciting.
You also started the Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.
Yes, I started that last year. And I invited you to speak at it (thanks by the way, you were great!) It’s a free online conference and I interviewed top pet business experts. I’ll be doing it again this year in the late summer or early Fall. We are still deciding on the exact date.
Do you still have your pet sitting business?
I sold it last year! At 18 years old it was time to cut the apron strings. Selling it freed up my time to focus on the work I do with pet business owners which brings me a lot of joy.
What tips do you have for those first starting out?
Think bigger than you are. Set big goals and don’t let your name or your website url limit you. Having the city in your url can limit you down the road if you want to expand. Think big! Set office hours and keep them. Don’t text clients and don’t let clients text you (texting becomes very challenging once you grow your business and have lots of clients—and clients expect you to be on call and answering their texts quickly). Have fun with your business and if you aren’t having fun, figure out what to do differently. I once had a friend say her motto for business was: “Have fun. Do Good. Make Money.” and I’ve adopted that as my motto also.
Kristin Morrison started her pet sitting company in 1995 and it grew to be one of the largest pet sitting companies in California before she sold it in 2013. Kristin provides business coaching for thousands of pet sitters, dog walkers, dog trainers and other pet business owners from across the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia. In 2008 she founded Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy™ and provides coaching, webinars and business products for pet sitters and dog walkers. Kristin then went on to create Six-Figure Pet Business Academy™ for all pet business owners including dog trainers, pet groomers and dog day care owners. She is a nationally recognized speaker in the pet business community and has spoken on various topics at pet business conferences around the United States. Kristin wrote the books Six-Figure Pet Sitting and Six-Figure Pet Business. Kristin can be reached at thrive@SFPBacademy.com