Today, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the dogs are ready to play, and I'm writing this blog. It is Monday. And I am not employed. But you know what else? I'm happy!
Last Tuesday, I was let go from my then-day job in corporate America. I had meant to blog about it last week, but then it started to sink in. It's taken me almost a full week to just absorb the news and attempt to process everything. Today is the first day that I've woken up positive and happy and looking forward to the day. I think you have to go through all of the emotions -- disbelief, denial, anger, sadness -- to be able to move forward. It was a surprise but not unexpected. Thankfully, I was financially prepared for this eventuality. At least I didn't have to experience the panic that usually accompanies being laid off. I know I can pay rent and buy groceries (and dog food!).
Enough about the sad stuff. On to the good things! I announced last week that I am now a Full Time Professional Dog Trainer, and I meant it. It feels amazing! I'm really glad that I had a nice full calendar for March in terms of dog training when I was let go because it allowed me to stay busy and transition smoothly into my new schedule. This morning, I opened up the Adventure Puppy Club for April enrollment. I'm hoping for 20 members next month. Each adventure is so amazing; it feels like what I was meant to do. Being outdoors, helping individuals in a small group, being a teacher, and adding value for others.
Teaching in the Adventure Puppy Club. Photo Credit: Hailey Sobania Photography
Another reason why this is so much easier than it should be is that I have been working with a life coach since January 1. Laura Berman Fortang of Now What? Coaching has helped me change my life. There's a distinction there that I don't want you to miss. 'She has helped me change my life', not 'she has changed my life.' As a life coach, she has guided me to learn more about myself and to find what makes me tick. Because of her, I now know what I need to do not only to be successful but to also be happy. And that is a true gift! You have got to watch her TED Talk.
She has been helping me grow and develop my business and to make sure it's what I truly want to do. I have been on a solid path since the beginning of the year, and it's felt incredible to lay each and every stone. I already had robust plans in place before I got the news about my day job. Now it's time to act on those plans and follow through.
I had a new service waiting in the wings that I just launched: Day Training. I stop by your home while you're away at work to let your dog out to potty, provide some exercise, and most importantly, train your dog. It's wonderful to see accelerated progress with my clients, and the best part is that I do most of the work! And their dogs get fulfillment during the day while they are away.
I started this blog post this morning before going to let my dogs run. Now, I'm sitting at the library in a sunny corner finishing this post. With my new schedule, I have Mondays and Fridays off. Feels pretty great! Most of the Adventure Puppy Club adventures are on the weekends, my free monthly guided hikes are on the weekends, and any special seminars I offer are also on the weekends. I do Day Training on Tuesdays and Thursdays and see my Private Training clients at their homes Tuesday - Thursday nights (and some weekends). Board & Train is ongoing and is a great opportunity to stay busy. I've got a wonderful Border Collie boy waiting at home for me, and we've got a training session planned for this afternoon.
The last thing that has made this transition easier and has made a huge impact on my life overall is being a minimalist. If you want to learn more about it, check out TheMinimalists.com . I've been working on paying off my debt for the past two years, and that has involved using a budget religiously, coupon clipping, and using discipline to live well below my means so that every extra penny could go to paying off my loans. If you're in a similar situation, I highly recommend using Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps to reach financial freedom. I'm proud to say that I am now DEBT FREE!
By embracing minimalism and living a simple, intentional life, I find I don't need all the bells, whistles, and confetti to find happiness. I go hiking, train my dogs, and read tons of books. Remember when I said I was at the library? I LOVE the library! Reading voraciously has helped me move my business forward and has helped me grow as a person. I cook. I live frugally. I plan what I buy. All of this has helped me to be able to live comfortably on a very low budget. Which in turn makes it possible for me to sustain myself as a dog trainer. Now, I'm not there yet, but I'm very close. I've got a bit more to ramp up to be where I need to be, but it's doable.
Having the life you want is possible, but YOU need to craft it. You need to go after it with everything you have, and you need a plan. But nothing should discourage you from pursuing your passions, your dreams, and creating the life you want.
If I can help you on your path in any way, let me know! It would be impossible for me to get to where I am without help. On that note, I can't say THANK YOU enough to everyone reading this post, supporting my blog, and following me. Thank you to my family for being by my side through the hard times. Thank you to my friends for answering the phone when I need to talk. Thank you to my awesome clients for being so invested in their dog's progress and for seeking me out. Thank you for believing in me, encouraging me, and just sharing your positive vibes!
I can't wait to see what's next! Time to let the creativity flow!