January 13, 2016
The contributions I occasionally make to our blog are sometimes less “dog blog,” and more sneak peeks from behind the scenes and this post is one of those.
I certainly experienced brilliant moments in 2015, but last year will be remembered as my most challenging year of business yet. Deciding to honor each difficult day for what was achieved by the end of it helped me to push Rover-Time forward, and I plan to take these lessons with me into our fifth year. (Which reminds me: Happy 4th anniversary Rover-Time!!)
Three Lessons for 2016
First, water-cooler moments matter more than you think.
Silence isn’t always golden and small talk does create connections. Chitchatting can influence new collaboration, can provide insight and feedback, and that helpful heads-up that makes a world of difference in our day to day.
This leads to keeping our team engaged and close knit, which is equally important. Engaged walkers are more likely to be enthusiastic and diligent about satisfying our clients’ needs. And when we can create a job that people love doing, there’s a reduction of sick days, lower turnover, and more.
Second, I do what I do because I love it and I can’t forget to stay passionate about that.
I may not love every part of my job but tolerating discomforts by looking at the bigger picture makes my investment of time and energy worthwhile. 2015 taught me that my business needs me to be invested daily, that I must continue to learn to be a good leader and evolve my leadership style.
I willingly find love and find purpose in all aspects of what Rover-Time requires, and I find myself recommitting to it often so that I see the benefit to others and to my family. When you love the business you’re in, there is nothing that can keep you from wanting to work at it, nurture it, and make it grow.
Third, running a small business takes a lot of strength and courage.
In the last year, to be able to very briefly step away following the birth of my son, I needed to put rules in place so others could feel empowered to make decisions on my behalf. Now that I’m back to work full time, I see the mutual benefit of having structure, both for the customer and my team. It hasn’t been easy to say “no,” but boundaries are healthy.
With all of that said; I love the people we work for so much. It’s incredible to feel a real, emotional, and deep connection with most of my clients regardless of any physical distance we have from one another since I’ve personally stopped delivering service. I’m grateful for those that take time to let me know that we’re valued and loved in return.
I’m anticipating our best year yet as we push through the first month of 2016. I’m full of gratitude, big goals, and warmth in my heart for everyone that has supported us.
Thanks, and Happy New Year.
Julia Rohan founded Rover-Time in January of 2012 and received her formal training at FetchFind Academy, a program for aspiring dog trainers, based in Chicago. Julia lives in Irving Park with her husband Mark. Together they co-parent Archer, their 9-month old son, and Chauncey Billups Vanderhoff, an over-confident, territorial, and anxious 8lb. Chihuahua-Terrier mix. Both boys melt her heart hourly.