I’m back! Life has been a little bit crazy the last couple of weeks and I have missed being able to sit down to write blog posts for y’all! If you follow me on Instagram you know we found/rescued two little baby kittens from the ice/snow a little over a week ago. They have been keeping me pretty busy on top of having dogs boarding back to back the last three weeks! SO I thought I would talk about WORK today, just a little bit about what all I do, how I do it, & some tips for anyone else out there hustlin’!
A little background into what all I do…
About 8.5 years ago (HOLY COW) I started a side business called Love Note. I designed a few shirts, had my friends model them & I was in business! Over the years I expanded Love Note to include pet photography, education/training for dog owners, & eventually even opened an Etsy shop. When I opened the Etsy I was primarily selling original prints I had designed. By the time I closed the Etsy I was selling everything from prints, to signs, to apparel & more. It got to the point where I felt like Love Note was loosing it’s focus, dogs. I started Love Note for dogs. From the get go I gave a portion of all proceeds to rescue. So I made the decision to get back to “doing it for the dogs” (Love Note’s motto) & started offering pet services via Rover.com. Today Love Note offers boarding, daycare, drop-in visits, & walks (depending on the season). This is my primary source of income/main job. However, due to having limited space in our home Love Note can’t grow too much beyond the services I am currently offering.
In addition to Love Note, I also make an income through Midwest Jess. MWJ has a lot of different components at the moment. I have an Etsy where I sell all of the things I make. I obviously also do all of my blogging, Instagraming under the MWJ name as well. Midwest Jess is something I love doing & I hope to continue to grow every aspect of it more & more as time goes on.
What a typical day/week looks like…
On any given day we could have an extra dog (or two) boarding at our house. This is in addition to the four of our own! 🙂 OR I could have a daycare dog here, a walk scheduled or drop-in visits with a dog scheduled. Technically I could have two or more of these things scheduled but thankfully that doesn’t happen too often. The nice thing about Scot working nights though, is that if I do have a drop-in or walk scheduled while I have a dog at the house, he is able to stay with them while I go tend to the other clients.
Providing pet services may sound like a walk in the park job, & I won’t lie, sometimes I can’t believe I get paid to hang with some of the dogs I get to hang with, but they aren’t all awesome. We have had dogs board who were great during their Meet & Greet, only to get dropped off & be completely the opposite. One weekend our cat had to stay in the basement all weekend because our boarder wanted to literally eat him. Not every dog that comes to us is potty trained, they don’t all sleep soundly through the night, & sometimes they can’t take hints from our dogs as to when they are done playing. Luckily, Scot & I met while working in the pet industry & have been life long dog owners. We are both knowledgeable as to common dog behaviors & can handle a variety of situations. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do & that I’m able to do it. I just want to make it very clear that signing up for something like Rover, or working in the pet industry in general, is NOT all playing with puppies & having the time of your life! <3
When I don’t have a dog boarding at the house, a typical “work day” for me consists of hours spent in my home office. I usually come into the office when Scot goes to bed for the day so my hours are opposite most people. I’m usually starting work around 2-2:30 & some days I work right up until Scot wakes up for work around 9:00pm. I also usually start my work week on Sundays. I like to take Sundays as a day to plan/prep for the week ahead. I am a list maker so I prep my to do list for the week, update my planner, schedule FB posts, etc. I also always try to write a blog post on Sunday nights if I am able to be in the office. My first priority is always orders, whether they be from my Etsy or someone contacting me via social media. I use time in my office to update websites/social media accounts, check stats, e-mails, create promotions, marketing, researching, etc. I also try to consistently be making new/more products. This is something I need to be better about-also adding them to my Etsy.
When I do have a boarding/daycare dog in my house, my day is a little different. If a dog is just here for daycare, then I won’t come into my office at all while they are here. Their parent is paying for a day of play so that is what they get. When a dog is boarding, they are more like a “part of the family” if that makes sense. They keep to the same schedule as our own dogs. Some boarding dogs are chill enough to come hang in the office with me, lay down in the hallway, etc. some however are not. When dogs like that are boarding, I try to sneak in some MWJ work on my phone while they are napping/resting. Luckily for me, I can do a lot of what I do with MWJ on my phone. Spending time engaging on social media, creating promos, scheduling posts, editing pictures, planning events, etc.
Some tips for my fellow hustlers…
One thing I’ve learned that has helped me a ton in basically being responsible for my own income, is that I work best when I am completely comfortable. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to start a day & feeling uncomfortable. Whether it’s with your outfit, your surroundings, lighting, sounds, etc. I have my work situation exactly how I want it. I have two monitors on my desk for easier work when multitasking and/or to turn on some Hulu/Netflix white noise if I want it. Some days I work in silence, like right now, other days I turn on my favorite playlist & sing while I work. These are my options, I know them & I love them. I leave my blinds open until I feel like it’s dark enough that I’m on display for everyone outside, & when it’s nice outside I ALWAYS take an evening break to sit out back on our deck.
Something I have had to battle with working from home, for myself, & alone, is not having any competition, no one to impress. I have always prided myself in being the best at my jobs in the past. I like a little friendly competition & I thrive on some constructive criticism/positive feedback. It was one of the easiest parts of being a manager in retail. Now I do set goals for myself-in every aspect of both of my jobs (Love Note & MWJ), & I feel great when I accomplish them/bummed out if I don’t. But one thing that has helped me is being able to tell Scot the things that I accomplished during the day. He’s by no means my “boss” but I feel good being able to tell him all the things I got done for the day, or things I have going on. Another area where I feel like I get some sort of semblance of feedback is Instagram. Y’all are so dang sweet & encouraging, I can’t help but be motivated to keep on! So if you’re like me, find yourself someone to be accountable to!
I also am someone who thrives off of being busy. So, if my to-do list for the week isn’t very long this is when my mind starts thinking about all the other things I could be doing, events I could be planning, etc. Honestly this is probably where Beautiful You came from. I just LOVE to be planning events! I would encourage you, if you work from home or have a hustle of your own, in that down time really let your mind go & listen to where it takes you. If you have been thinking about trying something new, this is the time to research it, to make a list, to bounce your idea off of a trusted friend/colleague. That is something I do ALL OF THE TIME! I am constantly thinking of new ideas, new events, new products, etc. & I always take them to Scot first. I am a dreamer & he is 100% a realist. So, if I’m dreaming too big he can always (at least attempt) to reel me back in! 😉
Overall, I am a huge believer in doing what makes you happy. I don’t want anyone to ever have to work at a job they hate. I am lucky to have Scot working a job that provides for all of our needs so that I can pursue my dream jobs. It’s also a benefit that he doesn’t hate his job! I also 100% believe that work comes second to everything, to Scot, to my family, to my dogs, to my own mental health/well being, all of it. At the end of my life, I know that I’m not going to be wishing I worked more. I hope this post has given you some encouragement, some motivation & some ideas to help you on your way to taking over the world! <3
Tell me all about your hustle below & thanks for following along!