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Need A Vacation from Your Grooming Business or Just A Day Off?

Jul 05, 2022

A lot of times when we go on vacation, it’s not just about relaxation. It’s for fun, adventure, to go places we’ve never been, to revitalize ourselves. But a lot of times when we go on vacation we need a vacation from our vacation.

What do we actually get in return when we go on vacation? A lot of times we say we need a vacation, and so we’ll go away and think we’ll be revitalized, but 9 times out of 10 we’re not. We’re actually more tired when we get back than we were when we left. A lot of it can be because you’re coming back to being overwhelmed, exhausted, and you’re not in a better place.

Consider this. Have you ever considered just taking a day off every week, instead of planning a whole vacation? Now I’m not saying to never go on vacation, but what I’m saying is to make a little vacation for yourself. A lot of us just need some time off because we’re burnt out. A lot of us will go on vacation and spend all this money, when we really don’t have that money to spend. So instead of going on this vacation, let’s just take a day off.

So let’s talk about the weekend. I know there are a lot of us that take weekends off. There’s this movement in the grooming industry where we’re starting to take weekends off and we’re trying to take our power back. But let’s be honest, a lot of us have started to take weekends off in order to spend time with our human kids, go to dog sports, or to go and hang out with family. It ends up just being a whole day’s worth of chores. If you’re not doing that you’re probably cleaning your house, catching up on laundry, you’re running errands, you’re doing all of the things that you couldn’t do during the grooming day. You may also be doing things like payroll, grooming your own dogs, etc. Again, you’re not focusing on revitalizing yourself or the self-care of not doing anything. You’re not really taking a mental health day.

Financially and logistically, it will make more sense to just take a day off. Just take a mental health day. Especially when vacations, gas, and plane tickets have gotten more and more expensive, having a little staycation where you get your food, watch your movies, or binge some Netflix is better financially as well.

It’s harder to move an entire week’s worth of pets. In a perfect world, everyone should be on a regular schedule. So if you have 4 weeks’ worth of clients every month, taking a week to go away is a lot harder. Because of that, often, we’re going on vacation either only twice a year, two weeks a year, and we’re putting all of our relaxation time into those two weeks. Or we’re doing smaller, more frequent vacations where we’re going away for 3 or 4 days, so we can get the most out of it and then when we come back we overbook those dogs. You need more time off to just book those clients. 

When you move that week’s worth of clients, either you lose the money completely, or you end up having to do more dogs other days. This is not allowing you to relax. You’re working twice as hard to then go on more adventures.

We need to take time off to stop the grooming industry from being burnt out. I know I talk so much about adventure and fun, and I want you to do those things, but don’t see a vacation as time off. See your vacation as adventure. If you’re being burnt out, a vacation is not going to help that unless that vacation is specifically designed to help relieve something when you come back. 

How do we implement this? Let’s consider a light or sparse day where you have half your clients or you have less clients, maybe you can just move them to that day. If you have a work schedule where you’re working 5-6, maybe even 7, days a week, I really want you to consider shortening your week.

One of the ways to do that is through a price increase. If you’re not sure how to do that, I have my Price Increase Masterclass. It’s really easy to follow along, do the math, and then be able to increase your prices enough to be able to have a day off. 

I understand you may not be in a position to either take this class or maybe you’re not able to move these pets around because you’re so burnt out, you’re so tired, and just don’t know what to do. I really honor that. I see so many posts about how burnt out people are and there are so many reasons for that. This is why I really want you to start taking mental health days. 

Ideally, all of us should be taking at least two weeks of vacation a year. But again, those vacations are going to be adventures. Most of us are not going to spend our two weeks of vacations at home watching Netflix. We are not less burnt out and we don’t cover our back with a plan.

If you are in a financially strained position and you’re getting burnt out, schedule a mental health day or two. It’s not going to kill you to just take one day off to completely unplug. Just so you know, it takes almost a year of practicing mindfulness, being kind to yourself, and really being your own advocate in order to not be burnt out anymore. We, as groomers, have to start changing this. It has to be industry-wide. I personally enjoy being outside, so what I do for mental health days is I like to take a book, or even listen to an audiobook, and sit in the hammock in the sun. It’s really soothing for me to go for a walk on the beach. I love just having my feet in the sand or in the water. These things are so refreshing for me and it just takes that burden off. When I’m having a mindful mental health day, I’m just unplugging. 

I want you to start making your days off count. We work way too hard. A lot of you are grooming 40 hours a week, then you’re spending another 10 to 20 hours a week doing back office stuff, then you’re taking care of your family, your house, etc. on top of that. I want you to remember what you love to do, to connect with yourself. If you just keep going, going, going you may just end up crashing. I know I do.

So let’s look at how this could potentially work. If a groomer takes 5 days off, and on average they gross about $500 a day, they’re going to essentially lose that $2,500 ($500 x 5) by going on vacation. Or that groomer is going to have to groom double the dogs either the week before or like half the week before and half the week after, which really sucks. I don’t love doing 50% more dogs. Depending upon where you go, a healthy vacation fund is about $2,000. 

If you had that $2,500 in lost revenue, you could take an extra day off a month for 5 months. Depending upon how you use these days off, you are potentially saving yourself from burnout. Let’s not forget about that $2,000 vacation fund. That gives you another $400 a day to go have mini adventures. You could go to the fanciest restaurant and spend that $400. You could have an insane spa day. You could get a massage, a facial, and do a water journey, whatever you want. Or you could just keep that money and just watch Netflix all day and eat food that makes you happy. You could also potentially rollover that money to a different day. 

Maybe you’re like, “I don’t understand. Why would I want to take a mental health day off?” Vacations make sense when you can afford them, but using a vacation as mental health support, is a major problem in our industry. Vacations are an adventure and are a luxury. Mental health days need to be a regular part of life. They’re how you’re going to get through problems with your life and they’re going to give you a break from the day to day toil that is being a groomer and a business owner. 

When was the last day off where you didn’t have to do anything? Where you could do whatever you want and have no one to answer to. 

So how would this look? You could do this 4 days a month, you could do this one day a month. You could do these 2 days, work a week, and then do another 2 days. However it works for you.

Do it intentionally and don’t feel bad about it. So many people take a day off and feel guilty or ashamed that they’re a human being with feelings and thoughts. They feel like they don’t deserve it. We have to change in order to grow. We, as an industry, are so burnt out. There’s no reason to feel bad as long as you want to do it. You deserve time off. You don’t need to do things in order to be worthy or useful. Usefulness does not make you lovable or better. You are just as wonderful sitting, watching Netflix, eating cheeseballs, in that ratty pajama set that is all broken in so you’ll never throw it away. Sometimes it’s just what you need. You have to take care of yourself. 

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