How's your work/life balance?
How is your work life balance? Now it's really interesting how this has really been in, everyone's talking about it in the Facebook groups and as always,
I like to talk about things that everyone else is talking about so I can give you my impression and my spin on it. So let's go ahead and dive right into this. So first things first, let's talk about what work life balance is and what it is not. Work life balance is not crashing and burning and taking a week off that is not work life balance.
With this topic, I think the most important thing is we begin by talking about what burnout is. Burnout is when you've overdone it. When you have worked beyond your means and you need either a break, you need a refresh, you need a reframing, you might need a mental health holiday, a physical holiday, you know, or pivot your businesses.
I recently did a coffee live, you know, we laughed and called it a river rant on my business page and my business Facebook page rather. And it was all about millennial groomers and how people view millennial groomers as lazy. And I think that it's just that people of my generation, I'm a millennial, my both of my staff members are millennials, really value work-life balance way more than our parents did an even more so than our grandparents.
You know, my grandparents are, you know, probably in their early eighties and they, you know, didn't have any work-life balance until they retired. But they also had a pension to retire to. My grandmother was a nurse and she got a pension. My grandfather was a firefighter and so he had a pension and he has a lot in social security and I think people of my age know that when we retire there's probably not gonna be any social security left as is.
There's really not a lot to go around, you know, and that, and I don't wanna get into the politics of that. All I wanna talk about is I think that those things contribute to millennials being lazy. And by my definition, it's not that we're lazy, it's just we wanna retire early. We want to, we want to make the most money as fast as we can and then relax,
which is our hustle culture. Alternatively, you have cottage culture, which is all about being slow and deliberate, knitting, baking bread, you know, taking long walks in the woods and really being connected to nature and being, you know, at a much slower pace. And I do think that a lot of older generations really hit that hustle culture because they knew there was something at the end of the rainbow.
And I think my generation acknowledges that there's probably nothing at the end of the rainbow. There is no pension for us if we're gonna put a 4 0 1 k, you know, we have to make enough money to put it in a 4 0 1 K. And let's be very fair here with the advent of the cell phone, which is a thousand dollars computer we keep in our pocket that we've gotta replace every three years and pay a hundred dollars a month for the pleasure of using,
you know, our car payments are very expensive, our rent's really high. I think all those things contribute to it. So moving into our work life balance, I think it's really important for us to consider the fact that, you know what, to you is pleasant. Like what to you is life? So for some of us that is spending time with our children,
our human kids. For some of us that's spending time with our fur kids, I, I don't love fur babies. I don't mind fur kids. So I just say my two-legged and my four-legged kids, you know, what is it that inspires you to do that? Now there's many reasons that you're feeling burnt out and you don't have that work life balance.
For many of us, it's working long hours, grooming as many dogs as we can because we don't know what's gonna happen in the future. We don't know, you know, if we're gonna have those people come back in four weeks or some other shop gonna open up and they're gonna go to them, can we get these people in when they call? And if we don't,
are they gonna leave us and go to Petco? That feast or famine really creates that stress and that survival mentality. And I don't think it's any of our faults. I think that we've just been programmed to think that is how it's supposed to be, right? And that really is kind of how the markets have always worked. And I think a lot of people are rejecting that 'cause they're like,
this is just insanity. Either I'm grooming 10 dogs a day, or if it rains, I might only groom two or three dogs a day. And that's exhausting. Not knowing that and losing that money. Another reason would be be we're not charging enough. So many groomers are not keeping up with inflation. This year alone, we've inflated at least 4%.
Everything is going up, everything is shortage. The best example of inflation that I found was somebody had posted about chicken wings. Ha. And I remember chicken wings. I don't eat chicken wings. It's not my thing. I just, I find that there are a lot of work for not a lot of meat. And I, and I'm lazy. Like it's like something with lobster.
I love lobster, but it's just too much work and crap. I'm like, I don't, it's just too much work for me. I'm openly lazy. Gimme a steak, gimme a hamburger, I'm good with that. Or oysters. But anyway, I digress. And I'm not opening the oyster, they'll open it for me. But chicken wings, I've always remembered them as 10 cents,
25 cents on the high end, 50 cents a wing. Well a lot of places they're now a dollar a wing or they've completely taken them off the menu. That's incredible. When something has literally doubled in price, it's due to shortages. And if you guys have tried to order shampoo recently or clippers, I mean I have been trying to order a corded k m 10 for many,
many months now, and they're having shortages, there's issues around it, you know, there's lots of shortages and there's also a shortage of groomers. You know, I need to figure out where I had read that. 'cause I will never forget it said in five years we need about 50,000 groomers. And if anyone finds that, I know it was in a groomer based magazine,
I have to find it. I will never forget those numbers because it just completely shocked me. But to keep up with the demand of the amount of dogs that we have that have been bred and people adopting. And I know if you know anybody, I mean everyone knows people with dogs, obviously even the cat groomers know people with dogs. People have gotten,
I mean in, in my building alone, you know, we have 115 apartments. I wanna say we've added 30 or 40 dogs in this building. And that's with people moving down south. There's been people leaving and then there's been dogs and other people moving in. Most people have two dogs in my building. They got a second puppy or they adopted a new dog.
I mean, it's crazy. And those dogs are going to need groomers. Now obviously people can groom their own dogs if they choose to, but as an industry, we're gonna need more people. So you might be like, okay, well what does that have to do moving forward? That means that we're gonna need, we're always going to have more pets to groom than groomers to do it.
So you have to start creating healthier boundaries and you have to start creating your work life balance because it's only going to get more intense even if everyone ends up going solopreneur, which may happen guys, lots of groomers are leaving shops and opening up their own business because they want that work-life balance. And if you're an employee and you want work-life balance, you're probably not gonna get it owning your own shop unless if your boss is a jerk,
which can happen in the grooming industry. But I want you to remember that it's one of those situations where you've got to start creating more money to do less dogs, to have more time off. If I am grooming 10 dogs in eight hours and I'm burning myself out because it's a power groomer, guys, it's less than an hour a dog, it's about 45 minutes a dog.
That's a lot. That's really fast. And that is checking in, checking out. People want more of a connection when they are checking in. They wanna feel like, you know, like, and trust them that you care for their dog. Gone are the days of saying thing as last time, yeah, okay, bye. People don't want that anymore.
And if they do want that, they'll go to Petco. And honestly, I say let them, if we talk about, you know, I hate to say older groomers, so let's call them veteran groomers. I like that better. If we talk about veteran groomers, most of them came from the generation of doing 10 dogs a day in eight hours.
And that means that they were grooming guys, if they're working five days a week, they're grooming 50 dogs a week, or a hundred dog, you know, 200 dogs a month. Now I find most millennials or most people that want more work life balance wanna groom about a hundred dogs a month, which is five dogs a day, five days a week,
or you know, ish. Six dogs a day, four days a week ish. And I think that's the work life balance that a lot of us are choosing. Because if I personally, now I am, I've been grooming more than 10, less than 15, not trying to age myself too bad. Although I do look kind of young. It's one of those situations where if I groomed 10 dogs a day,
even with the best bathing system, even with the best scissors, everything, the best I would still, I would still be exhausted. And then when I go home to my son, I have nothing left. I have nothing left for dating and I have nothing left for him. Now again, I do think this is a generational thing. My grandparents have been married for over 60 years and when my mom was little,
she would walk herself to kindergarten. You know, so my grandparents didn't have the same parenting responsibilities, nor did they ever have a situation where they were a single mom. Now my mom was a single mom, but she left before we got outta bed. We would get ourselves up and I would get my sister ready for school and I would take her to school.
I would take my sister to the bus stop when we got home. I would make sure my sister got her homework done. And now mind you, my brother was older, but my brother wasn't expected to do any of these things. I don't know why. I think it's just in a very girl power meant thing. And they were kinda like, no,
like girl power. You can do everything. You don't need a man. Meanwhile the boys were like, cool, you go do all the work, we're gonna go play video games. Peace, you know? But yeah, we would be there for a few hours before my mom would get home. We would, you know, reheat some food, probably watch some tv,
do some homework for hours. And my son, I can't let him off the bus without being at the bus stop. Like I remember, not recently, but before Covid and he was like seven. So it wasn't like he was a peanut peanut, but literally I was walking to the bus stop. It was three houses down three houses. They would not let him off the bus.
They made me walk the, they, they held up traffic while I walked the three houses to let him off the bus. It's totally different. And dating is exhausting because in my thirties, trying to meet somebody who doesn't just want a hot pocket relationship, you know, it's, it's not easy. It's not, it's not easy to date. It's takes a lot of time.
I don't have friends who have friends that can set me up. And the dating pool is so big that people have so many choices. I feel like it's really hard for them to find love. So being a single mom, doing all these things, having way more expectations. Like I remember my mom in her thirties and the pressures to be pretty now.
I like being pretty and I'm pretty, 'cause I wanna be pretty and I'm okay admitting I'm pretty, I like the way I look. I work really hard at that and I spend good money. You know, my mom was a beautiful woman, but you know, mom, like it didn't matter if she wore mom jeans. I mean my mother dressed the same as my grandmother who was 20, 20, 25 years older than she was.
You know, it wasn't, it wasn't anything weird. And now the moms at the school I see take way more care of their bodies or take way more care of their looks and that costs money. You know, it takes time. So it's just so interesting the different pressures and that's makes it harder to have work life balance. And even the people that are married,
you know, it's just very different. There's different things. We're always busy, we're always doing things. So a lot of groomers decide not to be involved in a lot of things. Like they don't do fun things with their family. If you have to work Saturdays, now this is where I thought I wanted Saturdays and Sundays off because all the events were on Saturdays,
weddings and barbecues and all these things are on Saturdays. I mean, my generation definitely does way more get togethers than my parents' generations. And if they did do a barbecue at my mom's house, it goes from, you know, anywhere from like, it used to be like show up between 10 and like midnight whenever you get free. It was like an all day event.
But now it's almost like curated and it's more pumping circumstance, you know? But I mean my parents were basically like, we've got beer. Bring your own food, we'll be here. And so it's just different with that. Why does that matter? Well it matters because when you're don't looking at your pricing, if you are are, if you're an employer hiring people,
you're not. And especially if you're a veteran groomer hiring someone and you're trying to replace somebody. If you're trying to rep, if you're a power groomer, a veteran power groomer, grooming 10 to 13 dogs a day, now you're getting tired in your fifties, you're not gonna find a millennial willing to do 10 or 13 dogs a day. And it's not 'cause they're lazy,
it's because they care about their body and they want work life balance. And I don't think there's anything wrong with the life choice you made, but my generation saw your generation physically and emotionally and mentally suffer, right? Why would we want that? That sucks. We, we watched you, we don't want that for us, you know? And so you are not gonna probably hire a power groomer because even if you are a power groomer,
you're probably gonna go work for yourself, right? So what's the alternative is to hire a lazy millennial, right? Who's only gonna groom five to eight dogs a day? So then, okay, if that's the case, why is that bad? Why, why wouldn't you want employees who choose work-life balance over doing as many dogs as physically possible? Well,
I'll tell you why. Because you don't wanna increase your prices because you have unintentionally, artificially kept the industry low. And I don't blame you for this because you probably, it's really hard to tell people you deal with all the time and you have to go up a good way to look at it. And I'm gonna do my math right here. So let's say you were charging $20 a dog,
a shitzu in 1980, right? So a 4% increase would be only 80 cents, right? Well if you'd keep doing that over time, and I could probably, you know, I mean just Google, 4% increase over 20. I'm doing my math 'cause I'm thinking eighties, that wasn't long ago. Nineties, two thousands, 2000 tens, 2000 twenties guys.
The eighties was 40 years ago. Isn't that nuts? Every time I think about that, it's just like, here we go. Best inflation calculator from 2021. So if we had $20 and we've done this before in 1980, just to keep up with inflation, it would be about $65. So an average inflation rate guys of 2.94% means that we have accumulated inflated 225%.
Think about that. In 40 years, prices have gone up 225%. I don't know, many grooming salons owned by a groomer who's been grooming 30, 40 years. That has increased their prices by 200%. Now a lot of us, when we started, so I was charging $55, let's say in 2010, no, 2011 technically. So right now if I charge $55,
that means my in cumulative inflation rate has gone up 19% as of last year, well technically this year, 2021, right? So if I owned a grooming salon, which I did in 20 21, 20 11, sorry, in oh my god, in 10 years, Jesus Christ. That was just a, every time I talk dates I'm like, no problem. Then I'm like,
oh my god, that's so long ago. 10 years ago just to keep up with inflation, I would've had to gone up 66 bucks. And guys, that's just inflation. That's not including being 10 years better. A groomer having a better clientele. Everything I buy is going up with that same inflation, right? So if I had a, I use light pooch,
so the same thing, the gallons go up. So here's the thing is that sometimes we say, okay, well we'll just go up $5 a year, right? That's what we'll do. We'll just do a nice round $5 a year. Again that would be $20 in, you know, in four years. You're like, that should be enough, right?
Well it depends, depends on a lot of things guys. Depends on so much ha what services are you offering? Is that more in demand? Has minimum wage gone up? 'cause let's also look up really quickly, minimum wage. What was minimum wage in 1980? So just to keep up with inflation, a $20 shihtzu should, should now be about $65.
And if you guys are doing shihtzu for less than $65, that's insane. You're not keeping, you're, you're way below that. So just to put in perspective, that $20 shihtzu minimum wage was $3 and 10 cents. Now in 2011, federal, let's do federal. So interesting. Federal minimum wage is basically the same, it's at 7 25 in 2011. So it's very interesting when you look at all this,
and obviously no one can live on 7 25. I know there are some rural areas that can, but 90% of us in the United States cannot live on that kind of money. So, and this is what's interesting in 2011, that was the federal minimum wage. What is it in 2021? Is it the same? I always get confused 'cause I think about my state.
Yeah, non-exempt employees is still the same. That's very fascinating. So that's very interesting. That's feral. I think that being able to shift your business in the way that allows you to build a business that you want in a positive way, I think is really beautiful. It's really empowering and that's where you can really get your work life balance. Because a previous generation,
you know, or two generations ago after you've been growing 30 years, you are, you're our grandparents' age. Unless we had kids late, I had my kid early. So like, it's funny, my son has a great-grandfather who's in his eighties, you know. But I think reevaluating your business is so empowering and this is the best time to do it guys.
It's never been a better time or a better excuse to make wild changes in your business. There are a lot of groomers who are completely, completely changing their business model, partly because their employees don't appreciate them. If you're an employer, you're poised, don't appreciate you. And if you're an employee, there's a lot of, you know, employers who are those angry old school power groomers.
You know, know when I was your age, I washed every dog with dawn and I had the hand scissor everything. Like, that's awesome, good for you. That would be terrible. You know? And I'm like, listen, you know, my grandparents had a dirt floor for two years. Doesn't mean that's the lifestyle I wanna live. Remember for work life balance,
you know, if you're, how many dogs can you groom? Do you wanna work eight hours a day? How many days a week do you wanna work? And how many hours do you wanna work? If you wanna work five hours over four days grooming and then take another five to 10 hours. 'cause how many hours a week are you guys doing office hours and things like that?
Consider how many hours you're working as a groomer and then how many hours you're working in your office, in your marketing, you know, booking appointments, whatever it is. That's also why, guys, I suggest office hours and they should be short, they should be extraordinarily short or get rid of them at all. You know, Tiffany and I have been working on her business where she will either rebook you right after your appointment,
otherwise you have to book online. She will not book you over the phone, she will not book you any of those ways. And we actually did in group mentoring, we worked on a script for her to be able to explain that to clients and it really helped her. You know, Brianna, who has an incredible talent, we can get her to have to work three to four days a week doing three to four dogs a day and make a livable wage.
She doesn't need to work five days a week grooming five or six dogs. And even then that, that sounds like, oh, it's not a lot of dogs, but it depends on the level of what you're doing. I said the market will bear whatever the market will bear. And I wanna just point out one thing to you guys. If I groom 10 Shih tzus at $50,
if half my clienteles leave and I charge a hundred dollars, I will make the same amount of money, right? So guys, here is, here's the math, 10 shihtzu times 50 bucks, 500 bucks. Now 10 shihtzu times. Whoop, I'm sorry, five shih tzus times a hundred bucks says guess what? 500 bucks. So if you charge double and you lost half your clientele,
you'd be fine. You'd be fine. And think about the work life balance. So that is all about work life balance. And it is, guys, it's so important. You charge enough so you can build this life you want and then you can help other people and you know, whatever that is. And we talk about in the group, we talk about Tabitha teach and test Thrive.
Do you wanna travel and just be a good parent? Or do you wanna like be a good wife or husband? Whatever it is, you know? Or maybe you wanna teach people a skillset. You know, my goal is to be able to have a community where we're teaching and we're changing our industry.