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That's not a real job

So what I wanted to talk about today is when people tell you that you don't have a real job,

whether you are a pet groomer, a pet sitter, a dog trainer, this is something we hear over and over and over again. Am I right? And there's nothing more frustrating. So let me begin by talking about what the pet industry means when I'd say the pet industry. What I mean is dog trainers, dog walkers, pet sitters, groomers,

people that are doing anything with cats, honestly, behaviorists, things like that. But we know right now that the pet industry is a billion dollar industry. It's recession proof. And we get new customers every day. Somebody is always getting a puppy, somebody's always getting a cat. You know, the shelters are full of them. Breeders are gonna be breeding them.

So we have a lot of options. And by options, I mean we have a lot of clients that are coming in all the time, depending upon what kind of business you have. And so when we talk about pet groomers specifically, I wanna see, okay, what is the average groomer actually earn? And according to the census, the median salaries of groomers in the US is only $22,000.

I don't personally know any groomer that only makes $22,000. I'm pretty convinced that everyone's lying on their taxes. Maybe I'm wrong. You know, I know we make more than that. So if we're all making decent money, why is there this perception that what we do is not a real job? And everyone thinks that we just play with puppies and kitties all day right now?

Okay, so here's the question. If you are a business owner, are you earning double or at least more than you would earn working for someone else with a similar skillset that you have? So I mean that include paying yourself for the hours you spend, marketing, cleaning, being your own receptionist, and all those little jobs. Are you paying yourself for that?

And remember, you need to be paid more than just a groomer salary because you risk losing everything. So because of that, you really need to be making more than if you were just grooming for somebody. I don't think everyone should be a business owner. I do not believe that everyone should be a business owner. I think you need to find what's called your zone of genius and stick in it.

If you are the most amazing groomer, but you're terrible at being a business owner, try to find some great groomer you can work for. Because the truth is, not all of us are cut out for self-employment. And I know that's a really unpopular idea. But not everyone should own their own business. You know, you can be a great groomer and a terrible business owner as an employee.

Are you making a livable salary that reflects the skills you're doing in the physical investment you've been making? And what do I mean by the physical investment? A physical investment in someone else's business is your body is deteriorating. You have an organic machine that is slowly wearing down. Are you doing things that you're gonna get money back? So are you setting aside money for retirement?

Do they give you health insurance? You know, what is your employer doing? Because if you're just making, let's say, minimum wage or close to minimum wage, it doesn't make any sense. You could be working out McDonald's or Walmart or even like a local pharmacy stocking shelves. Not heavy stuff. I mean like bars of soap potentially for the same amount of money.

So when you're an employee, you are physically investing yourself in that business. So you need to make sure that the money you're being paid, you can set aside money for that and make sure you're a legal W two employee. There are very, very, very few situations in the griming industry where someone can actually be a 10 99, most often a 10 99 is a misclassified independent contractor.

It's so rare. And for those of you guys that work under the table, I'm not here to judge you, but it could bite you in the ass because you can't file for unemployment. There's no workers' comp if you're under the table. So just be aware of things like that. Then ask yourself, okay, why don't people think that grooming is a real job?

And the truth is, do you have financial security in your job? A lot of us don't, right? And when I say financial security, what I mean is, you know, you're gonna make at least this amount of money per week. Most of the grooming industry is commission, which is perfectly fine. However, it should be minimum wage or commission,

whichever is higher. A lot of us will have positions where it's feast or famine. We're in an industry where owners will send you home. They won't have dogs for you. You will go in and it's raining and there are no dogs, or it's snows and you don't get paid for that day. And that's, that's a really tough way to live.

You could earn $300 this week and then $2,500 the next week. That is a big swing. And it's all on things that you have no control over. So when I talk about financial security, that's what I mean, you know? And the other reason could be that there is no room for growth. Most salons do not have a grooming salon manager.

Most grooming salons are not managed very well. Let's be honest. There's no one actually training in most salons with the standard of the salon is that you want a dog to look like, because like we're not doing breed cuts. And even then we're doing breed cuts. We're not doing competition level show dog clips on a dog. You're doing variations of that.

So with that said, there is no room for growth because there is no management in most salons. Honestly, the only places that do have managers are your corporates. But however, your corporates, they don't really manage a salon because they don't actually get to train their staff. They don't actually get to make sure their staff is complying. Yes, they can order,

but a lot of times they don't. They have a set budget, and that budget is not reflecting the current needs of that salon and things like that. There's very little control and they have all the responsibility, which is the worst of both worlds. And owners tend not to manage their salons. I am always shocked at how many groomers own their shop and have employees,

but they're not actually managing their employees. They're actually training their employees. They're not doing anything to make their groomers and make their salon have more continuity. So that might be when you walk into a salon, you don't know who the boss is. And if you ask for the boss, there may not be a boss. There might be an owner, but that owner could be three dogs deep.

So what would be another reason someone wouldn't think this is a real job? How about retirement? Does anyone here have any retirement? How much retirement? How far along are you from retirement? What is your retirement goals? Grooming till we die is not an option. It's really a bad plan. Do you have any savings? And I'm not talking like basic savings.

I mean three to six months worth of, you know, an emergency fund. Do you have that? Do you have three to six months worth of personal expenses? Not even business expenses, just personal expenses. Again, there are people who are bad with money no matter where in any industry, but in an industry where you could very easily be injured,

severely, there are so many ways that we as groomers can be injured permanently and need some money in case of something bad happens. At least a float until you get a settlement, it could take years. So what's another reason? How about healthcare? How many grooming salons have you ever heard offer healthcare? There are some great salons that can afford to offer healthcare.

There's not many, no one's expected in the grooming industry to put any money towards health insurance. Like most employers. It's not even something they're going to talk about. You know, that's, that's pretty crazy. One other thing I'll mention, when you walk into a grooming salon, now, not every, and I know, I'm not saying every grooming salon,

the majority, I want you to go to your competitors' grooming salon and walk in the door. Are people dressed like they have a dress code? Or even ones vaguely implied. How many times do you guys walked into a grooming salon? And there's obviously no dress code, there's not even continuity into what constructs as a reasonable wear and what's not. We're not even talking business casual.

I don't expect anyone to be wearing khakis or dress shirts when they're grooming. But what is everyone wearing? And people are wearing overalls, like not nice, cute overalls like ratchet, fraying, trashy overalls. How many times have you guys walked into a grooming salon and people wearing PJ pants? What about, you know, tank tops? Wear girls, you know,

a little bit of strap showing. That's fine. But some women will actually be grooming. I mean, they might as well have not even worn the shirt. They're just hanging out there, hanging out there for everyone to see. And the dogs don't care. But if a client sees that, that's a problem. Or I love t-shirts. I had t-shirts in my grooming salon,

but my T-shirts were for only people who were upfront or under people's smocks not to wear when they're grooming. Why? Because a t-shirt gets wet, then it smells, then you're covered in hair. That client doesn't wanna be handed their dog by someone covered in dog hair. And you're like, that's silly. They're in a grooming salon. Yes, but that dog is gonna go from your salon into their car and they may be going to work.

You know, they would like to be clean. The whole point of them paying you is to stop the dog hair from being everywhere. That I can understand. If you were looking from the outside in, you could see these reasons being why people think that we don't have a real job. So what are some takeaways? How can we appear more professional?

I think one thing is deciding in our industry that we are going to be treated like professionals. What does that mean? If you wanna make this commitment, don't work under the table. Get a real job. That's a W two job that gives you a paycheck. Don't accept an independent contractor. Why? Because nine times outta 10, you're not an independent contractor.

Your employer's just trying to avoid taxes. There are some great Facebook groups that'll explain this way better. You don't have to accept a position that's not the right position. You are better off working for yourself than accepting a position that puts you in the same position as owning your own business without the tax write-offs. 'cause you can't, you can't write off rent that you don't pay and your 50% commission,

it's not rent. That's not how that works. We're gonna agree that we're going to get a real job and work W two. We are going to pay our taxes, not be under the table. What else are we gonna do? We're gonna dress for the job that we want, which is a professional groomer. A professional groomer is not wearing pajama pants,

is not wearing a gross, smelly, wet hair covered t-shirt. They're not, their brass and panties aren't hanging out, they're not wearing PJ pants, they're not looking like they're ready for a hoe down. Wear a smock, you know, and, and ideally a color fitting the brand and the business. But at least then you're not covered in hair,

right? So when you come out, you look like you're a professional, you look like you know what you're doing. You don't look like a crazy person. Make sure that you are doing something towards saving for retirement. You know, whether that's personal or through your business. Start, you know, go ahead and consider reaching out to someone to talk about retirement.

What is your retirement goal? Get some health insurance if you don't have health insurance. And if you've gotta pay out of pocket, that really sucks. But one dog bite, one cat bite, you've made all your money back. You know, ideally, get temporary disability insurance for that. You know, what are some other reasons? Make sure the job that you are taking has some financial security.

If you own a business, there is no financial security. But if you are taking a job from someone who is employing you, you need to make sure that that you make it least minimum wage or commission. Whichever's higher. If they tell you it's commissioned strictly, I would be very careful because what if they lose power for a week? Do you not get paid?

You know, that's also why the 50% commission rate doesn't work. The business does not have enough money to put money away for its own emergencies. None of that's good. None of that's good. What else will make you a more professional groomer? That way people view you as a professional. Because people are always going to envy us, right? They're always gonna envy us and say,

wow, I'd love to work with dogs all day. And there's no point in explaining to them that's not what we do. But to garner the same respect that we want them to give us. The same respect a teacher gets, a plumber gets, you know, a lawyer gets, they have to present themselves in a professional way. We all know a plumber who is a professional plumber who's well put together,

they're wearing a nice polo shirt or a t-shirt with their logo on it, and pants that fit and I don't see things I don't wanna see. And then someone who's a slob. You know, if you wanna project that this is your career and you're proud of your career, then project that having some personal branding will grow your business or even make you more marketable as a groomer.

And there'll always be salons that there's nothing you can do. Some salons, no matter what you do, are always gonna be just Walmart and keep churning pets out. That's them. That's not you. So, sorry guys. It was a little long today. I wanna thank you so much for being here. And I do, I think that when people say you don't have a real job,

see that as an opportunity for you to look at you and say, okay, why does this person think that I am not a professional person? I have been doing personally a lot, I've been what I, what's called leveling up. What I am doing is I am retaking my femininity and I am creating a personal brand because that's who I wanna project,

is somebody well put together, competent in feminine. That's what I want in my life personally. And I'm not saying anyone has to do that. And you don't have to. No one's, no one's telling you to go dire hair or grow it long or pit it up in a ponytail. But when you come out to that client, look at yourself and say,

do I look trustworthy? Do I look competent? Do I look put together enough that someone would leave their pet with me? If we were just sitting at a park? What do you look like? And do you, if someone says that you're, you're gonna have a real job, that is generally a sign that either they've known somebody who's a groomer,

that is a fucking mess. And if you are a mess, that's okay, but you can't expect people to respect that. So I wanna end it on this note. I wanna invite you guys to consider joining personal finance and a leash, which is my online course. This online course talks all about our survive, live, and thrive on the roadmap to financial success.

We go through everything where we talk about budgeting, we talk about how to get our money under control, because most of us, it's not a lack of money, it's just a lack of control of that money. We also go through lifestyle choices, figuring out whether you should be an employee or an owner, or both. What your zone of genius is,

you go through limiting beliefs on wealth. And I know every groomer could honestly use this course. I wanna grow this industry in a way that people see us as professionals. And sometimes that takes money. Looking at your personal situation and trying to figure out, okay, where can I make some extra money to hire someone to help me? You know, to hire a business coach,

to hire a graphic designer, to create a professional looking logo. You know, hire someone to do your payroll and do your taxes and your books make extra money in order to make a better salon. So I would really like to invite you guys to do that.