Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in dogs but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laura Reeves, Host of Pure Dog Talk, located in Grants Pass, OR, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Pure Dog Talk, the voice of purebred dogs, is a podcast for, by, and about owners, breeders, and exhibitors of purebred dogs.
Tell us about yourself
I am a former competitive debater, newspaper reporter, marketing specialist, freelance writer, audio driving tour scriptwriter, professional show dog handler, and current preservation dog breeder and dog show judge. The podcast enables me to use each, and every one of my rather random skill sets to create a fun, educational platform to bring the living history of purebred dogs to life for my audience.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I've been a small business owner since 1992. I've scrimped and saved, battled and celebrated, succeeded and failed. My joy is that I've done it all on my own terms. This current project is my favorite. I learn something new every day. I help people every day. I help dogs every day. The normal frustrations, nagging fears, and overworked, underpaid lifestyle of your average entrepreneur aside, I love my job. I go along with my listeners while they drive to dog shows, groom their dogs, ride their lawnmowers, or work out. I make a difference in their lives.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I'm great at what I do. I'm terrible at running a business! This is a not uncommon phenomenon in many small businesses. I've gotten by over the years, learned, grown, and more recently, hired people for the "running a business" side of the gig.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Learn to run a business! See above. Turning your passion into your work is an amazing life goal. But being successful (as defined by staying in business) entails having skills outside your passion.
- Be teachable. Listen to the people around you. HEAR what they say. A percentage will be trying to bring you down. The vast majority will have your best interests at heart and you need to be able to course correct if needed.
- Live within your means as they are today, not what you hope they might be. While it takes money to make money, the fastest way to lose a business is to build a shiny front before you have the bandwidth and infrastructure to support it. Start small, build cautiously, spend when you have to, and pay off any borrowed money as fast as you possibly can. Growing a business generally is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It's a "be poor for a while, get ahead, fall behind, catch up, and hopefully build enough equity to someday retire" scheme.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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