Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shelby Semel, founder of Shelby Semel Dog Training, located in New York, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Shelby Semel Dog Training is a Manhattan-based dog training company that aims to help dog parents understand their pets better and learn how to work with them! We use positive reinforcement techniques to make training fun and accessible.

Tell us about yourself

I was always a dog lover. We always had about three at a time; my dad would bring home strays. But it wasn't until a few years after I graduated from the University of Michigan and was working in ad sales that I realized dogs would become my entire future. I got a cute little Pomeranian aptly named Taz, and that started my venture into dog training. I am motivated every day to help families understand and advocate for their pets. I see what a difference it can make in both human and dogs' lives, and I love to be a part of that process. I also get to meet really cool people and very adorable pups!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I'd say my biggest accomplishment is how organically I have been able to grow my business without paid promotion - just mostly word of mouth and having a good reputation that I do.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Zero time off. There isn't a single day that I am not emailing and in contact with clients and my trainers, even if I'm on a "day off" or a vacation. I was texting while in labor :)

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

I would suggest making sure your schedule allows you to maintain a work-life balance. I didn't have this my first few years, but it's not sustainable long-term. Get a business partner you trust! That would solve a lot of the work/life balance difficulties or help with the weaknesses you know in yourself. Doing it alone is something I have done work, but personally isn't my ideal scenario. Make a one-year goal, 5-year plan, and 10-year dream :)

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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