Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marissa LeJune, Founder and Owner of Tail Swaggers, located in Fort Worth, TX, USA.

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

I’m the owner of Tail Swaggers. We are a luxury doggie daycare. We provide dogs of busy working dog owners a balance of fun and learning throughout the workweek. We focus on teaching your dog valuable commands, lessons, and mindsets that are beneficial for real-world scenarios. Our clients range from stay-at-home parents to business owners. They are dog owners that believe in investing in a higher quality of life for their dogs.

Tell us about yourself

I started my business in college as a way to create a job that worked around both my school and athletic schedule. The father of my daughter played an instrumental role in me continuing to pursue my business after graduation. With his encouragement and business coaching, I discovered it was something I truly enjoyed doing, and I have been able to achieve some amazing milestones in business.

What keeps me motivated, present day, is the positive impact I have on my clients’ lives when their dogs stay with me for daycare or boarding and the ability to provide them with excellent care. I’m always thinking about ways I can spoil their dogs or teach them something new. As a dog owner myself, I know the stress and anxiety that can come with leaving your dog with someone else, and I always take that to heart. That’s also the reason why I work so hard to make sure each dog is having a tail-wagging great time.

The last thing that keeps me motivated is the desire to have multiple locations of Tail Swaggers daycare. The more I learn about dog psychology and training, the more I want to share it with other owners so they can continue to improve their dog’s mindset and relationship with each other. I believe so many owners and dogs can benefit from the structure of my daycare, and I look forward to achieving that goal one day and continue to grow the Tail Swaggers community.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

This is actually a strangely hard question for me to answer. Partly because when I first read it, I felt like I needed to give the answer people expect me to give versus what I feel my true accomplishments as a business owner have been. With that being said, I hope you can be open-minded to the accomplishments I’m about to share, as I will do my best to be as authentic as possible. This is not me bragging. This is me sharing my celebrations as a business owner with you guys that I have worked extremely hard to achieve.

When I first started in business, there were two accomplishments I was proud of. The first being completely terrified of what people would think of me once I announced I was taking my pet care business full time. I knew many people wouldn’t take me seriously, and I cried multiple times from the fear that consumed me. That’s also one of the biggest reasons the father of my child was such a blessing to have in my corner because he was the one that got me to take that leap of faith and bet on myself. I did it scared and am so glad I did!

The second accomplishment was trusting my business coach & overcoming my fear of charging premium prices for my services. Early on, my business coach saw the knowledge and value I was bringing to my clients and their dogs, and he repeatedly mentioned that it was nothing anyone was experiencing. I was afraid that raising my prices would turn my customers away, but my business coach was right, and it didn’t! My clients saw the value I brought to the table, and they appreciated my work. They are all so incredible, and I’m beyond grateful that they see the value I provide and the benefits of investing in higher-quality care for their dogs. Deciding to price my services correctly was crucial to make sure I could continue to provide outstanding service year after year instead of listening to my thoughts of imposter syndrome and undervaluing myself with what I bring to the marketplace.

My 2022 accomplishment was hitting my first $10,000+ month in sales. I have had that goal on my vision board for over two years. It was a huge milestone in my business and completely shattered any limitations I had of myself and my business. It was a huge confidence boost and the turning point for me to know that I'm capable of hitting my first 6 figure year in business (which is coming soon!)

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

For me, the hardest thing is learning to set up healthy boundaries in my business. I enjoy what I do, but I find I work on overdrive a lot. I say yes when I should say no. I have been learning when I need to turn clients away and what systems I need to put in place to make sure I am continuing to give myself a balance between work and family time. Because I love each of our Tail Swaggers dogs so much, it’s very easy for me to say yes or spend hours on hours training them without thinking about what is best for my schedule and mental health. I love seeing the dogs' faces light up when they finally get the hang of something or are having a great time, and I get lost in the moment. I’m looking forward to hiring more help soon so I can keep creating more balance and be more present with my daughter.

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

  1. Don’t let others put limitations on you. You’ll do that enough yourself and don’t need outside opinions adding on to your own limiting beliefs you’re trying to overcome.
  2. Be careful who you share your dreams and desires with. This includes current family and friends. My business coach always says, "People will always want you to do good, but most won't want you to do better than they are." In my experience, that statement has been true. I'm not saying you can't be around those people, but I am saying think twice before sharing your business goals with them. Especially in the beginning when you’re creating the foundation for yourself and your business. Move in silence and let your work speak for itself.
  3. Go towards what makes you uncomfortable, and once again, don't put a limitation on yourself. The uncomfortable moments will help you grow as a business owner (and trust me, there will be plenty of uncomfortable moments). As you grow, you will start to see yourself doing things you never thought you were capable of. That's why it's important to not limit yourself and be open to what opportunities come your way.

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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