Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Katrin Brandberg, Founder of Thriving Mutts, located in Norrtälje, Stockholm, Sverige.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a Jan Fennell Certified Dog Listener. Learning and applying Dog Listening means working with nature and the personality of the Dog, not against it trying to conform it to our expectations of what a dog should be. It doesn’t matter what breed the Dog is. When understanding and communicating with a dog, all that matters is that we look to the standard language all dogs share.
Dog Listening is not a quick fix in any way, shape, or form. It's about learning to understand and communicate with your Dog for as long as it lives, creating a loving and relaxed relationship with it.
As a Dog Listener, I help ordinary dog owners who love their Dogs but don't understand how to communicate appropriately with them to make them feel safe and relaxed. Dogs don't need the same things as humans and don't interpret the world as we do. The vast majority of problems people have with their dogs are due to misunderstandings caused by communication and interpretation errors on our part. Dogs are already experts at their language. We humans need to understand and learn the language of dogs.
Dog Listening is always gentle, kind, and fear-free, yet it's very effective and transformational. It's not about training our dogs. Instead, it's about teaching ourselves to communicate with our dogs the only way they can understand. The language of canines is silent and straightforward but also quite complex.
By recognizing that dogs still operate like wolves, although domesticated, we can deal with them in a way they can understand. Dog Listening is based on science.
Tell us about yourself
The very reason I found Dog Listening and later decided to become a Dog Listener myself rests on my sofa at this very moment. Lola, my sweet whippet-mix, came to our house seven years ago from a challenging puppyhood experience where she was left roaming the streets of a small Irish town at a very young age.
This left her traumatized, anxious, and very afraid of other dogs. She had probably been attacked when trying to fend for herself at such a young age. On walks, she screamed and thrashed around on her leash when we spotted dogs, even from afar.
After trying everything and anything (including methods that I now regret trying) to cope with her outbursts on walks and her anxiety, I finally came across Dog Listening. The approach made so much sense to me, especially since I am a biologist and have studied evolution, ethology, and genetics. It was like a light bulb turned on in my head. Lola will probably never get over her anxiety completely. Still, it's way less impactful these days. I now know how to respond to her in all everyday situations to let her know she's safe and without responsibility for the pack.
I aim to reach as many dog owners as possible with this knowledge because I know how much happiness and quality of life it can bring to a dog and its human. We owe it to our dogs to understand them and give them the best life we can manage. Learning to communicate with them properly is something everyone can do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
While Dog Listening is best conveyed through personal consultations, I recognize that the dog owners that need this the most will never have the opportunity to book a consultation.
Because of that, I set out to create an easily accessible, affordable (to all those warm-hearted but perhaps low-funded rescue dog owners) and easily implemented tool to cause a long-term change for the better in their relationship with their Dogs. It manifested as an online course that explains the thinking and science behind Dog Listening and how to use it in your everyday life with your Dog. My dogs have kindly participated in demonstration videos :)
This is an accomplishment I'm very proud of. It enables the transformative knowledge of Dog Listening to reach troubled dog owners worldwide, many despairing about how to solve their Dog's troublesome behavior.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Believing in your capabilities and dealing with boredom. Many tasks in the entrepreneurial life are tedious and non-exciting, and many people give up because of this. Also, having that long-term view of your progress and results is vital. There will be periods when little is happening, which does not mean your business is a failure.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find your why. Why is this important to you? So crucial that you will be able to deal with the boredom and the days when you doubt yourself or your business idea.
- Figure out who will benefit from what your business is selling and why what you sell is exactly what they need above other products in the same niche. That will be your angle when marketing your product.
- Stay focused. There are so many business opportunities, especially online, and it is easy to get distracted by all the shiny objects. You must stay focused and not jump from one thing to the next to succeed. Any business is a long-term game, and you must stick to your actions.
- Remember that the most successful entrepreneurs allow themselves to fail constantly. Failure is finding out what does not work and enabling you to develop and find new ways to succeed. Never be afraid to fail, as many times as it takes. And when you do, take that opportunity to reevaluate, grow, and finally find what works.
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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