Pet Sit Coach

Podcast Episode #111: Dealing with Depression and Anxiety as a Pet Business Owner

In today’s coaching session, I’m working with Cora, a pet business owner who sometimes struggles with occasional bouts of depression and anxiety. When it hits her, it causes her to suffer – and her business to suffer.

When she’s not experiencing depression and anxiety her energy level is high, her response time to clients is quick, and she’s able to bill clients in a prompt manner as well as other necessary business tasks.

When she’s going through a challenging time, things look very different: it can take her a week or two to return client calls, it can be like slogging through quicksand to bill her clients in a timely manner and she has very little energy to run her business.

She feels physically and mentally stopped.

Now, you know this (but I have to say this to protect myself and to protect you listeners): I’m not a therapist nor a medical doctor. I’m a business and life coach.

If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, please see a medical professional.

In today’s coaching session I’m not trying to diagnose Cora, nor cure her anxiety or depression. I can’t do that nor would attempt to do that.

I am simply having a conversation with Cora about depression and anxiety and how it impacts her business and her life. I’m not trying to fix Cora’s depression or anxiety but rather to help her navigate her business during this time.

Again, if you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, please get help from a medical professional.

I want to say a huge thank you to Cora for having the courage to come on this podcast and be a voice for those of you who suffer from depression and anxiety and are also trying to run your business, raise your kids, and/or navigate your personal and work life.

Even if you don’t experience depression and anxiety, you may know someone who does, and this episode may help you feel more empathy and compassion for this often silent illness that can be crippling in ways that cannot be seen.

Click to listen to Dealing with Depression and Anxiety as a Pet Business Owner.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

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Podcast #97: Automate Your Pet Business

My coaching client today is Kelsey who runs a pet grooming and dog kennel in Nevada. Kelsey is experiencing a lot of stress with employees who say they will do something but then don’t do it. She’s also struggling because she’s short staffed and is having a hard time finding quality people.

Kelsey reached out to me for a coaching session that she agreed could be recorded for the podcast. Like most pet business owners who have employees, Kelsey’s staffing issues have become magnified due to being short staffed during this pandemic and not having quality staff she can depend on. It becomes clear that automation can be her best friend with her current staff and you’ll hear the coin drop for Kelsey when she starts to realize she does have the power to change her business for the better! You’ll hear exactly how she can do that – and how you can do it too.

Click to listen to Automate Your Pet Business.

Apply what you’re learning on the podcast with online courses that help you start and grow your pet business.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

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2016 Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business Success Story

Hi pet sitters and dog walkers,

It’s so fun to get love letter emails like this from my pet business coaching clients and readers of my books. I wanted to share it with you thinking it may be the ray of hope that you might need if are feeling stuck in a rut and hopeless about things ever changing in your pet business. (I asked her for permission to share this email she sent.) The leap of success she made in 2016 didn’t come from her wishing it to happen. It came from her opening to what is possible and then crafting a plan to make it happen and going for it! You can too.

Want to share your own pet sitting success story? Share it with me here or create your own with pet sitting coaching or the books Six-Figure Pet Sitting or Prosperous Pet Business: Volume One.

I’d love to help you look back on 2017 having completely transformed your pet sitting and dog walking business from where it is now to where you want it to be.



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Pet Sitter and Dog Walker Burnout: 3 Simple Steps to Recover

Pet Sitter Burnout I’ve been thinking a lot lately about business burnout and how to recover from it.

There are two reasons I’ve been thinking about burnout:

1) I’ve been hired to speak about that topic at a pet business conference in Virginia in September (more details to come soon)

2) Many of my coaching clients have been ultra stressed this week and saying things on our coaching calls like:

“The texting and calling from pain-in-the-butt clients at two in the morning is driving me crazy!” and “That high maintenance client I told you about 3 months ago? She’s getting worse…she’s more and more demanding. I can’t take it anymore!”

Many of us caretaker types are drawn to start pet businesses out of a sincere desire to provide quality care for pets and their people. This is a good thing.

The ability and desire to take good care of other beings is something that pet owners can feel when they meet many pet business owners. They want their pet care provider to be an exceptional caretaker.

However…the caretaking quality in many business owners (is this you?) can also lead to an inability to say no to demanding clients and to not set boundaries where they need to be set.

I encourage you to think of your unruly clients like dogs who are in need of a good, tough love training session.

I have a friend who has two dogs that pee all over the house and hump my leg when I come over.


I love dogs. More than words on a page can ever express.

But you’d never know I love dogs if you were to see me at her house. I’m going to be straight with you here: I don’t want to be around her dogs. If I never saw them again, I’d be thrilled.

These dogs (no longer puppies but you’d never know it by their behavior) have never been told NO.

And because of that, no one (including me) wants to accept my friend’s dinner invitations because: every room in her house smells like dog urine, the house is a mess from the dogs gnawing everything in sight and the dogs (drum roll) hump your leg while you are sitting at the dinner table. Ah, now that’s appetizing, eh? Not really.

Difficult clients (like difficult dogs) need tough love and training and the N word. And guess what? Caretaker types have a hard time with tough love, training and the word no.

So this is, in some ways, a match made in Hell.

Caretaker types think being soft is the answer. But it’s not. Not with Difficult Clients. If you are soft with Difficult Clients they will take every ounce of your life energy and then beg for more. You have to be strong.

95% of your life energy can quickly become consumed with those 5% of clients that are difficult and demanding. And then you’ll have nothing left over for the vast majority of your clients who are easy and well-trained in the art of being a Good Client.

So…some of the steps to recovering from business burnout require becoming better at:

  • Saying No. Practice by yourself in the car or with your dog if you need to: “I’m sorry, I’m not able to…”
  • Be willing to let those Difficult Clients go.  I know. You are scared about letting the money go but don’t worry: more Good Clients will come along to fill the void because of a law of physics: nature abhors a vacuum. I believe we also get rewarded when we are courageous enough to take good care of ourselves in spite of the fear of letting go of money.
  • Set boundaries. (In a short and sweet way, without apology.) Send out an email to your clients: “Dear Clients, Due to not receiving some of your texts we are no longer accepting texts as a form of communication from you as we want to be sure that we receive your communication. Please contact us by phone or email only from now on. Thanks and have a good day.”

I’ll be writing more about this subject in future blog posts. Stay tuned!


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Want a FREE 45-Minute Coaching Session with me? PHOTO CONTEST!

Do you have my book Six-Figure Pet Sitting or Six-Figure Pet Business?

Want a FREE 45-minute business coaching session with me?

PHOTO CONTEST: Take a picture of you (or your pet!) with my book and post it on my personal Facebook page or the Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy Facebook page.

The winning photo gets a coaching session with me!

Have the eBook? No problem. Take a picture of you and/or your pet with my eBook on your Kindle or computer. Have fun with it. 🙂

Photo contest expires on May 1, 2013.

What do you have to lose? Nothing! And you have a 45-minute power-packed session with me to gain!

I look forward to seeing your pictures. 🙂


Here are a couple to get you inspired:

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Pet Sitting Success Story

TTPS New LogoWhee!

I love getting updates from pet sitters that I’ve coached throughout the years. I got this follow up email yesterday from Tanya Grant, a pet sitter in Pennsylvania who first contacted me to work with her around her business expansion about four years ago.

Since our initial coaching session four years ago, I’ve coached Tanya in her pet sitting business at various times when she was ready to make the next leap forward.  Tanya has been incredibly great at promoting herself and her business–she periodically sends me TV clips where she has been interviewed by various news channels!

It’s so soul-satisfying to receive reports from the pet sitters that I’ve worked with throughout the years. Thanks to all of you who check in to let me know how you and your businesses are doing.

I feel like a proud momma hen!

“Kristin, I always like to update you on my progress.  You deserve to know your efforts have made an impact in my business (aka my life). 🙂 Speaking of that…Top Tails Pet Sitting did well over six-figures in revenue in 2011.   I have told you already but will say it again – without a smart and informative entrance and introduction into the professional pet sitting industry plus a proper foundation my business would not be as successful as it is.  Of course, all of your additional support along the way has helped me stay on this path of wonderful achievement!  I will for sure see you in San Antonio next year <at the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters conference> and promise to do a video testimonial.  “See” you on your conference call on Tuesday night.  Even at my level, listening to your conference calls keep me motivated and striving to always be better in so many ways.”

Tanya Grant
Owner, Top Tails Pet Sitting

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The Magic of Commitment in Business


This morning I’m reflecting on the power of commitment as it relates to business. And the ‘magic’ that gets created as a result of my coaching clients’ setting crystal clear intentions for what they want to create in their business and their life.

I often have the pleasure of witnessing ‘manifesting magic’ happen easily and effortlessly in my coaching clients’ lives and I know that it has everything to do with their commitment level. Commitment combined with their heartfelt desire to create the most fulfilling, enjoyable, and profitable business and life.

Here are just a few of the ‘manifesting magic’ moments I’ve witnessed lately in my coaching sessions with pet sitters:

-I gave an action step to the coaching client who wanted to start a doggie day care. The action step was to look for a possible location for the doggie day care. She hadn’t yet looked at locations but was having lunch with a friend two days after our session and mentioned her desire to start a doggie day care when that friend said, “I know just the place! It’s not on the market yet but the man who is selling it said -out of the blue- that it would be perfect for a doggie day care.” They looked at the property after lunch and my coaching client is now exploring the possibility of buying that property.

-A pet sitter I was working with stated to me, clearly and with much heartfelt emotion, her desire to work part-time while growing her new pet sitting business. She had a full-time job that she greatly disliked and was beginning (literally and figuratively) to feel her soul being sucked out her by this job that she’d been in for years. She was afraid to let go of her full-time job due to the income and benefits (I’ve worked with this a lot: pet sitters that are straddling corporate America and pet sitting and who are wanting to make the leap to full time pet sitting yet are terrified to let go of the job security for full-time self employment). Out of the blue (though I like to think of it more like ‘out of the commitment’) she was chatting with a woman who mentioned that there was a job opening in her company. Within a little over a week, my coaching client had a job offer from this company! She’s still working out the details but thinks it will be a much better fit (less soul-sucking for sure) as she makes the transition to eventual full-time pet sitting).

-A pet sitter I’ve worked with on and off through the years contacted me to help her get clarity about how best to create an orderly and accurate financial system for her income and expenses. We discussed different financial accounting systems and one in particular that I thought she’d find easy to use in her business. Still, she expressed fear around not knowing how to work with this particular system and we both felt she needed hands-on help. She placed an ad on Craigslist (commitment in action) and though that didn’t result in the right person, within a couple of days after our session, she, (out of the blue!) was talking to a pet sitting client who mentioned that she worked with the same financial software system that we’d discussed in our coaching session. This woman said she could teach my client how to use this system in order to get her ready for tax time. My pet sitting coaching client feels extremely comfortable with this person and it feels like the perfect fit for her!

Commitment creates success on purpose. It creates ‘out of the blue’ events and experiences. It creates magic.

And that magic starts with the simple words, “I want…”

“I want” is the rudder that faces your boat in the right direction to achieve what it is that you want.

And then intention, commitment, and action lead to the results you most want in your business and your life.

Allow yourself to dream this week of what you want to create in your life and in your work. And if you are crystal clear about what that is, notice your commitment level and take actions that support being fully committed to what it is you most want to create in your life and your pet sitting and dog walking business.

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Heeding the Call of Pain in Your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business



Experiencing ‘pain points’ in our pet sitting business doesn’t feel good.

And yet…

It is often the only way that we will wake up

and pay attention.

Pain points can look like:

-a staff member who really needed to be let go a long time ago yet you’ve been putting it off

-a client who is a royal pain in the arse and you’ve been putting up with them for far too long

-not making enough money to make ends meet, let alone thrive in your business

etc, etc, etc.

So you can either put up with it (which most humans end up doing)

or be proactive and change things.

(Usually this happens when the pain outweighs the numbness of putting up with the pain point in your business.)

Sometimes this takes a while.

And things break down before you wake up in order to make things better.

I encourage you today to heed the call of pain in your business.

It’s there to teach you what isn’t working in order to create a more smooth-running, profitable business

…and a happier life.

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Self-Authoring Your Pet Sitting Business


Recently I was in a yoga class and the teacher said to our class: “Even though you might think you can’t do a pose, TRY. Don’t just assume you can’t do it. Attempt it. Find out.”

So many pet sitting business owners run their businesses from the place of NO.




It takes a lot of courage to feel the NO and turn it into a YES. To run your business from outside-the-box. Which might be very different from how you think you should run your pet sitting business or how your competitors are running their pet sitting businesses.

As I’m traveling I’m even more aware than I was back at home of how we create our own reality.

I’m not getting woo-woo on you here.

What I’m talking about is that most people put limits on what they can and can’t do in their business and their life which ends up becoming their limited reality.

Where are you putting limits on your pet sitting and dog walking business?

Here are some common areas that pet sitters put limits on their businesses:

1) Your Schedule: You don’t like doing early morning or late night visits and yet still you do them.

2) Hiring: You are afraid to hire pet sitting and dog walkers so you don’t. Or you need to hire more staff yet you keep putting it off even though you are getting more and more stressed by having to do the work yourself.

3) Your Income: You have a mental ‘cap’ on what you think you can make in your pet sitting business each month. You say to yourself, “Oh, I can’t make more than $________/month” which becomes a self-imposed glass ceiling. You don’t imagine or believe you can make more than you’ve currently made and thus live out that reality from month-to-month.

4) Your vacation: You haven’t had a vacation in years and you feel burned out. You are afraid of leaving your pet sitting business. You don’t know what to do with your business when you go away and don’t investigate options.

5) Business Duties: You really don’t like (or aren’t good at) a certain aspect of your pet sitting business and yet still you do it because you feel you ‘have’ to. You don’t allow yourself to think creatively or ask for help in thinking creatively for how to delegate specific tasks or jobs that you really don’t enjoy.

Guess what?

YOU are the author of your pet sitting business. You get to make up the rules for how you run your business and what jobs you do or don’t do.

So many pet sitters that I work with forget this. They let themselves be swept away by the whims of clients or their own fear of doing something differently than they (or another pet sitter) has done before.

It’s the halfway point through the year here, folks: June 2011.

A perfect time to honestly access what works and doesn’t work with the way you are currently running your business.

You really are the only one who creates the stoppers in your business and your life. Not your clients. Not your family. Not your staff.


And you can also take that pen and start self-authoring your pet sitting business!

Try this bit of self coaching:
Get a piece of paper and a pen. Set a timer for 15 minutes. For one minute focus on an area that is clearly not working in your business or is causing you discomfort or unhappiness.

Then, with the remaining time, write down all the possible solutions that come to your mind.

Don’t censor.

Don’t edit.

Don’t spell check!

Simply write fast, without thinking, for 14 minutes.

You may be amazed at what may emerge.

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Hello from Coach Kristin

About 3 years ago a friend invited me to do an exercise which involved imagining that I had six months left to live and what I would do with my life in those last six months.

Before I did the exercise I assumed that if I had six months left to live I would spend my last six months with my loved ones. Duh. It was a no brainer.

But still I did the exercise and was very surprised to see, in my mind’s eye, the image of me wearing a travel backpack and a big smile on my face.

It shocked me.

Is that really how I would spend my last six months on this planet?! Exploring it? What about my loved ones?!

In spite of the inner questioning I let that image sit with me for a few weeks and I could feel that, indeed, travel with a backpack was a heart’s desire of mine. A heart’s desire that was not being fulfilled.

It was hard to imagine leaving my business (and my life) for a few months. However, I knew that was what I had to do otherwise this heart’s desire that was clearly expressing itself to me would act out negatively in my business (and my life).

It’s been my experience that when we know that we have a heart’s desire and we aren’t taking active steps to make that desire happen, the ‘not taking action’ affects every area of our life, including our business.

It’s not pretty when that happens.

So 2 years ago I began to plan a 2.5 month trip for 2010. I had a lot of fear about leaving my pet sitting business even though my managers are so very competent and amazing. I knew my business would be in good hands but still I had the fear.

I’m so aware that the real goodies in business and life come from feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

Knowing that didn’t ease the fear though!

But still I took the actions to make the trip happen. I went on my trip and I had an incredible time and everything went well in the business. I even extended my time for an extra month.

When I got back last year I knew I wanted to do it again. This time for 5 months.

So here I am!

I’m in Bali writing this to you now. I’ve been traveling for nearly 4 months and have 5 weeks left.

It’s been an incredible journey.

I’ve been doing a little work while I’m traveling: I’m writing my second book for pet sitters and dog walkers. I’m planning on having my second book available in December 2011. More later!

I will be offering coaching sessions again in early August and will be offering a teleclass in August as well.

In future blog posts I will be including some tips to getting to your own heart’s desire and how your business can support.

Wishing you a wonderful month of June. 🙂

Kristin Morrison
Founder, Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy

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