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All who wander…

All who wander are not lost. – everyone

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A Clockwork Origin

I can explain. It’s very valuable. We’re rescuing ya. Anyone who laughs is a communist! Well I’da done better, but it’s plum hard pleading a case while awaiting trial for that there incompetence. OK, if everyone’s finished being stupid. You’re going back for the Countess, aren’t you?

The Problem With Popplers

Oh, all right, I am. But if anything happens to me, tell them I died robbing some old man. You know the worst thing about being a slave? They make you work, but they don’t pay you or let you go. Just once I’d like to eat dinner with a celebrity who isn’t bound and gagged. You lived before you met me?!

  • Guards! Bring me the forms I need to fill out to have her taken away!
  • Yes! In your face, Gandhi!

The 30% Iron Chef

Yes, if you make it look like an electrical fire. When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all. I guess because my parents keep telling me to be more ladylike. As though! That could be ‘my’ beautiful soul sitting naked on a couch. If I could just learn to play this stupid thing.

The Why of Fry

For one beautiful night I knew what it was like to be a grandmother. Subjugated, yet honored. Say what? Who said that? SURE you can die! You want to die?! I can explain. It’s very valuable.

  1. I never loved you.
  2. Bender, you risked your life to save me!
  3. You wouldn’t. Ask anyway!
  4. You know, I was God once.
Less Than Hero

You wouldn’t. Ask anyway! Man, I’m sore all over. I feel like I just went ten rounds with mighty Thor. Okay, I like a challenge. Man, I’m sore all over. I feel like I just went ten rounds with mighty Thor. All I want is to be a monkey of moderate intelligence who wears a suit… that’s why I’m transferring to business school! You wouldn’t. Ask anyway!

A gift for those with the courage to stand apart

[aesop_image img=”http://brainyfeet.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/teaching.jpg” imgwidth=”100%” credit=”Bob” align=”left” captionposition=”left” lightbox=”off”]If you live in the USA, today is Memorial Day.

[aesop_content color=”#3a3a3a” background=”#affeec” width=”100%” columns=”2″ position=”left” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” floaterposition=”right” floaterdirection=”up”]

This is a day set aside to honor all of the brave men and women who have fought to protect & preserve American ideals. Today is a day to set aside our political leanings and opinions about which wars we should or shouldn’t be involved in.

On this day we say a collective “thank you” for the sacrifices these people have made.

I also want to thank a different kind of warrior.

In today’s world it takes a special kind of courage to stand apart.

There are far too many people who knowingly chose the chains they wear.

Too many people staying silent in the face of injustice to avoid ridicule or rejection.

Too many people who are complicit in their own oppression.

So, I want to take the time to honor those among us who dare to stand apart.

This is for those who speak out with a dissenting opinion (even opinions with which I don’t agree).

This is for the people who refuse to live the flavorless, pre-packaged life that was expected of them.

This is for those brave individuals who dare to actually exercise the freedom others have fought so bravely to secure.

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[aesop_quote width=”100%” background=”#282828″ text=”#ffffff” align=”center” size=”2″ parallax=”off” direction=”up” quote=”My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular. ” cite=”- Adlai E. Stevenson”]

Those who have the courage to boldly live a life of liberty and independence honor the fallen with their very breath and their revolutionary demand for individual sovereignty.

Where does courage come from?

I have another important message.

This one is for you if you’re reading this on the last day of this long weekend and dreading going to work tomorrow while dreaming about being a freedom-fighter someday.

I know you & I love you. Do you know why? Because you…and the growing number of people like you…are the walking, breathing definition of hope.

Hope keeps us all moving forward despite obstacles and distractions and disappointment. Hope persists.

But hoping is not doing. So, how then do you get that life of liberty and independence? Here’s the big secret:

Just start.

Start with anything.  Start by looking at what others are doing. Start by defining the life you want. Start by acknowledging your fears and doing it anyway.

Bran thought about it. ‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’
‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Start by simply making the decision that this will be your path.

As a reminder, I made this desktop wallpaper as my gift to you.

Begin your journey. It will set you free.

Click to download the wallpaper.

Start your journey…tomorrow!

Your ideas are no longer out of reachThe Idea Finding Course: Release your inner innovator  starts tomorrow!  This class will take you through four-weeks of journey starting, self-finding, business defining and sovereignty claiming.  

I would be honored for you to trust me to be your guide on this journey. Click here to learn all about the class and how to register.

But don’t dawdle! Registration will close tonight at midnight eastern time. 

Is your business idea just out of reach?

I hear this all the time from would-be entrepreneurs:

“How do I figure out what business I should start!?”

For years, I’ve helped amazing people find the answer to this question.

I taught them how to build a business they love that allows them to live a life they love.

Until today, that kind of guidance was only available to my one-on-one clients.

Not anymore.

Your ideas are no longer out of reach!

Today, the Idea-Finding Course is open for enrollment!

Eventbrite - The Idea-Finding Course: Releasing your inner innovator
Read more about the class

 The Idea-Finding course is made especially for…

  • Would-be entrepreneurs who are stuck in the idea phase or who are stalled out there & on the verge of giving up
  • Moms & dads who want to create a home-based income so they can spend more time on the stuff that matters
  • Non-profit & community organization leaders who are faced with a serious need to get creativelike now
  • Coaches and other support professionals whose businesses are continuously evolving and in need of fresh ideas
  • Anyone who’s ready to stop wishing for a better, more fulfilling life and ready to actually take the steps that will get them there.

After taking this class, you *will* have the confidence & clarity of purpose you need to build that life you’ve imagined.

Read more about the class or
Eventbrite - The Idea-Finding Course: Releasing your inner innovator

 

The four essential elements of your right idea + a free download

When you put yourself out there as the right person for a job, the right people will always take notice.

When I put myself out there as someone who can help build a life you love by building a business you love, I expected to have a few people sending me “can you help me start this business?” type emails. And I do get quite a bit of those.

But I also get a whole lot of something harder.

I get a lot of this…

so want a simpler life where I can do work I love and feel like I’m the one in control of where I spend my time & energy. I want my life to be about the things I care about. But I don’t know what to do!  I have no idea how to find the right business for me. I don’t know what kind of business I could start that I would love. Can you help me?!

Can we have a group hug of genuine empathy?!

That space is so.hard.  When you know that you want a different life, but you can’t quite define or describe that different life….yeah that.  It’s like psychologically and emotionally gasping for air.

If you’re there or you’ve been there, you know. It plays tricks with your psyche in so many tortuous ways.  And this is all you want to hear…

I can help!

First. Breathe. Don’t panic. Don’t rush this.

I know it feels like there’s no air in the room, but I assure you there is. Close your eyes & take a deep breath to remind yourself of that whenever you need to.

You don’t want to rush this because you don’t want to build this amazing, ideal life you’ve envisioned on top of something that simply can’t support it.  You want to build it on top of the right business for you.

You don’t need a bright idea. You need the right idea.

The right idea will lead you to a business that is sustainable, evolvable, compelling and transformative….for you.

No wonder this is so hard!

I want to give you a shortcut.

The four essential elements of your right idea.

(Click on the poster to see it full size!)

The right idea doesn’t have to be brand new and innovative.

You don’t have to re-invent the wheel to re-invent your life. You just have to find the thing that combines these four essential elements in a way that makes your heart sing and your brain buzz with possibilities.

The poster is a great start, but if you want to get serious about this idea-finding thing, you want the free companion workbook.

Go get your workbook!

Click the image to get your free workbook!

I don’t often make promises

The work I do doesn’t lend itself to many guarantees or promises. Everyone’s experiences and outcomes are different. For example, I can’t promise that your right idea will come shooting out of your brain today or tomorrow.

But, I will promise you this:

If you hear me out, I can turn that suffocating feeling of hope peppered with utter confusion into possibility, clarity, freedom, and momentum.

I’ll even go out on a limb and make one more promise.

I promise, when you find that thing you’re searching for, you’ll discover it’s been inside you all along.  

It always is. It always surprises people. There are always tears. But it’s there. I promise.

Go ahead, download your workbook.  Let’s start moving forward.

Your words of wisdom are welcome!

If you’re in that airless place, I’d love to read your comments about that. And if you’ve been there before, I’m sure everyone who is there now, would love to hear your words of wisdom.  Please feel free to reach out to each other…and to me…in the comments below.

Why you suck at goal-setting and why you should do it anyway.

Goal-setting sucks! How the hell am I supposed to know what I want three years from now?! I don’t even know what the world will look like then!

I hear these words so, so often from my wonderfully amazing and oh-so-talented clients. Ahh….the love.  

And ya know what? They’re right.

Kinda.

Nope, you don’t know what the world will look like in three years…or one…or even in 6 months. Neither do I.

But that doesn’t mean goal-setting sucks.  It means you’re doin’ it wrong.

You suck at goal-setting.

You see, we tend to think of setting a goal…starting a business…living that life we love…as a finite thing.  Something with a beginning and an end.

Oh, but the only thing finite about life is the end. Like…the real end.  Until then, your life is anything but finite.

It’s an organic, dynamic, ever-changing journey. With moving destinations that evolve and improve over time.

You Horizon Changes

Let me explain.

<<  Imagine you’re here.

From here you can clearly see that you want to go over there….to that hill with the tree.

The shade, the apples, the cool green grass.

The land of Overthere is clearly a nicer place than the land of Overhere.

So, you head out on your journey.

You’re happy, motivated, focused and so excited as you travel and imagine what life will be like in the beautiful Overthere.

Finally, you reach the top of the hill, only steps from your beautiful amazing tree.

You take a deep, satisfied breath and glance out over the horizon.

And your heart sinks.

<< You can now see a new horizon.

From here, you can see Thatplace. And it makes your tree in Overthere seem pretty small and petty.

Thatplace is amazing and oh…wow! You never even knew a place like that existed!

Annndddd…

You start to feel shitty about being in Overthere, when Thatplace is clearly so superior.

You start to doubt your abilities. You feel overwhelmed that there is so much traveling still to do.

And you can’t even see the path to Thatplace. 

You are a failure.

I have some special, encouraging words that I share with clients who find themselves in this no-good, awful place.

Are you fucking kidding me?!

Turn around. No, really…turn the fuck around and look at the miles and miles of treacherous landscape behind you.

Not too long ago, you were stuck in that awful place that you can barely see from this beautiful hill you’re standing on today.

You did that.  You saw this place you wanted to be and you started walking toward it.

You are not a failure.

You’re sitting here, right now in the shade, on the cool grass, eating an apple.  This is beautiful!!

The only thing that changed is your horizon.

Today, enjoy the place where you are. Acknowledge the achievement of the progress you’ve made.

Relax and breathe. This is an amazing place. And you came here. On purpose.

You can now see where tomorrow’s journey will take you.  That is also a wonderful gift.

Enjoy dreaming about the new place. Have fun planning the journey. And, when you’re ready, start walking toward Thatplace.

But rest assured, when you reach the top of that hill, your horizon will change again.

The Life Cycle for Revolutionaries

You want a different life. You want to live in a world of your own design.

You and your business are both evolving. All the time. Always. In every way.

This r-evolution happens in cycles. 

The only way to not live within this cycle is to sit still and never change.

But that’s not you. Ohellno.

You are a R-Evolutionary.

Here’s how it works:

Awakening

Every evolution starts here. It begins with a yearning or unease with the current situation and a feeling of untapped potentiality.

Designing

Awakening leads to designing.  This is where problem-solving & innovation happen. You begin imagining, dreaming, idea finding and idea sifting.

Building

Once an idea takes hold, then comes building.  Things really start to happen here, like creating, planning, defining and researching, clarifying.

Functioning

Here you’re rockin’ & rollin’. Putting all of those plans into action. Generally getting shit done. Making money. Taking names. Loving life. Everything seems to roll toward you.

When we set out, we tend to think of this place as our destination. This is where we’ll find our groove and life fulfillment will have been achieved.  And that’s true…sort of.

Because you’re an evolutionary, revolutionary being…you won’t stay there. No matter how amazing it felt to get there.

Growing

All of that rockin’ and rollin’ will inevitably lead you to dream of bigger things. The bar gets raised.  You’re horizon changes.  The definition of your “ideal life” evolves. And so the cycle continues…

Rinse & Repeat

Growth will always lead you into new awakenings. Which means you get to repeat the cycle. You’ll redefine and reframe your amazing work and your amazing life 100x over…at least.

The best part is every time you repeat the cycle, it gets easier. You get better at the process. You get more clarity each time around.

You begin realize that life fulfillment is to be found in every single step along the way.

 

Why the future belongs to the freaks…like you.

Two weeks ago, I launched the Big Idea Machine.  Then, I stopped.

I didn’t stop because I don’t want you to have the Big Idea Machine (because I really, really do want you to have it).  No, I stopped because I had an epiphany. This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill epiphany, either.

It came to me under fire of the gods.

Okay, maybe not the gods, but it came during six hours of non-stop tornado warnings and sitings and at least four choked up weather reporters saying “go hunker down now.”

It flowed from my fingers, through the keyboard and onto the screen like electricity…while I was sitting on the hallway floor with two five year olds in my lap and a mattress over my head.

This was the thing that would make the entire Ideation Series the wholly accessible and useful and life-transformational experience I’d been trying to puzzle together for months.

By the end of the night, I was numb. And tingly. And spent.

I decided to pause the Big Idea Machine roll-out and just sit with this newness over the weekend. By Monday I was still psyched and anxious to pour my soul into getting her ready for the world.

But that’s not what happened.

It was as if I was adding a new room to a house and the foundation started to shift and moan. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but some part of it felt all wrong.

It wasn’t the new thing. No, that is solid and totally right (and I promise I’ll tell you all about it in good time).

This went deeper.  This went to the core of my being, my purpose.

I tell each and every one of my clients to start with a solid foundation…to know your purpose…that thing you want to change about the world.

Your purpose is your home.

I also teach my clients that your purpose is your home-base. When it all gets to feeling too much, your purpose is where you go to recharge your adrenaline and reignite your passion.

So that’s what I did.

I found a very different kind of epiphany waiting there. This was nothing like the tornado epiphany. This one was more like a long-overdue earthquake. It was quiet, relentless, powerful and inevitable.

It came in two simple words.

It’s time.

I get a lump in my throat and puddles in my eyes  just reading those two tiny words, because I know it’s true.

It’s time to stop dancing around my purpose. It’s time to carry this banner high and proudly.

It’s time to actually write and publish the book I’ve written 1000 times in my head and in my heart and in my dreams over the last five years.

It’s time to step up on my soapbox, burn a few bridges, ruffle a few feathers and multiple other idioms I can’t think of right now.

After I had this epiphany, the fabulous Fabeku asked his Facebook family how things were shakin’ and I answered:

Today I’m swimming in the sea of possibilities and at the moment, I’ve totally lost sight of the shoreline. But equilibrium is over-rated. There’s new things to be discovered out here in the deep.

He responded in kind with his own two words, “HELL. YEAH.”

And he’s right.

When you’re on the right path the epiphanies come at a dizzying pace, which in turn, make you question your path. It’s scary and exciting and nauseating and wonderful all at the same time.

Like I said though, it’s time.

Today, I’m officially announcing a movement with the longest, leading-up-to story ever written.

The story is meant to tell you that I have no choice in the matter. This is the stuff that needs to be said. This is the fire I need to light. Right now.

Today, I’m asking each and every one of you to join me in the Co-Mutiny.

You can read more about it and join here.

But it’s is, admittedly, a sizzle.  It doesn’t tell you what the Co-Mutiny is.

First, I want you to know what it’s about.

I want to assemble everyone I can touch with this message.  I do have ideas (and plans in action) for where the Co-Mutiny can go…what it can and will become.

But I don’t want to do any of that in a vacuum.  Not with this. This is too big. This is too important.

So, today, I’m asking you to internalize the message, join us and spread the word.

That’s it.

This isn’t about me building a mailing list of people to sell stuff to.  No. Not this list.  This is to be the list of gamechangers. This is the list of the people I most want to talk to, share coffee with. We will problem-solve and instigate together.

This is about ideas and freedom and designing a better way.

It’s about creating a world where our children never have to unlearn limiting beliefs because they were never infected with them to begin with.

It’s about building a system of support, respect and acknowledgement for individuality and micro-entrepreneurs.

It’s about the understanding that you don’t have to take on the burden of changing the entire world to make it a better place.

It’s about knowing that the ripples you made yesterday are having an impact on at least fifty people today…no matter how small those ripples are.

It’s about your quiet, noble refusal to live or raise your children within a fabricated, manufactured reality.

By joining the Co-Mutiny we are linking arms, lending courage to each other for the strength to stand against this world that demands complexity and co-dependence and we’re simply, unapologetically reclaiming dignity by stepping into our own personal sovereignty.

Please join me.

Together we can open new eyes everyday.
Together, we can change the world.

Here’s what you can do now:

1) Go to the Co-Mutiny page and enter your name & email address to join.

2) Leave a comment here or a response on your own blog explaining what the Co-Mutiny means to you — or on Facebook by checking “post to Facebook” in the comment box below.

If you do blog it, come back here and post a link to your blog post in the comments below.

3) Add the badge to your article or your website’s sidebar.

Copy and paste this code:
<a href="http://brainyfeet.com/co-mutiny/"><img src="http://brainyfeet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/comutiny.png" title="The future belongs to the freaks. Join the Co-Mutiny."></a>

How I feel about it…

On occasion, I have stuff to say that doesn’t require a lot of explanation. And, sometimes, I miss being a graphic designer.  This is what happens when those occasions converge.

Please feel free to comment, share, pin and enjoy!   XOXO ~ Larah

Turn your love for dogs into a life you love. A dozen dog business ideas with resources to get you thinking.

This is the second post in a series about ways to earn an income doing work you love. I’d love to write one about your passion…just send an email and tell me what you love.

Last month, we rescued a puppy.

It was not the smart thing to do.

We have the world’s most awesome dog already. And at 18 months, Olive is still a puppy herself.  We also have two girls that just turned five. We’re remodeling the home we live in, and we’re still getting acclimated to a new town.

No, it wasn’t the smartest thing we could do.  But it was the only thing we could do. Our hearts didn’t care about the practicalities.  He chose us. We just brought Jack home. With us. Where he belonged.

If you’re a dog lover, you get it.

If you’re a dog lover, you totally get what I’m talking about.

The history of domestic dogs tells us that most likely humans didn’t actually domesticate them. We never taught wild dogs to work, hunt and live with us.

Dogs chose us.*

Dogs domesticated themselves. Dogs adapted themselves to our routines and our lives. They are the ones that created this centuries-long partnership…this bond between man & dog.  Not us.

For centuries, we have evolved together…dogs & humans. We’re connected.

Our development, our histories and our survival are intricately intertwined. We would not have become what we are without them. They would not have become what they are without us. This is a symbiotic relationship.

It’s no wonder so many people are utterly committed to dogs.

You can dedicate your life’s work to your love of dogs. You can create a business that you love with every fiber of your being.  Below are one dozen ways to go about it.

The Awesomely Obvious Ideas

Dog Sitting

Dogs don’t like to be alone. Dog mommies and daddies don’t like to leave their sweet babies alone all day while they’re at work. You can watch dogs occasionally when their owners are working or traveling. As a dog sitter, your job is to ensure the dog or dogs you’re keeping are getting the food, water, exercise, playtime and all the cuddles.

Dog Sitting is great for dogs who need a place to stay, but don’t like to hang around other dogs.  But some dogs LOVE to play with other dogs and rarely get a chance to do so.  Sooo….

You can give those dogs what they want and start a Doggie Daycare…which is essentially a full service day care center and spa…for dogs…in one building.  Just like with your kids’ day care, most  doggie daycare centers offer socialization with other dogs, meals, snacks, playtime, teaching time and nap time.  Most of these facilities also offer boarding for overnight or extended stays, and many of them offer grooming services too.

Here are some fantastic examples of dog sitting/doggie daycare services:

Tails by the Bay Dog Camp is a fun, play-hard, sleep-hard doggie resort in Homer, Alaska.

Sleepover Rover is a regional, online service & directory for people who need to find a pet sitter and people who want to pet sit.

Puppy Socialization, Dog Training or Dog Behaviorist

There are three business ideas here. You may want to specialize in one of these areas or you could offer all three.

A Puppy Socialization Expert is less about training and more about giving puppies and opportunity to play with other dogs. You’ll also spend quite a bit of time teaching new dog owners about things like house training, crate training, choosing the right food and how to not end up with a closet full of chewed up shoes. And teaching kids how to play their new puppies without either of them getting hurt.

Puppy Socialization expert can market their services through all the places where people get or research puppies like breeders, dog rescues and dog shows. You could even sell the services directly to the breeder. They get the reassurance that the new dog owner will know how to welcome this puppy into their home and they can pass on the cost of your services to the new dog owner.

It’s totally obvious that we have a puppy in the house, isn’t it?

A Dog Trainer is as much a people trainer as they are a dog trainer. Dog trainers offer classes and private instruction to new dog owners.  You can teach dogs (and their people) anything from basic obedience & leash skills to helping skills, circus tricks, skijourning, and agility.

A Dog Behaviorist takes training a step further and helps families solve the behavior problems.  Aggressiveness, incessant barking, snapping, peeing in the house, digging, chasing cars…there are countless issues that make a dog’s and dog owner’s life more stressful and less enjoyable. Many times, if these issues are unresolved, the dog will end up scheduled for d-day in a pound.  So, a dog behaviorist is often a last ditch effort to literally safe a dog’s life.

Dog Walking

Dogs need to be walked. They have a need for playtime and biology breaks.  An unwalked, unexercised dog is an unhappy dog. And an unhappy dog will eventually start displaying behavioral issues.

But people are busy or they work an hour and a half from home or they’re physically unable to walk their dogs.  A good, affordable and loveble dog walker can fly in and safe the day!

Think about the numbers: Say you’re a dog walker charging $40 a week per dog. You can walk up to six dogs at a time. So, you hit one apartment building, gather all the dogs, walk them for an hour and get them all back home with a bowl of fresh water.  In less than two hours, you’ve made $240. You can do that twice a day…or 3 times a day if you want to work full time. A morning walk, an afternoon walk and an evening walk. That money adds up. And the best part is you get super fit while playing with dogs all day.

If you want to learn more about becoming a dog walker, check out the  Professional Dog Walkers Association International (isn’t it awesome that that’s a real thing!?).

All of the Above

All of those ideas can be housed under the same roof.  That doesn’t mean you have to do them all.  Find the one thing you love and do that. Then partner with other people who are doing the thing they love. Create one stop resource providing loving, valuable additional services to your dog owners in your community.

Uncommonly Cool Ideas

Gourmet Dog Treats

Did you know you can combine your love for cooking with your love for dogs and have the best of both worlds!?!  You’re a doggie chef!

There’s no end to the different ways you can make money cooking for dogs.  Some independent dog chefs, like Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods,  make natural, organic, raw dog food…and even deliver it to their customers’ homes.

Then there’s the licensed dog-crack dealers called Yummy Chummies. They make one awesome dog treat (and yes, it’s seriously like crack for dogs) and distribute it to local or regional stores.

Another variation on this theme is Chelsey Homan’s totally fun, Doggy Decadents. She makes beautiful, fancy all natural dog treats and sell them directly to dog foodies through a treat-of-the-month club + distribute them to local & regional shops.

Poop Scooper

You might thing this is just nasty, but this can be hero’s work.  Sometimes this service can make the difference between a family deciding whether to keeping or getting rid of a dog.

It’s also lucrative.

Mission Driven Suggestion. If dog-friendly rentals are as rare in your area as they are in mine, your poop scooping business can contact property management companies and landlords. Suggest a deal: They raise the rent $50 for dogs and pass that increase on to you. In return, you clean the yard bi-weekly or monthly. You can even offer to help the tenants house-train their dogs…or partner with a dog behaviorist to do that.  If any waste related damage exceeds the tenant’s pet deposit, you offer to cover the difference in your contract (up to a reasonable, agreed upon amount).

I firmly believe that if more poop scooping, dog training or dog walking businesses did this, there would be noticeably less dogs ending up in shelters. You would be saving dog’s lives!!

That’s hero’s work.

Dog Event Producer

People love their dogs. After working most of the day, dog owners want to exercise and socialize too. But they also want to spend time with their dogs.  A dog event producer could organize weekly play dates and dog jogs, hikes and field days with prizes for frisbee, fetch, and agility. Dog owners love to meet other dog owners. Dogs love to play with other dogs.

Serious social media, a great website, an email announcement list and some business cards would cover your marketing needs. You could sell memberships that include attendance at events and sell tickets to events for non-members. You could even sell merchandise with your logo for the dogs and their parents.

I thought for sure this already exists out there in the world…but when I did a search for it, all I could find is posh, pink websites talking about throwing birthday parties for dogs. So, this is officially on my Otter List (as in, “somebody otter.”   If this sounds like something you’d love to do, contact me! I’d love to be a part of that planning process!

Pet Photography

Dog doting is not a fad that’s going to go away. And the truth is even the world’s most loved dog will only be a part of our life for a short time. Your snapshots capture the memories you’re creating with your dog. But great photos preserve the emotion & the personality of your dog in a way nothing else can.

As a pet photographer, you can schedule studio time & photo shoots. But, you can also be proactive. Go to the dog park on a beautiful day. Go to the agility competitions and dog shows. Go to the dog jog. Take beautiful pictures, give people a biz card with your website address where they can look for (and buy) their pics online.

Take full advantage of social media by sharing lower resolution, watermarked proofs of your best photos on Facebook and Pinterest. In Facebook, post a link to the album on the event page or on the event organizers page. Don’t forget to allow people to tag themselves in your pics.

If you’re taking great pictures, people will take notice….and they’ll share them with others.  Seth Casteel of Little Friends Photos is a perfect example. Check out this article about the huge surge in business he experienced when his unbelievable underwater dog photos went viral…literally overnight.

Working together for a better world

The following business ideas are typically run as non-profits. But non-profit doesn’t mean non-income. If your heart pulls you here, you can definitely structure your program to allow you to earn a living.

Train Assistance Dogs

If you have a natural talent for training dogs, this work can have a profound impact on everyone it touches. Assistance dogs provide a specific service to their handlers and have an immeasurable impact on their quality of life by giving them a sense of freedom and independence.  There are guide dogs for the blind and the visually impaired, hearing dogs for the deaf and hard of hearing and service dogs for people with other disabilities.

For more information about training assistance dogs, check out the incredible resources on the Assistance Dogs International website.

Run a Therapy Dog Program

A therapy dog is trained to be comforting and affectionate to people of all ages in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and disaster relief areas.  The simple act of petting and hugging a dog can have a transformative affect on people in solitary or stressful situations.

A great example of a successful and thriving therapy dog program is Florida’s Canine Assisted Therapy.  If you’re considering creatinga dog therapy program, a couple of  your first steps should be to check out Therapy Dog International and the America Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Program.

Be a super hero

Volunteer for your local Humane Society. They need people to socialize with the animals, walk the dogs & play with them. Donate dog food or blankets or toys. Foster for the no-kill shelters. Adopt an adult dog. Spay & neuter your dogs….even your full blooded dogs. You’re not a breeder. You’re a pet owner. There are so many dogs out there without homes already.  If you own a dog business, donate some of your services to a shelter. Bathe the dogs, take their photos, walk them, teach them some basic manners…anything you can do to help them find a home.

Just the beginning

These twelve business ideas…over 2000 words…are just the tip of the iceberg. I could easily write an equally long Dog Business Ideas, Part 2.   There are literally hundreds and hundreds of ways to earn a living while honoring your love for dogs. If this is the life you want, but none of these ideas quite fit the bill, let’s set up a time to chat about that.

I want to hear your heart

Leave a comment below. I want to know about your love for dogs, the dog business you’re starting or the coolest dog business idea I left out. Mostly, I just want to hear from you. I want to hear your heart.

Keep moving!!

After reading this, your heart may settle on the perfect dog business for you. That’s fabulous!!! Now, keep moving while the force adrenaline is strong within you.  Schedule a flash session to solidify your idea, or get some 1:1 business building advising or go all in and claim one of the few, much-coveted seats in the next Self-Made Business Academy Three-Day Build.

This is the second post in a series about ways to earn an income doing work you love. Here’s a link to the first post in the series, Seven home-based food business ideas you probably haven’t considered yet.   I’d love to write one about your passion…just send an email and tell me what you love.

Additional Resources

My Pet Business is an incredibly comprehensive resource for starting a pet business.

The Business section of the Doggington Post.

Find & support your local no-kill shelters at the No-Kill Network.

*Dogs chose us.

This fantastic documentary is for anyone who loves dogs or has a dog…or is a human. I put this at the end of the post because I wanted you to read the whole post AND I want you to watch this whole video. I promise, it will enrich your life.

There is so much research out there that validates a legitimate, centuries-old symbiosis between humans and dogs. So, don’t ever let anyone tell you that your decision to commit your life to this amazing animal is small or futile or silly.

http://youtu.be/EibCPQJleL4

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