If you love animals and believe that you can help improve their lives, you already count with one of the key elements of success in an animal-related business or career!
Love is the compass that leads us to that special place where all our efforts make sense. Passion is the fuel that pushes us to expand the limits of our comfort zone and go after our dreams. So, when our actions do not align with our passions, we know it’s time for a change!
When we pursue the things that interest us or that we love doing, we can significantly transform and enrich our lives as well as others’. This does not only give meaning to our work, but it also delivers value to those who benefit from it, which often translates into receiving money in exchange for our work.
So, does that mean that you will become rich by following your dreams? Well, that is up to you and it depends mainly on what you think money is.
Money, money, money
Money is a construct that relies on an agreement between parties. So, money never comes on its own, it needs an exchange to happen in order for it to become “real”.
What does this mean? It means that our needs are that which we are willing to exchange our money for. Food, housing, care, help, company, support, as well as other tangible goods and intangible services, can be a “real” solution to our material and spiritual needs.
When you help others satisfy a need, money can be the value that those who benefit from your solutions and efforts will offer in exchange. Money is not inherently good or bad; it is just a matter of what you do in order to get it, and how you choose to make use of it, once you obtain it.
So, if you love animals and are willing to invest your time and energy at improving their lives, you are a valuable asset to any animal-related job, no matter your skills or experience.
Earning value, when money is not the answer
Earning money is not a unicorn for somebody interested in embarking in the rewarding journey of working in the pet industry. However, money is not always the driving force that encourages someone to work hard. Many animal welfare organizations that rely on volunteers to achieve their mission are a perfect example of how people provide their services based on motivational factors different than money.
We all need help at some point in our lives, so by taking care of others, we also take care of ourselves. As bartering was used by early civilizations as a means of acquiring goods and services, exchanging help continues to be a natural way to obtain mutual benefits.
Achieving a goal implies investing time and effort. So, help is often the value traded between parties when they exchange skills and put them at the service of their objectives. By doing this, they are bringing together resources and creating a synergy of actions to amplify results. Hence, the interest for volunteering is rooted not only in the idea of achieving a common goal, but also in attaining a sense of personal fulfillment by each party involved.
The reason why people are motivated to lend their talents, skills, time, and energy to projects, without getting money in return, can be different. Contributing to making a difference in the lives of others results in personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment, making it indeed a meaningful and rewarding experience.
Sometimes the incentive lies in becoming a part of a social network to meet new people with similar interests or enjoy working in a positive environment. Shared values are a powerful motivator for joining a mission that represents the volunteers’ principles and beliefs. Even when motivation is deeply rooted in the altruistic spirit, selflessly serving others will translate into benefits like personal development and recognition.
Building a business, one skill at a time
There are plenty of animal-related positions in which you can earn money, or get rewarded in other ways if money is not on your list of motivations. You can jump into a job in the pet industry with some basic preparation and obtain a decent salary, or you can unleash your entrepreneurial spirit and create your own opportunity.
If the idea of having your own business in this field has been buzzing around in your head, this is the best time to do it! Contrary to what some may think, you do not need a big investment to become your own boss. For example, a dog walking service does not demand too much startup capital, other than the understanding of basic safety rules, and the eagerness to enjoy spending time outdoors in the company of pets.“Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it.” - George Bernard Shaw Click To Tweet
All you need to get started is motivation and a little preparation. As you grow your skillset, gain experience and your customer base expands, you can build your business and brand, which will continuously evolve along the way.
Begin by acquiring basic knowledge and never stop learning.
Choose online programs that allow you to quickly learn skills that are basic to perform your job, and develop your career long-term with business training and continuing education.
Volunteer to practice your new skills and meet people already working in the field.
Practice will help you gain experience, build relationships within your community, and meet partners or future clients. Helping others might help you discover needs that you can satisfy with your product or service, and find creative ways to become self-employed.
Build your customer base and your online presence simultaneously.
Your clients and prospects need to find what makes your business different, also known as your “unique selling point”. So, make sure that your message and business image reflect your competitive advantage. Get an online presence and build authority from day one, using digital tools to improve, diversify, and add value to your offer.
Connect with others, establish relationships, and promote your business 24/7
Get to know your clients and prospects, and engage them with your message, so your mission can not only bring you your desired returns, but also inspire others to create and promote positive change.
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