5 Shifts You Have to Make in Order to Become a Successful Dog Trainer

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Assumption: You need a facility before you can earn 6 figures

People think they need to be something or somewhere specific to hit that 6-figure mark. They wait until they can have a facility, then they think that’s when they can gain 6 figures. It is a common misconception that you can’t hit 6 figures without having a facility to hold classes, do boarding training, and all that fun stuff. In reality, there are many trainers out there that don’t have a facility with all of that overhead. They are making 6 figures mainly because of how they structured their services or identified who their ideal clients are.

You have to give yourself permission to believe that you can do what you want right where you are now, through the skills that you have now. You can absolutely make it happen.

Assumption: You have to work a ton in order to make 6 figures as a dog trainer

I think a lot of trainers believe that they have to work as much as 60 hours a week between handling clients and doing all the administrative work. You feel like you need a 60-hour weekly workload in order to make a really great income, and that is absolutely not true. This train of thought is common in this industry and there are ways out of it.

It goes without saying that a greater income will allow you to hire out some of the tasks you have and bring people in to work for you so you can have more time in your day. But you don’t have to work with a ton of people. You don’t have to burn so many hours to hit 6 figures. This kind of thinking will overwhelm you, and make you think that having 6 figures is a very long shot because you will need a ton of clients; or work a ton of hours either walking dogs, day training, private lessons, or running classes. Yes, you enjoy what you do but you will soon feel exhausted.

Assumption: You need to have a huge referral network to become a 6-figure dog trainer

It is super convenient to have referrals. But you don’t have to wait until all the vets refer to you, or all your clients refer to you. You can achieve this milestone without waiting on these referrals, because your bills won’t wait with you. Sure, it’s awesome to build a referral system as you go but do not make it your sole source of business. You do not need a huge referral network in order to be a 6-figure dog trainer, so be careful if this is something you have been hanging on to.

Personally, I don’t like waiting around. I like to be in control of my business, making sure that things happen and move forward. Outside of referrals, there are other things you can be doing to grow your business such as social media marketing, organic strategies that don’t rely on ads, or don’t rely on referrals will be really, really important so that you can grow your business how you want and when you want, right? You don’t have to wait 6 months to see those numbers.

Assumption: You have to work during weekends or evenings

A lot of people are coming to my programs saying “My clients only ever take classes on Saturday” or “They are only available in the evenings for lessons”. You assume that’s the only way it’s going to be, or that is the way it has to be. In reality, there’s a lot of things or services you can offer during the day that will reduce your hours in the evenings and weekends.

Just think about your doctor or your attorney. People will take time off to accommodate these professionals’ schedules. Take yourself as seriously as you would an attorney or a doctor. Make your hours what you want them to be instead of what you think they have to be.

Assumption: You have to offer boarding and training to become a 6-figure dog trainer

There’s no doubt that boarding and training make a lot of money. It’s one of the ways that allow people to hit 6 figures, but it is not necessary to hit 6 figures. I personally have done a few board and trains over the years and it’s a lot of work unless you have a separate facility already. If you have them in your home it is a ton of work. It’s basically like training for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 14 or 21 days in a row because there’s a new dog in the house and your own family has to accommodate them, too.

The dogs may also be displaying other types of behaviors that you did not expect to work on. It is a lot of work and commitment. So if you don’t like it, don’t offer it. You can absolutely hit 6 figures in other ways, it’s just completely up to you and your business. I don’t ever want you to work you don’t enjoy doing because that is going to burn you out. If you don’t like classes, don’t offer classes. If you don’t like board and trains, then don’t offer board and trains. If you don’t like day training, don’t offer day training. I’m all about making sure that you are building a business that you enjoy being in and operating because that matters.

The longer you are happy in your business, the longer you’ll be able to do it. Then, the more people and dogs you are able to help because of it. Be careful of the assumptions that you are making about how your training business is supposed to be done or run based off of what other people are doing with theirs. Think about what you can do to hit those financial goals, those income goals by doing what you like doing.


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