At this very moment, I am feeling so grateful that I persevered through many hardships and obstacles in order to become a skilled dog groomer. I remember when I first started grooming I encountered a dog that literally made my knees shake. Every time she was on the schedule I would know about it a day or two before, and it would make me feel anxious and nervous all night. It was a little Cockapoo named Muffin! She was the first of very many tests and challenges that made me think about quitting. I tell the story of Muffin in one of our earlier YouTube vides about a minute into the video:
Fear tries to stop us from going for what we really want in life, but when we begin to face our fears life will begin to take on a whole new meaning. The fear of failing. The fear of what others will say about you… if you’re successful… if you fail. The fear of being hurt or seriously injured. I remember staying up many nights very late trying to find other opportunities on job sites online. I thought about going back into the car business, but I hated that! I had offers to go back to the corporate world, but every time there was a real offer on the table something kept me from quitting. I loved it so much that I hated it, and I’m sure other artists can relate to that statement. There was even a point where it was such a financial burden on my family that I asked my best friend who works at Honda Manufacturing to set up an interview with his supervisor. It was a cush office job with starting pay at $25/hr with great benefits for my family and I. It sounded like heaven compared to the shabby house that we were living in and grooming out of – there were many days where the fridge would be completely empty. We would take our girls to the community garden and fill shopping bags full of vegetables while the girls watered the plots of land.
I remember one day my wife and daughters were outside pulling weeds to make the front more presentable for our clients. She came in yelling, “Hunnie, you have to see this!” She ran into the groom room, the den that we worked out of, holding a little plant attached to an acorn. She said, “Look, I thought it was a weed! It’s a…” “Tree!”, I interrupted in excitement! “It’s a freaking tree! An oak tree, what else would you call it??” Even though it’s only a sapling, and it blends in with the weeds, it’s still an oak tree. I think that true artists are that way. They persevere no matter what in the pursuit of their passion. They express themselves through their art form because they must, just like the sun must shine because it is a star. Although it is easy to overlook them early on in their career because they blend in with the weeds, just give it time and like an oak tree they will eventually tower over the weeds. I am not saying that I am towering over anything, but just give me some more time. I am an oak tree, and so are you.
Tonight I am so grateful, and I feel so appreciated 🙂 The YouTube channel that we started 3 years ago in hopes of helping people with dog grooming issues has over 4K subscribers and it is growing everyday. We consistently have over 3,500 views per day, which is over 150 views per hour. That’s just mind blowing to me! I’m the most grateful and surprised dog groomer you’ll ever meet 🙂 I’m feeling particularly happy because of all the encouraging and positive comments that I constantly receive. I am so happy that people find the videos that my wife and I created helpful and practical in their personal grooming experiences. To think that I was tempted to quit so many times, and not just from my own self-doubts but from others as well. Sometimes the most critical and hurtful statements come from those you love and care about the most. I believe that it’s because they matter to us that much.
My intention for writing this tonight is to help anyone who may be struggling with both tough circumstances and overwhelming self-doubt. If you have a passion and a dream that you are pursuing, please don’t give up. No matter how hard the situation. No matter what others may think or say. Please continue to do your best in the pursuit of happiness. I believe that our inalienable human rights are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” Thomas Jefferson. We are entitled to life, and liberty, and most importantly the pursuit of happiness. Do not give up on your dreams. “Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful” Steve Green.