Thankful for you — every day of the year

thanks

Thanksgiving Day is a day off for most of us, but for many of you who own pet care businesses, it marks the beginning of one of the busiest weekends of the year.  

Which brings me to my thought and message for the beginning of the holiday season.

This year my family did something very different for Thanksgiving.  We all (40+ of us) had our dinner at a country club where my cousins are members. There was a ton of perfect food and excellent service, all in a gorgeous setting in a very posh area of Chicago.

And while we were enjoying not having to cook, clean, etc., I kept thinking about how everyone on the service team – from the valets to the chefs – were not at home with their families.

I asked our server if she had dinner yet.

You know how she replied?

“Wow, thanks. No I haven’t. You are the only person here who thought to ask. That was really nice of you.”

Ugh.

I remember the years and countless missed dinners, holidays, parties, weddings, and funerals as a pet sitter. My friends and family hardly understood and, truth be told, I hadn’t ever really weighed that consideration as I built my pet care businesses. It was a struggle. But I recall the clients who left me special gifts and notes knowing I was with their pets so that they could be with their families. And that made all the difference.

So what I want to say is:

 I see you.

I respect you.

I admire you.

And I understand.

You – and your team – are my pet care heroes.

Be proud, because pet professionals like you provide an extraordinarily valuable service. Your hard work and dedication allow millions of people to have enjoyable and relaxing holidays knowing their pets are in capable hands.

Hang tight for this holiday season. You got this. And FetchFind is here if you need anything at all.

With great respect,

Jamie Sig Trans - First Only

 

How to get what you want – and make it a win-win for everybody

carmen rustenbeck and jamie

As my Grandmother would say: You don’t ask, you don’t get.

It’s great advice, but like a lot of advice it can be easier to implement in theory than in practice.

But when you’re faced with a situation that just doesn’t work for you, you can ado something about it, or b) feel resentful for the foreseeable future because you didn’t stand up and speak out.

Let’s be honest – most of us (myself included) will default to Option B because we don’t want to be rude, cause inconvenience, or make work for other people. And that’s fine, if you’re just dealing with the wrong latte size. But when you’re dealing with something that materially impacts your business, you have to go with Option A: do something about it.

(At this point you’re probably saying to yourself – yeah, yeah, Jamie, that’s very high-minded, but what brought all this on?)

We were at the IBPSA conference last week, and our booth placement was not very well-positioned to take advantage of foot traffic. After a day of wandering around muttering to myself (Option B), I thought – nope. This doesn’t work for me OR my company. Time for Option A.

So I found Carmen Rustenbeck, Executive Director and Founder of IBPSA and the co-coordinator of the annual conference. (That’s a picture of us, above.) I told her about the issue and how I thought we could fix it, and together we came up with a solution that worked for everyone. I was deeply impressed not only with how right it feels when people of goodwill work toward a common goal, but also with how much better I felt about myself when I consciously decided to address the issue.

In fact, Carmen and I were so inspired by our collective problem-solving mojo that we’re going to get together to discuss other ways to increase the value of the organization for all of its members.  I can’t wait – it’s always such a pleasure to work with the pet professionals at IBPSA.

It can be tough to ask for more than you’ve been given, because someone might be upset with you!

I get it. I really do. But everyone can go for Option A when the stakes are high enough. So in every situation you have to ask yourself “is it worth taking charge / potentially upsetting someone /c ausing a fuss?” When it’s a Dunkin Donuts coffee order and the line is six deep, perhaps the answer is no. When it’s your business, your brainchild, and your responsibility to do right by everyone who depends on you, my answer to that question is always going to be yes.

No matter your personality type, you can make deploying Option A a little bit easier with this simple exercise. Figure out how you would arrange the situation to your satisfaction before trying to make a change, instead of passively-aggressively addressing it with others or expecting someone else to read your mind and take care of it for you. If you can walk up to the decision maker and say “here is the situation and this is how I think we can change it”, you have a much better chance of getting what you want – and deserve. And, at the same time, you can strengthen relationships and grow as a professional. In other words – everybody wins.

Jamie Sig Trans - First Only

It’s all about the community

Moe and Mia
Our wonderful community will help these cuties find a new home. Moe and Mia will be available for adoption (via Chicago Canine Rescue) at our Come for the Pets, Stay for the Tech event on Tuesday, July 11, at 1871 Chicago. 

By Jamie Migdal, CEO of FetchFind

First off, thank you for the outpouring of love for my girl Whisper’s passing. Your emails, Facebook notes, texts, calls, cards, flowers, and gifts will be forever remembered by me and my family. I have said it before, and I will say it again. – I love the pet industry and feel gratitude every day I get to work in this community.

Which brings me to my next point: the three things I appreciate and cherish most about the pet industry are: the people, the innovation, and the passion. And it seems that every day I see more and more of all three things, all wrapped in one gorgeous package of community.

To that point, here’s a lovely blog about some of the ways we have created a pet+tech community here in Chicago. And, by the way, out of our 158 current investors, 80% of the investment has come from you, my community.

I want to challenge, remind, and/or inspire you to think about our industry as a community because in a community all the best things happen.

But you already knew that. 🙂

Together,
JM Sig copy

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republic invest info drop shadow
Campaign ends July 14 ! Learn more – and invest – here:  https://republic.co/fetchfind

Reciprocity and gratitude

reciprocity

By Jamie Migdal. CEO of FetchFind

While contemplating a topic for this week’s Pet Industry Insider newsletter, it dawned on me that the answer was right in front of me (as it so often is).

The collage above is me with a bunch of different people. The top left is a lovely FetchFind customer, the top right is a women in technology colleague, and the bottom pic is me talking with Maxine Clark,  the founder of Build-a-Bear, at her home during a dinner party for the current PWE cohort. If I’d remembered to take a pic (!), you’d also see a photo of me with the women  who run IBPSA when they were in Chicago for the Pricing for Profit workshop.

Why am I talking about my social calendar? 

Well, that’s because it all represents two key principles of my life: relationships and collaboration. Every single picture here not only represents a relationship that I’m proud of, but also one in which I actively participate in reciprocity of thought and experience.

There are times that I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude that I trick myself into wondering whether I deserve all of this collaboration, support, and love. Then I remember that you get what you give, and I feel better. Honestly, my day isn’t complete unless I know there were at least three times during my waking hours where I gave of myself, whether with advice and expertise, with a professional recommendation, or with an introduction to help someone on their journey. It really means a lot to me to be able to help someone’s world be a better place and enhance their career or personal life in some small, hopefully meaningful way.

To that point of gratitude, at the end of the week I like to look at my calendar and write thank you notes to the people who helped me. I don’t always get to all of them (and definitely not on time!), but I do my best. And since dogs can’t receive thank you notes, I always make sure to dedicate some time to think about the animals that I am able to impact through my work and relationships. 

 Drop me a note about the things that you do to recognize and thank the greatness of the people and animals in your life.  As always, I love hearing from you.

With gratitude,

JM Sig copy

Jamie

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