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Maintaining Mental Control

Melissa: Hey guys, Melissa Verplank here. And I want to talk to you today about one of my time-saving tips, and that is about mental control. You know, when you’re working with dogs, being in control of your mental attitude is so critical. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re dealing with a customer, whether you’re dealing with a dog, or whether you’re just dealing with yourself, but you’ve got to be in mental control. And Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” And that phrase and that quote has always resonated with me. And so, the next time that you’re feeling a little out of control, that you’re not totally got your mental capacity totally with you, I want you to stop and take a deep breath, and go, and look at either stepping away from the situation for a moment, or putting it into a more positive light.

Melissa: So, let’s take an example of a day that maybe hasn’t gone quite the way that you would really like it to go. So, when you’ve got a day where, you know, you walk in and you’ve got way more on the roster than what you would really like to have on it … Maybe you’ve got a client with three bichons, and then maybe you’ve got an American cocker that is in pretty tough shape. And then of course, there’s got to get a doodle tossed in there because everybody’s doing doodles these days. Okay, that’s a big job. And then you’ve got a golden retriever, and then you’ve got maybe a lawson, a Shih Tzu. And, there’s just more on your schedule than what you are comfortable with. And you know, whether you think you can get through that day or you think you can’t, you’re right. So, if you go in there and you start worrying, and you start fretting, and you start pointing fingers at somebody because somebody else booked you too many dogs, you’re going to get frustrated. You’re going to lose that mental control.

Melissa: So, what I really encourage you to think about is look at the positives that can come out of that day. You know, you’ve got three bichons, and being able to practice and repetition is always one of the best ways to perfect any skill. So, all of a sudden you got three bichons. You can focus on your scissor work. Or, maybe you’re struggling with heads. And so, you’ve got three opportunities to work on styling that head. You’re going to get through those dogs and move on to the next one. The next one, okay, so it’s that American cocker. It’s going to go short. How long? I mean, it doesn’t take that much to get a five or a seven all on a dog. So put your head down, get through it, and move on to the next one.

Melissa: And maybe the next one is that monster doodle. You know, we’ve all got them these days. But you know what? You’ve got the skills to get through that dog in a relatively short amount of time. And you know, half of it is in the bath and the dry. So, if you’ve perfected your bathing skills, and you’ve perfected your drying skills, by the time that dog comes out into the finished area for this final haircut, you got this, you know? You’re going to be able to utilize your clippers, and your guard combs, and your scissors. And you know what? If you make a blunder somewhere, that’s all right, because that’s where your thinning shears are going to come in. Thinning shears are the pet stylist eraser. So, pull those thinners out, get rid of those mars, and just keep moving on to the next dog.

Melissa: And you know what? If you maintain that positive attitude, maintain that mental control throughout the entire course of the day, you’re going to get through it in no time. So, whether you think you can get through your day or you think you can’t, you’re right. And I certainly encourage you to stay positive and get through it with a smile, because that’s the name of the game.

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