First off, I'd like to say straight off the bat, to the mods - if this thread isn't appropriate and needs binned, I'll understand. I'm not trying to sell anything, this isn't going to be clickbait, so if you heard me out, that'd be fantastic. But if it's still deemed inappropriate, that's okay.
To everyone else -
As I've spoken about a little on here, I face some challenges with my mental health. Panic attacks, auditory hallucinations, obsessive compulsive issues, bouts of agoraphobia, crowd issues and so on - the symptoms of which have been crippling - at one stage I was either hyper-ventilating, nose-bleeding, vomiting or passing out (any one or combo of these) up to 25 times per week.
Since I started volunteering at a rescue centre I've drastically gotten a lid on this - probably had less than 25 of these "attacks" in the last 3 years, which is enormous, considering that used to be a weekly amount of sh*t to put up with. Over the last year or so I've been weaning myself into work and am basically a self-employed person now.
Business is slow at the minute - my recovery is coinciding with a boom of competitors in my chosen line of work and unlike them, I'm not fit for much else. Frustratingly, most of these people "could" do other jobs if they wished, whereas I'm very limited as to what I can do. At present I probably take in around £70 a week and recently had my car written off as a result of a car crash (other party admitted it was their fault) and the whiplash is making some of my work rather uncomfortable, particularly training classes where I'm on my feet.
I'm also discovering that, due to the amount of voluntary work I've done these last three years, people are suddenly very quick to shy away when you want a fee for your services, whether this is photography for other trainer's courses, video footage of insightful dog behaviours, assisting a training class and so on.
One tiny thing that could help me out would be my business Facebook page looking good. As someone who is a (very) small business, it would only take one or 2 customers to be at a class where I'm exhausted, or one lazy customer who is disgruntled that I'm not getting their dog over a traffic-phobia at the rate they'd like, to mean a couple of 1-star reviews, which would naturally bring my average score down. So I've been getting people whose dogs I've worked with to go on my Facebook page and give me 5-star reviews if they feel my work was good enough, which they've very kindly done.
Unfortunately, my client pool isn't huge and I'm naturally paranoid about not getting work at a time when I have a lot of competitors - the guy who mentored me is even running a "How to be a Dog Trainer" course and it's really diluting my growth potential and I'm terrified of being crowded out, as I've invested 3 years of my life under difficult circumstances, plus money for training in England, to get to where I want to be and I wasn't "fast-tracked" like some of my potential competitors.
If any of you were willing to go onto my business Facebook page and give me a 5-star review (you don't even have to write anything, it's a button-click, a bit like the "like" button) I could send you a PM or whatever works - and please pay attention when doing it, as it'd be easy to accidentally click a lesser star-rating.
Having a page with a high average score would be a factor for some folks as to whether or not they want to take me on or not - I'd love to be earning something like £200 or £250 a week or so to make me feel like this career may actually grow and become viable as time goes on - I'm writing books as well with the intention of eventually selling those at my classes, but until word of mouth gets out there I'm not as motivated as perhaps I should be. Hope that doesn't seem very "victim mentality" - I'd like to think that doing difficult voluntary work for such an extended period would show that it's not a case of laziness or anything else - I just run out of gas sometimes and winter's definitely a difficult time.
Thanks for listening. Mods, if this thread isn't appropriate, let me know and remove it - I'd really appreciate not getting banned or anything, so I hope there's no feeling that I'm a rule-breaker or taking the p*ss.
Thanks for reading folks.
Your hobbies are rollerblading and you're also a bit of a rat-hound? Steel Wool
Sid knows he's crazy and he likes it. Balinkay
New businesses are tough at the best of times so keep your chin up. Let us know what your page is and maybe you can get a few likes to get you a bit of a boost, and you never know what reviews might come off someone following your page.
Don't push yourself so hard that you put yourself under unnecessary stress.
Have you ever done work with animals and people with sensory or learning disabilities? From my experience people young and old who like animals get a lot of benefit from engaging with receptive animals. Maybe a string to your bow offering pet handling therapy sessions to special schools and homes?