Dana Humphrey has always loved animals. Eleven years ago she started a PR firm that specialized in promoting pet products and the well-being of animals. While on a TV segment in California, one of the hosts introduced Dana as The Pet Lady. Dana loved the title, and The Pet Lady was off to the races.
The Challenges of Success
Dana’s initial business began with a laptop, a desk, and a can-do attitude. She bootstrapped her startup costs and worked hard to build her business into the success it is today. Now she travels from coast to coast, appearing on TV shows to educate pet owners about the latest and greatest pet tech gadgets, cozy comforts, and fab gift ideas for man’s (and woman’s) best friend. She’s also played an integral role in the adoption of countess pets. But that’s not to say her journey has been free of challenges.
Five years ago, Dana trademarked The Pet Lady name. One of her biggest challenges is enforcing that trademark. Taking on the unpleasant task of confronting people about the unlawful use of her trademark, Dana says some are understanding while others create much more of a challenge. Additionally, Dana’s job takes her all over the country. She says all that travel has proven to be very hard on the body, and even when she’s not traveling by plane to get to an event, the worry of unexpected hold-ups in traffic or missing a live TV segment is very real.
The Benefits of Learning Balance
Realizing that these challenges are part of running a successful business, Dana has learned to cope with and overcome these difficulties with grace and planning.
She hired a lawyer to help her with trademark infringements. Having one less thing on her plate helps her focus on the aspects of the job she enjoys. After 11 years of owning a business, Dana also understands the importance of self care. She schedules regular massages and is grateful to be at a place with her company where she can take a little time off to recharge her batteries.
The Importance of Celebrating Strengths
Small business owners start companies because they have a passion and natural talent or curiosity. Just watch any number of Dana’s TV segments and it is obvious that she is a natural on live TV. “Working with unfamiliar animals on live TV could be a daunting assignment for many people. But I love it!” says Dana.
She enjoys the rush of excitement she gets when a TV producer says they’d like her to be on their show, and nothing can beat the feeling of joy she gets when the pet she features on a segment gets adopted.
Advice for Small Business Owners
Dana encourages other small business owners to be selective about who they do business with. She even likens taking on new clients to dating. “If you’re sitting at a bar, you don’t give your number out to everyone there,” Dana jokes. Instead, she stresses the importance of finding a good match and someone you respect. “If you end up working with someone who doesn’t meet these criteria, you’ve lost valuable time with another client who would could be a much better fit for you and your company.”