By Cait Mellor
The quotes in this article are from some amazing women. Women who have put their hearts, souls, and knowledge into their practices. Women who have taken control of their vet med journeys and success in many forms to prove it. Often, we don’t discuss our proudest victories unless asked about them. How often do people really ask? Shouldn’t we be highlighting these “big deal” accomplishments a little more often?
So, we asked.
“What’s your proudest moment as a practice owner?”
And the responses are SERIOUS triumphs we should be popping bottles to celebrate continuously.
“Every day provides a moment of pride in my team and our work to fulfill our mission to help the animals in our care and to treat their families with the same compassion and empathy we offer to their companion animals. My proudest day was my first day as a practice owner when we opened the doors to our new practice and clients came and brought their pets. Feeling their trust and their support for what I was doing was amazing.”
-Dr. April Linson of Woodland Hills Pet Clinic in Woodland Hills CA
You hear that? EVERY DAY is a moment of pride, as it should be. Dr. Linson goes on to highlight the day that she opened her doors, which is obviously a momentous occasion. Every day after is a result of that first day! Every day, whether good, bad, indifferent, hard, or amazing should be celebrated because it all goes back to day one. You’re here, you’re doing it, and every day that you do it again is a day to celebrate.
“Opening my virtual doors was a huge moment of pride for me.”
-Dr. Cherie Buisson of Helping Hands Pet Hospice, Seminole, FL
Dr. Buisson also goes back to the day her virtual doors opened. Her doors look a little bit different than others. Dr. Buisson offers in-home hospice and euthanasia services. This service, although difficult, is so incredibly necessary and valued in the vet med world. She took the idea of practice ownership and made it her own while still offering a service that requires deep compassion and empathy for those she serves. She’s showing us that ownership doesn’t have to fit into a specific mold that means you show up at the same building each week and work a million hours. She does it all on her terms, and her business is one to be proud of.
-Dr. Melanie Bowden of Vacation Vet, LLC based in Coeur D’Alene Idaho
Dr. Bowden coming at us with a hard realization- leaving that consistent paycheck! Let’s talk about making that leap, because that is certainly not something to scoff at.
So much hard work goes into practice ownership before the doors (or virtual doors) even open. If you’re working at another practice beforehand, and have to quit your job in order to dive head first into your venture, that does take an incredible amount of “chutzpah” (as Dr. Bowden puts it). The reality is that you cannot predict the future or what will happen once you embark on this journey. All you can do is prepare to the best of your ability, roll with the punches, and do the work. Getting yourself into the mental space to give up a guaranteed paycheck from week to week deserves the biggest trophy in the whole wide world. If you’ve done it, cheers to you!
“There are so many: When clients thank us for saving their pets from the verge of death,
when I was invited to speak about my veterinary path at an international project regarding Young and Successful Entrepreneurs, when clients and their pets become family.”
-Dr. Anca Lepădatu of Sal-Vet Servicii Veterinare
Dr. Lepădatu touches on a few proud moments, but one that sticks out is the relationship you build with your clients and their pets, and those moments when you get to really save the day and give the gift of more time with a beloved pet to the owners. It’s like a moment when the clouds open in the sky, the light peaks through, and you think to yourself “THIS. This is what it’s all about.”
“Being nominated by some of the senior shareholders/owners to take on certain leadership roles within our company.”
-Dr. Ashley Bourgeois of Animal Dermatology Clinic, Portland, OR
It’s one thing to recognize your own accomplishments, but it’s another when someone else recognizes them. Dr. Bourgeois was given a really great honor by people whose opinion she values, and it was all due to them recognizing her accomplishments. It feels good to know that you’re being noticed, and it SHOULD.
“I have proud mommy moments all the time watching my team grow and develop, lifting each other up along the way. We have a great hospital culture and I’m very proud of that.”
-Dr. Katherine Anderson of Animal Hospital of Norridge in Norridge, IL
I thought we’d wrap it up with this amazing quote from Dr. Anderson that reminds us to stop and take a look around. Look at the team you’re surrounded by. Look at the work you’ve done. Look at the culture you’ve built from the ground up.
We should all take a moment every day to relish in our accomplishments. Vet med practice owners, YOU guys are the real MVPs. Never downplay your work. You have EVERY reason to be proud, so let it fuel you.