Training with Grace
Everybody loves dogs, but few people understand how to train a dog properly. That’s where Training with Grace comes in. Travis Otto and his wife, Ana Melara, started their dog-training company in 2001 to teach dog owners how to train their dogs with a positive attitude. “We use no harsh methods in training, no choke or pinch or electric collars,” Travis says. “We engage the dog’s thinking process and help him or her to make the best decision for the behavior we’re requesting.”
Q: What do you find most fulfilling
about running your business?
TO: Helping families to get the most love, enjoyment and benefit from their pet.
Q: What motivated you to start
TO: The motivation was the desire to help animals. To help the dogs that we see on the street and get them into a home and those other homes that seem to have turbulence from having a dog they don’t truly understand. My background was life experience and a desire to help. Once I realized that wasn’t quite enough I started seeking out formal education on dog body language and behavior.
Q: What book has been most helpful
to you in your business?
TO: This is a twofold answer, one book specific to dogs and the other for the business mindset. For learning about dogs, Leader of the Pack by Patricia McConnell, and Business, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker.
Q: Who has influenced you most
in your life?
TO: Ultimately I have to say my parents. They were each in business for themselves and I’d see them just be happy with life. Of course there were the difficult times, but I’d see them persevere and stick it out. I believe my desire to stick to a task even though it may be difficult and make some waves as I work on it came from them.
Q: What has proved to be your most
successful marketing strategy?
TO: Power partners. Finding like-minded business owners who can help me find other clients as I do the same for them.
Q: What have been the greatest
challenges you have had to overcome, or are currently facing,
in your business?
TO: Putting the systems in place. Finding the mentors or advisors I need to make a system, put it in place and implement it. As a small business owner, I felt the need to do it all myself, but I just saw myself creating more work or simply not getting it done. If I really want to grow I need to go outside my comfort zone, find those mentors and make the systems work.
Q: How did you benefit from participating in a Make-it-Fly® board?
TO: About the halfway through the Advisory Board process, my wife and I were faced with a huge slump in business and we both felt like maybe it’d be better if we found day jobs. Then we held a Make-it-Fly® Raving Fan Party and things turned around, literally, 400%. The next month after the RFP, our gross jumped that much.
What would you say to other business owners who are contemplating
getting involved in a Make-it-Fly® board?
TO: Make the leap. Take the interview and see if it’s a good fit and, once there is that confirmation, get involved. Having a board to discuss ideas with, learn new systems and encourage growth is only going to be a good thing for any business that wants to expand.
Travis Otto can be reached by phone at: 303-942-0718. Or visit their website at: www.TrainingWithGrace.com.
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