THE THOUGHTFUL ENTREPRENEUR PODCAST
Bella's journey in the pet industry began in 2002 with her first company, Bella's House. Since then, she has grown her business, sold it, and ventured into coaching and speaking. Bella's passion lies in leadership and hiring, and she firmly believes that having a great team is essential for business success.
Bella shared how the pet industry has evolved over the years. The emergence of social media and online platforms has made it easier for pet owners to find services. Bella was one of the first to utilize platforms like Facebook Live and blogging to educate people about the options available for pet care.
The industry has also seen shifts in the employment model, with more regulations requiring businesses to have employees rather than independent contractors.
As a coach and consultant, Bella focuses on helping pet industry professionals attract and build great teams. She emphasizes the importance of personal leadership and being conscious of what we allow into our lives, such as the media we consume and the relationships we nurture. Bella believes strong leadership starts from within and extends to interpersonal relationships and the business community.
Key Points from the Episode:
- The evolution of the pet industry with the rise of social media and online platforms
- The importance of having a great team for business success
- Bella's focus on leadership and hiring in the pet industry
- The importance of personal leadership and being conscious of what we allow into our lives
- The importance of clarity in hiring and creating a strong company culture
- Changes in the job market post-COVID and the need for a compassionate approach
- The analogy of hiring and attracting clients as two wheels for business growth
- Bella's use of platforms like radio and podcasts to establish credibility and reach a wider audience
About Bella Vasta:
Bella Vasta is the driving force behind the one-woman coaching company, Jump Consulting, which she named after jumping out of a (perfect) airplane at 13 000 feet. Her motto is “Always Keep Jumping.” Her dynamic and engaging speaking style encourages people to leap to the next level for their businesses.
From systems and processes to leadership and networking skills, Bella has coached pet-sitting businesses since 2007 and published some of the most comprehensive research on relevant industry topics.
You could say she wrote the book on it because she did. The Four Types of Dogs Every Business Needs: How to Build the Right Team to Grow Your Business and Have a Balanced Life uses popular breeds as a metaphor for the personalities that work best on a team
Bella has always been a trailblazer in the pet industry, forging a path for others to follow. Bella won the National Pet Sitting Business of the Year award by 25, building and selling her first company by 30 and her second by 34. She was also selected as one of 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35 in the Arizona Republic.
After her micro-preemie daughter, who weighed only 12 oz., was born in July 2014, Bella sold her pet-sitting business and now lives out her passion for being a boss mom while using her business experience to inspire, motivate, and challenge business owners through coaching, consulting, and speaking.
She has been featured in Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, NBC, ABC, FOX, NPR, and more. Her podcast, Bella in Your Business, is popular with business owners in and out of the pet industry.
About Jump Consulting:
Jump Solutions is a dynamic resource for pet sitters seeking innovative strategies to elevate and revolutionize their businesses within a competitive landscape. Focused on scalability, they offer unconventional yet effective methods to empower pet sitters, aiming to reshape the industry. The core belief is that pet-sitting business owners deserve a fulfilling personal life and a thriving asset in their pet business.
Jump Solutions provides multifaceted growth avenues, notably through the Jump Mastermind – a collaborative platform fostering idea exchange, planning, accountability, and goal tracking. Alternatively, the Better Marketing With Bella program propels business expansion and brand visibility with comprehensive monthly support.
An impressive 80% of the valuable content is freely accessible, encompassing podcasts, active Facebook groups, YouTube videos, and an extensive library of 300+ blogs. Functioning as a pet industry-centric Google, the website serves as a comprehensive resource hub, catering to every aspect of pet business needs.
18:34 – “My goal in life is to inspire people to action.”
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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, it's keynote speaker, author and consultant, Bella Vasta. Bella, you are also the CEO of Jump Consulting. You're found on the Web at Jump Consulting Net. Bella, it's so great to have you.
Bella (00:01:13) - Hi, Thanks for having me. Josh, how are you? Excellent.
Josh (00:01:16) - Excellent. And also, you are the longest standing pet sitting podcast on the planet is also one of your claims to fame.
Josh (00:01:27) - You've done a lot of media around the work that you do, but it's great to have you, you know, tell us more about your impact in the world and what you what you do, who you work with. Yeah, So.
Bella (00:01:38) - I mean, like like all of us. It's always been a journey, right? It started off with this funny little story where I was in college and my parents wanted to put a curfew on me, but I wanted to be out karaoke. And so when someone offered to pay me to stay at their house, to sleep over with their dogs, I was like, I'll pay you. And so that's how my first company, Bella's house in Pasadena, started way back in 2002, and since then it's now 2023. At the recording, we have grown leaps and bounds. That company was sold. I started coaching. I started speaking. I started finding my real true passion in life. And there was a little couple of hiccups in there too, like having one of the world's smallest micro preemie babies in the world born at 12oz while running companies.
Bella (00:02:25) - So I know a little bit about, you know, life, real life building businesses and also inspiring and motivating other people to do the same.
Josh (00:02:34) - Wow. Wow.
Josh (00:02:35) - So do you so today, are you coaching and consulting or are you primarily speaking or tell me about your your work.
Bella (00:02:43) - Yeah. So today I'm definitely speaking I love speaking about leadership and also hiring because I think that's something that every business owner needs to know. I mean, like that's, that's the key to having a life balance, right? You can't do it all on your own. As we know. But day to day it is. I have a marketing agency inside the the pet industry and I also have a mastermind inside the pet industry. So I really learned really I learned early on that that one to many model was something that was going to work for me and that I really loved. And I dived into that deeper.
Josh (00:03:17) - Yeah. Tell me about the pet industry and, and, you know, because obviously this is an area, you know, quite a bit about and I would imagine it's evolved quite a bit because I know that there are platforms out there now that have kind of made this a little easier than back before when you started.
Josh (00:03:36) - You probably had to do a lot of things to just be known for what you do.
Bella (00:03:40) - Yeah, like when I first started, you know, I was one of the first to get on camera and do live like Facebook lives, right? Like social media was like just emerging the industry, they like to say, started in like the early 90s or so. So when I started in the early 2000, I was still educating people that there was still this option that you just have to take your dog to a boarding facility. They could stay at home and people could come over and do visits or sleep overnight. So when I was in it, there was a lot of education. And that's I was one of the first bloggers. I started blogging like a like a banshee. Like it just wouldn't stop. But it really helped because it brought us it brought us clients. People were Googling for pet sitters, you know, And that was really, really super duper big back then. I mean, it still is, but there's a lot of other ways now too.
Bella (00:04:24) - But the industry itself has been it's always grown. It's grown through the 2008 crash. It's grown through. It was shut down, but revamped right back up right after Covid with a whole new set of problems, like with dogs that are just really not wanting to be separated from their parents, you know, because they're home all day. So that separation, anxiety and such. But also I think what's happened with the industry, there's two major shifts, um, is that a lot of the industry started out independent contractors and a lot of people are starting to realize and regulations are making it necessary that they have employees. So there went away like a lot of like overnight services because you have to pay people to sleep in most states. And if not, now, it's coming down the pipeline. And the other thing is that the the overall operations and the companies like I coach people that have 50, 60 employees, I mean, people are making millions of dollars in doing pet sitting and walking, you know, So it's it's been a really great industry.
Bella (00:05:27) - It's really fun. It's it's and all of these people, most of these people start from like absolutely nothing ground up, right? They're just like, oh, this is a fun gig. We're going to do it. Oh, my gosh, it's grown so big. And I come in a lot of the times where it's kind of like that landscaping you have when you have to cut back a tree and you're like, Oh, that looks terrible. You're like, No, no, no, no, no. It's going to grow back beautifully, you know? And it's that whole mindset shift and figuring out what your vision is and where you actually want to go, because that's. Going to drive all of your daily decisions. Right. And so it's just it's really fun for me. I could be having the worst day and or just be down and out or just like not really that motivated and get on a call with someone or do a training. And it just it's it's it's it makes me so happy.
Bella (00:06:12) - Yeah. You know.
Josh (00:06:15) - Um, so talk about because I know that one area that you focus on today in more kind of business and leadership is attracting a great team. What are some of those kind of ten or, you know, tentpole or kind of pillar messages that that if you were to give the Ted talk, I'm going to break the sound into three simple and you know.
Bella (00:06:38) - Literally have three symbols.
Josh (00:06:40) - Okay, good. That was my guess when it.
Bella (00:06:41) - Comes to leadership. I think that that we all have to be conscious. You know, we're we're always looking at like, oh, my gosh, why can't people just have common sense? Why can't people just do X, Y, Z? It's always kind of outward. And I don't think we look enough inwardly so as CEOs of our own business, we need to really take accountability for that. And I think it starts first with leadership over ourselves. What are we allowing into our eye and our irrigates? What are we surrounding ourselves with or are we watching the news every day? You know, like the local news? Are we Are we? What music are you listening to? What books are we reading? Are you reading books? What kind of when you're Netflix and chilling, are you I mean, yes, there is a time to Netflix and chill and just like completely turn off.
Bella (00:07:22) - Right? But like, there's so much good stuff on there too. What documentaries are you learning? Where are you learning and growing? So first it's over ourselves. Then the second stage of that, I think, is over. Your interpersonal relationships. How are you showing up for people in your life? You can't possibly think that everyone needs to show up and be there for you if you're not also there. It's a two way street. You have to be there for people. That means putting down your phone. That means that means, Hey, what are you doing, Josh? You know, like, let's get together. Let's get something on the calendar this month. I haven't seen you for a while, and I want to make sure that we stay in close contact. You're important to me. Like, what are you doing for that in your life? I think it's easy as a business owner is that we kind of get overwhelmed and like we're drowning in all the things that we have to do.
Bella (00:08:07) - And so it gets to the point that those interpersonal relationships, like it's the summer right now. How many 4th of July invites did you get or did you You know, like a lot of my people, when they come to me, they have no life. They don't have that support because they're always so busy that people just finally stopped asking them to show up for them. Right. And so then you're just like you're just that's isolation. That's depression. That's that's where the devil lives, you know? And it's like, no. And so, so first you've got your, your personal leadership, then you've got your interpersonal, then you've got your community, aka business and all that stuff. And it really feel like you got to start from inside first and get leadership over yourself because you can't have people follow you through the fire if you're not a strong enough leader. You know, if they're not like, Yes, I want to attach my wagon onto that.
Josh (00:08:57) - Yeah. Um, and do you for folks that are maybe frustrated that they're just not able to find great folks to join the team, what do you what's your best advice for that?
Bella (00:09:12) - So what I find is that when people say things like there's no one out there to hire or no one wants to work, which is along the same lines, I believe.
Bella (00:09:20) - Yeah, I think it's that they're not clear enough with their vision, and I think that hiring is a lot like dating. If I was, you know, of one faith and I went out on a date or something with someone who was not that faith and that was really important to me, then why am I even out on that date? You're setting yourself up for failure. So when I ask business owners a lot of the time, like, what are the important things about your company culture? What kind of person are you looking for? And it's always like the seven Whys or it's like deeper, deeper, deeper. Who is this person? Now let's actually create a hiring ad that is like a love note to this person, to the point that when that person reads it, they they can't help themselves but then go like socially stock you and learn everything about you because they feel that connection. So I think that when people are having trouble hiring or finding people, they need to get clear on what they're looking for and make sure that their entire process also attracts that.
Bella (00:10:15) - Our job market has done something really interesting after Covid. It's got people out of so many toxic relationships with their work. And the the work now has had to be like, Oh, your dog died today. Go take time off, take care of the dog instead of you have one hour to put the dog down and get back to work. You know, like that's what it was like before Covid. Like what a concept. You have to show people that you care about them. Yes. And it is not their fault if you don't have that backup to replace them so they can go put their dog down. I mean, I'm using a really like extreme example, but I was actually having a conversation about exactly that with a lady the other day. And it's just you got to really figure out who you're looking for. You've got to source that. And you also have to remember that the job market and when people are looking what it's like, I call it the So what factor. So what you're hiring, why do I want to be with you? Is it just another boiled down boring? You must.
Bella (00:11:15) - You must. You must. And you better. You better. You better. And like making them feel terrible about themselves. Or is it Actually, it's a it's a piece of marketing. You're hiring ad is a marketing piece. It is going to attract people and get them excited, just like you're looking for clients. So there's always think there's always room for improvement on that.
Josh (00:11:34) - That's so funny. It's like almost like thinking about a sales funnel for your employees, but exactly.
Bella (00:11:39) - It's the exact same thing. The way that you attract clients should be the way that you attract employees. And if anyone's watching this right now, what I say, I say this all the time is so these are like two wheels, right? And so if you're always looking, how do I get employees? How do I get employees? And you take your your mindset off of getting clients, what happens is the wheel goes around and you start spinning circles. Or if you're on the other side and you're looking for clients and you stop looking for employees, you get all these clients, but now you don't have any employees to help them.
Bella (00:12:08) - And so you start spinning in circles again. What you need to do is have that systematically solved so that they both go like this. And then what happens? You both of the wheels are moving forward. So it probably makes more sense if you guys see what I'm doing with my hands. But but like it's true. And those are like really the two major things that that I think a lot of businesses or they take their focus away from it and then the other thing falls and fails. And the key is to get up systemized and solve them both at the same time. And the beauty of it is that it is the same exact principle on both sides. It's just for some reason when we hire or we're doing the staffing or nurturing our employees or building company culture, it's the same thing as we do with our clients to make them happy and make sure they still want to do services with us or book with us.
Josh (00:12:55) - Yeah. Bella one thing that you've been pretty consistent on is using platforms, specifically you both radio and podcasts.
Josh (00:13:08) - But again, you've done lots of media as well. How has that level of content creation or engagement, how has that impacted your business?
Bella (00:13:20) - I think it helps give me a platform and establishes credibility. It also, if you're smart about it, allows you a lot of great repurposing and you know, you stand as an authority on it. When you're when you're leveraging that on a personal basis, I mean, our Instagram is always poppin at Bella Vista and our Facebook and our Facebook groups. And so I think all of that just helps get the message out more. I always say that the Internet is my storefront, right? Like I don't have a physical store where people come in. This isn't a mall. That is it. And if I'm not keeping that up, then I don't exist.
Josh (00:13:57) - Yeah. And so today, who would. Who should be engaging with you? And how do you work with people today? And like, I don't know if there's anyone that's listening should be sending folks to you or if I can send folks to you.
Josh (00:14:12) - Who do you work? You work directly with folks in coaching consulting side as well.
Bella (00:14:16) - I do. I do. So I love doing two things. It it's like the things that bring me the most joy because not everyone is in the pet industry, right? You with the pet sitting or dog walking company. So business is business, right? The principles are the same. The mindset I believe, is the same. It's just you're selling different things. I love, like I said, doing the hiring thing. And I think that's a that's a system that is very defunct in a lot of companies. And it is the one thing that keeps people from growing because they constantly have like personnel issues, right? And so I love coming to them. I call them intensives. We do like an eight hour day. I come to them or they come to me, they come to me, I get them an Airbnb for two nights. If I go to them, they come to my Airbnb that I go to and we just do those, like those big like post-it notes all over the wall, those big things.
Bella (00:15:03) - And we just map everything out. We make the decisions, I force them to make the decisions. And we even have like a whole paperwork of these are the decisions we made so we don't have to worry about it. This is the action plan afterwards, but we kind of go through all of it. And I'll tell you, Josh, I've never had an intensive where someone hasn't cried and and and but it's a good thing because like, they usually get to this breaking point because eight hours is a long time. We order lunch in and of course we have breaks and stuff, but it is like it's the first time that anyone's actually ever sat and poured into someone's business because they're usually putting out fires or dealing with tasks or dealing projects, and they actually get to sit and think, What the heck do I want and how can I like, how can I? And I am like, how can I help facilitate a reverse engineer plan to get you there, you know? And they're like, Well, I'm just doing this.
Bella (00:15:53) - I'm doing this. Yeah, you're doing this because you're on autopilot, but is it really working for you? What do you really want? And how can we manipulate that to to do that, I want to make your business, your employee. You shouldn't be working for your business. Your business should be working for you. And I also believe that you should have a savings account and you should have a work life balance and believe that it's all possible. And I can say that as a now single mom of a special needs child who has built multiple businesses. And then like I said also, I mean, for quite a few years, we were in for six months, I was running businesses off my systems and processes off of that. So the proof is in the pudding. Like if I can do it, anyone can do it. That's kind of what I think. And then I also the last kind of little tidbit I always say that I would love for your listeners to hear is that. If something were to happen to you right now.
Bella (00:16:45) - And you had to step out. Something happened to you or someone you loved. Would your business survive? Because if the answer is no and you can't step out and you can give it SOP to someone and say, okay, this is what you need to do, keep it running, then you got to talk to somebody because the years that you have spent building that up is now gone. And that's and that's a shame. That's a real shame. So we got to like, we got to protect our investment of time and money and relationships that you've made or lost or all of that blood, sweat and tears along the way.
Josh (00:17:19) - Yeah. All right. So, Bella, your website is jump consulting dot net. When somebody goes there, what would you recommend they do? First off, I got to tell you, to our podcast Listening friends here, go listen to your your podcast. And the title of that is Bella in Your Business. So you just do a search there. You've had low my goodness, they're getting on 350 episodes.
Bella (00:17:46) - So yeah, it comes out to go back.
Josh (00:17:49) - And listen to What's That.
Bella (00:17:50) - Every Thursday and it's always business stuff. Well, we use a lot of examples from the pet business, but like I said, you know, like business is business. So I actually just recorded a podcast before I met with you today. And it was all about systems and processes, you know, and, and the systems of your business and it can be applied to anybody.
Josh (00:18:07) - Yeah. So Bella, to your website, aside from the podcast, you go to jump consulting net, what would you recommend aside from the podcast, what should people do? I know you've got some freebies here.
Bella (00:18:17) - Yeah, I mean, but the freebies are mostly if you're a petite or a dog walker. So I think what would be best is if people just reach me out on Instagram and that's Bella Vista, because that way there we can like you can DM me tell me that you heard here, ask me whatever you want to ask, or we could just be friends.
Bella (00:18:34) - I'm just I love meeting people and, and that's about it. If you wanted to do a 20 minute call, we could do jump consulting dot net forward slash 20 and that's like a pick my brain kind of 20 minutes like pick one thing you want to solve and we can work through it. But in general, I just my goal in life is to inspire people to action. And if just by simply following my Instagram and it gives you excitement and pushes you or gives you the motivation that day, like that's that's awesome, too.
Josh (00:19:04) - Yeah. All right. Bella Vasta, again, keynote speaker, author, consultant, podcaster, media queen of Meet Queen of All Media. And again your website Jump consulting net. Bella it's been so great having you.
Bella (00:19:21) - Thanks Josh.
Josh (00:19:29) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up My Influence slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free.
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