Meet Liz Zeigler

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Photo by  Amy Haberland
Photo by  Amy Haberland

This LA Girl on the Rise is someone to watch. She loves dogs and owns her business which is all about your furry family members. Liz is making your life easier with her mobile grooming business. However, her career didn’t start out as an entrepreneur nor did she work with puppies. Her story will show you how you can change your career path and follow your dreams. Check out her Facebook and Instagram — the pics are adorable!

Lauren Elizabeth: Tell us who you are.

Liz Zeigler: I am the sole owner and operator of Must Love Dogs Mobile Grooming and a recovering attorney.

LE: You started as a lawyer, and now you are the owner of Must Love Dogs Mobile Grooming. That is quite the switch — what lead you to open your own business?

LZ: Honestly, I never ever thought of myself as the entrepreneurial type. It always seemed overwhelming and risky to not have a steady paycheck and to strike out on your own. However, I learned pretty quickly that I did not want to spend my entire working life as an attorney. Nothing about the profession fit my personality at all. I stuck it out as long as I could, figuring that I had done all that work to get through law school and pass the Bar, plus I had a six-figure student loan to pay down. I did it for eight really tough years, half of which were spent trying to figure out what the heck else I could do to make a living! The thing that I love more than anything in the world is being around animals, so I brainstormed on how I could do that as a career. I spent literally years making pro and con lists, doing research, writing out budgets…and then I finally pulled the trigger, left my law job, and enrolled in a local grooming school.

LE: What are three things you recommend others do when prepping to start their own company?

It’s a hard thing to learn to do but TRUST YOURSELF. If you aren’t happy with what you are doing, and you feel that there is a better fit for you somewhere else, start taking steps to make a change – even if everyone else thinks you’re “not being realistic” (something you will probably hear often!).
— Liz Zeigler

LZ: Having gone through this, three recommendations I have for those looking to start a company are:

  1. Plan, plan, plan – especially your budget. We all know the saying about the best-laid plans, but you have to do it! If you are nervous about making the leap, knowing that you’ve planned things out will give you peace of mind. Make a budget for how much you spend in your non-work life – track EVERYTHING for a few months – every dollar you spend and get a realistic picture of how much you need. Then make a budget for how much you will need for your business. Know that for a while, you are going to likely be dipping into your savings, because at first, you will not make enough to cover everything. But you’ve planned for it, so it’s ok!

  2. Once you’ve planned…just do it. Pull the trigger. Make the leap. It’s scary as heck, but it’s worth it.

  3. Stay brave. Unexpected challenges will pop up and hit you in the face. When I first started, I had a ton of mechanical issues with my truck that was draining every dollar I made, and then some. I almost threw in the towel a few times. But just keep going.

LE: Tell us about your breaking glass moment.

LZ: It took many months, but when I finally had a month where I made enough to cover my business expenses, that was a big victory. Then I finally had a month where I made enough to cover my business expenses PLUS all of my personal expenses. Now, that happens every month, with leftover for savings.

LE: What's your daily routine like?

LZ: One thing that I love about my job is that it’s a perfect mix of constant routine but with no two days the same. I control my schedule (to a point – once I’ve scheduled an appointment with a client, I know I have to be there! But I control the scheduling of appointments!) so some weeks I’ll work all seven days, but then I might take three days off to go out of town. Some days I’ll have as many as nine dogs, but then, knowing I’ll be tired after that, the next day I might only schedule two. At this point, nearly all my appointments are with dogs that I know. I have some dogs that I’ve seen for over three years now. I know their behavior, and I know how to efficiently get their appointments completed. It was much harder at first when each appointment was a new client, but now nearly everyone is familiar, and I can be really picky about which new clients I take. Since I’m mobile, I drive between appointments, which is something I love. I love being out and about in the city and seeing different neighborhoods. I don’t want to ever spend another day in an office daydreaming while looking out the window!

LE: What is the best piece of advice you've received?

LZ: When I was agonizing over whether I was ready to leave my law job, my friend Anna texted me and told me to “Be brave.” So simple, but it really stuck with me. We have to take some chances. It’s worth a little risk to be happy.

LE: What is your favorite quote and why?

LZ: It’s part of a longer quote, but I love the Shakespeare line, “A coward dies a thousand times before his death.” We owe it to ourselves to really live by forging our own path, even if it’s scary. It may sound overly dramatic, but when my mindset was that I was going to be stuck working in a job I absolutely hated for the rest of my life, I didn't feel alive. I felt like a zombie. It colored everything else in my life and took away my joy. Looking back, I don't know how I did it for eight years!

LE: What advice would you give to a Girl on the Rise?

LZ: It’s a hard thing to learn to do but TRUST YOURSELF. If you aren’t happy with what you are doing, and you feel that there is a better fit for you somewhere else, start taking steps to make a change – even if everyone else thinks you’re “not being realistic” (something you will probably hear often!). Trust in your planning (see above!) and trust in your ability to roll with the punches. And in your daily work life, trust your gut. If something is giving you red flags, you don’t have to do it! One thing I love about being my own boss is that when someone calls to book my services, and my intuition is telling me that this isn’t something I want to take on, I simply turn it down. The times I’ve ignored what my gut was telling me, I regretted it!

LE: What's your favorite thing to do when you’re off the clock?

LZ: Read! I’m a regular visitor to my local library and it’s always a happy day for me when I walk out of there with a giant stack of books! I’ve also been really into watching old (mostly 1930s-1950s) movies, so I follow along with the TCM channel’s programming. And lately, I’ve been combining the two and reading non-fiction books about “Old Hollywood.”

Thank you, Liz, for showing Girls on the Rise that if you believe in yourself, you can achieve whatever it is that you set out to do. I absolutely love your story and that you are truly embracing your passion. Also, the tips you gave about starting a business are great. Cheers!