Claire Hegarty

Claire-Hegarty

From Mid-life to Pet Sitting (Dublin-based business takes off!)

The idea had been niggling at Claire Hegarty for years, but only when she got a bit of a fright did she take any action! For years she didn’t have the courage, confidence or motivation to do anything about it. With a comfortable job that was close to home, well-paid and with room to maneuver, why bother to change anything?

Then Claire read about someone who had taken ill suddenly, at the age of 41, and in the middle of a stressful presentation had dropped dead! She realized she was hurtling towards forty and if she wasn’t careful she would be going into the next bit of her life doing exactly what she was doing now. She might even keel over before she got to take action on her idea!

Claire had always spent a lot of her time doing things for other people, but she started thinking about what else she could do in life. First on the list: family and friends. As these were things she spent time on anyway, she felt that area was fine. Next on her list: her love of animals, specifically dogs and cats. And third: her love of writing and technology. There she had it! Why not combine all of the things she loved? Claire realized that her PLACE in the world was becoming clear!

The first thing she did was take an animal care course in the evenings at the local college.

Then she started putting up ads for a dog walking and pet sitting service everywhere she could think of. At the local veterinary surgeons, on notice boards at shops and supermarkets and by telling everyone she met! Next, Claire bought a cheap DIY web editor and learned some html from the internet. She was amazed at the amount of free information to be gleaned from it! She learned everything she needed to know about marketing, advertising and creating a website. She got in touch with other pet sitters, specifically in the US and the UK, as it is a relatively new industry in Ireland. Within months Claire had registered the business, done everything she needed to do to set it up, and she had acquired a decent client base with regular customers. She could not imagine why she had not done this earlier!

Now Claire finds the business is gaining momentum. She does all the morning, evening and weekend work and her helper takes care of the business on weekdays. She is still in her day time job but is working steadily at her own business with a view to running it full-time in the very near future! She is so much happier, healthier and a lot more confident. There is just no compensation greater than doing what you love.

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