We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Pishner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
If you look on social media, there are so many entrepreneurial influencers out there promoting working hard, grinding and being 100 percent all-in for your business. While I agree that it’s important to work hard and be dedicated to what you’re doing, especially considering the failure rate for new businesses, I disagree with the lifestyle these influencers are promoting. Life is all about balance; everything in moderation. I took their advice my first four years in business and worked obsessively – eighty hour weeks were my norm – and while it did pay off, and my businesses grew, it also took me physically and mentally to a dark place. My body was exhausted, my mind was always racing, and I had very little work-life balance. When all you do is work, hustle and grind, you leave little room for other things in life that are important too. Like your spouse, kids, friends and family – the people who supported you in the beginning of it all and still support you now. They don’t deserve to be second place, or last place, in your everyday life. When I realized that my workload was negatively impacting my personal life, I decided to step back and restructure my businesses so they could operate without me. I now enjoy much easier work weeks, and I’m a better wife, daughter, and friend than I used to be. I’m also a new mom which is exciting territory for me. My daughter is my world, and I’m so glad that I’m able to give her the time and attention she deserves! Truly successful entrepreneurs know there’s more to life than just work. They strive to work smarter, not harder, and to succeed without sacrificing the other things in life that matter too.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am the founder, owner and head trainer of Valor K9 Academy dog training. We are a leading training company for dogs and their owners around the world from our locations in Boise, Idaho; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Spokane, Washington. We specialize in puppy training, basic obedience, service dogs and behavior rehabilitation for problem dogs. Valor K9 Academy opened its doors in April 2014 as a one-woman show and has since grown to three locations across the United States with 14 team members and an international online platform. We’re known for quality training and real-world results. We pride ourselves on our integrity, work ethic and standard for excellence. Growth has been simple but not easy. We have worked hard from day one and we’ve all poured blood, sweat and tears into our business, its growth and our clients. Every single client matters to us. We want to do an exceptional job with everyone we work with, and we care about our reputation. We’re always striving to improve every aspect of our business which means we never sit idle or get comfortable where we are. Growth is tiring and inspirational at the same time. We’re so grateful to our clients and the communities that support us.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Valor K9 Academy’s headquarters location is in Boise, Idaho. In 2018, Boise was named the fastest-growing city in the US according to Forbes. It was also ranked the best place to live for millennials in 2019. When friends and family come to visit, we like to start with a relaxing day at our home. We live in the Boise foothills and have been blessed with a beautiful home overlooking the mountains. After a day of relaxation and good food (my husband is quite the cook), we head to town and check out the amazing sights Boise has to offer. We start with brunch at my husband’s cousin’s restaurant, Locavore, in Boise. Then we head up to Bogus Basin for splendid views of the city. Next up is cocktails downtown and a little flea market fun. As evening rolls around, we go to Boise’s Whitewater Park to watch the surfers then walk over to YardArm for a Corona and food truck tacos. We head home around dusk and soak up the beautiful sunset views followed by a late-night swim.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband deserves this shoutout! He has been my biggest fan from the very beginning. He has stood by me and supported me as I worked hard to get my businesses off the ground. And now he is a key figure in our businesses’s success. I’m the dreamer; he’s the doer. I envision what I want, and he makes it happen. When I feel defeated, deflated or uninspired, he jumpstarts my plans and helps me press forward towards bigger and better goals. I owe so much of my success to him.
Youtube: Valor K9 Academy