Studies show that happy people are likely to live up to 35% longer than unhappy people. With that said, why shorten your life span by spending most of your time doing something you don’t enjoy? Insight visited with, Carla Bonetti who left the job world behind and turned her love for dogs into a thriving business.
Q: How long have you lived in the Sierra Foothills and where did you move here from?
A: This is actually my second time around. I spent many years wandering and exploring different areas. Initially, I spent four years here, then moved away and was gone for six years; however I missed this area and my friends too much so I made my way back. Twelve years have passed since my return.
Q: What business did you start? When and where?
A: In 2010 I had an idea for a business that would help visitors and locals find the hidden treasures of our beautiful County. I put a great deal of time, love and money into Nevada County Escapes, but the timing wasn’t right. It still exists, but not as a money making venture just yet. I was reading about a start-up, business created to help people who did not want to board their dogs in a traditional kennel setting and the light bulb went off in my head. A few months ago I started “The Dog House” offering home-style boarding and doggie day care. I’ve been amazed at how well it has caught on – obviously there was a need.
Q: What did you do before deciding to reinvent your life?
A: For over twenty years I was involved in the not-for-profit world. I worked as an executive director and fundraiser for a variety of organizations, some here in Nevada County as well.
Q: How did you make the transition from employee to business owner? Did you just walk away from your job and say enough is enough?
A: The Universe helped by me out of a very stressful situation. The organization I was working for was very dysfunctional and I was experiencing horrible migraine headaches. I missed an important grant deadline and was terminated as a result. Very soon after, my mother became very ill and I had to care for both my parents. As a result of those events, I decided that life was too short to be unhappy working for others and I had to find another way to use my talents and create something for myself.
Q: What sacrifices if any, did you have to make to live the life you wanted and how do you feel about your decision to become a business owner and not settle for finding another job you didn’t enjoy?
A: I gave up a steady paycheck, health insurance, vacation and holiday benefits – those kinds of things. I meet wonderful humans who are devoted to their dogs and I get to play with dogs all day. I won’t get rich, but I worked for non-profits for most of my career, so I guess that isn’t the most important thing in my life.
Q: What advice do you have for others that may be considering “Going for It” and reinventing their lives?
A: Be realistic about your skills and your comfort level with risk. Look for opportunities that will allow you to monetize your experience and talents. Be sure to do your homework and make a plan. There are so many resources in our area – so many great coaches and experts who can help develop a business plan, and who can help you make an informed decision. I believe that if you have the will and a good idea, you can find a way to create something that is yours.
Ref. Science Magazinewww.sciencemag.org
By- Stephanie Breeze