Hard Decisions Suck but They are Necessary (and Book Giveaway)

by Rebecca on February 22, 2015

Since the beginning of the year, I have really been working to figure out what about my life drains my energy and how I can do less of those things.phone-balance1


Believe it or not, performing surgery isn’t what drains me — most days!


Probably the most exhausting part of my job is talking on the phone. I was saying to a vet friend of mine the other day, “Veterinary school did not prepare me for how much I would have to talk on the phone!” She agreed and said, “Just talking in general.” So true!


Do not get me wrong, communication and the relationships we have with the hospitals we serve and the clients we have are the lifeblood of our business, but it can be draining! Every career, every job, every role has a facet that is more draining than the rest. We need to do the work of uncovering what’s most draining so we can turn to the work of balance.


Many days, we are actually finished with surgery in the early afternoon (one of the many things I love about my job) yet I am still stuck with a phone that is always ringing. Just the other day, I took my dogs for a 45-minute walk and when I returned there were 6 phone calls I missed. I then have to spend time returning calls or they are hanging over my head until we deal with them the next day.


It has gotten to the point that I think we are not serving our customers as well as we should because I will often just let them go to voicemail even though the workday is still going on for everyone else.


I knew it was time for me to stop carrying the phone at all in order to get some sanity back in my life. The obstacle that kept me from doing this sooner was that we did not have a consistent second surgical assistant.  One person worked Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and another person worked with us just on Tuesdays (there’s a long story about how this transpired, but this is the way it has been for years). That one issue kept me from being able to hand of the phone at the end of our workday during the week.


After much contemplation and angst, I knew it was time to make that leap and have two full time assistants which meant the wonderful, awesome veterinary technician who has been with me for 5 years was no longer going to be able to work with us on Tuesdays.


I will be honest with you, this is not a decision I wanted to make. I love this person very much and she was a rock for me when we had all those team issues a few years ago. She is a rock-star technician who has been able to do this job with excellence while only doing it once a week. Nicole and I really just enjoy working with her and seeing her once a week. Restructuring my team without her was not an easy task!


As Nicole said, “Sometimes it sucks to be the boss.” Truer words have never been spoken.


What I do know though is sometimes hard decisions have to be made.


Sometimes the right decision is the hardest decision.


What hard decision have you been putting off?  


Leave a comment below and be entered to win a copy of Lucky Dog: How Being a Veterinarian Saved My Life by Dr. Sarah Boston. We’ll announce the winner next Sunday!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle Larsen February 22, 2015 at 8:18 am

Congrats on making a hard decision that was best for you and the future of your business, never easy to do. I will not say I am “putting off” hard decision…just thinking them over for a while.


Rebecca February 23, 2015 at 8:17 am

Thanks for commenting! Yes hard decisions are no fun!


Vet Changes World February 22, 2015 at 9:35 am

Right now I have to take 2 days off for a medical procedure for myself, and any decision is going to require rescheduling surgeries for my patients and/or missing a major life event for some of my closest friends. I’m definitely putting it off and hoping that suddenly I will be hit with a flash of inspiration.


Rebecca February 23, 2015 at 8:17 am

Ugh! Hate dealing with things like that. I know you will ultimately do what is best for you!


Jessica T February 22, 2015 at 3:55 pm

About a year ago, I realized I had been ignoring some warning flags and going with the “everything will turn out fine eventually” philosophy in my current job. Then, after a hard look on what the next 5 years would look like, I decided to change positions. I felt sick for about a week until it was done, but it has made a world of difference. I think I was too worried about how it would affect other people and ignored what I needed to do for my family.


Rebecca February 23, 2015 at 8:19 am

It is crazy how after making a decision like that- you end up being- why didn’t i do this sooner 🙂

My hand has been forced in the past to make a decision and it is amazing how much better it was for me even though at the time I did not even think I wanted it to happen.

Life if too short to be stuck in job that is headed no where!

Good job and thanks for commenting!


Jenna O February 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Divorce is the hardest decision I´d have to make.


Rebecca February 25, 2015 at 7:09 am

That is a tough one for sure. Thanks for commenting. Hope things are looking up for you!


Julie B. February 27, 2015 at 12:02 am

I have been putting off the “decision”to finally feel proud and happy about being a full time working mother and the primary bread winner for my family. I have spent the last 9 months struggling with trade offs between work and home. As Sheryl Sandberg says, “instead of perfection, we should aim for sustainable and fulfilling. The right question is not, can I do it all? But, can I do what is most important for me and my family?”


rebecca February 27, 2015 at 8:36 am

Julie- that is fantastic. It is so easy to focus on what we are NOT doing instead of all things we do. No one can do it all and if they look or act like they do it is a facade!! I love that question- What is most important for me and my family- that is going to be different for everyone and it is time we all embrace these instead of fighting them- which I am plenty guilty of doing!

Thanks for commenting!


Elliott February 28, 2015 at 8:12 am

I’ve been putting off the decision about how to publish my book. I’d love to get a copy of Lucky Dog — it’s been on my list for a while.


rebecca February 28, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Elliott is is great book and I sure you would love it. Get that book published!! Self publishing is a good way to go from what I know. I am sure you are familiar with Michael Hyatt- you can check him out at michaelhyatt.com- great info about publishing.

Hope your new (ish) job is going well and thanks for commenting!


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