When you’re an entrepreneur, challenges are almost the norm. Young entrepreneur Liz Illg has overcome a fair share of rejection from banks, but eventually she succeeded in obtaining a business loan to help purchase her dream venture, Puff & Fluff Grooming and Pet Sitting.
Illg was born and raised in the Midwest and has always been an energetic go-getter with a passion for animals. She was seven years old when she got her first pet, which she named after the city of Phoenix since she knew wanted to move here.
“I know what I want and I go after it,” Illg said. “The moment I graduated from high school, I packed my car with all my personal belongings and moved to the Valley to go to college and earned my bachelor’s degree in business from ASU.”
Illg has a strong entrepreneurial spirit, having maintained her own pet-sitting services since 2005, all while earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees and working in the corporate world.
“I like to work but I found that I didn’t fit into that world of being trapped in a cubicle all day working for the man,” Illg said. “I decided to take a leap of faith out of my cubicle and into the world of owning my own business.”
Puff & Fluff Grooming and Pet Sitting has seen great success since Illg’s ownership. The company has expanded and now has an additional location in Arcadia, which recently opened on Feb. 1of this year. Running a business is exactly what Illg wants to be doing.
“I love to be the visionary of the business, employing people and giving people a good place to work,” Illg said. “I care about everyone who works for me, they mean so much, as they make Puff & Fluff shine. They are the backbone of the business. I love serving the community by giving people local jobs.”
With three years of business ownership under her belt, Illg has learned a thing or two, including that it’s hard to please everyone in business.
“I want people to be happy with the services my business provides, but that might not always be the case, so it can be challenging to balance that,” Illg said.
Illg took the time to share what she’s learned throughout her entrepreneurial endeavors.
1. Be the best person you can be.
Wake up every day determined to be your best version of you. Be someone people want to be around and surround yourself with people you want to be more like.
2. Be true and honest with people.
The world needs more true and honest people who can be counted on. Admit your mistakes, honor your commitments and keep being the bigger person.
3. Be respectful.
We were all raised hearing “treat others how you want to be treated.” This is still a key principle in our adult lives. To gain respect, offer respect. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Respect other’s time and energy.
4. Be authentic.
There was a time in my life when I felt like I needed to change who I was based on what other people expected or wanted. Now I know that I can just be me, all the time! No one expects me to be perfect, or have it all figured out, they just want me to be myself. I encourage you to do the same.
5. Be excited about your opportunities.
Even the smallest opportunity can lead to much bigger ones so explore the open doors you see right now. It’s said that luck is preparation meeting opportunity so prepare yourself, then keep looking for the next step on your journey, no matter how small.
-Written by Carolina Lopez, digital marketing administrator, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. This article is part of the Chamber’s Valley Young Professional newsletter. To learn more about the Valley Young Professionals, click here.