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Why 2019 is all about Growing Stronger Together: Resilience, Compassion & Expertise

Posted in Our Community @ Jan 31st 2019 - By Judy Gillespie, Vetanswers
Vetanswers Growing Stronger In 2019 Resilience Compassion Expertise

Each year I decide on a focus for Vetanswers that is more concentrated than our overarching aim to Save Time, Connect & Discover.

This year coming up with the focus seemed even more important.

I’ve mentioned before that 2018 (and to be honest, 2017) were difficult years personally and professionally. During 2017/18, I made the decision to largely put Vetanswers on hold for nearly 12 months so I could help support some very close friends suffering severe mental health issues.

But it wasn’t only me experiencing some challenging times. There seems to be more and more information and stories about challenges within the veterinary industry that only seem to be getting worse. Depression; suicide; valuable, knowledgeable people leaving the industry in droves; pet care costs rising yet veterinary practice incomes seem to be falling; low rates of pay and high rates of stress. Yet the veterinary industry is still full of amazing people who are passionate about the welfare of animals and absolutely love what they do.

Grow Stronger

As I was thinking about what I wanted Vetanswers to achieve in 2019, one idea stuck in my mind – to grow STRONGER. I want our Community to make a difference, to find answers, to be the place everyone can come to for help, support, and solutions. But I can’t do it alone. I don’t have all the answers and I need the help of others to help find solutions and provide support.

Then it also occurred to me that GROWING STRONGER was also exactly what would benefit everyone who works in the industry. To grow stronger physically requires exercise, a good diet and the right sleep – all of which also helps to combat stress. To grow stronger emotionally and mentally also requires, among other things, exercise, a good diet, the right sleep and sometimes professional help – all of which also helps to combat stress. But it can be hard to achieve all these things alone. It’s hard to find the time, to know what a ‘good’ diet is and to know what is the ‘right’ exercise. It’s hard to find the commitment and drive to achieve success by yourself.

We all need the support and often, knowledge of others.

So, it seemed like a no brainer 2019 would be the year of GROWING STRONGER TOGETHER.

Now I had the 'What', I needed to work out the 'How' - how could Vetanswers achieve this and more importantly, how could we support our Community to also grow stronger? So I came up with three words that I think could do the trick:

1. Resilience

Resilience: the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness; the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape, elasticity.

  • Build resilience – in ourselves and in our businesses.

2. Compassion

Compassion: a strong feeling of sympathy and sadness for the suffering or bad luck of others and a wish to help them.

  • Show compassion (which is often already high) – for ourselves and each other including clients, teammates and family.

3. Expertise

Expertise: a high level of knowledge or skill

  • Continue to build expertise – and not just in veterinary medicine (although obviously, that’s essential) but also in ‘soft’ skills e.g. communication, mental health awareness, etc.

So this is my goal for Vetanswers in 2019 …

Helping our Community grow stronger together by building and improving resilience, compassion and expertise.

I don't have all the answers. I don't know exactly how we'll get there but if we can focus on these three areas for ourselves, our team and our business, I have no doubt that come the end of 2019, we'll find ourselves, our businesses and hopefully, the industry in general,  in a stronger position than when we started.

Have you decided on the goals and focus for yourself and your business in 2019? I’d love to see them in the comments section below.

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