A horseshoeing school student practicing to be a successful horseshoer

What it Takes to Be A Successful Horseshoer

If you want to be a successful horseshoer, you have to understand and prepare for self-employment. You have to develop the traits that make you a successful business owner. These traits are learned behaviors and attitudes. As a horseshoer, every minute of every workday requires that you exhibit qualities that are unnecessary for an employee.

Successful Horseseres Have Self-Discipline

The ability to control one's feelings and overcome your weaknesses.

Having self-discipline means doing what needs to be done, despite temptations to abandon your goals. For self-employed people, self-discipline is necessary for regulating your behavior to achieve your goals.

The horseshoeing profession is not going to grant you overnight success or instant income. It takes years of hard work to develop a full book. Self-discipline keeps you focused on your business and its growth.

You will get to practice your self-discipline at horseshoeing school, but you must continue using it for many years after graduating if you want to succeed.

You Must Have Self-Confidence

You accept and trust yourself, and you have a sense of control of your own life.

Self-confident farriers know their strengths and weaknesses. They have a favorable view of themselves and what they can accomplish. Their goals are realistic and attainable, and they have the self-discipline to achieve them.

When you have self-confidence, you can handle criticism without falling apart. You are prepared for failure and know setbacks will often occur in your early years as a farrier.

If a failure in your life becomes a roadblock that freezes you and haunts you for days and days, you're going to struggle being self-employed. Self-confident people use their failures as motivation to increase their skills and knowledge. They see failure as a necessary ingredient to success, not a limiting factor.

Self-Motivation is Required

The ability to drive oneself to take action towards specific goals and accomplishments.

Successful farriers are self-motivated people. Their inner drives pushes them to take action and achieve the things they want in life. You must be willing to put in the work because you want it, not because someone else is telling you to get it done or holding you accountable.

As an employee, you’ll always have other people telling you what to do and how to do it. Small business owners have to direct their actions. You can’t just sit there and hope clients call you and give you their money. No one will schedule your appointments or tell you what needs to be done to make money.

Consistent Effort is Non-Negotiable

Everyone has witnessed an employee just going through the motions - waiting for their shift to be up or for retirement to come. This behavior is easy to identify and bad for business. It’s called an employee mentality.

As an employee, you might be used to operating in an apathetic position, but if you're going to become a successful horseshoer, you need to become engaged and enthusiastic about your life. You can't afford to coast along.

Your clients need to know that you're devoting 100% of your talent, skills, and attention to them, or they're going to go elsewhere.

Dedication and Sacrifice

You need to deliver consistent effort to succeed. As an employee, you can call in sick or take a day off when you need one. This is not the case for farriers. You have to go to work even when you don't feel well.

You won’t get holidays and vacation time off until your practice is well established. Prepare to be married to your business 24/7 until you get it off the ground.

Take Risks and Fail Forward

Many of us have been taught to think that taking a risk and failing is unacceptable. Failure is riddled with so much negative connotation that people don’t push themselves to their fullest potential.

If failure is a deal-breaker for you, you need to think long and hard about becoming self-employed. On the other hand, if you're emotionally mature enough to accept failure in a positive light, you can probably handle being self-employed.

Make Decisions Quickly

Horseshoers can’t pass the buck onto someone else whenever a decision needs to be made. There is no one higher up in the business to lean on in these situations. Whatever the crisis or problem is, you have to solve it.

Every day is filled with decision-making about your attitude, investments, client work; it all falls on your shoulders. Successful horseshoers make decisions quickly based on the information they have. They're not afraid of failure. They can recover from that. They know that putting off decisions compounds problems and makes them more challenging to overcome in the future.

Save for Retirement

Self-employed people must provide for their retirement. There is no one taking automatic contributions from your paycheck and putting it into a 401k for you. You have to have the self-discipline and self-motivation to set this up yourself. If you don’t want to be swinging a hammer when you are 85, you have to put some of your money aside for retirement every time you go to the bank.

The biggest obstacles to success horseshoers face is failing to adhere to the principles discussed in this post. If you think you can be disciplined and handle these things in your life, you might make a darn good farrier.

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