When the allure of flying high starts to wear thin

Mon, Jan 14, 2013, 00:00

Sinead DeeganMarketing director turned dog groomer

“At the time, I guess I was burnt out. But I always lived at such a fast pace I didn’t know any different,” says entrepreneur Sinead Deegan of her decision to quit corporate life.

She was the marketing director of a US digital marketing company and worked with the world’s top 10 advertisers and ad agencies. Deegan was on a flight twice a week, every week. But after 12 years the attraction of being a high flyer ceased to be what it once was.

“We’d have a plan for the year and then all of a sudden we’d acquire another company and I’d have five other products to look after in 13 different languages.”

She never had full control. “A lot of people would work for large corporates and they are just a small piece of a bigger puzzle.”

But getting a dog sparked an idea. She set up Muttugly, her dog and cat grooming and dog daycare business in 2006.

“Every time I went to the US for work, I saw these doggy day-care centres. You’d walk down the street and see 20 dogs on sofas in this lovely big window . . .

“I was one of these people who used to go in and rub other people’s puppies. I wanted to rub my own puppy.”

Big decision

Quitting her corporate job wasn’t easy.

“It was like breaking up with someone. They wouldn’t believe me. I told my boss and I . . . came out highly emotional because I had been so committed.”

Swapping her well-paid prestigious job for dogs left her family and bank manager thinking she was a “lunatic”.

But now with Muttugly branches in Dublin’s Charlemont Street, Ranelagh and Ringsend, she doesn’t miss corporate life.

“As you get older, you realise what makes you tick . . . it was never about money. At work they never quite got that I was never motivated by money; it was more about success and building something from the ground up.”