Growing up, I spent a lot of time around the world’s best farriers as they came to our home and were trained by my father, Dr. Doug Butler. I was able to work side-by-side with many of them as they became master craftsmen and learned the fundamentals of farriery. I also have worked and consulted with farriers from around the world.

This chance to observe has given me a unique perspective on the habits and behaviors of success. In this series of articles I want to share with you what I’ve learned from observing these habits and behaviors up close so you can utilize them in your life and farrier business.           

Personal success trainer Anthony Robbins once said: “Success leaves clues.” Here is a list of of 10 habits, behaviors and clues that I’ve observed that top farriers around the world have and what you can do to become an even better farrier in your business.

1: Ambitious And Resistant To Complacency

Most business owners are committed to preserving a status quo as long as possible and this is true for farriers as well. Everyone wants the easiest way to set up a system for their business that allows them to keep taking money from it for years without looking for ways to expand or increase potential. Most farriers love the work and helping horses, but feel overwhelmed because they may not have all of the business skills they want to expand their business.

It used to be that a farrier could go along and expand their business steadily over time. Today, change is happening quickly and the best farriers force themselves and their business to change for the better. The best farriers choose not to just react to the changes they see around them; they proactively prepare for the future they want to create.

Regardless of the industry, the top professionals who I know never permit themselves a moment of mental rest. They are always simultaneously working on implementing what is working now and at the same time working on a replacement for it when it is no longer effective. Being content with just getting by isn’t a behavior of top professionals in any field. 

In today’s new economy, farriers must be responsive to the constant changes around them: demands from their clients, understanding horse anatomy and conformation so proper farrier work can be done in any situation, threats from new competitors, etc. To succeed long-term in this business, a farrier must have ambition and extreme resistance to the status quo.

Ambition is a word that sometimes gets a bad rap. A great definition of ambition is “a strong desire to do or achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.” Synonyms of ambition include: drive, determination, initiative, eagerness, motivation, resolve, enthusiasm, zeal, hunger, commitment and a sense of purpose. These are the habits and behaviors of top farriers. 

There are three ways you can diversify your knowledge and actions so you can get more done and beat the resistance of complacency: 

Continually educate yourself.

  • Read voraciously – study other successful business individuals
    • If you read 1 book/week in 10 years=520 books, 20 years=more than 1,000 books 
  • Network with other farriers and other business leaders you admire who are where you want to be. When you understand their marketing methods and business systems, you can implement these processes into your business as well. A big key to success is to find mentors who are where you want to be.
  • Become familiar with marketing methods and media beyond what you are familiar with and use. Horse owners are active on social media. You may just want to come home after a busy day and crash. Yet, taking the time to proactively educate your clients and show your skill level will have a huge impact on how successful you’ll be at attracting new clients and retaining the clients you’ve already got. 

Look for new ways to attract new clients to your business. This can’t be something you’ll get around to someday; it must be something you are constantly working on, testing and implementing. The best farriers attract more clients because they are good at what they do AND because they are good at promoting what they do to others. You must master these skills as well.

I’ve put together a list of more than 31 ways farriers successfully market their business. If you would like to get a copy of this list, email me at and I’ll send it to you.

If you’ve been dependent on one source to bring in new clients, you must diversify. Being reliant on any one single method to bring in business is a recipe for disaster. Most farriers don’t think about what might happen if the method they’ve been using is no longer effective. For example, many business owners used to advertise in the yellow pages. Most people don’t use that media anymore to find a new service provider. 

I’ve found that farriers use a variety of marketing methods to successfully promote their skills and abilities. I’ll share these with you in future articles.