Ep. 84 | 3 Things to Remember When Being an Inventory Manager Feels Impossible

Help! Have you ever gone from feeling in total command of your inventory to … what?? The wheels suddenly seem to have come off the bus, thanks to an unexpected rush or a crush of back orders. Don’t worry! Host Nicole Clausen has your back and is devoting this episode of The Inventory Nation Podcast to managing through – practically and emotionally – when things start to fall apart. And, by the way, inventory snafus happen to everyone – so no beating yourself up! You’ll come away from this show with three Top Tips for getting through the bumps, plus bonus ideas sure to make you feel less alone. The biggest takeaway? Don’t be afraid of vulnerability (with thanks to Brené Brown)! Creating inventory systems can be a thankless job fraught with inevitable mistakes, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t doing a fantastic job. This episode provides you tools to perform a reality check when it feels like the rock is rolling back down the hill! In addition to mindset coaching, Nicole is sharing other ideas for self-care that will help you navigate on even the toughest days. Taking on the task of managing operations and supplies for your practice is huge. You are, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “daring greatly.” So stand proud and try some of these strategies for keeping yourself together in the face of whatever challenge. Finally, remember: Things always change and the inroads you’re making are no doubt appreciated even more than you realize!

Ready to fall in love with your inventory? Check out Nicole’s new (and totally free) mini-course at this link. And stay tuned for more fun mini-courses and events upcoming this spring!

Would you like to learn more about Inventory 911 Toolkit, our step-by-step blueprint to help inventory managers optimize knowledge, strategy and confidence? Click here!

You can also join our virtual neighborhood for inventory managers and other veterinary professionals for free by visiting this link. Or follow what we’re up to @Instagram.


  • How being an inventory manager can feel overwhelming – and why you’re not alone!
  • Tip #1: Get Vulnerable. Why openness and willingness to take a risk are essential to growth, especially for inventory managers finding their way.
  • More About Being Brave: Remember that “it is not the critics who count.” The credit goes to those of us who dare to navigate all the overwhelming (often unseen) elements of inventory management. Keep this “Man in the Arena” quote handy!
  • In the midst of your efforts to create systems and wade into areas that are new and unknown, be sure to treat yourself with grace and self-compassion.
  • Tip #2: Practice Self-Trust. When you’re having a hard day, resist it when your brain offers pessimistic narratives.
  • Ways to Stay Confident:
    • Look for and recall evidence that things have been better – and have worked!
    • Lean into the knowledge that things always cycle around.
    • Remind yourself that you have the tools to solve problems and fix things when they go wrong.
    • Put a reminder in your phone or sticky note on your desk: You know how to figure things out!
    • Challenge your brain when it offer up negative self-talk and stories.
  • Tip #3: Create a Sunshine File. Screenshot/save fan mail, love notes or appreciation of any kind from your team to refer back to (see Tip #2).
  • Bonus Tip #4: Create a Support System. Be deliberate in finding people, forums or other resources that will have your back when things go south and you need a shoulder to lean on or place to go for ideas and empathy.
  • Nicole solicits listener feedback. What do you do when the going gets rough?
  • And don’t forget the healing power of:
    • Sipping some peppermint tea.
    • Cuddling a loaner puppy.
    • Getting out into nature.
    • Taking a drive.


Hi, I’m Nicole Clausen and I started Veterinary Care Logistics with the dream of changing the way we manage inventory together.

With 14+ years of experience in the veterinary industry, I have worked in several positions from receptionist to operations manager for several different hospitals.

While no two practices are ever just alike, I noticed one common problem: a lack of inventory management and control.

If you are tasked with managing inventory, I understand first-hand the challenges you face.

When I first started managing inventory, I struggled with the same things that many of my client’s experience: a to-do list up my chin and a pretty persistent case of imposter syndrome. But jolting awake in the middle of the night, wondering if you remembered to order rabies vaccines is no way to live.

I knew something had to change.

Veterinary Care Logistics was born out of the demand by several industry leaders to utilize my inventory system as a model throughout the country. Whenever I tell people what I do, I usually get a puzzled reaction: “Why would you want to do that? I hate inventory!” Truthfully, I love the puzzles, the numbers, and the strategies of inventory. But what really sets my soul on fire is creating lightbulb moments.

New clients who often come to me tell me that they feel like they’re drowning or that they think they’re just not cut out for this. Then once we start working together, putting systems in place, there’s always, always an “ah-ha” moment.

And at that moment, a shift occurs. You know exactly what you need to do. Your confidence rises. And the confusion, overwhelm, worry all begin to melt away like a bad, backordered-rabies-vaccine dream.

These are the moments I live for.


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