Business Lessons from a Dog’s Perspective!
Have you ever heard of the ‘lone ranger’ syndrome? Many
solo-preneurs experience this, particularly in the start-up phase.
Building a business can be a lonely affair – if you let it.
This past week, I had the opportunity to visit with friends and spend
time with their 4 dogs. My first reaction is that this would be pure
chaos but, in actuality, it was not. These dogs were not only very well
behaved and had great personalities – but they also “collaborated” on a
lot of things.
My friends and I started discussing how ‘life lessons from dogs’ could translate into running, and growing, a business. Here’s what we came up with (after we searched on Google for the page: “Life Lessons from a Dog!”
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride. Many entrepreneurs can be heard discussing how difficult it is to run a business on their own – that it’s a ‘tough ride’. It really is all about the way we think about things – if/when you believe it’s a tough ride, then it will be. You have the power to bring that about. Opportunities (especially for a joy ride) exist right in front of us – everything we need is already right there – it’s up to us to seize the moments and experience the joy.
“It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than it is to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” – Oprah Winfrey
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. Many entrepreneurs operate their business from their home. This can create all kinds of different dynamics – and a lot of tension. When we take the lesson learned from a dog, we have the power to create very positive and supportive family dynamics.
When it’s in your best interest, always practice obedience. When it is in our best interest (that of an entrepreneur), we really must practice discipline. It takes focus, energy and discipline to reach our goals – consistent and positive behavior will take us where we want to go!
Take naps and always stretch before rising. In my coaching practice, it is clear to me that many entrepreneurs have very poor time management habits. They work from sun up to sun down – rarely taking a break. That habit is not conducive to creative and positive actions that are necessary to grow our business. It is critical that we take short breaks during the work day, in order to refresh and recharge those brain cells. As well, it is essential to take at least one full day of rest in the course of a week.
Run, romp, and play daily. All work and no play makes for cranky entrepreneurs – really…….if this is your practice, how much fun are you to be with? Make it a habit to exercise (self care!) and play at some point in each day. You will see the difference it will make in your overall attitude (and outcomes!).
Be loyal. This is a great trait to develop. Be loyal to your work, to your clients, to your suppliers, to your colleagues – to yourself. This alone will allow you to stand out in the marketplace.
Never pretend to be something you’re not. This is a huge mindset issue with many women in business! I hear about it all the time. Many entrepreneurs feel (at times) like they are a fraud – that what they have to offer is of no, or little, value. You started out in business because you had the belief, and the passion, to share something of value with the world. Stay true to that vision – stay true to yourself. Be who you are!
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. Many women in business give up when they are just ‘three feet from gold’. Persistence is an essential trait when it comes to having a successful business. Things don’t happen overnight. There is no such thing as an ‘overnight success’ – stay with it. Success can be right around the corner!
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently. When you have a bad day – and you will have a bad day – it pays to be silent. Reflect on what’s gone well – celebrate your successes on a regular basis. Recognize that there will be bad days – that’s when you must reach out, tell someone and allow the people who care about you to sit by and support you.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you. In my coaching practice, I focus a lot on mindset issues with women entrepreneurs. We often discuss self-esteem and self-worth issues. Women are not very good at accepting compliments – they often ‘push them back’. It is essential that you develop your self-efficacy and your self-worth by accepting positive feedback, internalizing it and allowing yourself to grow and become the best person that you can become.
“The very best thing you can do is to become very good at being YOU!” – Dennis the Menace
No matter how often you are criticized, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout – Run right back and make friends. Criticism and negative feedback can happen on a daily basis when you are in business. People are people and often do not stop to think before saying, or writing, something that will hurt your feelings. There is no time to sit, pout and feel sorry for yourself. Get over it! Get some perspective. And get back in the game! You’ll be happy you did!
There are many lessons we can learn from dogs – when we stop and make the time to observe some of their behaviors. They keep it simple – we don’t. We tend to complicate things. As entrepreneurs, we try to do a lot of things on our own – that is just not necessary in this day and age. Collaboration, not competition, is the way to success!
- Choose one of the ‘life lessons’ from above and apply it to your business today.
- Make note of the way you feel about it and one positive outcome from applying this change.
- Repeat, over the period of a week – and keep track of how it feels.