If I could be half the person my dog is, I’d be twice the human I am. – Charles Yu
There has been at least one dog as part of my family for most of my life. They have all had very unique personalities. The two I have now are special in so many ways.
Despite being small, chewing on molding, getting in the trash and the pantry, stringing toilet paper throughout the first floor of my house, they have not only given an immense amount of love, they remind me of important principles that will build success in any business.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out: In all situations Houdini is an outgoing fellow. He wants to be, and frequently is, the center of attention. He knows he’s charming and bold. Even though he is 18lbs, he manages to get himself noticed anywhere we go. The same is true for your business. Your clients can’t find you if you don’t stand out from the crowd.
- Take the High Road: Dogs don’t hold a grudge or stay angry… ever. They put their energy towards love instead of being drained by the negative. Over time things are going to happen that make you angry, hurt you, or cause delays. Staying in a place of negativity will suck the life out of you or cause burn out. Let go of it. You get to choose how you expend your energy, spinning your wheels or moving forward.
- Use Tools that Help You Create Rituals: For a while Houdini went through a period where no Post-It should be left un-chewed. It happened to be at time when my office had reached a level of semi-disorganization that affected my productivity. My annoyance of not having any Post-It notes free from teeth marks prompted me to not only organize more effectively, it saved me hours of time in looking for things. I now have systems that not only keep things in place, they help me create more space and freedom. The biggest difference between you and the most successful people are your habits.
- Make Downtime a Priority: Maddy snores so loudly you can hear her across the room. She is an expert at lounging and napping to restore her playful mood and teases her brother relentlessly while she plays “keep away” with their dog bone. We are a chronically sleep deprived culture. Make time to sleep enough at night, and plan down time into your calendar, regularly. Making the time to unwind and relax leads to more creative problem solving.
- Admit When You Make Mistakes: More than once the Poogles have gotten into something they shouldn’t have. They will frequently sit next to whatever they have shredded, instead of hiding, with a tiny bit of remorse. “Oops, we didn’t mean to.” Everybody makes mistakes. It’s going to happen. Acknowledging mistakes created the opportunity to develop deeper relationships with clients, colleagues and vendors. Being a leader takes honesty and ownership of everything.
Running a business is more than what you offer. The relationships you build, your mindset and the care you take of yourself all contribute to your success. Take it from two very wise, furry beings who live an extraordinary life.
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