Business Lessons My Dog Taught Me

Yogi is our Yorkiepoo and he has got to be about the best dog in the universe. I know. I know. Everyone says that about their dog. But this time it’s true and here’s why. Not only is he a cuddly and loving dog, he also teaches me business lessons almost daily. I’ll share with you the three that I think are the most important.

 

Adversity

A little over a year ago, we learned that Yogi has an untreatable condition, cerebral abiotrophy. The brain cells responsible for coordination are slowly dying. The doctor assured us that he is in no pain and that he isn’t frustrated. To him, this is normal.

This lack of coordination means he walks funny and when he’s running outside he has a tendency to stumble and fall. Doesn’t phase him at all. Whenever he falls, he always pops right back up and continues running after whatever squirrel or blowing leaf that first caught his attention. After the first few times, I kept expecting him to not chase after things or be slower to get up. Not so. He just rolls with it. Sometimes quite literally.

This was a huge lesson for me to learn. We’re always going to be faced with obstacles. You’re going to stumble. Who cares? Pop back up. Don’t linger on it. Correct course and keep going after your goal.

Do What You Love, No Matter What

Yogi LOVES to be outside. I think probably more than most dogs. When talking with other dog owners, they joke about how when it’s raining or cold out, their dog won’t go out or how quickly they get their business done and high tail it back inside. Not Yogi. It doesn’t matter how cold, wet or rainy it it is outside, he wants to be outside.

The conditions are not always going to be perfect. But if there is something that you love doing, do it and do it well. I love helping people and being a problem solver. I did it for years in education and loved it until circumstances changed. I had two choices. I could stay in education and not enjoy what I was doing. Or I could go out on my own and find a new way to help people. The prospect of losing that steady paycheck & health insurance is not the ideal condition. But the thought of not doing what I’m mean to do was far scarier. I haven’t regretted that decision for one second.

If you’re doing what you love, it will show in your business. Your customers and clients will see it and they will want to be around you and to do business with you.

Don’t Be Afraid To Be Vulnerable

Yogi is a rescue. We got him at 1 year and it was obvious that he wasn’t used to being around people and what interaction he had was not positive. For months, he would push us away or move away when we would go to pet him. I had begun to wonder if we would ever bond with him and if he would ever really trust us.

One day, I’m sitting with him trying to coax him into letting he rub his belly. This went on for about 30 minutes when he finally rolled over and let me pet his belly. In that moment of him showing me his vulnerable side, we instantly created a bond.

You can create that with your customers and clients. Don’t be the little man behind the curtain. Show your human side. Let people know who you are so they can feel a connection to you. People do business with people not companies or brands. Allow people in and watch your business grow!

 

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