Running a business can be tough. But it’s nothing an 8-pound poodle couldn’t handle. Learn how five simple acts like tail-wagging and toy-sharing translate to tackling crucial business challenges. Find out how a dog’s perspective can help you unleash a more successful technology career.
Author: Michael Munger
Necessary Business Skills
I Learned from My Dog
Be Giving of
Your Best Stuff
Probably the most important habit
to form in this brave new economy
is to be giving of your very best
all the time. When my dogs want
to play, they dig through their
basket to find their best toy. They
recognize that it is no use having
toys if you’re only going to save the
best ones for a rainy day.
Be like my dog. Always give your best stuff to your customers,
and give like you’ve never given before.
If you’re attempting to build a relationship
with a new customer, why would you pick
your throw away products as your first
impression? Give them one or two of your
best ideas that they can take home and
use themselves. We want your prospective
customers to think, “Wow, if this is the stuff
he gives away for free...imagine how good
the for pay stuff will be!”
How Not to
A dog never stops selling. “You want
to walk me,” his eyes say. “Feed me
again.” “Let’s play more fetch!”
Adopt the positive attitude that everyone
wants to do business with you again and again!
It’s all about confidence and loving yourself.
As business owners, we often get slammed
with affronts: a customer complains, someone
refuses to pay a bill, you get a citation from the
county that your grass is too tall. Each of these
can take its emotional toll on you, and if you let
it, it will eventually make you tired.
Remember, be like my dog: always assume that everyone loves you,
and never stop wagging your tail.
Sometimes, my dog behaves badly.
He relieves himself in the wrong place,
or he tears something up that he
shouldn’t have. So, he gets sent to his
basket as punishment.
We have a cage for the dogs, full of blankets and
pillows. They have been trained that this is their
“safe” place. So it’s the first place they run when
they are scared, but it’s also the place where they
are sent when they are punished. When punished,
they tuck their tail between their legs, and run to
their cage. As soon as they sit down, they stare
back out the door as if to say: “I know that you
still love me.”
So, next time you have a client “tear you a new one” or life just doesn’t go your way, do
not fret. Just sit down, smile, and know that you’re still needed.
We have four dogs. Rafael is the
smallest. He has no idea how small he
really is. He doesn’t let his size dictate
anything about his life.
At night, my wife and I get into bed,
and the dogs join us (yes it’s crowded).
Every night before we sleep, we tell
the dogs, “foot of the bed”. They will
instantly get up, and wander to the
foot of the bed, and lay down for the
night. By morning, three of the dogs
are still at the foot of the bed. Rafael,
however, has moved to the dead center
of the bed. Not only has he moved
to the center, but he has slowly and
methodically edged both my wife
and I to either side of the bed until he
occupies the middle 80% of the bed.
Don’t ever let the size of your company dictate the size of your business. Stop calling yourself
a “small business owner”. Your business, despite its apparent “size” should be anything but small.
When I was a kid, my mother got a
new puppy who we named Pierre.
As was customary in our family, the
new puppy spent the evenings in
a cardboard box with a sock that
contained a ticking clock to simulate
the mother’s heartbeat.
The box stayed within arm’s reach of the bed
at night so if there was a problem we could
instantly take care of him. But Pierre saw
there was a problem with this arrangement:
the lack of freedom. He tried to jump out for
several hours, but never made it.
The next morning, we found out what true
determination really was... Pierre realized
he could not jump out, so he slowly stripped
away the cardboard from the side of the box,
piece by piece, all night until there was a hole.
It was the puppy version of the Shawshank
When you are staring down a seemingly insurmountable problem in your business just remember:
when you strip your problems down piece by piece, a solution (or hole) will always present itself.
Michael Munger (username: DrDamnit) has been a member of the
Experts Exchange community since 2003.
Michael has achieved Genius status with almost 2 million points,
and has earned 13 Experts Exchange certifications. He also
serves the community as a Topic Advisor and Page Editor.
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