I’m a dog person. I’ve always had a dog, and I’m sure that I’ll always have a dog because they’re just so much fun. We are the proud guardians of a six year old, 65 pound yellow Labrador Retriever named Penny. Penny is a funny dog who makes us laugh and loves her family. She has unfortunately become quite a thief over the past year, and on December 23rd she decided to scavenge a 16 ounce bag of raw cacao powder.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs. Raw 100% pure ground cacao beans is especially toxic and warranted a trip to the emergency vet hospital on December 24th. Penny had a 104.5 fever (normal is 101 for dogs) and a heart rate of 280, normal being 110-140, as her body worked to process the poison to her system.
Fortunately, Penny is ok and is home resting. As I sat with her over the past two days I couldn’t help but think how much we can learn about business from a dog like Penny. Dogs have keen senses of smell and hearing, but I think they also could have a keen business sense as well.
1. Be a friend: Penny is excited to see everyone she meets. The strongest relationships in life as well as business are created with an open heart. Treat each client like a valued friend, even if you’ve just met them. Be happy to see everyone you meet and they will naturally feel relaxed and welcomed.
2. Don’t be aggressive: When Penny was younger, she had a hard time controlling herself around guests. There would be entirely too much jumping around, licking, and overall excitement. Nobody likes the hard sell and wants to be best friends right off the bat. Playing hard to get is an important part of marketing and doggie manners.
3. Make time of self-care: Penny gives us strong reminders when it’s time for her breakfast or dinner or when she wants to go for a walk. It’s important to take frequent breaks from work and life. Go for a walk every day for exercise and fresh air, and try to take someone with you. Don’t skip meals and don’t isolate yourself. It’s healthy and invigorating to be with others and to network when the opportunity presents itself. Go after what you want and don’t stop until you get it.
4. Value loyalty: Penny is as loyal a dog as I’ve ever known. She sleeps between our bedroom and the kids so she can keep watch over everyone at the same time. When the kids have friends sleep over, Penny is in the middle of everything so she can keep an eye on the new person. Treat those who feed and support you with love, service and kindness.
If you’re a dog lover, what business sense does your dog have? I’d love to know!