What My Dog Taught Me About Business


I’ve been watching my dog a lot lately, and it occurred to me that we can learn a lot from these furry friends of ours. I decided to share a few observations that apply to both life and business this week, so enjoy this lighter-than-usual take on business tips:

  1. Make your intentions known. Dogs don’t wait around hoping that you’ll guess that they might like a piece of that juicy burger you’re eating. They sit at your feet, wagging their tail and letting you know exactly what it is that they want. They may not always get it, but there’s no mistake about their desires. After all, you don’t get what you don’t ask for, right?
  2. Embrace the unknown. Whenever the doorbell rings, my dog will run right the door. She might bark a bit, cautioning the person on the other side that, “Hey, there’s a dog here!” but there’s always a sense of eager anticipation as well. What’s on the other side? Who will it be? There is no dread, no apprehension, no concern that going to the door might be a bad decision. Dogs endlessly embrace the possibility of what’s on the other side.
  3. Always look for new opportunities. When dogs run out into the yard they’re constantly looking to see what’s changed. The landscape is usually pretty much the same from day to-day. But that doesn’t stop them from looking for new opportunities. Maybe there’s a little critter that made its way into the yard. Maybe a new plant has blossomed. Perhaps there is a hole in the gate which they can run through. No opportunity goes unnoticed.
  4. Live in the moment. Dogs rarely hold grudges. So what if you didn’t feed your pooch until 8pm. He’s still happy to play with you as a moment’s notice. Life is too short to spend dwelling on the bad things when you could be enjoying time together. In a dogs world, if you’re brooding of some slight, you might miss that slice of cheese that just dropped on the floor, or the door someone left open. “Carpe diem” says a dog.
  5. Relish the opportunity for rest. Many people, myself included, have a tendency to be workaholics. We think we need to be “always on” checking mail 24/7. Dogs, on the other hand, embrace every chance to rest. If there’s nothing exciting to look at, no one to play with, they’re smart enough to recharge, conserving their energy for the next big thing.

Research has shown that dogs are their happiest when they are at rest. I don’t think that’s because they’re lazy. Instead, those times of rest are full or dreams and possibilities. When I think about all that my dog taught me about business, shouldn’t we look at rest the same way?

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