VOL. 126 | NO. 85 | Monday, May 2, 2011
Small Business Adviser
A Dog Is Entrepreneur’s Best Mentor
Is it possible most things we need to learn about business success we can learn from a dog? Not everyone owns a dog but many do. I get it. I have owned a lot of dogs. They can be brilliant business instructors.
Their No. 1 lesson: loyalty. Is there anything more loyal than your dog? Greets you so enthusiastically every day whether you deserve it or not. Can you imagine the extra business we could gain duplicating that with customers?
Another thing we love about our loyal dog is that it is always available. It just waits for us to call upon it – always there, ready to respond to any interest shown toward it. Do we take the same stance towards prospects and customers?
Dogs teach us to minimize our words and get to the point. Dogs can talk but they only know one word. All dog communication is accomplished with this one sound. Boy, you humans waste a lot of time talking. Bow wow!
When totally exhausted we say we are “dog tired.” This is because a dog gives everything until it can’t. If we can work every day until dog tired then we are going to be successful.
Dogs are as sincere as Mother Teresa talking to the sick. You cannot fail to respond to its suggestions when you look into those undistracted, totally focused eyes. It gets them what they want. Take a lesson all salespeople.
There is no better example of “being in the moment” than a dog. It gives undivided attention and is focused on you and what you are doing and saying right now. Can we do that with customers? We need to.
Dogs teach things above and beyond human comprehension. They are always excited to see you even if you are boring. They forget any previous inattention if you will make it right, right now! They are focused on the relationship come what may. Can we say that?
A dog is brave. No matter their size it will protect its owner. Even 10-pound yapper dogs bark at you with everything they have if they think you are threatening its owner. Owners want employees guarding their business similarly.
Dogs have worked their way to being part of the vernacular used to judge performance, superior or not so. If you are the winner you are Top Dog. If you are not so then you are the underdog. So in high competition arenas of business and sports the dog is the standard.
We can only hope our employees accept specialized training as well as dogs and match their superhuman accomplishments. They train to sniff out cancer, track down criminals, become seeing eyes, and perform search and rescue (could one be trained to sell?). Surely, then, we can learn that new technology, software or sales training so we accomplish similar missions for our business.
If one could master all these traits I believe it would provide a good career path into management. The next time you seek business advice try walking a mile in your dog’s tracks instead.
Tom Pease is owner of e/Doc Systems Inc.