We recently rescued Pepper Rio, a 5-month old German Shorthaired Pointer. She has instantly become a part of the family, work culture and everyday life. Disruptions to the routine of life can lead to self-examination, and dogs — especially super active puppies — are a major shock to the routine.
Here are a few of the things I have learned, or come to appreciate, about how getting a puppy is like running a business. This is also a good reason to share cute pics!
Patience is a virtue
No, stop, ouch, ENOUGH!
Things are not going to happen right away and they certainly will not be perfect. We’ve had our new puppy for about a month now and she’s not perfectly behaved yet! Are we bad owners? No, we are the best…or at least pretty good. Just as dogs aren’t trained in a day, neither are new skills. Learning a new industry, technique or client takes time. As long as you put in the time, you’ll know the difference between HDBASE-T and HDBIT-T eventually.
Everyone needs a refresher
I’ve had dogs before, as recently as three years ago. But man did I forget a bunch of stuff. Especially from puppy school over 10 years ago. The same goes for running a business. Don’t sit back and assume you know how to do everything because things are going well or your past results have succeeded. Get out there (physically or metaphorically) and make sure you are on top of your game.
Regularly attend or participate in industry educational events. In person is ideal, but if you have to supplement with a webinar or podcast, do it!
Create (documented) repeatable processes
One of the early lessons I (re)learned in puppy class is to make sure everyone is using the same words for commands and to write them down so we don’t forget. If I am saying “stop,” while my kids are just yelling “no” when Pepper grabs their favorite toys, she’s not going to get it. We must uniformly agree on using the same commands for the actions we want to see, write them down and hang them up in case we forget.
This is one of the most important aspects of growth for business. You really need to document the processes you go through on a daily, weekly and yearly basis. Not only will you have something to share with the new hire, but just going through the process will help hone and evolve your systems.
Sometimes rushing is NOT the best thing
Ever had a dog poop in your car? I don’t recommend it and it can be avoided. Take your time on the way to the car to make sure she has done her doody. With some planning and leaving a little earlier, the dog would have had time to do her business before getting in the car.
Most of the time in business getting it right is more important that getting it right now. Having a documented repeatable process (see #3) can help you with planning so you don’t need to rush. Always take a minute to reread any correspondence because the time spent on making sure you are clear and correct will save you time making future corrections (and you won’t look like an idiot).
Breaks are good.
Having a dog in the office forces me to get outside a couple of extra times each day. These breaks are physically and mentally good for business. We all work differently, but whether we are writing an article, crafting a pitch or crunching numbers, short breaks and fresh air will make you work better.
That’s all for now, Pepper needs a walk!