6 Important Business Lessons I learned from My Dog

Lilly and Lora
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Up until 7 years ago, I was extremely afraid of dogs mainly because in Pakistani culture dogs are seen as bad animals. This changed when I met my wife Amanda. Her family had two dogs, and they helped me overcome my fear. Few years later, I decided to adopt my first dog, Lilly. She’s a short corgie shih tzu mix – very smart and stubborn (kinda like me), so she became my best friend. She comes to work with me every day and sit or sleep underneath my desk. She goes to the coffee breaks with me and have also sat through numerous meetings. Over the last few years of having her on my side, I learnt some very important lessons in work and life. Here are 6 that applies to business:

1. Be Persistent in Getting What You Want

Most people ask once and stop. Some don’t even bother asking. But if you’ve ever owned a dog, then you know that they’re really persistent. Lilly is an expert when it comes to getting food from my plate.

She sits around and make cute faces, and sometimes she even taps my legs. Every now and again, I cave in and give her a bite or two because I’m impressed by her determination.

Being persistent is important in getting what you want. I’ve been told that I’m very persistent when it comes to making deals. I don’t give up when I hear the word no on the first try. Mainly because I know I can do better. I try different angles and ways to get the desired outcome.

Sometimes the answer doesn’t change, but at least I learn what to do better next time.

2. Make the Most of Every Opportunity

There’s a saying, when opportunity knocks never hesitate to open the door. Well Lilly knows that all too well. Just this morning she opened the door to the guest bed room and slept in the bed (which she’s not allowed to do that’s why we close the doors).

In business I see a lot of people wasting opportunities. For example:

  • Social media is a great way to connect with customers, but small businesses aren’t spending the time to engage with their customers.
  • Those who have websites are failing to convert website visitors into subscribers and customers when tools like OptinMonster makes it so easy and affordable.

3. Only Do What You Love

Lilly hates playing fetch. Every time I tried playing fetch, she would bring the toy back once, but after that forget about it. She loves playing tug, so she is always bringing me the toy to play tug with her.

The lesson here is to do what you love over and over and stop doing things that you hate.

I’ve found that I’m far more productive when I’m doing things that I like. When I try to force myself to do things that I hate, then I find myself extremely frustrated and usually far less effective. That’s why I say NO to things I don’t like and outsource it if it absolutely has to be done.

4. Don’t be afraid to speak up

If something doesn’t feel right, then you need to speak up. I know a lot of people are afraid of being wrong, so they try to avoid speaking up. There’s nothing wrong if somebody corrects you because that’s an opportunity for you to learn.

The best (sometimes worst) part about Lilly is that she’s never afraid to speak up. If there is something wrong, then she definitely lets me know with her barks and growls.

5. Learn to Shake it Off

We all have failed at least once or twice. If you’re like me, then you fail just about every day. However not letting those failures hold you back is very important in business. The best thing you can do is learn from them and move on.

I adopted Lilly when she was just 6 weeks. As a puppy, she would fall if she ran too fast, but she would always get back up and shake it off. While chasing lizards and squirrels in our yard, every now and again she bumps into the fence. I’m sure that ought to hurt because its a wood fence, but she always shakes it off and keep trying.

I’ve never seen Lilly give up, and I try to do the same.

6. Always Give your 110%

Whenever Lilly is doing something, she always give it 110%. Whether she’s licking you or trying to catch lizards. I’ve seen her jump crazy high and do a flip in the air while attempting to catch a lizard (I wish I could’ve recorded it).

If you want to stay ahead in business and in life, then you always have to give your 110%.

I haven’t met a single successful person who doesn’t work hard.

Even though I talked a lot about Lilly, I have two dogs Lilly and Lora (named after the Google font that I use on WPBeginner). I love them both, and they are amazing companions. Have you ever owned a dog? What lessons have you learned from your dog in life and in business?

Also just for fun, here are 25 Things You Didn’t Know About Dogs

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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15 thoughts on “6 Important Business Lessons I learned from My Dog

  1. Excellent blog as usual… one of the blogs, I literally wait for… thanks for such a wonderful blog post… I don’t have a dog but now willing to get one ;) thanks again.!!!!

  2. Great insights for a Monday morning. Thanks Syed.

    I don’t have a dog but I have a lot of friends that do and the one lesson I take away from watching them into business is “Ask for what you want”.

    My uncle’s dog Farfel brings you his bowl when he’s hungry. He doesn’t bark or moan and he certainly doesn’t sit around and wait. He goes and gets his bowl and brings it to you. What he’s saying is “I’m hungry” and then he makes it really easy for you to feed him. “Just fill the bowl dude”

    I take that philosophy into business as often as I can. When approaching a client or potential client, I don’t just sit back and wait or motion towards the business I want. I ask for it and then make it as easy as possible for them to say yes.

  3. hi sir

    Nycc features of dogs.. i would like to tell u that i landed on this page from About page.. as u mentioned there really your story gives very inspiration thanx for sharing your life experiences.

  4. Hi Syed Balkh… your Lilly and Lora are so innocently cute, i like them very much. My name is Ramarao Bobby, I am an absolute dog lover and editor-in-chief of tech-wonders.com technology blog. First I found your site wpbeginner on top of Google Search while searching for ‘best w3 total cache settings’ because I desperately need to improve my page speed. Seeing all your website having unbelievable page speed I wanted to know more about you and landed on about page and from there I came to this site. These days I don’t really do much of commenting on blogs as I’d like to, but I’m super impressed with your websites and this is especially such a lovely post featuring your cute furry friends Lilly and Lora.

    Dogs are such a wonderful source of unconditional Love and companionship. Every day that we live with the dogs, they teach us something new. Most important thing we can learn from dogs is that they just love us for who we are.
    Dogs also keep it real and teach us to live in the present moment. If you ever watch a dog get in the fight, they get mad at each other, they walk away,
    they shake it off and they are done… and then they go back to playing with each other. That’s the biggest lesson we can all learn. Don’t dwell in the past, be in the present moment as nothing remains the same except the past.

    Thinking of business lessons Dogs teach us with their behavior, pleasing website audience or those who love our work is the #1 business lesson that comes to my mind. Because when you call to a dog it will break its neck to get to you. Dogs just want to please. Likewise we need to impress or please our website audience.

    Lastly I must say Dog people are the best people. Woof! Woof!

  5. Great post, Balkhi. I reached this post, while reading your about page. Though a follower of WPBegineer for a long time, I just now saw your personal story.

    Great achievements, I must say. Thank you.