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