Friday, February 15, 2008

Everything I've Learned About Business I've Learned From My Dog

We all need a business guru, someone to help coach us along as entrepreneurs. I'm not ashamed to say that my real business guru is Abby, my 11-year-old Labrador retriever. That’s right, my dog. She’s taught me some business fundamentals I think all businesses could utilize.

It’s surprising that Abby has been such a business mentor. To be honest, she’s not the most intelligent dog in town. For example, we attempted to teach her some dog skills, like playing ball. She will gladly chase the ball, but some of the subtleties of the game—such as giving the ball back—seem beyond her grasp. Maybe it’s us. Maybe we don’t understand her game of ball.

Despite these traits, Abby taught me valuable business lessons over the years. Hopefully, some of these ideas will help you better understand the world of business.

* If you stare at someone long enough, eventually you’ll get what you want. Persistence pays. Try it sometime. If it works for a pig ear, it might work for a big contract.

* When it comes to getting your way, if at first you don’t succeed, beg. What do you have to lose?
* Always greet people friendly. Maybe a cold nose in the crotch or a wet, sloppy kiss is a little much, but the more friends you make in business, the better off you’ll be. Remember, people do business with people they like.

* A small ego can go a long way. Abby’s never worried about who’s No. 1 or who looks better or gets credit. She’s focused on the ultimate goal, which usually involves a Snausage or two.

--Ron Ameln, SBM