A couple of months ago, I had the privilege and responsibility of dog sitting not one, but two massively huge dogs. After hours of watching, observing and pondering these four-legged beasts, they taught me 4 lessons on business.
Lesson #1: Passion & Enthusiasm! Every day when I got home from work the dogs would enthusiastically greet me with a big lick and uncontrollable wags of the tail. I barely made it to the welcome mat before I was plowed over.
Lesson: It’s guaranteed you will catch the attention of other people if you have passion and enthusiasm. It is truly hard to not respect someone who has a passion for their work.
Lesson #2: Be patient, persistent and consistent. I believe the saying “have the tenacity of a pit bull” applies to all dogs. It was an awesome site to see these two dogs completely mutilate a peanut butter filled milk-bone. Hours and hours of gnawing and licking, eventually rewarded them with the gooey peanut center.
Lesson: Most things worth going after won’t be easy. Obstacles, hurdles, walls and maybe troops will surely be in your path. Just know that God is always there to help get you through it.
For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. -Psalms 18:29
Don’t give up until you get to the gooey center. It’s there… you just need to keep licking!
Lesson #3: Incentives work. It’s amazing how well these dogs would obey when I had a 7oz milk bone in my hand. I could get them to sit, shake and without even saying anything, I could even get them to drool on my tile floor. Pavlov would have been proud! Lesson: As humans, we aren’t much different. It doesn’t take a lot to motivate us. Maybe some donuts, pizza party for the office or if you really want to incentivize… hand out AWARDS. If you expect positive performance, it has to be fostered by positive incentives. Extrinsic motivation to work hard for a reward started with God and Adam.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;Genesis 2:15-16
We definitely want to work hard for rewards now… but even more so for eternal rewards.
Lesson #4: Be present… live in the now. Almost daily I can readily spot someone dwelling on the past, stressing over the future or just “checked out” from the present in some sort of la la land. Dogs don’t hold grudges, you never get cold shoulder because you didn’t rub his belly last week. Dogs also don’t fret over the future. They simply enjoy the now. Lesson: A wise man named Matt once wrote “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” In dog language.. wag more bark less!
*Bonus Tip: Always be suspicious of the mailman. I’m not exactly sure why… but I think it’s good practice.