establish structure

Lessons Dogs Teach Us about Growing a Business

Lessons Dogs Teach Us about Growing a Business

Starting and growing a business requires discipline and structure.  While raising a dog requires emphasizing different types of specific, simple commands, we can draw parallels to the high-level objectives of growing a business. These two beautiful pups are my male and female bullmastiffs, whose own highly-developed instincts can only be nurtured through proper training and development. Here are a few ideas to consider along the path to growing a business: 1. What is Your Purpose? Dogs who have achieved a balance in their life are constantly nurtured and satisfied in their interactions with their human friends. The same is absolutely true when running your own business. By clearly defining the purpose of the business – who you serve, what you deliver, what you believe – not only will you have established a good foundation for building your business, but your employees and customers will feel assured and nurtured in their interactions with you. Take the time now to define a purpose-driven vision for the foundations of your business, and you will find the rewards and enrichment follow naturally. 2. Establish Structure Early and Often. Anyone who owns a dog understands, or should understand, that a well-communicated structure for behavior, followed up by constant training and reinforcement, will lead to desired behaviors and outcomes. By clearly defining your objectives – daily, short-term, mid-term, and long-term – and strictly following the structure consistently, you will find it much easier to accomplish the tasks required for you to operate efficiently. Plus, you will be in a much better position to respond to the inevitable detours along the path to success. This is the stage when clearly-defined communications can positively impact the speed and direction of your enterprising efforts. But, as with a dog, poor communication skills will result in poor performance. 3. Trust your instincts. Dogs are amazingly well-programmed for acting on instincts and having situational intuition. Their keen awareness of their surroundings allows them to anticipate issues early with responses appropriate for the situation. When running your own business, it is important for you develop and get in touch with your instincts – your gut feelings – as more often than not, your first instinct on specific situations is usually correct. As humans, we are constantly bombarded with external inputs, many of which tend to be data-driven. Spending time each day comparing data-points with your instincts will help develop your own...

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