A puppy dog’s approach to business…

Last weekend (Memorial Day Weekend here in the US), I spent a lot of time goofing off with my one year old puppy, Winston. I learned a lot about how I could be a better entrepreneur by observing him, and I want to share with you some insights I gleaned.

The thing about Winston is that he always gets his needs met, he is super clear on his deep desires, and he doesn’t doubt himself or engage with resistance. In other words, he’s already figured out at his young age what most of us entrepreneurs spend decades wrestling with.

Here are some entrepreneur lessons for ya, courtesy of my puppy, Winston.

1. Keep your focus on your desire.

Puppy winston

Meet Winston

In Winston’s case this involves: food, sleep and outside adventures, preferably with friends.

What’s significant about this is Winston assumes that his desires will be made manifest. He assumes that his human will continue to show up and provide food and a safe, warm place to sleep. There is no doubt in his mind this will happen.

He also assumes that FUN and FREEDOM will be a part of his reality, via adventures. And he prioritizes this in his life.

2.  Don’t let doubt enter your mind.

Winston assumes that if he wants something, it will be available to him immediately. He doesn’t feel bad about wanting it, he doesn’t wonder if somehow I have stopped loving him or supporting him if I don’t respond immediately. He is completely sure and confident in his desire and who he is in the world.

3. Don’t engage with resistance.

Even when I tell him no, when Winston is chewing on something inappropriate (delicious) or trying to eat my face (also delicious), he is never dissuaded from what he wants. Winston’s also never torn about moving forward with what he wants. If he wants to sleep, he will fall asleep immediately, regardless of his location or position. If he wants food he will keep licking his dog bowl (even if it is empty) until food magically appears. If Winston wants to play he will jump up on me and attempt to sit on my face until I close my laptop and pay attention to him.

4. Practice self-care.

Puppy Winston

Winston plays hard and he rests just as intensely.  He goes through bursts of energy followed by naps.  He self-regulates and manages his energy. He doesn’t do what I have a pattern of doing - which is pushing past the point of my natural energy, attempting to get through my to-do list or agenda I have set for myself. So, one day this weekend I napped when he napped, and was in action only when he was in action. Go figure, I still got stuff done AND had energy at the end of the day. Smart puppy.

How do your pets help you to be a better entrepreneur?


Ana Tootle

Cute and great advice!
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Emma Churchman

Thanks so much, Ana!
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