When doing business is a dog’s life
Thursday, December 6, 2012/
Get a dog!
After typing just three words, I can already hear the cat lovers of the world fuming with indignation, ready to flood the Taskmaster Towers and StartupSmart mailboxes with angry letters. The cats have been let out amongst the pigeons, so to speak.
“Why not get a cat? After all, cats are generally self-reliant, free-thinking individualists,” the cat lovers will surely mew and moan.
Sure, self-reliance, independence and being able to land on your feet after dropping from a great height are all noble and worthy traits. That said, judging by the tomcat fights at 3AM over my back fence, cats can leave a lot to be desired in the personal responsibility department.
However, cats don’t come near the obedience and loyalty you get from a dog. Any living creature that unquestioningly follows every command given by Old Taskmaster is automatically worthy of admiration.
Some employees complain that they are “working like a dog”. Yet consider the facts.
After a little training, the average canine can fetch, stay, sit, roll over, beg, lie down and go “over there” on command. They don’t complain about it either – especially if they’re given a meat-flavoured treat afterwards. Can you say the same about your employees? I didn’t think so.
Bone burying and slobbering aside, most entrepreneurs would love to employ a workforce full of people who actually work like dogs. Unfortunately, aside from becoming an evil cult leader or third world dictator, adopting a dog is the closest you’re likely to get to that level of loyalty.
There is an added bonus to getting a dog if you’re stressed-out from work: The evening walk.
Let’s face it, lifetime gym memberships last for the life of the gym, rather than your lifetime. Unless you have an exercise buddy, it will sit in your draw and collect dust. However, if you need motivation to fit in some extra exercise, a pair of sad puppy dog eyes is just the guilt trip you’re after.
After a tough day in the office, it’s also good to clear your head. Perhaps give yourself time to chew a problem over or think about the big picture, away from distraction. Taking the dog on a half-hour walk is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
So get a dog. Or, if you already have one, take it on a good half-hour walk when you get home tonight.
Get it done – today!