How to Be a Better Entrepreneur and Business Owner According to My Dog

Back before the pandemic made getting a puppy cool (okay, okay, getting a puppy has always been cool), my family welcomed Lucy into our lives. Lucy is a Ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and she immediately stole our hearts.

She also instantly secured a position as SizzleForce Marketing’s Vice President of Happiness. I promise it’s not going to the dogs over here.

I mean just look at her and tell me you wouldn’t give her a job.

When things started shutting down in March, I was thankful Lucy was already in our lives. I knew she would offer some much-needed comfort and distraction in an otherwise stressful time to own a business and parent school-aged kids.

What I didn’t expect was for her to reinforce and remind me of some of my long-held beliefs about marketing.

You see, dogs are naturals at marketing. And they get stuff done.

In the 1980s, McGruff the Crime Dog helped the National Crime Prevention Council take a bite out of crime through commercials, strategic comic books, and billboard campaigns. According to the FBI, the property crime rate in the United States has decreased since McGruff joined the force.

 

And dogs don’t just tackle crime.

 

Corporate giant Target introduced Bullseye, an English bull terrier, in an ad spot in 1999, and he’s helped customers “See. Spot. Save.” ever since. The company has incorporated Bullseye’s image into print and digital media to much applause, stating that he “brings the brand to life.”

They even keep eight English bull terriers on staff at all times (six for appearances and two in training) to make sure Bullseye never misses an engagement. Talk about keeping your customers happy…

So you can see, Lucy is following in the paw prints of many four-legged marketing experts who have come before her. I’m lucky she shared these five lessons in how to be a better marketer and business owner with me.

Lesson #1: Always Be Hungry

Lucy is rarely satisfied with the amount of food deemed appropriate as a meal for a dog her size. And honestly, her appetite is pretty incredible. She’s always demanding more, which is a great place to start with her marketing education.

When you’re hungry to prove yourself or hungry for your next sale, you’re willing to work a little longer, a little harder, and a little more creatively to get the job done. This hunger shows your clients you don’t believe in phoning it in because something you want is always on the table—your remarkable reputation.

Always look for opportunities that fuel this hunger in your work.

Lesson #2: Always Be Happy to See Your People

“Niching down” is quite a trend these days, and for good reason. When you niche down—or claim what you do well and actually do it—you know exactly who you can serve and what your ideal customer avatar looks like. In other words, you know your people. If we all acted the way Lucy acts when she sees her people, the world would be a happier place.

When Lucy walks into a room full of her people, she actually shakes with excitement. She is overjoyed to see the people who love her, and we, in turn, want to spend more time with her.

As a business owner, when you’re happy to see your clients, they notice. BIG TIME. And they will keep coming back to you over and over again. Because, yes, someone could technically do the same job as you, but they can’t make your people feel the same way. No one can.

Which goes hand-in-hand (or dare I say, paw-in-paw), with…

Lesson #3: Be Fiercely Loyal

Lucy has eyes only for us (and I’m pretty sure it’s not just because I carried her around in a sling when she was a teeny, tiny puppy). We’re her people (see Lesson #2) and she is fiercely loyal to us. When one of my kids has a bad day, she knows it and she comforts them. When a bird swoops down onto our back deck uninvited, she barks at it to say, “Keep it moving, buster.”

She’s devoted to us and she’s not afraid to show it.

The same goes for our working relationships. Being loyal to your clients and customers builds trust. And we’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again, the best way to truly connect with your target audience is by building trust.

Like Lucy shows up for us, some of the best ways we, as business owners, can show up for our audience is by genuinely interacting with them, leading with value instead of cheap gimmicks, and protecting them when needed.

Lesson #4: Be Persistent

They say perseverance is the difference between failure and success, and Lucy sure knows it. She does not give up when she knows there’s a treat in it for her. She will sit and stay however many times you ask her to while she waits for her snack.

For a marketing campaign to *really* work, you have to be persistent, too. As Seth Godin says, “The worst thing you can do is half.”

There’s no room in business for a half-hearted effort. Your customers will sniff it out like a bloodhound. Once they have doubted your commitment, they have no reason to trust you to do what you say you will.

Be persistent in your pursuit to deliver a great product and great customer service. It’s what Lucy would do.

And, finally…

Lesson #5: Know The Difference Between Chasing Dreams and Chasing Your Tail

Halfway through quarantine, Lucy discovered chasing her tail. She would spin and spin and spin herself around trying to catch it. Sometimes she would spin so hard, she would just drift right into the wall. All in pursuit of something attached to her body.

It was entertaining, sure, but it didn’t get her anywhere. She accomplished nothing in all those circles. The same goes for us business owners.

How many times have you signed up for professional development only to “forget to sign in” when the time came to participate?

Do you catch yourself researching mundane tasks to distract yourself from the hard, necessary parts of running a business?

Are you repeating the same tactics over and over only to get nowhere?

If so, make sure you’re not drifting into a wall. Many business owners lose sight of their long-term goals when things get tough. You started your business for a reason, and that reason wasn’t to chase your tail.

 


If you find yourself chasing your tail instead of jumping into your own marketing strategy, SizzleForce Marketing can help! Our team eats, sleeps, and breathes marketing and copywriting, and we’re obsessed with helping our clients become the most pup-ular business in their corners of the market.

Interested in taking a walk with us? Let’s chat about how the SizzleForce Strategic Copywriting Team can support you.

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