The 5 Habits I Learnt from My Dog Buddy
On August 2nd, we will celebrate 2 years of Buddy’s arrival into our lives. In these two years, he has firmly entrenched himself in our house, our neighborhood and our hearts. He is the mascot of Kamakshi Media, our Digital Media startup.
Buddy has also become my teacher of sorts. There are many lessons I’ve learnt by both observing and interacting with him. It may be early days for me as an entrepreneur, but the skills I am learning from him will help me in my journey for certain. Here are the Five Habits I learnt from Buddy and how I have begin to implement them in my life.
1. When it is time to go, it is time to go
Three times a day, it is his time to go. And not just because things that need to go out, have to go out. It is all about that time of the day. And during that time, nothing in the world matters more to him, not even his favorite dog treat.
My learning: Set a schedule, and have the discipline to follow it. Keep focus on the task at hand, and not get distracted, no matter how appealing the distraction might be. I think that if we have that kind of discipline and focus in our lives, we will reach heights in our personal, professional or creative world!
2. Always be Curious
They say, curiosity killed the cat, but I had no idea that dogs are such curious creatures. Anything new has to be smelled, tasted or touched with a paw. In what might seem like an opposite of the previous quality, chasing after the unknown is actually a positive trait. It can be a new flower, ants, something that is spilled on the ground. Curiosity is actually helpful, if practiced in a thoughtful manner.
My learning: Sometimes it is good to keep one’s eyes and ears open for new things. Working long hours towards building the business can sometimes make us dry and disconnected from what is happening around us. It makes us ignore a new trends, developments in the market, or even our lives. A little smell here, or a little touch there, keeps us connected with the world around us.
3.What is mine, is mine
Many of you may be familiar with the fierce ownership that dogs have towards their things. Buddy is no exception. Be it his bed, his toys or his leash. What is “His”, is his; and he will try really hard to protect it, even though he may get yelled at for doing so.
My learning: For a business, what is “yours?” The most important thing that is “yours” is your reputation and customer loyalty. Guard them both fiercely, and I think the rest of the things will fall in their place
4. It’s okay to let go of your inhibitions
A few months ago, I had posted a picture of Buddy on Instagram, in which he was digging into a heap of sand. The message I had posted was as follows:
“Sometimes you have company, at other times you do it all alone. Then there are times when the work tires you out or you get buried under it. But keep smiling, keep digging, keep enjoying what you do. That’s Buddy’s philosophy towards life. What’s yours?”
My learning: So much of the above statement is applicable to entrepreneurs! Entrepreneurship is sometimes lonely. It is hard work, it is tiring. At times, it seems that the work will never end. But it is important to keep going at it.
Note: This post got some interesting likes, including one from Kevin Harrington of Sharktank Fame. (Now the heart from @therealkevinharrington is gone).
5. Always be the first one to reach out
Buddy is always playful, full of energy when we take a walk around our neighborhood.He likes to jump at people, including kids; that is his way of saying “Hello” to people. Some are taken aback by his behavior, others are simply scared. But Buddy is always the first one to reach out to them.
My learning: Sometimes it takes me time to warm up to strangers, and I am usually not the first one to reach out to them. As an entrepreneur, overcoming this inertia has been one of my biggest struggles. This learning from Buddy is ongoing at the time of writing.
I am curious: who or what has taught you the most important lessons in life?