At 3:12 PM on a smothering July day, there I stood looking at the Mt. Everest of sand and gravel wishing with every bone in my body the clock
read 4PM. For the next 48 minutes, my fellow teammates and I would be asked to
do the impossible.
What was I going to do for a living once I made the official
leap out of TV Production? I had a college degree, a love of dogs and a hundred
questions running through my mind.
So, I did what anyone on a mission would do, I googled for
hours about businesses involving dogs.
The search produced options such as dog trainer, dog
photographer, dog boutique owner and dog walker. While all of these are fine
professions and I admire the people that do them, nothing set my heart on fire.
Do you wish you had made that career move? Wondering what
your life would have been like had you not broken up that relationship? Upset
you didn’t make time for that vacation?
Life is full of things to regret. Whether it is personal or
business, “what ifs” swirl around us with dizzying speed.
The other day I was taking a break from my work to play with
my dogs Bella, DiDi and Toby (a common and relaxing ritual). I watched as they
chased their tennis ball in the yard. Each of them had a moment in our 30
minutes of play where they missed the ball.
However, they never stopped playing. THEY were running this
ballgame and it wasn’t over until they said so (or until I made them stop so I
could go back to work).
One of the scariest things in life can be leaving the
structure of working for someone else to start your own business. Let’s face
it, if something goes wrong you and your business partner (s) have to shoulder the
This fear alone is enough to keep a lot of people at their
9-5 jobs forever.
However, getting your own venture off the ground does not
have to be a hand wringing, migraine headache inducing, tossing and turning all
night way of life.
Inspired by our canine friends, here are 3 ways to maintain your sanity while starting a business.
1. Run With a Pack-
Dogs function better in packs instead of alone. They work more efficiently but
most importantly; the sense of community makes them feel comfortable.
As a new business owner, find your pack or community where
you can get support, meet like-minded people, vent frustrations and possibly
gain new customers. Starting a
business can be very isolating so it is crucial to find a good pack to run
2. Eat a Treat- When
starting a new business, it is common for money to be tight. No matter if you
have an investor, have taken out a loan or are financing it on your own, dollar
signs probably dance through your mind constantly.
Just because your disposable income is currently low or
non-existent doesn’t meant you shouldn’t indulge in a treat here and there.
Dogs eat treats everyday. Why shouldn’t you reward yourself too?
There are numerous was in which you can “eat a treat” such
as spending time with a friend, getting a manicure, cooking yourself a healthy
dinner, watching a movie, taking a walk and on and on.
3. Know When to Stop
Playing Fetch- It is easy to work insane hours as a new business owner. When
you can, it is important to give yourself a break.
A dog doesn’t play fetch all day and night so why should you
work all day and night?
When you are tired and stressed, it is difficult to give
your best. Work as hard as you can during business hours and then stop. Get a good night sleep.
Our canine friends provide a good model for how we can manage business and life. Being a new business owner will seem much less scary once you have allowed your mind
and body to recharge.