It’s A Dog’s Life: The Art of Discipline

Everything I know about business, I learned from my dog Star

My husband and I are both in training. Steve is running the Chicago Marathon with hopes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon next April. I’m running in the America’s Finest City half marathon here in San Diego with the hopes of … finishing.

Star is my training partner, at least on days when I have short easy runs. She’s not much of a pace dog. When she runs with me, she sets my pace back about two minutes per mile. Nevertheless, she offers me what I need most: Discipline.

Star as Task Master

No matter how I feel in the morning, Star is there to get me going. If I try to roll over, she licks my face until I eventually get out of bed. If I try to grab a cup of coffee and crawl back into bed, she starts chasing her tail, barking incessantly. Star can’t be ignored. Without her, I would probably skip half my morning runs.

Star understands discipline is the key to achieving a goal, whether it is a long race or attracting new clients. All the natural talent, planning and genuine desire to build business will not make you successful unless you execute on your plan in a consistent and ongoing way.

Business development is much the same way. There is seldom instant gratification. It takes time to build a foundation that will yield a return on your investment. Sometimes you wonder if your efforts are making any difference at all.

That said, once you reach that first milestone, it easy easy to look back and see how all the time and effort put in along the way ultimately paid off.

Last weekend, I ran for 100 minutes, probably the furthest I’ve ever run in my life. I didn’t go far enough to finish a half marathon, but I did reach double digit mileage numbers for the first time. It was also the first time I could feel my efforts starting to pay off. I have Star to thank for that.

So think of Star the next time you don’t feel like going to a networking event, delay asking a client for feedback or can’t bear the thought of writing another article. She always keeps me going. Maybe she’ll help you too.

Posted on June 25, 2010 in It's a Dog's Life

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