In this week’s The Confident Marketer e-zine, I talk about pelicans and the four key business traits they taught me last week. (To get the e-zine, click on the subscribe link to the right). One of my dogs, Jake the Tough Boy, taught me how to yawn and loosen up my jaws – useful when I wake up with clenched teeth. Another of our dogs, Phoebe the Huntress, reminds me to lay on my back and stretch a few times a day. (Dogs, by the way, will lay on their back with paws in the air to give themselves an adjustment to their spine!)
Years ago, I peered into a microscope in a high school lab, and got a lesson in the value of persistence. As I stared at a hydra-headed little being, I obeyed the teacher’s instructions to cut off one of the heads. I quickly saw that the tiny creature immediately grew another head and went on its merry way. I remember watching how easily it just went off in another direction and did its thing. Totally adaptable, without complaint, it lived its little hydra life.
One of our very beloved dogs, P.V. Cousteau, taught my husband and I the value of indomitable spirit and the virtues of play. Cousteau, as you might guess, had a thing for water and another thing for balls. For seventeen and a half wonderful, happy years Cousteau found a way to put play into the most mundane of household tasks. The minute I pulled out our vacuum cleaner he ran for his ball, delightedly dropping it in front of the vacuum, knowing I would soon have to shove it out of my way. It was a great game to him. To Cousteau, folding laundry become a game of quickly dropping his ball in the middle of whatever I was folding, then waiting until I impatiently flicked the ball out of my way.
We limit ourselves when we think we can only learn from other humans. Animals get on with life, self-care, and their business without complaint and efficiently. Be curious and watch. You’re sure to learn something from an animal that serves the business of your life.