7 Ways My Dogs Have Made Me More Successful

Could a canine friend make you a better business leader?

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Share this article

Could a canine friend make you a better business leader?


7 Ways My Dogs Have Made Me More Successful

Could a canine friend make you a better business leader?

Share this article

As new entrepreneurs, we always strive for ways to improve ourselves to become more successful in our business endeavours. Improving our business skills and related character traits can be one of the keys to success.

Research shows that 83% of CEOs and C-suite executives have dogs and 78 % attribute their career success in part to owning a pet as a child. But what is the reason that pets, and especially dogs, play such an important role in the life of successful business people?

Here are 7 ways that my dogs have made me more successful:

Way 1: Self-esteem

We can only be successful in business if we value ourselves and the services or products we offer. Research reveals that dog ownership improves self-esteem. If you can handle and train an 80-pound German Shepherd (as I have) your self-esteem will increase naturally.

People with greater self-esteem are usually more successful in their professional and private lives. The greater our self-esteem, the more likely we can convey this to our team members and customers to convince them about us and our offerings.

Way 2: Trust

If we don’t trust ourselves, how can others- especially our customers- trust our abilities our products and services? The best way I have learnt trust is from my dogs. Dogs are natural leaders and serve as an outstanding example of trusting in yourself.

Moreover, they have more trust in us than we have in ourselves. Trusting ourselves makes us better, stronger and more successful entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Way 3: Enthusiasm

Often, we are excited to start our new dream business. But with endless work and financial problems in the start-up and growth stage of business, this excitement can fade into the same boring routine, day in, day out and can be suppressed by worries about if business will take off successfully.

We can learn enthusiasm from dogs as they show us what real enthusiasm is and how to preserve it. Dogs’ pure joy in doing things is unprecedented. They should be our role models to bring back and infuse joy into everything we do as this is key to our success.

Way 4: Communication skills

Like many entrepreneurs, I was very shy when I was younger and found communicating with others daunting. However, it is well-established in the business world that extroverts have it easier in their work and become more successful than introverts.

Researchers found that dog people were 15% more extroverted than cat people. The study also showed that dog people were outgoing, energetic, and had a positive attitude.

As verbal and non-verbal communication skills are of utmost importance in our professional life, we can learn them in the easiest way by observing our dogs. A study revealed that a stunning 92% of surveyed C-Suite executives learned to pay attention to nonverbal communication from their pets.

Understanding non-verbal communication in negotiations and in meetings can give the clue to a successful outcome as it helps to estimate the reaction of the counterpart. This improves and clarifies our communication - which helps us to become better negotiators and businesspeople.

Way 5: Positive Relationships

Relationships with our family or colleagues can make or break our life or professional career. Having dogs has a positive impact on building rapport with other people as pet owners tend to make connections easier.

These positive relationships extend to the leadership style, too. According to a study, pet ownership and leadership skills are closely related. 79% regarded pet ownership as important to developing better organizational skills.

People living with dogs can more easily understand the importance of bio-empathic leadership. Instead of taking, these leaders give back and help nurture their organizations, as dogs do with packs.

This is the kind of leadership we should all strive for. Empathic leaders work towards giving back to their company and regards their team members as vital contributors to their success.

Way 6: Dealing with rejection

One thing we, as entrepreneurs, all have in common is rejection. This can be a business idea, business model or a particularly vision we have. Every successful leader must deal with rejection; the higher he climbs, the more rejection he will experience.

Research revealed that pet owners deal better with social rejection than people without pets. A study found that momentary feelings of social rejection can be soothed, by thinking about a dog or even just its name or by having a dog nearby.

Therefore, having positive thoughts of one’s pet as counteraction is a tremendous support to build a strong shield against rejection – it has certainly helped me!

Way 7: Resilience and Willpower

Entrepreneurs and businesspeople know that the way to success is marred by many hindrances, obstacles, problems, and failures. While working our way to the top, envious colleagues and vicious competitors turn to enemies and try to put us out of business.

We are often inclined to take the easy way out and simply give up when huge obstacles block our way. In contrast, dogs don’t give up as they have a natural instinct for survival. Dogs have incredible resilience and willpower which we should try to mimic as the cornerstone of our success.

Taking lessons from our dogs can provide us with a foundation for business success and this might explain why so many CEO’s are dog owners.

Dr Margit Gabriele Muller is executive director, chief veterinarian and author of Your Pet, Your Pill: 101 Inspirational Stories About How Pets Lead You to A Happy, Healthy and Successful Life out now, available on Amazon.

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7 Ways My Dogs Have Made Me More Successful

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