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The Best Business Partners We Have

By Chuck Cusumano


Listen up, work-from-homers! I am about to do something absolutely and entirely unthinkable—I am about to let you in on a best-kept consulting secret for thriving as a business owner, leader, or employee.


This secret is one I have been holding on to for over fifteen years, and honestly, it’s one that I’ve found is more relevant than ever given the current global pandemic and because so many of us are now working from home.


At The Joshua Group Consulting, we typically blog about anything and everything that deals with business, leadership, productivity, self-improvement, science, and especially behavioral economics. And while this secret definitely touches on those factors, I picked this one up on my own. Since we are still in the Dog-Days-of-Summer, I wanted to share my secret with you!


You ready for it?


Here it is—you can learn almost everything you need to know about running a business, being a leader, and how to live a healthy, productive lifestyle just by having a dog as your business partner.


Seriously, that’s the secret.


We all know that dogs are fun, adorable, and wonderful best pals—but they also double as top-notch business partners. Just by simply observing how a good dog behaves and what they do, you can take your business sense to the next level.


My advice? Save yourself the business consulting bill, get yourself a dog, and start observing ASAP.


Why Dogs Are the Best Business Partners


Spoiler alert: if you’re a cat lover, you’re going to want to turn back now, because this blog dives into the details of why dogs make the best business partners.


To be totally transparent, this idea isn’t something I came up with entirely on my own. A few years ago, I saw an advertisement in a magazine that outlined the top reasons why you should adopt a dog. I flipped through it, found it to be pretty clever, and scribbled some of the reasons down to save them for a sales meeting or icebreaker that I may want to do at a later date.


A few years later, when I was preparing to give a speech to a group of Vice Presidents from sales and marketing departments all across the country, I ran across those very notes. Except I didn’t remember where the notes came from or that they were specifically about adopting a dog. The speech was a hit.


It’s important to realize these VPs weren’t new to the business game by any means. If I remember correctly, they’d generated over $14 billion in sales just that year. In other words, they know a thing or two about business.


When they approached me and told me they loved the speech and couldn’t wait to give the advice I’d repeated to their sales teams, I was thrilled. Only later did I realize where my advice had come from—I had to laugh.


But hey, that advice still holds true today.


I know a dog named Sadie and, of course, I know her owner, Jillian Broaddus. You might recognize Jillian’s name if you’re familiar with our blog—she’s actually authored or co-authored many of our blogs over the past year. In her own right, she’s a very successful business owner as well.


It’s my belief that Jillian was able to navigate her start-up process seamlessly and roll right into profitability because her business partner, when she works from home, is her dog, Sadie, pictured at the top of this article. Sadie was a rescue dog. Sadie is an amazing dog! Jillian was exposed to so many great life and business principles she probably didn’t even realize it while it was happening.


Jillian successfully mitigated stress, sought out and retained customers, and conducted herself flawlessly within her marketplace, all along the way to becoming a business owner of a successful Social Media Marketing and Content Development company. And most of these lessons likely can be traced back to Sadie as a shining example and great business partner!


Sadie-isms of Business: The Business Tips Dogs Can Teach You


There are several articles and blogs out there that claim to give you the top tips of business or the best business tips ever—but this blog is a little different and definitely different from how I usually write blogs.


Are you doubtful of a dog’s business savvy? Hear me out on this one. Dogs can teach us a ton of important business and life tips – here are just a few:

  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride

  • Allow the feeling of fresh air and wind in your face to provide you with relief and happiness

  • When a loved one comes into the room, always rush to greet them

  • When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience

  • Be clear about when others have invaded your territory or space

  • Never underestimate the art of the power nap

  • Run, romp, and play every single day

  • Eat with gusto, eat with enthusiasm

  • Be loyal

  • Never pretend to be something you’re not

  • If what you desire is buried, dig until you find it

  • When someone is having a bad day, be there, be silent, and if necessary, give them a gentle nuzzle

  • Delight in the simple joys of a long, peaceful walk

  • Thrive on the attention you get and let people serve you

  • If you are not getting the attention you desire, nudge them

  • Don’t bite if a simple growl will do

  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree

  • When you’re happy, show it (tail wags included)

  • No matter how much you’re criticized or ridiculed, never give up—run right back and try again

You’re all well-educated, business savvy leaders, so I can count on you to make the jump and relate these Sadie-isms to your appropriate market, business segment, or life situation.

Being successful in business is all about balance—work and life, joy and stress, determination and free-spiritedness. Using our dogs as an example for creating that balance, dedicating ourselves to our work, serving unconditionally, and freely being joyful is one of the best business secrets I’ve ever learned.


Have you ever learned an exceptional life or business lesson from a dog like Sadie? Let us know! We’d love to hear how you have been inspired by the principles we learn from our four-legged, furry best friends. Enjoy the remaining dog days of summer!

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