I watch our cat, Champ, all the time. Probably too much. I enjoy staring at him and the squirrels outside of my office window. I think that’s one of the many things him and I have in common. Champ is your average 3 year old cat that enjoys eating, sleeping, playing around with our 2 year old and pretending he’s some kitty cowboy in our yard. After observing him for his entire life I can relate with him on many aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to running our company from home. Being inspired by this, I thought it would make a great blog post. I have to admit I was kind of disappointed that there are other blog posts about what people’s cats have taught them about marketing. I thought I’d be the first (silly me!)! None-the-less, here are 5 things my cat has taught me about running my own business.
5 Things My Cat Taught Me About Running My Own Business
You have to adapt to your surroundings
My cat knows when it’s about to rain, when the temperature drops too much outside and when the sun is about to go down. He adapts for the shifts in weather and sunlight so he is able to maximize his outdoor exposure for the most ideal weather conditions.
How It Relates To Your Business: The same ability to adapt to your surroundings, whether it be switching up your Facebook marketing campaigns based on targeting a new demographic you’ve never reached, or staying in the know about always evolving changes in social media rules and Google search algorithms, is crucial when you are self-employed and running a business from home. It can be the difference between reaching a potential customer or watching your efforts fall flat. Be ready to adapt based on what the market is doing around you. Stay agile and don’t fall into a routine with your sales and marketing strategies.
Get enough sleep
I openly resent how much our cat gets to sleep, in our bed. He makes sure to always find a soft, quiet spot to rest his eyes after a long day (or night) of playing hide and seek with the cat toys. And there is nothing that will stop him from getting a good night’s sleep. Not even our toddler. The same should go for you.
How It Relates To Your Business: There is nothing much more satisfying than waking up after a full 8 (or 9ish) hours of uninterrupted beauty sleep. If you want to function at rock star level every day then try to make this a habit every night.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
When Champ is hungry he doesn’t act like a jerk; instead he is our best friend. Gently nudges into us, follows us throughout the house until we finally give in and fill the food bowl up. And he doesn’t wait until the food bowl is completely empty. He will begin his friendly march when he sees the bowl is slightly under 50% full.
How It Relates To Your Business: When you are in the process of reaching a sales goal, do you wait until your bowl is completely empty before you are calling prospects, knocking on office doors, bumping into leads at conventions and expos? How do you approach them? Are you friendly and helpful or do you come off as desperate and demanding? Be sure to gently nudge your prospects before your dish is too empty to ensure you are maintaining a healthy pipeline and giving your prospects the courtesy they deserve as you provide them with your sales proposition.
Make time to play
Besides sleeping all the time, Champ makes sure he has plenty of playtime as well. That is probably why he sleeps so much… We always find him in the front yard attempting to catch a squirrel (good luck, buddy), or batting objects off my desk (grrr). I think he plays with our toddler’s toys more than she actually does. His philosophy in life must be work hard, play hard.
How It Relates To Your Business: This is very true in business as well. And when you work from home it is even more important. Our team can easily put in 15 hour work days 6 days a week if we’re not intentional about taking a break. While it is great to cross items off of our to-do list, it can quickly get to a point when you are neglecting time with your friends, family, kids and each other. Take a cue from the cat and don’t forget to shut the computer down a couple days a week to workout your play muscles, too.
Be ready to “pounce” at an opportunity
We all know my cat will never catch the squirrels in our front yard but it doesn’t stop him from trying. While he’s been known to bring home a couple moles, that squirrel may always elude him. Still, you have to admire his drive and determination. It is something I can appreciate in any given person who has the desire to work hard at what they love to do.
How It Relates To Your Business: Champ will pounce when the time is right at any opportunity to catch something that even thinks about twitching. Are you ready to pounce at an opportunity to grow your business, to expand your network? Or do you shy away and watch it go by? Don’t be afraid to pounce, you just may catch that elusive squirrel after all.