So I took Clover to the vet the other day and I got more than I expected. Not only did I get 30 minutes alone with Dr. Ben who is the hunkiest vet in Colorado, but he shared a bit of intel with me that has me rethinking a lot of things about my business.
“You adopted Clover in May, how old do you think she is now?” he asked.
“Oh about 2- 2 ½ maybe” I swooned, I mean, replied.
“Nope” he uttered “she’s about 12 months now, maybe 16.”
Wha? My eyes widened, throat dry – I felt so stupid. I have had dogs constantly for 25 years, I was a dog trainer for Christ’s sake. And I didn’t even know that the dog I lived with for 8 months was just a puppy for all this time? I mean, I was honestly just thinking she is not real smart, a dim light bulb. This is dog profiling. Clover, with her baggy eyes and lope-dee-dope gait has the sophistication of a bag of Slim Jims. If dogs did play poker, she would not have been asked to the table.
I thought back to the times I was disappointed in her, thinking that she was possibly the dumbest dog I ever had. She ran away from any lesson that contained the word “sit” and consistently slammed into my legs when I called her in the dog park, which elicited a combination of wincing, and Starbucks spitting guffaws from onlookers. I was a little frustrated and let down by her, in my dumb dog.
Backstory – Clover was found in the miserable month of May in Western Colorado. This is the sleetiest, nastiest most inhospitable time of year. She was emaciated, bald from mange, fearful and unmanageable. So naturally, we fell in love with her and took her home. My son thought we needed to because “nobody will fix her Mom, but you can”. Challenge accepted. For months we tried to get her to learn commands- not just living indoors but actual voice control. She was a letdown. So here we are now, 8 months later with a dog who is sadly operating at the intro level.
After meeting with Dr. Ben, I had to reconcile with the fact that I had been setting unrealistic expectations for Clover, and then sending her my negative vibes when she didn’t come through. I was shaming the puppy. Surely there is some kind of Michael Vick hell I am going to.
But isn’t that what we business owners do to ourselves all of the time? According to Forbes Magazine (December 2019):
“The world economy will only grow 3% this year, according to IMF estimates—that’s the slowest rate of expansion since the global financial crisis started in 2008.”
And yet 55% of executives said they think their business will definitely be more profitable in the forthcoming year compared to 2019.
OK, what gives here people? Have you been slacking in 2019 and have all kinds of energy and ideas that will get you ahead in the face of a global economic downturn?
The Disconnect – Unrealistic Expectations
It’s blasphemy to announce that hey, business will be slower this year and I’m OK with that.
Nope, instead we set the bar ever higher, creating conditions for disappointment and crushing defeat. You have to set realistic goals and stop shaming the puppy. If this year isn’t a record setting year, it’s OK, you are learning to deal with a global downturn- you will get there just be patient. You are not dumb or disappointing.
Here’s the Metta for Business Owners:
This year, my voiceover business will be rewarding, it always is. I am happily enlightened by the scripts I read, new technology, new medicine and amazing ideas that help the planet and Her people. I’m happy that my gift will bring messages around the world that spark new ideas and solutions. THAT is part of the quantifiable gain, THAT is getting ahead. I will be personally enriched by the work I do in voiceover. And personal satisfaction is a realistic expectation.