I’m having a bit of fun with this one. For those who read the book (or saw the movie) “A dog’s purpose” you will get this angle. A day in the life of a business owner.
Hi, my name’s Caesar. I’m a male – well not entirely. I lost my ‘goodies’ quite a while ago. I’m a Shepweiller – well that’s what my owner calls me. I’m a mix between a German Shepherd and a Rottweiler. Do I sound scary? Nah – but hey, you threaten my owner and I’ll show you my nice sharp white teeth.
So I’m writing about a single day in the life of my owner. She’s a business owner who is based at home. I think it’s pretty cool she is ‘home-based’ because that means she is around almost all day, and I love that. I love spending time with my owner. Although, it’s not as great as you’d think … and maybe not as great as she thought it would be when she started out. So here goes …
We wake up really early. In summer that’s nice … but in winter, sometimes I just want to stay in my bed where it’s warm. She takes me outside to do my business. I like to check out who has been around and sniff around but there is never time. Seems like we just get downstairs and she is saying “hurry up Caesar, I’ve got a heap to get done today!” She isn’t cranky but is impatient. Oh well, guess I’ll have a better sniff around later.
She gives me brekky – I’d like more but she talks about this word “diet”. I don’t know what that means but she puts less food in my bowl now … bummer. She’s like me; she eats her breakfast standing up too. She is also like me; she eats very quickly.
It’s still really early but she is in her usual spot at a thing called a computer. It’s a box where she just stares at the screen and uses her front paws to tap at the front end of it. Looks really boring to me. She spends so much time doing it. So, I go away for a nap.
After my nap, I check in. I feel like a bit of a play. I go to her and nuzzle up. Sometimes (not often) she will stop on the ‘computer’ and get up and play with me. This is awesome! But most of the time, she just tells me “Later Caesar, I’m busy”. Oh well, I’ll try later.
Other times, she is on the phone. She talks to people a lot. I don’t know what she talks about and I don’t hear important words like ‘food’ or ‘walkies’ so it must be about pretty unimportant things. I prefer the phone to her computer; it usually means she has a hand free and can scratch behind my ears … ohhh I love that. Her nails hit the spot perfectly. I can’t stop my back leg moving … ahhhh.
As the day starts to end, I want to go for walkies. I can feel the day is finishing; the yellow warm ball in the sky is getting low, it’s getting cooler … it must be walkies time? I circle around my owner … come on – isn’t it walkies time? Sometimes she will say something like “Not yet Caesar; it’s only five o’clock”. Awwww – come on that yellow ball is getting lower. I don’t want to miss out again! Walkies, walkies, walkies! Eventually, she stops with a sigh and puts on her walking shoes (I know it’s them, they smell of walkies) and we’re off – yaaa.
After walkies, it’s dinner time. Yaaa – I love dinner too – not as much as walkies or ear scratches but pretty close. Sometimes my owner will sit down to eat her dinner and she has several drinks. Not like my water – it smells different. She has several of these. She tells me “I need another Caesar – it’s been a stressful day”. I don’t know what ‘stressful’ is, but I don’t think it’s a good thing. My owner doesn’t look happy when she says it – in fact, she seems very tense. I know what would fix that tension – more playing with me!
Sometimes after a few of her drinks, she goes back to the table with the black box (computer) and taps away at it awhile. I just don’t get the appeal of that thing? It doesn’t seem to make her happy, why stay in front of it so long? I decide to hop into my bed … it’s late.
Sometime later, my owner goes to her bed as well. It’s quite late; the air is cooler and it’s rather quiet outside. I can hear her tossing and turning. I don’t get that either – after such a long day, you’d think she would sleep well? I worry about my owner – all she does is ‘work’ – all the time either on the computer or the phone. Why are these things so important? I don’t understand, but it makes her tense. What is this word ‘work’ I hear so often? “I have to get back to work” … why is it so important?
Hi, Donna here. Caesar is my dog. Parts of his story are true. I do get up super early. Parts of his story are no longer true. I used to have several alcoholic drinks after work to wind down and de-stress. No longer. Parts of his story were made up to get across a point. Fortunately, I’ve never suffered from insomnia, but I know lots of business owners who do. I didn’t even add to the story the instances where business owners ‘lose it’ with anger, frustration or irritation. Some business owners get the ‘crankies’ from the stress, others actually become unwell, often are sick or gain a heap of weight, due to lack of exercise, poor eating and effect of chemicals (cortisol) in our body from constant stress.
The point? This is from a dog’s perspective. What about your children’s perspective? Your partner’s perspective? I am all for business (of course, I’m a business coach and love business), however, there must be balance in your life. You need to take time out to stop and ‘smell the roses’ (although Caesar prefers to sniff grass), take a break, walk, exercise and spend time with your loved ones without feeling guilty. Work hard, but also learn to stop, walk away from the computer, phone or office. I used to work 90-hour weeks. Now I start early, finish early, have time for a cycle, and walkies, well before sunset and almost never work weekends. I don’t even open my laptop on the weekend!
Remember this; business is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to pace yourself, take breaks, take holidays and recharge. Be sure to spend time with your family, friends or fur babies. Have a hobby, read a book (for pleasure), go out with friends. Work hard, not long. A lot of what I teach business owners, managers and leaders are about being effective with your day. Manage your time well, do what is important first, delegate where possible, ditch what is not important and put a value on your non-work activities. Life truly is short. Work hard, remember to have fun, live well and healthy and have a long (and productive) life.
For business coaching tips, call me on 0411 622 666.
Read my blog 10 Bad Work Habits to Drop In 2018.