Are You a Border Collie, Jack Russell Terrier, Pit Bull or Poodle? Why You Need All Four to Grow Your Six-Figure Business.
Like other expectant mothers, I was counting the weeks until the birth of my first child. Unlike other expectant mothers, however, I gave birth prematurely at 28 weeks, two months shy of my due date, to a 12-ounce, 10-inch-long baby girl. Babies born this early rarely survive, and needless to say, I spent the next six months at her bedside in the NICU, as much as, if not more than, I was allowed, fighting for her life.
Entrepreneurs are often so busy attending to the day-to-day crises in their businesses that a true life-changing crisis like this would leave their businesses in chaos, if not ruin. My six-figure pet-sitting business, on the other hand, survived and flourished because of the people, systems and processes I had already put in place. I call these people, systems and processes the border collie, Jack Russell terrier, pit bull and poodle.
Click through the slides to find out if you’ve got these puppy personalities on your payroll.
The border collie
Border collies are extremely intelligent and obedient, bred on the English-Scottish border to herd livestock, especially sheep. Max and Mia, two of my favorite border collie clients, were precise, methodical and exacting. I would throw a ball to them, and they would relay it back to me, Max catching the ball, and handing it off to Mia halfway on its return to me. Their focus was always laser-sharp on the ball, indicative of the level of focus you need in your business.
The border collie represents your business’ systems and processes. Though some are unique to your business, you can set your business up for any unforeseen events by installing systems and processes such as a booking and payment system that your clients can access directly, an email autoresponder system that reminds your clients of your service, and a system that captures feedback and testimonials.
The Jack Russell terrier
The pit bull
Pit bulls have gotten a bad rap for their overtly aggressive behavior, often encouraged in the wrong hands. In the right hands, pit bulls are known for their “strength, confidence and zest for life,” according to the United Kennel Club. At the risk of sounding cliché, the pit bulls in your business are your lawyer and insurance provider. The loyal pit bull protects you when the unforeseeable strikes.
Unless you’re expecting ongoing legal issues or controversy, you don’t need an attorney on retainer, but you should establish a relationship with one who specializes in litigation in the event you ever need it. To find an attorney, ask around for recommendations and referrals, and interview your prospects until you find the right fit. An affordable option for those who are just starting out or on a small budget is LegalShield.
Similarly, insurance is essential to protect you and your business before it’s needed. When choosing insurance, research which insurance brokers specialize in your industry. Start with your industry’s professional organization websites. Often, these offer group plans that are not only specific to your industry but may save you money. Insure your business now. After all, you can’t go looking to hire a centerfielder after the ball has already been hit.
Poodles are prim, proper, particular and highly intelligent, second in intelligence only to the border collie. Lucy, one of my poodle clients, would only drink reverse osmosis water with three ice cubes in a bowl by the refrigerator.
The poodle represents the precision your business needs in its accounting and overall metrics. To handle my accounting, I hire a bookkeeper to review and reconcile my books monthly, who then hands this off to a certified public accountant.
In addition to my bookkeeper and accountant, I also keep someone on staff who measures and analyzes my website traffic, my Facebook ads and pixel placement, my keyword research, and all the other analytics that help my business grow and thrive.
Expanding your "kennel"
You may fortunately never have to spend six months in the NICU like I did, but if you’re in business long enough, something in your life will compel you to step away from your company for a time, and you want to make sure that you’re building a strong business that can allow you to do just that. After all, you built a business to give you more freedom, not less. Without these four types of dogs in your business, you will never be able to step away from it. And, if you can't step away from it, then what you have is a job, not a business.
Start by identifying which of the four dogs you are. Identify the parts of your business you love to do and that bring in the most revenue, and then go about systematically bringing on the other three. Once the other three are in place, then you’re ready to find your replacement, too. After all, you should be working on your business, not in it.
Today, my now-3-year-old daughter Olivia is blossoming, and I was able to sell my pet sitting business for six figures because of the border collie, Jack Russell terrier, pit bull and poodle I put into place years ago.
Now, I help other service based businesses reach similar levels of success using the very same delegation model.
The hardest part? Letting go and trusting my dog personalities to do what they were hired to do, to play well together and run the show.