To Avoid Working Like A Dog… Think And Act Like A Dog?
— June 28, 2017
Life According To Buddy Guy (The Dog)
This post is brought to you by Buddy Guy. Now, I’m not talking about the Blues guitar player. I’m talking about my dog, my hundred pound black lab who we adopted from the Chicago pound. He was two days away from being euthanized because somebody stole the tubing off the air conditioning. It was 100 degrees out in mid-July and the dogs were literally dying, and they had two choices: get the dogs adopted, or they’d have to put them down. Anyway, somebody took a video of him on Facebook, sent it to my wife — the best way to get action here — and my wife said can we adopt him. And we did.
We put him up on Facebook, and we said, “Name this dog.” We had a whole bunch of names, then we narrowed it down to five, and the winner was Buddy Guy, because I’m a Blues player a little bit, I play guitar. Buddy Guy’s a black lab and he’s from Chicago. Anyway, this post is coming to you from a conversation that I had with my dog. Now, my dog knows I work he lot. He said to me, “Dude, to avoid working like a dog, you have to think and act like a dog.”
What does that mean? Well, basically he has five things that he does everyday and that’s it. Of those five things he does, number one is eat. The second thing is he does is pee, and then he goes poop, and then he plays, and then he sleeps, not necessarily in that order. As a matter of fact, when we get up, the first thing he does is he runs towards the door, run outside and does his wiz biz, and then comes in and eats his breakfast, and then he does out and does his duty. Then he comes up in my office all day and just sleeps. Then at three o’clock every single day, he comes up and nudges my arm and says, “Dude, it is time.” Time to walk, time to play, and then he gets to eat and then he goes to sleep again. We repeat that cycle every single day.
How does that equate to business? Okay, so let’s start off with eating which is obviously essential to life. Not only should you eat good foods, salads, whatever it is, whatever your eating habits are, but eat good stuff. More importantly, it’s about feeding your mind. That means you have to take some time to actually spend on yourself, learning and growing yourself. Your business depends not on what you’re doing today, but what you can learn to do tomorrow because it’s super, uber important that you continue to grow yourself so you stay relevant.
Relieve The Pressure
Now, Buddy Guy has learned a few new tricks. He was the best dog we ever had. I mean, he came to this house, and we don’t have a fenced in yard. He goes out and does his thing, he would sit, do all kinds of neat little tricks and stuff like that, so he learned to grow himself. The second thing is pee. When I’m talking about pee, I’m talking about relieving pressure. One of the ways that I relieve pressure on myself is every single night I go through and I create a to-do list. I start off with the most important thing first — which is exactly what Buddy does. He runs for that door and says, “Dude, I gotta go,” and he goes outside and does the most important thing first. Then he comes in and he eats and goes back out and does his duty and stuff like that.
If you create a to-do list and get the most important things done first, it takes pressure off your day because you’re not sitting there saying, “Okay. What am I going to do now? Should I check Facebook, should I check email?” Concentrate on the biggest project that you have to get done that day, and then every single night, create a new to-do list and start over again … Uber important.
Get Rid Of The Crap
The next thing, the poop. Here’s the thing that you have to do: get rid of the crap in your life. When I say get rid of the crap, there are a lot of things that can eat up time: time wasters. Now, I’m not saying don’t check Facebook or anything like that.
One of the things I was able to do was stop going to so many meetings. I used to meet clients where they were at all the time. As a matter of fact, I had a call today with a client that wanted me to drive up to Bloomingdale, Illinois, which is like a half hour there, a two-hour meeting, and a half hour back. That’s half a day by the time it’s all said and done. What I’ve learned to do is do discovery phone calls, and to use booking systems. I use Acuity scheduling to book time, to make sure that it’s in my calendar. When people ask me, “Hey, you want to sit down and have a coffee so I can pick your brain for free?” the answer to that is no. I don’t do that anymore.
Will I talk to them on the phone for 15 minutes? Yeah sure, I’ll do that, but I’m not going to go drive, sit and give free advice, and then come back to my office and try to get started again. Get rid of the crap in your life, simplify what you’re doing, and find an easier way to do things that are going to give you the opportunity to get more done every day.
Time To Play
The next thing is play. When Buddy Guy comes up and nudges my arm, that means it’s time for his walk. Now, the walk is his play time. He gets to go out and check his pee-mail. Pee-mail is when other dogs leave each other messages. Now, I take pictures of Buddy and put them on Facebook, checking email or pee-mail but I never show him sending pee-mail, only receiving it, because sending it is his time.
Buddy, in his prime, used to love playing ball. Before dinner, we would throw the ball, and he did some amazing jumps and turns and all this other stuff. He loved getting out there and playing ball. He loved doing that and then when he calmed down, he got his dinner. Then for the rest of the night, he’d kind of be chill, and he’d relax and sit by me or my wife.
Then when it’s time for us to go to bed, he’s got his own bed upstairs right next to ours. He goes in his bed and he sleeps.
Sleep is uber important and that means you have to get some rest. Now, the one thing about play and sleep that’s important is, when Buddy Guy goes out on his walk, he’s also eating. I’m actually eating — I’m not eating food, I’m eating knowledge. I listen to podcasts, I listen to audiobooks, I’m feeding myself. It’s a chance for me to relax, to get away from my office, to get away from my computer and do something for myself, and to help grow myself. I use that play time as part of my feeding time. Then, of course, make sure you get enough rest. I mean, it’s pretty straightforward and simple. I know a lot of people that will start at six in the morning and work until midnight every single night and they’ll get four or five hour’s sleep. That’s not enough.
Make sure you’re investing in your health, in your body, and in your mind. Make sure that you’re doing things that are going to help you become more efficient every single day. That’s the advice that Buddy Guy gives. He says that you need to make sure that you’re eating right, that you remove that pressure of stuff that you’ve got to get done by planning ahead and know exactly the order that you’re going to get things done. That you get rid of the crap, that you stop focusing on things that are time wasters. You’re in control of your time and you have to let other people know that.
Now, if it’s a client and I’ve had that phone call and they want to get together and do a two-hour meeting, then it’s worth it because there’s potential for business there. You have to do that discovery first and make sure you’re not wasting time. Have some time to play. Play for me is golf. I love getting out maybe on a Friday or a Saturday and getting out and meeting some new people or golfing with my friends. Get that down time, get that time away from your business. Doing all those other things will ease your mind and help you sleep more soundly.
I would love to hear your stories, thoughts, and comments on this subject. Comment below and share if you have developed a strategy or system that has helped you grow your business!