It’s not a secret that I’m a dog person and the New Tricks’ spirit animal is a big dog. In the past, a big dog was part of our logo. Although we’ve dropped the big dog image from our logo, the concept remains an integral part of our brand. We believe it takes a big dog to develop a business with a following and a steady stream of referrals.
You may think this requires being an alpha dog, with a loud, commanding larger than life personality. But no, a big dog isn’t the biggest, boldest, loudest dog out there. Big dogs are confident and self-assured, no matter how big they are in size or spirit. They don’t need to bark wildly when a simple low growl will do.
A big dog knows his or her pack and cares for them. A big dog doesn’t try to be everything to everyone. Because of that, a big dog develops a loyal pack who trusts and follows their lead.
The good news is that you don’t have to be born a big dog. You become a big dog by suiting up, showing up and doing the work you were meant to do – every day.
You keep your commitments to yourself and others. You don’t make excuses. If you let yourself or someone else down, you own up to it and get back on track. No blame, no shame.
Big dogs don’t waste their time worrying that they are “less than.” They listen to what others need, pull from their experience, and put their attention on the work that needs to be done and then do it.
There’s a lot we can learn from big dogs. Just think of who you could be and what you could accomplish if you didn’t spend so much time worrying that you’re too extroverted or introverted, too fat or too skinny, not experienced enough, too old or too young. What a waste it is to worry that you aren’t talented enough to attract the clients or job you want.
It’s your mindset that’s stopping you from acknowledging your gifts and talents and practicing them, every day. Only by doing the work do you build up the expertise and deep confidence that you have what it takes to lead your pack. You can’t build a following by hiding out and playing small. Let 2019 be your year to stop with the stories you’ve been telling yourself that have held you back and start doing what it takes to claim your place. Nothing can stop you then.