Annie in the plum tree.
Groan. Don’t you just hate puns?
Anyhow, my cat Annie is a source of inspiration for my life and business. Previously I wrote 6 Lessons My Cat Taught Me About Time Management. I might add, she was quite pleased by the positive response that article received.
Here are some more of Annie’s pearls of wisdom.
1. Take time to play. Every day Annie insists we play at least once if not twice. If I’m not available, she’ll make up her own games. She’ll race madly about the house, dive into a stack of newspapers, or climb the plum tree. She knows the wisdom of the old saying “All work and no play makes…”.
Make certain to build play time into your daily schedule.
2. Exercise caution in any new situation. Annie doesn’t immediately take to new things. A new chair, plant, or visitor is carefully and gingerly approached, sniffed, and either tentatively accepted or rejected until she feels more comfortable.
Whenever you embark on a new project or work with a new client, you could emulate her behavior (well maybe not the sniffing part). Take time to do your homework and assess the situation before plunging in.
3. Claim your territory. Annie has claimed the backyard as her territory. She defends it vigorously from other cats. And for the most part they now leave her alone.
It’s important to claim your space in the business world. Be clear on what you’re offering and to whom. Then stand up and stand out!
4. Be curious. All cats love to explore. And Annie’s no exception. In the summer she spends hours in the backyard, peering into flower beds and checking out the next door neighbor’s yard. She comes in at the end of the day, tired and stimulated.
Curiosity is a tonic that keeps your business fresh and relevant. Be curious about your competition, potential new products and services, and interesting marketing ideas.
5. Be gentle but strong. Annie is petite, soft, and gentle. That is until she feels threatened by another cat. Then she puffs herself up to twice her size and lets out a blood-curdling scream. It seldom goes any further than that. The other cat receives the message and retreats.
I’m not suggesting you puff yourself up and start screaming at people who upset you. Even though this might satisfy the “inner cat” in you. What I am saying is that you must be clear that you will not be taken advantage of or treated poorly. Stand up for your rights!
6. Break the pattern. Annie’s a creature of routine. She has her favorite chair and set times for eating. She loves a snuggle while I’m watching a little TV at night. But she also mixes it up. She’ll decide to move to a different spot to sleep or skip the snuggle and be on her own.
It’s useful in our business to avoid becoming stale by doing the same thing over and over again. Follow Annie’s example and change things now and again.
Annie has looked this post over and approved its content. Whew! She can be so demanding.
If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email.
Photo by Dan Curtis © 2012 all rights reserved