“Your adolescent puppy is trying to figure out what kind of dog he wants to be.” This is what our dog trainer told me. It made me laugh.
We got our 10-month old puppy from a rescue in January 2022, and Jax is now 18 months old. He is a full on adolescent and we all know how hard those adolescent years can be!
He was virtually a perfect puppy, but he is learning to challenge us on commands, push boundaries, and develop some “interesting” behaviors.
But not to fear! Our trainer told us we could work on things with Jax and help him learn some new ways of being. All will be well!
One of the key pieces to his development is gaining more confidence. The more confidence he has, the more secure he feels in himself.
It’s interesting to me, because one would think that boosting someone’s confidence, might lead them to push boundaries more.
However, it is actually the opposite. It seems that with more confidence he is more relaxed and willing to obey, mostly because there is nothing to prove.
All of this, made me think of myself and the business owners I work with.
Many of us start a business from scratch, usually doing something we are passionate about. We are very good at our craft, but not always as good at running the business side of things.
There are things like marketing, sales, systems, financials, and managing and leading people, that make it a steep learning curve.
With a lack of knowledge and confidence in our abilities, we can create problems for ourselves and not even know we are doing it.
Behaviors we might engage in:
1. We can be controlling and act as if we are the only ones who can do things right in our businesses. This can lead to not delegating well and as a result, running ourselves ragged and not making as much money.
2. We can be in denial about small issues and stick our head in the sand to ignore them, and before we know it, these can grow into huge problems affecting morale, turnover, cash flow, and satisfying customers.
3. We can focus on the wrong things. Many small business owners focus on what they enjoy in their business, which doesn’t always generate customers.
When we move from the puppy stage of our business, to the adolescent stage, it can be a very challenging transition.
Just like Jax, we have to continue learning new skills to run our businesses better; increase our confidence in our abilities to make better choices; and actually choose who we want to be as business owners.
If you find yourself in this adolescent stage of your business, it is time to decide what type of business owner you want to become.
Then determine what personal and professional skills you need to learn in order to become that type of business owner.
And finally, find the help you need to get there effectively.
As all goes well, you and Jax will have more confidence and a happier life as a result!