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Lessons from My Dog Louie

practical advice Jul 15, 2022

This is Louie, my 13 1/2-year-old poodle-mix. Many of you may already know him because he's been my loyal coworker for years.

When Louie was younger, he could easily hike for four to six miles. He was on a mission to smell and mark everything he could.

Now that he’s getting older, he doesn’t want to walk as far — he wants to take things slow and spend time really sniffing things out.

Every time I watch Louie during our walks, it reminds me to slow down.

When I was younger, I tried to get as much done as possible, feeling a sense of urgency to create a lucrative business. On the one hand, the sense of urgency helped me build the foundation for my business. On the other, I spent countless hours rewriting my website, praying my social media strategy would work, and trying fifty different ways to get my next client. I was not aware of the best use of my time.

Over time, I realized I had to slow down, step back, so that I could see the bigger picture.  I also learned to track my strategies to help me determine what was a good use of my time.

Instead of working 12-hour days, I only work 6-8, and try to focus on tasks that I enjoy and will move my business forward. When I do those tasks, I take my time to appreciate them (such as writing this post).

We often equate long hours with productivity. While that might be the case occasionally, if it's done day after day, in my experience, it turns into a lack of focus, mediocrity, or burnout. That energy wave can only be ridden for so long.

While I'm sad that Louie is getting older, I love this stage of his life. He enjoys short walks, smelling different plants, cuddling, and eating food with the few teeth he has left. I love that we've been slowing down together.

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