Our Fluffy New Marketing Assistant

This is our new marketing assistant. His name is Moose.

After many years of contemplating getting a dog for our family, we have finally taken the plunge. Moose is a Coton de Tulear, and he is a soft, fluffy, incredibly sweet little guy.

But what in the world does getting a puppy have to do with marketing?

Well, first I have to tell you my little secret. Up until this week, I had a serious problem with work/life balance. In fact, I’d say “balance” was nonexistent. I worked ridiculously long hours. I worked weekends, I worked evenings, and I didn’t take vacations.

It had been going on this way for years, and although I was really pleased with the results that I was getting in my business, I wasn’t happy.

I felt like I wasn’t enjoying my life. Weeks and months were going by so quickly (in a blur of meetings and deadlines) that I couldn’t enjoy my success, or the life I’ve created for myself and my family.

So I said to myself, “What would bring me joy this year? What would help me slow down a little? What would force me to take a breath every now and then? What would bring an infusion of happiness into my life?”

So we decided to get a puppy. And it’s the best thing I’ve done in YEARS.

I’m getting more sleep, because I know I can’t stay up until 1 AM every night. Moose rises at 6 AM on the dot.

Earlier today, I put aside an editing project so the puppy and I could take a brisk walk around the neighborhood. Making time for exercise is something I could never seem to do in my pre-puppy days. Now it’s an absolute must.

And I know that I’m going to use my time in more efficient ways, because now I absolutely can’t work 80+ hour weeks. Long hours are out of the question, because I have to make sure I have enough time to make sure the new marketing guy doesn’t wee on the carpet.

And my days of scheduling 8 or 9 back-to-back meetings every day are also gone. Moose simply can’t be at home alone for that long!

I can tell that 2013 is going to be a big year for the business, and that things are going to continue to grow in enormous ways.

And guess what? I’m going to be happier in 2013, too. Because now my life is just where it should be – in balance.

What This Means for You

As business owners, we’re often overwhelmed. We work too hard. We can’t figure out how to get off the roller coasters we’ve created with our businesses and actually enjoy our lives.

If you find yourself needing to slow down, but you can’t seem to make yourself do it, consider something drastic. Think about doing something that might seem a little crazy to your friends and family. It will do wonders for your business and your sanity. And you may just make a new friend in the process.

Have thoughts on how you’re achieving better balance? Leave us a comment with your best tips and stories. Or give us links to pictures of your own furry little assistants, too!

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Comments

  1. Hi Beth,

    Your email came a little after 1am and as I read down to the part about not staying up till 1am anymore, I look at the clock: 1:11am and I LOL. I too have been running ragged at home trying to get things in a better place so all of us here can be better. I have 4 kids and my two youngest have really given us a run for our money when it comes to scheduling and nighttime routines and sleep.

    I have been getting them on a sleep schedule now..but it is not perfect yet and we still have hard days…and doing work online gets put on the backburner sometimes.

    Your puppy is cute and I love the mountain the back. Thanks for this message. It came right on time!

    Aleshia

  2. Moose is adorable! I have two chihuahuas and my life revolves around them. It’s nice to know that a dog will unconditionally love you for their entire existence. On the days that you’re stressed out or worry, taking them out in the fresh air or giving them a little hug makes a world of a difference. I know it does for me. The puppy years are the best and you’ll learn a lot about yourself and your dog as you create a special bond. Make sure you take a lot of pictures! Good luck :)

  3. Rebecca in Switzerland says:

    Great post, Beth! LOVE it. Thank you for sharing your world with us.

  4. Great decision! Balance is so important and a pet helps keep everything in perspective! We are coming to Boulder this coming Saturday to adopt a rescue dog from Farfel’s Rescue. I am so excited and have been spending some time this weekend getting things ready for Asher!

    Moose is adorable, and I’m sure he’ll provide lots of inspiration. You’ll get more done in less time because you’ll have a reason to log off and enjoy time with your new little boy!

    Thanks for sharing! Kim

  5. What an adorable addition to your team Beth…and I totally know what you mean about working the longggggggggggggg hours. When I was a single mum, I would do “mum things” in the mornings and evenings, then work all night to figure out the things I didn’t know how to do (like market my business…and this was in the days before being online was much more than a gleam in mama’s eye). Now that the kids are gone and doing their thing, it’s time to look at what WOULD be fun to do.

    Thanks for the reminder and have a blast!

    love and light, hugs and blessings
    MamaRed

  6. Moose is the PERFECT name for your adorable little guy, and I’m still glowing from having a chance to meet and hold him last week! I’m absolutely thrilled to have these photos of him to print out and cherish. The first shows his sturdy, intelligent personality, and the second shows how much you love each other already! I can really see how this infusion of love will lend balance to your life and spill over into your work. Hope you’ll keep sharing photos, and I have an idea for a future post for you: Julene B. also has a dog named Moose–the hugest dog I’ve ever seen, and very sweet and gentle, maybe a photo of the your Moose and Julene’s together (maybe with content about how your business has grown?!).

  7. I love that little dog. I would love on on my studio but have a very possessive studio cat.
    I schedule one day off a week to pursue what ever i want, intead of working. I go to exhibitions, trips to the country, go for a walk, do some gardein and some creative writing. Its great to have a break and restores me to a feeling of happiness.

    • Awesome idea, Janet. My business coach says I should schedule one full day each week to be a “CEO Day” for planning, dreaming, goal-setting, setting priorities for the upcoming week, and other big-picture stuff. I love the idea of have a day off every week, too. I’m not there yet, but I can possibly see it in the future! Baby steps.

  8. Hi Beth,

    My CEO is Baby Boy Parker. A three year old apricot standard poodle, he’s truly a “little man in a dog suit”!!! Yep, walks are not optional despite how we feel or what the weather’s doing.

    He keeps me grounded in a fundamental way. And when my business has me spinning and wondering how I’ll get it all done, he reminds me to stop … listen … and be grateful.

    You can check out his sweet smile here:
    https://www.facebook.com/bountyandbliss?ref=hl#!/bountyandbliss

    Thank you for the reminder Beth. EnJOY your little fluff ball Fluffy. So precious!

    Hugs,
    Francesca

  9. Beth – I love that you choose a puppy to bring about balance in your life. I’d be willing to bet that your blood pressure will come down too! Pets have a way of soothing a lot of things. My husband and I adopted a neighborhood stray cat lat year and we adore him. Good luck with the puppy training!

  10. Moose is adorable!!!!!!!! I want one (have to work something out with hubby though).

    I used to have two dogs, unhappily they passed away and now the house seems so empty. Having a pet around helps you to look at things differently. They definitely help you to stop and take a break they also remind you that life is an adventure.

    Running a business can be overwhelming at times we just have to remember that it’s OK to walk away and enjoy the day. It’s OK to stop look out the window it all helps you to refocus and decide what your next step will be.

    Enjoy Moose and give him an extra from all your fans.

    • That’s exactly what Moose has done for me, Francesca – he helps me focus on the stuff that’s really important. Helps me take a breath every now and then! :) Good stuff! I’ll give him a hug for you!

  11. Hi Beth,

    Congratulations on taking such a bold step :-)

    Finding that work/life balance is extremely difficult for me. Especially since I work from home. Sometimes I’ll start to feel hemmed in and I’ll realized I haven’t set foot out of the house in days. . . it’s not good.

    I’ll look forward to hearing more about your adventures with Moose.

    • Susanna – I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I have to stop and think, “When was the last time I saw a human being (in person)?” Not good! LOL.

  12. Matt Brennan says:

    I’ve been struggling with the work life balance a lot lately too. What a good reason to slow down!

  13. Thanks for an interesting article, Beth.

    I can certainly relate to working the long hours & the absence of vacations. I burned the candle at both ends for many, many years. I told myself it was out of necessity.

    Fortunately I finally l learned the value of better energy management. Now I enjoy more sleep, shorter work days, more time with the kids, etc. And I’ve found that I’m more productive doing so.

    Anyhow, thanks again for the article.

  14. Beth, this post is such a great reminder that our four-legged friends bring balance to our lives.

    I’m out the door every day even before the sun rises with Bogie, my German Short-haired Pointer. We walk again in the afternoon. All that walking has kept me (relatively) sane and in excellent health.

    Hug Moose for me. He’s adorable!

  15. Hi Beth, great blog, found you through copyblogger. Moose: he is cute but he also makes you a little more accountable – which we all need more of in specific parts of our lives.

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