• Sara Plott

Want To Conquer What Seems Too Big? Use Your Big Bark


Have you ever thought, “I could learn a lot from my dog?”

I have.

My pound pup lives a charmed life. Most days it is because I spoil him, but other times Yogi’s wonderful “dog’s life” is actually of his own making.

My tiny, odd-looking, too-many front teeth, mixed-breed pooch makes a good life for himself when he

  • loves unconditionally, so he doesn’t ruin any of his days holding a grudge,

  • naps often, especially in the sunshine,

  • greets every person gleefully when they return safely home,

  • eats only when he’s hungry and exercises often, and

  • barks louder at the big dogs.

Those who live on my street may or may not notice my fourteen-pound, straggly Pekinese-Chihuahua-mix barks louder at the big dogs.

This makes no sense at first glance. But there he is, nose pressed against the glass, shaking with doggie rage, barking his loudest bark at the German Shepard or stout Labrador who dares to use his street.

Shouldn’t he let those obviously big dogs pass, knowing he can’t win a fight if they engage him? Shouldn’t he save his efforts for smaller dogs he knows he can best?

Don’t tell Yogi that. Big dog equals bigger bark.

What if I employed that wisdom in my freelance business? What about you?

When a large problem or opportunity approaches, bark louder. Give it more than you think you’ve got. If the fight looks bigger, bark bigger. What would your business, your future, your dreams look like if you barked louder at the big dogs?

To emulate my bug-eyed canine, I need to:

  • Approach my largest, hardest projects when I am at my best, my loudest. For some people that is first thing in the morning. For me, it’s after a workout or lunch.

  • Apply my most effort and time towards the most difficult tasks. How many times do I choose the easy projects where I know I can do well? What effort do I embolden to tackle the impossible?

  • Embrace more risk. Avoid waiting for the perfect time, when things seem to line up … perfectly.

  • Focus on this moment, not on past mistakes. Yogi does not care that the same dog walked by yesterday totally unaffected by his barking. This time it might work. He gives every mutt ounce of himself in that moment. Did your product launch or new blog fail to hit the heights you had hoped? Maybe it wasn’t the right time. Today might be your day.

I need to bark louder at the big dogs.

Tonight my brown and rust spitfire is quiet. He had a long afternoon at the veterinarian so he is allowing all furry creatures to traipse along the street in silence. I miss his spirited, never-say-die barking.

Like Yogi, you might not feel up to barking at the big dogs every, single day. But I guarantee you, he will break the silence first thing in the morning. Will you? Will I?

What if you barked louder at some big dogs in your neighborhood tomorrow?

I think Yogi might say, “Go for it! Cats don’t bark. They have nine lives, but not us. Start barking louder now. Today may be your day.”

Sara Plott

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