Three months ago I entered into what is one of the biggest adventures I have ever undertaken. I rescued a puppy. I had been toying with idea of getting a dog for about 5 years (yes, 5 years). Two things held me back: my startup life and New York City. But I now live in sunny Santa Monica in a bungalow with a spacious yard. Even so, it still took me two years, as my startup hours remained an obstacle. Then, a friend posted a photo of a puppy she was fostering on Facebook and I fell in love. I am now the proud mother of a Pit / Black Lab pup named Joanie (after Joan Jett, of course).
I have been working on balance (as just about every entrepreneur will tell you) since – well…..birth. And rescuing a month-old, wildly energetic puppy provided me with an instantaneous, and sometimes overwhelming, priority outside of work. Luckily, I have been in consulting mode as of late and have had more flexibility with regards to spending time with my pup. (I am starting a new gig very soon so stay tuned as this adventure evolves!).
To date, my life with Joanie has very much felt like a TV sitcom – chasing her down after she jumps out of the tub and spreads bubbles all over my house, stumbling over myself as she charges down the beach, sporting bite marks on my arms and bite holes in my clothes, etc . But it is all worth it, as I have a new best friend and we have tons of fun.
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about how raising this puppy is very similar, in many ways, to my experiences launching Internet businesses.
1) It is exhilarating and exhausting all at once
2) It requires dealing with all kinds of shit – and lots of it!
3) Every day (hour, minute, second) brings something new
4) It is anybody’s guess exactly how big it will be
5) Some days the growth and progress are tremendous, others not so much
6) It requires a great deal of stamina and patience
7) Success in training has more to do with the owner than the dog / success in startups has more to do with the team than the idea
8) It can be more rewarding than you ever imagined
Of course, companies don’t eagerly await for you to get home, look at you with adorable puppy eyes, or want to lick/kiss your face off. If you don’t have one and want one, go for it. There are way too many dogs out there that need great homes. Check out People For Paws for assistance.