Recently, I’ve had a very impactful conversation with one of my Houston dog walkers. We chatted thru Skype since we are physically separated by many miles.
The conversation started pretty simple:
Why do you want to be a dog walker? What prompted you to apply for a pet sitting job?
And then she told me her story. She went all the way back into her childhood, her college years, her family, her career path… She told me how pets influenced her life and shaped her into who she was today. Many stories were shared with me. Some of them were funny, some were very sad. We chatted without realizing how fast time flew by.
That was not a job interview. That was a conversation with a kindred soul. We had only one thing that connected us: pets. Our love for animals laid this foundation where we were opening up to each other and connecting.
When the “job interview” was over, I went on with my formalities. I checked her background. I emailed her our Policies and Procedures Manual along with the test (yep, all my employees need to complete a test to move forward with the training process). My work day went on, but I had a very warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart as if I just hung out with a friend at a coffee shop…
That day I realized that this was not the first time I was connecting with one of my Houston dog walkers or one of my clients.
My business relationships are actually very personal which is totally against what I learned in my MBA program. All my life I was taught to separate personal relationships from business. All my life I had to learn how to separate life from business.
Am I breaking all the rules by mixing business and personal? Will this be too messy? Will this doom my business and break my heart, or did I really find a Holy Grail here? Time will tell. In the meantime though, I’m going to cherish my relationships with all my Houston dog walkers and pet sitters. I’m going to continue to connect with my clients and all Houston pet owners. I will network with and support other pet sitting and dog walking companies across the world. I will open my heart and my life to anyone who comes with peace and love. Yes, I can consider myself lucky to be surrounded by pet lovers, because we have this strong bond among us: love for pets. This love brings peace. I will take my chances and make space for this love both in my personal life and definitely in my business.