There are no disadvantages in business, only leverage you have yet to discover


The two dogs here are mine that I walk three times a day. They are each about 1 1/2 years old and grew up together from pups. They hang with me at my office all day and they are rarely apart.

Charlie is a full-bred German Shepherd who weighs about 100 lbs. Sallie is the white mutt we rescued from the local Human Society. She is a bit lab, a bit of something else and more of that. She weighs in about 70 lbs.

And, despite what the photo shows, she is winning this wrestling match (nobody got hurt.)

On the afternoon “thinking/lunch” walk, we go about 1/2 mile to a undeveloped subdivision that the builder abandoned due to the current recession (silver lining!) I then take them off the leash and they run, sniff and stalk each other. And they go at each other with all the sibling love anyone who has grown up with a brother or sister close in age recognizes well.

Charlie is bigger, weighs more and has longer teeth. He can also run faster. If he choose, he could probably crush Sallie’s head. Sallie has shorter legs, is stockier and can turn and roll on a dime. But if you watch them closely, none of these features by themselves is either an advantage or a disadvantage.

When Charlie catches up with Sallie, she either veers quickly right of left or rolls on her back, sending Charlie overshooting her. By the time he turns around, she has darted away a few hundred feet. If Charlie is standing up and Sallie wants to take him out, she body-checks him against his ribs and he goes down like a sack of potatoes. If he is already on the ground, she positions her weight on his chest and he can’t get traction to roll over.

If you were to bet which dog would win in an all out wrestle, you may choose Charlie who is bigger, can run faster and has bigger teeth. But nobody told Sallie her shorter legs and stockier build was a disadvantage nor does she believe it is. So far, each wrestle has ended in a draw.

So, what is your excuse? Do you really have disadvantages in your business or have you just not fully assessed your leverage? If you are small and under-capitalized, you may just be scrappy and creative. In this current economy, do you see limitations or possibilities to embrace change?

Good business people don’t see advantages or disadvantages, only the current climate and an opportunity to leverage their assets.

We can learn a lot by paying attention to dogs. In their minds, they are each at the same time only puppies and the fiercest thing on the block. And, since they can’t understand us when we voice our opinions of them, they are unaffected by what we think is possible. To them, every fight is win-able, but not every win is achieved the same way.