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I admit I’m not perfect and like everyone who is being truthful, I have things I regret doing and not doing.  I’ve said things I’ve regretted.  I’ve overreacted needlessly a time or two, and on a few occasions, I treated other professionals poorly.  One thing I do not regret is I always mind my own business.

If your dog doesn't like someone, you probably shouldn't either.

When I lived in Atlanta, I could always tell when a Southerner was going to tell me NO. They would invite me into their office for a chat, and in their best southern draw we'd talk about the weather, and after about 30 minutes they would let me down gently finally getting to NO.

When a dog wags her tail and barks at the same time, how do you know which end to believe?

Then years later, in New York City I learned to appreciate the New Yorkers brutal honesty when NO would come rolling off their Northern lips faster than a New York minute. I realized hearing a decisive No just meant I had more money and time to pursue my real opportunities.

You can't expect to be a "lucky dog" if you spend all your time growling.

My time in L.A. taught me a very different lesson. In L.A. even the busiest, high ranking business person will talk to you to find out what you want and what you know. You may have something they can rip off!

Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant.

Being born and raised in the Midwest though I could never really adopt any of those approaches.   I’ve had to find my system.  I mean to say, I've come across many individuals locally who think ignoring people is a polite way of saying, “NO or I’m not interested.”

A dog cut off his tail. He was tired of everyone knowing what he was thinking.

I can tell you with 100% certainty, ignoring people says more about your character than you're simply not interested.  It shows great integrity to give attention, even if only briefly, to every person requesting your time.   Being polite and making others feel worthy of your time is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also very beneficial.   If you are not interested, simply say you are not interested and thank them for their time.  This takes about 10 seconds and leaves the door open for future ideas and opportunities that they might bring to you.

Never trust a dog to watch your food.

Like most people, I am busy. I have a family, two businesses, a dog, four cats, four fish, a few employees to manage, and a few close friends.  That being said, 99.9% of the time there’s something I’m never too busy to do.  I try to respond to every message, email, Facebook, Twitter, phone call, and smoke signal directed to me.  And most importantly, if someone takes their time to provide me with an estimate or requested information, I always take the time to let them know I chose a different service. This frees their mind and takes me off their call list so they can pursue other business.

You can't keep a good human down—or an affectionate dog.

It’s been my experience that opportunities don’t create themselves.  I know that if someone takes their time to call or email me, it’s because they believe they have something important to share with me.  Some of the greatest things that have happened to me have been through chance encounters with people I didn’t know at the time. 

Before you fall into the thinking you are politely saying you’re not interested by ignoring people, consider this: the person reaching out to you may be a missed opportunity that a business person like me will surely scoop up in a heartbeat. 



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