Want to Grow Your Home Business? Rescue a Pet!

Jenny Barnett

You’re in luck! This article will NOT discuss yet one more time how you can harness the power of social media to promote your home-based business to the ends of the earth.

But there’s more to success than hum-drum affiliate marketing, right?

At Barnett Writer, we’ve discovered a few practices that improve our effectiveness because they make us healthier and more content. And yes, well-being really does translate to greater productivity, improved client relations, and the overall determination necessary to get the job done. One way is to adopt a pet, preferably a dog or a cat.

Aslan2

Aslan Barnett

So how can our furry, four-legged friends make us more creative? As it turns out, research shows, in several ways.

Our business partner, Aslan (for a profile of Aslan, visit our ”About” page), prefers a mid-morning play session each day. Often, he’ll place his paw on my shoulder to let me know he’s bored (uh . . . I mean that he thinks it’s time to discuss business strategy).

Sounds more like a distraction than a contribution, right?

Just the opposite. In fact, these breaks may actually boost our mental acuity.

An article in Psychology Today cites the benefits of taking breaks in the workplace. Fatigue sets in rapidly as we try to plow through our daily workloads. Predictably, this leads to brain drain.

To combat brain drain, most of us reach for something sweet or caffeine-infused. This causes our bodies to yo-yo. According to experts, we need to detach our minds from work completely for a few minutes at intervals throughout the day.

No one knows exactly how many breaks equals work nirvana, but a Health.com study shows that workers who take breaks early in the day excel throughout the day. Delaying a break to get more done actually creates a situation where we achieve less.

Remember, your brain is a muscle. Would you lift weights or run a marathon for eight hours without taking breaks, and staying hydrated?

So how exactly does rescuing a pet specifically help home-based businesses?

We of the increasingly self-employed variety don’t usually have colleagues with whom we can solve a problem or relate in a positive way. And it’s pretty obvious that we’re driven personalities or we wouldn’t be running the show.

That often adds up to grinding away at our computer screens for hours on end. Sometimes, we do this for six to seven days a week. After all, we don’t have a team of people to help us. We don’t clock out for lunch, plan leisure weekends, or take PTO (personal time off).

So rescuing a pet is a win-win. Fido gets to sniff out the neighborhood leaf piles while you increase oxygen to the brain by literally getting out of your chair.

You’ve probably heard of sitting disease. Yes, one more thing that’s going to kill us. Let’s face it: without your furry best friend, you’d be far less likely to take as many breaks as you need to recharge your batteries.

Aslan is not only helping me combat sitting disease, he’s literally making me healthier. According to recent studies, (https://mom.me/pets/19946-cats-purring-proven-help-human-health-numerous-ways/), when cats purr, people breathe easier. And their owners are 40% less likely to experience a heart attack. Our rescued companions even help us heal from infection and injury with their purr.

Two weeks ago, I came down with a terrible cold. I think Aslan could tell it was going to be a struggle for me to type out a few emails, let alone write a blog post. So he took matters into his own paws and hummed a deep tune while curled up against my chest. Guess what? I felt better!

Miraculously healed? No. But I was comforted knowing this furry guy “got it” more than my former coworkers who would hold their hands up to their faces as I walked by their cubes.

Harvard Medical School revealed that dogs have a similar effect on their owner’s overall health. Since dogs calm our nerves, they probably contribute to lower blood pressure. There’s a direct correlation between owning a dog, and having a decreased risk of heart disease.

That’s great news because, as business owners, we know that we have to be calm under pressure. Some days things don’t go so well, and even our greatest plans fail. But a rescued pet is always eager to listen.

Your pet will also help establish and maintain a daily routine. Ever try to sleep in while a hungry cat or dog sounds the alarm for breakfast? If you try to ignore that, a lick on the face or a paw to the nose will provide sufficient incentive to start the day.

Schedule maintenance continues throughout the day. Your dog needs to be walked 2-4 times a day, and is usually fed twice. Cats need to have litter pans raked and would prefer to be fed at least 3 times a day. Add time to romp and cuddle, and you will come to appreciate quiet time to work. Productivity will zoom!

To sum up, rescue a pet to

  • Improve your emotional health,
  • Calm your nerves,
  • Exercise,
  • Stay on schedule, and
  • Get more done!

For a list of pet rescue resources, visit: https://bestfriends.org/resources/for-shelters-and-rescuers/help-save-pets.

 

Help Wanted for Job Descriptions!

jobsadsinnewspaper

Sorry, I’m not hiring. But I am looking to improve the process used by nearly all businesses and organizations that do hire. Let’s face it: looking for a job today amounts to an inhumane, impersonal, tedious slog. If you can join your parents’ or Uncle Joe’s firm, stop reading and go consult a family therapist. The rest of us are condemned to networking and responding to poorly written job descriptions. Be aware, however, that poorly crafted job postings harm employers and prospective employees.

We’ve all seen them: job postings so long, detailed, technical, and jargon-laden that a single human being could not possibly fulfill all of the required expectations. Why are we subjected to such abuse? Continue reading

Battle Boredom, Improve Decisions!

powerpoint-presentation

As a college administrator for several years, I endured too many boring meetings and presentations. You have, too, regardless of your profession. You know the drill: while presenters read from text-heavy or chart-laden slides, people tune out, nod off. Often, they discuss poorly written and argued reports. (I’ll even admit that my own reports too frequently fell into that category!) What to do?

Grow a cerebral spine! Our teachers once urged us to listen or read actively. In today’s jargon, they were telling us to think critically. But we’ve forgotten (or never really knew) what that means. Let’s learn something useful from students in the Middle Ages! Continue reading

Wrong Words vs. Right Words

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So you weren’t paying attention in high school English class? I know, it was boring. Besides, we all had social lives to manage. But that lapse might cost you today in lost opportunities for employment or career advancement. Despite rapidly improving AI, spell and grammar checking, and other aids, errors creep into everyone’s writing. And some of them can mark you as an ignoramus. Not good when you’re trying to impress your boss or a client.

Anyone who writes hastily, such as beleaguered office workers responding to scores of email messages each day, often slip on wrong-word ice. Your English teacher surely knew this, but you were physiologically incapable of thinking about anything beyond the next 20 minutes. As a public service, therefore, I’m reincarnating your poor teacher to supply a list of commonly misused words along with their corrected usage. Bear in mind that this is a blog: the list, therefore, is not exhaustive. Continue reading

Oh, Those Narrow Scottish Roads!

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Travel writers should improve their game! Typically, they’re quite good at describing attractions to visit, places to stay, where to eat, and even what to wear. But all of that does not comprise a complete travel experience. As evidence, I offer our recent driving adventure in Scotland.

Last fall, my wife and I took our first trip to Scotland. Since we’re both independent personalities, we shunned group tours and set out on our own to see the countryside. Upon landing in Edinburgh, we picked up our rental car and drove into the city to our hotel. Despite some travelogue warnings, we did not find driving on the left to present a major problem, although we would not recommend doing so for your first time in a bustling city after an overnight flight. Still, we annoyed only a few native drivers (bus drivers seemed to exhibit the least patience) as we negotiated often confusing intersections. Continue reading