While preparing to launch LexION Capital several years ago, I decided that it was time to adopt a puppy. This sparked a chorus of “Are you insane?” I already heard that question plenty of times when I shared my business idea: build an independent, fiduciary wealth management firm that was client-centric and ethical. I believe that there is no reason why fiduciary-level wealth management and investment advice should only be available to the wealthiest investors, so although many disagreed with me that it would be possible to bring that level of service to a wider public, I went ahead and founded LexION Capital anyway.
Similarly, while launching my firm I went right ahead and adopted my beloved fur child, a sweet puppy named Magic, through NYC-based rescue organization Animal Haven.
As an entrepreneur, I found this was actually a perfect time to get a dog. Here are five reasons why you should, too!
1. You might train your dog, but having a dog trains you to be pack leader.
This is critical to your role as an entrepreneur. To be a strong and supportive leader you must create appropriate structure and ground rules, even in the most easygoing company cultures.
2. You’re forced to take a walk every day.
When you launch a business, you’re working around the clock. A dog provides a much-needed incentive to get up from your desk, walk outside, and take a few moments to break both physically and mentally.
3. You meet new people.
I met some of my best friends and business connections while our pups played together at the dog park. Who owns dogs? Everyone. It’s a reminder to meet new people and expand your network.
4. You gain perspective.
The financial markets may be up, down, or flat – Magic doesn’t know and doesn’t care. She is just happy to go to the park and play. Pets can be a good reminder to take a step back and make time for fun!
5. You have a number-one fan.
When I come home, Magic is equally excited to see me whether I had a terrific day or a terrible one. We can all do with a dose of that unconditional love and encouragement. A dog loves you and has faith in you no matter what, which serves as a reminder to believe in yourself and your dreams.
For more ideas, inspiration, and lessons in entrepreneurship, check out my weekly column on Inc., Dollars and Sense!