1. When you drive through your favorite espresso stand, does the barista offer you a freebie? Rarely. But, if you have a dog in the car with you, that dog will get a freebie every time. In fact, the barista will most likely remember your dog’s name before she will recognize yours. Dogs are natural networkers. They make friends wherever they go, and people remember the good ones. Are you as memorable as a dog? Don’t you want to be?

    Here’s a secret: you can tap into those same traits. By translating those wonderful doggy qualities into human relationships, you can meet more people, leave lasting impressions, and build networks that will advance your business and your social life. What does a dog have that you don’t? Nothing! You can easily harness the power of doggy networking by recognizing a few inherent traits.

    Dogs intend to have a good time

    If you are a dog owner, you know that the mere jingle of your car keys can send your canine friend into throes of bliss. You dog just KNOWS she’ll have a great time on the other side of the door. She fully intends to make the most of her time outside in that big, magnificent world, and because of that intention, she does. Every time.

    You can do the same. Set an intention every time you pass through a door. You can be as specific as you want; such as intending to meet a plumber to do business with; or be general: just have a good time. You will find that by setting an intention, you will be more relaxed, better focused, and able to attract the types of people and opportunities you desire.

    Dogs are happy to meet everyone

    With a dog, it is pretty easy to tell that she is happy to see you, as she wags her tail. You can do the equivalent: smile. Not a pained, fake smile, but a genuine happy-to-be-there smile. People can tell.

    What if you aren’t happy to be there? Well, why not? Are you doing something you don’t want to do? Why? These questions are important! Think back to your intention. If you set your intention before you leave, then your attitude will align. Wherever you are is full of opportunities, you only have to recognize them. If you’re a little afraid, don’t dread it – embrace it! Opportunities only arise when you face the unknown. Bear in mind, the choice is always yours. You don’t have to force yourself to do anything that you really don’t want to do.

    Here’s a quick and easy attitude adjuster: Weigh the pros and cons of each outing. Are the cons small or fear-based? Are the pros exciting and helpful? If there are more good things that may manifest, then you will be happier with the challenge of going to unfamiliar territory. Set your intention, and view the event as banquet of possibilities.

    Dogs assume everyone is happy to meet them

    You have to go out of your way to convince a dog that you don’t like her. Why do we humans think the opposite? The truth is that you are out there meeting people because there are people looking to meet you. This means that each person you encounter is very happy to meet you, too. Give them a chance.

    Dogs will give a second chance

    First impressions can go a long, long way. If you meet someone that bristles you right out of the gate, please don’t assume that is his permanent state. He might have had a bad day, feel ill, or even be more nervous than you. Just like a new food, try it twice, and then decide if you like it. It’s Golden Rule stuff – give each person the benefit of the doubt that you’d like them to give to you.

    If you still don’t enjoy his company, at least you know for sure you haven’t missed something important. Politely disengage, and move on.

    Dogs will remember the good stuff

    Your dog doesn’t care if it rained the last time you went to the park or that you got a flat tire on your way home. She only remembers the wonderful smells and great fun she had fetching the ball and spending time with her favorite person. She can’t wait to do it again.

    If you went to an event and hit a few bumps along the way, don’t dwell on them. Learn from your mistakes and then let them go. Focus on what went right. The more you do that, the more things will go right the next time.

    Use your new attitude to make yourself memorable

    Now that you’ve set your intention, let go of some of your fears, realized that each event is chock full of opportunities, and shown kindness to others, you will seem like a happier, friendlier person – and people will be attracted to your attitude. As you feel the difference, you will become more memorable and your network will expand.

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