Business and Marketing Lessons Learned From My Cats
I have five cats. And no, I’m not a crazy cat lady. Here’s the deal: My oldest cat is Kate. Kate came to me about 18 years ago, and had been fully declawed — not my thing. The other four cats were feral, born in my dad’s garage about four years ago. I brought them home to socialize them for adoption and of course, I fell in love with all of them and they’ve been here ever since. They’ve still got all 72 claws (18 claws per cat) and a tendency to rile Kate up, which doesn’t do too much for her “old lady” heart condition. So while all five cats pretty much have full run of the house during the day, at nighttime and when we’re not around, we keep the four rambunctious “kids” confined to a spacious sunroom. Now that you have the background, I can tell you how four of my fur babies taught me a little business lesson recently.
Sometimes in the morning, I sit down with my coffee and breakfast and forget to open the door to the sunroom right away. Scooter, of course, is quick to remind me to open the door. He pads at the door until I come over and let him in. Scooter runs right in, looks up and makes eye contact with me, and he’s quick to hop up on my lap for a morning cuddle. The rest of the cats, Lance, Agnes, and Grandpaw, are slower to emerge, and take their time connecting with Leo and me throughout the day.
The other morning, as I was letting Scooter in, it hit me: by being at that door when I’m ready to open it in the morning, by letting me know he’s there, and even scratching on the door to remind me, Scooter is just using smart marketing. Basically, if you translate this into micro-entrepreneur terms, Scooter’s connecting with his target market (me), letting his target market know what he’s up to, and putting it out there that he’s got something to offer me when I’m ready to open the door and let him in. And as soon as he’s in the door, he’s already working with me, connecting with me, and showing me he’s glad I let him in.
In contrast, the other three cats laze about on the sunroom sofa and chairs. They gaze out the window, watching leaves blow around, watching the snow fall. Occasionally they come up to the door and look in, and it seems like they wish they were inside. But they only take action when I open the door and coax them inside, and then it takes them awhile to mosey by for a quick scratch under the chin. Translate this into people terms, and you’ve got all the micro-entrepreneurs who say they want clients and customers, but who actually don’t put themselves out there or market themselves properly.
Here’s the lesson: You have to market wisely and once you’re in the door, you have to deliver everything you’ve got. It’s about relationships and putting in the effort to get in front of your audience and make yourself known, then when you get your foot in the door, deliver, deliver, deliver.