Meet Diego. He’s an English staffy and he LOVES to walk.  Which means I end up walking a lot as well.

He starts nudging me around 6am.  Luckily for me I’m an early riser so we get up and go.  Any day I’m not walking he sulks.  As a result I have found multiple walking routes around my suburb and try and go different ways to break it up.

So why is this relevant to business?

Well Diego has had a huge impact on my ability to think and get curious.  My walks with him are a minimum of one hour.  And an hour is plenty of thinking time.  Most days I’ll put on an Audible book and work my way through them (1.25 – 1.50x speed is a handy hack).  I listen to business books, books on environment, books on politics, books on climate, books on history (I’m a sucker for some of the ancient military stuff).  And then I’ll break it up with some non-fiction as well.  Other days I’ll pick a favourite Spotify list, or a podcast, or even a radio app.

And here’s the thing; regardless of non-fiction or fiction, music or podcast, it gets my brain moving (along with my feet) and it will prompt an idea, some sort of spark, or a set of questions that I would love to answer.

I think the key is that by getting the body moving, there is a chemical release, which triggers the brain.  And that’s what I love.  The chance to muse, to contemplate and just generally get curious about stuff.

Often, when I come back from a walk I’ll need to capture a note or two on my TODO list of something to follow up on.

The time is invaluable and not wasted.  And given that I am going pretty early in the morning I’m usually back home by 8am anyway so the day is just beginning.

To me this is a key component of transitioning from Founder to Owner (F2O).  Finding ways, finding time to think with no regrets or guilt about what we are not DOing.  I’ve been that sucker for too long, thinking that my value is in what I DO.  But my value is in the ideas, in the insights, and in the questions I have learnt to ask.  And it is not that my ideas, my insights, or my questions are necessarily going to be the absolute gold standard.  It is in that in sharing them, they may prompt a better idea, a better insight or a better question from those that I share it with.  This, to me, is the basis of building a powerful organisation.  A system of insights with a method to convert them to action (ideas to IDEAS).

I love my walks with Diego.  They have helped make me a better Business Owner.

So when are you going to get a Dog?