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How Your Dog Can Help You Grow Your Healing Business

by Coach Cary Bayer

A dog is a man's best friend, and may be a healer's best teacher. A dog embodies so many qualities of the Enlightenment described by the world's spiritual teachers that it's hardly coincidental that dog is god spelled backwards. Speaking colloquially...doggonit--a canine can help inspire business growth.

Dogs demonstrate a form of unconditional love that's hard to find anywhere. I'm not asking you to love each client unconditionally, but, as a business coach for massage therapists and alternative healers, I'd like to give you a healer's marketing tip: if you can find it in your heart to express more love for these people who help you pay your bills and enjoy your lifestyle, you'll set yourself further apart from other healers. If you haven't seen them in a while, call to make sure they are feeling all right.

A dog will greet you with a wagging tail and endless licks and kisses. (Does your wife or husband do that? I didn't think so.) You can yell at a dog in anger, and he'll perhaps cower away in fear, but an hour later, he's completely forgiven your cruelty. Most spouses are less forgiving. Here's another healer's marketing tip: forgive your clients for their mistakes, like showing up late or forgetting appointments, and they'll feel your love and forgiveness.

Another quality that dogs show in abundance is service. Many dogs--if trained how--will retrieve the slippers of their masters on a nightly basis. The service that a dog manifests for his man rivals that of the most refined Jeeves-like butlers. Here's another canine healer's marketing tip for you: As you rub your dog's belly tonight, let some of his spirit of service rub off on your hands, and your clients will feel the spirit embodied in those hands and in you, and will feel that much more cared for. You are, after all, in service to your clients. Embody that service and they'll want their bodies on your table and in your couch more frequently.

In his best-seller The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle elucidated the advantages of being in the present moment, as compared to looking over your shoulder at the past, or into the future that hasn't yet come. A dog never dwells in what once was, nor is he obsessed with what may or may not be on its way. He's firmly and resolutely in the present. Even when lying down to catch shut-eye, he'll often keep one eye open to the goings on of the humans around him, just to stay present. Cultivate presence of mind and your clients and staff will feel that presence. Here's another healer's marketing tip: Stay in the present during the healing treatment or session that you offer, and in all other things that you do in your business, and people will enjoy being around you. That will attract them to want to do business with you, as well. And that grows your business.

Enthusiasm, from the Greek entheos means "in god." If the wagging tail of a dog doesn't remind you to stay enthusiastic, nothing else can. Retrievers of the Golden and Labrador type are perfect embodiments of an enthusiasm that's hard to rival. A human being can throw the same ball to the same Retriever over and over again but, while the person may soon tire or be bored, the dog never tires. The jaded healer far too often says, "Been there, done that." But, to a Retriever, the idea doesn't arise. Each new toss is a brand new moment, the first time to fetch. His presence in the moment, and his enthusiasm for chasing the same thing time and again, display a freshness that points to an awakened state of being that our great teachers have both explained and embodied.

Here's a final healer's marketing tip: cultivate enthusiasm for clients, for work, for staff (if you have one), and your prospects, and your capacity to succeed will be optimized. Greet every client with mental and emotional freshness. Each session that you give them is like the first time. It doesn't have to be the same treatment over and over again. Your dog greets everyone he knows who enters your home as an opportunity for play. So can you.

With all of these things that dogs teach us, who really are the masters? Perhaps they love to awaken us so much that we're like our teachers' pets.

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Posted: 07/26/2011

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