Women Innovating Networking Growing Scaling – that’s WINGS … I’m Melinda Wittstock, my mission is to help women take flight to soar to the success of our dreams in business and in life– and create and grow businesses in alignment with our passion and purpose.
On our Mentoring Minisode of Wings of Inspired Business today … we talk about discipline in business. How to stay focused by creating non negotiable habits. The idea is to keep your eye on the ball and identify one or 2 consistent actions to move needle forward, without distraction. Also why it is crucial in business never to walk alone … work for yourself not by yourself.
Here with us today to provide her insights and inspiration is
Gila is a serial entrepreneur who found her greatest passion working with dogs and their people. She is a Co-Founder of Dog is Good, a lifestyle brand for dog lovers which creates original messaging and designs for products sold at retailers nationwide and online to celebrate the dog-human connection.
Gila Kurtz will be here with her advice in just a moment on our Mentoring Minisode (transition music starts here) and first …
And now to the inspiring Gila Kurtz.
Gila takes her inspiration in life and businesses … from dogs.
It turns out dogs have a lot to teach us about how to manage ourselves … and our companies.
Gila started out as a dog trainer and she’s the bestselling author of Fur Covered Wisdom…A Dog Can Change the Way You See the World, which quickly became a #1 International Best Seller on Amazon in both the Pet and Self-Help Categories.
She’s also a serial entrepreneur and a Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Dog is Good, a lifestyle brand for dog lovers. The company creates original messaging and design for a broad array of products to celebrate and “share the unique joy one feels living life with Dog”. Gila has been honored with several business awards including recognition as one of the top 25 women of influence in the pet industry (2015) by Pet Age Magazine and, most recently, Women of the Year award for Women In the Pet Industry Network.
Melinda Wittstock: Gila, welcome to WINGS.
Gila Kurtz: Thank you, Melinda. Happy to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: I’m excited to talk to you. I love a dog lovers and especially people who have businesses that make our pets happy. I’m a big, big, big dog lover and I’m onto my fourth, a really cute golden retriever puppy. I just want to start by asking you what is inspiring you right now in your life and in your business?
Gila Kurtz: Oh, well, I’m so excited that you love dogs. Obviously, dogs are my world with dogs in general, I’ve always… Dogs had been such a huge part of my life and so, what inspires me, well, right now truly is the continued relationship that I have with my dogs and the lessons that they bring to me each day that I can apply not only in my business, but life as well. Within our business, what’s inspiring me currently are some new initiatives that we launched within the past two years. Those are initiatives that are really creating impact in the lives of people on a much deeper level, while at the same time giving us opportunity to grow and expand what we do here at the company.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that you said you got inspiration from your dogs. Give me an example of that. I feel that the same way actually. I’m curious what your thoughts are on it.
Gila Kurtz: You know, early on when I first had dogs in my life, I did not grow up with dogs, but my very first dog, a Dalmatian Labrador mix came into our lives around, gosh, it has been 25 years already ago. In all honesty, I didn’t quite pay attention to the lessons that the dogs brought to me on a daily basis. It wasn’t until about five years ago that I really became cognizant of what was going on around me and more intentional on seeking what those dogs were doing on a daily basis that could teach me how to live a better life. For example, each and every day they… Dogs truly [inaudible 00:02:17] in activities or show up in a certain way that provide you with insight into how to become a better human.
To give you an example, I think one of the oddest as people will identify with is the fact that dogs live in the moment. They tend to just be incredibly present creatures and spend zero time worrying about the past or feeling anxious about what may happen in the future. That concept of being very present and focused on what is going on in the moment, whether it’s a conversation that you’re having with somebody or an activity that you’re engaged in, really being a hundred percent engaged with that.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that about dogs. I also love how they literally shake things off. Can someone doesn’t like them or they’re resetting or whatever it is, they literally just shake it off.
Gila Kurtz: Yes. They do.
Melinda Wittstock: What a great segue into the challenges part of our mentoring minisode, because we all have them at different stages of business, there’s always something new. There’s always something else to learn. What are some of yours right now?
Gila Kurtz: I would say the biggest challenge that we face currently, particularly in fourth quarter as a manufacturing company creating products, cash flow is always top of mind. As a company, when you’re producing things, you’re outlaying cash while you’re in the process of sales in the door to cover those expenses. I would say balancing cash flow and really getting focused in on the periods during the course of the year where you have those ebbs and flows because of the nature of what we do as a company.
Melinda Wittstock: This is so true because no matter how big and how successful you are, you can still have a cash flow issue. You have to get so much savvier just about the managing of the money in a way that in the startup stages it’s hard to even see that, right?. That’s always going to be something just a little bit different around the corner. Gila, you’re a serial entrepreneur and this is, I don’t know what number business this is, but I know that to be a serial entrepreneur, you will have learned a lot along the way. If you had to sum up in the top three pieces of advice you’d give to other female founders and entrepreneurs and women in business, what would the top three pieces of advice be?
Gila Kurtz: That is a great question, Melinda. I believe… I’m going to highlight three things. First is discipline, second is … and third, community. Starting with discipline, once an individual has clarity around what success looks like to them and they have their vision in place, they truly need to have an element of discipline in order to get things done. I don’t mean just finding the business, I mean a discipline in their life that they have some solid habits in place that are non-negotiable that propel them forward and keep them focused if you will, on the things that need to happen. Leave us… Bring me to the second thing that is keeping your eye on the balls. What I like to say as it really gives my dog centric approach to everything. It’s very easy to look at all the various balls that you want in play for your company, for your business as you continue to grow and it takes discipline to identify one or two things that really require your attention in order to move the needle forward.
There’s this, want to do everything and especially if you yourself or you don’t have a team. It’s been wrapped up in that, but if you can just narrow down your focus and put all your energies towards that and have the discipline to say no to distractions, you will begin to move your business forward. Then, the last bit would be what I like is community staying for that. Never walk alone. It’s not where you want with you by seeking out others who have gone before you, plans to shorten your learning curve as well as just keeping yourself uplifted and energized because you are around like-minded individuals. It’s all people have challenging moments later and all businesses have challenging moment. When you realize that you’re not in it alone or in business for yourself but not by yourself, it blends, it creates an amazing opportunity for you to rise faster because of the community you surround yourself with.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, such beautiful advice. Gila, how can people find with… Sorry we can pick up there. Gila, how can people find you online and on social media and get your amazing products and services.
Gila Kurtz: Thank you. You can find me at dogisgood.com. You can reach me through Gila, G-I-L-A@dogisgood.com. You can follow all of our stuff on social media. Facebook, Dog is Good. Instagram, Dog is Good. Twitter, Dog is Good. All of the social media platforms is… It can be found Dog is Good and I am accessible through any of those platforms as well.
Melinda Wittstock: Fantastic. Thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us.
Gila Kurtz: Thank you Melinda.