Don’t Let Puking Dogs Lie

It was a fantastic Easter feast. We had ham, baked ziti, my mother in law’s delicious spinach bread, and tons of chocolate. As we were packing everything up, we had some ham bones left over, and we put them aside for the dogs.

My husband and I vividly remembered the last time a neighbor had given our Cesar a ham bone; we were awakened in the middle of the night with him throwing up all over our bed. So we discussed whether or not we should give him another one. We decided that we could, but that we would control how LONG he had the bone so there would be no way he could get sick again.

Then the Bocce games began…and we totally let him have the bone until it was gone.

Once again, we were awakened by a puking dog in our bed. And I said to myself, “How many times do I have to learn this lesson before I change my behavior and decision making?” I swore to myself I would never make that mistake again. I’ll have to let you know if the lessons sticks.

So here’s my question…

When it comes to mistakes or missteps in your work life, how many of them make a second (or third, or fourth) appearance?

Here are my observations based on my own experience.

1. The answer can depend on how serious the mistake was.

Very early in my sales career, I was involved in a huge project for a showroom at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago that was participating in a big show. I was way out of my depth and had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t ask for help.

The projects’ costs far exceeded my original estimate, and I said NOTHING to my clients. It wasn’t until they got the bill, and were so outraged that they called the president of my company (who then reprimanded me, but in a kind way), that I realized how important communication is, even if the news is going to be received poorly.

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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  • Kevin

    I have heard that pork is bad for dogs. A while back we had a terrrier that suffered seizures, they went away when we stopped given her pork scraps and pork bones.


  • Robert A. Marzullo

    Hello. First let me say thanks for the great article. Very true in business. My name is Robert A. Marzullo and I am the owner/operator of Ram Studios Large Format Printing. One mistake I continually make is not charging enough for design time and getting that mixed up with the production of my digital prints. I always end up giving more than I receive in that area and I am trying to fix that about my business practices. One way that I have tried to handle that is to seperate design from actual production but it has been a tough one to overcome. Keep up the good fight! :)

  • Jeff Howell

    I think one thing I am learning is that I’m sharing too much too free information. Because I’m still new in the area, I want to build some credibility, but I need to start watching how much free advice I give. I should be compensated for it!
    While I’m not complacent with where my sales marks are at all, I do sometimes tend to present the same solutions because it’s familiar. It may not hurt, but it sometimes means I’m not providing as customized a solutions package as the client deserves.
    Sometimes I get caught in the spiderweb of social media and I’ve wasted 30 minutes!