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Know What You Value

Why I called my business Dog Tales

Naming a business is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. I wanted a name that reflects who I am, who I want to reach and what my values are. And I also wanted a name that is fun, unique and that I wouldn't get tired of hearing.

I didn't want to use a pun, like pawsitive. I know it's quite a popular thing to do for naming a business. I can see how it can help you stand out and it can be fun. I just have a deep-rooted, innate response to naming something that way.

It's maybe from when I worked at directory enquiries when I was younger. Smartphones have made this service almost obsolete now. But I remember how infuriating it was to search for a business who spelled their name awkwardly. Names like a hairdresser called ‘Klayrz Kutz’. It took up seconds of the call time to clarify the spelling or get your brain to comprehend the alternative spelling. We were supposed to complete calls within 30 seconds so this could be frustrating.

I don't miss that job!

Anyway, back to the name. It can take months, even years for some people, to finally decide on one.

For a long time, I was going to name my business Dogventures. This was to reflect that it is a big Adventure for me. Adventuring is one of the things I value most in life. Adventure to me represents fun, excitement and growth. Life with a dog is an adventure. And I like how my business has incorporated that by taking on adventures delivering first aid across Scotland.

Value This

I have given a lot of thought to what my core values are; a mentor and business coach both stressed the importance of knowing this. It was surprising at first. But knowing your values help to attract the people to your business that share your values. When I first chose my top 3 values, I picked compassion, growth and adventure.

I replaced compassion for empathy a few months ago because, since I made the original choice, I have learned more about compassion. With compassion you can end up doing for others what they are capable of doing for themselves. This means that it is easier for me to do something than to watch them struggle through it. But if you don’t let people do things for themselves, they are helpless in the same scenario when you are not there. You are not really helping them by being compassionate.

Empathy is a more accurate reflection of what I want to do. I want to understand others. To listen to what their problem is. That way people are more able to help themselves. They will feel more confident and be able to do things for themselves.

My tagline on Facebook is still ‘compassionate training’. But I like the reminder of where my value has changed and why.

I also replaced the value of growth with truth. Originally, I chose growth because I always want to learn more and progress. But growth isn’t more important to me than knowledge and understanding. Plus, being truthful also helps to promote trust. And it’s important to have mutual trust with the people I want to work with. I feel that by being adventurous, empathetic and seeking truth, growth will be a natural side effect of that anyway.

Back To the Name

I chose the name Dog Tales long before I settled on the final values. Or at least what my values are for now. After many attempts of writing down all the words that described dogs, how I feel and what I want to do in life, I finally settled on Dog Tales.

It was Dog Tales because, above all, I want to connect with and teach others. Telling stories is the best way to do this. It's what we evolved to do. When we listen to a story, our brain waves actually start to synchronize with the person who is telling us the story. Stories also survive generations. So, teaching by telling stories is also a great way to ensure that the knowledge will get passed on.

I didn’t want to spell it 'Dog Tails'. Because I wanted it to be clear that it’s the tale that means story and not a tail what a dog wags. This business is for more than the dogs’ tail, more than the whole dog. It's for the whole human-dog relationship. While dogs have tails, its humans that tell tales.

Since I picked the name, I have found that it isn’t all that unique. There are a few other businesses called Dog Tales out there. So, I’ve been thinking of adding something to the name. I first though ‘Claire’s Dog Tales’ but that’s a bit egotistical for me. ‘Happy Dog Tales’ sort of reflects the result of what I’m trying to achieve but I find it too cutesy. I do like the sound of ‘Adventurous Dog Tales’, it sounds exciting.

Whatever the name evolves into, this time I want to have input from the people that like what I have to say and read what I write. So, what name do you prefer? Would you be attracted to a business called Adventurous Dog Tales? Or is Claire's Dog Tales better or do you like Happy Dog Tales? Or is there something that you think is even better?

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