Focus.  Become.  Unleash.

February 1, 2024

The Movement. How Jason and I are leaning into what matters more to us: the people we get to work with through their dogs.  We love seeing dogs transform and better their lives, but we love even more seeing their people do the same.  Just as we give our dogs something specific to FOCUS on, […]

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The Movement.

How Jason and I are leaning into what matters more to us: the people we get to work with through their dogs.  We love seeing dogs transform and better their lives, but we love even more seeing their people do the same.  Just as we give our dogs something specific to FOCUS on, see them BECOME like a new dog through the process of focusing, and UNLEASH a new level of potential and freedom for them; we love to see our people do the same.

We became clear on this when Madie, Jason and I were at a 4-day marketing conference called Funnel Hacking Live this past September.  Although at the onset that may sound like a snooze, it was really more like a rock concert for online marketers.  The energy in a room of 5,000 excited people ready to change the world is palpable.  (The pump-you-up music and laser show may have helped as well.)

They Were the Worst

Russell Brunson (co-founder of Click Funnels who puts on the Funnel Hacking Live event) introduced one of the first presenters by saying, “I chose these guys to come speak today because they were literally the worst.” 

Huh??  Did I hear that right?  Russell said he chose this next presentation because they were “literally the worst”?  I suppose the operative word here is: were.  Past tense.

Then those two men came running out on stage, full of energy and engaging, wearing shirts that read: “Rise Up.  Live Free.”  Their presentation sucked me right in.  How did these men ever earn the past title of “the worst”?

They immediately supported Russell’s claims and told the story of being in Russell’s coaching group for 3 years and every time they would present to the group, Russell would literally fall asleep.  Up pops a picture of Russell slumped over on a conference chair, arms folded, chin to chest, dead asleep.

Although they kept pushing through and remained a part of this higher-level coaching program, they were struggling to keep their business afloat.

They Were “Misaligned”

Then a female peer in the coaching group said, “Let me help you.  I think you’re misaligned.  Your business doesn’t reflect what truly matters to you.”  The men immediately thought that sounded a little woo-woo, but at this point they were desperate. 

They responded with, “Well, let us have it!  What do you mean?” 

She wanted to start by having them take a personality test of sorts.  Doubtful with how a personality test would help them grow their business, they still went ahead with it.  They were desperate, remember.

The Funnel Hacking Live jumbo screen flashed behind them in their presentation to display their test results.  It was only at this point they mentioned their business was in the financial space.  Well, both of their test results showed that finance was not the thing they cared the most about.  It was more like number 3 or 4 for both of them.  Instead, number one was independence.  Freedom.  Which was probably what drove them to be entrepreneurs in the first place and to want to have finances in order.  It was the freedom those things could provide that drove them. 

Share What Matters Most

Yet in their business, they were leading out with the wrong thing.  They were missing the opportunity to share what mattered most.

With this new insight, they jumped right in.  They changed their messaging to “Rise Up.  Live Free” and built their business around it.  They immediately began attracting those that resonated with their message.  They began to find their people.

In the presentation, they zipped through a bunch of slides of how their audience is posting and sharing about being a part of this community and how much their message of freedom was shifting their mindsets and changing lives.

And they didn’t even change their product which they were already so knowledgeable about and good at doing.  They just shared more of their heart and what mattered most to them in relation to what they were selling.  They created a movement!

They Sell What??

Then the mic-drop moment for me.  They got more specific about what they actually sell: LIFE INSURANCE!  What??!  They created a movement that was shifting mindsets and changing lives as they sold life insurance??!  I was so intrigued. 

My mind was buzzing.  I could so totally relate. 

It’s About the People

I turned to Jason and said, “We have always said it’s not about the dogs for us, it’s about the people.”

To which Jason responded, “Yes, WE know that.  WE feel that way.  But do we share that?”

He was totally right.  We can train dogs with the best of ‘em.  We can transform their behaviors, no problem!  We can make ANY dog better.  We are 100% confident of that. 

But that’s not where our heart is.  If we had free time and could just do whatever we wanted to relax and enjoy, neither one of us would be seeking out a dog to train or play with just because.

So what is it about dog training that has kept us here and loving our business for the past 8 years? What matters most?

Where Our Heart Is—Personal Development Coupled With Dog Training

My mind was spinning trying to narrow it down when Madie turned to me and whispered, “I know what matters most to you and Jason.  During work days, I’ve practically lived in your home with you for the past couple years and I can see it.”

Sometimes an outside perspective has a clearer vision of the big picture.  Intrigued, I prodded for her answer.  “Personal development.  That’s what matters to you.”

I spent the rest of the day spinning that idea around in my mind.  Personal development…dog training…personal development…dog training.  The more I thought of it, the more I could see Madie was right.

Childhood Signs of What Matters to Us

If our childhood interests are of any indication, personal development ranked high even then, for both of us.  What 11-year-old reads, “What I Wish I Would Have Known in High School”?  I did.  And I loved it.

Jason’s favorite book throughout high school was “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.”  He knew that book inside and out.  In fact, when we met in college and had our first date, he called directly after to ask me on the next date (yeah, we had hit it off) and we talked until midnight.  Most of what we discussed was questions from that book.  He asked me things like, “If you had to cross a 6-inch beam 4 stories high to save something, what would you be willing to cross that beam for?”

Jason has purchased and given away so many copies of the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” over the years.  Probably around 40 copies.  Because these ideas and habits have made such a huge difference in our lives, we want others to have them as well.

So Why Dog Training?

So what was the draw to dog training for us?  Jason has always loved animals (his mom often thought he’d grow up to be a vet) and I had had family dogs all growing up.  But it wasn’t just that. 

We’ve come to find that it’s the way both personal development and dog training go hand in hand that intrigues us the most.  We love seeing dogs change and grow, but even more so, we love seeing their owners do the same.  We love people!  And how their dogs help them become even better people!

Our Dogs are a Mirror

And you know what’s SUPER cool?!  How dogs, if we take the chance to notice, are living examples of our own growth journeys.  They can show us in the flesh the amazing transformation that takes place when we focus on our bigger vision and let other distractions fall away.  They’re a mirror.  It’s so easy to see in our dogs!  They change and grow quickly when given the direction to do so. 

It’s almost like our dogs are inviting us to come and do the same!

Naming Our Movement

Back at our marketing conference in Florida, I was so intrigued by these men that sold life insurance and at the same time taught “Rise Up.  Live Free.”, I wondered how we might be able to teach what really matters to us through the lens of dog training.

We were trying to incorporate something about becoming.  That has always been so important to us.  Even in dog training.  We are not interested in a dog just being able to do cool tricks, we would rather see a dog BECOME a fundamentally better, happier dog through our training.


On the last morning in Florida, I woke up with the clear thought of “Unlock the Power Within.”  That’s the name of a Tony Robbins event that is hugely influential.  “Unlock,” I thought, “that’s a simple but powerful word.  What about unleash?”  Then quickly it came together in my mind: Focus, Become, Unleash.

It’s what we do in dog training, and what we want to continue to do in our own lives. 

Focus. Become. Unleash.

Our daughter, Lilly, drew us a visual. (Thanks, Lilly! It’s nice having such an artistic and willing-to-help daughter.)

We want to get clear on our FOCUS or our bigger goal and vision for ourselves.  Our next big step.  As we focus in on that, other derailing distractions must fall in order to get us to our bigger vision. 

Along the path to that goal, we BECOME (notice those big strong muscles popping up on that stick figure).  That’s the important part, becoming a new and improved version of ourselves.  It’s the real joy in the journey. 

And as we reach that vision or goal, we UNLEASH a new level of freedom and potential.  It’s like we’ve unlocked our next version of our personal Nintendo game.

We see this playing out for dogs that do our Chaos to Calm program.  We direct their FOCUS, watch them BECOME, and truly UNLEASH a beautiful version of our dogs.  A version that almost all owners don’t even think is possible.  To us, it’s unleashing our dogs to be more of who they truly are.  It’s so fun! 

To learn more about the process in our Chaos to Calm program, click here.

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