If you follow me on social media, you know that DH (Darling Hubby) and I adopted two 7-month-old shepherd puppies just before Christmas. They turned a year-old yesterday.

They're “little monsters” in my opinion; DH describes them as “spirited”. Regardless of the words we use, they needed training.

In comes John Broome. Dog trainer extraordinaire. He's trained over 11,000 dogs, including my mother's shepherd 23 years ago.

He began the first training by sitting DH and I down and training us. Some of his first words were “You Get What You Accept”.

If you “make it okay” for the dog to chew shoes, they'll do more of it.

Reprimanding the dog is not enough. You must lead. If you never show them what's right, they'll stumble about confused, trying to please you and never know what to do.

I thought about this a bit. It's the same as in business.

* Virtual Assistant who keeps messing up? If you “let it go”, it'll never be done properly and if you do not show them what the right thing to do is, they'll never know.
* Vendor who misses a deadline? Do you reward her with more business or let her know why it can not happen again or else you'll find someone else.
* Team member who is not practicing Extreme Client Care ™ with each and every client? Either she's got to go or get on board … and quickly.
* Client who does not pay on time or who sucks your energy dry? Educate, then terminate. Sounds harsh I know, but at the same time, if you do not do it, you'll be letting her know that such behavior is completely acceptable. If it's a matter of finances, first ask yourself if the hassle / your sanity are worth it and, if the answer is “yes” or “has to be right now”, then focus as much time as possible on replacing that revenue with a client who loves and treasures all you bring to the table.

If you want to succeed in business, you need to have a handle on what you'll accept in your business – and from everyone who comes in contact with it.

How you run your business, how you nurture your clients should be authentic to you and your branding. {Tweet this.}

Starting with you and found in every corner of your business, this attitude, these practices become your business and what you're known for.

It does not matter how big or small your business is. If you do not actually care about your clients and customers, as people, they'll leave and find someone / a business that makes them feel valued and appreciated.

You may love your clients, but how do you show them? How do they know? Perception is everything.