Don't Buy a Pitbull; Steve Sims

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It was probably about 30 years ago. Wow. Doesn’t time fly? I had just got a new home with my new bride at the time, Claire. We’d been together for absolutely ever and we got this house in England. We thought, “It’s about time we start a family that doesn’t cost us a fortune.” So, we decided to avoid the kid route for a little while and go for a dog. Now, here’s the thing. I had had a dog growing up, and Claire had had a dog growing up as well, so we had a little bit of experience. Not a great deal, but we know we liked the little four legged friends. So, we thought to ourselves, “Hey, let’s get a dog for the family, for the house,” but we didn’t know much about dogs.

Now, this was pre-internet where you could go and Google the arse off of anything. We didn’t know. So, what did we do? We actually, in our house, had a fax machine. Okay. We thought we were really cool. It was one of those fax answer machine things. So, what we did was we wrote down on a piece of paper one night after a couple of tipples of what we want from a dog. We didn’t know the exact breed of dog, so we started a list to find what it is we wanted. Do we want a male or female? Do we want them old? Do we want them young? Did we want them to look scary or did we want them to look friendly? We didn’t know what we wanted, so we put down what we thought the best attributes would be of a dog that we were going to invite into our family. We send that off to a rescue hub.

I mean, we wanted to rescue a dog. We knew that much. We were committed to that. So, couple of weeks went by. They contacted us. They came over. They did a house visit, which we thought was funny, but they actually came over and they checked out our house. They checked out us and then they went back and then they contacted us. They said, “You need Barney.” So, Friday night comes along and they bring this car over and Barney apparently is in the back of this car. So, they came in. They chatted with us and said, “Here’s how it’s going to go. We’re going to leave you Barney this weekend and come Monday, we’re going to contact you. We’re going to come back. We’re going to pick him up again and we can decide whether or not he was a good fit for you.” So, they open up the back door and this Tasmanian devil comes plowing through the house.

That’s 65 pounds of thug. Ears back, wide open mouth, just like huffing and puffing, steaming through the house. Tiny little thing he was. Terror. Massive, great shoulders. I remember how terrified me and Claire was, as he came running in. Scouring around the bottom of the house until he found a little bowl of water and could get some water in him. Turns out, he hated the car and that was the first thing to wind him up. I was actually sat on the lower step of the stairs and he ran over and inserted himself in my lap and quite simply fell asleep. Fell in love with him then. Fell in love with him over the weekend. We contacted them on Monday. Barney never, ever went back. He stayed with us until he passed on. Loved that dog.

Now, why am I telling you about my dog? It gets better. So, fast forward to 2005 and we thought to ourselves, “We need to get another dog. We haven’t had a dog for a while. We’ve been out. We’ve got the kids now. Yeah. We want to get a dog.” So, we start going out to these rescue homes, again, we were committed to have a rescue dog. We said, “Hey, this is what we want.” And do you know, we got a call back and someone said, “Oh, so you want a pit bull?” We said, “Hell no. We don’t want a pit bull. We’ve heard about these things. We’ve seen the news. We know what goes on. You get a pit bull, all of a sudden your firstborn’s eaten. Don’t want a pit bull. We want a dog with these attributes, but we don’t want a pit bull.”

So, the guy on the other end of the phone to me says, “Fair enough. Fair enough.” He didn’t try to squash what I thought I knew about pit bulls. He went, “Hey, fair enough.” He agreed with me. He said, “What dogs you had in the past?” Said, “Ah, well, we’ve only really had one dog and it was this little fella. He was a Staffordshire terrier from England. He was like low, and he was meaty, and was wide, and he was solid, but that’s a British dog. I don’t think you have Staffordshire terriers here.” He went, “We do. Do you know what we call them here?” I said, “No. What is it?” He said, “They’re called pit bulls.” He said, “A lot of people call them pocket pits, because they’re shorter dogs.” I said, “No, no way.” He said, “Come on over. I want to introduce you to someone.” So, we went over to his place and he introduced us to about 10 dogs.

Most of them were actually his, or he was fostering. He had a couple for adoption that apparently was having some training and stuff done with him and this other fella. They were all pits and they were all pocket pits and they were darlings. Now, we worked with him and he introduced us to another woman who ended up getting us, and you may have seen it on some of my Facebook pages, this 90 pound mammoth of a pit bull cross mastiff called Mack, who was the most delightful sack of love you’ve ever seen in your life. But had I listened to other people’s myths, bad knowledge and misconceptions, I’d have not got a pit bull. Now, Mack died sadly of prostate cancer a while back. I swear, we gave him the best life he ever would have had and then we went on and we got another little pit puppy, a little blue nose that we call Norman.

Now, if I had listened to people, I’d have never got a pit bull. I would have missed out, not only me, but my family and our friends getting to know wonderful characters, such as Mack and Norman. Your misconceptions are a dangerous thing. They’re other people’s opinions and like arseholes everyone’s got one. Be careful of the ones you listen to. I should not have listened to those misconceptions. For nearly a year, they kept me away from getting a pit bull. I became educated, I became knowledgeable and I know I love these dogs. I can’t walk down the road now without seeing a pit bull, just fall in love with the damn thing. Okay? What misconceptions do people have about you? What do people think about your industry, your solution, your charging mechanism, your click funnels, your Facebook advert?

What do people think about you that is wrong, ill-conceived and just basically off the chart? How do you correct it? You make sure your message is crystal clear. Clarity is dangerous. No one confused will ever give you that client with that credit card, or engage, or retain you. Misconceptions are a dangerous thing. Start asking what people think about you. What could possibly be misconceived about you? You will find out that nine tenths of the bad information out there actually comes from you giving bad copy, bad tone, bad messaging. It comes from you. 99% of all of your problems are you. Now, people told me before not to get a pit bull and I didn’t listen. I got wiser. I want you to start focusing on your company, on your brand, on your mission, on your solution, and understand have people got the wrong end of the stick on that? This is a short one from me, Mack upstairs, Norman, all the family. I wish you all the best. Stay clear, stay focused, remove the confusion and become impossible to misunderstand.