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Theodora & Space....they are quite the team!

Starting a Business is no walk in the park! It requires a lot of sacrifice, hard work and even tears at times. As a business owner in the initial stages of growth I admire anyone who has decided to embark on this journey. I have also noticed that many business owners, sole-traders and companies have something in common. They have one or more gorgeous furry companions in their life...DOGS! Welcome to the Dogs and Business section of the blog!It is my absolute pleasure to introduce Theodora the Co - Founder and Content Director of Pen and Pixel. She has so kindly answered some questions about business, life and dogs!

Hi there, my name is Theodora and I'm the Co-Founder and Content Director of Pen and Pixel. We're a content marketing and production business with creatives from all around the world. Basically, if you need anything related to copywriting, graphic design, videography, photography, social media, or website development... we can help! We're all about honesty and transparency (sometimes to a fault) and really good content. Running your own business can be incredibly stressful at times but luckily my corgi, Space, is a breath of fresh air!

How long have you had your furbaby Space for and what made you decide to get a dog? I've had Space for almost four years (he turns four in October), ever since he was a little puppy. I've always grown up with dogs (plus a cat that I've had since I was 18) and once I'd moved out of home, I found myself missing the companionship of a dog. I have to say though... Space is unlike any dog I've ever had.

Can you give us an idea of what Space's personality is like? I'll do you one better! I'll get Space to speak for himself and I'll translate what he's saying: "Um yeah hi! So my name is Space and I'm a corgi. I like to do the same things as any other corgi really - get pats from people, play fetch, bodyslam the cat... How would my friends describe me? Well my girlfriend Pixel says that I'm very independent and never follow the crowd. Mum says I'm too sassy for my own good sometimes. And dad calls me a grumblebutt because I always get really annoyed when I hear people walking outside our house. Buuuuuut you know, I'm just an ordinary corgi who just happens to be really, really, ridiculously good looking"

3.) Creating and running a small business takes a lot of time and energy. Most people don't see behind the scenes and how much it takes to get things up and running. Often it can be very stressful and overwhelming no matter how much you love what you're doing. Do you feel having Space has helped you in dealing with the stressors of owning a small business? e.g.does he help calm you? make you laugh? companionship? Space has definitely been a huge help when dealing with the (sometimes unavoidable) stressors that come with running a business. I notice there are often times when I'll work 12-hour days and be glued to my computer, but Space always forces me to leave my desk and go for a walk in the sunshine. I think that sometimes, we can neglect our personal well-being because we're so focused on work - having a very vocal dog means that I'm not allowed to do that very often! Running your own business can also sometimes be lonely. Even though I have a fantastic business partner and amazing clients, it's not the same as going into a busy office packed with employees. The great thing about the way my office is set up is that Space is usually sleeping by my desk. Being able to reach down and pat his silky ears occasionally does wonders for those times when I'm feeling overwhelmed. 4.) What is the most important thing/lesson that Space has taught you? You don't need money to be happy. Seeing your friends, spending time with your family, enjoying fresh air and sunshine... those are the things that really matter.

5.) What are some of Space's favourite things to do? -Playing fetch: He will literally play for eight hours straight if you give him the chance- Annoying the cat: Well, I think he thinks that he's being affectionate. The cat, on the other hand, thinks he needs a slap in the face.- Cuddling up on the couch and watching TV: Space is a massive Game of Thrones fan!

6.) What is the naughtiest or funniest thing that Space has done? Like most corgis, Space has a huge personality and is always getting himself into trouble. I'll admit that when he was a puppy, he destroyed countless books (like my ENTIRE collection of Harry Potter) and Ugg boots! These days, he mostly tries to steal food when no one is looking.

7) I've noticed that Space has quite the following on Social media with over 3000 followers on fb alone. How did this come about and did you expect so many people to be interested in Space's adventures? When I first started Space's Facebook page, I never thought we'd get that many fans. In all honesty, I just did it because all my friends and family kept asking to see pictures of my new puppy and I thought it would be a fun way to keep everyone updated. It actually wasn't until I posted a video called Space's First Day at the Beach that things really got going. Within 24 hours, the video had reached over 1.2 million people, been watched by over 138,000 people and received thousands of shares. Space's following doubled... then tripled... and it all went from there!

8.) Do you think that having a dog opens up more opportunities in life? e.g. meeting new people, media? Can you give an example? Oh definitely. For one thing, I've found that having a dog can be a real conversation starter... people tend to be more willing to open up if you're both talking about your dogs. We've also received plenty of media opportunities as well. For example, Space has run promotional campaigns with companies like Washbar (they do an amazing paw balm) and has appeared in a number of articles for the ABC and The Daily Telegraph. Because I'm part of the Aussie Corgis Group on Facebook, we also organise regular meet-up with lots of interesting people. In fact, one of our agency partners is someone who I met through a corgi meetup! On a slightly more fun note, we also regularly organise corgi parties for people who want to surprise their partners with a whole fleet of corgis! 9.) Stepping back into the business side of things what advice would you give to others who are thinking about embarking on their own business journey? Firstly, make sure you do your homework when setting up your business. Talk to a good lawyer and accountant about the best way to protect yourself and meet your tax obligations - I promise it'll save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Secondly, don't underprice yourself! I know that it's a competitive market out there but it's important to value yourself properly because if you don't, how can you expect your clients to? And lastly, believe in yourself. It can be a tough and lonely journey but you're doing this because it's what you love. Don't let anyone shake your belief in yourself and be confident in what you've got to offer.

Thank you Theodora so much sharing some insight into your life especially in regards to your gorgeous Space and also your Business. It is truly wonderful seeing how much joy and amazing opportunities Space has brought to your life! I will say my mouth did drop when I read about the 'destruction' of the Harry Potter Books!!!! Many of your answers resonated with me about the difficulties associated with running your own business especially the part about feeling lonely at times, as I am sure they will with many others. I encourage you all to check out the links in regards to Theodora's Business Pen & Pixel and Space's Adventures! For more information about 'Pen & Pixel' or Space's adventures, you can visit: https://www.facebook.com/gospacecorgi/https://www.instagram.com/gospacecorgi/ https://www.facebook.com/penandpixelau/www.penandpixel.org

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