In honor of the recent release of my latest book, to celebrate the end of tax season, and because I really just want to

I am giving away 3 copies of Starting a Business 101.

But this isn’t just any old giveaway…

If you read my blog regularly, are subscribed to my email list, or you follow me on social media, you know I love animals and am a proud foster failure. I basically live in a zoo. 

So, this contest will center around our beloved pets. 

Here’s how it works…

What Kind of Business Would Your Pet Start If They Could?

Starting a Business 101 is a primer for every new business owner. It’s also a good resource for current business owners to make sure they’ve got all the right systems in place.

If your pet were to read Starting a Business 101, what kind of business would they start?

Would your dog start an obedience school to keep the rest of the pack in line?

Would your cat open a box store so there’d always be plenty of them to sneak into?

Perhaps your parakeet would create a music studio and offer voice lessons. (I’m sure people would flock to it!)

Ponder this for a bit, come up with a fun idea and then share it with us.

Here’s How You Enter the Contest

Once you’ve got your idea, click the button below.

It will take you to an entry form where you can tell us:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your pet’s name
  • Your pet’s business description
  • Upload a picture of your pet

Entries will be accepted from April 16th – 24th. Updated! Entries now taken through April 28th at 11:59 pm Eastern Time.

Here’s an example from one of my cats.

Name: Michele Cagan

Email: [email protected]

Pet’s Name: Ziti

Pet Business Description: Black Cat Music – Want to learn how to pitter pat across the keyboard like a pro? Looking for your own special version of Kitten on the Keys to startle your humans any time, day or night? Come to Black Cat Music.We’ll show you how to time your keyboard walks for maximum disruption – during Zoom calls, at 3:00 am, or anytime your person isn’t doing what you want.

Have fun! 

Get creative. Reveal your pet’s true desires and let them achieve their mission to bring their brilliance to the world! 

Or just fulfill their current role in your household of professional foot warmer, alarm clock, or local speed bump.

Here’s another example using my pups:

Pet’s Names: (Sunny & Chewy)

Pet Business Description: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie – Canine speed bumps. The perfect addition to your household to slow down foot traffic and just be generally adorable.

How We’ll Use Your Pet Photos and Ideas

This is where the fun part comes in!

We’ll post your pet pics and business ideas on our social media channels! (We’ll keep your personal info private, I promise.)

We’ll also post them on a special voting page here on our website that will go up on April 29th

That way, lots of people will find out about this great resource for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners… and we’ll get to see even more adorable pet pix.

Plus, we’re going to have people vote for their favorites. Updated: Voting will start on April 29th and go through May 3rd.

The top 3 vote-getters will win free copies of Starting a Business 101.

We want you to share your entry with all of your friends so they can vote for your pet. In this election, “Vote Early and Vote Often” is definitely our motto. The more friends you get to vote, the more likely you are to win.

“What If I Don’t Have a Pet?”

We don’t want to leave the non-pet owners out!

If you used to have a pet and you’re willing to share them with the world, feel free to enter a picture of them, along with the business they would have created.

Borrow a friend’s pet, your mom’s cat, your neighbor’s dog. Feel free to use baby pictures of your adult pets. 

Or enter a picture of a pet you’d like to have, and the business you think they’d start.

This can be any kind of pet, real or imaginary. Don’t hold back. Go crazy and dream big!

Pete the Panda’s Tumbling Academy and Bamboo Bar.

Smaug the Dragon’s Self-Storage. We’ll keep your hoard safe from marauding dwarves.

Whatever your idea may be, we want to hear about it. 

(If you choose this option, please use images that are licensed as “Creative Commons Zero” or CC0. These are also known as royalty free. I recommend sites like or

The Basic Rules

  1. 1 entry per pet. Up to 4 entries per person. We know you may have more than one pet who has entrepreneurial ambitions.
  2. By entering this contest, you give us permission to share your pet’s picture and idea on social media and on this website.
  3. You also give us permission to add your name and email address to my email list.
  4. Winners will be chosen based on the number of votes each entry receives. The top 3 vote-getters will win a hardback copy of Starting a Business 101 by Michele Cagan.
  5. The contest opens for entries on April 16th (to celebrate the end of tax season).
  6. Updated: The contest closes for entries on April 28th at 11:59 pm ET.
  7. Updated: Voting begins on April 29th. (Tell your friends to vote for your pet’s business idea!)
  8. Updated: Voting ends on May 3rd.
  9. Updated: Winners will be announced on social media on May 4th and notified directly via email.

Please click here for a complete set of official rules.

What Are You Waiting For? Start Getting Your Pictures and Ideas Ready!

The contest is now open!

You can upload your entries right away! The more time people have to vote for your pet(s) the more likely you are to win.

I look forward to seeing your pet pictures and hearing about their business ideas.

May the best pet win.

Are You Ready to Start Your Own Business Right Now?

Then I’m here to help! 

If you don’t want to wait to see if you happen to win a copy of Starting a Business 101, you can purchase your copy here.