Fishing for Success

by Guy Ralfe on September 23, 2009

fishing for successI used to crew for my uncle, who fished in game fishing tournaments. We would launch around 4:30 in the morning and finish with a lines-up at 3:00pm which made for long, hot and tiring days especially when the tournament lasted seven days and the fish were not very hungry for your bait.

One of the ways to fish for game fish  is to first catch a live bait fish to then use it as bait for a bigger fish. The challenge is catching and keeping the bait fish alive; sometimes it would die early and you would need to go fish for another, or a shark would attack your bait and leave you with half a fish again requiring you go and fish for another bait fish. In the heat of the day when you have not had a bite for hours (sometimes days) on end, or you have lost many baits, it is hard to remain motivated about rigging up the rod and casting out to try and catch another bait fish. It was often easy to think maybe we would be better off packing up and going in to shore. It was at these times that my uncle would always insist that we put an extra rod in the water, or at least always have a hook of sorts in the water and he insisted we fished the whole open fishing period. His saying was “you can’t catch a fish without a hook in the water”.

I can still recall the time during one of these quiet periods without fish for ages we dropped a line overboard and it spooled off the reel and fell deep into the water. I got up to sort the rod out and in reeling it up we caught the elusive bait we had been so desperately trying to catch. We went on to win that tournament with a great 384 lbs Marlin caught in the last hour of the day.

In business and society today there are plenty of people telling you how little chance you have of succeeding. My personal favorite is “statistically there is very little difference between having a lottery ticket and not having one at all – so don’t buy a lottery ticket!”. What everyone fails to see is that compared to not having a ticket, having one ticket has an infinitely better chance of winning the lottery. Just like if you don’t have a hook in the water when the one fish feeling hungry comes past, your single ticket might just be the one that gets called in the lottery.

Business is social and you have to participate to build identity and trust; if you are never putting yourself out there you will never know what could happen. Put another way YOU are actually not giving people a chance to recognize you and help you.  That is not to say that what you desire, happens but by continually making offers or sounding ideas in the marketplace you create situations for yourself that didn’t exist before. That is the space that might get you introduced to someone, might expose you to some technology, might ignite a new project or it might just spark something else you never imagined. These are all big MIGHTs but invariably they offer the positive possibility that something may result. Doing nothing, means you guarantee that situation stays the same or worse you guarantee that the situation is in control and not you. Now is an important time to assess our actions and make sure we are not causing our own concerns?

As with fishing you need the bait to fish for the big game, which is where the prizes are. In a marketplace being crippled by insecurity, making a move could be the glint that  opens up future possibilities – go fish it’s a far better proposition than sitting on the shore!

I have a wise uncle who used to fish for our country that I crewed with in big game fishing tournaments. We launched around 4:00 in the morning and lines up was at 3:00pm which made for long, hot and tiring days especially when the tournament lasted seven days and the fish were not very hungry for your bait.

One of the ways to fish for big game fishing is to first catch a live bait fish to then use it as bait for a bigger fish. Apart from the small detail of catching the bait fish, this was a good strategy as your fish not only looks like the real deal but it is also gives out distress signals which attracts the type of big game fish you want to catch.

What would often be the challenge is catching the bait fish, sometimes it would die early and you would need to go fish for another, or a shark would attack your bait and leave you with half a fish again requiring you go and fish for another bait fish. Often in the heat of the day when you have not had a bite for hours (sometimes days) on end, or you have lost many baits, it is hard to get motivated about rigging up the rod and casting out to try and catch another bait fish. It was often easy to think maybe we would be better off packing up and going in to shore. It was at these times that my uncle would always insist that we put an extra rod in the water, or at least always had a hook of sorts in the water. His saying was “you can’t catch a fish without a hook in the water”. I can still recall the time during one of these quiet periods without fish for ages we dropped a line overboard and it spooled off the reel and fell deep into the water. I got up to sort the rod out and in reeling it up we caught the elusive bait we had been so desperately trying to catch. That bait from the accidental line overboard won us the tournament with a prize marlin.

In business and society today there are plenty of people telling you how little chance you have of succeeding. My favorite is “statistically there is very little difference between having a lottery ticket and not having one at all so don’t buy a lottery ticket!”. What everyone fails to see is that compared to not having a ticket, having one ticket has an infinitely better chance of winning the lottery. Just like if you don’t have a hook in the water when the one fish feeling hungry comes past, your single ticket might just be the one that gets called in the lottery.

Business is social and you have to participate to build identity and trust, if you are never putting yourself out there you will never know what could happen. That is not to say that what you desire, happens but by continually making offers or sounding ideas in the business place you create situations for yourself that didn’t exist before. That is the space that might get you introduced to someone, might expose you to some technology, might ignite a new project or it might just spark something else you never imagined. These are all big might’s but invariably they offer the positive possibility that something may result, where doing nothing, means you guarantee that situation stays the same. How is that working for you?

As with fishing you need the bait to fish for the big game which is where the prize money is. In a marketplace being crippled by insecurity, making a move could be the glint that hooks the bait and opens up future possibilities – go fish it’s a better proposition than sitting on the shore!

Related Articles

Previous post:

Next post: