Business Tips I Learned from a Fisherman

While walking early in the morning on the beach this weekend, I met a fisherman fishing in the water.  He told me that when he was a child, he had rheumatic fever so could not participate in sports but was able to fish.  Now in his 70’s, he tries to go to the beach every morning around 4:30 am.  He is not a resident of my town so can stay there till 8:00 am and then needs to leave before he is charged a parking fee.

So how does that relate to business?  Here is what I learned….

–          Do something you are passionate about even if it was not your original plan.  This man would have loved to have played sports but when he realized at a young age he couldn’t, he found another thing to be passionate about and he is still doing it years later.  Even when he was telling me his story, he wasn’t bitter but had a smile on his face.

–          Stick with it.  Bill Gates would walk miles so that he could use a computer lab in the middle of the night and this fisherman is in the water before daybreak. If you want to succeed, you need to have the attitude that you will do it no matter what.  We all hit roadblocks and obstacles but if we identify them ahead of time then we can make contingency plans.  One step back is OK as long as you take two steps forward after that.

–          Tell others so they can succeed too.  I am sure this fisherman has told his story to many others who walk the beach and I hope he has inspired them like he did me. As a motivational speaker, I try to reach out to my audience as well so they can take my story and turn it into something they can relate to.  I bet this fisherman has no idea that I am writing this blog but if I see him again I will tell him and thank him.  We can all help each other so share your stories and your experiences; you may be surprised by what happens next.

–          Cast wide while following the rules.  Fluke are only allowed to be kept if they are 17 inches or longer.  He had caught many fluke that morning but the closest was 16 ¼ inches and he would not keep it even though no one would have probably known.  In business there are many rules we need to follow, however, the truly successful people try to go to the outer limits of that.  In other words, it is always good to take chances as long as they still fall in the guidelines of your organization.  If risks weren’t taken, innovative products and services would never happen. 


–          Be prepared and wear appropriate gear.  Set goals, devise action steps, and make sure you have the right resources available to you.  The fisherman not only wore high boots in the water but he also had his breakfast, extra lures, and a first aid kit.  Businesses need to have plans in place not only for emergencies but also to retain talent, to cross train employees, and to defend themselves against their competition.  You can never be too prepared! 


The summer will be over before we know it and I hope to meet this fisherman again.  I am curious to find out what he does when the weather is too cold to fish.  If I find out, I will be able to write another blog so stay tuned…