The Size of the Bait Determines the Size of the Catch

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This Tuesday I was speaking in Southwest Florida area – and on Monday the President and President Elect of the chapter were kind enough to invite me fishing on the gulf, off a place called Pine Island.

I was intrigued and excited by the idea – I am not a fisherman and have never been out on the ocean fishing, but I do love the thrill of a new adventure

It was a great day: my hosts were gracious, the weather cooperated, and we had caught a whole bunch of fish: Trout, Red Fish, Catfish….

And then there is the story… of the big one that got away!

We were dreaming all day about catching a big fish, but it seemed our live bait wasn’t large enough to attract the attention of the really large fish. Though we had one large pinfish and we waited to the end of the day to put it on the hook.

We baited the hook, and within 30 seconds we had a large female Cobia on our line–30 pounds and 40 inches long. This fish was massive and was not going to be taken easily. It took out almost all the line we had (or so it seemed), and it made me work extremely hard to tire it out and get it even close to the boat.  It was a beautiful site to see, with its mate swimming right along side it, in lockstep formation, for the whole 30 minutes that we struggled to subdue the fish.

There was a problem that we hadn’t planned for. I was fishing with a pole with 12-pound test, and no leader line (the 3 feet of line at the end that is much stronger, and allows you to grab the line and steer the fish into your net). The fish had twisted the line during the 30 minute fight, and by the time we tried to bring the fish on board, the line snapped like an old rubber band, and the fish swam back to its mate and back into the sea, to live happily again, and hopefully reproducing more Cobia fish.

I was reminded of a great lesson that day – The size of the bait can determine the size of your catch.

If you are looking to catch a big fish, you need to be prepared – you need to invest in the bait that will attract the fish you want. This translates to business: if you are trying to land a large client, you can’t fish with small bait.

You need to invest in yourself so that you and your business are attractive to that client. This may mean doing the research and preparing yourself to be attractive to the large client. This may mean taking time to learn what your prospect is interested in, and spending your time and money aligning yourself with those activities and interests.

And you need to have patience. Large fish won’t be caught quickly or easily.

You need to fish in the right area–you have to go to where they are swimming. Fishing is a very thoughtful process. You plan ahead if you want to catch the big ones. The same goes for landing the large client.

So as you dream about the kind of clients you want to land – think about where you will find them, what it will take to get in front of them, and what it takes to catch their favorable attention.

Now comes the second lesson we learned: Large fish won’t hang around if you can’t handle them. You need to have the fishing equipment (operations) capable to handle the fish once you catch it.

If you want to work with like-minded fishermen (and women) and share best fishing practices and support each other on your fishing goals, call me about my peer groups for green-industry professionals. I work with those who want to grow their business and make more profit doing the thing they love doing…. fishing, running the business, growing the business.

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