“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”
– Chinese Proverb
This is a special week. The 2016 Minnesota Fishing Opener is on Saturday, which is certainly one of the great traditions here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. I once heard a professional angler–who was quite the character–respond to a question about preparing for the fishing season with this answer:
“I start by taking all the tackle out of my tackle box. Next, I carefully spread it out across the floor so I can admire all of the different lures and various colors. Then I take a broom, sweep it up and throw it all away. After that, I jump in my truck and drive over to the bait shop to buy all new stuff.”
Judging by the lines at the local sporting goods stores this week, it appears quite a few people heeded his advice.
You can learn a great deal from fishermen and the timeless activity of fishing. Patience, waiting for the fish to bite, integrity and honesty by keeping only the fish you should. In fact, it was at opening weekend several years ago that I learned the six Ps: Proper, Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
During another opening day weekend, someone in our fishing party took a less experienced angler under his wing. With nothing more than serendipity, the duo landed on a hot spot where they quickly caught the walleye limit. That evening around the bonfire, the rest of us listened to this angler recite the Chinese Proverb about giving a fish versus teaching to fish. We were all happy the next day when he got skunked. We reminded him of his saying and pointed out that it’s called fishing– not catching– for a reason.
Success Starts with Education
Plenty of great memories and funny stories come from opening weekend. Looking back, our fishing partner was on to something. It really is about teaching versus giving. And that philosophy carries over to business each and every day. When working with customers, success often starts with educating. Many of our clients here at Prime tell us one of the reasons they enjoy doing business with us is because they learn something new every time we meet.
Like fishing, business takes patience, luck and even a combination of the six Ps. But just like fishing, it starts with someone willing to teach.