On Fishing

The man in this picture above is fishing. I snapped the picture while standing outside my car. It is about 4 degrees Fahrenheit, and this small lake is frozen over. Personally, I can’t think of anything I would like to do less than stand on the ice and fish. But, there are lessons to be learned everywhere.

First, this guy loves fishing. I have no idea who he is, but anyone who is going to stand on the ice and try to catch a fish has to love fishing. He is unconcerned with any of the external conditions. He is making this attempt, even though it isn’t warm. He just wants to catch a fish. Because he loves to fish, and because he is fishing while other people believe the conditions aren’t right, he has an infinitely greater chance of catching a fish than someone who doesn’t love to fish enough to get out there and get a line in the water.

Second, he is completely unconcerned with what other people think about him, standing on the ice trying to catch a fish. It’s hard to catch a fish this way, and surely there are easier ways to acquire a fish. But while some sit inside and wish they were fishing, never giving themselves a chance to catch a fish and mocking him for standing outside in the cold, he is the only one who may catch a fish.

Third, he knows where fish are. The fish weren’t going to come to him; they are too busy being fish and doing whatever it is fish do. He has made his way to where the fish are, even though it is difficult to get there. He had to spend the time and energy gaining access, crossing the ice, and drilling a hole big enough to drop a line through and big enough to pull a fish out.

Fourth, he knows that fish need things. He has something that is interesting to fish that they will find extremely valuable. They need to eat, and so he is offering them what they need, when they need it, where they need it.

I wish I could come up with some great metaphor about fishing to make this post about sales and selling.

Free Webinar!: Next Friday, January 28, at Future Selling Institute, during our Office Hours at 1:00 EST, we will be focusing the discussion on Coaching. We will be debating issues on the importance of coaching, critical success factors in coaching, what happens if we don’t coach, and more. It is certain to be a lively discussion. No presentations, just discussion and a healthy exchange of ideas—and I’m certain a few fireworks! It’s open to everyone, just register at: Coaching: The Highest Leverage Use Of A Sales Manager’s Time!

For more on increasing your sales effectiveness, subscribe to the RSS Feed for The Sales Blog and my Email Newsletter. Follow me on Twitter, connect to me on LinkedIn, or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your sales organization, check out my coaching and consulting firm, B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, email me, or call me at (614) 212-4729.

Join the Future Selling Institute and connect, learn and grow with a community of sales managers, sales leaders, and salespeople who aspire to lead.



  • http://twitter.com/Juanbg Juan

    Wow- great point, it is about being there totally laser-focused on what you love! It is not about what other people think or say, it is about you, you; the most the important person in the planet.
    Sometimes – we do not ask for the order because we think about what others would think about it… simple black or white – either you get the order or you don’t, either my family eats or ….not there is not option my family is first therefore I do not care what others think about me when I ask for the order.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention On Fishing -- Topsy.com

  • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

    Fish where the fish are!

    It sounds obvious but… one really needs to avoid every shiny new object that comes along (Quora!) and stay focused.

    PS – Nice timing as I read this after we can back from the harbor where guys had been fishing all morning.


    • Anonymous

      It’s not enough to be where the fish are, either. You actually have to get out there and get a line in the water.

      • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

        and get in the water :)