22. November 2011 05:19
My story of success at sea.
Entrepreneurs are often driven by passion, not just for business, but for their pastimes as well. I am a sport fisherman, driven by a love for the ocean, the spirit of adventure, and the potentially great rewards for my efforts. Unlike golf or tennis, the physical demands of sport fishing are huge, the rewards are elusive, and the financial costs are extreme. But ask anyone about me and they'll tell you – I live for this level of challenge.
It's kind of like going to the moon.
You can prepare all you want, but you can't practice going to the moon. I plan for my sport fishing adventures all year long. I prepare physically and emotionally. I account for safety and contingencies. Then, I stand by and watch for reasonably favorable weather and ocean conditions. When all is said and done, saltwater sport fishing in New Jersey is almost entirely in the hands of fate, as the fish are found about 100 miles east of the coastline. Once you're launched out to sea, there are no guarantees of any kind.
A small fish in a big time marina.
My Brielle Marina offers a side of the Jersey Shore you've probably never seen. Contrary to what the media might have you believe, the real Jersey Shore is filled with natural beauty, spectacular beaches, quiet sophistication, and innovative, educated people. When I enter the Marina, I look around and see CEOs of Fortune companies, owners of multimillion dollar yachts...and me, a young leader of a still-growing company.
But in Brielle, we all have one giant passion in common - we love sport fishing, and we'll do anything to do it when we can. None of us really have much time for it. It's extremely time-consuming and tiring, and, completely throws off one's daily routine. For most, one trip a month is a very big deal. But once on these trips, we're at a handicap to the professional fisherman - most of us don't fish enough to find where the game fish really are. The odds of a "Big Catch" are elusive.
Speaking of the odds.
I went out 4 times this summer and came home with nothing. Nada. Zip! I felt defeated and each time asked myself "Why do I do this?" It costs a ton of money. It's very demanding. Plus, each time it happened, it got increasingly hard for me to drag myself home and face my wife's hopeful question: "What did you catch today, Michael?" It's hard to describe how that made me feel.
Surprise! Synergy at last.
And then it happened one day in October. One more trip. I couldn't resist. Everything came together effortlessly. It was my time. Everything went smoothly. There was no drama. No problems with the boat. The ancient sea gods were smiling that day, because we caught 2 tunas, and came in early, while the sun was shining. A big crowd of onlookers waited to see what we had caught – a tuna catch by an amateur is a very big deal. I felt like a hero that day, and everyone celebrated. To the charter guys, it's just a little tuna – to me it was HUGE!
Heartbreak can lead to "Aha" any day.
When I look at the photo below, I feel like a fisherman. But when I write this blog, I write as an entrepreneur. In fishing there are no magic poles or strategies, just a lot of planning, hoping, watching and waiting. Just like in business. You plant the seeds. You do all you can to help your company grow. Then you hope, pray and never stop trying...until that "Aha Moment" arrives, and you begin to reap the rewards of your adventure.