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Life is Like Fishing

There are tricks to anything we do. Whether it's a specific trick of the trade or a nifty way of extracting a cork from a bottle, it's always about simplifying something that seems difficult. I've already written about hustling, and about trying, and doing, because there's not enough of it here in Romania. At the same time I realize that if you don't know how to hustle and you're not used to being persistent every time you try something, you're not going to be doing much. And that's fine. Not everyone has that pitbull personality, I sure as hell don't. I force myself to do almost everything I do, like writing this post. I was about to take a break today, but forced myself to sit here and type instead. Now I'm glad I did because it's going a lot better than when the page was a blank, white space.

Another thing that's not always fun is my job. We're not a big company with an endless Google AdWords budget, and trust me, when you're doing professional services work and your survival depends on a constant supply of fresh leads it sometimes feels like you're going to work every day to get beat up. Not fun. But then I realized something: Deep down, survival aside, I like fishing.

And what exactly is fishing? It's not just catching the fish. You have to set up your bait and tackle, use the best rod, you've got to cast it, and then you wait. That's what fishing really is. It's not catching the fish. But what's the fun part here, with so much to do before a fish has been caught? Casting, of course! There are fishermen who can be out all day without even getting a nibble, but nobody ever casts their fishing rod thinking "I'm not going to catch anything." Nobody. That cast is what makes everything before and everything after worthwhile. It's what makes the eventual catch such a triumph. You don't just cast the fishing line and the bait. You're casting your hopes and dreams for that whopper of a trout. When you're casting you're already back on dry land, getting your picture taken next to the hanging scale, you're grilling the fish, and enjoying it alongside your friends or family.  

I bet this wasn't their first try
This is the best analogy I can offer, because it works for me. I see all my efforts to land new leads like the cast of a fishing rod. Our company's expertise is the bait and tackle, my initial approach is the cast, and then I wait. And then I try again. I don't ever know how many times I'm going to need to try before I get the result I want, but what I do know is that if I keep trying I will actually get that fish in the boat. I know this doesn't really explain how the trying part is so fun if it's repetitive, but you can make it as fun or as boring as you like. There are no rules about how you approach a problem, literally. I keep flirting with the idea of writing a new prospect an email saying, "we're the worst partner you will ever work with, or your money back." I don't really know what kind of response I'll get, but I do know that people appreciate a sense of humour. So, if you're looking for a job, looking to open a business, or you want to get a new flag up on the side of a building, approach it from all angles, many times. Make trying the fun part, because you're eventually going to have to do it all over again anyway.

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