6 important lessons fishing has taught me in business and in life

by Ana Lopez

Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

I’ve been fishing for as long as I can remember, and to this day, whenever I have some free time to myself or need to clear my head, I get on the boat and settle in by my rod. Growing up, I spent days on the water with my dad, recreating some of my ultimate bonding experiences. Not only did it create a special memory for me and those I shared the experience with, but it also shaped me into the business leader I am today. You might ask, “Why?” Well, for starters, fishing requires patience, timing, skill, understanding and perseverance; these are all qualities that you need as a business leader.

Like fishing, business is a numbers game. You have to cast and keep casting if you hope to be lucky enough to eventually catch a fish. Eventually, even the worst polecasters will catch a fish if they wait long enough. The same goes for business. To achieve success you need to build your resilience and the ability to stay in place, because the vast majority of the time you won’t catch anything – but you shouldn’t let that defeat you.

The secret to catching fish is to constantly be aware of and adapt to change. A return trip to a favorite spot that was once successful still doesn’t guarantee another win. Nothing stays constant by nature and you have to keep taking risks and finding new strategies. Currents, temperature, tides and seasons are just some of the variables an angler has to deal with. It is only after these uncontrollable variables are taken into account that considerations of skill, equipment, patience and tenacity come into play.

I am the founder of a PR firm I started during the pandemic, and I know that fishing was one of the experiences that shaped the skills that enabled me to be persistent enough to build the business I now have. have. Here are the five lessons fishing has taught me in business and in life:

Related: 5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Fishermen

1. Patience

Sitting on a boat or at the water’s edge, waiting for a bite to eat, sometimes for endless hours, is a great opportunity to learn about patience and the time it takes to succeed. There is no such thing as fast forwarding to success.

Patience is essential in both fishing and business, because success doesn’t come overnight. It takes time to build a successful business, and setbacks and failures are part of the journey.

Leaders who are patient can navigate the company’s ups and downs more effectively. They understand that it takes time to build a great team, develop new products or services, and build a brand reputation. Patient leaders don’t make hasty decisions based on short-term results; rather, they have a long-term vision and focus on sustainable growth and development.

In addition, patient leaders are more likely to form positive relationships with their employees, customers and partners. They understand that building trust and rapport takes time and consistent effort. They are also better equipped to restrain themselves from impulsive reactions or reactions. As a result, they are willing to invest time and resources in nurturing relationships and building a culture of mutual respect and appreciation. This, in turn, creates a more loyal and dedicated team committed to achieving shared goals and objectives.

In general, patience is a critical quality for success in fishing and business leadership. By being patient, leaders can weather storms, build lasting relationships, and achieve long-term success.

2. Learning to enjoy activities as we do them, as pleasure should be found in the activity itself, not the end result

We, as a society, tend to put a lot of emphasis on getting to the finish line. But in both fishing and business it is not always about the productive result. Sometimes when fishing you work hard to get out to sea with the right tackle and bait, but the fish just won’t bite – and you end up coming home empty handed.

This also happens in business; you put hours of work into a project or presentation for a client, but just because you put the work in doesn’t mean you’ll be successful every time. This is part of business and a natural part of life. It is important to learn to enjoy the process. Find the joy in doing the research and work, and you will begin to take a more mindful and enjoyable approach and continue to improve your craft.

3. Just because you have some nibbles doesn’t mean you’re going to land the fish

As I said before, it takes time and patience to create something of value and that includes fishing. Just because you nibble a little here and there doesn’t mean you’ll get that big client right out of the gate. However, it does mean that you are on the right track. If you never put your reel in, you’ll never catch anything. Just like in business, the worst answer isn’t “no” – it’s never trying in the first place.

Related: Why Patience and Perseverance Are Two of the Greatest Virtues

4. If you feel like you’re losing everything, the only mistake you can make is not having your line in the water

In the time between the ebb and flow, both in fishing and in life, you should not wallow in self-pity or loss. Instead, you need to get your line and your mind in the water. Many people think they have the least chance of catching a fish during the times when the tide is out, but that is precisely when it sparks the possibility of a good catch. Like Pisces, in life you need to try new things and live fully, waking up every day to live your life to the fullest.

5. Many of us do things with expectations; fishing teaches you not to

In fishing, as in life, having unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and frustration. For example, if an angler expects to catch a big fish every time he casts his line, he will probably be disappointed if this doesn’t happen. Similarly, having unrealistic expectations in business can lead to disappointment and frustration, which can negatively impact morale and productivity.

Having expectations can create a rigid mindset that can be limiting and prevents leaders from seeing opportunities or being flexible in their approach. When leaders have preconceived expectations about how things should be, they may be missing out on innovative ideas or creative solutions that could drive their business forward.

6. The ocean teaches us a deep lesson about life

The ocean provides us with great nourishment and beauty, but can also cause us great pain. Just think what happens to the sea when a storm looms above it.

That’s kind of how it goes in the business world; it can be great and provide the sustenance we need, but it can also turn our lives completely upside down by creating undue stress and chaos.

Many of us are stressed. Stress at work is a global problem that affects workers all over the world. According to the American Institute of Stress, work is one of the top sources of stress for American adults. By 2022, 83% of American workers reported experiencing work-related stress.

The ocean offers us a source of calm once we understand its nature as a supplier and a destroyer – just as in the business world – we can find the balance necessary to achieve this.

Related: I Couldn’t Sleep. I was obsessed with my failures. Then I found the weirdest remedy: fly fishing?

As you can see, fishing can be so much more than just a pastime. It could be just the activity you need to achieve your biggest business goals. Fishing or similar activities are critical for a leader to experience, as it is also valuable to have time when you are disconnected and unreachable. It’s like an airplane without WiFi. That’s when you can think critically and give your brain a moment to recalibrate – “woosah”, as we say. If you’re always online and reachable, you’re missing out on important “you time” that makes you a better and more composed leader.

True success takes time and trust in the process. So grab some bait, line and consider your next business venture!

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