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  • The Bee Keeper

Catch and Release

Updated: Nov 19, 2022

A few years back, my husband and I took a fly fishing class.  We donned those fashionable khaki and black waders and headed into the river.  

The instructor explained the proper knot techniques.  We were to tie on the leader, then the tippet and finally the impossibly small fly.  The idea was to tie a sufficient knot so if you were lucky enough to get a strike, the fish wouldn’t strip the fly and run.  

I stood in the river for hours casting the tiny fly.  I was mesmerized as it landed and floated down stream.  

Suddenly, I felt a slight tug.  The instructors words went through my mind, 

“Pull up!”

I did and soon I was reeling in my first catch.  

The silvery trout splashed about. What a thrill!  I quivered with excitement and accomplishment!  I had actually followed the steps and had caught a fish!  

We “kissed it” and it swam merrily away.

As I continued fishing, something was different.  I stood there waiting. Stiffly, I watched the little fly float.  Each time I pulled the line back in, I felt a sinking feeling.  I was disappointed, and I started thinking 

“ Come on fish!?  Where are you?  Why don’t you bite?  I’m bored.”

I doubled down.... “Come on fish I urged”... and still, nothing.  

I had done everything right, the fly, the cast, the waiting, holding the rod appropriately.

The instructor, noticing my angst, came over and told me something profound.  

He said, “Shelly, this is an experience, not a destination.”  

Slowly, I relaxed.  I would like to say I caught loads of fish; but that wasn’t true.  Instead, I noticed the magnificent trees, the textured gray clouds and the swooping swallows.   I began to enjoy the experience.

That made the whole day beautiful.

This reminds me of marketing.  We cast our fly presenting it in a way to attract our clientele.  We methodically develop our business offerings, tailoring them to what we believe will serve our client’s needs.  

We place the information in areas we be believe they hang out.  And sometimes, they accept our offering.  Sometimes, they don’t.

Then we have a choice.  Do we accept this as “rejection?”  Do we shyly tell ourselves:

“We don’t deserve business?”  

Do we cast our ideas out again and again, ignoring the scenery?  Each time becoming more frustrated or more scared that maybe, just maybe what we have to offer, “No One needs?”  

Maybe we have the experience of growing our business to a point only to find we don’t know what to do next.  Then, we could wonder; “Is the river dried up?”

However the thinking goes, I have been there. 

For the last 27 years I have served companies in sales and marketing roles.  I have been responsible for direct customer communication and for the outcome of “making stuff happen.”  

Believe me, I have tried it all.  And I have told myself A LOT of stories.

If you would like to have a sounding board to uncover what is happening in your sales cycle, to tease apart your marketing efforts, get a plan together, unearth client communication plans or just plain get unstuck, let's talk

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