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A True Fish Story


About 10 years ago I was fishing near Marco Island in south west Florida at a popular fishing location in the late spring.  There were many other people fishing all around me.  After just a short while I grew frustrated because everyone around me was catching Snook (a popular fish that runs abundantly during the spring/summer in Florida gulf waters) and I wasn’t catching any at all.  I finally swallowed my pride and asked someone near me what they were doing differently.  I could see most people were using the same bait I was using (live shrimp).  The guy I asked very casually asked me if I had used sun block lotion that day and I answered that I had.  He asked me if I had thoroughly washed my hands before handling the bait.  I said I hadn’t.  His look said it all.  I then realized what I was doing wrong.  The fish could smell the sun block lotion on the bait from my hands and they wouldn’t touch it.  So, I washed my hands thoroughly and started catching fish and thanked my neighbor for his simple, yet profound advice.

I often wonder what if I had been alone at this location on that day.  Since I wasn’t catching any fish, I’m sure I would have concluded that there were no fish there to catch on that day.  I would have concluded there was no “opportunity” on that day.  I would have left feeling not that I failed, but that there was nothing to gain that day (no fish to catch).  When, in fact I would have failed.  How wrong I would have been!!!

I was lucky because I was able to get feedback from the market (other anglers) that there was opportunity (fish) there.  I was able to learn from the “market feedback” that opportunity was plentiful.  I just needed to change my tactics to capture the opportunity I was missing.  I just needed some market intelligence and I got it.  What a lesson I learned that day (not about fishing)!

So, what if your business doesn’t find new opportunities from the web?  What a tragic mistake it would be to assume there is no (or limited) opportunity from the web.  Imagine if you received feedback from the market about the opportunities which exist for your business through web marketing strategies and in particular people who use search engines, blogs and social media platforms to look for products, services, ideas and expertise such as yours.  How profound would it be to know the actual opportunities that exist, just as I saw with my own eyes the abundant availability of fish being caught that spring morning by people all around me.  I still think about what a different (and wrong) conclusion I would have reached if I had been alone that day.  And, I realize that many people make that same mistake in their business because they don’t see the opportunities available from the web.  Is that a conclusion you have reached for the wrong reason?

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