Auuugh! I need a break from technology! Do you?
I was in Massachusetts this week watching my fourteen-year-old nephew, Matthew, for my sister. Although I love my work, I was pretty excited about taking a little break from the frustrations of the technology that rules my daily life–cell phones, Internet, e-mail, texting, you get the picture.
Matthew and my dad love to fish. So we planned a day of fishing out in my dad’s canoe. Growing up, I loved the peacefulness of being out on the water, hearing the small waves splash against the canoe, seeing the sun glisten off the water, hearing the ducks taking flight, and breathing the fresh air of the lake after a rain.
Lure Lesson # 1: What makes others happy?
I was looking forward to just “hanging out” with my dad and my nephew. Just simple “guy time” and getting back to nature a bit to recharge my batteries. I grinned just thinking of being in that canoe. I wasn’t really going because I wanted to fish; I wanted to make them happy.
Buying a fishing license for one day seemed a little crazy. I told my dad I didn’t need one. I didn’t need to fish, I was happy to just be there with them. I could tell that they were a little disappointed, so I asked my dad to find out how much it would cost. Turns out it was $25. Wow! I was thinking of saving the money, but I’d spent that much on a lot sillier things than being a part of the LaCroix fishing team. And it was important to them that we fish together. Have you ever thought that way?
Lure Lesson #2: “Knowing how” limits frustration
Part of my excitement for the day was to leave technology behind. I actually left my cell phone on shore in my dad’s truck. (If you know me, then you’ll understand when I say I had to deal with separation anxiety.) Just get out there with “physical stuff”— a rod, reel, and the fish!
“Technology” even in the guise of a fishing reel can be a beautiful thing. And it can also drive us crazy. Less than an hour into fishing I started reeling in my lure, but the reel would not turn. I looked down and saw a jumble of fishing line wrapped around the reel. I had no idea how I created that! It was as if I had grabbed the fishing line, played patty-cake and did a somersault while cranking it!
My nephew took the above picture with my camera phone when we got to shore later. This picture, by the way, is not of the first wrecked reel. Yup! It happened more than one time. In fact, I completely rendered 4 reels inactive! I spent 17 minutes trying to fix the first entanglement before I surrendered and handed it back to my dad, who fixed it in 2 minutes!
See, I did not want to waste the line, so I was trying to untangle it. He just cut the line and tied on a new swivel to hold the lure. Done.
Dad explained that it was old line and should be changed away. And even if I did straighten it out, the line would have kinks and it would not be long before it happened again.
That is the value of perspective and experience. So maybe it’s not “technology” that is the problem. Maybe it is my unwillingness to take the time or the effort to learn how to do something, or read the manual. How about you?
Lure Lesson #3: Where they nibble, they bite!
Although my nephew is only fourteen and sometimes impatient, he’s smart too. We found one particular cove where we all got nibbles. Matthew even caught a 15-inch pickerel! (He was pumped!) So we decided to continue around the next bend and the next inlet, but none of us got so much as a nibble. So Matthew said, “Why don’t we go back to where we caught the other ones?”
Then it dawned on me. This is just like marketing! (Sometimes I can’t stop my brain from thinking “business,” even if I’m miles away). Often I see new speakers trying new ways to market themselves and they lose money because they are moving away from what works. When you find something that works, why not stay with it and work to improve that process? Why not find all the rest of the “fish” before you try something else? The fish are where the fish are. Don’t settle for a nibble; take a bite out of it!
Lure Lesson #4: Some catch fish, some catch…
When I was a kid I went fishing a lot with my dad and our neighbor, Leon. Leon was very experienced and successful when it came to fishing. He seemed to know everything.
I remembered I had just gotten a brand new lure as a gift and I could not wait to use it. It was so cool! It was bright florescent yellow, with a bright purple stripe and huge hooks hanging off it. I revealed my new fishing magnet to Leon and he burst out laughing. He said, “Some lures catch fish, some catch fisherman!”
When he finally stopped laughing he explained that it may look cool to me, but it doesn’t to the fish. The fish have a different perspective. They look at how the lure appears in the water as it is moving through the water, and at a certain speed.
This is such a powerful marketing lesson. Every “cast” is a marketing expenditure of time, effort, and dollars. To be successful we need to be careful with all three. The value of experience is twice as valuable.
Well, there you have it. I can’t get away from frustration even out on a quiet pond. I still continue to learn new lessons and get reminded of old ones. I gave up on fishing that day. I put on my iPod headphones and listened to T Harv Eker and started to paddle.
Guess I couldn’t completely let go to technology. Can you?
In between Stage time, is still Stage Time,
2001 World Champion of Public Speaking
P.S. Yes, I did get my pole tangled in the headset wire of my iPod!
P.P.S. Lessons 3 & 4 are why I created my Get Paid to Speak program. I wanted to shorten other people’s learning curves. What experience do you have? Are you speaking about it to help others? What other format could you offer your experience to others in? Special report? Tele-seminar?
Are you making any of these Top 10 Speaking Mistakes?