I just returned from a week long trip to Montana with three Advisor Architect members.  I’d like to tell you we spent the time discussing the latest issues in practice management, but that would be a lie.  We had other things on our mind.

Without a doubt, fly fishing is my favorite past time.  I’m not great at it, but I enjoy it immensely.  I would never have pulled this fish in without my guide Leo who coached me through it for over 30 minutes.  Believe it or not, I caught it using a hook no bigger than the nail on your pinky.  Since I took up the sport over ten yeas ago, I’ve learned a great deal and have had the pleasure visiting some of Earth’s most beautiful places.

Fly fishing is all about systems.  To be successful, you must follow a step by step process that requires constant monitorization and adjustment.  As beautiful as the weather was that week, the water conditions were far from it.  Heavy rains fell just before our arrival, so the rivers were all extremely high.  Hight water makes fishing far more challenging.

You must adjust for water speed, water depth, the outside temperature, the wind, and even any insects that are flying around that day.  Simply put, you cannot “wing it.’  Successful fly fishermen follow an intricate system that even studies the water to determine where exactly the fish may be hiding.  Sounds a lot like target marketing.

Our business really is no different.  The intricacies of the day present both opportunities and obstacles.  What worked five years ago (seminars) may not work nearly as well today.  New technologies (social media) present new opportunities.  The bait of the past no longer draws interest.  We must try new things.

Had I not hired Leo to guide me through the systems, I would not have gone home with a 30-inch bull trout, but something more like this:

 

Fly fishing is a great metaphor for business and life.