We furnished a cabin, 1100 miles north of Campbellsport, in Ontario, on an island 4.5 miles off shore in early Spring.  Flooring, lumber, all of it.  That’s not the story though (as cool as that was).  The story starts when they asked us if we would bring some guys up to fish Eagle Lake Lodge.  How could you say no?


26 of us, a great mix of clients, well more like friends, and team members went up there last week.

What did I learn?  Really if you have your mindset right, you can learn all the time.  You just have to actually think about it and be aware that life is ALWAYS a learning experience.  It’s why you are here: to learn, to get better.

All of us I am sure learned something.  Some more than others.  You can never punch out even when you punch out you see…

** Ok, side note, before you go any farther.  Jealousy in life is such a USELESS, PETTY, AND EVIL emotion.  It does you and no one around you any good.  Be happy for them, your turn in life comes. We all do amazing things… life is what you make of it.  We couldn’t take 200 people… ok…. moving on…

All of us old and new friends.

  1.  Influence not control.  I learned this fishing with Ken Wilbanks on the streams in the Appalachians.  (Geez that sounds like something Hemingway would of wrote.)  Anyways.  I was reminded of that again.  You can only influence your bait as you are 28 feet down, in wind, jigging on the very bottom 3″ high.  If the worm is on the bottom they won’t bite.  6″ up they won’t bite.  The first day we simply TRIED TO CONTROL THE BAIT.  Poor results.  Influence is subtle.   Same when you have a fish on.  You can’t horse into the boat.  Line breaks.  Bad things happen.  Just let the fish make the decisions for you.  Influence not control.  We often try to CONTROL our family.  CONTROL our team members like a prison.  CONTROL our customers that we should somehow TELL them WHERE AND HOW to buy.  Influence works.  Control does not.
  2. NETWORKING is horrible.   FRIENDSHIP ROCKS.  Who the hell enjoys NETWORKING?  No one I have ever met.  Who enjoys meeting new friends, having a few laughs, making a few lifetime memories?  Almost everyone.  There were three groups of people on this trip.  Almost everyone felL into the last group because we mostly get it here at Drexel and we have amazing customers.  THE THREE GROUPS.  Group #  1. It’s my vacation.  The only value of this vacation is that I need to have fun on my terms, in my way, and the rest of the stuff around me is just a distraction.  That person didn’t meet the staff and talk to them, barely knew anyone’s name unless they had already know them. I am sure they had a good time, but ended up not much the wiser for the trip.  Sad really.  Group #2. Work trip.  I got to make sure my clients are taken care of.  I have to make sure I fit in.  I have to make sure everything goes smooth for them.  Work work work.  Whew that’s tiring.  I’ve seen, not sure on this trip, but I’ve seen it on these sort of outings.  Also that’s too bad for them.     Group #3.  And the third group.  I’m going to be myself.  I’m going to push the limits of fun.  I’m going to do what I want to do… as well as the group activities too.  Every time I have a conversation I am going to make it better, but also shut up and really listen.  So much to learn.  For instance, our bartender for the week loved to brew beer and was a recent graduate from Marquette in bio-chemistry.  Man did we learn about both!  And the guy was awesome to be around.   One new friend built with 2×4 studs, one new friend was struggling with scheduling and on and on… Each person taught me about fishing, about business, about themselves and often made me better.  Networking?  Hardly!  Friendships. Yes.  Will more business come from this?  Probably.  Who doesn’t buy from a FRIEND THEY LIKE?  But that wasn’t the goal to get more business… that’s just how life works. friends2
  3. NO PLACE LIKE HOME.  While on this trip, I got a couple of unique e-mails.  I was offered to go to HAWAII for a week, expenses paid to consult with a building supplier there. Trip of a lifetime.  And in a different email also offered a trip on a private freakin jet to go pheasant hunting out west this fall.  Instantly I was thrilled.  But a lot of me knew the work that means.  The stress.  The planning.  The emotional cost.  You know what?  I said “no” to both.  At this time in my life, it would of been fun, but it just isn’t in me, it would of depleted my take, would of made me a lesser version of me.  I like where I’m at.  Vacation is needed.  Time off is needed.  But sometimes #balance is needed to.  No place like home for this guy.  These were Joel things not WE things.  Maybe sometime I’ll do both, but not now.  That’s ok.
  4. All the little things add up.  The fishing guide and camp leader kept saying.  Use this, try that.  And the guys that listened and had the most success did that.  The little things add up to one big thing… catching fish.  The little stuff goes unnoticed.  The right knot, the right blade, the right hook, the way you put on your worm.  Does any one thing catch that fish…no… and might you still catch fish…yes…but your odds go up when you consistently do the little things right.
  5. Pictures.  No fishing trip is complete without some fish pictures… 3 bigfish1 bigfish2 bigfish3 bigfish4 bigfish5 jrlastbigfish

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our purpose since 1985 is to be a supplier of other people’s happiness.


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