Friday, September 30, 2005

Guest Blogger Friday - Mark Merenda

Welcome to another exciting "Guest Blogger Friday". Today we are blessed to have a great parable by Mark Merenda, of Smart Marketing in Naples, Florida. You can read Mark's "Smart Blog" at

A Guide To Successful Fishing:
1. Fish.
2. Keep fishing.

By Mark Merenda

“If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying, ‘Here comes number seventy-one!’"
— Richard M. DeVos

This is the story of two fishermen, Frank and Joe.

Frank loves fishing. He goes fishing every day. He’s always trying new fishing spots. Sometimes he catches a lot of fish and sometimes he catches none. But that doesn’t really bother him, he just gets up the next morning and goes fishing again. He reads books and magazine articles about fishing, and hires a fishing guide.

He invests in new lures and fishing poles. He even tried fishing with a net, then with a spear. Sometimes he uses a fly and sometimes live bait. Sometimes he fishes in a lake and sometimes in a stream. He’s even tried the ocean.

Sometimes he wonders if he isn’t wasting his time and money trying to catch these crazy fish. But most of the time he enjoys it.

If the fish he catches is too small, he throws it back and re-baits his hook. If the fish is the right size, he takes it home, and cooks a delicious meal. If he has more than he can eat, he puts them in a freezer.

Occasionally, he fishes all day in the cold rain and trudges home empty handed, feeling like he’ll never catch another fish.

Every now and then, he catches a whopper, and feels like he just won the lottery!

He finds that as time goes on, he gets better and better at fishing. He learns the techniques that suit him best, which lures work in which locations, the best time of day to catch each kind of fish, and which spots are best in different kinds of weather.

He knows that he can never think that he’s found “the secret” because the fishing is always changing. Fishing holes that were great a year ago are now dried up. Rivers where he couldn’t catch a cold before, now are full of fish.

Interestingly, every time Frank goes fishing, he meets other fishermen, who are only too happy to share fishing stories and to tell him what techniques and locations have been working — or not working — for them.

But most of all, he just keeps fishing every day.

Now let’s meet Joe. He isn’t at all sure that he likes fishing. He wishes someone else would catch the fish and just let him cook and eat the fish, which is, he explains, what he is trained to do. He doesn’t feel he should have to fish.

When someone proposes fishing, Joe wants to know how much it costs to go fishing and if he will be guaranteed to catch fish that day.

If he does go fishing, he doesn’t bother to learn anything about it. He rents a pole and some lures, making sure he gets the cheapest ones possible.

He goes to the nearest body of water, because he can save money by walking there instead of driving. He casts his line in the water a few times and — when he doesn’t catch any fish — drops his pole in disgust and declares “Fishing doesn’t work!”

He does this once a year.

A fishing guide offers to take Joe to the best spots and teach him what he knows about fishing, but Joe turns him down because he’s too expensive and he won’t guarantee how many fish Joe will catch.

The guide does offer one guarantee to Joe, however: “I guarantee that if you don’t go fishing, you won’t catch any fish.”

In your opinion, who will catch more fish, Frank or Joe?

When it comes to marketing your services, are you Frank or Joe?

Are you simply interested in cooking and eating the fish, but not interested in investing the time and money that is required to ensure a steady supply of fish?

You don’t have to be a marketing wizard. You don’t have to have all the tools, all the knowledge, all the methods, all the experience, all the personnel, and all the expertise. You don’t have to do anything, except one thing.

You have to be committed to catching fish.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
— Calvin Coolidge

Thanks Mark for a great "Guest Blog Post". I bet that a lot of people can relate to Frank and Joe!!!

Have A Great Day

Thom Singer

1 comment:

Scott Ingram said...


You are getting really good! I've been reading your blog for quite a while now and I think this is the best week yet! Mark's fishing post definately put it over the edge.

I can't wait for next week!

Happy networking!