We just returned from a ski trip to Colorado. Bobbi and I have always enjoyed skiing, but this was the first time the kids really got to ski seriously. We were in Keystone, Colorado with Thomas and Annie Brown, the owners of Pegetables, one of my sponsors. We also got to visit with the people at TroKar and Wright & McGill before we headed home.
One thing I noticed while on this trip was that successful people in any walk of life are detail oriented and dedicated to what they do. While on the mountain I noticed that Thomas was replying to emails and handling business well before hitting the slopes and back at it late into the night after skiing all day. Plus, he was talking to engineering, answering emails and working with distribution and sales from the ski lift, between runs and from the lodge during our brief pit stops.
I couldn't help but think of the dedication and passion it takes for him to run his business successfully. It's not much different than the way anglers approach both tournaments and the business side of being a professional angler. The people who are most dedicated and passionate about what they do will rise to the top in business or in fishing.
After the ski trip we headed down the mountain to Eagle Claw and TroKar. We saw how they make the hooks right here in the USA. Even if someone won the lottery they couldn't buy the machines to make hooks. These machines are engineered and built from the ground up right there in Colorado. It's really an impressive sight to see.
One thing that caught my eye was the boxes of hooks that were off to the side. We are talking hundreds of hooks in each box. I had to ask what was special about those hooks, and what I found out was these were the hooks that were deemed "bad." I took a good close look at quite a few of them and couldn't find anything wrong with even one of them. I fish for a living and rely on hooks heavily to help pay the bills, and I would have used every hook I picked up. Their attention to detail is exactly why I can rely on their hooks without hesitation on every cast I make all season long.
Then I started to think about the different guys I fish with and against on tour. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the successful anglers are just like the successful businesses. They are all very detailed and make the smallest adjustments —adjustments most anglers would never waste the time to make —and those minor details make the difference between success and failure at the top level of our sport.
This will be my last blog for 2012, and I hope that each of you had a great Christmas and that 2013 is a fantastic year for you. I'm excited about 2013 and kicking the season off in just a few weeks at Grand Lake O' the Cherokees in Oklahoma. See you in the New Year!