This week I had the opportunity to take a morning to do some fly-fishing with a good friend, Jordan Allen. This was only my second time and, last year, the same good friend took me for my first fishing trip.
Since I was no longer in my rookie, year, I performed much better. What I noticed, more than anything, was the fact that it didn't wear me out like last year. I found that I didn't have to work as hard to get the fly to go where I wanted. I think that I did so well I figure I'm pretty close to being promoted to amateur.
When I have experiences like this, I tend to think a bit about business and life and start to see patterns in how my experiences apply. I find that when I remember to apply these simple lessons in my daily life, I not only perform better but I enjoy what I do that much more.
I gained a lot of experience last year on my first trip. I was able to use that experience this year to improve. I remember struggling a bit with some of the most basic of techniques last year. Because of that experience, I only needed subtle reminders on those basic techniques so I was able to practice a bit on refining those techniques.
You Need a Great Mentor
Jordan is a highly experienced and accomplished fisherman. He has spent years refining his craft. He is a true teacher and is incredibly patient. He takes time to observe what I would do and give feedback. That feedback allowed me to be far more successful than I would have been otherwise. I am sure that I would have done okay had I gone on my own or with someone else that was not experience, but I am very confident that the greatest impact on my success was a great mentor.
Don't be Afraid to Fail
As I became more comfortable with what I was doing, Jordan spent more time fishing on his own. He was constantly checking on me from a distance. I found that many times I made big mistakes that prevented my success. I didn't set the line when I should have. I didn't cast right. I know, however, that the time failing allowed me to understand why the techniques he taught me were so important.
Quit While You Are Ahead
Last year we fished too long. I was very tired and made sloppy mistakes at the end. As a result, by the end, I was a bit frustrated by it. This year, we ended early, partly because we had seen so much success and partly because it was just time to go. We left on a high note and, for me, I found that this experience was much more enjoyable. We ended our trip on a very high note.
In The End...
I know there are many other ways I can apply what I learned but I'll not bore you with the revelations. These were the most important lessons I took away from my experience on the water.