I am a baseball fan and a fan of baseball movies. The first thing I thought about when I read Scott Brauer’s advice on “getting involved in the fishing industry” was Kevin Costner’s movie “For The Love of the Game”. What many of us do in the fishing industry takes a lot of time, and the reward is definitely not monetary. We do what we do for the love of the sport and our desire to share our sport with others. Follow this link for some great advice if you are a fisherman seeking to “step-up” your fishing game.
I do a lot of “fishing resumes” to help fellow fishermen “get noticed” I am a positive “half-full” person so I always see the best in what a person has to offer. But I recognize that every angler has a different motivation and different desired outcome from wanting to get deeper into the fishing industry. Some of these reasons are honorable, and, perhaps, some questionable. Personally, when I increased my involvement, I just wanted to learn more about fishing methods and tactics to improve my own catching. I never expected anyone to pay me for what I do- and true to my expectation, no one has…. yet. But I have had one great experience after another.
Once you have established a “presence” in the industry- whether through social media or affiliations with companies you represent at shows and on the water- or ice, you are going to get asked- repeatedly- “How do I get into this business?”. What they only sometimes ask, but should always ask, is “What do I do when I get there?” The answers are different for each person but I recently noted that Ice Angler Scott Brauer made a list of what you need to consider when looking to “step-up” that is well worth sharing.
- Listen more than you talk.
- You will have to work harder and fish harder than most other people to establish and maintain your credibility.
- The reputation you earn and following you achieve can all go away in a flash if you make bad choices.
- Most of what you can and will do for a “Sponsor” will be done without much compensation (read this again until it sinks in).
- If you are “Doing it right”, a significant amount of your time will switch from fishing to not fishing because you will need to meet your obligations to your sponsors
- The more you get involved, the more likely it is that you will miss family events because of your obligations to “the industry”.
- For most of us, the “business” part of fishing will cost you more than it pays you if you are just measuring the monetary in flows and out flows
- You will encounter haters. Unfortunately, due mostly to jealousy, there will be people- maybe even so-called
friends- who will not want you to succeed.
- As a result of 8., you will need to have thick skin and become a master of self-control.
- It doesn’t matter what you build, how many hits or likes you get, how successful you are, or how many logos are on your jersey, in the end, you need to reconcile the fact that you are not that big of a deal.
There is some tough stuff in that list. But, If you are still reading this, and can live with all that, trust me….. you’ll want to keep reading Scott’s advice. He notes the core of what needs to drive you- the only true reason with any value to step up and be a part of the “industry” is for the people you will meet, the relationships you will forge, and the fun experiences you will have. For these reasons, I refer back to number 2- it’s hard work. The value won’t be handed to you, it must be sought out, nurtured and earned. Like Scott, I have been fortunate to have encountered some really fine people through fishing. Scott notes that he has reached out to, and been reached out by, some people who genuinely care about him, his family and who have come to be intertwined in many aspects of his life. He has shared the helm and shared a hut, with friends in some of the most beautiful places on earth. So, remember, the greatest value you can take from- and give to- fishing is the people you encounter and the conversations you share- whether on a lake or in the lobby of a show hotel over coffee. To share your passion alongside other men and women of this industry is the only reason you should want to be an ambassador for this sport, and you are the only once to know if you have what it takes or if the cost for too high. Thank you Mr. Brauer.
Editors Note: This blog was written by Eric Evans based on a post from Scott Brauer, an Ice Fisherman who devotes much of his time to the “love of the game” even though he might rather be fishing. Thanks again to Scott.