At the risk of telling too many fishing stories—especially since I’d be the first to admit that I’m not much of a fisherman—there’s a story that has been around for years that I wanted to share with you this week.
It’s about the grandfather who decides one afternoon to take his grandson fishing on the bank of a local river. Every time either of them reels in a big fish, the grandfather measures it, shakes his head “no”, and throws it back into the water. He keeps only the smaller ones.
After awhile, the little boy becomes confused and asks his grandfather why they’re keeping only the smaller fish and letting the larger ones go.
“Those larger ones are too big for my frying pan,” the grandfather tells him.
“Grandpa,” the boy cries, “You don’t need smaller fish, you need a bigger frying pan!”
If you’re at all familiar with the work I do, it should be obvious why I like this story, but here I’ll go, anyway:
Too many of us are fishing for smaller clients (fish) because we believe we don’t have the confidence or capacity (frying pan) to handle the larger ones.
A few weeks ago, I met with Edward, a financial advisor who had reached out to me because he was generally bored with his practice. After some coaching, though, it was obvious that the prospect of “reeling in bigger fish” still got him excited about going to work. Whenever the opportunity arose and he landed a larger client, he felt exhilarated once again.
“Then why don’t you do what you need to do to focus your practice on getting the larger clients?” I asked him. I immediately saw the answer in his eyes…his frying pan wasn’t big enough. In Edward’s case, he didn’t lack the capacity to handle big clients—he had plenty of room for them. But he did lack the confidence to change the way he was going after clients in order to focus on getting the ones he really wanted.
Don’t keep throwing the big fish back, and don’t sit around waiting for them to occasionally stream along with your smaller prospects. If you’re ready to go after bigger fish and to keep them when you catch them, and you’re being held back by either capacity or confidence, get some help to change that. If you learn how to attract more substantial clients and to slow-cook your relationships with them, you will be able to indulge in the kind of business or practice that you’re really after.
I’m in the business of selling bigger frying pans, and teaching you how to use them. I can help you with both capacity and confidence issues, but first, you have to have at least enough of both to reach out and contact me.
So quit floundering around! Keep fishing, and keep REACHING…