The FISH! Philosophy Network

A father wanted to take his seven-year-old son fishing. So what do you do in Minnesota before you go fishing? You stop at the local bait shop to find out where the fish are biting.

So father and son walked into an old bait store. The door squeaked, the floor creaked, and the worn-out screen door slammed behind them. The father approached an old man behind the counter and said, “We’d like to know where the fish are biting and what they are biting on.”

The man leaned down, looked at the little boy and said, “You really want to know?”
The boy’s eyes widened. “Yes, I really do,” he said.
“Go check the door and see if there is anyone coming,” the man said.

The little boy dashed to the front door, carefully opened the screen door and looked both ways. No one in the parking lot. No one coming down the road. He went back to the old man and reported, “There’s nobody coming.”

“Good,” the old man said. Then, just to be certain, he carefully looked around the store again, bent down behind the counter and pulled out a box of lures—the “special” kind. He said, “Son, these are what the fish are biting on. I think you need two of these, one for your dad and one for you.”

The little boy looked at his father and said, “Dad, can we have them?” Well, the father could not turn down this great deal. He paid for the lures and asked the man again, “Which lake are they biting on?”

The old man gave him a serious look and said, “Sir, you’re not going to tell anyone, are you?”
“No sir, we won’t, the father said.
The old man leaned in and whispered, “They’re biting on Ten Mile Lake.”

The father nodded. As he and his son turned toward the door, the man yelled after them, “Good luck, gentlemen! Have a good day fishing.”

That experience happened to me and my father more than 40 years ago and, yes, we did have a good day fishing. I don’t remember what fish we caught, but I will always remember the experience we had in that bait shop in northern Minnesota. That old man didn’t just make our day; he created an experience that has lasted a lifetime.

What experiences are you and I creating for our customers, our families or our friends? Think about it. What experiences can we create that will be that memorable?

By John Christensen- CEO of ChartHouse Learning

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