Business owners don’t want more advertising.
More advertising is more expenses.
More expenses mean less profit.
Owners want more customers and more revenues.
Advertising is just the bait.

More bait means more fish, right?


What if there are no fish?
What if you’re using the wrong bait?
What if you’re fishing in a pond trying to catch a shark?

Let me explain using a story about my dad.

Dad worked a crappy job in a smoked herring factory to support us.
The pay wasn’t good.
To make extra money, he speared eels, nights, and weekends to sell to the local fish market.
Armed with a homemade spear and an axe, he’d go to the river.
Eels are easier to spear in the winter. No need for a boat.
Dad would cut a hole in the ice and spent a few hours catching money.

While his friends watched tv and drank beer, dad quietly hustled for extra cash.
His friends questioned where he was. Mom wouldn’t tell ‘em.
They feared there weren’t enough eels for everyone.
If his friends found out, they’d want some easy money too.
They were right.

Mom’s brother saw him on the ice one Saturday.
The next weekend, Dad had to share his treasure with five others.
Within a month of being discovered, the treasure was gone.
Fished out.
No amount of bait can find more fish.
A better spear will not help.
They’ve moved on. They ain’t coming back.

Dad thought about finding another eel spot.
He knew his friends would follow him wherever he went.
The money was good. But his competitors would chase him everywhere we went.

Instead of chasing eels, Dad repositioned himself.
He trapped and snared coyotes, foxes, and bobcats.
In the 80’s one bobcat fur sold for $500.
Before ATV’s, dad’s friends were too lazy to walk through the snow.
Dad wasn’t lazy. He had no competitors. Lots of supply.
The perfect storm for money-making.
One year he made more money in his trapping hustle than he made at his job.
Motivated to provide food and shelter for his family, dad never quit.

Advertising can’t fix your sales problem if the fish are gone.

It can’t fix your problem if you’re using the wrong bait.

You can’t trap a bobcat using an eel spear.

And it won’t help if you’d rather be doing other things.
Dad’s friends wanted easy money to buy more beer.
Dad needed to feed me, my sister, and mom.

The person with a bigger purpose will always work harder.

The business owners with the bigger purpose will see greater returns from their advertising than the ones who just want more money.

And even when the fish are all gone, the purpose-driven owner will find new products, new markets, and new ways to carry the purpose forward.

Dad has a grade eight education, but he taught me more than seven years of university.

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