The Big Fish

Ah-ha Moment

As an experienced fisherman, Bob decided to help Jeff develop his skills as a fisherman. One morning the two set out for a local pond known to have an abundance of hungry fish.

Bob was delighted to catch a fish almost as soon as his hook dropped below water level. Within an few minutes he dropped a second big fish in his ice chest.

Jeff was ecstatic to be fishing with Bob because he knew he could a lot from him. He dreamed he would have a record catch. However, Jeff seemed intimidated by Bob, trying to select the right lure at first and then seemed too nervous to put it on the line. After double checking to make sure everything was right, Jeff finally dropped his hook in the water too.

Soon, Jeff caught his first fish. He held it proudly to Bob’s admiring glance.

Then, suddenly, Jeff throw his catch back in the water.


For the answer, scroll down.

“Why did you throw it back?” pleaded Bob. Jeff replied,

"My frying pan is too small for him."

This story illustrates a truth confronting many of us. We venture into unknown territory with a project or business opportunity expecting great results only to miss out on the opportunity as we allow ourselves to become intimidated by others we perceive to be successful -- or by throwing back true opportunity because we don’t think we are equipped to handle it.

Sam Walton was an inexperienced fisherman when he walked the aisles of Kresge’s new concept store in Garden City, Michigan, in 1962. He is said to have had a notepad on which he was writing a list of notes about what this first Kmart store had done to attract and please customers.

It was evident to Walton, who at the time own a small Army-Navy Surplus Store in Rogers, Arkansas, that price was the secret. He would learn that Kmart was able to sell at such low prices because they were ordering merchandise in massive quantities. It was not that this one store could handle large shipments it was that Kmart had hundreds of Kresge five and dime stores to help support the hefty orders.

Walton could easily have talked himself out of trying to duplicate the success. After all - he only had a little frying pan in Rogers. But Sam knew if he was going to play with the experienced fishermen, he needed to figure out a way to “fry” large orders. Be like Walton, have confidence to catch and devour the big fish. Then enjoy the feast of success!