An endless, temperate, late spring day lay before us when Dad and I stood waist deep in the cold green water of Crystal Lake. We were fishing for pan fish.
“I got another one,” Dad shouted. His fly rod arched, pointing toward the hooked sunfish that swam circles beneath the water’s glass-like surface. We had fished for a couple of hours. Dad’s creel, a fabric pouch he strapped to his waist just above water line, bulged with the day’s catch.
I fish for trout and pan fish. My gear includes a lightweight fly rod, artificial flies for bait, and fish line that breaks with a tug from a fish larger than two pounds. I want to give my fish a fighting chance. So, when I hooked a musky that was significantly larger and heavier than a pan fish, my fly rod pointed in the direction of his retreat. Like an alligator, he slid past me. His green back glowed in the afternoon sun. My fish line broke when he plunged into deeper water.
“Oh, no, I lost him!” I shouted into the silence.
“Heck you did. You didn’t loose him. You never had him,” Dad’s reply echoed back from a memory of another time.
Dad was right. We can’t loose something we never possessed. My real loss was the hand tied, artificial fly that I fixed to my line ten minutes earlier and lost with the musky.
My piano teacher said, “Music communicates in many ways. What if you composed a melody where your music goes down the scale from higher to lower notes? In most of your songs, melodies ascend.”
How could I do this? That evening I struggled to compose a descending melody. Without a point of reference, or awareness of an example, it’s difficult to create new music.
This morning I heard a descending melody on the radio. I never heard the descending melody in the song until my piano teacher asked her question. When we pause and pay attention to what we experience, we raise our awareness in the present moment. If we increase awareness in one part of life, we elevate attention in other parts as well.
Gabe sought passion in his work yet; he didn’t have words to describe what he really wanted. A part-time musician and accountant, he felt stuck in his career. “I’m just an accountant. I don’t see anything special in my work,” Gabe lamented. “Be yourself, I suggested. “Passion, and the life you want, will find you.”
Of the attributes of a business brand, consistency of customer experience is top of the list. Consistency creates customer loyalty. A loyal customer is a repeat customer. Typically, repeat business is a lower cost opportunity to higher profit margins than new business. Therefore, customer retention should be a preferred business priority. But, people and businesses operations are imperfect. Mistakes happen. When a loyal customer is disappointed, how a business responds is an opportunity to strengthen the companies’ brand.
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a life coach, musician, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.