As I walked up Barnes Creek from its entrance into Crescent Lake, I didn’t see many places where fish could survive, and I wasn’t having success finding the elusive Crescenti Trout. I had caught only two small fish earlier that morning in Crescent Lake, so I thought I’d fish the Creek. I’ve learned from other fishermen and from twenty-seven years of wealth planning for clients that if one strategy isn’t working, you have to be ready to adjust.
It was mid-October, the creek water levels were low, and there was little oxygen in the water. This left few places for fish to hide from predators. As my optimism about catching a fish slipped away, I focused on my incredibly beautiful surroundings. Barnes Creek runs through a rain forest-like setting full of luminous moss-covered trees. I was waiting for Treebeard from Lord of the Rings to point out where the fish were.
After walking for twenty minutes in the low water, I stopped to admire a bird as it dove behind a tree that had fallen across the Creek. As I gently crept across the fallen tree trunk, I saw a moving pool of water flowing under the tree that could possibly protect a fish from prey. I changed my fly, shortened my cast, and after a dozen attempts, I set the fly in the water flow where it drifted under the tree. And bam! I got a hit! Lucky? I don’t think so.
I made my luck that day by having the right equipment, being determined, staying alert, adjusting my strategy, and being willing to take a risk. I could have lost my fly in the surrounding bushes, but I made the cast anyway. Catching that teeny tiny fish (too small to show in a photograph) was thrilling, but the preparation and journey are what I truly appreciated and enjoyed.
I work with a client who recently sold his business that he had grown from simply a great idea to a very profitable enterprise. I watched as he invested an incredible amount of time and energy into creating a company that employs hundreds of people. He believed in his vision, and he risked his own personal time and treasure to implement his plan. Outsiders might read about a business being sold and think the owner won the lottery. I see the little things that were painstakingly done daily, the hundreds of employees’ families that were provided for and the millions of lives improved by products he created from just an idea. When the opportunity to sell arose, he was prepared and made his own luck. Most importantly, the world is a better place because of him.
To catch the personal, professional, financial or other trophy fish are you going after, you need to invest time and resources to be prepared and ready to make your own luck when opportunities arise. Doing so will allow you to catch your dream fish. More importantly, you will have control over how you catch it, choosing the rivers and streams or oceans you fish in.
Tim Scannell, CPA, CFPTM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We strive to deliver transparent, proactive, independent, and comprehensive planning and communications to the families we work for”.