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5 Things to Learn About Building a Small Business from Discovery Channel's Hit Show, "Deadliest Catch"

on Tuesday, 15 November 2011. Posted in Small Business

1. It's not worth losing your life over

On the ship, even though the aim is to make money, if a pot is crashing across the deck, or a big wave is coming, the Captain yells DUCK! He's not worried about losing his catch. He wants to make sure no one ends up overboard. So:

Take care of your health. Sleep. Exercise. Maintain a healthy Work/Life balance.

2. Also for your health: Get the right gear.

No self-respecting captain allows his crew to run around with substandard equipment that might break over someone's head at any minute. All crew members must have their life suits.

So: Make sure you have ergonomic seating, foot-rests, keyboards, etc. It might seem like a large expense now, but it'll be more costly to lose the use of your wrists one day.

3. When the load is trickling in, sometimes you have to push and grind.

When the Captain is pulling pots with only a few crabs in it, sometimes they just have to keep grinding all night. So:

If you run upon a dry spell, don't be afraid to churn some of the smaller projects. It adds up.

4. Conversely, Throw the small ones back...

Sometimes the pot is pulled in looking rife with possibilities, but once the load hits the sorting table, the crew find lots of little ones they have to throw back. So:

Don't be afraid to say no to projects that don't fit your business model. Don't want to be rude to potentials who you don't want to work with? Point them in the right direction of where they might find the appropriate help.

5. Teamwork works best

No one crew member, not even the Captain, can do it alone. Even when they're one crew member down, the whole deck feels the pain. So:

If you have a team, delegate! Don't try to shoulder it all. Don't have a team? Figure out how you can develop symbiotic relationships with colleagues.