Tuesday, July 16, 2013

And now for something completely different

The Book: Linda Greenlaw, The Hungry Ocean (Hyperion, 1999)

Why: From a time before Deadliest Catch began to dominate the Discovery Channel, a swordfish captain’s musings about what it’s like to depend on the sea for one’s livelihood.

Summertime in Minnesota: heat and humidity rising, leading into that short period each year when I truly do understand why other people have central air conditioning in their homes. Normally, I’m a fresh air kind of guy—I prefer the ecologically friendly open window to the steady hum of a cooling unit, but I have to admit that there are times when cooled-air relief would be mighty welcome.

This past holiday weekend was one such time. So, sitting on my three-season porch sweating, in my imagination I enjoyed refreshingly cool sea breezes reading Linda Greenlaw’s The Hungry Ocean, a memoir of sorts about her experiences as the captain of a fishing crew pursuing swordfish off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.  

Greenlaw, known to many as the female fishing captain who was friends with the doomed captain in the book and movie The Perfect Storm, reminds us that entrepreneurialism comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. She also reiterates that, for most entrepreneurs, money is a secondary motivator. Most simply love what they are doing, and she is no different. 

Her recipe for success?  “Better bait, better fish, better price, better paycheck. The buck starts here.” The specifics change, but most entrepreneurs will recognize the general concept.

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