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Listening for the Opportunity to Help

By Joey Havens

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What a beautiful day on Eagle Lake with my fishing buddy Bruce. The sun has peeped out and we have a slight southwest breeze blowing about 6 mph. I’m smiling as I’m looking into the live well where we have put 19 slab crappie over the last few hours. I’m adjusting the depth on my Live Scope as we are moving around to locate another spot holding baitfish. Today, our pattern has been finding big crappie just beneath the schools of baitfish in about ten feet of water.  

What was that? I heard something in the wind.

Just as I hear Bruce say, “I didn’t hear anything,” I heard it again. It was definitely a man yelling something.  

There it is again. What is he saying?

“HELP! We need Help!”

I knew what I heard that time. “Bruce, pull everything in, we have got to run over there and see what’s going on. Someone might really need help.” 

I pull in the scope, my jig pole, the trolling motor, jump in the back and crank up. We sped across the lake as the sound came from the other side.   

Bruce yells, “I think I see a boat just ahead around 1 o’clock.”  

Okay, I see it. I keep the boat at full throttle as we close the gap quickly. They are up and waving their arms in the air. It’s obvious immediately they are sinking as 60% of the boat is underwater and they are panicking. 

Bruce is helping me calm them down as I am assessing the situation. We secure a rope to the front of their boat as I back mine up next to it. Tying on to my boat, I give the motor almost full throttle as we begin to crawl them out to deeper water. My motor is churning up the mud and I know if we do not get to deeper water, their boat will sink on us. Finally, we hit some deeper water and I can go full throttle. Some of the water begins to run out of their boat.  

Bruce yells for them to find the plug and put it in after we run some water out. I put us on a direct course back to the boat launch and their boat is sitting higher and higher as we cross the middle of the lake. We made it safely back and they were able to get the plug in, their motor cranked and they were ready to load up when we dropped them off at the launch. 

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, we would have sunk out there if you did not come to help us.

Our pleasure, we were glad to help. 

Please let me pay you some money?

Absolutely not, we are glad to help. Fishermen help other fishermen. We wish you both the best and safe travels.   

Well, thanks again, you saved our boat and us.

As we are pulling back out on the lake to try at least one more spot for some slab crappie, Bruce laughs and says, “I can’t wait to read this blog!”

So here it is.   

This story ended great — people helping people, gratitude, enjoying nature and the joy of serving others. As I reflect, it does bring some sadness to mind. We have clients right now that are in sinking business models that are screaming HELP and we have not been there to hear them, or we simply have not responded to their cries. Maybe it wasn’t actually “help,” but perhaps they really need someone to help strategically work on an acquisition or they need someone to help with a better marketing plan or with leadership within their organization.  

The cries are coming in every day and all sound different. 

Some businesses are suffering significantly due to the effects of the pandemic or the market moving too fast for them. The labor shortage, inventory supply gaps, regulatory overburden, we have plenty of major threats impacting our clients. Let’s crank up our motors, get across the lake and listen for the opportunity to help them. 

Even Santa Has Bad Days