Salmon Fishing In Yemen Spawns New Biz Ideas

salmon fishingSalmon Fishing

As my husband and I perused the on-demand movie offerings last weekend, one of the titles caught my attention – Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The movie, starring two Golden Globe nominated actors (Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor), looked worthy of watching; even if salmon fishing did not particularly excite me. I clicked purchase and found myself immersed in a story about a crazy Sheikh with a vision to bring his passion for fly fishing, which he likened to a spiritual experience, to the Yemen. The movie, a lesson in vision, faith and perseverance – with a little PR and marketing thrown in – is an education in entrepreneurship.

Here’s why:

Vision inspires you, and others, to act. It makes the impossible, possible. If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can find a way to bring salmon to the Middle East. Inspired by the Sheik’s vision, solutions to obstacles were found by looking at unlikely answers. When the British government said no to raiding their lakes and streams to supply the Salmon, inspiration was discovered in the freezer by the PR rep hired to sell “a good news story from the Middle East”. Salmon dinner never looked so good, and became the obvious answer to finding 10,000 ready-to-buy farm raised fish (live, of course).

Entrepreneurs need faith. It takes a lot of faith, and a little craziness, to see what others can’t. When asked if farm-raised salmon would swim upstream to spawn, fisheries expert Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor), who claims to be a “numbers man” with no religion or faith, believes they will. Why? He knows it in his gut. Having faith in your crazy idea is key to spawning new business.

Persevere, even if it means starting over. At one point in the movie (I don’t want to ruin it in case you haven’t seen it yet), the key players are faced with a failure so great that they have to start over. For many entrepreneurs, failure is a “throw in the towel” moment. Do you throw in the towel and give up, or re-commit to your vision and do things differently to get a different result? When you’re able to persevere, you’ll look at your biz with a fresh perspective and be ready to start again. Of course you’re human, so give yourself a one-day pity party. Then start over.

Whether your vision is to bring salmon fishing to the Middle East, invent an electric light bulb or become a catalyst for change, embrace your crazy idea and have the faith to make it a reality.

Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, best selling author, national speaker, mentor and radio show host. For insights on entrepreneurship, leadership and vision, read her book, listen to her radio show and follow her blog at


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