Do you want to be world famous? Go Fish!

What makes you get out of bed every morning?

Let that thought marinate for a moment…

Now how many of you thought: “because I’m pumped to go to work and become world famous!!!”

Slap me with a fish if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing not many. But if I was to ask the hearty men that work at Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Washington the same question…well, there answer is clear, and I’m pretty sure I would still get slapped with a fish in the process:

“…our commitment to having fun while we work and making a difference in the world is what makes us “World Famous.” –John Yokoyama, Owner of Pike Place Fish Market

When John Yokoyama bought Pike Place Fish Market in 1965 his first order of business was not about fish, but more of “who do we want to be?” They set out to cultivate a workplace in which “…customers leave with the experience of having been served. They experience being known and appreciated whether they buy fish or not. And it’s not good enough just to want that – it takes an unrelenting commitment.” My thoughts are if a group of men that constantly permeate a fish-esque fragrance are able to love their job…why can’t you?

“We may not be able to do exactly what we love at the present time, but any of us can choose to love what we do. We can bring our best qualities to our work-it is our choice.” –Fish!

The book, Fish!, is a fantastic little tale that is based off the Pike Place “world famous” mantra, and of course, is all the rage here at the Schipul office. In fact, we even had “fish” cupcakes to celebrate the distribution of copies to all the Schipulites. (Thanks happykatie!) Yes, the book is that great.

Fish! relates to any sector of an organization and implores you to realize that you don’t have to be stuck in a “toxic energy dump” forever. Unfortunately, some people live their lives just going through the motions…wake-up, eat, work, “deposit,” sleep, repeat. I promise there are things in between daily patterns that can truly enrich your life; you just have to want it.

Here’s a little suggestion, I laugh at everything. You can tell me my zippers down or I have spinach in my teeth and I will just giggle and say, “Appreciate ya!” Aside from my suggestion, the lessons in this book can be life-changing…but once again, that’s if you want it to be.

The Fish! Philosophy:

  1. Choose your attitude: You can easily blame your lackluster enthusiasm on a smelly co-worker, a dismal work environment or the angry phone calls that stream in, but you have the power to control your reaction and “as long as you’re here, why not choose to be world famous rather than ordinary?”
  2. Play: Ok this is not an excuse to bring back recess, although a little monkey bar action would be nice. Running a business is serious, but if you don’t have fun with it, are you really bringing your whole self? I mean honestly, if you come into work one day and your company has set up plasma car races in the parking garage, wouldn’t that give you incentive to work your butt off for anyone who views life this way? Mind you, this was my first day at Schipul…and I’ve been waking up excited ever since.
  3. Make their day: You must find a way to “engage” your customers. I mentioned the importance of names in my recent blog post, “Why Dale Carnegie would be an awesome blogger…” and I believe it stands true here. Make an effort to not only remember a customer’s name, but also their birthday and how little Billy Joe did in his soccer game.  People love to feel important; make your success their success.
  4. Be Present: There are a lot of ways to communicate these days, and a lot of them you can do simultaneously, but to be present you must take interest. “When you are present with people you look right at them…just like being with your best friend…everything is going on around you but you’re still taking care of just them.” Well you want to be world famous right? You can’t do it alone.

It’s so simple. Don’t make me slap you in the face with a fish to make you realize the this.


Over and Out,

Courtney Pemberton

Thanks yohann.aberkane for the splendid flickr pic!

14 Replies to “Do you want to be world famous? Go Fish!”

  1. Thanks Dad…but next time can you just send me an e-mail? I’m embarrassed and now at the mercy of all jokes within the office. 🙂

  2. This is definitely a good blog. Plus with the way the times/economy is going – its good to see how we can sometime really try to find a way to “LOVE” our jobs. Its not easy – very few people get to experience that *or at least I think* Some of them are just sitting there wishing they were doing what they love but instead they are sulking in their current positions. This is why some need to step up get slapped by a fish and take the initiative to move forward into something they love.

    P.S. Why would a father call his daughter “Sister?” LOL

  3. He has been calling me that since I was a “young gun” if you will. He’s weird…a good man…but weird. Gotta love him. Thanks for the comment Billy!

  4. Well gotta keep a positive outlook and have a sense of humor to make it in this world without pulling out your hair. 🙂

  5. SISTER!! Ha! Way to continue to make me look bad. Even though you are officially a “blogger,” I’m still proud of you! Ha. Go Cowboys….Next year, first team to win the Super Bowl in their own stadium…..1 BILLION dollar stadium that is!!

  6. I have a family plan so I’ve heard that can make the overally monthly cost less but I’m not positive. On my family plan, we have an unlimited texting plan already. Does that texting plan carry over if I get the Iphone? I also want internet use. Any estimate at a monthly cost?

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