by Ray Brehm

A month or so ago, I went on a fly-fishing trip in Oregon (don’t worry, this was a catch and release trip). But something happened on that trip that now has me convinced I am on the right path.

It was a group of eight of us entrepreneurs, for a short retreat. We do some business exercises, as well as experience-type activities. Fly-fishing was our experience activity during this trip.

We went out on the river in pairs, along with a guide. I was fortunate to fish with a great friend Kevin.

We had been on the boat for about 3 hours, had nothing to show for our efforts and only one “nibble” on the line. It was fun because we were learning how to cast, and all I kept thinking was Robert Redford’s voice as the narrator from A River Runs Through It.

We were wet casting (I think). Wet casting uses wet flies that resemble insects beneath the water’s surface. Dry flies are flies that resemble insects that are floating on the water’s surface

At one point, the conversation between us and our guide turned to the typical, “What do you do for a living?”

Our guide asked, and before I could answer, Kevin told the guide, “Ray is a Bestselling Author.” Our talkative guide didn’t even respond; he seemed impressed.

What convinced me I am on the right path in my career is the fact that Kevin proudly bragged about me to the guide. It felt great. There is something extra special about when people you care about say good things about you.

I am currently reading Donald Miller’s Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen (an excellent book!).

In it, he talks about identifying the transformation a customer will have by using your product or service. One of the most important concepts is creating the “aspirational identity” of your client.

He says:

“The best way to identify an aspirational identity that our customers may be attracted to is to consider how they want their friends to talk about them.”

On that trip, Kevin uncovered one of my aspirational identities: for friends to be proud of my work. Thanks, Kevin!

That is why I am so convinced that I am doing the right thing. The people I help share that aspirational identity.

That is why:

I help entrepreneurs become bestselling authors. 

What is your aspirational identity? How do you want your friends to talk about you?

Whatever it is, you can do it!