Chelsea, we hope
that answers your question, but here is a story
about shipping fish that we hope you find interesting.
Back in the 1970s
we were raising lots of cichlids in our parent's
basement. We had an advertisement in TFH Magazine
and FAMA Magazine each month, and we got fish orders
from all over the world. In particular we had a
very good customer in Europe (but at the present
time we do not ship out of the United States), who
bought lots of cichlids from us.
After they'd get
a shipment of fish from us, they'd write back saying
that the water in the bags was clear, the fish were
just great, and they wondered what we put in the
water. In particular they really wanted to know
what tranquillizer we used.
They had tried adding
Sandow 222 or some such stuff to their shipping
water, and it didn't seem to help the fish. But
it was obvious to them that we had found something
really good to put in the water
We wrote back several
times and said things like, "No, no, we haven't
got anything special that we put in the water, no
tranquillizers, no drugs, no chemicals, just good
water, good fish, carefully packed, etc., etc."
But they were sure that we had a secret, and apparently
it bother them that we wouldn't share the secret
that we didn't have with them.
Finally one day they
phoned me with an ultimatum, "Tell us what you put
in the water, or we won't buy any more fish from
you." I tried to make sense with them, but it didn't
work, and we lost one of our biggest customers.
Our father was very good at business, and I told him this story.
He said that we were just young and learning about
these kinds of things, and though it seems very
important now, it's not so important in the long
run and not to worry too much about it.
He went on to explain
that one of the big faults that many people in business
have is that they think there is something magic,
like Sandow 222 or something else, that they can
add at the last minute that will "fix" things. This
searching for a "fix" prevents them from learning
how to get things right in the first place.
To do anything well
it's important is to find out what the crucial factors
are, then to focus on doing them right each time,
and finally to develop a process that ensures that
those crucial factors get done right each time.
Over the following years I found out that my father's
advice applies to a lot more than just about how
to pack fish.