I love a good piece of fried catfish, though fresh tuna in a salad is rather yummy as well. Not a fan of trout.
But that’s not really what this post is about. Go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief.
Now, the reason for the title was to segue to this question: Which would you rather be: a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?
Ponder that for a moment. I’ll wait.
insert Jeopardy Theme here
Know your answer? Good.
Anyone who has been in the writing field for more than five minutes knows three things: it’s pretty cutthroat, you need a thick skin and for as large as the industry is, is a pretty small community. To get anywhere, you have to be determined, lucky and resilient. Skill and talent helps, but as we’ve all witnessed at least once, this is not really a requirement.
For years I wanted to be the BIG FISH IN THE BIG POND. Anything less than that would have meant failure.
Well after years of working and sacrificing my family and social life, the best I managed was medium-sized fish in a medium-sized pond.
But that was enough to tell me one thing — although I might like to be the Big Fish in the Big Pond, I was NOT willing to do the things I would need to do to get there.
My grandfather had two sayings that I still embrace:
Pap-pap saying #1: Locks are for honest people.
Pap-pap saying #2: No man has ever become rich without stepping on the backs of others.
Both of these sayings have molded how I have treated my career. I am more than capable of being a big fish, and in many ways, I am. What I am NOT willing to do, however, is kiss up, step on and screw over other fish to be the big fish in the big pond. I’d first become the diner special of the day or sacrifice myself for sushi.
So all that to say, I’d rather be the big fish in the small pond. I prefer helping the smaller fishies, and if they use me as a springboard to the big pond, more power to them. I’m happy in my small pond, doing what I love, snacking on kelp and happily swimming in my self-made paradise.
But a warning to all you small fishies out there that are looking to usurp me and the medium and big fish that couldn’t hack the big pond — don’t think I won’t bite you. This is MY pond. I might prefer kelp, but don’t think I won’t eat a goldfish, trout, catfish or tuna that tries to cross me.