Ep. 02 Cynthia Harkness

Aug 27, 2021

[00:00:23.220] - Nick

Hey, everyone, how's it going? This is Nick and I want to welcome you to Zero to Infinity, which is a show dedicated to uncovering how great successful businesses are created and thriving, and also to inspire those looking to start or create their own business and bring theirs to the next level. And today, we're going to uncover the lessons, the takeaways and the turning points that got our guests to where they are today and how they're making it happen.

[00:00:46.480] - Nick

And so today with that, we have Cynthia Harkness and she is the owner of Fearless fly-Fishing. And a little breakdown of, a little back story here is that after she left a career in Wall Street as a trader, she decided to close the door on her financial career and start a fly fishing business. That's right. You read that right? You heard that right. And in just a little over two years, she has become a highly sought after fly fishing guide in the Northeast with events happening up and down the eastern seaboard, the Midwest and even in Canada.

[00:01:13.920] - Nick

How's it going, Cynthia?

[00:01:15.300] - Cynthia

Hi, Nick. It's going great.

[00:01:18.600] - Nick

Yeah, sorry I interrupted there go for it.

[00:01:22.360] - Cynthia

No, I'm having a great time. I'm sitting in my backyard enjoying a beautiful night and ending a day of fun fishing.

[00:01:33.240] - Nick

So we pulled this together last minute.

[00:01:34.950] - Nick

And I'm super happy that you're able to do this. And for anyone that's watching this, you know, you have a wicked busy schedule coming up. And we basically said there's not a lot in your schedule, not a lot of free days. Let's just come in here and let's do this. Let's just jump in here and have this conversation.

[00:01:50.040] - Cynthia

Right. Right.

[00:01:51.240] - Nick

with that you started telling your story, which we'll get into in a second. It was just really intriguing, inspiring just.

[00:01:57.630] - Nick

Yeah. So let's just dive in, where you came from and the background a little bit about being a Wall Street trader and then what happened. How did you create this business?

[00:02:10.650] - Cynthia

I mean, I love I love being a Wall Street trader. It's there are a lot of parallels between, you know, pulling the trigger on lows and highs and keep keep going on that last cash for that big fish. So there's some parallels. What's not a parallel is the moneys that you make, which is why right after college, I went to a career on Wall Street and I just followed the path, you know, and it was great.

[00:02:37.500] - Cynthia

And I did that for like twenty five. I can't even believe I'm saying this. It feels like yesterday, but twenty five very fun years. And then, you know, the things happen. Marriage, family, two beautiful boys. My husband, it all worked out. As a couple of hiccups that, you know, we all remember some of those not so friendly times like 9/11, so I had a turning point at 9/11 and I said, you know what?

[00:03:08.410] - Cynthia

I did it. I'm done. Let me enjoy two beautiful kids, the big the big house and all that. And I just stayed at home for about three years. And then I got crazy and I decided I need to not just be an at home mom with two beautiful boys, but let me try to broaden what I'm doing out here in the suburbs because I lived in the city. You know, when you work on Wall Street, you have to live in the city because you're on the desk at 7:00 a.m..

[00:03:44.870] - Cynthia

And the day might end when the mark.I said, when when you work on Wall Street, your day starts at seven a.m. and it ends at four, but it doesn't really it ends after your get togethers and the shows and all this like wonderful entertaining that goes on where you try to build those relationships so you can make that gentlemen's handshake. So you you know, you firm up the deal to the next day.

[00:04:21.840] - Cynthia

All of that happened. And when I made that switch from Wall Street into being a mom, it was pretty radical. And that's when I about three years into it, I said, I need to I need to find something else. I need to keep that sort of energy interacting with people, being challenged. I need to keep that going. And I found my way. Quite. You know, kind of like a funny way, I found my way over to Orvis and next thing you know, I was working at Orvis, which is a retail store that specializes in some really great high end outdoor clothing.

[00:05:03.610] - Cynthia

And people know it for fly-Fishing. I never picked up a rod until I started working for Orvis, which was a retail job in the suburbs, because I moved from being in downtown Boston. So you can accommodate those crazy hours of being on Wall Street into the suburbs. And as soon as I got into the suburbs, like I said, I needed that next step. And I started working that crazy retail job and I just kept pushing the envelope.

[00:05:32.170] - Cynthia

I started looking through the catalogs and I saw these beautiful pictures of rivers and mountains and streams and oceans with people holding fish. Those people were usually wearing red flannel shirts with beards. They weren't moms from Canton and. I don't know, it's sort of intrigued me, I've always been engaged with the outdoors. I've always wanted to be the person I

[00:06:00.150] - Nick

was that moment. What was the moment that hit you that you said, let's do this?

[00:06:06.050] - Cynthia

Yeah, the moment that hit me was. On my. First time I hired a guide who took me to Western Mass and she put me in waders and I stood in a river and I felt the way my body just got sucked in by these by the rushing waters of the river all around me and I realized you can stand in a river, never known that before. And I said, wow. And that wasn't even the fun part. The fun part was you can cast a fly rod and you can catch a trout and you can hold it.

[00:06:44.710] - Cynthia

I don't get a chance to hold a lot of living things prior to that point. So holding this living trout and then sort of releasing it and watching swim way that was my moment. And I said, I really want to do this. I really want to own this. I really want to.

[00:07:01.940] - Cynthia

I really wanted to learn more about this because it was just beyond exciting.

[00:07:07.590] - Nick

Did you have a moment that it was going to be a business for yourself or,

[00:07:10.370] - Cynthia


[00:07:12.250] - Cynthia

Good question, Nick. No, I had no idea. I just knew this was something I wanted to learn more about. So I started watching videos and and reading books, you know, because. Nobody told me that you could fly fish for anything and everything that swims, I thought it would only pick up a fly rod and fish for trout. That was what I thought.

[00:07:39.100] - Nick

And you mentioned striped bass. I was like, really? You can you can do striped bass.

[00:07:43.870] - Cynthia

That's right. So I started snowballing. You know, I just started peeling the layers off. I just started peeling through the layers

[00:07:55.830] - Nick

and you suddenly found a passion for it and you drove right in and

[00:08:01.470] - Cynthia

yeah, yeah.

[00:08:02.730] - Cynthia

So then I upgraded myself. You know, I hate when I keep doing this, but I started climbing the ladder. And next thing you know, I'm the fishing manager at Orvis and I did that for five years.

[00:08:16.120] - Nick

And then there was five years that went during that time, you went fishing for the first time working at Orvis and then, OK,

[00:08:23.560] - Nick

there's still

[00:08:25.660] - Cynthia

I was still at Orvis and and it was great met amazing people.

[00:08:29.800] - Cynthia

You know, the angling fly fishing community I discovered was just, people who were like me looking to get out in the outdoors. But and a lot of ways like you, Nick, that they when I said, you know, you can fish fly fish for striped bass, they're like, no, really, I thought it was just trout. It's a whole learning curve. And if you don't and it can be a whole learning curve, it can also be.

[00:08:58.630] - Cynthia

I just want to have a christmas card picture with my son, you know, the all of that, it can be a little bit of that.

[00:09:06.370] - Nick

So and then you translated this into a thriving business.What were some of the what was the first step you took to to go from a passion, a hobby into I want to make this money making some sort of extra..

[00:09:21.760] - Cynthia

One word that you just said there was the number one thing was I kind of embrace the fact that it was a passion. That I will wake up at at 4:00 am, not even waking up, because maybe sometimes I can't even sleep because I'm so excited about being able to stand in a river, stand on a boat, you know, walk in an ocean and manipulate a tiny little fly line to catch a fish or maybe just to be in that environment that maybe catches that fish.

[00:09:51.700] - Cynthia

So I have the passion. And as soon as I discovered I had that passion. That's when I said. I want to just. Not only. Try to live by having my passions, but I also wanted to I think I said it to you earlier, I kind of wanted to be a president. I was like, you know what? Maybe it's time that I run my own show. I decide my hours. I decide what are my.. How much am I going to market?

[00:10:21.590] - Cynthia

I decide my criteria for teaching. I decide where I'm going to go, what's my next 12 months going to look like? I want to be the owner of my own show, and that's what I decided to do. And so I sat down alone by myself with I sat down my IT department and my marketing department and my PR department, it was all me, all right. And I put it on paper and I changed it and I put it on paper.

[00:10:51.570] - Cynthia

And every time I opened up that piece of paper, I would rewrite it all over again. In my business in January of 2019 and I left ORVIS, I gave myself those three months to sort of you know, shake out the sheets, put it on paper. Explain to people what I'm doing. Explain it again. And there are two words that really meant a lot to me that first year, and it was networking and platforming. And I had to network the heck out of everything and everyone.

[00:11:25.620] - Cynthia

And I had to platform myself, put myself in front of people like you and businesses and clients and Wegmans and and Girl Scouts and everyone, anybody that was maybe looking to be involved with the outdoors and let them know that I was a resource.

[00:11:45.240] - Nick

What was the what was the first iteration of the business model? Was it to teach people fishing? Was it to take them to teach?

[00:11:53.070] - Cynthia


[00:11:53.490] - Cynthia

The first iteration was to teach. Within a couple of months, I began to embrace the fact that it wasn't just teaching. Because teaching has you can teach for free and you can teach to get paid and realize I was out there to get paid, but I was also out there to teach. So I I came up with this PIE that I'm still pretty much committed to now, which is 40 percent of my business is involved in guiding, 40 percent is involved in hosted travel and 20 percent is involved in volunteer work.

[00:12:31.990] - Cynthia

And I am in year three, still fitting into that model. And that's good.


Absolutely. That's a great way to so you're plotting this out as you go and always reviewing that.

[00:12:47.690] - Cynthia

Yeah This is. I'm sorry, what was that?

[00:12:50.970] - Nick

What were some of your first customers and can you describe how you found them?

[00:12:55.310] - Cynthia

Yeah, my first customers were my friends, friends, which is always kind of because you don't want to charge friends. So I didn't. I remember writing up a certificate and I gave it to my. Closest friend who wanted to hire me right away, and I gave her a certificate for free guiding lessons and you know, she is one of my best, I'm embarrassed to call her client that she's with me all the time, any trip I take, she's right there.

[00:13:29.700] - Cynthia

She's my best PR. She just. And do I evercharge her for guiding? Nope. But I give her like one hundred and fifty percent of my time, my smile, my she's just a friend, you know, somebody that believed in me from the very beginning that constantly said, while you've changed, I never would have been able to do this if you didn't tell me I could. And that's probably something that if you hang with me, you'll hear me telling you that over and over. I can do this.

[00:14:01.920] - Nick

And or at this time, when you first started working with your friends and things like that, did you have any sense or any kind of hesitation that you had made the right choice? Or did you know right off the bat that this was going to work? This is going to become what it is today.

[00:14:18.540] - Cynthia

I mean. I hope it's not what it is today, because today I wanted to be bigger. So, yeah, but I had some skills that I feel comfortable, my technology skills that I was able to engage with constant contact and I'll give them that throw because, man, are they good, they have a terrific website for managing subscribers. I remember building out my website, which please everybody go to my website and check it out, but I remember building it out and people say.

[00:14:50.680] - Cynthia yeah, www.Fearlessfly-Fishing.Com and I have an Instagram and a Facebook, and I remember spending a lot of that prep time building. I built my website, my social media account, Facebook. And a lot of people came to me in the beginning saying, who built your website? I'm like, oh, I worked with the team in New York City.

[00:15:15.510] - Cynthia

They're like, that's great. It was me. The tools are really easy. If you want your own business, come up with a plan and get out there and start reading the information on GoDaddy, on constant contact, on Web building, you can do it yourself. You can certainly have the yeah, yeah, you really can. I mean, so anyhow, I started doing that and so I put little links in and people started reaching out to me.

[00:15:47.150] - Nick

So you had this Website and you started working organic social media and started yourself out there. And at the same time, on your Website, you started building up an email list. Right.

[00:15:57.200] - Nick

And you're starting to keep in touch with them, is that how it happened?

[00:16:01.130] - Cynthia

Yes, on a monthly basis, a lot of pictures of fish, a lot of pictures of me holding fish and losing fish and, you know, just staying true to my just staying true to my you know, what do they call that that leading statement that, you know, your vision, my vision statement, the vision board, my vision board is before it used to be I want to catch fish, then it was I want to help you catch bigger fish then it was. I just want to be in the outdoors, but it sort of starts big and it goes down, it goes big and it was really good and learning, I think I've said this to you Nick. A lot of it is learning the rules. You can't break the rules till you learn the rules. So I spent a lot of time.

[00:16:52.370] - Cynthia

Appreciating the fact that I still today do not know all the rules, never know all the rules in fly-fishing, but the rule about being a good businesswoman is you work hard, you are loyal to your client base, you you need to be the expert, you need to learn. I everybody who sees me, Casting, they say, oh, you're a great castor you can cast. Every night, I watch a video introduction to fly casting and I just constantly watch it.

[00:17:25.090] - Nick

Still watch that?

[00:17:26.200] - Cynthia

Absolutely.Every day.

[00:17:27.808] - Nick


[00:17:28.510] - Cynthia

You send 10 people give me 10 angler's in front of me right now. That's all ten of them. How do you teach fly casting? Each one has a different approach and like something as simple as. A-OK, ok.

[00:17:46.310] - Cynthia

That was a I used to always hold my line, my other hand, when you they call a shooting line, so when you get a line that really wants to push 70 feet across the water and I used to hold it in the sky. The other night watching the video said it's an A-OK and he lets the right line run through his finger versus running through just this hand. That changed.. That gave me an extra two feet. It's great.

[00:18:16.790] - Cynthia

So you can. Yeah, you know, I.

[00:18:20.980] - Nick


[00:18:21.800] - Cynthia

I'm incredibly humble about how much more, even though I've been doing this now for 12, 13 years, five years successfully, I'm constantly, constantly challenging myself.

[00:18:37.470] - Nick

Yeah, very good. And so what are some of the the levers you push and pull to find more customers to grow your business or what have you found that works?

[00:18:47.860] - Cynthia

Like this weekend. Tomorrow I'm hosting a two day fly fishing retreat for ladies only out in western Mass. And the only reason why I can do this is I wrote a proposal to the fly shop manager saying, hey, this is a great partnership I will bring. My talent as an educator and here is the agenda, wrote the whole thing up. I said, I need you. You you have that physical space, you have that. It's kind of like what it's like.

[00:19:20.300] - Cynthia

If I was a dress designer, I could just run it out of my house. But I don't want to run dresses out of my house. I want to run it in Macy's. I want to run it at Talbots. So I made that proposal to them and they accepted it. Now it's sold out. And now we have one in this weekend. We have another one in July. We're going to do another one in September.

[00:19:40.760] - Nick

So and that was something to seeked out? or that was something that you.

[00:19:45.170] - Nick

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally. Yep, yep. I saw there was nobody else reaching out to create an introduction to fly fishing for ladies. And I said, where's the most practical place to do it and let me do all the work. So it's minimal work. Now the owner, they got a great they get exposure, they get, you know, everybody that people are going to buy their flies. People might buy the fly rod.

[00:20:13.640] - Cynthia

You know, they can offer a 10 percent discount. There's all kinds of things. And they should get that because, my gosh, you know, they have that physical house. I don't have a physical house. My physical house is my backyard. But by partnering with another retail establishment that can recognize me as a resource, that can educate, provide a two day fly fishing retreat that works. So it's being creative, get to be creative, then you got to you got to do the work.

[00:20:43.700] - Cynthia

You have to look at a blank sheet of paper and type in your name, the address, what you want to do, why you can do it, when you do it, and what are the benefits, what are the needs and the benefits. Yeah, it's till.. The end of the day, it all goes back.

[00:21:05.050] - Nick

It makes a lot of sense, right. And there's a lot of people we talk with, there are people at different stages of their business. Sometimes it's just an idea. Sometimes it's beyond an idea. And there's a lot of people sort of hesitant to start their own thing. They feel safe and secure in their careers, perhaps, but they dream of bigger, greener pastures. Right. And. You know, can we go into that little bit and then I want to dive into sort of your mantras that you and I talked about those four main pillars that you mentioned, but what kind of insights can you give to someone that may be at the stage where they're thinking about a business or they're thinking about, you know, being their own boss like you did?

[00:21:44.060] - Nick

What sort of things..look back? What would you tell yourself at their stage if you were there again.

[00:21:49.670] - Cynthia

If you're not if you're. Married, make sure your husband has no idea what you're thinking of doing. No, I think the first thing is you really have to have some sort of passion for it. It's very comfortable to go to work and open up a locker and go to a register and and people just walk in because there's another whole environment created. But you have to be able to live with yourself. And there's a lot of days I'm just sitting for five hours in my kitchen on a laptop and I'm creating, you know, income and expenses.

[00:22:30.270] - Cynthia

I'm cold calling lodges, trying to introduce myself. I'm, you know, trying to remember who are my clients. I'm mapping out what the next 12 months. So it's not all fun and it's not all fun and games. So you get ready to live with yourself. There's no interaction. You're alone until you get out there in the water with one or two clients and then, you know, you have that customer interaction. So social media actually keeps me in contact with a lot of a lot of it because there's a really tight community in fly-Fishing that sort of engages in that, but.

[00:23:12.580] - Cynthia

If you don't have that, and I think what you really have to do, I mean, all kidding aside, you do need a sort of a nuclear support in your family or whatever that family is that you have, they have to know what you're doing. You got to. For me, and I think I said that word to you and people used to say to me, and I never really believed it. Now I do.

[00:23:36.470] - Cynthia

You have to have a passion.

[00:23:37.490] - Cynthia

All right. I could go fly fishing every day and I'd be happy. One of my clients sent me a note the other day. He said, You are always so happy when you have a fish in your hand. And I was like, No, no, I'm happier when you have a fish in your hand. He goes, Nope, every time your smile is always bigger. He's kind of right. I really do. I really do like.

[00:24:01.660] - Cynthia

I like it. And that is what people bought, they buy you, you know, they buy in at least, and this my little job, people buy an experience or an adventure with me or through me, and I couldn't be happier to share it. So, you know, you find the passion and don't lie to yourself for it. 

[00:24:25.910] - Cynthia

And make sure you are true to yourself.

[00:24:28.130] - Nick

There's a lot of you brought up something interesting just a few moments ago about being proactive, about cold calling and stuff like that.

[00:24:35.270] - Nick

Do you know off the bat that was, were you good at that? Is that something that is necessary for your business? Can you give a little insight into that? I think it's I think it's an important thing to touch upon.

[00:24:45.030] - Cynthia

Yeah. You got to cold call. You don't know you want that. You don't just want to know. You want to know the client's.

[00:24:53.860] - Nick

Can you repeat that it looks like the screen broke up, if you could, to say we got it. I think it's probably to

[00:25:00.100] - Cynthia

try to get in the house and get to our. Yeah, give me I'm going to I'm going to move this into the house and plug you in so I get power because but

[00:25:11.280] - Cynthia

no, I think you got to be proactive and I don't know, I apologize if I'm repeating myself.

[00:25:18.960] - Nick

No, do it because

[00:25:20.130] - Cynthia

You need to know the clients.You don't.

[00:25:26.470] - Nick

Say it again.

[00:25:27.100] - Cynthia

Hold on, hang with me.

[00:25:30.490] - Nick

We're live.

[00:25:30.490] - Cynthia

It just need to.

[00:25:35.280] - Cynthia


[00:25:36.390] - Nick


[00:25:36.990] - Cynthia

We're doing this live and we're getting power, so but you need to it's more it's important to know the clients that you don't have, not the clients that you do.

[00:25:49.320] - Cynthia

So, yes, you can create you can create some just get this plugged in because you're ready to drop Nick. That's now we get power.

[00:26:05.120] - Nick

Yes, I'm OK.

[00:26:06.120] - Cynthia

We're are we

[00:26:07.050] - Nick

good signal. All right.

[00:26:09.470] - Cynthia

Now we're back.

[00:26:12.850] - Cynthia

So cold calling the other day, I had to do it and there's.

[00:26:22.260] - Cynthia

A really great location that I want to go fly fishing at and and I have a number of clients who want to go, but I refuse to bring people to places that I haven't been. I need to do the due diligence, but that's kind of tough. You calling up in my case, right? In this business, you're calling a lodge saying you got to believe in me, but I need you to bring me in free of charge so I can check it out if it's something that I think I want to bring my clients to.

[00:26:53.340] - Cynthia

So I had to make that cold call. I had to call up the lodge and go to the marketing manager and say, hello, this is who I am. This is what I do, and this is what I can offer. You need this. You want that. This is what I can deliver, but this is what I want. And that's hard to say. I mean, sometimes it's, you know, think about it. You have his number, call it so.

[00:27:19.650] - Cynthia

But on Wall Street in the early days, right? That's what we did. We were cold calling these shopping blocks of stock and you just trying to get people in. So I'm not really and I believe in myself. I have done this enough. I'm on year three with. You know, bucket of successful trips behind me that I know I can make things, these things happen. So it's you know, I'm really comfortable in making that and making that call.

[00:27:51.740] - Nick

And it's I bet at the beginning, it wasn't always like that. But you're still sort of filling filling the waters, right?

[00:27:58.060] - Cynthia


[00:27:58.780] - Nick

At the beginning, did you sort of figure things out as you went and you trust your gut here and there to understand what's with the best foot forward is?

[00:28:07.720] - Cynthia

Yeah, absolutely. But I found the best foot forward was the honest foot. And so in the beginning, it was really hard to find, not hard. I mean, I went to the people I knew and they knew me and they knew Cynthia. If you're involved with this, you know, they know I'm pretty much a tough nut. I'm not going to you know, I I have standards. I have qualities. And, you know, there's some things that I won't do, you know, about my absolute won't you know, I know what I'll run back to the car to get and I know what I'll leave in the car, you know.

[00:28:44.330] - Cynthia

So fishing, there's always something you're running back to. What will you run back to the car to get? What won't you run back to the car and get? What were you always packing your suitcase and what don't you have? You can let it go. Don't have to pack.

[00:28:57.490] - Nick


[00:28:58.600] - Cynthia

So that's sort of. Where I'm at now is I'm very comfortable in that direction, that influence, I'm comfortable in knowing who my clients are, what what's the profile? Although they're surprising me because I've I'm just, you know, people are just wanting to come together for the adventure, you know, as opposed to because they fit a mold. It's it's more for the adventure.

[00:29:25.530] - Nick

Interesting. So I want to dove now into your four. We mentioned a lot of these, but sort of in quick succession earlier today, we talked about passion and your moral compass.

[00:29:40.130] - Cynthia

Oh, yeah.

[00:29:40.610] - Nick

You're morals and good begets good. Can we just kind of give me, like, the sound bites like.

[00:29:46.460] - Cynthia


[00:29:47.480] - Nick

So passion. And these are sort of the pillars of where you are now in your business and why things are becoming more successful as you go forward,

[00:29:55.890] - Cynthia

Right. Well, passion just speaks for itself. We spoke a lot about that. The moral compasses. You really need to you need to be honest to yourself and honest about what the fishing is going to deliver.

[00:30:11.430] - Cynthia

You just have to be on. You have to be trustworthy. You need to respect people's time. So if you say I'm going to be there at seven a.m., you're not you're there. I'm usually there at six, 15, checking my gear, making sure I'm well fed and hydrated. And I'm ready because it's seven a.m. it's your time. So it's, you know, that moral compass is just really full of self-respect and also respecting you. That's that's what I meant by that moral compass.

[00:30:46.080] - Cynthia

Being honest and trustworthy.

[00:30:48.030] - Nick

Makes a lot of sense

[00:30:48.810] - Cynthia

in the old days on Wall Street in the eighties, right in the 90s before the Internet. You're too young to remember it, Nick. But there was the day when the Internet wasn't and there was a Rolodex.

[00:31:00.290] - Nick

I remember that day when

[00:31:03.330] - Cynthia

the Rolodex was how you called your clients and Wall Street runs because of a gentlemen's handshake. And it means you're the buyer on the cell. You're going to call me and say, I need a block of Exxon. Hundred thousand shares. Those are in those days that it had to happen like that. Now, I would write the ticket. You never..

[00:31:23.850] - Nick

Get on the phone with Wolf of Wall Street, OK? Y

[00:31:26.430] - Cynthia

You never gave me a check, right?

[00:31:29.910] - Cynthia

When did you give me a check on the institutional desk? This is like Fidelity calling Merrill Lynch never gave me a check. We just assume this is gentleman call. This is going to happen. There was a number and if the numbers didn't match, it was a DK or I don't know. But ninety nine point nine percent of the trades went through because it was that acknowledgment that that honesty. If you were dishonest, guess what? You didn't make it on the street.

[00:31:57.630] - Cynthia

I was on the street for twenty five years. I was on. Yeah. And I was an Honest Trader. Many, many, many, many, many, many honest traders. But that helped me really embrace the idea of having a moral compass.


So cut them and put

[00:32:19.510] - Nick

I'm envisioning, you know all that thinking about all these people on the phone, the money and the trades going by, and you're just saying I trust it before the check comes in, right. If I'm getting there's no

[00:32:31.060] - Cynthia

there's no check. I mean, those days it was a trader to a trader over the phone, but also why they were trading commissions that were higher in the 80s than they are today. How many how much you pay for commission on trade today?

[00:32:45.390] - Cynthia

Zero. In many cases..

[00:32:47.050] - Nick

They make it on the margins, right?

[00:32:49.000] - Cynthia

Oh, yeah.

[00:32:49.540] - Cynthia

No, it's just there's no paper in the old days you can whatever like forty five dollars. Thirty five dollars. Sixty five. Because it was so much paper involved. So nobody wanted to one mess up a trade because it double charge. So you made sure that you know you were, you did what you were going to do and you did it and you did it with care and you know you just so that's that's what I meant by that moral compass.

[00:33:18.830] - Nick

That's really important. The next one is Know the Rules. What can you dive into that a little bit.

[00:33:24.760] - Cynthia

Yeah, you should know the rules. I mean, you got to know. Well, that's why I watch casting videos every night. Well, not every night, but as often as I can. I mean, the rules are always this. There's so much wonderful technology and so many smart people and conservation that's studying our our waters and our rivers and our oceans.

[00:33:46.900] - Cynthia

And that you need to I. I feel. That I become a better business person when I learn more and not just settle for what I know, there's always something more to learn. So before you can and sometimes I feel like I'm a rule breaker. I'm you know, I'm doing things differently. And that's what I meant when I said that to you. I can't break the rules till I know the rules. And the rules are constantly changing. So you change.

[00:34:20.310] - Cynthia

You learn the rules every day, every day, every week, every month. Try to learn one new rule a month. And if you get one a month, try to learn one, two new rules a month, then maybe one new, you know. Whatever your profession or your passion is, just learn it.

[00:34:36.710] - Nick

And I'm sensing an element of or a foundational approach to this is perseverance.

[00:34:42.230] - Cynthia

Mm hmm. Yeah, you got to persevere, people beat you down. You got to just put on your blinders and focus on, you know, on that inner strength that you have, that inner passion that you have. And and you don't let all that noise get to you sometimes.

[00:35:05.110] - Nick

And then the last one you mentioned was Good Begets Good.

[00:35:09.190] - Cynthia

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Good begets good.

[00:35:13.960] - Nick

What's a story about how does that work for you and your business and how does that help?

[00:35:19.000] - Cynthia

Well. You know, I, I go the extra mile, I'm always, you know, if I if I'm packing up in the morning and I put in a I never put one granola, i know some. So they never put in one granola bar I put in two. I never buy two flies. I buy four. You know, I never say I caught a great fish till I tell you you've caught better fish and it just celebrating the people around you.

[00:35:45.940] - Cynthia

Because when if I don't ask about you Nick, I become selfish. So this is a difficult conversation to me tonight because for the last forty one minutes you're asking me questions about me.

[00:35:58.720] - Cynthia

There's so much more I want to learn about you, you know, so it's by me.

[00:36:06.070] - Cynthia

Right. We work together and as soon as we start working together, we have a bond. And once you have that bond with people, you know. That leads to commitment and more respect, and people want to share their great time they had with this person, made you feel good. And I don't want to say it like that because it makes them sound like maybe I just want to make people feel good.

[00:36:31.100] - Cynthia

No, I just genuinely I'm that person. Yeah.

[00:36:35.930] - Nick

So and there's a lot more to a business transaction than just the transaction, right? There's a lot more behind it.

[00:36:42.230] - Cynthia

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I used to always say it's OK if you just want to learn fly fishing because you want that beautiful picture in Christmas with your son or your daughter, your wife or your partner or whoever it is, that's. And it's also OK because you want to catch the biggest trout than anybody else caught. I mean, that's OK, too. But but in order for me to know that, I have to know more about you.

[00:37:11.330] - Cynthia

So, you know, it's you have to kind of you have to kind of talk to people and good begets good. That's what I meant.

[00:37:20.220] - Nick

No, I just have a couple more questions. And this has been amazing so far and really appreciate your insights. A great question I would like to know is what are some of the what would what would you tell someone just starting off their business knowing kind of touched upon this before? But if someone were to just take that first step, what is something that you can impart to them that would help them along their way if they're thinking about a business or if they're thinking about growing their business?

[00:37:44.030] - Cynthia

Mm hmm.

[00:37:44.920] - Nick

Taking to the next level, what is something?

[00:37:47.870] - Cynthia

Be organized, be organized, learn technology, because you are the IT department. You are the marketing department. You are, you are sales. You're the, it all stops with you. And know that even though, you know, your business may be baking, did you have a passion for baking or golfing because you have a passion for golfing that it's not about you golfing, or you baking, it's about your client baking and your client golfing and your client fishing, but you're doing it so you can surround yourself with all the world of baking and the world of golfing.

[00:38:29.790] - Cynthia

And so. You know, it's it's. You know, I understand that you're in the service business and you're serving your. Your client. If you go into golfing, baking or fishing,

[00:38:48.380] - Nick

as has do with that,

[00:38:50.260] - Cynthia

but that makes sense.

[00:38:51.520] - Nick

It makes a lot of sense. And so what's the future of fearless fly fishing? I know I looked at your website. You have I think you're kind of understanding how successful your business is because you're all over the place.

[00:39:03.070] - Nick

Like I saw pictures of you in Belize with people Canada. You have something coming up in Canada, Montana, and that's just a starting incubation type. But this has been this is in the past three years. You've taken this from one place to another considerably.

[00:39:18.760] - Cynthia

And so the hard thing I have right now is saying, unfortunately, no to projects. And that's because I really have to. Every November, I shut down this, I mean, although this November, I'm not shutting down fishing, I have stuff going on in November. So every like December, January, February, I kind of shut it down and plan my my next year. And all year long I kind of think, what do I want to repeat the following year?

[00:39:50.910] - Cynthia

And that's because every year clients have busy schedules. So maybe you know where you're going to be in three months or in six months. But the only way you can be there with me is if I already have it planned as an offering. So I need to be organized.

[00:40:06.060] - Cynthia

So where I see this going in another three to five years is I'm really happy with the way I have the business laid out in terms of 40, 40, 20. And I'm going to try to stick to that, I just hope it does, you know, I hope I can I hope I can stick to it just because I'm being pulled in a lot of different areas. I would like to I have some really smart young people who want to be part of this.

[00:40:41.690] - Cynthia

I don't have enough business to support an employee, but I do have I did have an intern this year and I know I'm going to have another intern next year. I think internships as part of it, people come in and get involved.

[00:41:01.210] - Nick

It makes a lot of sense

[00:41:02.210] - Nick

We have a comment that popped up on the screen here a little while ago. I didn't see it. And it's funny. It says there's a wall, so I'll put on the screen if there's a Wall Street in Boston. I did not know that.

[00:41:10.610] - Cynthia

No, there is actually the Boston Stock Exchange is incredibly active and you get involved in Wall Street from any any month, any state. And Boston was I mean, you know, fidelity, your your honor and. Yeah, yeah. So, yes,

[00:41:32.570] - Nick

being cheeky, I think I know Owen. He's fine. So, yeah. Just finally now where can people find you, how can they take you up on an excursion? I know you have a wicked busy schedule and stuff like that, but what's the best place.

[00:41:46.700] - Cynthia

The best place is fearless fly fishing. And on that website you can reach out to me either by my email or I, my phone number and also on Instagram, direct messaging. Wicked easy, people. A lot of people reach out to me on Instagram. I don't know if you had a chance to see my gram site, but it's pretty pumped up with a whole bunch of stuff.

[00:42:12.320] - Nick

You have some great engagement over there

[00:42:13.670] - Cynthia

and. Yeah, thank you.

[00:42:15.140] - Cynthia

And then also within Facebook, I also use Facebook. I'm not as active on Facebook as I should be. I just find that the fly-Fishing community is really kind of at least the people that have helped me be successful are really hanging out on Instagram.

[00:42:35.480] - Nick

Yeah, fantastic. Well, this is has been awesome I think we'll leave it there. And I know I've learned a lot and I think the people watching this and seeing the replay and from here on out are going to get a lot from this. And thank you so much for your time. I know you're a huge, busy schedule and I really appreciate you taking the time to see last minute just to jump on doing this in front of everyone so.

[00:42:55.910] - Cynthia

Oh, Nick, you just seemed really impressed what your technology and your knowledge of social media and even having such a smart as such a smart sort of platform to put this all out there. So it's really good.

[00:43:10.280] - Nick

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much. Next time you're back in town, I'd love to catch up with you and maybe we'll do this again. Yeah. In person

[00:43:17.780] - Cynthia

I'm on the backyard.You don't even know it.

[00:43:20.050] - Cynthia

I got the longest running back yard fire in Canton, so..

[00:43:25.580] - Nick

Now everyone knows

[00:43:27.590] - Cynthia

You and I are going to be at that five backyard fire pit.

[00:43:30.950] - Nick

Fantastic. That's awesome. Well, thank you so much. We'll leave it there. And thank you to everyone that's watching and watching the replay. This has been another great one. Thanks so much. We'll see you guys again.

[00:43:39.722] - Cynthia