Can You Teach a Man to Fish Who Doesn’t Want to Learn?

We’ve all heard the axiom “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll never go hungry.”

What happens if the man you’re trying to teach to fish doesn’t want to learn to fish? Instead, he wants you to catch him a fish each day. What do you do? If you’re a teacher, this can be a frustrating scenario.

If you’re a business person, you sell him the fish. I lost sight of this fact the other day.

Is there a scenario in your business where you’re trying to teach someone to fish who really doesn’t want to learn? Is there an opportunity to sell the person the fish instead?

Photo courtesy of Millzero

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  • Great point that not everyone is ready or willing to take on new learning or even make changes that could help their business.

    I would carry the analogy a bit further & say that it might be best to refer him to the fish market. If you're a fishing instructor & someone doesn't want to learn to fish, that doesn't mean you have to sell him the fish yourself. Then again, it might be an easy thing to add on that can mean good revenue.

    In short, stick to what you like & are good at & don't move into a new field just because someone wants you to provide that product or service for them. Make sure it fits into your strategy & plan first!

    Great post! It gets you thinking about what people are actually wanting & how you can think outside the box to work with that.

  • Great point that not everyone is ready or willing to take on new learning or even make changes that could help their business.

    I would carry the analogy a bit further & say that it might be best to refer him to the fish market. If you're a fishing instructor & someone doesn't want to learn to fish, that doesn't mean you have to sell him the fish yourself. Then again, it might be an easy thing to add on that can mean good revenue.

    In short, stick to what you like & are good at & don't move into a new field just because someone wants you to provide that product or service for them. Make sure it fits into your strategy & plan first!

    Great post! It gets you thinking about what people are actually wanting & how you can think outside the box to work with that.

  • Very good point. I guess a good option in that case is to just catch for yourself. Hunger will eventually force the man to learn how to fish for himself.