Raise a telescope and cast your gaze far out to sea. Amidst the open waters of a great ocean you spy a flotilla of small boats. There are clippers and schooners, sloops and skiffs. Some look shiny and new with captains to match, alert and attentive at the wheel. Others are aging, dilapidated, their captains (as if in likewise sympathy with the condition of their craft) care-worn and haggard.
You are gazing upon the mediation industry. Every day this motley assemblage trawls these waters in search of the client fish. Morale is not generally high, especially among the more experienced mariners. For whereas a few of them (old sea dogs all) eke out a living in search of this nautical plunder, the greater number find the client fish to be more elusive than they ever imagined.
Yet — excepting those shiny new vessels, the most recent additions to this merchant navy — many have been fishing these latitudes for years. Why? For one thing, they know the client fish is to be found in these waters. They have only to survey the deep blue ocean that envelops them to see such fish aplenty. Furthermore, they’ve been very well trained in the exercise of their profession. They know exactly what to do with a client fish whenever they entice one into their nets. If only such prey weren’t so damnably difficult to catch!
Now scan the horizon and you’ll see a very particular boat out there. Look within its wheelhouse. There you stand, your face a study of purposeful intent. I want you to recognize where you are. You’re at sea, an inhospitable place quite unlike the terra firma to which you are accustomed. One other thing: all those boats around you are not your peers. They are your competitors. And since most of them are failing, you’d best not copy them unless you want to fail too.
Mediating for Money is a compendium of nautical charts and instruments. You’ve made a significant investment in these resources. Use them to gain mastery of the waters in which you choose to fish. To that end, you will find in the pages that follow my very best advice for what an entrepreneur mediator like yourself must do to succeed in the mediation industry.
… More? Buy Mediating for Money: A Field Guide for Professional Mediators now.