I love XIKAR like I love to fish. I fish a lot. Any type of fishing - I have a “go-bag” ready! I don't often fish trout, but it's my favorite sport, because it is a complete sport: trout fishing involves a goal,
a plan, a hunt and a prize. And, it’s possible DIY: do-it-yourself.
All business endeavors should first have a goal. Trout fishing's goal is obviously a trout (not just any fish that bites) - but usually also a specific trout such as a big brown, an aggressive fighter which loves a fly fisherman's insect larvae and dry flies. Sizing the prize, another goal, shows the skill of the fisherman - how else did that fish get that big if it weren't allusive?
Of course, like strategy, any fishing requires a plan. But fly fishing isn't just a rod and a tackle box. Trout fishing requires tactics in all departments. It demands intimate knowledge of the stream, surroundings, and season - right down to that week's bug hatch, to understand what the fish are biting. (I highly recommend a guide for any unfamiliar waters!)
Then there's the hunt, the execution of the plan. And, what a hunt it can be! Standing in the mountain stream, I cast to the fish above at least a dozen times before my cast was on target and the presentation right (the fish bit). He then took me down-stream through a rapids, and back up again. I'm rushing through the water with him, so that I don't lose him off the the tiny hook. Finally, 25 yards down-stream again, I land him at the bank, the guide laughing with me, and at me! I was as out of breath as the landed fish (did I mention this was all at 8,500 feet elevation?!)
We let him go. Of course I could have eaten him, and sometimes do take a catch. And the taste is always wonderful. But that's not what I remember of these great times in this sport. I remember the times spent, planning and ultimately landing the prize!
The old fishing story goes that the boy counts the number of fish caught, the young man counts the size of his catch, and the old man counts the hours spent fishing. Do you remember the great scene in "A River Runs Through It", showing Tom Skerrit watching his sons fish? Perfect depiction.
XIKAR is exactly like this for me. Our primary goal, like catching prize trout, was and is to satisfy consumers’ desire for cool, innovative, and functional product, while giving them an extraordinary experience. Working the daily tasks alone in the first years, I literally counted the fish, or orders I took. My goal then was ten per day (lofty if you consider trying to get up to ten store visits in an eight hour day).
We then strategized that we could apply our goal across cigar accessory categories. We planned distribution throughout cigars shops world wide, fishing where the fish are. Today many people contribute to this hunt, all chasing big prize. And now that XIKAR is well established, past our childhood and young adult years, I find myself admiring the great people (my staff, my sales team and my retailer partners) working along side me every day toward the same prize: to satisfy you the consumer; to fulfill your desire to buy innovative, cool product with trust that we will exceed your expectations when interacting with us.
And when we get it right, you kindly and often tell us so with your letters, posts and testimonials. So we are glad to "let go" a majority of our profit back to the stream, to reinvest for future product - because the hours spent fishing at XIKAR are only as good as the prize of your satisfaction - please keep those prizes coming! But, also please don't imitate the fish and ignore us when our presentation isn't right: let us know so that by your feedback, we can provide an extraordinary experience now, and great product in the future.