Groundhog Day

The cycle starts anew.

It’s January — show season if you’re in the fishing tackle business. From sunny Miami to chilly Maine, there are boat and tackle shows everywhere, and the industry spreads itself thin to cover them.

There are wholesaler/dealer shows like the Big Rock Sports show in Nashville or the Farris Brothers show in Jackson, Mississippi. There are consumer shows in the big boxes and in the mom and pop shops. And anglers everywhere are looking to cure their cabin fever.

If you’re reading this, you’ve certainly been to plenty of these shows. You’ve either manned a booth or walked the aisles or shopped ’til you dropped amidst all the new stuff.

By now, it can feel pretty familiar … even rote. So, you go through the drill again, same as it ever was, but you hope for better results, a better bottom line, a better experience.

And, of course, that’s exactly wrong. It conjures up the old definition of insanity that’s usually attributed to Albert Einstein, but was actually said by someone else years after Einstein had died.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Is that you? I hope not but have to admit that I sometimes meet that definition.

The 1993 film “Groundhog Day” captures the sentiment perfectly. You’ve probably seen it, but if not, you should. Bill Murray is terrific in it.

He plays a TV weatherman sent to cover Punxsutawney Phil — the world’s most famous groundhog — on Groundhog Day (February 2). It’s not an assignment he wants, and he makes no secret of this in his on-air performance or in his dealings with his producer and cameraman. It’s drudgery, and he basically sleepwalks through the experience, being sure to make everyone else miserable in the process.

Then the weatherman gets stuck in a time loop. He wakes up each morning and goes through the exact same experiences, day after day.

He sees no way out.

But, of course, there is a way out. It has nothing to do with repeating his every move and everything to do with changing his ways, his actions and his attitude.

Instead of trudging through the Groundhog Day festivities and broadcast, the weatherman decides to revel in it and bring it to life. He uses the time to learn to play the piano, to sculpt ice; he even learns to speak French. Instead of simply accepting what the day gives him, he takes what he wants and needs to make his life better.

And since it’s a Hollywood movie, he breaks the seemingly endless loop, gets the girl and improves his life dramatically.

A lot of people watch “Groundhog Day” and see a very enjoyable comedy with nice performances by Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliott.

Me too. But if you don’t also see a terrific life lesson, you’re missing out. “Groundhog Day” is a template to improve your life, your business and your show season.

With the new cycle — the next spin of the loop — come new opportunities. There are new chances to learn from past experiences. But you have to break the unproductive loops.

The cycle starts anew … but you can make it better, different. Do you need to shake things up?