What You Could Learn From a Flying Fish

3 Lessons from Pike Place Fish Market to Boost Your Biz

thI was interviewing John Yokoyama, owner of the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market, on my weekly talk radio show.

People come from all over the world to watch the fishmongers at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle as they toss fish to each other.

They are drawn to the Fish Market because of the fun, playful, boisterous, and connecting environment that the fishmongers have created.

From the moment you first step into the market you are instantly greeted by the Pike Place Fish Market energy.  I asked John Yokoyama how he had supported his crew in creating such a lively and engaging workplace…

Lesson #1 Make a Difference

“Leslie, at Pike Place Fish Market the entire crew has made a commitment to making a world famous difference to EVERY customer that walks through the door.

And as the owner, I have made a commitment to making a world famous difference to each and every one of my employees.  See, many business look at the success that we’ve created and are eager to study how we’ve done that.

They think it’s all about: choosing our attitude, having fun, playing and making our customers’ day.

Lesson #2 Commitment

But the way we consciously choose how to show up for our customers occurs as a natural result of the commitment we’ve made to living our vision of making a world famous difference and creating world peace for every customer and vendor that we come into contact with.”

GandiThe Pike Place Fish Market expresses and lives by a higher vision and purpose no different than the visions of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, or even Kennedy when he declared that we would put a man on the moon within a decade.

When a business or individual makes a commitment to a compelling vision and takes on a greater context – like making a powerful difference in the world – they are called to show up in an entirely different way, a way that makes a significant and meaningful impact on customers and communities.

By taking on a higher purpose for your business you can call everyone involved in the business to a show up in a more powerful way.

But it needs to be a larger purpose that is created amongst you and your staff.  Not some dull, stuffy, neatly written mission statement that hangs on the wall gathering dust, that no one ever reads or really relates to.

We’re talking about the kind of purpose that has you jumping out of bed with excitement about going to work.  And here’s a very huge key.  Once you and your staff commit to that purpose, it truly is a matter of making a choice every day, and several times a day, to recommit to “being and living” your vision.

Lesson #3: Move Past Your Daily Resistance

There is also the daily reality of not always being connected to your inspiration or higher vision.


John shared that, in the beginning, his regular limiting internal conversation was, “I don’t want to.”  “I don’t want to live my vision of creating a world famous difference or world peace,” and, “I don’t want to solve this employee argument right now.”

But instead of listening to the internal dialogue, he makes a conscious choice every day, in every moment, to continue to live his vision byshowing up in a world famous way.

In other words, John Yokoyama had to come “from” rather than “get to” the place of being “world famous with his staff and customers.”  Because he was showing up in a world famous way, Pike Place Fish Market became world famous.

By tapping into your own powerful creativity and the creativity of your employees, and taking on a powerful, compelling vision like the one that guides the Pike Place Fish Market, you too can have unprecedented, extraordinary, break-through results happening as a regular occurrence in your business and your life.

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