It’s hard to believe that Blue Planet Aquarium has been around for fifteen years! With all that experience, we wanted to compile a list of what we’ve learned from the aquarium industry during that time. Some of it is slightly tongue-in-cheek, and maybe that’s one of the most important things we’ve learned: to always keep our sense of humor.
Here’s a glance at our other takeaways:
1. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s how you deal with them that’s important.
An old employer of mine told me that, and that bit of wisdom has indescribable value to us. Service companies are not easy to run. Car problems, traffic, cost, cost, cost (did I mention cost?), and keeping a packed schedule are no easy chore. Then, there is the issue that what we do is a combination of animal husbandry, plumbing, carpentry, electrical know-how, physical labor, and staying sharp during long hours. Mistakes can happen, but if they do, we do whatever is in our power to fix them.
2. Nobody uses the Yellow Pages anymore.
3. Don’t decide what is right based on cost. I have told countless people this same line: “A dirty or unhealthy aquarium, regardless who had set it up, makes me look bad”. I would so much rather walk away from setting up a new tank rather than cut corners to get within a certain budget. There certainly are bells and whistles that are neat to have but not critical for an aquarium. But the basics, if not met will mean sure disaster, sooner or later.
4. People really, really like top 10 lists.
5. People are everything. That isn’t so much as something we learned as it something we learned to value more and more every year. Staff, clients, vendors, manufacturers, heck, even our neighbors in the business community: it’s imperative to surround yourself with quality and look out for their best interest.
6. In this field you can never know everything and you can never stop learning.
7. Twenty years from now, when I tell people what I do for a living, they are still going to look at me as if I have lobsters crawling out of my ears.
8. Believe in Murphy’s Law. If anything can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible time!
9. Aquariums are cool and they are getting cooler. I never thought I’d see the day that your aquarium would have a remote control to create storm simulations. Why didn’t I think of that?!
10. “Chicks” don’t really “dig” aquarium “dudes”. That’s why we play hockey.
There you have it, true wisdom from fifteen years in the aquarium industry. We plan to expand this list to a Top 20 by our thirtieth anniversary, so stay tuned for that!