Before walking the deck of the Bonzai, I had a very different idea of what commercial fishing was and was not. Yet at two hours past an Alaskan summer midnight, I found myself throwing down some nasty pole dancing moves around our net hook to the rasta beats of Buffalo Soldier while wild sockeye salmon wriggled and splashed into our gillnet. I was past the point of caring and had reached an exhaustion-induced, apathetic goofiness that only dance moves can cure. This was not what I expected.
I initially felt the pull up to Alaska because I had waaaay underestimated this business I had taken on: an outdoor startup, bootstrap style. I had chosen it for the high barriers of entry, low initial investment, and great margins. Yeah, no, definitely not. I chose it for the experience and the continual learning and self-growth it requires. But I figured I could design a line of packs, hire a team to help, and we’d be off to the races. Ain’t that just quaint. I pretty quickly realized I was going to need a lot more capital than the coins in my piggy bank to get this thing off the ground.