Car salespeople, goal setting, and salmon fishing / 36.2017

Clearly the posting every week thing did not happen. However, to my own surprise, I did almost write something every week. This is a step in the right direction.

Life has been interesting.


Negotiating with car salespeople.

This is an entirely new experience for me. I think I’ve been trained by the world (or society? or the media?) to believe that car salespeople are always out to get you. That their only goal is to make as much money as possible out of you by tricking you into buying a vehicle for more than it’s worth. It feels like a world where nobody is happy with their car purchase, because there is always a doubt that you’ve been schemed; that your neighbour is going to walk into the dealership the next day and get a far better price.

And that could legitimately happen—there seems to be so many factors at play that determine what a vehicle costs (or rather, how much the dealership is willing to sell it for that day). How big is the dealership? How many vehicles does the manufacturer produce? Was the dealership having a good month? What kind of mood is the sales manager in? How good of a negotiator are you?

I’ve grown up in a place where negotiating the price of a product isn’t commonplace. Most things just have a price, and if you don’t want to pay that price, you don’t buy the product. Even at our farmer’s markets. Sure, a little negotiating may happen, but it’s not an assumption, it’s not expected, and most people don’t. But negotiating for a product that is made at scale, where each unit is identical and up to the same standards? Vehicles seem to be one of the only things that get sold this way, and almost every household has at least one.

I almost feel set up to not feel content with my purchase. Part of that is my personality—I like to know what’s going on, and that seems near impossible when negotiating for a vehicle. Another part is everything going on around me. I can’t control all the factors.

The trick? Seems to be to do your best, then put it passed you and move on. Don’t look at prices afterward, don’t ask your neighbours, don’t go on forums asking if you got a good price. That’s just asking for disappointment.

Do your research, do your best, be content, and move on. If you find out you did something wrong, take it as a learning opportunity for next time, but it’s not worth dwelling.

Now to put this philosophy into action. I’ve spent a lot of time researching and negotiating and thinking about vehicles over the passed few weeks. It’s go time.

Until I can afford a Tesla…

Edit: No vehicle was bought. Life goals were discussed, and we’ll be waiting a year or two, fingers crossed.


Setting goals.

I love setting goals and making plans—it’s extremely motivating for me.

However, I love it so much sometimes I get a little drastic. Let’s call it optimistic. I jump into things too quickly, overwhelm myself, and then it doesn’t stick. My goals have stuck when I add them gradually into my life, and do them every day. Or at least have a plan for every day that isn’t too convoluted.

What I’ve done this time is inspired by Elise Cripe, who I admire for her ability to set goals and make things happen. Recently she reminded me of the concept of thinking of the long term goal, then breaking it down until you have something you can accomplish in a day. The premise is that if you accomplish those small, non-intimidating things each day, you’ll get to where you want to be.

So I’ve done that, sort of.

I’m not ready to share my full on goals with you, but what am I doing today that’s going to help me get there? Yoga. And a walk outside in the fresh air.


Fresh air, family, and salmon fishing.

I keep telling people I took a vacation to go fishing. They keep giving me weird looks. Apparently, what 25 year old woman wants to take a break from her business to go fishing, of all things?

This one. For multiple reasons.

1: I am in love with nature and Canada is amazing.

There’s just something about nature and the world that blows me away. Sometimes I feel small in comparison to how big nature can feel, but not in a bad way. It’s inspiring and beautiful and real. We travelled to British Columbia for the trip, to fish near a small village called Kitwanga, right on the Skeena river. And let me tell you, there is not shortage of nature there.

2: It was a family trip.

There were 5 of us. Me and Travis, my sister, her husband, and their baby (my niece! a super exciting statement to make!)

Family is one of the most important things in my life. I’ve always been lucky to have a close immediate family as well as a close extended family, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. This was an opportunity to make make memories and become even closer with my sister and her family.

I’ll cherish these memories, and this absolutely won’t be the last time we go on a fishing trip together.

3: Have you tasted fresh salmon?

It’s incredible. Some of the salmon are having troubles this year, so the regulations are more strict. However, we did manage to catch a nice Coho salmon (considered the second best), and seriously I wish I could have fresh salmon at least once per week.

4: Have you fought with a large fish before?

It’s thrilling. Really. A few years ago Travis and I were fishing in the same area and I was able to pull in a 25lb Spring (Chinook) salmon. It took me over 15 minutes, and I was completely exhausted afterwards. I’d venture to say it was one of the most exciting things I’ve done in my life, which, if you’ve never experienced the adrenaline and excitement from this type of thing, will probably sound crazy.

So here’s a picture. Clearly I am excited, as were the eagles circling above…

Also pictured: delicious trail mix, one of the best backpacks I’ve ever owned (Eddie Bauer), and an excellent fashion statement (but not as excellent as the chest waders I wore the following day…)


A small guide to river salmon and licensing for non-residents of British Columbia.

Please always check the regulations. This information is from my past experiences, and things may have changed.

There are 4 types of salmon that are mainly encountered in the rivers:

1: Sockeye – apparently the absolute best, but also tricky to catch
2: Coho – second best to eat, picky eaters, but territorial (use blue and silver spoons to catch)
3: Chinook/Spring – good to eat early in their run, can become very large (this is the giant fish in the picture above!)
4: Pink – males get a gigantic hump on their backs, not very good to eat in comparison (meat gets mushy quick, not as flavourful, locals never keep them)

There are also Chum salmon, I’ve been told, but I’ve never encountered one. You’ll also readily find Steelhead, and multiple other types of trout.

Having limited experience, it can be very difficult to confidently identify something you’ve caught, particularly when you know there are a bunch of fish you can’t keep. Keep an eye out for Coho salmon vs. Steelhead trout. Similar sizes, colours, and descriptions (to an inexperienced person). Bring your regulations book (it has images and descriptions), but you’ll likely also need to do your own searches on Google, since understandably there is a lot of variation within a species.

(For those of you who have experience, I’m sure you can identify them in no time. However, with little experience, it’s much harder than anticipated, especially coming from a place where the common options are Walleye and Jackfish.)


As a Canadian resident who doesn’t live in British Columbia, here’s what we needed for fishing on the Skeena River near the town of Kitwanga:

1: Basic Licence (we chose the 8-day option, but they also have an annual option)
2: Non-Tidal Salmon Conservation Stamp (because we wanted to be able to keep the salmon we caught; annual)
3: Steelhead Stamp (because we were in a Classified Waters area that required it; annual)
4: Classified Waters Licence (daily; specific to the section of water we were fishing in, which was Skeena 4)

Tricky things

1: Since 2012, they implemented days where only Canadian residents can fish in certain regions. In the regulation book, they call people who can’t fish on these days Non-Resident Aliens (vs just plain old Non-Residents, who are people who live outside of B.C, but still in Canada).

2: Salmon regulations are found in a different place than regulations for other fish, and you have to pay attention to both places. It’s a provincial vs. federal thing, as far as I can tell.

General fishing guidelines: B.C. Fish and Wildlife
Salmon regulations: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Coming from Alberta, the regulations are far more intense. So pay attention; things can change in the middle of the year, depending on the year. Check out all these notices!

Again, I’ll say that I am not an expert, and please always check the regulations and guidelines for yourself!


I didn’t teach a workshop.

I mentioned wanting to share more about business here. Well, here it is! The plan was to teach a workshop in August on WordPress. A workshop to help people who already have websites on WordPress (or those in charge of a company website) learn how to use it, and be confident in making changes and updates.

This is fantastic. I wholeheartedly believe this is something that is needed. Over at Wanderoak (my business) we often get people who want us to complete very simple things for them, because they aren’t confident in doing it themselves, and didn’t take the time to learn. Learning how to do it themselves could potentially save them a lot of money (plus, making those sorts of changes isn’t what we got into business to do; we’d rather teach them to do it themselves).

In any case, I believe the mistake was that we simply did not put enough time and energy into marketing. We are still a small business — people aren’t going to just find out about this workshop unless we talk about it all the time and advertise.

We learned (purely from my perspective):

1: So much about venues in Calgary and the logistics of renting a space to hold an event

2: Not to expect people to be as excited as we are are about something

3: Marketing usually doesn’t do itself

Live and learn and improve!


That’s it for now. The goal is to work on getting these closer and closer together, which means the goal is to have another one of these before October 24! That feels extremely far away, and since this is my birthday month and I’m going to embrace that, my optimistic goal is another post this month.

Happy September :)