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Resetting for growth: FishingBooker’s approach

Andrijana Maletic, content supervisor at FishingBooker, shares how their company thrived through a major reset, offering insights into their continued growth during this transformation.

Andrijana Maletic

Andrijana Maletic

Content Supervisor at FishingBooker

fishingbooker reset

All successful companies look alike, but the challenges they face on their road to success are unique. 

While the core of those challenges may be recognizable – even common – how they happen in the first place is usually not. Being stuck between a rock and a hard place is never somewhere you want to find yourself, but contrary to popular belief, it’s a privilege to be there. 

It’s an invaluable lesson that puts us at the crossroads of what is right and what is easy. 

And that’s where FishingBooker found itself in July of 2023.

As the biggest online travel company that specializes in organizing fishing trips worldwide, our goal is to make it possible for everyone to access enjoyable fishing experiences, anywhere. 

We’ve been on that mission for over a decade with successes and failures always coming hand in hand. 

But the summer of 2023 brought about a ship-horn-sounding wake-up call that FishingBookers now known as “The Reset.”

The path that led to reset

Every business in the world felt the chaotic effect of the COVID pandemic, and FishingBooker was no exception. We grew substantially over those couple of years, and as a result, our ideas and our staff were also getting bigger. 

Success comes with incredible perks, but it’s easy to forget its challenges. 

We still talked about the importance of improving our path, processes, and decisions, but we missed the changes in the bigger picture because we followed a charted road. 

In other words, we became comfortable in our success without really questioning everything it brought.

As we entered 2023, the landscape started shifting. FishingBooker’s mission and vision became blurry to the people of FishingBooker, which had a ripple effect through every aspect of our work. 

This lack of a clear understanding of the company’s direction was the foundation for all other challenges.

Insufficient open communication between different teams led to the creation of silos, in which everyone was doing their job, but there was rarely much contact, let alone cross-team cooperation.

These changes saw the growth of our ideas and personnel start to outweigh the growth of the company as a whole, directly endangering our future. 

It was time for hard questions, candid feedback, and shifting our focus to what mattered, not what we were used to. This is where the idea of the Reset came in.

The first steps – the good, the bad, and the ugly: feedback

The core of the Reset was to go back to the drawing board to rediscover our mission and values, and to reexamine what worked and what didn’t in our business approach. 

This was no easy feat, and it started as so many great discussions do – with candid feedback and uncomfortable conversations.

FishingBooker’s leadership came together for the first Team Lead Summer Retreat in July 2023. 

In the days that followed, we shared our experiences and ideas on how to develop a growth mindset within each team, what was holding them back from doing their best work, and what steps needed to be taken to overcome the autopilot mode we were struggling with.

Getting on the same page is no small feat, but the first step was identifying the stumbling blocks – the unquestioned and ultimately unsustainable growth that the company experienced in the previous years, as well as the lack of clear mission and communication around it. 

The comfort zone we sailed in was cushioning us for too long and, if we didn’t change course, we were set for a brutal wake-up call. 

Developing a growth mindset

It all came down to needing to reframe what truly mattered – our mission and our goals. Our mission – Fishing trips made easy – remained our guide. 

And to achieve this, the priorities were to make our platform lightning-fast and ensure a seamless user experience for both our captains and customers. 

Achieving these goals required fully focusing on impactful actions and execution with the highest quality standards. 

The recipe for making this happen included:

  • Focusing on impact, not ego – replacing the “this is how we always do things” approach with initiatives that would drive the growth of the platform.
  • Breaking the team silos – understanding the power of bringing together teams with different perspectives and specialties to usher in a more holistic approach to our initiatives. 
  • Over-communication – learning from previous communication failures and applying those lessons to over-communicate the company’s direction, mission, and goals, giving a clearer picture of how every employee can impact them in a meaningful way.
  • Continual improvement of FishingBooker’s culture is essential – ensuring that employees’ needs are taken care of is the only way to ensure sustainable growth and success. In turn, growing and being profitable are the only ways to keep offering career development opportunities to FishingBookers.

And thus, the balancing act began. Everyone in the company faced fundamental questions about their team’s work and opportunities to elevate it. 

This led to big changes in how we developed processes and workflows at FishingBooker, as well as the establishment of numerous cross-team initiatives that broke the silos barriers. 

The Reset mentality was gaining momentum by the day.

Coming Together

Not to much surprise, the first months of the Reset were scary and uncertain. 

This was expected as it’s a part of every in-between period – when everything old is falling away, and new ideas have not yet taken shape. 

It was becoming clear that if we weren’t aligned, it would be hard to stay sustainable for years to come. 

We focused on continuous direct and open communication between the leadership and teams, ensuring that we had a clear and shared understanding of our vision and goals.

One of the ways we achieved this is by organizing a Winter Leadership Retreat in December 2023. During those two days, we reiterated the importance of the Reset’s lessons and how they affected our goals for 2024. 

Developing a growth mindset takes time and dedication, and the retreat was a big step in that direction. 

Developing a growth mindset takes time and dedication, and the retreat was a big step in that direction. 

Team leads had the opportunity to be in the same room, share their teams’ ideas and achievements, and voice concerns about the path ahead. 

The retreat proved the significance of over-communication among teams, while breaking the silos brought about promising initiatives that had never been tried before. 

It was in this mindset of focus and innovation we moved into 2024.

Post-reset FishingBooker – prioritizing impact, focus, and constant improvement

Change is always hard, but staying stuck between a rock and a hard place is infinitely harder. At FishingBooker, the Reset isn’t an event anymore, but a mindset. 

It’s a shift that more than ever makes us examine our projects in the “effort vs. impact” frame and one that insists on a blend of innovation and analytical, data-driven thinking. 

The post-Reset period made it clear that it was vital to develop a growth mindset on an individual level, learn about how teams in the company operate, and find ways to work together toward achieving set goals. 

Prioritizing impact, relentless focus, and constant improvement were the main takeaways from the Reset period – the biggest lesson learned in the past year. 

Prioritizing impact, relentless focus, and constant improvement were the main takeaways from the Reset period – the biggest lesson learned in the past year.

Developing a growth mindset takes time, energy, and perseverance because falling back into old habits is an easy slope to slide down. 

Introducing the Reset at FishingBooker was much more than a business decision, it affected every single person working in the company because it challenged them not to think outside of the box, but to break it altogether.

There are many external factors that we have no control over, but what we do control is our approach to our successes and failures, and how much we learn from them. 

It’s possible that, in the future, we’ll have many more mini-Resets that will equip us for whatever challenges we face next. 

But for now, we focus on impact not ego, and carve our path one decision at a time.

Andrijana Maletic

Andrijana has been in love with nature since before she could walk, and she lives to explore the great outdoors whenever she has the chance. Be it traveling to far-off lands, hiking, or mountain climbing, Andrijana loves discovering new places and writing about them. The first time she went fishing with her dad she insisted on returning all the catch into the water. Dad was not pleased. 

Her curiosity about fishing only grew from there, and that’s what brought her to the FishingBooker’s Content Team. For the past 6 years, she’s had the opportunity to learn and write about all things fishing and pair that knowledge with her passion for digital marketing.

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