Paul Herdsman Discusses his Hobbies and their Impact on NICE Global
Two of my favorite things to do in life are fishing and playing golf. I think it’s incredibly important to have interests outside of work, these hobbies keep me grounded and help to make me a well-rounded individual that only helps me run NICE Global.
When did you first get involved with this hobby? How did you discover a love for it?
I started fishing at a very young age, probably at five or six years old. I’m not sure why, but I asked my parents for a fishing pole for Christmas one year and they happily obliged. The reason why I wasn’t sure was that I had never been introduced to fishing by anyone in my family or my friends. Maybe I watched a show on television one weekend or read a book about it, whatever it was, I was intrigued by it. And from the first day I went fishing, I knew it was something I would do forever.
My golfing interests didn’t start until I finished high school. I’d always known about golf and wanted to play golf, but my twin brother and I were so involved with other sports, it was tough to find the time. When I finally did find the time and made the commitment, I was hooked. I found it to be the most challenging game or sport I’d ever done.
Read Paul’s FiveHundo interview here.
How often do you spend time on this hobby? How often would you spend doing it with unlimited free time?
With everything that is going on in my life, I still find time to play golf once a week and fish once a week. Part of it is because I love to do both of them, the other part is they allow me to decompress and get my mind away from all the things which create tension and stress in my life.
In addition to playing once a week, I’ll try to sneak in one or two golf trips a year where I’ll play four or five days in a row. Living in South Florida, we have our fair share of really good golf courses around us. But sometimes you want to play really great courses, world-renowned courses, legendary courses, bucket list courses like Pebble Beach Golf Links, The Old Course at St. Andrews, The Straits Course at Whistling Straits, Old Head Golf Links, Carnoustie Golf Links, the list goes on and on. My list is long so I won’t run out of bucket list courses anytime soon.
If I had unlimited free time, which I don’t, I would probably fish and golf three or four days a week between the two. The days I didn’t fish or golf would be spent doing something related to one of those two hobbies. Maybe it would be researching some new bucket list courses and planning a golf trip to Scotland or Ireland? Maybe I would plan a trip to the Dominican Republic during marlin season or to Mexico during the sailfish bite? Maybe it would be cleaning my fishing equipment and organizing all my tackle? These things will sound crazy to most people, but they put my mind at ease and I love it.
As with anything in life, both fishing and golfing can be very competitive. Golf for me is all about having fun and relaxation, so I wouldn’t want to make it competitive. There was a time for me when fishing was really competitive. Near the end of my high school days, I met a group of guys similar to me that had both a passion and obsession with fishing. Saltwater fishing to be exact, we would fish for sailfish, dolphin, kingfish, tuna, wahoo, cobia, snapper, grouper and more. Most people believe that fishing is all about luck, but it’s really about preparation, execution, and attention to detail. Especially when it comes to competitive or tournament fishing.
Tournament fishing comes with a tremendous amount of preparation, days, if not weeks in advance sometimes. First, you set your preparation around the type of tournament you’ll be fishing. Is it a one-day sailfish tournament, or is it a two-day meat fish tournament? Is the tournament local or does it require you to travel? What kind of bait is allowed? You really have to pay attention to and follow the rules or you could be disqualified. Some of these tournaments carry six-figure purses, so validation of the fish being caught live and after the tournament will most certainly be done. Some tournaments require video footage, some require the fish to be tested with a torry meter to make sure it was caught that day, and some even require a lie detector test.
Once you’ve identified the type of tournament, you’ll start preparing your equipment for that type of fishing. If necessary, you’ll start catching live bait and keeping them alive in large pens. You’ll start making rigs and selecting the best and most appropriate tackle you’ll need for the fish you want to target. You’ll make sure the boat is setup to fish specifically for the type of fish you want to target. You’ll start reaching out to local fisherman to get a gauge of where the fish are biting or not biting so you can determine how the fish are moving and where you might want to fish. You’ll pre-fish the day before the tournament to make sure everything is in good working order and ready to go. Each one of these steps really include multiple additional steps, so you can see it take a tremendous amount of time and preparation if you want to compete at the highest level in tournament fishing.
Tournament day is when the execution kicks in. Teams that are prepared and execute when an opportunity presents itself are the teams that tend to do better than the ones that miss their opportunities. When you are presented with bites on tournament day, you have to capitalize. All of the preparation that was done days or even weeks prior to the tournament help with the execution. Sometimes, you’ll find really tough fishing conditions that slow down the bite or cause the fish to be less active, how you deal with the adverse conditions can sometimes determine whether you win or lose a tournament.
We used to fish anywhere from eight to twelve tournaments a year. Those were the days, it was a lot of work but a whole lot of fun. Now that my family has grown and I have added the responsibility of owning my own business, tournament fishing has taken a back seat to recreational fishing. It’s still fishing which is what really counts.
Do you enjoy this hobby alone or with other interested parties (i.e. friends, family members, fellow hobbyists)?
The great thing about fishing and golfing is that both can be done with or without company. Depending on the day, I’m open to going by myself or I’m open to company. Lately, I’ve been taking my two young girls fishing with me, they really like it. They’re not old enough or ready for the golf course yet, so I’ll take them to the driving range and let them mess around. Both activities, in general, can be really great for bonding with your kids, family, friends, and business associates.
I hope my girls’ fish and play golf in the future. Fishing and golfing can teach lessons that I believe everyone can use later on in life. Fishing teaches patience and problem-solving. The fish are not biting, why aren’t they biting like the day before? How do I get them to bite? Which color lure should I use? Which technique should I fish? Should I fish shallow or fish deep?
Golf can be hard at times, challenging, it makes you think strategically, it teaches you honesty, and it highlights integrity. In golf, you keep your own score, you have to know and follow the rules, and you’re challenged almost the entire time.
What is your proudest achievement from this hobby?
My proudest achievement while fishing was when we won one of the largest fishing tournaments in the state of Florida. It was a great achievement for us as a team and an amazing sense of accomplishment for all the hard work we had put in over the years. We had won other tournaments in the past, but this was the tournament of all tournaments and it was a great feeling.
For golf, it was when I shot my personal best low score of 75. Golf is hard, really hard. To shoot only three shots over par as a weekend golfer, was quite the feat.
Paul Herdsman is an experienced entrepreneur, co-founder and current COO of NICE Global, the full-service BPO Jamaican based company specializing in service delivery for other business looking to outsource. As a co-founder of the company, Paul Herdsman is responsible for various aspects of daily operations, strategic partnerships, long-term growth planning. The proud father of two takes every day in stride, successfully handling the his role as a successful entrepreneur, as well as taking the time to bond with his family, whom he considers to be an integral part of his life.