There are few people in this world who have actually made a business out of the outdoors. There are the direct outdoor careers, such as guides and outfitters; the indirect businesses, such as retailing and manufacturing outdoor clothes and gear; and then there is everything in between, such as taxidermists or this magazine.
There is no doubt that the great outdoors is big business. But, even though for most of us our job keeps us away from doing what we truly love, there are the occasional “business” trips that many executives, professionals, and salesman use to link the two. Connecting your business to the outdoors can be a very successful tool, and Texas has no shortage of these opportunities.
As a business professional, I know there are few work days that I look forward to more than these. Most of us would have no problem fighting traffic to that Monday meeting if, instead of the conference room at the office, it took place over a round of sporting clays or out on the water. Not only is it a more enjoyable work day, but there is a different level of customer engagement and relationship building accomplished when you are sitting with your boots kicked up around the fire with customers and colleagues after an evening hunt. This difference in atmosphere is why I have seen many business deals close in the outdoors. It is encouraging that success in business and success in the outdoors require many of the same qualities:
Persistence – A successful outdoorsman knows that harvesting that big mature buck may take weeks of sitting in the stand. You can increase your odds of success through preparation and scouting, but ultimately persistence pays off.
Thick Skin — Any fisherman can relate to the statement: “that’s why they call it fishin’ and not catchin’.” You must develop a thick skin and be able to overcome the negativity and challenges of having cast after cast come up empty.
Independence — While many hunting or fishing trips involve a group of people, there will always come a point where the great outdoorsmen are separated from the pack. A good guide can put you on a trophy, but ultimately it is of your own independent action that sets the hook or makes the shot.
Leadership — It takes a leader to make the decision to stop and fish that slick in the bay instead of running to the usual spot, just as it takes the leader in the duck blind to step up and yell “Take ‘Em!”
Confidence — Any outdoorsman can tell you that if you’re not confident in what you’re doing, it can ruin everything you’ve worked for. You have to pull the trigger with confidence just as you must have confidence in your lure and fishing spot. Once you have made the decision, there is no opportunity for second-guessing.
Knowledge — A great outdoorsman has the knowledge of what they are doing, as well as past experiences to back it up. Being truly knowledgeable about your craft can cover up many flaws.
Negotiation — Negotiation is all about doing the “dance”; knowing when to give and when to take. Whether you’re fighting a big bull redfish on light tackle or trying to call a group of mallards led by an old, wise duck into decoy, there is a true art to negotiating in the outdoors. This skill might be the key to success in business and the outdoors.
While these characteristics can lead to great success in business, I believe they can also provide success in the outdoors. If you love the outdoors, you owe it to yourself, to your clients, and ultimately to your business to find ways to combine the two. By working on these skills, you could see results in your career and in your outdoor success. With such a connection, the real question we are faced with is “What really comes first – The business or the outdoors?”
—by Tyler w. Thomas
HiViz Renews Sponsorship of ‘Babes with Bullets’
HIVIZ Shooting Systems is proud to announce that it will continue sponsoring the Babes with Bullets Women’s Action Shooting Camps in 2017. This valuable commitment provides sponsorships to worthy females to attend one of the ten training camps held throughout the country by the fantastic Babes with Bullets organization.
“HIVIZ is proud to continue our long-standing relationship with Babes with Bullets,” said Leaha Wirth, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for HIVIZ. “This organization is dedicated to helping women become competent and successful shooters in an environment that is safe and most importantly fun. This aligns perfectly with the HIVIZ mission of cultivating successful shooters so they have more fun and keep sending rounds downrange.”
To learn more about the Babes with Bullets organization and to find a full schedule of training camps and shooting events, visit babeswithbullets.com. To learn more about the wide variety of shotgun, handgun and rifle sights that HIVIZ offers, visit hivizsights.com.
—Edited by TF&G Staff