So, You Hunt for a Living? The Truth About Being an Outdoor Industry Entrepreneur

I've been asked a few times recently, "How did you make hunting and the outdoors your career?" Well, in short, hunting itself is not my career. It is a passion of mine, but so far, I've made zero dollars by sitting in my deer stand. There seems to be a misconception that a "Pro-staff" member is a professional hunter. While that may be the dream, that isn't the reality. There is so much work that happens indoors, to make it possible to get outdoors. So what do I actually do? BESIDES HUNT AND FISH?

 First turkey! Taken with a 12 gauge at 45 yards in Northern Minnesota.

First turkey! Taken with a 12 gauge at 45 yards in Northern Minnesota.

First, you need to understand how I got here.

Meaning, you have to know just how stubborn I truly am. 😂 Really, I was told I "can't". So now, I AM.

I grew up in a hunting family, but only the men hunted. So when I started going to my family's shack for deer season for a few years, it was just uncomfortable. I could tell I wasn't really wanted there by a few of the guys. To the point that one of my family members said that he would only go in on buying a new hunting shack with my dad if "no women could hunt during rifle season". So, being the stubborn gal that I am, I wanted to prove them wrong. In the process, I wanted to show other women that they can hunt, fish, hike or do WHATEVER they wanted that was beyond the "status quo".

 My first radio news job at KDAL 610 AM in Duluth, MN.

My first radio news job at KDAL 610 AM in Duluth, MN.

By trade I am a journalist

But then I also worked in corporate communications/operations and marketing in the fashion industry for about 4 years.

So, ultimately I just decided to make the shift. There were multiple compounding factors that led to me quitting my "comfortable" salary job to focus my talents and energy on all things outdoors. It took a leap of faith and my husband's support to follow my heart. But slowing it has been paying off. Keyword, SLOWLY. It's still a struggle, but I keep pushing. Outdoor writing and entrepreneurship is not for everyone, that is for sure. But it is for me. 

Why did I think I could make it?

It's simple, really. I know new media. 

When I first decided to major in Journalism, I was honestly scared. So scared that I actually undeclared my major for my entire freshman semester until taking the "Strength Finders" quiz. My first journalism professor told us that "newspapers were dying, literally shrinking". For the news industry, in 2009, it was shaky. The truth is, as we have all seen, news did not "die", it changed forms to meet the needs of consumers. Think Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, even Snapchat...we all consume our news through these platforms, whether we like it or not. So, the combination of my love of writing, technology, and business made way for a beautiful new venture. Not only do I enjoy the outdoors myself, but my education, experience, and passions gave way to a vision of purpose for my future. A future that, as a 3rd generation carpenter's daughter, I wanted to build myself.

 Bowfishing for suckers near Duluth, MN.

Bowfishing for suckers near Duluth, MN.

What do I actually do now?!

I write. I have a podcast. I keep up with all things social media. And of course, I hunt and fish. But what is my bread and butter? I could give you the list, but essentially, I help small businesses improve their all-around digital presence. 

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Knowing your Strengths: I am a Connector

I've found that it truly is about knowing your customer and speaking to them in a way that resonates, whether it is to drive engagement or to drive sales. It is about AUTHENTICITY and showing a real person or core purpose behind the brand. It is about CONNECTING with people. We are in a digital age. Millennial-age customers grew up with technology. Myself being one of them. I know first-hand how smartphones, apps, and social media transformed how we spend our time and how we communicate. What technology does not do well in itself, is truly connect to people. Only a PERSON can show humanity in an online space. That's what I try my very best to offer to my clients. 

WAnt a free consultation?

For the month of June, I am offering free 30 minute consultations to the first 10 people who contact me here. You can tell me a bit about your business, what your pain points are or what you think you need help with. I'll take a look at your website and your social media pages and give you my take on what I would do to bring your business to the next level. All for FREE. 

Looking forward to connecting with you!

NOTE: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AN OUTDOOR-BASED BUSINESS.