How to get into the outdoor industry

I get emails or direct messages from Twitter or Facebook on how to get into the “outdoor industry”.

1st I want to thank the people up front that asked me, this is more of a hobby than anything. I will tell you how I started out and some tips.

I never really put much thought into it, until I decided to blog about this.

How I got into it kinda like the seven degrees thing, I never intended to have Team D.I.R.T. or have a blog with thousand of people reading it a year, it simply just happened. It was a natural, Darwin is still wrong about evolution, I might blog about that later…

It all started when my church wanted to have an outreach. I went home and made a proposal, when the pastor read it, he offered me a 3,000 square foot warehouse space. I thought we could make it into an indoor archery range. A close friend Randy had a pipe dream of a website where hunters and fishermen could together and share things so I called him, came up with a name and Compass was born.

We started out slow but certain guys started to hang out on a regular basis. Compass was doing well. A blogger became a regular had a blog, I started to read it, it was well written and started to search for other blogs, I started to not read all the outdoor magazines because quite frankly, the blogs I was reading were better and had more information. The blogger wanted to do an honest broadhead review, I offered we could use the indoor archery range. We did the review and I started to help him out in his outdoor group, things started to evolve and asked me to be a part of the team, I accepted.

That’s when I started to blog, soon after I started to video my adventures.

The outdoor group started out well, but like many things when it started to get big. Politics, egos, the way things were going wasn’t the original vision was intended and the loss of my mother my heart wasn’t into it, I quit.

I briefly was at a project, that was getting big way to quick and fizzled because of health reason from the founder, then I had a conversation with my brother.

He said that Compass was doing well but wasn’t hitting the whole demographics and talent. Soon after politics started to corrupt the indoor archery range by people outside Compass and was forced to close, even though we were doing well.  I prayed about it and out popped Team D.I.R.T. it was a natural progression.

While all this was happening I was still blogging, filming and being connected with people in the industry, bonding, becoming friends and help to promote products that I believe in without selling myself out and sharing my faith when they asked. My brother was right…AGAIN!

I can tell you being in the outdoor industry takes more than making a Facebook page, making a deer skull logo and posting pictures of what you killed or caught. It takes time, commitment, patience, flexibility and a vision of what you want to do.

Here’s a couple of questions you need to  ask yourself:

Why to I want to do this? (commitment)

Simple enough question, if it’s for free stuff. Don’t do it, the time and energy spent is not worth it.

What is my theme? (vision)

Again, simple enough question but legitimate question. If you are doing what everyone else is what is it that are you going to set yourself apart.

Is this a short-term or long-term project? (Time)

Can you picture yourself doing this in 2 years, Doing business on vacation or during holiday breaks? This will start out as a hobby but it takes work.

Now if you are confident that you want to be in the industry here are some tips to help you.

Set a goal

Short term and long term goal, what do you think you are going to be doing in a year and 5 years, set a realistic, obtainable goal.

Be patient

What ever you do, it will take time to get followers or people noticing you. Don’t get discouraged if your numbers are low.

Concentrate on what you are good at

Whatever you decide to do, do what come natural, if you are a great hiker don’t try to act like you know about duck hunting.

Be prepared on spending some money

What ever you want to do you need to promote yourself or your company this takes money. Build a website, get a logo and spend some money on advertising.

Be professional

If you write a letter or talk to someone on the phone whatever the outcome call back or write a e mail thanking for their time.

Be consistent

What ever you do have a timeline. If you aren’t consisant people will not find your content in a timely manner.

Have fun

If you feel pressured or it isn’t what you thought it was going to be, why do it?

Things NOT to do:

Don’t back stab

Trust me my back looks like a pin cushion, but guess what, those same people or teams or either gone by the wayside or nobody is following them.

Don’t be the next Bone Collector

It’s been done, find another angle.

Don’t fall short on your commitment

If you say you’re going to do something do it. This is a very small industry, a bad reputation is the scarlet letter.

Don’t bash companies

Again, this is a small professional business, if Company A sees you bashing Company B it is extremley unprofessional and uncalled for. I do have opinions but they don’t need to be aired in a public forum.

 

Well, that’s about it in a nutshell. I hope this helps if you want to email me feel free. Go to http://www.teamdirtoutdoors.com and you will find me under contacts.

Drive safe!

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About 6or7

1st in formost I am saved by the blood of my savior Jesus Christ. I fall in love with my wife on a daily basis. I have a strong passion for the outdoors and shooting my bow.
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