The Bowhunter's Guide To Career Freedom

BF084: The Bowhunter’s 7 Step Guide To Career Freedom – Part 1

Career Guide ebook

This week’s episode is part 1 of a 3-part series, an audio version of the Bowhunter’s 7 Step Guide To Career Freedom. This guide is available for free right here at

Introduction to The Bowhunter’s 7 Step Guide To Career Freedom

My very first guest, Mr. Dan Perez, the host of the very well-known Whitetail Properties TV Show, made the following statement during his interview.

“When you have that feeling that it’s almost abusive that you’re getting paid because you love what you do so much, then you’re doing what you should be doing.”

Dan Perez, Whitetail Properties TV Show Host and Real Estate Broker

Dan really believes that loving what you do is a key ingredient in having a successful career. I agree. What do you think?

Another of my early guests, Mr. Tony Bynum, a professional photographer from East Glacier National Park in Montana made the following comment in his interview and it has stuck with me since then. What do you want to do with your life?

“I mean I can’t tell you how many young people just can not afford to come and visit me. They say ‘I can’t afford that. Oh it’s a plane ticket. When am I ever going to get time?’ And five years later they are in the same place they were in five years ago. They are still trying to figure it out. Quit wasting all your money on drinking beer and going to Mexico. What do you want to do with your life?”

Tony Bynum, Professional Photographer

The purpose for this e-book is to get you thinking about what you would really like to do for a career that fits with your life goals, values, financial requirements, and priorities. Sometimes the hardest step to take is the first step, so let’s just get started.

This career guide is a tool to start the process of designing a life of freedom that you want to pursue. We’ll talk about what freedom is in just a bit and what it means to you. My ideas about freedom are likely different from yours, after all we are different people. My purpose for writing this little career hunting guide is to give you some things to think about and some resources that you can use to develop your own career hunting adventure. I have found in my own life that it is helpful to consider many areas of my life in order to make decisions about where I am going. The information and resources that I will share in this career hunting guide I have compiled over the years of my own scouting.

Given that you are likely a bowhunter, hunter, or outdoorsman, I thought that I’d write this guide as if you were planning an extended hunting trip, something more than just a one day trip. The reason I thought this approach would be helpful is that with a one day trip, you may likely just grab your gear and head off into the woods or fields without any kind of plan at all. I’ve done that too and it has always resulted in me coming home without any game. Your experiences may vary, but in general, a longer hunting trip requires some planning to be successful.

If you are reading this guide, you have most likely have had at least an inkling that you aren’t happy doing what you are doing for work. Maybe you have been thinking about your desire to make a change in your job or career. If you are thinking about making a career change, it may be due to the fact that you aren’t happy or fulfilled with what you are currently doing. Some of the resources that I will share in this guide will be intended to help you focus in on why you are working in the first place. I will be throwing a lot of questions at you with the intended purpose to get you to think, ponder, consider, question, analyze, mull over, and even meditate on the questions. I have found it most helpful when I have gone through this type of process, to write down my answers. So go get a notebook or a journal or some paper and a folder to keep it all together and be sure to write down your answers. Sometimes when you review what you have written down, you may want to come back and tweak your answers after some more thought.

Some things are beyond the scope of this e-book, like writing a life plan, setting career goals, and establishing priorities for your life. Don’t get me wrong, these are all vital parts of the picture and they need to be considered at some point, just not as part of this guide.

By the way, if a friend generously shared a copy of this book with you, I hope you enjoy it. More importantly though is that I will be periodically revising this book to make it even better, so please head over to and signup for the email newsletter so that when a new version comes out, you’ll get your own updated copy.

“Just go for it. It’s life and it’s like a hunting adventure. You’re not going to see any cool animals if you stay in the truck, so get out and do it.”

Preston Taylor, Wildlife Biologist

Step 1 – Why Do You Work?

The very first step to make a career change is to be clear why it is you work. Some people work:

  • to earn money to pay their bills
  • because they like to be busy
  • because they want to make a difference
  • because they want to help other people
  • because they are “artists” and they want to share their “art”
  • because they don’t want to be bored
  • because they think that is what they are supposed to do
  • to earn money to support some worthy projects
  • so that they can offer employment to other people
  • because they want to be part of something bigger than themselves
  • because someone told them that they need to work
  • because they don’t know what else to do
  • because they like to have variety in their lives

You will likely be working for one or more of the reasons above. Have you ever really stopped to think about why you are working? What is your “WHY”?

Stop for a few minutes and really give that some thought. Get out a notebook or a journal or sit down at your computer and jot some notes. Why do you work?

“We get up in the morning thinking about big bucks. We can’t wait to get off of work to jump in a tree stand. We think whitetails 24 x 7 x 365. I mean if we’re not hunting, we are thinking about it.”

Brandon Wikman, Land Specialist Whitetail Properties

Step 2 – What Is It Going To Take?

The second step to make a career change is to consider what it is going to take. No matter what kind of hunting trip you are planning, you need to consider what it is going to take. What equipment, what clothing, what backpack, what bow (for me this is easy, I have only one), what broad heads, what footwear, where are you going, what map, how much time is needed, who is going with you, and many other things. Pursuing a career change is very similar to this.

Let me tell you what pursuing a career change is NOT.

  • It is not reading the help wanted ads in the local paper or online job posting websites.
  • It is not hurriedly writing a resume and sending it off to 10 companies in your area with your stated objective simply being “Seeking any available position”.
  • It is not walking into or calling a company’s human resources office and saying “I’d like to talk to someone about a job, any job will do.”
  • It is not about settling for whatever you can find (there actually may be a time for this, but it is usually only a temporary one)

“If you’re a bowhunter and are thinking about how you could turn your passion for the great outdoors into a fulfilling career, this is your podcast. Life is too short to work in a cubicle if you want to spend more time doing things that matter, like bowhunting. Phil is like a career outfitter who leads you to the most prized career hunting grounds.”

iTunes Review – The freedom to pursue a dream career!
(5 Stars) January 31, 2015 by Douglas Burdett

So here are some questions to ask yourself about whether you are ready and willing to get started. Make sure to have your notebook and pen ready to write.

Do you want to do this solo or do you want or need someone’s help?

Depending on you, your personality, your current mindset, your family situation, your education, your ability to be introspective, you may want to have somebody that you trust help you in this adventure. Just like with a long hunting trip, your likelihood of success could be improved by having a guide, an outfitter, a friend, or a family member with you. Others always have their own unique perspective and set of experiences that can help you. Be realistic with yourself. Do you really want to do this on your own? You may just want someone that can act as an encourager or “cheerleader”.

Do you have what it takes to make a career change?

I ask this question very directly, because you need to think about this. “Having what it takes” can mean a lot of different things to each person. For some people it may mean, do I have a real desire to make a change? For some people it may mean, do I have the financial resources to make a change? For some people it may mean, do I have the time to make a change? For some people it may mean, do I have the support of my family to make a change? For some people it may mean, do I have the courage to make a change (because it is often really, really hard to change). Perhaps the more complete questions for those listed above would include the word “now”. For example, do I have the real desire to make a change now? The reason I add the word “now” is that your first answer might be “no” to the questions when you consider your current situation, but given a bit more time, your answer might change to “yes”.

“Take one day at a time. Plan it out and attack little barriers until the big one is done.”

Tim Thomason, Founder Nature Blinds

Are you dreaming big enough?

This question has always been a real tough one for me personally. How do we know when we are dreaming big enough? On the other hand, how do we know if we are dreaming too big? Who decides what is big enough or too big? You decide for you. I decide for me. Some of us may dream about earning an extra $1 an hour at our current job. Is this a big enough dream? It might be, but let’s do some math. An extra $1 per hour for a month (4.3 weeks, 40 hours per week = $172 additional per month) is about what a typical family spends for their cellphone bill. Really? Is that your big dream? What would you do if you had an extra $1,000 every month, or an extra $5,000 every month, or even $10,000?

Is your family on-board with your objectives?

For any of you who are married or who have children or who are responsible for other family or loved ones, you need to ask and answer this question. If you are single, living on your own, without any other relational responsibilities, then this could be a non-issue. As I have mentioned previously, making a career change can be a big challenge and stressful. Making a career change is one of the top 10 most stressful things a person can experience according to some authorities. Knowing this in advance can help you to prepare for the challenge and the stress. Family members can provide you with support and encouragement if they are on-board with your desires and reasons for wanting a change. If they aren’t on- board, or worse, they are against your plans, then this is something that you need to figure out how to address.

“We need to remember that we might not wake up tomorrow. We need to live our life. We need to find that passion, that fire that burns inside us, whatever it is that fuels that fire. And we need to get moving, get up off our duff and do it. ”

Mark Copeland, Store Manager Jay’s Sporting Goods

Step 3 – What Do You Want Your Life To Look Like?

Step three to make a career change is to consider what you want your life to look like. This may seem like a weird question (and I have been certified weird by my daughter a long time ago). Have you ever just taken some time to sit back with a cool beverage and ponder what you want your life to look like? What does your life look like now? Are you happy with what you see? Have you made any plans for your life or has life “happened to you”? Has someone else imposed their plans on your life? If you want your life to look different, then you need to plan it or design it to be different. I have heard that this process is called “Lifestyle Design”. Simply defined, lifestyle design is deliberately choosing and pursuing the life you desire rather than accepting the one society or your family or the government or your environment gives you.

To develop the design for your life, I’d like to focus one three key areas or principles that you need to consider. For the purpose of a bowhunting analogy, at the absolute minimum to be successful harvesting a big buck, there are three things you need to have. A bow. An arrow. A big buck to shoot at. I think that is all you need. You can complicate it by adding sights, quivers, camo clothing, range finder, GPS, game call, rattling bag, attractant scents, cover scents, and so on. All of these extra things may help you to be successful harvesting that big buck, but they aren’t required. This is the same with lifestyle design, you can make it more complicated. However, in this very simple approach that I offer to you, each of these principles must be given some thought or else the lifestyle design might not work out as you would like.

Stay tuned to hear part 2 and part 3 coming next week and the week after!

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks again for listening to the show! If it has helped you in any way, please share it using the social media buttons you see below this post and be sure to tell your hunting buddies as well.

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