I was introduced to George Jones through my Uncle Jim.
I spent over ten years hunting on my Uncle’s farm in Buffalo County Wisconsin. They were some of the best times of my young life. The camaraderie was unmatched.
My Uncle had an old replica radio that was turned on promptly each morning to the old time country station. Any time George Jones would come on my Uncle would reminisce about his time growing up as a twenty-something raising a family during recession.
He struggled to raise a family while starting his own business.
And George Jones was there to inspire him.
George ‘The Possum’ Jones has definitely had his share of run-ins with fans, family, and the law. But the one thing that has seemed to keep him striving is music.
George’s passion (and the love of his family I’m sure) have given him purpose in life. They’ve kept him going throughout his legendary career.
Not many people get to define an industry and I’d have to say that George defined what country music was and is from the ’50s on through today and into tomorrow.
George’s music and his voice are his life. He lives his life through music. By listening to a George Jones song you get to see how a man has lived his life. You get a peek inside a little corner of one of the great men of our lifetime’s most personal emotions.
And well, just take a look and listen to understand.
Here are a few lessons from George Jones that you can use to help your career in the hunting industry…
It’s often used as a cliché, but our actions truly define who we are.
An apt description of character is that no matter who we claim to be in our own minds and words, we’ll always be defined by what others think and say of us.
What do you want people to say and think about you?
Why do so many people, in all levels of country music, think and speak of George Jones so highly?
It’s because he had passion.
George Jones was and is still today passionate about the music he makes.
In order for people to think and speak of you highly you have to be passionate about what you do. You have to be passionate about the hunting industry. You have to be passionate about putting the success of others above your own success.
George Jones created songs that spoke of problems, issues, and funny occurrences that happened in every person’s life. People related to his music. He spoke for the common man and woman.
He wasn’t perfect himself. He had great faults as a person.
But he allowed others to succeed through his music.
And that’s the most empowering thing a business owner can do.
Even though George Jones wrote some of his best material, he never let his ego get in the way of a great song. He often recorded great songs written by others.
The song (content) was always his #1 priority.
You can put marketing, promotion, advertising, touring, record sales, product sales, etc. as high as you want on the priority tree, but the quality of the song (content) will always determine your success.
Without exceptional songs (content), George Jones would not exist as he does today.
George knew his audience. He knew who he wanted to speak with. He knew the people he wanted to connect with. He grew up around the people he wanted to connect with.
And he never lost sight of that audience. The audience just happened to be larger than he probably ever thought it could be (probably a result of his influence).
Who is your audience?
Is your content good enough to keep their attention?
Don’t forget your roots
Along with not forgetting the importance of the song (content), is not forgetting your roots. You can’t change your past. You can, however, use your past to improve upon who you are and expand your connection with others.
Use your past to enhance your connections with others.
If you grew up a middle-class kid from Ohio then use your history to connect with your audience. And if your audience didn’t grow up the same way you did you’ll provide them a different and unique perspective that might be able to help them in their journey to grow their business.
People can tell when you’re not being honest with them. They want to believe what you tell them, but if you’re not being truthful they’ll figure it out at some point.
Don’t hide who you are.
George Jones sang about his life. He didn’t hide his past. His life story isn’t picture perfect and that’s what we love about it. It shows his flaws just as it shows his successes.
That is what gives people hope.
Don’t be afraid to expand
He’s embraced it.
Artists that try to stay complacent with their previous success are doomed to fail.
While you should always enhance what is successful for you, you should also work to expand as a businessperson.
Never be satisfied with you success.
While you should enjoy your success, never be fully satisfied until you retirement days.
I’m sure George reflects on his days today, but he still works to leave a mark while he’s still with us.
Don’t be afraid to take chances with your craft. The world is forgiving. People will forgive you if you show sincerity and a willingness to improve their lives. If you fail while trying to improve the lives of others you will be forgiven.
Strive to succeed, but don’t be afraid to fail.
Find you success formula and utilize it. Then expand upon it in ways you might be anxious to.
George Jones has been around for over 50 years making great country music. He literally defined a generation of music that is still today’s most popular form of music. He speaks to the heart and soul of most Americans. It takes passion to reach that many people on such a deep level. His honesty and truth with himself and with his audience allow for a connection most people are unwilling to explore.
The reason George Jones has been around for 50+ years is his unrelenting ability to expose his emotions, his pain, and his heartbreak to his audience.
George Jones simply has zero artificial barriers.
There is a reason every modern country artist credits George as an influence – George Jones is country music.
It took the boldness and fearfulness of one man to define an entire genre of music.
Are you willing to do the same to define the hunting industry?
You are capable of doing it.
And so is your number one competitor.
Which one of you will lose your fear of failure and define the next generation of hunting innovation?
Will you be inspired as my Uncle was?
If you haven’t heard ‘The Greatest Country Song of All Time’, here it is…
A song, one man, a microphone, and nothing else. Complete vulnerability. Pure magic.
I listened to George Jones while writing this post.
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