The George Strait Guide to a Lifelong, Fulfilling, and Successful Career

Do you love what you do every day?

King George Strait

image credit: PinkMoose

If you’ve read one or two posts on this blog before you have probably figured out that I am a big country music fan.

I often compare the careers of country music singers and songs to the marketing of hunting businesses. This may seem odd, but if you look past the obvious there can be some real intriguing things to learn from country music as it relates to the marketing of your hunting business.

Here are a few of the posts I’ve written before that draw from the influence of country music:

The George Jones Successful Career Guide

The Merle Haggard Guide to Everlasting Success

10 Country Song Lyrics to Inspire Your Hunting Business

The Best Country Songs You’ve Never Heard – A Lesson in Marketing

Remarkable Country Songs That Stand Out In My Hunting Memory

Now, let’s discuss the career of King George…the one and only George Strait.

Why I like George Strait

I’m sure the first George Strait song I heard was not Amarillo By Morning, but it is definitely the first George Strait song that I remember as being impactful on my life.

I’m not even sure why this song stands out in my memory.

Maybe it’s the smooth singing. Maybe it’s the wailing fiddle. Maybe it’s the melancholy tone.

I’m not, nor have I ever been a rodeo cowboy (I went to a rodeo once in Cody, Wyoming and it was awesome). I’ve never lived life on the road. I’ve never been to Amarillo.

After all of these years of turning up the radio every time I hear this song play in my truck, office, or jukebox, I think I’ve finally realized why it’s been one of my favorites – Truth.

Truth

When George Strait sings I believe in what he’s doing.

George Strait is a rodeo cowboy (team roping), he lives life on a ranch (probably a pretty big ranch), and he still puts on his Wranglers and a classic shirt whether he’s in the public eye or living his normal life (I’m only assuming this of course. Who knows…maybe he likes wearing gray pinstripe suits.).

When George Strait sings about making the next stop in Cheyenne, living in the heartland, or about one of the smoothest pick-up lines ever, I believe him.

George Strait sings about things he knows. He sings about what he is passionate about. He molds the simple things in life that he loves doing (or wishes he did) with his passion for singing.

The only way to truly find happiness in life is to find the things you love doing the most and find a way to earn a living doing them or find a way to make time to enjoy them with the people you love most.

Passion

I often discuss the importance of making connections on the Web.

Connections are what make live worth living. We connect with people throughout our day – online and offline. We’re always meeting new people and reconnecting with people we haven’t seen for years.

Have you ever thought about the best connections you’ve made throughout your life?

I’m thinking about it right now and I’ve always been drawn to passionate people.

It doesn’t matter what the passion is…I’m drawn simply to people who are passionate about what they enjoy doing and how they live their life.

George Strait is passionate about his music. He’s passionate about living a cowboy lifestyle. He connects with people who recognize his passion through his music. The songs he sings exude passion. His voice and the words he sings are powerful enough to create lasting memories for his listeners.

This is a powerful gift and one that we can all achieve.

You just have to recognize your passion and live your life with just as much enthusiasm – you’ll find people wanting to connect with you as they’re drawn to you through your passion.

George’s Career Path

The Early Days

I was a young troubadour/When I rode in on a song

George

George joined the Ace in the Hole band while working as a rancher in Texas. The band played the bars and honky tonks for a few years. They made connections in the Texas music network and eventually met the right person who put them in front of some people with pull from Nashville.

George and his band were eventually signed to a major label deal.

The band continued playing their shows and recording tunes until they stumbled on one or two the label thought they could put out as singles.

I’m not sure if this is how it works in the music industry (T. Michael, maybe you can help?), but I remember hearing about the rise of Randy Travis (Shoot, now I’ll have to write that post…) and how he was signed to a 3-single deal with a major label. Basically, the label would let Randy cut three songs and promote them as singles and if one or more hit then he would be able to make an entire album. Thankfully for all country music lovers, 1982 made the top ten and the re-release of On the Other Hand made it to number one and the resulting album was the classic Storms of Life.

Randy Travis Storms of Life

I’m not sure if George’s deal was similar, but the real lesson here is that George had to work hard in the early days just to have the opportunity to make his dream come true.

You

I’m a firm believer that we make our own opportunities, luck and circumstance in this life. Nobody is going to do the work for you and the world doesn’t stop turning if you take the easy way out through complacency.

The great thing about following your passion in life is you will have the drive to succeed no matter what it takes.

Just as George had to work during the early days of his career, you will have to maintain your ultimate vision while having doors continuously slammed in your face.

Nobody said it was easy. If success were easy then everybody would win.

But it’s not impossible and the trick is to find what you’re passionate about and the negativity won’t matter because if you truly love what you’re doing you won’t have a problem doing everything you can just for the opportunity to have a shot at achieving your dream.

And who knows…maybe you’ll become a huge success doing what you love just like George Strait.

I think you will.

Breakthrough Success (How to sustain)

I’ve got some ocean front property in Arizona/And if you’ll buy that I’ll throw the golden gate in free

George

With George’s first single Unwound he and his Ace in the Hole band found success with a top ten country hit. Two more singles form his first album followed and with the first single from his second album Strait From the Heart, George and his band had their first number one song Fool Hearted Memory.

Strait CountryStrait From the Heart

The breakthrough may have come with that first single, but that was only one of the small breakthroughs George had during his career.

There was his first number one as I mentioned earlier. Then came his first album Ocean Front Property which sold millions of copies and took George from a singer with a few numbers ones to headliner.

Later there was the movie Pure Country and the Pure Country Soundtrack.

Pure Country kicked off the nineties for George, which saw more number one hits and The George Strait Music Festival.

By this time George’s level of success was unmatched.

You

The lesson you can take from George Strait’s success is his ability to continually work for breakthrough moments.

As you work to achieve success with your hunting business you will have many failures followed by a few successes.

It’s easy to think that once you reach a successful breakthrough moment that you have made it or you’ve gone as far as you can.

This is the point of complacency that kills most businesses.

There are two ways to go when you reach your first breakthrough – you can sit back and be satisfied with your breakthrough and tell your grandkids about how you made it with your business one day or you can take the breakthrough as encouragement and use that to drive you for even more success.

Your business is a continuous work in progress.

You have to continually work to build your customer base while continuing to make changes seem familiar to your existing customers.

A career doesn’t happen overnight.

It takes a lifetime to build a sustained career and I’m not sure if it every truly stops.

Each time you achieve success or reach a goal, set new goals and new dreams.

Slowly build your business and never lose your passion for growth and success.

Summary – Lessons to Use for Your Hunting Business

Ask any new or emerging country music artists whose career they would most like to mimic and you’re likely to hear one name over and over – George Strait.

George Strait Troubadour

Why do so many new artists envy George’s career? It’s because he’s been successful for such a long time.

And we’re not talking about a good run for 5 or even 10 years…we’re talking about 3 decades plus of solid, chart-topping singles and albums.

George Strait is as relevant today as he ever was. He’s maintained his faithful audience over the years and he’s grown his following as new listeners (like me) have found his music (new and old).

George has worked hard his entire career to continually find his breakthrough moments. He’s still having them today and I don’t think he’ll ever stop finding them.

If you can learn one thing from George’s lifelong, fulfilling, and successful career, it should be his ability to never get complacent while continuously working for the next breakthrough.

If you have any breakthrough moments you’d like to share please feel free to leave a comment.

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Dayne Shuda

I'm a blogger and hunting enthusiast. Follow me on Twitter.

5 thoughts on “The George Strait Guide to a Lifelong, Fulfilling, and Successful Career”

  1. You absolutely hit the nail squarely upon the head when you stated “Honesty” Dayne!
    George,Merle,Kristofferson,Kix Brooks,Garth,Reba etc. etc. all made their long lasting marks with pure, straight honesty.

    In the music scene of yesteryear and all the way into today the struggling artist still must Pay To Play! (I will explain that one later).
    But through it all if you remain true to yourself, and do not change your direction at someone else’s whim, no matter what the consequences, then that trueness will surely manifest itself into your product.
    And the buying public will surely see through the other peoples hype, and will then take serious notice of your straight shooting policy’s.

    The sad state of affairs especially becomes readily apparent when you sign a contract with a large company alongside about 50 to 100 others for the next 3 years.
    They will then mold you all into little clay balls and throw all of you against the wall, keeping those who stick to the wall.
    While all others become a tax write off for the company.
    And meanwhile you are still under contract (just in case something miraculous happens with you) but nevertheless, you can’t even go out and solicit yourself to another company until the contract runs out.
    Just one of many pitfalls in any business when you choose dollars over integrity.

    There is no such thing as “Overnight Success” because anything worth having at all, takes lots of hard work and pure dedication.

    Heck, even the Beatles were initially signed to Capitol Records with just a distribution deal, and eventually worked their way up to a single to single contract. And then the rest is of course history!

    The same applies to the business of hunting as well because I remember back when starting out, and working for other outfits as a guide, I would see things being done to create an avenue of “shortcut” solely for the convenience of the outfitter!
    Those unscrupulous individuals did not last long in the industry and some, have went very quickly from previously being my competitors, to now asking me for a job.

    The other state of being to which you touched upon is to always remain “Hungry”!
    Never rest upon your laurels and continuously be striving for perfection, all the while understanding that you will never fully achieve it, as we are only human after all, but keep trying nonetheless.

    Paul McCartney (yes I know he is an animal activist) but I still greatly respect his talent and the drive he has to always be true to his art.
    He once revealed in an interview that his greatest fear was going broke and having to live out upon the streets again as he had done in his youth.
    Just like William Randolph Hearst said of himself, and was also portrayed by Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, Mr. McCartney could spend several million dollars a year and still not go broke for the rest of his life.

    It is just that special sort of inner drive which sets the super achievers so far apart from the lackadaisical.

    And if you never become a super star or own a super successful business you can at least be cavalier and dignified about it, and just begin singing another great George Strait song: That Wasn’t My Chair After All…….

  2. Great insight as always T. Michael!

    I never knew that about The Beatles – very interesting.

    Thanks for the short story about your outfitting experience. Very interesting!

    Thanks again T. Michael.

  3. Absolutely Dayne,
    As I have stated before, I have always took great joy in helping people out and “feel” their success along with them when they finally achieve it!

    If I can help another person to not make the same mistakes which I made, then I will have succeeded my goals!

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