Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m in my tree stand
It seems that the hours of work we put in always seems to increase along with the stresses of making enough money to satisfy our needs and wants – ours and those of our families. It also seems like sometimes you can try and try, but the personal goals you set for yourself and your entrepreneurial ventures still seem out of reach.
What’s lacking when we get stuck in the Work, Work, Stand Still rut is inspiration.
Today I felt a little extra inspiration after spending the weekend in the woods doing one of the things I love most – hunting.
Here are 10 hunting-related ways to find inspiration and unlock your creativity…
1| Scout a new piece of property
There is nothing like the excitement and challenge of scouting a new piece of property. In the past two seasons I’ve had to take on some new leases to whitetail hunt. I went from knowing a great piece of property back and front to needing to find new places to hunt.
Sometimes all you need to do to find inspiration and grow professionally and personally is take on some new challenges and give up (voluntarily or not) the things you know the best.
2| Scout a familiar piece of property
There is a new song out by Joe Nichols – Old Things New. It’s written by three of my favorite country song writers – Bill Anderson, Paul Overstreet, and Buddy Cannon.
He starts out by singing about taking out an old Hank Williams record and putting it on the player. The song goes on to discuss how we can all find new inspiration in the familiar things around us.
That’s true for hunting too. Take a look at that old piece of property with a new perspective.
Also take a look at that familiar business of yours. You never know what kind of inspiration you’ll stir up.
3| Hang a tree stand
One of things I like doing the best in the woods is hanging a tree stand, especially in a new spot. I like the challenge of finding the right tree while trying to figure out where the deer will likely come from and how I can best position myself for the encounter.
There is a strategy and some physicality involved in hanging a tree stand that can get the mind thinking and the body working in ways that inspire our professional and personal lives as well.
4| Cut shooting lanes
Part of the strategy that goes into hanging a new tree stand is cutting new shooting lanes. I like the intricate detail it takes to cut down trees. As a strategic hunter you want to cut down just enough limbs to provide shooting lanes, but not too many limbs so as to take away all of your cover.
Sometimes, especially when it comes to our businesses’ Website, we need to take out the pruner and cut away some shooting lanes – cut out the unnecessary features. But we have to make sure to only cut away just the right amount.
5| Sit for an entire day
I like to read during day-long hunts. I know some diehard hunters frown on hunters who read, but I find I’m able to stay out in the woods longer, especially during midday, if my mind is occupied.
It seems like when I spend an entire day in the woods I am able to really think about the important things in live with some quality thought. There is a lot of downtime in most hunting situations and this downtime is perfect because you’re stripped from all of the distractions in your daily life.
You don’t have your computer, TV, electricity, etc. It’s just you and your thoughts.
Go on an all day hunt and use the downtime to think about ideas for your hunting business. Take in the woods and animals around you for inspiration.
6| Take your still camera
I like taking pictures out in the woods even though I’m not the best photographer.
I like taking pictures of odd occurrences, like snow in October, or just the different animals I see – this past Saturday, on the farm of leasing from, three of the farmer’s cats followed me all the way to my stand. It made for a couple funny pictures. (And the deer didn’t seem to mind which was a little surprising).
Let your creativity take over as your take still pictures of the wonderful world around you in the woods. And then let the creativity bleed over into your professional life.
7| Take a family member scouting or bird shooting
This is one thing I definitely do not do enough of.
Taking a family member scouting is a great way to not only a great way to spend time in the outdoors, but it’s a great way to spend time with a loved one. The woods can make for great conversation. Some of the best conversations I’ve had with my Dad have been out in the woods doing some grouse hunting or scouting for a new stand.
This conversation can even include some new businesses ideas. Your family is typically one of the best places to get feedback on ideas.
Head out to the woods and see where the conversation leads.
8| Watch squirrels
I like watching squirrels and other animals out in the woods almost as much as I enjoy watching the deer I’m usually out there to hunt. I like watching the squirrels go about their business. Sometimes it seems they simply run around as fast as they can from tree to tree with no goal in mind, but I’m sure they have a plan for their madness.
Lots of the best inventions for men and women have come from being inspired by things that nature provides us. Who knows, maybe something that a squirrel does without thinking will spark some inspiration for your next brilliant thought.
9| Help a friend get setup in a great honey hole
The things that we find most rewarding in life often don’t involve ourselves gaining anything as a result.
I’m a big fan of helping others find success and this includes hunting success. I’ve enjoyed going out into the woods with friends and fellow hunters to find prime spots to stalk a big old whitetail buck.
Help out a fellow hunter and perhaps the time spent will spark an idea of something else your business could do for your customers (for profit in this instance of course).
10| Enjoy the after hunt
I have always enjoyed the time I used to spend with the guys who used to hunt on my Uncle’s farm after we were done hunting for the day. We always seemed to gather around on the porch waiting for each other to get in. There were usually one or two beers downed as well as a little dirt kicked around. And of course everyone had to go into detail about their hunts. It’s amazing how hunters like to tell their stories from the day’s hunt.
I think the details from the hunting stories are a result of the passion hunters have for hunting. The same is true about you and your business.
Sometimes we just have to rediscover that inspiration by taking a little time after a day’s work to discuss the business with family or friends.
Bonus | Bring a notepad
This year I began doing something new in the woods – I’m taking a notepad with me on each hunt. I kept finding myself having some great thoughts and business ideas out in the woods that I finally broke down and spent $1.50 on a pen and note cards. Now I am writing down my thoughts out in the woods. Sure, not all of them seem as brilliant once I get home, but my mind seems to be working on overtime knowing I have the note cards.
Plus when the creative juices are flowing – good things seem to happen.
Can you think of other ways to find inspiration while hunting?
Please share in the comments.
image credit: Hryck.
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