What do Chris Burget and Garth Brooks have in Common?

People follow leaders that interpret the world

Garth Brooks in Concert

Garth Brooks interprets the world for hard working Americans. Garth is arguably the most followed American entertainer in the past century. He entertained the world with his songs about love, work, good times, sad times, and life in general. And he interpreted the world and everyday occurrences in a way that his followers connected with and could relate to. Garth is a resource of interpretation and he has millions of followers and millions of people have purchases his recordings as a way to connect with Garth and his interpretations on the occurrences that affect their lives.

Chris Burget is the founder of Bulls & Beavers – The Premier Online Resource for Outdoor Enthusiasts. Chris also happens to be one of the most followed outdoor enthusiasts on Twitter. Follow him @BullsandBeavers. Check out how many lists people have included him on in their Twitter Lists. Notice all of the ‘Outdoors’, ‘Fishing’, and ‘Hunting’ lists.

Why does Chris have so many followers on Twitter?

Just as Garth has many followers, Chris is one of the most followed and respected outdoorsmen today because he interprets the world in a way that other outdoor enthusiasts, hunters, and anglers connect with. Chris

Let’s take a look at a few ways Chris is like Garth Brooks. Hopefully you can take some inspiration from a few of the similarities and grow your followers like Garth Brooks and Chris Burget have.


Interpretation is one of the 8 categories of intangible value that we buy when we pay for something that could be free.

Everybody, including ourselves, is always trying to figure out our own place in the world. We always question why certain things happen or why the occurrences in the world occur. We are all looking for answers to our questions regarding everything we observe in our daily lives.

We are all looking for others to interpret occurrences in the world that affect us.

One of my favorite Garth Brooks songs is Standing Outside the Fire. In the song, which Brooks co-wrote, Brooks sings about taking chances in life and the difficulty most of us have with wanting taking risk in our lives yet also wanting some form of security.

I guess it’s probably my entrepreneurial spirit that connects me with the song, but the fact is that I connect with the song. And so did millions of other people. Some for the same reason. Some probably connected with it simply because it has a great melody.

Either way, people connected with the way Garth interpreted the risk-reward feeling we all typically have. He took that feeling and gave us a way to think about it deeper and potentially make a decision based on that interpretation. Ok, perhaps the songs didn’t cause people to make risk-reward decisions, but Garth was able to get people drawn to him by giving his interpretation of the issue.

Chris, like Garth, takes difficult issues for hunters, anglers, and outdoorsmen and addresses them directly with his interpretation of the issue.

For example, please read – Hunting & Fishing is a Multi-Billion Dollar Corporation.

In the article, Chris writes his feelings on why hunting is important for the traditions in the United States as well as for economic impact. The difficulty of defending the tradition of hunting and fishing is something hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen deal with on a regular basis. When a leader in the outdoor world can put together an effective argument in favor of the outdoorsmen it’s impactful. Chris did that with his interpretation of the issue. I especially like the final paragraph:

As I sit here and think about my personal life as a hunter, angler and entrepreneur, my thoughts revolve around both the passionate side of hunting, fishing and the business side. Socially, culturally, and economically, hunting and fishing is part of who we are and contains all the good ingredients of what we need to be in the future.

Chris was not afraid to take the issue head on and give his interpretation of the issue. As a result of taking this approach and providing an interpretation, Chris was able to answer questions for other outdoorsmen who are likely going to become followers as he leads their thought and arguments for their worldviews.

People look for leaders in their daily lives for interpretation on the issues that directly affect their lives. Chris, like Garth Brooks, is one of those leaders.


There is no doubt that Garth Brooks connected with millions of people. His mark of 120+ million records sold (and counting) in less than two decades speaks for itself. In short – people listen to what Garth has to say.

People connected not only with Garth’s interpretation of the world as mentioned above, they connected with the passion he brought with his interpretation.

People can tell almost instantly when someone is genuine in what they say and feel. People understand that Garth is passionate about the things that he sings about in his songs. He feels what he’s singing about and people are drawn to passionate people. They want to share that passion for life and the occurrences that affect their lives.

People know that Chris Burget is passionate about the outdoors. They know he is passionate about the things he writes about on Bulls & Beavers. They know he is passionate about the links he shares on Twitter. They know he is passionate about the comments he posts on Twitter.

Take a look at this snapshot of his Twitter Stream:

Bulls and Beavers Twitter Stream

There is a quote about anger. There are retweets about Cabela’s and a shooting incident. These are things that impact people’s lives and Chris provides his thoughts on the subjects whether they’re his own or thoughts he agrees with.

If you follow Chris on Twitter you find this is what his Twitter Stream is like all the time. He is remarkably consistent with bringing information to Twitter that affects people. This is the reason he has so many followers. People like what he has to say.

People like what Chris has to say because they’re looking to connect with someone who isn’t afraid to share their feelings on the topics they’re passionate about.

People can tell that Chris is passionate and they connect with him because they want to share that passion for the things they care about.


I’m not sure if Chris Burget has ever been compared to Garth Brooks before, but they do have much in common.

Two of the things Chris has in common with one of the biggest entertainers of all time are interpretation and connection.

Both Garth and Chris have a willingness to share their interpretation with those who share the same worldviews. They are willing to take on the occurrences in the lives of themselves and others and provide an interpretation that helps people cope, understand and live their lives. Not everybody can provide this interpretation and that is the reason both Garth and Chris have so many followers. They both excel and helping others interpret the world.

Garth and Chris are also both passionate about the topics they interpret. Garth is passionate about the topics he sings about whether that be love, love lost, long working hours, domestic difficulties, risk-reward, etc. People share his same feelings on the world and once they realize Garth is passionate about the topics they look to connect with him.

It’s obvious that Chris is passionate about the outdoors. Follow his tweets to get a glimpse of his dedication to the outdoors. Chris takes on the difficult issues in the outdoor world and provides answers to the questions every other outdoorsman is asking. He does it with a passion that draws others to him.

What are some things you’re doing right now to connect with your target followers?

Is your company doing anything to form a deeper connection with your customers that draws in their complete attention?

If you aren’t, somebody else, like Chris, will find a way to connect instead.

What to Read Next…

Grow Your Followers Like a Country Music Singer

10 Inspiring Country Music Videos for Hunting Businesses

What Do Chris Brogan and Michael Caine Have In Common?

10 Hunting-Related Ways to Find Inspiration and Unlock Your Creativity

Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m in my tree stand

Dusty Record

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.

Old Things New

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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50 Photos to Strike Emotion in Your Audience

Buying is an emotional experience

Whitetail Buck

image credit: Charles & Clint

Hunting businesses are always looking for ways to connect with customers and build a trust that can lead to sales. For customers and for businesses, buying (and selling) is an emotional experience. Customers want to feel positive emotion during and after their purchase especially if it’s a large purchase. Sellers or businesses also want to feel positive emotion about anything they sell to customers. Businesses don’t simply want to make money – they want to know they have provided a customer with a quality product or service with an experience and trust that will lead to a long-term business relationship (and future sales).

One of the best ways to strike emotion for your customers with your Website is to use remarkable photos.

I took a look around Flickr Creative Commons to show you…

50 Photos that will Strike Emotion in Your Audience

Don’t Get Caught Unprepared

Snow Bike

image credit: laffy4k

100% Organic Products

Wheat Field

image credit: KevinLallier

We Move Fast

Running Dog

image credit: Emery_Way

Attention to Detail

Hay Bales

image credit: pdam2

Cozy Up


image credit: _cck_

Smoke the Competition

Blue Smoke

image credit: Subharnab

Get Close

Mule Deer Velvet

image credit: jkirkhart35

Stay Warm and Cozy in the Cabin

Cabin Fire Wine

image credit: Steph & Adam

Plenty to Choose From

Christmas Trees

image credit: busymommy

Come Visit

Wisconsin Autumn

image credit: newagecrap

Hurry – Before They’re Gone

Mallard Ducks

image credit: mikebaird

Come Hunt With Us

Hunting Dog

image credit: agwagon2000

Cook Roast Venison Tonight With This Recipe


image credit: viZZZual.com

Restore Your Shotgun to New

Old Shotgun

image credit: GregPC

Take Your Best Shot


image credit: Cаvin 〄

Simple. Smooth.

Whiskey Glass

image credit: Kyle May

Who’s Watching Your Back?

James Bond Gun Suit

image credit: albertopveiga


Black Widow

image credit: another_finn

Get Close

Close Pheasant

image credit: BobMacInnes

Fire a Few

Shotgun Shell

image credit: SubZeroConciousness

Bow Hunting Preparation

Bow Hunting

image credit: JxM – JohnMack.co.uk

Walk With Us

Path through Field

image credit: earlycj5


Painted Canyon

image credit: Wolfgang Staudt

Classics Never Die


image credit: Willie Lunchmeat

Great Sound

Guitar Strings

image credit: Mirko Macari



image credit: Aitor Escauriaza

City Park

City Park

image credit: flungabunga



image credit: LDCross

Get On Top of the Busy Life

Busy City

image credit: striatic

Explore the Stream in Our Backyard

Forest Stream

image credit: the_tahoe_guy

Visit the Little Cabin in the Woods

Cabin in the Woods

image credit: dbking

Stay on Your Track

Train Track

image credit: Irargerich

Get Away

Morning Canoe

image credit: molajen

Trophy of a Lifetime

Grazing Elk

image credit: virtualphotographystudio

Aggressive Bulls

Two Bull Elk

image credit: Misserion

You Can Bring Your Best Hunting Buddy or Use Ours

Black Lab

image credit: OakleyOriginals

Get Close to Big Moose

Bull Moose

image credit: Fisherga

Relax In Between Hunts

Relaxing Dog

image credit: OakleyOriginals

Cup of Coffee in the Morning

Sunset Lake

image credit: thefuturistics

Rustic Quality

Old Kitchen

image credit: Seamus Murray

Families Welcome

Family Boating Trip

image credit: OakleyOriginals

Enjoy the Chase

Coyote Chasing Mouse

image credit: Peter Rivera

We’ll Get You Close

Swimming Grizzly

image credit: Ha-Wee

Come Sit With Us


image credit: Shot_by_Cam

You’ll Find Treasures

Old Pickup

image credit: Duchamp

Because Anything Can Happen

Train off the Tracks

image credit: aussiegall

We Have Good Notes


image credit: Amir K.

Pencil Us In

Pen and Journal

image credit: Sancho Papa

Under the Same Moon


image credit: photofarmer

Come Prepared

Over Under Shotgun

image credit: Randy Son Of Robert

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Don’t Rock the Blog Title

Inspiration often strikes when you least expect

Record Jukebox

image credit Fimb

Alan Jackson is one of my all-time favorite singers and songwriters. With his music and words, he tells simple stories that pull all emotions out of listeners. Jackson tells stories of family, growing up, girls, appreciating the simple wonders in life, and all the struggles along the way that make us appreciate all the good.  After 20 years, 15 albums, 25 number one singles, and 50 million albums Alan Jackson is still playing for sold-out stadiums and recording hit music. Sometime in the late 1980s, Jackson came up with the title and main hook for one of his biggest hit singles, Don’t Rock the Jukebox.

I think it’s an apt comparison to look at the song writing process and the blog writing process. Writers for both communication mediums look for a content format, a voice, and a marketing effort to put their versions of life’s little stories into the minds of specific audiences.

I’m always fascinated by the stories behind the songs we learn to love. There always seems to be a unique story of inspiration behind the best songs. It’s usually something unexpected that occurs that sparks creativity in the songwriter and the magic takes over after that as the writer(s) format their inspiration into words and music that will connect with an audience looking for inspiration themselves.

Let’s take a look at how you can use the same technique for your blog writing…

Be Aware

In How to Write a Blog Post I discuss that it’s important to start with the title of a blog post when you set out to write a post for your audience. However, coming up with an inspiring title is often the most difficult part of writing a blog post even though it may seem like it would be the easiest.

In songwriting, it seems that some of the best songs titles or hooks, come out of single moments of inspiration – eureka moments. The idea for Don’t Rock the Jukebox came at an unexpected time for Alan Jackson, but he was able to recognize the clever lyric and put it to a good country melody.

Inspiration for your blog titles can come from any source and at any moment in time. Hanging out with friends, family or co-workers can potentially lead to some conversation that will result in a classic blog title. When you’re sitting in your tree stand watching the woodland critters runaround can spark a thought that can turn into your best blog post.

Opportunities for great blog titles happen each day in your life and the reason they often lead to the best blog posts are because your own experiences are often similar to those of your audience. And when you take a clever outlook on something that happens to you in your life it’s likely your audience will connect with your message.

Alan Jackson realized he had a clever hook with Don’t Rock the Jukebox. He also must have realized that he and his audience all shared the same outlook on music – Don’t rock the jukebox/I want to hear some Jones.

Be aware of your inspirational moments and write about your passions. This is how you’ll connect with your audience through blogging.

Let it flow

Sometimes the titles you come up with using this method of inspiration will tend to be a little strange or even on the edge of ridiculous. Don’t worry, let your supporting thoughts flow as your outline your blog post and fill in the body with content that builds on the idea you came up with when you wrote the blog title.

I think the writer’s at Copyblogger have a great knack for writing posts based on clever blog titles. Some of their titles border on ridiculous, but they know who their audience is (bloggers) and it’s for this reason that the titles usually make sense to readers while also standing out as interesting titles that readers can’t help but click on when browsing the Web for content.

I’m sure that when Alan Jackson sat down with his producer, Keith Stegall and co-writer Roger Murrah there were a few laughs shared as they thought about the clever hook they were basing a country song on. However, out of this writing session came a song that captured an emotion the audience shared and the writers and musicians were able to capture a mood that the audience wanted to hear repeatedly for many years.

When you come up with a great idea for a blog post let your imagination and creativity run. Let your thoughts flow as you get caught up in the moment of capturing inspiration with words. When artificial barriers don’t hinder your true feelings and emotions you’ll see that the points you express will connect with others who share your same worldviews and sentiments towards the topic of discussion.

Let your creativity flow as you take a seemingly ridiculous title and create a passionate blog post.


Coming up with clever, eye-catching, and relevant blog titles is no easy task.  Yet if you can learn a few tricks from writers, you can figure out ways to make sure you’re capturing all of the wonderful blog post ideas that happen around you each day.

Songwriters come up with clever song titles (or hooks) to songs at times when they least expect it, yet they’re always ready to at least jot down an idea so they can build on the idea later. Alan Jackson recognized a quality country song title with Don’t Rock the Jukebox at a moment he probably least expected. He kept the title in mind and later let the creativity flow as he sat down with his songwriting partners. The result was a catchy, classic country song that still finds relevance with audiences today.

Inspiration can strike at any moment when it comes to songwriting and blog titles. Will you be ready to capture the moment the next you’re sitting in front of your computer, hands on the keyboard when all of a sudden somebody bumps your hands and you say…

Don’t Rock the Blog Title


I wouldn’t leave you hanging without sharing a video of the story behind the great country song Don’t Rock the Jukebox on CMT.

Alan’s tale:

We were playing this little truck stop lounge in Virginia. I took a break and walked over to the jukebox and Roger, our bass player, was over there and one of the legs was broken off the jukebox and it was wobbling around and he looked over at me and said…

Don’t Rock the Jukebox on You Tube

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Successful Business Highlight – Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine – Blogging and Link Building Masterminds

Smashing Glass

image credit: AMagill

The folks at Smashing Magazine have the blogging game figured out. They write blog posts that are extremely valuable for their readers, audience, and customers. The posts include tips, tools, and examples that help their readers to become more knowledgeable with the craft of design.

And the best part of Smashing Magazine is that they link to other great individuals and companies.

It’s not only a great way to provide value for an audience, it’s a great way to gain attention and a few links to your site (SEO Gold).

The value in having a blog for your business is providing valuable information for you customer so you can connect and establish a strong and long-term business/customer relationship. Customers today look for companies they can trust for quality products. A blog is a way to build the trust necessary for future success on the Web.

Highlighting the success of other companies and bloggers is a strategy you can use to grow your blog’s status and impact while building relationships with bloggers, other business leaders on the Web, and most importantly your customers (this relationship leads to sales and profit).

Let’s take a closer look at the success of Smashing Magazine and a few ways you can use their success as an example when building your blog for your hunting business…

Smashing Magazine Company Brief

Smashing Magazine Logo

About Smashing Magazine

Founded in September 2006, Smashing Magazine delivers useful and innovative information to Web designers and developers. Our aim is to inform our readers about the latest trends and techniques in Web development. We try to convince you not with the quantity but with the quality of the information we present. We hope that makes us different. Smashing Magazine is, and always has been, independent.

Why I Love Smashing Magazine’s Blog Posts

I posted on Twitter one of the things I’ve learned about blogging.

Highlighting the Success of Others on Twitter

Shortly after posting my thought on Twitter, I realized that Smashing Magazine was doing a perfect job of writing articles on their blog that not only highlight the success of others, but also provide extremely valuable content for designers and Web developers.

If you have a blog for your hunting business, highlighting the success of others is a great way to provide value for your readers.

You might be asking, “Why is it advantageous to write about others? I thought it was important to highlight the success of my own business?”

While it’s important to write about the success of your own business, here are a few benefits to writing about the success of others:

1| Examples provide value for your readers, customers, and audience

2| Valuable connections with businesses and bloggers

3| Link building strategy

Valuable Examples for Readers

Writing about the success of other bloggers and companies, even in related fields, provides valuable examples of success for your readers to learn from and emulate in their own lives.

For example, if you have an outfitting business you could write an article/blog post about how the Bowhunting Blog provides the best expert hunting product reviews that include photos, objective discussion, and how-to information. You could go on to write about how one of their articles helped you with your outfitting business (if that’s actually the case).

On your outfitting blog, your readers are likely looking for your expertise in the area of hunting in which you specialize. Along with your own product reviews, highlighting quality product reviews from other sources is another great way to provide value for your readers. Quality content is a great way to gain a loyal readership (quality traffic) for your company’s blog.

Valuable Connections

A second benefit of highlighting the success of others are the connections you can make with other players in the hunting industry including business associates, bloggers, and marketers.

When you write and link to other bloggers and sites in the hunting industry, those people will usually receive notice via email or on their site that you are linking to them. People love reading nice things that are said about what they’re working hard to do with their business so it’s likely a friendship and valuable connection can be made from your first contact via your blog.

Link Building Strategy

The third benefit of highlighting the success of others with your hunting blog is that when you show other bloggers and Website owners some love they may just show you some love back – in the form of links to your site (search engines love quality links to your site. It builds your authority).

Smashing Magazine has a ton of quality links from other sites and bloggers.

The search engines like when other quality sites link to your business’s site and blog because it shows that others value you, your business, and your content. It’s social proof that you’re a reputable Website on the Internet and the search engines are more likely to put you at the top of the results page for targeted hunting keywords.


The secret to writing effective blog posts for your hunting business’s blog is to write about what others in the hunting industry (especially those on the Web) are doing that is amazing, inspiring, effective, and remarkable.

Smashing Magazine does an exceptional job at providing valuable content for their readers both using the knowledge of the writers at Smashing Magazine as well as highlighting the knowledge of others in the Web design and development industry.

Smashing Magazine’s success is proof that they understand the benefits of highlighting the success of others:

1| Examples provide value for your readers, customers, and audience

2| Valuable connections with businesses and bloggers

3| Link building strategy

If you have a blog for your hunting business or are considering a blog for your hunting business, try to use the strategy of highlighting the success of others just as Smashing Magazine does with their articles.

Add Smashing Magazine to your Daily Reading

Smashing Magazine Website

Smashing Magazine RSS

Smashing Magazine Forum

Smashing Magazine Book

Following Smashing Magazine on Twitter: @SmashingMag

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Using Others to Find Motivation

Is self-motivation a myth?

Self Motivation

image credit: Hotshoe!

It seems like most people tend to believe that the most successful people have a way of self-motivating themselves to achieve more than perhaps others do in life.

I’m not sure if self-motivation is as simple as:

“Ok self, you’re going to become successful today by accomplishing this…”

I think motivation is a combination of wanting to feel self-gratification while wanting to have an effect on the lives of others.

Validation also seems to play a part in the motivation mix.

The tricky part of motivation is simply…understanding where it exactly comes from.

People, especially business owners, seem to struggle with finding the motivation to do daily tasks that fit into the plan for their vision of success. There are always days where it’s difficult to justify writing that blog post or commenting on someone else’s blog or taking the time to write a nice email to a fellow hunting blogger.

There is a trick you can use that brings the entire concept of motivation together.

Let me explain…


One thing that motivates us in our entrepreneurial adventures is gratification (there is also security, freedom, and a few others that come into play).

Entrepreneurs want to feel good about what they have worked hard to accomplish. Business owners want the happy feeling that comes from making a hunter smile from ear to ear with joy over harvesting a trophy animal on a once in a lifetime hunt.

It makes us happy when our business positively has positive effects on our customers.

Gratification definitely plays some part in our motivation to continue providing the best products and services. It’s why you and other business owners work so hard each day to improve your business – to feel the satisfaction of making your customers feel satisfied in their purchase of your products and services.

In a sense, this motivation does not come from within each of us. It comes from the good feeling you get when your customers share their praise and thanks to you after being overly satisfied beyond their expectations with the products and services you have provided.

It has nothing to do with money and everything to do with your customer feeling like they received something of value.

It’s important to recognize the fact that gratification plays a role in your motivation.

It’s not wrong to want to feel gratification.

It’s natural for humans to want to do that which makes them feel good about themselves and helping others while expecting nothing more than gratification once and awhile is something that can lead to positive and healthy motivation.

Having an Effect

In general, we all want to have an effect in the world.

We want to people to say nice things about us at our funeral (or we at least want to think now – while we’re alive – that people will say nice things about us at our funeral).

Wanting to have a lasting effect on others in this world throughout and beyond our lives is strong motivation to do something today, tomorrow, and each day for the next 50 years that will leave a mark and positively change someone’s life for the better.


Father and Son

Original Flickr Photo: Schmelzle Family

Original Blog Post: The Schmelzle Family | Minneapolis Family Photographer

Photographer Credit: April Bodenburg | Minneapolis Family Photographer

April’s Website: AprilBodenburg.com

April’s Blog: AprilBodenburgPhotography.blogspot.com

April’s Flickr Photostream (She is amazing!)

I remember hearing something somewhere onetime (real specific I know…) that all children simply try to accomplish something in life that makes their parents proud.

It’s interesting that motivation can be that simple at times.

But it’s true.

There is nothing like the feeling when Mom or Dad tells you, “I’m proud of you.”

A parent telling you that they’re proud of you is the first validation in life that we all had. It’s often the purest form beyond hearing it from other loved ones like a spouse or child, but it always seems to go back to the first validation we had as kids with our parents.

Again, I don’t think it’s necessarily self-motivation when we’re doing something with our business partly to make our parents and other loved ones proud and that’s Ok.

Understanding that part of our motivation comes from others, especially from those we love, leads us to doing things and making decisions based on the motivation we experience as a result of using others to motivate us to do great things.

Using Others to Find Your Motivation

Motivation comes from places we likely don’t always understand or anticipate.

Motivation can come from seeing your loved one working hard to accomplish something – a painting, a marathon, a rubik’s cube or another task that’s challenging – and realizing that seeing them work, struggle and finally succeed motivates us to do something just as good and possibly better.

We see how satisfied those around us feel when they accomplish something challenging and it makes us want to accomplish something ourselves in order to feel the same way.

Understanding that self-motivation doesn’t always come from yourself (it still seems weird to write that) is a big step in understanding where you can find motivation to get your through the day, the week, or even just this hour as your work tirelessly to improve your hunting business so you can positively affect the lives of your customers is a BIG step to finding enjoyment and pride in what you do each day.

Anytime you’re stumped for motivation or if you’re ever feeling like you just need to sit back and give up for awhile, take a few minutes to reflect on the reasons you started your business in the first place:

Think about how you can use others to find your motivation to succeed and continue turning your business into something successful and impactful.

There are lots of sources for motivation and it usually doesn’t come from you.


I’m not sure that self-motivation is necessarily a myth, but it seems like most of things that motivate us to succeed in business and in life come from those around us who have the biggest impact on our lives.

Business owners seem to have a drive to succeed in finding gratification for their hard work.

Business owners look to have a positive effect on the lives of others while also finding the purest form of validation for hard work and accomplishments.

There is nothing wrong with using others to motivate you. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to find that extra drive to push yourself to do great things.

So seek out those resources around you and use others to find your motivation.

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The Convenience Store Guide to Blogging

Have you ever been in a convenience store?

The Power of Convenience

image credit: emples

Do you ever notice how a convenience store (my favorite is Kwik Trip here in Wisconsin) strategically place their best products throughout the store?

Or have you ever noticed how a convenience store will have their own brands of popular items…also prominently displayed…sometimes discounted heavily?

I was recently in Kwik Trip waiting for the person in front of me to check out when it dawned on me that Kwik Trip is a lot like a successful blog.

Yes I know, there is something wrong when I think about blogging while picking up bananas, milk and eggs at Kwik Trip at 8pm on Sunday evening. (I needed breakfast for Monday morning after my workout).

Anyway, Kwik Trip seems like a successful business. It’s busy whenever I go there no matter the time or the day and they seem to keep building stores despite economic conditions.

So I’m guessing Kwik Trip and other convenience stores are doing something right and there are a few things you can do with your blog (or hunting business) that are successful for Kwik Trip.

Let’s take a look…

continue reading…

The Michael Jackson Guide to Success

Make A Better Place For You And For Me


Michael Jackson was one of my favorite musical artists of all time. I think what drew me to his music was that whenever I hear a song like Billie Jean or Beat It I feel like moving around and dancing.

I remember seeing an interview with Quincy Jones, Michael’s producer on Thriller and other albums, where he commented to Michael, before the release of Thriller, that he thought the intro to Billie Jean was too long. Jones said that Michael told him he was going to leave it as it was because the intro groove simply made him feel like dancing.

Jones replied, “When Michael Jackson tells you that a groove makes him feel like dancing, you leave the song alone.”

Billie Jean was released in 1983 and it launched the career of Michael Jackson to a level of stardom rarely achieved by any living person.

I thought it would be fun, reflecting on Michael’s recent passing, to take a look at his successful career and draw parallels to and lessons for your hunting business.

Let’s take a closer look…

image credit: tipoyock

Early Career


Easy as 1, 2, 3

Simple as Do, Re, Mi



It’s widely known that Michael’s father pushed Michael and his brothers into music at young ages. His father may have pushed his sons hard to be music stars, but I have to believe that Michael and his brothers still had to have passion for music, singing, and dancing. Otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to achieve the level of success they had.

People can see through people who aren’t passionate.

Michael always seemed (at least up until his last 10-15 years or so) to be extremely passionate about the music he made and the connections he formed with millions around the world.

Michael’s passion is what drew young fans to the music of the Jackson 5 when they were first starting out. He put all of his energy into entertaining people and it made him and his brothers stand out from other entertainers at the time.

I’m sure it wasn’t always successful or easy for Michael and his brothers. They put in a lot of time practicing and perfecting their skills before they were signed to Motown. Despite breaking out with their first mainstream single, they were anything but an overnight success.

Michael and his brothers had the passion for making music and entertaining people. It was this passion that allowed them to stand out and reach the level of success they had.


Passion defines the success you have in your professional and personal life.

The only way to truly feel successful with anything you do in life is to figure out what makes you happy and what you’re passionate about and then dedicating yourself with all the energy you have.

If your hunting business is your professional passion, then to be successful you have to immerse yourself completely into doing what it takes to reach your ultimate level of success.

You’ll put aside any doubt or barrier and do what it takes to make a living doing what you love.

Work to connect with people who share the same passion as you. People are drawn to passion and passion is what will make you stand out and become successful.

Michael Goes Solo

Keep On With The Force Don’t Stop

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough



Throughout the ‘70s Michael started releasing solo material. Most of his albums were successful by most people’s standards, but it wasn’t until he released Off the Wall in 1979 that people starting to see a budding young superstar.

Only 20 years old at the time of its release, MJ’s Off the Wall produced 4 top ten singles in the US and the album has now sold in excess of 20 million copies worldwide.

Even though the album sold well during its initial run and in years since, Michael always thought that it should have done better with sales and reception.

In other words, he felt the album was not a complete success because it didn’t connect with enough people.

It takes ambition to set goals this high, but when you’re as passionate about your craft as Michael Jackson, you really have no other goal besides connecting with everyone in the world.


We define our own success.

Since everything is relative, only you can determine where you want to take your hunting business.

Why not set the ultimate vision of making connecting with as many hunters as you can?

Also focus on setting smaller, short-term goals so you don’t drive yourself crazy by not reaching your ultimate level of success.

It’s impossible to reach our ultimate dreams.

It’s the drive to attain this impossible vision and the appreciation of the milestones reached along the way that make live enjoyable, successful, and fulfilling.

Michael Peaks at age 23

Billie Jean is not my lover

She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one

But the kid is not my son



In the spring of 1982, Michael Jackson went into a recording studio in Los Angeles with producer Quincy Jones. The two men set out to make an album where every song was a killer hit.

And why not?

It seems simple. If you’re going to make something why not put in the effort to make it the best possible?

In November of the same year, the album was released as The Girl is Mine made some impact on the charts. By the time Billie Jean was released, Thriller was selling at rates never seen before.

Today, the album is the 2nd best selling album in the US being certified 28 times platinum by the RIAA (2nd only to the Eagles Greatest Hits, which has a 29 million platinum certification).

It seems that this period of Michael’s career was when he was the most focused, determined, and peaking creatively.

This period saw Michael basically invent the music video as entertainment. His dancing, singing, and total entertainment creativity took us all to our primal levels of enjoyment.

As I said earlier, every time Billie Jean comes on the radio I can’t help but to feel like dancing and singing along to the melody.

The Thriller Era was the peak of Michael Jackson’s career success and the work he did during this period will define his legend for generations.


There is no set peak period for all people.

What is important to remember is that people seem to peak in their professional careers at times when they are entirely focused on what it is they’re passionate about.

If you’re passionate about your hunting business then take time to reflect on the level of focus and commitment it will take to reach your peak.

This exercise will probably lead to the overwhelming reality that it takes an enormous amount of commitment to peak at what your hunting business.

Don’t let this reality frighten you.

Embrace the challenge and take the plunge into your passion and go for your peak.

Michael’s Run of Enormous Success

A Man Should Be Faithful

And Walk When Not Able

And Fight Till The End

But I’m Only Human



Sarah of On Life & Design said to me, “Nobody writes songs like Michael Jackson anymore.”

This comment caught me off guard a little bit. The specific song Sarah was referring to was Heal the World. It’s always been one of my personal favorite songs. The song has sentiment, meaning, passion, a great melody, and a timeless quality unlike most songs.

I truly believe there are things we all do and work for that are long-term focused and short-term focused. I believe there is a place for both. It’s important to capture the moment and act with a vision for the future.

Regarding MJ and his songwriting and performing, he seemed to focus more on songs that would become legendary by writing melodies and lyrics that are timeless. Thriller could be released tomorrow and people would still act like it was something extraordinary.

I think Michael’s ability to think about the long-term impact his actions and his music had on people was the reason for his run of peak success in the mid to late eighties. He broke into a level of superstardom that only a select few experience and he used his reach to connect and give back to many people around the world. His giving (of not only money, but time and attention) to charities and especially children is honorable and legendary.

MJ had a bigger vision for his purpose of living than most of us. He wanted to connect and make live enjoyable for every person in the world. This vision eclipsed most of our own goals for becoming successful financially and with family.

Michael’s enormous vision seems to be another reason he was able to reach the level of success he had at his creative and professional peak.


How big is your vision of success?

One key to reaching an enormous level of success is understanding the importance of setting huge long-term goals while setting a pathway or a series of short-term milestones that will ultimately build up to your long-term vision.

Where do you see yourself and your hunting business in fifty years?

Imagine a big vision for your professional live that sees your impact having long-term effect on the hunting industry and individual hunters.

Think about the small milestones you can achieve on the way that will help you stay focused and creative and enjoy the ride on your run of success.

The King of Pop Lives Forever

But you are not alone

For I am here with you

Though we’re far apart

You’re always in my heart

But you are not alone



Michael Jackson leaves a legacy matched by only a few people in history. He is known throughout the world. Language, age, race, and societal class are no barriers for his connection with people. If you have the power to slow down the Web you have reach beyond comprehension.

The reason Michael Jackson’s legend will live forever is his ability to connect with people.

While being a gifted entertainer, I believe that MJ’s greatest talent was his ability to reach so many people and affect the lives of so many around the world.

MJ’s ability to connect knew no barrier. He didn’t see the world through segmentation. He viewed every person he connected with for the individual they were.


One of the themes I like to touch on with my writing is the importance of making connections.

The connections you make with your hunting business are what will determine the level of success you have professionally.

You’re gifted at what you do for the hunting industry. What you also have to focus on is how you can connect with hunters who share the same passion for hunting as you do.

Do what you can to make their lives better concerning hunting.

Focus on making hunting valuable and meaningful for others. Make their lives easier. Make things simple. Allow them to find value through you.

Connect with individuals and focus on improving their lives with your hunting business.

And that’s what it takes to live forever – the ability to see only individuals and the passion to connect with as many (and as meaningfully) as possible while you’re alive.


I wanted to have some fun with the memory of Michael Jackson. I think it’s best to remember people for the fun they had while living as well as for all of the joy they brought to those around them.

Here is a little sequence of my own that I hope can bring a little smile to you today.


I hope you had fun with that. 🙂

I know I did.

Dayne Shuda Lauging

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50 Images of Happy Business Atmospheres

Uplift your office with a smile

A Smile is Powerful

image credit: apdk

I’ve been fortunate in life to work with some great people in classroom, factory, warehouse, and office settings.

One of the things that have always seemed to keep things happy at the businesses I’ve worked is laughter.

It seems that if you can find reason to smile and laugh, you’ll have success and enjoy your time while earning a living for yourself and your family.

It is, of course, important to have a quality balance of laughter, smiles, fun, and other appropriate emotions such as seriousness, tact, sympathy, etc. when dealing in business and office settings.

I thought it would be fun to look at some examples (courtesy of Flickr and Creative Commons) of individuals having fun and enjoying life in work settings…

Possibly sharing a laugh over a Twitter post?

image credit: Jacob Bøtter

You can build that?

image credit: Wonderlane

Warm reception with a smile

image credit: austinevan

It’s ok to tell jokes at the office

image credit: chegs

Even amidst confusion, there is room for a smile

image credit: extranoise

I’ll smile as long as you bring me another cup of coffee

image credit: L-plate big cheese

Dropping by to say hello

image credit: David Boyle

Drive-by Cubicle Smile

image credit: David Boyle

Room to work and think happy thoughts

image credit: wili_hybrid

“Most Pet-Friendly Office in the Northwest”

image credit: tifotter

A lot of computers and one big smile

image credit: Santi Siri

Working late into the night and still happy

image credit: Balaji Dutt

Even meetings and presentations can be fun

image credit: spectrasensors

Workers of all ages can enjoy the office

image credit: juhansonin

Theme days are fun and mustaches are awesome

image credit: Silvio Tanaka

Hooray for new merchandise!

image credit: lululemon athletica

Brainstorming is fun and productive

image credit: lululemon athletica

Laughter is possible even at your home office

image credit: striatic

Laugh out of your chair funny

image credit: NeitherFanboy

Lunch is a great time to share a laugh

image credit: supervillian

Move your desk outside and change your perspective

image credit: hoyasmeg

Take a coffee break once and awhile

image credit: austinevan

Smile with your co-workers

image credit: Ingorrr

No people, but come on…flowers make anybody smile – buy someone flowers today

image credit: adactio

Take a second and smile

image credit: steve p2008

It’s ok to dance at work too 🙂

image credit: Taras Kalapun

Work is fun when you can enjoy it with friends

image credit: Finsec

Meeting grinning

image credit: AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker

Making customers feel good makes you smile

image credit: Travis Hornung

Programmers can smile (kind of) too 😉

image credit: robertcupisz

Enjoy what you do

image credit: Ingorrr

Grab a drink (and a laugh) after work with co-workers

image credit: David Sifry

Tell jokes in the hallway

image credit: iotae

Finish your coffee before laughing

image credit: iotae

Pop a little champagne at the office

image credit: Jacob Bøtter

Conferences are fun

image credit: roland

Have fun meeting new people

image credit: ShashiBellamkonda

Doing interviews are fun

image credit: irina slutsky

Laugh as the sun rises (or sets)

image credit: antmoose

Laugh at yourself while working

image credit: jenny downing

Break Time is fun too

image credit: karpov the wrecked train

Pose for a silly picture at work

image credit: curly_exp( l)osure

Laugh and love what you do

image credit: Mel B.

Listening to other people speak is entertainig and fun

image credit: Yodel Anecdotal

Laugh out loud with your favorite co-worker (probably don’t lick them)

image credit: maxintosh

Share a laugh on stage

image credit: MSDPE

Good times are timeless

image credit: freeparking

If you need to…get out of the office and swing in a tree

image credit: © angelie photographie.

I hope you’re smiling at this point 😉

image credit: Marlie Kanoi

Well…you know I had to include one of me smiling while working on this post

Me Smiling and Working Hard

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Flickr Creative Commons Series

Inspiration surrounds us all

Inspiration is all around

image credit: Reinante El Pintor de Fuego

A few of the post I’ve had the most fun creating for this Web site are the posts involving images from Flickr’s Creative Commons section.

Here are posts that were created thanks to Flickr, Creative Commons, and the wonderful photographers who are willing to share their work with the world (with you especially):

50 Images of Happy Business Atmospheres

50 Inspirational Images to Inspire Blog Titles

50 Indoor Photos to Inspire Your Outdoor Website

50 Inspiring Flickr Pictures/Photos for Hunting Businesses