“I’ve got an expensive lifestyle,” Merle Haggard.
Merle likes to joke in interviews that he thinks he’ll continue performing until he dies because he was an expensive lifestyle to maintain.
I’m sure it’s true to a certain extent, but Merle wouldn’t be out there performing his classic hits as well as writing and recording new songs in his seventies if he didn’t love what he was doing.
For most of us, hunting has been a part of our lives since a very young age. Hunting is an enjoyment and is now part of our financial well-being.
Over the course of our lifetimes there will be moments when we feel like giving up on the hunting industry. There will be times when we’re sick of hunting and ready to move on.
We can learn a few lessons from Merle Haggard’s lifetime of enjoyment and financial success so we ourselves can enjoy a lifetime of fulfilling happiness in the hunting industry.
Continue Creating Content Consistently
The Hag has continued to consistently make music since the sixties. He continues to release albums of new recordings. His true fans have always been able to count on their hero releasing new music for them every few years.
Fans and customers like consistency. They like knowing they can expect new products, services, slight changes, etc. every so often on a consistent basis.
Continue making small tweaks to your service and products. Your customers appreciate the fact that you continue to work to improve your business for their benefit.
An example of this is the Mathews Archery. Mathews releases an update of its line of bows every season. Their loyal customers expect it and continue purchasing each season when the upgrade is released.
Stay Connected with Positive People
The music industry seems to change frequently and the industry is not kind to you as you get older. Radio begins to shun the stars of the past. Even though Haggard had a few big hits into his forties and fifties, his career eventually took a new route as radio continued looking for the next big thing.
This can be tough on a person. This is when it’s important to connect with those people you’ve met in the industry who have had positive impact on your career.
In 2006, The Hag got together with one of positive people in his life, George Jones, to create a great album Kickin’ out the Footlights…Again-Haggard sings Jones, Jones sings Haggard.
If you find your business slowing down, it might be because you’re losing some creativity and energy for your craft. Reconnect with those people who have had positive impact on you previously in your career.
Find the people who helped you with a successful product/service upgrade. Sit down and have some brainstorming sessions and think about what made you successful previously and you’re probably going to spark new ideas for your business.
Keeping in contact with positive people throughout your career will give you rejuvenated energy to improve your craft even more.
Keep a Catalog of Your Process
For artists in the music industry, I’m sure it’s fairly easy to keep track of their past successes. Although I’ve often heard that artists don’t really listen to their old albums too much.
I remember reading an interview with Merle a few years back where he talked about sticking to his successful formula while still working to extend his creativity with his music.
So I’m sure The Hag has looked back on his past successes and been rejuvenated to continue creating music and giving his fans more valuable content.
Sometimes we forget just how far our business has come. While we’re working all the time, we don’t realize just how much success we’ve had over the years.
So it’s important to keep a catalog of your successes so you can look back from time to time and remember that you have been successful.
This process can really get those creative juices flowing again. If you see proof of your success it will get you fired up to repeat the success again.
Connect with Newcomers
Merle has done a few collaborations over the years. In 2005 he collaborated with newcomer Gretchen Wilson. The partnership made sense because they’re both seen as outlaws of sort in the country music scene.
I think it’s important to continue to collaborate with newcomers in the industry. The newcomers in any industry will bring new energy and excitement along with them. If you can align yourself with these people you will have new energy yourself and this may allow you to take your business to new heights.
Because we spend our lives in the hunting industry there will be times when we get fed up with what we’re doing.
If we look to people who have had continuing success for their entire lifetimes, we can pick up on a few things they do that we can use in our careers to continue having success.
Merle Haggard has had success well into his seventies and not even a recent battle with cancer has slowed him down. He continues to create new content, he connects with positive people, he reflects on his past successes, and he works with newcomers in the country music industry.
Those of us in the hunting industry can do the exact same things to have continued success for our entire lifetimes in the hunting industry.
You know I can’t leave a post with one of my heroes without posting some of his music.
Here is a promotional video of The Hag and George Jones for their 2006 collaboration.
And here is a video of my favorite Haggard song Mama Tried. (I know my mom tried and she did a great job, but I often found myself in the occasional spat of trouble. So this song has always ringed true to me.)
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