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Walleyedan: Beyond the passion

As we near the end of this crazy year and enter into most likely a crazier one, it's time to give thanks! People that are trying to make a living in the outdoor world need more than a passion if they are going to "make it." Times are changing rap...

As we near the end of this crazy year and enter into most likely a crazier one, it's time to give thanks! People that are trying to make a living in the outdoor world need more than a passion if they are going to "make it." Times are changing rapidly, companies are merging, selling, folding and there are also new ones coming onto the scene daily.

I get asked a lot, mainly by the younger generation, "How did you get started?" And that's where I struggle, trying to answer that question. It certainly starts with passion and an incredible love for the outdoors. I truly do love it outdoors, and always have and always will! But in order to make a living in the outdoor industry, it takes help from many. I think most of you that have read more than a couple of my columns realize that I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ (whose birthday was just the other day you know) and although I still have my struggles, this is where it starts for me. He has helped pave my way, there is no doubt. It's really the only explanation I have for continuing to "make it" in this business during these crazy times.

Having a supportive wife and family is a key piece, too. Without the help of my better half, I would be toast. I better mention mom and dad next, because they introduced me to the outdoors early and have supported me from day one.

And then there are the "other people." The people you affiliate yourself with. Our guiding business has remained strong, despite the last few years of my life being dedicated mainly to the "We Love It Outdoors" television series. And it's because we have some very good people that work with us, and that are willing to "work" on a daily basis! Yes, it is work people, fishing is our work. And there are days you would not want our jobs. So thank you to Bruce, Nick, Dustin and all of you other fine fishermen folk that have helped us out in the past. Sponsors. It seems like such a goofy word, but these people are really the ones that keep us going financially, too. There is no way that a common person is going to make a living as a fishing guide, TV host or what have you if it weren't for sponsors/supporters. Like one of my sponsors said the other night, we need each other to complete the circle. I am very thankful for all of my sponsors who have helped with the building of our business. And we certainly will continue to represent as best we can. There are numbers of other people and organizations who we truly are thankful for too. You do know who you are, yes you!

So, as we move our way towards this next year, one thing is for sure. Things will change. And some things will stay the same. We do not know what is next for our business, but we certainly have a stirring and time will tell where that ends up settling. I hope all of you enjoy the rest of your time with the friends and family who have made it back for the holidays and make sure you walk light and carry a chisel if you are heading out onto the ice!

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Walleyedan

P.S. I have the little aluminum boat shoveled out and I'm fishing Gull this afternoon with my brother-in-law Ryan. Crazy stuff!

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