Rec & Tech Can the Chasm be Crossed from Outdoors Entrepreneur to Tech Entrepreneur
Rec & Tech is getting there but think of this question? How is it even possible that it took phone companies 89 years to connect 150 million people, where it took Facebook only 8 years to connect 1 billion? Something tells me that The FaceBook is probably here to stay. The people in the Hunting and Fishing industry who embraced technology early are simply hunting and fishing MORE than those of who didn’t. I think it’s time we get this party started.
REC & TECH – SOUNDS LIKE THEY BELONG TOGETHER
Podcasts, E Books, Social Shares, and the racing world of technology and startups is exploding across the world. All the while, many of the recreational businesses that make up the Outdoor Recreation segment are now either being automated, struggling to get by, or rendered obsolete. The good news is many of the small operators and workers are deciding to make the jump into technology after lifetime that was spent working in a more traditional, physical handshake environment.
From the big box stores and their websites, to the increasingly app-friendly confines of Hunting and Fishing Maps and GPS, this shift to technology has created a demand for more app developers, SEO specialists, and content creators that know our industry. Way more than ever before. I’m not suggesting that if you love fishing and your not a software developer to become one, but if your a fisherman and developer, why not align with a fishing company. Or better yet. Start your own. This is how Chase McMillan and I started. Just a problem, a solution, and some sketches became a website, and then a business.
THE REC & TECH OPPORTUNITY IS THERE FOR THE TAKING
However, successfully making the switch and adapting to the tech lifestyle is not always easy. Especially for those who fought the change until doing so would result in going out of business. In fact, I hear arguments all the time by some old timers in that visit my store. Many don’t think the change can be made at all in this set in its ways industry. Something like using the online NICS verification system instead of filling out paper applications. In my store we still use pen and paper (for now). This is an example of an in store application but what about an aspiring entrepreneur that want to start an online business but still uses his phone for calling people, and her computer for writing letters? Can it be done? Of course it can be done I contend. No matter how large the gap, the tools are available.
Fortunately, there have been and will continue to be, many successful crossover stories. This post, will serve as a mix of practical advice and some philosophical guidance. This awareness building guidance is for those courageous ones who stand up and face the fear. Shed uncertainty, and doubt. The willing and driver enough to trudge headlong into the winds of change. This place they will go I have coined The Rec & Tech industry.
PREPARE FOR CHANGE – PREPARE TO LEARN
Prepare for some culture shock but remember that Tech is an industry that is girded in trends. These trends get a lot of attention and with that attention comes apps and courses that make learning these trends accessible and learn-able. If you want to good at something fast, tech will supply you the ability and it is the medium.
You can get an overnight degree if you’re willing to do your homework and put in some extra time. Websites like Udemy, Lynda, and Youtube. And many other video learning sites allow the fast track to learning new skills. Many of these provide reference material links for you to dig in and become an expert. Fast.
Now you don’t have to go out and become a programmer or data analyst, but an online merchant, blogger, our online photo journalist aren’t unthinkable. Find something that you really love to do. If you’ve found that passion, find a place for it in the new technology world. Do it now while it’s still early in the life-cycle. Like the rest of us that have forged before you, make a living for yourself while still doing what your doing and, by jumping in to the tech stream doing what you love
HERE IS HOW YOU DO IT – OUTDOORSMEN TO TECH ENTREPRENEURS
Here is a timeless video of Gary Vaynerchuk telling us all we can do it – and this is almost 10 years ago. Gary had me at, “STOP DOING SHIT YOU HATE!”. and that my friends is a powerful message.
There are going to be some trade offs from what the old analog work life was like. You are going to need to prepare for this. What were stability, paid vacations, and benefits are now flexible work from wherever, whenever schedules. Freedom to choose these things. With great freedom comes great responsibility. So you will have to learn what effort when will yield the best return on your invested hours. Ideally the technology you choose to utilize will increase your market size or decrease you number of hours who knows what exactly. The final goal of course is to leverage technology to help you free up more time so you can be spending that time focusing on what you love.
Rec & Tech can suck away your time but affords great reward
Did opening my sporting goods store give me freedom and more time to focus on my passion? Quite the opposite. I was busy all of the time. However, buying the Hagerman Valley Sports & Mercantile put me right where I needed to be in my life to learn and thrive in environment where I was around other passionate sportsman. It taught me to prioritize. It taught me to seek technology to automate and grow exposure. It taught me to set “stretch” goals. It taught me many, many other things to numerous to list.