Has your passion become your success?

8:32 p.m. on December 30, 2008 (EST)
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This should spawn an interesting discussion. I know a few of you have had lives that have afforded you the ability for adventure. So the question here is, has your love for all things outdoors become a part of your career/business/enterprising endeavors/success?

11:08 p.m. on December 30, 2008 (EST)
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I worked as a fishing guide for three seasons years ago, quite frankly it didn't pay enough to keep my interest as a profession.
I do however take my employees (usually 4 or 5) on a backpacking trip every spring and pick up the tab. That's about as close as I get to mixing passion with business right now.
Well, that and we build the occasional remote cabin in the mountains and have to camp out during construction.

7:43 a.m. on December 31, 2008 (EST)
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From www.carboneec.org

As a naturalist, wildlife rehabilitator, and outdoor educator who works with kids from 3 to 93, YES, YES, YES, my love for animals and the outdoors has indeed become part of my career. In fact, the outdoors IS my career.

My job includes hiking, biking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, climbing (tree and rock), plot study, stream/pond study (to look for macro invertebrates) wildlife tracking, survival education, Leave No Trace education, raptor migration counts, an LOTS more.


From www.carboneec.org

One day as I loaded my pack, tree climbing rack, Mt. bike, and various other equipment on and into my car, my neighbor asked if I was going on a trip. "Naw", I said. "Going to work". My neighbor just lowered his eyes, tossed his brief case into his car, and drove away. It was that moment that made me realize how lucky I am to be doing what I do. Oh yeah, my neighbor's commute is over 45 minutes. Mine is 1.5 minutes by car, 20 on foot.

Let me tell you also, that "Once something becomes your job, you no longer enjoy it" is a myth and a load of manure. I enjoy every minute of every day I spend at work. If one were to get bored doing my job, it would be one's own fault. My wife sometimes has to call to remind me: "Honey, it's time to come home"!

10:45 a.m. on December 31, 2008 (EST)
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I have loved the outdoors for a very long time (and I'm only 37). When I was younger, I was heavily involved in the Boy Scouts and thought surely that I would end up as a professional Scouter (a paid position). Well, life got in the way and that hasn't happened (yet) but I am back into Scouts as a Scoutmaster. While this is a volunteer position...it is a full-time job.
In the rest of my world, I am a photographer. While I do a lot of weddings and portraits, my passion is for nature and wildlife photography. I love going out and photographing animals and scenery. I sell a few prints here and there so I guess you can say that I am making a living with the outdoors.
I also run a few small guided backpacking/photography trips a year. This helps me get out into the woods a little more often (and getting paid to do it is REALLY cool).

11:57 a.m. on December 31, 2008 (EST)
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If I could find a fulfilling career in the outdoors paying what I make as a marketing professional, I'd pack up the family in a heart beat.

I've come to the conclusion that I'd have to be either a good author/freelance journalist or a professional photographer to make an adequate living in the outdoors.

2:15 p.m. on December 31, 2008 (EST)
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This is another time when definitions are helpful. If we define "success" as "a favorable outcome" without importing connotations of Mammon, then I was successful during my entire life - and that is how I feel. When I was in my late teens/early twenties I lived on the road; or under it if there was an overpass. I enjoyed meeting new people every day, seeing new places almost every day, and the constant surprise of a meal or a bath. My passion was my success.

Then a handful of years where I worked, saved my money, and then traveled or hiked or paddled - this in relative luxury. That was success for that moment.

Once I was married, at twenty-eight, I acquired more baggage than just my pack, and more responsibilities, including a great wife and two wonderful children. My family became my passion and the outdoors became secondary - but again my passion was my success.

If our passion, that is, our highest priority, doesn't change with our personal growth through changing circumstances or opportunities, then we will inevitably be unhappy. If we are defining success as a happy outcome, then, no matter what, we do not have success. If we, for example, place our time in the outdoors as a higher priority than time with our family, then we are no better than the person who beats his wife and starves his children, but feeds his ol' hound steak.

What you are really asking is - "Has your avocation become your vocation and is every day a vacation?" Yes. : )

7:59 a.m. on January 1, 2009 (EST)
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I have been an outdoorsman (hiker, bicyclist and camping, not hunting) for 32 years. I do not make a living from it but have done it long enough that it my only passion. I work (as a cook) about three months a year so I can afford to hike and bike the rest. Currently I work just two days a week and have 5 off to enjoy what I can. Plus three weeks paid vacation a year to take serious hikes or bike tours to really get out at different times of the year.
I have been taking pictures as a hobby since I was 12 and am just now beginning to earn money from it in postcard and photo poster sales. I may try to start a online business website to maybe have a retirement scheme as I am slowly approaching my mid 50's. (I'll be 53 on the 21st of January).

4:20 p.m. on January 1, 2009 (EST)
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f klock, how did you do it? I'm dreading retirement from the Coast Guard because I really enjoy what I do. The only other jobs that have any appeal to me are geography or earth science teacher or being the guy who maintains trails and out houses in National Forests. I'm really not kidding about that last one, btw.

edit: I forgot to answer the original post. I'm a Senior Chief in the CG and have spent most of my time in the Guard at stations that are on the west coast. The fun part of my job is driving boats, training others on how to drive or act as a crewman and getting to spend a lot of time out on the water. The extra benefit has been being able to do a lot of hiking, fishing, hunting, shooting and skiing(here in Michigan, at least).

6:20 p.m. on January 1, 2009 (EST)
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f klock, how did you do it?

Truth? Luck and perseverance. I didn't always have this job. I worked day to day retail jobs for years prior.

I started as a volunteer, many years ago. I did anything and everything asked of me. 10 years later a naturalist position opened up so I applied. Because of my years of on the job experience, I was hired. Quit my job at Lowe's the next day.

As for my commute, that's the luck I spoke of. I've hiked, camped, kayaked, snowshoed, and Mountain biked in Mauch Chunk Lake Park nearly all my life. I can see the lake from my house.

10:40 p.m. on January 1, 2009 (EST)
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As for success I meant, you provide for yourself/family doing what it is that you love to do.

Rather than I chose this because it makes me money but my real passion is ________

4:56 p.m. on January 5, 2009 (EST)
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My answer is a big yes. Writing, editing, and the outdoors and environment are my major professional and personal interests. Somehow I've wrangled them all together.

However, publishing a web site about getting outdoors is not exactly the same as actually getting outdoors. So I still have to continually find a good work-life balance, just like everyone else.

I also think that having a job that gives you the ability to enjoy your family and personal life is worth a lot. I've always thought that more vacation or flex time can be worth far more than a higher salary.

5:37 p.m. on January 8, 2009 (EST)
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Most of us walk a path in life that doesn’t lead to a dream; instead, it merely leads to just another day doing things that leave us closing our eyes and dreaming of something else.

4:16 p.m. on January 12, 2009 (EST)
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Well my success in my career does alow me to have extra money to spend on gear so I and I can kind of make my on schedule so I guess I'm oppisite of the question. I like scottmphoto have recently started helping out with my old scout troop. My old scoutmaster the same man who mentored me to accomplish the rank of Eagle called and said he was stretched thin. How could I say no.

4:22 p.m. on March 1, 2009 (EST)
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I hope so. I just started an online outdoor adventure gear business called Mountainfitter.com I plan to make a living doing something I love. We will see what happens.

1:48 a.m. on April 10, 2009 (EDT)
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I have just recently begun publishing a website to share my passion of ultralight backpacking with others. It is still too soon to know whether it will ever pay the bills, but I have to admit that it is enormously satisfying to write about my passion. I have always worked in more indoor careers.

While I agree with Alicia that publishing a website about the outdoors is not the same as "being outdoors," the memories that flood back on every page that I write brings a smile to my face.

Satisfying for now...perhaps financially successful in the future.

July 24, 2014
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