7 Lessons Learned From Hunting
When summer days are replaced with changing leaves and crisp autumn air, it ushers in a feeling of anticipation for a number of our team members. For many in the Horst Construction family, fall means hunting season – a hobby they cannot wait to make time for.
Prioritizing time for relaxation and hobbies you enjoy is crucial to handling stress and we can all agree stress is in no short supply these days. But avid hunters will also tell you that they have learned valuable lessons through the sport that have practical applications in their careers.
These timeless nuggets of wisdom aren’t just applicable to the construction industry; they can help guide any professional straight to success. Our hunters helped us distill these experiences into 7 things that can strengthen your approach to business.
Hunting requires a lot of stillness, quiet, and being in one spot. Obviously then, it gives you bountiful opportunity to practice your patience. Of course, this serene aspect is part of what makes it a relaxing pastime for so many who enjoy the sport. Conversely, learning patience in a business setting is much more challenging to embrace. The ability to tap into that calm and enduring attitude of perseverance will serve you well in the professional sector. The practice obtained through years of hunting can only strengthen that patience muscle.
2. Show up and put in the time
Which brings us to the next lesson, which is the importance of practice. As humans we so often expect overnight success or a quick fix. One lesson learned early on as a hunter is that you have to start by showing up. It sounds so simple that your eyes are probably rolling, but so often we forget that we must put in the time and practice to get to the point of success – in hunting and in business. If you are not consistently showing up, sticking with it, and putting forth continual effort – you cannot expect improvements and successful outcomes. This lesson easily reaches across the boundaries between hunting and the rest of life.
3. Sometimes you don’t get anything, even if you are the best
A person can be the most skilled, practiced hunter with the best gear on the market and still come home empty handed sometimes. Hunters can tell you the sting they experience when a buddy who has less experience and skill or a subpar weapon gets the big one and they get nothing at all. It can be a frustrating experience, and while you are happy for your friend you can’t help but wonder where you went wrong. The lesson here is that sometimes even when you’ve done it all right – you won’t win. Call it luck, call it being in the right place at the right time, or call it a divine plan. In business and in life – this is one lesson that hurts every time we have to learn it.
4. You need to prepare for success
Hunting requires a LOT of preparation in order to be successful. Not only do you need to go through the appropriate training and be sure to practice to become proficient at your skill, you need to be sure you have the right licenses, know the laws and rules for the specific hunting you are doing in the specific area you are doing it in, and need to purchase all of the right gear so you are ready to go from head to toe. Then there is the right weapon, the right spot and tree stand set up (if you are hunting with one), ensuring you are physically able to do what is necessary…you get the point. Hunting teaches the value of proper planning and preparation. Similarly, in business we need to be prepared and have an organized and well-thought-out approach to our processes. If we attempt to just fly by the seat of our pants and have a spontaneous business approach we are doomed to fail.
5. You miss all the shots you don’t take
As any hunter who has ever frozen at the sight of a larger than expected animal can tell you, you miss all the shots you don’t take. Hesitating for too long guarantees a lost opportunity – both in hunting and in business. It can be nerve wracking to pull that trigger (both literally as in hunting and figuratively as in the business analogy), but it is important to remember that you will never know what might have been unless you try. When we look back on big chances that were put in front of us, we regret the ones we didn’t take more than the ones we failed at. Take the shot.
6. Time alone with nature and your thoughts = clarity and perspective
When your mind feels overwhelmed and jumbled thoughts are making it difficult to think clearly, time alone in nature might be just what you need. Hunters can attest to the mental clarity and perspective that comes during quiet moments in the woods waiting for the perfect shot. We get so busy in our day to day lives that we rarely take the time to connect with nature or spend designated quiet time alone. Aside from the relaxation benefits, this practice can help bring new ideas, answers to difficult questions, and lift the fog of confusion from challenging predicaments. Because we are setting aside the noise, activity, and expectations for ourselves to be constantly “productive” in some way, our brains can focus on deeper and more complex problem solving.
7. The importance of learning from others…and sharing your knowledge with others
Hunting can teach us to embrace the fact that we do not know everything. There are always things to learn from those around us. Sitting around a campfire at night, hunters often share tips and stories that spread their knowledge amongst the group. It is a relaxed, collective way of learning about the sport and sharing information with one another as lessons are learned. In business, we must remember to do the same. Each person has a unique perspective and skillset to bring to the table and setting aside the expectation that we must know everything all the time allows room for growth and shared knowledge. Learning from one another can only strengthen our businesses and make us all better.
Hunting and quality time spent in the great outdoors gives us much-needed time to relax and unwind from the stresses of modern life. But it also offers value that extends beyond that sense of calm and enjoyment. From staying patient to understanding the importance of preparation to learning from and sharing with others, hunting can make us wiser and more effective people. It teaches us how we can be successful in our everyday lives and our careers. It’s no wonder the sport is such a favorite pastime of so many of our team members.
Posted September 30, 2020