Sunday, August 31, 2008

Birddog's Plan

I feel more at home on the Middle Fork of the Salmon than any where else in the world, and the 2008 Rocky Mountain River Tour Season has been one of my best summers yet. While cleaning boxes and coolers during de-rig last night Telly Evans and I discussed what made this season so good: a solid crew, mild temperatures, and plenty of water. Personally, however, there is more to it than all that.

After a long winter of self-doubt, floundering, and mental insecurity I finally made the decision to pursue a path that keeps me fired up and excited about each day. I will guide for as long as it is right while simultaneously developing my image-making craft, marketing strategies, and personal business skills for a successful go at

I feel lucky to have worked 11 seasons for Dave and Sheila Mills. I'm still excited to show up at the Rocky Boathouse and rig a trip for the most successful outfitters on Idaho's most unforgettable piece of water, and I'll be doing it for as long as they want me around. I also feel lucky to have watched Dave and Sheila run their business, and I'll walk away with some solid business strategies and philosophies. I've learned that you must 1)believe in your products and services 110%, 2) market relentlessly and through every effective channel, and 3) that the ultimate goal is to solve the caller's problem, even if that means booking the client with another outfitter when you are booked up.

Finally, Dave has always said that, "Life, Birddog, is all about connections." I've been too idealistic and slow to realize this. From now on I intend to keep in touch with all those individuals that I respect, starting with two past guests Matt and Jody Miller. The Millers met while working in the Clinton White House, and currently Matt hosts the NPR political talk show, Left Right and Center while Jody runs Listen to Matt's podcast on itunes next time you get a chance and pass on the name on to anyone you know that works at Micron, Washington Group, Albertson's, Boise, HP, or anywhere else in and beyond the Boise market place.

Life is Grand!

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