Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A glimpse into the life of. . .

I am excited to introduce you to someone who is living his passion—and getting paid for it, too!

I met Shane my freshman year of college when he was lucky enough to room with one of my good friends from high school, which meant I was constantly barging in on them, overstaying my welcome, obnoxiously spouting opinions about any and everythingbasically just being my fun self.

He ended up transferring, but we still keep in touch now and then, when he's not busy farming corn and beans in Fargo, and working as an owner of two businesses: Migrator Valley Outfitters, which offers spring snow goose guided hunting services, and The Shooting Park, which is basically what it sounds like.

So young, so successful, yet so down to earth. Read on to see how he does it!

Tell me about Migrator Valley Outfitters: We guide goose hunts all over the Midwest.  We start down in Arkansas the first of January and then go to northwest Missouri,  and  finish up in northern South Dakota in April. We take roughly 400-500 hunters each spring and run clients from all over the US and other countries as well.
When did you open The Shooting Park, and why? We opened in the summer of 2012. Basically, it was an existing business that had been run into the ground and had filed for bankruptcy. It was located adjacent to some land we farmed, and 40 acres of farm land came with the gun club. Long story short, we were the high bidder at a very reasonable price. 

We renovated the whole place and increased the 120 league shooters to over 650 this season. We have a full food menu and beer/wine license and also do a lot of corporate parties.

First job ever: Farm laborer for my dad.  

First job after graduating/first "grown up" job: Farmer/goose guide.
Dream job: Farmer/goose guide.
What is the best part about your job(s)? They all give me lots of flexibility, and I can somewhat make my own schedule.
What is the most challenging part? Staying on task and not procrastinating.

What advice do you have for someone pursuing a similar career? Don’t be afraid to take a chance. If you work hard toward a common goal and make that your entire life with a few growing pains, if there is a market for what you are doing you will succeed.

What was the biggest obstacle to starting your own business not once, but twice? Money. Being a business owner, you can never have enough. Your overhead is always about 20 percent more than what you initially plan for, so don’t cut it short.
What advice do you have for anyone hoping to start one?
1. Do it on your own, if possible. Having a partner sounds like a good idea to split the risk with, but in the end if you believe in what you are doing you should be able to go it alone.

2. Don’t cut any corners. You only get one chance to impress your customers the first time; be sure you have all ends tied up before opening any sort of business.

What is your secret to balancing so many responsibilities?
I am very laid back. When I wake up in the morning I know things are going to go wrong, but you have to take them in stride and stay focused on the end result.
Three words to describe where you're at in life right now: Building, pursuing and accomplishing.
How do you define success? Success is when your dreams get bigger than your excuses.
Who has been your biggest influence, personally or professionally, and why? My dad. He has been very successful, starting from nothing, and has acquired a lot over the course of his lifetime. If I’m half as successful as him I will be very pleased.
What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time? Hunting and just driving around looking at crops.

What is number one on your bucket list? Travel around Europe.
Favorite ice cream flavor: Cookie dough.

Thank you, Shane!

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