You’ve probably heard of the reality show Duck Dynasty. For the last year, several Succeed on Purpose team members have talked about the show as if it were the best replacement for The Cosby Show. Wait? Is the Cosby show still on, or am I dating myself? :)
At any rate, I finally watched Duck Dynasty. The show is quite reminiscent of my Central Florida days. Many of the folks in my hometown of Crystal River, FL loved fishing and hunting more than anything else, especially in and around the island of Ozello, where “fish fry Fridays” were the place to be, and air boats replaced yachts.
As with any cultural phenomenon, Duck Dynasty can teach us a LOT about the New World of Work, particularly the importance of following passion. Yep, I am officially promoting Duck Dynasty as a role model for the New World of Work! In the old world, we chose professions parents recommended, or careers teachers told us were financially viable. Clearly, that old system doesn’t work anymore. Hint: in the New World of Work…do one thing: Follow Passion.
And believe it or not, one of the role models for following passion is Phil Robertson (66 years young), the millionaire star of Duck Dynasty, and inventor of the Duck Commander Duck Call. Phil Robertson was a star quarterback for Louisiana Tech for two seasons, and his back-up quarterback was none other than NFL star Terry Bradshaw (Terry Bradshaw is a hall of fame quarterback and former Pittsburgh Steelers QB who took the Steelers to multiple Super Bowls, and yes beat the Cowboys once or twice).
Phil, who was considered more talented as a quarterback than the now-famous Terry Bradshaw, used his scholarship to earn a Masters degree in Education. When faced with the choice of joining the NFL, which pro-scouts and coaches were urging him to do, Phil contemplated passion. He liked football, but he LOVED fishing and hunting.
His teammates and coaches recall a talented outdoors-obsessed character who walked away from a wealthy NFL career to spend time hunting and fishing! By all accounts, he had the talent to play in the NFL, but despite his strengths (throwing a football), Phil believed then, as he does now, that life is about pursuing passion!
Phil told ESPN: “The choice came down to me in the woods hunting ducks, or getting in a situation, a lifestyle, whereby large, violent men are paid huge sums of money to do one thing, stomp me in the dirt. I said, you know, I think it would be less stressful to go after ducks.”
Phil lived the fundamental truth about success in the NewWorld of Work. Phil is proof that money follows passion. He decided to not play football his final year of college, instead making room for Terry Bradshaw to start. Finishing his education, he spent the next few years doing what he loved. At the time, there were no professional career paths for a Duck Call product inventor, much less a duck-hunting reality show star.
Despite that, Phil did two things that are critical in the New World of Work:
- He followed his passion, no matter how scary the path.
- He EXPECTED to be happy and fulfilled, which led to success.
You see, it’s our passion (or purpose as we like to say), that fuels the desire to work harder and learn more about your craft so you can excel at it. But, it’s also our expectations that determine success. It takes both. Expectations are critical because “we get what we EXPECT, not what we want.” (Pat Mussiex said that)
So, the next time you’re channel surfing and come across Duck Dynasty…remember, if this guy can become a millionaire doing what he loves, surely we can make a career change and follow passion!
Here’s to the Duck Dynasty way! Oh yeah, and if you haven’t heard…I just wrote a book about the New World of Work with my good friend and comrade, Tim Houlne. It’s getting tons of media attention and well…it’s pretty darn good!