I am out of fingers and toes to count how many people I have met who ask the question, “So how does what you do make money?” To me, profitability should be measured by the impact of our actions as humans which benefit and enrich the lives of others.
Those with material wealth often give me a look reminiscent of my own when I sit down and can’t figure out what the fish are eating, or why they’re not taking my choice of flies. Perhaps they, like me, need to sit and think on a new approach to answer the question.
For me, as the TroutBus, profit comes from this:
- Spending of my time to enrich the lives of youth to promote a sport that gives me peace.
- Provide imagery and stories allowing friends to escape their daily lives through my adventures.
- Learn from the past and listen to those who have come before me to pass on the ethic of conserving our precious natural resources for the next generation.
It’s the people who make the world the way it is. We have learned a lot while being here, and some figured out a long time ago that when you live in balance you come through life relatively unscathed.
Those who challenge life and push themselves to be successful – do it and realize the great price and toll it takes. Nothing ever was given to those which they cannot handle, and for them it will enrich their lives. Through hard work are great rewards derived – but now unlike any other time, the sustainability of industry is directly tied to their position of conservation. As long as their business involves the outdoors or Uses outdoor images in their marketing.
This is where we need to continue to set the rxample to the rest of the world. Our ability to create global industry, our ability to recognize and protect our amazing public lands. Our ability to learn from our mistakes when it comes to being profitable at the expense of those places. And our ability to communicate these issues to broaden the support of the goals of preserving theses places for the future.
The friends and companies who have worked hard, who have supported me in my desire to work toward building a sustainable future for the fisheries I visit. We share the vision that profitability is tied directly toward the health of the places we go to chase fish.
Recently in Utah, I was part of a gathering of all these types of influences in my life of providing outreach toward sustainability. The businesses who were there, the nonprofits, and most importantly the community that showed up. Children and parents, grandparents and teenagers, both sides of the political and economic spectrums, all bound together for their love of the waters where they cast flies.
The water that flows is the universal element that binds all the communities they serve. Ranchers, farmers, recreationists, boat builders, rod makers, fly tyers, veterans, students, all of them want the water to be cold and clean for their needs. There is no profit to be had in the short term which counters the need for long term sustainability purposed to ensure profitability. This starts in our public lands and follows gravity toward downstream health in our waters and lands.
Here in this place I call home in Bend, Oregon the water we have is a devisive and complicated commodity. It’s use is quite varied for such a small population. It’s upper reaches are dewatered which devestates it’s habitat each year, and it’s lower reaches are managed through a selective withdrawal system that is damaging it – even with a new and uliltimately finer control available anywhere on any tailwater I have seen.
So there’s the profitability I help bring with the help of the people who follow me and the businesses who support me. Its profitability through the act of being. It’s creating material wealth while actively participating in conserving the fisheries with my voice. I spend my hard earned money to volunteer my time to be profitable.
Those monies which come from you buying merchandise from the site, giving a charitable donation, sponsoring my travels, the more of that which occurs – the more I can go and accomplish my goals with youth, veterans, and the organizations purposed to protect and conserve places where trout live.