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How I Ran 165 Charters In My First Year As A Guide (Part 2); It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

At Outdoors360, we’re excited to offer first-person perspectives on some incredible outdoor experiences. Whether it’s world record fish, an amazing hunt, unforgettable adventure, or how to make a living on the water, we’re all about the outdoors – and we’re all about changing the way you experience it online. If you have a story you’d like to share, contact us at the bottom of this article. This story is courtesy of Captain Clay Eavenson of


Over 10 years ago, I wanted to sell my old school, big screen, HDTV. You know, the big rear projection kind. So, I posted it for sale online. It didn’t take long and a guy contacted me about it and said he wanted it. So, he came by the house to get it. I wasn’t plugged into the charter business at the time so I had heard of him but didn’t really know who he was. He bought the TV and as he was leaving, he said he had heard I was looking for a boat and wanted to know if I would be interested in the boat he was selling. So, the next week, I took a ride in his boat and I bought it. That was the beginning of a friendship that has lasted well over a decade. He’s sent me referrals, connected me with other guides who have sent me referrals, he connected me with sponsors, helped me rig boats… etc. The list goes on. And, I am eternally grateful for being let into the “inner circle” of the successful guide business.


So, why do I tell you this? Because you want to be friends with the right people. Get in with the “wrong crowd” and you will get buried. Connect with the right people, and you will succeed. I don’t mean that you should kiss anyone’s rear end. Shoot, the friend I am talking about now… he and I have had plenty of disagreements. But, in the end, we respect each other and help each other in our respective businesses.

A little about the right crowd…

The right crowd is the crowd that can help lift you and your business up. They are guiding because it’s what they love, but it’s also their business. It’s how they support themselves and/or their family. They are morally sound and treat their customers and their fellow guides with respect. They know how to market themselves, as well as others. They are well liked by their peers. They look, walk, act, talk, and live the part. They are self confident, but don’t have a giant ego. They understand that surrounding themselves with other like minded professionals also helps them succeed.

A little about the wrong crowd…

The wrong crowd whines, a lot. They take the easy way out on charters and then wonder why their clients don’t come back for seconds. They yell at and belittle their clients.  They like to brag about themselves a great deal. They undercut, throw under the bus, and talk trash about their fellow guides. The wrong crowd is always broke, and they don’t know why. They deservingly draw the ire of their peers. These people cannot, and will not, help you succeed in the charter business. They are solely focused on themselves.

Identify and connect with the right people.

“If you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people.”
-My Wife

To view the rest of the list courtesy of Captain Clay Eavenson click here: Part 2 continued

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