I recently visited Grand Teton National Park and the Wind River Range to the east. This area was frequented by the mountain men in the 1820s and 30s for trapping. The fur trade was a major part of the US economy at the time, providing furs for men’s hats, among other things (think Lincoln’s stove pipe hat), and for export to Europe.
The mountain men faced a number of challenges including bears, loneliness, cold, starvation, and so on. It was a tough life and many didn’t last very long. What I found most interesting in the materials I read at the park visitors’ center was that most of the mountain men weren’t in it for the money; they did it for the beautiful environment, the adventure, the freedom and individuality, and the camaraderie of annual rendezvous where they traded their furs for supplies to get through the next season.
What makes you passionate about your business (other than profit)? Does it bring you camaraderie, challenge and fulfillment? Passion yields better results (not to mention more enjoyable days) than duty or obligation. If you spend a significant part of your life on something, let it be as fulfilling as the wilderness was to the mountain men.
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