The September sunrise was magnificent. I lay there in the brown sandy hills of Medicine Hat, Alberta and it’s opening day of bow season. The anticipation runs high and my soul is on fire, I am so ready to be here it is ridiculous! Just as the first shooting light has presented itself, so does a bachelor group of three big mule deer bucks. The third buck is a “gagger” (a way of saying huge) and he is going to walk by me broadside at 25 yards, just as the guide said he would. My heart is slamming and I am about to draw my bow and take him when something inside me says, “no Farbz, it’s the start of a four-day trip and you’ll probably see a better buck, let him walk.” And I do just that. Did I make the right call to let him walk or should I have simply tagged out right there in the first moments of daylight? You decide.
Recently in our Outdoor Hub headquarters, I was sitting with a new salesman we hired to run our Los Angeles office. He asked me to provide him with one key takeaway to up his chances of being successful in running our West Coast office. I pondered this question for a bit and thought of all of the different sales guys we had hired since founding the company and those who had been most successful. I thought about those who had failed and why they had failed. I thought back on the real estate company I ran prior to Outdoor Hub and which salesmen and women had the best success and it hit me. I said to him, “Karlton, the key to you being successful in this job is to ‘tag out quickly’.” I explained how on several hunting trips in my life I have seen the best shooting opportunities on the first day of hunts, but I became obsessed with the “what ifs”, which are really shiny objects that make you lose focus on the mission of tagging out.
Often the best way to ensure success when you are new at something or re-honing in your skills that have sat in a slumber state is to tag out quickly. The more I thought about this advice, the more applicable I realized it was and thought it worthy of a blog. Whether you are starting a new job, returning to work after a hiatus, or just getting out of a long relationship sometimes you just need to tag out quickly. A taste of blood, so to speak, can do much to energize us. Too often in life we become “shotgun approached” (a scattered approach to solving something) and not “rifle approached” (precisely honed in on a target), and instead of turning consistent, strong results we end up with a bunch of partial results and never reach our full potential. While I often believe in trophy hunting in life, sometimes you just got to tag out and get the mojo flowing. Note that I am talking about much more than hunting here, this is business and this is life.
The advice resonated with Karlton, who is now working on closing his first deal just a week and a half after starting with the company. It may not be a huge deal but it is a trophy nonetheless as it will lift his spirit, build his confidence, and put him on a path to success. Yes, Karlton is making the decision to tag out quickly and if/when he closes this deal it will likely make all the difference. Have you been in a situation like this in life? Have you chosen to tag out quickly or have you passed and waited it out?
The sun is setting now and I am in the last minutes of daylight on the fourth and final day of my Alberta bowhunting trip, and I had not seen another buck in range that came close to the monster I let walk on the first morning. The humble thought in this moment that made its way into my mind was, “Farbz, seriously? Now you’d shoot any buck that is even close to that first morning one.” As darkness sets in I can only shake my head as I know that I have a long day of travel home tomorrow and I am skunked and shouldn’t be. Sure I will have the memories, sure I had a great hunt, but I also learned a lesson. To be able to share this knowledge in hindsight later makes it all worthwhile I suppose, but my advice to you is that sometimes in life pull the trigger and tag out quickly! I have a feeling this advice might just help you achieve higher success, and hopefully it will do just that for Karlton!