The Outdoors, Business, and Life: Getting Real with Michael Waddell

POSTED: 01-10-2013 IN: The Outdoors, Business, and Life


A couple of nights ago at dinner my good pal Michael Waddell and I were discussing some of the clear ties between hunting and business and hunting and life. This is a subject which deeply resonates with us both. It is something that I am authoring a book about and dedicating a blogging series to.

At one point in our dinner, Waddell becomes very serious and develops an almost dead-eye stare–the Waddell closer look that “closes the coffin” on world record-class animals from around the globe.

“Farbz, when you wanna close the deal on an old legend, the ol’ nasty buck, the dominant beast of the woods, you ain’t gonna do it with dumb luck,” he exclaims with an intense and amped up voice. “He is smart, that is true, he doesn’t make many mistakes as he is an ol’ wiry beast, but you can manipulate him. You can frustrate him, you can anger him, and make no mistake about it, eventually he will succumb to the right manipulation tactic. That is why I smash antlers together, I’ll grunt, snort, wheeze, and I will challenge that ol’ beast and he cannot help himself. He just has to come in and kick some ass son, and that is why the old dog in some ways is more predictable than other bucks. Once you push the right button, he’s coming man.”

“And when he does with you Waddell, it’s ‘good night, Gracey,’” I jump in and belt out. Waddell nods with an ever so slight smile, yet still holding that serious and intense look on his face. At that moment more than ever it is apparent that Waddell is a true hunter, an artist of the woods, and after all these years his passion still runs deep! He is a one-of-a-kind dude, and his authenticity shines out and has elevated him into becoming one of the most successful and famous hunters in the world.

We both start laughing because it sure sounds a lot like the overblown ego of a human being. How do you take on the biggest and baddest in business or in life? How do you win with someone who appears too smart and too careful to make a mistake? You find the right button to press, the right thing to tweak, eventually they will crack, and then they will become vulnerable. It sounds manipulative and to some extent it may be, but it’s real life. We all have an ego and we all have our weaknesses, no animal or man is invincible.

Waddell and I agree that when we become more comfortable in our own skin, more authentic through and through, we in turn become better hunters. This is true in the field, in the boardroom, and in life in general. When we feel secure in being who we really are, we can understand the simple primal mindset of the dominant animal we are pursuing, and that we as human beings are not so different—except we have a conscience. When we think of ourselves without this conscience differentiator, we begin to understand how our prey thinks. It is within this realm where we truly become the super predator and ol’ nasty becomes our prey ready to be taken down.

Through authenticity we begin to understand that man is merely an animal with a conscience and through this comprehension, many of life’s challenges become solvable. The natural order and the primal instincts within us are ready to be leveraged. Within this realm we can and will achieve more success in business, life, and in the field. When we get real, we will close the deal!

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