By Mark Kenyon
“To live, to TRULY live, we must be willing to RISK. To be nothing in order to find everything. To leap before we look.” – Anonymous
Today I am taking my leap. A giant leap into the unknown. A leap into an adventure. A leap into a new life…A life in which I will be TRULY alive.
Today I am resigning from my job, of the past four years, at Google.
So that I may fully pursue my dream of chasing whitetails and sharing my experiences with the world. And so that I may truly live.
I am resigning to fulfill what I’ve found to be my purpose in this wonderful world. My purpose here is to share my passion through Wired To Hunt. My purpose here is to help, encourage and entertain my hunting brothers and sisters, just like you. My purpose is to chase that dream.
Today I’m quitting my job for deer, for you, and for a dream…
(Note to self: Breathe, exhale, breathe, exhale…)
How I Got Here
About five and a half years ago, while stuck inside a musty old dorm room in New York City, fate would have it that I came upon an idea.
I was in Manhattan for the summer on an internship with a large marketing and advertising agency and I should have been thrilled. I’d worked all through college to get this kind of position, and I was finally in the “big leagues”. Interestingly though, I found myself feeling suffocated by the urban madness around me and disillusioned with the work I was tasked with. I needed an outlet, some way to still feel connected to the world I left behind in Michigan and the deer hunting addiction that had been placed on hold.
That’s when it hit me, a blog. I could write about deer hunting. Why not? Every day at my internship I worked with bloggers, if they could do it, why couldn’t I? And so it began. Wired To Hunt was born in the summer of 2008, and it putzed along for a few months as a fun way to get my occasional whitetail fix.
Fast forward a year or so. Again, chasing the allure of peer approval, big paychecks, and pride I accepted a position coming out of college with Google, the #1 ranked business to work for in the country. My career with Google began with a four month stint in Mountain View, California (just outside of San Francisco), and I immediately felt the same disconnect form between my current setting and the world and passions I had left at home. And again, I turned to my blog, Wired To Hunt. Now though, I was motivated to take things to the next level. Somewhere deep inside of me I knew I could do more than just make a blog to pass the time. I could make a difference. I could make a mark. And so from that point in the fall of 2009, I worked on Wired To Hunt every spare second I could find for the next four years – all with the purpose of someday taking it all the way.
Since then, things have come a long way. Over that time period Wired To Hunt has grown from a hobby blog written by a lonely college kid to one of the largest independent whitetail hunting focused blogs in the world. Wired To Hunt is now viewed by hundreds of thousands of people every year, and that lonely, inexperienced college kid has now written articles for some of the top hunting magazines in the country – such as Quality Whitetails, North American Whitetail, and Field & Stream. I tell you this not to impress you, but to impress upon you how far this journey has taken me.
So that brings us to where I am now.
Taking The Leap
In our, just released, first episode of Wired To Hunt 2013, I explain that “I don’t hunt because I like to, I hunt because I was meant to hunt. I hunt because I was created to hunt. I was wired to hunt.”
And it is for that reason that I have to make this change.
You see as great a career as Google has been for me, it never truly was me. I have been blessed to work at Google, and I am so appreciative of the time I’ve spent there, the people who helped me along the way, and the opportunities the job has afforded me.
That said, Google (or any other job for that matter) never could even come close to the way that hunting deer has fulfilled me, motivated and moved me. I am, at my very core, a hunter. It is an all consuming, life devouring, entirely engrossing purpose that I have found for my life; and I know it in the deepest part of my heart. This is what I was meant to do.
Hunting is what I am meant to do, but I’ve found that I am also meant to share those experiences, those lessons learned, those highs and lows and those emotions of the hunt with others. I am two things in this world – a hunter and a communicator.
In the five years I’ve spent working on Wired To Hunt, I’ve found that (next to hunting) nothing fulfills me more than creating content for like-minded whitetail addicts. For example, you! I love sharing my stories and hearing back from readers on their similar experiences. I love learning new tactics and sharing them, just to in-turn learn even more back from others. I love being able to help fellow hunters, and I’m always impressed by how much fellow hunters help me. In short I love everything that Wired To Hunt has allowed me to do. Writing, photographing, filming, teaching, learning, discussing, debating. All with whitetails at the core. This is what I was meant to do.
It is with this realization that I decided some months ago that it was time to stop talking about chasing my dream “someday”, and just chase my dream. So here I am today taking that one small step, off one giant cliff, towards that dream.
The Dream Moving Forward
So what does this mean for me and for Wired To Hunt moving forward? It means big things. Since starting Wired To Hunt I’ve been working on it with very, very limited time. The blog posts you’ve read, the films you’ve watched, and the work you’ve seen on the blog was most likely patched together sometime between the hours of 9 PM and 6:00 AM. To keep Wired To Hunt afloat, I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of sleep, but also a lot of ambition. There have been a lot of things I’ve wanted to do over the past few years, but just couldn’t given my time constraints. That all changes now.
That said, over the next few weeks and months I’ll be able to devote an unprecedented amount of time to Wired To Hunt. Everything, and I mean everything, is going to be taken to the next level.
On top of improvements to the site and the content I’m also going to be working on some new projects. I’m planning on diving much deeper into the world of magazines, books, and audio/video content. So look for some exciting announcements to come on those fronts soon!
To make all of this work though, I’m going to need a little help. In order to make Wired To Hunt the best possible online destination for whitetail addicts, I need to hear from you about what it is you want!
And this is an important thing to note, Wired To Hunt is about you. We’re not going to create something here just because it drives online traffic, or because potential advertisers will like it, or because some big executive says that this is something an online media property should be. No, Wired To Hunt is for you, the whitetail addict, and we want to stay true to that.
So what that being said, I want to personally invite each and every one of you to feel free, at any time, to email me directly with your ideas for the site, feedback, or requests. If you’d like to see more on public land hunting, let me know. If you want more video content, give me a shout. Have a specific question about an issue you’re facing today, hit me up and I’ll do my absolute best to help. You can speak directly to me, Mark Kenyon, at wiredtohunt(at)gmail.com . If you do nothing else, it would be terrific if you could send me an email after reading this post, listing one thing you’d like to see us do with Wired To Hunt now that I’ll be taking it full time. I promise I’ll read every one of your suggestions, and I’ll take action on as many of them as I possibly can.
Thank You From The Bottom Of My Heart
So now that I’ve shared my big news and big plans with you, there’s only two last thoughts I want to leave you with.
First off, thank you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Without you the readers, this journey would not have been possible. I cannot begin to recount the million ways that you all have helped me grow as a writer, a hunter and a person. So many of you have been following Wired To Hunt for years, encouraging me along the way and sticking around to see what crazy mistakes I might make in the woods next, and for that I am forever grateful.
You have given me this opportunity, and I will work the rest of my life to pay you back for that. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, please know that I appreciate all of you. I appreciate your time, your support, your encouragement, and your passion.
My Message For You
That said, I have one last message for you, as I begin this new adventure.
Never stop chasing your dreams.
Whether that be killing a Pope & Young whitetail, becoming a father or owning a home. No matter if you’re dream is to cure cancer or be an artist, to sail around the world or to just hold a steady job. Never stop chasing that dream.
The american poet Langston Hughes wisely cautioned all of us to “hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
So may you hold fast to your dreams. May you never let go. And may you fly.
– Mark Kenyon, CEO/Founder of Wired To Hunt, dreamer