After a year like 2012, with all that has happened, has changed and through it all, the blessings that are our strengths should and need to be shared with you. The 2012 Alaska Adventure is coming to a close and amidst the hustle and hurry of the season, I find myself in a peaceful and contemplating sort of mind.
Recently, I read a post that had caught my eye, asking readers to really open up and share a bit about what makes and drives each of us, and the real why of what each of us is doing online.
I thought I would share it with you all, here, as I believe that some of you may wonder…
You read my words, you take my stories and lessons shared as facts of our lives. I am the voice that you hear and have been part of Pioneer Outfitters for over 20 years, living in Chisana, Alaska, year round.
These questions came from Ralph Dopping at The View From Here.
What is your story?
My story? My story is Alaska Chick’s story. I am here, with you and so many others, to share our lives here in the Alaska bush, as horse outfitters in the largest national park, the Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve to shed a little light on our business, guiding guests and clients into the wilderness towards whichever dream brought them to us.
To reach out to the people of the world that are no longer familiar with the wilderness, or even have a wilderness available to explore, fish, hunt or pan for gold. To climb mountains, explore glaciers, photograph wildlife and to cross rivers, safely, with us, State of Alaska licensed, Professional Guides.
Where did you come from?
My story starts growing up as a dairy farm girl. It has to start there, because it is there I learned that the best of luck comes from love and hard work. My only dream as a child was to follow my heros in military service.
Serving in Desert Storm bought me home, without a clue, simply doing what I knew how to do, the best way to do it. A chance, a strike of destiny, fate or God, Himself, put Pioneer Outfitters and Alaska in my Path.
What is your background?
My background is one of hard work. Physical work with deeply ingrained fighting and competitive instincts. To be the absolute best in any thing or direction I turn. Effort is nothing if it isn’t consistent. (Someone important said that, I am sure!)
I listened to the people (three different individuals / companies) in charge-control over Pioneer Outfitters online for over ten years tell me, and tell the Boss, that what I suggested, asked for, advised and wanted for the website and our “presence” online was more than unreasonable, that it was impossible.
I downloaded a pdf from HubSpot to learn how to build my own website or something like that, and the rest is the website you are on and the blog you are reading. Every day I look at what the “Experts” and “Professionals” told me couldn’t be done for a business. Everyday, I strive to learn more, do more, help more, to maintain and continue to improve myself and through myself, be able to find the key to the correct door, to bring more of you, to us.
What makes you tick or what gets you up in the morning?
I don’t want to use “Love,” though it is so true, so let’s say my word is “Hope.” Things began to get really rough around the same time I suffered my 4th stroke in January of 2010. Things looked even harder after the doctors told me to “get my affairs in order.”
Blessings. It was a hard year. Business was suffering because of the terrible economic strain so many were feeling. The thought kept hitting me, “no one knows we exist.” I celebrated Christmas with my children, as I hand’t even hoped to, and continued to get stronger (although I will never recover my strength fully, I know now).
What keeps me tickin’ is Hope. Hope that I may give back something special, to someone who made need it or me at some point in the world’s time. Hope that I may give something special to the company that became my own through love and loyalty and time.
“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” ~ John F. Kennedy
What methods do you use to communicate your ideas?
When I was taught to build our website, I was told that I also had to “have” a blog. Whoa. Really? Who? Me? Huh. Well. Ok! Here we go… Alaska Chick’s Blog. I wrote all the information that I used to mail to people, I re-wrote all the information that I put into the website. I write Alaska Chick’s Blog. What could possibly be easier than sharing our lives, with the written word, instead of trying to find new addresses of people who do not know me and I do not know?
As I was taught that I needed Alaska Chick’s Blog, I was taught that I also needed Face Book, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Google Maps, Pintrest and the rest… So that is what I attempt to use. Use? I use it, by being there. Consistently, ready to learn, ready to listen, ready to share. Being there, so people can find us, when they look into their own dreams.
The pictures I take and share is what usually catches people’s attention, and they communicate so much of who and what we are. The writing that comes from my heart, the heart that sees the world that I find myself in, hoping to capture it, just once, with my camera.
If you think about what you offer to your field of work what does that look like?
Certitude. I will not quit. I will not give up or give in. I have a vision and I will keep aiming for it. THAT is what I bring. I wouldn’t say I am gifted or brilliant, but I have a brain (as one of my heros says!) and I can learn… being online has brought me within reach of people who are willing to teach, a willing student. Ethics, clear lines, and loyalty is what I bring to our company and my industry.
On a personal level how do you serve the people in your life? I am Alaska Chick. I am here to facilitate, be it a personal dream or a company direction. Every hour I spend, becoming a better person myself, helps me become a better mother, a better instructor, better professional, better guide. Everything I am doing, have been doing for the last two years has changed my life, indeed, but it has been with a pure heart for them, the people that I call my family.
What is their impression of you and is that consistent with who you are?
Pretty close. They think I’m crazy and obsessed. I don’t truly believe that they understand or truly believe I am not playing the latest hot game on Face Book…. however, they know enough about me to know I have a bone and I wont let it go.
Are you satisfied with your place in your world?
More now, than I have ever been. I’m not finished, but I feel better in my own skin, my own accomplishments, mountains scaled and ready for the next. I have a goal to reach… I am not sure if it is real or a star shining off in the distance that I will never truly reach… But it has given me a dream as well.
I want to continue to grow and improve, everyday. But as I was reading all of the comments, left before I got there the answers left before me were all a resounding “NO!”
I would have to say, “YES! I am satisfied with my place in the world.”
I have yet to reach my goals, there is so much yet to be built, created, written, experienced and perfected. I want to flood the world with Master Guide Terry Overly’s name and with the words “Pioneer Outfitters.” I want to cry over the first damaged corner in our new house, I want my children to bring their college friends home with them from college. There is so much to DO.
My place in the world? Is right here. Keeping people safe in the Alaska wilderness, riding my horses, worrying about crossing the river, panning for gold, taking Hunt of a Lifetime Hunters, children fighting cancer, hunting for a big game animal, meeting women that are amazing and showing them all they came to see and experience… This is my place in the world.
What puts you in a position to achieve or allows you to be in a position to master your craft?
My inability to “Quit.” Giving up is simply another word for “Quit” to me. I have what it takes to learn, the trust put into me to keep reaching for that goal is the fuel I run on. There is nothing in my yesterdays that means more than what I am doing now. They were the stairs I climbed, if I have to chisel the next step myself, I can and will.
So there you have it! More, that is.
What about you? What brings you here? What are you looking for? From us? From Alaska Chick’s Blog? Have you found it? Can I help? Is there a question you would like answered? A photo, taken? Something, maybe, you simply wonder? Something I might have written that caught your attention, but I haven’t come back to, to expand upon more? Don’t hesitate to ask, share or add your own two cents, I’ll always answer.