Tuesday, January 4, 2011
What's in a name....more than you may think.
It is Sunday afternoon in the fall of 1978. We had come back home from attending church in our small southern NC town. I was seven years old donning a leisure suit, minus the wide collared polyester suit jacket, drawing with my younger sister at our dining room table. This is something we did every Sunday afternoon and it generally played out the same way. Beth would be drawing little pictures of butterflies, puppy dogs, birds, and family. I would be drawing stick deer, fish, pick-up trucks and a store front. The store front would always be named something like – The Fishing Hook or The Hunting and Fishing Store – you know real original stuff. When I came into this world, I was dubbed R. Bryan Wright, but everyone called me Bryan. During one of these Sunday afternoon art sessions, my sister said I should name my store R.B. Wright’s….that is when the vision began. I made it clear back then when I grew up I wanted to get paid to hunt and fish. My friends thought I was crazy. They wanted to be policemen, firemen, and one guy wanted to be an opera singer (that is another story). The funny thing is they all grew up to be different things. Byron is owns a software company, Brian is a teacher, Kevin and Charlie work with the S.B.I, and I do not know if Luis became an opera singer or not. (Last I heard he was married with 4 kids) I never wavered from what I wanted to do and thirty-two years later still have not.
Let’s fast forward to 1989. I have just graduated high school and I am sitting at the top of the stairs with my parents having intense fellowship about the direction in which my life should go. When asked what it was I wanted to do with my life, I simply stated, “I want to hunt and fish.” I remember my father, who is the smartest and truly wisest man I know, stating – “Have you lost your mind son?” You see, Dad has never been a hunter and he enjoys fishing, but not to the extreme that I do. He grew up in an era and a home life that did not afford the opportunities that I had nor that I hope my children have. He believed that I would be heading for disaster due to the fact that I was not truly prepared for what the world can do to a person. Dad was right. I knew that I loved to hunt and fish but I knew nothing about business nor did I have anywhere the knowledge about the industry or the sport(s) that I do now. I was attending Methodist College (now Methodist University) and I needed a job to supplement my “outdoor fund” while I was in school. My mother was running a small mortgage company at the time and suggested that I work for her part time while I was in school. Well, you guessed it, one thing led to another and over twenty years later, I am still in the mortgage industry overseeing the entire production for NC and traveling across the state as a Real Estate trainer. This occupation has provided well for my family and has given me tremendous experience in dealing with B2B sales, B2C sales, and has honed my presentation skills incredibly. It has also afforded the opportunity to network with those who love the outdoors all across the state and allowed me to hunt/fish in every region of NC. I have been able to fly fish in the streams of Western NC and catch Cobia off the shores of Hatteras. I have been able to hunt deer, turkey, hog, and bird (waterfowl and quail) with people I never would have met and places I never would have been had it not been for the path that I chose against my will.
Let’s fast forward now to present day. I love my wife. I am married with three daughters and a dog. We have a really good life. My wife, Jennifer, has been pushing me for the last year to pursue my dream of “r.b. wright outdoors”. With technology the way it is today, I do not need a storefront. As a result of this blog and outlets like OBN I do have an opportunity to run a business and network with other people who love to hunt/fish. She, Jennifer, has been a driving force in making certain the dream I have never fizzles.
So to some, the name of my blog may not be that creative. To me, it is the dream that I had since I wore the leisure suit.
Posted by r.b. wright