Who is the Copywriter Outdoors?
Back around the time when Neil Armstrong left those footprints on the moon (OK, maybe a little before that.) Bobby Duncan was born in a farmhouse in a remote area in Southern Rhodesia, Africa. Still largely untouched wilderness, a fledgling ranching community had begun to reach out into the wild untamed “lowveld” bush, that hot, low altitude, low rainfall area in the southeast of the country. As a result he was inoculated with a very strong dose of “bush fever” and a longing to leave his own footprints in the most remote wilderness areas he could find.
Choosing a path
An experience during high school helped to plant his feet more firmly on the path to a career in the outdoors. The school band, of which Bobby was a member, was due to go on tour. As the end of term approached and the excitement about the tour grew, Bobby received an invitation from an uncle to “keep an eye on things” on his farm while he and his family were away on holiday. After long and careful consideration – lasting about two and a half seconds – Bobby’s answer was YES!
So as the school term ended and the buses loaded with his classmates headed off on tour, he headed for the farm. Of course he came under some pressure from both staff and his friends in the band. He must have heard “You’re crazy!” at least a dozen times. However, it is still one of the best holidays he can remember. “I have never had any reason to regret that decision.” he says, “Even with my friends giving me a rough time and all the stories they came back with, I never felt I’d made a mistake. It only made me more determined to pursue a career outdoors.”
It wasn’t all fun and games and a carefree childhood. Troubled times in his corner of the world back then came with many challenges. But this had an up-side. The challenges built resilience, determination and the ability to think outside the box – or to “make a plan” as they say in that part of the world.
But, as so often happens, life hits you with a curve ball. In Bobby’s case, it came two decades into his career in agriculture and safari guiding. Political instability in his country all but destroyed the once thriving agricultural industry. This left him and his young family with nothing while struggling to rebuild a life in another country, New Zealand.
Winston Churchill once said – “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” So when life threw that curve ball, Bobby was able to recognize the opportunity and with the skills honed by the challenges he’d faced, he set off down a new path. From a career in agriculture and safaris, he “re-adjusted” to managing donor funded development programs in southern Afghanistan.
This was a partial departure from his previous experience as there was still an agricultural component to his work. But it was the experience gained through the difficult times that gave him an edge, enabling him to successfully apply what he knew to his new career. Interestingly, this experience provided a vital piece of the puzzle in establishing his next venture.
Now . . .
Bobby is now a freelance copywriter specializing in online content and consulting for the outdoor recreation industry.
Throughout his working life, writing has played an important part. And that piece of the puzzle he found in Afghanistan that tied it all together? Persuasive writing. He learned to write reports and proposals that played a critical part in soliciting funding. He learned to write material that persuades.
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