Have you heard the Chinese proverb, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty”? Ever since I first heard it have tried to put it into practice. It’s something that I still need to work on but my good friend Paul Hansen has it down to almost a science! Over the years we have been friends, it has been amazing to see what he does, the difference he makes, and the connections he has formed. Now, he really inspires me with his zest for life, how he goes after his goals with persistence. Without his networking and his persistence, he would not be where he is today, and I am so blessed that he is willing to share his wisdom with you to help you live your life to the max. Now his voice might sound familiar because he is a voice over artist, along with being a pilot and many other things. He even does the intro for our Daily Energize Podcast!
Paul started off like many other people. He graduated from high school, and then started college, but he couldn’t figure out where his place was in the world. For a little while he was working in the outdoor industry, still not really finding what he wanted. Eventually he went to flight school and became a pilot. At one point he started a travel agency where he took people fly fishing all around the world. Then he even wound up in voice acting for voice-overs.
When he first started his flying career, he had to go to ground school where they essentially throw a bunch of knowledge at you for ten hours a day. The first week went well, but then the second week they decided to let everybody go. Paul didn’t know what to do. He had always been a fishing guy, so he decided to go back to that. Quickly he started taking people out as a guide. One of his clients was talking to him one day, and the mention of his piloting career came up. It turns out that client just happened to own an airline! It was a charter company that flew baseball teams to their games and musicians to their tour destinations. Paul started asking his client questions about why he started the airline and other things along that line, because he is very interested in hearing other people’s journeys. The client asked if Paul had a resume, and Paul always had one available and gave him one. Two weeks went by, and he hadn’t heard anything, but then he got a call from the same client who asked what he had going on the next Monday. The client asked Paul to cancel the rest of his guide season and start ground school on Monday. Paul took the job and wound up having a twelve-year career there.
It hasn’t all been positive for Paul though. He’s struggled as every single person does. For a while after he was let go from his first piloting career he was living in a small house with his wife and kids. They were living a very basic lifestyle. He didn’t have enough money to buy them all food, and he got denied from getting food stamps three times. Eventually he ended up going to a food shelf at a church. He remembers sitting in the parking lot before he went in, crying. When he walked in, the man there could tell that he’d been crying, and he put his arm around Paul and told him that it would be ok. Everybody needs a little help sometimes. Paul would bring the food home and his daughter would ask if it had come from the special store. It didn’t matter to her that it wasn’t a fancy name brand. Paul realized that it was a temporary setback, it wouldn’t go on forever. It’s important to find the positives in situations so that we can keep moving forward to a better place. You need to find the drive and the passion to keep going. Persistence is key. You can’t give up.
If you are struggling right now and need to find the persistence to keep moving Paul has some advice to help you. First of all, unplug your TV. Life is not doom and gloom even though that’s frequently what the TV portrays. Overall, it comes down to getting rid of the toxicity in your life. Try getting off social media, it’s not the real world. On social media we make our lives seem perfect, when in reality they aren’t. Find out where your toxicities are coming from and do the best you can to get rid of them. If you focus on negativity, you are going to feel more negative in your life. If some of the toxicities in your life involve people that you don’t want to remove from your life, Paul suggests putting them on the backburner. Don’t reach out to them if they make you feel bad about yourself.
My ego used to be through the roof. When people would help me, I would normally thank them, but I wasn’t truly grateful because I thought that I deserved it. It took a lot of humbling to realize how greatly people had truly helped me. Look at the people around you, who has helped you? Say thank you to them for what they’ve done and think about how you can pay it forward. A great example is a story from Paul. There was a guy that he hired spreading weed killer on his lawn. They got talking, and Paul learned that he had played soccer in the British leagues, and that he was struggling for money. It just so happened that his daughter played soccer, so Paul knew the soccer coach at the high school was looking for a new coach to help out. Paul gave the man the soccer coaches name and number and sure enough he got the job. Now every time Paul sees that man, the man gives him a hug and thanks him for his help.
If you are ready to rock and roll and live your life to the max, Paul’s advice is to not take yourself too seriously, and don’t let your ego take over. Stay persistent, be open to anything you hear, and keep your network open. Be humble and have fun! Enjoy life! If you would like to connect with Paul you can find him on Instagram @paulhansenvo. I would love to hear what you think about Fly Fishing Guide to Pilot! Send me a message on social media @Jonesinfor or send me an email at [email protected]