So last week I wrote an article about quitting your job and moving to a ski resort. It was a popular article, but we were asked on our facebook page about what sort of jobs you can do and how you can make a living at a ski resort. That’s a great question, so lets answer it!
I’ve met a lot of people who make a living that started with a simple love for snow. All of them share one key characteristic.
They have passion for what they do and they kept putting themselves out there and working towards their goals.
To give you some ideas, here are some average joe’s who have found very different jobs and careers that have resulted from a love for snow.
1) Nev Lapwood – Founder of SnowboardAddiction.com
If you didn’t watch my video interview with Nev Lapwood, founder of SnowboardAddiction.com, here’s a brief summary: Nev founded Snowboard Addiction, which sold over 17,000 snowboard instruction dvds and downloads last year.
You can say it’s just luck and that you wouldn’t be able to do that, but do you think Nev was successful straight away? Nope! He was barely making any sales when I first met him, years ago in NZ, and it definitely wasn’t enough for him to live on. He didn’t even know anything about websites or programming and he still doesn’t.
2) Braden Dean – Pro Snowboarder
Braden is a pro snowboarder whose sponsors include Voleurz, Pow Gloves and Bataleon Snowboards. He gets to snowboard over 200 days each year and travel all over the world.
I chose Braden as an example because he’s not spinning triple cork 1080s at the X-Games and he still works an extra job to support himself. He shows that even if you’re not Shaun White, it’s possible to keep chasing what you love to do and have a life that makes you happy.
3) Gregg Davis – Snowboard Instructor & AASI National Team Member
Gregg is a top notch instructor who’s had over 30 years in the snow industry. He’s been a tester for the Transworld Snowboarding Good Wood Board Test, as well as being part of the very exclusive AASI National Team, which literally writes the book on snowboard instruction in the US.
I love Gregg’s example because he didn’t start an insanely successful company like Nev (yet!) and he’s not a pro snowboarder earning a living doing insane tricks. He’s built his career by working hard at snowboard instruction, putting in the work hours and staying close to what he loves to do.
4) Hisashi – Chef/Owner at Sasanoki Japanese Kitchen in Wanaka NZ
Hisashi runs a little Japanese restaurant in Wanaka, Sasanoki Kitchen. It’s definitely one of the local favorites in town and it’s not uncommon for his restuarant to be very busy. He’s taken his skill at cooking and turned it into a successful local business that still lets him get his days on the hill.
I wanted to include him on this list because he goes to show that even in a tiny town with a population of 5,000, it’s possible to find ways to take advantage of your skills and abilities to enable you to keep following the life that makes you happy.
5) Shannon Johnson – Blogger & Product Tester at Shayboarder.com
Shannon Johnson has build a career out of loving the snow life. She’s built a successful blog at shayboarder.com, which started by just providing good snowboard reviews while no one else was doing it. This has branched out and given her lots of job opportunities within the snow industry and best of all, she gets to keep doing what she loves to do.
She’s a good example because she doesn’t earn a full time income from the blog and still has to work a regular job at a snow resort, but just writing about her passions and interests and helping people out has led to exposure and other opportunities in the snow industry. This is one of the best examples that I can think of where keeping yourself within the industry and staying close to your interests and passions has paid off.
A lot of you are probably saying to yourself, “I can’t do any of these things!” That’s not the point of this blog. Every one of us has something that we’re good at, even if we haven’t fully discovered it yet.
Do you think Shannon Johnson started doing snowboard reviews knowing that it would lead to other opportunities within the industry? Nope! She was just trying to help people out with useful information.
Was Gregg Davis going into snowboarding to become one of the top instructors in North America? Nope! He only planned to be an instructor for one season.
Did Nev Lapwood start instructing with the plan to start an online business around snowboard instruction? Nope! He just wanted a free season’s pass.
The point I’m trying to make is that if you really love the snow and you want to find a career inside the snow industry, you need to follow that passion and get yourself to the snow. You don’t know what sort of opportunities and careers might occur down the road, but being part of the snow industry, either as a rider, instructor or even a janitor will lead to more opportunities if you keep working at it and putting yourself out there.
You can look at these examples and say that it’s luck and that you wouldn’t be so successful, but you’ll be surprised at how many people in this industry started out washing dishes at their local resort.
Remember, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.