Jill Davis is an Alaskan Renaissance Woman – she’s a guide, a pilot, a boat captain, a published author and a branding and marketing expert. After years in the lodge and tourism industry Ninilchik, Alaska-based Davis decided to follow her dreams, live off the grid and start writing her book, Alaska Man. After becoming a published author she decided to share her skills with the world and started her business Alaska Woman Consulting. Today she’s coaching and mentoring other entrepreneurs and business owners and continuing to spread her love of the Alaskan wilderness.
Davis’ story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
I was in the lodge and guide business in Alaska. I had always wanted to write a book so in 2009 I sold out of the lodge business and decided to pursue my passion of writing and documenting real life living off of the grid in the Wilds of Alaska. I also have a love for entrepreneurship and marketing so I started mentoring/coaching business people that want to further their brand. I have almost 3 million views on my YouTube channel Alaska Wild Adventures. I also achieved International best seller status with my book Alaska Man. I love sharing Alaska with the world and my superpower is marketing and branding.
My definition of success is figuring out how to earn a living doing what I love to do, all while bringing value to the world. I believe that when I help others achieve success by using my marketing and branding superpowers, it is a win for me!
I believe that my biggest success was writing and publishing my book. But I have many other extraordinary accomplishments, like building two lodges in Alaska 60 miles from the nearest town only accessible by bush plane or boat, from the ground up. I also ran two boats from Washington to Alaska – besides the physical aspect of running two boats, I also managed the company, the marketing, and was the head chef. I’m a guide, I went to flight school and even became a pilot as well. But after doing all of that I would have to say that writing and publishing my book was the hardest thing I have ever done. The international best seller status was the topping on the cake.
I would have to say that discrimination in the industry was my most difficult challenge. It seemed that was something I was dealing with and overcoming in every part of my business. It was even noticeable in marketing. I started in the lodge business when I was 20 years old and maybe did not deal with the discrimination in the best way. I took the approach of just being a tough Alaska Woman and said my peace if a situation did not please me. Later in life I learned how to be more more tactful. I take into consideration that I do not need to take things personally and to know my true value and worth. I do not let other’s opinions dictate any part of my personality or life. I am true to myself and help others live in their power. I do not stand for manipulation.
It is very hard to be in the lodge business, because mostly there is no privacy. My relationships were all out in the open. It was very difficult to have a very functional marriage because there was not much intimacy. I believe that staying busy in my business was a way to avoid intimacy with loved ones. When I got out of the lodge business I decided to go into a business that did not take all of my attention so that I was able to focus more on my own life and relationships.
Shanda Sumpter is my most important role model. She went bankrupt in 2009 and in 9 years built a billion dollar company without loosing her integrity. She has a business that is based on helping entrepreneurs live their purpose and dream life, as well as teaching them how to earn a lot of money doing it. She is in my opinion, a visionary. She can talk to someone for one minute and give them the advice they need to change their life and turn their business around. She also overcame an abusive relationships that lasted from when she was a young girl into adulthood. She is transparent in her business and I applaud her and strive to emulate her.