Duck Dynasty, the surprisingly successful reality show, has found success featuring the elusive work-life balance many struggle with, especially in today’s entrepreneurial-dense economy. The Robertson family, the stars of the A&E hit, have presented the nation with a different face on a tried and true professional and personal model that shows what it takes to reach the American dream.

Phil Robertson, head of the Robertson dynasty, was raised in Louisiana without what most Americans deem to be basic necessities—like electricity and indoor plumbing. Yet he received two college degrees and an offer to play professional football. Robertson declined what most young men only dream of—the chance to become a football hero—and chose, instead, to follow his dream of duck hunting.

Phil transformed that passion into the highly successful Duck Commander, a family business that arose from a duck call invention he worked on in the family shed since 1972. His son Willie has created a media and merchandising monster basing the TV series on his father’s invention and family business, breaking records and easily claiming top viewership numbers.

What’s surprising is that Robertson does not reflect what Americans typically recognize as a captain of industry. Quite simply, the Robertson clan looks like redneck duck hunters from the backwoods who spend their free time in swampland, hidden by duck blinds, and sporting long—very long—beards. Put aside the redneck exterior, including the oddball uncle who has become the show’s comedic star, and there is much to be learned and respected from the Robertson’s intelligent business strategies.

While everyone is busy branding, immersing in social media, and working to drive attention and sales in a virtual world, Robertson followed his own business model—he did what he loved, was true to himself and what he believed; he did not succumb to convention; and he surrounded his business with smart, capable, and supportive people.

The notion of luck is really another example of appearances clouding observers’ vision. Duck Dynasty was not a case of overnight success. In fact, successful business people are more open to taking creative risks and are always alert to the business climate. When a business opportunity presents itself, business leaders recognize the opportunity and take action. Like most successful business leaders, Phil understands that it’s okay to have big dreams, but thinking big does not necessarily mean the immediate result will be huge. And, when success seemed elusive, Phil’s strong support team stuck with him, urged him on, and helped create the massive success that is Duck Dynasty.

With an open mind, a creative edge, and business awareness, savvy business people connect to real world opportunities. Outward appearances aside, Duck Dynasty is a good old-fashioned hard-working business built on determination, and an enviable work ethic that builds on every success, no matter how small, to create a series of successes and lessons learned that, today, are a flourishing business. With about 12 million viewers, Duck Dynasty is the most watched reality cable show on television.


Tobak, Steve. “Duck Dynasty: How a Family of Rednecks Created an Empire“; Fox Business News. September 3, 2013.