Even if you have never seen an episode of Duck Dynasty, you know who the Robertsons are. With company branded items popping up in stores across the country, the reality show based upon Duck Commander, the Robertson family business, is sweeping the nation. Producing best-selling duck calls and duck hunting related merchandise, it has become both an American icon and a worldwide phenomenon.
From the very beginning of the dynasty, the number one priority for Duck Commander has been quality of workmanship. “Phil [my father and founder of the company] blew every single call to make sure it sounded like a duck,” said Willie Robertson, CEO of Duck Commander and one of the stars of Duck Dynasty. “From day one, [he] was convinced his duck call sounded more like a live duck than anything else on the market, and he wanted to make sure his products were always perfect. Duck Commander still follows that same principle today.”
From a dining room table to a multimillion-dollar business, Duck Commander projects 750,000 duck call sales to be made during 2013. A record 11.8 million Americans tuned in to A&E for the premiere of Duck Dynasty’s fourth season in August 2013. Large retailers cannot keep the t-shirts, cups, and logo merchandise on the shelves. How did this company become so successful?
Very simply, humility is the root of the Robertsons’ success. “The dinner table is where I learned to follow my dreams,” said Willie. “Our hopes and aspirations were never shot down, never debated, only encouraged. We might have been eating fried bologna at the time because that was all we could afford, but there was hope that one day we would be feasting on a dry aged filet mignon. We learned to be thankful and content with what we had and that the world didn’t revolve around us.”
"Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have."Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)
Following the charge in Hebrews 13:5, the family continues to live the truly contented life despite their enterprise. “I think my life was shaped in a big way by what [my parents] Kay and Phil and [grandparents] Pa and Granny taught each of us at an early age: be content with what you have, and don’t worry about what you don’t have,” said Willie.
Korie Robertson, wife of Willie and Duck Commander’s office manager, also testifies of how her parents nurtured a faith in God’s provision as the key to a successful life. “Growing up, my parents would often tell us that all the blessings were nice, but if we lost it all tomorrow, we would still be just fine. And I always believed it. I think that is one of the reasons Willie and I were willing to take the risks we needed to with Duck Commander. We always had the faith that if we failed, if we lost it all, we would just shake ourselves off and get right back up. As long as we had our faith and our family, nothing could really hurt us. God has blessed us, life is good, but if the fame and fortune that we’ve enjoyed through Duck Commander were all gone tomorrow, I would still say the same thing: that God is good.”
By keeping God first in both the family and the business, the Robertsons have found the key to success: trusting God to provide for their needs. The Duck Dynasty has relinquished their hold upon their own financial dreams and by so doing, has become a corporate enterprise known across the country for quality, craftsmanship, and character.
“The Lord has always provided,” said Willie. “Sometimes, we didn’t know how a bill was getting paid until the very last minute, but we always had faith that He would provide. I think that’s the only way you can ever be truly successful in this world. You have to acknowledge that it is from above. And you have to have the confidence that even if you lose it all, things will be okay. You have to be willing to fail, and all the while work your tail off to succeed. You have to continue doing the work, believing in what you are doing, and most important, keeping your faith in who you are. The faith of our family is not in the things we have. Our confidence is not in the monetary success we have gained. It is in the One who made us and who is there for us in good times and bad.”