3 Reasons Why Veterans Make Great Entrepreneurs

career
Photo by Airman 1st Class Jensen Stidham

Every day, thousands of servicemen and women leave the military and enter life as a civilian.


Every day, a large percentage of those veterans find themselves struggling to reintegrate; many end up unemployed or underemployed.

The bad news is many of the government-sponsored initiatives to help out underemployed and unemployed vets have fallen flat. Instead of actually helping the situation, most veterans are left confused by the programs and have no idea how to use the resources at their disposal (or simply can’t get access to them to begin with).

Related: 5 things veterans should know when considering entrepreneurship.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be like this if you choose to go an alternative route, such as starting your own business. Nothing about this route is easy, but the reality is, by the merit of being a veteran, you have advantages in the marketplace that most civilians wish they had.

What are they?

1. You know how to act under high-pressure situations.

In the world of business and entrepreneurship, unexpected things happen all the time:

•   A client doesn’t pay (and you have overhead and bills to cover)

•   You lose a lucrative customer

•   A server shuts down and you can’t take new orders

The list of things that can go wrong are endless. But veterans are used to things not being the way we want; we’re comfortable under uncertainty and high-pressure situations.

Take John Lee Dumas of EntrepreneurOnFire.com for example. Dumas is a prior tank commander who deployed to Iraq during the invasion. After he left the Army, he jumped from job to job, never quite finding his groove. Then he stumbled upon podcasting, fell in love, and decided that’s what he wanted to do.

Over the course of the next 24 months, Dumas hustled every day to build what has become a multi-million podcasting dynasty. There’s no way he could have done this without a propensity to deal in uncertainty and perform under high-pressure situations.

2. You have access to exclusive loans and opportunities not available to anyone else.

No, a loan or free access to something isn’t going to solve your problems or build a business for you, but it can’t hurt, right?

Patriot Bootcamp, Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Vets (for veterans with 1% or more disability)  are just a few, exclusive opportunities just for veterans interested in started their own business (so take advantage of them).

And these just scratch the surface.

There are dozens of benefits for veterans starting businesses, including priority for government contracts (in other words, if your business does contract work for the military, you’ll get priority over other companies), access to special grants, and even more opportunities for wounded warriors.

For a list of resources, check out highspeedlowdrag.org.

3. You have a strong tribe to network with and gather support from.

This is the greatest secret that too many veterans fail to realize: We are part of a strong, supportive tribe.

There are literally thousands of veteran employers around the country. Many, if not all, would be happy to give you a few minutes of their time to help you get your business started the right way.

That’s like getting access to high-end business consulting just because you’re a veteran. So why don't you reach out and leverage the tribe that’s right at your fingertips? Don't know them? Then that means you need to grow your network.

There are a bunch of ways to get better connected, including:

•   Go to conferences and meetups in your industry (using resources like meetup.com or leveraging Facebook groups so you can connect from anywhere in the world)

•   Join organizations and clubs that focus on veterans

•   Join exclusive veteran networks and masterminds

•   American entrepreneur Jim Rohn once said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.

When it comes to connecting with the tribe you’re already a part of --- yes, you have to get outside the house, but once you start surrounding yourself with other high-speed veterans, your entire perspective on business and what’s possible in life will change for the better.

Pro tip: veterans love to hook up other veterans. Seriously, reach out.

A UH-60 Black Hawk departs from The Rock while conducting Medevac 101 training with members of the 386th Expeditionary Medical Group, Feb. 16, 2019. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.

At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.

Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."

Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.

Read More Show Less

The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.

Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.

Read More Show Less

I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.

Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.

Read More Show Less

An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps

"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."

news
(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.

At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.

Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.

"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."

She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."

It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.

The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.

But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.

The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.

Read More Show Less