At the age of 19 I joined the military. During my 10 1/2 years of service, I learned and saw a lot. When I decided to separate from the Navy, I was clueless about what my next move in life would be. Two months prior to my separation date, I decided to become a full-time entrepreneur.
Here are 5 skills I learned from the military that led to my success as an entrepreneur.
1. Willingness – My willingness to join the Navy gave me direction and discipline. It took me over a year to actually join, but when I did, my life changed for the better. If I wasn’t willing to change, nothing would have changed.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be willing. Be willing to learn something new. Be willing to meet new people. Most of all, be willing to step out of your comfort zone and do what needs to be done to earn your success.
2. Leadership – Leadership is paramount. Everything rises and falls on leadership. I was setting the example as the go-to mechanic by my second year in the Navy. As an E3 I was put into a leadership position as a supervisor and maintained that title throughout my military career.
To truly reach success in business you have to challenge yourself to lead. Become that leading authority person. Study your craft and sharpen your skills. Remember, leaders lead by example. Become the leader that others want to follow because of your results. Most of all, always remember that leaders build leaders; and you are a leader.
3. Hustle – Hustle is all about work ethic. In the military, I was never good at taking tests. Some advance in rank by scoring high on a test. I ranked up twice through hard work and great work ethics, while still having a low test score.
You must be willing to go through struggles. Be patient and know your hustle builds up momentum. Although business may seem like a struggle, focus on your strengths and 10X it. Hustling doesn’t pay off right away. You will build up confidence and momentum. Hustle your butt off; it pays off.
4. Communication – Communicating can be challenging. However, as a leader, I learned how to talk to people effectively so I could delegate tasks. I learned this by understanding their personality type, not by pulling rank.
In life overall, communication is key. Elevate your communication skills by learning personality types and how to speak to each person effectively. Communication is only effective if you understand someone’s personality and know how to deliver your message.
5. Mentorship – As I moved up in rank, it became natural to mentor others that were trying to reach their next level. Mentoring sailors was my opportunity to encourage independence and responsibility, as well as build my leadership skills.
I challenge you to find those who are trying to get started or struggling with entrepreneurship. Mentor them. Many successful entrepreneurs love mentoring and impacting others. When you feel like you haven’t “made it,” realize that you have more experience and knowledge than those just getting started.