6 Essential Qualities for Military & Business Success
2-½ minutes to read
Over the last decade, the number of veterans in business has declined. Despite many programs supporting veteran entrepreneurship, not much has changed. While not every military person will start a business, I bet you have the six essential qualities of entrepreneurial success…
The Qualities You Can’t Hire
Out of the 16 skills a business needs to prosper, you’ll have to have six. You can hire people with the other ten. With how many of these do you excel?
Self-Motivated. I’ve never met a successful business owner whose drive came from someone else. Counting on a desire for wealth or fame for motivation sets you up for failure. You need to want business success for its own sake.
Inner Moral Compass. You’ll have lots of temptations when you have your own business. People will give you rationalizations for doing shady or outright unethical things. If you succumb, you’ve put your company on a shaky foundation. A strong sense of right and wrong will protect you.
Curious. No matter how sound your idea and plan, things will go wrong. And you won't have all the knowledge and ideas necessary to succeed. Learning from others allows you to avoid common mistakes and unseen pitfalls.
Tenacious. Giving up can't be an option for a business owner. Failure has to be the stimulus to try again. Tie tenacity to curiosity. Then you’ll have a new option to try when the previous one didn't work.
Team Player. Most small businesses start with the owner as the only employee. But you’ll still need to create a team. Unpaid advisors will fill in gaps in your knowledge. And you’ll have to have an accountant and lawyer. From that perspective, you're a team captain. Evaluate their advice and adapt your plan.
Competitive Spirit. You have to like to win. Many prospective entrepreneurs look for an area without competitors. They think having the market to themselves means an easier road to success. But lack of rivals may also mean your idea isn't viable. Where successful businesses already operate, opportunity is present. Continual, incremental innovation gives you the competitive advantage.
Entrepreneurship: The Essence of a Military Life
Despite a few high-profile successes, wealth is not the primary reward of business ownership. Having your own business is a lifestyle decision. You’ll need to balance advantages like control over your schedule with your potential income.
The typical business owner works 40-49 per week. Eighty-one percent work nights and 89% work weekends. That may be because they can make more money working after hours. Many owners work a regular job while they start their business. Also, they may take kids to school and attend their sporting events during the weekday.
Sixty percent of business owners pay themselves $50,000 or less per year. Thirty percent make nothing. Ten percent make $75,000 or more. Another way of looking at your salary as an entrepreneur is:
Entry level (0-5 years) - $50,000 - $60,000 per year
Mid-career (5-20 years) – $70,000 per year
Experienced (20+ years) - $100,000 per year
Most people think business success hinges on having a great idea. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Your success will come because you have the necessary traits. And it matches your desired lifestyle. Taking the plunge into entrepreneurship requires serious thought. Now you know what to consider…
Have you thought about starting a business?
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