Veteran to Boss: How to Become Your Own Boss
Posted by Joshua Kelly

Welcome to the blog and thank you for your service to our country.  Your service does not go unnoticed.  As a veteran myself, I thought it would be great to share my experiences with other vets.  With this blog here I am going to show you how to be your own boss.  I took this same journey about three years ago when I finished my time in the military and I decided “why not be my own boss”.  In this post, I am going to share with you some key fundamentals that it takes to be your own boss and show you how the military has already given you an edge on these fundamentals.

Fundamental #1: Patience

When becoming your own boss, it will take plenty of patience.  But hey, the military has given you an edge on this!  Remember the military slogan “hurry up and wait”?  Well here you go – it fits into the patience fundamental. This means that it will take time to start your business, grow your business and become a successful business owner. In easy terminology, it means you won’t be rich overnight.

Fundamental #2: Knowledge

You are also going to need knowledge of how to run a business and what your business is going to be; for example I run a meteorological consultant service.  The good news for me is that I am passionate about weather, but also I spent well over ten years as a weatherman for the military, so I have already taken all the schools and received all my certifications from the military.  This helped me a great deal in making the transition to running my own business, so again the military can help you as it helped me.

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Fundamental #3: Dedication

The military requires that you have plenty of dedication.  That is good because running your own business means that you are going to need plenty of dedication.   It will take a lot of time to get from the startup phase to the launch phase to the growing phase and the mature phase of your business.  Each phase takes time and plenty of dedication. The business saying that I live by is “you only have 24 hours in a day, however when you run your business, you will need 27 hours per day to get everything done”.  This means that at first, you will always be working and only later (as time goes on and you can grow your business) will you start seeing your hours get shorter. When I first started, I was doing all the jobs.  Now I have slowly started to branch out to have others help me.

Fundamental #4: Multi-Tasking

This should be rather easy after serving in the military.  When I was in the military, I had many jobs at the same time from leading a division, to cleaning the ship, to doing the administrative work, and even working the weather forecaster role.  When it comes to business and when you first start, you will have plenty of multi-tasking in front of you.  You will be the boss, you will work as the accountant keeping your books up-to-date daily, you will upkeep your business (varying from end-of-the-day cleanup, daily inventory to make sure all of your supplies are accounted, advertising work because your business cannot grow without advertising, marketing to try and promote your business, and sales calls to potential clients).  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  However, as I said above, the military and the multi-tasking they gave you should really help you to hit all these jobs running.

Fundamental #5: Discipline

The military provided us with organization and discipline through a structured group setting.  Well you are going to need plenty of discipline in running your business.   As I stated earlier, you will need 27 hours per day to get started.  What does that mean?  Well when your friends are heading out at night, make sure to give them a call and say, “I hope you all have a good time, I am not going to be able to make it today”. Or when your family is doing something fun, you get to stay behind to finish that end-of-the-month report.

When you are the boss and when you do the work, it is very important to get yourself into a routine.  There will be no one present to tell you that you need to work 8 AM to 6 PM today.  No, it will be you saying “okay, let me make sure I get my checklist done today”.  And you may discover that your checklist is rather large today, and you might want to start at 5 AM.  It is very important to have good discipline in order to run a profitable business.

That concludes your first lesson in being a boss. Make sure to stop back for later updates on more in-depth business and startup ideas.

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