If you are now a veteran but you are not yet ready to retire, starting a business might have crossed your mind. You may not have any background in sales or running a company. But like they always say, veterans actually make great business owners.
Veterans are disciplined and are used to working hard. You are trained to focus, work with a team and dedicate your attention to your work at hand. If you have a goal, you are expected to be able to work under pressure.
Veterans have also shared a passion for solving and overcoming challenges. You don’t give up easily, or eels you won’t be able to reach your goal. All of these are qualities expected from entrepreneurs.
If you are planning to start a veteran-owned brand, know that you need more than just a good business idea to succeed. You also require enough funding to start and sustain your brand. Of course, this will depend on the kind of business you plan on starting.
For veterans who wish to become a landlord, you can apply for a VA home loan. You can purchase a multifamily home of up to four units. This enables you to own your own home, maintain a passive income, and still be able to pay for your monthly mortgage.
But then, it is never easy to start a successful brand. You will face many challenges and do a lot of risk-taking and decision-making. If you need inspiration, then take it from these veteran-turned entrepreneurs.
Nike’s Phil Knight
Most people know the shoe brand Nike. But what many did not know is that Nike’s founders, Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, both served in the military. The shoe brand started as Blue Ribbon Sports before they launched the brand Nike in 1972.
One business lesson from Phil Knight is to always believe in your product, no matter how crazy it might be for other people. When Knight was still studying at Standford business school, he made a research paper about how Japanese shoes can dominate the shoe market. Note that at that time, German shoes are the go-to shoes of consumers.
Instead of stopping after arguing his idea, he actually started importing Japanese shoes for his own gig. The shoe company’s tagline “just do it” proves to be as powerful as Knight’s crazy idea. If he simply allowed people to turn his idea down, he wouldn’t be able to turn Nike into a multi-million dollar business giant.
GoDaddy’s Bob Parson
Online marketers and blog masters know exactly what Godaddy is. GoDaddy is the largest and most trusted web host and a domain registrar in the world. These two are what everyone needs to host their own website.
Bob Parson was a veteran when he founded GoDaddy in 1997. He resigned two decades later as a billionaire and sold 70% of the company to a private consortium. Two lessons we can learn from him are to always be ready to fail and never stop hustling.
Before GoDaddy succeed, he experienced a lot of failures. But the good thing is he never let his failures decide his future. His first company, Parsons Technology, experienced lots of downfalls before it took off.
After successfully founding Parsons Technology, he sold this for $64 million. He went on to invest in another investment which eventually became GoDaddy. He slowly lost millions from his Parsons Technology deal and almost gave up when he was down to $6 million.
But a trip to Hawaii changed his life. He found a broke guy who was happy as a lark. This made him realize there is no reason to be sad when he still has $6 million in his bank account. So, he let go of all of his worries, started believing in his company again and in 2001, GoDaddy’s success finally skyrocketed.
FedEx’s Frederick Smith
Frederick Smith perfected his logistics business idea after serving in the Marines. He turned his overnight delivery service into a multimillion-dollar business. His secret is to always strive for excellence.
FedEx’s purple promise is to make every FedEx experience an outstanding experience. From day one and up until now, the company never fails when to provide the best service. Aside from hiring the best employees, Smith always makes it a point to keep this value in place.
Now, consumers trust FedEx even with their most prized possessions. They love the company’s time-sensitive and highly reliable freight service. This goes to show that if you keep your customer at the forefront and you remain consistent in quality and service, the business will always blossom.
These are but three admirable veterans who made it big in the business industry. They used whatever knowledge they learned in the military to chase their business dreams and make them happen. May they inspire you to do the same once you start embracing the entrepreneurial life.