Drive, Dedication and Desire—The Traits of a Business Owner and a Patriot
Memorial Day is the last Monday in May—a day in which we honor the patriots that have gone before us to allow us to enjoy the freedoms that we cherish so dearly.
Each patriot possesses an overwhelming love of God, our Country, and the task in which they performed while in Military Service. Drive, Dedication and Desire are key patriot traits. Successful business owners possess these same traits. Patriots and successful business owners are both cut “from the same cloth.”
Drive is the passion to do the very best that can be done. Long hours, constant availability, continual training, and developing/maintaining skills to be the best in your business are the traits of the successful business owner.
Dedication is the 24/7/365 attitude that is required for a dedicated, successful business owner. I often tell our clients and students in my classes the little homily that I have used for many years, “If it is to be, it is up to me!” Simple, but powerful, this little homily provides the focus and direction for business owners to become and maintain success.
Desire is a cousin to passion, however, in a slightly different way. Passion is the strong desire and liking of some activity. We work with clients that always wish to make the best product possible, provide the best service possible and are willing to do almost anything necessary to fulfill that goal.
Drive, dedication, and desire are traits that Veterans and business owners bring to the workplace. Hiring a Veteran is normally a successful endeavor for both the veteran and the business owner. A strong work ethic, ability to lead and make decisions, follow directions, processes, and procedures to ensure overall success are just some of the traits of a veteran employee or business owner.
Many veterans like owning a franchise operation where the “secret sauce” has already been developed and cooked. What I mean here is that the process, procedures, and workflow has already been developed, proven and work. Following the “cookbook” of the franchise normally results in successful business operations. Having a “home office” which is the Franchisor is also a benefit to many business owners who then have someone to talk to when challenges and problems arise. However, the same is not true if some Veteran elects to “go it alone!”
Business Resources for FREE
Many Veterans find that the support system that was in place in the military does not exist in the private sector. Staff to do a wide variety of tasks do not exist—you are now the staff, like it or not! This sometimes is daunting for new entrepreneurs. However, resources are available—The Fort Worth Business Assistance Center (BAC), The Small Business Development Center, the Senior Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) are all low cost resources to help veterans get started in business. After a period in business, our firm is most necessary because we do many things that the other resources do not provide. The key point is that support is available for your business to be successful—just ask for help.
Business owners that come from either military service, academia, large corporations, or government service find out, normally quite rapidly, that business in the private sector is not like a large organization! If you work in a large organization, if you need a box of paper clips or toner for the printer, you ask the secretary to get it for you. Now, when on your own, you are the Secretary—and the Janitor, Mail clerk, the IT Guru, the purchasing agent, and whatever other tasks that need to be accomplished. There is nobody else around. This transition is sometimes quite difficult for individuals who come from a very structured and codified environment. However, if there is no one else around to do the task, guess what? You are it!
Business owners that have extensive large organization experience are often used to “giving direction” and something happens! Surprisingly, in private business, that is often not the case! In fact, in private business, people may just look at you and wonder, “Now What?”
Another key trait that many business owners forget is that their staff is often smarter, wiser and more creative than they are! For some business owners, this is quite an ego busting experience! In fact, the staff is normally happy to have the job, work for the business owner and wants the company to be successful. However, in some cases, the business owner does not recognize or realize that the staff, while not having the same educational or experiential record as the business owner, knows more than he/she does. This is the time when the business owner is well served to listen and listen very carefully when staff members bring up objections, different ideas and suggestions that will improve business operations.
Business ownership is all about leadership. Veterans have vast leadership experience. Many veterans have learned that they are successful because of the people that they surround themselves with. Relying and listening to team members is important in any endeavor.
If you are interested in being a business owner, now is the time to begin. The longest journey begins with the first step. Get out and get started—this is fun! If you need help, call us at Solomon Bruce Consulting LLC for some ideas, 817-386-3032.
This blog post was published in the Fort Worth Business Press on May 28. 2018.