It goes far beyond the old “I want to be my own boss” cliché.
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After working with former members of the military, I found that many entered the workforce so they could utilize their training within the private sector, others went to school to get a degree and some just took time off to readjust.
And then there were the surprising answers I received from vets-turned-entrepreneurs on why they decided to start their own businesses…
Related: This Social Non-Profit Works With the Wounded War Veterans
When a person decides to enlist, they now belong to the government.
The United States of America controls their time, freedom and way of life. Everything is structured, routine-driven and systematic. Once you leave, you now have freedom, and it’s liberating.
Veterans often find that re-entering the workforce throws them back into an environment of having their life controlled. They have to show up to work, follow the rules of their employer and once again fall into a routine.
Running your own business is hard work but you can control your time as you see fit. It’s all freedom, all the time.
Related: From the Mission That Killed Bin Laden to Launching a New Business: How Rob O’Neil Uses A Military Mindset to Find Success
Enlisting gives men and women a sense of direction.
You are now defending our freedom. You are kept busy every day and there is always something to do. Once you leave, you lose objective. There is a period of vagueness, a lack of clarity and you just feel like you’re missing something. Many struggle with this greatly: The military could have been the only reason you felt important. Now what?
Starting a business reignites that sense of purpose. Your company helps people and its services improves lives. There is once again a feeling of contributing to something bigger than yourself.
What’s really important to a veteran, when they decide to become an entrepreneur, is that they want to ensure their family is taken care of for years to come.
They also want to be responsible for something that directly provides for their lifestyle. When they first experience the liberation that comes from completing their tour of duty, followed by the initial thrill of a large paycheck, they want more of it.
It’s about serving people in a greater sense, taking care of your family and treasuring the freedom that comes with it. So the next time you come across a veteran who also happens to be a business owner? Thank them for their service both in and out of the military.
Related: Military Service Is the Ultimate Training Ground for Entrepreneurship