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Who here likes a good story? I know I do. I enjoy reading about successful business people and entrepreneurs. It just pumps me up for whatever reason. That's why I thought it would be fun to dive into the lives of a few successful military veterans who have garnered my attention over the years.
These three individuals represent the military's attitude rather well. Leadership by example. Courage in the face of obstacles. Taking initiative and answering the call. That's what these guys were counted to do while they served. And it's paying dividends in post-military life.
Before we get into who these gentlemen are and why I admire them (and you should too), grab a pen and paper. Or open a note taking app in your smartphone. You're going to want to write some of these lessons down from these successful military veterans. I guarantee it.
Let's get to it.
If I could describe John Lee Dumas in one word, it would be action-taker. No, I don't know him personally. Although, by listening to his podcast, you feel like you do.
JLD (as he likes to refer to himself) takes initiative, which is clearly the type of trait you want to have in the military. He served in the Army and did a 13-month tour in Iraq.
But, this post is about what these guys did after they finished serving. He left law school after one semester, worked at a start-up and tried his hand at commercial real estate, but nothing stuck.
During the long commutes to and from his jobs, he would listen to podcasts. What annoyed him was that there were no daily podcasts. He had to wait each week or month for the host to upload another show.
Thus, the concept of Entrepreneur on Fire, or EOFire for short, was born. Since John is the host, I'll share with you what he told Forbes' Garret Gunderson:
... [T]here are some great podcasts out there, but the sad thing was that they're all once a week or maybe twice a month at the most. I knew that I wanted more quantity because I was driving to work every single day or going to the gym multiple times per week. I saw the void in the world and decided to fill it in a daily podcast.[Entrepreneur on Fire] launched on September 22nd, 2012. And ever since that day EOFire has been a daily podcast and I've interviewed over 1,500 entrepreneurs to date.
He saw a void (a pain point if you will) and took action. He filled the void and then some. His podcast episodes, books (like the Freedom Journal), courses, articles, and speeches have benefited countless side hustlers and entrepreneurs in a variety of niches.
And his success is incredibly impressive. Just look at his income reports and you'll see that he's pulled in 6-figure income monthly and 7-figure income yearly. Not bad for a guy just trying to solve his own problem.
Of all the successful military veterans out there, we salute you, JLD, and we'll catch you on the flip side!
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”
- William H. McRaven, University of Texas at Austin Commencement, May 2014
I don't know that there's been a better graduation speech. Sure, everybody loves Steve Jobs challenging Stanford graduates to "stay hungry, stay foolish" in 2005. But, the McRaven's speech in 2014 moved me so much I printed out his 10 lessons and put them up in my cubicle at work. I'm convinced they (along with the Lord) are what helped me push through tough times at the day job.
To this day, McRaven's speech resonates with all of us. The simple concept of starting your day by making you bed speaks volumes. He even wrote a book about the idea.
As McRaven explained to USA Today's Rick Jervis, "There's a power behind making your bed every morning. Learn to do the little things well, learn to make your bed right. And that transcends into a lot of other things you do."
Make sure to save the full list of McRaven's 10 tips from his speech -- and don't ever ring the bell when it comes to your life, money, and health.
To me, Marcus Luttrell is one of those guys I'm glad was "on the wall" defending this country. A member of the Navy SEALs, he was the only survivor of a team of four after an attack from dozens of Taliban fighters.
His story was so brought to light in his 2007 book, Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10. It was also made into a movie in 2013 with Mark Wahlberg playing Luttrell.
Today, Luttrell is still a busy man. He's a speaker who motivates others to be their best. At an event in Jacksonville, FL in April 2017, he told the crowd: "I don’t have a bucket list. I just live."
As Jacksonville.com's Teresa Stepzinski explains:
Everybody in the audience, he said, has a red flame burning inside of them. There’s a point when the flame turns blue and “that’s what I run on. I run on a blue flame. That’s all I’ve got,” he said, referring to his determination to accomplish whatever task is set before him, no matter the obstacles.
Additionally, he hosts the Team Never Quit podcast with fellow SEAL David Rutherford. Their goal is to help "people face their greatest challenges in order to learn the Never Quit mindset."
As I said, he's truly a guy you want on the wall and on your team. People like that make you want to never quit.
You have three individuals making a large impact on the world. All of them successful military veterans. They served our country in its defense of freedom and they continue to do so today with their example.
I, for one, am glad I learned of their stories of struggle, determination, and success. It's incredibly inspiring for me and my family. When things get hard, I can point to JLD, McRaven, and Luttrell and think, "Why not me? Why can't I do that?"
How about you? What are your thoughts on these successful military veterans? How have they -- or any person in your life -- shaped you? Share with us below. And make sure to check out all of our articles on financial health, physical health, and living healthy.