I have known all my life that I am an entrepreneur. I have never been happy at jobs that require me to sit in a cubicle all day long, or bend at the mercy of a boss who may or may not let me go due to economic reasons. I have experienced all the things and was miserable.
I decided to do something about it and start my own business. It takes a great amount of courage and other values to jump off that cliff and start your own business. However, I looked at the alternative of spending the rest of my life doing what other people tell me to do for money that wasn’t enough to begin with, and decided that I was going to design my own life. I didn’t want to work for anyone else anymore. So I went into business for myself.
Here are eight Marine Corps traits that help me succeed in my business.
Honor. This is an important trait to me. You set the tone for your own life and how others are going to treat you. If you set that bar low, it’s too easy for everyone to step over it. Therefore, having a sense of honor in your life and doing the right thing keeps that bar high and others respecting you for it.
Courage. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and bravery to start your own business. It takes even more to keep that business going during the early years when the money is tight. Believing in yourself is the key to getting through it and having courage. Ignoring the naysayers also takes courage. Defying everyone and doing what you know in your heart can be done is the ultimate expression of courage.
Commitment. It isn’t enough to have an idea for a business, you have to pursue that business with commitment. This includes the days that you don’t feel like getting out of bed to go to work and when it easier to stay home and get out there and show results. Having a commitment to yourself to follow through on those things. You promised to do helps drive your business to success.
Integrity. It was taught to many of us in boot camp that integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. This is incredibly true to life. Maintaining high standards for your business and quality of customer service, even when you don’t have to or when no one is looking, is the key to business success. Again, it goes back to setting a high standard for yourself and your business. You want that good customer feedback, but you also want your customers to enjoy the experience you give them.
Loyalty. It’s much harder to get new customers than it is to keep the existing ones. Knowing this allows you to reward your existing customers who have shown their loyalty to you. On the other end of the spectrum, being loyal to those who have helped you get where you are is the right thing to do. It always pays off to reward loyalty with a loyalty.
Esprit de corps. This is another term for motivation for me. It’s being excited to pursue your job every day with excellence that makes esprit de corps important to business success.
Respect. Not only yourself but respecting others is the only way to get them to respect you. Allowing your customers to give you that critical feedback, even when it isn’t so good, is importance for both them and for you. You should always thank them for their feedback because they cared enough to say something in the first place.
Perseverance. The Marine Corps is notorious for its “never say die” attitude and perseverance. When everything has failed and your business is not doing well, it is the perseverance you have that will save it. You should never give up on your dream. It is okay to change tactics and try new things, but ultimately you want to keep your eye on the prize.
Source: Personal experience