While recently discussing one of the core principles in my new book, Yes Energy: The Equation to Do Less, Make More, with a United States veteran, I was stunned by his response. “You say ‘yes’ and figure out how,” I said to the man. He was instantly taken back by this. “Say ‘yes’ and then figure out how,” he questioned? The man could not understand the principle because of his experience in the military. He explained to me that you certainly wouldn’t want to say “yes” to jumping out of an airplane and then figure out if your parachute works.
From my discussions with the man, I couldn’t help but feel that there is a larger conversation contained in his answer. Service men and women are regimented and trained. They follow authority. They are governed by clearly defined rules and procedures. They are comfortable in their routine. How does this affect their views on entrepreneurialism? Could this inability to say “yes” and then figure out how be hurting their chances of becoming successful when they leave the service?
Veterans who have left the US military in the past 10 years are facing 11.7% unemployment rate, which is 2.6% above the national unemployment average. With more than a million service members projected to leave the military in the next five years, this number will only grow, unless we can encourage a new conversation – a conversation about entrepreneurialism. Never has there been a greater need for U.S. veterans to create an entrepreneurial economy for themselves.
According to the US Small Business Association, nearly 25% of all returning vets would like to start a business. They have already said “yes.” So why aren’t they figuring out how?
I believe it is the lack of education and support available to them that has contributed to this growing rate of unemployment. Realizing this problem compelled me to launch Serve Out Loud, a resource devoted entirely to providing the vital education and support US vets need to generate new revenue, create bigger opportunities and expand their financial life. Through this program I offer all service men and women a 10% discount on all of my educational tools including books, coaching programs and seminars.
Taking advantage of Serve Out Loud and other resources aimed at arming US vets with the tools they need to start their own business is a must for all men and women returning home from the service. Once we reach out and have this conversation with our vets, I believe they will begin to see that the skills, knowledge and experiences they gained from their service can actually work for them to achieve their goal of starting their own business. And, once they do, the success rate for veteran-owned businesses is higher than non-veteran owned businesses.
More than any other group of people, veterans understand what it means to serve our country. By starting their own business they can continue to serve. It is the more than 28 million small businesses in this country that employ over half of the work force and create the majority of new jobs. Shouldn’t our vets have a hand in growing and ensuring the financial well-being of the country and its people for whom they’ve already fought so hard to protect? I believe that entrepreneurialism is the key to long term financial stability and personal happiness. There is no group more deserving than both of those things than the US Vets.