What Military Life Taught Me About Business
by Cielo Cloud
The military lifestyle will bring out your best or your worst, your strengths and your weaknesses. It will challenge your integrity, loyalty and honor. It will either make you or break you. You discover what you truly value most in your life and reveal what you are really made of.
I have been a wife of a navy sailor for just about 12 years now and I have never heard my husband complain about his job. He got up every morning before the sun came up and always made it to work on time. I would quietly watch him get ready in the morning.
It was interesting to me how methodical he was when he put on his perfectly ironed uniform that he carefully pressed the night before and how he laced up his newly polished boots. I was always amazed at his loyalty and discipline, no matter the circumstances.
As newlyweds, he would listen to me whine about him having to leave all the time and I would often ask him, “why”? His response would always be the same, “It is what I signed up to do. Don’t you worry, I will be back home soon”. He would give me kiss on the forehead and head out the door.
Deployments were never easy for us…
I could always tell from the look in his eyes that it was difficult to leave his family behind but he never complained. I often wondered what would go through his mind. He was usually deployed for 6 months or more which is a long time for any family to be apart. He has missed many of our kid’s birthday parties, awards and school plays but it was part of the job description.
Sometimes, it was hard for me was to watch other families together. Although, it was beautiful to watch, I wanted it for my own family. I would often feel sad and sometimes angry that my husband was hardly around. I know that the kids were affected too, even if they seemed to be the more resilient ones but once he returned, our days together seemed more valuable because our time was always limited.
Aside from the missed birthday parties, school plays, awards ceremonies or great report cards, it was really the hugs, the laughs, the smiles, the cries and the nights waking up from the a nightmare that he missed out on most. You can never have those moments back. We sacrificed those times because we didn’t really have a choice. They were special moments that build trust and create the everlasting bonds. You can only hope that it is not too late to create more of those times.
I have learned a lot of from my husband and the military life but the things that I appreciate the most were his discipline, honor, commitment, sacrifice, passion and love. It has helped me put all of those things into perspective and apply the same to my home business especially while he was away on deployment.
These principles helped me build a solid business foundation:
Discipline – You have to get up every morning and be a self starter. You have to do things that are important to grow your business even if you don’t always want to. Building a business takes time and consistency.
Commitment – You have to stick to it and see all steps and projects through. You must be “all in” to win. It is not an overnight project.
Honor – You must handle yourself with high level of integrity and you must treat people with respect. You will be exposed to many people from all walks of life and when you honor yourself and others, you will be able to build a solid reputation and people will gladly reciprocate.
Sacrifice - Sacrifices are always made to be able to build what others only dream about. Sometimes we have to pass up on certain events or opportunities so that we can stay focused on the tasks at hand. It is not always fun but no one said it would be.
Passion – You must pursue your dreams with passion to be able to achieve the level of success you truly desire but you must also be smart enough to know when it is time to slow down and take care of yourself and your family.
Love – You must love what you do to succeed but no matter what, this love for your trade should never outweigh the love for your family. Always take time out to spend with your family. Although it is not always about quantity of time, make sure it is quality.
As we enjoy the freedom and opportunities that we have here in the United States, always remember that it didn’t come without a price. Military families worked hard and made these sacrifices for all of us; some more than others. Entrepreneurs and Business Owners do the same but in a different way. We help create jobs and stimulate the economy for others because we are able to do what most people won’t do.
Today, as I grow my business I am helping people everyday and also able to create opportunities for others. Nothing worth having is ever free but as we achieve our goals and pursue our dreams, the journey getting there is priceless.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me some comments. Thank you!
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Cielo Cloud is a Mother, Wife and Entrepreneur. Gaining most of her experience in Corporate America as an Executive Assistant, she decided to go into business for herself and founded Virtual Outsource Concept in 2008. She serves as the CEO, Business Developer, Business Trainer as well as a Distributor for Organo Gold. She passionately trains, develops new Virtual Assistants and teaches Business Owners how to maximize their full business potential. Her vision is to ultimately empower other women to start their own businesses that work in alignment with their true passion and purpose.