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Autonomy and Veteran Entrepreneurs

#veteran May 30, 2020

My friends tell me that when I talk about my time in the military, I light up. I know why - my time in the forces were the best times of my life. I left rural Newfoundland at age 17 to join the army and we had some pretty remarkable times.

When it ended abruptly (I'm legally blind), I was gutted. I tried a lot of things not just because I had to pay the bills but I was looking for that spark again. 

Some of the things I tried included:

  • Learning to tie rebar so I could work on the Hibernia.
  • Working in Occupational Health and Safety with the commercial construction industry.
  • Working as a teachers' aid in the public school system
  • Doing admin work with a rubber stamp company
  • Testing boots at a rubber boot factory

and the list goes on.

None of it came close to giving me the kind of joy that my time in the military did. Let's face it, it was a pretty good gig at the time.

And then I became an entrepreneur and I got that spark back. As I was reflecting on it this week, I saw that I've created a business that has a lot of the same features that my time in the military had - there's the variety of no two days looking alike. There is the travel that takes me to new places and then there is the autonomy. That's a huge factor for me. 

I'm in control of this and I have to tell you that being in control of my life matters at this stage. My release was brutal - there were no supports at the time and we were left to make it on our own and many of my buddies didn't fare so well.

Somewhere along the way I yearned to be in control again - I wanted to control every area of my life. Autonomy wasn't important to me when I was serving but it sure is now. 

It has been nice to come full circle - to find something I love and to get that much joy out of the work. Entrepreneurship is a good fit for me. It's more than making money; it's making a good life.

We will talk about this and much more at our upcoming coffee break. Let's get to know one another. 

Join us on Thursday, June 4th for a Virtual Coffee Break. 

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