(Copied from my personal Facebook page)
For those who know me as member of the military, you might be surprised to know I’m actually an entrepreneur wrapped in camouflage. I sat down last year and wrote out a list of the various entrepreneurial ideas or ventures I’ve had in my life. Impressive list for the length; sad list for the number of “failures”. But overall a good exercise which confirmed that the entrepreneurial “urges” I’ve had through the years are not anomalies but rather a string of related, but interrupted, events. So, while working in Virginia and away from my family for about 3 1/2 months last year, I started a journey of self-education about entrepreneurship and what could I do now, with a full-time + job and a young family, to meet these long-ignored personal goals- namely finding success in business. (My wife, of course, provided some wise counsel when I told her about my ideas- “don’t even think about getting out with all that we’ve invested in your career”- which slightly modified my trajectory…just a bit.)
What I determined to do, then, was to start building something NOW to put my family in a position where we could live independent of government service- whether that is retirement at 20 years or an earlier transition out of active service- because the last thing I want is a 9-5 working for “the man”. Also, despite a steady and comfortable paycheck courtesy of the U.S. Taxpayer, entrepreneurship is a means to financial independence and, potentially, wealth that can’t necessarily be achieved through thrift and a fixed salary alone. Because I’m not getting any younger (though I refuse to acknowledge that in my eating or workout habits) and time doesn’t stop, I had to take action. So this year (2015) has been the “Year of the Entrepreneur” for me (and my long-suffering family).
It is now 9 months into the “Year of the Entrepreneur”; so how has it been going? Well, slower than hoped (again, 9 months into the year already) but picking up steam. Here is what I have been up to so far: participating in an online course and Facebook goup for “wantrapreneurs” called “How to Make Your First Dollar” by the creators of AppSumo.com, opening an LLC called The Flamingo Group (theflamingogroupllc.com), expanding our eBay and Amazon presence (Flamingo_Fancies), beginning to work on a web application for Amazon and eBay sellers (mytotalinventory.com), and working with my wife and her mom on their idea of a high-end, wood furniture refinishing business called River Mud.
I’m also starting a blog to talk about this entrepreneurial journey (7streamsblog.com). But why write about this? I don’t even like to write. Well, so many of you have suffered through my dreams and schemes over the years I felt compelled to publicly state I am finally doing something, that I’m taking action. This will also be a means to check myself along the way and maybe inspire a few others. Because you are my friends and family I’d love your feedback and support.
Well, almost everything.