These days when most people think of start-ups, the HBO show Silicon Valley comes to mind. Like all satirical comedies, a lot of what they say has some truth to it (this one a bit more than others). There’s always someone on a whiteboard reviewing the latest feature release, having a debate about the best medium roast organic drip coffee, or grabbing a snack from the kitchen. One thing the show leaves out, however, is the fact that startups offer a unique experience which can be the perfect stepping stone into the “civilian” world for veterans.
Veterans leaving the military often feel ill-prepared and unsure of what to do next. Some go to school, some get apprenticeships, others do nothing. Little do they know, startups are perfect because they require the 3 things veterans happen to excel at:
- Work ethic
- Mission-first mentality
- Calmness under pressure
Startups need people with a strong work ethic, as more often than not, you’ll need someone to work multiple jobs with long hours. You need someone who can handle the daily grind and still be able to show up mentally and physically alert. Veterans are used to having to be on their A-game every day, and they have the mental and physical toughness to be able to handle any job someone throws at them.
The mission-first mentality can relate directly to one of Rhumbix’s core values, Message to Garcia. Message to Garcia is the military’s gold standard for the “get sh*t done” mentality; you’re given a mission, resources, and are told to make it work- regardless if you have enough to go off of. With this in mind, you can be sure a veteran will be a professional problem solver that will get the job done well.
Calmness under pressure is about making quick, sound decisions even when things seem to be falling apart. A startup gets off the ground based on their initial product idea. A startup succeeds or fails based on the decisions that are made. Military veterans are used to making critical decisions under pressure, and they are able to prioritize and triage situations quickly and effectively.
So while startup life does have its quirks, veterans are well-suited to be successful in such an environment. Just avoid getting into a debate about the best coffee with any of them…especially a Marine. The obvious answer is Folgers, black, no sugar.