These Veteran Founders Made Me A Better Entrepreneur & A Better Person

Growing up in Australia, England and Japan – I have found all 3 countries to be quite harsh in their stance towards gun laws. By extension – the notion of military participation is not as common and not as widely enforced. Furthermore – I grew up in quite a passive household where joining the military was not even really brought up or considered as a future career path for me.

Turning to my own life – I admit prior to coming to the United States I had a degree of bias towards the military and military personnel yet am proud to explain why things have changed.

It all started in the first 12 months prior to my move to America in October 2015 – two individuals majorly impacted my life who have military connections.

My good friend from high school is now a high level pilot with the RAAF – Royal Australian Air Force. Sadly I saw Nick after sometime as his beautiful mother passed too soon – but was greatly inspired by him as a man, as a pilot and a professional. He conducted one of the best public speeches with his eulogy and I was proud to even be in the same room as him – let alone be his friend. His composure then, his candor with his friends and family and the respect with which his fellow professionals show him left its mark on me. Even though Nick is the product of a beautiful family, a great school and naturally a wonderful personality – I can definitely see how the military has been beneficial in bringing the best out in him as a person, not that it hasn’t been there all along.

Secondly – the previous co-founder of Oneflare, Marcus Lim had a background in the Singaporean Army combined with an expertise in management consulting from Deloitte. As two strong personalities – I felt comfortable knowing over time that we came to what I feel is a mutual understanding and respect. Marcus took a formal approach with me in isolating potential points of improvement and still often reflect on his comments daily for my professional development. I still credit Marcus on his structural approach, grit and determination and am always thankful for the time he took to shape some of my edges and do honestly believe the military provided him with some of these skills.

Turning my attention now to the United States – I have found Veterans in Tech to be some of, if not the most helpful individuals in helping me to adjust to a new life in San Francisco. I have to name three individuals who particularly have left an impression.

Zach Scheel and Drew Dewalt are the founders of Rhumbix – a construction technology solution dedicated to improving workplace productivity. They received inspiration for their approach by looking at the way military assets and personnel were managed in the field, with greater efficacy than the private sector. I did not only come to respect the foundations of their idea but moreover was won over by their generosity and kindness as people. As I was finding my feet in the city, Zach and Drew have always freely invited me to corporate events, sponsored many workplace lunches and have openly connected me with people in their network without hesitation. I always think a good judgement of the character of a founder is by the way in which their employees respond to questions of their character. Overwhelmingly, Rhumbix employees don’t just like Zach and Drew but I would go so far as to say they love their two co-founders – with this filial piety extremely strong at Rhumbix. Even though my career takes twists and turns – I will be forever committed to delivering as much back to a firm I care for so dearly.

Another individual is Manny Parra – co-founder of Revive Health and Fitness to which I am an advisor. Manny was a Green Beret prior to his start in technology and is one of the most likeable people I have ever met. A true people person – he exhibits a charisma that makes him attractive to do business with and has a personal story which is equally as inspiring. Manny’s most outstanding characteristic and one that I believe was fostered in the military is his willingness to learn and humble himself to improve key areas of his skillset. This has seen him grow from a young founder to an experienced tech leader – a progression I have been honored to watch.

Thus I admit early on in my career I had some unfounded criticism of military involvement – after encountering several inspiring people on my journey so far, I believe it speaks volumes of the way in which military participation can help shape individuals for success and leadership. It also leaves these individuals with a sense of community, friendship and supportive kindness which are all fundamental tenants to become a successful business leader and a well-respected person. I look forward to supporting Veterans in Tech to a greater extent and will explore this subject in further detail in other posts

P.S. Also honorable mentions to my friends Aaron Saari, Lydia Davey, Nick Frost, Steve Cook and Mitchell Wickline.

About The Author

Dailius Wilson

Dailius Wilson is the 24 year old founder of WolfofYorkStreet.com – helping the world's top SaaS companies to optimise their sales and marketing efforts. Dailius is currently a Director at TrustRadius and a digital blogger at increasemyonlinebusiness.com. Dailius was named as one of the Top 30 Entrepreneurs in Australia for 2015 by Anthill Online and was ranked in the Top 100 SEO Experts in the World. Dailius has also been a guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show and has over 10,000,000 views on Youtube