Civilians never guess the most valuable business lesson I learned from my military career is to make my bed every morning. It seems unrelated when it comes to business but proves how even small tasks can leave a positive lasting mark.
I’m forever indebted to the military for my college education and numerous life lessons my officers taught me. With all I learned in the classroom and on duty, the military provided me the tools necessary to become a successful businessman and franchisor. From the way I hired my first employees and how I initially selected franchise partners to how I continuously train the franchise system and further develop my brand – the military has been influential in how I operate as a franchisor.
Let Passions Lead Your Path
As veterans transition to civilian life, the first thing we typically seek is our next career move. I launched my own chiropractic business, which quickly grew to four, and then solidified systems in order to franchise the concept. When contemplating a career after the military, it’s important for veterans to follow their passion. Selecting a career based on the money will eventually become bland and the business won’t be successful. Produce something you love. If you love health, go into something medical or involving exercise. If you love to eat, go into the restaurant business. It seems basic enough, but many entrepreneurs go into businesses for the wrong reasons. Soldiers rely on passion to be effective so the same needs to be applied to a professional career. Boot camp would be hell if we weren’t passionate about serving our country! So proudly serve your community with a business in which you believe for ultimate fulfillment.
Leave Your Ego at the Door
The military has the right mindset when it comes to training – leaders leading leaders. We put ego aside to get the task done. Not having an ego is important when it comes to running a strong organization. When I was first commissioned as an operations officer, I was put in a position to lead people who were 35 years older than me. Listening to someone with little experience who is less than half your age isn’t the easiest thing to do, but every person treated me with respect. That’s what the military teaches you – selflessness. The best example of military-instilled selflessness is World War II General, George Marshall. President Franklin D. Roosevelt relied on Gen. Marshall to strategize the war behind closed doors, without receiving the notoriety or glory of other generals – including General Dwight Eisenhower who would become the President of the United States. I try to embody that way of thinking and also instill the same within my franchisees. Put your ego aside and do what needs to be done to accomplish the greatest good for all.
The military will give you the tools to be ready for anything. Unbeknownst to me, I was on the receiving end of infinite pseudo drills and situations doled out by my superiors. Now I understand that they wanted to see how I would react in real-time and determine whether or not I could accomplish my assigned task successfully. I use this same method within the HealthSource franchise system. I want my franchisees to be ready for any feasible situation that could occur. When dealing with an issue like a physical injury or storm damage to a clinic, I learned that the best way to find a solution is to explain the situation and clarify what happens if the job doesn’t get resolved quickly. After identifying the ramifications of the situation if we don’t overcome, the solution usually becomes clear on how to work together to complete the task.
It’s pure military methodology to translate a person’s level of disciple to their success. Having the discipline day-in and day-out to accomplish small, routine acts is how greater amounts of success in business are achieved. That is why I make my bed every morning, as it sets the tone to do the small things throughout the day to reach my fullest potential.
Dr. Chris Tomshack is the founder and CEO of HealthSource – America’s Chiropractor®, the largest and fastest-growing chiropractic franchise in the world, with more than 360 domestic and international clinics serving more than six million patients. Dr. Tomshack was in the Airforce ROTC at Ohio University and served in the National Guard. He has also authored “The Ultimate Practice Adjustment” and co-authored “Freedom from Fat.”