Dell Technologies

By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

Just how much work brings a business idea to life? Many new business owners today assume unrealistically that no amount of work is enough. Following the initial exuberance of a spark of inspiration, some may see creating and managing their vision from the outset as not full-time job, but an all-time commitment. Life comes first, and when the stress of their own perceived obligations runs a manager down, a small business could stay down with them until their own welfare becomes a priority.

Business owners should manage their priorities wisely. The first such priority is health. Excessive overtime does no favors for either a service-provider or their clients. Sluggish thinking tends to prevail when overwork is the norm. Such thinking leads to mistakes, numbs innovation, and creates apathy. Many a medical resident or air traffic controller has learned this lesson the hard way. No business owner benefits from 12 hours a day hustling for work that may not exist.  Small business owners need to work smart instead of long and this is good advice.

The owner’s commitment should therefore match the realistic scale of the enterprise. Early in the history of a business, the time-commitment may in fact be minimal. A new business owner may in fact need to feel out the scope of demand for their services before planning for a larger, more sophisticated organization.

Often for a brand-new entrepreneur, the most exciting aspects of the business may in fact provide the greatest rewards. In other words, dry planning for infrastructure development may for some hinder rather than help development. Such development may not end up a great fit for the needs of a new business.

Perhaps later, business may grow.  The necessities of a new enterprise may change. A sole proprietor often must direct every function of their enterprise. A larger organization tends to rely on specialists. Any mid-size or large corporation likely has several departments, such as Human Resources, Legal, or Marketing. As a sole proprietor develops their new business, they often must assume each function simultaneously and wear many hats.

The direct needs of the business could more directly impact the proprietor. The more demanding a business becomes, the more carefully we should balance the needs of the business with our own capacity to function in a healthy, productive manner.

A 2012 Slate article, “Bring Back the 40-hour Work Week,” noted that for most of the 20th century, business leaders such as Henry Ford noted the deleterious effects of overwork for their employees, as well as presumably themselves. The current ethos of overwork in many sectors does nothing to improve on these sentiments.

Those who run a business should have a sense of their own proclivities. Consider those habits that may sharpen your senses and increase your enthusiasm, as opposed to those that leave you exhausted and sluggish. For example, some people work best in the mornings, while others need time to adjust and plan their day. Breaktimes and lunch may provide opportunities to get to know your healthiest, most productive, and happiest routine. Additionally, managers should know how to mesh work life with down-time and recreation.

Generally, those who deliver vibrance to their own business creations are fonts of life themselves. Your own inner world dictates the energy you radiate. Self-care and mindfulness about your own well-being colors the life of those within your sphere. Hence, consider the dangers of the cult of overwork, and remember that the management of your own well-being matters as much as management of your business.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that this article has been valuable.   We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.



Don’t forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here:

Veterans Take the Initiative to Explore Entrepreneurship

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter


Past military experience helps “veteran entrepreneurs” find success especially when they team up.  Working in teams is part of the military culture. Veterans tend to have a greater desire to create their own destiny, which is why starting a business is so appealing.  Veterans tend to have a unique point of view based on their past military experience.   They come up with different solutions to problems than non-military personnel do and are more creative and focused on crafting solutions.


Veterans have unique experiences and inner strengths that include:  

  • Initiative
  • Dependability
  • Commitment to a greater cause than self
  • Love for fellow comrades in arms regardless of their ethnicity or background
  • A drive to succeed against the odds
  • Focusing on the end goal and achieving the mission
  • Working in teams to get the job done


All of these attributes benefit veteran entrepreneurs.  This is one of the reasos that veterans tend to lean more towards starting their own businesses.  These same traits lead a lot of veteran business owners to want to help others pursue entrepreneurship as well.  They also become mentors and are leaders.


In the last few years there has been a surge of businesses, organizations, lenders, and programs that have been formed to provide veterans ways to explore entrepreneurship with the direct support of their colleagues.


Some of them include:


All of these organizations have one thing in common, they were created by a veteran, a group of veterans or those who support veterans to help veteran brothers and sisters in arms achieve their business dreams.


Military life has prepared many for the challenges that are unique to military service and those will also greatly benefit business life as a civilian. Veterans also face unique challenges when they return home from active duty. Seeking assistance from other veterans will help boost success as a civilian entrepreneur.


In today’s ever-changing economy, global climate, and interpersonal relationships, it is best to find programs and funding sources that focus on bringing together veterans and like-minded business owners who can help each other flourish.


We encourage all military and veteran business owners to join VAMBOA, the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association.  VAMBOA does not charge any fees or dues.  Here is a link to register:

Veteran Entrepreneurs Who Rock It!

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By Debbie Gregory.

It is becoming more and more common for veterans to leave the battlefield and enter the world of entrepreneurship. This article will introduce a few outstanding veteran entrepreneurs.   They set a high bar.

  • U.S. Marine Corps veteran Travis McVey of Heroes Vodka combines being a veteran entrepreneur with a commitment to support his fellow veterans. Heroes Vodka was first bottled on Veteran’s Day, 11.11.11. As the “Official Spirit of a Grateful Nation,” the mission of Heroes Vodka is to deliver exceptional taste and superior value to consumers, while honoring veterans and other American service organizations through charitable contributions. McVey donates a portion of all sales to AMVETS. 
  • U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Nick Taranto, founded Plated, a meal delivery service that offers healthy, affordable, and delicious food. The service, which was acquired by Albertson’s Grocery Stores, delivers boxed chef-designed dinners that can be prepared at home in around thirty minutes. 
  • U.S. Navy veteran, Brandon Buttrey founded Counterstrike Coffee Buttrey reflected on his time in the service when coffee was highly valued and enabled servicemembers to better function. He knew that if he designed a military/veteran friendly coffee brand, he would have some serious customers. Counterstrike Coffee offers pre-packaged coffee in both whole bean or ground form. A portion of the proceeds goes to the veteran warfighter community. 
  • Michael J. Penney is the co-founder of Cigars and Sea Stories, a podcast devoted to sharing stories with veterans who are adding value to the world. In March of 2016 he presented at TEDxRaleigh, “What’s Your IED: How to Add Value During Life’s Explosive Situations”, combining military and personal experiences to bridge the lives of veterans and civilians. Penney is the creator of the “5 Paragraph Business Plan” – taking the military operations order format and applying it to business. 
  • Few entrepreneurs can say they founded an internet business that grew from zero to a billion dollars in revenue. Chuck Wallace is one of those rare entrepreneurs. In 1999, Wallace co-founded eSurance, a company that not only survived the bubble burst, but thrived and provides a quick and easy way to purchase insurance.  Before starting eSurance, Wallace was a U.S. Air Force pilot who taught undergraduates to fly.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,


Turning Construction Contacts into Contracts

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Don’t Miss This – December 13, 2018

Over 60 exhibitors looking for business with small certified firms DVBE’s, DBE’s, WBE’s, and SBE’s.


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