- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Three Secrets to Entrepreneurial Success

by Heidi Lynn Russell, Contributing Editor

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Article Sponsored by: EPES Transport

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If you boil down all reasons that entrepreneurs’ businesses thrive, no matter the varying types of companies, there is one thing they all have in common:

They are the experts on one service (or product), and their expertise is so refined that people are willing to pay top dollar for it, says former U.S. Marine-turned-multi-millionaire Dr. Indigo Triplett.

That’s how Triplett launched her company in 1995. She is the CEO of Careers in Transition Inc. in Atlanta. She narrowed down that one thing she knew people would highly value - her expertise in human resources. But that expertise was hard fought and hard won. When she exited the Marines in 1988 as a Specialist, she had been a Field Radio Operator and a Communications and Public Relations Specialist. “They tell us that the (military) job is transferrable, but no one needed me to call in an air strike on Chicago,” she says. “So I looked for jobs but couldn’t find anything.”

She went to school and refined her experiences in HR. Today, her firm’s client roster includes heavy-hitter federal agencies like the CIA and NASA, and large corporations such as Time Warner Cable and Halliburton. “It took about five years before I started getting great clients, and it took another five years to get larger contracts,” she says. “Clients came first and then grew into advanced contracts.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes the impact veteran entrepreneurs like Triplett have on the economy. There is about one veteran-owned entrepreneurial firm for every 10 veterans, and veteran-owned firms employ 5.8 million people. Veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans, the SBA says.

How do you know if your expertise in a service or product offering can propel you to success like Triplett’s? Here are three tips on realizing your dream, from Triplett and two other veteran entrepreneurs.

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