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5 Skills I Learned in the Military That Helped Me Become a Successful Entrepreneur

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The moves I’ve made in my career from the military, to the mining industry, to running a multinational business in Latin America, aren’t linear. It’s not every day an ex-Australian military officer finds their niche in Latin American business.

Graduating from Australia’s Royal Military College and Defense Force Academy, I served as a commissioned officer in the Australian Army for nearly 11 years, completing operational tours to Central Asia and the Middle East.

The transition from various Army engineering and infantry roles through to managing a team of legal and financial executives was neither quick nor painless. But, as I entered the company formation process, I found my military service played a significant role in shaping my entrepreneurial fitness. The skills I developed in the Australian Defense Force supported me through several commercial iterations more than once.

Here are some of the key connections I drew between core military values and those I apply to the boardroom environment:

1. Be calculated and decisive

Unsurprisingly, a crucial requisite of military functionality is working quickly and effectively under pressure. This rings especially true for the strategic planners of operations: the commissioned and non-commissioned officers.

My military role made tough demands on me to decide on the best course of action for myself and my team. When deployed overseas, making the wrong decision or not making a decision fast enough could mean failing our mission, and putting people in danger.

In business, it’s vital to understand, analyze and communicate the risks involved in the options laid out before you at various stages. Making offers to clients, moving into a new market, investing large amounts of money into projects. And decisions need to be made based on this analysis before these opportunities pass by.

I can confidently draw on my experiences in service to act fast and capitalize on opportunities as they become available, and make tough decisions in high-pressure situations.

“You cannot make progress without making decisions.” – Jim Rohn

2. Resilience is key

Resilience is fundamental to success in any military career. In training and on operations, one soldier’s spiralling morale could put an entire section in danger. Military personnel are vetted for their adaptability and mental strength from day one, using tried-and-true techniques to push people to their limits.

Having a high level of resilience allows you to cope when things don’t go to plan in business. Investments might not show returns as quickly as hoped, a competitor snatches up an important client, or a difficult situation arises between staff that needs careful management.

I can confidently draw on military-learned techniques to support my own and others’ resilience in the office. Being able to maintain a high level of morale among teams fosters productivity and a willingness to ‘soldier on’ in challenging situations.

3. Leadership and cooperation

People in leadership positions are those that others turn to for advice and support. As a leader, you have to be prepared to make tough decisions that others can’t or won’t. A high-performing team has a courageous, empowering, and communicative leader at its helm.

This is as true in the military as it is in business. Building the right team and driving them to success is both challenging and rewarding – whether the outcome is securing a key logistical foothold to allow aid and other supplies to travel into a war-torn area, or seeing a newly-opened office secure its first major client.

4. Discipline

Not every soldier has an easy time appreciating the ubiquity of drills in their military workplace, nor their role in underpinning the success of a smooth operation. But a lack of discipline is tantamount to putting oneself and others at risk. Ignoring lawful orders, or not applying proper first-aid to a fellow soldier, are a couple of examples of this.

To me, commercial discipline means being professional always, even in stressful or frustrating situations. Maintain integrity in everything you do, and don’t cut corners. Carrying out proper legal and financial procedures means staying compliant under local law, and avoiding complications with authorities.

Staying committed to an objective and refusing to drop standards enables you to build a credible reputation for your business that clients hold in high regard.

“We don’t have to be smarter than the rest, we have to be more disciplined than the rest.” – Warren Buffett

5. Cultural awareness

Finally, but no less importantly, showing respect for cultural customs in business is essential for cultivating strong professional relationships. Being aware of your cultural background, and sensitive to those of others, will help build social connections, and make you more relatable to others.

Foreign militaries operating in troubled parts of the world understand that building trust with local individuals and communities is imperative. Without that trust, moving around becomes difficult and more dangerous. To gain trust, soldiers must show respect for people’s culture and way of life.

The same is true in business. A small hiccup such as not shaking hands, or giving an air-kiss to a new acquaintance here in Latin America could start an entire working relationship off on the wrong foot. Cultural sensitivity shows a willingness to embrace people and their society. Never underestimate the significance people place on this element when evaluating your suitability as a professional partner.

It’s no secret that commercial success requires passion, hard work, and dedication. Don’t be afraid to call upon your own and others’ previous experiences to find solutions to problems or forge ahead with complex projects. For military personnel considering testing out their business acumen, be confident that your years of service to your country have also set you up for success in the world of business.

Craig Dempsey is a seasoned business professional in Latin America. He is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Biz Latin Hub Group that specializes in the provision market entry and back office services in Latin America. Craig holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, with honors and a Masters Degree in Project Management from the University of New South Wales. Craig is also a military veteran, having served in the Australian military on numerous overseas missions and also a former mining executive with experience in various overseas jurisdictions, including, Canada, Australia, Peru and Colombia.

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Entrepreneurs

10 Lucrative Buy and Sell Businesses to Start in 2024

The buy-and-sell business model provides opportunities across many niches

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Businesses to start in 2024

In the dynamic landscape of 2024, starting a business that capitalizes on buy-and-sell models can be incredibly lucrative. This article explores ten different models that entrepreneurs can consider. These ventures range from real estate flipping to trading in domains and luxury items, providing a broad spectrum of opportunities regardless of your initial capital or interest area.

1. Car Flipping

Flipping cars can be a very lucrative business venture for an individual with business acumen, an eye for value, and mechanically adept at cars. It involves buying under-priced cars, restoring, and selling them for a profit. For deeper insights and opportunities in this market, refer to sca.auction.

2. Real Estate Flipping

Flipping real estate—be it houses, condos, or even commercial properties—remains pretty solid business, especially in markets where real estate values are on the way up. Investors buy properties relatively low, do rehab or renovation, then sell at a profit.

The success of the area is endowed with a huge potential spotlight, the ability to juggle various elements such as local real estate market knowledge, and efficient management of renovations.

3. Vintage E-commerce

With the advent of technology, it became easy to sell vintage or retro items over the online selling platform. Be it clothes, furniture, or even collectibles, consumers these days prefer something unique that is eco-friendly and which may have a nostalgia quotient in it. Hence, it brings the opportunity to open an e-commerce shop effectively.

4. Domain Flipping

If you have the skill to predict catchy phrases or business names that would be popular in the future, then buying and selling domain names would be a very profitable business. Register prices are available to purchase domains, which later can be sold at high prices to interested parties or businesses that wish to get an early online identity.

5. Luxury Items

One of the most promising buy-and-sell businesses is the luxury market, and what makes it very attractive is its less sensitivity towards economic downturns. Some of the common items in the luxury market include high-end watches, jewelry, and art, rare cars, all with high yields. Most times, items do appreciate, especially when they are limited editions.

6. Sports Memorabilia

While the sports memorabilia trading business can at times seem lucrative, especially when one focuses on big personae or big events, authenticity and rarity can definitely help items fetch top dollar. Provenance and limited supply both go towards inflating their values.

7. Sneaker Reselling

In recent years, the sneaker resale market has exploded, fueled by a commodity of scarce releases and athletic brand collaborations with a list of celebrities. Today, with operations such as StockX and GOAT, it’s really that easy to break into the worldwide market. It’s pretty easy to find your buyers and make a very good profit if you’re targeting the right trend and releases.

8. Book Flipping

Flipping rare and first editions can become a really meaningful, and yes, one more profitable, business for a book lover. Sometimes the signed ones, rare manuscripts, or those early editions of famous novels could sell for thousands of dollars, usually done by collectors or academic institutions.

9. Furniture Upcycling

Upcycling furniture consists of restoring and using second-hand furniture to sell it at a higher price. For the environmentally aware consumer, this business model has great appeal. It could be pretty profitable if done with good taste and talent in design and restoration.

10. Electronics Flipping

Smartphones, tablets, and laptops resell at values significantly high; hence, business ensues. Buy, refurbish, and sell in better condition to appeal to budget-minded consumers looking for technology at more affordable price points. 

Overall, The buy-and-sell business model provides opportunities across many niches. Be it real estate flipping or vintage item upcycling, you can succeed in both models with market understanding and trend application. That, with careful planning and strategic investment, will throw huge financial returns for these business models in 2024.

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How Your Business Can Outmaneuver Your Competitors by 85%

Did you know that companies that master big data can outmaneuver competitors by 85% in sales

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big data strategy

Did you know that companies that master big data can outmaneuver competitors by 85% in sales and more than 25% in gross margins? Sounds inspiring, right? But the thing is that data alone isn’t enough. Rather, it’s the strategy behind it that unlocks these enviable boosts. So, this article explores how to make the most out of your big data and build a strategy that’s functional and competitive. (more…)

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Most Entrepreneurs Fail to Do This and It’s Killing Their Success

Celebrating progress also provides entrepreneurs with the psychological sustenance needed to endure the marathon of building a business

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celebrate your milestones

The journey from a mere concept to a tangible reality is one of the most exhilarating yet challenging paths an entrepreneur can navigate. This odyssey is punctuated by milestones that stand as testaments to perseverance, innovation, and relentless hard work.  (more…)

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9 Ways Augmented Reality Gives Your Business a Competitive Edge

By embracing AR technology, companies can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and success

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augmented reality in business

Leveraging Augmented Reality for Business Advancement: Exploring Applications

In the ever-evolving landscape of business innovation, Augmented Reality in business emerges as a transformative force, reshaping traditional paradigms and unlocking new opportunities for growth and advancement.

Through a comprehensive examination of AR’s capabilities, applications, and business benefits, this article serves as a roadmap for enterprises seeking to harness the full potential of augmented reality to propel their success in the digital age.

UNI.Agency as a forefront developmental agency tailors unmatched digital products and immersive experiences. They help companies outperform their competitors and customers’ expectations. And now, there is time to delve deep into the AR realm.

Gaining Insight into Augmented Reality

From revolutionizing customer experiences to optimizing operational efficiency, AR in retail is poised to drive significant advancements in how businesses operate and engage with their stakeholders.

Augmented Reality (AR) seamlessly integrates digital information and virtual objects into the real-world environment, offering users an immersive and interactive experience through devices like smartphones or AR glasses.

It revolutionizes various industries, from entertainment to healthcare, by enhancing perception and creating innovative opportunities for engagement and exploration in the digital era. AR not only enriches our understanding of reality but also opens up new possibilities for creativity, communication, and problem-solving, making it a powerful tool for businesses seeking to enhance customer experiences and streamline operations in an increasingly digital world.

Differentiating Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) overlays digital elements onto the real world, enhancing the user’s perception of their environment. Virtual Reality (VR), however, immerses users in entirely virtual environments, blocking out the real world. There are some core differences between these two technologies in gear and display approaches:

  • AR enriches reality with digital information, while VR creates entirely immersive virtual experiences.
  • AR typically requires less specialized hardware, like smartphones or AR glasses, while VR often involves dedicated headsets.
  • AR is commonly used for enhancing real-world experiences, such as in gaming, retail, and navigation, encouraging augmented reality shopping. Whereas VR is primarily employed for immersive simulations, training, and entertainment in fully virtual environments.

The Influence of AR on the Customer Experience Journey

As of 2024, Augmented Reality (AR) has evolved into an indispensable tool across various sectors, offering immersive and interactive experiences that seamlessly blend digital elements with the real world.

Stimulating Interest

Augmented Reality (AR) captivates customers by offering visually engaging experiences that spark curiosity and intrigue, enticing them to explore products or services further.

AR’s ability to overlay digital content onto the real world creates an immersive and attention-grabbing experience, drawing customers in and igniting their interest.

Educating and Empowering Users

AR in business empowers users by providing interactive and informative experiences that educate them about products, services, or concepts in a visually compelling manner.

Through AR, customers can interact with virtual models, animations, or informational overlays, gaining a deeper understanding of the features, benefits, or use cases of the offerings.

Exploring Further Depths

AR encourages customers to delve deeper into products or services by offering immersive and interactive experiences that go beyond traditional marketing materials.

By allowing users to explore virtual representations of products in real-world contexts, AR in retail provides a unique opportunity for customers to visualize how offerings fit into their lives, fostering deeper engagement and understanding.

Business Benefits of Augmented Reality

Businesses utilize AR for diverse applications, including product visualization, virtual try-ons, and enhanced customer engagement. In education, AR transforms learning experiences by providing interactive simulations and visualizations.

Additionally, AR has become integral to industries such as healthcare, where it facilitates surgical training and patient education. With advancements in AR technology and widespread adoption, it continues to shape how we perceive and interact with our environment, ushering in a new era of innovation and connectivity.

Let’s look at why AR has become so indispensable as a business tool nowadays.

Revolutionizing Training Methods

AR in business transforms training by offering immersive, interactive simulations that replicate real-world scenarios, enhancing employee learning and skill development.

It’s lucrative for hands-on training experiences. Since there’s no need for physical equipment or environments, reducing costs and logistical constraints while improving knowledge retention and performance.

Boosting Productivity Levels

Augmented Reality in business boosts productivity by providing real-time access to information and guidance, allowing employees to complete tasks more efficiently and accurately.

Through AR-powered tools and applications, workers can streamline workflows, troubleshoot issues, and collaborate effectively, resulting in increased output and operational efficiency.

Implementing Dynamic Marketing Approaches

AR enables businesses to implement dynamic marketing strategies that captivate and engage audiences in unique ways.

By integrating AR into marketing campaigns, companies can create interactive experiences that drive brand awareness, customer engagement, and sales conversions, setting themselves apart in a crowded marketplace.

Fostering Product Development

Augmented reality and marketing foster innovation in product development by facilitating virtual prototyping, design iterations, and collaborative decision-making.

With AR, teams can visualize and test product concepts in 3D, gather feedback from stakeholders, and make informed design decisions faster, leading to faster time-to-market and more successful product launches.

Creating Tailored Customer Experiences

AR creates personalized customer experiences by allowing users to interact with products and services in customized ways.

Through AR-enhanced applications and experiences, businesses can tailor content, recommendations, and promotions to individual preferences and behaviors, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Amplifying Brand Recognition

Augmented Reality shopping amplifies brand recognition by providing memorable and shareable experiences that leave a lasting impression on customers.

By incorporating AR into branding initiatives, companies can create immersive brand experiences that spark conversations, increase social media engagement, and strengthen brand loyalty, ultimately driving business growth and success.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Augmented Reality in business stands as a transformative force, offering a multitude of benefits across various aspects of operations. From revolutionizing training methods to boosting productivity levels, AR empowers businesses to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment.

By embracing AR technology, companies can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and success, while delivering immersive and engaging experiences that resonate with customers and stakeholders alike.

As AR continues to evolve and integrate into everyday business practices, Uni will incorporate the best practices to promote business advancement and drive meaningful change for the clients. We’re to shape the future of commerce to your benefit.

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