The Army is such an efficient organization that even an average person can excel if they are willing to adopt it's principles. Those who adapt best see very little failure throughout their careers.
The Army is a Well-Oiled Machine
The US Army is so efficient that it can make even a mediocre leader seem amazing if he or she is willing to adapt to the system. I was able to see great success in my short career because I had been schooled by and had the privilege to work with men who were way smarter and more skilled than me.
As a result, I saw very little failure and bought into the mentality that anything is possible if you keep the right frame of mind.
Running A Business is a Different Animal
Sure, the military can give you the smarts and the discipline to run a successful business. But, if you are not careful, you may overestimate your skill set the way I did when I first started in business.
The key difference between the military and a start up is systems. When you first start your company, or any new endeavor in your life, you will not have any support systems in place. You will have to build them. The military was a great fit for me because I'm a strategic thinker. The tedium of developing systems was already done for me.
When I started my business, I had to build those systems myself through experimentation, observation and analysis. The lesson I missed that the Army was trying to teach me was that the Army was not built overnight.
Men and women have been perfecting the systems that support warfare for thousands of years. My success was mostly the result of being a part of a system that was designed to not let me fail.
Once I figured that out, all the failings I was having when making my business successful stopped bothering me so much. This new mindset freed me up to start focusing on failing fast through experimentation, collecting data and using it to drive future success.
Success takes time, my friends. So give time it's due.