No matter how incredible your idea is, starting a new business can be scary. However, the U.S. Census Bureau found that military veterans own more than 10% of businesses in the United States. Not only are veterans exceptional employees, but they also have characteristics that make them great business owners as well. As a veteran, you may have considered opening a veteran-owned business, but you need to know what skills and experience you gained in the military that will put you on the path to success.

You Learned Leadership Skills

Research shows that leadership skills can be learned, and the military is a great classroom. Whether you were in a position of leadership or you followed someone of a higher rank, you learned what effective leadership looks like. The exceptional skills you learned in this area allow you to motivate your employees, develop effective strategies and encourage the company to move forward. You know how important great leadership is and tend to place your employees’ needs above your own. You understand the stakes, making you a careful, conscientious decision-maker.

You Have Self-Discipline

Self-discipline can often be the difference between success and failure. It’s what you do every day, your habits, that will determine your level of success. The military forced you to adopt a disciplined life, keeping you on task and focused on your missions. You have probably adapted this to your own life. For example, you may get up every day and make your bed and complete an exercise program. You probably give everything you have to your job while you are there, remaining focused and doing more than necessary. As an entrepreneur, you will take on many tasks, don many hats. You will need the focus and discipline you have gained to get everything done and grow your business. Your discipline will increase your productivity, increasing your business growth.

You Are a Team Player

Teamwork is vital in the military. You must work well with your team to accomplish your missions. You learn effective communication, collaboration and how to trust those on your team. You each have a task that you must complete to reach the goal, just as you will experience in business. You need to trust your employees to complete the tasks they are assigned and work effectively within their departments and with those in other departments. You are the key to teaching your employees how to work together and to solve problems among your staff members. Your abilities in this area will help your team develop strong bonds and perform at their highest levels.

As a veteran, you have a great opportunity to make an impact on your community and the U.S. economy. Learn if starting a veteran owned business is part of your purpose and path.