Op-Ed by Wes O’Donnell, Motivational Speaker, Managing Editor of InMilitary.com
I recall the emotion as if it happened only yesterday: the overwhelming pride, the pure joy and the unshakable belief that I had truly helped another human being. Two years ago, I began mentoring a young veteran on how to start a small eCommerce business. Six months ago, he notified me that his online niche t-shirt business was earning just over $100,000 per month in gross sales.
The joy I receive in helping other people find that greatness within started with a mentor of my own. As a young undergraduate at American Military University, I encountered individuals like Education Coordinator Brian Miller: professionals who find real purpose in helping others succeed in both their careers and in the pursuit of higher education.
Brian Miller, like many of his colleagues at American Military University, differ from their counterparts in one crucial aspect, at least from my point of view as a former student: they take time to identify students’ needs, values and goals. As a result, AMU’s education coordinators are some of the most effective mentors to the university’s many students, many of whom are working adults.
Mentors like Brian Miller enabled me to believe in myself and empowered me, at age 36, to sell my first invention, a modular medical cart, for well over one million dollars plus royalties for 20 years. Mentors like Brian Miller fueled my ambition to start a six-figure blog that generates revenue from contextual advertisements.
And we’ve now come full circle. The compassionate professionals at AMU have shown me the value of giving back to the next generation of working adults: individuals that need my mentorship to grow and achieve. As a result, I’ve started a motivational speaking series, sponsored by Military.com and geared towards helping the next generation of veterans and working adults believe that “it’s possible.”
In October of 2017, I will be speaking at the Military Influencer Conference in Dallas, Texas among many other veteran entrepreneurs whose primary goal is passing their success to the next generation.
I directly trace my success back to my education at AMU. As a result, a strong business foundation is often my first recommendation when mentoring a young veteran.
Thank you, Brian Miller and your colleagues at American Military University, for recognizing that what you do is more than just a job. You’re planting the seeds of success in the lives of others and teaching the value of mentorship as a ladder to reach the highest levels of achievement.
For more information on Wes’s speaking series, visit WesODonnell.com.