The Journey To Freedom – Larry Felder
Larry Felder

The Journey To Freedom

Today I'm speaking to Retired military, corporate people, current high end Earners afraid you'll loss that income, & Those Looking For Advice On Making the transition to becoming an entrepreneur. 

This article addresses The Hard Lessons Learned To Move From Employee To Entrepreneur And The Mentorship Program That Helped!

I remember the day the decision was made to retire from the military.

Got a call from the Air Warfare Center Vice Commander...

"You've been chosen as a by name request to take over strategic planning for the United States Air Force back in the Pentagon."

My promotions in the Air Force was always on time, never early.

I made full Colonel, had multiple commands, but understood I'd never be a General Office.

Already had 28 ½ years of service and knew taking this assignment would forces my wife and I to retire in Washington D.C.

Only one problem...

Been stationed in D.C. twice (the Air Staff and the Joint Staff) and hated Washington D.C.

So did an economic evaluation of the move and found out it was an economic looser – it was time to retire.

As many military officers do...

I got permission to interviewed, got five offers from great companies, and went to work in the Corporate World's Defense Contracting Industry.

As with all jobs the work started out great and was very rewarding.

Then there was a change of management and that “job security” my wife was looking for was quickly going south.

The boss who brought me into the company left unexpectedly and new management began a systematic dismantling of our Division to fund his pet project which later went bust.

So reached out into my network and found another position.

For a couple of years after the move the new position and work was great.

The only downside was being on the road for 3-4 weeks every month and the travel was getting real old.

Then it happened one day in a parking lot.

At the time I was a high 6-figure earner and...

That day my new boss decided his budget was not big enough that year so ask me to evaluate moving to a part time position with no benefits. 

He said, in this position you'll have to search out work to earn money, but he promised to take care of me.

What I didn't know at the time was his request to evaluate the move was a set-up.

The decision had already been made without my input or permission and a week later he moved me to a part time position without notice.

For a time the promise of being taken care of was honored...

But shortly after the move the company acquired the division of another large company and the new division placed "their people" in key leadership positions (who bought who?).

The work dried up and was forced to rethink what to do with the rest of my life.

Here is a hint...

As a military retiree your time in the industry is limited. 

You'll eventually be replaced with someone more connected (just leaving the Service), who'll work for less money, do longer hours, and think Corporate America is like the military.

Sadly they find out it's not like the military!

This entire scenario was predicted by a mentor years before and now it was coming true.

OK what are the options?

    1) Could take another job in Corporate America.

  • The offers required moving to an area neither my wife or I wanted to live in
  • The offers were more money but the net pay was less due to the cost of living
  • Plus 17 moves in 28 years was enough
  • Are you tired of being held responsible for results and not being given the authority to make changes to produce results? - well me too
  • Plus the terrible commute, long demanding hours, and extensive travel that Corporate America demands had finally taken its toll

   2) I could retire but was not ready to retire

   3) So I took the part time work, because I needed the money - but began to look for alternatives.

Early in my life and prior to the military...

I was involved in an entrepreneurial business...

In fact it was actually a Network Marketing Business.

The experience was overwhelmingly positive and the things I learned during this period laid the foundation for great success as an employee.

So began the search into the entrepreneur profession again….

This Is What I Learned Along The Way...

This is the single most important reason those who've been employed for years fail as an entrepreneur.

When you work for someone else things in the company plug along even if you aren’t there.

In addition your full time vacations (if you are allowed to take them) are paid for.

When you are an entrepreneur it's totally up to you to develop the initial pay and eventually the residual income that allows you to take those vacation, there not given to you.

You are the heart of your business and no one is there to tell you what to do, it is up to you to figure it out..

And Those who maintain an employee mind set don't last as entrepreneurs.

There's one great benefit when you master this profession...

Your work becomes your passion.

And the ability to change the lives of others and help them get out of the mess the corporate world has created is unbelievable rewarding!

Mentorship is a key part of a good military carrier and helps establish a path for a successful carrier.

However in the corporate world mentorship is lacking and why was always hard to understand. 

The military always looks for their next leaders to preserve and improve the institutions.

So I never understood why the corporate world wouldn't want the same.

When you first started out as an entrepreneur don't forgot this lesson...

Even though you may have had good mentorship and were even a good mentor for others in your military or corporate career. 

You'll need to recaptured the lesson of mentorship because...

It'll become a key part of your transition process.

You must actively seek out mentorship in the areas you want to master in your entrepreneur journey.

It's critical to locate mentors who can teach you how to transition from the military or corporate world to the entrepreneur profession.

Don’t underestimate this step...

It's vital to your success in making the transition.

It's critical to find someone who'll teach you and has successfully made the transition themselves.

No matter how successful you've been as an employee...

You'll find out real quick the skills needed to be successful in this new profession are most likely lacking...

And you'll have to invest in yourself and go back to school to gather these skills. 

Our educational system was established to create loyal employees for the military and corporate world. "The System" does not teach entrepreneur skills.

So self-education and mentorship are critical to your success.

Being an entrepreneur is nothing like working in the military or for a large corporation.

Don’t miss understand me; I learned a lot in my 35+ years of military and corporate work...

But the most crucial entrepreneur skills were not taught in either profession. After all you're working to serve your country or fulfill someone else’s dream and not yours.

You'll have to become a student of the profession.

Some of the skill sets of leadership and team development are similar but there will still be unanswered questions.

When you first start you may be taught to build a business by going after friends, family, and co-workers.

This method can work but you may get to the point where you honestly dislike this method of building a business.

You may even make the decision this is not the way you wanted to build a business or these methods simply don't appeal to you.

So you'll be forces to change course and learn a new way of building a business.

One of the key elements in building a successful entrepreneurship is to master Marketing!

This is incredibly important and you'll need to learn new things like:

  • On-line marketing
  • Obtaining new customers
  • Driving new leads into your business

When you first started you may have a “build it and they'll come mentality.”

Honestly that couldn’t be further from truth.

But through research and proper mentorship you can find a process that teaches the skills you'll needed to market yourself on line.

You must became a student once more and learned the skills our school system or a lifetime of military and corporate work never teach.

Attraction marketing became the single most important skill I needed to obtain FREEDOM.

And then there's this...

Most of us spent our entire adult life with friends in the military and corporate circles. 

These are amazing people and you'll want to still maintain friendships in this circle but...

They only understand the military and corporate way of doing business.

Many of your corporate friends may be 6-figure earners and you'll quickly find out...

They're afraid to make any move that would jeopardizes that income.

In fact a lot of them don't understand why you would leave a 6-figure income to chase your dream of owning your own business and creating your own FREEDOM.

Most people in the baby boomer generation were taught by our educational system to go to school, get a good education, get a good job...

Work until they are 65, retire, and everything will be OK - unfortunately the facts don't bear this out.

Plus most of your parents went through the same educational system...

So few parents taught their kids a better way.

You may have been fortunate to have a father who left a job and become financially independent by owning his own business.

And if so, may have taught you these lessons.

My Dad's wealth was developed after the age of 60 when he opened his first business and began the journey to financial independence.

Prior to age 60 he had no wealth because he followed what was taught by our educational system.

If my father hadn't made the move to become an entrepreneur he'd died broke like 95 percent of North Americans do today!

If you choose to become an entrepreneur you'll encounter those who think you are crazy.

In fact many of your 6-figure friends, who are afraid to make the move, will be first in line telling you it wont work.

There are times on your entrepreneurial journey that you are completely alone.

These are the times you need mentorship and need to remember what your dream is, what puts a fire in your belly.

Use your passion and your mentors to keep pushing forward.

Let's be honest losing a 6-figure income could destroy your life if you don't prepare for this eventuality.

Plus you may be like I was and...

Be in a corporation going through an acquisition or some other major change that forces you to make the decision of becoming an entrepreneur sooner than you planned.

If this is you...

It's critical you develop a workable budget not only for the transition to support your life, but for the investment you'll need to grow your business. 

Don't fall into the trap and assume your income will always be there!

Because like many who make the transition from the military to the corporate world, the day will come when it's not!

So if you need that 6-figure income to survive, it's critical you make plans before the big surprise that's potentially just over the horizon.

If the only thing you know is trading time for money you're in trouble...

There is a better way to create a lifestyle that will produce a legacy for your family.

Profits are always better than income!

So to make the transition, take the time to review your real expenses and place them in a new planning budget that takes into account the loss of that 6-figure income.

You may want to ask yourself some real life questions:

  • How can I make a transition like this work?
  • Am I at risk of losing my income?
  • What will this new boss do to me?
  • Why am I staying in a job I no longer have passion for?
  • Why am I working for a company I've already lost trust in?

And one more thing...

Don't fall into this big myth perpetuated by many unsuccessful entrepreneurs...

"Building an entrepreneur business is such a low cost it’s practically free" – don’t buy it.

The truth is if you're going to be successful as an entrepreneur it will take time and money...

You'll need to treat your business like a business not a hobby.

You'll need capital for things like:

  • Products
  • Advertising
  • Websites
  • Networking events
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Mentorship

The list will differ based on your entrepreneurial path but one thing is for sure, you need capital for a successful business.

So work capital into your transition plan.

As you start your entrepreneur journey don't fall into the trap you'll make money overnight.

Here's the hard truth; you most likely won’t make money when you first start.

If you don’t have realistic expectations, follow your mentor’s advice, and take consistent action every day, just like you would on a job, you won’t make money.

Treating a business like a hobby is an expense – treating a business like a business produces profit!

There's no such thing as a get rich quick business and if someone is telling you that run away and run away fast. 

Building a business takes time and investment.

You'll need to have patience with yourself and the entrepreneurial process.

Very few businesses make money in the first year or even the first several years.

A real entrepreneur knows that and plans for it.

It's crucial you have a plan of action and adapt the plan to the circumstances needed for success.

That is why you need a good mentor who can guide you along the path to success.

Do I Regret Leaving The Corporate World?


In fact if I had it to do over again I'd start my entrepreneur journey right out of the military and never go into the corporate world.


Well you'll soon discovery...

The one thing missing in the corporate world is that sense of being part of something greater than yourself.

On the journey to become an entrepreneur you'll find that missing element!

If you want to learn more about how I’m building a business on line I highly recommend you check this out.

This mastermind course provides both mentorship and a path to success.

Well that’s my story and I hope it helps you.

If you're like I was and are looking to make that move towards becoming becoming an entrepreneur, not sure where to start, and want mentorship to help you along the way - let me offer you this avenue.

I hope the article brings you clarity in how to achieve what you've been looking for!

This is my personal offer to you...

If you are a retired military or corporate person feed up with where you are in life...

If your looking to make that transition to entrepreneurship...

Drop me a comment with your contact information!

If you enjoyed this post, please quickly do me a favor and share with others using the social media icons on this page.

I'd also welcome any comments you'd like to share below.

To your success,

Larry Felder

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About the Author Larry Felder

I have two passions in life. First I teach Network/Affiliate Marketer and home base business owners how to establish a profitable online business. Second I provide advice on health and wellness and how you can live a better life. I provide training and mentorship for both.

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