6 min learn
This story initially ran April 5, 2016.
Rising up on a farm in Greensburg, Ky., Dakota Meyer had an enormous drawback with authority. Throughout his senior 12 months of highschool, a visiting Marine recruiter requested what he deliberate to do after graduating. Dakota replied, “probably play football.” The recruiter replied, “That’s good, because there’s no way you could be a Marine.”
Not one to again down from a problem, Dakota shot again: “Get the papers ready. I’ll sign them today.” He was simply 17 and his mother and father wanted to co-sign his contract. After coaching as a Marine Corps sniper, he accomplished one tour in Iraq and signed as much as head to Afghanistan as a result of he “wanted to fight.”
While serving in Afghanistan, Meyer’s combat team was caught in a deadly ambush. Disobeying direct orders to stay out of harm’s way, Meyer raced into the fight. During the ensuing six-hour battle, Meyer saved the lives of several Marines and soldiers and recovered the bodies of four of his fallen brothers. For those selfless actions, President Barack Obama introduced him with the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2011.
Upon his discharge, Meyer’s life took a turn he wasn’t expecting. Previous to these events, if you asked him what he’d be doing for a living, he told Entrepreneur, “I grew up on a farm, and I think I would have come back and done something like that. It’s an honest way of life, a conservative way of life, simple way of life. Definitely the exact opposite of what I am doing now.”
What he is doing now is by no means simple: he has toured as a motivational speaker, advocates for veteran employment, formed partnerships with businesses such as Toyota, became a regular guest on Fox News Channel and has taken a full dive into the world of entrepreneurship. He presently runs two corporations: Dakota Meyer Enterprises (development and common contractor) and DM Tactical LLC (coaching for the federal authorities.) Each are small businesses, and both have grown substantially over the past 18 months.
Entrepreneur spoke with Meyer, and gleaned valuable life lessons from the self-described regular guy who leads anything but a regular life.
How did the months and years following your Medal of Honor ceremony change your mindset?
This medal is something I wish I never received. It represents the worst day of my life, but the attention that it got me made me want to do great things to honor the lives of my fallen brothers. After the ceremony, I experienced different parts of the world, experienced different types of people — it lit a fire in me to give me more confidence in myself and it confirmed me to profit from each second.
You’ve met U.S. presidents, business leaders, appeared on major network shows including David Letterman, what did experiences like that teach you?
You look at these names and you think, I could never be that. But the more that I met these people, the more that I realized with the right frame of mind and the right amount of ardour, I might be them.
Is there any crossover between what you skilled within the military and what you’ve since skilled in enterprise?
Being within the Marine Corps and doing the job I did, there may be plenty of danger concerned. It made me snug with danger. Being an entrepreneur is all about danger. Being an entrepreneur is like going to Vegas on daily basis and shoving your whole chips into the center of the desk each single day.
It doesn’t matter how massive of an organization you might have, I all the time inform individuals that you’re one job away from being broke. And if you happen to don’t stay that means, you’ll be broke. I believe that what received…