Episode 114: Making the Transition to the Entrepreneurial Lifestyle With Damian Taafe-McManemy

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Damian Taafe-McManemy  MilBiz Podcast

Damian Taafe-McManemy

Damian Taafe-McManemy is an active member of the military who wants to inspire veterans to transition from the military to entrepreneurship. Learn how to make the transition to self employment from a structured work environment.

He sees many similarities between military veterans leaving active duty and someone leaving the corporate world to start their own business.  As part of his mission to help more veterans consider entrepreneurship he recently started the Mil Biz podcast. He also currently working on Business Battle Buddy, a project to provide support to military members who want to start their own business.

Damian has been in the military for over 12 years now. After his first five years, he left to work on his own as a web development and marketing freelancer. He ended up going back to the military to teach after becoming frustrated with the freelancer experience.

He also started talking to other members of the military about their experience with starting a business. Eventually he got the idea to start recorded his interviews and turn them into a podcast. He believes sharing these stories can help veterans better understand their career options when their 20 years in the service is up.

Key UnStuckable Takeaway

Get together with like-minded people!

Having a support system is essential to getting unstuck. People with similar values and goals can provide you with guidance and support during any difficult moments you might face.

Damian wants to create a community for veterans who need support as they start their own business. In his interview he also mentions two groups that help veterans make the transition to civilian life after their service: In Gear Career and Team RWB.

Quick Action to Get Unstuck

Take the first tiny step.

Damian says to identify what it is you want to do, then break that up into smaller pieces. Take one small action towards one of those smaller pieces.

If you can start off with just one little chunk, you are already closer to your goal. For Damian, his small action was simply making his website live instead of continuing to tinker with it.

UnStuckable Quotes From Damian

“A podcast lets people share their story in their own words.”

“The military community is somewhat isolated from the rest of society.”

“Getting out, you have to be willing to start over.”

“I can’t think of anything sadder than missing the opportunity that’s present in that transition.”

“You’ve got to get an idea out of your head, it becomes real at that point.”

“It’s about that human connection you have to some other person – are you helping them or not?”

“Whenever you get a chance to work out, and get away from whatever it is that you’re stuck on, you have an opportunity to clear your mind.”

“What makes someone UnStuckable is determination.”

More Habits & Actions

  • If you are currently in the military, Damian says to start thinking about your transition before you get out. For anyone else seeking to leave the private or public sector, the advice still holds. You need to plan ahead for your next phase, you can’t just jump into it.
  • Be thankful for your current security. You have the time to figure out what it is you want to do, so take advantage of it.
  • Damian says to talk to others about your idea and get feedback on it. This will allow you to see if your idea is worth pursuing before you jump into it.
  • Embrace change. Things are going to go wrong at some point, you just have to embrace it and adapt to the situation.
  • Start saving up money now. When you transition into the next phase of your career it may take some time before you start earning enough money again to meet your basic expenses. Be sure you have enough saved up to make this transition easier.
  • Write your ideas down. Damian tells us that getting an idea out of your head is what makes it real. Until then it’s just floating around in your mind and can be easily dismissed.


Mil Biz

In Gear Career

Team RWB


Mil Biz on Twitter

Questions & Feedback

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