Day 3: OPERATION: Create Your Own Path


Today is day three of Operation: Create Your Own Path. As part of this event, we have asked all of our featured military spouse business owners to share their best advice to anyone who might be considering starting their own business. And we've combined their words of wisdsom with a little bit of great advice from small business experts.


Jessica Kyser

Rodan+Fields Reimagine Yourself


"Just do it!


As a military spouse, we encounter many obstacles and overcome them. You will never know if you will succeed if you don't try. It can be really scary to do something new, but if you believe in it and enjoy what you do then it is worth the risk."



Tom Bedecarre

Chairman, AKQA


"Twenty-five years ago, Wieden+Kennedy, then a small Portland ad agency, penned the famous slogan for Nike – Just Do It. Two years later in 1990, I co-founded my own advertising agency and I have been working as an entrepreneur and with entrepreneurs ever since.


Over the past 23 years, I have learned the best advice I can give future entrepreneurs is to “Just Do It.” Just take that first step to start your new company, to start your new adventure. Along the way, I have learned the world is divided between those who can Just Do It and those who just can’t take that leap of faith for themselves.


When the time came for my partners and me to take that first step – we froze in anticipation. What if we don’t attract enough paying clients? How are we going to feed our families and pay our rent? (At the time, my wife and I had three children under the age of three and a sizable monthly mortgage payment for our first home.) What if we don’t get along as business partners? What if we fail? Will we be able to get our old jobs back?

Of course, in the face of fear and anxiety, we all tend to make excuses, delay decisions, procrastinate and become paralyzed. In our case, it was a matter of when to pull the trigger, when to walk into the office of our current ad agency’s boss and say: “I’m quitting.” At that fateful moment, I found the courage to Just Do It. I took that leap of faith (faith in myself) to quit my job and to start a new company – with no money, no clients, no employees, no office… just a dream that something better was ahead of me.


Today that company I helped start has blossomed and transformed (with many twists and turns along the way) into a global agency of 1,500 employees and the best clients anyone could ask for, including Nike."


AKQA is an advertising agency that specializes in creating digital services and products. AKQA has offices in London, San Francisco, New York, Paris, Washington, D.C., Amsterdam, Berlin, Shanghai, Tokyo, Atlanta and Portland, with 1,120 full-time employees. Some of their clients include Gap, Heineken, MTV, Nike, and XBox


This great advice is an excerpt from We are extremely thankful to Mr. Bedecarre for his permission to post and share this with our readers.


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#1 Michelle Campbell 2013-07-17 18:44
I agree with you, Jennifer! You never know if you don't try and give yourself time to nurture and grow your business. It will take time and effort. Most entrepreneurs do not see results or the fruits of their labor right away. It is a scary proposition to give up the security of a full-time job. You simply have to find the courage to do it...or fake it 'til you make it!

Tom's story should offer inspiration to anyone considering starting their own business. Sometimes the only way to get what you want is to make it happen for yourself. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with what you have. Having faith in yourself and being persistent and determined to achieve what you set out to are keys to your success.

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