758. Army Officer Turned Entrepreneur
“If you don’t get comfortable with being uncomfortable, you’re just never going to grow. There’s so much we have to offer just as a human race in this world. There’s so much more that we are capable of. There’s so many amazing things that we can come up with as a people, but we have to let go of our fears and our comforts first.”
Donny Hamilton is a husband, father and former army captain who was deployed to the Middle East, and currently is a deputy sheriff. He’s lived a rollercoaster life that included growing up in a broken home to joining the army at 19 years of age in search of a better life. His story of perseverance to conquer his childhood fears led him to become a better man, successful entrepreneur and COO of Vigilant Tiger Security, a veteran-founded security business. He’s also the author of “A Tiger’s Fury: How to Start Overcoming Your Fears Right Now,” an international bestselling book in four categories, including motivational and self-help, in eight countries.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
When a broken ankle sidelined Donny’s dream of an NFL football career, he was looking for a way to pay for college. “In July 2000, I saw the U.S. Army commercial, with the slogan, ‘Be all that you can be.’ I went to the nearest recruiter’s office. My ankle had healed and I was still in good overall physical condition. They looked at me like I was crazy and asked, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ This was in the pre-9/11 days and they’d probably already met their recruitment goals. There was nothing wrong with me. I had just decided I needed money for college. The Army offered a way, so I went for it.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Donny was serving in the historic 82nd Airborne Division in January 2001, working toward his goal of getting money for college, taking night classes. “I knew I had my college money when I was done with this first four-year commitment, I was just trying to get as much done as I could. Then, the attacks of 9/11 happened and definitely changed my focus. I focused more on how I could be an asset to my team. I focused on what I needed to do to make sure that not only I survived but my whole team.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“I’ve learned to focus on the areas where I have control. I may not excel in some areas, but I know where I’m going to be better than everybody else and what I can control. I can be the most disciplined, the most fit, and I can definitely learn to be the best leader. I learned leadership, learned about the good leaders, the bad leaders, and how not to be toxic. I learned empathy and kindness, and that has served me well. And this has given me the confidence to go after my goals.”
Steps to Success from Donny Hamilton
1. Recognize comfort and fear are two major blocks to reaching your goals. You need to make yourself uncomfortable sometimes to be successful.
2. Approach each day with organized discipline. You’ll discover there actually are enough hours in the day.
3. Make your decisions based on how they will move you toward your goals.
4. Compete with yourself rather than allowing yourself to be distracted and controlled by forces outside yourself.
5. Be willing to work with large organizations and institutions if they can help you build skills and qualities that will help you grow. But stay clear about your own personal goals.
Books on The Topic
A Tiger’s Fury: How to Start Overcoming Your Fears Right Now, by Donny Hamilton
Connecting With Donny Hamilton
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