Jason Padilla had less than one hour of sleep for an entire week. Along with the other harsh conditions and brutal physical training that are routine for hell week after hell week during Navy SEAL training, Padilla earned his trident in a graduating class of 20, a significant cut from the 223 US military candidates who started with him during SEAL training.

Proving that the US is the home of the free and the brave, Jason exited his proud military service and launched SEALS on Security, a small business leveraging the rare combination of honed intelligence skills and extraordinary physical abilities he and his cadre of former SEALS, FBI Special Agents and Army Special Forces relied on to complete missions and stay alive under fire.

According to the Sage Business Index, small business owners appreciate what’s in their favor, even in this economy. Particularly, most entrepreneurs know there’s not another place better than America when it comes to the spirit of risk-taking. Padilla personifies how to do it right when launching a new small business. His personal brand is now defined by what he has done professionally and whom he is personally, which is how he chose his profession in the first place.

Like the best authors who stick to writing what they know, the best entrepreneurs launch ventures in fields they know really well. Padilla now protects business executives and their families, at work and at home, with the same strategic approach he used to protect dignitaries and diplomats in hostile environments overseas.

Given that most executives go global, even if it’s just for a vacation, it helps that SEALS on Security provides travel planning, too. And, with an eye for contingency planning, squad members are also trained mediators and emergency medical technicians.

A lot of business coaches will tell you to follow your passion. But that only works if you are also really good at what you really love, and you have the ability to plan out your funding, marketing, operational and human resource requirements.

Of course, protecting lives is a different business than opening a knitting store or providing web design services. But the approach to business planning isn’t all that dissimilar. Padilla looked at his competition before deciding on his strategy. Particularly, he saw how other firms in his sector hired personnel. Per the Sage study, access to a qualified workforce is another benefit that US firms enjoy.

In Padilla’s case, he means no disrespect when he points out that firms he competes with in his industry often hire retired police officers.  “Statistically, police officers, who comprise a large portion of other companies’ security teams, have a 10% shooting accuracy. It is hard to fault them, however, when you realize they only go through a six-month academy and they are rarely given opportunities to brush up on their shooting skills,” he says. When you can sum up your competition as lacking fundamental expertise in what is perhaps the single most important part of your offering, you are probably in the right venture.

While not every small business demands as much as SEALS on Security does from its CEO or employees, it still takes some heroics to depend only on yourself to choose the right business and decide on the right tactics for implementation. Even with the best planning, you really won’t know if you’ve done the right thing until you’ve pulled the trigger and seen if you have what it takes to run a successful small business.


Nance Rosen is the author of Speak Up! & Succeed. She speaks to business audiences around the world and is a resource for press, including print, broadcast and online journalists and bloggers covering social media and careers. Read more at NanceRosenBlog. Twitter name: nancerosen