By: Elayseah Woodard-Hinton
Photos Provided by: Drake Reaux
History and mythology are filled with stories where commanders order their troops to burn all ships upon entering the land of opposing forces with the sole intent of conquering the land, or die trying.
However, the entrepreneurial drive that inspired him to start two successful businesses after leaving the Military, was impressed in his mindset at an early age.
These business endeavors include DC Emprise, a social media agency that helps businesses and people find their social media voice and build their brand; and most recently he’s acquired Dapper Deals Club, an online store that provides quality products to those who enjoy looking affluent at reasonable prices.
Here are a few key lessons I learned from my conversation with Drake about what got him to where he is today.
When making major life decisions such as a career change or transitioning out of the Military, it is important to have a clear understanding of your values so you can make smart decisions on how to move forward. One of the best ways to do this is to take time for introspection.
Before joining the Marine Corps, Drake was a student at Baylor University filled with uncertainty about the path he’d chosen. This feeling led him to take an honest look at where his life was heading and if it would lead him to a purpose filled existence.
“While I was there, at some point in time, I felt like I wasn’t living in my purpose,” said Drake. “So I had to ask myself a question, one of those tough questions that we most often try to shy away from when it comes to self-reflection.”
The big question that Drake asked himself had to do with what he felt was his true purpose and passion.
After taking time to sit with this question, Drake made the decision to drop out of college and join the Military.
As his contract with the Corps came to an end, Drake took the time to listen to his inner voice again. In doing this, he knew it was time for him to move forward and nurture his passion for entrepreneurship.
2. Education Can Come In Many Forms
Formal education isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, there are many ways to learn outside of the classroom; however, it’s how you apply those lessons that make all the difference in your success.
Although Drake stepped off the collegiate path to enlist in the Marines Corps, he still learned some very valuable lessons while serving his country. These lessons also proved to be helpful in his achieving growth in his businesses.
“I’d been an athlete growing up and obviously you’re taught some work ethic skills there; but when it comes to life and death situations that puts it into a deeper perspective for you,” said Drake. “Another [skill] that has served me well up to this point in my life is knowing that I should always inspect what I expect.”
3. Feed Your Mind and Your Passion Will Follow
Part of non-traditional education involves personal and professional development. We are fortunate to live in a society where you can find resources to continuously develop these skills through a simple Google search, Youtube video, or a good old fashion book.
The Marine Corps gave Drake the work ethic and personal accountability to flourish as an entrepreneur, but he may have never discovered his interest in this career path if it wasn’t for his father introducing him to a book that changed his way of thinking.
“The summer of 7th grade I was huge on sports,” said Drake. “My dad actually forced me to sit down and read the book ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki, before I could go practice my sports. Although, at that time, some of the diction was above my understanding, the concepts really resonated with me and really began opening up my mind.”
Reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book changed Drake’s outlook in a major way. He began to question why people choose certain paths in life.This new way of thinking in turn developed a self-awareness within Drake that would eventually guide him to his current passion and purpose of entrepreneurship.
Be sure to tune in to the Podcast where you can hear my full discussion with Drake Reaux. If you are considering entrepreneurship or not, you will find value in hearing his story.