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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a challenging business because very few people have all the character traits necessary for the success of this industry .

You are reading this, so you are probably already part of this rare and elite group

There is another rare group that also attracts the type of people who possess these traits. character. Another group that I feel honored and blessed to be a part of. And a band that you probably hear about everywhere today.

This group is made up of veterans.

This should not surprise anyone that the research industry is attracting exactly the type of people who tend to

Here are some of the character traits that allow veterans to 39: excel in the SEO industry:

Problem Solving

Each mission is different.

That's a specialist in image interpretation analyzing aerial reconnaissance photos in an air-conditioned building at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha , or a Marine Recon operator about to pierce the steel gate of an enemy complex in Ramadi, our military must resolve on the fly complex issues with high stakes.

In the SEO sector, we also face complex problems with high stakes. Although neither life nor death, these problems have a considerable impact on the financial (and sometimes emotional) stability of our clients.

This plays an important role in the daily activities of a professional SEO – at first glance why some pages do not rank well, to find ways to gain new links, to identify how to involve visitors in your content.

Effective problem solving is the foundation of modern SEO.


In the army, it is often said that no plan survives the first contact. In other words, once the bullets start flying, things change quickly and we have to adapt quickly, otherwise people will die.

While no one will die after an update of the algorithm this industry is changing rapidly, frequently and often without notice.

For SEO practitioners and our clients to stay in business and, most importantly, thrive, we need to adapt in real time.

Some updates of Google, such as Florida Panda and Penguin that have completely changed, have given clear and powerful examples. our approach of SEO over the years.


To do without enough sleep, water and food, while facing enormous physical and emotional challenges, is quite common in the military.

We are constantly pushed, voluntarily and by t he needs the mission, far beyond what we once thought was our limit. This creates a rare and priceless physical and mental strength.

In the SEO industry, resilience is an essential trait, as we constantly battle not only our competitors, but also Google's ever-evolving algorithm.

Some of the industry chose to leave because of this kind of challenges, but in a classic Darwinian way, true leaders push through this adversity by guiding and guiding the next generation of professionals. This is essential for long-term success, both for the individual and for the industry as a whole.


It is important to make the right decisions, even when no one is watching them, because in the army, every action can have fatal or fatal consequences.

For example, do not pack extra batteries for your radio because you do not want to carry the extra weight may mean you will be unable to call a firewall or medivac if you are stuck in a mission longer than expected.

Our industry has a desperate eye, because those who lack integrity often choose black hat tactics for a short-term victory and quick profits.

Avoiding any tactic that exposes customers to a penalty requires unwavering integrity at all times. Any other solution exposes the customer to a potentially catastrophic loss and further damages the reputation of the entire industry.


In the complex battlefields of today, effective communication is essential for accurate and time-sensitive sharing. information, receipt of detailed information on troop movements, coordination of air strikes and refueling.

Ineffective communication in the military often means that the good guys are dying and the bad guys are going away.

Communication is essential for more SEO, because we must clearly demonstrate our value by explaining the KPIs for an incredibly complex service, in a way that our customers will understand .

Beyond that, we must take something that they typically do not interest them and convince them to take the time to discuss regularly to give the best possible results.

Serving Others

While most people in this industry are probably not willing to jump on a grenade to save the people they work with, many have demonstrated a level of fraternity that I have never seen in another civilian industry.

You do not need to look closer than a private Facebook group, created for the industry by Mary Davies, to see a perfect example.

Following several suicides in our industry, Davies created the group as a meeting place for members of our community. to evacuate, ask for help and check other members. Shortly after its creation, people began to open.

There have even been a few instances where people have gone out of the grid, disappearing from social media, which has prompted others to mobilize until somebody gets out of the way. one confirms it. this person was really OK and did not need help. In fact, it happened to me when I took a break from social media.

This is just one of hundreds of people I have seen or experienced on the ground in our industry.

How Did military service prepare veterans for a career in the field of SEO?

As we prepare to celebrate another Veterans Day, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the veterans of the SEO community.

These are people who have put their lives at stake in the service of others and who, today, continue to excel to serve the SEO industry.

The character traits they have perfected over the course of their career have evolved over the years. They have benefited from it, as well as their customers and all the actors of the sector, and they deserve to be recognized for their services, their sacrifices and their contribution.

The following are their stories, in their own words.

Alan Bleiweiss

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I served in the army from 1979 to 1982 at the height of the end of the Cold War.

A valuable lesson I've learned is that good planning prevents bad performance. The higher the quality of the preparation will be before assuming a formidable task, the more things will run smoothly.

The more realistic I am in dealing with unforeseen problems, the more I will be prepared for any incident. . I therefore need a process, a plan and a plan of action for my work.

I need to understand what to expect, when, and how to deal with the unexpected. I need to anticipate, if possible. I have to apply a proven system to the work I do, if I want consistently positive results, in realistic settings.

My main job was crime prevention in the military police, where I learned to apply the concepts of investigation. evaluation, search for artificial models and detection of the vulnerability / weakness of a system.

I also learned to put my mind in the eyes and thoughts of others, to "think like them" and to understand what and why and how they do what they do. It was vital for my mission.

Since these systems were mission-critical and vital to life or death, it was essential that I do my job properly. At the highest level of success possible. Lives were at stake.

So, with my SEO audit work, I treat it the same way. Even though the success of a site may not be as serious as "life or death," it can result in a loss of revenue for the site owner, managers, team members, and their families. Which can be devastating.

The value that such sites can offer to people seeking answers, help and solutions is just as important. Because it can have an impact not only on this researcher, but also on his employer, his company and the lives of all the people with whom they interact.

One of the most painfully sad things I've learned in both the military has been "Good enough for government work." Which means, under certain circumstances, "do not worry about doing more than you really need, because it will not matter anyway". Obviously, in situations of life or death, this sentence is lost.

Yet, in most of the mundane everyday life of military life, this awareness contributes to mental health and contributes to the fact that every person has only enough energy, time or energy. of resources, sometimes even enough "Will have to do.

In my audit work, because I am partly perfectionist and partly imposter, I can, when I'm not careful, spend too much time, too much effort and too much resources to my job. So I have to remember "it's enough, it's good enough, I'm going to implode".

This does not mean that I take shortcuts. It does not mean half measures either. This means agreeing to be paid to present a findings document and action plan. I am not paid to do all the rest of the work. "It means" It's beyond the strategic plan, "while meaning" and this other work must be separate from this contract. "

In the army, you are trained to work in a team. Again, it's life or death. It means "know your limits" and "know when to call others". It means "I can not, we can."

The same concepts apply to my audit work. I do not have all the answers all the time. So I have to be ready to reach out to other people – people I trust for my professional life, in the industry, who might have these answers that I do not have. have not.

It also means that I am not supposed to be someone. Savior. I am not a hero. I am only one person. Yet with the right team working together, we together have the best potential for the best possible outcome.

Although I am an independent consultant, I have a part-time assistant. And even though I can perform the implementation described in my audits, I'm only one person, so over the years, I've built a team of professionals I can call, who are capable of this implementation.

I am referring to working, or collaborating with others, or another model of process, the team work is invaluable. Which allows me to concentrate on what I do best:


My ego must be kept in check regularly. In the army, I have learned too many valuable lessons about resting on my laurels and pride.

So I have to remember to stay or become humble again in this industry. I must always respect the process and admit that I am wrong or wrong. I must assume personal responsibility, and that I assume responsibility for my mistakes or not, I will be held responsible.

Elmer Boutin

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<img class = "aligncenter size-full wp-image-277625 b-lazy pcimg" src = "https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com /wp-content/themes/sej14/images-new/loader.gif "alt =" Elmer Boutin "width =" 800 "height =" 400 "data-data-src =" https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/ wp-content / uploads / 2018/11 / Elmer-Boutin.jpg [19459034VerynforKmartinasmallstoreinGreatestheMetroCentralregionoftheDistrictHighwayWhenQuandjointmyplomstillwaspromudirectorinthesallstandtocksandjustfastlyworkingforfullthecollegeworld

After a few years in this field, I've been in the field. realized that retailing would not be part of my long life career term.I eventually enlisted in the military, engaging myself as a Czech linguist and intelligence analyst.

Basic training was a challenge that gave me a lot of conf The Defense Language Institute was a huge academic challenge. High school and college came to me easily, but that was not the case.

However, I worked hard to avoid being one of the nearly 50% of students who were ousted from school . I graduated and found myself in Fort Bliss, Texas, in El Paso. An interesting place for a Czech linguist.

The unit was in a bad state when I introduced myself. I had pretty much decided to leave when my enrollment was over. It was a turning point for me because all the leaders of my unit changed in one month.

We have a great commander and first sergeant who has really changed the game for me. I decided to re-register to be able to go to Germany, which was one of the highlights of my military career.

Then I ended up in El Paso, this time as a member of the EH-60 crew. . It's with this unit that I went to Desert Storm. After that, another tour in Germany and then to Fort Hood, Texas – just north of Austin.

Much of the experience I've gained in the military as an intelligence analyst is directly related to the work I do in digital marketing. I have also worked with very advanced equipment for the time. It also helped me with the technical aspect of our work.

Overall, I greatly benefited from my 14 years in the army – certainly a lot more than what I put in there.

I do not believe that I would have been so successful in digital marketing, nor in my life in general, without the experience and knowledge gained during my stay in the US. army.

Brent Csutoras

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My father was in the air force for most of his adult life, as a firefighter. I was a military kid, born in Germany at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Facility, a hospital run by the US Army. I lived in Air Force bases until I was a teenager and was therefore very used to military life.

When I struggled after high school, the army seemed like a great way to start a career. education and a fresh start, which I really needed at the time. So, after almost perfect tests on my ASVAB, the air force told me that I could do whatever I wanted, which led me to choose meteorology .

I joined the Air Force on December 10, 1997 and I was going to Lackland for basic reasons. training. The basic training was really interesting to me because it allowed me to better understand that a system was good, but if you want to go ahead, you have to hack it.

During the first 24 hours we had been sitting and the TI asked who was religious. My new friend next to me told me to raise my hand because he had only raised his hand. That's what we did and we were both chosen to be chapel guides, which means we woke up Sunday before everyone else, ate alone and at our leisure, before leaving alone for us return to the chapel.

Chapel, we would help guide others to the place that suits them and provide information, but more importantly, we were able to use the phone to call home and eat fast food which had been provided to us by the active army that came with the breakfast.


We also quickly learned that we could also send mail, which would later become a huge commodity, because our unit was prohibited from sending mail as punishment to some people who do not respect the rules.

I went to Keesler AFB to begin training as a weather observer 1W031.

Upon leaving Tech School, I received my first orders at Grand Forks, North Dakota, which was considered one of the worst bases. enter the United States, because of the extreme co ld and remote location. Just before my departure, my orders were changed and I was sent to Dover AFB, Delaware, which was not the most amazing base, but was much better than Grand Forks.

Arriving in Dover in June 1998, I have thrived in the military environment with structured systems that could be hacked to progress faster and be recognized. I was able to help our unit pass an OSHA inspection for the first time in years, which led the base commander to transfer me to the number one base of the sheet of my dreams, which is a leaf in which you hope to be in office. In December 1999, I went to Yokota Air Base in Japan.

Beside, while I was at Dover Air Force Base, during an exercise as close as possible to the actual simulation, I shredded my meniscus into my right knee while being on his knees to report updates to operations at the WOC unit. I was evacuated for medical reasons, I underwent surgery and I took a while to recover from all this ordeal.

In Japan, I continued to flourish in the military system and to work on many projects, including the creation of a new version of the weather presentation, which was shown on a specific weather channel for the base. I searched and coded the presentation to create real-time weather panel animations and various weather details, which saved a lot of time and improved the overall experience. This led me to be named Airman of the Year, which I unfortunately did not win.

I had just a few months left of my separation from the air force on September 11, 2001. I was watching television when the planes hit the WTC buildings and I remember hearing the sirens as the base turned into Delta World. I was immediately called to work and I just remember hearing the sirens and not seeing anyone on the streets while I was driving to the train station quickly.

I was then arrested, which meant that I could not be released. active service. Unfortunately, since the systems were not configured to handle this, my username expired and they could not print me a new one, my salary ceased to arrive, I did not have any. leave declaration, etc. I had to wear a letter saying that it was active had to pay my salary in cash and had to manage myself my days off and earnings to find out how many days of vacation I had and etc.

Otherwise, my meteorological observer position was gone, as they were moving away from the meteorological units from the individual bases to the regional weather stations, which required a different level of training than the one that I had not received because of my separation project.

I have been fortunate enough to become a teammate of the security forces over the past eight years. month of my career. I spent quite a bit of time, including Christmas Day, on a makeshift tower, in the snow, guarding for 12 hours in a row, securing the walls of the base.

I think one of the things that I really took to the military is the ability to see even extremely important tasks and goals, in smaller achievable items. As you well know, the army teaches you that every task, whether small or large, must be performed in a small way to succeed.

With SEO and many other forms of marketing, it can seem extremely complicated, with many steps and in many scenarios have no clear path to success. You have to trust yourself and experiment to see what really works.

Jason Hennessey

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<img class = "aligncenter size-full wp-image-277629 b-lazy pcimg" src = "https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com /wp-content/themes/sej14/images-new/loader.gif "alt =" Jason Hennessey "width =" 800 "height =" 400 "data-data-src =" https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/ wp-content / uploads / 2018/11 / Jason-Hennessey.jpg [19459034HER1919901145Parcequerejoindrel&#39;AirForcem&#39;arapidementtransformégarçondansunhommetrèsrapidementJerecommandevivementauxmilitairesdechoisiruneoptionpourceuxquin&#39;ontpaslesmoyensdes&#39;inscrireàl&#39;universitéounesaventtoutsimplementpascequ&#39;ilsveulentfairedeleurvieaprèslelycée

The n & # There is no better organization in the world than the US government to learn about procedures and have processes In the Air Force, people could die if we do not respect the systems and processes put e I have seen crew leaders thoroughly inspecting (and re-inspecting) their pre-flight checklist for the safety of their pilot and aircraft.

Although the decisions my team and I take daily are neither life nor death, having the discipline and experience to develop business systems and processes allows us to obtain results, to satisfy our customers and to develop our services.

Another feature that I learned in the air force is the importance of recognition.

At the time of the Air Force, every month at my squadron, our commander organized a reconnaissance ceremony during which our commander acknowledged the praise and encouragement of the public beyond the call of duty of the month.

These short ceremonies would make people very proud of their contributions, but they would also boost the morale of the squadron. In our agency, public recognition is an integral part of our culture. Our management team will always find a way to publicly thank the members of their team who are doing a great job or excel in their daily tasks.

From the first day of the training camp, it was obvious that the army paid close attention to the details.

I still remember having spent all night standing, waxing my boots, to the point of seeing my own reflection on the spikes. I also remember ironing and tweaking my underwear (literally with tweezers) so that they are perfect for inspection so as to avoid being shouted by my Training Instructor (IT).

Attention to detail quickly became an integral part of my DNA. character. Tout au long de ma carrière dans le marketing numérique et l’entreprise, ces atouts détaillés nous ont permis de gagner en efficacité tout en minimisant les risques d’erreurs.

Lorsque je travaillais dans l’armée de l’air, je faisais partie d’une équipe logistique et passais beaucoup de temps à analyser des informations , en regardant les données à travers différents points de vue et en essayant de résoudre les problèmes. Qui aurait pensé que presque 20 ans plus tard, je ferais toujours la même réflexion analytique, mais étudierais des ensembles de données différents, tels que Google Analytics, la recherche de mots clés, l&#39;analyse concurrentielle et les tests fractionnés A / B, etc.

Globalement, les plus grandes caractéristiques dont je suis vraiment fier, que j’ai apprises de l’armée, sont l’importance d’avoir l’intégrité dans tout ce que je fais dans la vie. L’intégrité est vitale tout au long de votre carrière militaire et dans le monde des affaires.

À l’âge de 18 ans, j’avais obtenu une autorisation de sécurité donnant accès à des informations classifiées. Si ces informations ont jamais été violées ou divulguées, elles auraient pu a causé de graves dommages à la sécurité nationale.

En tant que mari, père, patron ou ami, quel que soit le chapeau que je porte, j&#39;essaie de vivre une vie remplie de vérité et d&#39;honnêteté. Les entreprises (grandes et petites) échouent souvent parce qu’elles n’ont pas l’intégrité.

L’intégrité signifie dire la vérité, même si la vérité est laide. Dans le monde du marketing numérique, lorsqu&#39;une mise à jour algorithmique de Google est effectuée et que vos clients constatent une baisse du trafic et des classements, il est important pour nous d&#39;être intègre en informant le client, en lui expliquant la vérité, puis en analysant les données. et trouver une solution pour récupérer de la perte.

Bill Hunt

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<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-277631 b-lazy pcimg" src="http://weinternetmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/google-on-how-to-improve-sites-that-are-not-ranked-by-martinibuster.gif" alt=" Bill Hunt "width =" 800 "height =" 400 "data- data -src = "http://weinternetmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/1541949482_960_9-veterans-who-now-serve-the-community-of-referrals-by-jeremyknauff.jpg[19459034_revend19459011¹J&#39;aipassé10ansdansleCorpsdesMarinesàexercerdenombreusesactivitésspécialiséesdesinterdictionsdedroguelasécuritéetlesévacuationsd&#39;ambassadesetdiversemploisoùjedevaistireretfairesauterleschoses

Réaliser ces emplois, bien que cool et souvent une poussée d&#39;adrénaline, n&#39;était pas vraiment demandé par le monde civil. Je me suis finalement orienté vers un poste qui me permettait d&#39;aller à l&#39;université à temps partiel et de développer des compétences transférables à la vie civile.

J&#39;ai terminé ma carrière dans le Corps des Marines en tant qu&#39;officier d&#39;administration de bataillon au sein d&#39;une unité d&#39;infanterie déployée. À la tête d&#39;une équipe de 18 Marines responsables des opérations administratives de 1 000 Marines déployés pendant la guerre du Golfe Persique.

Le Corps des marines ne savait jamais vraiment quoi faire avec moi et m&#39;a donc envoyé dans de nombreuses écoles spécialisées où j&#39;ai acquis de la valeur. des compétences nécessaires pour survivre et se battre dans n&#39;importe quel climat ou environnement, pour diriger et motiver les gens à accomplir des tâches phénoménales dans des environnements dangereux. Plus important encore, ces expériences m&#39;ont procuré un niveau de confiance en moi et une attitude gagnante qu&#39;on ne pourrait développer autrement.

Ces vingt dernières années, j&#39;ai créé plusieurs sociétés et développé des technologies. dans une variété de verticales différentes. En y repensant, j&#39;ai identifié les caractéristiques et compétences acquises dans l&#39;armée qui ont rendu mon succès possible:

Soyez un élève de votre métier

Tous mes officiers lisaient et apprenaient toujours de nouvelles choses. compétences, techniques et tactiques.

En adoptant cet état d&#39;esprit, je ne lis pas seulement les blogs sur l&#39;industrie et les entreprises . mais stratégie plus large et tactiques de Sun Tzu et Atilla le Hun et tactiques de négociation de Madelyn Albright et Teddy Roosevelt. J&#39;ai créé des bibliothèques de lecture dans mes agences et j&#39;ai fortement encouragé la lecture et l&#39;adoption d&#39;idées d&#39;autres disciplines.

Planification de la mission et flexibilité

Chaque mission commence par un ordre de mission qui vous le donne. «l’intention du commandant» ainsi que les détails clés concernant l’administration, la logistique et la communication. Ce n&#39;est pas un gros classeur d&#39;analyse détaillée de chaque nuance, mais cinq paragraphes simples de l&#39;objectif et des outils à votre disposition pour mener à bien votre mission.

Le reste des détails appartient au chef d&#39;équipe. à leurs compétences et à leur connaissance de la situation pour s’adapter lorsque les choses ne se passent pas comme prévu. J&#39;ai moi-même constaté que quelque chose n&#39;allait pas et que vous deviez «improviser, adapter et surmonter» toute adversité et faire confiance à votre équipe pour mener à bien ce projet.

Deuxièmement, le Corps des Marines est une structure d&#39;armes combinées. où vous interagissez avec toutes les différentes disciplines. Votre mission échouera si vous ne pouvez ni communiquer ni travailler avec d&#39;autres disciplines telles que les avions, les blindés, l&#39;artillerie et les équipes de soutien.

Ces compétences vous aideront à comprendre la valeur interconnectée des opérations et de la logistique. Sans ces autres éléments, votre mission sera essentielle.

Amélioration des performances de l&#39;équipe et de la performance individuelle

Dès les premières minutes de votre arrivée au camp d&#39;entraînement de Marine, vous devenez membre d&#39;une équipe et comprenez immédiatement que votre performance individuelle a un impact direct. le reste de l&#39;équipe.

Vous apprendrez à comprendre la personnalité, les forces et les faiblesses de chaque membre de l&#39;équipe, mais surtout ce qui les motive. C&#39;est contre-intuitif, mais vous apprenez à donner.

Angie Schottmuller

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<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-277633 b-lazy pcimg" src="http://weinternetmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/google-on-how-to-improve-sites-that-are-not-ranked-by-martinibuster.gif" alt=" Angie Schottmuller "width =" 800 "height =" 400 "data-data-src = "http://weinternetmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/1541949482_547_9-veterans-who-now-serve-the-community-of-referrals-by-jeremyknauff.jpg[19459034_revend19459011]De 1996 à 2001, j&#39;ai servi à l&#39;hôpital de réserve américain 452d de l&#39;armée américaine. Ce fut l&#39;une des meilleures expériences de ma vie. After all, how many people do you know who could both defend and save your life against lethal threats?

As NCOIC (non-commissioned officer in charge) of Patient Administration, I was responsible for the admittance, management, and evacuation of all patients. Working in a military hospital is quite intense. In addition to the threat of attacks, the patients rely on you to heal, protect, an d save them.

Two standout military skills gave me an advantage in my marketing career: teamwork and attention to detail.

Success and survival are only possible with the support and trust of a team. Everyone on the team was trained to learn attention to detail — a skill I previously would not have thought of as “teachable.” In battle or a hospital, if you miss a detail, people could die.

Although I changed my career path from doctor to computer programmer (and eventually growth marketer), I would not be the person or marketing optimizer I am today without my military experience and the exceptional relationships I built along the way.

To those who have served and and continue to serve, I salute you.

Doc Sheldon Campbell

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I was a snot-nosed kid when I went into boot camp. The physical aspects weren’t demanding – mostly because I joined the Navy. And to be fair, I had an edge on most of the guys in my company, since my dad was retired military…so I knew what to expect.

See, in boot camp, there’s a lot of head games — totally necessary, because most guys (and these days, a fair number of gals, too) haven’t had to really push themselves before. They haven’t had to depend on the folks on either side of them, either.

At 17-18 years of age, you don’t know yet what you’re capable of. Sure, you feel invincible, capable of anything, but deep down, since you haven’t actually had to do it yet, there’s an element of doubt.

Boot camp pushes you to dig deep, do more than you’ve ever done before, more than you thought you could. And it teaches you to dig still deeper – down to that more-than-humanly-possible level – and then some. It teaches you that your limits are largely self-imposed.

Then, maybe you get sent into combat. All that training you went through comes rushing to the top. And it comes in real handy. It’s the kind of thing that keeps you – and your buddies – alive.

You begin to realize that that lantern-jawed D.I. or evil-eyed Chief you hated so much knew a little something of what they were talking about.

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you come back — hopefully in one piece, physically and mentally. I was one of the lucky ones, but all my buddies weren’t so lucky. I was lucky enough to get a chance to put that training and experience to work in a new arena.

At first, I went to work in construction, because I couldn’t stand sitting around. So I went back to school and got a degree, spent a while working in management in some manufacturing plants and gradually moved into my own consulting business. But I got bored after a while and decided to do my own thing and spent 20 years teaching companies how to be more efficient, more productive.

Never one to stay in one place long, I got tired of that, too. I was spending more than half of each year on the road and I had a young teenage daughter I wanted to spend more time with. That was around the turn of the century, and it was obvious this Internet thing wasn’t just some fad that people were going to lose interest in.

So I decided I could still work for myself, and not have to travel so much, by getting into digital marketing. Over the last 15 years, I’ve slowly shifted my focus to technical SEO and website building.

What has always amazed and amused me is that all those skills I learned in the military — responsibility, analytical skills, attention to details, consideration of logistical issues, motivational skills and more — they’ve all served me well in business. Except the marksmanship. I haven’t figured out a way yet to put that to use in my consulting work. Yet.

JP Sherman

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I’m JP Sherman and I’m the manager of search and findability at Red Hat, this means I don’t just focus on SEO, I also manage how people find information they’re looking for from whatever pathway they use to find things.

If you knew me in high school, the military was the last place you’d expect to find this crunchy, punk-rock, artist-type California city boy.

Before I started working in the field of search, I had dozens of jobs…from field work in evolutionary biology to archaeological consultant to carnival worker to autopsy assistant. In all of these experiences I’ve collected, one stands out as one of the more significant things I’ve ever done.

I joined the U.S. Army as Psychological Operations (Airborne). PSYOP has the motto “Verbum Vincent” translated to “Victory Through Words”. Honestly, if this was a movie and you saw this motto, you’d groan because of the painfully obvious foreshadowing of what I would end up doing.

During my time in PSYOP a part of US Special Operations located in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, I:

Learned Korean, German, and Spanish.Jumped out of airplanes, helicopters, and hot air balloons.Helped develop land mine and malaria awareness campaigns throughout Southeast Asia.

I loved my job helping with humanitarian issues and making a direct impact in the lives of people.

During one of those campaigns, I was in a meeting with a bunch of high ranking officers who were trying to figure out how to use the internet to reach out to younger targets. It went exactly how you’d think a bunch of 50-year-old dudes in the 1990s would talk about the internet.

I was taking notes and one of the generals shouted “Hey Sherman, you’re a nerd, right?”

I responded affirmatively.

“I need you to figure out search engines and give us a report next week.”

I did that and from that point on, the combination of creativity, semantics, and technology stuck. I ended up working on information dissemination campaigns on humanitarian operations around the world.

I ended up working in Raleigh, North Carolina where the inimitable and brilliant Jenny Halasz was one of my first SEO mentors.

My military experience was not only just the place where my passion of search was sparked, it taught me:

Leadership.How to measure efficacy.Collaboration and teamwork.Courage and service to others.

Steve Wiideman

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I was 11 Mechanized Infantry, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle driver and drove for the Adjutant at 1-22 Infantry in Fort Hood, Texas.

The advantage the Army gave to me was the ability to do repetitive and often difficult tasks that most people are too lazy or complacent to p ut any effort into.

Going through 185,000 keywords for a restaurant franchise as an example, where we’ve created an insanely comprehensive site taxonomy plan that’s already crushing it in online orders for off-premises delivery and carside (among other things).

It’s also taught me that there is no “No,” that anything can be accomplished with the right amount of critical thinking, teamwork, and confidence.

Less talk, more walk. There’s a lot of SEO’s that sure talk a lot about what they can do, while we’re in the trenches doing the grind and helping our clients without all the ego or jibber jabber.

Get the job done quickly and efficiently, and go the heck home.

I’m proud to be veteran and think every kid could benefit from doing the minimum term of service. After all, it isn’t the destination that matters, it’s who you become on the journey.

Featured Image Credit: Dreamstime, modified by author

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