Please upgrade your web browser

These pages are built with modern web browsers in mind, and are not optimized for Internet Explorer 8 or below. Please try using another web browser, such as Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari.

Why I Succeed & How I Failed: Having a mentor and becoming a mentor.


It was not college, intelligence, money, or kindness that helped me succeed in the Navy and in the business world, it was getting the right mentor. The real key to success is who you know.
I have had a few ups and downs in the Navy. In my 23-year career, my biggest regret is not having a true mentor.

I also regret that I did not give up my time with others as a motivated mentor to someone else. I noticed whenever I spent time with others, they could come back to me and say " thanks Chief for teaching me or taking me there." It's a great feeling to give back to others. But I spent less time with others because I was too focused on my own success.

Looking back, I noticed that those time I succeeded in the Navy were the times I had a motivated mentor. This in return encouraged me to mentor others as well. Mentoring + Having a Mentor = Success.

Here is how I evaluated myself:


  1. Satisfaction of Helping Someone: No strings attached just plain and simple giving time to others and listening.
  2. Investment of time: You just never know if your mentee will one day be your boss. I’ve seen it happen.
  3. Pay it forward: The golden rules apply when you want others to do well and give time for you, do good and give time into others as well.
  4. Respect: There are times when as a Chief (E7), you have only your fellow chief and your next lower rank is not even on your chain of command.
  5. Strengthening Interpersonal Skills: Master Chiefs can’t just hang out with Master Chiefs all the time. It helps you to become a better listener.


  1. Learning From Experts: Some knowledge can only be learned from those who have "been there and done that."
  2. Improve Self-Esteem: If your mentor continues to motivate you and encourage you, it makes you feel better as a leader.
  3. Better Understanding of Future Success: A mentor can help you prevent pitfalls in your career. Learn from their career path.
  4. Enhance Your Network: Your mentor may be able to connect you with key people that can help you succeed.
  5. Take Control of your Career: How did your mentor find success? Learn from their practices and apply them to your own career.

So, if you need a mentor let me know, especially if you are in the Virginia Beach area and/or are transitioning out of the Navy. And if you are a successful veteran business owner who can help me find many new network in the Mid Atlantic are, I am open to develop that relationship with you.

So, have I succeeded yet? Not at all. I keep pushing to mentor others and seek out those who can mentor me.

If you have comments or feedback about any article, please email your thoughts to

About the Author

Write an Article

We welcome articles on any subject that might help our veterans. Articles are especially useful in place of frequently similar responses, and can be linked in your replies.

Add an article