If you are reading this, you are probably planning your retirement or have already ETS’d. One of the top questions you should ask yourself is who you do you want to be? In uniform you were a high speed, no drag leader. Your subordinates respected you and your peers looked to you for guidance on matters specific to your expertise. Before you became the leader you wanted to be, you made a conscience decision to be a great leader. You observed mentors and other leaders to model your future after. You learned from their mistakes and their lessons. You created the person you wanted to be.

This is no different. Now that you are out, who do you want to be? Do you want to be an entrepreneur? Full-time mother and wife? Corporate executive? Digital nomad or a mix of all of the above?

When deciding, don’t be shy. Really allow yourself to be free. Dig deep in your soul and find that sweet spot that you hide from other people. Find that secret that you hid away from other people. The part of your being that you put on the back shelf behind the mission, your family, your financial needs. It’s time to put that dream in front again. It’s time to say it out loud and own it. That’s the person you should be. The person who makes you feel free and joyful again.

Once you’ve decided who you wan to be, research what you have to do to become her. Do you need to go back to school? Do you need to create a thriving business? What does it take to be that person?

Embrace the journey that this your new person. Enjoy the highs and lows and everything in between. Really immerse yourself in the process. The end result will be the person you have always dreamed of being.

Written by Rolande Sumner

Rolande S. Sumner is a retired US Army veteran and the CEO & Founder of Life After Service Transitional Coaching LLC®. Rolande enlisted in the US Army National Guard in 1995 and retired in 2015. During her career, she was an Admin Clerk, Heavy Vehicle Operator, and Human Resources Manager. She served as both a traditional National Guard Soldier and as an Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) Soldier; and stationed in Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Afghanistan. She is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) via the International Coaching Federation, a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP). Rolande is also one of the bestselling authors of Behind The Rank, Volume 3.

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