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The military is a dangerous decision. You’re extremely brave if you decide that you want to serve your country, risk your life and enlist in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. When my cousin shared her passion a few years ago about wanting to enlist in the army, I was so scared for her. Didn’t she know the danger? Didn’t she know the risk she would be taking? But her story one of the thousands of vets out there. Stories that need to be shared and listened to by all of us. Although I’m not sharing a story of my cousin today, I do want to share about a military vet named Dan Anton who has a success story of being a nobody to a somebody!
As the oldest of three boys growing in New Jersey, Daniel began boxing and loving it! He even became a Junior Olympic Boxing Champion of New York and New Jersey. Sadly, a report of repetitive blows to the head created some major brain trauma and his father decided to pull him out of boxing altogether. At only a sophomore in high school, Dan decided that instead of following his passion for boxing, he would put it into something more creative.
One of his younger brothers, Matt, told him how he had discovered a large community of individuals online who were searching for video games in large forums and they were going to be paying for his convenience to finding the game buying it and then shipping it directly to them. In other words, Dan had just discovered the basics of arbitrage, buy low, sell high and then find a market. Amazing! He began to buy video games from local stores and sell them online with a markup. This spun off into finding popular games like World of Warcraft which was on popular demand for people all across the country. Although he wasn’t making a ton of money with these, he was making thousands of dollars and for a part-time high-schooler, it was all he needed.
When the Twin Towers fell, thousands of men and women signed up in droves, just like Dan to help fight for the United States. He felt an overwhelming sense of protecting the innocent and bringing justice to those that attacked America. Putting his career on hold as an internet entrepreneur and enlisting to go to basic training, Dan graduated with honors from Montclair State University. He was a natural leader and went on to Officer Candidate School and then becoming a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army.
After his first deployment was finished, Dan began to get interested again in internet marketing. In 2006 he began chatting with his brother Matt about building a social network for gamers which was similar to MySpace at the time. He wanted to take risks and while other networks received funding or had a large team, the two-man operation relied on learning every aspect of internet marketing there was including SEO, Social Media, PPC and Email Marketing. He actually ended up turning into a full-time business by accident. Dan began noticing that business owners didn’t have the time or the desire to market their own products or service themselves online so Matt and Dan began to get clients locally and from the business forums. With Dan’s Computer Science background, he began seeing inefficiencies in repetitive human-based tasks and began to develop software to help assist in the process of increasing the ranks in Yahoo, Bing, and Google. The military experience has taught him the importance of detail which made it simple and useful when it came to effective software.
Today, Dan currently runs RankCrew, a successful and well-established business and manages a team of software developers and marketing specialist. His services and products are used by thousands of businesses each and every day and as a byproduct, he has successfully become a multi-millionaire! Although this only Dan’s story, there are thousands of other military veterans that have carved their own success story out there. We can’t thank the brave woman and men that continue to serve and put on their uniforms every day, and to those that have transitioned the freedom to their own path of success and excellence.
What are some success stories you’ve heard about your local military vets? Have you been able to see how they are able to give back to society like Dan has? It’s special people like Dan, along so many other military individuals that give us the hope, the bravery and the strength to follow our true passion.