by Scott R. Tucker

April 24, 2021


Today we will have a meaningful conversation with Elis Salamone, an entrepreneur, a board-certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, and an Army/Air Force Combat Veteran. She will delve into a deeper meaning of failure and success, the importance of planning, looking at the pros and cons when transitioning, and much more. 

Episode Highlights:

  • 04:05- Looking at pros and cons in transitioning  
  • 04:35- Don't move for a job, but to a place with a support system
  • 12:39- The meaning of failure and its relevance to success
  • 13:36- Combating the unconscious biases of being a military woman of color in the civilian world 
  • 19:33- Elis is helping people through coaching methodology figure out if entrepreneurship through franchising is the right pivot for them. 
  • 22:29- The beauty of franchising 
  • 22:44- Veterans are the most successful franchise owners because they know how to follow a system

3 Key Points:

  1. When you get out of the military, be careful where you move to, don't move for a job, but move to a place where you have a support system. 
  2. Failure is not the end, but it's just another stepping stone to success. Re-engage, pivot, and go in a different direction as you learn from it. 
  3. Franchising is a very successful business model where most veterans became successful owners because they know how to follow a system. 


  • “When you're transitioning or decide to get out of the military, make sure to look at all the pros and cons and have some sort of plan.”- Elis Salamone 
  • “You can't keep on doing the same thing and expect a different result.”- Elis Salamone
  • “Failure is a failure if you don't learn from it. It's just another stepping stone to success.”-Elis Salamone 

Transcript of Veteran Wealth Secrets 020 with Elis Salamone - Failure Is Not the End

Scott Tucker:  If you ain't failing, then you ain't try it. Hi everybody. Scott Tucker here. Again. Welcome back to Veteran Wealth Secrets. If you've been in the military, then you've probably heard. That saying before. And I say it, tongue in cheek. But oftentimes we think that failing is. The worst thing you can do. And in our profession often when it's life and death, 

Failure. Isn't an option. The cool thing is in the civilian world, especially. In the United States of America in the modern age that we live in the greatest time in all of human history. Man, you can make fat mistakes and you can make them quickly. In there is. A ton of truth to that. At least I've experienced it in my own life. That the more I failed quickly. 

As I was testing and trying things the quicker I learned what. I was better at what I wasn't so good at what I liked, what I didn't like. The types of people I wanted to surround myself with. Those who I wanted to emulate. And. Types of things I wanted to do with my time. And I fear that often. 

When. We're trying to figure out what we want to do in post-military life. We think failure, isn't an option. And I would argue that one of the best things you can do. Is get fired quickly and ultimately. You know our goal here at Veteran Wealth Secrets and with my firm, US VetWealth. Is to eventually get yourself fired. 

From the concept of even being an employee. Now that might take time and maybe you don't need to do that. Maybe you're one of the lucky ones who really truly does find the job you love and the organization or employer. That you can really feel good about. Earning a paycheck from but we know, and we look at the. 

Surveys for the blue star family survey that the statistics show that would Jordy. Veterans or at least a large enough percentage of to make it significant. Aren't in their chosen career field. Certainly aren't doing things that. Excite them when they wake up on a daily basis. 

Other than of course, Hey dude, you got to do to support your family. And while that's noble at some point. We risk. Missing out on opportunities if we're not open for them. I am really excited to share the interview we have today with Elise Salamone and her story. On a. Through entrepreneurship, herself and some of the opportunities that she's seen and I think it would be inspiring. 

For all of you to just think about things outside the traditional path. Make sure you're subscribing to the show. If you haven't already really appreciate that, I'm really excited how quickly we've been growing. And And of course, check out all our resources at US. VetWealth dot com. 

As we're updating that site, there's just tons of. Available all for free. Whether it's blog articles, other podcast episodes, and of course our books. To help you. Think about finances and wealth. And employment in a new way. And that's our goal. That's our mission is to, is we just think. 

You have the. Option to know. That other things exist, then the status quo we've been told. We think that's the only fair path ahead.  Enjoy the interview and we'll catch you next time.    

Good afternoon, everyone.  Here on Veteran Wealth Secrets.

If you're new to the show, if you knew the channel please subscribe. We're going to be rolling out tons of these interviews to get the various secrets that someone still on active duty has had to get to where they are in their career. Someone going through transition tips, they're finding out they want to share, or of course, a veterans that are already out there and have been through it in a few different ways.

I've been through the transition. And of course have a lot of wisdom and insights. So that's what this show is about. I think today's lesson from our guests who I'm so excited to bring on Elise Salamoni. Whoops, I'm going to unmute her real quick. I'm very excited. Let me read her bio real quick.

Cause super impressive. So I'm very excited to get into what we're going to learn, but at least some alimony was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Connecticut. She's an entrepreneur, a board certified women's health nurse practitioner and an army air force combat veteran. She retired from the air force in 2014.

As a Lieutenant Colonel Elise has two masters, one in leadership from Regis university in Denver and a second from a VCU in Richmond, Virginia, where I've spent a little bit of time in nursing with a focus on women's health. Since her military retirement, Alisa's continued working as a nurse practitioner, speaker, coach, educator, mentor and advocate in 2019.

She leapt into an entrepreneur's journey as the founder of empowered legacy consulting. Inc a coaching business. So we know we always like talking about entrepreneurship and hearing how veterans make that jump. So excited to, to get your thoughts. And lastly, to learn a little bit more about her, go to thrive

She had an article featuring her life and her military career. So I know there's always. W we're big fans of the Rosie network. I don't know if you, the rosy military spouse and Veteran entrepreneurship. So we're very close with Stephanie Brown. And that. That, that's what we went through the program and we made our own kind of jump and dabbling and stuff.

And so I like hearing those sides of the story as people are taking their various skillsets, going out there with a message and sharing it with others. But at least why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself? What do you got going on these days? And maybe like, how's it different from what you were doing in the military and what you've been doing since then?

Elis Salamone: Great question. First of all, I actually spoke for the Rosie network a few months ago. So I'm very familiar with that program. The program. Yes. Yes. So let me just go back a little bit to how I got to where I am today, because I think this will resonate with a lot of people. I came back from deployment in 2011 and just had a hard time readjusting to life because.

In the air force, we have a tendency to deploy by ourselves, not in teams like the other branches do. So when I came back home to Colorado, I just didn't have the people that I had deployed with to just, reenter gay and no one really understood or knew what I had gone through. So fast forward a couple of years I got promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

And I just, at that point I had been in the military most of my life, I'm almost 27 years and I just started to feel like I was ready for a change. And I dropped my retirement paperwork. And I did that. Not really thinking about the process of transitioning. And I really caution people when you're transitioning or decide to get out of the military to make sure that you really look at all the pros and cons and have some sort of plan because of that best laid plans may not work out that way when you get out in the suburbs and sector.

And I have found the job at Madigan army medical center here in Washington. So I moved here's another lesson learned. When you get out of the military, be very careful where you move to don't move for a job because that job may not be there a year, two years, three years from now. And if you find your place in a location that you have no support system, Family good friends or whatever.

It gets hard. It gets hard because, when we PCs, we always have an embedded support system. We have our units, we have our co-workers and so forth. And the civilian sector just isn't like that. It's taken me six years in the Washington area where I live now. To establish a support network.

But it's been hard and it's taken six years and I'm a pretty social person. I'm involved in a million different things, but it took me a long time. And in hindsight, if I had to do it over again, I really would have moved closer to family because I'm close to my family. And my network is all in DC because that's where I spent most of my military career.

And I grew up on the East coast that said, I will tell you that I love Washington. Absolutely love it here. And that's why I haven't moved. But that's something that I caution people that are transitioning out of the military. So I worked at Madigan resigned after three years cause I was really burned out.

And then I took a job at a startup that laid me off after six months, completely unexpected. And then after that it took me six months to find a job. And as a nurse practitioner, people think that's crazy, but that's just the way the market is. And I ended up taking a lower level job negotiated seeing patients so I can keep my nurse practitioner skills up.

And then 15 months after being in that job and being a manager and a provider, I got terminated. Very unexpectedly. No cause and Washington is an at-will state and I, that particular moment, I said enough, I'm not working for anyone else. I'm going to work for myself. And that's how I leaped into entrepreneurship.

So here we are. 

Scott Tucker: Wow. That's a, it reminds me of my wife. She didn't serve in the military father did. But when she got out of college, she got fired from four jobs. It was just like I guess I have to be an entrepreneur because there wasn't a good fit. But no, thanks to these. And you make some great points about.

Location dependence versus independence and what are you going to somewhere for? I made that mistake myself. I got out in Germany because I was dating a German opera singer and I realized there's no opera. I'm going to Fort Bragg. So I guess I'm getting out of the army. That was my whole decision plan whatsoever.

That said. If you can make the most of a particular location or area then, leverage those resources. But yeah, getting a network going takes tremendous work everybody's in their own little space. Sure. Not when you're on a military base or any, it is generally. Even though the base is large and everybody's got different things going on, generally going the same direction, you can know what people are feeling or thinking and relate easier.

And that just doesn't happen in the civilian world. That's why you have to be intentional about networking for your various opportunities. And those opportunities could mean a new job, but at some point, at least the people that usually are reading my book or listen to this show at some point they make, they hit a breaking point and they say, I want to see what I can do myself.

Sounds like you had a deeper story there. Could you go into that a little 

Elis Salamone: bit? I've been in healthcare for 30 years and I love being a nurse practitioner. I was probably the happiest besides the time that I was taken care of when it Wars in Germany. And even my time in Afghanistan, those were some short stints in my career that I was truly happy and fulfilled.

And I think I finally realized after I got terminated, I'm like, I can't keep doing the same thing and expect a different result, which is. I was sick of working Monday to Friday. I was tired of working for people that didn't appreciate my value. They hired me for my leadership and my value, my education, but then once I got in there, they wanted me to strictly be on their game plan and.

I wasn't able to lead the way I wanted to lead in the end to manage people. So that I felt like, why am I working so hard for somebody else when I could just work just as hard on myself and, entrepreneurship isn't for the fan at heart, this is hard work. But the beauty of it is now that.

My hard work and my return on investment now all comes back to me in the clients that I serve. And if I screw up and I fail, I can only have myself to blame for. And I only have myself to re-engage pivot and go into a different direction to make sure that I learned from whatever failure I have. And yeah, and my family, we all have traditional careers trajectory.

I've been I've been the odd ball that joined the military. My sister's a lawyer, my other sisters, and I count and My little sister, my middle sister that has done accounting and bookkeeping. She's been a bit of an entrepreneur, most of her career, but she's also working for someone right now.

And my mom was a nurse, so it's like, when I told them I was doing this, they all thought I was absolutely had lost my mind. And it's been a wild ride. It's been a wild ride. I, like I said, this isn't for the faint at heart, but. Right now I'm in an economy where there's really no jobs out there for me and I needed to create my own opportunity.

So here I am. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah. I argue that this is the greatest time for veterans and for anybody in all of human history, to be able to take advantage of the internet, to start a business on your phone, on an Instagram account or whatever, for veterans in the United States of America, with all the Goodwill we have going, and yet, even though you talk about your siblings in.

A lawyer, doc, the typical career path, ironically, some of the best entrepreneurs are people who come out of those. Dr. Phil, Dave Ram, that, it's it's the most, well-known where, whatever it is you're doing, we all have something. In our experiences in our past that we can teach others.

And you mentioned feeling a little bit of failure here and there. It's like we, we are in great. Cause that's the one career you can't take forward into perpetuity is the military career, unless you become before star general. Even then they got to retire at some point. We're taught.

If you don't accomplish the mission you failed, maybe you can go back and learn from it with an after action review a little bit. Usually you figure out a way to make it look like, it's an accomplishment and in the civilian world, for whatever reason you have you, like you said, you don't even know why you got terminated.

They might've run out of money. Somebody didn't like it, know whatever. It's just it doesn't matter. You can't go to the T to the higher ups to argue. I saw this a lot in the financial services industry in 95% turnover rate. So I feel veterans coming in all gung ho and then yet super high failure rate.

Not only you're not getting paid because it's, commission-based, it's entrepreneurial, I just saw that as being like a double whammy of people feeling like they had failed when really they may not, might not have been a good fit. So I'm guessing there was a little bit of just not good fitted to this.

Is that a word I don't know, but what would you like to say more about, what does failure mean to you? 

Elis Salamone: Failure is only failure if you don't learn from that experience. And I think there's always lessons to learn from failure. Failure is just another stepping stone to success.

And, I think that's veterans we're so hard on ourselves because we come from an organization where we have a mission. We have a clear mission. We have teammates that have the same. We all have the same goal. And then the civilian sector is just very different and it's particularly difficult for veterans that are women veterans.

And I'm just going to speak a little bit about that because Sometimes we come off because we're coming from a world of leadership and where we always have to be on point and being in a position of being in charge and just taking care of people and leadership. And when we come out and civilian organizations, people aren't really used to that with women.

So we have to combat. The biases and unconscious biases that we have as women. And then you add the diversity on it, being a woman of color that adds even another aspect to it. So you just battling all these barriers and challenges. And it's one of the reasons why I took all that with me.

And I said, you know what? It can't get any worse for myself. So I'm just going to become an entrepreneur, whatever the heck that means. And I'm going to make it work for myself and leverage. No only my circle of influence, but all the things that I know that make me unique and make me special, and that may have made me successful up to this point.

There's a great saying. And I can't remember where I heard it, but it was. Be where you are, appreciate it, not tolerated. And that has resonated with me because you know what, I appreciate me and my gifts. So why not work for myself? And sometimes when you're in corporate people, don't, they're so afraid that they're going to take your job.

That's all they focus on. And the civilian sector of that has been my experience over and over again, that people get intimidated by your level of work ethic and leadership. When all you're trying to do is just get paid and do your job. You're not there to take their, if I wanted to be in charge and be CEO of a company, I would've stayed in the air force and continue to be on the commander route.

I had no interest in that. I really didn't. But when you're in this, in the corporate world, they people get intimidated by the level of ethics and workmanship and just all the things, all the valleys and make us special as veterans. 

Scott Tucker: Now you are exactly right. And it's human nature.

We it's, everybody's gotta be selfish interested. So rather than going in and thinking like, Oh, I'm going to be the good soldier. Let's assume everybody else is as well. They're not always trying to be jerks. They're scared. They're confused. They don't understand. You clearly, don't, there's obviously communication gaps.

What the best way to influence people. It's the old Dale Carnegie book, you know how to win friends and influence people. Typically, if you just say, Hey, I'm here to help. Then, the good ones will will show themselves so surround yourself with folks like that.

So I know for me personally, when I finally was just like, I'm taking full responsibility for what's going on in my life. I'm not happy. I don't know why or whatever it is. I want to figure out something else happened to be entrepreneurship in there. But at some point I had to give myself permission to go.

Like I, everything I was told. Yeah maybe they stopped for me, maybe for other people, but not for me. I'm not trying to judge, but what was that kind of a funny for you where you were like, I need to give myself permission. Cause it sounds like that's what you had going on in your head a little bit.

Elis Salamone: Absolutely. It's funny you say that because when I told my mom that I was starting this business, she said, don't give him any one, your money. And I looked at her and I said, you know what, mom. I joined the military and you didn't really understand that. And that worked out for me and I had an extremely, fairly successful career.

It's okay, mom, I'm going to be okay. No matter what happens. I believe in myself, I have that confidence and God has always led the way and I believe in abundance. I think for me getting terminated was I felt like my gosh, what is wrong with me? I spent 27 years in the military succeeded and here I am in the civilian sector and I just can't seem to get this right.

And I'm working my butt off. And I know I'm doing good work because the patients tell me and my staff. The staff loved me and I was creating great programs and my coworkers came to me and relied on me. But I think you get US get to the point. It's you can't keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

And that's where I was at. I was like, you know what? The worst thing that can happen is I can start this business and fail and I go back to nursing and that's the very worst thing that could happen. Otherwise. Nothing, ventured, nothing gained. And I've been in business now for almost a year and it's going okay.

It's going okay. 

Scott Tucker: Good. That's the best part of this is sometimes it happens overnight. Sometimes it takes a long time. If you can just get in the mindset of this. Quote unquote paycheck that I require because that's how you get food. Yeah. It's but you know what, if you organize yourself in a way where it doesn't matter, if the paycheck comes every Friday, what if it comes every June?

If it's a bigger amount what's the difference. If you've been able to manage your time and a different way where you don't need as much or you get to do, what things do you like? It's so freeing. At least tell us about, you've been into it for a year during the whole lockdown era.

Obviously doesn't sound like you need to be a brick and mortar. So hopefully that, that hasn't. But tell us what you do specifically for folks and how do they get, how do they get ahold of ya? Why should they, who should be contacting you? And so on. Anything else you want to grow?

Elis Salamone: Absolutely. I'm going to be fully transparent. I have been wanting an interest in business ownership for a long time, but just didn't know where to go and what a start. And I had reached out to a coach on federal lottery and she said to me, have you ever thought about franchising? And of course everybody's like franchising is the word that immediately gets gut reactions from people.

And they think about. McDonald's or whatever. And I said, I've thought about it, but what does it mean? So she through took me through a journey of education and awareness, and she presented this possibility to me, which is what I'm doing now. And what I do is I help. People through a coaching methodology, figure out if entrepreneurship through franchising and business and other business opportunities in our catalog are the right pivot for them.

And I'm not a sales person. I really stick in the coaching methodology. And I just guide these clients through reflection exercises, and just ask a lot of questions until they get to the point where they like. You know what I want to get that paycheck every two weeks or, you know what, I'm really sick of corporate.

I want to invest in myself and test the waters and see if I can do this. And then I just provide them with the resources and the connections to take that leap and move forward. Have any, anyone that's looking to pivot or it's just open to possibilities outside of corporate? It's a good client for me.

Scott Tucker: No I, we just spoke with a franchise owner and creator a few days ago. And I'm sorry, right off the top of my head I don't remember specifically who it was, but it might be somebody good to put you in contact with, because I think for veterans. It's Hey, not, everybody's going to have the idea for their entrepreneurship thing or their nonprofit.

They want to start, it's or you don't want to necessarily get into straight sales, which is typically whether it's medical sales, financial sales or whatever, those are the only. Without creating your own t-shirt company to compete against or coffee. And apparently those are the two ones veterans like to do.

There's already two that are pretty successful. It's really hard to compete with them, so it's not always easy to go out and create the new idea, the new ocean. Okay. And I lived in Germany for 11 years, so I've got way out of hand, but for someone like me, I'm a visionary.

Like I got to create new ideas and stuff, but gee, I wish I had. Entered some sort of system that was still entrepreneurial, but there was already, gosh, there's already a thing to sell. There's already a script there's already, which the widgets, you need to have franchising and it doesn't franchise. It isn't always, McDonald's, that's a good thing as well.

So can I 

Elis Salamone: just say something really quick, not to interrupt you, but I just want to get this in there. The beauty of franchising is that all the mistakes of a startup have been taken out. Most brands have been well-established, I've been around for, anywhere from five to 20, 30 years. And as veterans are the most successful franchise owners.

And I'll tell you why. We know how to follow a system. It went franchising. They literally give you the playbook to be successful. Thing that you need to bring to the table is the hustle. And yes, it is a monetary commitment. And, but if you were starting your own company, you would still have to do that monetary investment.

The, when a franchise, other research and development, the marketing, all that stuff is already in place. So if you find something that aligns with your goals, Yeah, it is just a matter of doing the paperwork, doing the investment, getting the training, and then you have the franchise support. To get to become successful as quickly as you want, because you do have to hustle, but people get so scared.

They see that investment and they're like, Oh, this isn't for me. And I'm like, and that's fine. It's not for everyone, but there's so much beauty to franchising and it is the most successful business model in the world for a reason because everything's been laid out. Those original founders of their franchise have already taken out all the major mistakes and they're constantly researching and developing and marketing to make things better.

And that's what you have in the background, helping you. I'm in the same way. I want it to be a business owner and everybody's you should do coaching. You should do coaching, but I'm like, there's so many coaches out. Yeah. And for me, I was like this gives me a service and a product that there's an end and I can actually make some money.

Out of it. And I was like, so this was a good fit for me. So yeah, I think that what you said is right, is the franchising people get in their heads, what it is, but there's actually so much more to it. And it is a very successful business model. 

Scott Tucker: The one we were talking to earlier was painting, parking lots, surprising how needed that is.

You're not creating a. Multimillion dollar Fran, McDonald's you know, on the corner, of course, it's not that it's still hustle. You still got to go out there and do the painting or whatever, but guess what you can do, you can eventually hire people. You can scale your business.

You can learn all of those skill sets that eventually, if you did want to go create your own thing, now, you know how to do it. So if you're thinking about dabbling in. Entrepreneurship, you haven't really heard about franchisee and frankly they don't show up at military job fairs very much.

And do your research, of course it's but it's like investing in real estate. How many veterans or active duty military go out and use their VA loans and then start doing investment properties that are getting renters. Guess what? It's a system. It's a system. And sometimes there's ways to leverage other people's money to get access to various systems.

So start to actually learn how business and money in these things work. If you want freedom from the man, guess what? There's lots of different ways to make money, especially now with the internet, online franchises, affiliate, marketing know are all viable. Thanks. So if you're thinking about it, at least you saw the best person to go to, to talk about it.

Former air force officer full career and gone through the various jobs you definitely could bring some insight into what it takes. Cause that's what a franchise owner doesn't want. They don't want, someone's not going to be good 

Elis Salamone: for their French. Oh no. And you have to build that relationship because when I introduce possibilities, You're both checking each other out to see, are you going to be good for my brand?

Do you have what it takes to be successful? And these are vehicles of success, but that's another whole, 

Scott Tucker: yeah, no, it's it's business. It's business. At least thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story and your insights and inspiration for. I'm not sure. I I think more and more the female veteran community is seeing these opportunities.

And so that, that's great. Cause I, I know that's always it's harder to blend in so to speak. And Hey, you might as well use what you learn to have to stand out, stand on your own. And go get into the business world. So it's just business folks got to learn it at some point if you want to set up your own future, but how do folks find you get ahold of 

Elis Salamone: you?

I do have a website and really honestly, I'm on LinkedIn and I'm pretty active on LinkedIn. That's probably the fastest and easiest way to retalk to me, at least Salamoni send me a PM. Let me know that you want to have a quick conversation. Here's the beauty about what I do too. It's completely free to the client.

My business partners actually pay my fees. So I take you through this journey of education and awareness and it's free information. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah that's a great, honestly, that's what we do. We are conduits for financial services and strategies and stuff, but I don't charge financial advice fees because instead I give the education and say, go be your own financial advisor.

That's your money. It's really, that's how you get ahead is you understand this stuff and then you use the resources as needed. So cool. Hey, LinkedIn is the best place to get out there and network that's for sure. We're huge advocates. So make sure you connect with the lease and for everybody else.

Thanks again, Alisa. And we'll see you next time. 

Elis Salamone: Bye. Thank you for the opportunity. 

About the author 

Scott R. Tucker

Scott R. Tucker is an author, speaker and the founder of US VetWealth, a lifestyle and financial consulting brand that helps service members go from paychecks and government benefits to wealth and liberty. He likes to say, "I Help The 1% Who Serve Our Country Become The 1% Who Influence It." A West Point graduate, serial world traveler, military financial expert, and entrepreneur, Scott brings valuable experience and insight to those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country.

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