Veteran Entrepreneur: Tiffanie Honeyman

Written by: Brady Drake

Photo by Hilary Ehlen

OpGo Marketing (October 2015)

“I founded OpGo in October of 2015 because I felt a gap in marketing measurement. No one was tying the spend to results. We are a consultant firm built to measure–with intent to forecast. Businesses typically hire us as an added “member” to their marketing team. We think holistically; we are not just savvy in digital marketing–we consider all aspects of marketing. We review the branding, price, competitors, the sales team, customer service and history of marketing before we propose a plan. We even recommend software solutions to help make our clients sales and marketing more efficient.”

Tiffanie Honeyman

Branch: United States Navy

Years Served: 2

First Job After Service: I applied for an electrician apprentice position in Fargo, but they were not able to accommodate females. So I went back to school for Illustration & Advertising.

Did you use military benefits used when starting OpGo Marketing?
No, I am not aware of any benefits to veteran business owners.

Military skill most used in business: In the military, you learn to take care of what you need to without being told. (Or suffer the consequences of being made a spectacle–of who not to be like.) CYA (cover your ass) is probably the best life skill you can get. I’m a team player, but I like to pull my own weight and then some.

What changed that made you want to start a business?
I’ve always been independent and likely to jump into the deep end of the pool. That’s part of the reason I joined the military–my sense of adventure. That said, the military did play a role in who I am today and I am stronger because of it. I feel the name of OpGo which has some military tie-in also. OpGo stands for operational goals…I wanted to build a company that actually guides business in the right direction to help them grow. (We’re strategic vs tactical. Our goal is to put more on the bottom line, not deplete it.)

What words of encouragement do you have for fellow veteran entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid to not know everything. It’s a bit of an oxymoron–entrepreneurs start a business which positions them as the expert, but you really don’t have to know it all. The sooner you admit and allow for support with the other ten hats you have to wear, the closer you will be to making money.

Many veterans struggle with finding a sense of purpose when reintegrating into the civilian world. How can getting involved in the business community help with that reintegration process?
From my perspective, coming back into the civilian world is tough because it’s kind of boring. You don’t have any big adrenaline rush of NOT knowing what’s going to happen next or where you might be sent. In the military, you become conditioned to be on guard. When you are out, you don’t need to be–so it creates a void. And it’s tough to relate to the day-to-day. The business community is exciting because you find something new that you can build on– something that has a bigger purpose. It allows you to take some risks, get some adrenaline flowing. Just the contribution to innovation and sharing of ideas helps keep the day-to-day from going stale. You don’t have to be a business owner, either. Volunteering can bring so much meaning. (One of my passions is the YWCA.) There are so many areas within our business community to get involved. You just have to take the first step.

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.