After leaving the Navy SEAL Teams, I went to grad school, met my business partner, and we started our first company. The housing market was booming, so we created a vertical search engine for finding new homes and condos. Then the bubble burst. I should have listened to my economics professor.

Diversification was needed, and needed fast. We learned so much about digital marketing while building that company that we decided to say "yes" to the question, "Do you guys also offer marketing services?" We borrowed money from that business to start the new business, gave those shareholders equal shares in the new company, and Internet Marketing Inc. was born.

As a motivational speaker, most of what I present in my keynote presentations is based on principles I learned in SEAL training and combat, which we have applied in growing our digital-marketing agency.

Based mostly on learning from failure, here are 15 rules for achieving success in your personal and professional life.

Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Never quit.
Know the difference between preparation and planning.
Eat the elephant one bite at a time.
Never stop moving forward.
Measure everything that is important.
Manage everything that is important.
Know that life isn't fair.
Laugh when you would rather cry.
Know the difference between skill and success.
Surround yourself with subject-matter experts.

These are just some of the things I have learned along the way. There will be many more lessons to come.