Authority Magazine recently interviewed John McGeown, owner of  High Fidelity Property Management and High Fidelity Realty as part of their Five Life and Leadership Lessons I Learned In The Military series.

Below is a snippet from the interview.

He served in the United States Navy as an Operations Specialist, with tours in South America and the Middle East during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His determination, grit, and spirit of entrepreneurship led him into real estate — founding his own company and building an impressive portfolio of properties and transactions to support his clients as they navigate the purchase, sale, lease, and property management opportunities in Chicago.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a bit about your childhood “backstory”?

Iwas born in Chicago but spent my childhood moving around a lot. We lived in Sacramento, CA., and my parents were then missionaries in Glasgow, Scotland in the early 1990s. We returned to Chicago when I was in high school, and I attended Lane Tech. To be honest, I wasn’t focused on school — my focus was always more on music. I had a dream of becoming a famous punk rock drummer. Because of my lack of attention to academic pursuits, I watched as my friends were accepted to better colleges. I found myself wanting adventure, consistency, rules, and stability — things I craved as I was becoming an adult.

My uncle was in the U.S. Navy, and, on a whim, I decided to go to a recruiter’s office and sign up to join as well. I took some tests prior to joining and through the recruitment process and learned of the operations specialist role. I answered the question, “Why do you want to join the Navy?” with, “To become an Operations Specialist” — I wanted to work in the combat information center of the ship. I was afraid of boredom and being an OS did not seem boring. I also wanted a position that would get me hired in the civilian sector afterward; I was always thinking of the bigger picture. I officially joined the Navy in 1999, and the job was a technical one. It was peacetime, and I thought I’d be spending most of my service seeing the world.