VC38- Veteran Connections with Mark McVey

VC38- Veteran Connections with Mark McVey

Hi this is Pete Blum bringing you another episode of the Veteran Connections Podcast where my mission is to help transitioning Veterans and Veterans already out of the military engage with the business community, and to share the knowledge and tools needed to successfully start a business. The Veteran Connections Podcast brings you experience and advice from fellow Veterans who are business owners and have made the transition from the military and into the business community.

There are Veterans transitioning out of the military every day. Some of them have an idea or a passion that they want to turn into a business. Having the right connections can be the one thing that makes the difference between a success or a failure. In this Veteran Connections Podcast I will be talking to Veteran business owners about what steps they are taking, the hurdles they have ran into, what advice they have for you, and what they hope life will look like a few years from now. With these real life interviews and real life results you can gain the expert knowledge from those that have been there. From your military brothers and sisters.

I met today’s guest because we both attend the same church. He is an Army Veteran and has experience starting multiple companies. He is an advertising, marketing, and business consulting expert with 30 years of experience. He is the Founder & CEO of McVey Creative Group. I would like to welcome Mark McVey.

You can follow Mark here

Website: http://mcvey-creative.com/

LinikedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mcvey/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/McVeyCreativeGroup

Topics

Mark we all have interesting stories but you were in a rock band! Tell me how that happened!

So tell me a little bit about what you did in the military.

Transition from the military (easy or hard)

What was it that caused you to start your business?

Tell us about your company’s mission

What were the steps you took to get your business up and running?

Do you feel like your military experience and training helped prepare you to be a Veteran business owner?

What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business started?

What is the key to the success of your business?

Would you say it was your military experience or other things you learned that have been more helpful in making you successful in your business?

Are you going to use your business in some way to either help or hire other Veterans?

What is the one most important thing you have learned since starting your business that you can share with future Veteran business owners?

For transitioning Veterans wanting to start their own business what action items list would you give them?

Summary

In this episode with Mark we heard some great advice you can take advantage of on your own vetrepreneur journey!

  • A Business plan and marketing plan are mandatory
  • You have to have something people want to buy, not just what you want to sell
  • Test and measure everything
  • Learn more to earn more
  • You need to be an expert at what you do

The Veteran Connections Podcast provides advice from Veterans for Veterans. A lot of people like you and me that have been through the military have the same thoughts and a lot of the same questions. We may have even had the exact same struggle. I hope you find some answers as you go on this Veteran Connections journey with me where we will learn, explore, and get answers to your questions.

Another great resource for Veterans wanting to start their own business is the Small Business Administration (SBA)

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/business-types/veteran-owned-businesses

If you need more information or want assistance implementing one of the things you learned about today you can contact me. I can teach you techniques and strategies to help you connect and network in the business community so you can reach your personal or professional goals. Email me at peteblum@solvability.com and let me know how I can help you!

I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast episode and if you have a burning question that you would like to get answered by an experienced Veteran business owner about starting your own business go ahead and email me. I will be sure to answer it in a future episode!

Thank you for listening!  -Pete

VC37- Veteran Connections Support Series with Carol Multack

VC37- Veteran Connections Support Series with Carol Multack

Hi this is Pete Blum bringing you another episode of the Veteran Connections Podcast where my mission is to help transitioning Veterans and Veterans already out of the military engage with the business community, and to share the knowledge and tools needed to successfully start a business. The Veteran Connections Podcast brings you experience and advice from fellow Veterans who are business owners and have made the transition from the military and into the business community.

There is more to connecting Veterans with Veteran business owners than just gaining advice for starting your own business. Many of the Veteran business owners want to hire transitioning Veterans and many of the transitioning Veterans would like to work for a great Veteran owned business. I wanted to take the time to meet the needs of these Veterans also.

The next several episodes will be a Veteran Connections Support Series dedicated to the providing additional knowledge, advice, and resources to help Veteran business owners find the transitioning Veterans they are looking for or to help the transitioning Veterans find resources and gain knowledge when looking for a new career outside of the military.

Today’s guest has made it her mission to fight Veteran unemployment. She has been involved in many national and local veteran hiring initiatives and outreach programs. She is the daughter of an Army Veteran and has two brothers that also served in the Army. She is the Co-Founder & President of Vet2Tech. I would like to welcome Carol Multack.

You can follow Carol here

Website: http://vet2tech.org/

LinikedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolmultack/

Twitter: @Vet2Tech

Topics

Carol What ties you to the military and wanting to help Veterans? You didn’t start out doing this kind of work at all right?

What was it that caused you to start your own business?

Tell me about your company’s mission and how it helps Veterans

What were the steps you took to get your business up and running?

What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business started?

What is the key to the success of your business?

Are you also going to use your business in some way to either help or hire other Veterans?

What is the one most important thing you have learned since starting your business that you can share with future Veteran business owners?

For transitioning Veterans wanting to start their own business or are preparing to start a new career outside the military what action items list would you give them to ensure a smoother transition?

Summary

In this episode with Carol we heard some great advice you can take advantage of on your own vetrepreneur journey!

  • First do your research and identify a need in an industry you are interested in before starting a business because you can’t succeed if there is not a need
  • As an employer or Veteran business owner learn about the tax credits you get for hiring Veterans. It’s a real plus to have Veterans on your team for more reasons than just the excellent qualities that they bring to the table.
  • Persistence and passion are critical to success
  • Don’t spread yourself or your company to thin or you will not be able to meet or handle the needs of your customers
  • Grow slowly, don’t try to rush success. It does not happen overnight.

The Veteran Connections Podcast provides advice from Veterans for Veterans. A lot of people like you and me that have been through the military have the same thoughts and a lot of the same questions. We may have even had the exact same struggle. I hope you find some answers as you go on this Veteran Connections journey with me where we will learn, explore, and get answers to your questions.

Another great resource for Veterans wanting to start their own business is the Small Business Administration (SBA)

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/business-types/veteran-owned-businesses

If you need more information or want assistance implementing one of the things you learned about today you can contact me. I can teach you techniques and strategies to help you connect and network in the business community so you can reach your personal or professional goals. Email me at peteblum@solvability.com and let me know how I can help you!

I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast episode and if you have a burning question that you would like to get answered by an experienced Veteran business owner about starting your own business go ahead and email me. I will be sure to answer it in a future episode!

Thank you for listening!  -Pete

VC36- Veteran Connections with Eric Wright

VC36- Veteran Connections with Eric Wright

Hi this is Pete Blum bringing you another episode of the Veteran Connections Podcast where my mission is to help transitioning Veterans and Veterans already out of the military engage with the business community, and to share the knowledge and tools needed to successfully start a business. The Veteran Connections Podcast brings you experience and advice from fellow Veterans who are business owners and have made the transition from the military and into the business community.

There are Veterans transitioning out of the military every day. Some of them have an idea or a passion that they want to turn into a business. Having the right connections can be the one thing that makes the difference between a success or a failure. In this Veteran Connections Podcast I will be talking to Veteran business owners about what steps they are taking, the hurdles they have ran into, what advice they have for you, and what they hope life will look like a few years from now. With these real life interviews and real life results you can gain the expert knowledge from those that have been there. From your military brothers and sisters.

Today’s guest is a project management and career transition expert. He is a Navy Veteran and host of The “Extra Tap Class” Webinars. He is the Co-Founder & CEO of Vets2PM. I would like to welcome Eric Wright.

You can follow Eric here

Website: www.vets2pm.com

LinikedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/docwright/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vets2pm/

Twitter: @Vets2PM

Eric is a decorated two-service, two-era United States Military Veteran; Founder and CEO of Vets2PM; an experienced, credentialed project manager and mentor; and an entertaining instructor/public speaker on project management, PMI’s PMP® and CAPM® exams, and on project manager development. He helps Military Veterans the world over become successful PMs in the CIVDIV through inspiration, translation, training, and placement. For more information, please visit www.vets2pm.com.

Topics

So tell me a little bit about what you did in the military

Transition from the military (easy or hard)?

Hard, took 12 long, dark years!

What was it that caused you to start your business?

I realized that as a military Veteran and a project manager, general manager, and business professor and executive, I knew what the Veteran was capable of and what industry needed them to look like, sound like, and act like; I just needed to map it. So I did; and the result is a complete transition program to take Veterans from Service to Project Manager; i.e. the program and company name Vets2PM!

Tell us about your company’s mission:

It’s simple; help Military Veterans become Project Managers!

What were the steps you took to get your business up and running?

From 50K’, I created the concept and proved it in the marketplace year 1; I am building it to scale in year 2; and we’ll scale in year 3 by developing the additional business lines of Professional Placement Services and Project Management as a Service, which will augment our Veteran training and development channel.

Tactically, we obtained a business license, filed OA, created Web Site and curriculum, and marketing message. After several extremely hard knocks, I’d add I should have secured a trusted Accountant and Attorney much earlier! Do that! Find the money! Even if you’re boot-strapping!

Do you feel like your military experience and training helped prepare you to be a Veteran business owner?

For sure! It helped me develop autonomy; communications savvy around identifying audience and level, answering their probable questions through analysis and preparation; decision-making; problem-solving; leadership, followership and coaching; planning, and clearly identifying objectives, processes, standards, and discipline to those things.

These things, by the way, also serve project managers well Pete! Which is why I have a working hypothesis that since PMs and Entrepreneurs fill the same organizational, economical, and societal role of creating value using disparate scarce resources, Entrepreneurs would benefit from project management training!

What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business started?

Balancing “working in the business” with “working on the business”, and rejection and hostility.

What is the key to the success of your business?

We provide a clear solution and simple plan to qualified Veterans on securing meaningful, lucrative careers in project management. We inspire them; help them translate their secondary military occupation experience into commercially viable, highly valuable resume, social media, and project management credential content civilians recognize; train them if necessary; and provide them with lifetime job coaching and career assistance in project management.

Would you say it was your military experience or other things you learned that have been more helpful in making you successful in your business?

It was every single battle scar I’ve received; homework, papers, knowledge from multiple degrees; professional OJT under wise mentorship and training culminating in several professional credentials; transition struggles over a 12-year period; and my military training and experience. After all, it’s the latter that’s the foundation to persist and complete the others!

Are you going to use your business in some way to either help or hire other Veterans?

That is the only thing my business does. We place PM-credentialed PMs into starting salaries averaging $80-$95K a year at a rate of 93%!

This number and rate is steadily growing too, because we form new partnerships monthly that result in placement opportunities for our Brother and Sister Veteran PMs.

I would like to add though Pete, I am not Vets2PM though; instead I see myself as a Veteran that focuses his entrepreneurial efforts on brining solutions and companies into the marketplace that help Veterans transition.

Now I know I am one of tens-of- thousands saying that, but I do it daily. In fact, I am founding a software company as we speak that will revolutionize Veteran transition through professional translation. If the Veteran can identify a profession that has a body of knowledge and a professional credential demonstrating his or her command of that field, they’ll be able to translate their military experience into it for their resumes, social media profiles, and profession-specific credentials. The difference is this is not enter-your- experience and here’s an equivalent title or suggested job, but capturing and presenting your secondary parallel career in the military as its unique stand-along profession.

I believe this will change the game; heck, even disrupt it! A lot of traditional yet antiquated models and paradigms are about to be shattered.

I’m not “that guy that started Vets2PM; I’m that guy that founds social needs-driven industrial solutions to help military Veterans NOT take 12 years to transition from service-to- civilian like I did Pete”.

What is the one most important thing you have learned since starting your business that you can share with future Veteran business owners?

Hustle, hustle, hustle; never taking “No” for the answer.

For transitioning Veterans wanting to start their own business what action items list would you give them?

This is probably more philosophical than you were hoping, but there are a lot of great programs, organizations, and other Veteran Entrepreneurs, like this and you Pete, that can help with the tactical, so, I would say…

Think about a solution to help somebody else with a painful problem; Develop, Beta test it, and sell one, even if for a dollar; Then figure out how to do that 1 million more times, and you’re set; You’re a millionaire, but more importantly, you’ve helped hundreds, thousands, or millions first! And that’s the key; you have to help somebody else first or there’s no value, no motivation through reciprocity, no deep root ball of value. You get paid to help others; first!

Summary

In this episode with Eric we heard some great advice you can take advantage of on your own vetrepreneur journey!

  • When you start a business your family starts it with you, find the right work/life balance so you get the work done but still make time for creating those awesome family memories
  • Learn to delegate so you are not the bottleneck in your business
  • Answer the questions “who you provide value to” and “what would that value be”
  • Test your idea until someone is willing to pay for it, then go scale that

The Veteran Connections Podcast provides advice from Veterans for Veterans. A lot of people like you and me that have been through the military have the same thoughts and a lot of the same questions. We may have even had the exact same struggle. I hope you find some answers as you go on this Veteran Connections journey with me where we will learn, explore, and get answers to your questions.

Another great resource for Veterans wanting to start their own business is the Small Business Administration (SBA)

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/business-types/veteran-owned-businesses

If you need more information or want assistance implementing one of the things you learned about today you can contact me. I can teach you techniques and strategies to help you connect and network in the business community so you can reach your personal or professional goals. Email me at peteblum@solvability.com and let me know how I can help you!

I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast episode and if you have a burning question that you would like to get answered by an experienced Veteran business owner about starting your own business go ahead and email me. I will be sure to answer it in a future episode!

Thank you for listening!  -Pete

VC35- Veteran Connections with Ellsworth “Tony” Williams

VC35- Veteran Connections with Ellsworth “Tony” Williams

Hi this is Pete Blum bringing you another episode of the Veteran Connections Podcast where my mission is to help transitioning Veterans and Veterans already out of the military engage with the business community, and to share the knowledge and tools needed to successfully start a business. The Veteran Connections Podcast brings you experience and advice from fellow Veterans who are business owners and have made the transition from the military and into the business community.

There are Veterans transitioning out of the military every day. Some of them have an idea or a passion that they want to turn into a business. Having the right connections can be the one thing that makes the difference between a success or a failure. In this Veteran Connections Podcast I will be talking to Veteran business owners about what steps they are taking, the hurdles they have ran into, what advice they have for you, and what they hope life will look like a few years from now. With these real life interviews and real life results you can gain the expert knowledge from those that have been there. From your military brothers and sisters.

Today’s guest is a retired Army Combat Veteran after 24 years of service. After his time in the service he earned a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling to continue helping Veterans and has received numerous mental health counseling awards for his work. He is the Founder & CEO of Veterans Counseling Veterans. I would like to welcome Ellsworth “Tony” Williams.

You can follow Tony here

Website: https://www.vetscounselingvets.org/

LinikedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellsworth-tony-williams-4961b414/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vetscounselingvets/

Twitter: @vetcounselvet

 

Topics

So I saw that you started out as enlisted and then became an officer. That in itself is a transition! So tell me a little bit about what you did in the military.

Transition from the military (easy or hard)

What was it that caused you to start your business?

Tell us about your company’s mission

What were the steps you took to get your business up and running?

Do you feel like your military experience and training helped prepare you to be a Veteran business owner?

What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business started?

What is the key to the success of your business?

Would you say it was your military experience or other things you learned that have been more helpful in making you successful in your business?

Are you going to use your business in some way to either help or hire other Veterans?

What is the one most important thing you have learned since starting your business that you can share with future Veteran business owners?

For transitioning Veterans wanting to start their own business what action items list would you give them?

Summary

In this episode with Tony we heard some great advice you can take advantage of on your own vetrepreneur journey!

  • Find a mentor to get advice on your industry
  • The rules and processes are different for starting and running a non-profit so carefully consider this before you just jump in
  • For a nonprofit be sure your board is as passionate as you are
  • Reliable staff is critical so be sure to fundraise to pay them
  • Make sure your family is on board for things like long hours you will have to work

The Veteran Connections Podcast provides advice from Veterans for Veterans. A lot of people like you and me that have been through the military have the same thoughts and a lot of the same questions. We may have even had the exact same struggle. I hope you find some answers as you go on this Veteran Connections journey with me where we will learn, explore, and get answers to your questions.

Another great resource for Veterans wanting to start their own business is the Small Business Administration (SBA)

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/business-types/veteran-owned-businesses

If you need more information or want assistance implementing one of the things you learned about today you can contact me. I can teach you techniques and strategies to help you connect and network in the business community so you can reach your personal or professional goals. Email me at peteblum@solvability.com and let me know how I can help you!

I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast episode and if you have a burning question that you would like to get answered by an experienced Veteran business owner about starting your own business go ahead and email me. I will be sure to answer it in a future episode!

Thank you for listening!  -Pete

VC34- VETERAN CONNECTIONS WITH MARK L. ROCKEFELLER

VC34- VETERAN CONNECTIONS WITH MARK L. ROCKEFELLER

Hi this is Pete Blum bringing you another episode of the Veteran Connections Podcast where my mission is to help transitioning Veterans and Veterans already out of the military engage with the business community, and to share the knowledge and tools needed to successfully start a business. The Veteran Connections Podcast brings you experience and advice from fellow Veterans who are business owners and have made the transition from the military and into the business community.

There are Veterans transitioning out of the military every day. Some of them have an idea or a passion that they want to turn into a business. Having the right connections can be the one thing that makes the difference between a success or a failure. In this Veteran Connections Podcast I will be talking to Veteran business owners about what steps they are taking, the hurdles they have ran into, what advice they have for you, and what they hope life will look like a few years from now. With these real life interviews and real life results you can gain the expert knowledge from those that have been there. From your military brothers and sisters.

Today’s guest created a company that uses a combination of technology and social networking to obtain financial services for the military and veteran communities, and to help veterans build businesses. He is also a contributor at Forbes, writing on veterans entrepreneurship and military leadership in business. He is listed as one of the “Mighty25 Veterans to Watch in 2017. He is an Air Force Veteran and the Co-Founder & CEO of StreetShares. I would like to welcome Mark L. Rockefeller.

You can follow Mark here

Website: https://streetshares.com/

LinikedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markstreetshares/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StreetShares/

Twitter: @StreetShares

So I know that you are all about Veterans becoming entrepreneurs! I love that and feel the same, and of course that is what this podcast is all about. I feel like finance is one of the biggest hurdles a Veteran faces in wanting to start a business so it is going to be great talking about those issues and things StreetShares can do to help.

 

Topics

So tell me a little bit about what you did in the military.

Transition from the military (easy or hard)

What was it that caused you to start your business? Got the idea while in Africa?

Tell us about your company’s mission

Grants for Veterans?

I read your article, Why Is Government Contracting a Good Idea for Veterans?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-government-contracting-good-idea-veterans-mark-l-rockefeller

I like how it ties in nicely with what Jenny and I are doing with Solvability and the annual Florida GovCon Summit. I’m involved with that community and there are so many great people and Veterans in that industry. I am obviously promoting Veterans starting their own business and doing what I can to help them with this podcast and other resources. I do think Veterans going into that industry have an advantage and I like what you said in the article that “As A Veteran, You’re Already in the Market”

What were the steps you took to get your business up and running?

Do you feel like your military experience and training helped prepare you to be a Veteran business owner?

What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business started?

What is the key to the success of your business?

Last year you said StreetShares, has funded more than 300 veteran-owned businesses since launch. Do you know of the top of your head what that number is up to this year?

Would you say it was your military experience or other things you learned that have been more helpful in making you successful in your business?

Are you going to use your business in some way to either help or hire other Veterans?

What is the one most important thing you have learned since starting your business that you can share with future Veteran business owners?

For transitioning Veterans wanting to start their own business what action items list would you give them?

Another great article you wrote for Forbes was “Why The Military Is The Best Entrepreneurship Training Program In America”. I wanted to put that out there so people could read and learn even more from you.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marklrockefeller/2016/08/03/why-the-military-is-the-best-entrepreneurship-training-program-in-america/#69c0ff2b3d60

Summary

In this episode with Mark we heard some great advice you can take advantage of on your own vetrepreneur journey!

  • Test your idea and see if people like it before going full force into it, some tweaking may be required or you may realize you need to start over with a new idea
  • Keep your day job until your own business can sustain you
  • Build a great team, even if they know more than you it will only benefit your company
  • Use grants first to help get started
  • Hold off on getting an office space if your industry allows, there is a lot of cost associated with that

Mentioned

Combat Flip Flops- https://www.combatflipflops.com/

The Veteran Connections Podcast provides advice from Veterans for Veterans. A lot of people like you and me that have been through the military have the same thoughts and a lot of the same questions. We may have even had the exact same struggle. I hope you find some answers as you go on this Veteran Connections journey with me where we will learn, explore, and get answers to your questions.

Another great resource for Veterans wanting to start their own business is the Small Business Administration (SBA)

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/business-types/veteran-owned-businesses

If you need more information or want assistance implementing one of the things you learned about today you can contact me. I can teach you techniques and strategies to help you connect and network in the business community so you can reach your personal or professional goals. Email me at peteblum@solvability.com and let me know how I can help you!

I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast episode and if you have a burning question that you would like to get answered by an experienced Veteran business owner about starting your own business go ahead and email me. I will be sure to answer it in a future episode!

Thank you for listening!  -Pete