VC43- Veteran Connections with Enrique Acosta Gonzalez

VC43- Veteran Connections with Enrique Acosta Gonzalez

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 Navy Veteran that served 26 years, and he didn’t just decide to get out and start a business. He decided to start a business that directly helps Veterans gain new skills in areas of cutting-edge technology. He is the Co-Founder, President & CEO of Vets2Data. I would like to welcome Enrique Acosta Gonzalez.

You can follow Enrique here

Website: http://vets2data.org/

LinikedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/enrique-acosta-gonzalez-7b6b241/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Triad-Leadership-Solutions-775547112654006/

Twitter: @TLS_FL

Topics

So while in the Navy you were a Pastor at a church in Hawaii, that is awesome. Tell me how that happened. I go to a great non-denominational church called theChapel.cc

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: Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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?

Networking with people that move your industry

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 Enrique we heard some great advice you can take advantage of on your own vetrepreneur journey!

  • Volunteer at companies in the industry you’re interested in, become a board member and gain the knowledge you need now before you get out
  • Make sure that when networking things are two-sided, if someone is helping you ask them how you can help them
  • Three key elements to success are:
    • Plan like you did in the military, don’t stop when you get out!
    • Preparing and doing your recon will help you get off to the right start
    • Execute, you have to get started so go do it!
  • Get a sounding board, a group of people you can get feedback from
  • Join a chamber of commerce
  • Utilize the SCORE program for free

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

Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving!

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches I think of all the things I am thankful for:

  • Freedom, and those that serve to protect it
  • My children, family, and friends
  • That I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and a vehicle to drive
  • That I have a God that loves me
  • That I have been given the ability to help people

The list could go on forever. Think about what you are thankful for and let people know.

I wanted to share something my Veteran friend and business owner sent to me!

If you are going to be preparing a nice Thanksgiving dinner and want to throw some flair into it then here are some recipes put together by Bryan Jacobs of Vet2Chef and his students. It is a Vet2Chef Thanksgiving E-Book.

Click Here –>  Vet2Chef Thanksgiving E-Book

Also be sure to listen to my podcast with Bryan!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pete

VC42- Veteran Connections with Jason Smith

VC42- Veteran Connections with Jason Smith

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 high energy and highly motivated individual. He is an Air Force Veteran and also a fellow Associate Instructor at FourBlock that is passionate about helping Veterans. He is the Founder & Principal Consultant CEO of CIGRIE. I would like to welcome Jason Smith.

You can follow Jason here

Website: https://www.cigrie.com/

LinikedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-smith-93b9a11/Facebook:

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?

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 Jason we heard some great advice you can take advantage of on your own vetrepreneur journey!

  • Building a network is critical as it can be a foundation for partners or customers
  • Research is a key to doing it right the first time and making sure there is actually a need for what you are doing
  • The Lean Startup Model is a great approach to getting a business up and running in an effective manner with things like customer discovery and informational interviews
  • Do not go it alone! Build that partnership or team and use coaches and mentors
  • Think about the sales process right away. look at the buyers perspective, will your idea solve their problem

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

VC41- Veteran Connections with Travis McVey

VC41- Veteran Connections with Travis 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.

Today’s guest can always be found in good spirits and tends to bring smiles to people’s faces at any celebration he goes to. He is a Marine Corps Veteran and believes in giving back to Veterans and their families. He is the Founder of Heroes Vodka. I would like to welcome Travis McVey.

You can follow Travis here

Website: http://www.heroesvodka.com/

LinikedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/travis-mcvey-a105251a/

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

Twitter: @HeroesVodka

Heroes Vodka is a U.S. Veteran-owned award-winning premium American vodka. As the “Official Spirit of a Grateful Nation,” Heroes Vodka is made from 100% American corn and it is naturally gluten-free. Each hand-crafted batch is distilled 4 times to create an ultra-pure, world-class spirit. The mission of Heroes Vodka is to deliver exceptional taste and superior value to consumers, while honoring Veterans and other American service organizations through charitable contributions. Every purchase of Heroes Vodka supports American Veterans through its Official Giveback Partnership Program. A percentage of proceeds from sales of Heroes Vodka is allocated to AMVETS to develop community assistance programs for active duty military, veterans and their families. HeroesVodka.com

Topics

Happy Birthday Devil Dog! There is no better podcast episode on the Marine Corps Birthday than two Marines talking about helping other Veterans so they can be successful.

For those listening this is a very special weekend! Not only is it the Marine Corps Birthday today but it is Veterans Day tomorrow. The Marine Corps Birthday is celebrating its 242nd year since being established in Tun Tavern. As you look back on the history of the Marines you will see we have the reputation of being the world’s greatest fighting force, never giving up, and being first in and last out. Travis any words to add?

This is followed by Veterans Day where we honor those that serve our great nation to keep us free. Some give up time with their family, some miss seeing their child being born, some give u their lives. Please, when you see a Veteran say thank you for serving.

Some people only think about this once a year, Travis and I do our best to help Veterans and thank them every day.

Speaking of honoring Veterans besides running a business you are an author. You write for American Grit and you also wrote a book called Heroes Of The Stage. Can you tell me about the book and how it honors Veterans?

Travis, tomorrow is very special for you! Not only will you be celebrating Veterans Day but you’re celebrating another special birthday as well! 6 years since the start of your company on 11-11-11!

Can you tell me about that special day, who was there, any special guests?

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

It looks like we both served in a presidential unit. I was stationed with HMX-1, the Presidential Helicopter Squadron and you served as a Presidential Honor Guard, based on I picture I saw of you it looks like you were also in HMX-1.

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?

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

Summary

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

  • Lots of research and development is going to be required to be successful
  • Have a plan to follow up after spending the time meeting other business professionals about promoting your product or service, when they don’t see you, you don’t want them to forget about you
  • Don’t start a business to make money, start a business to make a difference
  • Don’t be afraid, you have to be willing to go for it
  • Find experts in the field that you want to go into and learn from them
  • When you think about marketing and where you want to spend money, ads and commercials can be really expensive. Consider trying to get on the news as a human interests story about what is going on with your business in your community. It’s a great way to get the word out there and all it will cost you is time.

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