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
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
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?
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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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