Why We Chose To Become PreVeteran Entrepreneurs (Part 1/4)

Driving into Jackson Hole, Wyoming, July 2014.

Driving into Jackson Hole, Wyoming, July 2014.

The last 90 days of my 20-year career with the Air Force were fantastic! My wife, two small kids, and I traveled Space A to Europe, visited my wife’s family in Michigan and trekked across the country from Virginia to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where we will live our post-retirement life and raise our children. The change of pace from living in Northern Virginia and working at the Pentagon to living in Wyoming cannot be more different. The blue skies, big mountains, and slower pace of life are a very welcome changes indeed!

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

If you have been in the military for over 10 years, you understand the mentality. I fell victim to it myself in 2011 when my wife, Adrianna, and I first discussed what we were going to do after we retired. We knew we wanted to live in Wyoming to be close to family but were not sure what job opportunities existed. Like others, my mind automatically gravitated toward federal employment when thinking about the “life after.” So, with blinders on, I sat down in front of the computer and typed USAjobs.gov into the url and hit enter. After narrowing the search to Wyoming, I found two lines of work: lumberjack and park ranger. Um…good, but not quite what I was looking for. We needed a new (and totally different) plan.

Starting Down the PreVeteran Small Business Path

Even though we had years remaining before my September 2014 retirement, we both decided we needed to act early and explore the idea of building a small business.

The bad news: we had absolutely zero experience with small business. The good news: we had time and could use that to our advantage.

  • Though I’ve never been in the military, I, too, understand that “necessity is the mother of invention” for launching a small business! Preparing for a different kind of big transition (parenthood) was a great opportunity for me and my husband to explore and reevaluate our small business ideas, interests, and skills as well. In my case, my desire to work at home launched me into designing websites full-time and I’m loving it. Looking forward to reading the next part…

  • Meg, thanks for commenting! Great stories like yours are not unique to the military, so we are glad to hear about how becoming a mother led to you focus on finding work that allowed you to stay home, do something you love, and also help support your family. Great stuff! Like you mentioned, transitions can sometimes be a little intimidating…but if you are prepared and view it as an opportunity instead, there is no telling what you can accomplish! That is what PreVeteran is all about…helping others make their small business pursuits successful. Looking forward to hearing from you again. 🙂

  • vetlaunched

    Jason, Congrats on the adventure! I was a transitioning vet years ago and found myself in the “entrepreneur” category as well. I thoroughly enjoy it…but experience the normal hurdles as everyone else. Currently. I am working on giving back to vets that are wanting to start and grow their business by way of my site, http://www.vetlaunched.com. I would welcome your thoughts, and if there is an opportunity for collaboration, great!

  • Brian, thanks for commenting on the Blog and what you are doing for Veteran businesses! My experience is probably similar to yours…lots of twists and turns in finding my own way through small business development. The process was inefficient and costly and probably one of the major reasons military members and spouses interpret small business as a risky endeavor. We aim to fix that with features we will roll out on the PreVeteran website in the coming months.

    We are always looking to collaborate with others that want to help military members and their families. If you have some ideas, please shoot me an email to jason@preveteran.com to start the dialogue.