Why We Chose To Become PreVeteran Entrepreneurs (Part 3/4)

Flower Growing from ConcreteOver the past three years of creating, stabilizing, and now growing our small business, our entire thought process regarding our military service drastically changed. We used to think the environment that provided our family a salary, healthcare, and (if we stayed long enough) a pension was simply there to take care of me (the warfighter) and provide stability to family over 20 years of deployments and training away from home. And make no mistake, it is! But we began seeing that system in a completely new light as we progressed with our small business.

Even with two small kids (ages 5 and 2 at the time), we made time to do our small business startup, a little at a time, on nights, weekends, and holidays. Again, looking back three years, this is an amazing opportunity we had because of my military service. We had time. Lots of time, if you think about time a bit differently. Counting nights, weekends and holidays, we had almost an entire year! Did we use every single day off to work on the new small business? No way…plus that would not be very fun! Instead, we sought to find a work/life/small business balance with that time. We made targeted use of our time to keep the ball moving forward. Some weeks we did nothing. Other weeks we did quite a bit. Life gets busy but knowing you have the time makes all the difference. (more…)

Military Allowances Funded My PreVeteran Startup

Fresh Perspective AheadFunding my PreVeteran start-up might be the most demanding thing I’ve done in my life, and I’ve spent 7-years as an enlisted Sailor, 5-years married, and 3-years with children. Luckily the military provides amazing financial opportunities and pairs them with incredible financial resources. Keep reading for an overview of how you can bootstrap on a military income.

It’s All About That Base… Pay –

Early in my military career I was advised by a Jewish Orthodox Chaplain to seriously consider my finances before getting married. The revelation struck me as paramount. I was about to embark on a life-long journey filled with adventure, responsibilities, and conflicts. He explained to me that the easiest way was to set a baseline. I would treat Base Pay as such, and any allowances or bonuses would be socked away as an “opportunity fund”. (more…)

Why We Chose To Become PreVeteran Entrepreneurs (Part 2/4)

Make Your Own Tracks

Its important to find your own tracks in life. PreVeteran

Euphoria and Frustration

There is nothing like a nice, new, crisp idea to set your mind free and give you energy. That is also true of small business. The idea that you can take a thought and turn it into an existing entity, like a business, is a very intoxicating notion. This is especially true after spending years in the military, where the system and bureaucracy controls and regulates your every move.

When we conceptualized our first business, JHLocals.com, we had no idea what we were doing…but it was exciting! Neither of us had experience starting a business before, so in the wake of zero experience we just started doing everything we could to educate ourselves. We contacted the Small Business Administration and began taking classes in disciplines we thought would be helpful – marketing, accounting, trademarks, patents – you know, the garden variety for those aspiring to be small business owners. While taking the classes, we began developing a network with other small business owners in the Northern Virginia area. (more…)