Funding 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…)
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…)
When I speak to friends and colleagues, I am often asked how I come up with my PreVeteran entrepreneurship and small businesses ideas. When they ask me the question, I often ask them one right back. “Have you ever had a great idea?” The answer, nine times out of ten, is “yes.” My next question is, “Did you capture it?” The answer is almost always “no.” (more…)
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! (more…)
After talking to hundreds of PreVeterans about creating a small business while serving, most members seem to fall into two distinct categories of thought. Those who have never considered small business creation as a viable path to financial and personal freedom and those who are overly optimistic and want to hard-charge toward small business with no plan. Despite these two groups being diametrically opposed, it appears to be the landscape and not a position that acts in the best interest of either group.
More than ever, I believe that PreVeterans have the very best DNA to become entrepreneurs and small business owners. They are organized, educated, motivated, know how to plan, and lead a group of people in a common direction to carry out an objective or mission. Small business is not different. In fact, it is exactly the same. However, in order to begin making inroads with both groups and promote a more successful approach, we need to understand the challenges associated with their train of thought and develop and instill a more rational approach to thinking about small business. (more…)