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Every day, thousands of servicemen and women leave the military and enter life as a civilian.
Every day, a large percentage of those veterans find themselves struggling to reintegrate; many end up unemployed or underemployed.
The bad news is many of the government-sponsored initiatives to help out underemployed and unemployed vets have fallen flat. Instead of actually helping the situation, most veterans are left confused by the programs and have no idea how to use the resources at their disposal (or simply can’t get access to them to begin with).
The good news is it doesn’t have to be like this if you choose to go an alternative route, such as starting your own business. Nothing about this route is easy, but the reality is, by the merit of being a veteran, you have advantages in the marketplace that most civilians wish they had.
What are they?
1. You know how to act under high-pressure situations.
In the world of business and entrepreneurship, unexpected things happen all the time:
• A client doesn’t pay (and you have overhead and bills to cover)
• You lose a lucrative customer
• A server shuts down and you can’t take new orders
The list of things that can go wrong are endless. But veterans are used to things not being the way we want; we’re comfortable under uncertainty and high-pressure situations.
Take John Lee Dumas of EntrepreneurOnFire.com for example. Dumas is a prior tank commander who deployed to Iraq during the invasion. After he left the Army, he jumped from job to job, never quite finding his groove. Then he stumbled upon podcasting, fell in love, and decided that’s what he wanted to do.
Over the course of the next 24 months, Dumas hustled every day to build what has become a multi-million podcasting dynasty. There’s no way he could have done this without a propensity to deal in uncertainty and perform under high-pressure situations.
2. You have access to exclusive loans and opportunities not available to anyone else.
No, a loan or free access to something isn’t going to solve your problems or build a business for you, but it can’t hurt, right?
Patriot Bootcamp, Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Vets (for veterans with 1% or more disability) are just a few, exclusive opportunities just for veterans interested in started their own business (so take advantage of them).
And these just scratch the surface.
There are dozens of benefits for veterans starting businesses, including priority for government contracts (in other words, if your business does contract work for the military, you’ll get priority over other companies), access to special grants, and even more opportunities for wounded warriors.
For a list of resources, check out highspeedlowdrag.org.
3. You have a strong tribe to network with and gather support from.
This is the greatest secret that too many veterans fail to realize: We are part of a strong, supportive tribe.
There are literally thousands of veteran employers around the country. Many, if not all, would be happy to give you a few minutes of their time to help you get your business started the right way.
That’s like getting access to high-end business consulting just because you’re a veteran. So why don't you reach out and leverage the tribe that’s right at your fingertips? Don't know them? Then that means you need to grow your network.
There are a bunch of ways to get better connected, including:
• Go to conferences and meetups in your industry (using resources like meetup.com or leveraging Facebook groups so you can connect from anywhere in the world)
• Join organizations and clubs that focus on veterans
• Join exclusive veteran networks and masterminds
• American entrepreneur Jim Rohn once said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
When it comes to connecting with the tribe you’re already a part of --- yes, you have to get outside the house, but once you start surrounding yourself with other high-speed veterans, your entire perspective on business and what’s possible in life will change for the better.
Pro tip: veterans love to hook up other veterans. Seriously, reach out.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A rocket was fired in Iraqi capital Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies, but caused no casualties, the Iraqi military said on Sunday.
A blast was heard in central Baghdad on Sunday night, Reuters witnesses said and two Baghdad-based diplomatic sources also said they heard the blast.
Officers from the California Highway Patrol arrested a homeless man Thursday morning after he allegedly threw a stolen Caltrans tripod onto Interstate 5 in downtown Sacramento, endangering the occupants of a van as it crashed through its windshield.
The incident happened just after 10:30 a.m., when the Caltrans survey tripod was stolen from the corner of Neasham Circle and Front Street, CHP South Sacramento said in a news release.
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's parliament descended into chaos on Sunday when lawmakers brawled over the appointment of a new speaker, an inauspicious start to the assembly which was sitting for the first time since chaotic elections last year.
Results of last October's parliamentary election were only finalized earlier this month after repeated technical and organizational problems and widespread accusations of fraud.
A VA worker survived a shooting at his hospital. Now he's stuck in a 'bizarre' maze of federal workers' comp claims
RIVIERA BEACH — When a distraught patient opened fire at the VA Medical Center in February, Albert Gaines' long ago military training kicked into gear.
"When I saw the arm come up, I knew what was next, pow, pow, pow," said Gaines, who was doing his job, cleaning patient rooms, when gunfire erupted. "I hit the deck to minimize the target."
Now, three months after what his bosses at the hospital call "the active shooter incident," the 65-year-old Riviera Beach man still feels like a target is on him.
President Donald Trump could issue a pardon on Memorial Day for Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher, former Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, and Marine Scout Snipers accused of urinating on Taliban corpses, the New York Times is reporting.
The White House is working with the Justice Department and military services to get the paperwork necessary for the pardons in order, according to the Times.