Small Business – Why We Chose the Path Less Traveled

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 InventionPre-Veteran Family Mountains

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 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 Small Business Path

What does one do when there seems to be no alternatives? Create your own 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.


Jason C. Anderson is the founder of PreVeteran, a new website dedicated to teaching active duty, Guard, Reserve, and Spouses how to create a small business while still serving. He is also the author of Active-Duty Entrepreneur published in 2013. You can get a free copy of Active-Duty Entrepreneur at