Updated: Jun 13, 2022
I don't know about you, but as a veteran, I often hear that I am a part of a large community, and I am never really alone.
And consciously, I know this is true. I served in the military, and that cannot be taken away from me. But subconsciously, I think there was underlying doubt that I would be seen as a member of that community or that I would be treated that way.
Seems silly. The idea is beat into us from so many angles, and again, rationally, I know this concept to be true.
But it wasn't until I started my business that this concept actually hit home.
If you've stumbled upon this post by accident, a couple of months ago, I started a business to house the military to civilian transition program that I have written. There is a missing element in the current transition system, and that is the mental element. I want to help veterans avoid the psychological pitfall that negatively impacts most veterans after they leave military service.
After I started my business, I joined a bunch of veteran groups and veteran business owner groups and started social media accounts.
Through all of this, other veterans started to reach out to me and wanted to schedule meetings with me.
I didn't understand why.
I'm thinking... They don't know me; they don't know anything about my business; what could they possibly want?
I have a strong distaste for networking. I think it comes from my time in the Marine Corps, where, at my level, networking wasn't a necessity. Or at least that was my experience.
I could walk into any other shop or section with confidence, knowing that I was among my people, and I didn't have to have networked beforehand.
Did they always have the answer I wanted? No. Did everybody in the section always like me? No. But I had the confidence to walk in and talk to people anyways.
I say all of that to say it's not the same in the civilian world. Networking is a must.
So... What did these other veterans that were reaching out to me want?
They wanted to know how we could help each other...
They wanted to know how they could help me in my business endeavors...
They had a genuine interest in who I am and what I am doing...
The subconscious irony.
Subconsciously, I didn't expect other veterans to support me, but they have, and they do. It is such a surreal and fantastic feeling.
Not only that, I have an innate desire to help them with their businesses too. I don't want anything in return for helping them, and they don't want anything from me. The interactions are genuine.
I have now partnered with these veterans and their businesses and have included them in my program. It is fucking awesome.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because if you're a veteran and you have this pre-conceived, subconscious notion, even though you've been told 1,000 times being a veteran is being a part of a community, test that notion.
You are a part of a community.
Your fellow veterans want to hear from you, they want to get to know you, and they want to help you.
Reach out to your buddies or find new ones in this huge, amazing community.
Be Kind to Each Other,