By RU Special Guest Dallas Dunn Attending a job fair soon?...
By Mr. Twisted
A topic that several of us here at the Rhino Den are constantly trying to stay up on and be aware of is that of Veterans making the transition from military to civilian life. Whether it be through the process of helping you polish your interviewing skills or transferring your skills and abilities to institutes of higher learning, Ranger Up and the Rhino Den are continually searching for ways to help Veteran’s move into the civilian world a smoother one.
With the job market as it is, one method that should be explored as an option is to start one’s own business or, if a business of interest already exists, open up an individual franchise. Though this may seem a daunting task, resources now exist to help Veterans like never before.
Enter Mark Mohler, CEO of Sprigster, and his program entitled “Boost a Hero: Crowdfunding for Military Veterans and Military Spouses.” The Boost a Hero model exists not only to help Veterans raise funding for current and upcoming business ideas but also to walk through the process of starting a business – whether it be a new model or an existing franchise – with Veterans in order to give them a head start on the business world they will assuredly need to familiarize themselves with.
I recently spoke with MAJ Gerhard Schulz, longtime member of the 75th Ranger Regiment and upcoming retiree, about his dealings with Sprigster and how helpful it was. MAJ Schulz is in the process of opening up his own franchise of FitGolf Performance Center – the combination of physical fitness and the game of golf – and has had extensive dealings with Sprigster and their Boost a Hero campaign.
“They are definitely not about Fire-and-Forget when it comes to helping Veterans,” MAJ Schulz informed me, stating that they are very hands on with their clients and believe firmly in helping them through the process of business marketing. This is done with the hope that, once the business is started, it can provide more jobs for other Veterans, as well. He likened this to a “barn raising,” whereby the community helps in a way that it will bring benefit back to it – a Veterans-helping-Veterans situation much like the one Sprigster helped get off the ground in Pensacola, Florida, where a Veteran opened a Meineke shop that now employs six others.
Crowdfunding – the foundational methodology of organizations like Sprigster – is a process whereby all outlets of social media are used to help raise money for a particular cause, be it a project, a business, or even disaster relief; the “crowd” aspect comes in to play by using all of an individual’s existing network on a social media outlet to multiply the effort. Where an organization like Sprigster comes into play is in specifically tailoring those efforts for Veterans.
MAJ Schulz was of the opinion – one that I wholeheartedly agree with – that a “First Strike” is needed on behalf of transitioning Veterans. “I didn’t want to become a statistic in the job market,” he told me, adding that taking matters into his own hands and pursing options of owning his own business seemed a more worthy effort than waiting around for job opportunities to fall into his lap. It was there that Sprigster came in and helped him in working towards owning his own franchise of FitGolf.
As stated above, the Rhino Den has a great deal of desire when it comes to the issue of Vets helping Vets. Crowdfunding, along with its closely related cousin Crowdsourcing, are methods that can be of monumentally important service to businesses and services possessing potential for benefiting a great many within the Veteran Community. I have seen the effectiveness of social media marketing campaigns in the civilian world – there is no doubt in my mind that the Veteran community can and should take advantage of these possibilities and exploit them to their full potential.
The leadership and management experience possessed by the Veteran community is, when viewed in comparison to the civilian job market, staggeringly impressive. Creating programs to maximize that experience and potential is a vitally important task and, as such, one that deserves attention by all of you out there interested in either helping Veterans achieve their goals or accomplishing them yourself.
I encourage you to check out MAJ Schulz’s Sprigster page here and to find out more about how you can help him and others like him start businesses that will in turn hire and promote other Veterans. This is our community – we have the tools, resources, and capability to do big things. Avenues such as Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, and similar models are just a fraction of the options that exist for building businesses, but they will not work without the community aspect – these approaches to growth hinge on that aspect. As such, make the most of the network you have and do what you can to extend it.
Please take the time to visit the Ranger Up/Rhino Den jobs page to see that this goes far beyond one simple post on the topic. This is an ongoing topic that will continue to be developed upon as our reach extends.