VC2- Veteran Connections with Scott “Mack” Macksam

December 3, 2016
00:0000:00

Hi this is Pete Blum bringing you another episode of the Veteran Connections Podcast where my mission is to help transitioning Veterans and Veterans already out of the military engage with the business community and to share the knowledge and tools needed to successfully start a business. The Veteran Connections Podcast brings you experience and advice from fellow Veterans who are business owners and have made the transition from the military and into the business community.

 

There are Veterans transitioning out of the military every day. Some of them have an idea or a passion that they want to turn into a business. Having the right connections can be the one thing that makes the difference between a success or a failure. In this Veteran Connections Podcast I will be talking to Veteran business owners about what steps they are taking, the hurdles they have ran into, what advice they have for you, and what they hope life will look like a few years from now. With these real-life interviews and real life results, you can gain the expert knowledge from those that have been there. From your military brothers and sisters.

Today's guest is Scott "Mack" Macksam AKA Major Mack Daddy. Mack is the Founder and President of the Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay in St Petersburg, FL since 2014. Florida’s First Center For Military and Veteran Artists.

Mack is also an Army veteran who retired as a Major after 20 years of service. Mack has a passion to help other Veterans just as I do and I really believe in what he is doing, using art as a creative outlet and a type of therapy for returning Veterans. Many Veteran entrepreneurs start their own business and become successful. What I find special is when that success involves helping other Veterans. Today Mack will share his story and passion with us.

Major Retired Scott “Mack” Macksam graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in History with a Minor in German Studies. He received a commissioned in the United State Army, Field Artillery.  Major Mack has served honorably 20 years in the United States Army in various leadership, command and staff positions in a global setting.  His last assignment was Director of Military Science and Leadership at the University South Florida St Petersburg where he secured over 1.4 million scholarship awards to Cadets and personally dedicated a 8K Veterans Memorial to USFSP.  He has graduate of Officers Basic Course, Air Defense Officers Advanced Course ,CGSG and Combined Arms Staff Service School, Air Assault, Military History Instructors Course and holds a Masters in Organizational Management.  He also has implemented a National Leadership Development and Internship Programs for US Army Cadet Command. In 2014 he secured a 30K National American Soldier Exhibit which was a first in the State.  He now is the Founder and President of the Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay pioneering a model for the State of Florida and reaching into Germany.  Major Mack is active in the community and a serving member:  Board of Trustee, St Petersburg Museum of History, VP Association United States Army Executive Committee,  Remember/Honor/Support Advisory Board, Military Officers Association, Global SOF Foundation, Homes for Independence Board, Goodwill Ambassador and Social Enterprise Board of Trustees.

You can follow Mack here

Website: http://www.vactb.org/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-a-mack-macksam-maj-r-mao-846ba872
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vactb/
Twitter: @VACTB
Instagram: @VACTB

Topics

Transition from the military

How did you start your business?

Did your military experience and training help prepare you to be a Veteran business owner?

What were some of your concerns when starting your business?

What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business started?

What is the key to the success of your business?

Do you think your military experience is responsible for the success in your business or are there other things you had to apply and learn along the way?

Are you going to be able to use your business in some way to either help or hire other Veterans?

What is the one most important thing you have learned since starting your business that you can share with other Veteran business owners?

For transitioning Veterans wanting to start their own business what action items would you give them?

Summary

In this episode with Mack we heard some great advice you can take advantage of on your own vetrepreneur journey!

Creating a model of your idea

Prioritize so you know what is important and needs done first

Persistence is key, never give up!

Have passion for your idea

Find your niche

Determine if your idea has value

Seek resources to help you

Get a mentor

There is an event at the Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay, “THE ART OF HEALING” on December 9th, 2016

The Grand Opening of the Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay building is on March 25th, 2017

The Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay is located at:

“Gaslight Square”
6798 Crosswinds Drive N
St Petersburg, Florida 33710

The Veteran Connections Podcast provides advice from Veterans for Veterans. A lot of people like you and me that have been through the military have the same thoughts and a lot of the same questions. We may have even had the exact same struggle. I hope you find some answers as you go on this Veteran Connections journey with me where we will learn, explore, and get answers to your questions.

 

Another great resource for Veterans wanting to start their own business is the Small Business Administration (SBA)

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/business-types/veteran-owned-businesses

 

If you need more information or want assistance implementing one of the things you learned about today you can contact me. I can teach you techniques and strategies to help you connect and network in the business community so you can reach your personal or professional goals. Email me at peteblum@solvability.com and let me know how I can help you!

 

I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast episode and if you have a burning question that you would like to get answered by an experienced Veteran business owner about starting your own business go ahead and email me. I will be sure to answer it in a future episode!

 

Thank you for listening!  -Pete

VC1- Veteran Connections with Mike Stojic

November 26, 2016
00:0000:00

Hi this is Pete Blum with the first episode of the Veteran Connections Podcast. My mission is to help transitioning Veterans and Veterans already out of the military engage with the business community and to share the knowledge and tools needed to successfully start a business. As Co-Host of another podcast FloridaGovCon.com I did an episode called Attracting Military Veterans (episode 14). I broke down how small business desiring to hire Veterans could find them and retain them.

But I wanted to do more!

There are Veterans transitioning out of the military every day. Some of them have an idea or a passion that they want to turn into a business. Having the right connections can be the one thing that makes the difference between a success or a failure. In this Veteran Connections Podcast I will be talking to Veteran business owners about what steps they are taking, the hurdles they have ran into, what advice they have for you, and what they hope life will look like a few years from now. With these real life interviews and real life results you can gain the expert knowledge from those that have been there. From your military brothers and sisters.

 

Today's guest is Mike Stojic. Mike is the host and creator of the Make It A Double Podcast and Founder of Revival 1869, Revival 1869 is a craft cocktail & whiskey bar & lounge opening up in March 2017 in Clayton, NC

 

Mike Stojic

 

Mike is also a Marine Corps veteran and besides being Marine brothers what attracted me to Mike is his strong desire to connect with people and find happiness even in bad situations. This aligns well with our FloridaGovCon.com Podcast as our goal is to help connect small businesses and veterans and help them through making connections. Businesses are looking for veterans, transitioning veterans are looking for new careers, and veteran business owners help bridge this gap

With their knowledge and experience at both ends of this spectrum.

 

You can follow Mike here

 

Website: http://revival1869.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-stojic-a47ab1bb

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/revival1869/

Twitter: @revival1869

Instagram: @revival1869

Podcast (Make it a Double!): http://makeitadouble.podbean.com/

 

 

Topics

 

Transition from the military

 

How did you start your business?

 

Did your military experience and training help prepare you to be a Veteran business owner?

 

What were some of your concerns when starting your business?

 

What were some of the challenges you faced getting your business started?

 

What is the key to the success of your business?

 

Do you think your military experience is responsible for the success in your business or are there other things you had to apply and learn along the way?

 

Are you going to be able to use your business in some way to either help or hire other Veterans?

 

What is the one most important thing you have learned since starting your business that you can share with other Veteran business owners?

 

For transitioning Veterans wanting to start their own business what action items would you give them?

 

Summary

 

In this episode with Mike we had some really great advice for you to take advantage of so you can head for success:

 

All Veterans be sure to take advantage of the Boots To Business program. This is offered as an add on option to the TAPS class.

 

Be sure to study up on what it is you want to do before starting your business

 

White board your ideas

 

Planning is key to an effective startup and launch

 

Proper budgeting is critical for success

 

Be sure to get your new business involved in the community

 

Stay fresh to keep your business alive

 

Embrace social media

 

Network in your community and with other businesses

 

Avoid falling in love with your plan so much that you are not flexible

 

Keep your ego in check, you don't know everything

 

Listen to others, all feedback has some value

 

Know your passion so you will love what you do

 

The Veteran Connections Podcast provides advice from Veterans for Veterans. A lot of people like you and me that have been through the military have the same thoughts and a lot of the same questions. We may have even had the exact same struggle. I hope you find some answers as you go on this Veteran Connections journey with me where we will learn, explore, and get answers to your questions.

 

Another great resource for Veterans wanting to start their own business is the Small Business Administration (SBA)

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/business-types/veteran-owned-businesses

 

If you need more information or want assistance implementing one of the things you learned about today you can contact me. I can teach you techniques and strategies to help you connect and network in the business community so you can reach your personal or professional goals. Email me at peteblum@solvability.com and let me know how I can help you!

 

I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast episode and if you have a burning question that you would like to get answered by an experienced Veteran business owner about starting your own business go ahead and email me. I will be sure to answer it in a future episode!

 

Thank you for listening!  -Pete

FLGOVCON21- Pricing Strategies Summary

November 18, 2016
00:0000:00

This is the seventh and final episode of the Pricing Strategy Series brought to you by Jenny W Clark.  

In this episode Jenny gives you a Pricing Strategies Summary.

 

Our new series starting next week will be on Veteran Connections. Pete Blum will be talking to Veteran business owners about how they started their business and what they learned along the way that they can share with you.

Additionally we will find out what they are doing to help other Veterans and what strategies they have in place to achieve that.

FLGOVCON20- Profit and Fee

November 11, 2016
00:0000:00

This is the sixth episode of the Pricing Strategy Series brought to you by Jenny W Clark. 

In this episode Jenny talks to you about Profit and Fee.

FLGOVCON19- G&A Rates

November 4, 2016
00:0000:00

This is the fifth episode of the Pricing Strategy Series brought to you by Jenny W Clark. 

In this episode Jenny talks to you about G&A Rates.

FLGOVCON18- Overhead

October 28, 2016
00:0000:00

This is the fourth episode of the Pricing Strategy Series brought to you by Jenny W Clark. 

In this episode Jenny talks to you about Overhead.

FLGOVCON17- Benefit Plans

October 22, 2016
00:0000:00

This is the third episode of the Pricing Strategy Series brought to you by Jenny W Clark.

In this episode Jenny talks to you about Benefit Plans.

FLGOVCON16- Labor Estimating Models

October 14, 2016
00:0000:00

This is the second episode of the Pricing Strategy Series brought to you by Jenny W Clark.

In this episode Jenny goes over Labor Estimating Models.

FLGOVCON15- Labor Pricing Overview

October 11, 2016
00:0000:00

This is the first episode of the new Pricing Strategy Series brought to you by Jenny W Clark.

In this episode Jenny goes over Labor Pricing giving you the facts you need to get it right.

FLGOVCON14- Attracting Military Veterans

September 30, 2016
00:0000:00

Today I am going to talk about how your company can benefit from hiring our military veterans and having a veteran friendly program at your company. One of your greatest company assets is your employees. I know you want great employees who give you their best and communicate well with your customers.

 

Sometimes finding cream of the crop employees is hard and takes a lot of work. I am going to go ahead and say that some of the very best employees are military veterans. They have a strong work ethic; they are disciplined, detail-oriented, they adapt to any situation or environment. Hiring a veteran brings strong leadership to your company and is just smart business.

 

Now I'd like to take a minute to say my motivation for talking about this today is for a couple of reasons. First of all one of our goals at Florida GovCon is to help small businesses gain a competitive edge and succeed by providing the knowledge that can help you make better business decision concerning government contracting, technology, software, social media, marketing, and more. We want you to be able to take your business to the next level. So helping your business learn techniques to find and keep veteran employees will ensure you have a strong and reliable work force.

 

The other reason is because helping veterans is something I am passionate about. After serving 11 years in the military and getting out of the Marines with a good conduct discharge I thought transition would be really easy. What I found out was there are challenges with finding a good company, and more importantly one that is the right fit. Sometimes there is a communication gap that is hard to get across due to terminology or even the "I vs team" issue. Even after finding a job it can be a real struggle and it might not last if it's not the right fit. There really needs to be a level of understanding and respect for what our military veterans have been through.

 

Keep this in mind when thinking about hiring a veteran. Many go in at an early age and spend their life serving their country. They work their way up taking on enormous responsibilities. Think about some of the things they are responsible for: attack and support aircraft, hundreds of troops, deploying units around the world, protecting the nation. I could go on and on but I won't. In the military you unit, your team is your family. They are like your brothers and sisters. Now think about your company and all the things that you are responsible for.

 

So these days I do everything I can to help transitioning veterans make a smooth transition. I help with resumes, coaching, networking and introductions. I volunteer at Project Transition USA to help teach monthly classes to transitioning veterans on how to use LinkedIn to create a brand, network, and find a job. I am a student Veteran mentor for the University of South Florida and a couple other veteran mentoring websites.

 

I want the veterans to find you I want to introduce them to you. Are you veteran friendly? Do you have a reputation for hiring veterans? Have you made it easy for veterans to find you?

 

How do you get these highly motivated, dedicated, and skilled veterans to join your company, and how do you keep them? That is what we are here to talk about today.

 

Another exciting thing I just wanted to throw in there is how awesome it is for the last episode of this series not only to be about helping you find the veterans and them finding you but it is also International Podcast Day! I love podcasting, I love helping veterans, and I love helping small businesses. Podcasting gives me the ability to talk about the things I love and to help others succeed at the same time. So for International Podcast day why don't you help someone too and share this podcast with them. FloridaGovCon.com

 

 

So let me answer those questions attracting veterans!

 

First of all you want to be completely clear about the fact that you support and are interested in hiring veterans. You can add something about this on your website. A great thing to do is have a dedicated page or sub-domain where the information is veteran specific. You can talk about your goals of hiring veterans, you can have testimonials from currently employed veterans, you can highlight jobs available that would be a good fit for veterans, use words like leadership, challenge, team, and career. Having a dedicated page or sub-domain allows you to market directly to veterans and you can use a special URL even using the word veteran. Also on your website be sure to publish your mission statement and core values. This is something veterans understand as they are mission oriented and they will feel more at ease knowing what you stand for. Use military friendly language on your website, let them know about career paths, opportunities for promotion, team events, and that their family is also important to you.

 

Highlight your current veterans workforce! If you already have military veterans that are employees you can introduce them to potential new veteran candidates. Let them know there is someone that understands them and that will show them the ropes. Have an employee veteran be part of the interview process for veteran candidates. You can mention employee veterans, their branch of service, and how your company has benefited from hiring them. Let veteran candidates know that your company takes a special interest in helping veterans transition from the military to the corporate workplace.

 

Educate your recruiters to target veterans and change the recruitment process to meet the goal of recruiting veterans. Highlight jobs already identified as a good fit for veterans. Have your recruiters explain why the veteran would be a good fit and how they could be successful in the position. Remember your job descriptions need to be translated into language that veterans can understand and match up with skills they had when serving in the military. You or your recruiters need to be skilled at gauging a veterans proficiency from their resumes. Many recruiters may not be able to translate military skills to a corporate job.

 

The resumes of many skilled veterans may not make it through your application tracking system if you have one. It should be setup to additionally recognize military related keywords. If possible in your applicant tracking system the resume could even be tagged to separate veteran resumes from the rest of them so a dedicated veteran recruiter can review them. Your recruiters may have to probe for the veterans accomplishments, collateral duties, awards and recognition to figure out if they are a fit for your company and how their experience can add value to your company. Remember they have been trained in a team environment where everything is we and not I so they are not used to talking about themselves or their achievements. It may take multiple rounds of open-ended questions, solid listening skills, and patience.

 

To be veteran friendly don't just stop at the recruiters. Ensure you educate your employees about the importance of hiring veterans as well. You could even have a training program for your non-military employees. They can learn about the military community and what they bring to the table.

 

Once you have hired a military veteran match them up with a mentor, preferably also a veteran, who can show them the ropes of your company. The mentor will make the transition from military to regular life much smoother, and your new hire will feel like the company cares about their growth.

 

Start the team building right away.  On the veteran's first day have the mentor show the veteran around and meet the teams and have lunch with the veteran. Introduce the veteran to the chain of command. Go over benefits, policies and procedures, dates for evaluations, career paths and timeline.

 

 

So with this information do what you can to make your company military-friendly and be a motivator for military veterans. Watch their leadership and dedication help transform and move your company forward!

 

And don’t forget to use your social medial accounts to spread the word about your company's veteran opportunities, veteran friendly program, and your love for veterans and our country.

 

You can mention FloridaGovCon.com and International Podcast Day too!

 

Next week Jenny will be starting and is excited to bring you a new series about pricing strategies.

 

I hope that you have enjoyed this podcast and I hope you enjoy this series.

 

FloridaGovCon.com is brought to you by Solvabilty. If you have questions or want to learn more about what we can offer you go to Solvability.com and click on contact. There you can request a free system assessment. Thank you for listening and let me know how I can help you?