I know things are going really well when the insults start getting slung around.
You see, insults and cutting sarcasm are the true signs we like each other.
There are almost 3 million veteran-owned and led businesses out there, and we can’t find each other.
We run a B2B network.
I have been to hundreds of industry networking events. The cocktail network reception is sparsely attended, and the people who do attend gather with the people they already know, slink to a corner table, and have a private conversation over a beer before making the quick exit.
But when veterans gather, magic happens. I like to call it the “opposite of the middle school dance.”
They move to the center, introduce themselves sharing their branch, their shared experience, discuss common ground, their time in the service.
Some are young, some are old, but the bonds span the generations.
Time passes quickly as these veterans compare notes, duty stations, and shared connections.
We have a ‘speed of trust’ within the veteran community.
Ultimately, the discussion turns to what we do now – our families and businesses and interests. Relationships are built, after all, on trust.
We want to work with each other, and we don’t want to let a fellow veteran down. We connect, make additional introductions, and exchange information.
Established veteran led companies want to help entrepreneurs and hire the transitioning vet. Large companies have procurement objectives seeking veterans and veteran led businesses to fulfill them. There is support for business development; there are potential advisors and board members in the room. There are angel investors present predisposed to invest in the veteran entrepreneur.
Veterans love being together, and they don’t head for the exits early. I have to shut down the bar and run people out every time.
The VeteranCrowd Network mission is to bring veteran led businesses together with each other and the resources they need to prosper. When we get 75 veterans in a room together, magic happens.