I had a great time yesterday at the KOOP radio station in Austin talking about Veteran entrepreneurism. KOOP is public, non-profit radio and their public affairs show, Reflections on Community Outreach, hosts a Veteran program the second Monday of each month – Boots on the Air. Michael Brown, who runs a marketing company and was a Vietnam-era Army broadcaster, puts the show together and makes it run.
This week, we featured Veteran entrepreneurism and I thought we had a good mix of experience, operational, and aspirational. We had the always engaging Herman Fabela, who runs several Veteran oriented businesses in his spare time, including GoSarge.com, which sells excellent products based on military service awards. Michael Haas, one of the leaders of Texas Veterans Commissions’ Entrepreneur Program, discussed his past businesses and the services that TVC provides. And we got to meet Michael Sarraille, graduate of the A&M Mays School of Business, current UT student, and the founder of Vetted, which will connect mid-grade officers and senior NCOs with the learning, credit, and mentoring they need to get involved in higher level businesses or start their own.
Michael Brown secured us some extra time this week and I thought it was well used to do more than what I often see as boosterism for launching a business without considering all the risks. Each of the guests were able to discuss the challenges of running a business, the considerations of starting your own (pro tip – it’s not a 9-5 job), and how the family might be affected. Michael Sarraille pointed out that Veterans are only starting about 4% of the new businesses in Texas now, down from 49% after World War II. Texas Veterans helped make Texas what it is today, with great jobs and a business friendly climate.
Herman talked about the way he integrates his young sons into his business and Michael Haas announced new ways that TVC will help train entrepreneurs across the state. Programs and leaders like these are what helped build Texas and it was great to have a conversation with them. I really appreciate KOOP giving us a chance to get the word out. You can listen to a replay of this or other programs at http://www.radiofreeamerica.com/show/reflections-of-community-outreach-k...
Everyone there is getting after it!