Side Hustle City

From Service to Entrepreneurship: Empowering Veteran Businesses with the DAV's Nick Brophy

March 19, 2024 Adam Koehler & Nick Brophy Season 6 Episode 17
Side Hustle City
From Service to Entrepreneurship: Empowering Veteran Businesses with the DAV's Nick Brophy
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever glanced up at a billboard and felt your destiny shift? That's what happened to Nick Brophy, a Kentucky native whose life took a turn towards service and valor. In our latest episode, Nick, explains the mission of the Disabled American Veterans and the Patriot Boot Camp. He sits down to share his remarkable journey from a bright-eyed recruit drawn in by the promise of education, to a military officer, to a steadfast advocate for veteran entrepreneurs. His story is one of transformation and dedication, a path that's led him to empower those who've served our country as they venture into the world of business ownership and community impact.

Picture a region where crossing county lines could mean stepping into a new economic powerhouse. We delve into the potential effects of merging Northern Kentucky counties with Hamilton County, unraveling how this could reshape the political and economic landscape. Nick and I dissect the entrepreneurial ecosystem, sifting through the complexities of buying existing businesses versus starting from scratch. We unlock the doors to understanding the hidden value in less glamorous ventures like laundromats and illuminate the psychological hurdles that entrepreneurs often face. It’s an eye-opening conversation that challenges preconceptions and equips you with fresh perspectives on business customization and growth.

As we wrap up, the spotlight turns to veterans making a mark post-service. Initiatives like a T-shirt business donating half its proceeds to charity and the underused veterans' funds in Ohio showcase the diverse ways veterans continue to serve their communities. We highlight the partnership between DAV and Patriot Bootcamp, focused on supporting veterans and their spouses in their business endeavors. Through courageous storytelling and engaging discussions, this episode serves as a beacon for aspiring entrepreneurs, offering practical advice, and shining a light on the extraordinary contributions of our veterans. Join us; it’s a discussion that promises to inspire and guide in equal measure.

As you're inspired to embark on your side hustle journey after listening to this episode, you might wonder where to start or how to make your vision a reality.  With a team of experienced marketing professionals and a track record of helping clients achieve their dreams, we are ready to assist you in reaching your goals. To find out more, visit

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Speaker 2:

Welcome to Side Hustle City and thanks for joining us. Our goal is to help you connect to real people who found success turning their side hustle into a main hustle, and we hope you can too. I'm Adam Kaler. I'm joined by Kyle Stevy, my co-host. Let's get started, all right? Welcome back, everybody to the Side Hustle City podcast. Today we got a special guest from the DAV Disabled American Veterans located here in the headquarters. He's actually in North Kentucky, here, right, erlanger, erlanger, erlanger. So Nick Brofie joins us today and we got connected through a librarian that's right, nick Brofie, who's now down here at the Kenton County Library, who is actually on the podcast, which is pretty cool. Yeah, so now I got the podcast. People recommend another podcast people to me, but the DAV is involved in startups and helping veterans get their businesses off the ground and all kinds of stuff. Now this is interesting.

Speaker 3:

So much stuff it's hard to even articulate what DAV does. So I mean, but if you're on your ways on 75 to the 275 loop, you can't miss the building. Yeah, take a look off to the right, you'll see our building to your old headquarters. So it's very, very new, very fresh, new look to DAV. But yeah, we do a lot of stuff, man, it's hard to even cover it all.

Speaker 2:

So let's talk about your background. You're in the military and you were in some various other things before you joined the DAV. Correct, but talk about your background a little bit, where you grew up and how you got into this.

Speaker 3:

So I'm a local guy here from Fort Wright, kentucky, right up the hill, live there for most of my childhood, went to St Agnes and then went to Scott High School in the area and after high school I somehow ended up in the military. I don't you know. I've tell that story and it's a. It's a fun story, but long story short. I mean ended up in the Kentucky National Guard and I had never even heard of the National Guard, never even knew what it was. All I know is I saw a sign on 75 out in the Walton area and said 100% tuition. I thought oh, that's me.

Speaker 2:

Wait, the billboard got you.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the billboard got me and I just happened to be coming from UC. I'd rolled in UC like my dream was to go to college, go to college, go to college, and that was all I thought about. So I enrolled in UC and for some reason that year it was just overpopulated or whatever and I couldn't get in the courses that I wanted to take. And I wasn't going to take fluff courses. I want to get in, get done, get out, get it out.

Speaker 2:

Yep, get it over with so.

Speaker 3:

I was a little heartbroken. I was driving on 75, just you know, pondering about my, my doomed future, since I couldn't start school. And and I saw the sign for the Kentucky National Guard, I had all my stuff from you know, all the transcripts and all that crap from that you need to get into college. I rolled up in that parking lot and talked to Staff Sergeant Tim Merles. Again, I knew he was wearing a uniform, so I knew there was, I knew it was some kind of part of the military, I just had never really knew anything about it. I enlisted, said you're going to do this job, whatever. I said yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. How do I get the tuition Got to go to basic training? Come to drill weekends one time a month, two weeks a year, and you know, as long as you're doing those things and you're passing whatever you're supposed to pass, then we'll get your tuition. So sign me up. So week later at the MEP station and a month later, as in basic training.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow, wait. So how long did it take you show up at the enlistment center, right? How long did it take you to say I'm ready to go?

Speaker 3:

Minutes.

Speaker 2:

Minutes.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, as long as I.

Speaker 2:

Did you talk to your parents or anything before this happened?

Speaker 3:

No, I was already. You know, I was already 18. My parents were. They were in the middle of a divorce. They were not cooperating.

Speaker 2:

Just waiting for the time to talk to them.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, just waiting for the time and frankly, I was so independent by that point, you know, I had my own job, I had my own money, I had my own everything, car, all that stuff. So it wasn't really up to them. And I don't know if they, looking back I'm not sure they would have had anything really negative or positive to say they kind of would have just probably shrugged it off. But anyway, it all worked out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I'd say so, yeah. So how did you like it and how long were you in? So?

Speaker 3:

well, I just retired in December 23 years, two months and 18 days, but nobody's really counting any of that.

Speaker 3:

But you know it, I did a lot in the military, you know, and I spent a lot of time in a lot of different places, met a lot of great people. So I spent half of my career well, almost almost half of it as an enlisted soldier. I went to Fort Knox for basic training with Fort McClellan and a couple of places for different jobs. I originally was like in supply I guess you could say that it was and then I rapidly transitioned into military police, spent most of my time both of my combat tours were enlisted in the military police corps. And then, in 2011, I went to officer candidate school, commissioned as a second lieutenant in the engineer corps and spent about nine years or so oh wow In the engineer side, also in the Kentucky guard great, great, great guard state really, if I'm if I can plug it at all yeah. And then I needed a change and I was at the rank where I was going to start getting away from the soldiers, the troops. The fun stuff is what?

Speaker 2:

I'd say Exactly so.

Speaker 3:

I found a unit, I found a branch that I could transfer into called civil affairs. It was kind of like I sum it up as like the army's economic developers and negotiators. They kind of work with local countries and diplomats and such, and they kind of work on all the little things you don't see. Yeah, you know how do we build bridges, how do we solve problems, how do we build communities, et cetera. But that allowed me, that was in the reserve component, and so I transferred to the reserve component and spent the last four years there.

Speaker 2:

Oh wow. Yeah, you just kind of were bouncing around everywhere, weren't you?

Speaker 3:

You kind of have to, and I think you're doing yourself a disservice if you stay in the same unit doing the same thing for 20 years. It's kind of like the old school thing. You know, if you're at a job for 20 years, I mean that's almost hard to fathom.

Speaker 2:

Unless you're the guy in idiocracy in the basement that was in charge of the files that nobody ever came at it. Sometimes, there's salsa in that. Sometimes there's that, so okay. So big military guy spent a bunch of years in there. My buddy Ricky. He just actually posted on Facebook his retirement. He got one of those nice little papers from the army. Ricky Hust, you got more than I got. Oh, you didn't even get that. Oh my gosh, wow, they're cutting back.

Speaker 3:

You know, I got a party. I said let's go out and let's bury you in a drinking and send you on your way. You know, that's about it. No, I'm kidding, it's it. It's something different. I'm sure one day I'll get something in the mail that says here's your certificate of retirement or whatnot. But you know what the fact is, the paperwork is done and I know I'm there.

Speaker 2:

Well, talk about some of the other stuff you've done outside of the military, that kind of legend, what you're doing now.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I guess it starts at NKU. Well, it may start a little bit before that. Wow, as a student at NKU, after I'd already gotten back from basic training and whatnot and I was, you know my tuition came through and I'm a student at NKU. I was a CEO of a small retail company it was a cell phone, you know actually got the Florence Mall and there's a kiosk outside of American Eagle. It was there.

Speaker 2:

Oh, you were one of the middle guys. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

And man, what a fun. That was really a fun job. But anyway, we had three locations on this side of the well, I'm in Kentucky, in Ohio, and then we had three locations in Indianapolis. So the owner was over in Indianapolis, I was over here, so it's kind of like the second in command. I ran all this market, he ran that market, and it was a really great experience because you're running a small business. I had full control. The only thing I didn't do is sign the check, you know. So I did everything on product development, customer development, you know, inventory, whatever, and I, you know, had 12 employees or something. It was fun. So that's kind of where my entrepreneurial journey started. Actually, I was going to buy that location that franchised from him.

Speaker 2:

Oh, no way Okay.

Speaker 3:

I got back from Afghanistan when 2005. So I worked there for almost seven years, through college and then beyond a little bit, and I was deployed and our agreement was hey, when I get back, you know, I'll buy this from you for what now seems like nothing. Yeah, right. And when I got back he had sold that portion.

Speaker 2:

So game over, oh no, I had to think about something different.

Speaker 3:

He didn't want to wait, no, no, I had to think about something different. So you know, so I did and I got a real job, if you will, and I worked for state Kentucky state government right during 2008. The, the, the economic down. I worked in the unemployment. It was pandemonium, oh, and you worked in unemployment during that time I worked in the unemployment office. Wow, yeah, yeah, and I did. I did like claims troubleshooting and worked with some of the claimants and it was. It was wild.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, to see some of these people's lives kind of falling apart too, yeah, especially with housing the way it was and people losing their properties.

Speaker 3:

And I saw a lot of people that I knew in there too.

Speaker 3:

That was the other thing that you kind of don't you don't think about it when you go to work and you're working in an industry and you see a lot of people that are you know. I remember Fidelity had a huge layoff at that time, and how many people do we know in the area that work at Fidelity? Oh my gosh, yeah, I can still count on. You know in two hands. Yeah, many people I know after all these years. So, yeah, you would see people that that that you didn't think you were going to see people's parents, friends of yours. You know, people that you remember picking on when you were a kid, all sorts of people.

Speaker 3:

So that was an interesting time. But backing up just a step though when I was a student in KU, this, this, this while I was working in this CEO role I was also I guess I was right at the end of my tenure there I actually had a friend that I deployed with. So I was it was unique that I deployed during my college years. Yeah, I came back and I had one semester left at a day.

Speaker 2:

Everybody else is going to get in jobs and you're starting college kind of right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I'm kind of in the middle right I'm between. I should have been out two years before, at least two years, maybe three years before I really graduated, oh, before you.

Speaker 2:

actually you could go back.

Speaker 3:

So I came back and I had one semester left to graduate and a friend of mine that I was deployed in Afghanistan with had just started school. So he was a little bit younger but had just started school at NKU. And he said hey, you know, we want to start a student organization. So so well, what is it? And he said I went, it's a veterans called NKU vets. Veterans vets, you know, is an acronym stands for veterans, for educational and transitional support, and we need an alumni representation on the charter said, yeah, I'm in. So we started this NKU vets thing and some odd years later now, and it's, you know, there was a lot of support by staff, faculty and staff, but now it's actually department at NKU, no way Out of the veterans resource station.

Speaker 2:

Oh wow, Interesting that's kind of where you know.

Speaker 3:

a little bit of my entrepreneurial spirit came in and you know we helped build the charter.

Speaker 2:

You created a legacy at NKU. Yeah, it wasn't all me, but you know.

Speaker 3:

I can't take all the credit. If there's a lot of great people involved in that, and I'm sure if they listen to this they'll say, hey, I had an end in that too. Yeah, and yes, you did, whoever you are. So, but that's. That's kind of where that so all those things were kind of intersecting at the same time. And as I worked for state government, I did that for a few years and you know you meet a lot of people doing job fairs, oh yeah, and economic development, and that's what happened. I naturally went into economic development, which was the Tri-County Economic Development Corporation, now more commonly known as BNKY. Thank God it's so easy.

Speaker 2:

Used to be Tri-Ed yeah.

Speaker 3:

So Tri-Ed yeah we got confused with some other stuff. It sure did, it sure did, and so I spent a few years there and again. This is one of those areas where you just kind of meet people and you find out what you're interested in. I got exposed to a lot of interesting economic development things that I would have never. I don't know how you would have learned, how anyone would learn, the things you learned in that, if you didn't work in it.

Speaker 2:

So you know really hard, yeah, from your background as well, and then just buying a building and being a part of something and bringing in businesses and people to an empty, a formerly empty building. That's kind of playing a part in economic development. But when you're in the actual government and you have like restrictions, I have no restrictions to do whatever I want. You know, if I wanted to paint the outside of the building, I mean, I guess I'd have to talk to the city yeah, a couple.

Speaker 2:

A couple, yeah, a couple things right, but but you know, you're not in the economic development thing where you have to come up with plans, and it can be kind of stressful because I mean, this is northern Kentucky, right, you got Cincinnati. Right across the river. Cincinnati can be like oh look at us, we're Cincinnati, right, and here you are, over here trying to be nimble, trying to be, you know, different. How do we separate ourselves from what's going on over there and but still, at the same time, not step on?

Speaker 3:

toes. It's an interesting. It's an interesting field, I mean. I really there's so many intersections on, you know, especially if you're part of the fabric of a community, whether that's down to the lowest level or at a larger level, there's so many reasons to understand economic development and how, especially if you're interested in buying property and flipping property and being oh, you have to understand starting a business like.

Speaker 3:

It's really important to understand your community, and that that also goes on to say what is available for you in your community too. That's one of the that's probably one of the most enlightening things I've learned is how many things are out there. If you really know what you're looking for, how many things can help you incentives or or programs that a city might have. I know Covington has a lot of programs, Erlanger has a lot of programs. A lot of cities have programs, but you really have to be part of the community. Until to figure those out, Nobody's. Nobody's going to tell them. Tell you about those. They're not going to be anywhere.

Speaker 2:

You kind of have to go figure it out. You're not going to stumble upon it.

Speaker 3:

You just have to build a network before you need it. Yeah like join the chamber or the yeah, and even the chambers of our chamber here is awesome, so great resource for us. But I mean even them, even even those people there. I mean, luckily BNKY is right across the hall from them. But yeah, just being a part of your community is is advantageous in so many different ways.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I'm part of the Covington Business Council and I sit on the marketing committee for that, and I've done that for years. But you know, you want to integrate yourself somehow when you get into a community, especially these guys that run these economic development organizations. I mean they're really well networked and they'll have dinners and things like that that you can go to Fun stuff yeah fun stuff.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, sometimes you look at your calendar you're like crap, 530, I got to beat this thing. I was playing on going to the gym, or I was playing on doing this, or did it last week.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, exactly so. Okay, so you involved in economic development, everything, and then you found your way into the DAV.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it wasn't quite that easy. I mean it all came through connections. I mean I worked in economic development. I moved around a little bit, a little bit of tech consulting with Salesforcecom, and you know I'm kind of a guy that picks up skills along the way and I learned very quickly. So that's why I wear many hats. I like to do that, I like to be resourceful, so I try to use some of that on just freelance et cetera. I did a little bit of financial planning, doing financial planning for people, found my way to during COVID, actually take a step back after that because I did work for the Port Authority across the river doing community revitalization. So, and again, as somebody as thirsty for knowledge as I am, somebody who likes to absorb knowledge like I do, boy that if economic development didn't teach me a whole boatload of stuff, then working in the port really did.

Speaker 3:

Because it's a totally different scene. I mean you're talking about Kentucky to Ohio, all the counties over here really kind of unified over there, the city and all the different neighborhoods. And I live in the, I live in the West End over in Cincinnati, so you know I learned about the West End by my time working at the Port Authority and how those communities are all broken down in incorporated neighborhoods that have a say in what goes on. So again an element of that economic development piece that you know there's a level, there's so many levels, there's actually more levels of government over there than there are on the Kentucky side.

Speaker 2:

It's pretty it's fascinating.

Speaker 3:

I mean they both have their strengths and weaknesses, of course, but fascinating. So you know. Then I fast forward and I ended up during COVID finding a way to work for the Small Business Development Center because I love working with people, I love doing the one-on-one thing, I love the coaching, consulting. My mind is really business-oriented, you know, focused on helping people improve their business, their ideas, I mean really whatever it is, that's what I do. I help people kind of get out of their own way. And so the SBDC was a good fit and you know it was where everybody was working from home, so it was just happened to be very convenient.

Speaker 2:

They produce some really good videos too. The SBDC they do. They do, yeah, a lot of really good educational videos like marketing and things like that.

Speaker 3:

They do tons of great work and the SBA funds, that program I mean. Obviously there's lots of programs, the SBA funds, but that's probably one of the more well-known, at least at a community level. Yeah, you know, we have several offices here. So that office was at NKU and so that's where the story, that's where the story begins to get to the DAV is.

Speaker 3:

I'm at NKU and of course I'm meeting people like Dave Knox and Blue North and a few other people, because those are organizations that we work with and while I was at NKU, that SBDC that was at the campus had been there, I don't know, I want to say 37 years or so. So we developed a plan. You know, being a guy that I, you know I don't necessarily want to work with a government program. I want to work with a program that has a maximum amount to affect people. Yeah, the SBDC in some cases is like all that a community might have, but in this area it seems like a limiting factor because of the river, like you could. And, for example, if you're in Kentucky and you're in these counties, you can't work with somebody from a different county.

Speaker 2:

Well, they're right, I mean right here, it's literally right here, and that doesn't.

Speaker 3:

To me that just doesn't foster that collaborative nature that we really should hear in this region. So I proposed to the university that we that we not renew the SBA grant because NKU was they had skin in the game so they were paying two thirds of that grant anyway and the SBA was giving them a little bit of money. I said we can do better with our own, raising our own funds. Somehow the president at the time bought that, bought that sales pitch, and we ended up leaving the grant and starting our own business center there. Now I'll call the NKU Biz Access Hub, who's led by Don Parks. So she's there running that organization right now. So that was another little creation, you know, brainchild of mine that came to life and sin still kicking strong. So yeah.

Speaker 3:

And that through that experience I met some great people, dave Knox. It introduced me to the guys at DAV course. I'm a career veteran, so I want to work with my brothers and sisters in arms. And one thing led to the next and they had an opening for this program DAV Patriot Bootcamp that they had acquired in 2022. And this is just kind of feeling.

Speaker 2:

Man, it sounds like they're lucky to have you now. It's like somebody like you is probably running for office or not sticking around here. Not any chance, that's all right.

Speaker 3:

Let me do it. I'll take all the arrows, it's fine.

Speaker 2:

It's fine.

Speaker 3:

Back you up, adam, I'm back One of these days.

Speaker 2:

I just want to take Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati and just create a state out of it. We talked about it.

Speaker 3:

We did talk about this, and I think there's a lot of people out there that say let's do something like that. I mean honestly, it could probably.

Speaker 2:

It's not that crazy. It's not that crazy. What are we getting from the state of Ohio? What's the North of Kentucky get from Kentucky? I mean, you get treated like at the redheaded stepchild of Kentucky.

Speaker 3:

Funny story about that. I mean when I was in the Guard. You know, and most of the Guard units are, of course, the Guard headquarters are in Frankfurt. National Guard headquarters are in Frankfurt, kentucky, a lot of units in Louisville and Lexington, kentucky. So you see where this is shaping up Richmond, lexington, louisville, Bowling Green, kentucky. So you know, these are not Northern cities, no. And so you'd say, oh, I'm from the Walton unit, they'd say, oh, you're from the North.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like it's not even part of Kentucky or something Right?

Speaker 3:

That's exactly. That's exactly. Yeah, there used to be that shirt that was out there, t-shirt made I don't know who made it, but it was a had a picture of Kentucky on it and then, like a bump out star from Northern Kentucky, that says Northern Kentucky kind of like Kentucky, only better. And I always think about that. And the Guard was. It always felt like that to me because the state was like oh, they, they, and when they referred to they, they referred to themselves, the rest of Kentucky, northern Kentucky was like this outcast Northern, you know area, like yeah, just kind of strange.

Speaker 2:

Like the culture doesn't fit or something.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, like there was some something off Like oh, you're, it's a, you're from Ohio, you know you're. It's kind of like you're just go to Ohio, well, and people in Cleveland call us Kentucky and Cincinnati, which is weird.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, southern Ohio, they think, is Kentucky. And then everyone else in Kentucky thinks Northern Kentucky is Ohio. So yeah, why don't?

Speaker 3:

we just leave? Why don't we just say you don't appreciate it?

Speaker 2:

We'll take all of our tax dollars with us.

Speaker 3:

Right, We'll just we'll just dip out, tell you what we could be better off. Everybody, if you're listening we'd be better off doing that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah so many ways.

Speaker 3:

I mean it's hard to articulate in plain words, but it's.

Speaker 2:

If you took these three counties over here in Northern Kentucky like you had said it's hard because you got Boone. Yep, kenton and Campbell, if you just made that one place, even if you just did that and made it one city.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I know judge knuckleman will probably listen. He's gonna be mad about it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah he's not gonna be too thrilled about this cuz. Yeah he's. He's essentially the king of Kent County right now.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. Well, you know I mean it. They take that in Hamilton County and you maybe maybe another stray County or two. You mentioned Indiana. Yeah, I don't know if they're necessarily close enough in proximity, but hey, we could, we'd have three million people.

Speaker 2:

We'd have more electoral votes and I think, 19 states yes, you've done your homework. Oh yeah, don't worry, I've looked into this you know.

Speaker 3:

Just let me know when you're running.

Speaker 2:

I made a map of the counties that I would want to come with in here. We'd have farmland, we'd have city, we'd have river, we'd have all. We'd have everything.

Speaker 3:

Oh, we'd immediately have one of the larger cities, if you think about it, because this tiny little area with this big city right here, I know since 90s not the largest city, but Sometimes it feels like it's a lot bigger than you think.

Speaker 2:

I mean three million people with Dayton if you include it and and you could do a lot here and plus all the Fortune 500 companies, all the fortune 1000s. And imagine if you had your area yeah, if you had your own state Legislative. Think there's a lot you could do here. Get rid of state tax, bring some businesses in here, make it attractive for people to move here. Next thing, you know, boom. Cincinnati's often running. That's right, the state of Cincinnati. This is what we've all figured out.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, and you can run it.

Speaker 2:

You can run all the administrative like the economic development stuff over now talk about that?

Speaker 2:

now I know a guy talk about that. There we go, there we go. So explain this. What confuses me a lot as somebody who you know from Cincinnati I own this space over here. I'm always running into entrepreneurs who need advice, who are looking for Money to get their startup off the ground or looking for some kind of help. There always seems to be just like a tons of different organizations out there, all working in kind of like silos, and they don't necessarily work together, and it seems like there's a lot of overlapping services. How does someone just navigate all that? Where do they go to find stuff Like what's like ground zero? If you were gonna start somewhere, if you were gonna dig around, try to find resources.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean that's that's definitely a difficult question. Well, it's kind of like I tell people now, if, if, if, worst-case scenario, you start closest to home, the most simplest thing to do is look at city. Here's the city that you're in, and the city is probably gonna refer you to a couple places, but the fact is it's a city's is. This is my opinion. It's a city's responsibility To do it, to know some things, to help businesses. I help entrepreneurs that are local.

Speaker 3:

You know, whether that's a brick and mortar or tech business or online or whatever Service business, they should have some resources. Now that might mean they said, hey, go to the Chamber of Commerce. It's always a great place because then the Chamber of Commerce gets you connected to people and Connected to the network that you'll eventually be able to uncover what, what you're looking for. But on the entrepreneurial space, it is its own thing. Right, it's good a Chamber of Commerce and they're not gonna say, here's all the entrepreneurial Programs out there, they really don't know, and so looking for a big business right, they're bringing businesses.

Speaker 2:

I mean, you know, typical.

Speaker 3:

I guess you know in my experience being KY's, you know that if I spoke to that, that they're focused on certainly the, the core Industries and and yes, it made cases larger businesses, core industries within the area. But like a Chamber is good, is good because they can kind of speak to everything that's relevant, everything that's going on in their service area, at least in our case we have a large Chamber for bootcamping. Campbell, cincinnati is a nice size chamber. But the entrepreneurial ecosystem is like Find one program and you might have to just do some googling, you might have to go to us and a good networking I mean I think the networking events, networking groups, is a great place to find that. That one place, whether that be an accelerator program or there's a place giving out grants for small businesses or such, and then it kind of opens up from there. I hate to say it, but it doesn't seem like there's one resource even in our area.

Speaker 3:

I mean, yeah, I could, I could quote centrifuge. Centrifuge is a good area to go if you're an entrepreneur, but it's still not all-encompassing. I mean, they do a good job of bringing people together. I know on our side Blue North is is working and they're doing a great job in that regard too. And again, building from the ground up and really with lessons learned and I can't speak for Dave Knox, but like lessons learned from that, his time on the on the Ohio side and his experience there, you know, creating some new pathways for people to find these programs, and that's what I would say. And again, but those are community, those are things that are really driven at the community level. Yeah, the state I mean in some cases states funding some of that, but just knowing that the guy or girl that's running that, and then and then they excuse me they kind of introduce you to the others and you get exposed to it yeah, eventually there might be one single hub, and I know that it's a goal.

Speaker 3:

That should be the goal everywhere, but I know it's the goal here. That's Blue North's goal is to be the center of that Ecosystem, and so you, it can be found, yeah, yeah. And then it's funding, like how do?

Speaker 2:

you fund that? I know I know centrifuge is funded by business people, by mostly the business, local business leaders, to bring in people and connect them with space, connect them with money, connect them with Mentors. That's like the main three things that they want to do. But then you've also got SINSEE tech that has an office inside which helps you with funding early stage venture funding. You've got Other groups here. You've got alloy right, which is funded by the county. Sinsee tech is actually funded by the county, who is funded by the state, so also will have some funding by the county or state, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

And you've got all this money coming in at these different organizations?

Speaker 2:

Some of them are private, some of them are semi public kind of organizations and you just don't know where to go, especially and I know they've worked on like an ecosystem chart at Centrifuge, has a really good ecosystem map, but still it's real busy, right?

Speaker 3:

There's so many little, so many little partners. You can treat some input. Yeah, so you know you're on there and it's like, but it's not interactive, right Right. So like there's no place to go, that you can say well, I'm, you know, I'm a coffee shop. We're just talking about that. I'm a coffee shop and I, how do I? You know what?

Speaker 2:

do I need to know about the resources?

Speaker 3:

here Again, I would say if you it might have been broken down by what type of business you are if you are a brick and mortar, go to your city first and foremost. I think they they're there on your behalf, right, they're there to advocate for you. Yeah, it. While you may not reveal or uncover all the solutions to all your problems, you're definitely going to get leads that help you address certain concerns. And, yeah, and, and that's a great place to start, especially in a larger or more a city that has a like a business district or some kind of urban revitalization or some kind of community groups. That's a great place to start. But if you're a tech business, then you're looking I mean just google terms like accelerator or incubator, and you'll find things around, even by accident.

Speaker 3:

Tons of those, yeah, or, or you know, startup funding or those types of programs and you'll run into people and and that's where the networking groups can help kind of cut down the amount of money that you're making. The networking groups can help kind of cut down the amount of time for it that it would take for you to find some of those resources they can.

Speaker 2:

Why? An idea to you know, just digging around thinking of different things that we need in the city. I mean, we don't have enough plumbers, we don't have enough electricians, we don't have guys like that. But at the same time, the high schools these kids aren't engaged with high school. You got rid of a lot of the vocational programs that teach these kids how to work with their hands, because everybody thought they had to go to college. You thought you had to go to college, I thought I had to go to college. Meanwhile these plumbers, electricians, are making four or five hundred thousand dollars a year. They're making what doctors make. And here we are like man, we could what we're doing.

Speaker 3:

This whole time we didn't see that coming right, we didn't see the hbc guy do it all over again.

Speaker 2:

We know it's not possible he started business and now what you've got is you've got a lot of these boomers. They started those businesses, they're cash flowing, they have customers, but the kids don't want to take them over, right yeah, grandkids don't want to take them over. That would hurt me.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 2:

So now they're on these broker sites business by selling all that, just trying to sell these cash flow in businesses. Why don't we have some sort of vocational program in the high schools that teach these kids what they need? Maybe they even intern or they, you know, they work with these business owners that are playing on selling their businesses and then you give them a couple years after they graduate, yeah, connect them with the SBA, yeah, and they end up buying the business off the guy Right.

Speaker 3:

And I didn't even mention the SBA's resource. Obviously that's it. That goes without saying. The SBA is a tremendous resource. Like no matter where you're at in the country, there's going to be something there that they're doing. That's just their business. But you bring up an interesting point. You know it's it. There's a lot of high school, there's a lot of entrepreneurship programs like academic programs out there. You know high schools are kind of getting on board with that, bringing in entrepreneurship programs. But the one place that they don't cover, the one place that they fail, is that they don't talk about that. They don't talk about the opportunity of buying an existing business, even if you don't have the skill set yourself. There's ways to do that. There's ways to be the plumb and the owner of the plumbing company.

Speaker 2:

I was in my 30s when I figured out the SBA even was existed and did that.

Speaker 3:

What? What a tremendous miss Right, huge miss.

Speaker 2:

I mean, we're not.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, everyone has a tendency to think this is just from my experience. Everyone has a tendency to think I need to raise money or I need to take investors. That's fine and I'm not. I'm not dismissing that but when you look at the vast majority of the business market, it's it's not people starting up things and going and getting capital from a venture capital group. It's not, that's not the majority of people. And while there are some that, that, certainly they fit that mode a lot better. But there's a ton of businesses to your point out there that are waiting to be bought or getting shut down because they don't have any legacy to pass it on to, or or it's a not sexy. It's not a sexy business. Personally, me personally, I'm in the market to look to buy sex, non sexy businesses. Laundromat.

Speaker 3:

Right Because right well and that's like we're all the laundry. That's where people, that's where people's minds go to. But even something like you know, I saw this garage storage company like, yeah, I have storage and organization. I love doing storage and organization. I can get down with that, you know. But just people don't find that sexy because it's not. You know, it's not tech, it's not, it's not fancy, but it is. Though that's the thing it can be. You make it whatever you want.

Speaker 2:

That's the beauty about buying something that's already there's math in it, you know you've got a certain amount of space. How do I, you know, consolidate things?

Speaker 3:

and it's artistic in a way to like that or artistic, you know, and that's while we have more photographer like you, buying a photography business is different. You are the service right. So buying I don't know. A franchise can probably fall into this category too, some franchises that are smaller, that are a little more equipped to handle your own personal spin on it. But just a thought of I want to be an entrepreneur tomorrow, so I'm going to go find a business. It can be done, you know, instead of like creating a runway and education and all the depression, like there's a say, there's a mindset, like if you're going to start something, and especially if you're the service, you got to be in the mindset man, I mean like you. And it takes a while you know this and I know this and lots of other people know this it takes a second for you to really say I believe in what I'm doing.

Speaker 3:

Like you know, you know, you know you're hot shit at whatever it is you're doing. And it's not that it's the noise in our head, it's the noise that all of us have about everything I have. You know, we talked about salsa dancing. I salsa dance. I have noise about salsa dancing, I struggle with it. Your wife got you out there, yeah, yeah. My partner, yeah, no, I met her doing it, but I did it on my own. But I have the noise right, because I've always been scrutinized for dancing. You know, I'm just, you know, some goofy white dude, you know. So it's like I'm not a dancer, but that's not really true. And so I have to, even you have to get your. We all have the noise, and so business is no different, it's, it's. It's. How do I get in the right mindset? And when you start a business, I think the runway for that, the prep time and the acceptance of that, is a lot longer than it is when you just say, tomorrow I'm buying a business.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you know, yeah, and it's working, and, and that's what I'm saying, and you, you get vulnerable.

Speaker 3:

I mean you're vulnerable doing that it's like about being exposed.

Speaker 2:

Well, and plus, you've never run a business before, you don't know how it works. I know so many people that said, hey, you know I'm going to leave the agency world and I'm going to go freelance. And you're like, okay, cool, and I've been doing it for a while, adam, what should I do? Well, half your days you're going to be in QuickBooks. Half the day you're going to be chasing clients down. You're going to be in meetings. You can't bill for all this other stuff.

Speaker 2:

In their mind, though, yeah, they're spending all day working like they are at the agency. Right, they're sitting there, but instead of them making what $30 an hour or whatever it worked out to back in the day, they're going to make $300 an hour like the agency's making, right? So in their head, that's going to work out for them. In reality, they're spending one, maybe two hours every day actually doing work that they can bill for, and the rest of the time it's meetings. You know, doing that, marketing, trying to get themselves out there, going to networking events, all that other stuff you can't even bill for. And then you can't. You're too small to hire somebody to do work, right? So then you get into that weird phase, and then these people they end up quitting and then they just go right back into a job. It's a labor of love.

Speaker 3:

And that's saying we all want to follow into this category of this, saying, you know, believing that our hobby is like work is fun because it's like the thing we love to do, and that's probably, I mean, I think most people would achieve that in a lifetime. They'd say, at least to a point and say, you know, I love what I do. It doesn't feel like a job. It feels like, you know, I love what I do, but it's a freaking job. I mean, it's still you have to bust your butt all the time.

Speaker 3:

And yeah, there's so many things in the, in the, in, you know, in a day, in eight hours or 10 hours or whatever. That is that you really have to earmark as, like I'm working on my business or I'm working in my business and looking at it from those two perspectives, I'm working on it or I'm working in it. That's right, you know. I mean I don't know how many people have heard that term, those terms, those phrases, but like that's true, and there's times you work on it, it is, there's times you work in it.

Speaker 2:

And you and I have heard it because we're in the startup world, we're in the business world. But it's simple things like that we take for granted, that we just assume everybody else knows. But you say it to somebody, you say you don't want to work in your business, you want to work on your business. So like, wait a minute, what does that even mean? And you'd really don't. It doesn't really get you until you've done it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and, and that's the thing. Like you're, you know. You just outlined that a typical day you might have half of your hours are working on your business and the and maybe a 30 or hours are working in your business, and maybe the other, you know, quarter of your hours. That math doesn't end up, don't? Don't, don't track the math, but you know, the other part of that time you're like WTF.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, you want to work on growing?

Speaker 3:

your business. You don't want to work in the like.

Speaker 2:

If you're on a landscaping company, you don't want to be the guy out there laying sod and doing all that stuff. You want to find somebody else that you could pay $15 an hour to do that. Meanwhile you're building a hundred an hour. Whatever landscapers build now I think that's what I heard last time is about a hundred an hour. Yeah, tease.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's getting expensive.

Speaker 2:

So but yeah, and you, you take your profit and that kind of pays for you but also pays for the growth of the business, and then you can put a little something aside, yeah.

Speaker 3:

It's. It's also funny when I again, when I used to consult with the SBDC, I I'm a big believer that you got to pay yourself first, you know, and that's like one of those things that people forget to do, and it's kind of like yeah, like you said, I got a. I might want to try and sub something out, or I, you know, I'm calculating in my, in my head, what, how many hours I need to do in a given week or whatever, how many jobs I need to do, how many units I need to sell, how many whatever, and you think I'm just going to pay for the expenses. Just got to pay for the expenses, got to pay for the expenses and that's like that's it.

Speaker 3:

I personally, I don't know how anyone can live like that. I know there's a lot of people out there doing it and they're still making it and they're better. I mean, you know there'll be better off for that when they get to the point where they don't have to do that. But you got to pay yourself first, and if you're, and if you're, if you're only making up what you spent, then you got to think of a different plan. Yeah, that's a hard plan to sustain, so you don't really want to make yourself a job.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because it's actually harder than just going and getting a job sometimes If you're just going to build yourself a job and have to so much more. Yeah, and sometimes when you're, when you're an entrepreneur like sometimes, you're just like man. Wouldn't it be nice just to be one of these people who are just working at a regular job?

Speaker 3:

Especially when it comes down to paying for healthcare. It's like, oh, I just wish I had insurance at my job. Yeah, that's one of the big things.

Speaker 2:

That's a huge thing, especially when you start getting older. Yeah, and that's why I wanted to get this stuff in that mindset of young people, especially high schoolers, knowing that we got a bunch of houses we need to build. We have low inventory houses. We don't have enough plumbers, electricians, people like that to even go around to build the things that we actually want to build to grow the city. And it's not just Cincinnati, this has happened all over the country. It's worse in some other places, absolutely so. I mean, we have the privilege of being in New Mexico, kentucky, whereas there's a state full of people that know how to do things Well, and we have a great education, we have a great university system here, the KCTCS system.

Speaker 3:

Like people, we think about stuff like that. Think about the trades. We're not saying go out and start a shoddy, be the shoddy plumber and just to start a business and make a half million dollars, like, be the guy or girl who's like I'm the best, right, I'm the best, go to school. We have the programs here, we have the support for that and at least in our community and I have to imagine that all the communities across the country have similar thing but universities find that to be a priority where they're trying to put those trades out there and trying to spend some sex appeal on them to get some people in there. But the reality is go there, go to school. I mean, it even supports the concept of going to college. Go to college and get that trades certificate or whatever the certificate is Well, I got a buddy who went to start that business and live happily ever after.

Speaker 3:

Do the thing you like doing.

Speaker 2:

Improve the business.

Speaker 3:

So yeah, improve it or get it and buy somebody else's who's at the end of their tenure and saying that's exactly what you're supposed to do, yeah. That's the easiest way in, and when you're talking about something like you don't have to build a book of business, you're buying the book of business and you're saying this is what I got.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And I'm just going to carry the torch.

Speaker 2:

A buddy of mine that was on the podcast. He bought Pilot Lumber over there, you know, in Over in Bellevue and he went to Notre Dame, got a business degree at Notre Dame. You think, oh, you got a MBA at Notre Dame and doza, you're all go do whatever you want at that point, right, well, he's like, let me go buy a lumber business, take what I learned in business school and improve this thing. That's right. And he's a younger guy right, he's got a family, but he's a younger guy, so he knows how to market it, how to get it digitized, how to incorporate more efficiency into the business. You know, you mentioned Salesforce and stuff like that.

Speaker 2:

These guys don't have Salesforce, that are selling these businesses.

Speaker 3:

These guys are.

Speaker 2:

You got all their customers written out on piece of paper. It's on paper. You're lucky if they're even using the computer.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean at least for any significant data collection.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I actually sales funnels. No, I looked at buying a dog boarding facility, probably back in I guess it was in 2021. And it was a great business. It was a great location, it had been there for a long time, but their numbers I mean their numbers just weren't. They didn't have the data right. So you can't make an educated decision on something you don't have the data on. But it's, it's to your point I got to.

Speaker 3:

My whole intent was buy this thing. Everybody needs that. Doggy daycare. You know, that's like one of those things People spend money they don't even have on their kids and their animals. It's crazy. Yeah, I mean, I have a dog. I know I've spent minimally on her, but nonetheless, that's a big business, that's a big industry. And so, you know, I thought, well, I'll just improve this business, maybe I'll keep it, maybe I won't, but it's it's something that can be improved because it's just a it's a big business, kind of like the trades thing we're talking about. It's not going away. No, people need plumbing. Actually, there's just more and more reasons and rules that require us to have plumbers, like you know, plumbers that are yeah, what's the term? Bonded.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 3:

Bonded plumbers and you know what I mean Like qualified people, the permitting all that stuff, like it's just making it even more necessary, even more of an opportunity.

Speaker 2:

I just, I just hated rules. See I? You went to the military, I think, when I was in high school. Don't get the wrong impression, though.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I, I, I. I made my way through, but I it's not because I followed the rules. It's because I followed my rules and they might have been closely aligned with theirs, but they weren't theirs Right. They were on my terms.

Speaker 2:

Well, and and then the idea of and you may have even had this in a military, and I'm sure you know people in the military have had this where they their their commander, commanding officer whoever that is is not as smart as that, maybe and they're like why am I taking orders from this guy who is clearly a moron and I'm smarter?

Speaker 3:

Anyone who's a veteran is laughing right now.

Speaker 2:

I bet I 100%, but I'll remember that. Yep, but it's not just in that, it's in, it's in regular business too. It's like you know. Sometimes you'll have the nepotism thing that happens and you'll get these people who shouldn't really be. Well, we got leaders in this country who shouldn't be in the position there, but they are and and it's because of this or that or they spent their time and it was their turn.

Speaker 3:

What does it say? The way the chips fell, right yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but when you have your own business, you are in control and people know this, and I think that's why a lot of people end up going into into their own thing. But our what we're talking about here, guys, is is there are a lot of businesses out there that are profitable, that are in industries that, like you said, aren't sexy, but there are things that you may actually like to do based on your personality. It would, it would be great if people had like some kind of a test that take a take or whatever it says hey, I like doing this, I like doing that. Oh, you'd be good at these 10 things.

Speaker 3:

Maybe I mean I know MBTIs do that. That reminds me of like a yeah Psycho. I don't know what test it was. It was an interest inventory test or something that I took in college and I remember it saying I was. I was actually offended. I remember telling me that I'd be my number one choice in occupation was was a national park ranger and I was like what the?

Speaker 2:

and at the time I was like no way, man, that actually kind of sounds, kind of sweet.

Speaker 3:

Today I'd be like actually in a heartbeat. I would do that, and I mean, because I'm an outdoorsy person, I that's, I love to be physical and out in nature and I mean, you know we take a lot of hikes for the dog. So I'm thinking, damn, nothing, really, nothing really what was I doing? They were on it, and then I ended up in the military, so like I guess it's not so far off.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, speaking of the military, like so Patriot Bootcamp, is that dedicated to military people? And then, how does how does it help? What do you guys?

Speaker 3:

do so. Our Patriot Bootcamp is an is an entrepreneurship program, so it's it's yeah, I mean you have to be a veteran or a spouse of a veteran. It's a big category we're trying to beef up. So, spouses of veterans, I feel strongly about that because, spouses, you know whether you're male or female, especially for those who are, who served on active duty you're moving around a lot. You know, every couple of years, spouses, they never really set a route in any in any one place. Maybe, maybe the final place if, like you are, if you're nearing retirement, maybe that's the place you guys decide you're going to stay or whatnot.

Speaker 3:

But they're usually, they're oftentimes part of, like, the MWR network, which is around welfare and recreation. It's kind of like they have like gyms and saunas and you know all the like rental facilities, bases have that and they can work there and defects, the dining facilities, just just things, things that are on post, right. So they usually kind of get involved with that. But it's the perfect reason for them to be entrepreneurs because they're moving around, create their own thing, especially online sales. So we see a lot of spouses come through, but that's why we're so stern on that. They're oftentimes a more entrepreneurial one, while the soldier, whether they're male, female or off doing their thing, whatever that thing is, you know, spouses are at home. Yeah, they're taking care of kids if you have kids, but they're also like what the hell? Do I do with my time you?

Speaker 3:

know where do I work, and if you've ever been to a military installation, you know, unless you're in somewhere like San Diego or whatnot they're, they're always in the middle of nowhere.

Speaker 2:

Oh, my God, my friend Ricky, the one that just retired.

Speaker 1:

He was in North Wisconsin or somewhere, I remember, nowhere I mean freezing his butt off.

Speaker 2:

He would send me pictures how cold it was. It was crazy.

Speaker 3:

Even when you go down to Fort Knox. You know, I spent so much time in Fort Knox. Fort Knox, yeah, it's close to Louisville, but it's. It's an easy 45, 50 minute drive on a non-trafiki day, you know. So it's. It's not like you're just going to hop, jump and skip to a job over in Louisville. No, it's not that. Especially if you have family and kids and everybody's there, it's like, yeah, I mean they're, they're just in the middle of nowhere, these bases, and so that's why I think, you know, from a spousalist perspective, they can be oftentimes, especially now with social media and influencing and all the different stuff. I don't want to go all down the path. There's a ton of stuff out there they can be involved in. They can online sales, go on, or you know.

Speaker 2:

Also, you guys help them with that too. You guys would help them get like an online business or something together.

Speaker 3:

But Patriot Bootcamp is education, right, so it's education and it's network building. It's, I want to say, networking, but it's building a network. So our businesses, our folks that we support, our veterans or spouses we typically want them to be in business in some capacity, or and when I say that I mean like you've made revenue in the last 12 months, or or if you're not yet in business, because there are people that have gone to the program that are not in business yet but they're, they're in pre-revenue, so they're raising capital or they're developing prototypes, or they're kind of in that stage where they're they're getting serious right, they're in the right mindset. Okay, okay.

Speaker 3:

So they're going down that path, so they're going down that path. So it's not. It's not a startup program. It's not like I've got this idea and I need to bring it to life. It's not incubator, it's not a startup program. I'm not saying we don't take people that are in the startup phase. It just depends on where they're at in their business journey. But it's really meant for more people that are in business who are like okay, I've got a little bit of market validation, whether that's product or service, and and and they're looking to grow. But whether that's add a line of service or increase their efficiency, your output, or maybe they're looking to build a team, those are kind of like your scalability definitions.

Speaker 2:

It's really crazy that there's an asset here, though, that you guys are based here, but the program itself is is it nationwide?

Speaker 3:

Yes, nationwide, Even in, even. I think we've even had some people from Puerto Rico in that.

Speaker 2:

Oh, nice Okay.

Speaker 3:

But it's an H1 program and that's a tremendous asset for the area right. Our headquarters is here. Oftentimes we do the program here, although it does travel, but we most of the time do the program here at our headquarters. So we have entrepreneurs from everywhere coming to Cincinnati and to me that's a tremendous asset. I'm sure you know. You see the value in it. Yes, there's a lot of local programs. Most of them don't have a veteran specific program, so they're great programs and sure, veterans will go through there and they may not identify as a veteran. But our program is for veterans, all veterans. Um, a big part of the program is mentors. So we have people from our actual, naturally our local community, but also nationwide, who are mentors, who are proven entrepreneurs. They don't have to be veterans. That's one area where they don't have to be veterans. That would be pretty limiting if we did that. But we want people who are good at something yeah, the thing they they're good at and they want to give back somehow.

Speaker 2:

They want to. They've got a business. Thank you for serving our country and keeping us all free. Let me give back.

Speaker 3:

And we've got a great, we've got a great group of people and, but we're always looking for more. I mean, we, we can't sell ourselves short. We, we want to help veterans and that's why I say we're helping them build a network before they need it. So they come to a boot camp, the mentors are there, they start this networking and it's like a family. You know that the military is like a family, anyway, culturally, you mean a military guy or girl, and it's like you knew each other for 10 years even though you never even met. It's just, that's just part of the fabric of being in the military. Wow, no matter what service it is.

Speaker 3:

Um, I just had a call with some guys, um, two days ago I think it was yesterday and two days ago it's probably about days, but they have a T-shirt company, they're probably going to be at our May cohort and, um, what is the name of their business? Uh, still there. The name of their business is still fucking here. Oh, okay, and it's and it's a four person ownership. Uh, one of the guys, tyler he is a triple amputee was blown up, uh, in Iraq and missing both his legs and half of one of his arms, and then the other arm is, is, you know, affected? Not perfect. Guy has a freaking amazing attitude and he's like, hey, we're still fucking here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, right, it's still here. There's a reason, yeah.

Speaker 3:

So they support veterans, um, they sell T-shirts and memorabilia and things like that. But you know funny sayings, controversial sayings things like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

As I like to push the envelope. I really dig that and and they um, they're just animated in the and 50% of their proceeds go to supporting veterans and giving back to a charity. Wow, while that's not us, it could be or it could be another charity that they just feel strongly about. So those are the type that's kind of a good example of somebody that we're looking for, right, somebody who doesn't have to be a tech company. That's super sexy. These guys have a have a three year old T-shirt business, you know, that just has a really catchy you know name and and they do some podcasting and stuff too. But that's kind of like who we're looking for. People are like, yeah, it's time for us to grow.

Speaker 2:

Well, somebody who's running for a county commission. I noticed that there was some controversy in Ohio with the in Hamilton County with the veterans committee. They're supposed to get money from the state gives the county money. The veterans commission is supposed to use that money to help veterans but over, I think, the last 10 years there's been a whole bunch of money not going used. It was $40 million, I believe, and if they don't use it it goes back to the county commission and they get to spend it on whatever they want to spend it on, which seems a little messed up. You would think that every dime of that money would go to veterans. How do you guys go in as the DAV and say, hey, guys got a little money left over here at the veterans commission.

Speaker 3:

Why don't you and these are veterans running the veterans commission- I don't know if I'm best to answer that question, but I'd say that there's an opportunity there for sure. That's what I'm thinking.

Speaker 3:

We that's the thing the DAV is. So I've learned so much about being a DAV and there's so much more that I need to learn. But one of the things that is just bred in and out every day is we are very excellent stewards of the money. I mean, we get a lot of private donation. We get tons of stuff. People donate their houses to us or cars, their 401ks, et cetera. We don't take that lightly, just like we should in the military and I know I did in my time as an officer being a good steward of public dollars.

Speaker 3:

Dav is excellent. Like that is the number one thing. It's like when we get this money, we are using this to support as many veterans as possible, period. Look at our operations and while we have a large team and we have, you know, 1200 chapters across the country, 100 NSOs all across the country supporting benefits, you know that's one of the things people know. For us, foremost is how we help them file benefits, every single donor, every single. Even so, someone says, hey, nick, I want to give money to DAV Patriot Bootcamp. We're making sure that that money goes to veterans 100% of the time, so that's.

Speaker 2:

I mean that is.

Speaker 3:

That is a commitment. You know we're an advocate for veterans. That's just what DAV does and we don't like that example you use. We would never let that money go on. We would let it go unused, in a sense of not supporting veterans. Right, we would find we would find a program to put it into. If that was the case, I really can't speak to that specifically, but I mean, heck. They went out and found DAV Patriot Bootcamp, which was its own charity, and it was a zone charity doing great things for 10 years, founded by people who were not veterans, modeled off of a TechSars program, and said we want to support veterans and spouses is what we're going to do. Dav found value in that, said we've got you know, we think we can improve this program, we think we can help more veterans with this program. Yeah, that's what we're doing.

Speaker 2:

How do people reach out? How do they find you? Where's it at on the DAV website? Or just give us you know so you can find us at wwwpatriotbootcamporg as our website.

Speaker 3:

I encourage people to find us on social media, specifically Facebook and LinkedIn. Dav Patriot Bootcamp you can find us under that title. We are also on Instagram for those grammars out there. And same thing DAV Patriot Bootcamp. That's a great place to see really our identity too, because, while social media social media like we don't share a bunch of irrelevant articles we share things that are pertinent to our cohorts, pertinent to veterans in general Could be some legislation. You know DAV is an organization that lobbies. It's a lobby organization, so we're always doing things with legislation for veterans. How do we see bills through? How do we add inputs to bills, et cetera, that improve these things?

Speaker 2:

Not all lobbies are bad.

Speaker 3:

That's right. Not all lobbies are bad.

Speaker 2:

You hear lobby and you think bad, yeah, this is your lobby, for veterans I mean so many things.

Speaker 3:

I mean heck my boss, dan Clare. I mean he essentially authored the PACDAC, which is the most recent form of legislation within the last two years. So major, major legislation. So I mean it's important stuff. But yeah, social media you get to know us in a different way, so you get to see some of our people who come through the cohorts. We highlight them, share a little bit about their story, promote them when we can. Obviously, you'll get some feed on upcoming events. Or you know we do some things online called Caffeine Connect. It's a webinar series.

Speaker 2:

Oh that sounds good.

Speaker 3:

That's just like education, and we have somebody who says I've got this thing and I want to teach it. Try to be as creative as we can. Get some topics out there, so you can always find those on Eventbrite as well under DAV.

Speaker 3:

Patriot Bootcamp and then also on Eventbrite you'll see when we have them. Part of our bootcamp is we do have a pitch competition. That kind of culminates the event. It's not, while it's not mandatory for everybody, because we can have up to 15 at cohort, we let you know. 15 to 20 sign up, we pick the top three, they go on to a segment that's online afterwards called Patriot's Pitch, and they can win some non-diluted capital. So you know it's. You know we're the best kind of capital. That's right, the best kind of capital.

Speaker 2:

And, guys, if you don't know what that means, it means you're not going to get diluted, your ownership is not going to get diluted, you don't have to give anybody any equity in your company.

Speaker 3:

I think most people don't even know that when we say it. They don't, but see this is we take it over time. Yeah, yeah, they learn like that's yeah, you're not giving up any ownership, and it's not. You know, we're not talking hundreds of thousands of dollars, we're talking, you know, one, fifteen hundred dollars. We're trying to build that up, but I mean, you got to start somewhere. The fact is we, we, that's on our radar.

Speaker 2:

Well, guys, if you're out there listening, you want to donate to the prize pool and we're happy to take on sponsors.

Speaker 3:

We were always looking for people to get involved. I mean, volunteerism is huge at DAV, so anyway anybody can volunteer to be a mentor. Mentor is really it is the most highly rated part of the program. People walk away and say mentorship a hundred percent, like every single time, and we're always looking to make that more of a staple.

Speaker 2:

I'll press on my cousin. He's a, he's an accountant at P and G and he works with startups too to help him kind of get their their finance stuff together. And he's a veteran twenty twenty four years in the Air Force.

Speaker 3:

So that's the thing. We have people, that people, because people, veterans are it's easy for them to find us because they're familiar, generally familiar with they've at least heard of DAV, you know. Maybe they don't know the extent. I mean, heck, I don't know the extent of all the things we do. We have so many departments, we do so much stuff, even scholarship programs. You have kids, like my daughter does, volunteering, and you can earn up. When you earn a hundred hours, you can apply for a scholarship and we give out. I think it's a hundred and ten thousand dollars every year in scholarships. I mean, well, again, we're doing things that people don't even know that we're doing. That's something I learned and thought was just awesome, amazing. And they present the grand, the largest scholarship. I think it's 50 grand. 50 grand to somebody at the national convention every year. So they get the big giant check, something I've always wanted to hand out, yes, but yeah, we do so many things like that and always looking for people to get involved. Anyway, you can. That's awesome, nick.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome man. I'm going to be coming on here sharing a little information about it, giving the URL again for the website PatriotBootCamporg everybody. And Patriot Boot Camp is on any social media you can think of.

Speaker 3:

At least it's actually YouTube all that stuff. Yeah, you can find our videos on YouTube. Awesome, awesome, yeah, so please reach out. You can always find me out there at nbrophydvorg. Do you want to shoot me an email?

Speaker 2:

But even better. Look, he just gave you guys the email for God's sake.

Speaker 3:

I expect to see some emails in my inbox tomorrow that aren't spam.

Speaker 2:

We'll put it in the description for the podcast too. So if they missed that, we'll put it in the description.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, patriotbootcamporg, we got a new site so it might flip over. In the next hopefully next week or so we're going to get a new site launched. But, that's where you can access information on programs. Sign up. You can enroll in our future program. So we have another cohort. While this cohort is closed, which is actually next week, we have a cohort. Oh wow, in May is our next cohort and then we'll have another one in October. So stay tuned. If you're looking to apply, it's going to be out there.

Speaker 2:

Nice. All right, Nick. Well, thank you, sir, for coming in. Appreciate it, Thanks. Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of Side Hustle City. Well, you've heard from our guests. Now let's hear from you. Join our community on Facebook, Side Hustle City. It's a group where people share ideas, share their inspirational stories and motivate each other to be successful and turn their side hustle into their main hustle. We'll see you there and we'll see you next week on the show. Thank, you.

Turning Side Hustles Into Main Businesses
Career Path and Community Involvement
(Cont.) Career Path and Community Involvement
Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
(Cont.) Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Opportunities in Buying Existing Businesses
Navigating the Challenges of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Veterans
Supporting Veterans Through Various Initiatives