July has been such a busy month for those of us at TJP. We are now working with 6 Veteran-Owned-Businesses (VOB’s), we have 21 incredible Mentors signed up and are always looking for more. The VOB’s are as varied as they can be, from web-based businesses, a waffle house, the entertainment industry, to a micro-brewery; and yes, each one has been assigned a Mentor of the highest caliber.
Something quite remarkable is happening, something I never really expected, but the Mentor/Veteran relationship is taking on a whole new dimension. Not only are the Mentors sharing their wealth of knowledge and acting as a guidepost to the fledgling businesses, but some wonderful friendships are emerging from these relationships. All of the mentoring is done by phone or video-chat because of the great geographic distances between the teams, and yet relationships are emerging that will probably last longer than the initial start-up time of 2 years. It’s absolutely extraordinary, and not only are the assigned Mentors getting involved, but those Mentors are reaching out to their friends who have certain expertise in a field and bringing them into the team of problem solvers.
On the other hand, I suppose I shouldn’t have expected any less since we have selected 6 of the most incredible Veterans to work through TJP. They each have a deep passion and commitment for their ideas and are working tirelessly to realize them. They are bright, adventurous risk-takers who are willing to stumble and take some direction from others. They are turning into networkers, par excellence. They’ve learned, or are in the process of learning, how important networking is to gain support and financing for their enterprises. We have dubbed them our Warrior Entrepreneurs, and they are living up to this title.
If you are reading this update, please keep in mind that TJP is always looking for new volunteer Mentors, for Angel Investors, and for a few more Warrior Entrepreneurs.