In addition to offering an everyday 10% discount with no annual limit, this Memorial Day Lowe’s will show extra appreciation for the military community:
Stores nationwide will hold a Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day (May 29), where taps will be played over the PA as well as a message from Joe McFarland, Lowe’s Executive Vice President of Stores and Gulf War and Desert Storm Veteran.
Each store will also reserve oneveteran’s parking space in remembrance of those who have lost their lives serving in the United States Armed Forces.
“At Lowe’s, the entire military community is at the front of our hearts and minds, from our customers to our own military associates, which is something I personally value, as a veteran myself,” says Joe McFarland. “It’s important to support this community every day, because they dedicate themselves to protect our nation’s freedom every day.”
Lowe’s has a longstanding commitment to honoring the military community, including:
Employing 26,000+ veterans, active, guard, reserve and military spouse associates
Prioritizing military-owned businesses as product suppliers
Providing workforce training and scholarships to military store employees
Partnering with military non-profits including Building Homes for Heroes, AMVETS and the USO
Writing a comprehensive business plan is the first step in starting a business. It will serve as a guide to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality, help you avoid costly mistakes, assist in financial preparations, serve as a resume of sorts for future potential business partners and much more.
The most valuable part of writing a business plan is the education you gain by researching and writing it. While it may be tempting to hire someone to prepare your plan, or to buy an off-the-shelf plan for your type of business, it is in your best interest to do the work yourself to best understand the needs and workings of your company.
Here’s what your business plan should include:
Mission & Vision Statements
A mission statement is a brief description of what you do. It helps you and those working with you to stay focused on what’s important. A vision statement answers the question “What do we want to become?” It provides you direction as you make decisions that will impact the future of your business.
Your business description provides the “who, what, when, where” of your business, including the type of business structure, start date and the location. This is also where you’ll want to list your business type, which you will choose depending on your needs. Business types include:
Sole Proprietorships are owned by a single person or a married couple. These businesses are inexpensive to form and there are no special reporting requirements. The owner is personally responsible (liable) for all business debts and for federal taxes.
Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are very popular. The business has limited legal liability like a corporation, but has fewer governance requirements.
General Partnerships are like sole proprietorships with more than one owner. Partners share managerial duties, profits and losses, and each is personally responsible (liable) for all business debt.
Corporations are more complex structures than the others. As with LLCs, corporations have limited legal liability and must complete other tasks such as issuing stock certificates, holding annual meetings and keeping minutes, electing directors, etc. Corporation owners are called “shareholders” or “stockholders.”
Limited Partnerships (LPs) are not used very often for small businesses, although they are common for real estate ownership. LPs are composed of one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. The general partners manage the entity and share fully in its profits and losses.
A market analysis will help you determine if there is a need in the marketplace for your product or service, who would be most likely to buy your offerings and where your customers are located. Include:
An analysis of your industry.
Evidence of demand for your product or service.
A description of your target market (customer profile).
Your market size (looking at area demographics and the growth of your industry).
Your competition and why people would choose your product or service over the competition.
Estimated sales volume and revenue.
Once you’ve identified your customer, you need to explain how you will get your customers to buy your product or service. Include:
Your pricing strategy, including the price floor (the price at which you would break even), the price ceiling (the maximum price people would consider paying for your product or service) and your pricing relative to your competition (same, lower, higher).
Your desired image (in light of your target market) and how to achieve it through advertising, signage, business cards and letterhead, brochures, office/store appearance, your appearance and other means of outreach.
Your promotion and advertising strategy to reach your target market (such as use of website, social media, yellow pages, news releases, personal network, cold calls, newspaper, radio, television advertising, direct mail, etc.).
The costs and timing of your marketing activities.
This reflects all the basics of operating your business and includes:
Your business location. Who owns it? What are the lease terms? What will be required to get it ready with regard to zoning, permitting, construction and tenant improvements?
Furnishing, fixtures, equipment and supply needs.
Inventory. What will you inventory in what volumes? Who will your vendors be? How will you store and track the inventory?
Description of operation, such as the activities from when an order for products/ services is received through its delivery, the cycles for inventory or materials/supplies purchase and other cycles inherent to your business.
Key players and their operational roles in the business (co-owners, managers, advisors).
Legal needs, insurance needs and an understanding of your regulatory requirements.
Recordkeeping and accounting needs (inventory tracking, accounting system, billing method, filing systems, etc.). Who will handle day-to-day accounting? Who will be your business banker? Who will be your business accountant and what services will they provide?
Consider including a section on emergency preparedness. Unexpected natural and human caused events could damage or destroy your business and its records.
Once you have a basis for the above, other amendments can be added to your business plan, such as funding requests or pertinent information that may be needed by the specific reader of your document. While the task is daunting, there is help to conduct your perfect plan. Visit the SBA.gov for more information.
Being in the Navy is a family affair for the Sutton siblings, Ayrion, Andrea, and Adrion. The 20-year-olds from Virginia recently enlisted together, making history as the first Black triplets to do so, according to the Navy Recruitment Office.
The siblings were inspired by their parents Andre Sutton and Tiffany Sutton, who met while serving on the USS Arctic in 1999. The triplets have in turn inspired their father, who recently reenlisted.
The idea to enlist originated with Adrion Sutton, the youngest of the triplets, who has wanted to join the Navy since the beginning of high school.
“What motivated me to join was hearing my parents talk about how good the Navy was when we was growing up and seeing my dad come home from long months, not being at home and taking care of the family,” Adrion Sutton told “GMA3.”
When they were young, the siblings often inquired about the time their parents spent serving in the military, according to Tiffany Sutton, who said she always spoke highly of the experience.
“I couldn’t find a better job,” she said in an interview with “GMA3.”
Andre Sutton, who is from the projects in Allentown, Pennsylvania, said he originally joined the Navy for the opportunities it afforded.
“I love the people [in Allentown]. I love the town. You know, I’m grateful,” he told “GMA3.” “But that environment is not where I wanted to be in life, so I decided to go forward.”
A week before they left for deployment, Tiffany Sutton said she was going down to the mess decks when she saw Andre Sutton for the first time.
“I walked past him, and I thought I saw sunshine,” she said. “I even called my mom and told her I found my husband.”
Continue to read more of the article on Good Morning America.
The journey will mark the first crewed lunar mission for the space agency since the Apollo program ended in 1972.
(NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman is selected to lead the upcoming Artemis II mission around the moon.
(Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center via NASA)
Wiseman is set to be joined by Navy Capt. Victor Glover, who will serve as the flight crew’s pilot, as well as NASA astronaut Christina Koch and Canadian astronaut JeremyHansen, a colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces.
“Together, we are ushering in a new era of exploration for a new generation of star sailors and dreamers — the Artemis generation,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said at a news conference at NASA Johnson Space Center’s Ellington Field in Houston, Texas.
On their roughly 10-day mission, the crew will orbit the moon aboard an Orion spacecraft using a Space Launch System rocket. NASA test launched the space capsule back in November 2022.
The Artemis program looks to build toward further moon missions later this decade, which NASA says will include landing the first woman and person of color on the lunar surface. The space agency is targeting a 2025 launch date for that mission, known as Artemis III.
Before being selected as an astronaut in 2009, Wiseman commissioned to the sea service through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps in 1997, according to his NASA biography. The Baltimore, Maryland, native deployed twice to the Middle East and later served as a Navy test pilot. More recently, he held the most senior position among NASA’s astronaut corps.
This will be Wiseman’s second trip to space after serving aboard the International Space Station in 2014. It will also be his fellow naval aviator Glover’s second space flight, having previously piloted NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1.
French Emperor and military conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte is getting the silver screen treatment at the hands of famed director Ridley Scott (“Gladiator,” “Black Hawk Down”).
The movie, titled after its namesake, stars Joaquin Phoenix (“The Joker”) as the controversial lead.
“The film is an original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby,” according to an Apple TV+ press release. “[It] captures Napoleon’s famous battles, relentless ambition and astounding strategic mind as an extraordinary military leader and war visionary.”
An unremitting military commander during the French Revolution, Bonaparte was elected to the role of French Emperor after the dissolution of the country’s monarchy. However, he abdicated in 1814 after an unsuccessful invasion of Russia turned the European continent against him.
Bonaparte was exiled to the island of Elba but regained power after waging his infamous Hundred Days campaign in 1815. His loss at the Battle of Waterloo, however, forced a second abdication and exile on the island of Saint Helena. Bonaparte died at the relatively young age of 51.
The phrase “Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever” has been attributed to Bonaparte. And although he did die in relative obscurity, his notorious legacy remains.
Produced by Apple Studios in partnership with Sony Pictures, “Napoleon” debuts in theaters on Nov. 22 before appearing on Apple TV+.
All federal government purchases between $10,000 and $250,000 are automatically set aside for small businesses, as long as there are at least two companies that can provide the product or service at a fair and reasonable price.
Access to SBA tools to prepare for federal procurement, connect with commercial supply chains, meet your local business community, purchase surplus federal property, access capital, and mitigate disaster damage.
Benefits for veteran-owned small business
Getting certified by SBA as veteran-owned (VOSB) makes your business eligible to compete for sole-source and set-aside contracts at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA sets aside at least 7% of its contracts each year specifically for certified VOSBs and SDVOSBs. You can also compete for contracts under other qualifying socio-economic programs. Learn more
Benefits for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses
Getting certified by SBA as service-disabled veteran-owned (SDVOSB) makes your business eligible to compete for sole-source and set-aside contracts. At least 3% of all federal contracting dollars each year are set aside specifically for certified SDVOSBs. You can also compete for contracts under other qualifying socio-economic programs. Learn more.
For many, returning to civilian life after serving your country poses significant challenges. A sense of confusion, frustration or uncertainty about your next career move is not uncommon.
Entrepreneurship, however, proves to be a great option because many of the military principles you learn while serving translate to successful business ownership.
After serving four years in the United States Air Force, I transitioned to a standard 9-5 job with Honeywell Test Instruments Division as a calibration technician for electronic equipment — something I felt comfortable and confident in from my military experience. From there, I started my own firm, growing it to a multi-million-dollar business before selling. Through this journey, I began to see and understand the parallels between military principles and entrepreneurship and was ready for my next venture.
That’s when I found franchising. Not only does this provide the opportunity to achieve the American Dream in the form of business ownership, but you’re also handed a proven playbook to success. Similar to military life, follow the playbook and conquer the mission.
Over the past nearly three decades, I’ve grown my franchise business portfolio to include 25+ Schlotzsky’s restaurants, one of Focus Brands’ iconic brands, while also building a retail empire.
Serving your country provides countless life lessons, and in return, there is a vast opportunity to launch your entrepreneurial chapter of life — from VA loans, SBA 504 loans and VetFran discounts, that in the case of Schlotzsky’s offers $15,000 off the initial franchise fee and more.
Take the leap — lean into the resources available to you and rely on military principles to guide you toward success.
Embrace Your Team as Your Greatest Asset
Whether in the Air Force or business, you must understand the value of your people — your team. In the military, you surround yourself with a strong squadron you trust with your life. In business, you must surround yourself with team members you trust in making key decisions and acting on them successfully. Build your team with that mentality — when you have a specialist in each role, collectively, you become an accountable team all aligned on the same mission, ultimately becoming an unstoppable force. Understand this and commit to investing in your team.
Break Down Obstacles
When an obstacle is too big, it can be overwhelming. A useful technique I learned during my time in the Air Force is to break up each milestone, so it becomes more manageable — win battles, not the war (i.e., payroll, overhead, vendor partnerships, etc.). Once you have a set of manageable pieces, you can tackle each one individually. You may already know what tools you need to apply or what solutions to avoid because they are not appropriate. Only once you understand the obstacle in its entirety can you determine the best course of action.
Follow Instructions & Routine Process
Without this, you can’t scale. Every Soldier (or Airman) gets the same training so that if something breaks down, you can easily detect it at the highest level. Now, from how we identify sites, to hiring staff, to getting clients in the door — it’s all about keeping those systems dialed in so we can see where we’re successful and where we’re missing opportunities.
Veterans bring a sense of resourcefulness, boldness and leadership not seen in employees with civilian backgrounds. They’ve been faced with the challenge of getting a job done without access to the resources that would ideally be available. Veterans also bring to the table a keen ability to be self-disciplined, stick through challenging tasks and see them through to completion.
Understand Leadership is Earned by Working Hard
From basic training to rising in the military ranks, veterans understand the value and payoff of hard work. You learn, you train, you succeed. In basic training, I was given the opportunity to be the Dorm Chief Leader, my first true leadership experience. It was in this role I gained confidence, learned how to earn respect, lead fairly and work together to achieve greatness. The same lessons apply to business. Work hard, gain accolades and opportunities, grow support from your team and they’ll want to perform at their highest level too. It was through this hard work that I was able to go from Dorm Chief Leader in Basic Training to Airman of the Year at Plattsburgh AFB in 1988.
With the right mentality and the right resources, franchise entrepreneurship is absolutely attainable for determined military veterans.
Be sure to do your research and align with a brand you are passionate about — whether that falls in a particular industry or is one that honors and celebrates the military community. When I found Schlotzsky’s, I saw great growth potential. Now, it’s immensely rewarding to see the brand’s commitment to supporting U.S. military members and their families through its Hometown Heart philanthropic platform and partnership with Blue Star Families.
Identify your goals, set a focused strategy and execute — soon, you’ll be well on your way to entrepreneurship.
Cary Albert and his wife Jacquelyn have been franchisees of Schlotzsky’s since 1994. With 26 locations in operation, the Alberts and their impressive team (now 500+ strong) believe the sky is the limit with this brand as they continue to grow their robust multi-brand franchise business portfolio.
Leaders struggle with securing, maintaining and exporting one product more than any other: respect. This is due in no small part to our current cultural mindset, which is counter industrious.
Our media declares the “little guy,” the marginalized majority, to be the constant victim of tyrannical bosses, teachers, owners and basically anyone else in a leadership role. The modern American distrusts leadership, at best, and resents leadership, at worst. So, how does a leader actually recruit, retain and lead people who consider themselves victims? The answer is found in the core values of honor and respect. Leaders, not employees, are responsible for setting the standard and the pace of the values.
In setting the standard, leaders must recognize and respect the time, energy and effort of those around them. This requires listening, thinking and approaching people as if they are just that — people. Most bad leadership comes from a soured mindset toward followership. Many in management positions have had enough of trying to be kind, supportive and considerate; eventually, they just want results: productivity, plain and simple. The problem with that mindset is evident: people are not cogs in the machines of a leader’s choosing. They are individuals with strengths and weaknesses, good days and bad, dreams and limitations. They cannot be demoted to the level of a cog — that logic is just as faulty as the aforementioned “little guy syndrome.”
Those in management and leadership positions must look at their followers and realize their own job is to optimize their employees’ potential to succeed, not simply fume as they seem to maximize their ability to fail. Many resistant followers have never shared respect with a leader in their lifetime and are not properly equipped to start any time soon. This is the first challenge of leadership: see “employees” as “team members” and draw the potential out of them. Do this by taking the first step. Establishing a standard of respect will not only enable your followers to fulfill their potential, but it will also cause the majority of them to respond in kind.
Regarding pace, leaders have to acknowledge that the process of gaining, sustaining and expanding respect and converting that into a productive and tenured team member is usually lengthy and arduous. To unwrap a pessimistic employee from their cynical cocoon is no small feat. Again, the antidote is simple, free and readily available: respect. It begins at the top and works its way down, not the other way around.
Leadership requires us to control the flow of respect and to drive it into every hour and corner of our organization. Once it does, it breeds a culture of honor, and anyone who enters it will either rise due to its effects or leave quickly. Many leaders will see this step as futile and counterintuitive. “Employees respect me because I am the boss. If they earn my respect, then so be it.” That mindset may have worked well enough in generations past; however, modern followers do not subscribe to this logic, so it simply won’t work today. Respect them first and farthest; then coach them up or coach them out if they do not meet the standard. By taking the first and farthest step, a good leader will completely eliminate excuses and tolerable failures — followers, will either meet the pace of respect set by the leader or find another placement.
Many view leadership as passionless and visionless. They see managers as the ultimate cogs in an even larger machine. To reverse this mindset, leaders must seek to see the value of every team member and offer honor, respect and understanding even before it’s deserved or earned. Some followers will buck this treatment and run — their presence is undesirable anyway. Some will respond almost instantly with loyalty and trust — these people were most likely conditioned for work by whoever reared them and will make excellent team members. Most will come around slowly but treat their leaders more fairly because they recognize the goodwill the leader has extended them first. This style of leadership does require considerable effort at first; nevertheless, working smarter and accomplishing more is certainly preferable to leading a group of maligned, untrusting misfits to merely adequate performance.
Now, take rapid action and go do something significant today.
Larry Broughton is a former U.S. Army Green Beret, best-selling author, award-winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker and leadership mentor.TheLarryBroughton.com
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will now handle all veteran-owned small business and service-disabled veteran-owned small business certifications instead of the VA.
The change took place on the first of this year and does not affect businesses that are already certified. The Veteran Small Business Certification Program will be the Agency’s primary vehicle for handling certification for veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) — important classifications that enable those businesses to qualify for sole-source and set-aside federal contracting awards.
“As we celebrate National Veterans Small Business Week, I am proud that the SBA is designing its new Veteran Small Business Certification Program to be the gold standard in customer experience and support to ensure we grow our base of veteran federal contractors,” said Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the SBA, “Adding this certification to SBA’s portfolio of capital, bonding and contracting programs will enable us to better serve our veteran entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses through federal procurement opportunities.”
Administrator Guzman also shared much-anticipated news that she intends to grant a one-time, one-year extension to current veteran-owned small businesses verified by the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) as of the transfer date.
On that one-year extension, Administrator Guzman added, “Our team is committed to supporting a smooth and seamless transition for our veteran customers and will be providing a one-time, one-year certification extension for VA certified veteran-owned firms, making it as easy as we can for them to continue their entrepreneurial journey.”
“The decision to extend the certification will make a real difference for our nation’s veteran business owners as we move forward with transitioning this certification from the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Larry Stubblefield, Associate Administrator for the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development. “In addition to supporting a smooth transition for currently certified firms, we will be able to focus on certifying new entrants and growing our base of certified firms.”
“We have been working closely with the SBA for a long time supporting the transfer of this certification program to the SBA and are glad to see it come to fruition,” said Chairman Jay Bowen, Veterans Employment and Education Commission at the American Legion. “We know that the veteran community will be well-served by this move and that the SBA will make the transition from the VA as smooth as possible. The announcement of the one-year extension for both veteran and service-disabled veteran small business owners further demonstrate the SBA’s dedication to helping the veteran small business community succeed and thrive.”
“National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) is pleased to see veteran certification moving to the SBA and being applied across all the federal government agencies,” said Scott Jensen, executive director at the NVSBC. We applaud the SBA’s leadership in driving a process focused on success and supporting veteran-owned businesses and are excited to see the implementation. We also applaud the Administrator’s decision to extend existing certifications for one year. This decision will provide valuable relief to those already certified during a year of increased demand as other companies pursue the mandatory certification requirement.”
“As a voice for disabled American veterans, we are thrilled to hear of the SBA’s commitment to the veteran community through the new certification program,” said Dan Clare, chief communications and outreach officer at Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a nonprofit charity that provides more than a million veterans and their families support each year by empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. “Service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) will positively benefit from the one-year extension of existing certifications, and for self-certified firms to be able to continue to compete for designated set-asides during the grace period. I am confident that both DAV and the SBA will support SDVOSBs through the transition and certification when the time comes.”
The certification period will extend to four years on a one-time basis for firms verified by VA as of January 1, 2023.
Updates in the new program will include:
Firms verified by the VA Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) as of January 1, 2023, will be automatically granted certification by SBA for the remainder of the firm’s eligibility period.
All firms verified by VA as of the January 1, 2023, transfer date will receive a one-year extension to their eligibility giving veterans an extra year to get recertified under the new SBA system.
The extension will allow SBA to process applications from new entrants into the program and grow the base of certified firms.
New applicants certified by SBA after January 1, 2023, will receive the standard three-year certification period.
Along with the recertification extension, the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act grants a one-year grace period for self-certified SDVOSBs until January 1, 2024.
During the grace period, businesses have one year to file an application for SDVOSB certification and may continue to rely on their self-certification to compete for non-VA SDVOSB set-asides.
Self-certified SDVOSBs that apply before the expiration of the one-year grace period will maintain eligibility until the SBA makes a final eligibility decision.
Beginning January 1, 2024, both veteran and service-disabled veteran small business owners will need to be certified to compete for federal contracting set-asides, unless an application from a self-certified firm is pending an SBA decision.
The PenFed Foundation, a national 501(c)(3) founded by PenFed Credit Union, announced the findings of its annual study on the top U.S. cities for veteran entrepreneurs. The PenFed Foundation Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program (VEIP), which supports veteran-owned startups and businesses through access to networks and capital, conducted the study in partnership with Edelman Intelligence.
According to the 2022 study, for the second year in a row, Washington, D.C., New York, and Seattle proved to be the top cities for veterans to start their businesses. The top emerging cities, or those that made the most progress since the PenFed Foundation’s 2021 study, include Sioux Falls, Tampa, Cincinnati and Rapid City. The study analyzed four main categories for each city: livability, economic growth, support for veterans and the ability to start a business. As the nation navigates the economic impacts of inflation, the study focused primarily on how inflation impacts cities differently.
“The military community’s resilience and entrepreneurial spirit are invaluable for our nation’s business sector. That’s why PenFed is proud to commission this study for the third year in a row, highlighting the cities that are making strides to support veteran businesses,” said PenFed Credit Union President/CEO and PenFed Foundation CEO James Schenck. “We want to help cities across the United States understand which environments are best suited for military veterans to start and grow businesses and inspire city leaders to take the actions needed to support veteran entrepreneurs.”
“Additionally, veteran-owned businesses often hire more veterans, so supporting veteran entrepreneurs provides more jobs and opportunities for the greater military community, who have served as PenFed’s base of membership since 1935,” added Schenck.
The top 20 cities for veteran entrepreneurs include:
1) Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area
2) New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metro Area
3) Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA Metro Area
4) Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metro Area
5) Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metro Area
6) Austin-Round Rock, TX Metro Area
7) Sioux Falls, SD Metro Area
8) Cleveland-Elyria, OH Metro Area
9) Rapid City, SD Metro Area
10) Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metro Area
11) Raleigh, NC Metro Area
12) Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metro Area
13) Madison, WI Metro Area
14) Kansas City, MO-KS Metro Area
15) Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metro Area
16) Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metro Area
17) Columbus, OH Metro Area
18) Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Metro Area
19) Jacksonville, FL Metro Area
20) McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metro Area
The top four emerging cities for veteran entrepreneurs are:
1) Sioux Falls, SD Metro Area
2) Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metro Area
3) Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Metro Area
4) Rapid City, SD Metro Area
The study used a custom scoring algorithm based on a robust quantitative data set from existing PenFed partners and openly available data sources. The data painted the complete picture of veteran support, city characteristics and entrepreneurship ability across the U.S.
VEIP has a three-pronged approach to create a robust network for veteran-owned startups and businesses:
Education through virtual and in-person workshops;
Preparation through the master’s program, a yearlong fundraising accelerator, and Ignition Challenges; and
Investment of seed capital, providing access to other capital investment programs and connecting entrepreneurs to funders.
Since 2018, the PenFed Foundation VEIP has accelerated over 350 veteran-owned startups and helped educate over 4,700 veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs.
To learn more about the PenFed Foundation’s work with veteran entrepreneurs or to donate to the Foundation, please visit penfedfoundation.org.
Meet the Master of Escape and Evade — Joel Lambert
By Annie Nelson
U.S. Navy SEAL and Afghanistan and Kosovo veteran Joel Lambert keeps things interesting. The star of the Discovery Channel’s Lone Target TV show (known outside the U.S. market as Manhunt) started on his journey due to fear, and fear has never defined him.
If you ask Lambert WHY he became a SEAL, he will tell you, “I wanted to be a SEAL because it was the thing that scared me the most!” You see, he wasn’t sure he could achieve it, so something inside him told him that was what he had to do. As Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, said, “Find out what you’re afraid of and go live there.”
I asked Lambert how being a SEAL changed him as a man. “How did it change me? It rewrote my DNA. It inducted me into a sacred brotherhood that stretches back to time immemorial and goes forward to who knows where. There are a few true warrior societies left on Earth, and the SEAL teams are one of them. Long Live the Brotherhood.”
Residing in middle Tennessee now, Lambert loves the country life and living off the land. He has a passion for the people in his life, his dogs and our freedom and independence as humans.
Lambert has found his freedom and independence and is thriving! “I had to get out of California. Tennessee is gorgeous. I live on 80 acres of paradise with deer, turkey and all kinds of wildlife on our property. We are becoming self-sufficient, and I can drive into downtown Nashville [which is] 20 minutes away and have world-class entertainment, the city and everything I might need. It’s paradise here.”
I asked him what things from his military career led him to the life he has lived after his Navy career. Lambert said, “It was such a shaping experience that I can’t dissect it like that. To do so would cheapen the complete metamorphosis that the SEAL Teams were for me. However, the things that were uncovered/revealed in my being from that experience are some of the most precious in my existence.”
After his military career, Hollywood came calling. Lambert did quite a bit of scripted acting at first, and he still does occasionally, but he is mostly done with that chapter. The show Lambert is most proud of is Manhunt. He was dropped into foreign countries where he would sneak over their border, parachute in or come out of the ocean. The host nation’s Special Operations Forces, fugitive recovery team or specialty tracking unit would then try to track him down and capture him before he made it to his designated extraction point — one to four days after he started.
Lambert would use anti-tracking, counter-tracking (a primitive skillset) and all his wits and experience to try to get away before they could catch him. They would use everything at their disposal: Dogs, drones, human trackers, electronic gear, thermal imaging, whatever they wanted. Per Lambert, “It was an amazing experience and a great show.
We aired in over 240 countries and territories worldwide. I know exactly what drew me to Manhunt. [It] was precisely because I didn’t want to do it that I knew I had to [do it]. I did not want to do it because it would be hard. It would be dangerous; it would require all my skills, mental toughness and ability to endure miserable conditions and even then, even if I performed at my best, there was no guarantee that I would prevail. The deck was stacked against me — the constant threat of international humiliation looming. I looked at all the reasons NOT to do it, which were precisely [why] I knew I had to do it.
When I was going through BUD/S, the SEAL selection and training program, all I did was dream of graduation day when I would finally be on top of that mountain, the peak, the pinnacle. When I finally arrived, I stood up on that mountain and realized a funny thing: The darkest moments were the ones that were the most significant — where I had grown and evolved the most. Since then, I have tried to continue to find my best in the darkest, hardest places. Manhunt, while it was definitely not the SEAL Teams or life-and-death, still challenged me and allowed me to access that place of struggle where we can find ourselves at our greatest expression.”
Lambert also has a passion for innovation. He is constantly researching, engaging and moving forward. Behind the blue jeans and boots is a mind that does not stop.
So, what is the most captivating thing on the planet right now for all ages? Gaming. That is the space you will find Lambert engulfed in right now. Not as a gamer, but as a creator.
Lambert shared, “I have started a gaming company, and we are in our angel investor round. We have an incredible concept that we’re bringing to market in the augmented reality genre. Escape and Evade!”
People can go to escapeandevademobile.com and sign up. You can also follow their Instagram accounts: @joel5326 and @escapeandevademobile.
So, when the rooster crows, you will find Lambert feeding his chickens, “The Ladies” as he fondly refers to them, then tending to his produce and hay as well as his favorite girl, Miss Petunia, a foster-failure dog that he rescued fall of 2022. By midday, this entrepreneur creator will be grinding on the Escape and Evade gaming company. To think it all started because this young man feared being a SEAL.
Photo Credit: Discovery Channel
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