October 6, 2022 at 1:17 pm #2994Mark NasmithParticipant
As I wrote my answer, I felt one question was missing. Perhaps the questions should include “Why anything?”.
My answer is purpose. The CF gave me a nourishing and profound sense of purpose, so much so that I didn’t realize it until it started to melt away. I want to have a purpose. That could mean anything, but has led me to this business. It was only 5 months ago I even began to think of a small business, but I soon developed a strong sense of, why not?
Why this business? Emergency Management (EM) services include crisis communication planning, evacuation/shelter plans, business continuity and recovery plans, and similar preparation, response, and recovery recommendations. These are widely available at high cost to large business, national chains, corporations, and by national and international businesses. Scaling down for single, small businesses is not cost-effective for them, but it is for me.
What are customers looking for? In a word, resilience. Whether a small business with a single structure, an RV park, an isolated cottage association, a mental health business, etc., all face hazards and vulnerabilities, some of which may end the business/organization.
EM services help the customer identify their hazard priorities, self-evaluate for critical data, and recommend on ways to prevent, mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from crisis events. One of my test-products regarding extreme weather preparation was used successfully by a cottager association in Nova Scotia, in advance of hurricane Fiona coming ashore.
How I am connected to my business idea? My military background and mindset. I loved the CF and my military skills, attributes, traits, experience, etc. To a surprisingly high degree, these are the skills needed by EM. EM allows me to exercise the best parts of myself, and the business and customers benefit from that. As I worked through business development, I realized that my unique value proposition is providing a military-like lens and evalulation to EM. If this makes me happy, then why not?
What inspires me to be a business owner? Two different areas have inspired me.
First, an Army buddy of mine is leaving the CF to run for Ottawa City Council. I have helped him periodically in his campaign. That showed me that vets have something to offer, it can take many forms, and there aren’t any more ‘arcs of fire’ to stay inside. If anything is possible, then I’m going for it. Why not?
Second, my age and position in life. I’ve served over 30 years and while I loved it, I never had autonomy over myself. I served a higher purpose, but that was the CF and Canada, not my family. Nearing 50, I’ve begun to understand that my time is finite, my time with my family is finite, and I’ve earned the freedom to use my time how I desire to.
How my personal values align with the business? Equality, resilience, perseverance.
I believe everyone should have an opportunity to prove themselves.
I respect perseverance, those that take a hit and stand back up smiling, and still facing forward.
I value resilience, strengthening oneself to successfully weather the next crisis.
Ultimately, I suspect my answer to ‘why’ is that I feel I can be my (military) self in my own civilian business, in a mutually positive and beneficial way.
MarkOctober 6, 2022 at 9:04 pm #3010Judy EvansKeymaster
I am so pleased to read your post and to have met you tonight on our call. As we discussed tonight, your transferable skills are extensive and align perfectly to the world of entrepreneurship. Then add that together with your values and traits – excellent package to move forward with!
JudyOctober 7, 2022 at 7:37 am #3013Erin MelnychukModerator
Mark, you have connected the dots beautifully! When entrepreneurs are able to do this, they really do live their purpose. And when that happens, you’re firing on all pistons. Way to go.
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