Our New Member Hans Herberg who is onboard with Warrior Wealth Solutions had conducted a Question & answer interview of a combat veteran Michael Stevens who is a Vetrepreneur and to give advice and support for his fellow veterans. During the interview, Michael discussed how he broke into the business world, and offers some great tips for those seeking a career in business.
Warrior Wealth – Hans: Michael, nice to have a chance to speak business and hear about you and what you do, welcome! Please tell us a little about yourself!
Michael: Hello, my name is Michael Stevens I am a 50-year-old, left leg amputee (non-service related), vetrepreneur & business owner. I served 4 years in the Marine Corps between 1985-1988 as a 0311, infantry rifleman with the second marine division at Camp Lejeune, NC. I currently own 2 entirely different businesses, one I’ve had successfully for over 15 years and the other we are looking to launch next month!! My original company is a wholesale broker and exporter of motorcycles, power-sports, collector cars etc. I have over 25 years of experience in the Motorcycle industry, working for or closely with Harley-Davidson dealerships both domestically and internationally. We supply dealers with pre-owned inventory in bulk during their seasonal sale months as well as we offer a one-stop shop for dealer trades of all genres of transportation.
My second venture is an all natural & organic beard & men’s grooming product line all infused with the highest quality, full spectrum, co2 extracted CBD’s & terpenes with no residual solvents, toxins or THC. The company is called Black Flag Beard Corps LLC and is co-owned with my girlfriend and Army veteran Michelle Randolph. We are looking to launch our first group of beard oils & balms by late September, then begin adding in new products till our line is fully up and flowing. I will try and answer the following questions using both of my businesses so you get an idea of what active and new start-up companies offer & grow.
Warrior Wealth – Hans: 1. What inspired you to start the business?
Michael: Business 1: I have always been a gearhead and motorcycle enthusiast for as long as I can remember! My mom had a lot of friends growing up that were Vietnam vets and in bike clubs that definitely helped shape my passion for this industry. I later met the world-renowned, custom bike builders, Dave Perewitz & Eddie Trotta that helped me break into this niche business.
Michael: Business 2: My girlfriend & I have always been interested in the health & beauty industry, especially for men but we wanted to offer a product line that did more than just make you look good. We wanted to help introduce the medicinal values & healing powers of CBD’s to our clientele. We are both huge advocates of this new & growing field and have enjoyed the medical values of CBD’s for several years now. Knowing so many veterans struggling with PTSD, anxiety or depression, we knew this would be a giant benefit to them. The other motivation behind this business is the fact that CBD in the right form, can help with over 50 major ailments & diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis.
Warrior Wealth – Hans:2. What are the motivation and goals of the business?
Michael: Our mission statement is our motivation and goals!! We want to offer an effective and quality product that will not only make you look good but feel good! We are also hoping to introduce the incredible medicinal values of this plant through the use of grooming products we use daily. We will also be donating $1 from every product sold to both an amputee & veteran non-profit organizations because these two causes are dear to us both!
Warrior Wealth – Hans: 3. Are customers mostly veterans in active duty?
Michael: With my first business, I work closely with many veterans that have made their careers in the motorcycle industry. Our beard & men’s grooming business we hope to gain a lot of veteran, active & reserve duty as well as non-military clients that are seeking the value of a quality grooming product that offers amazing healing powers too.
Warrior Wealth – Hans:4. Are most customers mostly from the US or overseas or both?
Michael: With my motorcycle & vehicle company, I have shipped bikes, boats, cars etc in over 9 countries & continue to supply key customers in Canada, Sweden, Netherlands & the United Kingdom.
With Blag Flag Beard Corps we are looking to reach the world with our products!!!
Warrior Wealth – Hans:5. What would the next step be in the future within 4-5 years as a goal?
Michael: My goal with the motorcycle business is to make it my secondary income, more for the fun of the industry and rely on growing my beard & male grooming products company into a worldwide brand! My future goals will be to obtain 1 or 2 major distributors that will help our brand reach the rest of the world. We also want to eventually expand our CBD products into pet & animal treats.
Warrior Wealth – Hans: 6. What advice would you give to those that are inspired for you and what message to give them?
Michael: Never give up because failure is never an option!!! You will face so many walls and obstacles along your path to becoming a successful entrepreneur, so be prepared to face them and move on. Also use all the tools & products out there being offered to you such as SBA & veteran business loans, line of credit etc. Build a large social media following to help grow your concept and also to get valuable insight from other veterans that are already successful! I still reach out to booming companies and ask their founders the same questions whenever I can because you can never have enough knowledge! But most importantly be grateful, be humble, be compassionate and always help each other out by lifting one another up, not holding them down. We grow by supporting each other positively and helping our fellow humans, veterans or not!!
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