Unconventional • Free-Spirit • Driven
The United States military is very good at is creating community. That's one of the things that attrached this weeks guest, James Van-Prooyen, to sign up in the furst place. This week he shares how he found himself searching for the deep community and connection the Air Force provided proved upon his retirement.
How it all began
James joined the Air Force in 1995, having always been drawn to the sense of camaraderie portrayed in popular culture. Originally, he only anticipated staying in the military for four years.
Meanwhile, James felt a kindred connection with his fellow soldiers and, suddenly, everything changed. Feeling part of something much bigger than himself, James choose to stay inlisted and was, eventually, deployed to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
The Transition Was Challenging
James felt very lonely upon his returement. In other words, he was searching for something to replace the camaraderie and community that was so deeply forged in the Air Force. Most importantly, he knew his feelings were not unique and he believed creating a community among veterans and entrepreneurs would be a valuable resource.
James, subsequently, put his IT skills and passion for podcasting to work and created an entire podcasting community for veterans. Starting a new business, Is not for the weak of heart In fact, James told us that doing so was one of the bravest things he's ever done. That says a lot for a man who put his life on the line for our nation for 20 years!
The Military Podcast Network is born
For James, creating community, meant building the Military Podcast Network. The network is part of the Veteran and Residents Incubator Program at Bunker Labs in San Francisco. In short, James is helping veterans and military members build their own businesses, start their own podcasts and grow their impact.
If you enjoyed this episode, here are a few other episodes we think you'll enjoy:
- Surrounding yourself with a collaborative, like-minded community that supports you is key for success.
- Forge your own path, see what works. Be audacious. You don’t have to do things a certain way.
- Failures can be a learning experience and can sometimes yield better results than what you originally planned!
- It’s easier to be brave when you have people you trust by your side.
- You have the power to create your own community!
Due to a devastating house fire when he was a teenager, James’ favorite charity is the Red Cross. He says the Red Cross was essential to his family’s recovery and survival after they lost their home and he will never forget the support they provided.
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