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In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the CEO of Bunker Labs, Blake Hogan. 

Bunker Labs is a national nonprofit organization that works with veterans and their families to help them start their own businesses and pursue their dreams. They run three small cohort based programs for their veteran entrepreneurs. 

Blake shares thoughts on how you need a mission-focused mindset to succeed in business and entrepreneurship can be just the calling for veterans and military families. Blake shares some entrepreneurial wisdom and says to have grit and be resilient. You’ll make mistakes and encounter gray areas, but military veterans are built with the grit needed to enter entrepreneurship. 

Bunker Labs wants to rally smart thinkers and civic leaders around veteran entrepreneurs to help these companies grow and thrive. Blake also shares that you don’t need to get started with a lot; an idea, some research, and the determination and willingness to succeed are all it takes to start. 

Josh and Blake also explore how these veterans can use the grit they learned through their military service and translate that into successful entrepreneurship. Blake shares that if you have that grit and drive, go and join their community. He shares that taking action, showing up, and connecting with one person is truly how you can make a difference. Networking, especially in the veteran entrepreneurial space, is a major way these businesses grow. Help other veterans grow their businesses, and they’ll help you grow yours. 

Josh also shares some wisdom to other veteran entrepreneurs like himself. He stresses that if the resources are there for you because of your military service, take them! Don’t let pride hold off any growth or networking that’s in your best interest (or your business’s.) Blake explains that networking is vital, and veterans are the business owners and entrepreneurs people want to connect with because they’re also business leaders. 

The three main programs Bunker Labs facilitates are the Veterans in Residence program, the CEOCirlce Growth program, and the Ambassador program. 

Blake shares where Bunker Labs intends to grow and how they will continue to offer amazing experiences for their members. He shares the visions behind his programs and which business owner is fit for each program. 

Blake also reminds us that it’s not about offering charity to veteran entrepreneurs – these are simply remarkable leaders that you’ll want to work with. If you’re not a veteran, you can do your part and help just by looking for connections in the veteran space. 

Learn more about Bunker Labs at their website https://bunkerlabs.org/

Check out Bunker Labs on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/bunkerlabs/.  

Check out Blake Hogan on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/blakehogan/

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