Connect with us
GET YOUR TICKETS TO OUR NEXT DISRUPT MASTERMIND EVENT!

Interviews

Interview with New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce’s Lisa Ducharme

Published

on

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Ducharme, Executive Director of the New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce. She comes from a family line with over 200 years of military service in all branches of the military.  She is a 20-year Air Force veteran, daughter of a retired Air Force Veteran and mother of an Army retired soldier.   Ms. Ducharme has an in-depth understanding of veteran benefits, and experience as a business owner, she has been a partner with Veterans Outreach Into Community Engagement (VOICE) for over 5-years, where she participates in military outreach opportunities connecting military, veterans and their families to resources.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?  When I retired from the Air Force in December 2006 I struggled to find a job, when I found a job that I enjoyed, after 5 years, in 2014, I was laid off.  I decided I needed a change, and went back to school to get a certification in 3D Animation and Interactive Media, which led me to start a business.  In starting my own business, I made all the mistakes you could make and didn’t really understand what assistance or resources were available.  When my business wasn’t going anywhere and I couldn’t make it work, that is when I started looking for assistance, and I applied for and was accepted into the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities at UConn.  I learned so much from that program and about other resources available to businesses and veterans.  When I was given the opportunity to establish the New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce (NEVCC) to connect and help veteran, military and family member businesses under the United States Veterans Chamber of Commerce it was an opportunity I could not pass up. 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?  I was planning our kick-off for the NEVCC, which was scheduled for 11/11/2018 at 11:01 a.m., the reason for this date/time is because this year is the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I.  The launch was our tribute to those who served and sacrificed, “A Century of veteran businesses in the making.”, as our veterans past, helped our veterans present and we want to help our veterans in the future.  As we were figuring out how best to make this tribute, the World War I Centennial Commission launched the “Bells of Peace” and asked Americans across the U.S. to ring a bell at 11:00 on 11/11/2018 in honor of those who served and sacrificed. 

We wanted to add bells to our kick-off, so after searching where to get the commemorative bells, we found the perfect place, Bevin Bells in CT.  It turned out that Bevin Bells is not only a 6th Generation family run business, but the current owner is a veteran. 

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?  The NEVCC will be the hub of veteran entrepreneurship, and provide New England veteran, military, and family member businesses with the education, tools, resources and network connections necessary to launch and/or run successful businesses. We connect veteran, military, and family-owned businesses in New England through advocacy and professional and community networking. We do this by facilitating workshops and trainings with organizations and individuals that are experts in their field, such as Quabbin Mediation, VETRN Streetwise MBA, SCORE, Small Business Administration, and Veteran Business Outreach Centers.

Early on as we were establishing the NEVCC we connected with Leroy Ashwood, owner of BRAVE for Veterans, whose business is successful, and is working on starting another business, as well as working on a variety of veteran issues.  We have been able to collaborate with Leroy and also connect him to resources and provided him information that will assist him.   

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?  Use resources that are available, you are never alone!  It is never too late to make sure your personal credit is in good shape, if you don’t know how to start, reach out to the American Consumer Credit Counseling services, they are there to assist.  The stress of personal finances can be a big drain on business owners.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?  I so agree, everyone has a mentor who helped them get where they are.  In my case, my mentor is a friend and she has been my “business buddy” since 2013.  Anita Eliason, has owned her own business and now works as a Senior Business Advisor with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC). 

The most important thing about your “business buddy” is they need to be supportive and honest.   Anita has always been supportive and honest.  When I started my business in 2013, I had picked a business name that I thought worked, LLR2000 and Anita, said how does LLR2000 equate to your business?  As I explained what it stood for and we continued to talk, the reality set in, if it takes this much to explain it to Anita, who fully understands my business, it was clear my business name did not fit my business.  After some brain storming and looking online, we came up with Your Visual Alternatives.  When I was thinking about establishing the New England Veterans Chamber of Commerce, Anita and I brainstormed what that would look like and what kind of resources would be needed, and she was the first person added to the Advisory board.  The military has “battle buddies”, Anita is always going to be my “business buddy”.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? For over 20 years the quote I have relied on is by Abraham Lincoln, “I do the very best I know how—the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”  When it comes to business, I have many quotes that inspire me, one of my favorites is “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” — Colin Powell

We are only human, which can be a positive and a negative.  When I do the best I can and it is not good enough, is it a failure?  It is only a failure, if I do not learn from it.  Over my lifetime and throughout my time as a business owner, I will always do the very best I can, and will prepare and work hard.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Use resources – When I started my business, I did everything by myself, didn’t use resources and went online and downloaded other people’s business plans.  It was the wrong way to do it. 
  2. Get a SCORE mentor – SCORE is available to anyone to use https://www.score.org/SCORE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.”  I didn’t get a SCORE mentor (or have a business plan) until 2 years after my business was started.
  3. Work with the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) – “SBDC’s provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with SBA.”  https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc
  4. Ensure you have a Business Plan – Although business plans can be very difficult, you should always have one.  You do not have to do it by yourself, SCORE mentors can provide you tools and assist you through the process.  https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc
  5. Learn Social Media – Social media is not for all businesses, but it is for most.  Social Media includes blogs, LinkedIn, YouTube, and a wide variety of other social media formats.  The reality is, in today’s world how are you going to be found in this noisy world without Social media?

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement  that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂  My movement is “Buy Veteran New England”.   Our Veteran and Military members serve 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There were many times that they work through holidays and weekends. Many times, they get deployed or need to leave their families to go to training or to help others.  Our family members serve as well, they need to adapt to all kinds of situations, and the children who move need to continually adjust.  Here in the New England States, which include: CT, MA, ME, NH, VT, and RI, we want to run a “Buy Veteran New England” campaign and encourage businesses and consumers to purchase from veteran, military and family member businesses.

How can our readers follow you on social media?  We are on twitter, and Facebook:  @NEVCC2018 and can be found on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/new-england-veterans-chamber-of-commerce/.  Our website is www.NEVCC.org

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Anthony Delgado (born February 6, 1986) is an American software developer and internet entrepreneur widely known as a professional hacker in the developer community. Anthony Delgado has won numerous hackathons sponsored by Fortune 500 tech companies like Google, IBM, Intel, Facebook and Microsoft and hosted by organizations including Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the AT&T Developer Summit in New York City.

Continue Reading
Comments

Interviews

16-Year-Old Tucker Leary Makes People Famous On Instagram With His 5 Million Follower Network

Published

on

Tucker Leary from Boston owns a 5 million follower network of pages on Instagram, manages rap artists social media, and is most known for “making people famous.” I had the pleasure to interview him, here’s how it went:

When did you decide to start building a 5 million follower network?

Tucker: I always wanted to make money doing something I loved, so I started  an Instagram page of football highlights at 11 years old. Since then, I have been able to grow one of my accounts to 409,000 real active followers in 5 days. I’ve grown @thutmose rap carrier to where it is now, along with helping many others start an Instagram Carrer. Another big accomplishment is when I did over $40k in a month drop shipping.

That’s amazing Tucker. What have you done to differentiate yourself from everyone else in your field?

Tucker: One thing I do is see where people’s weak spots are, then I take advantage of it. For example, I use physiological methods like certain color ways on my posts, certain amount of words, certain hidden images etc. When I capitalize on these, it disadvantages others in my field and makes me one of the top dogs.

What would would you say to someone looking to jump into entrepreneurship?

Tucker: The one piece of advice I would give someone would be that nothing in this world that is worth working for happens overnight! I started Instagram when I was 11 years old, and it’s taken 5 years for me to build my 5mil network. Now that I’m here I look back and see all the times I almost quit, but just kept grinding.

What have been the biggest lessons you learned over the last 5 years?

Tucker: To keep my head down and stay in my own lane, not let others opinions differ how you do you, take risks.

After learning that what is your personal definition of success?

Tucker: My definition of success would be able to live freely with no money struggles, and to make sure my mom never has to worry about anything financially.

What is one thing you wished you knew when you started?

Tucker: I wish I knew that the internet isn’t always good to you. For example, when I started Instagram 3 days after my birthday. I had an amazon gift card, an iTunes gift card and some Starbucks gift cards. I used those instead of PayPal to buy shutouts and I got scammed on every deal.

What do you think has been that best advice you have ever received?

Tucker: Don’t listen to what others say about you.

What do you think has been the biggest challenge? 

Tucker: The biggest challenge was when I got sim hacked. The hacker took all my Instagram accounts, my money in my bank etc.

Tucker: My biggest reward was when I did my first $10,000 account deal when I was 14.

What was the most interesting story that’s happened to you?

Tucker: The most interesting thing to happen to me is when I was out to dinner with my brother one night. There was this guy in our community known as the “god”. He was the best of the best, had all the connections, and had a huge Instagram account etc. I had seen a picture of him a long time ago and was standing in line to get a seat. This guy walks in and it was him, the “god”. After that I introduced myself, and we got lunch the next day. A couple months later I was visiting his apartment in LA.

What are two thing you wish someone told you when you first started?

Tucker: Two things I wish someone told me when I started is that success doesn’t happen overnight, and that your network is your net worth.

Is there anyone that inspires you? 

Tucker: Two people that very much inspire is me include my business partner (Cristian) @cristian on Instagram and my good friend (Dylan) @trippin on Instagram. Cristian has helped me gain multiple connections, and brought me into the real business world out in Los Angles CA,. Dylan has helped me learn the ins and outs of how to really gain an account to its max, how to run a successful page and how to talk to real business men and women.

Tucker: One person who really helped me to get to where I am is Shane Howard, @showoff on Instagram.

A lesson I learned from them is to take risks, without risks there is no reward and I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Awesome story and advice! What’s the best way for someone to reach out to you?

Tucker: The best way for someone to reach me is by Instagram dm, my Instagram is @Tuckerrs

Continue Reading

Interviews

How Digital Marketer Anthony Ocasio Helps Brands Successfully Get Digital Exposure

Published

on

Anthony Ocasio (@rsvpant) is a self-taught successful E-Commerce business owner & Digital Marketer who has launched, & assisted with automating multiple online businesses. During Anthony’s time working with various marketing agencies he has had the opportunity to help brands like Mercedes Benz, Toyota, WWE, Crunch Gyms & many more reach new heights with their Online Digital presence through marketing.

Since establishing his own SMMA while receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship from The University of Tampa Anthony has been able to transform his own life by living on his own terms, and being able to reach people all over who are looking for core knowledge. He’s worked side by side with small businesses in creating a source of revenue through E-Com, and has helped with expanding their Digital Footprint. Anthony has been recognized, and published in Newspapers like The Minaret, and NFTE for his outstanding online business achievements.

Besides working with Small Businesses owners Anthony has worked alongside Fitness Coaches, Realtors, Musicians, and Independent Entrepreneurs who wanted to increase exposure digitally, and continue to build their personal brand. 

His goal is to help as many entrepreneurs through his 1-On-1 coaching, and mentorships. Anthony’s goal is for everyone to realize that financial freedom is possible, and E-Commerce, and Digital Marketing can definitely be an outlet to achieve just that. I had the opportunity to interview Anthony. Here’s what He had to say: 

Hey Anthony! Could you tell us a little more about your background story?

Anthony Ocasio: I grew up in Brooklyn New York with my mom, and two brothers. During my childhood I always had an entrepreneurial spirit which let me to find multiple ways on generating income. During elementary school I use to sell lead pencils, erasers, and supplies to my friends, and other classmates. Generated about $10-15 a week, which for me at the time felt like a lot of money. That continued as I entered middle, school & college. Throughout high school I traveled across New York with the Peer Leader Program helping other students prepare for college, and develop their business ideas. Through that program I received the “Peer Leader of the Year” Award.

My first business plan competition was also in high school, but took place at Columbia University. It was through a great program called Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). I did not win, however I was a semi-finalist, and subsequently still received funding for my clothing idea shortly after. In college I started my first SMMA which was acquired, and I later resigned to pursue Ecommerce full time, which led me to create an Ecommerce / Digital Marketing Development Agency called “The Ecom Way”.

What have been your major accomplishments?

Anthony Ocasio: Besides being the first sibling in my family to graduate college. It’s definitely running successful businesses, and ultimately helping 100’s of people see potential, and growth within their own business.

What differentiates you from everyone else in your field?

Anthony Ocasio: I prefer taking the 1-On-1 approach to working with entrepreneurs, and business owners. I don’t mass distribute materials like courses etc; instead I work, and understand the unique needs that everyone has. With my diverse background, I’m fortunate to not just be skilled / experienced in one area, but multiple as it pertains to running, operating, and essential building a “brand.” That allows me to not only reach more people, but help with different components to running a successful business.

What would you say to someone who came to you for advice about taking ‘the leap of faith’ into entrepreneurship?

Anthony Ocasio: Don’t be afraid to take risk, and to fail. Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned came from my failures.

What were the biggest entrepreneurship lessons you’ve learned?

Be patient, but understand when to take action!

What is the best way for someone to reach you if they are interested in working with you?

Anthony Ocasio: They can reach out to me from my website www.theecomway.com , send me a DM on Instagram @RsvpAnt, or simply shoot me an email at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

How Matt Hamilton Cultivated High Performance Skills That Put Him In The Position To Capitalize In This Billion Dollar Industry

Published

on

  • Matt Hamilton went from college dropout with a 1.8 GPA, to being the Founder & CEO of Revenue Forge – A full service marketing and branding agency built for the modern day. I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt. Here’s what he had to say!

Hey Matt! I’m interested more in your background story and how you got to where you are today. Could you give us a look into your background story?

Matt Hamilton: Growing up, school wasn’t a choice for me. It was mandatory. I was always reminded by my friends, peers, coaches, parents of the cliche “Go to school, get good grades, play sports, train for the scholarships, and then get your degree so you can get a well paying job.” This never sat well with me. I never really knew what I wanted to do, but that was just about the last thing I was interested in. Interestingly enough though, that’s exactly what I did.

I quickly found out that the education system was not the platform that would teach me the proper principles of high success. I looked around and compared the habits of college students and teachers against the habits of those who had already attained high performance and success, and (not) to my surprise, I found massive differences. College is sort of like pre-school for adults. No matter how similar to the real world it may be, it’s just not the real world.

What did you decided to do after realizing that? 

Matt Hamilton: As you may be able to tell already, I think very differently than a lot of people. Instead of going out every night, I stayed in my dorm room to work on business projects and network with celebrity influencers online. The work I was doing pushed me to cultivate high performance skills, and put me in a position to build key relationships. In a few months time, I realized if I didn’t go after my passions, I’ll be stuck at a desk job paying bills for the rest of my life. So I left.

After leaving what was your vision for the future?

Matt Hamilton: My vision consisted of working full time on my business, and massively changing the lives of my clients. There was one problem. When I got home, I had no clients. Zero. I went from making money and progress in my dorm room, to living back at my parents house with zero clients. I fell into bad habits, bad routines, and left room for complacency in my work. I was shocked by the raw reality of the real marketplace. This is not what I wanted, but it is what I expected. I took the safety net out from under myself. I gave myself no other option. I wanted the real, raw, non simulated experience of being punched in the mouth, and having no choice but to work my ass off to get the results I wanted. I was jolted awake by the stark reality that if I continue to allow my surroundings to dictate my actions, I would never achieve any of the goals I set for myself.

What did you decide to do once you realized this?

Matt Hamilton: I did everything to get new clients. I went to local business alliances, Networking groups, I did walk-ins, cold emails, cold calls, free work, work through referrals, and just about any other way you can think of. I just worked. That’s it. Sure enough, I started noticing that something was happening. Suddenly I had people reaching out to ME. I started gaining momentum.

I didn’t get complacent this time. No. This pushed me to go harder. And then harder still. Quite possibly the best feeling about being in this business is seeing the look of sheer joy on any of my clients faces when we’re able to really deliver for them. That’s why I do it. The impact it has on their business is worth way more to me than any sort of monetary value I can receive.

I will continue to grow and scale my agency to a National powerhouse, and hopefully impact others on the way. I want other people to understand that we only have one life. Only one. If you don’t ever take the risk to chase your dreams, the probability of you living out that dream goes down to basically 0. So don’t be afraid. What’s the worst that can happen?

You have an amazing story. What were the biggest entrepreneurship lessons you’ve learned?

  1. Persistence. Even when things get real dark, or there doesn’t seem to be any opportunities for you to capitalize on, its extremely important to stay persistent in those times of
  2. Uncertainty. The persistence and faith that you show in times of uncertainty are similar to the correct answer on a multiple choice test. When you’re tested, the answer is to keep going. No matter what.

What would you say to someone who came to you for advice about taking the “leap of faith’ into entrepreneurship?

Matt Hamilton: If it’s something you want to do, take the jump. Don’t think about it, because the “what if’s” will paralyze you. Realize that the only voice you need to listen to is the one in your own head. And when you do, don’t quit on yourself – ever.

What is the best way for someone to reach you if they are interested in working with you?

Connect with me on instagram @officialmatthamilton

 

Continue Reading

Join the Newsletter


apple disrupt podcast
spotify disrupt podcast
Google Play Disrupt Podcast
The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

Trending

Copyright © 2018 Disrupt LLC