. Norman Moody, FLORIDA TODAY 7:14 p.m. EDT September 17, 2014
Participants in the 14th Annual Veterans Conference recite the pledge to the flag.
Veterans offer entrepreneurial advice
MELBOURNE – Rockledge business owner Moses Harvin told a crowd of veterans who own or were seeking to start businesses to focus on their goals and take risks.
Harvin, an Army veteran whose company provides services to the military and other government agencies, was the keynote speaker Wednesday for the Eastern Florida State College Small Business Development Center’s 14th Annual Veterans Conference.
The one-day conference was held at the King Center for Performing Arts.
“Get out of the bleachers of life and get into the game by taking calculated risks,” he said. “How can you win the race if you don’t enter the race.”
Harvin advised the veterans to build relationships. People do business with people they know and trust. He also told them to ask questions of people they know who can help them by sharing the knowledge they’ve gained through experience.
“We didn’t get here by ourselves,” said Harvin, whose company, American Services Technology Incorporated, employs about 250 people. “Our future is not something that just happens, but is something we create.”
Harvin said that above all, business owners should proceed with honesty and integrity in whatever they do.
About 100 people gathered for the annual conference that seeks to help veterans start or grow their business.
It included a panel on banking and finance, anotheron interaction with government agencies and prime contractors and exhibits from business and organizations, such as Harris Corp, Lockheed Martin, U.S. Small Business Administration and Patrick Air Force Base.
Jeffrey Salter, a veteran and owner of JDR Unlimited, which provides facilities and project management among other services, told the audiences that he succeeded with help from a lot of people and organizations, some of them present at the conference.
“These folks saw me, they heard my story and saw what I wanted to do,” he said. “They helped me.”
Salter told the veterans to take risk at doing whatever they know to do.
“Don’t be afraid to fail,” he said. “When you make a mistake, learn from it and move on.”
Salter echoed some of Harvin’s advise to veterans.
“When you act, you have to act with passion, conviction and integrity.”
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