38 U.S. VETERANS MAGAZINE WWW.USVETERANSMAGAZINE.COM
VOBs & SUPPLIER DIVERSITY
fter retiring from the Air Force, Roger Turnbow worked in information technology for the Department of Defense for 30 years. In 2021 Turnbow became a business owner in San Antonio, Texas, when he opened a thriving Nerds2Go franchise, where his team provides top-notch tech support in-store or even at a customer's home. U.S. Veterans Magazine connected with Turnbow to discuss how his military background helped him as a successful business owner.
From Air Force to Veteran Business Owner:
An Interview with Roger Turnbow
U.S. Veterans Magazine (USVM): How did your service in the military prepare you for success as an entrepreneur and franchisee? What was your military specialty? Did that specialty help determine the focus of your civilian career? Roger Turnbow (RT): Being part of a franchise is like being part of a team or family. You are connected to a team of people who seek the same goals. It's like being in a family where each one teaches one. The military teaches that you cannot go far alone. I was an information technology specialist in the Air Force. My military background was a direct line to my after-service career. USVM: What advice would you give veterans who are considering starting a business? What do you wish you knew when you were a new business owner? RT: Just have faith, have faith in themselves. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. I would tell them to make a plan, execute their plan and stay true to their plan. I still consider myself a new business owner; the one thing I would do differently is to find a mentor early in my process. USVM: Many veterans struggle to translate their vast knowledge and experiences gained from the military into the civilian sector. What's the best way for transitioning service members to communicate their skills and demonstrate their strengths on a resume? RT: Military members often have a hard time verbalizing what they did in the military; they oftentimes feel like the military defined them. I tell people all the time; this is your chance to pick what you want to be when you grow up, yes, even after a 20-year military career. I tell them to just be themselves, find that happy place. As for translating their skills to a resume, just draft their resume as if they were telling a story to a child. Keep it simple and remove military jargon. USVM: After serving for 20 years, how did you select San Antonio as your home when you retired from the Air Force? RT: Texas is just a great place for veterans; the large military community made it easy for my wife and me to call Military City, USA home. USVM: What surprised you the most as an entrepreneur when launching NerdsToGo? RT: How much I didn't know. Every day is a new day, a new learning opportunity, a new challenge and a new adventure. As an entrepreneur, you never stop learning.Previous Page