Taking Chances

AIE_VeteranWritingServices (1)It’s been three years since a Navy friend asked me if I was interested in applying for the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program.  At the time I thought:

“Entrepreneur? Doesn’t that mean someone who wants to get rich?”

Fortunately, I learned through the program that the true meaning of entrepreneurship was not about getting rich, but about taking chances. I embarked on my entrepreneurial path and officially launched my business, Veteran Writing Services, LLC in March 2014.VWISE_Proud_Graduate_Logo-JPEG

I consider January a good time to reflect, and I count my blessings as I look back to some of my business highlights in 2016. Veteran Writing Services:

  • Earned a spot as a subcontractor to Kforce Government Solutions (KGS) on the $22.3 billion Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation (T4NG) contract.
  • Received Acquisition International Influential Businesswoman Awards for Most Outstanding Writing and Editing Consultancy in Prince George’s County and Most Outstanding Local Businesswoman, Prince George’s County.
  • Continued good partnerships and met new, exciting clients and business friends.
  • Shared lessons learned on the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) process with fellow Veteran business owners through Maryland’s Procurement Technical Assistance Program.
  • Enjoyed press coverage through the local Bowie-Blade News which led to additional business.
  • Celebrated recognition in its book division by inclusion in the Equus Film Festival’s Literary Collection, and attendance at the Calvert County Local Authors Festival and Freedom Hill Horse Rescue’s award-winning Pony Palooza event.
  • Won a Maryland Horse Industry Board grant to distribute “Believing In Horses, Too” to all county libraries in the state.
  • And so much more….VeteranWritingServices - Copy

Yes, I took chances. Rather than starting a second career in an established job with a predictable income, I took a chance. It started with a hobby book – “Believing In Horses” – and then led to more. To me, entrepreneurship has opened the door to new opportunities I would never have considered. It has provided a wonderful way to learn, grow, and help share lessons learned.

I look forward to the future and thank all those out there who have helped turn the chances I’ve taken into a successful new adventure. Here’s to 2017!

A Fun, Timely, Sensitive, and Perceptive Story

blog_oct_2016 blog_oct_2016_2

By Valerie Ormond

J.B. Max Publishing, 2014

ISBN 978-0-9736330-4-7

Fiction, 246 pages

Soft Cover, Kindle

Reviewed by Margaret Evans

“Sadie felt so isolated. She couldn’t share or communicate her worry with her family. And living in a community with no other military people, no one else would understand. So she lived a life of constant secret fear which grew every day. She needed a distraction.” [Read more…]

Brave HEART – Horses Helping Military

BraveHEART_CoverI recently had the opportunity to work with the Brave HEART program on several writing projects. Brave HEART (Heroes Equine Adventure & Riding Therapy) “provides an environment where Veterans, military members, and their families come together to facilitate healing and strengthen relationships through equine interaction and outdoor activities.” A 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the Brave HEART program supports those who have served, or still serve, at the peaceful Larkspur Lane Farm setting in Hagerstown, Maryland.

While speaking with the founder and Executive Director, Laura Lane-Unsworth, we determined one of the Brave HEART projects would be a tri-fold brochure to help inform people about Brave HEART’s work. Laura was most helpful in getting me the top five points to get across, testimonials, and a general feel for the tone of the brochure. I put together the words and then enlisted the help of my talented graphic designer friend, Brittany Klein of Radiant Resolution, LLC, to display the information in a far more pleasing manner than I could. I am not a graphic designer – at all – and know the value good graphic designers bring to any visual project. [Read more…]

The Business of Writing

I spoke at the Military Writers Society of America conference on “The Business of Writing” last year. Since starting my own business in 2014, I’ve talked to many people interested in starting their own writing businesses. I’m sharing a few of my slides here for any readers who may be interested in a similar pursuit. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have some thoughts and lessons learned.

Reasons to Treat Writing as a Business_slide1 [Read more…]

Author Pays It Forward for Other Authors

I hope you will stop by and check out my guest author interview on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog – she asks great questions! Besides offering writing tips based on her career as a writer, Cheryl hosts authors from around the world to help them gain exposure. In her words: “On this blog, I ‘Pay it Forward’ to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too ‘Pay It Forward’ to any other author.”

http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2015/11/20/guest-author-interview-valerie-ormond/

Cheryl Holloway's Blog [Read more…]

Realizing a Life Well-Lived

Valerie Ormond ready to fly off the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72) ,in the ES-3A Shadow , Indian Ocean, 1995

Valerie Ormond ready to fly off the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72) ,in the ES-3A Shadow , Indian Ocean, 1995

I looked out the window and knew if I died that day, I still lived a full life.

It surprised me how calm that thought made me – almost peaceful. After grasping the severity of the situation, my body and brain filled with warm thoughts, and I understood how blessed my short life had been compared with the longer lives of others. I had no regrets.

When assigned as an intelligence officer to a naval aviation squadron, I had the opportunity to earn my passenger flight qualifications. That meant if I needed to, I could fly in the back seat of our squadron’s jets. I attended naval aviation physiology training and didn’t drown, so months later I found myself launched off the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean experiencing a triple flight emergency. With my limited aviation knowledge, I knew from the visible and audible signs that things weren’t looking up. [Read more…]