Veteran Moves: From Petty Officer to Tech Startup Founder in Less Than Two Years

Sometimes in life we wonder why God has placed us in certain situations, working with certain companies and people, and later through new experiences we see His divine plan for our lives (and the timing for it couldn’t be sweeter).

This is the story of Navy veteran, Shakeia Kegler. After working in the Navy as an Aviation Ordnance-man Second Class, she went on to go where her heart was leading her – and that’s in the crazy, yet rewarding world of entrepreneurship.

We recently caught up with the Navy vet and learned more about her leap into entrepreneurship and about her company that’s paving the way for veterans, women, and minorities. Here are our 3 top takeaways from learning about Shakeia’s journey.

1) Don’t sleep on your 9-5

After Shakeia’s naval service ended on April 30th, 2016, she wanted to go to school, but unfortunately ran into a few hiccups along the way. As a result, Shakeia decided to get a job working in the compliance department in a pharmaceutical company. It was there she learned the process of selling to the government, which later became valuable insight for her startup biz.

Lesson learned: Your 9-5 may seem like a waste of time to you, but often times there are many soft and hard skills that you can learn that will be valuable to your future endeavors.

2) Sometimes there will be little signs that will show you your way

While working at the pharmaceutical company, she started receiving alot of interest from others, inquiring about what she did, and while learning more about her, they also became intrigued by her passion to help small businesses grow.

Lesson learned: Sometimes in your journey in finding the career path for you, listen to your intuition, and pay attention to what your surroundings are saying to you. Often times, both tend to silently tell you what divine plan the universe has for you.

3) If you don’t know how to do something, learn how to do it (or find someone that can)

Within a year of leaving the Navy, Shakeia came up with the idea to start her company, GovLia. GovLia is a business to government marketplace that simplifies and revolutionizes the marketing and procurement process for small businesses interested in selling to the government and government procurement professionals. The company’s mission is to increase small business participation by providing small business solutions in addition to a marketplace that includes online training, electronic capability statements, connection to verified consultants, list for resources, financial support, and consulting services.

When the idea of GovLia came to mind, she knew she needed to be around like-minded people and in spaces that would serve her business. In June 2017, she was accepted into CareerSource Broward and Broward College’s Innovation Hub Accelerator, StartUp Now. There she developed, tested and validated GovLia’s business model, and her final pitch won her an office space in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

While there, she spent most of her time bootstrapping and testing the consulting model for small business solutions. Shortly after the holiday season, she met her technology partner, Anthony Campbell, who had previous startup experience and had built multiple web-based and application platforms. Getting Anthony on her team helped her build GovLia’s platform, and also inspired her to learn how to code as well. Since then, she has taught herself to code to assist with the completion of the vision for GovLia.

Lesson learned: It can be hard starting a business by yourself, and it’s nothing wrong with that because just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a great team to start and maintain a business. In the end, find your team that can help you build your company and that believes in your vision, and never stop learning.

 

Currently, Shakeia and her partner Anthony are busy with getting GovLia ready for launch day. To learn more about GovLia’s services to go www.govlia.com!

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