Bridging the Gap: Success Strategy Road Map for Transitioning Veterans

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Bridging the Gap: A Road Map to Success for Veterans

GLM readers, this is the year for us to dive into topics about family, about leadership, about vacation, about success….about EVERYTHING! This has been a great year of new connections and opportunities‎. I had the distinct privilege of being a panelist for the Richmond Veteran Economic Community Initiative Roundtable. Before the updates, we received a stirring keynote speech from Mr. Michael Bluemling, Jr. He shared his story about being a Veteran who overcame many challenges to become the president of Power of One. Michael is a results-oriented leader with over 15 years of experience in employee management, leadership development, employee relations, and employee engagement. Even with all of these skills, traits and dedication, it is his genuine heart and sincere words that inspire those around him. Below he shares a taste of his newest book, “Bridging the Gap from Soldier to Civilian: A Road Map to Success for Veterans”; GLM Enjoy:

Pathways to Innovation Readiness

A few weeks ago, I found myself at an entrepreneurship conference for veterans. I have been to many conferences before but this one made me walk away with mixed emotions. Sometimes, one may gain valuable information and other times felt like it was a theatrical performance, adding no real value. This conference was different, because it made me ready to receive the epiphany poured from the sky, like vital rainwater to a forest.

This was an “aha-ha” moment, where I truly digested the message. I started asking what made the information so valuable. What was different from the last conference on the same topic, with the same workshops, two years earlier? A few days later, the answer smacked me between the eyes – I was READY to receive it. The “Preparedness to Receive” is what was different. I had grown- I was in a different space –and was primed for innovative prosperity.

So now, how was I able to do that? Was I a different person? Was I more knowledgeable? Was I a better listener? I believe it was a combination of all of these things and more. During the process of growing my company, I took steps to open my mind to different possibilities. I saw what others might see as a barrier, as an opportunity. I redirected negative energy into positive, to push my vision to a new plain. How did I do this? The following are the seven steps that prepared me:

7 Ways to Ready Yourself for Innovation

1. Research

2. Networking

3. Business Development

4. Educational Reading

5. Brainstorming

6. Ideation

7. Professional Growth

I’ve taken these steps as a part of maturation and as a result, I am ready now. I hit the ground running and I’ve not looked back since. Enlightened with new ideas, I now have a methodology that is far more results oriented, with fewer distractions, which were obstacles to my primary objectives. As a result, I am free – free to try new things and be able to ask the tough internal questions that cause deep reflection and yield great fruit.

It really is an amazing feeling when you realize the work you’ve been doing is meaningful –event through the roadblocks. Without the downs, you cannot have ups. You can’t experience a sunny day, if you’ve not been through the rain. As you grow, you understand who you are and what you stand for, even if it takes time to see it clearly. Keep driving ahead, using your advancements as a tool for recognizing innovation.



Michael Bluemling, Jr. served as a sergeant in the United States Army. He is the founder of Power of One, a disabled-veteran‒owned company based in Richmond, Virginia. He has overcome the abuse of his past to achieve a fulfilling life. “Power of One” is centered on meeting the needs of its clients by providing dynamic inspirational presentations that allow for personal growth and life fulfillment. The trauma of his past has led Michael to making a difference for others in the present. A critical element of the company’s vision is to help others and give back to the local community.

Michael and the “Power of One” were highlighted in U.S. Veterans Magazine in November 2013 and Disabled American Veterans Magazine in the July/August 2014 issues. To promote his message that each person has the power to deal with adversity and move forward, no matter the circumstances, Michael has also written Turning the Page: Overcoming Abuse to Reach Life’s Fulfillment, and Our Journey: Heart to Heart with God. To find out more about his speaking and books, please visit You may also connect with Michael on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

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