This blog post has been in the works for quite some time now and I am so excited that I get to introduce you to a friend of mine that I’ve known for almost 20 years. Renee Floyd is an Army Veteran and Entrepreneur, hence the title-Vetrepreneur! Renee now owns and operates a Mobile Oil Changing business in the metro Atlanta area. Even though I’ve known Renee for a while, when I was able to sit down and chat with her recently, I learned so much more about this spectacular human being. Here is what she had to say:
Where are you from?
I was born in Augusta, Ga but I was raised in Sardis, Ga. I come from a large family. There were 9 of us-3 girls and 6 boys.
When did you enlist in the military and why?
I entered the Army on July 18, 1985 right out of high school. My initial interest was first piqued by a male friend that challenged me and said, ” You wouldn’t be able to make it. You wouldn’t be able to run everyday.” But, my main reason for going into the Army was so that I’d be able to take care of my daughter. I became a teenage mother during my Freshman year in high school and being able to provide for her was my top priority.
What job did you have while in the military?
I was a Mechanic and a Maintenance Supervisor in the Army.
How long did you stay in the military before retiring?
I retired after 21 years of service. During that time I was stationed at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, Ft. Ord, California, Korea (twice), Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, Germany (twice) and Ft. Polk, Louisiana. I also deployed to Somalia and Iraq.
How long has it been since you retired and what have you been up to since?
When I retired in January of 2007, I took the postal exam and eventually started working part time at the post office while driving school bus. I also started working on my degree at American Military University. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in May 2009.
Tell us about your business.
While I was in the military, I had this idea of starting my own mobile oil changing company. After I retired, I received a call from an old supervisor. He inquired about my idea and asked what was I doing with it? My response was, “I’m still researching.” About a month later, he sent me a lot of information and equipment specifications that would help me get my business started. After more research, I put my plan into action, and a few months later in December 2009, I performed my first mobile oil change and American Oil Changers was indeed in business!
Did your experience in the military contribute to the success of you becoming an entrepreneur?
Being a mechanic in the military, provided me with the skills, leadership, and confidence necessary to run a successful business.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own business?
My advice would be to not allow yourself to get in the way; just get out and get started. I was initially afraid that the public wouldn’t like a woman working on their vehicles. I was my own worse enemy and as it turned out, the public has received me very well!
What advice do you have for young people about pursuing their dreams?
My advice is don’t be afraid and ask for help from other area experts.
What organizations are you a part of and how does that help you in your business?
I am a member of Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-Wise) and The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). EBV provides me with the tools and resources needed to continue to manage and market my business successfully. During EBV’s 2016 National Training and Alumni Conference, I won $10,000 for the Best Innovative Venture from the D’Aniello Family Foundation. I am also a member of WVI (Women Veterans Interactive) which is a female veteran group that supports homeless female veterans.
Tell us about your family….husband, children, grandchildren.
I have been married to my husband, Harold Floyd, Sr. (who is also a Retired Army Veteran), for 28 years and we have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.
How would someone get in touch with you if they wanted your services?
If you live in the Metro Atlanta area, Renee is giving 10% off to any new customers that she acquires because of this blog post. All you have to do is LIKE my Facebook page and SUBSCRIBE to this blog!
Photos provided by American Oil Changers Founder, Renee Floyd.