graduated from the Naval Academy
in 1983. He served honorably as a Marine
officer, but as he neared retirement from the military, he didn’t make the
transition into civilian life as smoothly as others do.
Like many veterans, Bob struggled to integrate into society,
struggled to get the right jobs, and perpetually under-earned versus his
potential as a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. This struggle, combined with his own mental
health differences led Bob to losing relationship, his home, and his
Eventually, Bob found help in a civilian homeless shelter
and made his way to the Department of Veterans
Affairs. The VA helped him get back on his feet and now Bob has turned to
entrepreneurship, in the mental health space, to build a better life.
Bob’s startup is called Mirror Image Clothing. He explains
what they do and their mental health mission during our conversation.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT:
- Bob Moran graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1983. Bob talks about his transition to civilian life, and how he never really connected with high paying jobs. He explains how he perpetually under-earned and how that led to losing his family, his home, and how it impacted his mental health.
- The VA – Bob shatters the myth that the VA is a “bad” institution and doesn’t help veterans. Bob found quite a bit of help and many resources for mental health, homelessness and other problems he faced at the VA. Bob encourages veterans, and their loved once, to ignore what you hear in the press about how bad the VA is, and seek their help because they have great resources.
- Veterans Crisis Hotline – Bob shares with us that he approached the VA through the Veterans Crisis Line. You can read about that resource here. The phone number is 1-800-273-8255. You can also chat on line via their website or you can text to 838-255.
- We talked about the stigma associated with getting help from the VA. Bob shares about why he didn’t seek help from the VA for so long. He viewed the VA as a place for people that “weren’t like him.” He thought he was “above” needing their help because he was an Academy graduate and an officer. Bob explains how that stigma was shattered for him and what kind of help he eventually received.
- Bob has turned to entrepreneurship – Bob has leveraged numerous resources available to him via the VA, and other places, to create a startup focused on mental health, called Mirror Image Clothing.
- Mirror Image Clothing – Bob’s startup is centered around helping people with their greatest struggle. Their mission is to develop a national, then global, brand of clothing that liberates people from their limitations. How? Online sales via Etsy at first, and simultaneously locate 1,000 female entrepreneurs ages 18-64. Then help them develop their ideas into million dollar businesses by providing founder training, experience and support thru a franchise of Mirror Image Clothing.