Hike for Life and Hire our Heroes
This past year I began my transition from the military, pursuing a civilian career and lifestyle strange to me. I sought out a program which could support the networking and training I lacked after years of military service. Hire our Heroes provided an opportunity for transitioning military members to partner with businesses in Colorado Springs and Denver and thus ease the change in lifestyle and customs learned in uniformed service.
Prior to starting the program, I created CronusFit, a nonprofit small business focused on fitness education for all individuals interested in physical programing geared to special operations units. I learned quickly I was interested in a second career outside of the military which focused on similar values I found while serving: selfless behavior, education, and development. At the same time, Hire our Heroes connected me with a small, veteran-owned business called Hike for Life. The social impact business model appeared similar to CronusFit with large proceeds dedicated for nonprofit organizations.
I began working with Hike for Life shortly after learning about the purpose of the organization. Hike for Life provides individuals visiting or living in the Pikes Peak region and Front Range an opportunity for curated hikes through El Paso County’s premier locations. No one company existed in the same market and because of this lack of competitive market space, Hike for Life existed with unlimited potential for growth. Additionally, Hike for Life’s purpose of introducing individuals to the joy of hiking was matched by the commitment to education. HFL teaches all levels of individuals about preserving the outdoors and safety associated with both long and short hikes.
HFL is a social impact business, which means it partners with outdoor agencies and local businesses to promote sustainable business for the environment. I found HFL’s partnerships geared toward positively impacting the community and outdoors, beyond the desire for adding depth to the monetary constraints associated with traditional businesses. Instead of looking for the return on investment in dollars and profit margins, HFL focuses on the “Social” ROI and how it’s existence will improve individuals.
As my time in Colorado and the Hire our Heroes program will come to an end in April, I am appreciative for the opportunity to learn about small business development and networking due to Hike for Life’s investment in my second career. Hike for Life will continue to grow in the Summer and Fall seasons as this new company takes on larger shares in an untouched market, guided by values founded in service and the betterment of a larger population.