Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mike Ellerkamp, Founder of Ranger Focus, LLC, located in Conroe, TX, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Ranger Focus is a Defense Firearms Training organization. Shooting at a range and fighting with a handgun in a critical defense situation are two entirely different aspects of the use of a handgun. Our mission is to provide the full range of self-defense education, beginning with basic firearms training, safety, and maintenance. We will develop strong shooting skills at the range and develop strength and confidence in the use and function of various aspects of firearms self-defense. Our instruction includes the all-important application of conflict avoidance and situational awareness to stay out of the use of force wherever possible. We will teach the psychology of attack response and how to counter that response in the fight.

What sets us apart is our use of laser pistol systems to provide a safe environment to practice what happens if the firearm becomes the proper response to an attack you could not avoid. In any self-defense training system, one practices hundreds of repetitions to make the movement subconscious. This process is difficult with pistols or rifles because of the dangerous nature of a projectile leaving the barrel. We eliminate the projectile. Without the projectile, we can create a training environment with repetitions to develop a quick, accurate attack response. Most attacks are very close – within 15 feet; very fast – over in about 3 seconds with about 3 shots fired. We can give you that training environment and prepare your muscles for the mechanics and let your mind stay in command during the fight.

The final aspect of our training system is what happens after an unfortunate critical incident that includes the use of deadly force. That education may keep you out of jail and financially viable. Two critical aspects of the defensive use of a firearm in our society today. Sadly, a person who carries is often held to a higher standard than those who do not carry. Be prepared.

Concealed carry is a community. It is our goal to establish a vibrant, healthy community of responsible gun owners, ready and prepared to take responsibility for her or his Life and Liberty. To be that responsible citizen, the founders envisioned during the debates for including the Second Amendment to our Constitution.

We cover the spectrum of self-defense issues: beginning with the first-time gun owner with little to no experience with the firearm. We provide the classes necessary to apply for a License to Carry in Texas. On the advanced end of the spectrum, we teach full firearm defense firearm tactics. We are capable of non-lethal classes like Emergency First Aid and developing Emergency Operations Plans that include countering an active shooter for church, private school, or business. Our main focus is the defensive use of firearms for personal and home defense.

Tell us about yourself

I am a husband, father, grandfather, author, and cancer survivor. In the 1970s – 1980s, I served both in the US Air Force and in the US Army as an Airborne Ranger with the First Battalion, Seventy-Fifth Infantry. My last duty assignment was RANGER Instructor at Camp Rudder, Eglin AFB, Florida.

I am certified by the State of Texas to teach the state's License to Carry courses. I also have certifications with the United States Concealed Carry Association and National Rifle Association for various firearms courses and am a qualified Range Safety Officer. Our passion at Ranger Focus is to teach students about fighting with a gun and to integrate that firearm into one's personal self-defense strategies.

My wife, Mollie, and I live in the Houston metro area with our dog Coco Man. We love to travel, snow skiing in Colorado, and of course, shooting. But, most of all, I love to teach, to see the excitement and confidence expressed in my students' faces. My student's success is my passion! And maybe it will save their life one day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Understanding how to create the right plan and then being able to manage the risk to make it happen.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Finding the right people to help build that personal dream.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don't be afraid to step out and follow your passion.
  2. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
  3. Don't be afraid to fall down - just get back up and try it again!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

We live in a country that still rewards those who are willing to plan carefully, work hard, and accept setbacks. We can rise up to fulfilling, life-changing passion-filled opportunities. But faith is involved, the risk is involved, and one must be tough as nails to keep making the correct steps forward. It is still possible in the United States of America.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.