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Podcast title Beyond the Uniform
Website URL http://beyondtheuniform.libsyn...
Description Beyond the Uniform is a show to help military veterans navigate their civilian career. Each week, I meet with different veterans to learn more about their civilian career, how they got there, and what advice they'd give to other military personnel.
Updated Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:01:35 +0000
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Category Business
Education
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Link to this podcast Beyond the Uniform

Episodes

1. BTU #123 - The Veterans Yoga Project (Dr. Dan Libby)
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Description:

"With all of these practices, if we drill down on what's actually happening with them, it is just a shift in your nervous system. Being able to connect the mind and the body and the breath via this system in your body that is designed to succeed and live inline with your values and goals."
- Dr. Dan Libby

Thanks to Tim Avery, btu #12 for the intro to Dan.

Dr. Dan Libby is the founder and executive director of Veterans Yoga Project (VYP). He has empowered veterans and their communities to access healing resources and find resilience both within themselves and through connection with others. He has also enabled yoga teachers and healthcare professionals to share these practices. He's a licensed clinical psychologist, and holds a B.S. in Psychology from the The University of Montana and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Clinical Psychology from St. John’s University.

Why to Listen:

Veterans on the show often talk about meditation as a ay to stay grounded and be more productive at work. This is a great episode for exploring that and other helpful practices to keep you at your best inside and outside of work. 

Our Sponsor:

StoryBox - People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces. Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources:

103 classes being taught around the United States that are free for veterans and taught by a VYP instructor. You can view them here, or contact the VYP to find someone to teach you locally Practice Library at VYP where you can download or stream a practice in breathing, movement, etc Veterans Gratitude Week - all of these resources are free for veterans. This week is dedicated to providing these resources for free for veterans through the contribution of others The Body Keeps the Score - A great book about the neuroscience behind this Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness

Show Notes

What was the genesis of the Veterans Yoga Project? How would you explain VYP to someone on Active Duty? Is there an experiential part of this we could start with to give listeners a sense of the sort of tools you provide? In your work with Veterans, what are common objections or reserves you see about this sort of work? What are aspects of your work that you have seen be most beneficial to veterans? What other resources - books, programs, podcasts, etc - would you recommend to listeners Final words of wisdom to audience?

2. BTU #122 - Army to CEO of Skullycandy (Jason Hodell)
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Description:

"For example, we had a $180 headphone that wasn't working - it wasn't the right price point or form factor. Once we stopped trying to win there, and just focused on being great under $100, it was amazing the power that focus can bring to the team. Not spreading yourself too thin, but giving your team the one objective, the one hill - because if we can win here, a lot of other things will just take care of themselves."
- Jason Hodell

See the full show notes and more veteran interviews at http://www.beyondtheuniform.io

Jason Hodell is the CEO of Skullcandy, which markets headphones, earphones, speakers and other products. Skullcandy was founded in 2003 and acquired in October 2016 by Mill Road Capital for $200 million. Jason started out at West Point, after which he served as an Infantry Officer in the US Army for five years. After the Army, he picked up his MBA at Wharton. He had an impressive career prior to Skullcandy, which we’ll discuss in the interview, and joined the Skullcandy team initially as their CFO & COO, the company grew revenue from $210M to approximately $300M after 3 years, he was appointed as the CEO of Skullcandy.

Why to Listen:

Turnaround work at companies - Jason talks about the turnaround work he's done at companies, which may be well suited to many veterans. It involves rolling up one's sleeves, getting your hands dirty, and "improving the unit that is not the best in battalion." Take the long view - Jason talks about taking the long view on your career and investing in learning domain or market expertise Finance - Jason started out in finance, and talks about how this gave him the mental framework to think about companies and evaluate them as well as understand the nuts and bolts of any business General Management - Jason has been CEO, COO, and CFO of some incredible companies and talks about why veterans may enjoy (and be well suited for) these roles.

Our Sponsor:

StoryBox - People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces. Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources:

Resources for finance Can check out syllabus for corporate finance class at Wharton and see textbooks (or at any leading finance business school) - here is on example. Book What Color is Your Parachute - Jason read this book and it helped him in his own career; he recommends it to veteran listeners

Show Notes

Jason's background When you left the Army, you went directly to get your MBA - how crucial was that decision in your career path, and what advice would you give to veterans considering an MBA? What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when leaving the military, and what advice do you have for those on active duty listening? I’d like to focus on your role at Skullcandy, but what would you want listeners to know about your career path from Wharton to Skullcandy? How did you first come onboard the Skullcandy team? How would you describe your role as COO & CFO to someone on active duty? What did your day-to-day life look like? You achieve an incredible turnaround - how did you go about this? How would you describe your current role as CEO - what does your day-to-day look like? How do you grow and get feedback? What were the gaps you needed to fill in from the military until the CEO role? What advice do you have for veterans seeking to be CEO of a company one day? What resources - books, programs, podcasts, etc - have been helpful to you in your civilian career that you would recommend to veterans listening? Final words of wisdom

3. Skills 3 - Civilian Terminology #1 (BTU #121)
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Description:

In my interviews, we often use business jargon and terminology without explaining it. As Jason Hodell (BTU #122) said, "you've got to know the lingo." So, in this episode I dive into some of the most common civilian business terms I've had on the show. This is Part 1, so if there are other terms you'd like explained, send me a note about what terms you'd like me to cover for Part 2.

This is a new type of episode, and I'd love any feedback on this approach. Usually, I interview military veterans about their civilian career. Today, instead, I'm going to dive into a specific skill I think would be helpful to veterans in their civilian career.

Our Sponsor: StoryBox – People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces. Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

4. BTU #120 - Traveling the world for 4 years after Active Duty Navy (Tim Patterson)
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Description:

"I thought I was a big shot traveller until I met these people and I realized that I was nothing, and they were incredible. I've read books and seen movies and TV shows where people take their motorcycles around the world. It's easy to think  - that person's crazy or that person has a personal fortune or that that person has some unbelievable life circumstance that makes that possible. But when I met people in real life who had done these long-distance motorcycle trips, and I realized they're just ordinary people who and they're just really passionate and excited about what they do. And it's possible for anyone to do it."
- Tim Patterson

Listen to the full interview here

Tim Patterson started off at the Naval Academy as part of the mighty class of 2002. He served as an officer onboard nuclear submarines for 8 years. After his transition from the military, Tim spent over four years traveling the world. Two of these years were done by BMW motorcycle, where he rode over 28,000 miles along the Pan-American highway, from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. Studied Spanish in Guatemala. Survived Arctic weather, flat tires, and Colombian soldiers.

Why to Listen:

Time to reflect - many of my guests have talked about how they rushed into a career or into school and did not have time to consider what they wanted to do or take time to decompress after their military service. Tim took 4 years to travel the world, two of which were spent traveling more than 28,000 miles by motorcycle. He had more than ample time to think about what he wanted to do next. Freedom - Tim is different from nearly every interview I have done to date. He is an example of complete freedom and autonomy after the military. He talks about it in a very real and personal way that shows that any veteran can do this too, and any veteran can pursue whatever dream they want to achieve.

Our Sponsor:

StoryBox - People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces. Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources:

Outside Magazine - read frequently on Active Duty to plan his trips The Longest Ride - spent 10 years traveling by motorcycle, very inspirational Road Fever - tried to set Guinness World Record from Argentina to Alaska in 26 days. Gave Tim the inspiration for the destination for Tim's own trip The Driver- the Cannonball Run, the fastest drive from New York to LA. Set a record for fastest trip. Ewan McGregor - Long Way Round & Long Way Down - actor's journey across Europe and Asia. These were inspirational for Tim's planning Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Shantaram The Zanzibar Chest - incredible book about East Africa Anything by Paul Theroux - The Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonia Express Lost Japan

Show Notes

Tim's background What did you do while on Active Duty to make this journey possible? How much money does someone on Active Duty need to save up to make this possible? What led you to travel - was the certain moment when you knew you were going to travel the world? How long did you initially think it would last? Could you give a high-level overview of what those four years looked like? What was one of the most challenging moments of the trip? Did you have a favorite location along the way? Why might someone listening who is on active duty benefit from taking time to travel instead of going directly into a job or school? How did you travels shape what you want to do for a career? What resources recommend for traveling? Could you talk about how you became involved journalism? What is a typical week like as a journalist? Where are you headed from here? Final words of wisdom?

5. Skills #2 - The Slight Edge (BTU #119)
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Description:

This is a new type of episode, and I'd love any feedback on this approach. Usually, I interview military veterans about their civilian career. Today, instead, I'm going to dive into a specific skill I think would be helpful to veterans in their civilian career: The Slight Edge. Special thanks to Ray & Samantha Allen for recommending this book to me in their interview.

The Slight Edge is a great book about how small, repeated actions on a daily basis can lead to massive changes in your career, personal life, and relationships. In this 15-minute episode, I dive into some key takeaways from this book that Veterans and Active Duty Members of the Armed Forces can use to advance in their professional and personal lives. 

Our Sponsor: StoryBox – People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces. Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links The Slight Edge Other Skills Episodes BTU #86 - So Good They Can't Ignore You BTU #96 - Deep Work BTU #119 - Skills #1: Empathy & Non-violent Communication

6. BTU #117- Jim Vesterman- Marine Corps to Search Funds and Buying a Company to Run
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Description:

“I'm not sure that I'm the best necessarily at starting a business from scratch - figuring out a business model in my garage, making this thing work, and taking all the risks there are in the startup phase. But I was pretty sure that I could take a business that had cashflows, infrastructure, and a business model and make it a lot better."
– Jim Vesterman

Jim Vesterman is the CEO of Raptor Technologies, which is the nation's leading provider of integrated safety technologies for K-12 schools. He got his undergraduate degree at Amherst College, after which he worked at both the Monitor Group and for a software startup. He deferred his MBA to join the Marine Corps as part of 3rd Force Recon Company. After he got his MBA from Wharton, he started an entrepreneurial vehicle called a search fund - which we’ll get into - called Liberty Place Capital. Liberty Place Capital ultimately purchased Raptor Technologies in 2012 and he has been running that company for 5 years.

The top two reasons to listen to this episode are:

Perspective - Jim is the only person I've interviewed so far who had career before the Marine Corps. His look at re-entering the civilian workforce is compelling Search Funds - this is a great entrepreneurial vehicle well suited for veterans. Rather than coming up with an original idea, you can raise money to buy an existing business, which you can grow. Jim talks about how this process works, and why it may be appealing to veterans. Balance - Jim used used 5 vacation days and nights and weekends to raise money for his Search Fund - it's a great example of using one's extra time to further their career. Our Sponsor: StoryBox – People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces. Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Stanford has an incredible library of information about Search Funds that you can find here

7. BTU Skills 1 - Empathy & Non-Violent Communication (NVC)
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Description:

This is a new type of episode, and I'd love any feedback on this approach. Usually, I interview military veterans about their civilian career. Today, instead, I'm going to dive into a specific skill I think would be helpful to veterans in their civilian career: Empathy. This has come up in many episodes as something that veterans have needed to develop to progress in their civilian career. A tool that I have found to be extremely helpful in my own life in building up empathy is something called: Non-Violent Communication (NVC).

In this episode we'll talk about how to build empathy (just like a muscle), and how identifying feelings & needs can uncover strategies to meet more people's needs (your team, your co-workers, your spouse, etc).

Our Sponsor: StoryBox – People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces. Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links John Kinyon's list of Feelings & Needs handout Other Skills Episodes BTU #86 - So Good They Can't Ignore You BTU #96 - Deep Work Books Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life Choosing Peace: New Ways to Communicate to Reduce Stress, Create Connection, and Resolve Conflict Living Nonviolent Communication: Practical Tools to Connect and Communicate Skillfully in Every Situation Videos Introduction to Non-Violent Communication - Compassionate Listening The Basics of Non Violent Communication 1.1 (you'll have to get past a truly epic music rendition... push past it :) ) Marshall Rosenberg: The Purpose of Nonviolent Communication Groups Sign up for John Kinyon's newsletter - he has periodic online courses that are great Search for NVC groups in your local area

8. BTU #116 - Finance, Co-Founding Live Ops, and starting an investment firm (Patrick McKenna)
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Description:

"I was a Signal Corps Officer trained in telecom - I managed switches and all those kind of things, so I really understood traditional telecom infrastructure. These engineers who became my co-founders developed a soft switch - basically, using a computer, you could control a big piece of hardware somewhere else to make a phone ring. What I knew was that was massively disruptive. And what we didn't know together was where that disruption was going to lead us.  And that disruption led us, eventually, to LiveOps."
- Patrick

Patrick is the Founder and Managing Partner at High Ridge Global, which is a private investment and advisory firm. He started out as a ROTC student at the University of Southern California, after which he served as a Signal Corps Officer in the Army for four years. After his service he got his MBA at Georgetown. He has worked at JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, was part of the Founding Team of LiveOps (a company that now has over $100M in revenue), and has founded, invested in, and served on the board of multiple companies.

Why to Listen:

Networking & Preparing for meetings (~43:00) - Patrick talks about how one of the best things you can invest in is your network. His personal story illustrates how his network led from one incredible opportunity to the next. But he also provides tactical advice about how to prepare for meetings that we haven't covered in other interviews. Building expertise - although Patrick rotated between industries (finance, tech) and companies (JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, LiveOps, and more) he consistently built up expertise that he was able to leverage in his career. His thoughts for veterans about building up expertise and taking a 10-year time frame approach are incredible Resources - Patrick has been part of incredibly successful startups and has started his own investing and advisory fund. He has coached many entrepreneurs and business operators. His advice - and recommended resources - are really priceless in this interview

Our Sponsor:

StoryBox - People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces. Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources:

Longer-form Biographies - Elon Musk, The First American (Benjamin Franklin biography) Technical - The Hard Thing About Hard Things Staying Current - blogger or podcasts Sam Harris, Reason, Krista Tippett, Here's the Thing Wired, Techcrunch, Venturebeat Sci fi Crux, Cryptonomicon, The Moral Animal, Sapiens, Guns, Germs and Steel

Show Notes

Patrick's background For someone on active duty, how would you describe High Ridge Global? In terms of whereHigh Ridge Global is at today - what would you want listeners to know (head count, investments, etc) Advice to evaluating an idea/ Skills veterans may need prior to starting a company Many listeners to the show are interested in the world of finance - how vital is an MBA in this career path? What was your experience like at JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, and how has that helped you in your current role? Lifestyle differences between finance and startups? What lead you to make the shift to startups and Live Ops? What would you want listeners to know about your career path from Live Ops untilHigh Ridge Global ? How did you go about starting your own investment company? What did your day-to-day life look like when you first started? What skills did you need to develop to start your own firm, and what advice do you have for veterans seeking to do the same? What resources have been helpful to you that you would recommend to veteran listeners? Final words of wisdom?

9. BTU #115 - Network Marketing & Residual Income While on Active Duty (Ray & Samantha Allen)
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Description:

"We always say that you earn while you learn in this business. So even though we were both full-time active duty when we started this business, you can really build it into the nooks and crannies of your life, while just learning the process. Because there are people who are willing to hold your hands so that you can walk and then run in this business."
- Samantha Allen

Ray and Samantha Allen are both 2009 Naval Academy Graduates. After graduation, Ray went to flight school & became a Navy Helo pilot while Sam became a Marine.

Samantha served as a Marine for 5 years at Marine Special Operations Command (2nd MSOB) and weapons training Battalion. Ray is an HSC pilot now instructing at the Naval Academy.

The two live in Annapolis, MD with their three daughters, and have been building their business together for four years.

Why to Listen:

Direct marketing / network marketing - this is an often criticized & misunderstood space, but may be a great match for many veterans, as it:  Is a people business (where vets typically thrive) Is a business with training wheels (you get the support and mentorship you need as you grow) Has a strong sense of community (which vets often miss post-service) Includes a sense of purpose (which vets also miss post-service) Has a lot of autonomy (to afford a flexible lifestyle) Working with Spouse - if you're considering working with a significant other, they've got great advice. Self-learning - they include a TON of incredible resources to check out, and the motivation to go with it

Our Sponsor:

StoryBox - People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces. Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources:

LifeVantage Books Anything that Jim Rohn - The Power of Ambition YouTube Jim Rohn for free talks & seminars - everything he says is gold 10 Steps to Achieving Anything You Want Use Your Own Mind, Think, & Make Good Decisions! Why Your Attitude is Everything Do Something Different Inside Network Marketing Building your network marketing business on YouTube for free by Jim Rohn The Slight Edge by Jim Olson - how to improve by small decisions Think & Grow Rich How to win Friends & Influence People Podcasts MLM Nation by Simon Chan - interviews top earners in MLM (Multi-level marketing) system Home Business Profits by Ray Higden To contact Ray or Sam, reach out on Facebook: Samantha Allen & Ray Allen

Show Notes

4:00 Ray and Samantha's background 4:47 - How would you explain to someone on Active Duty what LifeVantage is? 7:58 - How did you both get started working with LifeVantage? 12:00 - What was the starting point like? 14:54 - When you first started what was the time commitment? 17:16 - How do you spend your time today on LifeVantage? 22:15 - How long does it take to make an income from Direct Marketing? 26:30 - What is residual income and how do you make residual income in Direct Marketing? 35:05  What are negative things that you hear about Direct Marketing and how do you respond to this criticism? 38:08 - How is it working together as a husband and wife team, and what advice do you have for couples thinking of working together? 41:51 - What resources - books, programs, websites - would you recommend to someone considering direct marketing? 49:20 - What advice do you have for a veteran considering entrepreneurship? 55:05 - Final words of wisdom?

10. BTU #114 - Founding an Inc 500 Company While Traveling Southeast Asia (Justin Cooke)
http://beyondtheuniform.libsyn... download (audio/mpeg, 48.29Mb)

Description:

"Working for this company, we started outsourcing to the Philippines, and we started doing more and more work with the Philippines. Eventually my buddy and I said, 'Why don't we setup a company in the Philippines to do the outsourcing for our employer?' So we pitched out bosses and they loved it. And so that kind of got our foot in the door."
- Justin Cooke

Justin Cooke is the Founder at Empire Flippers, a company that helps others buy, sell, and invest in profitable websites and online businesses. He started out in the Navy, where he spent 6 years as a Sonar Technician 2/C (STG2). Empire Flippers is an INC 500 company - Justin runs a 22 person team and has $27M+ In Online Businesses Sold.

Our Sponsor:

StoryBox - People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces. Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources

Tropical MBA - community of people building online businesses in remote locations 11 Popular Online Business Model Cal Newport interview - another great BTU episode that talks, like Justin, about building up a skill set https://flippa.com/ - eBay for online businesses; note: not much help in vetting. Justin recommends starting from scratch unless >$10-20k to spend on buying a business NitchPursuits.com - how to build business CloudLiving.com Dropshiplifestyle.com 4 Hour Work Week Justin's Podcast - https://empireflippers.com/podcasts/

Show Notes

What is your remote lifestyle like? What would you want listeners to know about your path from the Navy up until starting Empire Flippers? How to form a good business partnership What was the Genesis of Empire Flippers How would you describe Empire Flippers to someone on Active Duty You have seen a lot of success stories of people buying online businesses that they've then grow. What advice do you have for someone on active duty thinking of going down this path? What skills do you think someone we would need to develop after the military before considering going down this path? You had an incredible growth trajectory for Empire flippers. What advice do you have for other veteran entrepreneurs seeking to grow their company? What resources, that could be books, podcasts, courses, have helped you with your startup that you would recommend other veterans Final words of wisdom

11. BTU #112 - Army to Goldman Sachs, and President of the Florida Panthers (Matthew Caldwell)
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Description:

"No matter what job you're doing or where you're going, you always want to be the best at your current role. I never imagined that I'd be in the sports industry, let alone the President of an NHL Hockey Team. I never imagined that I'd be at Goldman Sachs. When I was in the Army I just worked really hard, and then identified that my next step would be getting into the best grad school, and then I just focused on that. You just have to have this balance of short term and long term planning."
- Matthew Caldwell

Matthew Caldwell is the President and CEO of the Florida Panthers and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment. Matthew started out at West Point, after which he served in the U.S. Army for five years, conducting combat operations in Iraq and peacekeeping operations in Kosovo. Matthew worked as a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in their Investment Management Division, and then transitioned to Chief Operating Officer for the Panthers before being elevated to President and CEO. Matthew holds a JD/MBA from Northwestern University School of Law and the Kellogg School of Management

Our Sponsor:

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources

A guy that I most recently have really started following and has been Simon Sinek. About six months ago I found him, and he's done so much research and it's not specific to sports, or finance, or technology. His TED talk is: Start With Why - it's why great leaders inspire people to take action. It's a simple kind of concept but it's all about understanding why you exist. Whether you're working at Apple or wherever you have to figure out why... your purpose... your vision for the future. These are things we kind of did in the military but it's so important. A company like Apple, they exist because they're always challenging the status quo.  The book is fascinating because he covers sports teams, Martin Luther King, Google, Apple... it's very interesting. He also has another book - Leaders Eat Last. I think people in the military will appreciate it. iv'e gotten into sports books - culture and how people operate is so important to them. I read recently the Real Madrid Way - its the most valuable sports franchise out there. Steven Mandis is a Goldman alum too, and i reached out to him and we talked for an hour about why Real Madrid was so valuable and what they've done in the community.

Show Notes

Please note that I type these notes during the interview so there are likely to be misspellings, grammatical errors, and misquotes. This is not meant to be a verbatim account of our conversation, but a VERY basic text transcript of our discussion.

How did you approach the decision to leave the Army? It was the toughest decision I've ever had professionally. I went back and forth on it a bunch of times. I was in the Army for five years - the first three I was deployed, in Iraq, Kosovo, or a build up for that. It was very high tempo. Ironically, when I was deployed, I actually really enjoyed it and felt like I was making a difference and serviging a highe rpurpose. When I got back, I was stablized for a year, the garrison lifesytle at my base in Germany. I went back and forth for a year but realized I enjoyed teh Army most during dpeloyments, and that's not all the time. I didn't know if I wanted to go special ops and sustain that op tempo for long-term. Ultimatley I decided I wanted other things besides the Army. I didn't think I could deploy every year even though I enjoyed it. I thought graduate school was a natural next step and then se How did you decide on a JD / MBA program? I always liked business and reading the Wall Street Journal and hearing what companies are doign and reading Good to Great. I thought an MBA was very suitable in opening me up to different industries. When I started researchign schools Noerthwestern was my top pick - I love the Chicago area and their culture. They ahve this very integrated, but also very exciting JD/MBA program that was in three years. I thought I'd get a taste of both business and law. I applied to a bunch of buisness schools and thought if I could also get a law degree it'd make me better at busienss or maybe I'd like law instead. Most programs are around four years and it's a lot of money. For me it was a good fit. For advice for other veterans, it really did work out for myself. I had all this leadership experience, I had lived overseas and had a good world view. So I had a good view of what was out there - for me to come home, as much as I had an interest in business I had no idea if I would be a consultant, a lawyer, finance - I was all over the map. For me it was a three year reset. And the networking aspect was most important. If you go to West Point for four years and then five years in the army, that's nine years of uyour life (one third of your life at that point) where you're just with a mlitary segment. It's a secdluded world. To get out and meet people from different backgrounds, hear about what they did and what they did in the workforce, that experience was very eye opening to me. I learned what they did and they were a great resource. It was the perfect transition point for me. Some of my friends got work experience before grad school and I can see the value of that. When people were talking about a case study, i didn't have any context for what they were talking about. What lead you to Goldman Sachs? Most people in business school go to all the networking events, take classes, talk to people and build from the bottom up. I want to be in Private Equity, in the MErgers & Acquisition world. They identify an industry and then start interviewing in certain geographic areas. I looked at I knew I wanted to go to business and enjoyed those classes and then - what company do I want to be most associated with. I did an exhaustive search and talked to consulting companies, and General Electirc, Proctor and Gamble, etc, but I felt like I connected with the banks. I like JP Morgan & Chase, Goldman, etc - I connected with the people at Goldman. They were diverse, hardworking, and wanted to be in an environment like that. There were three areas: the trading side of the house, i enjoyed that mentality but didn't know long term. Investment banking house where working on big deals with major institutions. But ultimately the investment management division was a good balance between working with big institutions on how to invest their capital but also resonate with me long term. There were a few West Point guys who mentored me. For someone on active duty, how would you explain the work you did at Goldman Sachs? It is a great firm - over many generations they've produced great people who have done great things for the country. My every day life there I worked on a team with about six individuals managing thirty or so accounts. Big families, foundations, non-profit, another company's assets, etc. We were the intermediary between the client - what are their needs, what are they trying to do - and then sit with all the experts at the firm (in research, or investing in Europe, or Latin America, etc). We'd be the intermediary between them and the resources at Goldman. A lot of my job was listening to my clients, hearing their needs, running around and talking to different departments and then making recommendations. What advice do you have for a veteran aspiring to work at Goldman Sachs? The banks or any firms on Wall Street generally like military. They appreciate the tenacity, the hardwork, the comraderie - the characteristics of many service men and women. You put the organization first. The company is more important than the individual. That's not common everywhere. A place like Goldman really values that. It is a tough firm to get into - they usually only hire right out of college or an MBA or other graduate program. They value talent and intelligence and very diverse backgrounds. If you have an interesting story and they think you can add a lot of value at the firm, they know they can teach you all the finance technique. It's just a matter of hustling to get in front of the right people. I've gone through a job search a lot of times - it's a matter of reading and talking to the right person. Sometimes you do 20 coffee chats and yuo don't feel like you're making any progress, and then the 21st meeting and it's the perfect meeting. but if you didn't go through all the reps before that you don't know how it would have worked out. I was at school in Chicago and was interested in going to New York. And I wasn't able to get a time to meet with anyone else. I sat at Starbucks all day emailing people and calling them and I figured since I was in NY I might as well try to meet with people. And that got me in touch with someone who was at Credit Suisse who was West Point, he had a few minutes available and I sat down with him. I was open and honest that Goldman was my first choice,; and he introduced me to someone at Goldman. 30 interviews later I got a job there. What lead you to make the transition to the Florida Panthers? I was at Goldman and one of the unique aspects of their culture is that the junior people are the ones who are encouraged to get out there and kick up new business. Typically in firms more senior partners are trying to drive new client relationships. At Goldman they send out their more junior folks. So I was out there talking to institutions and big family offices trying to get them to invest at Goldman. So I was out there hussling and same thing as I did whe ntrying to get my first job. I started a relationship with another West Point grad, Vincent Viola. he ended up becoming a client at Goldman, and was great at investing his capital. We built this great report with him over time and he took a liking to me as a younger West Pointer who got his start on Wall Street. It was very familiar with his background. He went trading and came from Brooklyn (I'm from Staten Island). After a few years he asked me to come and join his family office. So I jumped at the opportunity. As much as I loved Goldman I thought it was something I couldn't' pass it up. I was dreading going to the guy who hired me and probably got ten seconds into my pitch and he said, 'I would love for you to build a career here, but you gotta jump on this.' So i started working directly for Vinnie. He had purchased the Florida Panthers hockey team. He always wanted to get into sports - it's hockey in South Florida, which is tough. We knew there would be a big challenge, he said, I'm a very hands on operator and could use someone I could trust. I signed up for it, and moved down to South Florida. I live in Miami, started off being an ownership representative giving him advice on how to improve the franchise. how to sell season tickets and get the stadium packed. They ended up giving me the COO role as a permanent role. As the franchise turned around 1.5 years later, and he named me the CEO and President. How would you explain your role as CEO? I was a huge sports fan of every sport. There's actually another West Point graduate, Eric Joyce, who was an Assistant Captain for the West Point hockey team. Eric was his guy to help out on the hockey side. And he's done a great job and is the assistant GM. Initially I focused more on the business side - it was more selling the team and keeping the budget straight and sending reports to people about our marketing plan and sales plan. everything that happens off the ice. Right now there's different periods where things change dramatically. We're in the office season so things aren't top of mind for people. However, for the business side of the operation its an important time to knock out some long-term projects. A big thing we're doing right now is formalizing our marketing plan, getting feedback from all the different departments on what will be our slogan this year, how to attract more fans, how to get a big excitement around opening night. It comes on October 7 and so we hit the pause button and think about our identify, our team and how to tell our story to our fan base. We're also very active in our grassroots - sports aren't front of mind - we go door-to-door and go to local boys and girls club events and anything to support our team and show our presence. There's more of an emotional presence between the team and the community After labor day the whole coaching staff and players and hockey side comes and then its about supporting the training camp. And it's ver intense and we want to make sure the fans have a great experience. Visiting suites and clubs and showing them a great time in the stands. Additionally, I'm President of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment that operates  - we got Bruno Mars and John Mayer coming through. All the ushers, all the ticket tapes, all the people who run food and beverages. We want to make sure they have a great experience. What advice do you have for a veteran seeking a career in the sports industry? I don't know if it differs much from other industries. a lot of companies value how interested you are in something, and if someone is leaving the military in six months you need to start reaching out to sports teams or anyone who has any connection there. Go on LinkedIn or Facebook see who you know - give them a call. Start hearing things. See if that sounds interesting. Do you know anyone in the NY area? Get introduced and start having that conversation. Any industry will respect a veteran reaching out. It's not that you have to prove anything. They won't hire you because of your specific job in the military they just want to know you did a great job. No matter what job you're doing or where you're going, you want to be the best at your current role. You can fall into the mistake of coasting or thinking of what you'll do next. The problem is you never know where your career will take you, and it's important for recommendations and when you want to tell stories in interviews and why you did a great job in the current job where you are. Just worked really hard and identified my next step and just focused on that. You gotta have a balance of short term and long term. Research industries, do a great job. What resources - books, programs, seminars, conferences - have helped you in your civilian career that you would recommend to other veterans? A guy that I most recently have really started following and has been Simon Sinek. About six months ago I found him, and he's done so much research and it's not specific to sports, or finance, or technology. His TED talk is: Start With Why - it's why great leaders inspire people to take action. It's a simple kind of concept but it's all about understanding why you exist. Whether you're working at Apple or wherever you have to figure out why... your purpose... your vision for the future. These are things we kind of did in the military but it's so important. A company like Apple, they exist because they're always challenging the status quo.  The book is fascinating because he covers sports teams, Martin Luther King, Google, Apple... it's very interesting. He also has another book - Leaders Eat Last. I think people in the military will appreciate it. iv'e gotten into sports books - culture and how people operate is so important to them. I read recently the Real Madrid Way - its the most valuable sports franchise out there. Steven Mandis is a Goldman alum too, and i reached out to him and we talked for an hour about why Real Madrid was so valuable and what they've done in the community. Final words of wisdom? Taking a risk. Quick anecdote, when I was in business school I was able to sit with the student admissions team. I sat in the room and heard right from the Director of Admissions who was letting people into Kellogg. And they said they see resumes from veterans and have no idea what it says. As much as we try to dumb it down and not use acronyms, it still sounds foreign to people. It's difficult to pull info out of veterans. We're trained to always put the organization first and focusing on the unit. We're trained not to self promote. It's a tough thing to do - you've gotta spread the needle about promoting yourself and clal someone and explain why they should take your call or why they should get on the phone with you. As a veteran you don't want to ask for favors - you want to be rewarded for performance without pounding your chest. It's this difficult balance. IF you feel like you're self promoting you probably arne't- it just isn't. if you don't do it, no one will.

12. BTU #112- Growing Black Rifle Coffee from $1.8k to $20M in 2.5 years (Evan Hafer)
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Description:

"I spent about $1,800 buying bags and thinks, built my own website and started trying to sell coffee online. So basically I started Black Rifle Coffee from a passion that I sought to test out."
- Evan Hafer

Evan Hafer is the Founder & CEO of Black Rifle Coffee, a small batch coffee roasting company. He started out at the University of Idaho, after which he spent 14 years in the U.S. Army as an infantryman, a Special Forces soldier, and a CIA contractor.

I came across Evan in a 2016 Forbes Article about the Top 25 Veteran Founded Startups in America.

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Selected Resources

Forbes Article about the Top 25 Veteran Founded Startups in America. Coursera is fantastic. It has an online catalgoue from Penn State, Stanford, Michigan. I signed up for courses from Wharton. It's a great outlet. YOuv'e got a lot of access to Coursera. Udemy is another great online learning - courses from specific personalities. Lynda is a fantastic resource - it's amazing. The first thing I do is google it and then take a course on it. How do I built a dashboard with my KPIs based on division. I can't tell you how to do that based on military experience - but I can google this and find classes on how to plug this in. It may take a few days - you can't be too impatient. One of the best books I've read - Good to Great and Built to Last. I've read Good to Great - listened to it or read it, probably six times. These are some of the best books that I've read. Podcasts: every day I can get into a half hour on marketing, or leadership / management - any time I can spend 30 minutes listening. It might not be the most sage advice at that time, who knows what type f

Show Notes

Please note that I type these notes during the interview so there are likely to be misspellings, grammatical errors, and misquotes. This is not meant to be a verbatim account of our conversation, but a VERY basic text transcript of our discussion.

How did you make the decision to leave the Army? Jioned National Guard in 1995 while in College. Was still in 2015. 20 years in active duty or in the reserves, and 8 years with the CIA as a contractor Had been thinking about it for 2 years. I had another business in Idaho - fly fishing, white water rafting, etc. I was planning on getting out and going to grad school or something like that. I was burnt out on deployments, coming up on 20 years of military service and wanted a change What was your first job search like out of the Army? I didn't really have one. I knew I was going to start my won business. I had been roasting coffee for ten years in Iraq and Afghanistan. I had purchased another company a few years before. I wasn't thinking of doing an online roast to order coffee company. My wife and I were thinking of opening a coffee shop. We had gone back and forth on what he had wnated to do. Ultimately we wanted to try to test the market. Didn't want to spend $100k trying to get a coffee shop. Ultimately, I wasn't sure if we could make it work. I could build a website and invest a limited amount of capital - I spent about $1,800 byying bags and thinks, built my own website and selling coffee online What was the genesis of Black Rifle Coffee? I was roasting enough coffee at the time for a few different restaurants and few friends. When I stood up the website and started selling online, after my first month I repaid the money I paid into the company. I was fairly convinced at the end of first month For veteran listeners, how would you describe Black Rifle Coffee? A lot of people say, I need a full blown business plan. Well, I'm a military guy and we go through a lot of planning and cycles around the planning. Every plan doesn't survive first contact. It's fine to do a five paragraph mission order, but the mission statement can't be around the idea - it needs to be around your life. My mission statement was: I will become economically emanicapted from the government and be able to feed my family through my own endeavor. Then I put out a combination of things I could do iwthin this operatino order. A lot of guys become wrapped around a tactic - I have to be THIS. I didn't I was just attached to the idea of being free from the US goverment and drove into marketing and branding and tact. If I can market one of the skills I have - I was roasting coffee and doing outdoors-e stuff. Black Rifle COffee was built out of these two things. Then I started to get a positive Return On Investment really early. If I spend $10 I can make $20... i can actually make a profit. Especially if I start to scale. I started in my garage with $1,800. I didn't hire any employees for my first year. Just me and my wife (part time for about 6 months of that firs tyear) . I was doing customer service, packaging and shipping, photography, social media, website. I was a one-man show. A lot of guys thought that seemed fairly difficult. I only slept about four hours a night for th efirst year of the business - 7 days a week. I had a thermarest in my office. I hired employee #1 after the first year. After the second year I ahd 26 employees. Now I have 84 employees. I've never taken out any debt in my company - no investment. I run it completely off it's own profit margins. I've scaled the company, continued to purchase everything and anything through the profit. I can beat up my employees over $0.03 and a box. If I'm going to buy 12 tonnes of cardboard from China I know exactly how much that will be. There is nothing I wouldn't tell you about this business. I can tell you down to the cent for the last 2.5 years.I'll spend an hour or two in fulfillment, and hour or two in purchasing. Just packing a box and understanding exactly how I want the product to be displayed when it hits their doorstep. The customer needs to understand that no detail can be overlooked. I try to drive a detail oriented ship. We miss things but it's not because we're not trying it's because when you send out a few thousand shipments a day, you miss a few things. It's not as precision as I'd like it to be. At what point were you able to start paying yourself a salary? 14 months - it was a few thousand dollars a month. Now, we'll do over $20M annual this eyar, and I still only pay myself $70k. I went from $2k to $4k in increments. But I've only paid myself for over one year in the last two and a half years. The more money you take out of a business the less it will grow. A lot of guys make this mistake really early. We sold two houses, and my wife and I went from making $250,000 per year as a high paid contract for the government to making NOTHING. For over a year nothing. I had sold two houses, a truck, all my guns, just to keep going. My wife was ready to kill me. It's definitely worth it. I've got a 40k square foot building a 60 kilo roaster - all of them are What did you do on Active Duty to help in startups? I was doing payroll in mission planning and our budget for our small indigineous force. I thought, if I can run this Afghan with a third grade education, if I can train them to do these multi-level kinetic operations this can translate to business. I thought of it as a small business. If you don't run your budget in a strict and proficient way you're setting yoruself up for your own failure. I had the unique opportunity of working with some guys who had run a small business. My original mentor was a SpecOps guy and he transitioned to a small business. It was always in the back of my mind - I was going to be a business owner. Every part of my service - how does this translate into the business world. When I transitino out I need to be able ot translate this into something I can monetize. Not - I need to be able to tell these stories. How do I take these skills and use them on the outside? They're very unique skills that very few people acquire. Military people are some of the most complex problem solvers in the world. When I look at my service - always look tot ranslate what you're doing now into what you're doing Seek professional development opportunies. Seek some skills that the military can pay for but it might not be translatable to your MOS right now but how about your future. I went to a lot of schools when I was in and would come back when I was home and take professional development training. There's this total access to online learning There are so many different ways you can learn that you don't need the US military - but you have the ability to have the military pay for all the training you want to do. I've sat in on university classes to learn about economics Resources Coursera is fantastic. It has an online catalgoue from Penn State, Stanford, Michigan. I signed up for courses from Wharton. It's a great outlet. YOuv'e got a lot of access to Coursera. Udemy is another great online learning - courses from specific personalities. Lynda is a fantastic resource - it's amazing. The first thing I do is google it and then take a course on it. How do I built a dashboard with my KPIs based on division. I can't tell you how to do that based on military experience - but I can google this and find classes on how to plug this in. It may take a few days - you can't be too impatient. One of the best books I've read - Good to Great and Built to Last. I've read Good to Great - listened to it or read it, probably six times. These are some of the best books that I've read. Podcasts: every day I can get into a half hour on marketing, or leadership / management - any time I can spend 30 minutes listening. It might not be the most sage advice at that time, who knows what type f What has been the most challenging moment to date? WHn you have 80 people who work fory ou you develop personal relationships with them. It's an ecosystem - people rpovide the balance in the ecosytem. Terminating people or repurosing them - having really frank discussions with people in general about work performance. These are incredibly difficutl things to do. A loto f business owners avoid tough discussions with employees, and I know why. I want the best for people - however, some people will never conform to the environemnt you're trying to build. You may love them and appreciate them - but they may not be a good fit for the ecosystem. The ahrdest part is managing people - it's very difficult. Knowing you like people but they don't fit into your company this is a really difficult challenge. Because the company's ecosystem always has to be in balance. Hire slow, fire fast. It doesn't mean firing will be easier but yo have to do it to grow the company. A redwood grows really well in a redwood forest. It doesn't grow really well in Sonora. Just becasue they don't fit in in your company doesn't mean they won't fit in somewhere else. They'll be good people wherever they go. It might not be a good cultural fit. We tend to over exagerate people's failures - it may not be a failure on either part it may just be confomring to the envirnonemnt. It's a difficult part for managers - you're done here. I try to say this sin't a good fit how do we make you succeed somewhere else. What has been the most rewarding moment to date? Not just one moment - I always tell people when I was in the government it wasa  pleasure to serve the country. But I got to the point where Iw asn't enjoying my job or my profession. Here right now in my life, I go from my house - two little girls 3.5 and 8 weeks, a beautiful wife and a loving household. And I go to my place of work, ten minutes away, full of people who are competent and they love me and I love them. Every corner of my life - even though there is stress - there is great people and nothing in my life doesn't insprie me at this point. I don't drag my feet going anywhere. I've never had that before. It's very strange to look forward to every day or every minute of my life. I think that's the greatest achievement I've had - I've been able to rapidly change my life. A lot of my professional life i was unhappy - now every day is a challenge. The people around me are fantastic and excellent people. It's so rewarding to know I looking forward to it. I started with my goal of economic freedom. Everyone needs to define what happiness looks like. I love to work, the art of business. But I love rolling up my sleeves and going to work. So happiness - I'm emanicipating myself from government service. I need to create enough welath to become happy. A lot of people say happiness is about wealth or a means to an end. If you're not happy along the way - yo have to enjoy the mountain climb not just the summit. YOu can't just look back - oyu have to enjoy the climb. What advice do you have for veterans thinking of starting their own company? You have to be dedicated to being a business man. Even though you served you country and that's an admiral thing, the people of the United States don't owe yuo anything. I'm not trying to be negative - you have to be able to translate things into a new profession. You need to concentrate on the future not what you've done in the past. You need to find what you've done in the past you can leverage to be a better busienss person. You have to be humbled at the alter of business - the world doesn't owe you anything. It doesn't owe you anything. It helps you've got dedication and complex probelm solving skills. You need to be more committed to this than anythign else you've done before. Themost stress I've experienced wasn't being shot at - it was having a wife and child at home and knowing they have to be fed and what I did on a daily basis was going to provide a good or bad life for them. That's the most stress I've had in my life - it's constant and heavy. You have to dedicate yourself, and humble yourself. You have to take it on like you've never taken on in your life. you have to be so committed to it - you have to prepre for the worst and hope for the best In many ways you're discounted because of your service - you don't have any business experience What does the next 12 months look like for BRCC? We're going to move out of Salt Lake to another state. We're moving the corproate headquarters to Colorado Springs. The enxt twelve months we'll open up 12 brick and mortar stores, logistics in different states and state specific roasters. And we'll have some joint projects going on with some veteran companies. And I think the next twelve months will be really big.W e launch our franchise initaitive in 18 months. Th enext twelve months will be a lot of work, we'll expand quite a bit. The big expansion is september of next month.

13. BTU #110- Co-Founding Plated & Raising $55M (Nick Taranto)
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Description:

"It was like an apocalypse movie and it was the day we launched Plated - the worst day in the history of the internet. And then our cargo container got picked up in the storm surge and sucked out into the river. The only thing that kept our business from getting flooded out of business was that thumb width 220V electricity cord that got tangled around a phone pole and didn't get sucked out to sea. It was just a lesson in perseverance."
- Nick Taranto

Nick Taranto is the Co-Founder & CEO of Plated, a company whose "Mission is to Help People Eat Better, and Live Better." Plated has raised over $55M in funding, and been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NYT, Wired Magazine and more. He started out at Dartmouth College, after which he worked at KOMPIP Microfinance before going on to Harvard Business School. After HBS, he graduated from the Marine Corps' The Basic School, where he Drilled as an active reservist for 3 years. He also worked at Goldman Sachs as a Private Wealth Advisor prior to starting Plated.

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Selected Resources

There's a great book by Ben Horowitz at Andreesen Horowitz - the hard Thing About Hard Things. Before becoming a VC, he was an entrepreneur and started a few businesses. He talks through his experience and takeaways for aspiring entreprenerus. A resource I go back ot again is entrepreneur.com - you have to sift through some of the news, but there are a lot of great articles about building a business. raising money, hiring, firing, building out a sales team, operations, different contracts and negotiations. Entrepreneur.com is free and a great resource Wired Magazine's article on Nick

Show Notes

Please note that I type these notes during the interview so there are likely to be misspellings, grammatical errors, and misquotes. This is not meant to be a verbatim account of our conversation, but a VERY basic text transcript of our discussion.

You joined the military later than most - what lead you to join the Marine Corps? My career has been very non conventional. I didn't have a big picture plan when I was 21 or getting off active duty about startups. The idea of "living in beta" or testing hypothesis for your business and your life and career as quickly as possible I was 26 years old when I commissioned in the Marine Corps. I had gone through OCS and was looking at either going into consulting, which most of my peers in business school were doing, or accepting a commisison. I thought long and hard about this before graduating from graduate school. It was hard because no one coming out of HBS had gone active duty since World War 2. When I asked people for advice they thought i was crazy for "throwing my life away." None of that feedback made sense to me. It wasn't until I talked to David Gurgain, who is a professor at the Kennedy School and a politial commentator on CNN, and he served in four different White Houses. Most importantly he went to Law School and then commissioned in the Navy after law school. he said "you should go do it and you'll never regret it." That's how I feel about itt. I was older than almost everyone in my platoon. But i saw it as a Now or Never proposition and knew I would regret it if I didn't answer the call. What did you learn in your time in the Marines that has helped you as an entrepreneur? I specialized as an Infantry Officer before going the Reserves side and serving iwth a few different companies all over the East Coast. In my Infantry training in the early days of getting the business off-the-ground was incredibly useful. Operating under ambiguity. Being able to preserve emotionally, psychologically and physically. We had a lot of challenges getting the business up and off the ground. Putting one foot in front of the others and having a big mission ahead of us. When yo're growing an organization it's important to make a mission crystal clear so that people can internalize it and get the big picture. So the day to dya may be a slog but you're getting out to work something bigger than yourself. What aspects from the Marines did you most need to leave behind as an entrepreneur? I've thought about this a lot.When you don't have a miltiary background it's easy to romanticize what goes on in the miltiary. The Marines has the best brand in the United States - they haven't missed their recruiting qouta in a long time because their brand is so strong. There are definitely live of martial life that do not extend into the world of entrepreneurship or starting your own business. The biggest is dealing with beauracrcy. So much of the miltiary is waiting for the mission to come down. In startups, especially in the early days, it's all on you to figure out what th enext plan is, what the risks are, make those assessments, prioritize the entire world that is in front of you and develop an action plan. I tend to do best when there is no structure. Where it really is incumbent on me to develop and hold myself accountable and develop a plan. I do less well when given a plan and need to execute it. I was pretty happy to leave behind the beauraucy and think creatively and operate independently. Between USMC & Plated? Coming off active duty I didn't know waht I wanted to do with my life. I spent time Active Duty with the Marine Corps but was feeling a little lost. I was in my late twenties, had a fiance who had been working "Real jobs" and I hadn't yet had my first "real job" outside of the miltiary. I wasn't sure who I was supposed to be, what I was supposed to do. The thought of working 7am to 7pm in a job I didn't care about depressed me pretty fundamentaliy. I went to Wall Street for about six months and reinforced how different life paths could be. I saw my bosses on the desk on Wall Street who by all measures were successful - making a ton of money, had families, were running books of business - but many of them seemed to be lacking happiness, a bigger mission, and I knew that I didn't want to put my head down, grind it out, put up the periscope ten years later with  acareer I wasn't satsified with, beholding to a very large paycheck. That's when I really started to look around and see that the world of startups exsited. This was 2011 so back a bit, when the fad for entrepreneruship hadn't really taken off like it has today. There weren't as many resources in New York i could go to and ask about what their path to building a successful multi-million dollar business was. I was able to team upw ith a business school friend of mine in New York - he had built a data storage company straight out of college (Josh Hicks, my co-founder at Plated). We did this Founder Dating thing for three months - figured out if we'd worked well together. We did volunteer work togetehr in Hataii for a couple of weeks and had been through some tought stuff together. I approached him as a mentor of sorts, and we figure d How to vet a partner There is so much that can and will go wrong - it's like developing a battle plan, everything looks great until it makes first contact with a customer. It's really improtant to decide - are you up for starting something on your own. Do you want a co-founder? If it's tough to ride the ups and downs alone, a co-founder is very helpful. If the answer is yes, it will be the most dillutive decision you make in terms of your equity. You're giving half the company away before the company even exists - so it's a ;big quesiton. But the way I've always thought of equity is you're going to reduce your total stake in the enterprise, but it's worth it to take that hit if you're increasing your probability of success by an equal or greater ratio. You're giving up 50% of business, but are you increasing probability of success by more than 50%? For me the answer was yes. I needed a co-founder, to go into battle together. The next question was who and what sort of skill set. It's a really important question - human nature is to work with people similar to us. Who talk and think the same way. It can actually hurt your probability of success, especially in the early days. So finding someone with complementary set of skills was important. It started with diagnosigin myself and fiding where I  was weak and strong, and where I want to spend my time, and where I want to complement this. That self examination is really crucial. I knw I didn't want to do the coding or financila modeling. I wanted to be out selling and hustling. Developing the mission and vision and hiring employees and generating business. I needed someone who was more comfortable workign behidn the scenes, making sure the website worked, making sure we had the right spreadshets and wharehouse management point. What was the genesis of Plated? Josh and I had been working on a totally different idea and it wasn't working. It was going nowhere fast. We were working out of a friend's office and went for a walk in Central Park - a mile around, we would just do laps and laps talking and bouncing ideas off of each toehr. We came to this realization that this idea wasn't going to work. We knew we were going ot work together - we had been through months of intense work nto killing each other and actually liking it so we asked: what comes next. We had been thinking through this meal kit concept for some time. On this walk around the resevoir at the end of a couple of miels of walking we turned to each other and said - this is what we need to do. This is what the next attempt at starting a business will be. One was that food industyr trend in general. And out of personal need - our own experience On the food industry side we had done hundreds of case studies in business school, but only one case remotely related to food - a cranberry manufacturing case. So we didn't really understand the size of the market, what they looke dlike, what the opportuniteis were, what the weaknesses were. As we explored that we realized (1) food is an ENORMOUS industry. Healthcare is bigger but incredibly regulated. While food is regulated it isn't nearly as tough to build a business as in healthcare. (2) as we looked across the landscape we realized that no one had built a large business in food with data. There had been big failures in the 90s and 2000's like WebVan - one of the first e-commerce companies, an online grocer who raised almost $1 Billion dollars from the best investors and now a case study as one of the worst failures. So fast forward from their failure to 2012 there really hadn't been data technology and innovation in a long time. It didn't make sense why that was the case. The other realization for us was that we were both athletes - I'm an Iron Man Triathlete - it was hard, complex and expensive to get good food into our tummies. It took a lot of time to figure out what to eat, especially when it came to cooking. We found the more you cook the happier you are, the cleaner the food, the more control you have - this mattered to us in a big way. There was no way to make cooking to work for us, esepcially in NY  - the lines at stores can take an hour to get through. Working in Wall Street I put on 20lbs in six months, just sitting at my desk all the time and felt like crap. It was the first time I felt I lost control over what I was eating and what was going on in my life. So between it bein ga huge market without a lot of data and technology and that problem we thought we could build a better food business with data and technology at the core DNA For an active duty listener who is not familiar with Plated, how would you describe Plated to them? We deliver everything you need to cook a chef designed meal at home in about thirty minutes. All the spices, meat, protein, kale, basil, plus a chef designed recipe card with an image of the final meal and some really easy to follow steps that anyone can use to get a good meal to your table in thirty minutes. We've got over 15 options each week, the menu changes every week, our recipes change based on what you like and don't like and we deliver it directly to your door. What has been the hardest moment since starting Plated? We had a really tough time getting the business going. Five years out its easy to tell a success story, but the first year we ran into obstacles and a literal flood at every turn. First, Josh and I had been working on different ideas for six months prior to starting Plated. We had burned through our savings, our IRAs... we were out of money. it was go and raise money from other people, or go and get jobs, and neither of us wanted to do that. Which meant we had to raise money from outside investors on Day 0. Neither of us had done anything in food or e-commerce or building a consumer brand. You imagine we found people to pitch for our fledgling company and they would say - you've never done anythign remotely related to this! Why should we give you money!?! We quite literally had doors slammed our face. We talked to 200 people in three months and the only yes we got was from my dad, who was by no means wealthy. I grew up in a very privileged household where eduction was always first and foremost but he wasn't in a position to fund the business. He gave us enough money for ramen but it wasn't enough to get the business up and off the ground. It was incredibly humbling as we tried to convince people that we were going to accomplish this thing in the world but got rejected at every turn Eventually we cobbled together some funds. I met this group of Angel Investors - people who fund very early stage businesses. They were former Israeli defense commandos. They had moved from Israel to Silicon Valley and had built two very succesful businesses and sold them for hundreds of million of dollars. They liked the Marine Corps story, our hunger and passion, and we raised our first money from those Angels. They took a big chunk of the business in exchange for the cash they put in - very dilutive, but we didn't have an option. Either stop our dream or keep going. So we had a little bit of money, but it didn't get easier from there. I'm putting a book out later this year or early next year. I tell some more stories in there - The Evolved Eater - a quest to eat better, live better and change the world. I tell the story of having a little bit of money to run the business, but we were working out of my apartment on my couch. I was going to the local grocery store and buying chicken by the pound and we'd pack it and hand deliver around Manhattan, really hustling. We realized we needed a professional fulfillment center if we were going to growth the business. We looked all over NY for space that was refrigerated. We couldn't find anything. But we found a refrigerated cargo cater that they used to ship bulk goods across the ocean. We rented one of these things and parked it in Brooklyn that we rented on a month-to-month basis. This 40 foot long cargo crater we plugged into a 220V yellow cord the width of my fund and we started taking our inventory and run our operations from there right on the East River. Beautiful view of Manhattan right on the water. It was all fine and good until Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012. It was also the date we officially launched as Plated. When Hurricane Sandy came down - it was really something to behold. The city shut down for DAYS! No electricity, elevators not working, traffic lights not working. It was like an apocalypse movie and it was the day we launched Plated - the worst day in the history of the internet. And then our cargo container got picked up in the storm surge and sucked out into the river. The only thing that kept our business from getting flooded out of business was that thumb width 220V electricity cord that got tangled around a phone pole and didn't get sucked out to sea. It was just a lesson in perseverance Was there a point at which things changed - where you knew this was going to succeed? It took a year of just grinding it out. Then we got some press - just through hustle, telling reporters our story, asking them out for coffee. That early coverage led to the folks from Shark Tank reaching out to us. We didn't apply, they reached out to us - the Producer said we love your story and think you'd be a great fit. They flew us out to LA in July of 2013 - one year after we officially incorporated we were at the Sony lot filming for Shark Tank. We filmed thought it went well - didn't hear anything from eight months! Now we're starting to get nervous because the whole idea was to raise money but also the publicity of getting in front of 10 million households on a Friday night. To make al ong story short, we got a call an producers gave us one week that the show was going to air. We were two years in business and not seeing any breakaway velocity. A few hundred orders a week, just grinding things out. Then our Shark Tank episode aired and it was an inflection point - we had sprinted to get a nation-wide system in place. We wanted to take advatnage of the nation-weid media. We saw 1000X increase in traffic to our website - even with all our planning, th esite still crashed. It was great. We saw more revenue th emonth following the airing than we had seen in the entire history of the business leading up to that point. That coverage and demand it generated validated that this is not just an idea that works ro in San Francisco - this appeals to folks all over the country in every zip code. That gave us the confidence to raise our first "real" money - our Series A, which was $15 million. It also validated that we could go then build TV advertising and investing to really grow the business faster. It wasn't until two years into the business that we had that validation What advice do you have for someone on active duty who is thinking of starting a company when they get out? It might be hypocritical advice, but it's a really hard transition, going from the military straight into a startup lifestyle. Goign from having a persribed routine of what to wear and eat and then having complete and total freedom over everythign you do. It can be completely overwhelming. The advice I would give is - if at all possible, go try and work at a startup (fi you want to be an entrepreneur) at another startup for 3 months, 6 months, a year. See how startups succeed or fail and try to learn on someone else's dollar before hussling on your own. There's no susbtitute for doing it yourself, but there's SO much to learn and it is so incredibly hard that you want to give yourself as many advantages as possible. If you can find a team taht will give you a shot - that you can learn how young businesses operate, what financials look like, what building out a team means, what hiring and firing means in the private sector, getting those skills and expereinces - it'll be invaluable when you go out on your own What resources have been helpful to you - books, podcasts, classes, etc - that you would recommend to other veterans thinking of starting a company? There's a great book by Ben Horowitz at Andreesen Horowitz - the hard Thing About Hard Things. Before becoming a VC, he was an entrepreneur and started a few businesses. He talks through his experience and takeaways for aspiring entreprenerus. A resource I go back ot again is entrepreneur.com - you have to sift through some of the news, but there are a lot of great articles about building a business. raising money, hiring, firing, building out a sales team, operatinos, different contracts and negotiations. Entrepreneur.com is free and a great resource Final words of wisdom? Whether you go or build a business on your own or join a team that is already operating, there is such a hunger out there for veterans. Especially post 9/11 veterans. Everyone is looking to hire vets both for waht they can bring to the table and it's also a great story to tell to everyone. There can be challenges in translating what it means to how you can help build or run a busines,s but don't give up if at first it's a challenge

14. BTU #111- Two sibling Army Vets and Their Two Successful Startups
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"Wouldn't it be great if our country didn't have to care about Iraq's oil, or the Middle East's oil? Maybe we should start an energy related business - ok let's go figure that out. That was roughly the thought process that gave us the left and right limits of starting an energy business. That started a process where we just endlessly turned over rock, after rock, after rock trying to find something, while absolutely not knowing what we were doing. Then we eventually stumbled across something where people would pay us money for it. So we just said let's do more of this thing and do it in as many spots as possible.  "
- Chris Boggiano

Jon Boggiano and Chris Boggiano are the Co-Founders of Versame, which leverages technology for large scale impact to improve early childhood education and language development. Versame has raised $2.5M in funding and is a team of sixteen.

Jon started out at West Point, after which he served for five years in the Army, most recently as an Operations Officer & Battle Captain, 1st Infantry Division. After his transition from the Army he worked at Carrier Corporation for three years, before starting his first company, Everblue. Jon is a Sloan fellow from Stanford University.

Chris started out at West Point, after which he served in the Army for five years, most recently as Operations Officer, 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command. He worked at Tessera for one year prior to starting his first company, Everblue. Chris is also a Sloan fellow from Stanford University.

I came across Jon and Chris in a 2016 Forbes Article about the Top 25 Veteran Founded Startups in America.

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Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources

Forbes Article about the Top 25 Veteran Founded Startups in America.

Show Notes

Please note that I type these notes during the interview so there are likely to be misspellings, grammatical errors, and misquotes. This is not meant to be a verbatim account of our conversation, but a VERY basic text transcript of our discussion.

You each separated about two years apart from the Army - what lead  you each to decide to transition from the Army? Jon: Older than Chris, so transitioned first. Was fortunate that he started just before 2011. Got to experience Army before and after transition. Post-9/11 Army was much more innovative. It shook off the beauracratic shackles. I was stationed in Germany for over five years; it was great but intense. Between training and deployments was gone for most of that five years. As I started thinking about having kids, the future looked like back-to-back deployments with training in between. At that point decided I as going to get out - if I was going to do it, I wanted to have a plan and attacked getting out spending 1.5 - 2 years getting out. Still in the Reserves, but mainly got out for the op tempo Chris: Combination of op tempo. 9/11 happened my senior year so I graduated into an Army at war. I was deployed back-to-back - same decisions of not knowing if and when it would end. Uncertainty was a big factor. For better or worse what was most interesting assignments was early on in career was fortunate to do a lot of interesting things. The nature of the beuaracacy was part of it too - the Army functions amazingly, even in the best of times, it's limited in its ability to innovate. Jon: One thing i was looking for was a better meritocracy. Early on in the Army everyone got promoted at the same time and the same assignments. There were small differences, but for the most part there wasn't differentiation between good and bad officers. What was your first job search like, and what advice would you have for veterans about their transition? Chris: it's impossible to know what it's like on the other side until you get there. The thing I didn't expect was that in the Army there was this binary expectation: career or getting out. When I left the Army the company I went to thought I'd be there for a very long time (decade long). One year later I was leaving to start my own company. Going out with the expetation of doing the best you can and if you move on that's ok. I had a lot of guilt when I left that first company. For better or worse it wasn't the right fit and taught me what I don't enjoy and lead to Jon and I starting our own company together. In the long-0term it worked out but in the short-term there was a lot of stress. Jon: For me a lot of my preparation was reading books, and going through the Cameron Brooks program. Talked to 25 people who made the transition ahead of me and gegtting their advice. SOme of that advice was to make a list of personal goals and values, and dust that off around tax season. Make sure I'm following that and staying true to it. I didn't just want a job - I loved the work hard play hard mentality of hte Army. I didn't just want a job I wanted great people. How did you two start to work together? Chris: OUr dad was a cop and mom was in education so entrepreneruship wasn't in our head. We hadn't thought a lot about it. We had worked together throughout school at West Point and would work together. We were in the same Brigade and deployed twice together in the same unit - we were workign together pretty closely in the military. I moved to Charlotte, NC because Jon was located here. We had worked together in the past, and when we took the plunge to startups it was a natural transition to work together in that capacity. The startup piece was the bigger of the two. Jon: when Chris moved to Charlotte, our dad was always doing business things on the side. He was always a community activist, so we didn't start out wanting to be entrpereneurs but just looking at small scale business ideas. Two events stand out. I got out and enjoyed my job and we made a concious decision to become entreprenerus. Chris, day one, came back and said 'this is not what I want to be doing' If his experience had been different may not have started a company together. That started the idea of the week phase. I had done really well at Carrier doing sales, and my boss left to go to another company. Ultimately led to the decision - are we going to be entrepreneurs. Was your work experience prior to startups helpful? Jon: For me it was, at Carrier. You just gotta get one thing to work in one area and you can scale it. Understanding finances, which I never dealt with in the Army. It's not you can't learn these things, but having had the big corproate expereince made it clear I didn't want to do this, and gave me some training that helped in my startup. It made my decision all the clearer - I can't imagine going back to cubicle now. Not having had had that it would have made that option seem more appealing Chris: The transition I did in short order, but I did make a transition from the Army to civilian world, and then to startups. I'm glad they were staggered. As much as the company I went to knew i wouldn't last there, do think it was hlepful. It gave me time to build an identity and make the transition. It allowed me to separate the two parts of who I was, and then in an intentional manner make the leap to an entrepreneur. It would be more painful and risker for me to jump from one into the other. Jon: We joke about this all the time with recent veterans; my wife calls it "command voice". You have to stop using acronyms, stop cursing, understanding business acronyms. I read a slew of books and that helped with the transition but it takes time to desensitize and be able to relate to civilians. you need to plan for a transition period. There's teh identity piece of not having the team. It took a few years to form a community. In Europe on the miltiary base we all did everything together. We had a forced commiunity in the military. In the civilian world you may have nothing in common with your neighboars. How did you choose to start a company? Chris: for me it was a process of elimination. I looked at 'what am I going to do in my life' most of my peers went to grad school, work at a big corporation, or work for other federal agencies. these were the three main routes - I didn't think I wanted to do any of those. I didn't want to go abck in the Army. I can't tell whether I changed or the world changed - I didn't know ANY startup language when I started this. I didn't know about VC, revenue, etc. So it was a process of elimination, getting out mypersonality I had a more of a chip on my shoulder and more committed to going after it. The biggest thing the military helped me with was that working for something I cared about - 'we're in Iraq... I wish we weren't here. We probably wouldn't care if there weren't oil. Wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to rely on energy. Let's start an energy company' That was roughly the point of starting our first company, and then endleslly turned over rock, after rock after rock. It's hard to overstate how little we knew but being motivated to figure problems out as they came to use. Jon: My advice for anyone transitiong is to be deliberate. The people in the military are usually drivers - so be deliberate. The business world for me was still very restrictive. I wanted to control my own destiny. I wanted to choose when I take vacation, that's why I left the mlitary. I like building things and making things - I like creating things. I wanted to have more ownership about it. I also wanted a bigger purpose. All of our companies have been social mission companies - wanting to make the world a better place. We were sitting down on a Thursday evening - are we going to do the startup thing. What was the Everblue experience? Jon: we ended up selling it after about four years. We chose a problem we wanted to focus on and then from there we did a "movement to contact" - develop the intelligence around the enemy. We talked to every expert we could, and in that process became knoweldable experts. That took about two years. IN that process became experts. People said 'if you could solve this porblem, we'd pay you' but without those two years of turning over rocks... we wouldn't have foudn it. I don't think it's about the idea - it's about the idea you're solving. If it was obvious the problem you're trying to solve it would already. How did you make money? Jon: We did a lot of the research while at other companies. Chris gets the credit - he jumped off his job and started full time. Anyone in the military if I said in the next year you need to replace your salary, I think anyone in the military can do that. I give Chris credit for tdoing that because he did it first. Chris: For me it was really scary to think about taking that leap. the exercise that was most helpful to me. I got out of the Army and bought a house and the mortgage rates were higher then than now. My wife had a lot of student loan debt - financially even being in the corporate sector I had so many expenses - gym membership, laundry, etc. There's this fear of - what can I do if I don't pay the bills. What liberated me was: what happens if I don't pay the bills. It was just my wife and I at the time. She had just graduated from grad school. The day I quit, she was working at B&N for $8 / hr, so household income was $20k per year. We had all these bills, and I thought what happens if we burn through savings and the bank takes my house... we'd move in with our parents and go get a job again and figure it out. We have a family and support network to get through it. It wouldn't be pleasant, but compared to things I saw in the Army, it's not that scary. We thought we'd do energy audits on homes when we started out. We had lined up thousands of homes of work. Along the way we got training on this. Jon threw up on Google Adwords a one page website that offered training. People started to call to ask for training - then we shifted to a training business that over the next year or two we grew to 100 or so locations. Jon: The biggest risk in a startup is trying to do too many things. Stanford Sloan Chris: I didn't want to go to graduate school. Jon nagged me and we applied together. I had a ten day window to get my application together and we applied together. It was the most flippant application ever. I was pretty truthful about why I considered this. When we interviewed they asked what happens if we only accept one of you. I said, both or neither of us. I'm very glad we went there - that's where Versame came from. Jon is potentially more thoughtful than me and it balances out my riskiness Jon: Even though we had an epic success we were intent on starting another company. We still felt like amatuers. We had never had any formal business training. So I wanted to address our weaknesses. Second, we had just made a lot of money and Stanford was an adventure. It was the reward for having had the success of Everblue. It was a nice break a one year program. It was the experience of doing something different. I had moved seven times in three years. I was feeling th eitch to do something new. What was the genesis of Versame? Jon: When we had Everblue, we straddled education and energy. When we sold Everblue we had expertise in two domains. When we went to Stanford we decided to go deeper into one of them. Energy was making a lot of progress. It was really taking off and it still is. It's a national security issue. When it came to educaiton we struggeld with the technoloyg and the people we were training. It felt like the impact we coul dhave on people was much greater. If it was an innovation that involved technolgy - we turned over every rock. We were about to walk away - it's an in person business. There was nothing moving the needle at the time. Then Chris read an article in the NYT about an infant training lab at Stanford. She was so excited someone was taking an interest in her work - ifyou really need to impact life outcomes you need to start at birth and do it before kindergarten How would you explain Versame to someone on Active Duty? Jon: We're envisioning reimagingin education. not education at a classroom but at home. We're giving parents the tools and helping them apply the research to grow happy succesful children. We'll help you do that through the technology and tools to do that. But you need to start at birth. What was the first year like starting Versame? What has been the biggest challenge so far? Jon: Biggest change in perspective is that the people in need of help is the agencies in the medical industry. The tools we build help teachers, nurses, therapists - the people who are caregivers. We're trying to change a mindset - most poeple are worried about safety but not about brain development. They don't think about education until kindergarten or preschoool. There are some subculttures that believe this, but we want the mindset change across America. Chris: your memory of childhood is spotty. Many people think you're as smart as you are and you were born that way. YOu don't remember your parents teaching you and hleping you. People attribute intelligence to genetics rather than environmental factors. Research suggests parents can have a MASSIVE impact on their child's success in life. Starting a business with family Chris: research says that more likely you'll fail; it's harder to have tough conversations with family members. Little problems become big ones. The most improtant thing is that you should have a business partner - it's more fun. You should be able to have a good fight and get over it. We fight all the time but it never sticks. There's not a grudge - we can have our disagreements and it's not a big deal. If I wasn't in business with my brother this is the qulaity I would want with someone else. Jon: I would add that whether siblings or others, the most important ingredient is the partners and the suppor tnetwork. I think it's essential to have partners - your energy level and momentum it helps carry you. If all the stress is on one person's shoulders Chris: a lot of ivnerstors won't invest in solo founders. IF yo uhave someone else to pull you through you're more likely to stick it out. From a statistiacal stnadpoint most buisnesses are successful with two or three partners. It's more fun when you have more people to be together. Jon: Defense Secretary Mattis says leaders need to be learners. I think this is true no matter what you're doing. We knew nothign about hardware but we attacked that. We've done well with that - we're the ifrst to ship a product in our Stanford cohort, you have to attack what you don't know. Yo8 uneed to ask for help and advie. That's tough for veterans. I've gotten over that - you gotta ask for help, and people are more than happy to share it. Resources GOOGLE! Jon: it's the best form of online learning. Career advice books are great. If you're a big believer in the mission of the miltiary you'll learn how improtant business is to the strength of our nation. Our economy and the businesses we build enable us to pay for a good military. Business is part of the life time of service. Read books that frame business in the sense of innovation. I'm loving Elon Musk's biography. Jon: I always ahd this mindset with EverBlue that everything will be better in three months. But I've always felt on the cliff's edge... I've learned to live with this fact and realize this is normal. that fear of failure never goes away. Just accept it. Dealing with a team, there's always some personal issue. I thought if I solved one issue my team would be perfect. I know realize this is the core of my job- keeping my team performing. These are two norms taht never chagne. You'll never feel successful, you'll always have the same stress

15. BTU #109- 20 years in the Army, selling a startup to Mercedes, and co-founding GoodWorld (John Gossart)
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"There was a point in time that we had $719 left in the bank. There were late night discussions sitting around the table and talking about what we're going to do; how we're going to inform people that they don't have jobs. How we're going to inform our larger investors that we ran out of money and we're not going to make it. And we turned that around in the middle of the night with one particular investor who became of strategic importance and that was in the same year that we were acquired."
- John Gossart

John Gossart is the Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer of GoodWorld (www.GoodWorld.me), the FinTech startup revolutionizing philanthropy and social payments.  GoodWorld was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2016 and D.C.’s Best Technology Startup. Prior to GoodWorld, John was an original partner at RideScout (www.RideScout.com), the tech startup acquired by Daimler-Mercedes in 2014.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, John served over 22 years in the U.S. Army and Government, work that took him to various locations across Africa, Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Europe, most recently serving as a deputy director of special operations and counterterrorism policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

He graduated from Boston College and has a Masters in Public Policy and Fiscal Management from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, where continues to teach policy and economics as an adjunct professor.

John’s indie rock band StoneDriver (www.stonedriver.com) recently released their first studio album "Rocks" and in between GoodWorld, teaching, and shows he lives a quiet life in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Lisa, and their four sons.

Our Sponsor:

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources

The article where I found John in Forbes can be viewed here - https://www.forbes.com/sites/marklrockefeller/2016/11/11/the-top-25-veteran-startups-in-america/#5120ea756e84, The Top 25 Veteran-Founded Startups In America

Show Notes

Please note that I type these notes during the interview so there are likely to be misspellings, grammatical errors, and misquotes. This is not meant to be a verbatim account of our conversation, but a VERY basic text transcript of our discussion.

How to explain Good World Trying to solve the problem of friction-less payment experience. In the charitble giving spac eright now. Allow make people to make donation to causes with just a hashtag or tweet. They have 3k charity partners - save the children, PETA, green peace, salvation army, etc - when they post o nsocial media if you tweet back with # donate, his technology kicks in, processes that donation through a CC transaction and adds it to the charity. You get a response on social networks Working with charity right now but talking to companies about how this might apply in other locations - donations to colleges, commerce, political donations After 22 years of service in the Army, what was your first civilian job search like? Not help on inspiration or advice - it was happenstence Was in Yemen with three people he tuaght with at West Point - they reached out because they had an idea for a transportation technology startup and were looking for a guy to help with revenue and finance They reached out and he was in a military mindset - he didn't even answer the first time they reached out. He didnt' know about apps or startups. Ignored it, a few months later when he was in Pakistan, after they launched at SXSW he was in a different spot - hadn't been home much in the last ten years, his sons were in high school and college - he was looking for a change. He made a hasty decision and decided to join. He was really tired too from the military. Took steps to get out, thought he'd work with them for 6 months and wouldhave time to figure out what he wanted to do next Two things happened ^6:30 (1) The adrenaline rush he liked in th emilitary abounds in the startup world (2) They didn't fail - two years later they were acquired. both financially and personally and professionally it was a life changing experience. luck is a residue of skill What skills did you carry from the military and have to develop in your first startup? There were certainly attributes and skills and perspective that you pick up in mltairy service that are unique to military service and are helpful in the buisness world or specificially the tech startup There are more things that yuo need to leave behind They maybe served you well in the military, but they won't serve you well outside At the beginning, a co-founder would come to his dining room table at 6:30am (their office) and they would open up their personal laptops and start trying to figure out what to do The idea they had was huge and inspiring... but what they were supposed to do, he had no idea and felt in above his head As they started working the business development side of things he was frustrated that he didn't get a response in 24 hours. But the world odesn't work like this - you'll get a response 3 weeks later as if they still got it. THe heirarchy and protocal that are second nature in the military you need ot leave behind - they odn't work well in flat, dynamic, tech startups. Working with engineers is unique and takes skill as a leader to collaborate with them Respect - everyone on the other side of the table. Always giving them the benefit of the doubt. Checklist mentality - people make fun of him, but its VERY helpful to them as a company. These are the things we need to get done before we go live with this new feautre or this new product line. Preparation - the premium placed on preparation in the military before executing. What was RideScout journey like? Their CEO was always consistent on this is going to be a incredible company The four co-founders were all coming from differnet skill sets Joseph (CEO) was th evision guy and the evangelist - always larger than life - on stage and in the elevator John was rolling up sleeves and trying to figure out how to create sustainable revenue John had his down a lot and could have head up more. Jospeh always had his head up and he had to fight to get him to look at the details It happened very quikcly - talking to some entities about raising a few million dollars from firends, family and angels Trying to raise an institutional insittuion, when Dymler came in we thought they were goign to lead our Series A financing. Instead they were looking to acquire them from the start. At this point had 15-16 people (some part time) when they started talking about an acquisition Then went to 50+ employees after acquisition What was the origin story for GoodWorld? They launched RideScout out of incubator called 1776 in DC. In the course of launching the company there and working there and growing their team, he came to know other entrepeneurs in the building one was Dale - his co-founder. It was her idea and she's the FOunder & CEO She had a great idea, an intern, and a laptop, and an engineer collaborator She didn't have any corporate sturcutre. He was advising her on how to take it to the next step. He is the COO and CFO hats The more he came to know Dale, the more he learned about the idea and he thought about the possibilities in this space. It was cool to go to market in philanthropy. Jesuit educated and he always though philahthpoy would be what he'd have to do on the side, but this was the opportunity for his day job to help causes he cared about he found himself thinking about this at night and coming up with ideas with Dale as they were being acquired By the time they were acquired in 2014 he was neck deep in teh acuisition. Then they had a HUGE budget and needed to get going with it. In the course of this he helped her raise the firstbit of money and the light went off. They raised $500k in days. It struck me that people this really resonated 19:00 raised $500k in days Ended up raising $1.6M in their first seed round with instituational finace people as leads While this was unfolding ti became clear - if I'm going to do this I need to committ to it. How could I make the transition without leaving too much money on the table at RideScout. he negotiated a deal to phase himself out and still retain big parts of his equity I was making a lot of money at Dymler - but I would have been a subpar executive and subpar co-founder The idea was too big to pass up -wasn't financially smart in the short term but my passion was with GoodWorld Co-Founders joseph came up with idea, Craig was already out and put in some money. He was a second time entreperneur, and had already started a company that had exited. Joseph had the big idea while on active duty, Steve was just getting out of the military (22 years) and he was the last one to join the core team - during the transition he was workign with them. Everyone was a veteran, but they were in different points of serve If you're starting your own thing, there are two things that are easy to give and hard to take away: titles and equity if you're going to make someone the co-founder When you incoporate, one-time you can give founder shares by the IRS. these are the best shares to have and yuo can only do this once. You shouldn't enter into calling someone co-founder or anythign with a c (CEO, CFO, COO, etc) - if you lack business and instituional expertise you can bring them in and if they don't stay it doesn't vest and then you don't get stuck with themif they don't stay with the company Sometimes people want to find an engineer to make CTO and co-founder. Maybe you need ot just find an engineer - try them out and you can make them CTO later on, but don't jump into it What advice do you have for veterans aspiring to entrepreneurship? Don't believe your own press - this is more true for transitioning veterans today than ever before. My accomplishments look good on paper - there are MANY people around me  who he considers WAY more accomplished than him. 28:23 For veterans transitioning now we are in such a divise point in political scene. The narrative that both side want to cling to - which is popular with people - is this big narrative of how much we owe to vetarans for servie. I don't disagree with this - I'm very grateful to everyone in uniform who is protecting me and my way of life and allows me to do what I do. I'm very thankful for this. Btu this has become conflated with another narrative -t hat veterans are OWED other things. Financial fudning for thier startup - what if it's not a good idea? What if they're not a good entreprenuer? Just because he's a veteran doesn't mean you should invest in their company I worry we're building our soldiers iwth a sense of entitelement that there is an expectation that when they step out in the civilian word they are owed soemething For me I'd argue I got more out the Army than they got out of me. We were 100% square when we got out of the miltiary. They gave me the best leadership experience possible in incredily high intensity sitautions. I have not one complaint about the ledget between me and the Army. And I'm still getting paid a pension and some disablity To walk out and think I'm entitled to somethign because I'm a veteran I don't want to be entiteld to funding because I'm a veteran, but because it's a good idea, and people think I can do this If it comes down to me and the guy next to me there may be attribtues that are particualr to beeing a veteran that give me an edge Today I start the converstion that I'm an entrepreneur - not tha tI'm a veteran. Oh by the way I'm a veteran I get the sense that there are a lot of people who think everyone is a hero and is entitled to something I've been out for a while and I do see people who are treading water The best way to get a step up is the fundamentals - if yo have a real solution to a real problem and a good team and product - cahnce are you'll be succesful. Veteran piece may help you at the margins. But without the fundamentals it doesn't matter 34:43 - 35:16 there was a period when we had $740 left in the bank - how would we tell people they don't have a job. how do we tell investors - we turned it around in the middle of the night with one investor. you need ot be prepared for this - it might not work it. The market is VERY efficient - you need to listen to it. It's not just about starting new things - when you get out of the military and work for a normal company and you turn to your boss and say I've got a dentist appointment today - they say, that's not my problem you need ot be at work. We learned in the military you gotta let me go ebcause I've got a dentist's appointment. As a veteran - you were given a lot of what you were owed - thanks of grateful nation competitive paycheck etc. it comes down to fundamentals - if you How would you describe your role as COO & CFO? One of the reasons he got the bug when he started in startups is because it reminded me a lot of my scrappy days as chief of staff at brigade or exeuctive officer or operations officer. YOu never had the same day twice. I like taht. you're moving from crisis to crisis or executing quickly with little resources, problem sovling, etc. I loved this in the miltiary and I ahd some jobs in the miltiayr that were'nt high paced and i quickly sought the next thing because it wasn't fulfilling. The COO role in a startup is you never know what the day is going to bring. There are a lot of things in the day you didn't know yhou were goin gto have to face when the day started you'll hvae to call people in and fire them and search for people to hire - you're looking to model out their expenses and burn to see to the day when they'll run out of money. i want this date burned into th eminds of everyoen in teh organiztaion. The way we change this is bygetting more money or more partnerships or more funding I don't have a normal day - i go to NY and SF asking epople for money, negotiating with strategic partners I want to brin gon. I look half my time looking inward and making sure trains are going to run on time. What resources have you found helpful that you would recommend to other veterans? I don't have a great answer I was never good at reading the seminal biography of military leaders The pro dev reading list that followed me around in my career that everyone was reading... I was not drawn to those things When I got out there are always startup books that are hot that everyone is reading Reading is critical - you shouldn't take a meeting without learning everything you can about the person across the table Final words of wisdom? When we were acquired I felt very conflicted and wanted to hang out. You need to commit to what you're doing. I see a lot of people who fancy themselves vetraprenerus. They don't want to take their hand off their paycheck or that comfortable thing. There is an opportunity ocst for 8 hours a day doin gsomethign else. It'll make you less likely to succeed in something else If everyone could start something huge on the side and not leave your day job until it was huge, everyone would do it If where you want to be is starting something new, you need to committ to that. There should be risk, there shoul dbe people who think yo're crazy, and you should be a little anxious and a little scared

16. BTU #108- Team Red, White & Blue (Garrett Cathcart)
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Description:

"To find meaning in what you do - that can be in anything. That could be in what you do for a living, or running a podcast to help veterans, that can be volunteering somewhere. For me, for so long in the Army that was my identity and who I was. And once I was out of that, I didn't know who I was anymore. To do what you love and do what you believe in, as a living is a great gift."
- Garrett Cathcart

Garrett Cathcart is the Southeast Regional Director at Team Red, White & Blue - an organization that enriches the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activities. He is also the Chief Community Engagement Officer at VETLANTA. He started out at West Point, after which he served in the Army for 8.5 years, with two years in Baghdad as a Recon Scout Platoon Leader and then as an Aide-de-Camp to Commanding General. After his transition from the Army he worked at NuVasive as an Associate Spine Representative before joining team RWB.

Our Sponsor:

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources

Podcasts & Websites 80,000 hours - it was started by an Oxford philosophy professor who lives on $35,000 per year. 80k hours is about how many hours you work in your lifetime. It's about what you should do for a living and what will make you happy NPR - How I Built this podcast Tim Ferris podcast Books Colin Powell - it worked for me

Show Notes

What would you want listeners to know about Team RWB? We enriches the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activities. They work in 43 cities, and 213 nationally. In any given week there are local events. Anyone can participate - yoga, crossfit, ruck, hike, pub trivia, bowling, etc. When people get out of the military they miss hanging out with good people; they miss that camaraderie. They want to build authentic and genuine relationships Leadership development program and community service projects Veterans are leaders - get out there and lead and the community is better for it Leadership Development Program One of the best leadership development directors in the world They are building their own content - some form the military and some outside of the military 125,000 members and all are volunteers The way they reward people is by developing them as a leader Giving people the tools to make RWB better and their community better Nike donates shirts, and each Team RWB member gets them - it's a great sign up community Building the airplane while they're flying it - some of the content is created, some is not yet It will be at EagleLeader.com Sign up at TeamRWB and you'll get access Will send to seminars as well This is open-soured leadership - wanting to serve veterans, enrich their lives, and make communities better What’s the origin story on Team RWB? Mike Erwin was an Active Duty Army Major in 2012. He saw a need and wanted to help wounded veterans. There were initially athletes and advocates. Ran the Twin Cities marathon and started running money as a non-profit As they grew they noticed that EVERYONE was signing up to be a mentor and advocate. Very few people wanted to be an athlete. Everyone wanted to serve and give back So they reevaluated their model - what if we had a model where civilians could be part as well, and help close the civilian divide and no one is a helper or someone who needs the team... everyone is on the same page There's a sea of red shirts with the eagle on it at events now Started growing into different cities Based on your work with Team RWB, what would you want listeners to know about their transition to a civilian life? You will miss the military; you tend to remember the great things and forget the bad stuff 11:00 It's important to have a network when you leave - you're going to need people who have understood what youv'e done an where you've been It helps you get your legs underneath you There's a lot of ways to serve once you get out How to get involved It costs nothing - just your time They have great partners in the corporate side to make sure this is free for everyone Activities range from anything and everything, just getting people together Go to TeamRwb.com and click on Join the team How would you describe your role at Team RWB to someone on Active Duty? He's in command - everythign that happens in a region good or bad is on me A lot of folks make it happen, I adminster the budget, oversee the leadership and devel;pment program, speak on panels, engage with corproate sponsors and VA The VA sends a lot of folks to them because TEam RWB is consistent - find other people who understand yuo Relationship building - a little bit of a budget They're a 5 year old startup that is 120k people The Volunteer leaders really run everything - they recognize them and help develop them and support How did you make the decisions to leave the Army? Always thought would be 5 years and out Almost resigned from West Point to enlist after 9/11 Joined insurgency at its height and itwas a tough year - lost four of his guys and his commander, as well as his best friend from West Point Non-stop trainign at home and then back at Baghdad Took over advisign the infantry batallion and he really enjoyed the operations side At the end was going to get out and join the State Department, mainly becuase he was tired from the op tempo. Turned in his resignation paperwork and 3 months later called into his commander's office. He convinced him to stay in and mentored him. Gave him control of ALpha Troop, and move to Fort Collins in Colorado Springs time, and told him he'd be the first mechanized group to command in Afghanistan. He took the post and went back to Afghanistan Finally decided he needed to build a family and turned in his resignation letter again There was a new 2-star and he was put up to be an aide He couldn't find a clean uniform top, and could only find a small one (which he doesn't wear) - it was skin tight like a wetsuit The General said, do you work out? They had a lot in common and he said he didn't want the job The General called him and told him he had the job Learned more in one year about Leadership from General Joe Anderson - he was an amazing leader and Garrett still applies lessons he learned from that one year What was your first job search like and what lead you to NuVasive? Met a gal in Beverly Hills Didn't care what he was doing as long as he was making money Contacted a JMO recruitig firm - first two hung up since he had bummed around for a few months post-transition Third JMO recruiting firm said he should do medical devices He knew nothing about sales or medicine, but he was done for it They flew him to Memphis - went to some concerts, slept a few hours and went to interviews Went down to the lobby and everyone was way more prepared than him - copies of their resumes, black binders, pressed suits He quickly printed out his resume He had 5 separate one hour interviews his first one was the person he asked to print out his resume! He gave him 0 points for preparation and 100 points for innovation he had lots of stories to share he got an offer and the an 2nd offer, and one was in LA so he took it What was your role at NuVasive like? He was in operating rooms with surgeons, and he was so uncomfortable He had no clue what he was doing He was with the top surgeon at the hospital and he asked Garrett's opinion... he didn't even understand the words the doctor was saying He took doctors to dinner told about products and got their business he didn't like it - lacked a sense of purpose What lead you to Team RWB? The girl and State Department job didn't work out and he didn't have a plan Out of the blue a friend from Afghanistan called him (Joe Quinn) - he had gone to Harvard after the Army They hit things off - hadn't talked in two or three years adn he pitched him on working at a non-profit Didn't want to do this because thought he would be poor He went to the website and checked it out and went to an event Didn't want anything to do with other veterans at the time He got there and experienced it and was working out and felt a tension lifted Without realizing it saw what he was missing Two years have been incredible for me Advice for non-profits He had a short stint in the corporate side Find meaning in what you do 10:17 - could be what you do in your job, volunteering... anything For so long in the Army this was his identity - a Cavalary officer who had been to Iraq and Afghanistan. Afterwards he didn't know what to do To love what you do is a great gift (30:52). It's different every day and Im still passionate about it You can make a good living and learn a lot Any resources - books, podcasts, articles, etc - you’d recommend to veteran listeners to help them in their civilian career? 80,000 hours - it was started by an Oxford philosophy professor who lives on $35,000 per year. 80k hours is about how many hours you work in your lifetime. It's about what you should do for a living and what will make you happy At a certain point - the more money you make it doesn't make you happy... maybe $50k or $75k. There are great books and podcasts here and resources to see what you want to do NPR - How I Built this podcast Tim Ferris podcast Colin Powell - it worked for me Final words of wisdom? I don't have anything fogured out I was lucky in finding a job I love I have a twin brother who was in the Army and got out He got to go to Harvard & Dartmouth and is now a big consultant Someitmes I get jealous of the paycheck He tells me I have the greatest job in the world I make my won schedule, have a big impact Enjoy where you are - don't always be thinking ahead and what the next step is

17. BTU #107 - Elijah Crane- SEALS to ABC's Shark Tank & Bottle Breacher
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Description:

"I told my wife: we're going to do this when we get out of the military. That was a tough pill for her to swallow. And you can't really blame her. If you ever tell your wife that you're going to get out of the service and sell bottle openers, she might think that you've been around too many explosions and she might think that you're crazy."
- Elijah Crane

Elijah Crane (Eli) is the Founder and CEO of Bottle Breacher, a company that creates hand crafted 50 caliber bottle openers made by Military Veterans. As President of Bottle Breacher, Eli has grown Bottle Breacher’s annual revenue to over $5 million in 2015, applied for and received 7 patents, and Negotiated a partnership with Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. Eli started out in the Navy, where he served as a SEAL for over 15 years. He started Bottle Breacher while on active duty and has run the company for nearly five years now.

The top 2 reasons to listen to this episode is:

Starting a company while on active duty: Eli was making over $22k per month while still on active duty, and had plenty of traction by the time he transitioned to his civilian career Growth of an empire: He talks about how he grew from $350 / month to over $1 million a year... all before even appearing on ABC's show, Shark Tank Shark Tank: Eli shares what his experience was getting to Shark Tank, and how he scored a deal with Mark Cuban & Kevin O'Leary Persistence & Scrappiness: Eli talks about how he earned a PhD in failure starting his own company

Our Sponsor:

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources

Check out Eli on ABC's Shark Tank here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHTlFtRtkG8 Books Rich Dad Poor Dad Mark Cuban's book

Show Notes

2:44 - Eli's background 4:00 How did you make the decision to leave the Navy? 4:45 - Did you work at the Acumen Performance Group while on Active duty? What did you learn there? 5:45 - What was the genesis of Bottle Breacher? 7:30 - What tipped you over to thinking of doing this full time 12:25 - What was it like starting a company while on active duty, and what advice do you have for veterans looking to do the same? 16:05 - What was the application process like for getting on Shark Tank and what advice do you have for other veterans looking to do this? 29:30 - How have Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary helped the company so far? 32:15 - What has been the most challenging aspect of running a company? 36:18 - What skills have you had to develop since leaving the military and any advice for resources (books, courses, conferences, etc) that you would recommend to veterans? 38:40 - What advice do you have for someone on active duty wanting to start their own company? 41:41 - Final words of wisdom?

18. BTU #106 - Alex Stone: Under Armour, Athletes of Valor, and the Sports Industry
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Description:

“You know sometimes - for example, even over this holiday weekend - people will ask if I had to work on a certain day. This is my life! This is what I do. It's always funny because what your life looks like is - for me - this is what I want to make my life's work. It's what I'm passionate about and what I enjoy doing."
- Alex Stone

Alex Stone is the Founder & CEO of Athletes of Valor, who’s mission is to help veterans transition from service to career by leveraging the power of collegiate sports. He started out as a Sergeant in the Marine Corps, after which he worked as a Product Manager at Wellpower Sports Co, and then at Under Armour as both a Development Manager and then Product Line Manager.

The top 2 reasons to listen to this episode is:

Sports Industry: Alex worked his way up in the sports industry to work at his dream job at Under Armour. He talks about this route, and why it might appeal to other veterans Starting a company: Alex is doing his life's work and has built Athletes of Valour from the ground up. Any veteran interested in starting their own company would benefit from this Collegiate Athletics: This is a great route for veterans, and one that boosts their engagement and fulfillment at school. Alex's organization helps veterans get into collegiate sports and has a lot to say about this

Our Sponsor:

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0817919341/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=transparentte-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0817919341&linkId=cff433522a1e724fcc9dcd7c91e4149c

Show Notes

Note: I've typed these notes during my interview, so they may not completely represent a verbatim version of our conversation, and likely contain spelling and grammar errors. My intention is to provide veterans with a quick reference to see the gist of our conversation, along with timestamps to hear the interviewees actual advice in their own words within the interview.

2:44 - Alex's background 3:20 - How would you describe Athletes of Valor? Comes from his experience of being a high school athlete, and no clear path to be a collegaite athelte when leaving the miltary Allows active duty service members to create a profile of themselves as a potential student athlete. coaches come in, evaluate the veteran applicants Most veterans have a great athletic ability and they just connect the dots Answers questions for coaches - PTSD, eligibility etc 5:27 - What does the process look like 100% free Sign-up on website Basic questions - separation date, atheltic background, educational background, military background can upload old highligh films or any videos Everything is housed online in one place 6:30 - What to do to prepare now if on active duty Never too early to start researching programs If you think you have 2 years before separation, the deadlines come up quickly. May need to take an SAT, ACT program Start gathering that info, but you can house it all online with them The sooner you're online the sooner you can be found - can be picked up 18-24 months 7:50 - What have you found in working with veterans over the last year? There's a lot to this - it's a full time job and takes a lot of work and effort Most people think they'll just put their name in and be done with it - it's your life and education, the magic opportunity won't just fall into your lap 9:15 - magic opportunity 9:08 - Success stories 16 football players playing this fall Over 1k athletes on their platform They want to use team sports as a structure for integration back into the college life Gives people a purpose of working towards a common goal; they're going to earn education, play sports and be more employable after college The more work you put in the more likely you are to find a good opportunity 13:30 - What lead you to leave the Marine Corps? Enlisted right out of high school, served 4 years active duty After second deployment overseas knew that he wanted to do something different After 2.5 years of active duty knew he wanted to move on 14:26 - What was your first job search like and how did you end up at Wellpower Sports? It was really tough He had just got back 4 months prior to his separation It was challenging to get call backs after just sending resumes and applying to specific jobs Trying to translate experience and get in front of the right people His old high school football coach, who he had reached out to, worked with Wellpower Sports (overseas manufacturer for sports equipment) and he offered to introduce him He started taking local courses at community college and started working as a paid intern 16:35 - How would you describe your work at Wellpower Sports? He did product line management and had deep exposure to the inner workings of a company Projects from developing new types of equipment to laying out a product line for a new sports medicine line to present to a customer. Figure out pricing, product management, manufacturing, do research on what's in the market, what are current athletes doing and wearing, what are trends? You use all these products over the years and then get the chance to influence it 18:58 - What lead you to Under Armour? He used to go there for business opportunities, since Wellpower Sports worked with UA. When you walk in you really feel the culture on the campus - very smart people, very forward thinking on innovation on how to make athletes better through creating incredible products It was always a great learning experience to see a massive brand and massive company rather than his sales office experience He realized he wanted to be in this industry long-term 20:20 - How would you describe the work that you did at UA? The person he was meeting with at UA ended up becoming his boss. They were growing their sporting line and team and asked if he'd be interested in this So he moved to Baltimore, Maryland. Started in product develppment, managing everyting from protective equipment to gloves and workign on advanced projects on the side (new potential protective pieces of equipment) After two yaers moved over to the product line manager. This was less travel, and more on the business model and building product lines, working with the sales teams, understanding the trends, managaing more of the business and licensing In any manufacturing business you need to understand how decisions are made; how long things take. Spending trip after trip in Asia, seeing how to create a product with a particular margin and ahve multiple price points and understand what consumers are looking for 23:09 - What advice do you have for veterans seeking to work at UA? They are very veteran friendly; he worked with a lot of great vets there It's Network, Network, Network You can apply online and they're responsive. But get involved somehow in someway with the sports industry - with UA, or one of their partners Build a network, get to know people; most positions are filled from referrals It's a small industry and once people get to know who you are it's 24;25 - What was the genesis of Athletes of Valor? Built off personal expeirence transitioning at UA it was a dream career at a dream company It was difficult to leave Worked with a lot of high schools and top recruits across the coutnry He used to joke - why don't we do this on a military base? They could go play college football, college baseball after their service. It piqued a lot of interest Spent about a year at night trying to see who had been successful in doing this, and how impactful it was in their transition This started to put the pieces together in bridigng the gaps and talking to people who went to college sports after active duty - what were the pain points Coaches wanted to find more people liek thsi, but a lot of the athletes thought they had gotten lucky. He htought there has got to be a better way. There are lots of platforms for high schoolers If I coudl do it again i would do it longer - work at UA an work on lunch breaks 29:53 - At what point did you decide to leave UA? The timing perspective it was difficult to do both Under Armour and Athletes of Valor his desire and want was to continuously build Athletes of Valor, not just at night but all the time. He fell in love with the mission Life timing as well - had just gotten married, no kids yet, and knew he would have additional responsibilities soon Secured a few investors who invested so they could build the software 31:50 - What does life look like right now? He jokes that on holidays - this is his life ,this is all he does. This is what he wants to make his lifes work and what he enjoys doing He's not going to be doing 120 hours a week but this is what he does - gets up in the morning, late at night talking to coaches, it doesn't seem like work but engulfs his life around it From a small team dynamic - fundraiinsg, sales, product development - it's constant. If it's not somethign your'e passionate about it'll be hard He spends most days running all over the place -talking to coaches, team members, atheltes Best thing he does is he just keeps going - as much as I can fit in one day, a little further today than tomorrow, 34:16 - How do you get paid? Annual partnership fees with schools they partner with Also have corporate sponsors for events to make sure they can cover the costs Building a career platform that will be ready at the end of the year - corproate partners who want to highlight internships and job opportunities (job board & third party recruiting) to fill specific roles for those who have played college sports and are veterans 35;36 - What advice do you have for other veterans seeking to start their own organization? it's going to be a lot harder than you think and take longer than you think Be prepared because there are a lot of ups and downs Goign to have good days and bad days - biggest thing you can do is keep going Miltiary teaches you this - embrace the siuck and stay the course you'll have a million people tell you what won't work - you're the only one who can really keep it all together and know what it will take to get yuor startup to the next level Be preapred for tht - going to be discouraging - stay the course, keep working towards the goal 37:15 - What resources - books, conferences, programs - have you found helpful that you would recommend to other veterans? Whatever your industry is, you need to immerse yourself into that industry. Make sure you have all the answer to all the quesitons you'll ever get. If you don't have that answer need to find it so you have a good answer next time In the sporting goods industry he didn't know about materials or the brands out there Immersed himself - YouTube videos, how to make certain products, different types of screen printing Next time in the meeting was able to speak to it intelligently When he started Atheltes of Valor it was a space he hadn't been in and creating a new market Books, articles, speaking with people around the sapce - need to immerse self in all aspects of it. You need ot be the subject matter expert in a field 40:22 - Final words of wisdom? There's a lot of transitional programs out there; lots geared toward veterans. Do your research. Reach out to a lot of them, ask quesitons and make sure they'll give you the right level of support People reach out for job search, career training, resumes support, etc. The reality is nothign is more valuable than networking and doing thigns yourself. It won't fall into your lap; your job won't magically come to you. Make sure these are resources available to transition veterans. It's a lot of work and up to you and put the time in, get out of comfort zone. Use a certain tool - to find people who could make an introduction s

19. BTU #105 - Nathan Smith- Marines to COO at Hire Heroes USA
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Description:

“If you don't have a narrow vision of what you want so that you can focus, if you're open to everything - which is the infamous line we get from most of the people we work with: 'I'll move anywhere and do anything' - they think that makes it easier to help them find a job, whereas it's actually the exact opposite. What we need is for you to narrow down and focus. Align with mentors, align with organizations like [Hire Heroes USA], and together we can overcome this structural divide between an all-volunteer force and society that less and less knows what the all-volunteer force goes through."
- Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith is the Chief Operating Officer at Hire Heroes USA - which provides free, expert career coaching and job sourcing to hundreds of transitioning U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses each week, and over 16k veterans and spouses since 2007. He started out at the Virginia Military Institute, after which he served in the Marine Corps for seven years as an Infantry Officer. After his transition from the Marine Corps, he started at Hire Heroes USA as a Deputy Director, and was subsequently promoted to Executive Director and then most recently, Chief Operating Officer

The top 2 reasons to listen to this episode is:

Great Resource for All Veterans: Hire Heroes USA is a free organization for veterans and their families. They pair you with a mentor and work with you until you find what you're looking for. He has great thoughts on using volunteering as a way to gain momentum and connection as you may your transition Operations & non-profits: both of these are great fields for veterans. Non-profits seem to provide the camaraderie, small community, and purpose-driven organization that appeals to veterans. Operation is also highly suited to most veterans. Nathan talks about his experience as Chief Operations Officer, as well as non-profits, and why veterans may love each of these.

Our Sponsor:

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0817919341/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=transparentte-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0817919341&linkId=cff433522a1e724fcc9dcd7c91e4149c

Show Notes

Note: I've typed these notes during my interview, so they may not completely represent a verbatim version of our conversation, and likely contain spelling and grammar errors. My intention is to provide veterans with a quick reference to see the gist of our conversation, along with timestamps to hear the interviewees actual advice in their own words within the interview.

3:20 - Nathan's bio Hire Heroes 4:26 - What would you want listeners to know about Hire Heroes USA? This is a best in class organization in the country, working with transition veterans and families. There are bigger organizations but none better. They individually assign people who come to them to a transition specialist; they are with them until they have a great outcome - education, fulltime job, etc. 5:28 - If someone listening is on active duty, how would they get involved with Hire Heroes? 90% of what they do is virtual - it's the most cost efficient and effective way to help people. So they can help people in ANY geographic location. As a result, the main way that people come to the program is through their website. If you click on the Services tab and sign up online, you'll start in the queue to get involved with a transition process. There are also workshops throughout the US (50-60 per year) on or near military bases. 6:54 - If someone listening is a few years out of active duty, how could they get involved? Whether it's pre-separation or post-separation; looking to help other veterans or get advice, there's a LOT of resources - interview skills, resume help. They have over 600 volunteers as well who are mentors for their clients, so there is a way to get involved here. 8:20 - What are some common challenges you see veterans face in their transition? The #1 challenge across all services is a lack of knowledge. No active duty member has made the transition before so there's a lot of fear and anxiety about this. The military does a great job of teaching people to operate in a dangerous environment and trains them in a step-by-step way with accountability, professional development, and knowledgable workers alongside them. But this isn't the case in the civilian sector. So many veterans don't understand what is out there and how to tell their story on the outside. 10:25 - What are some common misconceptions you see veterans have when they approach their transition? Veterans are more heavily represented in the government than any demographic in the United States. Disable veterans are even more represented than other veterans in the government. Often this is because these organizations recruit from the military and it is a familiar path for veterans. But this might not be the best fit for each veteran. A lot of veterans also go into contract jobs, and there's a lot of recruitment around this. There are great opportunities here. however, if you're going to be offered $100k+ to do security in Afghanistan, you need to consider why the pay is 3X higher than when you were in the military, often due to increased risk. Large $ doesn't always translate into great job opportunities. Do you need to take a step down for income and responsibility when you leave? It depends. It's situationally dependent. There are many people who transition out and are far better off than when in the military. There are also an equal number who had to take a significant step back when they transitioned out. It depends on what your personal financial situation is- you may not be able to take that step back or step down. Or you may not have an earning opportunity that meets your financial requirements - you'll need to live lean and make the most of things in the meantime. Unlike the military, that has antiquated personnel stations and promotions systems, most civillian environments are not this way. Positions open up and you'll likely find more flexibility. Formal education with a degree at the end of it tends to be a great option for most people. He encourages people not to use the GI bill to delay a career decision - it helps you figure out things, but most people benefit from making a decision soon. Many career paths do require a degree. To be competitive you'll need this so it's good to plan - talk to people on the outside, talk to Hire Heroes people and they can help with these sorts Hire Heroes demographics resembles the US Militaries - they are over represented in the federal government. Healthcare and IT are always in the top 5 for people they work with; security is also up there, but they also find that veterans go into client facing or customer service facing roles in any type of job (not just service industries) since they get along with a lot of people. Another area to consider is teaching and non-profits. It's an alternative to working in government that is mission driven and a way of given back and very value driven. There are often veterans who are coaches, teachers, and non-profit executives. It can be very rewarding and very flexible, but you also get exposure into other sections of the US that you might not get in Oil&Gas for instance. 21:37 - This is from a friend of mine, but if there is a veteran in our life who is facing challenges in their career (let’s say over a year of unemployment), what are ways that their friends can be most helpful? It's a big challenge - this is his full-time job is to help other veterans. What people don't need is a lot of "do this" and "don't do this" they need faith, coaching and someone on their side. But they're also advocates of tough love. They love to hire veterans because they understand the situation of other veterans. There's a big role to coaching, and an understanding that there are things going on beyond just the professional situation. There are almost certainly other factors if someone is long-term unemployed. To get some early wins you could suggest volunteer opprotutnies - rather than the pressure of finding the right job, think of what the person enjoys and try to find that in a volunteer capacity. coaching and helping at high schools; volunteer in way that gets them engaged, builds their confidence and gets them past the momentary lapse. As a reminder, Hire Heroes is completely free, no charge whatsoever. They're not in receipt of government funding - they are funded through donations and foundations who believe in the value of what they are doing. Nathan 27:02 - How would you describe what you do as COO to someone on active duty? He allocates scarce resources to accomplish goals A lot of what he does is bread and butter leadership - he enjoys it and learned it in the Marine Corps. He has other managers reporting to him, and half of a given day is working with a manager to solve personnel issues, discuss ideas for a new program, figuring out adjustments to make and problems to solve. IT's being done in conjunction with other highly capable individuals. It's a neat environment of collaboratively environment. Always focused on the clients. Other parts are related to developing products, reviewing marketing material, reviewing the budget, formalizing job descriptions. One thing nice about working about a company with less than 100 people is that the COO is involved in everything. 31:09 - How did you make the decision to leave the Marine Corps? There were a number of factors. he did his initial four years, and was coming off a difficult deployment in Iraq in the summer of 2006-2007; there was one casualty per week on average. Fortunately things changed on the cusp of the surge, but it was a very difficult experience. At the time, he felt like he was not going to do a full career. But he also knew he didn't have anything setup to do next. So he signed up to do three more years doing security in the Seattle area. It was great to continue service and also have time - he didn't find a wife or a career, but he DID stay in contact with the president of Hire Heroes. Nathan asked him - what should I look to do, and that's when he found out about Hire Heroes and the opportunity there. 33:30 - What was your first job search like, and how did you end up at Hire Heroes USA? It was a very stressful year - even though I intended to get out at the end of 3 years and had a set date, I didn't plan well and focused on my current role. Some was fear based, and some was not knowing what to do. He waited for something to come up and it was an ineffective way to move towards a transition. He lost about 10 lbs in his last year in the Marine Corps and realized it was all due to stress. So he started reaching out to friends and fellow Marines, shared his resume and got direct (though harsh) feedback. And this is how he found his current role. He had another offer of working on base, and he went with the one he knew and trusted and was inspired by the mission. 36:30 - What are some signs that a veteran may like working at a non-profit, and that they may like a COO role? He was fortunate to do both. There are plenty of operational roles outside of non-profits, and operational roles outside of COO. If you're going to a large company, they won't hire a COO straight out of the military. you need to know your skills and where it fits in. For him it was a perfect fit - joining a 7 person non-profit, and grow it to over 90 full time employees over 7 years. He was able to grow alongside the organization. That said, most NCOs and officers will have the leadership experience - you just have to marry it with some skill sets. Budgeting, quickbooks, salesforce CRM or something like that... these are good and important technical skills. It was appealing to me to be able ot be nimble like a startup and constantly improve but also be on the non-profit side. We work with scarce resources and solve tough problems for people,. 39:45 - What resources - books, programs, conferences, etc - have you found helpful in your civilian career that you would recommend to veteran listeners? he was fortunate leaving the Marine Corps that the University Of Georgia had a great program of a Master's of Public Adminitration as a 3 year program (instead of 2) while working full time. It was mutaully beneficial between employement and educaiton. What he learned on the job he shared with classmates; what he learned in school he used to help the non profit. This helped a lot with non-prfit budgeting and grant writing. You can read books on this but he was more comforable being taught it. The second was learning from people who are doing. He put his head down for Quickbooks and bugeting and having people beteter than him around him. He realized none of it is complex - there are things that are very complex, but most non-profits you need to be able to learn and the himilty to know you don't know everything. 43:17 - Final words of wisdom? He would recommend a book that is co-authored by General Mattis - Warriors and Citizens. Is there a gap between the miltiary and teh civiilan sector. There are structural challenges related to transition -it's not jsut that companies don't appreciate the military. There are a lot more structural elements taht won't be solved by governement transition programs or even non-profits. There are plenty of resources out ther eand people on your side, but ifyou don't have a narrow vision of what you want so you can focus - if you're open to everything - you need to be focused to find what you want.

20. BTU #104 - Scott Washburn- Submarines to PhD & Astronaut Finalist
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Description:

“I think the biggest thing is finding something you're passionate about and really going all-in on it. There's no lack of different ways to become an astronaut. If you look at the resumes of people that were just selected, Navy SEALS, Pilots, MIT Professors, engineers at SpaceX, people who specialize in Marine Biology, Doctors - so there's no lack of options on how to get there. I think the biggest thing is just finding what you're really passionate about and going all-in on it."
- Dr. Scott Washburn

Dr. Scott Washburn is a Radiation Effects Engineering Manager at SEAKR Engineering. He started out at the University of Colorado, Boulder, after which he served in the Navy as a Submarine Officer for five years. When he first left the Navy he worked as a Thermal and Project Engineer at SSL (Space Systems Loral), after which he returned to the University of Colorado Boulder for his Masters, and then his PhD in Aerospace Engineering. Since then he has worked as Chief Engineer at Geryon Space Technologies, as well as a research engineer at NASA. Scott was also one of the 50 finalists of the astronaut selection program.

The top 2 reasons to listen to this episode is:

Shooting for the stars: Scott always wanted to be an astronaut and he pursued this career with all he had.  He was one of 50 finalists... from 18k applicants (0.27% of all applicants). He's a case study in setting crazy goals and fighting with everything you've got to pursue them. Passion: Scott talks about pursing one's passion with vigor, and it's inspiring no matter what your desired career path.

Our Sponsor:

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything

Show Notes

Note: I've typed these notes during my interview with Josh, so they may not completely represent his words, and may contain spelling and grammar errors. My intention is to provide veterans with a quick reference to see the gist of our conversation, along with timestamps to hear Josh's actual advice in his own words within the interview.

3:43 - Scott's bio 4:40 - There’s a story about you and your wife Amanda, summiting Mt. Bierstadt, a German Shepherd, and the Ellen Degeneres - could you share a bit about what happened? A 14er is a mountain that is over 14k feet tall; it's big in Colorado. Back in 2012, his wife and he went to climb Mt. Bierstadt. They were planning on doing two peaks in the same day (Mt. Evans). They got off course in the traverse and his wife spotted a dog. She had found a big, German Shepherd tucked under the rocks. As they got close, they realized she was injured. They tried to carry her, but the terrain was rough and they weren't able to make it work. They found a park ranger further down the mountain, but he wasn't able to help. So they drove back to Denver, calling rescue groups along the way, but weren't able to get any help. So when they got home, they posted about the dog on 14ers.com, and posted the location and started to organize a rescue group. They received a hug outpouring of support, and went back up with a group of 8. They found the dog, loaded her into a backpack and took turns hiking her out. They took her to a vet (who they had met on 14ers.com) and helped her recover. They figured that was the end of the story. However, it reached it's way to the local news that evening. From that point it exploded, which they hadn't anticipated. Part of the reason it exploded was because they were contacted by the dog owner, who wanted the dog back. They wanted to know what had happened first, and it seemed like the owner had been stuck in a storm and decided to leave the dog behind. However, since the owner hadn't tried to get the dog back or rescue the dog, they were uncomfortable returning the dog. They went on Good Morning America and then the Ellen Degeneres show. 12:28 - For an active duty audience, how would you explain what you do for a living? The short version is that his team tests and analyzes how electronics work in a space radiation environment. There's a HUGE radiation environment in space - more than xrays at a doctor of a nuclear power plant. The space environment is constantly bombarded by these atomic nuclei. They're so energetic they'll go straight through a person or piece of electronics and drive a huge amount of damage. So his group looks at this damage, and analyzes the electronics at his company and see how they respond and fare 14:28 - How did you decide to leave the Navy? It was a really tough decision. He had initially signed up only intending to do five years. However, he LOVED his time in the Navy and the submarine force. He loved the job, missino, and people. So appraoching the end of his term, he struggled with whether to stay in or get out. The reason to get out was because he always wanted to be an astronaut. And he knew he could get there as a submarine officer - back in 2000 Captain Steven Bowen was selected, and one more recently. However, he wasn't sure how to standout amongst other submarine officer. So to improve his odds, he decided to get out go into the industry. 16:20 - When you decided to leave the submarine force, did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to do? His first job at SSL was fortuitous. There was another former submariner who worked there and was familiar with what veterans were capable of. He worked with a recruiting agency that had worked with him previously and they made the connection. He didn't have a clear picture of when he left how he would go about doing this. So he was employed for a while after leaving the service because he hadn't planned properly. He didn't realize what opportunities were out there, and didn't start this process until he got out. There wasn't a clear-cut path to be an astronaut, so had to really experiment 19:14 - Role at SSL It was very different than my role in the submarine force, where I was mostly operatinally focused. At SSL it was heavy engineering - math, computer models of satellites & thermal systems and how they worked together, and what temperature they'd operate at in orbit. It was a massive transition. One thing that motivated him to go back ot grad school was being in a hard engineering environment, and my skills from undergrad were pretty soft. After over a year I decided to go back to grad school (starting two years after he started working). he had started trying to work nights & weekends. So decided to switch to full time 20:57 - Straight to education vs. industry experience 50/50 on this - it was very beneficial to get experience in industry first But if you have a really good idea of what you want to do or the field, going back right away is a good way to go 22:18 - How did you decide to pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering? It was an idea of getting a PhD but not the primary plan. He originally intended to go back to industry with his masters After his first year he was given a National Defense Fellowship; the nice thing was that it gve him the opportunity to study any topic that he wanted to. He had gone to grad school wanting to merge nuclear background with aerospace - space radiation, space nuclear reactors, etc. There wasn't a graduate program for this, but the fellowship gave him the opportunity to forge his own path. his dissertation; Magentic fields to sheild humans from space 24:30 - What advice do you have for veterans wanting to pursue a PhD? One nice thing about being a veteran in a program like this is that you can get down to business and knock it out. I did mine in two years, which is a pretty short time frame. Most service members I met were the same. It's different if yuo're more focused and willing to get the job down My advice is to not get it just to get it; make sure you're really interested in it, because as soon as you leave with your PhD, that sets what you will do; it is difficult to branch out from there 25:56 - What led you to astronaut training? It's not really a training program. He submitted his application early in 2016 for the group that was selected this year. It was 18k people who put in for the application down to 120 semi-finalists who come in for a 3-day interview, and 50 people for a weeklong interview to select 12 people this year. They'll go on a  two year training cycle: wilderness survival, underwater vehicle egress, Russian language and international space station It was a lifelong dream, so he plotted along the way his interests and what things he could add on to help him get there. Working in the space industry was 1. Being a submarine officer was another one (and this had led him to submarines in the first place, in addition to serving his country). he tried to find little things along the way - private pilots license, scuba certification. They were things I wanted to do anyways, but found them exciting and worked It started as a standard job application - follow-up questions, medical requirements, if yo8're a pilot or not. They had over 50 HR specialists to go through all the resumes The 3-day interview process was one of the coolest processes of his life. It's covered by NDAs so he can't talk in detail but they evaluate screening you as a person, medically (medical requirements are VERY strict) for example kidney stones, you're disqualified if you've ever had them. 31:06 - What advice do you have for veterans wanting to go this route? The biggest thing is finding something that you're passionate about and going all-in on it. You've got Navy SEALs, pilots, MIT professors, SpaceX engineers, Doctors, Marine Biologists - there's no lack of options on how to get tehre. it's about finding out what you're passionate about and going all-in on it. Finding people who can push themselves constantly - constantly work to improve yourself and make yourself better. Find things challengin that push your skills and boundaries. 33:27- What was it like not getting in the final stage It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. When I got the news it was in one way a crushing blow - I spent so many years in pursuit of this goal. At the same time it was ok. When you make it to the final 50 every person there is absolutely incredible. It's something they've been pursuing their entire life as well. When he wasn't selected it was hard to be too upset when he saw the people who were selected; so it was hard to be too upset about it. And now he has a few friends who are astronauts as well, which is very cool At some point when you're swinging for the fences and the odds of getting selected are so low you have to temper your expectations so if it doesn't work out you're still ok with everything. 37:15 - What resources - books, websites, programs - have been helpful to you in your civilian career that you would recommend to listeners? Didn't have a ton of resources that I relied on One thing I've gone back to a lot lately is Chris Hatfields - an astronauts guide to life on earth His path to becoming an astronaut - there are so many snippets of wisdom that apply to every day life how to go after things in a way that helps you in your pursuit. Really good life l 38:27 - Work at NASA A co-investigator, while researching at the University of Colorado. Very cool being able to work with the NASA research centers. IF you are really interested in pursuing this path, tehre are a lot of great opportunities to get involved. If you're undergrad or grad school, you can do co-ops that are a great way to get your foot in the door. Or if you reach out and tap into the NASA network. Everyone there is so excited and passionate about what they do, they are more than willing to share their experience with people Find the person at NASA doing it and reach out; you'll be surprised that they'll reach back out 40:04 - Final words of wisdom for active duty & veteran listens? The biggest thing is to find your passion It's wortwhile, espeically in times of transition if you're on active duty looking to get out and at different points - take stock of your world and make sure you're striving for those things. I was taking a look at what I liiked about th emilitary when I got out and looked to try to fit them in my life when I got out. That was one of the big struggles - many things I loved in the service Ic ouldn't find at my job. Realized I needed to find these in outside of owrk activities. Espeically a sense of service. This is my biggest peice of advice - see what you like and find how to get more of

21. BTU #103 - Dr. Felicia Haecker- From RV to Dr, entrepreneur, and mom
http://beyondtheuniform.libsyn... download (audio/mpeg, 50.71Mb)

Description:

“There are people who have - in their head - ideas that they think are ridiculous; dreams that they're afraid to pursue because of failure; because we're all afraid to fail. But while you have that safety net, go ahead an investigate it - dig into it deep, and then make a plan. Work backwards: this is the goal, assess what you have, and what do you need. And sometimes with plans you have to go back and course correct. Be OK with that. It's not a bad thing sometimes. We often beat ourselves up because we made a plan and it didn't go the way we thought it would - but that's OK. Always look back, reflect and see how you can grow from this."
- Dr. Felicia Haecker

Dr. Felicia Haecker is the President of Haecker Associates Consulting, CEO of Dog Tag Divas, and Adjunct Professor at Brandman University, where she also received her Doctor of Education and Organizational Leadership. She started out in the Air Force, where she served for 12 years along with her husband, who served in the Air Force for 15 years. She faced many challenges after her separation from the military, and ultimately chose to pursue her Ed.D on female veterans transitions into post secondary education. Using this understanding of transitions, she now seeks to help other veterans diagnose where they are and construct a plan to reach their goals.

She has made herself available to the Beyond the Uniform community by email at shaecker@yahoo [dot] com

The top 2 reasons to listen to this episode is:

A road of discovery - Felicia articulates so well what I - and so many of my guests - have experienced about a meandering road from the military to finding our career. She talks about taking leaps of faith, making mistakes along the way, but learning and being ok with those mistakes. Felicia and her husband left the Air Force after 12 & 15 years of service, respectively. They purchased an RV, and with their newborn daughter spent a year traveling the United States. This was the starting point of a journey that would lead Felicia to pursue her doctorate. Advice on transitions - Felicia did her doctorate work on the female veteran transition into post secondary education. She has also advised and mentored many veterans about this process, and has fantastic advice about how to avoid common mistakes in this transition.

Our Sponsor:

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources

Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life - a great book to help you figure out what to do with your career

Show Notes

Note: I've typed these notes during my interview with Josh, so they may not completely represent his words, and may contain spelling and grammar errors. My intention is to provide veterans with a quick reference to see the gist of our conversation, along with timestamps to hear Josh's actual advice in his own words within the interview.

3:10 - Felicia's bio 4:03 - How would you explain what you do Every veteran makes a transition Her and her husband realized they transitioned out of a community that was safe and comfortable. After their transition, a lot of people didn't understand their background and they were definitely out of their comfort zone. This applies to the families as well - they have to deal with their significant other 6:15 - How she divides her time HCC & Dog Tag Divas are both emerging. She was diagnosed with PTSD and ADHD, and is learning there are things she needs to do to stay on task. Must do / should do / could do "To do lists" dominate her schedule on bright orange post its. She has two kids, and it's a matter of taking advantage of time when she has it - time in line at Starbucks, at piano practice. Sometimes she 8:12 - How did you decide to leave the military? It wasn't an easy decision; she was an Army brat, with both parents in the military. She followed her dad all over Europe as an Army kid. She recognized on her own she wasn't ready for college, and didn't want to waste her parents money Decided to join the military - originally the Marine Corps - but wasn't treated seriously during the process and saw the Air Force recruiter on her way out. The military was safe and something she understood. She was a photographer, and wanted to try something else out - she loved the military but wanted to try something new When she found out she was going to have a mother, she wanted to be the mother she didn't have. It would be tough to do both the military and a mom, so her and her husband decided she would transition. Her husband had a similar background, so they both decided - at 12 & 15 years - to get out of the military. They made the goal of each of them finishing their master's degree prior to leaving the military, which lead for a rushed schedule leading up to departure They purchased a 35' RV, and spent a year traveling the United States. 11:46 - Advice for figuring out when to leave the military Investigate the feeling - if you feel like you need to move on, give that room. See if you can switch jobs within the military, but if you can't find it start figuring out how to make it happen. She recently worked with someone who decided to open a catering business. But you need to do EVERYTHING you can to investigate this right now - intern, or find a temporary job. This person learned it wasn't what they wanted to do it. So investigate every avenue you can. Call people who do that job (better yet a veteran who does it) and get a feel for what it is like. Harness your power - my power right now is I have a paycheck and roof over my head. This is what I have - what is it I need. Capitalize on your opportunities for growth. I want to have this much money in the bank, this much education, talk to them and get buy-in with the family. Sometimes you need to go back and course correct The Hack Process: H - Harness your power. You have SOME power in the situation A - Assess your resources. What do you have on hand that will propel you forward, and what do you need to gather to get to that goal I - Identify them. The people and resources that will help you and you need to get in your corner to get there C - Capitalize on the opportunity You may be more comfortable right now than you realize - any stress you can take Give yourself permission to recognize how difficult the transition is, but don't wallow in it. 22:59 - How would you describe your path from the military to deciding to pursue a PhD? They were stationed in Missouri. They got in their RV and didn't know what to do next. They decided to visit her parents in Oklahoma. They piecemeal the first part of the trip together, visiting diners and different sites. They noticed in their journey there was a subculture of veterans everywhere they went.  She noticed many experienced difficulty, and many were on the verge of homelessness. She realized that she wasn't the only one who felt challenged in the transition - there were many other veterans like this. Along the journey she became pregnant with their second child. As they were unpacking their house in Georgia, her husband received a job offer in Sacramento. So they packed up their house and moved cross country with their two kids After five days as a stay-at-home mom, she realized she couldn't do it. It was more difficult than her three deployments. She saw a commercial for a doctoral degree, and wanted to give it a try. Her children were 9 months and 3 when she started - it was crazy but she did it. And her husband just received his degree from the same program. He saw the growth and self discovery journey she went through and that motivated him to do it as well What was the PhD process like for you? She views herself as very lucky. Her program was very creative, and she was able to chart what she was interested in - which was transition in veterans. She was able to research, write papers, and do whatever she wanted. It became addicting, because she kept finding more and more information, but didn't find the readily available resources she wanted for veterans. It felt like a well-kept secret and she didn't want it to be like that. She kept getting assignments that kept her digging and before she knew it she stood back and realized what she wanted to go after When she left, her resume was good, professionally she was ready to transition. No one spoke to her heart and mind transition, that you never receive when leaving the military. 37:40 - In your work with veterans, what are common problems you see them facing in their civilian career? She teaches a masters class on Leadership. One thing she has her students do (and she does as well) is Morning Pages. You put the pen on paper for 20 minutes and you just write non-stop. She didn't think it would work and the first two weeks were random song lyrics, shopping lists, and babble, but at the end of two weeks the cob webs went away and certain things came into focus. She kept doing it and started to get clarity on different items - things she hadn't thought about in years. It's completely free and is an easy way to make progress in thinking through issues. Just write about whatever comes to mind - no matter how random. Keep with it and you'll find clarity. Supposed to do it first thing in the morning, as soon as she wakes up. There's a book called Road Map. There was a PBS show called Road Trip Nation and they actually wrote a book "the get it together guide for what to do with your life" - it will inspire you but also give you a roadmap. A mentor would be a GREAT addition for veterans. Help you navigate the new waters and identify what is important to you. Common mistakes that veterans face The adage that "the grass is greener" is definitely true. Without someone telling you what to do, there is also a challenge of autonomy and having to do everything on your own. She encourages people to imagine that you were dropped into the center of England. Yes - they speak English, but there are different words, customs, and norms. You still need to learn a lot - and it's like this with a military transition Some people may not understand your life and may ask you offensive questions like, "Have you ever killed someone." Try to remember it's out of ignorance and curiosity and not malice. She has found in Mommy Groups that things that are earth shattering to other people are not so for her... she has to remember that "my journey is different." It may take time to find your time. Observe how they interact with other people. Emotional Intelligence will be key too and this was something she had to learn 44:50 - What can we do to help veterans who are struggling in their transition Her local VA has a special office to help veterans who are homeless and she is looking at how to help with this Sometimes they just need someone to listen to them The TAPs programs send a LOT of information towards veterans, and going and talking and sharing there could help a lot She was surprised that she was diagnosed with PTSD, even though she had taken many disturbing photos as a photographer on active duty. 49:20 - Final words of wisdom? If you've been listening to this and thinking of an idea and not sure if you should do it - give yourself permission to try. It's ok to be afraid to fail - that's ok. If you think about it - the times you succeed you probably didn't think about how you got there... you didn't think about how you got there. It's only when you fail that you do. But this is when we learn - from this failure. It may work, it may not, but it's ok. Have more than an A-D plan - there are 26 letters in teh alphabet. At the end of the day, try to do what makes you happy.

22. BTU#101 - Christopher Perkins: Marines to Managing Director at Citi
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“I leveraged the skills that I learned in the Marine Corps, and literally I just started kicking in doors. When I got to New York I had to figure it out and I had to figure it out quickly. Again, it was all about establishing that network. I called people, I learned from them. And I started to whittle down exactly what I wanted to do... There are things that a veteran can control and things they can't control. I couldn't control my technical proficiency at the time because I had just gotten out of the Marine Corps. But - darn it - I could control how hard I could work. So I was the first one in in the morning, I was the last one to go at night, and I was studying like crazy."
– Christopher Perkins

“I leveraged the skills that I learned in the Marine Corps, and literally I just started kicking in doors. When I got to New York I had to figure it out and I had to figure it out quickly. Again, it was all about establishing that network. I called people, I learned from them. And I started to whittle down exactly what I wanted to do... There are things that a veteran can control and things they can't control. I couldn't control my technical proficiency at the time because I had just gotten out of the Marine Corps. But - darn it - I could control how hard I could work. So I was the first one in in the morning, I was the last one to go at night, and I was studying like crazy."
– Christopher Perkins

Christopher is the Managing Director and Global Head of OTC Clearing at Citi and founder of Citi’s Military Veterans Networks. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he earned a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. He then served as an officer in the Marine Corps for over nine years. After the Marine Corps, Christopher worked at Lehman Brothers as their US Head of Derivatives Intermediation. He is also the co-founder of Veterans On Wall Street - an initiative dedicated to honoring former and currently military personnel by facilitating career and business opportunities in the financial services industry.

The top three reasons to listen to today’s show are:

Senior finance - Christopher is very high up at one of the most respected financial institutions in the world, so if you’re at all interested in the Finance Industry, this is worth a listen Explanation - Christopher gives great advice on how a veteran can explain their background. He managed to land a senior position at Lehman brothers directly out of the military. He was the ONLY person to do so without an MBA - not only not having an MBA, but competing against valedictorians from top business schools. He did it by being an expert storyteller, and his advice for veterans is fantastic Financial Collapse - Christopher talks about what it was like on wall street during the financial collapse and how his military training paid off, keeping him calm and stable when the world around him seemed to be falling apart. Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links Citi's Veterans initiative, Citi Salutes, is a great program for veterans to consider. Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) - symposiums, job fairs, and fundraising by a consortium of financial services firms A recent article on Christopher by Military.com: http://www.military.com/hiring-veterans/resources/citigroup-veteran-hiring-program-spotlight.html Book Recommendations Liar’s Poker (Norton Paperback) - for those interested in a career in the finance industry, this is recommended by Christopher Market Wizards, Updated: Interviews With Top Traders Newspapers Christopher recommends The Financial Times The Wall Street Journal TV Programs Christopher recommends to see how current events are affecting markets CNBC Bloomberg TV Show Notes 2:31 - Christopher's background 3:15 - How Christopher decided to leave the Marine Corps and how he approached this decision 5:55 - How Christopher managed to directly from the Marine Corps to a very senior role at Lehman Brothers 12:53 - How Christopher would explain his role as the US Head of Derivatives Intermediation at Lehman Brothers 17:13 - How a call from Citi changed Christopher's career 18:15 - What life was like during a financial collapse, and how Christopher's military training paid off. Also a look at how Christopher has given back through Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) and Citi Salutes 26:48 - The biggest advice Christopher would give to Veterans in finance or those considering a career in finance 29:23 - Some common misconceptions and mistakes Christopher sees when it comes to veterans 31:36 - Christopher's thoughts on the MBA and how valuable it is within the world of finance 34:35 - A few possible career paths to the role of Managing Director at a major company like Citi 36:38 - What Christopher's day-to-day life looks like as a Managing Director at Citi 40:05 - Christopher's recommended resources for those veterans considering a career in finance 42:06 - A look at mistakes Christopher has made and what he learned from them 44:09 - In what ways Christopher felt ahead of his civilian counterparts, and it what ways he felt behind 46:30 - Christopher's final words of wisdom

23. BTU #101 - Joshua Jabin- Marines to COO at the Travis Manion Foundation
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“When I got out after 12 years I was married, we had our first child and were looking at having our second child. I was very focused on a career that would pay me what a Major with twelve years in was currently paying me. I wasn't so interested in taking a step back and thinking about these questions of what am I good at, and what do I enjoy doing and what do I think is important. What most people don't think about is that you have forty more years in your career - so really, that's the right time to start asking yourself these questions - what do you enjoy doing, what are you good at?”
- Joshua Jabin

Joshua Jabin is the Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Travis Manion Foundation. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served in the Marine Corps for 12 years, first as a Aviation Supply Logistics Officer, obtaining his MS in Operations Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School, and teaching Mathematics at the Naval Academy. After his transition to the civilian sector, Joshua worked as a Senior Management Consultant at the ReefPoint Group, before joining the Travis Mountain Foundation about 2.5 years ago.

The top 2 reasons to listen to this episode is:

Passion + Skills - Joshua works for a incredible organization and resource for veterans. They have a transition workshop that doesn't focus just on finding the right job... they focus on helping you find the intersection of passion and skills in your personal and professional life. Joshua LIVES this, as he initially took a 1/3 pay cut from his initial consulting job, in order to follow work that he knew would be more fulfilling for him and his family. Great resource for veterans - whether you're on active duty, recently transitioned, or transitioned decades ago, The Travis Manion Foundation has a lot to offer and is an organization worth taking a look at. Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Resources Brothers Forever: The Enduring Bond between a Marine and a Navy SEAL that Transcended Their Ultimate Sacrifice - Travis' father wrote this book about two roommates who gave their lives defending their country Team Red White and Blue Team Rubicon - deploy veterans after natural disasters Hire Heroes USA - great resource for veterans. TMF is a great Step 1, when veterans leave he recommends them to Hire Heroes USA (resumes, job placement) Show Notes

Note: I've typed these notes during my interview with Jacob, so they may not completely represent his words, and may contain spelling and grammar errors. My intention is to provide veterans with a quick reference to see the gist of our conversation, along with timestamps to hear Jacob's actual advice in his own words within the interview.

3:50 - Joshua's background 4:35 - What would you want listeners to know about the Travis Manion Foundation? Membership veteran organization to develop character in the next generation to help communities. They want to create THRIVING communities - creating meaning through serving others, relationships, and engagement (leveraging your strengths). Travis was a Naval Academy Graduate (2004) and 1st Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He was killed on April 29, 2007 on his second tour overseas. His mother started the foundation to help other veterans and families of fallen veterans Today they are an organization of 90k people worldwide Their goal is also to help create the next generation of leaders For all veterans who come back and want to see how they can continue to serve, they also provide a way they can do this and have that same sense they had in the military 9:45 - What is the TMF transition workshop program? It is VERY different from a lot of other great transition programs out there - they don't focus solely on the career piece. Their goal is to help veterans have a successful post-military life - meaning, relationships, engagement. Both in your career and how you can continue to grow. After this, they help veterans identify their strengths and passions, and how to incorporate into their story, along with their training and education. This helps them network, communicate as they find their ideal job The final piece of the transition has successful veterans come in and share what they do and what they've learned, and how that relates to their passion and strengths (to see options) There are other additional workshops - resumes, interviewing, etc 16:16 - If someone listening would like to get involved with or help support the Travis Manion Foundation, how can they do that? Not exclusive to veterans - we have "inspired civilians" as well If you're 1 year out from leaving or recently left the military and need help in the career transition, you can find info about attending workshops and also resources directly on the website There's also info on the website about their character workshop 18:00 - For someone listening on active duty, how would you explain what you do? He is the #2 at the Travis Manion Foundation. Started 2.5 years ago, and worked way quickly to COO (initially Chief of Staff) He is the #2 next to the CEO Their President is very external - partnership & fundraising meetings, presenting at conferences. So Joshua's role is about overseeing daily operations - finances, budget, curriculum, operations... all the daily operations They have Regional Heads throughout country and various departments - his job is to hold them all together 19:46 - How would you explain a COO role? What does this look like on a day-to-day basis? Every day is different - this is one thing he really loves 5-5:30 - wake up before kids and check email (West Coast team emailed through the night) Spend time with kids When in at the office, every Monday morning he (and his program & department heads) put out their top 3 list for the week This week: #1 Program evaluation, #2 Developing Curriculum, #3 - 1st Spartan Leadership summit Review finances 2:30 - meet with Regional Heads to review big picture anything that affects their programs get home, play with kids, check email afterwards depending on the day End of week they share a weekly summary. This allows to support as needed all the execution that occurs throughout the week 27:08 - You got out after 12 years of service. How did you think about transition from the military earlier, vs staying in for 20 years? What he found from his transition - and working with thousands of vets who have transitioned - it's challenging no matter when you transition After 12 years I felt too senior to go through the JMO Recruiters, but I wasn't senior enough for some of the other positions available He started with a JMO recruiter - they were very knowledgeable and had great advice. TMF uses a lot of this info in their transition workshop as well now. But he knew it wouldn't be a good fit because Joshua wanted a small company rather than a large company. He would need to take a step back in terms of salary and authority / leadership when going to a larger company. However, there would be a larger runway to be able to build into a very senior role. He realized there are other options: working for a smaller company (like Travis Manion Foundation) or starting your own company 30:18 - Big company v. small company. He LOVED being a Marine, and is still a Reservist and loves it It did get to a point where he was in a HUGE organization and realized he couldn't move the needle Wanted to go to a small company where he could see a big impact from his work He loves now that he will be there for a LONG time and enjoys seeing the impact of his work 33:32 - What is the ReefPoint Group? It was started by three Naval Academy grads who started the year before him. He didn't know them at the Naval Academy, but heard about them while teaching math at the Naval Academy He was applying to IBM, Booz Allen, etc and had several friends refer him to the owner of the ReefPoint Group Met with Chris (using his network) and joined them - they were the smaller company he was looking for It's a very bright team - a Management Consulting firm that focuses on data analytics, so different from traditional MBA Management Consulting type roles Enjoyed it but quickly realized it wasn't his passion in life; many people were way ahead of him technically 35:50 - How would you explain to someone on Active Duty what you did as a Senior Management Consultant? Was living in Annapolis as a subcontractor for a large organization and also at a hospital in San Diego. He would fly out every Monday and fly back red-eye on Thursday. He was doing consulting work for Navy Hospitals It was important work, liked the people he worked with When thinking about how he spent his time when he wasn't working, he was a "Character does matter" ambassador for the Travis Manion Foundation - this was his passion. He loved being a leader and a mentor When he spoke with the family he found out they were looking for a #2 He wrestled with Travis Manion at the USNA - he was at an Army vs. Navy game and saw Colonel Manion. He told him "at some point I' going to come work for you full time" Joshua though he wanted to make al to of money first and come work there. But Colonel Manion encouraged him to talk anyways He didn't think there was any way he could do it (financially) He was going to need to take a 1/3 pay-cut. He told his wife he couldn't do it, and she actually pushed him into it. He initially turned it down and couldn't sleep afterwards. His wife pointed out that they didn't need all the things they currently had and he decided to make the leap His kids still have way more things than they need and he's never regretted it Everyone deserves to be happy - we as veterans are so competitive and set such high bars for ourselves, always looking ahead. He stepped back and said - "when do I cash in these chips... how long to defer happiness" 47:20 - Are there any resources - books, podcasts, conferences, websites, trainings - that have helped you in your civilian career that you would recommend to veterans listening? Hire Heros USA - great resource for veterans. TMF is a great Step 1, when veterans leave he recommends them to Hire Heroes USA (resumes, job placement) 48:47 - Final words of wisdom? Life is short - you have to do what it takes to be happy Career is important, salary is a factor, but step back and think what makes you happy. Think about your strengths and passions and how to channel them to make a difference Don't wait - don't think that if you grind it out you can do it later

24. BTU #100: My Story
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For our 100th episode, I thought I would share my own story. 

Justin M. Nassiri is the Founder & CEO of StoryBox, a digital marketing start-up that helps companies transform their customers into brand ambassadors. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served five years as an officer onboard nuclear submarines. After his transition from the military, he went to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, after which he started StoryBox. He started Beyond the Uniform at the end of 2016 in an effort to help military veterans navigate their civilian career.

In this episode, I talk about:

My path from the military to today Advice for veterans thinking of starting a company, including advice on building a technology, raising money and more The story of how I started Beyond the Uniform, where we're at today and where we're going Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Resources Life Underwater: A Letter to First Time Founders Websites TechCrunch, Pando Daily - actively avoid. Triggers too much comparison Sales course - Grant Cardone University IndieHackers - see range of ways in which people make money / engineering bias Books Big magic Helping  So good they can't ignore you Deep Work Motivation - biographies; Tony Robbins - get brain used to thinking how great minds have Shoe Dog Elon Musk Everything Store Pandora’s Star Hyperion Shogun Mistborn Podcasts How I Built This - creativity, startups, entrepreneurship Tim Ferris - general efficiency Tony Robbins - motivation & mindset Smart Passive Income - get ideas of ways to make money EO Fire Life
Meditation Coaching  Therapy - CBT, Somatic Therapy. Want to make massive movement in short amount of time Seminars The Landmark Forum - caveat: very sales-e, and will need to keep an open mind Tony Robbins Unleash the Power Within Date with Destiny Business Mastery Non-violent Communication

25. BTU #99 – Jacob Martinez: Army Sergeant to President of USA’s 592nd Fastest Growing Company
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“At that point we had about 25 employees and things seemed to be going well... and then the financial markets crashed and we went into a very deep, deep recession, right after I took over as President. So for a few years we had to weather the storm and it was a very difficult time. But I actually accredit a lot of [my success] to the military for what I was taught. So when the tough times came, I didn't start running - I just buckled down, dug my heels in and said - 'I'm smarter than this recession.'”
- Jacaob Martinez

Jacob Martinez is the President of Market Traders Institute, a trading technology and education company with over 200 employees. Jacob started out in the Army, where he served for 4.5 years in military intelligence achieving the rank of sergeant. He started out at Market Traders Institute as Vice President of Managed Accounts and has held virtually every position in the company.

Jacob has offered to connect with any veterans interested in speaking further. He is also offering a discount on his company's Forex training platform for any veteran. This is a great chance to investigate investing as a potential career, as well as learn a new skill set. You can contact him at jacob [at] markettraders.com

 

The top 2 reasons to listen to this episode is:

Extreme Growth - Jacob took over his family's business and grew them from 8 employees to 200 employees, with a 1,200%+ growth in revenue, attaining Inc Magazine's #592 fastest growing companies in America... it's pretty impressive! Continuous Learning - rather than use his GI Bill for college, Jacob got out of his comfort zone and started growing his company. He is more committed to continuous learning than anyone I have met to date, and is constantly reading new books, attending new conferences, and seeking other ways to learn from others as quickly as possible. I find this inspiring, and his recommendations for resources are the best I've had on the show to date. Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Resources Books John Maxwell - teaches leadership. There's never a time when you will have too many leaders. Staying focused on developing your leadership will create opportunities Leadership Gold: Lessons I've Learned from a Lifetime of Leading The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition) Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life - Jacob has read this book 10-12 times over his career. It talks about change and adapting to change. Danger in the Comfort Zone: From Boardroom to Mailroom -- How to Break the Entitlement Habit That's Killing American Business - currently reading as part of book club, the danger of entitlement and living in the comfort zone Conferences Tony Robbins - Business Mastery. this is pricey but the knowledge gained Steven Covey - 7 habits of highly effective people Training Sales - only way to grow business is to grow revenue. Only way to grow revenue is grow your knowledge Cardone University Karis school of negotiation Fred Pryor seminars - 4-6 hour classes at local hotels or online, very good for constant development Vistage - he meets with executives monthly to discuss areas of growth, culture and challenges of an executive Market Traders Institute - If you're wanting to trade forex, you need trading programs. They have forex foundation courses Show Notes

Note: I've typed these notes during my interview with Jacob, so they may not completely represent his words, and may contain spelling and grammar errors. My intention is to provide veterans with a quick reference to see the gist of our conversation, along with timestamps to hear Jacob's actual advice in his own words within the interview.

4:06 - Jacob's background 5:04 - How Jacob would explain what he does for a living Investor education and trading Teach people how to trade in the Forex market, exchanging money. When deployed, Jacob would stop in Germany before Afghanistan and would check the exchange rate. When he would stop there on the way back, the dollar would be worth a different amount. So he helps people understand and take advantage of this Their in the business of changing people's lives through empowerment. His goal is to empower people - teach them to fish - and grow their financial income Only about 30% of investors make money... their clients see about 57% of people making money 7:56 - Jacob's Growth & history getting there His father started the company in 1994 and ran it until 2004 He grew it to 8 employees during that time and it supported his family When Jacob left the military he joined the team of 8 people and took what he learned in the military - process & structure - and instilled it in the company Within a few years did every position to understand the company and put structures in place and grew the company to 25 employees In 2007 became President and things were going well... until the financial market collapse right after took over President. But his experience in the military in these tough times 2008-2011 there was no growth - just a fight for survival. But at the end of 2011 had figured things out. Since 2011 grown 1250% in revenue, 25 to 200 employees, listed on Inc 5k #592 fastest growing companies in America. He's also been committed to growth and listed top 10 places to work in Florida He talks about constantly having to reinvent yourself as a company - what challenges you see at 25 employees is different than 100 employees What was important to us and what we tracked a year ago isn't important today. And what we're monitoring today won't be important in the future. And what makes the difference is constant growth - grow or die. Not revenue but growing yourself personally. 15:10 - Resources The key to his success has been the commitment to growth and learning Success is a journey, not a destination - this qoute really shaped his look towards education You will never reach "success" - it is constant evolution and growth - it's the only way to push the journey forward We don't want to be first but we don't want to be third. There are a lot of successful business in this world. Go get a mentor and learn from successful people Jacob doesn't have a college degree... but he reads a book a month. He read a study saying the Average American reads 1 book per year! If he reads one book per month, in 5 years he'll have read 60 books vs. 5! The knowledge he has acquired in this way has tremendously helped his company Books John Maxwell - teaches leadership. There's never a time when you will have too many leaders. Staying focused on developing your leadership will create opportunities Leadership Gold - The 360 degree 12 laws of leadership Who moved my cheese - Jacob has read this book 10-12 times over his career. It talks about change and adapting to change. Danger in the comfort zone - currently reading as part of book club, the danger of entitlement and living in the comfort zone Conferences - anything, industyr conference or leadership conference Tony Robbins - Business Mastery. this is pricey but the knowledge gained Industry-focused Steven Covey - 7 habits of highly effective people Training Sales - only way to grow business is to grow revenue. Only way to grow revenue is grow your knowledge Cardone University Caris school of negotiation Fred Pryor seminars - 4-6 hour classes at local hotels or online, very good for constant development Vistage - he meets with executives monthly to discuss areas of growth, culture and challenges of an executive If you're wanting to trade forex, you need trading programs. They have forex foundation courses 24:28 - The Book Club Jacob has several of these at his company now. It started with his father, who would shut down the company for a few hours and discuss a few chapters of a book they were reading at the time Before this he had only read a few books, and this catapulted his reading It has helped his personal income and the business - continuously growing things They accicdentally stopped this during the recession and realized the dramatic impact this had on their growth. How can you change if you're not learning? He leads a book club every week - as an executive team they discuss the chapter they read. He asks his managers to hold their own book club pertaining to leadership or a technical skill in their department Unless you highly recommend this, life will get in the way. We judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. But an outsider looking in is actions... they speak louder than words. You can't learn in the comfort zone or danger zone, but in the uncomfort zone. Skirting that line between danger and comfort. Harmony doesn't create growth - dis-harmony does. Every major breakthrough came from his team being in dis-harmony. Something wasn't going well, and they tried something new and it created a breakthrough 31:43 - A challenge Jacob has faced in growing his company He has faced MANY challenges in growing a company Many of them have been internal - struggles with how he views himself, not being able to live up to external expectations Every day he comes to work and faces challenges - he is now in the business of people and managing, so most of his challenges are people-related. At any given moment about 30% of the world is facing some sort of major personal crisis... that means 60 of his team members are facing a personal crisis (divorce, death, sick child, birth, etc). Business isn't about money it's about developing people. In the military he thought business would be cut throat - but that's not what a successful business is. It's about helping and growing people. So in this respect the challenge is an opportunity to have a positive impact. 35:22 - Maintaining emotional stability amidst the chaos of growing a company You need to keep things in perspective - 30% of the world is having a personal crisis right now He has had many challenges - 2 tours in Afghanistan, medically discharged from a shartered vertabrae. These challenges, vs business challenges, are not nearly in the same bucket. These challenges are nothing compared to what others are facing. Seeing the problem as smaller helps him get to a solution quicker. The Sky is never falling. When you take a step back and evaluate Get a mentor - get several mentors. There is no such thing as a perfect mentor. Depending on the crisis you will have a different mentor - business colleague, someone outside the business, a family member. They help you put it in perspective because they're not emotionally involved with the problem It can be VERY uncomfortable to be vulnerable around a mentor, but it will lead to growth. Maritial problems, money problems, relationship problems - when you let go of the fear, you get out of hell a lot quicker 41:22 - Creating systems in a company Success is a formula, not a fantasy. Even gut feelings are intuitions that you prove with a process or strarety to see if it's valid Nearly everythign at MTI is run through a process: even the amount of money they spend. Spending $X for marketing to get Y leads that dictates the # of sales people they have to the # of clients they bring onboard, and that determines the number of customer support which determines the amount of product developers... everything is connected In the military, Jacob saw that everything was a system. He was in a company of people who were virtually identical, with very similar skill sets. This didn't happen by chance - it was a process the military created. If you continue to refine a process you'll get the same results Business isn't a massive feeling of how you feel today. If you have a process and are dedicated to a process you are constantly refining and iterating, you realize that the business starts to operate at high efficiency. It doesn't matter how you feel today - it matters how you adhere to the formula. Of course emotions matter, but structure helps a company grow Don't be so married to the process that you're blindly married to it - be committed to improving ti and 46:31 - Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs If you're on active duty and thinking of transitioning, know that it's an emotional experience: exciting, fearful, and sad. Jacob wasn't sure what to do - be an overseas contractor, use the GI bill to go back to college, or join his family business and not make much money He opted for opportunity - he could make 10X more money as a contractor... but is that sustainable income in 10-20 years. For him, it was short-term. Look for opportunity - for things outside your comfort zone. Sometimes small opportunities - like his with his family business - can become enormous. If you're already out of the military and looking to grow: companies don't always communicate what really matters. If they tell a salesperson you need to have 80 calls a day to have 1 sale per day... so if you make 60 calls and make 1 sale, you may feel like you weren't successful. This comes from not properly defining what really matters - what matters is changing someone's life. If you make each call with this intention, it can change things. So find out what 1-2 items REALLY matter. "Moving the rock" - what are you doing that will "move the rock" Force X Distance  = Work... what really matters is DISTANCE. It doesn't matter how much force... how far does it go Are you moving the rock? find the 1-2 things that really affect this Train yourself to separate yourself from other people. Grow your knowledge - it's not the companies responsibility to train the employee. Sometimes people will say 'if the company can't send me to a conference I won't do it' But if you take responsibility, this is what I need to grow... it changes everything. Do I need this knowledge or not? If yes - find a way to get there. This is how you separate yourself - the average person won't do this. 55:18 - Final words of wisdom Thank you for your service When I was in I thought I was just one of the bunch. But since then has realized that he has made a difference on the world. It is a real sacrifice to serve in the military... no matter what you're doing you're having an impact Idea not coupled with action is not worth the brain cell it sits on You can have the best idea, but if you don't act it doesn't matter. You're going to fail 100%. You will fail WAY more often than you succeed. there's no such thing as a true failure if you learn from it. Act on your ideas, even if they're failures - learn from them and grow from them and eventually - it just takes one good hit. It's not luck - its a culmination of all your learnings from all your

26. BTU #98 – Jared Wymer: Marines to Amazon & a PhD… simultaneously
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“One of the first things I heard in grad school was: Get used to B's instead of A's. And I had a knee-jerk reaction to that. But you know what - I'm pretty OK with high B's now, and solving cool problems with cool people for a really cool company. So you just need to decide what trade-offs you're willing to live with in your life and divide and conquer.”
- Jared Wymer

Jared Wymer is a Program Manager for Global Talent Management at Amazon. Jared started out by enlisting in the Marine Corps, where he served for eight years in logistics, supply chain management, and intelligence, while also pursuing and receiving an undergraduate degree and MBA. Jared transitioned from the Marines into a PhD program, working concurrently in finance and as a Fellow for the Department of State. Since that time Jared started his own consulting company, Wymer & Associates, and joined Amazon. Jared is currently one year away from obtaining his PhD.

The top reasons to listen to this episode is:

Amazon - Jared talks about working at a fast-paced, top technology company like Amazon. He discusses interviewing tips and advice on finding the right job for you Improving your working habits - being in Global Talent Management, Jared has a few tips for any veteran on how to grow, improve, and stay ahead Education - Jared talks about getting a PhD while working full time, and advice on higher education. Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Resources  Service 2 School - they were a big help in Jared finding his way to a PhD program TheGradCafe.com - it's like Reddit, where ideas / questions are voted up or down. There's feedback on program, professors, and classes Kanban Board - list of projects you will do this week, next week, tomorrow, etc. You limit the number of projects you can focus on. Trello is a great example of this. Books The Wisdom of Insecurity - Jared's big takeaway was to not get too wrapped up around material possessions but to be present in one's life. It's easy to focus on moving the ball forward at every moment, but really being present in whatever you're doing Deep Work - a great book at being more focused at work The Everything Store - a biography of Jeff Bezos and look at Amazon Show Notes 3:00 - Jared's background 3:36 - What Jared does Program Management is similar to most NCO' responsibilities - a go between for people aligned with a certain program: how you promote someone, a piece of software, event planning, etc. In general it's aligning with one of these things and bringing the user's of the product and team responsible for it, and helping it come off without a hitch. Talent Management is promotions, and what it looks like once you're hired (performance review, etc) 5:46 - Jared's road from the military to Amazon Build your network while on active duty - talk to people who leave before you do; people at universities you're thinking of applying to; people who have jobs you admire Jared didn't get into Amazon through a traditional recruiting process - it was through a friend of a friend, where he emailed his application directly to a hiring manager This is true of his first job out of the military, which was in finance Take every moment you have to think about where you might want to go (and where it is possible to go) Figure out how to talk about what you did within the military - get comfortable telling your story in a way a civilian can understand (10:30) Networking is rarely about me - it's about the person I'm speaking with and what value I can add for them 11:42 - What drew Jared to Amazon initially Right time, right place - there was an opening right at the right time Amazon has many of the positives from the military - there is a high standard for everything (it pays to be a winner) Amazon does not have much red tape - you're encouraged to run fast and people are willing to take risks on you Many Marines are offered jobs that don't take advantage of their full skill set... Amazon is the opposite of this. They understand where you've been and where you want to go. If you can prove yourself once or twice, they will make BIG bets on you It's a great example of the importance of narrative - everything they do is based on an overarching vision document. Nothing gets done without a vision document - synthesize where you want to go and how you want to get there. 15:00 - Advice on applying to Amazon The Star Interviewing method - make sure you have examples from your experience, what you did, what was the outcome, who did you do it with. You should definitely have this under your belt and know what you're doing. Amazon, similar to the military, is very serious about their leadership principles. You can research this easily online, but every interview is structured around these leadership principles Being able to talk about your resume in 2-3 different ways in this Star Format Veterans shy away from "name dropping" or referring to leadership principles directly but people love it when you do this There is a whole new veterans initiative at Amazon. You could apply at Amazon.com/jobs, but it's hard to make it through this way. But the link in the Resources section is much better 20:15 - Career Advice for veterans a few years out of active duty (how to avoid failing) People at Amazon move at the speed of Amazon, and there is a lot of ambiguity in each role The #1 best thing you can do is to - regardless of role or company - have a framework that reduces the ambiguity you're feeling. It will make you more happy & content, and will also help you move forward when you do have an ambiguous situation. An example would be 3-4 conversations where everyone is brought together, and they decide as a group which action items are dropped from the communal list, and which are given priority. A timeline is established with all major deliverables and milestones, and 5 minutes of conversation around each milestone is re-grounding everyone in where they are in the process, and what steps are involved between different parts. It leads to a lot more collaboration and identifying of potential faults 26:52 - Pursuing a PhD while working full time He started by creating a list of people who could provide honest feedback, people who could provide empathy, a career board of advisors, a list of people who are social support. Throughout the PhD process he has viewed a part-time or full-time job as a way to continue to network and have a social circle outside of the PhD process. Jared has two brothers who have done this as well; while it comes at the expense of grades and research, it adds incredible professional experiences that may outweigh these (especially applying what you learn as you learn it) 31:38 - Advice for veterans considering pursuing a PhD Service 2 School was a huge resource for Jared Grad school / PhD program are going to seem like a lot. He found so much by calling the universities he was applying to and professors he would work with... it provided incredible insight (as well as an inside track to admission) Many school website are not updated as frequently as you'd expect, so it's important to get the info first hand or from sites like TheGradCafe.com Think 2-5 steps ahead so you can stay ahead of where you want to go 35:48 - Resources 40:26 - Final Words of Wisdom A lot of time we don't talk to each other about our successes and failure, and our time in the military can feel like high school rather than getting to know people on a deeper level Talk to each other about the highs and lows. Whether it is professional or educational or otherwise In doing this you will come across people who tell you something cannot be done... be your own myth busters.  Whether this is learning a new skill, or reducing dependencies on others Veterans have a lot of qualifications and this can make things scary and ambiguous - we don't know how to tell our story or brand ourselves. get out there, talk to people, get out of your current circle to figure out what you want to do and how to talk about your past. Celebrate the small things in your life. When you're a young military member it may be about going out drinking. as you get older, intentionally celebrating the small wins - redo your resume, get into a program, meet new friends, etc - intentionally take time to reflect on the positive things in your life

27. BTU 97 Jonny Coreson UNEDITED
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This is the unedited, full interview of my conversation with Jonny Coreson. An edited, production version can be found at: http://wp.me/p7MLkR-wx

Jonny Coreson is currently on active duty in the military, and has started two different companies while on active duty. His current company - Blue Jacketeer - helps Navy Sailors prepare for their advancement exam. This is a great interview for anyone on Active Duty or recently separated who is interested in entrepreneurship.

Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Jonny's company: https://bluejacketeer.com/ Recommended Resources Bunker in a Box - brick and mortar collaboration spaces as well as online resources with meet-ups for military aspiring entrepreneurs. Geared towards people on active duty, provides a 14-module course The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future Veterati - connects veterans with mentors in a desired civilian industry

28. BTU #97: Jonny Coreson – Starting a company while on active duty
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Jonny Coreson is currently on active duty in the military, and has started two different companies while on active duty. His current company - Blue Jacketeer - helps Navy Sailors prepare for their advancement exam. This is a great interview for anyone on Active Duty or recently separated who is interested in entrepreneurship.

Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Jonny's company: https://bluejacketeer.com/ Recommended Resources Bunker in a Box - brick and mortar collaboration spaces as well as online resources with meet-ups for military aspiring entrepreneurs. Geared towards people on active duty, provides a 14-module course The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future Veterati - connects veterans with mentors in a desired civilian industry

29. BTU 96 Deep Work
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In this interview, I take a look at Cal Newport's book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, which provides information about how to work more productively and efficiently. I've found this book to be immensely helpful in my own work life and hope that it helps you as well.

Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Audible Trial - receive a free audio book (and support BTU) So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World Interviews referenced Cal Newport Ryan Guina Show Notes Cal Newport - #86 Secret to finding deeply fulfilling work is NOT about following your passion Instead about getting really, really good at whatever it is you do And that developing a craft - honing a specific skill set, will lead to the three ingredients of a fulfilling career, which is: Autonomy Competency Relatedness (connection to others) Deep Work Special thanks to Ryan Guina - BTU #61 - cash money life & the military wallet I’m just going to skim the surface Talk about the 3-5 tips that have been most helpful to me these last few weeks The book is FULL of other ideas - some that may resonate more for you. So check it out. Audio Book or Digital Book - do order through BTU helps offset the $120 it costs to keep this showing going every month. Full disclosure if you do a free trial of Audible, BTU makes z$15, if you buy a book through our link we get about $0.15… clearly we are crushing it financially Not really, but if you do either of those things, it means I lose less money on this show. LOVED this book HUGE impact on my productivity Very excited to share this with you and hope it helps you in whatever you’re doing Structure Background and Deep Work for context Tips Email Scheduling Daily shutdown procedure Sprints Work-centric meditations Free time Focus on Deep work What is deep work How long would it take (in months) to train a smart recent college graduate with no specialized training in my field to complete this task? If answer is less than a year… probably not incredibly deep work May keep you busy, may make you feel momentum and feel like you’re making progress Not the deeply skilled work that will set you apart and make you fulfilled Balance of Deep and Shallow Work Will always have shallow work Writers, intellectuals may be able to detach for months to focus on their work Most of us can’t do that What is important though is maintaining an awareness of when you’re doing shallow work "It’s difficult to prevent the trivial from creeping into every corner of your schedule if you don’t face, without flinching, your current balance between deep and shallow work, and then adopt the habit of pausing before action and asking, “What makes the most sense right now?” Focusing on highest leverage item "If you give your mind something meaningful to do throughout all your waking hours, you’ll end the day more fulfilled, and begin the next one more relaxed, than if you instead allow your mind to bathe for hours in semiconscious and unstructured Web surfing" Might think this would be exhausting Always pushing your mind to focus on the highest leverage & most strenuous activity "One of the chief things which my typical man has to learn is that the mental faculties are capable of a continuous hard activity; they do not tire like an arm or a leg. All they want is change—not rest, except in sleep.” If you’re like me - some of the things that typically distract Apps facebook Reddit Email I often find myself reaching for these things instincitlvely before i even realize it Effort to keep from getting bored Cal is a HUGE advocate of boredom It’s restorative It allows you mind to recoup and allows your subconscious to solve problems in the background Great idea in the shower or on a drive But these things like Facebook, email, apps - they have a way of creeping into our lives "Addictive websites of the type mentioned previously thrive in a vacuum: If you haven’t given yourself something to do in a given moment, they’ll always beckon as an appealing option." One way to help when it comes to these apps that often pose themselves as productivity boosting or necessary is a message Cal has: "These services aren’t necessarily, as advertised, the lifeblood of our modern connected world. They’re just products, developed by private companies, funded lavishly, marketed carefully, and designed ultimately to capture then sellyour personal information and attention to advertisers” Cal talk about how there is no way to increase your ability to conduct deep work unless you start to ween yourself off of these distractions And so to help with this Cal advises to really be deliberate about which tools you let into your life. Are they really helping you? "The Craftsman Approach to Tool Selection: Identify the core factors that determine success and happiness in your professional and personal life. Adopt a tool only if its positive impacts on these factors substantially outweigh its negative impacts.” EMAIL "Schedule in advance when you’ll use the Internet, and then avoid it altogether outside these times. I suggest that you keep a notepad near your computer at work. On this pad, record the next time you’re allowed to use the Internet. Until you arrive at that time, absolutely no network connectivity is allowed—no matter how tempting.” I’ve done this the last couple of weeks and been amazed Cal talks about how even looking at your email distracts you for minutes and tens of minutes afterwards this CONSTANT distraction takes a toll little of us realize in our daily work SCHEDULE Scheduling day before in 30 minute blocks Schedule work day - each line 30 min, draw line down center. Block out all activities; provide overflow time. Assign task block and to right detail what tasks. Haveoverflow time allotted for email or something else. Ok to reschedule as many times as necessary throughout day If you stumble on insight, pursue as long as necessary regardless of schedule. Point is to build habit of asking what is most important to work on Evaluate depth by # of mos it would take a college grad to learn. Assign % of time for deep work and plan accordingly SHUTDOWN Fixed schedule productivity: don't work past 5:30. Don't offer excuses when declining opportunities and don't offer consolation prizes It's essential to shutdown from work at the end of the day and give subconscious time to rejuvenate and work on problems. NO intrusion of work email or work website ready. Unaccomplished tasks will dominate attention. Daily shutdown ritual: Check email - anything urgent? Review to do list - anything urgent outstanding? (Ensuring plan in place will relax mind) Review next 3 days of calendar - anything I'm missing Set plan for tomorrow Say "shutdown complete" - give mind permission to disengage Schedule when I will be online (e.g. Every 15 min for 5 min) If I absolutely cannot work on offline activity without access to internet, impose 5 min wait and then reschedule internet time (don't do it immediately) Schedule online blocks in evening too. Need periods of boredom SPRINTS Roosevelt dash - once per week, set aside time and give self less time for deep work than you need. FORCE self to work more productively. Can expand frequency after a few weeks MEDITATION Productively meditate - 3x / week, take a walk and think about one specific problem. Keep coming back to it. Avoid distraction and beware of looping back over same points continuously. FREE TIME Need to plan free time with structured activities that exercise mind and truly rejuvenate - social networks and web shouldn't be used for decompression and will fill any time left vacant

30. BTU #95 - Andrew Watts: Navy to Full-time Author
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“I wrote two books before I decided to leave [Proctor & Gamble] and do write full-time. You've got to have a steady source of income, you've got to have savings, and you have to have a clear path to getting to profitable replacement income for where you were. There's no real get-rich-quick path to self-publishing. I definitely think you need to have a list of products that are already out there and a proven track record before you start doing it as a full-time job.”
- Andrew Watts

Andrew Watts is the author of three books, The War Planners, The War Stage (The War Planners) (Volume 2), and Pawns of the Pacific. Andrew started out at the Naval Academy in 2003 and served as a naval officer and helicopter pilot until 2013. He started his civilian career at Proctor & Gamble for nearly four years, first as an Assistant Brand Manager and then as an Initiative Operations Leader. He published his first two books while at P&G before making the transition to full-time author in 2017.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

Operations - Andrew started his civilian career in Operations, since he had experience with Operations in the Navy... but he found out that there's considerable differences between the two. He talks about Operations at Proctor & Gamble (and in the civilian sector in general) and the differences from what one might expect coming from the military. Proctor & Gamble - P&G is a company with a fantastic reputation, and also has a reputation for loving military veterans. Andrew talks about how, after only hist first week at P&G, he started to receive recruiting calls trying to lure him away. He talks about the interview process, how to prepare, and what life at P&G was like. Side projects - Andrew wrote his first two books while working full time at P&G. For any veteran wanting to pursue their own company or idea, he has great advice about how to make progress towards that goal before jumping off into the unknown. Writing - after publishing his first two books, Andrew took the plunge to become a full-time writer. He talks about this in a way that made me realize that it's akin to running a company entirely by yourself - marketing, publishing, getting cover artwork done... and doing it entirely by yourself. For any aspiring veteran writers, it's a great look at this creative lifestyle and the world of self-publishing. Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links The Service Academy Career Conference (SACC) - Andrew credits this with helping him find his job with Proctor & Gamble Andrew's Books The War Planners The War Stage (The War Planners) (Volume 2) Books recommended on this episode Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World - I recommended this book as a great resource for any veteran about how to do deep work that will be valuable in your career rather than the superficial work that takes up time and doesn't make a difference. Author Cal Newport was on the show before, and hits it out of the park with this book. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear - I recommended this book (GREAT on audiobook) for anyone interested in fostering their creativity as an entrepreneur, artist, or worker On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft  - Andrew recommended this book (and I wholeheartedly second it) as an incredible look at persistence in any craft, and what it takes to become a great writer Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book in ebook and print - Andrew recommended this book as a great primer on how to self-publish and everything you need to know. Mark Dawson - Andrew recommended this thriller writer, whoe started self-publishing 5 years ago and has since then produced over 20 books. He offers great courses about Facebook ads, email lists, how to sell books. Andrew particularly recommended his starter Course on how to self-publish Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) - this is the resource that Andrew used to self-publish his first two books Show Notes
3:18 - Andrew's background 3:54 - How Andrew would explain what he does for a living as a full-time author 4:40 - For aspiring veteran authors, how important it is to have sustainable income prior to launching a career as a full-time author 6:00 - How Andrew decided to leave the Navy 7:45 - How Andrew used the Service Academy Career Conference to find his way to P&G 9:12 - What Operations in the civilian sector and at P&G, and how it differs from Operations in the military 13:13 - How P&G boosted Andrew's credibility within the business world and lead to head hunters calling him only one week after starting there 15:36 - An overview of the hiring & interview process at P&G 18:55 - What Andrew would have done differently when negotiating his first contract at P&G 20:06 - How Andrew would explain his roles at P&G as an Assistant Brand Manager and then as an Initiative Operations Leader 24:26 - What Andrew's life looked like while working at P&G 30:24 - How Andrew was able to write two novels while working full-time at P&G, and advice to veterans seeking to start a side project while working full-time 36:42 - An overview of Andrew's work as an author and the incredible traction he's received so far 37:57 - How long it took Andrew to write his first book while working full-time, and then his second book 41:14- Advice to veterans debating between self-publishing vs. using a publisher 43:45 - When Andrew first thought of writing, and how writing on a deployment lead to his though of becoming an author 46:30 - Resources Andrew would recommend to any veteran aspiring author 48:27 - How Andrew structures his day when he has an open landscape for his own work and advice on how to stay on task

 



31. BTU #94 – Phil McConkey: Navy to NFL Super Bowl Winner & Investment Bank President
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“I was 27 years old, 150 pounds, and I hadn’t played football in five years. And I decided that I wanted to go chase this dream [of joining the NFL]. Literally, people laughed at me. They said you have absolutely no chance - the odds are astronomically against you and you can’t do it.”
- Phil McConkey

Phil McConkey is the President of Academy Securities, our nation’s first and only post 9/11 military veteran and disabled veteran owned and operated investment bank and broker dealer. Phil has served in this capacity for the last 6 years. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served for five years as a Naval Aviator. After his military service, spent 6 years in the NFL, with the Packers, Cardinals, Chargers and the Giants - where he won the Super Bowl.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

Resilience - Phil's first career was in the NFL, where he caught a pass for the winning team in the Super Bowl; he went on to start his own investment bank of which he is now president. He talks about being cut from the NFL multiple times and fighting his way back, about having the tenacity to pursue one's dream no matter what that is. Finance - Phil's company, Academy Securities, employs many veterans through Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Resources Veterans on Wall Street - Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) is an initiative dedicated to honoring former military personnel and employees currently in the National Guard and Reserve 100,000 Jobs Mission - https://www.veteranjobsmission.com/ Man in the Arena - A speech that Phil kept with him at the NFL and has encouraged him to remain resilient through all adversities Show Notes 2:35 - Phil’s background 3:40 - How Phil approached his decision to leave the military 15:10 - How Phil transitioned from the Navy to the NFL 19:45 - Phil’s advice to those pursuing professional sports or anything that seems like a farfetched dream 23:08 - How Phil started his second civilian career in the world of finance 25:52 - Phil’s advice to veterans seeking a career in finance 28:50 - Advice for veterans seeking to start their own company 37:45 - What life is like as President of Academy Securities 40:48 - Recommended resources 42:52 - What it’s like for a new veteran hire at Academy Securities 44:42 - Final words of wisdom

32. BTU #93 – Matt Ufford: Marines to Editor & Host at SB Nation
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“My job now is [compared to my time in the Marine Corps] so delightfully meaningless and inconsequential that the only way that I an look at sports and covering sports is that it is the silliest, most fun thing. It allows me, after the ultimate seriousness of combat in the Marine Corps, to laugh at anything, no matter how seemingly serious it is.”
- Matt Ufford

Matt Ufford is an Editor-at-Large and Video Host at SB Nation - a digital sports media brand and network of team sites built by and for the modern sports fan. He started out at Northwestern University, after which he served in the Marine Corps for four years as a Tank Officer. After the Marines he worked as a columnist at AOL Sports, as well as an editor at Uproxx Media, where he founded their sports and TV blogs.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

Sports Writing - Matt set out to be a writer, and has worked his way up to a role where he now produced YouTube videos about sports. His story is inspiring, and is an example how through repetition and hard work, veterans can achieve any role. New Media - when Matt started out, Twitter didn't even exist. Now his role is all about YouTube. He talks about how the Sports and Media environment is rapidly changing, and what it's like to work in this constantly evolving space Perspective - I love the gratitude and perspective that Matt holds. He talks about how, compared to his military service, his job is stress free, and the gratitude he feels each day to be alive. Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Related Episodes Cal Newport - Matt is a great example of building and using career capital. Cal talks a lot about how one can go about doing this Nate Boyer - Nate served in the NFL and Matt references Resources The Things They Carried - Book that made Matt want to write On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft A few of Matt's YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86q9Cvapczg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfu5J8r2WoE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPKDUxC7dCQ Show Notes 3:32 - Matt's background 4:00 - How Matt approached his decision to leave the Marine Corps 7:07 - What Matt does right now at SB Nation 8:25 - What Matt's day-to-day life looks like covering sports at SB Nation 10:23 - How Matt brings his videos to life on YouTube 17:34 - Matt's journey from the Marine Corps to a career in sports media 22:42 - How Matt started his own blog, which lead to his current career 27:54 - Recommended resources 33:42 - Final words of wisdom

33. BTU #92 - Justine Evirs: Service to School and 6+ years helping vets with education
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“Navigating my way through school as a first generation college student, I made a lot of mistakes. I could have done things a lot differently if I’d had mentorship or guidance on how to make decisions. I believe that I went through that and found myself within the military higher education space over six years ago, really just wanting to be what I needed when I got out.”
- Justine Evirs

Justine is the Senior Director of Programs at Service to School. She is a Navy veteran and Navy spouse, and has helped countless veterans find and be accepted to their ideal college and grad school programs. She started out as a Fireman in the US Navy, and has dedicated the last 6 years to transforming our active duty, military spouse, and veteran community through academic advising & program development. She has worked at ECPI University, the University of Maryland, and College of San Mateo in veteran services coordinator positions.
The top reason to listen to this episode is:

Education - Justine has spent over 6 years helping veterans find the right school (undergraduate or graduate) and program to accelerate their career. She's got extremely helpful advice about how to maximize your educational experience Entrepreneurship - Seth talks about starting a business, a brewery, and a foundation all at the same time Mentors - Seth does a great job of talking about how to find and learn from mentors as veterans pursue their civilian career Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Related Episodes - if you liked this episode, I would recommend you check out the following episodes: Tim Hsia - Founder of Service to School David Lee - used Service to School to go from the Marines to the Stanford Graduate School of Business Alex Chivers - Army Ranger NCO to Dartmouth Service 2 School Veterati - Veterati is a free mentorship platform. Our mentors are professionals volunteering to serve those who have served our country. Student Veterans of America (SVA) - Student Veterans of America presents groundbreaking research about student veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill. American Corporate Partners - Founded in 2008, ACP aims to ease the transition from the military to the civilian workforce. LinkedIn - essential for networking and very underutilized by veterans Show Notes 2:39 - Justine’s background 3:47 - How Justine found herself unexpectedly facing a career transition far earlier than she expected 8:00 - Justine’s road from the Navy, through higher education, to Service to School 10:40 - Why Justine advocates education after military service instead of going directly into industry 13:50 - An overview of Service to School 21:30 - Some common mistakes that veterans make when applying to attending higher education after military service 29:20 - How to start to uncover - while on active duty - what you may want to do afterwards 35:10 - How to find the right school for you 41:45 - Advice on pursuing education after the military vs. while on active duty 46:00 - Recommended resources 48:08 - Final words of wisdom

 



34. Seth Jordan
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“I wanted to use something that I thought was special that was tied to my Marine Corps time, which is the celebratory nature of using beer as a way to give back. And I'm proud to say that this grew into a movement, and we're excited about the work that we do."
– Seth Jordan

Seth Jordan is the Founder & President of Dog Tag Brewing, a brewery that provides the highest quality crafted beers that deliver a message of gratitude for the selfless sacrifice of our nation’s military. Proceeds from Dog Tag Brewing sales are donated to causes determined by the families of fallen warriors.

He graduated from Clemson University in South Carolina and went to work for ESPN in New York City, but felt compelled to serve after 9/11. He served as an officer in the Marine Corps for nearly 10 years as a Naval Aviator and UH-1 Helicopter pilot with over 250 combat missions. He started Dog Tag Brewing after leaving the Marine Corps.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

Support - Seth established a Brewery where all of the profits go to supporting veteran families and the causes they believe in. It's a great example of using one's career for a purpose greater than oneself Entrepreneurship - Seth talks about starting a business, a brewery, and a foundation all at the same time Mentors - Seth does a great job of talking about how to find and learn from mentors as veterans pursue their civilian career Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Related Episodes - if you liked this episode, I would recommend you check out the following episodes: BTU 60 - Matt Miller - Vending machine; helping family and building own life BTU 71 - Jeff Tiegs - Guardian Group - giving back BTU 38 - Chris Shaw - Good overview of Bunker Labs Recommended Resources Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business - The difference between innovators and executors. Division of labor, who does what and when. Battle Rhymths and how to get through things. LinkedIn - using LinkedIn requests instead of Facebook friends, connecting with new people and following up on those connections Bunker Labs - used own experiences as entrepreneurs to help veterans. Great place to test business plan and pitch deck, and learn from others. Dogtagbrewing.org - foundation doing work for the families of the fallen who have largely been neglected Video overview about Dog Tag Brewing Show Notes 3:45 - Seth's Background 4:30 - Seth's decision to join the Military from the civilian sector 5:22 - Seth's decision to leave the Marine Corps 6:28 - When Seth first started to think about starting his own brewery 8:04 - Seth's decision to donate all profits he makes to help veteran causes 12:27 - What it was like to start a brewery and advice to other veterans seeking to start their own company 16:52 - Advice for veterans seeking a mentor - how to find them and evaluate when to bring them on in a more formal capacity 22:00 - How often Seth meets with this mentors and advisors 24:16 - What Seth's day-to-day life looks like 27:16 - Advice on finding work-life balance 31:24 - The most valuable skill Seth took away from the Marine Corps that has helped him at Dog Tag Brewing 32:12 - One skill that Seth had to develop since leaving the Marine Corps 33:50 - What advice Seth would have given to himself when he first left the Marine Corps 39:37 - Resources Seth recommends to all veterans 44:00 - Final words of wisdom 47:50 - Where you can find out more about Dog Tag Brewing and how you can support Seth and his mission

35. Dan Piontkowski
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“Not every conversation that you have should up with a hiring "yes or no" decision at the end of it. You've got to spend some time going out there and finding what's out there. The right job is out there for everybody. It's a matter of us finding it."
– Dan Piontkowski

Dan is the Manager of Sourcing for all the hourly roles at Marriott in the US. He has worked in a variety of recruiting capacities at Amazon, KPMG, Hewlett-Packard, and Booz Allen Hamilton to include leading and launching many of the veteran recruiting pipelines and initiatives. Dan started out as a Corporal in the Marine Corps, before going to the Naval Academy and then serving as a Surface Warfare Officer. His last tour in the Navy was as an Officer Programs Recruiter stationed at Penn State that got him hooked on recruiting.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

Job Search - Dan has worked with some of the best companies in the world, and has some great advice on common pitfalls veterans can avoid in their job search and interview process LinkedIn Advice - Dan leverages LinkedIn quite a bit in his job, and has some tactical advice for how veterans can best utilize LinkedIn in advancing their civilian career Recruiting - for veterans interested in Recruiting as a possible career, Dan provides an overview of what this job looks like. He also talks about how his involvement in recruiting within the military helped prepare him for and inform his decision to pursue this as a civilian.  Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Related podcasts Liz McLean - Dan got her her first job, and she provides another great perspective on recruiting Sam Bond - I reference how Sam found his job at Lyft through staying in touch with his network in an authentic way Networking is a Contact Sport: How Staying Connected and Serving Others Will Help You Grow Your Business, Expand Your Influence -- or Even Land Your Next Job The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts - recognizing how people you work with like to be acknowledged as a means of building allies and strengthening your network The LinkedIn Group, The Veteran's Mentor Network, Dan talks about being the most active group on LinkedIn Show Notes 2:07 - Dan's background 2:44 - Dan's decision to leave the military and how he approached this decision 3:48 - Dan's first job search and what he learned from this 8:20 - Based on Dan's experience and having worked with many different veterans, some common mistakes he sees veterans make in their job search 20:35 - What Dan does as a recruiter, and what his job looks like on a typical day 26:40 - Advice for how veterans can best utilize LinkedIn 31:14 - Other resources Dan would recommend for veterans 34:27 - One piece of advice Dan would give to someone on Active Duty on how to prepare for their career transition 38:43 - Final words of wisdom

36. BTU #88 - Mike Benedosso - Army Boxing National Champion to LinkedIn & Google
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“That self-discipline and drive, the foresight and focus on accomplishing a goal larger than yourself and more important than quenching your thirst (literally and figuratively) is what drove me to succeed in boxing and what drives me now to succeed in sales and other positions I may have in the future."
– Mike Benedesso

Mike works in New Business Development at Google as part of Google Cloud. He started out at West Point, where he was the Boxing Team Captain and a National Champion. He served in the Army for five years: first as an Executive Officer (XO) of a Military Intelligence Company and then as a Platoon Leader and Team Captain of the Army Boxing Team in the Army's World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colorado. There, he trained to earn a spot on the 2012 US Olympic Boxing team. Since leaving the Army in 2012, he has worked at Sony, LinkedIn, Google, and earned his MBA from UCLA.The top reason to listen to this episode is:

Determination - Mike didn't get into Google until his third time;  he is a case study in persistence and he talks about how boxing and the military prepared him for this. Sales & Account Management - Mike provides a great depiction of an Account Executive role, what the sales aspects of this actually look like. Mike had no experience in this role, and has a great description of what life is like and why other veterans may like this Google & LinkedIn - Mike has worked at both of these iconic companies and provides a good overview of what life is like here Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links LinkedIn Sales The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation SPIN Selling Websites TechCrunch VentureBeat Show Notes 2:16 - Mike's Background 3:00 - How Boxing helped Mike prepare for his civilian career 5:38 - When Mike decided to leave the military 7:00 - Mike's first job search 9:20 - An overview of Mike's experience at UCLA's Anderson School of Business getting his MBA 10:40 - What lead Mike to LinkedIn 13:38 - What Mike's role as an Enterprise Account Executive Role looked like 15:40 - Signs that veterans may enjoy an Account Executive Role and indications you might not enjoy it 18:34 - What led Mike to Google 20:22 - What Mike's day-to-day life looks like at Google 22:00 - Advice for veterans seeking to work at LinkedIn, Google, or a highly-desired company like them 27:00 - A mistake Mike made sense the military and what he learned from it 29:29 - What habits Mike has had to break from the military to be successful in his civilian career 31:49 - Final words of wisdom

37. BTU #86 - Joe Musselman: Navy to Founder of The Honor Foundation
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“They have no issue negotiating a Syrian and a Kurd ceasefire in the mountains, unarmed with warlords. But if you tell them - what's next for you? They don't know how to do that. Because they've been very frontside focused on the mission in front of them for the last 5, 10, 15, 20+ years. So from that moment it all began for The Honor Foundation."
– Joe Musselman

Joe Musselman is the Founder & CEO of The Honor Foundation. He started out at DePaul University. Joe enlisted in the Navy with intentions of becoming a Navy SEAL, but as he says, “God had other plans.” He sustained an injury that ultimately lead him to found The Honor Foundation. He is also the Founder of The NEXT Series and The SOF Garage.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

Founding - how he did a simple step to help one veteran, and how that led incrementally to founding an incredible organization. Joe's story is one of obsession - of taking massive action to make a difference in the world. How to find your dream job - Joe talks about a very prescriptive process that has helped countless members of speical forces though the transition process Learning - this is a theme of Joe's story - reading everything he can each year, studying happines (in the workplace and in life), studying unhappiness, artificul intelligence, and writing a white paper at the end of the year about he's learned. Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Books Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World - the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who are most risk averse. It emphasizes the importance of planning in startups Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future - inspirational about starting an organization The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers - outlines what you need to do as a startup CEO Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career - outlines a mentorship role in a very different way Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win - 2 Navy SEALs Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies - learning about AI and how it will affect society Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration - about fostering creativity Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action Podcasts Grey matter Tim Ferris Philosophize This Show Notes 3:21 - Joe's background 3:55 - Joe's unexpected departure from the Navy and how he started The Honor Foundation 15:43 - One of Joe's biggest mistakes in starting The Honor Foundation 18:20 - What it looks like to be involved with The Honor Foundation as a participant 21:30 - Joe's advice for other veterans thinking of starting their own organization 24:45 - Common mistakes that Joe has seen veterans make in their career transition 29:55 - What Joe's day-to-day life looks like 34:30 - How Joe has used interactions with world-class thinkers, leaders and doers to catapult his own learning and The Honor Foundation's growth 36:48 - Joe's involvement with the NEXT Series and the SOF Garage 41:05 - Books, podcasts, and resources Joe would recommend to listeners 46:34 - Things that Joe had to unlearn (and has seen other veterans have to unlearn) from their military experience 50:40 - Final words of wisdom

38. BTU #89 – Drew Sanocki: Navy to bootstrapping from $0 to 7-figures in 1 year
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“I’m so passionate about entrepreneurship, I think everyone should have their own business on the side. If you’re a career person and you like your day job, I would still encourage you to start a business on the side. It’s really liberating, you learn a lot about customers and about marketing and I think the same rule applies to those who are still in the military."
– Drew Sanocki

Drew is a Founding Partner at Empire Growth Group, a hybrid consulting agency, services provider, and investment vehicle. He started out Harvard, after which he served in the Navy as an intelligence Officer for four years. After his transition from the Navy, Drew attended Stanford Business School. After a role at Commerce.TV in Business Development, Drew co-founded Design Public, an 'inventoryless' ecommerce company focused on the home furnishings market, which Drew bootstrapped from $0 to 7 figures in under one year, eventually selling the company after eight profitable years. Drew also runs the site NerdMarketing.com, where he writes about marketing automation and customer segmentation rules that have driven over $100 million in transactions in 2015.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

Everyone is an entrepreneur - Drew's advice for veterans is very practical and tactical. He talks about how he got an MBA and took his first job to boost his confidence, but neither of these are necessary for a veteran to start their own company Lifestyle - Drew has an awesome perspective on lifestyle (and a blog post about it here). He also talks about how e-commerce is great for vets, as they can start these companies without a technical co-founder. He talks about looking at the skill set you have that people would pay for, and how to productize as much as possible Functional Skill - Drew has really grown his expertise in eCommerce of over a decade. He's a great example of one potential route for veterans, and it echoes what Steve Reinemund advised about a Hip Pocket Skill for veterans Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Another great interviews that talk about starting a company while on active duty: http://beyondtheuniform.io/btu-20-ian-folau-tactical-advice-for-starting-a-company-even-while-on-active-duty/ Drew wrote an EXCEPTIONAL blog post that I speak about in the interview. You can read it here: http://www.nerdmarketing.com/lifestyle-goals-2017/ Drew’s site: http://www.nerdmarketing.com Drew recommends Ramitz Seffy - http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/ . It’s really solid training that spans from getting started to make $1k on the side all the way to building, sourcing, and delivering your own product online Show Notes 3:55 - Drew’s background 4:55 - The point at which Drew knew he was going to leave the military and how he approached this decision 5:33 - How a lack of confidence lead Drew to graduate school, and advice he has for other vets about how to consider graduate school 7:18 - Advice for steps veterans may take while on active duty to better identify their next move 9:40 - Drew’s experience at CommerceTV in Business Development and Drew’s thoughts on gaining experience prior to starting one’s own company 12:40 - The Genesis of Drew’s company, Design Public 15:09 - One of the most difficult points of growing Design Public 19:33 - “I don’t want to be a billion dollar company, here’s what I want instead” - an exceptional article Drew wrote, and how his thoughts on running his own company has evolved over the years 23:30 - Advice for veterans of thinking of starting their own company 25:58 - Resources that Drew would recommend to aspiring veteran entrepreneurs 28:46 - What lead Drew to start NerdMarketing and what his life looks like on a day-to-day basis 32:20 - Drew’s other venture, the Empire Growth Group 33:30 - How Drew determines how and where to spend his time while he is working on multiple projects simultaneously 36:16 - How Drew has built up Career Capital around e-commerce marketing, and his advice to veterans on doing the same 41:36 - Drew’s final words of wisdom

39. BTU 86 - author Cal Newport: So Good They Can't Ignore You
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“Master something and suddenly you’re going to start noticing very compelling opportunities. Start from scratch, and it’s like you’re at the kiddie table - you’re not really going to come up with something the world cares about."
– Cal Newport

Cal Newport is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, who specializes in the theory of distributed algorithms. He previously earned his Ph.D. from MIT in 2009 and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2004. In addition to studying the theoretical foundations of our digital age as a professor, Cal also writes about the impact of these technologies on the world of work.He is the author of the recent book Deep Work, which I am reading next. The book we’ll discuss mostly today, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, argues that “follow your passion” is bad advice. Inc Magazine listed it as one of the best business books of the year, and Cal’s related Oped in the NYT was one of their most emailed articles for the entire site.

This is one of the MOST influential books I read in 2016, and I feel it is a message that every veteran should hear.s

Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Cal's Book that we discuss in this interview: So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World Show Notes 2:20 - backstory on this interview and a brief background on Cal Newport 4:08 - the context around which Cal wrote So Good They Can’t Ignore You 5:38 - the central premise of So Good They Can’t Ignore Your - follow your passion is not just bad advice, it is potentially harmful advice 8:15 - how we often focus on “the match” of finding the right job places more pressure on one in their job search 12:30 - the Craftsman Mindset and how this is a more compelling approach than a Passion Mindset 17:55 - Career Capital and how veterans can think about their initial transition from the military, and every career transition thereafter 32:00 - Finding a Mission, and how operating at the cutting edge makes this more achievable 35:35 - Deliberate Practice vs. Hard Work, and how the former is essential for developing expertise 43:44 - Control, and how if it is acquired without career capital it will not be sustainable in a career

40. BTU #85 - Nicholas Karnaze: Marines to Founder of Stubble & Stache
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“It’s been amazing and often sometimes very depressing. I mean, it’s not a logical transition to go from Intelligence to Special Operations to Men’s Grooming"
– Nicholas Karnaze

Nick Karnaze is the Founder & CEO of Stubble & Stache, a new breed of skincare for men, and a company that also donates a large of profits to high impact charities helping veterans travel the road to recovery. Nicholas started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served in the Marine Corps for over 7 years as an Intelligence Officer and the Special Operations community. After the Marine Corps he served as the Co-Founder and CEO of The Stabilization Group, and then as Program Lead at Praescient Analytics.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

Startups - Nick started hist first company directly out of the Marines, and talks about how important it is to pick the right co-founder, and have difficult conversation upfront.  And he talks about starting and growing his second company, Stubble & Stache, without any business school experience, but instead using books, free resources and programs like the Stanford Ignite program to help him scale his business For profit vs. non-profit - Stubble & Stache is a for profit venture that donates a portion of their revenue to help veterans. He talks about how he made the decision to be for profit rather than a non profit and the big difference that can make in the impact a startup has Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Nick talks about his company's philanthropic effort to combat PTSD. A few interviews relevant to this are Tim Avery - Tim provides a TON of great resources for vets in this regard Duane France - Duane focuses on veterans mental health and provide a lot of great advice and resources Anthony Garcia - Anthony discusses his own battle with depression in a way that is very powerful David Smith - David speaks about his own experience with PTSD and struggle with suicide SBA Website - started here, and found it to be a GREAT source of information about starting your own company SCORE - provide mentorship and classes for entrepreneurs. They have offices in every major city  Books The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It - debunks many misconceptions about ent and also presents the hard reality of life in startups through a variety of case studies Confessions of the Pricing Man: How Price Affects Everything - people often overlook how to set prices. Stanford drove home the idea of how important pricing is, but this book really helped him understand the tactics of setting these prices Think And Grow Rich - Nick reads this book every year and loves it Podcasts How I Built This - the humble beginnings of most companies Show Notes 1:57 - Nick’s background 2:33 - Nick’s decision to leave the Army and how he approached this decision 4:33 - Starting Nick’s first company directly out of the Army 5:22 - Finding a Co-Founder, mistakes Nick made the first time he did this, and advice for veterans on finding the right co-founder 10:58 - What lead Nick to Praescient Analytics 12:48 - How the loss of one Nick’s good friends in combat lead to the genesis of Stubble & Stache 14:58 - When Stubble & Stache turned from a project into a full-time venture 17:22 - An overview of Stubble & Stache 21:02 - How long until Nick was able to pay himself a salary when starting his own company 23:18 - What the journey has been like for Nick, starting his own company 27:53 - Starting a company directly out the Army, what skills Nick would recommend to someone on active duty thinking of starting their own company 30:20 - Resources about finance and startups that Nick would recommend to other veterans 34:12 - Stanford Ignite and why this is an incredible asset for all veterans 36:33 - Having had experience with a startup before Stanford Ignite, Nick’s thoughts on how veterans can best approach and prepare for Stanford Ignite 39:05 - Advice for veterans thinking of starting their own company 44:33 - Habits that Nick had to break when he transitioned from the military to civilian life 46:50 - Nick’s final words of wisdom

41. BTU #84 - David Smith: Marine Corps infantryman to CMO of a Norwegian Startup
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“You should always apply a couple levels above where you think you fit in. I’ve never applied to a school that I actually thought I’d get into; I never applied for a job I actually thought I’d get. I managed to get all of them - it blows my mind every single time but it’s good; it’s a reality check."
– David Smith

David Smith is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Dogu, a Norwegian Business-to-Business (B2B) software company that creates unique solutions that allow businesses to visualize data and and accelerate sales. He started out in the Marine Corps as an infantry rifleman. Since the Marines he has graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, volunteered as a social entrepreneur doing humanitarian work in over 12 countries, has been part of the Stanford Ignite Veterans program, and many other diverse activities I’m sure we’ll get into during the interview.

The top reason to listen to this episode is:

Courage - David is such an awesome example of courage; the courage he showed when he moved to Norway, where he eventually joined a startup as their Chief Marketing Officer. The courage David showed in taking a year to travel to over 12 countries doing humanitarian work and also doing person development work; the courage he has to talk about his struggle with PTSD and very personal experiences he’s had with suicide; and the courage he demonstrates in constantly pushing himself to apply for things just out of his reach… and very often achieving them. I find David to be a passionate and inspiring person, and know you will too. Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links David shows a lot of courage in discussing his experience with PTSD and suicide. If this resonates with you, three other episodes to look at are: Tim Avery - Tim provides a TON of great resources for vets in this regard Duane France - Duane focuses on veterans mental health and provide a lot of great advice and resources Anthony Garcia - Anthony discusses his own battle with depression in a way that is very powerful David works at the Norwegian startup, Dogu David talks about his work with Team Rubicon and the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  David started his career at Andrews International in security, before going on to Berkeley David talks about doing each assignment to 100% of your ability, and we discuss my conversation with former PepsiCo CEO Steve Reinemund as a great example of this A book we discuss as focusing on doing 100% of your capabilities in your work So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love Entrepreneur Resources LinkedIn - great way to connect with the veteran community Stanford Ignite Veterans program VetTechTrek - gets good exposure to tech companies Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) - an awesome weeklong immersive program for entrepreneurship Bunker Labs - startup incubator for veterans Show Notes 1:52 - David’s background 2:30 - David’s decision to leave the Marines Corps and how he approached this decision 3:40 - David’s first job search and what led him to Andrew’s International 4:29 - David’s experience at Berkeley and his advice for veterans considering education after their military service 11:50 - David’s work with Team Rubicon and the George W. Bush Presidential Center 15:12 - International work, touring the world, and David’s work prior to joining Dogu 20:58 - How David moved to Norway after one year of humanitarian work 23:33 - How David found his first job at Dogu when he moved to Norway 27:11 - An overview of Dogu 29:22 - An overview of David’s role as Chief Marketing Officer at a startup 32:14 - Resources that David would recommend to other veterans considering startups 36:32 - How David struggled with PTSD and thought of suicide, and what he learned from this 49:33 - David’s final words of wisdom

42. BTU #83 – Chris Dattaro: Navy to Goldman Sachs to Operations at Lyft
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“Always do the best job that you can possibly do, even if it’s not something that you want to do. And always keep relationships open."
– Chris Dattaro

Chris Dattaro is an Operations Manager at Lyft in Washington DC. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Surface Warfare Officer for five years. After departing the Navy, Chris participated in the Goldman Sachs 3 month Veterans Integration Program, before joining FBR, an investment bank, in an Institutional Equity Sales role. He briefly worked at Trustify as the Director of Recruiting before joining Lyft. Chris is married to an active duty Lieutenant and HR Officer and he is also active in his spare time coaching veterans about their career transition to the civilian workforce and working with veteran entrepreneurs.

The top three reasons to listen to this episode are:

Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program - Chris started his civilian career in this 3 month program, and provides a great overview of why veterans should consider applying Startups - Chris talks about using angel list and other tools to find the right startup for you Career Advice - Chris has mentored hundreds of veterans, and I really, really liked the advice he gives throughout our conversation. Things like recognizing how priorities change throughout your life, so there is no single dream job - it changes over time. And how many times our military experiences is a series of sprints from one 2-3 year assignment to another, which is in contrast to the marathon of a civilian career. He’s got some incredible advice any vet would benefit from hearing. Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Another interview about Lyft is my conversation with Sam Bond, who is a GM at the Atlanta Lyft office Angel List - linkedIn for Tech Startups. Chris recommended this as a great resource to find startups to work at Book Recommendations About 20 minutes in, Chris has a great phrase about doing your best at every single assignment you're given, and I couldn't agree more. This is a great book that delves more into that - it's one of the best books I've read in the last three years: So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love In Transition: From the Harvard Business School Club of New York's Career Management Seminar - Chris always recommends this to veterans. It's an Harvard Business Review book, and talks about finding a job that you will find fulfilling. Vet Tech Trek - if you're interested in tech, Chris highly recommends this to veterans Show Notes 1:51 - Chris’ background 2:37 - How Chris’ decided to leave the military 3:25 - Chris’ first job search and what drew him to the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program 4:36 - An overview of the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program and advice for veterans considering applying to it 6:18 - The types of work Chris did as part of the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program 7:06 - What lead Chris to FBR, and overview of FBR 9:08 - Chris’ first role in Institutional Equity Sales 13:28 - What brought Chris to Trustify and what this experience was like 15:18 - How Chris found the opportunity at Lyft 19:12 - What it’s like to be part of an extremely high growth company, and an overview of the Operations Manager role 21:25 - Chris’ advice for veterans seeking to work at Lyft or a technology company similar to Lyft 23:35 - Some common mistakes that veterans make, based on Chris’ work helping hundreds of veterans in their career development 33:35 - Resources that Chris would recommend to other veterans 36:00 - Habits that Chris needed to break in order to be successful in his civilian career 40:00 - A failure that Chris faced in his civilian career and how he learned from it 47:37 - Final words of wisdom

43. BTU #81 - Doug Nordman: Submarines to Financial Independence at 40
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“In the 14 years of financial independence that I've enjoyed since retirement, I've found that you can relax, you can figure out what's really important to you and you can focus on that. And so I do maybe look mellow and free and easy and having a good lifestyle, and some of that is because I've been able to do whatever I want all day for the last 14 years or so. But it also means that you get to design the type of lifestyle that you want, and you really are responsible for your own entertainment."
– Doug Norman

Doug Nordman is an early retiree, who has found financial independence far before he thought it possible. He is the author of The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement - a book where all royalties are donated to military charities. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served on submarines for 20 years. Since retiring from the Navy, Doug has worked to help other veterans reach financial independence, for free. Doug's spouse is a Navy Reserve retiree, and his daughter is about to start her 2nd Surface Warfare Officer junior officer sea tour on the USS GERALD R FORD. He holds a Masters in Engineering Science/Computers/Weapons Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.

This is one of those rare interviews I do that I would recommend to every single listener - whether you're on active duty or have been out for twenty years, this is an episode for you. The top two reasons to listen to this episode are:

Financial Freedom - Doug retired from the military just after he was forty years old and hasn't worked since then. At first, he and his wife didn't even realize they had achieved financial independence. Since he retired, Doug has helped countless others achieve financial independence, and he talks about it in a very open and transparent way that I know you'll find achievable and accessible. Tactics - Doug talks about "the fog of work" and how easy it us for each of us to get caught up in to do lists and the daily grind. He talks about taking time away from work to gather ones bearings, but also how you can use 20 minutes a day to get perspective and move towards your goals.

Sponsor:

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Doug's book, where 100% or royalties go towards charity: The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement Doug's website about financial independence: http://the-military-guide.com A podcast where Doug discusses writing, blogging, philanthropy, and angel investing  - http://jlcollinsnh.com/2016/12/13/angel-investing-or-angel-philanthropy/ Recruiting group mentioned: The Lucas Group Book Recommendations Your money or your life - whether your spending is aligned with what you value in your life The Millionaire nextdoor Website Recommendations Early Retirement - Doug found a lot of great and helpful information here The Military Guide - Doug's website where he writes daily and answers every user question FinCon - a network of bloggers for people who want to write, or teach financial independence Show Notes 2:02 - Doug's background as an early retiree 2:52 - At what point Doug knew he was going to leave the military and how he approached this decision 3:31 - Doug was slow to realize that he and his wife had achieved financial independence. Doug shares actual numbers about what financial independence looks like 6:02 - The 4% withdrawal rate, and why this is critical for financial independence 10:00 - How retiring in the military is a choice... it's not crucial for financial independence. But if you're enjoying it, it's a great option 11:40 - How Doug chose a life pursuing what energizes him, rather than letting a single number - salary - define his life 13:45 - A look at Doug's life, where he is able to pursue whatever fulfills him and makes him happy 16:25 - How completely attainable financial independence is, and how it is something anyone could achieve. It centers around mental shifts rather than monumental changes in your lifestyle 18:26 - Chronic fatigue and "The Fog of Work" and how it can hinder us from reaching fulfillment. We can get caught up racing from one thing to the next, without thinking about what we really want, or what our ultimate destination is 24:37 - Doug's book and website about financial independence, and what started this path 28:00 - What guided Doug to donate 100% of the royalties he receives from his book, and why this was an enormous advantage in the writing process 32:00 - Other resources Doug would recommend to listeners 34:27 - A few of the most common questions Doug has seen over his last 14 years of financial independence 39:23 - Doug's advice for those on active duty who will transition under ten years of service 43:55 - Doug's advice for those on active duty who are past ten years of service or plan to get out after at least ten years of service 46:09 - Final words of wisdom

44. BTU #88 - Zach & Drew - two Navy vets team up to raise $13M for Rhumbix
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Zach: "And so the two of us grabbed beers down in Santiago when we were both overlapping there, and started talking about this same problem. And about three months later we had officially decided to co-found Rhumbix together."
Drew: "My favorite part of that three months later story was that you look at three or four months of being in and around the idea and getting comfortable with it. But then it really took a leap of faith. And the moment for us was we actually did a whiskey tasting in Alameda at St. George's Spirits. And after a great tour and continuing to talk about Rhumbix, we were sipping some whiskey and looked at each other in the eye and said, 'let's do this.'"
– Zach Scheel & Drew DeWalt

Rhumbix is based in San Francisco and is a mobile platform designed for the construction craft workforce. They were founded in 2014 and have raised over $13M in funding from investors including Greylock Partners, Brick & Mortar Ventures, Spectrum 28, and Glynn Capital.

Zach Scheel is the Co-Founder & CEO of Rhumbix. He started out at Duke, after which he served in the Navy for five years as part of the Civil Engineer Corps. After the Navy, he attended Stanford Business School, where he earned an MBA and a MS in Renewable Energy. After Stanford he started Rhumbix.

Drew DeWalt is the Co-Founder & COO of Rhumbix. He started out at Notre Dame, after which he served for over six years as a Submarine Officer. After the Navy he attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business, earning his MBA and his Masters in Public Policy, a 3-year process. After Stanford he started Rhumbix.

The top 2 reasons to listen to this episode are:

Co-Founder: if you’re thinking of starting your own company, one of the first things you’ll need to decide on is whether to go solo or with co-founders. And if you get this wrong, it’s the fastest way to destroy your company. Zach and Drew are both Navy vets who co-founded a successful SV startup, and talk about how they vetted each other and focused on difficult questions up front to make sure they would have a lasting working relationship. Tactics: Zach & Drew have a wealth of advice on everything from running a company, maximizing your efficiency through scheduling, managing work life balance for the long haul, and committing to continued personal growth as your company grows. Our Sponsor: Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Selected Links Drew & Zach's company, Rhumbix A 2015 TechCrunch article detailing Rhumbix and their ambitions An Huffington Post article on Rhumbix A NYT Article on Rhumbix Resourceste Veteran specific : TechStars, Patriot Bootcamp, Bunker Labs - each of these provides immediate access to a network, so they are ideal starting places for most veterans First Round Review - daily newsletter that has great content on startup Tomasz Tunguz- daily blogpost that has a lot of great info from VC perspective around enterprise Saas Greylock Partners posts  Books The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers Podcasts: A16Z Show Notes 2:14 - Zach and Drew's backgrounds 3:43 - How Zach and Drew each decided to leave the Navy and how they decided on Business School after they left 5:33 - Advice for veterans thinking about applying to business school (or Stanford in particular) 7:12 - The genesis of Rhumbix 10:05 - Advice on finding - and vetting - the ideal co-founder 13:05 - How they thought about pairing with someone with a similar background, given that they both had served in the Navy 14:55 - An overview of Rhumbix 15:45 - How Zach and Drew decided who would be CEO, and how they delineate their responsibilities 17:40 - How they think about growing together as co-founders, building on the level of trust they established early on (Zach uses a great phrase of, "you're in my swim lane") 20:30 - Advice for veterans about the fundraising process 23:03 - Mistakes they made along the way and what they learned from them 24:30 - Having hired so many employees, advice they have for how to evaluate if someone is a good fit for your team 27:15 - A look at the day-to-day life in an early stage startup 31:50 - Advice for veterans thinking of starting their own company 34:32 - Resources that have been helpful for Zach and Drew that they would recommend to other veterans 38:10 - Habits that they had to break in order to be successful in their civilian career 39:33 - In what ways their roles have changed since starting their company 40:46 - Final words of wisdom

45. BTU #79 - Camilla Maybee: Army Officer to Medical School at George Washington University
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“I would say that Medical Schools is probably the single most challenging work environment, period, that I've ever been a part of. It's - for the first year and a half to two years - nothing but lectures. You're literally just being talked at for hours and hours and hours. And it is an unbelievable amount of information. It's so much stuff that they tell you right off the bat that you're never going to know everything, because that's just impossible - you're never going to know everything."
– Camilla Maybee

Camilla Maybee is currently in her second year of Medical School at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She started out at West Point, after which she served as a Medical Supply Officer in the Army for four years. After separation from the Army, she worked at the UVA Health System as Administrative Assistant. She holds a Masters of Science in Health Care Administration from the University of Maryland.

The top 2 reasons to listen to this episode are:

Determination - Camilla is a case study in resolve. Her military career didn’t pan out as expected - she had an unexpected medical discharge. But that didn’t stop her. She wanted to go to Medical School, but was an English Major with no med school prerequisites - that didn’t stop her either. I found her tenacity inspiring. Med School - Camilla went from an unexpected medical discharge to being accepted into what US News reports is one of the top 10 most competitive medical schools in the country. Camilla is very transparent about the mistakes she made in this process, and how other veterans can learn from her mistakes in their medical school process. She is attending Med School on an 100% scholarship - that is a $250k program, for free. And she started out when she was 28 years old, while the overwhelming majority of her classmates were just 23. If you’re interested in Med School or the Health Services industry, this episode is for you. Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links George Washington University Medical School named one of the top 10 most competitive medical schools in the United States Camilla is on a full scholarship to Medical School through the National Health Service Corps scholarship program Most doc prepatory programs MCAT Preperatory Courses recommended: Kaplan MCAT Prep Princeton Review MCAT Prep Camilla highly recommends doing a program with a virtual or real person to explain things and coach you through the process Show Notes 2:29 - Camilla's background 2:58 - How Camilla found herself unexpectedly leaving the Army much earlier than she expected and how that affected her initial job search 4:50 - At what point Camilla realized she wanted to be a doctor  7:10 - How Camilla went to Goucher College to study pre-medicine as a "delightful accident" 12:17 - Camilla was very proactive in volunteer work; a look at what she learned and how it prepared her for Medical School 14:39 - A look at the Medical School application process and advice to veterans considering this route 17:44 - Camilla's advice for veterans about how to prepare for the MCAT exam 19:21 - Resources that Camilla would recommend to veterans to prepare for the MCAT and Medical School in general 21:13 - Camilla is on a full scholarship to Medical School; she shares more about how she found this scholarship program 25:23 - How Camilla and her husband negotiate where they will work, given the rigidity of placements after Medical School 28:56 - What day-to-day life looks like for Camilla at Medical School 33:02 - What the hours look like for Camilla 38:28 - What it's like being at Medical School, where most people are 23 (while Camilla started at age 28) 44:05 - What the road ahead looks like for Camilla 46:40 - Camilla's final words of wisdom

46. BTU #78 - Josh Carter: TechStars, Operation Code, Patriot Bootcamp and more
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“ Stop worrying about the beta, and just get the product out. If you are not embarrased by your first product, then you're doing it wrong. It should be ugly, it should be clunky, it should be what you think it should be... but less. And once you get it in the hands of the customer, the customer is going to tell you what they like and what they don't like. And that's what we realized - we were trying to be perfectionists. You want your product to be perfect, but you make these assumptions that it's going to be valuable. And the best way to do that is get it in the hands of the customer who will tell you if they find value in it."
– Josh Carter

Josh Carter is the Co-Founder & CEO of Brightwork, a microservices platform that enables developers to build faster on a reliable and scalable solution. Since their founding they’ve raised over $300K in funding and have gone through Techstars in Chicago. Josh started out in the Navy, where he served for about 3 years. Since his time in the Navy he’s held multiple engineering roles in the Telecom industry and eventually a Senior Support Engineer at the startup, Twilio, a communication startup that went public earlier this year. Josh founded his own digital marketing agency - Plunk - and is also a former founding board member of Operation Code.

The top reason to listen to today’s show is:

Support - Josh has been living in the startup world for a while, and has a great overview of different resources available for other veteran entrepreneurs. In particular, he talks about TechStars, and gives a fantastic overview of this 3 month program, as well as Patriot Bootcamp and other great resources.
In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including: Selected Links Twilio Brightwork.io Plunk TechStars - this was a great help for Josh in starting a venture backed company. It is a 3-month program offered all over the United States. They take 6% of the company in exchange for $120,000 in funding. FounderCon - all TechStar founders get together for one year Patriot Bootcamp - offshoot of the TechStars core program. It's a one weekend program that is very intense, but very targeted in preparing veterans for entrepreneurship Operation Code - Chris was a founding board member; they help transitioning veterans get into coding - finding mentors and sharing advice for becoming a programmer Resources Meetup.com - Coffee with CoFounders - lowkey get togethers are rotating coffee shops for founders to connect with each other and talk about what they're struggling with Show Notes 1:45 - Josh's background 2:30 - When Josh knew he would leave the military and how he approached this decision 3:20 - What Josh's first job search looked like and how he found the Art Academy to be different than he expected. He talks about how he found his way to the Telecom industry 4:23 - An overview on the Telecom industry and the sorts of jobs Josh held 5:16 - An overview of Josh's work at Brightwork, as well as the engagements he held before then 7:57 - What it was like for Josh to be actively employed at Twilio while running his own digital agency 9:15 - The moment when Josh first had the idea of Brightwork 11:55 - An overview of TechStars and how Josh ended up in Chicago 15:28 - How TechStars provides an investment of $125k for 6% of the company 17:38 - An overview of Patriot Bootcamp and Josh's experience 19:46 - What Josh's founding team looks like and advice to veterans for finding initial team members 25:48 - What Josh's life looks like on a day-to-day basis as part of an early stage startup 28:50 - Josh's advice to other veterans considering starting their own company 35:10 - Other resources Josh would encourage other veterans to check out 39:32 - An overview of Operation Code and how Veterans might engage with them 41:00 - One of the biggest mistakes Josh made in his entrepreneurial journey and what he learned from it 44:00 - Josh's final words of wisdom 

47. BTU #77 - Michael Freed: 10 Years on Submarines to President at Mirion Technologies
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“I started to try and reverse what I had been doing already, which was complaining with everyone else. And I started to notice that I was able to develop a presence, because I had been there before. That case team might as well have been trying to fix some pump in the engineroom on a submarine on mission. People were frustrated that they were there and that things weren't going the way that they wanted. That lesson I think helped me get promoted faster at Bain, because I started to lead teams outside of the reporting structure. I was able to  a mature force on the team and help drive attitude before I was able to add value at a leadership level."
– Michael Freed

Mike is the President of the Health Physics Division at Mirion Technologies, a provider of radiation detection & monitoring products and services to the nuclear power, medical, military and homeland security markets. He started out at Northwestern University, after which he as an officer in the Navy for ten years, serving on submarines and on the Chief of Naval Operations personal staff. After the Navy he received his MBA from the Darden School of Business, after which he worked at Bain & Company for nearly six years as a Principal.

The top two reasons to listen to today’s show are:

Consulting - Mike spent six years in consulting with Bain & Company and has mentored many veterans who have worked in consulting. He’s got great advice on managing one’s career, a typical career progression within Bain, mistakes that he made, and more. leadership - Mike talks about how w/in consulting, veterans are often frustrated that they start out as an individual contributor rather than a manager, which more closely matches their previous military experience. He talks about how you have the ability ability to lead - in any organization - no matter what your role is, and has a lot of great insights on taking care of your team, challenging your people, and utilizing your best leadership skills from the military in your civilian career.
Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books 

Selected Links Mike's current company is Mirion Technologies Mike worked at Bain & Company as a Management Consultant, and highly recommends Bain as a great company for veterans Tim Ferriss' podcast - this is actually the show that I based Beyond the Uniform on; each week Tim meets with top experts to "deconstruct" what has made them succeed The Wall Street Journal - Mike reads the front page every day to stay abreast of the latest events Utility Dive - a summary of the utility space where you can pick and choose your articles to stay on top of the latest in this industry Show Notes 2:30 - Mike's Background 3:11 - The point at which Mike knew he was going to leave submarines and the Navy and how he approached this decision 4:33 - How Mike chose business school over going directly into industry and advice for veterans struggling with this decision 5:41 - What lead Mike to Bain & Company and the world of consulting 7:43 - What sorts of projects Mike worked on while he was at Bain & Company  10:03 - How the frequency of movement within consulting companies keeps you constantly learning and growing 11:45 - Mike's career progression within Bain & Company, and how both his titles and day-to-day work shifted with each progression 15:08 - For a veteran starting a career in consulting, how to best utilize the first 90 days of their job 19:55 - A mistake Mike made while at Bain & Company and what he learned from it 23:10 - What brought Mike to Mirion Technologies from Bain & Company 26:30 - An overview of Mirion Technologies 28:15 - What Mike's day-to-day life looks like for Mike as a President at Mirion Technologies 30:44 - How leadership outside of the military has differed from leadership within the military 37:18 - Resources Mike would recommend to veteran listeners 40:18 - Mike's final words of wisdom

48. BTU #84 - Nate Boyer: Army Green Beret to the NFL
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“That's the main takeaway from things for me: to not limit yourself. I never played football until I was 29 years old. I never long snapped a football until I was 31, and  I somehow had a shot in the NFL. And I'm not a good athlete; I'm an OK athlete - I just worked hard. And that's just one example, but we're all capable of that."
– Nate Boyer

Most recently, Nate Boyer was the long snapper for the Seattle Seahawks, but his is also an actor, public speaker and thought leader. Nate started out as a relief worker in Sudan, building camps for refugees of the War in Darfur. He then joined the Army, where he served for six years with the Green Beret as a Sergeant and earning a Bronze Star. After he transitioned from the Army, although he had never played a down of organized football in his life, he went to the University of Texas and was a walk-on to their football team. He became the team's starting long snapper, and played 38 consecutive games for the Longhorns. [He was a first-team Academic All-Big 12 Conference member in 2013-2014, while also being named an Academic All-American in 2012. After Texas, Nate played with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent.

Oh man, where to start with this interview. If you are in need to a shot of jet fuel to your soul, you owe it to yourself to listen to this interview. I want Nate Boyer on repeat during my runs - the man is incredible, and I found our interview inspiring.

The top two reasons to listen to this episode are:

Failure - Nate has achieved the impossible - repeatedly in his life. He talks about being a grinder, of just working hard to go after his dreams. And he talks about how it's not about not having fear - it's about having the courage to realize that there is no downside, that the only risk is not taking an opportunity. There are far too many incredible words of wisdom to summarize here, but believe me - it's a lesson every single veteran will benefit from hearing. Passion - Nate talks about how many veterans fall back on what you know. He talks about how tried many things - and failed at many things - in his journey to find his calling and what he enjoys most. Again, these are lessons I found inspiring and hope you do too.

Selected Links

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Book Recommendation: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman Conquering Kili Waterboys.org - Nate was cut from the Seahawks and was disappointed. Literally the next day, while trying to think of his next mission, Chris Long (Rams, now NE Patriots) had started a clean water project - Waterboys.org - and reached out to Nate Merging Vets and Players - Nate co-founded this with Jay Glazer to connecting veterans with transitioning professional athletes. These groups face similar challenges - going from a position of sacrifice to a dramatic life shift, the locker room and team environment feel, fighting for the person next to you... there's a lot each side from learn from the other and share in common. Nate talks about a Shia Labeouf video that's cheesy but strangely motivational. You can check it out here. This remixed version is even better after you've watched the original Show Notes 2:09 - Nate's background in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks. He served for six years in the Green Beret in the Army and was a walk-on at the University of Texas for their football team. 3:05 - A special disclosure for listeners about my extremely poor background with football 3:47 - How Nate has lived his life in the moment, trying new things and diving in, not being afraid of failure and knowing that you are just as qualified as everyone else out there. 12:58 - How Nate decided to join the Army after spending time volunteering in Darfur 26:14 - How Nate approaches his career now, and advice he has for veterans seeking a career that will make them passionate (hint: it's about trying new things and not being afraid of failing as you work towards what you want to do. If you don't know what you're passionate about you need to try something your'e interested in. Nate tried things he wasn't interested in, knowing he wasn't wasting time if he was exploring. If you're not afraid of what you're getting into, you probably shouldn't do it) 32:42 - What resources Nate would recommend to veterans (hint: it all boils down to being open each moment to whatever experience you have, and be open to learning from anyone) 36:31 - an overview of Waterboys.org, and how Nate came to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro as a fundraiser from a random connection the day after he was cut from the Seahawks 43:00 An overview of Nate's venture Merging Vets and Players, and how it came about. It pairs transitioning veterans with transitioning professional athletes, and you'd be surprised at much these two have in common 50: 20 Nate's final words of wisdom...surprisingly to a motivational video from Shia Labeouf, and how you can seize each moment to make the most of your life

49. BTU #75 - Ben Deda: Marines to COO of Galvanize and raising $63M in funding
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"Be willing to take a step down to take go up. As opposed to thinking, 'I'm going to burst right through this' realize sometimes you have to go down, around and then that's where you finally get the push through. Every single job I've taken, I've taken a pay cut. I made it back within three to six months, but those are the steps you have to do."
– Ben Deda

Ben Deda is the Chief Operations Officer at Galvanize, a network of modern, urban campuses where anyone can access the skills, knowledge, and network you need to make an impact. Since their founding in 2012, Galvanize has raised over $63M in funding. Ben started out at Notre Dame, after which he served in the Marines for seven years. After his transition from the Marines he worked at TruStile Doors in Operations, Marketing, and Sales, and eventually as Vice President of Commercial Sales. He then joined the computer software company, FullContact as their VP of Sales & Business Development. Ben also runs Denver Startup Week, the largest startup event in the US, and holds an MBA from the University of Denver

The top three reasons to listen to today’s show are:

Pay cut - Ben has held some incredible roles at great companies, and he talks about how - at every single step he’s taken forward in his career - it started with a pay cut. No matter what stage you’re at in your civilian career, the perspective he has on this is worth hearing. Networking - regular listeners to the show know the importance of networking. Ben not only has some great stories about this, but his current company - Galvanize - is approaching this in a new and novel way. Operations - Ben is the COO for a rapidly growing startup and this is a great story for those interested in startups, in operations, or in sales and marketing. Our Sponsor

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Selected Links Ben worked with Lucas Group for his initial job search; he had a favorable experience, but emphasizes that the onus is on the veteran to ensure the opportunity is the right match for them Book Recommendations: The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses - essential reading for any aspiring entrepreneur Brad Feld was an investor at FullContact and a member of their board. Ben recommends any books by Brad, but in particular: Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers - you may not gain hard skills but you'll understand much more about the startup life and an inspiring story Website Recommendations: Meetup.com - anything you're interested in, you'll find a group. Start going to these events and meeting people, regardless of your area of interest Tom Tunguz's blog about Software as a Service (SaaS) Saastr - a great conference around Software as a Service (SaaS) Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation - a great organization for veterans and community to network and meet interesting people Ben's company, Galvanize, is a great resource for entrepreneurs. Patriot Bootcamp Show Notes 1:46 - Ben's background 2:40 - Ben's decision to leave the Marine Corps and how he approaches this decision 4:10 - Ben's very first job search out of the Marine Corps and how he found his way to TruStile Doors 7:28 - Ben's work with recruiters and his advice for veterans about whether or not to consider using them (hint: give it a try, but the onus is on you to make sure the opportunity is right for you) 8:44 - How Ben found FullContact, his second job, and how he made the transition from TruStile Doors 9:57 - Ben left a secure job while having a pregnant wife and a lot of personal responsibilities... how he psyched himself up to make this move and take this risk 11:04 - What it was like to be the non-technical hire at FullContact and what life looked like in this capacity 12:39 - How Ben's work in recruiting in the Marine Corps has helped him in his sales and business development roles 13:53 - How Ben made the transition to Galvanize based on connections and people he knew 14:54 - An overview of Galvanize and what they do 17:25 - An overview of what Ben does as a COO, and what his day-to-day life looks like 19:15 - How leadership for Ben in the civilian sector as opposed to leadership within the military and the US Marine Corps 21:31 - One of the biggest failures Ben has experienced since leaving the Marine Corps and what he learned from it 25:28 - Advice that Ben would provide to veterans interested in starting their own company, based on his experience in startups as well as leading Denver Startup Week 27:40 - Resources that Ben would recommend to veterans interested in startups or operations 30:45 - Ben's final words of wisdom for veterans

50. BTU #73 - Sarah Travaglio: Army to Assurion, Accenture, and LinkedIn
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“It's kind of scary when you first get out, because all of a sudden everything about your career is dependent upon you. You're in the driver's seat now; you don't have HRC, the Pentagon to call to ask where you're going next. Where you're going next is where you decide to drive that car. And so, while it might seem like a lot of weight on your shoulders, and something that's a little bit scary, it's also something super exciting because it means you can take yourself wherever you'd like to go, and it's not up to anybody else."
– Sarah Travaglio

Sarah works at LinkedIn, where she is the Senior Manager, Head of Media Account Management for the Americas. She started out at West Point, after which she served in the Army for five years as a Company Commander and Assistant Battalion Operation Officer. While on active duty she obtained her Masters in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma, and after her transition from the Army she worked at Asurion in Customer Experience positions, before moving on to Accenture. She then moved to LinkedIn, where she has worked for the last three years.

The top three reasons to listen to today’s show are:

Firecracker - Sarah is awesome; she is exceptionally efficient in her advice, the ratio of quality advice per sentence is extremely high, and I think she is spot on in her perspective on the pros & cons of recruiters, remote working, education on active duty, and more Process improvements - Sarah found her first job, which lead her to consulting and then LinkedIn. She fell in love with the field of process improvements, and it’s a great career options that other vets may want to consider. More than just an overview of the role, Sarah’s passion for it comes through loud and clear LinkedIn - Sarah works there and has great advice on how to use LinkedIn and other great resources veterans can use in their civilian career Our Sponsor

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Selected Links Cameron Brooks - helped Sarah get her first job at Asurion and had a very positive experience with Cameron Brooks as she conducted her first job search. Asurion - Sarah’s first job experience; she speaks really highly of them as an organization in this interview Accenture - although Accenture is known for consulting, Sarah didn't work as a consultant with Accenture but as a Global Candidate Experience Channel Manager NPS (Net Promoter Score or Net Promoter) - a very common term in business to measure satisfaction with a company, product, service, etc. Recommended Resources veterans.linkedin.com - FREE LinkedIn resources for veterans, access to learning courses (Lynda.com), free upgrades for profile, library of resources to have access to Alumni Facebook Groups, Facebook Women's Group (West Point) LinkedIn - the most VALUABLE free resource available - your network, your profile, everything you need Show Notes 2:05 - Sarah's background at LinkedIn 2:41 - How Sarah decided to leave the Army and how she approached this decision 4:24 - Sarah obtained her master's degree while on Active Duty, and she has a lot of great advice to those on Active Duty on how to best take advantage of this 6:55 - Sarah's experience at Asurion - how she found her way there and what her experience was like 11:00 - Sarah worked with Cameron Brooks as part of her job search and she talks about what this experience was like 14:51 - What lead Sarah from Asurion to Accenture 16:50 - What Sarah's day-to-day life looked like while she was at Asurion 19:40 - Sarah describes what it's like working remotely (rather than in an office) and the pros and cons of each 21:33 - How Sarah made the transition to LinkedIn 24:47 - What Media Account Management, Sarah's role at LinkedIn, is and what life looks like in this role 27:22 - What Sarah's day-to-day life looks like at LinkedIn 31:30 - Resources that Sarah would recommend to other veterans that have helped her in her career 38:22 - Sarah's advice for how veterans can craft an effective LinkedIn profile 39:05 - One of the biggest surprises Sarah faced when she left the military 42:48 - One of the biggest mistakes that Sarah made when she left the military and what she learned from it 49:08 - Sarah's final words of wisdom

51. BTU #72 - Michael Bradley: How NUPOCC is helping veterans find their ideal job
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“Just baby step it; don't think 'Where do I need to be in 30 years,' think about 'where do I need to be in the next year or two to set myself up.'"
– Michael Bradley

Michael is the President & Owner of M3S Networking, a small business that focuses on dynamic problem-solving, particularly with startups and small businesses. He Started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served for seven years as a submarine officer. After his transition from the Navy, he spent two years working on a spy satellite job with the National Reconnaissance Office as an Acquisition/Project Officer. Michael is also the Chairman of the Navy Nuclear Power Officer Career Conference (NUPOCC), a career fair helping veterans transition from the military or find new jobs- those of you who have listened to Episode #55 with Ashley Snyder will remember this as the organization that she credited with landing a job at Google directly out of the Air Force. Finally, he's a husband, dad of 3 boys and is a credentialed baseball media member.

The top three reasons to listen to today’s show are:

Work / life balance - I don’t think this is talked about enough, but Michael does a really good job discussing how to factor this in to your career path & decision. Career fair - those of you who listened to Episode #55 with Ashley Snyder remember how she went directly from the Air Force to Google because she attended a veteran organized career fair… well Michael is the one who runs that career fair. It’s free, it helps a ton of vets… I’d go so far to say that NUPOCC is advantageous to veterans in a way that comes at Michael’s expense. Check it out - it’s really great and I know all of you listening on active duty or who have recently transitioned would benefit from it. Startups - Michael has started two different companies, and has great advice on starting small. Our Sponsor

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Selected Links NUPOCC - Arlington, VA & Pearl, HI, Bremerton. Events. Google, Palantir, Facebook, Blue Origin, JP Morgan (~20 companies). Grad Schools: Harvard, Wharton, Stanford. High end candidates, high end companies and schools, high end venues. $2-3k table fee - get list of candidates & phone numbers Service academy career conference - https://sacc-jobfair.com/ Related podcasts you may enjoy Ashley Snyder - Ashley went from the Air Force directly to Google, and attributes NUPOCC for playing a big role in that transition Show Notes 1:58 - Michael's background, from the Naval Academy and Submarines into starting his own company 3:00 - Michael's experience a baseball media member; it may not generate a lot of money, but it gets him into Pittsburg Pirate games 5:29 - Michael's decision to leave the Navy and how he approached this decision 7:30 - Michael's experience in the Navy Reserves, and his advice on how to best take advantage of the IRR 10:38 - The highlights of Michael's journey from leaving submarines until today 14:00 - Michael's thoughts on work / life balance, and what advice he would give to fellow veterans 18:20 - An overview of the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Officer Career Conference (NUPOCC) 29:43 - Who can attend the NUPOCC conferences (hint: Michael will never turn a veteran away from an event, so contact him) 32:45 - A few common mistakes that Michael sees veterans make in the career transition to civilian life 41:30 - How Michael started M3S and advice he would give to other veterans seeking to work for themselves or create side income 46:00 - Michael's final words of wisdom

52. BTU #71 - Jeff Tiegs: 25 Years of Army Counter Terrorism to the Guardian Group
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“I don't think that it's easy for people to recognize what their calling is. One, you really have to listen. And sometimes you get pulled into things that you weren't ready for. My wife and I did not plan on leaving a very difficult life as a counter terrorism family to pursue... this. To dig into this really vile crime. We thought we were going to retire in the mountains, and kind of gallop off into the sunset and work leadership issues and things like that. And as I got more called to this problem set, there's a certain amount of duty and obedience you have to walk through and sometimes that can be difficult."

– Jeff Tiegs

Jeff Tiegs is a Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Expert with over 25 years in US Army Special Operations. His combat experience includes operations around the globe to include multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is applying this expertise to Counter Trafficking in the United States and is the Chief Operating Officer for Guardian Group. Guardian Group is a non-profit that works with law enforcement to illuminate, disrupt, prosecute and relentlessly pursue child predators. After his transition from the Army, he attended Breakline Education, which we talked about in Episode 54 with Bethany Coates.

The top three reasons to listen to today’s show are:

Experience - Jeff joined the Army when he was just 17 years old and served with Army Special Operations for 25 years. He’s one of the few people I’ve had on the show who transitioned into a career that puts these exact same skills to use but in the civilian sector, and it’s an incredible story. Doing Good - Jeff is one of the few people I’ve met - in my life - where it seems like he has a calling rather than a career. I’m inspired by how he followed that calling, even though it wasn’t what he thought he wanted to do after the military. He is putting his skills to use in a way that is clearly making the world a better place, and it’s really inspiring. Second revolution - Jeff talks about WW2’s impact on world and veterans lead a revolution in starting small businesses. He talks about how today is following a second trend, and I found it very energizing. HOW YOU CAN HELP

To help the Guardian Group in their fight against child predators, you can help encourage hotels to go through the Guardian Group Silver Seal program. This will help hotels recognize child trafficking activities, and is a crucial initial step in stopping this pattern. For your favorite hotel chain, you can can use the following template:

@[hotel chain] please join the @GuardianGroupGG Silver Seal program to help put an end human trafficking http://bit.ly/2icMvhc Example: @marriott please join the @GuardianGroupGG Silver Seal program to help put an end human trafficking http://bit.ly/2icMvhc Sponsor

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Selected Links Related podcasts you may enjoy Bethany Coates #54 - She runs Breakline, the group that helped Jeff when he first got out of the Army. A great episode and program for all veterans to consider Emily Episode #70 - New Politics, and how it helps veterans on both sides of the aisles get into politics Michael Bradley #72 - I reference this interview; we have a good discussion about how important it is when networking to have very specific and actionable asks Book Recommendations The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything - stop thinking about, stop over-organizing things and begin to act The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future - stop thinking about, stop over-organizing things and begin to act You can donate to the Guardian Group here You can follow the Guardian Group on Facebook here The Guardian Group Silver Seal program is ensuring hotels are trained to notice indicators of human trafficking. Provides them with a reporting system as well to notify the Guardian Group of child trafficking, and also inform legal authorities Show Notes 2:39 - Jeff's background, joining the Army at 17 and serving in counter terrorism for twenty-five years 3:35 - How Jeff decided to leave the Army after 25 years of service, and how this was a very gradual process for Jeff 5:50 - Jeff and I discuss how this is a calling - not a career - for Jeff, and he followed that calling 7:35 - What lead Jeff to Breakline and what his experience was like while there 9:35 - How Jeff was first connected to the Guardian Group and how he found his way to join them. He talks about how callings are never overnight, and that it happened after a chance encounter at a retirement ceremony that - years later - turned into a job 11:23 - Jeff provides an overview of the Guardian Group and the work that they do 14:15 - How Jeff found a very purpose-driven career after the Army, and one that utilizes his specific training from within the military. He also talks about the trend after WW2 for veterans to start companies, and how we are in a second revolution now similar to this 17:25 - Jeff and I discuss the power of passion - how mission and vision can drive us to achieve more in our civilian career 21:26 A look at what Jeff's day-to-day life looks like as COO at the Guardian Group 24:48 - How listeners can support the Guardian Group; even if you don't want to work with the Guardian Group, tactical steps you can take - today - to support their cause 29:29 - Jeff shares a short story, of Emily, and how they helped her. It's a powerful example of what the Guardian Group does 33:18 - For listeners who are interested in applying to the Guardian Group or working in this space, advice that Jeff would give 40:00 - The most challenging part of Jeff's job (hint... you've heard it before... it's about having to ask for money and fundraise for his company) 41:37 - Jeff's final words of wisdom

53. BTU #70 - Emily Cherniak: How New Politics is helping veterans of both parties run for office
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“The thing that I would say to veterans is that I know that it's scary, I know that it's not something that they maybe thinking of doing, and I know that it seems like a very weird thing to get involved in politics. But our country needs you and our democracy needs you. Regardless of what side of the aisle you're on, we need leaders who are going to put the country first, now more than ever."
– Emily Cherniak

Emily is not a veteran, as I usually have on the show, but she’s built an organization that is helping vets. So I wanted to give you a quick overview on her company - New Politics - and then a bit of background on Emily.

New Politics identifies top talent, helps them build a winning campaign infrastructure, and provides mentorship and support throughout their campaigns. New Politics supported 5 national service candidates in key state and federal races across the country. They won three of those five races, including Congressman Seth Moulton’s unprecedented win in Massachusetts’ Sixth Congressional District. In 2016, New Politics is supporting 23 candidates in local, state, and federal races across the country. They have won 17 primaries and 13 general elections.

Emily has run New Politics for the last four years. Emily has worked with AmeriCorps, City Year AmeriCorps, and part of the founding team of Be the Change--where she led a coalition of over 200 organizations to engage 250,000 people for a Day of Action in support of the $6 billion Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009. Emily graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology and a Masters Degree in Education Policy.

The top three reasons to listen to this episode are:

Politics - Emily is not a veteran, but she started an organization - New Politics - that is helping veterans who are interested in politics, regardless of which side of the aisle you come from. She helped out Sean Barney from Episode #66 in his congressional race, and I’m hoping she will be helping a listener to this show very soon. It’s an exceptional program, and something I believe our country greatly needs. Weaknesses - Although Emily talks about veterans in politics, everything she says parallels incredibly well to weaknesses that veterans have in business - talking about oneself, asking for help, etc. Her thoughts on this are really worthwhile. Star Wars - Emily has this epic analogy about 28 minutes in on the interview between politics and Star Wars that is simply awesome

Selected Links

Sean Barney, from Episode #65, ran in a recent Congressional race and was helped by Emily and her team. It's definitely worth checking out. City Year - $100M organization, where Emily started out AmeriCorps Candidates Journey Manual - available end of january Show Notes 1:44 - Emily and New Politics background 3:30 - An overview on New Politics and how they are helping veterans 4:36 - Emily's "Theory of Change" and how less than 18% of leaders in office have a military background, whereas this used to be over 70%. 5:50 - How Emily went about starting New Politics, and her background in politics. Her belief that politics is broken, and how vital politics is.  9:07 - Emily works on both sides of the aisle, rather than embracing one political party. Rather than finding this difficult and conflicting, she finds this invigorating. She focuses on leadership, and realizes that she disagrees with people from both parties - what they're about is trusting good leaders to make the right decisions for our country 12:10 - An overview of the process of working with New Politics 14:06 - From Emily's work with veterans, a few of the most common misconceptions she sees. A lot of veterans don't have a political party allegiance, so having conversations around why they find important is really crucial. Politics is hard in a different way, and its important for veterans to understand the daily grind of raising money and constantly promoting oneself.  18:21 - Fundraising... how this is the most dominant portion of any election, and Emily's advice on how veterans might go about this 24:03 - Emily shares a few other stories of veterans who have run for office. Often, it doesn't matter if the candidates wins - it's about gaining the experience for a career of public service. 25:30 - Indications that New Politics might be right for you... and an encouraging note to reach out if you're interested, as New Politics is willing to speak with any veteran and answer any questions they may have 26:10 - Other common weaknesses Emily sees in veterans that listeners should be aware of... and an amazing Star Wars analogy 29:42 - Emily's final words of wisdom

54. BTU #69 - Alex Martin: Marine to Global Entrepreneur
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“At this point, I don't think I really could have a boundary [between professional and personal life]. It's not about a forty-hour work week, and being able to accomplish everything in forty hours; I get that. It's about constantly thinking about the product, thinking about the customers we have and the customers we want, where we're going to go and what the next steps are. I just can't turn it off: I dream about it, I think about it every minute, and there is no separation. Maybe that's unhealthy and a bad thing, but at this point if no one is fanatically excited and obsessed with the product we're trying to create than the founders then I don't think it can work at this stage."
– Alex Martin

Alex Martin is the CEO & Co-Founder of AC Global Risk, a company that creates solutions to transform how companies & governments vet, screen and assess internal and external human-based risk. Alex started out at the Naval Academy and served in the Marine Corps for seven years as a Infantry & Ground Reconnaissance Officer. After his transition from the Marines he founded Skye Maritime - maritime security services to commercial shipping - as well as the Kenya Team Leader for the non-profit, Nuru International. Alex is currently a Major in the Marine Corps Reserves.

The top three reasons to listen to this episode are:

Service - Alex has continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves, he worked in Kenya with the organization Nuru helping local farmers grow their income, and his own company - AC Global Risk - has a service element as well. He’s a great role model for keeping service an active component in his life, and talks about how to serve as a for-profit venture Startups - Alex started his first company straight of the Marine Corps and it failed. He learned from it, and is on his second company, AC Global Risk. He is very honest and balanced in this interview about failure, about mistakes, and how these are essential for entrepreneurs Stanford Ignite - Alex goes in depth on the Stanford Ignite program as well as many other really valuable resources for those of you interested in startups

 

Selected Links A great article on Alex and his company: http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/career-advice/job-hunting/from-marines-to-entrepreneur-alex-martin.html Related Podcasts Great EO Fire podcast episode that talks about the power of obsession in startups. I reference this in the interview and think it’s really relevant to entrepreneurship. Be Obsessed or Be Average, it’s that simple says Grant Cardone  Don Faul interview - referenced as a huge resource of support Show Notes 2:08 - Alex's background 2:50 - Alex's decision to transition from the Marine Corps to a civilian career 3:39 - Alex's experience being part of the Reserves and how it has impacted his civilian career 5:32 - Alex's experience as part of the Stanford Ignite program and how this impacted his entrepreneurial experience 7:49 - An overview of Stanford Ignite as a program for veterans 10:22 - Alex's experience at Nuru International 15:15 - The genesis of Alex's second company, AC Global Risk 17:40- An overview of AC Global Risk 19:21  - What Alex's day-to-day life looks like as the CEO of AC Global Risk 21:11 - Alex's lifestyle as an entrepreneur married to another entrepreneur 24:27 - How long it took Alex to be able to pay himself as salary while he was starting his own company 28:43 - Alex's biggest mistake in starting his own company and what he learned from it 33:03 - Alex's team size at AC Global Risk and what his team looks like 34:22 - Advice for any veteran thinking of starting their own company 35:36 - Resources Alex would recommend to any veteran thinking of starting their own company 37:53 - Advice for veterans seeking to raising capital for their own company, and the fundraising experience 43:40 - Habits that Alex had to break when he left the military in order to be successful in his civilian career 45:55 - Other mistakes that Alex made since departing the military and what he learned from them 48:47 - Final words of wisdom for veterans of the Armed Forces

55. BTU #68 - John Lee Dumas: Army to EOFire and over $205k a month in revenue
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 “Listen, life is a journey and all of my failures - which were plentiful before EOFire - added to the success of EOFire. They were all life lessons and all experiences I had to learn from and go through in order to launch and run a multi-million dollar a year company, which EOFire has grown into. It's just really looking at life as a marathon: you're 26 when you get out of the military, or you're 36, or you're 56 - whatever it is. You have a LOT of life left. So stop trying to rush, stop trying to sprint everywhere. Just look at life as a marathon, set your site on your goals and then just take them one step at a time."
– John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas is the fonder and host of EOFire, a daily podcast that interview entrepreneurs 7 days a week, where, as reported by Forbes, he has generated #2M in sales by his second year in the business. He started out at Providence College where he did Army ROTC, after which he served in the Army as an Armor Platoon Leader for eight years. After his time in the Army, John enrolled in Law School, but left after his first semester. He then worked in corporate finance at John Hancock in Boston, and later at a tech startup in New York. In 2009 he moved to San Diego to work in real estate. During his long drives, he started listening to podcasts, until he decided to start his own podcast, which launched in September of 2012. He is the author of Podcast Launch, the creator of Podcasters’ Paradise, and has been named the Best of iTunes in 2013, with over 7.4 Million downloads. and subscribers in 145 countries. John is very open about his financials - they’re available on his website - it’s worth checking out because the numbers are staggering.

The top two reasons to listen to this episode are:

Entrepreneurship - JLD is a legend as an entrepreneur and has extremely relevant and tactical advice for any veteran interested in working for oneself, earning extra income on the side, or wanting to grow a passion product. Resources - JLD is a storage vault of resources for entrepreneurs and the interview is full of practical steps veterans can take - today - to get started on their startup journey.

 

Selected Links Fizzle - two weeks of a free trial, reasonably priced, and a great community of early stage entrepreneurs (no affiliation with JLD or EOFire) Patt Flynn's Show, The Smart Passive Income Blog Fill in the Blank Freedom Journal - 16k sales, changes being made in people’s lives. Set & Accomplish one big goal. Podcasters Paradise - a great community of podcasters John's Free Podcast Course Recommended podcasts Tony Robbins Aaron Walker - view from the top Tim Ferriss Gary Vaynerchuk Barbara Corcoran More info on John and his background A great Forbes article on John and EO Fire Show Notes 3:20 - John's decision to leave the Army and how he approached this decision 4:53 - What habits John had to break from the military in order to be successful in his civilian career 5:37 - Johns road to EOFire and advice he'd give to veterans seeking to start their own company 8:21 - How long it took for John to be able to pay himself a salary while starting his company, EOFire 10:26 - One of the biggest mistakes that John has made with EOFire and what he learned from it 12:07 - What resources John would recommend to veterans thinking of starting their own company 15:01 - The episodes of EOFire John would recommend most to Beyond the Uniform listeners  16:15 - John's final words of wisdom for veterans

56. BTU #67 Don Faul: A Leading Veteran in Silicon Valley (Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and more)
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“There is the expectation - at least at the places where I've been fortunate to work - that growth and advancement come from a series of thoughtful mistakes. I've had to really learn in my career: being open and transparent when you make a mistake, being willing to talk about it and embrace it,  as a leader can be very hard.  I think early in my career there was this expectation that if people were looking to me to lead, that talking about any sort of mistake or misstep was a sign of weakness. When in fact I think that the best way to build trust is in fact  - with your team and with people you work with - to be open and transparent and create an environment where other people feel comfortable as well."
– Don Faul

Don is the CEO at Athos, a company that offers a wearable technology that is fully integrated in workout clothing, and can track your muscle groups, heart rate, breathing level and more. They have raised over $50M in funding since their founding 4 years ago. Don started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served for five years as an Marine Corps as part of the Force Recon. After his transition out of the Marines, he went to Stanford Business School, after which he joined Google in 206 as a Manager of Online Sales and Operations. Two years later, he joined Facebook as the VP of Online Operations, and four years after that Pinterest as the Head of Operations. He serves on the Board of Nuru international, which listeners may remember from Episode #68 with Nuru’s founder, Jake Harriman.

Many people I’ve interviewed on the show have recommended I interview Don. Brad Bonney from episode #4 and Jimmy Sopko from episode #6 both credit Don as being an enormous help in their careers at AriBnB & Pinterest respectively. Don not only has an incredible background at the most famous companies in Silicon Valley, but he’s also a constant advocate for veterans and frequent mentor for those going through career transitions.

This episode is shorter than normal but it is chalked full of great advice not just for those of you thinking about a career in tech, but any veteran seeking to get the most out of their career.

 

Selected Links Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books Show Notes 1:08 - Don's background 2:31 - How Don decided to leave the Marine Corps and how he decided to go to the Stanford Graduate School of Business 3:50 - How Don used grit and determination to get his first role at Google, and how a veteran at Google ultimately made the difference in getting Don's resume through the door and coaching him through the interview process 6:15 - Don's advice on how veterans can better tell the story of their military background, and how important (and rare it is) for a candidate to be exceptionally well prepared for an interview. He talks about anticipating what an interviewer might not know about your military background or misconceptions they may have about it, and how to address this. He also talks about how veterans can come across better by being the MOST prepared person for the interview, and by having some well crafted and practiced stories to tell in the interview. 10:25 - Don's risky move from Google to Facebook, and how it was based on following a mentor, Sheryl Sandberg. He left Google much earlier than he had expected, but was excited by the team and learning opportunity  13:45 - How Don followed a similar path when he left Facebook for Pinterest 15:18 - After Pinterest, Don took a break before starting at Athos. After having moved from one company to another for so long, Don reflects on wanting to have taken more time in between each company to reflect.  17:05 - One of the biggest mistakes that Don made since leaving the Marine Corps and what he learned from it. He talks about how he loves tech because there is the expectation that growth and advancement will come through a series of thoughtful mistakes. 20:20 - Having mentored so many veterans, a few of the more common mistakes Don sees veterans make. First, vets assume that roles are off the table and not possible. The second is that veterans commonly underrepresent the skills that they bring to the table, namely leadership and responsibility. He has great advice for combatting both of these two misconceptions. Don't take anything off the table and recognize how impressive your background is.  23:50 - Don's current role as CEO and how he found his way into the wearable technology space (even though he ended his time away from work sooner than he had expected). In finding Athos, Don followed advice he often gives to veterans to start their career search. He made a list of the companies who's products or services resonated with him personally. He used popular tech blogs and conversations with friends (especially with investors) to add to and help build that list. What stood out for him with Athos was the mission "to build better athletes" and help everyone get the most out of their training. It sat at the intersection of his love of technology and his love of fitness and sports. Being an early adopter of gadgets and in particular health gadgets, he found himself getting really excited each day thinking about this. The second was the mixture of 50% familiarity with a role and 50% the challenge of something new and unexpected.

57. BTU #66 - Sean Barney: Purple Heart recipient to Congressional Candidate
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“I think many of us served because we love this country and love what it stands for. I think - like many people - I'm frustrated that our representatives are not as good as the country they represent. They've allowed the American Dream to fade; they've allowed money to become the dominant influence over politics; they've failed to address some of the defining issues of our time like climate change. And I think that our democracy is our inheritance as citizens and that as citizens we deserve better. And I think that veterans have that love of country that can motivate us to run into the breach and I think we have a lot to offer."
– Sean Barney

Sean Barney is a public defender. He started out at Swarthmore College, after which he served for five years as a Machine Gunner in the 25th Marine Regiment, where he was awarded the Purple Heart. Since transitioning from the Marines, Sean has worked at the Think Tank, Third Way. He has also been extremely active in politics - one of the main things we’ll talk about today - his experience here is extensive but a few highlights are serving as both the Campaign Manager and then Policy Director for Governor Jack Markell  and a Candidate for Congress. Sean holds a Master of Arts from Columbia University, a Masters of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of government, and a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Purple Heart: Sean shares the story of his life threatening injury in Iraq, and how this shaped his thoughts on career and life Public Service: Sean recently ran in an extremely close race for Congress in Delaware. His motivation for seeking office is inspirational and one that would benefit any listener Openness: Sean was one of the first veterans - if not the first veteran - to openly discuss his experience with PTSD while he was on the campaign trail. He talks about how this was motivated out of an obligation to help others and set an example.

 

Selected Links New Politics - the organization that helped Sean (and other veterans) run his campaign for office. Vote Vets - continues to focus on matters including, but not limited to, foreign policy, energy security, veterans’ unemployment, and opening military service to life-long Americans born to undocumented immigrants, as well as continued investment in care for veterans. Team Rubicon - Disaster Response Veterans Service Organization on Team Rubicon. Show Notes 1:40 - Sean’s background 2:30 - The story behind Sean’s Purple Heart 6:10 - How Sean’s brush with death affected his view of life and career 8:44 - How Sean’s life-threatening injury lead to one year of recovery and an unexpected departure from the Marines 11:00 - Sean’s advice for other veterans who may face a career transition earlier than they expected 13:45 - A look at Sean’s recent, hard-fought democratic congressional race in Delaware, and how he first decided to run for office 16:37 - An overview of New Politics, and how they helped Sean prepare for his campaign 20:00 - What life looks like on the campaign trail 23:30 - What it was like having to raise money as part of a campaign, and how much time this takes 28:30 - How Sean was amongst the first (if not the first) veterans to talk about his personal experience with PTSD on the campaign trail 32:20 - What it was like to come forward very publicly with something that - until that moment - had been a private matter 33:53 - What day-to-day life is like on the campaign trail and how Sean managed his campaign 37:11 - The most difficult moment in Sean’s 10 months of campaigning 39:35 - How this influenced Sean and how it would affect a future campaign 43:17 - Resources Sean would recommend to veterans considering a career in public service 45:02 - How much money Sean raised during his campaign 47:15 - Final words of wisdom

58. BTU #65 - Mark Frank: Army to Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of Four Companies
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“He said, 'This is where you see what you're made of. This is either where you fold up and die, or you push through and figure [stuff] out and make it happen.' And so luckily I was able to keep working through it and keep pushing things forward incrementally, and then recognize that there were some strategic things that we needed to do to fix it. That's what created Next Oncology, which transitioned a $3 Million a year revenue business to a $7-8 million a year business."
– Mark Frank

Mark Frank is the CEO and Co-Founder of Sondermind, a startup that is focused on making mental health services more accessible and accepted for everyone. He started out West Point and served as an Logistics Officer in the Army for five years. After the Army, Mark earned both his MBA and Masters of Engineering Management at Northwestern University. After grad school, he an Associate Investment Banker at Morgan Stanley for two years before serving as Founder & CEO at Next Oncology. After six years at Next Oncology, he sold the company in a deal that brought a 12X return to investors. In addition to founding Sondermind and Next Oncology, Mark has also started SafeImageMD and TermScout, as well as served as the Managing Director of the investment company, Goldwing Capital.

The top two reasons to list to this interview are:

Originality: Mark took a relatively non-traditional route to entrepreneurship. He first went into finance at Morgan Stanley, before starting his first company. He talks about how this path helped him on his entrepreneurial journey. Serial Entrepreneurship: Mark has helped start four companies and sold two of them. He's got tons of great advice on how to go about starting - and growing - your company Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links Recruiting company referenced: Cameron Brooks Mark's companies Sondermind Next Oncology SafeImageMD TermScout Great veteran resources for entrepreneurship: Patriot Bootcamp, Bunker Labs Fred Wilson's Blog, Mattermarks Email Newsletter Show Notes 1:40 - Mark's background 3:20 - At what point Mark knew he would leave the Army, and how he approached this decision 4:45 - How Mark decided to go directly to graduate school rather than to industry 7:25 - How Mark got his MBA and MS in three years at Northwestern, and why he would recommend this route 10:19 - What lead Mark to Morgan Stanley for his first job out of graduate school, rather than consulting (as he had originally intended) 14:50 - what family life was like while at Morgan Stanley, while working 100 hours per week, and how this compared to Mark's time in the military 16:30 - Given Mark's history in startups, how he views his time in the world finance and would he recommend this route to other veterans 19:40 - The starting point of Mark's first company, Next Oncology 26:40 - How Mark overcame the security and safety of a great job at Morgan Stanley to jump into the uncertainty of startups 29:14 - The worst moment at Next Oncology and what Mark learned from this experience 33:23 - Mark's proudest moment at Next Oncology 35:20 - What it was like selling Mark's first company, Next Oncology for over a 12X return 38:56 - How Mark started SafeImageMD, TermScout and Sondermind while still at Next Oncology 51:26 - Mark's advice for veterans thinking of starting their own company 54:10 - Resources Mark would recommend to veterans to help in their civilian career 58:00 Mark's final words of wisdom for veterans

59. BTU #63 - Todd Ehrlich: From SEALs to Founder of Kill Cliff
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“I'll never forget my fiance and I at the time were going to visit some relatives, and I pulled over before we got the house and said, 'Hey I'm about to spend a bunch of money on an idea to start this drink called Kill Cliff  and I might not get anything out of it, but at least I can say that I tried and I did it.' And you told me, 'You're going to be great - you're going to do awesome. You'll make more money if we lose the money.' Having her support me at that moment in time was incredible, and so I moved forward with it."
– Todd Ehrlich

Todd is the Founder of Kill Cliff, maker of the recovery drink with the same name. Kill Cliff has about 40 employees and makes continuous donations to the Navy SEAL Foundation. Todd also serves as the CEO at BAM Worldwide, the leading provider of cash management technology for small to medium transportation companies. He is also the Founder & Chairman of Triserv Appraisal Management Solutions, a real estate appraisal management company. Todd started out in the Navy, where he served as a SEAL for four years. After his transition from the military, he held a variety of positions at Kroll Associates, United Rentals, and Jacobs Private Equity.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Having started multiple companies, a look at whether or not Todd's other employment experiences were necessary in starting his company How Todd started the 301st fastest growing company in America, Kill Cliff  Given that Todd's companies are so different, how passion is the most important element in creating a company How Todd keeps his focus on the 1st 1000 days of a company, rather than running a company indefinitely And much, much more…

 

Selected Links Reading Recommendations Harvard Business Review - The Best Entrepreneurs Are Missionaries, Not Mercenaries Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - understanding people’s mindset and why some people succeed and others fail The Sociopath Next Door - how common sociopathic tendencies are, helped Todd as he wasn’t able to understand people who weren’t good people; helped him to see that people have different values and helped better categorize people and not assume that everyone was like his SEAL friends Show Notes 2:09 - Todd's background 2:45 - Todd's decision to leave the Navy SEALs for a civilian career 5:02 - The point at which Todd decided to start Kill Cliff 8:40 - Having started multiple companies, a look at whether or not Todd's other employment experiences were necessary in starting his company 12:40 - Given that Todd's companies are so different, how passion is the most important element in creating a company 15:40 - What Todd's day-to-day life looks like 21:00 - How Todd keeps his focus on the 1st 1000 days of a company, rather than running a company indefinitely 24:57 - Steps that a veteran can take TODAY to move towards starting their own company 28:42 - Final words of wisdom

60. BTU #62 - Hank Hughes: Army to Academy Award Nominee
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“There's a lot of weird stress things that come from all of this attention. But being able to take my wife to the Oscars... and being able to take my interpreter and give her somethign like that. That's one of the most unadultered good feelings I've ever had."
– Hank Hughes

Henry Hughes is an Oscar nominated writer and director who spent five years as a paratrooper in the 173rd Airborne, conducting two combat tours in Afghanistan. His unit was featured in The Outpost by Jake Tapper. Henry was featured in ABC News’ Standing Up For Heroes with Bob Woodruff where he was paired with George Lucas as a part of American Corporate Partner’s National Mentoring Program. He earned a MFA in Directing at the American Film Institute, where he received the Gary Winick Scholarship. His work has played at Telluride, AFI Fest, Mill Valley, and Cannes among others. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

How Hank kept his dream to be a film maker alive during his time in the Army How Hank discovered - and refined and rediscovered - his voice as a film maker How Hank was paired with George Lucas for two years as a mentor What it's like to be a veteran in the film industry The process of putting together Hanks' film, Day One What it was like to be at the Oscars with his wife and his interpreter And much, much more…

 

Selected Links A video of Hank's nomination at the Academy Awards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmmYUUPzvNg Hank's film - Day One - is available on iTunes here Hank first studied film after the Army at the American Film Institute American Corporate Partners - partnered Hank with George Lucas, organization for free connects veterans with mentors An organization to check out if you're interested in this career path is the Veterans in Film and Television organization A book that I reference (and would recommend to any aspiring entrepreneur or artist) is Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Hank Hughes 2015 Student Academy Awards Acceptance speech The Soldiers Project - free therapy for veterans Show Notes 1:21 Hank's Background 3:12 - Hank's decision to leave the Army 6:30 - Hanks dream to be a film maker since in high school, and how he kept this alive in High School 8:46 - What it was like applying to the American Film Institute 10:50 - How Hank discovered - and refined and rediscovered - his voice as a film maker 12:00 When Hank left the Army, how he passed time before the American Film Institute and the challenges he faced 13:35 - Hank's advice for veterans about their initial time directly after getting out of the military 15:50 - How Hank was paired with George Lucas for two years as a mentor 21:36 - How Hank decided if he was making movies for an audience rather than other film makers 24:25 - What it's like to be a veteran in the film industry 26:08 - The genesis of Hank's film, Day One 30:50- The process of putting together Hanks' film, Day One 32:28 - The worst moment in the film making process 35:15 - Where Hank was when he found out he had been nominated for an Academy Award 37:07 - What life was like between being nominated for an Academy Award, and the Oscars 39:38 - What it was like to be at the Oscars with his wife and his interpreter 42:23 - What it's like after the Academy Awards 47:00 - Other resources Hank would recommend to veterans interested in the film industry 52:50 - Final Words of Wisdom

61. BTU #61 - Ryan Guina: Air Force E5 to Business Owner @ The Military Wallet
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“I didn’t start it with being a company in mind. I knew it was possible to make money but I didn’t know how or how much. My goal was to make my $125 back. My goal beyond that was to have date money - maybe $100 a month to take my wife out to a nice dinner. And it took seven months to make my first $100… and then after that it just took off. And I’d say that within two years I had replicated by day job income."
– Ryan Guina

Ryan is the Founder of Cash Money Life & The Military Wallet - two websites that focus on helping people better manage their finances by offering informational articles, tips, tutorials, and product and service reviews. He has run these sites for over nine years and been featured on publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and LifeHacker. He started out in the Air Force, where he served for six and a half years as an Electrical-Environmental Specialist. After transitioning from the military, he worked at BearingPoint as a Management Analyst and then at the Computer Sciences Corporation as a Business Process Modeler. In addition to running his websites, Ryan currently serves in the Illinois Air National Guard.

Todd is the Founder of Kill Cliff, maker of the recovery drink with the same name. Kill Cliff has about 40 employees and makes continuous donations to the Navy SEAL Foundation. Todd also serves as the CEO at BAM Worldwide, the leading provider of cash management technology for small to medium transportation companies. He is also the Founder & Chairman of Triserv Appraisal Management Solutions, a real estate appraisal management company. Todd started out in the Navy, where he served as a SEAL for four years. After his transition from the military, he held a variety of positions at Kroll Associates, United Rentals, and Jacobs Private Equity.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

How Ryan doubled his income in just two years by doing something he loved Financial advice every veteran should hear The emotional struggle of looking for a new job and identity Resources to help veterans start their first company and advice on how to make it happen And much, much more… Selected Links Ryan's sites: Cash Money Life -  a personal finance and career journal with tips about money management, career topics, small business, increasing credit scores and more The Military Wallet - Personal finance for military, veterans, and their families. Updates for GI Bill, VA Loans, veterans benefits, military discounts and more. Wordpress - An essential component for creating your website Books Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear - this was one of my recommendations but I think it's really essential reading for creative, artist, or entrepreneur. The audiobook version is really fantastic. Conferences FinCon - financial media conference Podcasts Pat Flynn- smart passive income - anything digital marketing, apps Entrepreneur On Fire - JLD, very top level but doesn’t dive as deep, good for inspiration Tim Ferriss - what makes people tick and tricks they’ve used to be successful Other The VA Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) DAV American Legion - free of charge will look at your service and potential benefits Show Notes 2:00 Ryan’s background 2:47 - Ryan’s decision to leave the Air Force and how he approached this decision 4:31 - How Cash Money Life & The Military Wallet were born 5:47 - How Ryan has kept his company running for over seven years 8:25 - What it was like to maintain a full-time job while also growing his business on the side 9:40 - Ryan’s initial job search that landed him at Bearing Point, and advice on how to approach this 13:20 - When Ryan made the decision to jump in and work full time on his own company 16:30 - An overview of Ryan’s sites, Cash Money Life and The Military Wallet 18:13 - How Ryan knows the topics to write about each week, and how he breaks down his time 19:16 - If Ryan’s time were a pie chart, how he divides his time each week 21:30 - Ryan’s advice to other veterans considering starting their own company 24:04 - Ryan’s advice around growing your audience once you have started a company 26:00- Integrity, and the importance of maintaining this in your relationship with your customers and community 27:05 - One of the most challenging moments in Ryan’s 10 years of running his own company and what he learned from this 29:30 - The concerns that come with starting your own company and Ryan approached this 30:45 - How Ryan’s work at Computer Sciences Corporation and Bearing Point helped him in starting his own company, and advice on whether or not to dive directly into your own company 33:58 - How Ryan continues to learn as he is growing his own company and recommended resources for aspiring veteran entrepreneurs 35:45 - Books and Resources Ryan would recommend to veterans 37:15 - Ryan’s advice about finances and what he has learned with working with veterans and their finances for over 7 years 40:30 - An overview of the concept of a “Master Mind Group” and how Ryan went about creating his group 44:00 - Final words of wisdom

62. BTU #60 - Matt Miller: Air Force Pilot to Vending Machine Empire
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“I thought the corporate world was going to be the answer, and what I found out was yeah the corporation didn't control me as much as Uncle Sam did when I was in uniform. But the reality was that the rules changed all the time and they never changed in my favor in the corporate world. In the military, at least you knew what to expect with Uncle Sam. So I started to do some stuff on the side, because I wanted to have more control over our future. A buddy of mine from church mentioned one Sunday that his daughters and he had a gum ball business, and they were doing things together as a family and making money. And so initially I started out just selling gum balls."
– Matt Miller

Matt Miller is the President and Founder of School Spirit Vending, a Hassle-Free, Year-Round Fundraising company for Schools that he started over nine years ago. He is also the Host of the School Zone Podcast, a podcast resource for educators, school volunteers and the fundraising companies that serve them and their schools. And he is also the Owner of Sticker Swarm Media, a publishing company for children’s books. And also the President & Co-Founder of School News Guru - a newsletter program. He started out at the Air Force Academy, after which he served as a pilot in the Air Force for nearly nine years. After the Air Force he served in a variety of sales roles, first at the Hospital & Health Care industry with Abbott, and then with the Marketing & Advertising space with Valassis.

The top three reasons to listen to today’s episode

Empire - Matt went from being turned town for a payday loan, to working nights and weekends on a side project, to running an empire of franchises. And he’s done it completely solo for the first eight of the last nine years. He provides tactical advice on how you can do the same. Personal growth - Matt has some great advice about allocating 10% of your budget for personal growth and development and provides TONS of very specific recommendations on things to take advantage of with this budget. The Show notes are chalked full of links to things I plan to check out and would encourage you to as well. Creating the life you want - Matt burned his ships. He turned down opportunities necessary for promotion in the air force in order to have the time to devote to developing his own company. He talks about how he has constructed the life he wants for him and his family. And it is very, very cool. Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links Interview on EO Fire where I originally heard Matt’s story http://www.eofire.com/podcast/mattmiller/ Matt's company, School Spirit Vending, and his podcast, School Zone Podcast, and his newsletter, School News Guru "You are the sum total of the books you read and the people you hang out with" Aaron Walker is the coach that Matt hired, who also convinced Matt to make a point of attending a few events each year Matt recommends Cliff Ravencraft's online course, Podcasting A to Z Matt recommends any of Seth Goden's events based on his extreme marketing experience Matt recommends Dave Ramsey's Entreleadership event Matt credits Darren Hardy with convincing him to spend 10% of the money he makes each year on self-development Book recommendation: How to Win Friends & Influence People  Live your dreams - top 10 reasons (book he wrote), ssvb business / uniform (download for free) Show Notes 3:10 - How Matt first started School Spirit Vending  5:55 - How Matt continued to work full time while starting his company, and used his nights and weekends to get started 8:13 - How Matt runs multiple organizations, all of which feed into each other 9:48 - How Matt built a company that benefits him, his family, his franchisees, the community's children and their schools 12:20 - What Matt's typical day-to-day life looks like 13:46 - Where Matt goes today to learn, and what he would recommend to other veterans 17:30 - How Matt's initial work in sales has helped him in his entrepreneurial journey 19:40 - What skills Matt needed to acquire prior to starting his own company 21:40 - Matt's advice to veterans thinking of starting their own company 24:50 - One action that a veteran could take TODAY to start their own company 27:55 - Matt's final words of wisdom

63. BTU #59 - Dr. Patrick Leddin: Army to starting (and 11 years later selling) his own consulting company
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“It was literally something that we started over our garage, and over the course of a few years grew to a few different offices.  It was one of those situations where it became - to some degree - all consuming. My wife and I have two children and it was a situation where we always felt like we had this third child - our business, Wedgewood Group. And it probably came to every dinner conversation and every car ride and Wedgewood was just there. I think the point where I realized, 'Oh my gosh, this thing is really real' is when our payroll hit $100k every two weeks, I realized, 'what did I get myself into!'"
– Patrick Leddin, Ph.D.

Dr. Patrick Leddin is a Professor at Vanderbilt University’s Managerial Studies Program, where he teaches both Corporate Strategy and Principles of Marketing. He started out in the Army, where he served for over six years with the 82nd Airborne Division as a Platoon Leader, Staff Officer, and Company Commander. After transitioning from the Army, he worked as a Senior Consultant at KPMG. He then started his own consulting firm, the Wedgewood Consulting Group, and served as Managing Director. In 2011 Inc Magazine named Wedgwood one of the fastest growing private companies in America, and they were acquired in 2012. Patrick holds a PhD in Communication from the University of Kentucky, and has also worked as a Director & Senior Consultant at Franklin Covey for nearly 16 years.

The top four reasons to listen to todays show are:

Growing company - after 2 years in consulting at KPMG, Patrick left to start his own consulting firm. 10 years later, Inc Magazine recognized them as one of the fastest growing companies in America, and they were acquired one year later. Patrick shares the details of this exhilarating ride. Marriage - Patrick started his consulting company with his wife, and has advice and thoughts about starting a company with your significant other. Puzzle - In looking at Patricks career and life he’s done a really effective job of integrating his professional life in a way in which there is diversity in a way that adds more fulfillment to his life. He currently is a professor at Vanderbilt, consults with franklin Covery, and is an author. I find him a fantastic role model for building fulfillment into ones professional life Life’s Circle - At the very end Patrick talks about evaluating all the components of your life as a circle and evaluating how you’re performing in each area. And he talks about the incremental effort in making them better. It’s some of the best advice I’ve had on the show

Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links Another interview with a veteran who founded his company with his significant other is David Cho in episode #37 Books Recommendations: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change What the CEO Wants You to Know : How Your Company Really Works Patrick's Books (also recommended) Oliver's Spot Oliver's Spot for the Public Sector: The 5 Ps Leading Government Teams to Top Results Embracing Excellence in the Public Sector Oliver's Spot for the Public Sector [Paperback] [2012] (Author) Ph.D., PMP, Patrick Leddin Brene Brown's incredible TED talk: The Power of Vulnerability (20 minutes) Show Notes 2:11 - Patrick's background 3:03 - Patricks decision to leave the Army and how he approached that decision 5:05 - Patricks' first job search out of the Army, and how he first landed at KPMG 9:25 - How, after two years at KPMG, Patrick decided to start his own consulting company 11:45 - How Patrick would advise another veteran to start their own consulting firm today 15:58 - What it was like to found and grow his own consulting firm, and a look at the day-to-day operations 17:41 - Advice to veterans who might be considering starting a company with a significant other 21:43 - The moment in Patrick's eleven year journey when things started to become easier 24:32 - The worst moment in Patrick's entrepreneurial journey 27:12 - What it was like to go through an acquisition process, and advice to other veterans going through a similar process 31:55 - What it was like to pursue a Ph.D. while running a company 34:04 - An overview of Patrick's work teaching at Vanderbilt 35:15 - How Patrick has constructed a life that energizes him in multiple ways 38:37 - The habits Patrick developed in the military that helped him be successful, and the habits he needed to break to succeed as a civilian 44:04 - Advice to veterans who want to enter academia, and the trade-offs between going to industry first or entering directly into academia. 46:24 - Books and resources that Patrick would recommend to veterans 48:15 - Final words of wisdom

64. BTU #58 - Duane France: Army NCO to Thought Leader on Veterans Mental Health
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“There is still maybe a stigma in the community. There's an idea that veterans are viewed in one of three ways. They're either a victim, this broken winged bird that needs to be nursed back to life. Or they're a villain, they're this crazy combat vet who is about to explode at any moment. Or they're seen as some sort of mythic hero. And none of those are true. No veteran I've ever known wants to be treated like a victim. Being labeled a villain could make them more aggressive. and most will resist being called a hero. And so there are these archetypes that the community sees, but in reality we're really a combination of all of them."
– Duane France

Duane France serves as the Program Director for the Colorado Veteran Health and Wellness Agency, as well as the Director of Veteran Services for the Family Care Center, and also as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor. He started out as a Noncommissioned officer in the Army, where he served for 22 years with five combat and operational deployments. Since leaving the Army he has established himself as a Veteran Mental Health Thought Leader, being listed by LinkedIn as one of the top five most influential veterans on LinkedIn. You can find him online at his website www.veteranmentalhealth.com and on Twitter as ThCounselingVet

The top two reasons to listen to today’s episode

Responsibility - Duane has devoted his career to helping veterans and established himself as a Veteran Mental Health Thought Leader. In this episode he talks about the main problems addressing the veteran community. You may think this doesn’t apply to you, but if not it definitely affects some of the people you served with. Duane has great advice that would be helpful to anyone who served in the military Counselor - Duane retired in the military and then approached his second career as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor. If you’re interested in this industry, he’s a great role model to follow.

Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Links A few of Duane's Posts that you may enjoy Let’s talk about Vets for a moment An Open Letter to America from One of Your Veterans - this captures Duane's frustration and desires for his brothers and sisters in the service. 8 Things a Veteran Wants their Mental Heath Counselor to Know 8 Things a Metnal Health Professional Wants a Veteran to Know We Lost Another Veteran Yesterday A Message From a Veteran To Veterans: You Have the Potential to Change the World Book Recommendations
Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character Man's Search for Meaning (especially part 1 about his experience in a concentration camp)



65. BTU #57 - Alex Pedersen: Air Force to Google to Employee #5 at a Startup
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“One [aspect of startups] is the uncertainty. I mean that in the macro level in the sense that at any moment the company could die. And I mean that at a more micro level in that you don't always know what to do. You don't know, should I spend the next 15 minutes calling back a customer, or should I spend it talking to a developer about the next product release, or should I spend it strategizing the next investor fundraising meeting. And there's almost never an obvious answer. And so to say that you're in a world of uncertainty is probably an understatement."
– Alex Pedersen

Alex Pedersen is the COO of POLCO - an early stage startup that is a political participation platform for local governments. He started out at the Air Force Academy, after which he received his Masters of Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He served for seven years as an Air Force Officer, before transitioning directly to Google where he worked on Strategy, Planning & Analysis.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

What it's like to be employee #5 at an early-stage company, and how this compares to Google What it's like to work as part of a distrubted team, where each team member is in a different location An overview on the different types of ways you can raise funding for an early stage startup And much, much more…

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Selected Links JO Recruitment Seminars - gave basic lay of the land and the types of jobs available within different companies. Provided interview prep and company introductions Cameron Brooks Slack - chatroom based communication platform ideally designed for small, distributed teams Audible - audiobook company owned by Amazon Books Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success Coursera - online courses from universities so that you can constantly be learning and growing Show Notes 1:33 - Alex's background 2:00 - The moment Alex decided to leave the Air Force and how he approached that decision 3:05 - How Alex approached his first job search after the military and how he found his way to Google 6:06 - How Alex identified the companies at which he would like to work 6:58 - How Alex applied on Google's website and what the interview process was like 7:32 - An overview of Alex's first role at Google 8:57 - A typical day at Google for Alex 10:41 - Advice for other veterans seeking to apply at Google 12:00 - Why Alex chose to not pursue another advanced degree after he left the military and before he entered into industry 13:36 - How long it took Alex to land his first job after the military 14:50 - How Alex made the decision to leave the certainty of Google to join a startup 16:03 - How Alex met the Founders of his startup, POLCO 16:50 - An overview of POLCO, Alex's startup 18:05 - What POLCO was like when Alex first joined 18:56 - Advice to veterans about how to vet and evaluate an early stage startup 21:43 - The contrast of going from Google to an employee with five employees 23:23 - An overview of Alex's role as COO at an early stage startup 24:38 - What Alex's day-to-day life looks like at an early stage startup 25:45 - What it's like to work as part of a distributed team, and how he stays in contact with his teammates 27:23 - What Alex's salary is like at an early stage startup 28:35 - Alex's experience raising funding for a startup and advice he'd give to other veterans considering raising funding 31:57 - Indications that you may like life at an early stage startup, and indications that you may not like it 34:52 - Advice on how to maintain balance in the midst of a chaotic, early stage startup 36:50 - Advice on where to go to learn skills that will help you in an early stage startup 38:20 - What lead Alex to pursue a role in operations as COO 39:12 - What skills are necessary to be successful in operations 41:28 - The most surprising aspect of Alex's transition to civilian life 43:00 - Habits that Alex had to break when he left the military 45:12 - In what ways Alex felt ahead of his civilian counterparts, and the ways in which he needed to catch up 48:17 - Final words of wisdom

66. BTU #56 - Steve Reinemund: Marines to CEO of PepsiCo
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Description:

“Frankly it was never anticipated, I certainly never expected to be the head of PepsiCo. That was not my aspiration. I say that because i think that it's important for people to take positions and work in places that they really enjoy what they're doing, not that they're doing something in order to just be prepared for the big job somewhere down the road. The problem with that is: first of all you won't enjoy it. And second of all, if you're not happy in doing it, likely the people around you won't be happy with you doing it either. And therefore you'll probably never get to that top position."
– Steve Reinemund

Steve Reinemund was CEO of PepsiCo from 2001 to 2006, during which time:

Revenues grew by $9 billion Net income rose 70% Earnings per share were up 80% PepsiCo’s market cap exceeded $100 billion.

Steve started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served for 5 years as an officer in the Marine Corps. After the military, Steven joined IBM as a Sales Rep, and then earning his MBA at the Darden School of Business. After Business School, Steven joined the Marriott, Roy Rogers division, before moving on to PepsiCo’s Pizza Hut division, where after two years he became President & CEO of Pizza Hut. During his time as CEO, he introduced home-delivery as a distribution method, overtaking market share of rival Domino's Pizza within 2 years. Steve then moved to PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division as President & CEO, and then promoted to PepsiCo president and COO before being named to CEO two years later. After his tenure at Pepsi as CEO, Steven served as the Dean of the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy and Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University for six years. Steven has served on multiple boards, including:

The Exxon Mobil Corporation Marriott International Walmart American Express Johnson & Johnson American Express Company Chick-fil-A The United States Naval Academy Foundation The Salvation Army.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

How Steve approached his career path to CEO of a Fortune 100 company One of the most career defining and harrowing moments of Steve's career How Steve sought mentorship and feedback when he was CEO of PepsiCo How the General Management landscape has changed and advice for veterans pursuing this career path Advice on maintaining a marriage that will last over 42 years And much, much more…

 

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Selected Links Steve's "Last Lecture" at Wake Forrest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_j8-oag5qc Minute 34 onwards is particularly worthwhile. It's about finding your "fire" and what you want to do, and determining who you are Bloomberg article on Steve and how he got to be CEO of PepsiCo: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-03-12/how-i-got-here-steven-reinemund BizJournals article on Steve's career: http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/bank_notes/2015/12/former-pepsico-ceo-steve-reinemund-talks.html Show Notes 1:05 - Steve's background 3:00 - Steve's decision to leave the Marine Corps and how he approached this decision 4:00 - Steve's journey to IBM for his first job and how he ended up there 5:40 - Some of the more common career paths for veterans when Steve left the Marine Corps 7:00 - Steve's decision to pursue a career in General Management over a more specific functional expertise 12:00 - Did Steve always know he wanted to be CEO, or was it a gradual progression? 16:38 - One of the most defining moments of Steve's career 27:22 - How Steve's job changed from Pizza Hut to Frito Lay, and then from Frito Lay to PepsiCo, and how Steve adapted to the changing challenges 34:24 - How Steve sought mentorship and feedback when he was CEO of PepsiCo 39:17 - Leadership - the traits Steve tried to maintain in the civilian world, the traits he tried to unlearn, and the traits he learned after the military 44:40 - How the landscape has changed since Steve first set out (and how Steve might approach his career differently today than when he first started out) 47:00 - Advice on maintaining a marriage that will last over 42 years 51:07 - Final words of wisdom

67. BTU #55 - Ashley Snyder: Air Force Medical Services corps to Google operations
http://beyondtheuniform.libsyn... download (audio/mpeg, 46.65Mb)

Description:

“Even getting my foot in the door at Google, once I had my foot in the door I had so many opportunities open. I was able to network, meet other veterans and learn about what they're doing. And that's why after one year I was in a role that I liked. It wasn't a perfect match - I was able to get into a role that I really like and it feels like a role I can do for the next five years."
– Ashley Snyder

Ashley Snyder is the Global Process Manager, Finance Operations at Google. She started out at the US Air Force Academy, where she studied Operations Research and was a Distinguished Grad. After the Air Force Academy she went on to MIT, where she earned her Masters in Operations Research, while also serving at Draper Laboratories as a Operations Research Analyst. She then served for five years in the Air Force in a variety of capacities as part of the Medical Services corps, including positions as

A Manager of TriCare Operations Budget, Manpower, and Resources Program Manager Business Plan Consultant working directly for the hospitals executive group And eventually the Executive Assistant for Pacific Air Forces Surgeon General

She went directly from the Air Force to Google, starting out as an Operations Manager in the Global Sales Operations group.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

How Ashley used career fairs to find her way from the Air Force directly to Google Advice Ashley has for other veterans about getting in to Google and finding your ideal job once you're inside An overview of career paths for someone in operations inside and outside of Google And much, much more…QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

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Selected Links NUPOCC - placement organization that helped Ashley land her first job. Geared towards submariners, but worked with Ashley (and other veterans of idfferent background). They've helped place people at Google, Palantir, Facebook, Stanford, Wharton, Med School and more Bradley Morris - recruiter Ashley initially considered but decided against due to the salaries she was seeing from veterans going this route Other BTU interviews about Google interviews: Steve Muller - applied through front door, transitioned from finance industry Book Recommendations PCS to Corporate America: From Military Tactics to Corporate Interviewing Strategy Project Management: Secrets Successful Project Managers Know And What You Can Learn From Them. A Beginner's Guide To Project Management With Tips On Learning ... Project Management Body of Knowledge) Show Notes 1:40 - Ashely's background 2:53 - An overview of Ashley's role at Google 3:38 - A day in the life of Ashley at Google 5:02 - An overview of Ashley's first role at Google as an Operations Manager and how she got her job at Google 8:22 - How Ashely faced an unexpected transition from the Air Force 10:22 - How Google initially found her way to Google through a NUPOC conference 13:50 - An overview of the Google application process and advice to other veterans seeking to work at Google 15:50 - Additional resources Ashley would recommend to prepare for your career transition 17:40 - Why Ashley decided against getting another advanced degree prior to going to industry at Google 23:00 - Ashley's focus on operations and how it relates to finance 25:20 - Habits that Ashely has tried to keep from the Air Force and habits she's tried to change 30:30 - How leadership at Google has differed from leadership in the military 33:00 - The most challenging aspect of working at Google 34:46 - In general, a few possible career paths for someone in operations at Google 37:40 - Indications that you may enjoy operations at Google and indications that it may not be the best fit for you 39:30 - One of the biggest surprises about Ashley's transition from the military to the civilian workforce 42:45 - Advice that Ashley would give to herself prior to leaving the military 44:04 - For someone on active duty, a few resources Ashley would recommend 47:36 - Final words of wisdom

68. BTU #53 - Ben Vickery: Marine Corps Sergeant to Google Finance
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Description:

“I think that the biggest thing is don't sell yourself short. I see too many people getting out - on both the officer and enlisted side - that look at these really simple programs. They’re great programs that may have transition assistance to get you into certain career fields, or take that first available job, or do something - if you’re working in logistics - to go right back into logistics. But all too often people do it because it’s convenient, rather than because it’s what they want to do. And I think that by really realizing that you’re capable of looking at a lot of different things, and that you’re capable of working at a lot of different places - figure out what you want to do rather than what’s easily available."
– Ben Vickery

Ben Vickery works at Google as a Finance Associate. He is also pursuing his MBA at Berkeley while full time at Google. He started out as Sergeant in the Marine Corps and served for nearly five years, including time as an Afghan Pashto Cryptologic Linguist at 1st Radio Battalion. After the Marines, he went to Columbia University and then on to Google. He also works as an Associate Instructor at Four Block, an organization that equips high potential veterans to achieve great careers at our nation’s top companies.

The top reason to listen to today’s episode is:

Rockstar - Ben was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps. Since transitioning out of the military he went to Columbia University, and landed a job at Google as a Finance Associate directly out of Columbia. As if that weren’t enough, he’s pursuing an MBA at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business WHILE at Google. He has a great story of how he got there and what he learned along the way.

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Selected Links Ben interned at the startup, Venwise Google's Veteran Network is known as VetNet Another related great interview to check out is my interview with Jimmy Sopko Organizations mentioned in our discussion Student Veterans of America Service to School Leadership Scholar (for US Marine Corps) Show Notes 1:37 - Ben's background 2:13 - Ben's decision to transition from the Marine Corps to the civilian world 2:53 - How Ben decided to go to college vs. directly to industry 3:38 - Resources and advice that were helpful for Ben in applying to Columbia 4:31 - The internships Ben pursued while at Columbia, and how this helped him narrow in on what he didn't want to do 8:02 - How Ben decided to apply to Google 10:56 - Advice for veterans thinking of applying to Google 12:04 - How Ben prepared for his interview at Google 12:51 - An overview of Ben's role as a Finance Associate at Google 13:40 - What Ben's life at Google looks like on a day-to-day basis 14:55 - Common advice Ben gives to veterans who reach out to him about Google 18:33 - Habits Ben has tried to maintain - and break - from the military 21:12 - Indications that a veteran may like life as a Finance Associate at Google, and indications that it may not be a good fit for you 22:58 - Advice Ben would give to himself when he first left the Marine Corps 23:54 - The ways in which Ben has felt ahead and behind his civilian counterparts 27:18 - How Ben thought about the Reserves 27:50 - Advice to those on active duty about what they can do right now to prepare for their civilian career 30:40 - Final words of wisdom

69. BTU #52 - Chris Pestel: Army to Photographer with ESPN, Playboy and more
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Description:

“From the process of going through West Point and then being an officer and then deciding where you're going to next, one of the first things that is told to you is that you can go do whatever you want; you can write your own path. I think I took that to heart. If I can do whatever I want, this is what I want to do. It was a thing where I picked up a camera and started photographing a few things, and really, really enjoyed it. It was very intuitive and I liked that. It was the closest thing I had found to playing sports, where I was building muscle memory and then let that instinctive ability take over and get lost in the flow of what's going on. And I really wanted to keep doing that - if I got to choose what I would do, that's what I wanted to do. Then just dove neck deep in it and tried to figure it out."
– Chris Pestel

Chris Pestel is the Founder of Pestel Photography, and has worked as a freelance photographer for ESPN for nearly 9 years now. He started out at West Point after which he served as an Army Officer for five years. After his transition he started out as a photographer at Carolina Sports, before moving on to Playboy Enterprises as a Junior Designer & Photo Editor. He’s also served as the Director of Public Relations for his high school alma matter, Montini Catholic. Chris has run his company - Pestel Photography - for over 9 years, making him on the verge of the 4% of entrepreneurs who keep their company running for 10 years.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

How Chris got his start with photography How Chris found his first job in photography with Carolina Sports What Chris' day-to-day life looked like at his first job with Carolina Sports How Chris trained and improved himself as a photographer What day-to-day life was like at Playboy How Chris founded his own company, Pestel Photography How Chris got started with ESPN And much, much more…

Our Sponsor

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Selected Links Lynda.com - free with many public libraries ($20-25 / month), but a great resource for learning any new skill Book Recommendations: Stephen King's book about writing: On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft The Art of Play: Ignite Your Imagination to Unlock Insight, Healing, and Joy Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Show Notes 2:45 - Chris' background 3:28 - Chris' decision to leave the Army 4:35 - How Chris got his start with photography 6:20 - How Chris decided to start a career in photography 8:10 - How Chris found his first job in photography with Carolina Sports 10:57 - What Chris' day-to-day life looked like at his first job with Carolina Sports 13:30 - How Chris trained and improved himself as a photographer 14:58 - Specific resources Chris would recommend to other aspiring photographers 19:32 - How Chris transitioned from Carolina Sports to Playboy 27:39 - What day-to-day life was like at Playboy 30:00 - How Chris approached the opportunity at Playboy 32:50 - How Chris' approaches mentors and role models as an artist 37:12 - How Chris founded his own company, Pestel Photography 40:31 - How Chris got started with ESPN 43:24 - In what ways Chris' military service has helped him and in what ways he's had to break habits 49:34 - If Chris could give advice to himself when he separated from the military, the one piece of advice he'd give to himself 53:39 - Final words of wisdom

70. BTU #51 - Robert Underwood: Retiring in the Navy and hiring a PhD to help with career coaching
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Description:

“I've been retired for 6.5 years now and some of the things that I've learned are that it's different after you leave active duty; the people are different and your motivations are different. One of the things you need to figure out how to do is relax, because most things just aren't as important as they were when you were wearing a uniform. And that's ok. It's ok to relax."
– Robert Underwood

Robert Underwood served as an Officer in the Marine Corps for 25 years, retiring as a Colonel and works as a Business Development Manager in the Electronic Manufacturing Industry at Eaton.

The top two reasons to listen to today’s episode:

Start with why - Bob has some incredible advice about figuring out what you want to do with your career, and how this is a process that occurs every 3-5 years for most people. He talks about finding the why that makes sense to you right now - not the one that made sense in the past, and provides a specific example of how this got him a job at Amazon Interview prep - Bob has some exceptional advice about preparing for interviews. Rather than using books like “200 questions to prepare for an interview” he provides practical and tactical steps to get ready now Perspective - Bob left the military and returned shortly after as active reservist through his retirement. He talks about the perspective this has given him and the the advantages of retiring Business Development - at very end, describes job at Eaton in BD, which is a great overview. Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Show Notes Placement agencies (free and get you lots of exposure): Lucas Group, Orion Group Book recommendation: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon Operation connect - San Diego Chamber of Commerce American Corporate Partners - matches veterans with veterans FOR FREE LinkedIn's Veteran Mentors Network Show Notes 1:55 - Bob's background 4:11 - How Bob approached his decision to leave the military 5:21 - How do you know whether or not leaving the military is the right decision for you? 6:21 - How to consider leaving the military when you're uncertain of whether to disclose this process to those around you 8:55 - How Bob approach his first job search 10:20 - How Bob hired a PhD to help him figure out his ideal career 11:40 - What Bob's 30 minute coaching sessions looked like 13:06 - How Bob's coach - after he understood Bob's motivations - helped him explore job possibilities 20:33 - How Bob revisits his "why" frequently as he evaluates new job possibilities 32:00 - How Bob found his way to Amazon 33:04 - Advice on how to best prepare for an interview 35:20 - Advice on how to find a coach 39:30 - Other resources Bob would recommend 44:01 - An overview of Eaton and the role of Business Development 47:57 - Final words of wisdom

71. BTU #25 - AIleen Teague: Marines to Fulbright Scholar to PhD Student
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Description:

“I know that sounds really broad, but that's what people in academia are doing - it's knowledge production. It's not just sitting around sitting on a beach chair reading and thinking 'I love foreign policy' it's actually reading some of the dry stuff, engaging with others, writing, thinking and seeing whether or not you agree with the way we see things now and if you don't, do you know ways to change the way we look at things."
 – Aileen Teague

Aileen Teague is a Ph.D. Candidate at Vanderbilt University, where she studies, U.S. and Latin American History. She will finish her doctoral studies next summer and move toward her ambition of being a history professor. She teaches history at both Vanderbilt University and Nashville State Community College. She serves as an assistant coach on the marksmanship teach of the Nashville all boy's school Montgomery Bell Academy.

She started out at Boston University where she studied History and participated in the NROTC program. After this she served for 4 years active duty and then 4 years as a reservist as an officer in the US Marine Corps. After leaving the Marine Corps, she earned a Masters of Arts in History at Vanderbilt, and received a Fulbright Scholarship that took her to Mexico City to conduct research on Mexico's experience with the U.S. war on drugs over the course of 10 months. Since returning from Mexico Aileen has published various opinion pieces on her research and continues to write her dissertation, which focuses on the effects of U.S. drug control policies in 1970s Mexico.
In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

An overview of life as a PhD student Having so much unstructured time, how Aileen structures her day How to prepare financially to give yourself time to find what you want to do Some typical career paths post-PhD An overview of the Fulbright Scholarship And much, much more…

 

Our Sponsor

Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

  Show Notes 2:16 - Aileen's background 3:53 - An overview of life as a PhD student 5:12 - Having so much unstructured time, how Aileen structures her day 7:07 - How long a PhD process takes 10:25 - How Aileen knew she wanted to pursue a PhD 14:16 - How to prepare financially to give yourself time to find what you want to do 16:06 - Side jobs that come to mind as ways to generate side income 20:06 - What the PhD application process looks like 23:15 - What Aileen plans to do after her PhD 25:27 - Some typical career paths post-PhD 29:03 - Indications that you may love life as a PhD... and indications that you may not like it 31:58 - The hardest part of pursuing a PhD 35:05 - Advice for veterans pursuing a PhD 36:46 - How Aileen decided to leave the Marine Corps 37:47 - An overview of the Fulbright Scholarship 45:57 - Advice to any veteran considering applying for a Fulbright Scholarship 48:00 - The more surprising aspects of Aileen's transition to civilian life 50:44 - Final words of wisdom

72. BTU #49 - John Quarles: From SEALs to Chief Financial Officer
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Description:

“In the private company world these companies are typically on 2-2.5 year funding cycles. If you don't get the next check in, the entity may go belly up. The person who feels the most pressure in that situation is the CFO - you're looking at payroll, vendor payments, at office lighting. You've got better visibility into when things reach cash exhaustion. And you expect CEOs to be very optimistic and Heads of Sales to be very optimistic in believing it will come, but when you're not seeing it, you're not holding the sales order and you've got a backlog of payments that can be pretty nerve wracking. But you can also thrive in the fact that in some situations the weight of the company is on your shoulders and for me that's highly motivational. "
 – John Quarles

John Quarles has served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for two different startups, where he has raised over $150M of equity and debt for his companies. John is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and served as a Navy SEAL as part of SEAL Team 8. After transitioning from the military, he worked as a consultant at Accenture for one year prior to attending Harvard Business School. After HBS, he entered the Finance Industry and began his progression towards CFO.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

What day-to-day life looks like as a CFO The most challenging aspect of being CFO The advantages of gaining experience prior to pursuing an MBA More tried and true career paths to the position of CFO And much, much more… Selected Links from the Episode Recruiters: Lucas Group FP&A - Financial Planning & Analysis certification Finance Companies mentioned: Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), Price Watterhouse Couper (PwC), Grant Thornton, Baker Tilly Show Notes 1:53 - John’s background 2:35 - An overview of the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 4:30 - What day-to-day life looks like as a CFO 11:50 - The most challenging aspect of being CFO 15:37 - John's journey from the Navy to consulting and his initial job search 18:06 - The advantages of gaining experience prior to pursuing an MBA 20:06 - How John decided to pursue a career in finance 24:00 - John's path from entering finance to becoming a CFO 27:00 - More tried and true career paths to the position of CFO 29:45 - Indications that you may love the job of CFO... and indications that you may hate it 36:11 - The ways in which John felt ahead and behind based on his military service 38:38 - Habits John had to break when he left the military, and positive habits he's tried to maintain 43:03 - Some of the more surprising aspects of a transition to civilian life 49:30 - Final words of wisdom

73. BTU #48 - Kate Kranz Jordan: Navy to Public Service @ Veterans Campaign
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Description:

“Veterans, writ large, miss being in the military because of that sense of community and a greater pruprose. In that sense, politics is a perfect fit for veterans: you work hard with a group of people to solve problems, and make a difference and serve your country; the mission statements are perfectly aligned. The thing that I think gets hard for a lot of veterans getting into the political space is that in order to get elected you have to be able to go out and tell a community of people why you're so great and why they should vote for you. Veterans as a group are a little more reserved about that."
 – Kate Kranz

Kate Kranz is the Director of Women's Initiative at Veterans Campaign, a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage, mentor and prepare veterans, transitioning service members, and other members of the military community for a "Second Service" in civic and political leadership. She started out at the Naval Academy, and served as a Naval Flight Officer for 11 years. She is finishing up a Masters of Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University, and a Master’s of Administrative Leadership from Oklahoma University.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

An overview of the Veteran's Campaign and what they do How veterans can work with Veteran's Campaign In what ways veterans would enjoy the world of politics and what might be more challenging How Kate figured out what she wanted to do after an unexpected transition to a civilian career And much, much more… Related Links Kate's company, Veterans Campaign: http://www.veteranscampaign.org/ Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers: http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/ Homefront Rising - encourages and helps military spouses to run for office Service 2 School - free help for any veteran to get into your ideal college or graduate school program American Corporate Partners - free mentorship for any veteran pursuing a career in business Vets for Diplomacy Hill Vets - increasing veteran involvement in government and advocacy Vet Tech Trek - VetTechTrek runs immersive recruiting events for veterans and their spouses. Show Notes 2:02 - Kate's background 2:52 - An overview of the Veteran's Campaign and what they do  3:56 - How veterans can work with Veteran's Campaign 6:08 - What Kate's day-to-day life looks like 10:40 - In what ways veterans would enjoy the world of politics and what might be more challenging 13:43 - Kate's decision to leave the military 19:33 - How Kate figured out what she wanted to do after an unexpected transition to a civilian career 24:33 - The most surprising aspect of Kate's transition to civilian life 30:10 - How people on active duty can start preparing right now for their eventual transition to civilian life 33:00 - Final words of wisdom

74. BTU #76 - Liz McLean: Air Force to Recruiter and Senior Director at Military.com
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Description:

“[Veterans] rush into [their first job]. They worry so much about the changes that they don't pause and really think about what the next step is. Now, not everyone has the luxury of preparing for six months. Sometimes they are medically discharged or there are other extraneous circumstances that make their transition come upon them much quicker. But there are so many times that I see veterans rush into a role without looking at the broad picture first."
– Liz McLean

Liz McLean is the Senior Program Director of Veteran Employment at Military.com, as well as the Owner & President of Liz McLean Veteran Solutions. She started out at the Air Force Academy where she served for five years as a Logistics Readiness Officer. Since 2010 she has worked as a recruiter for civilians and veterans, with multiple companies including positions at Booz Allen Hamilton and Hewlett-Packard where she worked to refine veteran programs. Liz holds a bachelors in behavioral science and a Masters of Science in Industrial Organizational Psychology, where she focused on the people versus the product for program efficiency. Her passions are fueled by ultra-running and up to the ironman distance triathlon

The top three reasons to listen to today's are:

#1 Transition Advice - Liz has worked as a recruiter for top companies including Booz Allen Hamilton and Hewlett-Packard. Each of us only make a transition from the military once, but Liz has worked with hundreds of veterans in their transition. Her advice on this is really worthwhile. #2 Recruiting - a career path that not a lot of veterans consider is being a recruiter. Liz talks about what it's like, and how you can succeed in this career path. #3 Starting a company - Liz chose to start her own recruiting company rather than join an established company. She's got some great advice for vets thinking of starting their own organization.

Selected Links

Military.com Lots of articles on how to know what you like Skills Translators - help you break down the areas you might go into based on your prior military field Liz's company is Liz McLean Veteran Solutions Book Moving the Needle: Get Clear, Get Free, and Get Going in Your Career, Business, and Life! - How to network properly; does a good job of breaking down the networking skill sets Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t Show Notes 1:43 - Liz's background in the Air Force until today 2:30 - Liz's decision to leave the Air Force and how she approached this decision 3:50 - What Liz learned in her first job search outside of the Air Force 8:03 - How Liz thought about agreeing to 100% commission based salary, and why she wouldn't recommend that veterans consider a commission based salary for their first job 12:07 - Liz's current role at Military.com and what her day-to-day life looks like 14:58 - With so much experience recruiting, a few common mistakes that Liz sees veterans making in their first job search outside of the military 18:30 - Resources that Liz would recommend to veterans to help in their civilian career 20:48 - Liz's advice for veterans interested in starting their career as a recruiter, and an overview of the career of a recruiter 24:26 - The most challenging part of Liz's job 26:06 - How Liz started her own company, and why this was an important career decision for her as a recruiter 28:08 - The Pros & Cons of starting your own company as a recruiter, vs. joining an established company as a recruiter 31:33 - Liz's advice to any veteran interested in starting their own company 33:00 - One of the biggest mistakes Liz made since leaving the Air Force and what she learned from it 34:54 - What habits Liz tried to maintain from the Air Force, and habits she needed to break to be successful in her civilian career 39:15 - What surprised Liz the most about her transition from the Air Force to civilian life 41:24 - Liz's final words of wisdom

75. BTU #47 - Tom Pae: Army to LinkedIn & Slack
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“When you go into a project, everyone has the understanding that they probably don't know what the right answer is. At Slack we're very successful and we've done a lot of right movement: when there was a decision to go left, we went left; when there was a decision to pick door #3, we happened to pick door #3. A lot of it is by chance and luck and at the same time when we attempt a project, I don't think anyone assumes that they know what the right answer is. Because of that there is a lot of open mindedness of being ok if this doesn't work out. A lot of the time we do things here to try it out and if it doesn't work it doesn't work."
 – Tom Pae

Tom Pae is a Sales Enablement Manager at Slack - one of the fastest growing startups in San Francisco, who has raised $540M in funding. He started out at West Point, and served in the Army for over seven years as an Armor & Military Intelligence Officer. When he left the Army he went to Columbia Business School. After that, he joined LinkedIn - first as a Sales Operations Manager and then as a Senior Learning Technology Strategist. He is married to fellow Army veteran, RaeAnne Pae, who I interviewed in Episode 26.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

An overview of the role of Account Operations Management The lifestyle component of working in a high-growth startup How life at Slack (and a high growth startup) compares to life at LinkedIn (an established company) How Tom used nights and weekends to prepare for his transition to tech And much, much more… Selected Links My interview with Tom's wife, RaeAnne - http://beyondtheuniform.io/btu-26-raeanne-pae-army-to-facebook-and-business-development/ Slack's incredible commercial about their vision for the workplace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6sSa5NpqUI Articles mentioned about tech Recode - http://www.recode.net/ Venture beat - http://venturebeat.com/ Tech crunch - https://techcrunch.com/ Wall Street Journal Tech & Marketing section - http://www.wsj.com/news/technology General Assembly - short form content on different topics at night. Helped Tom figure out what he wanted to do Show Notes 2:37 - Tom's background 3:18 - An overview of Slack 5:50 - An overview of the role of Account Operations Management 7:42 - The day-to-day life of an Account Operations Manager 9:18 - The lifestyle component of working in a high-growth startup 11:20 - Career progressions for an Account Operations Manager 13:20 - Indications that you may be well suited for a role in Account Operations, and indications that you may not enjoy it 16:47 - How life at Slack (and a high growth startup) compares to life at LinkedIn (an established company) 21:28 - How Tom approached the decision to leave the Army 23:28 - The most surprising aspect of Tom's transition to civilian life 26:26 - Advice on whether or not to pursue an MBA after the military 30:10 - How Tom found his way from business school to LinkedIn 37:50 - How Tom pursued Operations as a starting point for his career 41:04 - How Tom decided to move on from LinkedIn 44:00 - Final words of wisdom

76. BTU #46 - Mandy Psiaki: Army to Chick-fil-a Corporate
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“In the military we like to talk about, 'we accomplish more before 9am than the rest of the world.' If you take that thought into the civilian world, it's going to hurt you. There are really smart people out there and there is so much to be learned as you make the transition. Everyone has chosen to do something different - whether you're in the military or working for Chick-fil-a, or somewhere else. They're adding a lot of value where they are. So just keep in mind that - 'I can add value too in a unique way and I have a unique skill set to bring, but there are also a lot of people around me who are really smart and adding a lot of value too."
 – Mandy Psiaki

Mandy Psiaki is a Senior Team Lead at Chick-fil-A Corporate. She started out at West Point, and served in the Army for five years as a Finance Officer. She received her MBA from Colorado State University while still on Active Duty. She started her civilian career at Proctor & Gamble, where she worked for three months as an Associate Manager, Consumer and Market Knowledge. Before she transitioned to Chick-fil-A, where she has worked for nearly five years: starting as a Franchisee Selection Consultant, a Senior Franchisee Selection Consultant, and now her current role as Senior Team Lead, Specialized Training.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

An overview of Mandy's work at Chick-fil-a What it was like getting an MBA while on Active Duty How Mandy transitioned to Proctor & Gamble How Mandy started working at Chick-fil-a and an overview of her first role as Franchisee Selection Consultant How the separation between Mandy and her husband in the corporate world differed from their separation while on Active Duty And much, much more…Show Notes 2:07 - Mandy's background 2:51 - An overview of Mandy's work at Chick-fil-a 4:15 - What her job looks like on a day-to-day basis 7:05 - The lifestyle component of her work 8:08 - The most challenging aspect of Mandy's work 9:25 - Mandy's decision to leave the Army 10:53 - How she thought about the Reserves 11:42 - What it was like getting an MBA while on Active Duty 14:46 - How Mandy transitioned to Proctor & Gamble 20:01 - How Mandy started working at Chick-fil-a and an overview of her first role as Franchisee Selection Consultant 22:20 - How the separation between Mandy and her husband in the corporate world differed from their separation while on Active Duty 25:53 - How Mandy's next role at Chick-fil-a compared to her first role 26:59 - Indications that you may like a job like Mandy's... and indications you may not enjoy it 29:07 - Common career paths for someone in Mandy's shoes 30:30 - How leadership outside of the military has differed from leadership in the military 32:12 - Positive habits Mandy has tried to maintain from the military... and bad habits she had to break 33:44 - The most surprising aspect of Mandy's transition to the civilian world 35:08 - How Mandy felt ahead of her civilian counterparts, and where she felt behind 39:40 - Final words of wisdom

77. BTU #44 - Sam Bond: Bain, Coca-Cola, and General Manager at Lyft
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“When I left Bain I reached out to a variety of folks… to explore what was out there. I kept in touch with those folks, and made a point to regularly get back in touch with people and see what they’re up to. It was after a meeting like that - we grabbed coffee and didn’t think much of it at the time, but he called me a few weeks later to let me know that Lyft was starting up in Atlanta. It was basically a lightening bolt that made me aware. It appeared and it appeared because I made contacts and maintained them."
 – Sam Bond

Sam Bond is a General Manager at Lyft - a company most listeners have probably used for their app which makes it simple for you to find a ride whenever you need one. Although only four years old, Lyft has raised $2B in funding, and has nearly 6k employees listed on LinkedIn. Sam started out at Princeton University and then served as an officer in the Marine Corps for 4 years. After his service, he attended the University of Virginia - Darden Graduate School of Business. He worked in consulting at Bain & Company as a Consultant and then Case Team Leader. He also worked at the Coca-Cola Company - first as a Director Supply Chain Strategy and then as a Group Director of Strategy and Portfolio Management.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

An overview of the General Manager position at Lyft Indications that a veteran may enjoy the role of General Manager, and indications that it might not be a good fit for them What it's like to work at an explosively growing startup (and the pros and cons of joining a company on an exponential growth path) An overview of entry level positions at Coca-Cola for a newly transitioned veteran How Sam looks back on his journey to a role of General Manager And much, much more… Links The ride sharing service, Lyft Show Notes 2:23 - Sam's background 3:27 - An overview of the General Manager position at Lyft 7:27 - Sam's day-to-day life at Lyft 11:58 - Indications that a veteran may enjoy the role of General Manager, and indications that it might not be a good fit for them 15:00 - What it's like to work at an explosively growing startup (and the pros and cons of joining a company on an exponential growth path) 19:20 - Sam's decision to leave the Marine Corps 22:05 - Sam's view on an MBA and how essential it is to a veteran aspiring to a General Manager role 24:04 - How Sam decided to enter Management Consulting at Bain & Company 26:25 - Some of the skills that Sam learned at Bain that have helped him in his role as General Manager 29:45 - How Sam's lifestyle changed between a Consultant to a Case Team Leader 31:50 - After three years, how Sam transitioned from Bain & Company to Coca-Cola 34:50 - An overview of Sam's roles at Coca-Cola 38:20 - An overview of entry level positions at Coca-Cola for a newly transitioned veteran 41:10 - How Sam transitioned from Coca-Cola to Lyft 47:32 - How Sam looks back on his journey to a role of General Manager 50:00 - How leadership outside of the military differs from leadership within the military 52:20 - Final words of wisdom from Sam

78. BTU #43 - Todd Pringle: General Manager at Stitcher, and a history of Product Management
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“Many Product Managers - most of them, actually - don't have anyone directly working for them. They work with everybody and yet are the owner - and that's a really interesting role. One of the things that I found useful in the military that I translated was: I found - personally - that getting things done, even in the military where it is more hierarchical, that treating people as peers and as experts in their area; that motivating them to get things done without using your direct authority over them was the best way to get things done. And that skill set really translates well to Product Management. "
 – Todd Pringle

Todd Pringle General Manager and Vice President of Product at Stitcher - the podcasting app that many of you are use to listen to this podcast, and was acquired by Midroll. Todd started out at UCLA, after which he served in the Navy for 4 years as part of the Supply Corps. After his transition out of the military, Todd attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business. After this he held a variety of Product Management roles - at Netscape and AOL in the early 2000s, and then eBay, AirPlay and then a company called Yoono. Todd also holds two US Patents

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

An overview of the role of General Manager & VP of Product How the role of Product Manager has changed over the last 15 years How Todd would approach the Product Manager role if he were starting over again today Indications that you may enjoy Product Management, and signs you might dislike it An overview of Todd's career in Product Management since business school Advice on the decision between joining a startup vs. a more established company Things you can do right now to start building a skill set to be a Product Manager And much, much more… Links Todd's Company - Stitcher - is my favorite app for listening to podcasts Show Notes 2:24 - Todd's background 3:26 - An overview of the role of General Manager & VP of Product 5:39 - The General Manger role on a day-to-day basis 7:12 - What drew Todd to the Product Manager role after business school 11:00 - How the role of Product Manager has changed over the last 15 years 12:45 - How Todd would approach the Product Manager role if he were starting over again today 15:12 - Indications that you may enjoy Product Management, and signs you might dislike it 17:40 - How leadership has differed outside of the military vs. inside the military 19:15 - An overview of Todd's career in Product Management since business school 24:18 - Advice on the decision between joining a startup vs. a more established company 27:52 - Things you can do right now to start building a skill set to be a Product Manager 29:55 - Habits that have helped - and hurt - veterans in the civilian world 33:29 - How to know when to move on from one company - or role - to the next 36:36 - How Todd approached the Reserves  39:09 - An overview of Todd's company, Stitcher 43:11 - Some of Todd's favorite podcasts 44:53 - Final words of wisdom from Todd

79. BTU #42 - Shaoli Breaux: Navy to maternity leave to GE's Junior Officer Leadership Program
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“It's more change than you ever think it will be, because in the corporate world plans change all the time. Everything changes even more so than in the military. Don't expect a table nine to five job where you're just going to sit in the office all day. That's what you imagine when you're in the military - 'Oh, I wish I had more stability and wasn't changing around so much.' But it's just like that if not more in the corporate world."
 – Shaoli Breaux

Shaoli Breaux is part of the Junior Officer Leadership Program at GE Oil & Gas in Houston, Texas. She started out at the Naval Academy, and served as a Surface Warfare Officer for for 5.5 years. After she left the Navy, she stayed at home to take care of her young children for two years. Then, she transitioned directly to General Electric.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

An overview of the Junior Officer Leadership Program at General Electric What the GE Junior Officer Leadership Program looks like on a day-to-day basis What it was like to re-enter the workforce after two years of maternity leave What Shaoli's experience has been like in the Reserves while at General Electric And much, much more…

 

Links GE's Junior Officer Leadership Program: https://www.ge.com/careers/culture/us-veterans/junior-officer-leadership-program Show Notes 1:35 - Shaoli's background 2:20 - An overview of the Junior Officer Leadership Program at General Electric 3:34 - Examples of the types of rotations available at a program like the GE JOLP 5:02 - What happens at the end of the two year rotational program 5:55 - An overview of the application process and advice for veterans considering applying 7:20 - What the GE Junior Officer Leadership Program looks like on a day-to-day basis 9:00 - The most challenging aspect of the GE Junior Officer Leadership Program 11:43 - Indications you may be well suited for the JOLP and indications that you may not like it 13:20 - What Shaoli wished she had known when she first started the GE Junior Officer Leadership Program 15:22 - Shaoli's decision to leave the military and how she approached this decision 16:30 - What it was like to re-enter the workforce after two years of maternity leave 17:55 - What Shaoli's experience has been like in the Reserves while at General Electric 19:20 - In what ways Shaoli felt ahead and behind her civilian counterparts 21:30 - Good habits that Shaoli learned in the military that she's tried to maintain, and habits she's had to break 23:20 - The most surprising aspects of Shaoli's transition to civilian life 26:07 - Advice on how to best prepare for one's transition from active duty 28:06 - Shaoli's final words of wisdom

80. Steven Muller
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“Prior to the financial collapse and my first day at Deutsche, I was thinking: I’m in finance, I’m on this ladder and trajectory, I’m going to make Director or Managing Director some day, it’s just a matter of time. But then after the financial collapse everything got mixed up, and it was very difficult to make life decisions when you have that cloud over your head. So, over time I started to really question whether that was the right thing for me. And I did a Google search of “which companies have the best culture” and Google came up. I applied through the online portal (“the black hole”) and was fortunate to get a call back and things worked out."
 – Steven Muller

Steven Muller works at Google as a Global Strategic Business Development for Google Play. He started out at the Naval Academy,after which he served in the Navy for four years with the Submarine Force as part of the USS West Virginia. After transitioning out of the Navy he worked for 5 years in the Finance Industry: first at Barclays Capital as their Associate Director - Head of Derivative Client Valuations, North America; then at Deutsche Bank as a Vice President. He then transitioned to Google, where was a Finance Manger for 4 years before his current role. Steven holds an MBA from the Duke Fuqua School of Business and a Master’s Degree of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

What day-to-day life is like at Google How Steven made the switch from the world of finance to high tech at Google What life was like in the Finance industry during the 2008 meltdown And much, much more… Show Notes 2:05 - Steven’s background 3:07 - What Steven does at Google 4:25 - What Steven’s day-to-day life looks like 6:15 - The lifestyle component of working at Google 9:30 - Steven’s decision to leave the military 14:15 - the day-to-day life in derivatives at Barclays Capital 16:02 - How Steven transitioned to Deutsche Bank 17:40 - An MBA and whether or not it’s essential for the world of finance 19:45 - How Steven decided to move on from the Financial Services industry 22:45 - Day-to-day life when Steven first joined Google 26:50 - Advice to those looking to work at Google (or in the world of high tech) 29:45 - The switch from financial services to Finance Manager at Google 35:07 - How leadership differs outside of the military vs. inside the military 37:10 - Habits Steven had to break when he left the military 39:10 - Common veteran entry points at Google 42:40 - Final words of wisdom

81. BTU# 40 - Annie Taft: Founding a company while in the Army and following your passion
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“They kept saying: "forget about what job you want, what do you want to do?" It dawned on me and that day I ended up applying to culinary school. That's what I want to do! Forget about this corporate route I'm headed to, forget about business school. Unfortunately, the culinary school I was enrolled in when out of business a month before I left the Army. But it was a great sign that I had already made that jump, that the options were so much broader than I was giving myself credit for. In that sense, teh floodgates were already open in terms of telling myself that I could do this type of work full time. That was the distinct moment from it being a hobby to knowing that I could do this."
 – Annie Taft

Annie Taft is the Founder & Executive director of The Brazen Gourmand, which is a Lifestyle brand for the culinarily curious. She started out at West Point, where she graduated 17th in her class and served in the Army for over five years as part of the intelligence community. When she left the Army, she participated in the Stanford Ignite Program, after which she started three different companies, of which The Brazen Gourmand is one.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

What it was like starting a company while still on Active Duty, and advice for veterans seeking to do the same What Annie's day-to-day life looks like as an entrepreneur How Annie knew when to turn her hobby into a business An overview of the Stanford Ignite program, and why veterans aspiring to entrepreneruship should consider it Additional resources Annie would recommend for aspiring veteran entrepreneurs And much, much more…

 

Links The Brazen Gourmand - http://www.thebrazengourmand.com/ Stanford Ignite - https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/programs/stanford-ignite/campus/post-9-11-veterans Vet Tech Trek Boots to business 1 Million Cups - weekly meeting of entrepreneurs (every week someone pitches their idea, surrounded by likeminded people Show Notes 2:03 - Annie's background 2:30 - An overview of Annie's current company, The Brazen Gourmand 3:40 - What Annie's day-to-day life looks like as an entrepreneur 10:00 - What it was like starting a company while still on Active Duty, and advice for veterans seeking to do the same 11:36 - The point at which Annie knew she could turn a hobby into a business 20:30 - Some of the challenges Annie faced while starting her company 24:30 - An overview of the Stanford Ignite program 35:10 - Why veterans should consider the Stanford Ignite veteran track 39:05 - Additional resources Annie would recommend for aspiring veteran entrepreneurs 42:30 - Final words of wisdom

82. BTU #64 - Anthony Garcia: Army to Founder of Guide-On, an Essential Veteran Resource
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“Me and Derek went in there and pitched to Mike [Maples] for an hour, 9am the next morning we had a term sheet. And we were about to die. We were running out of money - we pitched to Mike on September 10th, and we got a term sheet on September 11th. If you're not used to taking risks, you're going to have a hard time succeeding as an entrepreneur. I'm $240k in debt; my credit sucks; I lived with my co-founder for three years and we were in our mid to late 30s at the time; I've given up going to weddings, I gave up skiing and surfing for six years, given up love, the list goes on and on the sacrifice."
– Anthony Garcia

Anthony Garcia is CEO and co-founder at GuideOn -a military veteran talent acquisition platform. He started out at St. Mary's University, after which he served in the Army for eight years as a Medical Service Corps Officer and Medical Evacuation Pilot. After transitioning out of the Army, he received his MBA at Cornell University. Since then he has worked as a General Manager at SRI International and the CEO and co-founder of Adjacent Applications. He started GuideOn in late 2014, and has raised funding from Mike Maple’s VC firm - Floodgate, one of the most respected investors in Silicon Valley.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Anthony's experience with PTSD and candid advice for other veterans The biggest mistakes Anthony made that made his current success possible How Anthony raised funding from one of the best investors in the world What it's like to hire your father as your Chief Information Officer (CIO) How GuideOn is a FREE resource that will translate a veterans resume instantly And much, much more… Selected Links Two resources I'd recommend to any and every veteran are: GuideOn - free resume creator tool and, soon, a candidate placement resource. What the White House has called "the Rosetta Stone for veteran placement" Line1.org - built venue for veterans, non-veterans, corporations, and thought leaders to help veterans transition. Free guidance for all veterans Show Notes 3:25 - Anthony's background 4:10 - Anthony's decision to leave the Army and how he approached that decision 5:27 - Anthony's struggle with PTSD and how he found a way through 13:37 - Anthony's thoughts on business school as it relates to entrepreneurship - how the network helped, but also how there are a lot of resources available now for veterans as an alternative 16:53 - How Cornell's network lead Anthony to the Co-Founder & Lyft and an introduction to Mike Maples that changed his life 19:08 - An overview of GuideOn and how it's one of the best FREE resources for every veteran 22:54 - When Anthony first got the idea to start GuideOn 26:35 - The most painful failures Anthony experienced after the Army and how that helped him achieve his current success 33:03 - How veterans can work with GuideOn - FOR FREE - to instantly create a resume 35:16 - Common mistakes that veterans make in their transition to a civilian career 40:04 - Anthony's advice for veterans about the fundraising process 44:04 - What it's like working with your father when he is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of your company 49:27 - Anthony's final words of wisdom

83. BTU #39: Frank Van Buren - Blackhawk pilot to 18 years in Financial Services at Wells Fargo
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“What I'm saying is that when there is nothing at stake - you're not being paid for it or receiving credit - what are you interested in? If you can figure out what you're genuinely interested in, and you can combine that with what your natural strength is, you have the foundation for planning your future. Until you do that, you're just spinning in the wind. If you ever leave a job without understanding those two things, you're just tossing the dice."
 – Frank Van Buren

Frank Van Buren lives in North Carolina and works at Wells Fargo in their High Yield Sales & Trading Group. Frank started out at the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, where he did Army ROTC, after which he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the National Guard/Reserve, and then decided to become a Chief Warrant Officer on active duty in the US Army, where served as a Blackhawk pilot for six years. After his transition from the Army, he earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has worked at Wells Fargo for the last 18 years, first as part of their Investment Banking group and then as part of their Fixed-Income Sales & Trading groups. He also runs the site, AdviceForVets.com.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

How to decide between Investment Banking and Sales & Trading An overview of the Financial Services industry and where you might fit in What Frank has learned from over 18 years in Financial Services How to find your dream and uncover what you might want to do for a career And much, much more…

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Links Frank has a website and blog that he maintains at: AdviceForVets.com Show Notes 1:37 - Frank’s background 3:30 - An overview of Frank’s role at Well’s Fargo 8:40 - Frank's day-to-day life 15:05 - Frank's lifestyle in sales & trading (as compared to Investment Banking) 17:45 - Frank's journey from pilot to life as a civilian 28:00 - How to find your dream and uncover what you might want to do for a career 36:00 - How to decide between Investment Banking and Sales & Trading 45:30 - Bad habits that veterans need to break when they leave active duty 54:00 - Frank's final words of advice to veterans

84. BTU#38: Chris Shaw - Army to Startup Founder and Bunker Labs
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“The autonomy is incredible. I think back to my time in the military and the best times I had was when I was flying around the mountains of Afghanistan, and we had a lot of flexibility in the mission we were running. When I think about being an entrepreneur, it's very similar to that in a lot of ways. I love that I can set my own hours and create my own success. That is really exciting and gets my adrelanine going. The bad part is that you don't have a paycheck. If you make a sale and get cash you can take a small salary from there, but there's a lot of unpredictability there. Going into this I didn't expect that aspect of this to wear on me emotionally as much as it does. But it does, and it's real - you just need to understand that that's part of the deal."
 – Chris Shaw

Chris Shaw is the Founder of CORE Leader, the Director of the NY Office of Bunker Labs at the NYU Tandon Engineering School. He graduated from NYU Stern School of Business in May 2016. He started out at Cornell University, where he earned his BA in history, after which he served in the US Army as an Aviation Officer for 8 years flying the Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance helicopter. He deployed twice to combat in Afghanistan, most recently as the head of his squadron’s intelligence department in the 82nd Airborne Division.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

How Chris decided to go to business school rather than industry after the military An overview of Bunker Labs, and why every aspiring entrepreneur should consider applying Advice on finding a co-founder... and how to make sure you get it right. Chris talks about the biggest mistake he made when starting his company The experiences that best help Chris prepare for his life as an entrepreneur And much, much more…

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links NYU Stern School of Business Chris' second company - CORE Leader Bunker Labs - their entrepreneurial program is EPIC Leaders Reaction Course Tough Mudder - a visit here was one of the catalysts for Chris starting his company, CORE Leader Show Notes 1:50 - Chris' background 2:30 - How Chris decided to leave the Army 3:12 - How Chris thought about joining the Reserves and why he chose not to 3:48 - The most surprising aspect of Chris' transition to civilian life 5:20 - A few bad habits Chris had to break when he left the military 6:30 - How Chris decided to go to business school rather than industry after the military 9:28 - Chris' experience at Stern School of Business and his advice on how to apply and why to go 11:10 - An overview of Bunker Labs, and why every aspiring entrepreneur should consider applying 15:20 - What Chris' day-to-day life looks like as a Director at Bunker Labs 17:40 - An overview of Chris' second company - CORE Leader 20:13 - Advice on finding a co-founder... and how to make sure you get it right. Chris talks about the biggest mistake he made when starting his company 24:17 - The experiences that best help Chris prepare for his life as an entrepreneur 25:38 - What Chris' day-to-day life looks like as an entrepreneur 27:44 - What Chris like most and least about his life as an entrepreneur 29:30 - Chris' advice for other veterans considering entrepreneurship 32:45 - How Chris felt ahead and behind his civilian counterparts 36:37 - Final words of wisdom from Chris for all veterans

85. BTU #45 – John Fenwick: Launching a Satellite Startup and Selling to Google for $500M
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“I do feel like we had 6 or 7 bet the company decisions all strung together. It felt like I was in Vegas, going to the roulette wheel and just betting on red - over and over again - and depending on each one of those to be right. Startups a lot of is timing. If we had tried to start [SkyBox Imaging] two years earlier, the technologies wouldn't have existed for us to be able to build and point a spacecraft to take a pretty enough picture. If we had come along two or three years later, someone else would have already done this. It just to be in that sweet spot, to thread the needle, I just realize that we just happened to be the right people, telling the right story at the right time."
 – John Fenwick

John Fenwick is Head of Spacecraft Operations at Google. He started out at the Air Force Academy, after which he served for 8 years in the Air Force as a Physicist & Space Acquisitions Officer. He holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from MIT and an MBA from Stanford Business School. After business school, John co-founded SkyBox Imaging and served as their Vice President of Flight Programs. Skybox provides commercial, high-resolution satellite imagery and high-definition video and analytics services. SkyBox raised over $91M in funding prior to being acquired by Google for $500M, as reported by the WSJ. SkyBox is now known as Terra Bella within Google.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Starting a company and thinking it was only a class project How to find co-founders who will complement and challenge your own approach to work Advice on raising venture capital from top investors Advice on going through an acquisition process The ways in which a military background is both advantageous and challenging for entrepreneurship And much, much more… Links John's company, SkyBox Imagine, is now known as Terra Bella: https://terrabella.google.com/ John's investors included: Khosla Ventures Bessemer Venture Partners Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) Draper Associates Canaan Partners Crunchfund Asset Management Ventures Show Notes 2:23 - John's background 4:10 - Johns journey in the Air Force and his decision to leave 7:35 - How to consider an MBA if you're a veteran pursuing entrepreneurship 8:53 - John's advice to those considering applying to business school 10:03 - How John went about finding his co-founders 11:32 - An overview of SkyBox Imaging 13:45 - Advice to veterans in seeking a co-founder for your startup 17:52 - Out of a classroom, how John started his first company, SkyBox Imaging 19:17 - Advice for those seeking to raise venture capital 21:12 - What the fundraising process was like... and what it felt like to raise his first $3M 22:57 - Day-to-day life in an early stage startup 24:03 - How a military background can help in starting a company, and how it might hold you back 28:29 - After raising funding, the next milestone in John's startup journey 31:03 - Launching their first satellite 35:40 - The acquisition process with Google 38:43 - Advice on managing an acquisition process and how to be successful 40:58 - Habits to break as you depart from the military 42:23 - Indications that a veteran may be well suited for entrepreneurship, and indications that it may not be right for you 44:37 - John's final words of wisdom

86. BTU #37 - David Cho: Starting a Cosmetics eCommerce company while in the Army
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“I'm in the beauty industry. I'm this ex-combat arms officer who knows way too much about cosmetics now. I think it's really funny. For me, timing really worked out. When we started Soko Glam, I was an Executive Aide to a General Officer. Although my time was really sporadic, for the most part I was in garrison. So I had a lot of time to research and take night classes, research certain things and go out and network. That would be my piece of advice - when you're still in really take the time to meet people and  figure out what you want to do. Do as much reading as possible but you gotta go out there and meet people."
 – David Cho

David Cho is the Co-Founder and CEO of Soko Glam - an eCommerce beauty shop and lifestyle brand with the best selection of Korean Beauty products and content. Dave started out at West Point, and served as a Combat Arms Officer for over 8 years. After his transition from the Army, David attended Columbia Business School, during which he worked at Facebook as a Global Accounts Intern. In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

How Dave started an e-commerce beauty company while on active duty in the Army What it's like to have your wife as your co-founder Resources Dave would recommend to any aspiring veteran entrepreneur WhatWhat Dave wished he had known when he first started his company, Soko Glam And much, much more…

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Links Dave's company, Soko Glam: https://sokoglam.com Book Recommendations: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers Website Recommendations: Fred Wilson Blog TechCrunch Google News (personalized to your interests) American Corporate Partners - connects veterans with mentors in the civilian workforce Google Veterans Summit Show Notes 2:19 - Dave's background 2:53 - An overview of Dave's company, Soko Glam 4:48 - Finding a co-founder, and what it's like to be married to them 11:11 - What Dave's like as a Co-Founder & CEO looks like on a day-to-day basis 13:16 - What Dave's lifestyle looks like as an entrepreneur 16:33 - What it was like to start Soko Glam while on active duty in the Army 19:19 - Resources Dave would recommend when you're preparing to start your company 23:30 - Whether or not to consider business school when starting your own company 29:07 - How Dave's wife, Charlotte, continued to work on Soko Glam while Dave was at business school 29:37 - What Dave wished he had known when he first started his company, Soko Glam 32:32 - Some of the best advice Dave received when making the transition from the Army 38:15 - Some consistent misconceptions that Dave sees veterans make when he is mentoring veterans going through the transition to civilian life 41:30 - How to better know if you'd like a large company or start your own company 43:20 - The bad habits that Dave needed to break when he left the military 46:30 - The biggest surprises Dave experienced in his transition to civilian life 49:20 - Dave's final words of wisdom

87. BTU #54 - How Breakline Education is Helping Veterans; an interview with Bethany Coates
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“Aim high - aim way higher than you think that you should. Because you have so much to offer and we need your expertise and talent in the private sector; we'd be lucky to have you. But you've gotta go for it. Don't let this be the moment in your career or life where you settle. You've got to go for it. And so let this be the time when you really shoot for the stars because you've earned it - you've earned this opportunity."
– Bethany Coates

Normally, I interview a veteran about their civilian career. In this episode, instead, I interview an amazing company that is helping veterans in their career transition.

BreakLine is an education and employment company that builds an affordable path to compelling careers. Their programs combine skills-based training with professional networking and connect participants directly with hiring managers.

Bethany Coates is the Founder & CEO of BreakLine. She has served as the Assistant Dean at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and has been a consultant at McKinsey & Co. She holds an MBA from Stanford Business School, and a BA from Princeton University.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

What listeners should know about Breakline Education An overview of the upcoming event, Breakline Technology An overview of the application process for Breakline Tech The strengths and weaknesses that veterans bring to the private sector Advice on improving a veteran's resume, LinkedIn Profile, and interview techniques And much, much more…

Selected Links

Another interview the discusses the impact of an immersive program similar to Breakline - Tradecraft - is my interview with RaeAnne Pae (BTU #26) Some of the companies that Bethany mentioned that work with Breakline Education are: Medallia, Nielsoft, Box, Andreessen Horowitz, Paypal, BMZ, and LifeLock Breakline Tech - an alternative to traditional education and one-stop shopping experience for veterans. This program is an immersive experience with technology companies in the United States. Application Deadline: 12/6/16 Cost: $475 Duration: 1 month Dates: 2/21/17 - 3/17/17 Company immersive experience include: Andreessen Horowitz, Paypal, BMZ, and LifeLock Breakline Finance - an immersive program for veterans curious or interested in careers at First Republic Bank and in Financial Services in general Application Deadline: 1/30/17 Cost: $75 Duration: 1 week Dates: 5/1/17 - 5/5/17 Company immersive experience include: First Republic Bank Show Notes 1:51 - An overview of Breakline Education & their founder, Bethany Coates 2:55 - What listeners should know about Breakline Education 3:35 - How Bethany started Breakline Education 7:15 - In Breakline's 8 months of operation, nearly 100 veterans have worked with them. Here's a look at what some of their alumnus have done afterwards 10:25 - Common veteran backgrounds for veterans working with Breakline 12:38 - An overview of the upcoming event, Breakline Technology 19:41 - How many people will join the Breakline Technology group in February 23:58 - At the end of Breakline Technology's one month program, what they can expect 26:00 - The ideal timing for a veteran to attend the Breakline Tech group 28:38 - Indications that a veteran may be well suited to Breakline Tech, and indications that it might not be a good fit 31:03 - An overview of the application process for Breakline Tech 34:45 - The deadline for applications is December 6, 2016 35:10 - An overview of the Breakline Finance experience 37:21 - The dates for the Breakline Finance program and the deadline for the application 37:40 - An overview of the application process for Breakline Finance 38:05 - If you're unable to attend this year's Breakline Technology or Breakline Finance a look at the future schedule 38:54 - The strengths and weaknesses that veterans bring to the private sector 43:40 - Bethany's advice in regards to improving a veteran's resume 46:00 - Bethany's advice in regards to improving a veteran's LinkedIn Profile 48:20 - Bethany's advice for how veterans could improve in their interview process 49:44 - Bethany's final words of wisdom.

88. BTU #36: Nicole Schwegman - Navy to Deloitte to Navy & USAA
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“Instead of complaining about what I can't do because I'm in the Navy, I decided what can I do to help the Navy? How can I be the change that I want to see? Because if everyone leaves and decides to get out... I hate to break it to you, it's not that easy. You have all types of irritants. Just like you have irritants in the Navy there are irritants in every industry.  That  doesn't mean you shouldn't get out, but don't expect to not have irritants. And I've learned to deal with those irritants a lot better.
 – Nicole Schwegman

Nicole Schwegmen is an industry Fellow (Tours with Industry)  with USAA and is currently on active duty in the US Navy. She started out at the Naval Academy, after which she served as a Surface Warfare Officer for four years, and then a Public Affairs Officer. She first left the Navy in 2008, where she worked at a small PR firm, as a Contractor for Deloitte, and then as a Communications Partner for Gallup. She returned to Active Duty in 2010 after a deployment to Afghanistan, moved to San Diego, deployed on two different surface ships (USS Essex and USS Peleliu) then got a Master's in Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

An overview of the Tours with Industry program, and Nicole's work with USAA What it's like working at USAA, and what they do to earn their exceptional customer support reputation What Nicole learned from her first transition from the military, and how that affects her view of being on Active Duty now How Nicole's perspective on Active Duty is different than the first time she was on Active Duty And much, much more…

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Show Notes 2:30 - Nicole's background 4:05 - An overview of the Tours with Industry program, and Nicole's work with USAA 10:55 - What it's like working at USAA, and what they do to earn their exceptional customer support reputation 14:33 - What Nicole learned from her first transition from the military, and how that affects her view of being on Active Duty now 24:20 - How Nicole's perspective on Active Duty is different than the first time she was on Active Duty 31:00 - How Nicole will approach her next transition from the military

89. Casey Carroll: Sales & Trading in the Finance Industry
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Description:

“I think that’s one of the things that I love most about my job is that my whole life I’ve always been interested in the news and what’s going on in the world. Now I feel like I get paid to pay attention to it. Any obscure reference, you could make a case that it can have an effect on the market. And for that reason, you truly have to stay engaged in what’s going on."
 – Casey Carroll

Casey Carroll lives in Charlotte, North Carolina and works with Wells Fargo in their Credit Sales department. He started out at Duke University, where he studied History and Visual Arts, and was on the Men’s Lacrosse Team. He served for four and a half years in the Army with the Rangers as a Fire team Leader. After transitioning from the Army he returned to Duke, this time at their Fuqua School of Business.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Casey’s decision to go to business school instead of going straight into industry An overview of a career in High Yield Sales & Trading in the Finance Industry The day-to-day life of someone in High Yield Sales & Trading How Casey knew he wanted to enter the world of Finance, and how he found his way to Wells Fargo Indications that you may really like a career in Sales & Trading… and signs you may hate it And much, much more…

 

Show Notes 1:09 - Casey’s road from Duke University to Wells Fargo 1:35 - When Casey knew he was going to leave the Army 3:30 - The most unexpected and surprising aspects of Casey’s transition to the civilian world 7:43 - Casey’s decision to go to business school instead of going straight into industry 11:11 - Advice for veterans applying to business school or Duke in particular 15:03 - What Casey liked most and least about his time at Duke 22:40 - An overview of a career in High Yield Sales & Trading in the Finance Industry 25:55 - The day-to-day life of someone in High Yield Sales & Trading 31:38 - How Casey knew he wanted to enter the world of Finance, and how he found his way to Wells Fargo 34:28 - Indications that you may really like a career in Sales & Trading… and signs you may hate it 37:30 - Negative habits Casey had to break when coming out of the military 41:10 - Final words of wisdom

90. Molly Laufer: Active Duty to Employee #1 at Nature Box
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“In a brand new, early stage startup, no one can be above doing something. As the months rolled on, I started to get an appreciation for just how much a startup was like my military experience. I really leaned in and relied on that experience in saying, “I’ve never done marketing, I’ve never worked in a CPG company, I’ve never worked in an e-commerce company, but what I have done is worked in a really chaotic environment without a lot of guidance and had to roll up my sleeves and get it done. So I might not know startups, I might not marketing, I might not know e-commerce or food, but I know how to operate in this environment. So trust yourself, trust your gut - you can do this."
 – Molly Laufer

Molly Laufer is the Director of Client Strategy in the Marketing & Advertising space with the Company, Oxford Road - which is the fastest growing full-service ad agency serving the Consumer Tech industry.
She started out at the University of Virginia, where she did ROTC and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs and Russian. Molly then served for four years in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, serving onboard the Frigate USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS as well as with DESTROYER SQUADRON 23. When she transitioned from the Navy, she was the first employee of the startup, NatureBox - a company that now has over 100 employees and has raised over $58M in funding. At NatureBox she started with Social Media and Content Marketing, and eventually became their Director of Customer Acquisition

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

How Molly used a career counselor to figure out what sorts of jobs she would be interested in and what sorts of problems she’d like to solve How Molly approached her first job search and how she ended up as employee #1 at Nature Box What it was like to be the first employee at an early stage startup An overview of the different roles Molly held at Nature Box, and what her career progression looked like Molly’s advice to any veteran thinking of working at a startup And much, much more…


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Show Notes 2:25 - Molly’s background 3:46 - How Molly approached the decision to leave the military 4:59 - How Molly considered the reserves 6:59 - The biggest surprises in Molly’s transition to civilian life 8:59 - How Molly used a career counselor to figure out what sorts of jobs she would be interested in and what sorts of problems she’d like to solve 9:57 - Advice on how to find the right career coach to help with a job search or career change 11:49 - An overview of the career coaching process 12:39 - How Molly approached her first job search and how she ended up as employee #1 at Nature Box 15:49 - How Molly thought about going to business school (while her husband was going to business school as well) 20:16 - What it was like to be the first employee at an early stage startup 23:59 - An overview of the different roles Molly held at Nature Box, and what her career progression looked like 29:35 - What Molly liked most and least about her experience in an early stage startup 34:59 - In what ways Molly felt ahead and behind her civilian peers based on her military experience 38:37 - Molly’s advice to any veteran thinking of working at a startup 41:04 - How Molly made the transition from an early stage startup to an Ad Agency, with Oxford Road 44:24 - The day-to-day life of an Account Director at an Ad Agency 47:05 - Molly’s final word of advice to other veterans

91. BTU #33: Brit Yonge - Navy to High Tech at Palantir Technologies
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“Just being totally honest - you really are far behind. It's a better assumption that you're behind that you're ahead. It's not like  everyone else who didn't spend time in the military is out there playing Lincoln Logs. They've got a job and they're developing skills and they're learning. I went into my transition with the assumption that I was nine years behind every pedigreed person out there. And I feel that attitude helped drive my hunger to play a very intense game of catch up."
 – Brit Yonge

Brit Yonge is the Chief of Staff to the CTO at Palantir Technologies, a Palo Alto based technology company that has raised over $2B in funding, and was co-founded by silicon valley legend, Peter Thiel.
Brit started out at the Naval Academy and served as an officer in the Navy for 5 years, where he served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) supporting Special Operations Forces (SOF) in kinetic and non-kinetic operations. Brit transitioned from the military directly to Palantir Technologies, first as a Deployment Strategist and then as their Head of Asia ex Japan, where he lead Palantir's Asia HQ, and now as the Chief of Staff to the CTO.

 

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

How Brit, while living on a friend’s couch in San Diego, used the motivation of “one conversation a day” to search for his first job out of the military How Brit would explain Silicon Valley and the ethos of startups to someone on active duty How persistence and serendipity helped him land his first job (because he didn’t go through the front door) How you can use interviews to better understand a company’s values and how well it aligns with your own How leadership outside of the military differs from leadership in the military And much, much more…

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Viktor Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning essay: https://www.sonoma.edu/users/s/shawth/mans%20Search Show Notes 2:09 - Brit’s background 2:57 - How Brit decided to leave the Navy 4:32 - How Brit approached the Reserves and why he ultimately decided to not pursue the Reserves 5:01 - The most surpassing aspects of Brit’s transition to a civilian career 8:31 - How Brit, while living on a friend’s couch in the Bay Area, used the motivation of “one conversation a day” to search for his first job out of the military 10:49 - How Brit would explain Silicon Valley and the ethos of startups to someone on active duty 13:49 - How Brit found Palantir through his understanding of their product (and how to use the products you like to help in your job search) 18:28 - How persistence and serendipity helped him land his first job (because he didn’t go through the front door) 20:22 - How you can use interviews to better understand a company’s values and how well it aligns with your own 22:12 - In the first couple of years out of the Navy, how Brit felt ahead and behind his civilian counterparts 26:04 - The day-to-day life in a high-tech company in Silicon Valley 30:47 - How leadership outside of the military differs from leadership in the military 35:29 - How to prepare for a transition to the civilian world 43:54- Final words of advice

92. Andreas Jones - Starting your own business and making your dream a reality
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Description:

“What a lot of people do in networking is they go in with the mindset of “what can I get from it.” The important switch i made was, “what can I give to this relationship that I’m looking to start.” Stop trying to figure out what’s in it for you. Give and it’s the law of nature - if you plant seeds of good and positive vibrations all the time, it’s going to come back to you."
 – Andreas Jones

Travis Collier is is the CEO and Principal Business Strategist and Leadership Consultant at Combat Business Coaching. Andreas served in the US Army for over 8 years, where he was as a Logistics & Supply Chain Manager. In his civilian career he has worked as: a contributing writer to Forbes and The Huffington Post; a Project Manager work at The Home Depot; and a Vice President of Procurement and Strategy at the Financial Services Company, the Sun Trust.
.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

From the Army to starting his own business - what Andreas learned along the way Advice on how to find a co-founder or initial team Advice on how to learn and grow through networking What day-to-day life looked like while starting a company Advice Andreas would give to other veterans considering starting their own business And much, much more…

Listen to it on iTunes. Stream by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode Andreas' interview on EO Fire: 1433: Build a meaningful business that has more profit, fans, and freedom with Andreas Jones Andreas' company, Combat Business Coaching A great way to meet others and network is with MeetUp.com Book Recommendations The Compound Effect- taking 1-2 steps weeekly to get you to your goal Andreas' book - Distinguished Men: Grow in influence, Success and Significance Show Notes 1:11 - Andreas’ background 3:40 - How Andreas decided to leave the Army 4:25 - How Andreas approached is initial job search and what he learned along the way 7:01 - What Andreas does for a living, and what his life looks like on a day-to-day business 12:40 - From the Army to starting his own business - what Andreas learned along the way 15:10 - Advice on how to find a co-founder or initial team 16:10 - Advice on how to learn and grow through networking 24:24 - Other advice to help you start your own company 25:10 - What day-to-day life looked like while starting a company 28:24 - When Andreas started his own company, how he felt ahead of his civilian counterparts and where he felt behind 30:23 - Advice Andreas would give to other veterans considering starting their own business 31:05 - What Andreas has liked most and least about starting his own company 32:15 - Other resources Andreas would recommend to listeners 34:05 - The most surprising aspect of Andreas’ transition from the Army to civilian life 36:40 - Final words of wisdom for veteans

93. Brooke Jones-Chinetti: Cold emails, JPMorgan, and Startup CEO
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“Really its a full time job to get a full-time job. Sometimes with veterans, we're bringing these unfathomable managerial skills to these organizations that we transition to. But we forget that stuff shouldn't just be handed to us... I'm the queen of the cold email now, and I wish that I would have had that confidence as I transitioned to try to find veterans at companies that I was interested in, and to hear what their transition was like."
 – Brooke Jones-Chinetti

Brooke Jones-Chinetti lives in New York, where she most recently served as the CEO of VetTechTrek - a startup that facilitates high-impact trips to leading tech companies for veterans and their spouses. She started out at West Point, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Portuguese and Environmental Engineering. She served in the US Army for over 6 years, during which she deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to Kuwait as part of Operation Enduring Freedom - Spartan Shield.
She also served as Senior Director of Human Resources and served as the executive officer for the Army's Chief of Signal, a 2-star general position. After her transition from the Army, she spent a year in the Financial Services industry with JPMorgan Chase & Co. as part of their rotational Executive Development Program. She is currently studying at Columbia Business School.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Step-by-step advice on how to write cold emails to figure out what you want to do and get your foot in the door for a job An over of the JP Morgan Chase rotational Executive Development Program Brooke’s experience as CEO of an early stage startup at VetTechTrek How leadership as CEO of a startup differed from leadership in the military And much, much more…

Listen to it on iTunes. Stream by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Show Notes 1:56 - Brooke’s background 3:04 - How Brooke and her husband both decided to leave the Army 6:15 - Evaluating the Reserves 10:40 - The most surprising aspect of Brooke’s transition from the Army to civilian life 13:15 - How to use cold emails to find other veterans, learn from their experience, and make connections 16:25- Brooke’s first job search and what she learned along the way 21:36 - Advice on how to manage the timing of your transition from active duty 27:20 - Advice for how to better understand yourself and what you’ll enjoy in a career 32:15 - An over of the JP Morgan Chase rotational Executive Development Program 34:50 - Brooke’s day-to-day life while at JP Morgan Chase 38:15 - Brooke’s decision to transition from JP Morgan Chase to Columbia Business School, and wy she chose an Executive Education program 43:02 - Brooke’s experience as CEO of an early stage startup at VetTechTrek 47:10 - How leadership as CEO of a startup differed from leadership in the military 49:01 - How Brooke felt ahead of her civilian counterparts, and where she had to work to catch up 51:33 - Final words of wisdom1:24 - Travis' background

94. Travis Collier: The US Coast Guard & Using Sprints to Find Your Passion
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Description:

“It's so unfortunate that veterans don't practice their new life, until they're in their new life. And really by then, you're behind the eight ball. So really any chance you get to take now while you're in uniform - look at it this way: the military is funding you as the R&D project to find the best life and the best way you can serve others. Finding those condensed opportunities to gain that experience, to gain that data. It's really traingulating - you're taking a fix on geography, income, occupation and fit. If it works it works, if it doesn't then you just keep trying something else."
 – Travis Collier

Travis Collier is a Journeyman Marine Inspector with the US Coast Guard, where he has served for the last 15 years. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Government and International Affairs from the US Coast Guard Academy, and a Master’s in Instructional & Performance Technology from Boise State University.
He is the author of the books "Command Your Transition" & “SCALE”, and works as a coach for military members with 8-10 years of service to implement an intent and strategy to transition out the military and achieve even greater success on the outside .

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Travis' advice of embracing a transition strategy really early in the transition process How to set aside a budget for your own personal Research & Development and use sprints and "takeover weekends" to find your passion An overview on coaching and how it can help veterans reach their full potential How important sales is to any veteran And much, much more…

Listen to it on iTunes. Stream by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode Eric's article on Top Talent Book Recommendations: Command Your Transition: Declare your Intent, Craft your Mission, Make it on the Outside, SCALE: Refuse to Settle Recognize What Matters Redefine Success The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life Stanford Ignite Program David Sedaris' essay on the Four Burer Theory Show Notes 1:24 - Travis' background 2:38 - A few curve balls Travis has experienced while in the US Coast Guard 8:15 - Travis' advice of embracing a transition strategy really early in the transition process 12:10 - How to set aside a budget for your own personal Research & Development and use sprints and "takeover weekends" to find your passion 18:42 - Finding the lifestyle to live, serve, and be honored by 26:04 - An overview on coaching and how it can help veterans reach their full potential 32:42 - How important sales is to any veteran 36:16 - Common roadblocks Travis sees for veterans 38:18 - Final words of wisdom

95. Eric Hulbert: Navy Aviation to BofA to the Boston Consulting Group
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Description:

“I was under the impression that theres this war for talent out there and everyone is trying to recognize talented individuals. My experience is that companies are looking for a round peg to fit into a round hole, and it doesn't really matter how awesome the peg is; if it doesn't fit exactly they're not interested. It doesn't matter how valuable a jack of all trades is - because they are - a swiss army knife is an incredibly valuable tool. But that doesn't help you get your foot in the door."
 – Eric Hulbert

Eric Hulbert is a Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in their Atlanta Office. He started out at the Naval Academy, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in History. After that he served for over 11 years as a pilot, Wing Asst Training Officer, Maritime Watch Officer, and ROTC instructor. After his transition from the military, Eric worked in the Finance Industry at Bank of America - as a Vice Principal of Strategy Analyst. Eric holds an MBA and a Masters of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the University of Florida

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

What life was like balancing active duty as a ROTC instructor, a family, and earning two master's degrees An overview of the Strategy Analyst role at Bank of America How Eric's first salary out of the Navy compared to his Navy salary An overview of the career progression of a Strategy Analyst How Eric approached his second career search compared to his first, and how he decided on Management Consulting What day-to-day life is like at the Boston Consulting Group What sort of experience Eric has had in his first year of consulting, and how to navigate your options within consulting And much, much more…

Listen to it on iTunes. Stream by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode Eric's article on Top Talent Book Recommendations: What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers Case Interview Secrets: A Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting Case in Point 9: Complete Case Interview Preparation Top 3 firms mentioned: McKinsey & Co., Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Other veteran interviews about consulting: Blake Lindsay: Navy to McKinsey & Co. Tom Spahn: Law School, Corporate Law, and Management Consulting Show Notes 1:38 - Eric's background 2:42 - How Eric decided to leave the Navy and how he approached that decision 4:48 - Eric's decision to pursue an advanced degree while still on active duty and the advantages of this approach 6:42 - What life was like balancing active duty as a ROTC instructor, a family, and earning two master's degrees 10:17 - What was most helpful for Eric at grad school in preparing for his civilian career, and what he wishes he had done differently 14:50 - What drew Eric to the Bank of America and the world of finance 16:50 - An overview of the Strategy Analyst role at Bank of America 17:58 - The day-to-day life of a Strategy Analyst 20:34 - Where Eric felt most ahead and behind his civilian counterparts in the first few years of his career 23:15 - How Eric's first salary out of the Navy compared to his Navy salary 25:20 - An overview of the career progression of a Strategy Analyst 27:40 - How Eric approached his second career search compared to his first, and how he decided on Management Consulting 31:06 - Advice on how to better understand oneself and find your ideal career 34:07 - What it was like interviewing for consulting, and advice for those wanting to do the same 38:40 - What day-to-day life is like at the Boston Consulting Group 42:50 - What sort of experience Eric has had in his first year of consulting, and how to navigate your options within consulting 47:58 - Indications that you may love life as a Management Consulting... and signs that you may hate it 49:50 - The most surprising aspect of Eric's transition to a civilian career 52:17 - Final words of wisdom

96. Graham Plaster - Navy to Public Policy & Startups
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“I think that failure is such a scary word to anyone in a large organization, because generally in a large organization - like the military or government - they train you to not discuss failure openly. But in grappling with what you want to do next in life and coming to gips with who you are you need to develop a lot more candor. And you need to develop resiliency. It helped me to really reflect on how much sacrifice will I be willing to make in order to achieve what I want to achieve; and how will i talk about my failures to other people so I can help them."
 – Graham Plaster

Graham Plaster a Senior Adviser at the Defense Language and National Security Education Office. He started out at the Naval Academy, where he received his Bachelors degree in English. After that, he served in the Navy for 11 years as: a Surface Warfare Officer, the Assistant Dean of Students at the Naval War College, a United Nations Liaison Officer, a Foreign Area Officer, and a Navy Staff Officer for the OPNAV Staff. Since his transition to his civilian career he has worked as a consultant, author, editor, founder and advisor in a variety of capacities in the Washington D.C. area

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

How to embrace failure as a way to learn about yourself How to find a community where you can add value and potentially start a business The advantages of juggling multiple projects and how you can more effectively do this How to use LinkedIn as a powerful tool for networking and advancing your career And much, much more…

Listen to it on iTunes. Stream by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode American Corporate Partners - the "best kept secret for veterans" - pro bono organization to connect veterans with senior civilian at Fortune 500 companies Podcast Recommendations Entrepreneur On Fire - with Army Veteran John Lee Dumas This Week in Startups A16Z (Andreesen Horwotiz) 99% Invisible Book Recommendations: Hacking the Job Search: How to escape the rat race of unread résumés and unanswered applications Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America's Longest War LinkedIn Free Premium Account for Veterans Purple Squirrel - buy time by hour of person you're wanting to interview 1000 true fans by Kevin Kelly - a must read for entrepreneurs Show Notes
1:38 - Graham's Background
3:21 - How Graham approached the decision to leave the Navy 5:02 - How Graham considered the Reserves and remained involved 6:44 - An overview of American Corporate Partners - a FREE resource every veteran should consider 9:50 - The most surprising aspect of Graham's transition to civilian life 11:21 - Graham's advice on how to approach a job search 13:22  - Some practical tips and tools to help with increasing your self-knowledge 18:10 - Advice for using LinkedIn effectively for networking 25:27 - How Graham started TheIntelligenceCommunity.com 31:30 - What Graham's startup looks like on a day-to-day basis and what it's like juggling this with a fulltime job 38:30 - Advice for veterans considering starting their own company 40:10 - Advice for those seeking to juggle multiple jobs and side projects at the same time 46:80 - What it's like working at the Defense Language and National Security Education Office 49:40 - Final words of advice

97. Katie Horgan - Marines to Operations at Early-Stage Startups
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“I think that startups - both sides, employers and vets - are a perfect match. If you think about what they ask you to do when you're a Junior Officer... I was a Truck Platoon Commander. They literally dropped me in Iraq and were like 'Go run convoys.' and I was like 'Well... I gotta figure this out.' Anyone that can do that, who has had those junior positions - either on the officer or enlisted side - can absolutely do what it takes to get something done, and quickly analyze the solution, make the best decision you can with 80% of the information or maybe less than that. So that's why I think it's an incredible fit."
 – Katie Horgan

Katie Horgan is a the Senior Director of Operations at Crave Crush - a very interesting New York based Health & Wellness startup. She started out at the University of Southern California, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. After that she served for over six years in the Marine Corps, serving as a Platoon Commander, Company Commander, and Operations Officer, spending time as a convoy commander in Iraq and serving as part of a crisis response force in the pacific theater.  When she transitioned from the military she went to Columbia Business School where she earned her MBA.  From Business school she went to the NY-based startup, Plated, first as their Director of Operations & Logistics, and then as their Senior Director of Operations & Logistics.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Barriers that veterans encounter when they apply to their first, second, and third job...and how to overcome them What it's like to join a startup going through a period of EXPLOSIVE growth The day-to-day life of a Director of Operations Indications that you may love life at a startup... and signs that you may hate it How Katie's salary at a startup compared to her salary in the military How Katie thinks about a career in Operations and her career progression And much, much more…

Listen to it on iTunes. Stream by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode Katie is a Columbia Business School classmate of Taylor Justice (you can check out his interview here) Cameron Brooks recruiting Columbia Business School veterans visitation weekend Crave Crush - a dietary supplement to help you fight those sugar cravings Show Notes 1:48 - Katie's background 2:58 - How Katie approached her decision to leave the Marine Corps 3:38 - How Katie thought about the Reserves and decided not to participate 5:30 - The most surprising aspect of Katie's transition from the military 8:24 - Making the decision to go to school rather than work with recruiters 10:30 - Advice for those considering applying to Columbia Business School (and Business School in general) 12:03 - What Katie liked most and least about her time at Columbia Business School 14:55 - How Katie went about finding her first job after Business School 16:40 - Barriers that veterans encounter when they apply to their first, second, and third job...and how to overcome them 23:20 - Katie does a great job explaining how her background is relevant to a Project Management job 25:00 - What it's like to join a startup going through a period of EXPLOSIVE growth 28:28 - The day-to-day life of a Director of Operations 32:00 - In Katie's first years out of the military how she felt ahead and behind her civilian counterparts 34:15 - Indications that you may love life at a startup... and signs that you may hate it 38:40 - How Katie's salary at a startup compared to her salary in the military 42:30 - An overview on Katie's current company, Crave Crush 46:09 - How Katie thinks about a career in Operations and her career progression 49:50 - Final words of wisdom

98. RaeAnne Pae - Army to Facebook and Business Development
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“I had been given good advice that it didn't matter the first job I did as long as I was learning from it and seeking out opportunities in the first job to be able to figure out what I wanted to do next. And so I went into it with the mindset that I would pick  everyone's brains who I worked with even if not on my team and build these relationships so i could figure out what the next step was."
 – RaeAnne Pae

RaeAnne Pae is a Client Solution Manager at Facebook, where she helps Financial Technology marketers grow their audience and business through Facebook. RaeAnne started out at doing ROTC at Morehead State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After that she served for over 7 years in the Army as an Intelligence Officer, where she was awarded the Bronze Star - the military’s fourth-highest individual military award - not once but twice: first for Combat operations in Iraq while assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division; second for combat operations in southern Afghanistan with assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. When RaeAnne transitioned to a civilian career she started out at the NYSE as an Event Marketing Specialist. She then worked as a Sales & Business Development member first at Tradecraft and then at Addy before joining Facebook.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

Tradecraft and how to get an MBA equivalent experience in 3 months How RaeAnne's transition straight to industry compared with her husband's transition to business school Advice for those applying to Facebook and common veteran paths Two concrete examples of explaining in a veteran background to a Facebook interviewer And much, much more…

Listen to it on iTunes. Stream by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode Another interview I did between a husband and wife veteran combo where one went to business school and the other directly to industry are my interviews with Jimmy & Shaunnah interview Tradecraft - 12 week tech immersion program. Tracts include Sales & BD, User Experience, and Growth Another interview that references Coding Academies and other efficient education sources is my interview with Johannes & Maggi on Career Offroading Other programs similar to Tradcraft - GrowthX / Growth Academy Show Notes 1:31 - RaeAnne's background 4:58 - How RaeAnne approached her decision to leave the Army 8:26 - How RaeAnne and her husband approached the Reserves 10:23 - The most surpsing aspects of RaeAnne's transition to civilian life 13:45 - How RaeAnne approached her initial job search 25:38 - An overview of Tradecraft 35:00 - RaeAnne's second job search and how she improved - great advice to all veterans 44:40 - Advice for those applying to Facebook and common veteran paths 47:00 - RaeAnne explains why her background is applicable at Facebook - this is a great example of how veterans could explain their story in an interview 49:33 - RaeAnne explains how her background relates to sales and relationship building 51:45 - How RaeAnne's journey directly to industry compared with her husband's choice to go to business school

99. Lee Haney - Marines to Goldman Sachs and Hewlett Packard Enterprise
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“If you're going to be working that many hours, that means that's how many hours you're learning too. So in the course of one year of working Investment Banking you're effectively getting two years of work that you might get somewhere else, in terms of the shear amount of time you're exposed to these key business problems."
 – Lee Haney

Lee Haney works in Business Operations & Strategy for the COO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He graduated in the top 5% of his class at the Naval Academy, and served in the Marine Corps for five years as a Human intelligence Officer, with deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. After transitioning out of the military, Lee attended the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where he graduated with honors. Since getting his MBA, Lee has worked in the Finance Industry with Goldman Sachs as an Investment Banking Associate, before transitioning to HPE. Lee is also the CFO for Service to School, which regular listeners will remember is the non-profit organization that I have a love affair with - they provide FREE service to any veteran to help you get into your ideal college or grad school program

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

An overview of the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program and why it's such a great fit for any veteran interested in finance An overview of Goldman Sachs and the Investment Banking world The day-to-day life of an Investment Banker What Lee liked most and least about his time as an Investment Banker How Lee made the transition to Hewlett Packard Enterprises And much, much more…
Listen to it on iTunes. Stream by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Goldman Sachs The Veterans Integration Program @ Goldman Sachs as a pre-MBA experience Other similar programs - http://blog.militarytobusiness.com/2013/08/pre-mba-internships.html Show Notes
1:17 - Lee's Background
2:30 - How Lee decided to leave the military 3:40 - Choosing to not join the Reserves 5:33 - The most surprising aspect of Lee's transition from the Marine Corps 7:58 - An overview of Lee's experience and advice on the Chicago Booth School of Business 17:15 - What drew Lee to the world of finance 20:00 - an overview of the Veterans Integration Program and why it's such a great fit for any veteran interested in finance 22:25 - An overview of Goldman Sachs and the Investment Banking world 24:50 - the day-to-day life of an Investment Banker 32:30 - Signs that you may be well suited for Investment Banking... and signs it may not be the best career option for you 33:59 - Advice on applying to Goldman Sachs 36:00 - What Lee liked most and least about his time as an Investment Banker 39:10 - In what ways Lee felt ahead of his civilian counterparts in Investment Banker, and in what ways he felt like he had to catch up 42:00 - How Lee made the transition to Hewlett Packard Enterprises 45:00 - What Lee's day-to-day life looks like at HPE 47:22 - Advice from Service to School 49:45 - Final words of advice

100. Vic Perez: Submarines to a Wall Street Trader
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Description:

“People always said that I was going to take a giant pay cut when I got out of the military and I thought, 'Nah - there's no way, I'm going to go into Wall Street... there's no pay cut.' There is a pay cut! I started off and had no experience in finance so I took an analyst role. And I took a significant pay cut. And I was paying for my own health care and my own taxes... it all adds up."
 – Vic Perez

Vic Perez graduated from the Naval Academy with a BS in Economics with Merit. He served in the Navy for 6 years - first as an officer onboard nuclear submarines as part of the crew of the USS Cheyenne, and after that as an instructor at Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, Victor somehow found the time to earn his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an emphasis on Finance. Not only did he do that while teaching at Notre Dame…he did it in just two years instead of the traditional 3. Vic now works in the Financial Services Industry with Wells Fargo as part of their new Veteran Internship Program. His current role is as a Credit Derivative Swap Trading Analyst

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

F
And much, much more…

Listen to it on iTunes. Stream by clicking here. Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode Finance Book Recommendations: Liar's Poker (Norton Paperback) When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management  Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System--and Themselves The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility" (Incerto) Recommended resources The Wall Street Journal The Morning Brew daily email HBX Core (more practice in accounting) Show Notes
1:30 - Vic's Background
2:33 - How Vic decided to leave the military 3:39 - How Vic chose to join the Reserves, and what that experience has been like 5:10 - The most surprising aspect of Vic's transition to civilian life 6:58 - Vic's experience at the Chicago Booth School of Business 9:50 - Advice on applying to Chicago Booth School of Business (or business school in general) 10:57 - day-to-day life of working at Notre Dame and attending the Chicago Booth School of Business 13:21 - what Vic liked most and least about his experience at the Chicago Booth School of Business 14:53 - common paths people take to get into Wall Street 17:52 - An overview of a Trader 23:18 - Signs that you may love life as a Trader... and signs you may hate it 29:04 - Typical career progressions in the world or trading 31:08 - Trading vs Investment Banking 36:40 - The team environment of the Trading role 38:12 - An overview of the Wells Fargo Veterans Internship Program 41:03 - Where Vic felt ahead of his peers based on his military experience, and in what areas he felt behind 41:58 - Advice to those on Active Duty on how to best prepare for their transition 42:55 - Final words of advice