Drew went directly from the Marine Corps into Residential Real Estate. However, beyond this just being an episode pertinent to other Veterans interested in Real Estate, there are two reasons to listen to this episode. The first is our conversation about commission-based jobs. Drew does the best job I've ever heard about why Veterans should consider a commission-based job. I know most members of the military have a negative association with this sort of job, but Drew has some compelling points. Second, Drew has great advice about sales. Sales is the most cited challenge in my interview with Veterans - selling oneself, networking, and sales in general. Drew's advice will hit home for many listeners.
There are so many reasons to listen to this episode. First of all, John faced an unexpected transition from Navy SEALs to his own civilian career. While had been planning on going to business school and then doing consulting work, things changed and he found himself with just eight weeks to find a job. Through that process, he started Elite Meet, which is a fantastic resource for transitioning veterans. We talk about Elite Meet, we talk about starting a non-profit, we talk about how to present oneself in the hiring process, and much, much more.
In the past I've interviewed veterans involved in Franchises. Gordon started a company that has become a franchise with over 1,700 locations, and many of their franchise owners are veterans. He gives an incredibly vivid look at what it is like to start and grow a company, how to remain fresh and grow with your business, and how failures are never final.
Andrew never considered a career in the Financial Services industry until a friend contacted him and told him he should apply for a position... where the application was due in just 18 hours. This led Andrew to learn everything he could about Goldman Sachs and a career as a Private Wealth Advisor. Andrew does a great job of explaining more about the Financial Services industry, and why this may be the ideal career for a military veteran.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 an Academic All-American in 2013-14, Academic All Big 12 from 2011-2014. After Texas, Nate played with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent.
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
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.
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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 as 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
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
- 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
- Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
- Get Backed: Craft Your Story, Build the Perfect Pitch Deck, and Launch the Venture of Your Dreams - more on technical side, the top 15-20 pitch decks. Can take this and pick and choose what you like and choose your ownBook Recommendations
- The Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law, 4th Edition - save $1000's on legal
- 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
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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…
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…
- 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