Entrepreneurship

BTU #265 - How to Thrive not Survive (Bryan Reeves)

BTU #265 - How to Thrive not Survive (Bryan Reeves)

Why Listen:
This is a great episode for a couple of reasons. First of all, Bryan is a Life & Relationship Coach, which is an off-the-beaten path career path we haven’t covered before. But it’s also a career path that has given him a lot of insight into challenges that people face, both men and women. He talks about thriving, not surviving in ones life, and his decade long journey of career experimentation. He talks about what helped him on this journey, which is learning to figure out what his body was saying “yes” to and what it was clearly saying “no” to. It’s great advice, regardless of what career path you pursue.

About Bryan:

Bryan Reeves is a Life & Relationship Coach. He coaches men, women and couples to experience extraordinary intimate relationships and lives in which they thrive every day. He started out at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, after which he served in the Air Force for 5 years, with his final post as a Captain as the 1st Space Launch Squadron Spacecraft Flight Commander in Cape Canaveral Air Station. He has had a diverse career prior to his current role - which we’ll get into in the interview. He also hosts the podcast, “Men, This way - Life Insights from Wise Men”

BTU #264 - Retired Army to LinkedIn Top Voice (Michael Quinn)

BTU #264 - Retired Army to LinkedIn Top Voice (Michael Quinn)

Why Listen:
Michael Quinn has been named on of LinkedIn’s Top Voices - in this interview he shares easy to apply tactics to expressing yourself on LInkedIn, growing an audience, and building your network. He is also the Founder of HireMilitary, which allows Veterans to get their foot in the door of a company, demonstrate value, test them out for a while and potentially earn a full-time offer, all while getting pad to do so. Michael is a wealth of knowledge - I fast tracked this episode to get it out early, and hope to have him back on the show soon.

BTU #260 - Marines to Founder of Ranch Road Boots (Sarah Ford)

BTU #260 - Marines to Founder of Ranch Road Boots (Sarah Ford)

Why Listen:
First off, Sarah has graciously provided a 15%-off coupon for Beyond the Uniform listeners for every product on her website at RanchRoadBoots.com. Just enter the code BTU at checkout and you’ll get 15% off all items, including those on clearance. This is an exceptional interview for aspiring entrepreneurs. We talk about how Sarah successfully raised $28,000 on Kickstarter, and her advice for running a crowdfunding campaign. We talk about marketing on Facebook, Google, and Amazon. We talk about getting out of your comfort zone and  being honest about where the need is for your company’s product. We talk about using freelancers to move faster. We talk about how Sarah manages to run and grow a company while also raising two kids… and it’s a beautiful look at the importance of having boundaries. We talk about making your company as self-service as possible, so that you can focus on meaningful customer interactions.and we talk about - if you have that entrepreneurial  itch - to do it now, and not wait for that MBA, experience or whatever else you think you may need. 

About Sarah:
Sarah is the Founder and Head Honcho at Ranch Road Boots, where her mission is to create leather goods with style and quality that can last forever. Ranch Road Boots donates proceeds from every purchase to the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund and has a program making boots for amputees. She started out at the University of Texas at Austin, and served as an Officer in the Marine Corps for six years, with time in Iraq, Afghanistan and 29 Palms. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School, and has worked as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group as well as at the startup, Local Motors. Sarah has offered BTU listeners 15% off all items on Ranch Road Boots, including clearance items, and you’ll find additional details in the show notes for this episode.

BTU #259 - Advice about Crowdfunding (Brian Olivier)

BTU #259 - Advice about Crowdfunding (Brian Olivier)

Why Listen:
Brian faced an unexpected departure from the military, which eventually led to his side hustle, Gluconfidence. In this interview, we go step-by-step through the crowdfunding process. We also talk about the importance of doing something you love with a startup, so that not everything is tied to a financial outcome. We also talk about what it’s like to start a company while working full time and supporting a family. This is a great interview for aspiring entrepreneurs, or anyone interested in taking their side project to the next level.

About Brian:
Brian Olivier is a Regional Business Development Manager at Medtronic, a global healthcare solutions company operating in approximately 160 countries. He started out at the Naval Academy as part of the class of 2002, and served in the Navy as a helicopter pilot for four years. After his military service, he worked in residential construction atToll Brothers as an Assistant Project Manager, and then at Procter & Gamble as a Logistics Manager. He has worked at Medtronic for over six years in Medical Device Sales and Marketing, and holds an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.  

BTU #257 - Air Force Veteran to NBA Trainer, Nike Innovation, & Public Speaker (Kevin Carroll)

BTU #257 - Air Force Veteran to NBA Trainer, Nike Innovation, & Public Speaker (Kevin Carroll)

Why Listen:
I think you are really going to enjoy Kevin and his perspective, because his is a story of not just pivots, but MAJOR career pivots. This started while he was in the Air Force, where serendipity and tenacity got him into physical training. His career since then has included being an athletic trainer in the NBA, an innovation director at Nike, and now the owner of his own company, where he is a speaker, coach and more. His is a story of being told “no, you can’t do that” and then paving his own way and proving that advice wrong. He is also a published author of multiple books, including one where ESPN has purchased the rights to his material! There is something for everyone in this interview, and I’m confident you will walk away from it inspired to pursue your own career path with renewed energy. 

About Kevin:
Kevin Carroll is the Owner of Kevin Carroll Katalyst, where is a author, speaker, high performance coach and inspiration impresario. He has worked as an athletic trainer for 5 years (high school, college, NBA), as well as 7 years with Nike as a category innovation director, director of internal communications, and member special projects. He is the author of three books, most notably, Rules of the Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain Your Life's Work. He has given TedX talks in both Vancouver and Harlem. He served in the Air Force for 10 years as a Cryptologic Linguist.

BTU #251 - Navy Veteran to Helping Military Spouses at The Paradigm Switch (Lauren Grimshaw)

BTU #251 - Navy Veteran to Helping Military Spouses at The Paradigm Switch (Lauren Grimshaw)

Why Listen:
All the way back in BTU #92, I interviewed Justine Evirs about her incredible work helping military Veterans in their transition to a civilian career. Well, since that time, Justine started a new company, called The Paradigm Switch, which is committed to unleashing the potential of military spouses by leveraging the power of technology and in-demand skills that resonate in our technology-driven economy. I am a BIG fan of Justine, and after interviewing today’s guest - who is the Chief Operations Officer at The Paradigm Shift - I am even more excited about this new company. Laurent is a Veteran herself, and goes into the reason why The Paradigm Shift is SO crucial - because, of the 45k organizations that help Veterans, less than 35 of those help spouses! We delve into this problem, and also go through an overview of both Program and Project Management.

About Lauren:
Lauren Grimshaw is the COO of The Paradigm Switch: an organization committed to unleashing the potential of military spouses by leveraging the power of technology and in-demand skills that resonate in our technology-driven economy.  There are over 45,000 organizations serving veterans and transitioning service members - and fewer than 35 serving spouses - yet military spouse unemployment is 3 to 5 times higher than veteran unemployment.  Lauren started out at the University of Virginia, and served as a Surface Warfare Officer for over four years with time on the USS Anzio and the USS Momsen. She herself is a Navy Spouse, and also holds an MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. 

BTU #250 - Navy Veteran to Congressional Candidate (Josh Welle)

BTU #250 - Navy Veteran to Congressional Candidate (Josh Welle)

Why Listen:
Josh left Active Duty after 12 years of service, which can be a very difficult decision for people in the military. In this interview, Josh shares a great perspective about how to approach this decision. In this interview, we talk about starting a company. We talk about politics, and Josh’s own run for congress, including how he raised over $1.8 million for his campaign. We talk about viewing your life as different, distinct chapters and how to use that approach to explain your background. We talk about not having the outcome be the entirety of your focus and recognizing the things that are out of your control, while still giving your all to a cause you believe in. We talk about networking, we talk about eulogy virtues, and so much more. Needless to say - there is something for everyone in today’s interview.

About Josh:
Josh Welle is a Defense Council Member with the Truman National Security Project. Earlier this year, he ran as a Candidate for Congress in his home state of New Jersey. He started out at the Naval Academy -  as part of the illustrious class of 2002 - after which he served in the US Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer for over 12 years, to include missions in OIF and OEF. After leaving the military he founded a software company with two other veterans, raised seed capital, and delivered software to the government. He holds an MA/MBA from the University of Maryland and a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

BTU #249 - Army Veteran to Founder of Bronson Lee Partners (Chris Brusznicki)

BTU #249 - Army Veteran to Founder of Bronson Lee Partners (Chris Brusznicki)

Why Listen:
My guest today invested in properties in undergrad and, nearly ten years later, started two different companies that built on that experience. In this interview we talk about how Chris used trusted advisors as a sounding board, and how that led him to abandon his plans of pursuing a PHD to instead pursue a completely different career path. We talk about what it’s like to pursue an MBA and Masters of Engineering Management simultaneously at a top tier grad school. We talk about what caused him to leave a very comfortable career at Goldman Sachs and, instead, jump into the wild and unpredictable world of entrepreneurship. We also have a fantastic discussion about how to evaluate whether to start a company directly from Active Duty vs gaining more experience first.

About Chris:
Chris Brusznicki is Managing Director at Bronson Lee Partners, which factors delinquent tax receivables for municipalities. The company uses proprietary software to underwrite, lend, and service thousands of receivables and their underlying assets annually. Chris started Bronson Lee nearly 10 years ago. He started out at the University of Notre Dame, served in the US Army as a Captain with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, prior to earning his MBA & Masters of Engineering Management at Northwestern University. Since Kellogg he has worked at Goldman Sachs, Manhattan Prep, as well as the Founder & Chairman of Vacation Rental Partners.

BTU #247 - Navy Spouse to Founding Perspective Fitwear (Stephanie & Kory Perez)

BTU #247 - Navy Spouse to Founding Perspective Fitwear (Stephanie & Kory Perez)

Why Listen:
This is the first interview I’ve done with the spouse of a member of the Armed Forces, and this is a fantastic interview for anyone interested in entrepreneurship. Stephanie and Kory (Navy O-3 currently on Active Duty) started Perspective Fitwear. In this interview we talk about the nuts and bolts of starting a company, including how to incorporate, how much it costs, how to get a logo, and more. We talk about the rule of 12 - how it takes 12 interactions until they make a purchase; we talk about how everything in a startup takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you’d think. We talk about how incredibly difficult it is to get attention when you’re starting a company, what it’s like to work with a spouse, the importance of structure and more. I’ve been an entrepreneur for over ten years now, and Stephanie’s advice and experience felt spot on from my perspective.

About Stephanie & Kory:
Kory Perez is an Navy O-3 and FRS Instructor Pilot for the MH-60S in Coronado, CA. He started out at the Naval Academy, and has been on Active Duty for over 7 years, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Systems Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School. 

Stephanie Perez is the Founder & CEO of Perspective Fitwear, a company she co-founded with her husband, Kory, with the goal of developing a line of fitwear designed with the woman’s body in mind, and to help their customers feel both confident and comfortable. Stephanie is a collegiate athlete and Ironman triathlete. Prior to founding Perspective Fitwear, she worked in Merchandise Buying/Planning for Macy’s in New York City.

BTU #246 - Navy SEAL to Founder of EF Overwatch (Michael Sarraille)

BTU #246 - Navy SEAL to Founder of EF Overwatch (Michael Sarraille)

Why Listen:
Mike started EF Overwatch as part of Jocko Willink’s Echelon Front. We talk about the Veteran Transition Map, and the importance of one’s self-assessment about strengths and weaknesses. We talk about the one thing that Mike would encourage Veterans to leave behind in the military, and why this one thing is such a risk. What it’s like starting two organizations and why Mike thinks Veterans should definitely start a for-profit company over a non-profit company. We talk about Extreme Ownership - and why this mindset is revolutionizing the business world. 

About Mike:
Mike Sarraille is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer, a graduate of the University of Texas McCombs Business School, and now a leadership instructor, speaker and strategic advisor for Echelon Front. He is President of Echelon Front Overwatch, a company that specializes in the recruiting, training and placement of U.S special operations forces veterans with companies seeking leaders with an Extreme Ownership mindset to build their ranks and dominate on their battlefields. Mike served fifteen years as an officer in the SEAL Teams and five years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an enlisted Recon Marine and Scout-Sniper. Mike served in SEAL Team THREE where he led major combat operations that played a pivotal role in the Battle of Ramadi in 2006. Mike assumed duties as the primary leadership instructor for all officers graduating from the SEAL training pipeline. Mike was then selected for assignment to the Joint Special Operations Command where he completed multiple combat deployments.

BTU #245 - Marine Corps to MMA & the UFC (Liz Carmouche)

BTU #245 - Marine Corps to MMA & the UFC (Liz Carmouche)

Why Listen:
This is one of my favorite episodes. Liz is such an incredible example of determination and resilience. In this interview, she talks about what led her - just one month before her 26th birthday - to start MMA. We talk about commitment, and putting your mind and heart into whatever you do. We talk about how she prepares for a fight, how she takes her head out of a fight to save energy, and what it’s like recovering from failure. We also talk about what it’s like to be thrust - as an introvert - into the public spotlight. She talks about her weekly schedule - and it is insane. And we talk about what it took to get her to this point in her career. Regardless of whether or not you are interested in a career in sports or the MMA, there is something great in this interview for you

About Liz:
Liz “GIRL-RILLA” Carmouche is a Mixed Martial Artist fighter, who currently competes for UFC in the women’s flyweight division, and is currently ranked #6 in the flyweight division. Liz was the first openly lesbian fighter in the UFC. Liz served in the Marine Corps as an aviation electrician for five years during which she did three tours of duty in the Middle East. 

BTU #243 - Army Veteran to starting a $50M, 190 person company (Jared Shepard)

BTU #243 - Army Veteran to starting a $50M, 190 person company (Jared Shepard)

Why Listen:
I loved this conversation. Jared went from living in his car to joining the Army to starting his own government contracting company (now with over 190 employees). He is a wealth of honest information for Veterans aspiring to start their own company. He is also the Founder of Warriors Ethos, which helps Wounded Services Members and their families in their career pursuits. Strap in for an incredibly dense interview full of high-quality advice, and a fair amount of inspirational stories.

About Jared:
Jared Shepard is the CEO of Intelligent Waves and the Director of Warriors Ethos.  Warriors Ethos is dedicated to providing assistance in the career planning, professional development, and placement of Wounded Service Members, Veterans, and their families throughout their transition. Intelligent Waves is specializes in providing information technology and communications support to a wide variety of U.S. government customers. He spent 7 years in the Army as an infantry and communications Soldier, worked as a government contractor, and then started his own IT government contracting company.  

BTU #242 - Launching a new sport with the Underwater Torpedo League (Prime Hall)

BTU #242 - Launching a new sport with the Underwater Torpedo League (Prime Hall)

Why Listen:
Prime has started a new sport, which is now training MMA fighters, NFL players, and even Olympic swimmers.   In this interview we talk about advice to those who are facing an unexpected transition from the military. We talk about what it’s like to start a new sport and get a company off the ground, while pursuing an MBA at the same time. We also talk about what it’s like to start a non-profit organization as well.

About Prime:
Prime Hall is the Founder of Underwater Torpedo League. He served in the Marine Corps for 12 years, 4 years in Infantry and as a Water Survival Instructor, then 8 years as a Marine Raider. He is the Executive Director of The Marine Raider Challenge. He is currently finishing up his MBA at USC.

BTU #240 - Self Reliant Leadership (Jan Rutherford)

BTU #240 - Self Reliant Leadership (Jan Rutherford)

Why Listen:
I hope this is the first in a series of interviews with Jan, because this was an exceptional conversation. In this conversation, Jan and I talk about sales, and how crucial it is in business (how little practice we get in the military). We talk about the importance of crucible experiences and how to create them and use them to change your narrative. We talk about the differences between civilian and military leaders, and how civilians may often be more adaptable in a business setting than Veterans. We talk about traits you should consider dropping from the military as you enter the civilian workforce. And we talk extensively about entrepreneurship.

About Jan:
Jan Rutherford is the Founder of Self Reliant Leadership, an executive and military veteran program for leaders who are Selfless, Adventurous, and possess Heroic Aspirations. He entered the US Army at age 17 (weighing 114 pounds), and spent six years in Special Forces as a medic and “A” team executive officer, and three years as a military intelligence officer. In addition to having over 25 years of business and healthcare experience, he is the co-host of The Leadership Podcast, and the author of  “The Littlest Green Beret: On Self-Reliant Leadership” where half the proceeds go to the Special Operations Warrior and Green Beret Foundations.

BTU #238 - Army Veteran to Culinary Entrepreneur (Caroline Taft Pestel) - Rebroadcast

BTU #238 - Army Veteran to Culinary Entrepreneur (Caroline Taft Pestel) - Rebroadcast

Why Listen:
Today’s interview originally aired in December of 2016 as episode #40, but it remains one of my favorite interviews. In this interview, Annie talks about what it’s like to start a company while on Active Duty. She talks about her decision to leave the Army, and her initial plans to go to culinary school - which, as you can imagine, is quite a big transition and one that was not always met with the support of those around her. If you’re thinking of starting a company - either on Active Duty or years after your transition to a civilian career - this is a fantastic episode for you.

About Annie:
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.

BTU #237 - Army Veteran to Combat Flip Flops Co-Founder (Matt Griffin)

BTU #237 - Army Veteran to Combat Flip Flops Co-Founder (Matt Griffin)

Why Listen:
This is my one of my favorite interviews - whether you’re interested in entrepreneurship or any career path, there is something in this interview for you. We talk about how a library card may be more valuable than college or grad school, we talk about the pros and cons of gaining experience prior to starting a company, we talk about the tactics of starting a company and how to do that on a limited budget while supporting a family, we talk about finding co-founders, we talk about how to maintain a fresh mind even amidst the grueling mental battle of running a company, we talk about daily planning and finding your game-changers, and more.

About Matt:
Matt is the CEO & Co-Founder of Combat Flip Flops, which creates peaceful, forward-thinking opportunities for self-determined entrepreneurs affected by conflict. He started out at West Point, after which he served in the 75th Ranger Regiment as a Rifle Company Fire Support Officer with three tours to Afghanistan and one tour to Iraq.  His post military career includes work as the Director of Military Sales for Remote Medical International and the director of Special Operations for Protect the Force. 

BTU #235 - Navy SEAL to the Founding Declan James Watch Co (Brian Dougherty)

BTU #235 - Navy SEAL to the Founding Declan James Watch Co (Brian Dougherty)

Why Listen:
Brian is a Navy SEAL turned entrepreneur in the midst of starting his first company. We haven’t had a lot of guests on the show who are selling physical products, and Brain talks about what it’s like to start a watch manufacturing company. We talk about finding expertise and knowing when to pay for it, we talk about how social media is often shunned in the military and yet absolutely essential in business, we talk about the value of reserves for healthcare when you’re starting a company and have a family, and we talk about much, much more.

About Brian:
Brian is the founder of the Declan James Watch Co. He started out in commercial real estate for 6 years, before joining the Navy SEALs, where he served for 8 years including two deployments with SEAL Team 7 and one shore duty assignment as a BUDS instructor. He separated from active duty 10 months ago and the Declan James Watch Co is his first venture.

BTU #232 - Lessons Learned from the IVMF (Maureen Casey)

BTU #232 - Lessons Learned from the IVMF (Maureen Casey)

Why Listen:
Maureen and the IVMF are incredible resources for the military Veteran community. In this interview, we talk about the #1 challenge facing the military Veteran community today. We talk about the best way for members of the military (and their spouses) to identify a fulfilling career after their military service. We talk about the BIGGEST mistake that people in the Armed Forces make when they transition to a civilian career. We talk about military Veterans in entrepreneurship, and specific data about how they stack up against their civilian counterparts. 

About Maureen:
Maureen Casey is the Chief Operating Officer for the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. She brings more than 25 years of public and private sector experience to her current leadership role at the IVMF, including work as a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase, the New York City Police Department, the New York State’s criminal justice system, and more. She received her J.D. from SUNY Buffalo’s School of Law and a Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, from the State University of New York’s College at Brockport.

BTU #230 - Navy Veteran to Hunt a Killer Founder (Ryan Hogan)

BTU #230 - Navy Veteran to Hunt a Killer Founder (Ryan Hogan)

Why Listen:
Ryan Hogan is a serial entrepreneur who has started the majority of his companies while still on Active Duty. In this interview we talk about finding like minded people as accountability partners, and the importance of believing that anything is possible. We talk about what it’s like to have a startup fail, and how to recover from this in a way that might not seem intuitive to most listeners. We talk about finances, and how Ryan has started his company and grown it to over $18M in annual revenue without raising a single dollar of investment from outside investors (and how he borrowed money from his Thrift Saving Plan) to do it.

About Ryan:
Ryan Hogan is the Co-Founder & CEO of Hunt A Killer (HAK), the fastest-growing thriller subscription service in the world. Hunt a Killer is an immersive murder mystery entertainment service that challenges its players to hunt and catch a killer through its interactive monthly membership boxes and premium one-time experiences allowing thrill seeking minds to solve ongoing fictional murder mysteries. Ryan started out as an Enlisted Naval Aircrew member, and served in the Navy for 15 years, most recently as a Surface Warfare Officer. He is currently in the Navy reserves.

BTU #227 - Navy Veteran to NASCAR Driver (Jesse Iwuji)

BTU #227 - Navy Veteran to NASCAR Driver (Jesse Iwuji)

Why Listen:
This is an inspirational episode. Jesse is a case study in pursuing one’s dream - figuring out what unique aspirations you have, finding others to hold you accountable, and not letting the opinions or doubts of others get in your way. Jesse talks about how he used a kickstarter campaign, credit cards, and his personal savings to inch his way closer - one race at a time - to becoming  a NASCAR driver. We talk about advocating for yourself, how to run a crowdfunding campaign, and how to train day in and day out to make your dreams come true. The topics we cover in this episode are relevant to every single career path - whether you too want to become a NASCAR driver, or want to start your own business, or write a book, or whatever your personal goals may be. If you like this episode check out our show notes at BeyondTheUniform.io, where, in addition to the resources we discuss in this episode, I also list 3 other episodes very similar to this one.

About Jesse:
Jesse Iwuji is the first active duty US Naval Officer to compete in NASCAR. He is also the Founder of The Red List Group which is an auto racing event company bringing drag racers together from the West to compete for trophies and cash prizes at track events. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Surface Warfare Officer for 7 years before transitioning to the Navy Reserves.