Entrepreneurship

BTU #301 - How a Startup Can Access Billion Dollar Government Contracts (Yolanda Clarke)

BTU #301 - How a Startup Can Access Billion Dollar Government Contracts (Yolanda Clarke)

Why Listen:

Whether or not you’re interested in entrepreneurship, you MUST listen to this episode. Yolanda has such a fascinating way of viewing and explaining the world of entrepreneurship. She also gives some of the best networking advice I’ve ever heard in over 300 episodes to date. As both a Veteran and a military spouse, she approaches the concept of entrepreneurship from a variety of angles, and I found this interview to be a real “knuckle burner” of an episode. I loved our conversation and hope you will too.

About Yolanda:

Yolanda Clarke is the CEO of Powder River Industries, which focuses on the management and technical needs of the U.S. Government. She served in the Army as an Intelligence Officer, worked at Lockheed Martin for over 12 years, serves as City Leader for Bunker Labs San Diego, is the Co-founder of a DEF chapter in Monterey, is a military spouse, and is in the Army Reserves.

BTU #298 - Making Wine on Active Duty (Brian Retherford)

BTU #298 - Making Wine on Active Duty (Brian Retherford)

Why Listen:

Brian co-founded a wine business while on Active Duty, which is one of several “side hustles” in his life. Regardless of your interest in wine, entrepreneurship, or side hustles, this is a FANTASTIC interview. We talk about how you can use an existing product while bringing marketing and branding to the table to make it a business. In Brian’s case, he is redistributing wines from incredible vineyards under his own label, which means he doesn’t have to worry about creating and maintaining a product. We talk about how preparation happens well before the opportunity arises, about giving back, about using volunteering opportunities, about cultivating side pursuits while in the military and more.

About Brian:

Brian Retherford is currently serving in the US Army, where he is the team leader for a multi-function cyberspace operations team, and has served for 15 years. He is also the Founder of Claudine Wines, which is what we're going to spend most of our time talking about today. He started out at West Point, and has served in the Army since he graduated in 2004. He has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

BTU #297 - MilSpouse Careers with Freedom Makers (Laura Renner)

BTU #297 - MilSpouse Careers with Freedom Makers (Laura Renner)

Why Listen

After multiple jobs, Laura found a career that is aligned with her personal values and, as a result, feels more energy in what she does. And what she does as Founder & CEO of Freedom Makers is help military spouses gain freedom in their own life. Laura talks about how small businesses can benefit from working with military spouses, about how listeners can benefit by having their own virtual assistant, and a whole host of topics related to any military Veteran.

About Laura

Laura Renner is the President and Founder of Freedom Makers, which creates freedom for small business owners by providing virtual assistance. Freedom Makers’ assistants are military spouses who also gain freedom because they can keep working no matter when or where the military moves their family. She served in the Air Force for six years as a Public Affairs Officer, earned an International MBA at the Chicago Booth School of Business, has worked in recruiting in the airline industry, and has started a few businesses.

BTU #292 - Founding a Digital Health Software Startup (Chris Molaro)

BTU #292 - Founding a Digital Health Software Startup (Chris Molaro)

Why Listen

Although Chris is an entrepreneur in the digital health software space, there is something in this episode for every Veteran. We talk about making sure that you are running towards something in your career, not running away from something. We talk about how to find a co-founder. We talk about Chris’ own Founding story… and it’s a good one, which draws deeply from his military experience. We talk about how failure is not really failure if you learn something new and become better - advice that sounds pretty, but is actually pretty messy, painful, and often embarrassing, while still being true. We talk about being flexible in your career and not just sticking to an idea or aspiration that no longer servers you. And we talk about the power of understanding your own mission and intent, and how to apply this to your career.

About Christopher

Christopher Molaro is the CEO & Co-Founder of the digital health software company, NeuroFlow, which uses advanced data analytics from wearables to objectively measure mental states and emotions for behavioral health, wellness and performance applications. He started out at West Point, after which he served for 5 years as a Field Artillery Army officer. After transitioning off active duty, Chris co-founded the Veteran literacy non-profit Things We Read, and has received his MBA as a graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

BTU #290 - We Study Billionaires (Preston Pysh)

BTU #290 - We Study Billionaires (Preston Pysh)

Why Listen

It was such an honor to connect with Preston, who runs the #1 Investing Podcast, We Study Billionairs, which has over 1 million downloads per month. In addition to that, he is ranked on Amazon in the top 35 Business Authors. Both of these are impressive enough on their own, but what really kicks this to the next level is the fact that Preston does all of this while serving on Active Duty in the military, as well as being a present parent of four kids. First of all - my apologies to both Preston and listeners, because I had some technical difficulties with this interview. Fortunately, Preston is always prepared, and had a backup recording of our interview, as my recording software crashed for the first time in 280 episodes during Preston’s interview. However, that recording did not have my audio, so I had to re-record this. So, bear with me if the audio quality of this episode is not as good as other episodes, but I assure you the content is absolutely top notch. Preston is humble and authentic in his advice, and I believe - regardless of your intended career path - you will benefit from listening to this episode.

About Preston

Preston is the founder of The Pylon Holding company, which conservatively grows equity through the acquisition of private or public companies. He runs the #1 Investing Podcast, The Investor’s Podcast, with over 1 Million downloads per month. He a best selling author and ranked by Amazon in the top 35 Business Authors. He started out at West Point, served in the Army for over seven years. He holds an MBA from the Johns Hopkins University and has been accepted to pursue a Master of Computer and Information Technology at the University of Pennsylvania.

BTU #287 - Self Reliant Leadership #2 (Jan Rutherford)

BTU #287 - Self Reliant Leadership #2 (Jan Rutherford)

Why Listen:

This is my second interview with Jan, and if you haven’t had a chance to listen to Episode #240, be sure to check that out. In this interview we talk about crucible experiences - what they are, why they are so valuable, and steps you can take to introduce them into your everyday life. We talk about why you may want to write a book even if you don’t think you would like to write a book. We talk about self-publishing vs. publishing, costs associated with writing a book, and tactical advice on how to make it a success. We talk about entrepreneurship, life, and a whole lot more.

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 #286 - Finding a Workplace Where You Can Thrive (Valerie Rivera)

BTU #286 - Finding a Workplace Where You Can Thrive (Valerie Rivera)

Why Listen:

Valerie left active duty after 15 years of service, and has gone on to found a company designed to help people thrive at work. In addition to discussing her own journey, we talk about how to find out if a culture is right for you, how to shift your mindset to be happier at work, how to make sure you are living a life of alignment, and more.

About Valerie:

Valerie Rivera is the Founder & CEO of Take Back WOrk, who’s mission is to partner with organizations of all stripes to create workplace cultures where people thrive. She served for over six years in the AIr Force, most recently as Team Leader for Tradecraft Deelopment and Capability Integration. She earned her MBA at Stanford Business School. "

BTU #282 - Vineyards, Wellness Centers, and More (Ken Falke & Leon Tackitt)

BTU #282 - Vineyards, Wellness Centers, and More (Ken Falke & Leon Tackitt)

Why Listen:

Well this is the first interview I’ve done with a vineyard owner, and the first interview I’ve done with the owner of a wellness retreat for Veterans. These are both great resources and career overview for listeners, but Leon and Ken cover so much more ground. They both served in Explosive Ordinance Disposal while in the military. They have some incredible nuggets of wisdom about doing your job better rather than looking for a better job, and how work life balance doesn’t exist. Prepare to be motivated, because Ken and Leon make for an incredible combination of wisdom in this episode. 

About Ken & Leon:

Ken Falke is Chairman of Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran wellness, which is a free, first-class rural wellness retreat for America’s military members, veterans and their families to recover from visible and invisible wounds by providing rest and reconnection time, reintegration training, and world-class combat stress recovery programming. He also serves as the Chairman of the EOD Warrior Foundation. He served in the US Navy for over 21 years, retiring as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Master Chief Petty Officer. He has also served as the CEO and Founder of A-T Solutions, and the CEO and Co-Founder of Shoulder 2 Shoulder. 

Leon Tackitt Started his career in Navy Search and Rescue as a helicopter aircrewman in the Anti-Submarine Warfare field. He transitioned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal in 1985 and rose to the rank of Senior Chief before he was commissioned as a Limited Duty Officer in 1998. He retired in 2007 as a Lieutenant Commander

BTU #279 - Career Placement Advice (Natalie Oliverio)

BTU #279 - Career Placement Advice (Natalie Oliverio)

Why Listen:

Natalie helps military personnel realize their potential and define their professional goals. She partners with companies that are ready to hire Veterans, and acts as a broker to make sure that both the Veteran and the company are happy. In this interview, she shares an immense amount of wisdom she’s learned in helping Veterans. We talk about mentorship, mindset, and a variety of topics applicable to any Veteran career path. 

About Natalie:

Natalie Oliverio is the Founder + CEO of Military Talent Partners, which provides mentorship, coaching, and career discovery to help military talent realize their potential and define their professional goals. She served in the Navy for 4 years as a journalist and spent 10 years in Corporate recruiting and 3 years volunteering in professional mentorship among the military community.

BTU #277 - How to Maximize Your GI Bill Benefits (Robert E. Woods III)

BTU #277 - How to Maximize Your GI Bill Benefits (Robert E. Woods III)

Why Listen:

Special thanks to Frank Vanburen from episode #39 for making the introduction to Robert. Robert is the Founder of Banneret, which has discovered a unique method to help veterans transition, that is attractive to companies that want to do the right thing, but are cash strapped. In this interview we talk about this approach, which may be appealing to many listeners. We also talk about entrepreneurship.

About Robert:

Robert E. Woods III is the Founder of Banneret, an organization that is helping companies take advantage of incentives of hiring skilled military veterans. As a resultof our work, businesses can save tens of thousands of dollars for every veteran hired. Veteranshave an opportunity to add up to $45k to their first year's income without using companyfunds. He started out in the Air Force, where he served for 5 years as a Dental Technician in the Air Force, with a focus on oral surgery. He holds a BBA from Howard University, a Master’s Degree in Investor Relations from Fordham University, and a M.S. in Real Estate Development from Columbia University.

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.