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Beyond the Uniform

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.
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Now displaying: February, 2017
Feb 22, 2017

“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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  • Podcasts

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
Feb 17, 2017

“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:

  1. 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

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
Feb 15, 2017

“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:

  1. 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
  2. Startups - Chris talks about using angel list and other tools to find the right startup for you
  3. 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

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
Feb 13, 2017

“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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
Feb 10, 2017

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

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
Feb 8, 2017

“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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

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
Feb 6, 2017

“ 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 
Feb 3, 2017

“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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
Feb 2, 2017

“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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  • 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
Feb 1, 2017

"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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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

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
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