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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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Dec 30, 2017

This is my final episode for the year of 2017. In this episode, I talk about three topics that are very top of mind for me with the Veteran community, and I share a handful of resources related to each topic. I also look back at where Beyond the Uniform has gone in 2017, and what lies ahead for 2018. As always, I greatly appreciate your feedback, and look forward to a great 2018 with all of you!

Selected Resources:

Dec 20, 2017
Why to Listen: Today is my third and final data post about Veterans in the field of Management Consultants. Today, we dive in specifically to look at the top three Management Consulting Firms - McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain - and what characterizes the veterans who work there. If you're interested in consulting, this will be an interesting look including the most popular schools people go to, how long they serve, and how they get there.
  • StoryBox - People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces.
  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources: 

Dec 18, 2017

"Learning in a classroom is much different from actually doing it. And so I thought I had all this great knowledge coming out of my MBA program but then when I actually became a startup CEO, I found it really was a different world. While textbook knowledge can be helpful and important, it’s really not ultimately going to determine your success as an entrepreneur.”
- Charlotte Creech

Why to Listen: 

Long time listeners know that typically on the show, I interview military veterans that have transitioned into civilian careers. Today I’m doing a resource episode and my guest is Charlotte Creech, a military spouse and current CEO of Patriot Boot Camp. Many active duty military members, veterans, and spouses can take advantage of this great resource. We cover many things in this interview including starting a business, the Patriot Boot Camp program, many misconceptions veterans have about starting a business, and advice Charlotte would offer to those wanting to start and grow their own business.  We also talk about how ruling out what you don’t want to do in your civilian career can be just as important as what you do want to do. Finally, we talk about challenges unique to being a military spouse and how you can support your spouse through your transition out of the military.

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

Selected Resources: 

Transcript & Time Stamps: 

Today is Episode #137 with the CEO of Patriot Boot Camp, Charlotte Creech.

“Learning in a classroom is much different from actually doing it. And so I thought I had all this great knowledge coming out of my MBA program but then when I actually became a startup CEO, I found it really was a different world. While textbook knowledge can be helpful and important, it’s really not ultimately going to determine your success as an entrepreneur.”             –Charlotte Creech

 

(0:55)

Long time listeners know that typically on the show, I interview military veterans that have transitioned into civilian careers. Today I’m doing a resource episode and my guest is Charlotte Creech, a military spouse and current CEO of Patriot Boot Camp. Many active duty military members, veterans, and spouses can take advantage of this great resource. We cover many things in this interview including starting a business, the Patriot Boot Camp program, many misconceptions veterans have about starting a business, and advice Charlotte would offer to those wanting to start and grow their own business.  We also talk about how ruling out what you don’t want to do in your civilian career can be just as important as what you do want to do. Finally, we talk about challenges unique to being a military spouse and how you can support your spouse through your transition out of the military.

 

(2:30)

A couple quick admin notes. Don’t miss our Veterans in Consulting seminar on January 17th. We have three speakers locked in that are veterans who went straight from the military into consulting. If you have any interest at all in consulting, this is worth checking out. Also, if you haven’t had a chance to leave Beyond the Uniform a review on iTunes, please do. It really helps us get the word out to other veterans.

 

(3:40)

Joining me today is the CEO of Patriot Boot Camp, Charlotte Creech. Patriot Boot Camp is a 501(c) non-profit that aims to equip active duty and veteran military members and their families with the education and resources needed to build the next generation of impactful companies. Prior to Patriot Boot Camp, Charlotte co-founded Combat 2 Career, a technology start-up that matches veterans with higher education opportunities. Charlotte holds an MBA from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Bentley University.

 

(4:50)

Anything to add to that introduction, Charlotte?

 

Well most importantly, the reason why I feel so strongly about serving the military community is because my husband is an Air Force veteran. He was enlisted in the Air Force, serving two years in the Honor Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. Then he went to Fire Academy and subsequently after leaving the military, began serving in a GS role. So now he is a full-time firefighter at Fort Hood in Texas. I also have two siblings that served in the Navy and the Army.

 

(5:29)

How would you describe Patriot Boot Camp?

 

We’re acutely focused on advancing veterans as entrepreneurs with a specific focus on technology entrepreneurship. We help veterans grow scalable tech ventures. Anything ranging from software to hardware and mobile apps. Drones also fall within that umbrella.

 

(7:15)

I think it’s fantastic that you also support spouses in this program since all of us who have served know that spouses are just as impacted by military life as the service member.

 

I was able to go through Patriot Boot Camp myself when I was beginning a tech start-up because I was a spouse of a veteran so I know how important it is for the military spouse community.

 

(7:55)

Could you share a little bit more about the three-day course that you offer?

 

It’s a three-pillared approach focusing on education, mentorship, and community. It’s a three-day intensive course that you attend in person.  Over the course of the three days, we recruit 50 early stage entrepreneurs. By early stage we mean anything from you have an idea that you want to get started to Series A (early stage fundraising). People come to Patriot Bootcamp looking for a community and resources. That comes in the form of mentorship from other veteran entrepreneurs and other entrepreneurs in general. These mentors are able to offer participants insight on pitfalls to avoid and opportunities to take advantage of. We believe this helps participants achieve more.

 

(9:47)

Over the course of the three days, participants are exposed to lectures and discussions on a series of topics relevant to veteran entrepreneurs. For mentorship, we bring in anywhere from 30-50 subject matter experts including engineers, software programs, marketing experts, and successful entrepreneurs. These mentors are there to have individual meetings with participants throughout the weekend. Participants are able to receive tailored feedback specific to their own start-up or idea.  On the third day we have a mini-pitch competition which is meant to be more of an academic exercise. Participants aren’t actually pitching before investors but it’s a great opportunity to apply the skills learned throughout the three-day course. The hope is that by the end of the weekend participants leave with 2-3 strong mentorship connections that they can continue talking to in the future.

 

(12:00)

I’m listening to all of this with a bit of envy because in my own journey, I went straight from the Navy to business school. But it seemed like a lot of business school was preparing students to eventually be CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Less of it felt relevant to the issues faced when getting a start-up off the ground. I think this is an incredible opportunity for veterans to gain training and mentorship in the tech field.

 

I had a similar experience. I have a business background as well and had gone to school to earn my MBA. I felt like I had the textbook version of how to start and grow a company. But of course learning it in a classroom environment is very different from actually doing it. I thought I had all this great knowledge coming out of my MBA program but then when I became a startup CEO, and was trying to raise capital and build a product, I found out that it really was a different world. I discovered that while textbook knowledge can be helpful and important, it’s really not going to ultimately determine your success as an entrepreneur. One of the key takeaways from Patriot Boot Camp is that entrepreneurship is not a linear pathway. You may need many different mentors and advice throughout your entrepreneurship journey. This can help you navigate through all of the obstacles you face.  It’s for this reason that we make Patriot Boot Camp really mentor driven and bring in a wide variety of mentors. Our participants are also welcome to come back to Patriot Boot Camp more than once so we see many participants coming back multiple times to increase their knowledge and grow their mentor network. As you begin to grow your company, your needs and challenges will change and we want to continue to provide support and mentorship for these veteran entrepreneurs.

 

(16:30)

I love Patriot Boot Camp’s focus on mentorship. Having mentors to provide advice and feedback can save an entrepreneur hundreds of hours of time and millions of dollars of capital.

 

Yes we hear that same feedback all the time and that’s why we feel so strongly about the program’s focus on mentorship.

 

(16:52)

When is the next three-day course happening and what is the cost to attend?

 

Applications are now being accepted for our February 16-18 session. Those that are interested can go to www.veteransbootcamp.org to apply.  It will be held in San Antonio, TX. There is no cost to attend, it is completely sponsored and paid for. However, if you are coming from out of town, you would need to cover your transportation and hotel costs.

 

(18:55)

What is the typical mix in the program between those that are serving on active duty and those that have transitioned out?

 

There really isn’t one size fits all. We’ve seen Vietnam Veterans, we’ve had post-9/11 veterans and everything in between. We’re open to everybody. As far as the most common profile? Most commonly we see veterans that have separated within the last five years. Usually less than 20% are active duty. Most people are veterans but it really varies by program and location.

 

(20:31)

We’d actually love to see more active duty take advantage of the program because I think it can be a really pivotal learning experience. There are few consequences other than having to take a day or two of leave. But to be able to build that network while still on active duty is an important opportunity. Of course we want to see as many successful start-ups as possible grow from Patriot Boot Camp. But if someone comes to the program and realizes that this lifestyle or work environment isn’t for them, it can be just as important because it saves them down the road from investing time and money into something that isn’t a good fit for them.

 

(22:30)

One of the best pieces of advice I received while at Stanford Business School was that you shouldn’t look for what you want to do but what you don’t want to do and then start closing those doors. I really like that sentiment of being able to get a taste of the tech industry through Patriot Boot Camp and being able to decide whether or not it’s a good fit.

 

We’ve had some interesting stories of people coming through Patriot Boot Camp and through connections with some of the mentors there, they discover that joining a startup already in existence is a better fit for them than beginning their own startup.  They might make a connection with a program or software engineer during the course of the weekend and realize that they want to be involved in those specific functions rather than have their own startup.

 

(23:40)

What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about starting their own company?

 

One of the biggest misconception is the lifestyle. If you think you want to start your own business because you want more time and flexibility, this is probably not the right way to do this. I have experience being a small business owner myself and I can tell you it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. When there’s nobody to delegate work to and nobody you’re working with, you’re on call 24/7. You breathe, eat, and sleep your business. There’s lots to worry about and although it’s very exciting, it can also be incredibly stressful. Don’t go into business because you want to be in control of your time because the honest truth is that you’re going to be a slave to your business. I don’t say this to discourage anyone or be pessimistic. But it is the reality of starting and growing your own business.

 

(24:55)

The other hard realization that comes along with this is that usually being in business for yourself does not come with a salary on Day 1. I went about two years without taking a salary because we were investing all of our capital into product development. If you’re not a programmer, it can get very expensive hiring someone else to build the technology.

 

(27:12)

I echo all of what you just said. I had the same experience in my own entrepreneurial journey. Do you have any other advice for someone on active duty that is thinking about starting their own business?

 

I think the important thing is to start now.  Entrepreneurship may or may not be the right fit for you and your product may or may not have market viability but you won’t know until you try. The earlier you can start the process and start narrowing down, the better off you will be.

 

(29:10)

So many times I hear people say, ‘I’m still figuring it out’ or ‘I’m writing my business plan’.  I always advise them that execution is really all that matters in entrepreneurship. So if you have an idea, start talking about it now. Don’t keep your ideas to yourself. Just start executing. I’ve been told before that there is someone out there in the world with the exact same idea you have.  The only difference is who gets out and starts executing the plan.  So don’t sit in seclusion, keeping your idea to yourself. Get out there and share your ideas with others, find mentors, and don’t be afraid to start experimenting.

 

(33:20)

Do you have any resources you would recommend to active duty members and veterans that are thinking about pursuing entrepreneurship?

 

Sure, there’s a whole litany of resources. First, look into programs such as Patriot Boot Camp, Bunker Labs, and EBV. All of these organizations host free entrepreneurship training programs.

 

Books

Lean Startup

Do More Faster

 

Podcasts

A16oz - Andreessen Horowitz

How I Built This

 

Blogs

FeldThoughts

Fred Wilson’s AVC

 

It can also be really helpful to follow different entrepreneurs through social media and just see the kinds of things they are talking about.

 

(35:10)

I love ‘How I Built This’ as well. It’s inspiring to hear about the wild and crazy rollercoaster that some startups have gone through.  Another thing I’d like to ask about is your experience as a military spouse. I’m curious to hear if there are any unique challenges faced by military spouses during the military members’ transition to a civilian career?

 

My husband had separated from the Air Force by the time I started my company so I wasn’t a true military spouse at the time. However, my business partner was a veteran of the Coast Guard and her husband was still currently serving on active duty in the Coast Guard.  In the four years that we ran our business, she PCS’d three times.  It was an unbelievable hurdle for her to get over because every time she got settled somewhere, she PCS’d again. So even something as simple as finding a co-working space can be really challenging when you’re moving all the time. One of those PCS moves was to South Bend, Indiana so her husband could attend graduate school at the University of Notre Dame. But for her, it was difficult, because she was surrounded by cornfields and very few resources. That was a big hurdle we faced as a business. It made me realize how important it is to provide service to military spouses as well because they’re along for the journey too. 

 

(39:00)

Spouses face a lot of adversity not only in terms of their job but also in losing their community and network. All the while they’re juggling work life, home life, having to find new schools for the kids, etc. I think the more we can build a connected network that doesn’t rely on a physical location, the better we all are. I want spouses to know they can come to a Patriot Boot Camp workshop and meet 50 other like-minded people that they can keep in touch with once they return home.

 

(40:58)

Now is better than it’s ever been in terms of the ability to remotely build teams that achieve success even if you’re not in the same physical location.

 

(41:10)

Do you have any other thoughts for active duty military members on ways they can support their spouse as they transition out of the military?

 

A lot of it is just being conscious of the concept that as you transition out of the military, your spouse is along for the ride. One thing we saw with one of our Denver community members – her husband was active duty in the military and she had always done freelance work. Most of her gigs came from her husband’s connections inside the military. When he retired, he immediately got a really great consulting gig without missing a beat. But with her it was different because when her husband transitioned out, she lost her network, her connections, and the support from the community. She came through our program wanting to find a community. It was a good reminder that as you transition out, your spouse is losing access to the resources and community that they’ve had while you’ve been in.

 

(44:00)

I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t thought about it much before but it’s absolutely true that the transition out of the military can be just as challenging for the spouse as it is for the member.

 

Right. And I don’t think anyone has come up with a resource guide or playbook but just being aware of the issue is half the battle.

 

(44:50)

Any last thoughts to share with our listeners?

 

Just that you don’t know what you don’t know. And that’s ok. It’s more about learning and growing your network. Be open mind to new opportunities and meeting new people. Even if you don’t have what you consider a stellar business idea yet, it can still be extremely beneficial to just go and meet new people. You might be surprised at the outcome and where it leads you.

 

(46:14)

The other thing is that there is no one size fits all and I encourage people to take advantage of many different programs. Of course I want people who are interested in Patriot Boot Camp to take advantage of our program. But these programs aren’t mutually exclusive and you can take advantage of many different opportunities. Get involved in as many things as you can.

 

(47:20)

If anybody would like to contact me directly, they are more than welcome to do so. My email is charlotte@patriotbootcamp.org

Dec 13, 2017

Why to Listen: 

In episode #133, I dove into original data about how veterans manage to secure a job at the top rated Management Consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. Today, I take this 100 steps further by analyzing data about how veterans enter into a top 10 consulting firm. I look at salary information, as well as how branch of service, length of military service, and length of civilian work experience all impact your future career as a consultant.

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

Selected Resources: 

Transcript & Time Stamps: 

For this episode I looked at 4,300 LinkedIn Profiles. This includes people who served in the United States Armed Forces, and then worked at some time at one of the top ten Management Consulting Firms as defined by Forbes. We’re going to look at a tremendous amount of data - how long people serve in the military, how long they work prior to consulting, how this affects which consulting firm they work with and at what level.

At the end of this we’re going to get into a lot of salary information. So I always want to provide a disclaimer at the start that there are SO many factors that go into selecting a career - location, fit, community, opportunity for advancement, fulfillment, and work life balance just to name a few. And yes, salary is one of those factors. It is the simplest for me to quantify, so I think it is worth discussing. However, my intention in going through this data is simply to provide you - the veteran community - with more information so that you can make the unique decision that is right for you and for your family. If you have not listened to the first episode in this series - I recommend you check that out. It’s not necessary to listen to that prior to this, but it has other great data relevant to veterans interested in consutling.

More importantly - if you have not pre registered for January 17th online event, Veterans in Consulting - stop what you’re doing right now and do it.

  • Pull over 
  • Get someone to relieve you as Officer of the Deck
  • Go to periscope depth and get a satellite connection
  • Do whatever you have to but go to Beyondtheunifom.io
  • Click on events and Veterans in Consulting
  • And pre-register

That way you’ll get notified as this event comes together. It will be a 75-minute, video conference where I interview 3 different veterans who went directly from Active Duty to a top tier consulting firm. I will be asking about how they got there, what life is like, what work is like, what pay is like, what the snacks are like. Everything you could possibly want to know about a career in consulting, and quite possibly 1-2 things you do not want to know about it.

Additionally, I will open it up to the group for a live Q&A session. You do not want to miss it, so pre-register today. This will be a  paid event - something between $10-15 depending on if we find a sponsor. The reason for the charge is because (1) there is a large body of research showing that people value more that which they pay for, and (2) it does help offset the cost of the BTU show - this is a side project for me, and I’ve managed to rack up quite a bit of expenses in bringing this to life. I want to continue to offer the podcast nd data for free to everyone, but having paid events will help me continue to do this.

Ok - so let’s dive in - to some data

  • Agenda
    • We’ll start by looking at the firms - by total number of veterans - where folks end up
    • Second, we’ll look at the breakdown by branch of service - what that indicates about where veterans end up
    • Third, we will look at time in service - how that impacts one’s career in consulting
    • Fourth, we will look at civilian work experience, and how that affects where one ends up
    • And lastly, we’ll look at titles - which titles veterans tend to gravitate towards at each specific firm
    • If you are interested in how I assembled this data, post in the show notes - i do not want to bore you here
    • But special thanks to mTurk - people who for $0.05 a task, helped me assemble and analyze this data.
    • They save me hundreds of hours, and also cost me hundreds of dollars
    • But it’s very likely that money would have gone to Larkburger’s delicious though not too nutritious burgers, fries, and shakes
    • So it’s not too unlikely that by using this money for this data analysis, I have saved myself years of life, and avoided unnecessary pounds of weight

Let’s start by looking at the firms and where veterans end up. To do this, I’m going to use that Forbes list of the 10 Ten Management Consulting companies:

  • The #1 firm is McKinsey & Company, where 2% of veterans who go into Management Consulting end up
  • The #2 firm is Boston Consulting Group - or BCG - only 1.2% of veterans are able to get in the door there
  • Bain & Company is #3 - where just above half a percent of veterans end up. This was the lowest number of veterans of any of the top ten firms
  • #4 is Deloitte, where there are a lot of veterans. 12.2% of all veterans in consulting end up at Deloitte
  • But that is NOTHING - it just a drop in the bucket - compared to the #5 firm. Booz Allen Hamilton took the lion’s share of all veterans in consulting, with 42% of veterans in consulting working at Booz Allen and Hamilton. 
  • #6 is Price Waterhouse Cooper or PWC, which has about 6% of veterans
  • #7 is Ersnt & Young, also with 6%
  • #8 is Accenture, with 10%
  • #9 is KPMG with only 1.5%
  • and last but certainly not least is IBM, which was the second highest employer with 18% of veterans in the management consulting industry

What should you take away from this 

  • Well less than 4% of all veterans who go into Management Consulting end up at a top 3 firm
  • If that is your aspiration it would be worthwhile to study those who have gone before you and learn from how they got there
  • that was my intention in part 1 of this where I looked at the rare birds who made their way into McKinsey & Company
  • If you are playing the odds, I would be sure to add the more popular firms to your application process - Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton, Accenture and IBM are all great firms, and have a large veteran population
  • Not only does this mean - statistically - that you have a better chance o working there, but it also means that there is a wealth of knowledge, so many veterans at each of these institutions that can help you understand what it’s like to work there as well as how you might get a job there too

Next, let’s look at branch of service. Of these 4k+ veterans who are working in Management Consulting, where are they coming from:

  • The most - 39% - are coming from the Army
  • followed by the Air Force - at 31%
  • Followed by my team - Navy - team navy is 28%
  • and then Coast Guard and Marine Corps, with 2% and 1% respectively
  • Don’t read too much into this - Coast Guard and Marine Corps are smaller branches in terms of population, so it’s not surprising that their representative number in any industry will be smaller.

I did find it interesting, amongst the branches, to see where each branch spiked in the population of a firm

  • At McKinsey & Company, the Navy is actually the largest population - 44% vs. the Army’s 40% - so take that, Army
  • That was the only deviation that stood out - for the most part, Army is the largest population at the different consulting firms
  • Of note - it is pretty equal distribution at IBM, where it’s pretty much 1/3 1/3 1/3 for army / navy / air force
  • Bain is 51% army - so pretty lopsided
  • And BCG & McKisney had Army & Navy pretty comparable - just about 5% apart, but Air Force represented to a lesser extent here with 18% at Bain and 15% at BCG

Let’s look at length of military service and how that affects one’s career in management Consulting

  • Army leads the charge in terms of numbers in consulting, but is at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to length of service
  • the average Army veteran served for 7.1 years - that was the least amount of service 
  • Navy, Air Force, and Coast guard were pretty event - with 10, 10.3 and 10.5 years of service resepctively
  • And Marines are inspiring me with their patriotism - they serve for 12.3 years on average
  • I do think it would be VERY interesting to look at how length of service correlates to starting title an salary at each company
  • For that I would need a lot more mTurkers and more money so for now - that one will remain a mystery

I also looked at how length of military service affects the Management Consulting firm. Again, using that Forbes ranking of the top 10 let’s look at the numbers:

  • #1 McKinsey - the average veteran served for 6.7 years. This was the 3rd shortest length of service
  • #2 Boston Consulting Group or BCG - this was the 2nd lowest amount of military service, an average of just 6.4 years
  • #3 Bain was the LOWEST length of service - or 5.8 years of service
  • One can theorize as to why this is, but it is clear to me that those veterans working at a top 3 management consulting firm got out of the military earlier than those who did not
  • I have some hypothesis about this
  • One is that - from my McKinsey research it’s clear that an MBA is the most efficient route to a role at one of these three companies
  • I’m guessing that this is easier to do earlier in ones life, where the opportunity cost is lower to go to business school
  • And I’m guessing it is more difficult to do later in ones life - after one has become accustomed to a higher salary in the military, has accumulated more personal life obligations, and is less able to forgo a salary for two years than earlier in life
  • But of course, that is just a theory
  • #4 Deloitte - 8. 1years of service - this is actually the third highest length of service
  • #5 Booz Allen Hamilton - this is the longest length of service 12.8 years on average. So it seems to attract those who have served longer in the military
  • PWC was #6 on Forbes list and the average service here was 7.5 years 
  • EY #7 was 6.8
  • Accenture #8  was 8.1
  • #9 - KPMG was 6.4 years of service
  • and IBM at #10 was 8.4 years of service, which places them as the second longest length of military service
  • What to take away from this
  • I’m not quite sure - share your thoughts in the comments section of the Show notes - would love to have greater minds than mine take a crack at this
  • But the only theory that jumped out to me was about the top 3 firms

Next - I looked at how much civilian work experience veterans had prior to working at in Management Consulting. Again, first we’ll start with branch of service and then break this down by firm

  • Marines had the least amount of civilian work experience prior to going into Management Consulting, that is 3.3 years on average. You’ll remember that they also had the longest length of military service so maybe this accounts for it
  • the US Army had the most civilian work experience prior to consulting time - or 6.6 years of work experience
  • In between was the Coast Guard with just 3.9 years of civilian work experience, the air force with 5.3 years of work experience, and then the Navy with 7.1 years of civilian work experience
  • This made me think - what is the total amount of experience someone has before going into Management Consulting - between military service and then civilian work experience. 
  • So I cut the data one more way and found
  • That the Army has the least amount of combined experience pre-consulting - 13.7 years
  • Coast Guard closely behind that with 14.4 years of exprience
  • The Air Force had 15.6 years
  • The Marine Corps about the same with 15.7
  • and the Navy bringing up the rear with a whopping 17.1 years of experience

I then looked at years of civilian work experience by Consulting firm

  • I found the results comparable to the years of military experience
  • that is the top 3 firms had the lowest amount of service
  • Specifically McKinsey, BCG, and Bain had 2.1, 2.2 and 1.3 years of experience respectively
  • Which, coincidentally is highly correlated to the length of time it takes to obtain an MBA
  • Doillete averaged 7.2 years
  • Booz Allen was surprising - just 2.7 years of work experience. You’ll recall that Booz Allen had the longest length of military service, at 12.7 years. So I would guess that people spend more time on Active Duty prior to working at Booz Allen, but more often go directly from the military to work there. Just a guess.
  • PWC was 4.8 years
  • EY 7.1 years
  • Accenture & KPMG were 7.5 and 7.9 years, respectively
  • And IBM was the longest at 11.1 years of civilian work experience
  • My main takeaways from this were the velocity with which people enter a top 3-firm, and how it seems like it is easier to make a direct transition to Booz Allen than any other firm
  • But again - let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section of the show notes, and I’ll dig into this further
  • One last thing I wanted to do with this, just as we did with branch of service is take a crack of combined experience - both military and civilian - for each firm.
  • So, looking at the shortest amount of combined experience - both military & civilian - by firm
  • The lowest, with just 7.1 years on average, was Bain & Co
  • Silver medal goes to BCG with 8.6 years
  • and Bronze is McKinsey at 8.9 years of service
  • This is consistent with my hypothesis - the average candidate at these top three firms gets out earlier, and goes to graduate school. Again that is just a theory.
  • the next subset with 4th, 5th, and 6th place goes to PWC with 12.3 years, EY with 13.9 years, and KPMG with 14.3 years of average combined experience.
  • Delloite has an average of 15.4 years
  • Booz Allen at 15.5 yeras
  • Accenture at 15.6 years
  • and finally IBM with the most combined experience, at 19.5 years of combined experience

How are we doing? I know this is al to of numbers to be doing by audio. Before we dive into the final category, I would LOVE to hear your feedback on this sort of information - if it’s helpful, and if it is, how to dive deeper in a way that will help you out. If it is not helpful, any tweaks that would make it more usable.

So finally I looked at Titles and their corresponding salaries according to Glassdoor. So much information here - go to the show notes to see all of it. Note on salary - I looked at total compensation, not just base. Base is what you’re guarantee, total includes performance incentives like bonuses. I also used San Francisco as the office for my search - salaries will obviously vary by location. But this should provide a basic benchmark

Ok - so there are so many different ways to slice and dice this data. Here’s what I did:

  • I looked at the most common titles for military veterans at each of the top 10 consulting firms
  • I then cross referenced this with salary information that is available at Glassdoor.com
  • Then I ranked each firm - by salary, highest to lowest

Take all of this with a grain of salt - there are so many factors that go into this, but here’s what I found

  • The highest salary went to Accenture - the most common title there is Senior Manager, which is $207k
  • Next was McKinsey, BCG, and Bain - these are all comparable around $180k
    • The corresponding titles were Associate at McKinsey & company, and Consultant at both BCG & Bain
  • Next was IBM, where the title was Managing Consultant and a salary of $144k
  • Then Booz Allen Hamilton, the most common title there is Associate and a salary of $132
  • Deloitte was next, with the most common title of Senior Consultant, and a corresponding salary of $127k
  • PWC was 8th, where the most common title is Senior Associate, which has a salary of $104k
  • EY was 9th, the most common title there for veterans is Senior Consultant $102k
  • And last was KPMG with a most common title of Senior Associate and a salary of $91k
  • one final way to look at this data is by looking at those combined years of experience - both military and civilian - and seeing how much money in salary you get per year of experience
  • Seen in this light, the best deal is with Bain, which is the highest at $24k per year of experience
  • With BCG & McKinsey both providing $20.5k per year of experience
  • And Accenture at #4 with $13k per year of experience
  • You can view the full breakdown in the show notes

--comments--

 

Dec 11, 2017

Wes Gray is the CEO and CIO of Alpha Architect which is a research intensive asset management firm. He started out at Wharton where earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics after which he served as a Marine Corps Ground Intelligence Officer for 4 years. After his military service, he earned both his MBA and his Ph.D. from the Chicago Booth School of Business. After which, he started Alpha Architect. I was introduced to Wes through a Wall Street Journal article which started out, “Wesley Gray’s value-focused fund is beating all of its rivals over the past year. For him, it’s almost beside the point.” He is also the author of the book Embedded: a Marine Corps Advisor Inside the Iraqi Army.

Why to Listen: 

There are so many reasons to listen to today’s episode. First, finance. Wes was introduced to me by a Wall Street Journal article that my brother-in-law Matt Dankner sent me and said basically, ‘Check this guy out, you need to get a hold of this guy’. I’m still blown away that Wes has taken the time to speak with me. The Wall Street Journal article talked about how successful Wes has been in starting and growing his own asset management firm, which is extremely difficult to do. We talk about so much in the episode. We talk about how when Wes was in the midst of his Ph. D. he joined the Marines. We talk about how that experience has helped him get this far. We talk about why vets are well-suited for fundraising. We talk about how to sell with a passion and how to find a mission you’re excited about. And most importantly we talk about the very simple secret to create success which is to grind every day. I think you’ll find Wes’ experience motivating and inspiring.

 

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

Selected Resources: 

Transcript & Time Stamps: 

Today is Episode #133 with Wes Gray.

 

“I remember in Barwanah, in that base camp there, there’s this huge mortar shell that had smashed the side of a wall out. And under it in red letters, it said, “Complacency Kills”. The idea was to remind you that every time you went outside the wire, the minute you think you’ve won, you’re dead. I think that’s a good attitude to have in business as well. We’re just lucky, and quite frankly blessed, that the #1 competitor in our entire industry, is in our backyard. So every day, I’m looking down a Bazooka and I know if we think we’ve won anything, we’re going to get destroyed.”  -Wes Gray

 

(0:58)

There are so many reasons to listen to today’s episode. First, finance. Wes was introduced to me by a Wall Street Journal article that my brother-in-law Matt Dankner sent me and said basically, ‘Check this guy out, you need to get a hold of this guy’. I’m still blown away that Wes has taken the time to speak with me. The Wall Street Journal article talked about how successful Wes has been in starting and growing his own asset management firm, which is extremely difficult to do. We talk about so much in the episode. We talk about how when Wes was in the midst of his Ph. D. he joined the Marines. We talk about how that experience has helped him get this far. We talk about why vets are well-suited for fundraising. We talk about how to sell with a passion and how to find a mission you’re excited about. And most importantly we talk about the very simple secret to create success which is to grind every day. I think you’ll find Wes’ experience motivating and inspiring.

 

(2:18)

A couple quick admin items. First of all, mid-way through, there’s a little bit of sound distortion in the audio. Power through it - it’s very temporary and definitely worth hearing the rest of the episode.

 

(2:32)

Secondly, at the events section at www.beyondtheuniform.io, you’ll find two events that I’m launching in January. I just locked in second speaker for the Veterans in Consulting seminar. In that seminar, we’re going to talk about everything you could want to know about the field of management consulting. How to interview, what life is like, what work is like, etc. Sign up in the events section if you haven’t already.

 

(3:20)

If you haven’t had a chance to give us a review on iTunes yet, please do. It will take 30 seconds of your time. It helps us get the word out. I want to be able to share these incredible stories with as many veterans as possible.

 

(3:37)

Finally, after the episode, there’s a little stinger that you want to hear. Wes talks about an event he is organizing for next year called March for the Fallen. The New York Times has written about this. I’ll have links in the show notes to all the different articles talking about this. It is an incredible event, I plan on being there. It will be an incredible time and I hope to see many of you there as well. And with that let’s dive into the episode.

 

(4:15)

Joining me today from Broomall, PA is Wes Gray. Wes, welcome to Beyond the Uniform.

For listeners, I wanted to give a brief background. Wes is the CEO and CIO of Alpha Architect which is a research intensive asset management firm. He started out at Wharton where earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics after which he served as a Marine Corps Ground Intelligence Officer for 4 years. After his military service, he earned both his MBA and his Ph.D. from the Chicago Booth School of Business. After which, he started Alpha Architect. I was introduced to Wes through a Wall Street Journal article which started out, “Wesley Gray’s value-focused fund is beating all of its rivals over the past year. For him, it’s almost beside the point.” He is also the author of the book Embedded: a Marine Corps Advisor Inside the Iraqi Army.

 

(5:46)

How did you go from the Marine Corps to starting Alpha Architect?

 

Just to take a little bit of a step back, I was in a Ph. D. program before I joined the Marine Corps. I started the program at the University of Chicago in 2002 and started by doing two years there doing finance and math 15 or 16 hours a day. I had passed all the tests and for me, I wanted to try something different. So I joined the Marine Corps for 4 years and then came back to the program after that.

 

(7:00)

What kind of a response did you receive from your advisors and from your family when you made that decision?

 

You’d be surprised - there’s actually a lot of a military personnel in the program. The Ph. D. program attracts a lot of very disciplined people. So when I was thinking about joining the Marine Corps, half of the other people in the program were very on board with the idea. And I think the other half might of thought it was a little weird or different.

 

(7:50)

My mom was pissed off because nobody wants their baby to go into the service but I think she understood. My girlfriend, who ended up being my wife, thought I was insane but she also knew me so she wasn’t too surprised. Then I talked to my advisors who were both Nobel Prize winners. One was immediately supportive and the other initially thought I was insane but then came around to the idea.

 

(9:36)

So then you took a break from the Ph.D. program and went into the Marines from there?

Yes so basically you are allowed a one year sabbatical but I had received approval to do a four year sabbatical. The husband of the Ph.D. director at the time was a former member of the Navy so she was very open to the idea. So I did my four years and then basically showed back up to the program. I re-enrolled and picked back up with the program. I started doing research and started grinding every day and eventually graduated.

 

(10:37)

When you started your Ph.D. program, did you have an idea you wanted to start your own fund one day?

 

Yes, I had always wanted to start an asset management fund since I was a little kid. My late grandmother had me reading Warren Buffett and Ben Graham at age 12. I just always liked finance and was interested in the idea of starting an asset management fund. So I tried to just get as smart on the subject as possible and hoped that luck and circumstance would come together for me.

 

(11:50)

My original plan was to have Warren Buffett call me up at age 18 and give me a billion dollars and retire at age 20 but that idea didn’t pan out.

 

(12:12)

How would you explain what an asset management fund is?

 

It’s kind of like in the Marines how we had various processes to accomplish a mission. With Alpha Architect, our mission is to try to build an algorithm, system, or standard operating procedure that will allow us to buy stock that will hopefully generate returns. In the securities market we identify through various means stocks that meet a certain desire. For example, we have a value algorithm and using it, we buy cheap stock that has a good indication of a future positive return.

 

(14:15)

What was your focus in your Ph. D.?

In my program, I wrote a paper focused on why smart investors share information. I was wondering why a really smart stock picker would share information with other people. So I wrote a paper basically proposing that smart people like to share good ideas with other smart people because sometimes that other person might give you an insight that you hadn’t even thought about.

 

(15:35)

There is an organization called Value Investors Club. It’s basically a fancy message board for hedge fund managers and stock pickers. People would submit really complex pitches on different stock ideas. It was like an awesome research lab. I thought it was really interesting that within these message boards people were open about sharing good information with each other.

 

(17:26)

How did you then go from your Ph.D. to starting a fund?

 

Typically you have to be born into a lot of money but unfortunately that wasn’t me. So I had to do it the old fashioned way which is to get lucky. I had always been into reading source journal literature. I used to have a blog and still do that I used to share my thoughts on what I was reading in various finance journals. I had plans to become a professor but at the exact time I was becoming a professor, I got cold called by this billionaire named Eddie Stern. They were getting rid of a lot of their hedge fund managers and were looking to bring into some new people. He had been reading my blog and approached me to provide consulting services to his real estate firm. So I did that while I started my career as a professor at Drexel. A guy named Jack Vogel was assigned as my research assistant. We got along really well and were doing a kind of consulting thing on the side.

 

(20:16)

I told Eddie Stern, ‘Hey if we work really hard and do a good job for you, do you think you could give us a shot at the asset management business’. In 2012, they ended up giving us a $20 million account to manage and that was quickly ramped up to $50 million. And then we just kept doing what we had always done - did research, did blogs, did education. Somehow, someway, people would just find us. From there, we built the business.

 

(21:45)

I love that you started the blog as a way to continue doing research and sharing your thoughts with other people. You used it as a way to sharpen your skills but it was an also a way to build a reader base that ultimately lead to some incredible opportunities.

 

Yes, absolutely, It was good timing too because we were doing it at a time that blogs weren’t that cool but we were doing it anyway. Normally, you can’t get into asset management or finance without previous work on Wall Street. But the internet has really disrupted that. People can now find you on Google. Just writing a blog where you’re being authentic, being genuine, trying to add value, that can make the difference. So we just got lucky that we were able to scale without any salespeople.

 

(23:33)

What does your day-to-day usually look like?

 

My schedule is very odd and not normal. I am anal retentive when it comes to productivity. So I built an office, a compound, at my house because I hate commuting. I’ve tried to maximize my opportunity to both spend time with my family and focus on my work. I’m literally here all the time.

 

(24:40)

I get up early, usually at 6:00, and start grinding. It’s the time of day when I just like to focus and write and think about stuff. Once the day starts, I’m usually getting pulled here and there putting fires out. We grind until about 4 or 4:30. We do PT, do laps around the block, kettlebells. Then I’ll come back and keep working until 6:30. Then my wife yells at me to come eat dinner. Then I hang out with my kids, put them to bed and then use from 8:30-10:00 to finish up whatever needs to get done. And then I just basically do that everyday.

 

(26:00)

Do you work during the weekends?

 

Usually I work during the weekends. I try to be able to mindful of giving myself a break from time to time. But honestly if something needs to get done, then I need to get it done.

 

(26:30)

I’m trying to wrap my head around the compound. Can you describe that a little bit more?

 

It’s difficult to explain unless you’ve been here. There’s a grizzly bear here in the office. When you come here, I take a picture of you in front of the grizzly bear and post it on Twitter. Essentially I got this place from a guy who had terminal cancer. He was a former big game hunter. He had this house and then a separate trophy room which was about 1500 square feet. And then he also built a man cave. So when I bought it, we turned the man cave into an office, we turned the trophy room into a conference area. And then there’s our actual house here too. And then we have another structure in the backyard that we use as a gym.

 

(29:11)

During the morning before everyone else shows up, what does that time look like for you?

 

Usually in the morning I’m reading through academic papers. I dig a little bit deeper into what seems interesting to me. And then if it seems like something that would be helpful to other people, I’ll write a quick blog post on it. I’m also doing a lot of editing because we have so many guest writers from my team that a lot of times I’m doing more editing than writing my own content.

 

(30:30)

What are some indications that a veteran would either really like or really dislike a job in this field?

If you like challenges and you’re good at just grinding it out until you reach success, this would be a good field for you. One downside is that nobody is telling you what to do. You have to figure out what needs to get done each day. For some people that’s extremely nerve wracking but if that’s something you like, this could be a good fit for you.

 

(32:07)

Not to be a Debbie Downer but the finance industry is changing very dramatically. If you don’t have a niche or specialized skill, it’s going to be tough for you. The days of throwing up a plaque and saying ‘I’m going to start a hedge fund’ are over. Unless you have a niche skillset, going into finance can be challenging. As a veteran, tread lightly getting into the asset management business unless you really know what you’re getting yourself into.

 

(33:30)

What was that like to see that Wall Street Journal article? That had to be great getting such that recognition?

 

At this point I’ve done every podcast, been on the cover of Barron’s, had an article in the New York Times. I don’t let it go to my head, I don’t feel like I’m that special. I’ve got a story but everyone has a story.

 

(34:30)

How is life different now from when you were just first getting started with this?

 

It really hasn’t changed. We’re still in the same office. We have newer computers now. We’re better at making money now. So that’s nice. But we have a cockroach philosophy. There’s a firm called Vanguard in our business and they’re the 800 pound gorilla. They happen to be 10 minutes up the road from here. So I know where the 800 gorilla lives and I what I need to do to survive. So we try to be a cockroach - live way under our means, grinding everyday.  We don’t do anything different from when we first got started, we just have a few more people and nicer equipment.

 

(36:45)

I love that idea of not stepping back and coasting but continuing to push with everything you’ve got.

 

I’ll never forget when I was deployed to Barwanah. I remember in Barwanah, in that base camp there, there’s this huge mortar shell that had smashed the side of a wall out. And under it in red letters, it said, “Complacency Kills”. The idea was to remind you that every time you went outside the wire, the minute you think you’ve won, you’re dead. I think that’s a good attitude to have in business as well. We’re just lucky, and quite frankly blessed, that the #1 competitor in our entire industry, is in our backyard. So every day, I’m looking down a Bazooka and I know if we think we’ve won anything, we’re going to get destroyed.



(38:10)

Do you have any advice for veterans that are interested in this sort of thing but don’t want to start their own firm?

 

The problem with the business is that it’s getting so computerized and automated. You just don’t need as many humans anymore. You need humans that know how to program computers in this business. More and more, you have to be really careful about that path you pick. Because you don’t want to put time and money into learning a job only to realize it’s being phased out.

 

(39:10)

If you want to get into asset management on a bigger scale, you’ve got to be extremely tech savvy. You need programming and technical skills. Another route that veterans are well suited for is the fundraising side because they are usually extremely good at dealing with people from all walks of life. All asset managers will always pay huge dollars to hire a good fundraiser.

 

(41:40)

I hate selling unless it’s something that I’m extremely passionate about. Because then it’s not selling, it’s spreading the gospel. So I think that you can find a firm and culture that you are excited about, you’ll have that passion to sell that product to people.

 

(43:40)

Are there any resources you would recommend?

 

Blogs and podcast are probably the best.

 

Blogs -

A Wealth of Common Sense

Alpha Architect

 

Podcasts -

The Investor’s Field Guide

Meb Faber Research

The Investors

 

Also just get on Twitter. There is a great community of young, up and coming folks that are looking to help people.

 

(45:25)

Do you have any final words of wisdom?

 

I don’t have any special advice except grind every day and work hard. The one thing I would say after being around people in this business is that if you’re not eating right, sleeping right, making time to exercise, then you’re not going to feel well and you’re life is going to suck. Always find time to eat right, workout, get a good night’s sleep. That will keep you efficient and keep your mind clear. Focus on the fundamentals and the rest will be all right.  

 

(46:00)

There’s a 28 mile ruck march hosted by the Pennsylvania National Guard every year called Honor the Fallen. The idea is that you’re out there working hard and being thankful that you can still feel pain. It’s a great event and only about $30 to be involved. What I did last year and what I’m going to do next year is to get a bunch of barracks during the event and host some movers and shakers in the world take part in the march too. We’re all in to to win it regardless of our background. It’s a great event, it’s next September. It’s a great opportunity for vets to reconnect to your roots and honor the fallen.

(48:50)

It’s a great event and a lot of fun. Especially if you’re not from a military culture, it’s a very eye opening experience because there are gold star families out there too. It’s just a bunch of people looking to do right.






Dec 8, 2017

Why to Listen: 

Thanks to all of you who completed the November 2017 survey about the types of interviews you'd like to hear in 2018, and your suggestions to improve the show. I wanted to share the results of this survey, and a bit more information on where Beyond the Uniform is headed.

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

Transcript & Time Stamps: 

Thank those of you who took the time to answer my survey about the types of interviews you’d like to hear in 2018. Honestly, this was an enormous boost of encouragement - I read each and every response, and so very much appreciated the incredibly kind, uplifting, and encouraging messages you took the time to write.

It can be difficult to assess the impact this show is having on the veteran community, and I was very touched by the notes you shared in the survey about how this is helping you in your career. So the survey gave me not only some fantastic directional information, but also topped of my emotional gas tank to delve even deeper into topics for BTU for the year ahead

Here’s some of the things that stood out to me from the interview.
  • When it comes to the length of military service for the people I interview, it doesn’t seem to matter as much as I thought it did
  • Most of you prefer interviews with veterans with 7-12 years of service - that seems to be the sweet spot
  • But this was followed by <5 years of service, 13-19, and distantly by those with 20+ years of service
  • What do I take from this
  • I’ll put a slight emphasis on those who serve 7-12 years,
  • But for the most part, it seems like a good interview and interesting career are what matter most
  • So I’ll prioritize that
When it comes to the types of interviews you would like to hear, there were some trends, but the biggest seemed to be that you all like variety. You would like more coverage or more topics, so… in 2018 we’re going to get freaky! I’ll try to cast a wider net, and to that end, recommendations are always appreciated.
 
Some of the most requested industries were
  • Technology
  • Fianance
  • Consulting
  • Real Estate

Some of the more common functional roles were

  • Business Development
  • Product / program / project management
  • and marketin
 
The free form comments were both encouraging and informative. A few things that stood out:
  • The day-to-day details matter to many of you
  • You’ll already hear me putting this feedback to use in my upcoming interview with Wes Gray - which BTW, is over-the-top incredible - don’t miss it
  • And I’ll make sure I key in on that in future interviews
  • Challenge and mistakes also stood out - yes, most of you want to hear about the success stories but you want the honest assessments of what went wrong, what challenges they faced
  • Another point was how long does it take to find a job - great question, very relevant, and i’ll be sure to key in on that too
Tons of other great thoughts - thank you again to all of those you who shared - I’ll use this info to give future episodes a bit of a tune up. So from here, I’m hitting LinkedIn and finding the roles you all requested. I’ll also solicit recommendations via the email - be sure to sign up if you haven’t already.
 
One more thing - I am VERY fired up about the online events that will be occurring in January. Sign up to get more info - veterans in consulting we have locked in a date - January 17 at 6pm PST. I’ve secured two of the three speakers, and am honing in on the 3rd, It is going to be an epic event - you will not want to miss it so sign up, There will be a nominal fee for each of these events. the reason for that is one - to increase the commitment of those who want to attend. 2 - it’s a way to offset the cost of running this show, and helps me keep the data analysis and podcasts interviews free for all. But I guarantee you’ll get more out of this than out of a movie or out of 2 beers, which is likely to be the cost (unless I can find a sponsor).

--comments--

 

Dec 6, 2017

Management Consulting is the fifth most popular career route for Veterans of the Armed Forces. Today we’re going to be doing a data episode, specifically with information from LinkedIn, that I’ve put together to discover the different paths veterans have taken within the field of management consulting. This is something I’ve been thinking about for nearly a year. It’s just been difficult to carve out the time to sift through all the information that is on LinkedIn. Rather than waiting to publish this information as a massive e-book, I thought it might be better to start out with a podcast. I would really appreciate any feedback you might have. It will help me drill down on what people are interested in learning more about. Feel free to leave that feedback in the shownotes.

There’s so much data out there and I’m going to go into just a tiny bit of it today. But if you have any specific topics or points you’d like to see covered in the future, please let me know. It does take a tremendous amount of time, energy, and money to go through all of this data so your feedback helps me understand what is most valuable to you and whether the juice is worth the squeeze or if I should focus more on the traditional interview podcasts.

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

Selected Resources: 

Transcript & Time Stamps: 

Today we’re going to be doing a data episode, specifically with information from LinkedIn, that I’ve put together to discover the different paths veterans have taken within the field of management consulting.

First just a few quick announcements -

(0:30)

The first announcement is that on January 17, 2018 at 6PM/PST, I’m going to be hosting an online panel called Veterans in Consulting. It’s going to be really cool - I’ll have three different veterans who went directly from the military to a consulting firm. We’re going to be talking about everything you could possibly want to know about a career in consulting. Pay, lifestyle, career trajectory, etc.  You can pre-register now and you’ll be notified when registration opens.There will be a nominal fee associated with this - somewhere between $10-$15. This allows me to continue to do this podcast for free as a side gig.

 

(2:23)

The second announcement is that if you haven’t had the opportunity to leave us a review on iTunes, definitely do that. I would greatly appreciate a 5-star review, it helps up get the word out about the show and serve as many veterans as possible.

 

(2:45)

And now let’s move into the episode. This is something I’ve been thinking about for nearly a year. It’s just been difficult to carve out the time to sift through all the information that is on LinkedIn. Rather than waiting to publish this information as a massive e-book, I thought it might be better to start out with a podcast. I would really appreciate any feedback you might have. It will help me drill down on what people are interested in learning more about. Feel free to leave that feedback in the shownotes. Or you can email me at justin@beyondtheuniform.io - I would really appreciate it as I want to make the information in these podcasts as valuable as possible.

 

(3:55)

There’s so much data out there and I’m going to go into just a tiny bit of it today. But if you have any specific topics or points you’d like to see covered in the future, please let me know. It does take a tremendous amount of time, energy, and money to go through all of this data so your feedback helps me understand what is most valuable to you and whether the juice is worth the squeeze or if I should focus more on the traditional interview podcasts.

 

(4:25)

Let’s go through a quick agenda for today. In Part 1, I’m going to talk about why management consulting might be a good fit for you as a military veteran. In Part 2, we’re going to look at the key players in consulting. In Part 3, we’ll talk about my methodology and how I got this data. In Part 4, we’re going to talk about titles and corresponding salaries. And then finally in Part 5, where we’ll spend the bulk of our time, we’re going to do a deep dive into the data.

(5:25)

Let’s dive into Part 1. The reason why I wanted to talk about this is that consulting is a very common career path for veterans. When I compiled data a year ago, consulting is the fifth leading industry that veterans go into. Another reason is that from a data standpoint, consulting is very analogous to the military. In the military, I understood exactly how long it would take me to go from Ensign to Lieutenant Junior Grade and from Lieutenant Junior Grade to Lieutenant. This is the same thing in consulting, there is a very clear career path and very standardized roles. Consulting is also a field I’m a little bit more familiar with. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my story, I went to the US Naval Academy and spent five years on submarines before getting out and going to Stanford Business School. I did my internship at McKinsey and Company in New York. I didn’t ultimately end up in the field but during that internship I did get a taste of the consulting industry and what it was like. I’ll try to add in some of that anecdotal experience when I see the opportunity throughout this episode.

 

(7:26)

Part 2 - In putting together this data, I looked at a Forbes 2015 article titled, “The Most Prestigious Consulting Firms”. They listed what they considered to be the Top 10 consulting firms.

 

No. 1 - McKinsey & Company

No. 2 - Boston Consulting Group

No. 3 - Bain and Company

No 4 - Deloitte

No. 5 - Booz Allen Hamilton

No. 6 - Price Waterhouse Cooper

No. 7 - Ernst & Young

No. 8 - Accenture

No. 9 - KPMG

No. 10 - IBM Global Business Services

 

(9:00)

The bulk of the data I have goes through length of service, branch of service, etc. in reference to the top 10 consulting firms. Today, however, I want to specifically focus on McKinsey which brings up to Part 3.

 

(9:19)

When talking about the methodology behind gathering this data , I focused on McKinsey but based on feedback, we can focus on other firms in the future. All of the data we will go through today is gathered through LinkedIn. The reason for that is that it is my personal belief that very few people today take the time to fill out surveys. And so by using this publicly available data, I think we will gather a much greater data set.

(10:22)

When gathering data, I looked at all people working in consulting that had formerly been in the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard - both officer and enlisted. For today’s episode, I’m going to specifically drill into one position. The most common position to enter McKinsey & Company is the title of associate. So today, we’ll deal mostly with associates.

 

(11:34)

Now in Part 4, let’s talk about title. When we talk on January 17th in the online panel, we’re going to go into a lot more detail on career progression. Career progression does vary depending on firm. But for today, I wanted to cover the top three titles that are most likely for a veteran to start in at McKinsey & Company. Those are associate, engagement manager, and partner. Associate is by far the leading of those three. This is generally the level of promotion within McKinsey. Usually, someone will start out as an associate, become an engagement manager, then an associate partner, and finally a partner. Let’s chat quickly about salaries.

 

(12:55)

I looked at a website called Glassdoor. Glassdoor compiles information about what people usually make in a particular position. According to Glassdoor, an associate at McKinsey makes $172,000 per year. That’s $140,000 of a base salary with $32,000 in incentives. Also the hotel and flight points are another perk. The downside is that consultants tend to be on the road quite a bit but the upside is that they also tend to build up hotel and airline reward points.

 

(14:00)

What does an associate do? According to McKinsey’s website, an associate works in teams of 3-5 people. The associate has a role in all aspects of client engagement. I’ll also put a link in the show notes to the full job description. This was my experience during my internship with McKinsey. The title was actually called “consultant”. On one project it was five people and in the other project, four people. We went into the company, we worked almost around the clock doing interviews and gathering data. It’s almost like a SWAT team inserted into the company to solve a particular problem and provide a solution.

 

(14:55)

The next role up from that is engagement manager. According to Glassdoor, that’s a starting salary of $250,000 per year. What does an engagement manager do? They will lead a team of 3-5 people on a project. In my experience, the engagement manager was a member of that team that had done the associate role for 2 or 3 years and had excelled. As the engagement manager, they were doing less of the data analysis and more of supervising the others on the team. They were really leading the project and breaking it down into small pieces for each of us while keeping an overall picture of the project.

 

(16:05)

For partner, the salary is quite impressive - $1.2 million per year. Pretty mind boggling. Base salary is $572,000 with the rest being made up of incentives. There was no job description that I was able to find online. In my experience with McKinsey, I usually saw the partner about once a week. Generally, the partner works on selling the business. They would go to different companies and sell projects. At McKinsey, the partners had usually been in the company for a while. They were extremely bright and extremely talented. They weren’t there on a project day in and day out like the engagement manager, but they were more of an oversight role. They were actively involved in making sure the project was going well.

 

(17:44)

And now in Part 5, we’ll take a deep dive into the data. Let’s talk about branch of service. And again, we’re only talking about the associate position at McKinsey. When you look at veterans that are currently associates at McKinsey, 55% are Army veterans, 31% Navy, 11% Air Force. Only 2% were Marines and I could not find any Coast Guard veterans working at McKinsey.

 

(19:00)

For the veterans currently serving as an associate at McKinsey, they usually took one of three routes to get there. First, some went directly from the military to McKinsey. Others went to some form of schooling between the military and McKinsey. Or third, they worked in a different job between the military and McKinsey. The overwhelming majority that became an associate at McKinsey came from some sort of schooling. This isn’t too surprising. Education can be that giant Nintendo “reset” button that allows someone to start over in a different field. Also, according to McKinsey’s website, to work as an associate, you need an advanced degree of some sort. According to my research 89% of veterans at McKinsey had an MBA, 6% had a Master’s of Science, 4% had a Ph.D., and 2% had a Master’s of Arts.

 

(22:03)

If MBA is the most popular advanced degree for veterans looking to get into consulting, you might be wondering what the most popular schools are. And I love you all so much that I dug into that data too. There was a tie for first place - 20% went to Harvard and 20% went to Wharton. Next up was the Darden School of Business with 10%. In third place, another tie - 6% went to the Booth School in Chicago and 6% went to MIT’s Sloan School of Management. You can find links to all of these programs in the show notes.

 

(23:05)

Whether you’re interested in going into consulting or something else, I just think it’s helpful to see what schools veterans tend to go to. And quick plug here for Service To School. I get nothing for pumping them up, but I really believe in them. They are an incredible and free resource for veterans looking to get any kind of degree. One last caveat on education - there were a few overachievers in the dataset that had multiple degrees. I just simplified this for my own analysis. In the case that someone had multiple degrees, I considered this group to be in the same data set as those with one degree.

 

(24:22)

Finally, let’s talk about length of service. I cut this down in a couple different ways. First of all, a veteran working as an associate at McKinsey has served for 6.6 years prior to leaving active duty. However, if you look at the route the veteran took, if a veteran went directly from the military to McKinsey, the average length of service was 9.7 years. This was interesting for me because an MBA is 2 years. So if you went from active duty to some sort of graduate program such as an MBA, on average you end up getting to McKinsey one year sooner than someone who goes straight from active duty to McKinsey. However if you’re part of that small group that goes directly from the military to McKinsey, while it does take one year longer to get there, you need to keep in mind that you’re saving yourself at least $120,000 in school tuition. And you’re not sacrificing two years of not getting paid. For me, I took the route of getting out earlier and going to business school. I liked it, it worked out well for me. But there are advantages to staying in longer.

 

(26:30)

When broken down by service, Navy vets tended to have slightly more military service - about 7.2 years. Compared to the Army and Air Force which were both at about 6.2 years. For the Marine Corps, they served about 11 years on average.

 

(26:45)

My head is now spinning from going through all this data. Please let me know if this is helpful. I can imagine that this might be difficult to take in via podcast. If it would be easier for you, I can create an e-book and put all of the graphs in there. It does take 10 or 20 times longer to go through all of this data than it does to interview a veteran. I do it because it’s data that I would have wanted to have if I transitioned today. But it would be really helpful to me to receive your feedback, whether you email me, message me on LInkedIn, write something in the show note comments. Please let me know in some way. If you’re not finding this helpful, I can let the Excel spreadsheet cool off a bit and go back to focusing more on the traditional interviews. But there is a tremendous amount of material available. I’ve got all this data sitting here, I just haven’t prioritized parsing through all of it. But if you would find it helpful, I will suck it up and make it happen! Either way, don’t miss out on the chance to sign up for the January 17th Veterans in Consulting video panel session. This is a fantastic opportunity to talk to three veterans that went straight from the military into consulting. We’re going to talk about everything including lifestyle, interview prep, and career progression.

 

(28:50)

One last plug to leave an iTunes review. Your review helps us get in front of more listeners and having more listeners lets me know we’re having a greater impact on the veteran community. If you’re not on our newsletter, please sign up at www.beyondtheuniform.io. I always love hearing from you if there are particular people or careers you would like to hear more about. Have a great week - I will be back next week with another interview with a veteran now working in the civilian sector.

 

--comments--

 

Dec 4, 2017

"I thought it was a good idea to get a truck delivered at 4:30 in the morning because I wanted the truck put away before my restaurant opened and if my drive-through was busy for breakfast, it would be hard to get the food out of the truck. And that was a huge mistake because you are not getting 19 year old to get up at 4:30 in the morning to get on the truck. It takes some time to find people that are adults and are able to get to work on time. So I found myself at 3:00 in the morning picking up frozen docks of chicken and throwing them in my freezer. And that process with 3 or 4 people is an hour and a half. And when you’re talking about yourself, maybe with one other person, that’s a 2 to 3 hour process.”
- Marlon Terrell

Why to Listen: 

For those that listened to Episode #129 with John Francis, you know that I’ve been thinking about how veterans that are interested in entrepreneurship should really consider a franchise. It seems to be a business with training wheels. It helps bridge the gap between someone’s military strengths and what’s necessary to grow and run a successful company.

My guest today is Marlon Terrell, who went straight from the Navy into owning a Chick-Fil-A franchise. I really enjoyed this conversation. Marlon provides just the right amount of detail. I walked away feeling like I understood what it’s like to be in a franchise owner’s shoes in terms of pay, career progression, and hours. He really painted a vivid picture of what life in a franchise looks like. I also think it’s helpful because Marlon was really articulate in discussing exactly how what he learned in the military was applicable to his work as a franchise owner as well as how he went about selecting a franchise. He also talks about why a franchise may or may not be suited for you as a veteran.

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

Selected Resources: 

Transcript & Time Stamps: 


For those that listened to Episode #129 with John Francis, you know that I’ve been thinking about how veterans that are interested in entrepreneurship should really consider a franchise. It seems to be a business with training wheels. It helps bridge the gap between someone’s military strengths and what’s necessary to grow and run a successful company.

(1:50)
My guest today is Marlon Terrell who went straight from the Navy into owning a Chick-Fil-A franchise. I really enjoyed this conversation. Marlon provides just the right amount of detail. I walked away feeling like I understood what it’s like to be in a franchise owner’s shoes in terms of pay, career progression, and hours. He really painted a vivid picture of what life in a franchise looks like.

(2:20)
I also think it’s helpful because Marlon was really articulate in discussing exactly how what he learned in the military was applicable to his work as a franchise owner as well as how he went about selecting a franchise. He also talks about why a franchise may or may not be suited for you as a veteran.

(2:58)
A few admin notes before we get started.  In January 2018, I’m going to be hosting two different events. The first is called Veterans in Consulting. It will be a panel interview with three veterans that went to three different consulting firms directly from active duty.  If you are in any way, shape, or form interested in consulting, you do not want to miss this.

(3:35)
I’ll also be doing my second session of Reprogramming. The Reprogramming Seminar is a six-session video seminar where we cover topics related to a successful military transition. I’m very excited to offer this again.

(4:04)
Apple iTunes seems to be the most effective way to get the word out about Beyond the Uniform so if you are enjoying the show, please take a moment to leave a review. It really helps get the word out and reach more veterans.


(5:00)
Welcome to Beyond the Uniform, Marlon. I want to give special thanks to Charlie Mellow who is also a 2002 Naval Academy graduate. A couple weeks ago, I spoke with John Francis about franchising. And now I’m excited to talk to Marlon, who went straight from the Navy to owning a franchise.

(6:20)

How did you transition from what you were doing in the military into your civilian career?


I was on submarines in the military so I have a mechanical engineering background and I had the opportunity to go back to the Naval Academy to get a Master’s degree in Leadership Education and Leadership Development. During this time, I taught a class in leadership at the University of Maryland College Park as part of my degree program. Around this time, I also realized that I was really interested in going down the entrepreneur route.

(7:04)
During my time at the Naval Academy, I was learning a lot about leading a group of people, I started to work on some different businesses. I got out of active duty in 2010 and I went into a Campus Recruiter position. This allowed me to stay as an active duty reservist and recruit in the area of Maryland and DC. I did this for five years and during that time I continued to work on entrepreneurship and gain experience in this field so that I could eventually get to where I wanted to be.

(8:20)

What did you learn during that time that ultimately lead you to join a franchise?


I didn’t have an MBA but I took the opportunity to educate myself on business. I looked for an opportunity that would be a good fit for a veteran. Through meetup.com, I was able to connect with other veteran entrepreneurs and that opened doors for me. I had the opportunity to be around a group of entrepreneurs and share information. Through this I heard about various free courses and other opportunities such as Kaufman, Vet to CEO, Syracuse Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans, VEP.

(10:10)
When I thought about the expense of starting a business, I decided that a franchise would be a good fit for me because I would have various resources available to me. What lead me to that is that I was working for a non-profit called Lead for America and I was going into schools and teaching philanthropy as a discipline. That lead  me to another organization called Repay Vets That helped veterans raise money to start their own businesses. Doing these two businesses, I realized how difficult it was to build a brand and get capital. So I started to look at franchises. I worked at Chick Fil-A in high school so I decided to go back and research what kind of franchise opportunities they had.

(11:55)
If you’re going to go the route that you’re thinking about a franchise, walk into one and see if you can schedule a meeting with the owner or general manager to see if you can get some knowledge that way. For me, I did think and then started looking at the numbers and compared their model to other restaurants. For me, financially, it made the most sense for me.

(14:05)

I love that idea of going from franchise to franchise as a way to learn more about the business and see if it is a fit.


Sometimes veterans can be very humble and they don’t want to bother people but you would be surprised how many people are out there that would love to help you. I wasn’t sure if I should go the MBA route or if I should go the “school of hard knocks” route and learn by experience. That was a difficult decision for me to make but I finally decided that instead of investing that money in school, I was going to hold on to that capital and start gaining experience. I think as veterans we all have that in common – a drive toward achievement.

(16:50)

Can you give listeners a sense for how much money is necessary to start a franchise?


That’s a loaded question simply because each franchise is different. Each franchise has a different model. Depending upon how much capital you have, I would recommend Google-ing veteran friendly franchises or inexpensive franchises.

(17:40)
For Chick-Fil-A, our franchise fee is minimal. We only have to put up $10,000 to start a franchise. I decided that Chick-Fil-A was a good model because first of all, I had worked there before so I kind of understood how the restaurant was run. With it being so little capital up front, Chck-Fil-A is putting up all the money to find the building and create the restaurant. The caveat for me and for other similar franchises is that I don’t have ownership in the building. If Chick-Fil-A decided they no longer wanted to partner with me, they could make that decision. But I have a great deal of trust in this organization that they would not do that to someone unless something had gone seriously wrong.

To go back to your original question, Chick-Fil-A is around $10,000. FedEx is more like $50,000. Subway is probably up around $100,000.

(20:50)

Once someone has started a franchise, is there additional money that they will need to support themselves while the franchise gets going?



That’s a great question because although there is the price tag of starting the franchise, you could also be looking at a full year before you’re able to start paying yourself.

(21:25)
One great thing about Chick-Fil-A is that as soon as you open your restaurant, Chick-Fil-A will allow you to start drawing an income of $2500 per month. It usually takes 2-3 months beyond that to where you can start earning a decent income. I say 6-12 months because I left the military in May but my restaurant didn’t open until September. But commonly building openings can be delayed for various reasons so that opening date could get pushed back. So the timeline for you drawing an income also gets pushed back. It’s just safe to have 6-12 months of money saved that will keep you going.

(23:50)

What does life look like in the 2-3 months before a franchise opens?


Every franchise is a little different but for most franchises, you will go through a training process. This consists of going to the corporate office and spending 3-8 weeks there going through their training. The franchise, typically, may decide to partner because of what you bring to the table for veterans. For example, some franchises require franchisers to have experience in the restaurant business but many franchises will waive this for veterans because they expect that, as a veteran, you will have that drive and commitment they are looking for.

(25:39)
For Chick-Fil-A, they don’t necessarily look for restaurant experience. They are looking more at character and competency. So for them, they teach you the basic operations of the restaurant and then once you finish the school, they set you up with a current owner. From there, you go back to the area where your restaurant is open and figure out the specifics for your restaurant such as number of employees, ethos, etc.

(27:40)
For the first week of the restaurant being open, they send you a group of trainers of about 20 people. When you compare it to the fleet, imagine having a group of 150 people and you’re charged with a mission that you know little about. All 150 people are being trained for a total of a week and then it’s all on you after that.

(30:50)

I love that you made the point of how veterans can be a great fit for franchises because of their drive and commitment.

 

Yes, Chick-Fil-A loves veterans. All those things that we were frustrated with on the submarine, the training and administration, are the things that I now use today to be successful as an operator at Chick-Fil-A.

(32:00)
I can remember being so frustrated by training during my time in the military. But now, I can see how valuable it is and I go out of my way to find different training opportunities.

It is definitely important. It’s also important to maintain talent. If you hire 90 people but 40 leave within the first week, things can fall apart quickly.

(33:00)

How did you learn to hire and evaluate the right people?


I had a unique background because I came from recruiting. For five years, my job was to go do interviews and figure out if a person was a good fit for the Navy. But I think it goes back to one of the things we do and know as military veterans and that is to prepare. I expected turnover and I prepared for it. So I continued to interview even after my initial team was hired. I also immediately but in a training plan because I know how busy and chaotic a Chick-Fil-A restaurant can be.

(36:05)


At this point you are two and half years into being a franchise owner. What is your perspective on all of this now?


It has been amazing. Chick-Fil-A does a great job of supporting the owner/operator. Chick-Fil-A has always been there to coach me through different decisions. That’s another reason why choosing the right franchise is so important.

(37:29)
I’ve also been able to positively impact my community. I had a young woman working in my restaurant that graduated from high school a couple months ago. Two weeks ago, she left to join the Marine Corps. I have a couple other young people that talk to me about joining the Navy. Leading a group of so many people has many unique challenges and is similar in many ways to the challenges I faced as a Naval Officer. It’s all about really investing into the crew and the vision. I always tell veterans that if leading people and supporting a crew is something they miss from being in the military, owning a franchise can be a great opportunity for them.

(39:35)
I’m extremely envious that you are able to reach back to the corporate offices when you need to. Because they have seen so many franchise locations go through similar struggles in their early stages, I’m sure they’re able to offer extremely valuable advice.
Absolutely. Even something as simple as leadership courses that I can bring my management team to. I set my restaurant up similar to the military.  I have my team members which are like my E-1s to E-4s. Then I have my key holders who are like my E5s to E6s. From there I have a group of team leaders which are like the Chiefs. And then I have my Electors which are like my Junior Officers. And then there’s me, essentially the Captain of the ship.

(41:50)
And that’s where I am now. I have my team trained up pretty well. We have our challenges, we always will. We’re a great team and we work together. It’s given me everything I was looking for in owning my own business. I have freedom and flexibility, I’m able to take care of my family, I’m able to have fun.

(44:00)

What’s your sense from when your Chick-Fil-A first opened to when you felt like you could step back a little bit? And how would you know that you’re ready to open a new franchise?


It was like boot camp for the first three months. I thought it was a good idea to get a truck delivered at 4:30 in the morning because I wanted the truck put away before my restaurant opened and if my drive-through was busy for breakfast, it would be hard to get the food the truck. What I didn’t know was that Chick-Fil-A sales for breakfast are extremely low.

(44:40)
And that was a huge mistake because you are not getting 19 year old to get up at 4:30 in the morning to get on the truck. It takes some time to find people that are adults and are able to get to work on time. So I found myself at 3:00 in the morning picking up frozen docks of chicken and throwing them in my freezer. And that process to unload that truck with 3 or 4 people is an hour and a half. And when you’re talking about yourself, maybe with one other person, that’s a 2 to 3 hour process.

(45:40)
Every year in May, Chick-Fil-A has a conference for all of its franchise owners. My Chick-Fil-A opened in September. The conference happening the following May forced me to leave which was my first time away. For the next six months after that, I was working 10-12 hour days. By one year after the opening, I had cut back to whenever I needed to be there.  Now I’m in a position where I can get a lot of my work done at home. I go to the restaurant when we have an operational challenge that we want to overcome.

(47:27)
When Chick-Fil-A builds a restaurant, it builds it with the capacity to handle three times as many sales as are projected. So we have a lot of growth opportunity and I can keep my team with me because as the franchise grows, I can promote them into new positions.

(48:29)
It’s often said that it takes three years to get a business to exactly where you want it to be. And with Chick-Fil-A, once you’ve gotten to that point, you begin to open yourself up for the opportunity to open a second restaurant. What I’m doing now is preparing my team to open a new restaurant.

(50:05)

It seems like you’re poised, if you wanted to in the future, to open many more franchises. It sounds like franchising has been a great opportunity for you.


Yes it’s definitely a business that works for me and was what I was looking for. You definitely need to find the right fit because there are some franchises that offer more independence, or more autonomy. And maybe you want that, or maybe you don’t. For example, if I wanted to raise my prices, I’m unable to do that whereas in other franchises, that might be allowed.

(53:30)

Is there anything else you would add as a pro or a con for someone looking to start a franchise?


The pros are the tremendous amount of support, same feeling of commitment you got in the military, a service oriented business. It provides the freedom and flexibility you are looking for, not immediately but over time. For Chick-Fil-A it was these things that sold me. And I think many of these are the same for many other franchises.

The cons would be that you’re limited with branding and ownership. But one of the great things about Chick-Fil-A is that they truly care about their owners and take care of you.

(57:00)

I am extremely appreciative of your time today. I feel like I have such a better sense of what it means to be part of a franchise. I love that you’ve been able to carry over so much of what you learned in the military into your civilian career.


Yes that’s true. For example when someone at my restaurant is up for promotion, we do a walkthrough of the restaurant to test their knowledge, similar to a board. I encourage all veterans not just let go of everything you learned in the military. Much of those things that you learned can apply to owning a franchise or being an entrepreneur.


Nov 29, 2017

Why to Listen: 

In over 13 interviews, I've heard a lot about great resources available for veterans, as well as how difficult it is to be aware of all of the free resources available to Veterans. That's why, in this interview I go through 15 of the resources I've interviewed people about on the show, or have heard about from other veterans. While this list is by no means exhaustive, my intention with the new Directory section of the Beyond the Uniform website is to make it easier for veterans to identify and utilize quality programs aimed at veterans.

If you know of other great resources - or would like to weigh in on the ones that I mention here - please feel free to add them in the Comments section of the show notes, or in the Directory section of the website.

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

Selected Resources: 

Transcript & Time Stamps: 

 

 

--comments--

 

Nov 27, 2017

"Really what the civilian sector is needing and looking for are leadership skills. And the leadership skills that [veterans] have learned by getting a tremendous amount of responsibility early careers, or dealing with VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) - that's the life we lived in the military. The civilian sector is looking for people who can deal with and handle and make great decisions within the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. That's the skill set that is transferrable, regardless of your warfare specialty."
- Harry Schmidt 

I was introduced to Harry by Washington University in St. Louis. WashU’s Executive MBA (EMBA), a 20-month program where students meet on campus for 3 days per month, has helped many veterans like Harry transition to their civilian careers.

Harry Schmidt is the President & CEO of Passavant Area Hospital, an 130 bed acute care hospital serving over 3,700 inpatient and 40,000 outpatient visits annually with an operating budget of $120 million, 960 employees and 90 physicians, located in Jacksonville, IL. He started out at the Naval Academy, and served as a pilot for over 20 years, including time as a Top Gun instructor. After his military service, he went into the health services industry at the Memorial Health Systems - starting as a Medical & Affiliate Systems Analyst and working his way up to a Vice President of Facilities Management, before his current role as CEO at Passavant Area Hospital.

Why to Listen: 

  • 20 years but didn't' go into airlines (time away from family)
  • health services - got into it because of neighbor
  • Identity - viewed as pilot... overlooks CS degree, overlooks preventative maintenance.
  • Safety net - from extra income from retirement
  • Leaders
  • 20 years of service and transition to a VERY different role - adjusitn gto lower seniority & pain
  • initiative in a new space (and humlity) trying somethign enw
  • 5:43 - ability to say no...still overhwelmed
  • 27:20 - director level, from department head... humility, one step back
  • StoryBox - People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces.
  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books

Selected Resources: 

  • Jimmy Sopko BTU #6 - I reference this interview as a great example of a veteran who took a step back in their career to make a big transition.
  • Message to Garcia - we talk about this as a GREAT example of approaching your new civilian career with initiative
  • Cal Newport BTU #86 - I reference this as an example of what has helped Harry grow and develop into his role as CEO
  • Elite Meet- making connections with special forces and pilots and connections to business executives to make informed decisions about where they want to go
  • Washington University Olin School of Business - they have a great veterans group, and they've got an exceptional business school program
  • Emily Cherniack BTU#70 - New Politics is a great organization that helps veterans run for political office (on either side of the aisle in terms of political affiliation)

Transcript & Time Stamps: 

You served 20 years in the Navy as a pilot prior to making your transition. When you were on active duty, how did you start to prepare for your transition? (6:50)

 

It’s a great question because there’s a ton of uncertainty and ambiguity regardless if you’re leaving after one tour or after a full career. I started the process late, probably about six months before retiring which is not a lot of time. I was very fortunate that I had a neighbor who was able to help me through the process. This ultimately ended up being the tie that got me into healthcare.

 

(7:58)

As a pilot you can imagine that the logical conclusion would be going to fly for the airlines. My wife and I considered it but I didn’t want to be away from home so much after 20 years in the military. So then I started thinking about what skill set I had and what could be transferrable. We’re always talking in acronyms in the military and a lot of times when people transition, they don’t translate accurately or effectively who they are and what skill set they have.

 

(9:25)

When a service member is transitioning, I think it’s important to set boundaries and parameters for what kind of a job or career you want afterwards. Otherwise, you could end up chasing something that’s someone else’s dream. It could be a fit for someone else but not for you. My family and I wanted to come back to the mid-west. That was the fit for us. You have to know what your fit is as you start to pursue your transition.

 

(10:55)

The ability to say “no” is also important in the transition process. There is so much  information out there and there’s so many  opportunities. There’s so many people that are looking to help veterans in their transition but you can really get lost in the myriad of opportunities .

 

(11:50)

What he civilian sector is looking for is leadership skills. The leadership skills we have learned through getting a lot of responsibility early in our careers, dealing with VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity). That’s the world we’ve lived in during our time in the service. People in the civilian sector are looking for people that can handle these situations and make great decisions within volatility and uncertainty, That’s the skillset that’s transferrable regardless of your warfare specialty.

 

What lead you to Memorial Health Systems? (13:50)

 

My family was living near Springfield, Illinois. The population is around 150,000 people - a relatively small community. Not a lot of big industry, only certain things in the area. We had built great relationships with our neighbors, one of whom was a physician. He said, “Hey, let me float your resume at the hospital and see if there’s anything they would be interested in.” I didn’t think they would want anything to do with a former pilot. But when the human resources department saw my resume, they saw that I had a Computer Science degree and wondered if I would be willing to work in IT. And that started the chain. Fortunately there was another veteran working in IT who was willing to hire me because he knew that I would do whatever he asked me to do. He saw that I had the technical ability and also the initiative and drive to succeed. He was  a former Marine so he recognized those characteristics in me as a fellow veteran.

 

(16:40)

I think one of the key takeaways for anyone listening to your podcast is that at least 80% of all jobs (manager and above jobs) are earned through networking. People aren't going to hire a piece of paper. They hire a person that they believe they can teach the necessary skills to in order to succeed in a position. The piece of paper doesn’t say anything about work ethic, integrity, or commitment. Leadership is all about influence. If I hire someone that doesn’t have the ability to lead and influence others around them, that isn’t helpful to me. I didn’t fully understand this when I was transitioning in 2007 but I appreciate it more now. I can’t emphasize enough how important networking is - just getting to know other people and letting them get to know you.

 

Veterans are sometimes surprised by the step back they need to take when moving into their first civilian position. After 20 years of service, what was your first transition like in terms of seniority and pay adjustments? (19:30)

 

I was able to handle this in a different fashion because my new job had a title that was so far removed from what I was doing before. One thing I’m very grateful for is that I started out in a lower pressure job where I had the opportunity to learn about the culture and about the industry. I didn’t have a leadership role where I had to stand up in front of people and promote the company culture before I even had the opportunity to learn it.

 

(21:10)

Once I was in my role, no one knew I had run a maintenance squadron with 120 people in it. I had had some really significant leadership roles previously. But I wanted to learn the new culture from the ground up. When various opportunities would come up, I would be one of the first people to volunteer because to me it was an opportunity to learn about the culture and the environment. And next thing you know, just by taking opportunities and learning new things, a managerial position became vacant and I had the opportunity to step into the role. That’s how I’ve been able to move through the health industry. It’s not because I said, “One day I want to be the CEO of a hospital.” I’ve just tried to contribute and learn about whatever role I’ve been in. That’s also why I elected to pursue my MBA. I saw that that’s what I needed to make the next step in my career.

 

I love that you were willing to take on your new role with humility and a willingness to take risk and try new things. You really took a “Message to Garcia” approach. (24:00)

 

If you’re a veteran listening and don’t know what “A Message to Garcia” is, I encourage you to go look it up. I think the message of humility is really tremendous.

 

(25:01)

The competitive advantage a lot of veterans have is that we’ve existed in that VUCA world. We’re willing to step in and figure out a way to accomplish the operation.

 

(26:15)

I’ve been in my new role as CEO for about 10.5 months now and there’s been decisions along the way that I’ve had to make that might not have been the most popular. When I took a step back and reflected on the decision, I thought to myself, “I will not likely get fired making an error of commission. If I choose to do something and it’s not quite right, I can always modify. But I will get fired if I make an error of omission.”

 

(27:20)

As military members, we are biased toward action. A competitive advantage. People working in a VUCA world can often reach paralysis by analysis. Veterans look at the same situation and take action.

 

Could you share a little bit more about your first few roles at the Memorial Health Systems and how you progressed? (28:17)

 

The most important thing that I learned is that so much of the healthcare industry is regulated, from corrosion inspections to operational readiness inspections. You can always go back to the regulatory requirements and use that to build a new program or to run your operations around.

 

(30:05)

Healthcare IT is highly regulated in terms of information management. The military world is also highly regulated so you can see a correlation between the two. The same skillset can be applied to both worlds. That critical skill set that allowed me to succeed during military inspections also allowed my to be successful in facilities management. Facilities management is all about building safety codes and how buildings are compliant with regulations. You’re preserving the lives of staff and patients. I remember when we were preparing for inspections, my boss didn’t understand how I knew these things since I had been a pilot. But then I started to explain to him more about preventative maintenance and corrective maintenance inside the military. In healthcare, it’s those same procedures that are used.

 

(32:35)

I think the problem a lot of veterans run into is that they think because they were a Department Head, Section Chief, etc., that they should immediately be a director when transitioning out of the military. But there’s a lot of learning that you need to do so that you know exactly what the roles and responsibilities are of a position you want to move into. If you’re willing to take a step back to start out, you can ultimately move ahead much quicker.

 

At what point did you decide to pursue an Executive MBA at Washington University? (34:45)

 

It’s been one of the pivotal points in my short civilian career, and I don’t think I would have this role as CEO of a hospital without that education. As veterans, we learn a lot just through on-the-job experience. We learn about finance and budgeting through the money our team or department is allocated each year. But in a lot of ways, we miss out on the revenue side of the operating statement. Taxpayers are giving us our revenue when we’re in the military so it’s a little different.

 

(36:00)

When I was in facilities management role, I knew that I wasn’t going to be doing that for the rest of my career. I talked to my boss about different opportunities for continued growth. He suggested going to business school and learning about different dimensions of business that I hadn’t been exposed to. Regardless of your specialty in the military, the MBA can be a good way to round out your skillset and learn about terminology.

 

(37:20)

I initially looked at a school and started a traditional MBA program, taking classes at night. But it was a little bit disjointed. I didn’t feel like I was being challenged in a way that I wanted to be. So I started looking at different opportunities and found the Washington University EMBA program. In the Executive MBA format, we met once a month for 2-3 days and then worked on projects together in between those meetings. The format set me towards what I wanted to do. I moved through the 20-month program with the same group of people in a cohort fashion. We were able to challenge each other because we had similar levels of experience.

 

(40:05)

I would also add that sometimes people think it’s just about the letters behind your name. But that mentality will only get you so far. More than the degree itself, I want to know where the person got that degree from. I want to know that they had meaningful conversations about business with others in the program, that they had negotiations and debate. Work gets done in business through relationships so I want to know that a person developed these skills during their degree program.

 

When did you make the transition to your current role? (42:10)

I graduated from my MBA program in 2015. I was still in the role of Vice President of Facilities Management at the time. I was transparent with my boss about it - that I wasn’t dissatisfied with my role but that I didn’t see myself doing it for the rest of my life. As the organization was growing and developing, a role opened up at Passavant, which is one of seven affiliates within the Memorial Health Systems umbrella. I was one of the qualified candidates. My goal was never to be the CEO of a hospital but I always seeked increased responsibility and leadership opportunities.

 

(43:25)

In my role as CEO, I probably spend about 60% of my time on people issues. Whether you’re trying to establish relationships, understand stakeholder positions, get buy-in from teams of people...I enjoy this kind of work. In my role in Facilities Management, I think the most important part of that experience was building relationships with contractors and team members. In my role now, I’m able to continue to build and develop this relationship building skill set.

 

(45:55)

As a transitioning veteran, you can start to figure out what skill sets are important in a particular position and during an interview, you can give examples of times when you have used those skill sets to create success. So that just goes back to using your story and your skillset in a way that will easily translate  to the civilian world. When I got my first job in IT after leaving the  military, people said, “What do you know about IT, you’re a pilot?” And then when I transitioned to the Facilities Management position, people said, “What do you know about Facilities Management, you’re an IT guy?” And now people say, “What do you know about being a CEO, you’re a facilities guy.” It’s interesting that people will put a label on you but you need to make sure that you can shed that label and that it doesn’t define you. You are more than any one label and can transfer your skillsets to any position.

 

What advice would you give to a transitioning military member that feels intimidated by the thought of “starting over” in the civilian sector? (48:33)

 

When I transitioned, I was 41 or 42 years old. Fortunately after retiring, there is some sort of financial assistance which helps in allowing you to put yourself in a learning position while your income is augmented by your retirement check. If you get out at 10 or so years, it’s more difficult because you don’t have that benefit. Still it’s worth it to have the willingness to take a step back in terms of pay and responsibility and take the time to really learn whatever industry it is that you’ve decided to go into. That ultimately is going to allow you to succeed.

 

(50:00)

Be a life-long learner. Don’t be afraid to learn something new or take advantage of a new opportunity. Most people would be happy to sit down with you if you wanted to learn more about their industry or what they are doing. Use LinkedIn, make a meaningful connection. I would also recommend various veterans networks. I’m working right now with a group called Elite Meet. It’s a group that looks to connect former special forces and fighter pilots with private sector opportunities. There was also a really strong veterans network at Washington University. I’m sure this is the same at many other schools as well. There’s so many people out there that are willing to help and want you to be successful.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our listeners? (52:50)

 

I was asked to give some comments at a Veterans Day event last weekend which was very humbling. As I reflected on that, one of the things I boiled it all down to was that America in general is about leadership. Ever since I made the transition out of the military, I’ve seen a desperate need for strong leadership in the civilian sector. Do the best job you can in the role you’re in right  now and always look for the next opportunity where you can continue to contribute and lead.

 

Nov 20, 2017

"I was trying to put myself in a position to meet as many people as I could that I could learn from to help with [my transition from active duty]. And while you're making those connections, you're also - in parallel - refining your own story, so that you're finding ways to tell your story in a way that resonates."
- Francis Ebong

Francis is the Director, Global Operations & Partnerships at Facebook. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Supply Corps Officer in the Navy for six years, while also earning his MBA at the George Washington School of Business. After his transition to a civilian career, Francis worked at Deloitte as a Management Consultant, at Apple as part of their Global Business Operations team, and the startup Postmates as their Director of Business.

Why to Listen:

Francis went directly from the Navy to consulting at Deloitte, and has worked at Apple, in startups, and now at Facebook. He talks about each of these career paths, why veterans may love operations, and advice to help in interviews and finding your ideal career.

Our Sponsor:

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

Show Notes [typed hastily while interviewing... please apologies misspellings or grammatical errors]

  • As someone on Active Duty thinks of transitioning to a civilian career, what advice would you have for them about the interview process?
    • There's a lot of publicly available info - blogs, publications like Bloomeberg, businessweek, NYT and Business Week), as well as using your network. The Naval Academy was a great resource, as was the broader military community. It really helps to see other vets and hear their stories. I try to make myself open to sharing my experience as well.
    • It can be a scary transition. A lot of the time we spent at the Naval Academy during the summers learning about leadership, our peers have been working in the corporate sector. There's a completely new world - understanding how to interview, where to get information, the best resource can often be another veteran
    • One of the best resources out there is LinkedIn.  It's a great research tool and understanding different paths to a career. You see people working in industries and try to understand how someone went from the military to one of these jobs. Just understanding those pathways can help you understand how to make different ways to get there.
    • There's also a tool called ISABER for those who have gone to a Service Academy. You can share your skills and experiences with people looking to connect in different markets.
  • How to explain a military background to a hiring manager
    • this is the biggest challenge - how to explain your military experience to a layman.
    • Our unfair competitive advantage is the life and work experience we have. You are placed in situations that cannot compare to  civilian workforce in terms of intensity. Many people shy away from talking about their impact in their military experience.
    • Really trying to find a way to articulate your experience without a lot of acronyms and military terms. the biggest challenge you have is explaining your background. Watching CNBC to learn these terms through osmosis.
  • What advice would you have for someone on Active Duty as they try to figure out what they would like to do in their civilians career?
  • What led you initially to Deloitte, and why might this career be of interest to a veteran?
    • My last two years in the military I was at business school, trying to meet as many people as possible to learn from for the transition. I went to every networking event I could find, and tapped into every network I could think of. Heard experiences of their transition and continued to make these connections. This helped me refine my own story - find a way to tell it in a way that resonates.
    • At one of these events I met Ed Vanburen, who was a Naval Academy graduate at Deloitte. And this led me to Deloitte, where I worked for 2.5 years for public and private sector clients. we helped them think about doing a digital transformation in Oil & Gas and different industries.
    • I always endorse consulting for veterans. For me it gave me to exposure across a bunch of different verticals and see typical prblems that companies see. It helped me to learn as quickly as possible from as many people and companies as possible.
    • With Deloitte you pick up a lot of structured training that helps you learn very
    • It's actually ver similar to an military environemtn - you're working with a small group of people in a tight time frame to accomplish something. You're exposed to so many different challenges that require different skill sets for each problem you face
  • What led you to Apple?
    • With consulting you get a lot of exposure to different companies. YOu also have time to think about what you want to do next and to train for it. I was General Science at the Naval Academy and was always interested in the intersection of technology and business. I wanted to get that on-the-ground operational experience.
    • So I looked at companies, and Apple was at the top of the list. It was an opportunity to join their BD and Operations team at Apple. they were focused on developing and launcing displays for all Apple products. we would work with suppliers and engineers.
    • Apple is a large company but it's run like a startup in terms of working with different teams
  • How would you explain Global Business Operations to someone on Active Duty?
    • Operations & Business operations means something VERY different at each company - it's different at Apple, Facebook, Postmates, etc. It at Apple was about negotiations, supply, and bringing things to market.
    • This may be appealing to veterans:
      • you work with teams outside of your function, just like you did in th emlitary. It's all about relationships. The lead up to a product launch and hte stressful situatiohns that lead up to this are similiar to my ilfe in the military. We had to set our goals, communicate them, and execute against those goals. It may be a different industry or technology, but the guiding principles are all the same
    • What led you to Postmates, and how would you explain this startup to someone on Active Duty?
      • I was at Apple for a little over 3 years. It was a very intens time of launching iPHone 4, 5 and 6. I was in Asia for a lot of that time, and I learned a lot very quickly. I was looking at cojmpanies at the center of technology and supplies and logistics, and Postmates was near the top of that list.
      • Postmates is an on-demand delivery and logistics platform. you can order from any business and it'll be delivered within an hour. It's the Uber for delivery. It was an experience in helping them grow - joining as employee #75
      • Operations was launching new markets, growth marketing, the supply side of the marketplace, and our strategic partnerships. You have to be an "Athlete" - come in and do anything. No task is too small. you're leading a team and also doing data analysis and everythign you can possibly think of
      • It was such a good and intense experience. that intensity really drives a lot of rapid learning
      • There is nothing that is another person's problem - they are run lean (there are not a lot of people) but there are a lot of problems. It can be very stressful and you'll have to build a lot of things from scratch with very few resources. But you always find a way to win. This makes veterans well suited for startups.
    • What led you to Facebook?
      • Postmates is still doing really well and is still growing. The Facebook opportunity was a great personal opportunity for me. they were looking for someone to lead operations for some of their new products across: New Media Products, Marketplace, Workplace, Messenger, and AI for Messenger. Across these there are new products that each require a new operational approaches.
    • How would you explain your current position at Facebook?
      • The team I started with was 150 people and focused across each of the five verticals. We were helping each one grow and each of them were at a different size of growth and development. We focused on translating the consumer experience back to our engineers so they could build better products.
      • For the Artificial Intelligence product we launched for Messneger, we had a team of 90 people who worked with the product and eningeering teams, and also focuwed on the consumer behabior and how the platform connected people with businesses. So we looked at the data to see what people were doing, how often they were doing and the opportunities there.
      • Now I work more with partners - people building on our platform to connect with businesses. Every day is different - size of team, type of team, sometimes working with a global team.
      • Two months ago I traveled for one week to Singapore and then London.
      • The key is to be flexible
    • What resources - books, programs, websites, etc - have been helpful to you in your civilian career that you would recommend to veteran listeners?
      • I work with a lot of resources that help veterans
      • Breakline has a structured program to help veterans transition through case studies, office visits, and different techniques they need to learn. this is really helpful.
      • I also advise the Commit group - they help veterans transition to the private sector.
      • Blogs & podcasts where you can hear about people's experience - no one's path will be the same as yours; a
    • What was one of the most difficult parts of your own transition to a civilian career?
      • The entire process is a challenge. Every conversation you have is an interview
      • 32:02
      • There's a lot of doors that will be shut in your face; you'll say something you regret in an interview. Its the process that will get you where you need to be, but it can be very discouraging. Understanding that in the end you will make it.
      • Even if 50 people say no, one will say yes. A veterans advantage is their grit - the challenge is more of a technical piece. Learning to go through the gauntlet of understanding how to interview. How to do research. how to speak the lingo.
        35:15 You are hunting for your next meal evert day; there is no net. You really are out there on your own.
      • Relationships, relationships, relationships - it's how you'll find and get those opportunities. ERvery discussion you have is an interview - do the research before the meeting.
      • It is tough but with high risk comes high reward. You'll learn something new to take on the next opportunity. As you build up these new industries you'l l
    • Final words of wisdom?
      • We are more powerful than we think.  You have this insecurity starting out; you don't know that your skills will relate to the civilian sector and are intimidated by the competition. Once you realize the strength of your experiences and the relationships you've built - that's when you really become powerful. There will be failure and disappointment - you will get SO MANY no's but you only need one person to say yes. It's going to be tough but it does end up in the right p
Nov 15, 2017

"There are 3-4k brands in America that franchise, and there's hundreds of new brands every year. Which is wonderful, but it's also a little bit dangerous because a lot of those new brands really don't know franchising. You may have a great concept - a pizza shop, a coffee shop, a shoe shine stand - I don't care what it is, you can franchise a lot of things. But once you do that you're in a different business - you're no longer in the haircutting business, you're in the franchising business and it happens to be haircutting."

- John W. Francis

 

John W Francis runs Next Level Franchise​, Inc in Minnesota​, where he helps franchisors, franchisees and supplier companies with their business issues by offering perspective, experience, advice and connections to help move them forward. He started back in 19​80​'s​ helping in his family business, Barber’s Inc, which ​was​ the franchis​or of Cost Cutters, City Looks, and We Care Hair Salon. Over the next ​15+ years he ​helped to grow ​the business internationally, eventually selling to the Regis Corporation in 1999. Since then he has directly worked with franchises, as well as served as an advisor, board member, consultant, and speaker to ​many people and companies in the franchise world. He is known as “Johnny Franchise” and is a Franchise Expert.

Why to Listen:

A while back I had Matt Miller on the show, and in episode BTU #60 he talked about his experience starting the franchise School Spirit Vending. In episode BTU #115 Ray & Sam Allen talked about Direct Marketing and how it is business with some training and assisting to help people like veterans.

Both of these got me thinking about franchises, and how this is really well suited to veterans who want to start a business and have drive, determination, and discipline, but may not have a killer business idea or a background in business.

So, I took to Google and it did not take me long to find at the top of the list when it comes to franchises, my guest today, John W. Francis. John is not a veteran, but he has an immense amount of experience with and knowledge of franchises, and has graciously offered to come on the show to help me - and all our BTU listeners - better understand franchises and why this may be an appealing entrepreneurial vehicle to veterans

Our Sponsor:

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

Selected Resources:

Show Notes

  • Let’s start with the basics - if you were taking to someone who is in the military, and they don’t have traditional business experience, how would you explain what a franchise is?
    • It's an opportunity - it can take on a number of different dimensions. You've got a model or a brand that you want to operate - McDonalds and Burger King are well known. But there is franchising all around in the US because it works well.
    • When you purhcase a franchise a lot is included in it - do your homework and take your time. YOu don't want to make a decision ilke this in a hurry.
    • Usually a franchise is a brand (name) that has some value and a series of systems. A system of operating and marketing and training in that business. Often times, there is vendor benefits and relationships with suppliers and otehr companies to reduce your cost since you're buying on a group scale.
    • It leverages people motivation and ability - if everyone does their part, it creates mutual success. Franchising wins at all levels when done properly.
  • What goes wrong in franchises?
    • It happens at different times in the growth of the franchise.
    • Oftentimes people convince themselves to buy something that doesn't fit
    • I used to sell hair salon franchises - it's a great business - it's been the same for 5,000 years. It's consistent. You wont' get your hair cut at Amazon. Resistant to technology obsolesce.
    • If you run a hair salon, there's regulations, licenses, etc. But as an owner if you don't understand the business you're in and what makes it work, you get in trouble.
    • There's a lot of things you need to operate well, and it requires different skill sets.
    • First - can you afford it? Cash, equity in your house, lending, etc
    • Part was the personality fit - will you be successful selling in this environment; they may not have the skills so it may be more difficult for you.
    • 8:25 - thousands of franchises, but also dangerous, you may have a great concept
    • Is this a good system? It boils down to relationships - do they have integrity and a plan and know how to be successful? It is economic Darwinism - the stronger and faster and the ones who adapt and take care of their people.
    • It gives you a great platform for success - people pick the wrong one or for the wrong reason
  • You have worked with thousands of individuals who work in a franchise - are there any characteristics you’ve found in the people who succeed as a franchise owner?
    • The ability to work hard - when you're the owner, you have a different attitude about things. You can't just work there. Ownership is a lot of responsibility and opportunity and liability. When you have others investing in your deal and you have employees, it raises the bar. You have to have a lot of commitment to never give up.
    • The other trait that is often underutilized is the connectivity. In a franchise brand, you can connect with the Franchisor. They've got marketing, training, leadership, etc. You can connect with these people - you're part of the family, part of the network. There are people running this company all over the country and you want ot do what they're doing in a way that makes it successful. Asking for input on what to change - a different attitude and approach.
    • Worst mistake is when someone wants to change something - they want to change the part of the brand. We don't sell tires at the hair salon. You don't change the model. When a franchisee starts to adjust things or they say "my market is different" - that's a red flag. You need to talk to people at this point - share hte idea and talk about it before you start doing this. You have to do all of it - not just parts.
    • The third thing is hiring people. You need to make sure you get people, it always comes down to people. Often times franchisees have never hired or trained.
  • How much capital is typically required to own a franchise?
    • Franchises - there ar ebig ones and small ones; they come in all shapes and sizes. There are ones that are $50,000 or less, which is where most brands begin. That would be a total investment - a onetime franchise fee, legal costs, training, travel, contracts to sign, setting up a corporation. If it's a $50,000 investment, many times you can finance the equipment, and for a lot of franchises that are veteran friendly there are discounts on those fees. VetFran is organized through the International Franchise Association. You usually pay the fees in cash and the rest are in financing.
    • Good advice is to have half of what you borrow - otherwise you're just working for the bank. Try not to borrow more than 50% of the investment. So you'll need some cash - savings, earnings, sold something else, or people go to friends and families and ask for investments or a loan. A loan is easier than an investment, but you need to make sure you write it down. you can borrow from a friend or family member, and when you pay it off that goes away. but an investor, they get equity and they get a say in what decisions you make and may feel entitled to participate at a level you didn't expect.
    • Vending machines are common. People will do it for a year or two and then sell it and buy a franchise. You can start with a single vending machine, and it's a lot of hard work but it's a starting point. Then you can sell it and buy and franchise where you're managing employees.
    • The ideal is to eventually hire someone who can do the day-to-day activities, but at first you'll likely be doing all of it. You can eventually own the place and not work there.
    • Many times starting a franchise can be like buying a job - it takes a lot of work and feels like just a giant obligation. But if you can grow it you can be the owner and hire a manager, and then your job is to own the place. Do the advertising, maybe some sales, manage cash flow, and maybe even start a second or third franchise. But they usually start somewhere much smaller.
    • Because veterans are used to systems and checklists this is a great fit for franchises. If you have the right attitude and it's a fit - there's a lot of examples of success with veterans in franchises.
    • A lot of franchisees get stuck thinking they have to do everything - that is the beginning of the end. When companies cut back advertising because cashflow is tight, it's the worst you can do. When things are tight financially - who doesn't get paid is a tough decision. This is when a franchisee needs to call the corporate office or another franchisee to see where to go from there.
    • "If it doesn't make dollars it doesn't make sense." This is such great advice. You have to know hwat you're spendign and what you get for it and if it's the right trhing to spend on. Ideally you can pay yourself sooner or later, and you have to be careful about continiung to invest all your moeny in the business indefinitely. Some people will use a franchise as an inheritence vehicle - the parent can make the investment nd the child does the work and over time the child buys the franchise from the parent, or the parent gifts shares to the child.
    • Find something you're passionate about, and something you can get excited about. If you don't like people, you shouldn't get into a hair salon. But other business I work with have different skill sets. The good news is there are lots of franchises out there, but you hae to know yourself and what you would be interested in.
  • If someone is interested in opening a franchise what resources - books, movies, etc - would you recommend they check out?
    • Franchising is a big area today. There are over a million franchise outlets and over 3,000 franchises. There are groups who work as a match maker (a broker or agent) just like a real estate agent sells houses. There are companies that sell franchise this way. They don't charge the franchisee - the franchisor pays a referal fee to the person who brings the deal in.
    • Fran-choice is good
    • Fran-net is great too - their consultants are all over the country
    • Entrepreneur Source has been around for a long time
    • There are 5-10 more who are like this. Their speciality is to get to know you as the buyer and line you up with brands they know and trust and think will be a good fit. They help you understand what you have and educate you on why it is a good fit and you'll hvae to decide.
    • They'll turn you onto three concept and then sell you the franchise. THey prepare you and if you buy they get a referral fee- it's a fair deal and a good value.
    • It does take time and takes a committment and the consultants only really know a handful of brands. They are afmiliar with 20-30 - how many can you really know? So there may be others out there that would be a better fit but you may never hear about them.
    • The risk is manageable because it's a helpful way to see what's out there, find their strenghts and weaknesses. Just be very careful and make a good choice - do your homework on the brand. You want to validate the idea - check it out and make sure the franchise works the way it is supposed to.
    • Before you write a check - go spend a day with someone running the unit and shadow them for the dya and make sure you're co
  • Final words
    • There are a lot of great people and great opportunities. Find a good brand with good people and a business you really, truly enjoy. You're willing to work harder for somethign you believe in and people you like. Get to know the business and really take the time to know what it will take to be successful.
    • My blog has all sorts of things on it
    • There are books and magazines - the Franchise Times, Franchise World - all sorts of Expos and shows and seminars. Take as much time as you can. It's a great way to go - ifyou get into a good one follow the model, ask for help, pay attention, and follow the system. Engage fully in the brand.
    • Franchise Adviory council - get involved in it. If they host a workshop go to it, never miss an annual convention. Most brands have a big conference for all the owners to come togeterh every year - you need to be there. Make that investment in yo8urself andyour business.
    • Fully immerse yourself and follow the good ones. Meet the people who are successful - find the last Franchisee of the Year for the last 5 years and go talk to them. You want ot be the enxt one. SUccess comes in a lot of differnet ways.
  • Father's Eve
    • This is my giveback project. I'm a dad of two girls and I'm lucky that I can do my fatherhood the way I'd like. THis started as an accident - I got together with other fathers the night of father's day. Then we turned it into a charity event and raise a lot of money. Then we licensed it - everything is a franchise to me - we did it in 12 cities last year. This year we expanded and we did it in 42 cities. We had sponosrs and raised more money for charities.
    • Next year we're trying to turn this into a celebration for dads. Father's day is for dads and their families -we don't want to change this. Father's eve is just for the dads the night before, a dad night out. We do a countdown - we can't stay up tll midnight, so at 8pm we do a local toast to the dads.
    • Some places we do charity funcitons and auctions, and bag tosses, or poker or golf. One person did an archery event. It's hosted all over the county
    • It started in my garage and there are people who do it in their garage
    • Connecting dads to each other to celebrate being a dad and connecting them and learn how to be a better father is so important.

 

Nov 13, 2017

In this episode, I go through a framework for looking at the needs that are met for most veterans by serving in the military, and the needs that they will most likely miss immediately upon their transition from Active Duty to a civilian career. This is a different take on Skills #1 – Empathy & Non-violent communication (NVC) that may be easier to apply in you civilian and military career.

If you haven't yet had a chance to leave a positive review in iTunes, please take a minute to do so here

Our Sponsor:

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

Selected Resources:

Nov 8, 2017

"I really thought that a cornerstone of my business development plan was to take advantage of my ability to retire from my final duty station - to look around my community - and find ways to build relationships over time that I could then build upon when I started [my business]."
-  Forrest Baumhover

Special thanks to Ryan Guina at Cash Money Life and  The Military Wallet, episode #61, for introducing me to Forrest.

Forrest Baumhover recently retired from 24 years in the Navy, first as a hospital corpsman, then as a Supply Corps Officer. While on Active Duty he became a certified Financial Planner and started a fee-only financial planning practice, Westchase Financial Planning. He also runs the site, Military in Transition.

Why to Listen:

Forrest anticipated his transition very early on and prepared for starting his own company in a very proactive way. This is also my first interview with a financial planner, and may be an interesting career path for other veterans.

Our Sponsor:

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

Selected Resources:

Show Notes

  • You have taken a very proactive approach to planning for your transition - can you tell us more about when that started and how you’ve gone about it?
  • What drew you to financial planning?
  • Could you share more about what you do at Westchase Financial Planning?
  • What was your experience like at the College for Financial Planning?
  • How do you balance Active Duty with preparing to transition?
  • What advice do you have for listeners about their personal finances and preparing for the transition?
  • Good resources for finances
Nov 6, 2017

In this episode I share advice from the Beyond the Uniform community about how Veterans can best prepare for and excel at a civilian interview. 

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

Our Sponsor:

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

Selected Resources:

Show Notes:

  • Jon Anderson - network!
  • Meg Potter: Two things: actually wear your interview outfit to ensure fit/comfort and work with a friend to rehearse/drill possible interview questions. Oh and actually familiarize yourself with the company and position.
  • Mark Mitchell: Read PCS to corporate America
  • Aaron Burch 
    • Learn how to interview: Watch sample interviews on YouTube. Learn the STAR method. Look up lists of behavioral interview questions. Prepare a mental list of 10-15 examples from your past experience that can be tailored to answer most of the behavioral questions you can find, and memorize those examples. Practice interviewing with someone, and record yourself, then watch with them and someone else and ask for feedback. Repeat this. 
    • Learn about the company: Google the company, their competitors, suppliers, and customers. If they are publically traded, read their annual report and listen to their latest earnings call. Research common interview questions and scenarios used at the company. 
    • Learn about your interviewer: Look up your interviewer on LinkedIn. Find out how long they've been with the company and their previous roles. Find them on Twitter or other social media and look for anything relatable. 
    • Learn about the position: Read and re-read the position description, noting key skills and experiences, then think of ways you fit the bill, either directly or indirectly. Look up the position on GlassDoor, TransparentCareer, etc. Try to find a loose connection with someone at the company who has or previously had the job you're interviewing for, and talk to them. 
    • Make yourself memorable: Depending on your skillset and the position type, make a "leave behind" to give your interviewer. Maybe it's an infographic. Maybe it's a book of previous projects. Ideally, it has some parallels to the types of work products you might expect to produce in the position. 
    • Execute: During the interview and where appropriate, sprinkle in anecdotes you uncovered during your preparation. Maybe it's a commonality you share with the interviewer. Maybe it's an idea for a new service. Demonstrate that you're already thinking of real ways to cut expenses or grow revenue, before you even have the job. Show genuine interest in the industry, company, and position. If you can't find genuine interest after all of this preparation, it's probably not a good fit for you. 
    • Follow Up: Depending on the size of the company and the industry, send an email or handwritten thank you card within 24 hours of your interview, thanking the interviewer for his/her time and expressing your continued excitement. 
    • AAR: Doing everything above isn't reasonable for every interview. Take what you learned, having done it all, and tailor your approach next time to what seemed like the most value added activities.
  • Richard Herron 
    • WRT the interview, be yourself. 
    • Think more about what career you want to interview for. A big help for me was finding a mentor to chat about options. Most people we dealt with were also on AD and hadn't seen the other side. Go on LinkedIn and cold email people that have the career you're considering. 
    • Thanks for BTU. I wish this existed when I was transitioning.
  • Jared Wymer 
    • In military terms, treat each interview as a mission. Just as you tailor your resume for a role, you should also tailor the way that you talk about your experience, the role, and the company. For instance (and get used to using the phrases "for instance", "for example", and "and by that I mean"), the same work that an active duty service member put into writing the resume that got them the interview (ex: SCOUR the company website so you understand [1] culture [2] business objectives [3] how you fit into the mix [4] how you add value [note: this is much easier with public companies who are required to disclose certain information]; look on websites like Glassdoor, O*Net, etc. to make sure you understand the breadth of what you can bring to the table; make sure you can speak to every line of the job description in a PAR or STAR format. I could frankly provide a whole layperson class/presentation on this, but these are some of the key actions.
  • Lee Haney: What we learned in the military still applies: nothing beats a Leader's Recon before a tactical movement! In this case, that means learning everything you can about the company and the role before the interview, including informational interviews with people who already work at the company with which you are interviewing.
  • Michael Beard: find veterans in the civilian industry you are targeting, and spend time with them in an informational interview. ask for blunt feedback on your resume and interview skills. use them to get the debriefing and feedback that most civilians are too cautious to give. An HR person will not tell you that you are coming across too stiff, or using too many acronyms, or not smiling enough.
  • Charlie Mello: Discuss how your skillset will provide and drive value to the company. It doesn't matter as much what you have already done....it matters more what you are willing to do to help the company grow
  • Brian Henry: I actually have 2 of Orion Talent's podcasts I'd steer them to that we did to address this question. Episode #5 addresses beginning the preparation process and Episode #7 hits a few of the most important questions to be prepared for and how to answer them. https://www.oriontalent.com/podcasts/
Nov 1, 2017

"At the end of the day no one is ever going to come to you as a veteran [with a job offer] - they're going to thank you for your service, but they're not going to make a job for you. Nor do you want them to make a job for you. The trick is getting in as many people's rolodexes as possible. And I kind of did that - unwittingly - while I was at West Point."
- Nicholas Loudon

Nick Loudon is the Chief of Staff for Eastern Air Lines. He started out at West Point, served in the Army as an Infantry Officer for 8 years before going to the Teachers College at Columbia University to earn his MA in Organizational Psychology and Leadership. He’s worked at the E-learning company, Rowan Technologies, as both a Program Manager and COO, and joined Eastern Air Lines about a year and a half ago.

Why to Listen:

In this interview we discuss a variety of topics relevant to veterans in any industry. Nick has great advice for veterans about checking one's ego at the door, rolling up one's sleeves and doing whatever it takes to improve whatever task you're given. He shows how a willingness to learn has allowed him to transition - and be successful in - wildly different industries. And how a mindset of happiness, learning and humility can make all the difference.

Our Sponsor:

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

Show Notes

  • How did you approach the decision to leave the Army?
  • How did you decide to go to TC?
  • What led you to Rowan Technologies?
  • How would you describe what Rowan Technologies does?
  • What was your role like as a Program Manager?
  • How did your work change when you were promoted to COO?
  • What led you to Eastern Air Lines?
  • How would you describe what Eastern Air Lines does?
  • What do you do as Chief of Staff?
  • What resources - books, programs, podcasts - have helped you in your civilian career that you would recommend to veteran listeners?
  • Final words of wisdom
Oct 25, 2017

"We were sitting in one of [my wife's] guest rooms in her house in Abidjan, and I was trying to figure out what to do next with my life. And Emily said, 'You should do the GoRuck thing.' I don't think she knew what that meant and she certainly didn't have the vision for what it's become, and I certainly didn't at that time either. But that was the happy accident of - I need something to do and this could probably be it."
- Jason McCarthy

Thanks to Jared Wymer for the recommendation for this show.

Jason McCarthy is the Founder and CEO of GORUCK, a company he started nearly 10 years ago, a retail company that builds gear, hosts events, builds teams and strengthens the community. He started out at Emory University, after which he worked as an Analyst at Milestone Merchant Partners before joining the Army where he served for five years as a Special Forces Communication Sergeant. After the Army, he started GORUCK and has grown to a team of over 30 people, and over 100 Special Forces Cadre who lead our events.

Why to Listen:

  • Jason gives a very raw and honest assessment of his entrepreneurial journey that will be a huge resource if you're considering starting your own company, but also an exhilarating story no matter what your intended career path. 

Our Sponsor:

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

Selected Resources:

Show Notes

  • You had a career before the Army - what led you to the Army?
  • How did you decide to leave the Army?
  • What was the genesis of GORUCK?
  • In the early days, what was your life like?
  • How did you finance all of this?
  • How would you describe GORUCK to veteran listeners?
  • Where is the company at now in terms of it’s growth?
  • What has been the hardest part of starting GORUCK?
  • What advice do you have for aspiring veteran entrepreneurs?
  • What can someone on active duty do right now to start preparing to start their own company?
  • Any resources (books, podcasts, programs, etc) you’d recommend to listeners?
  • Final words of wisdom?
Oct 23, 2017

In this interview I dive into an analysis of thousands of LinkedIn profiles to better understand how the length of someone's military service impacts what industry they go into, as well as where they live for their civilian career.

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

Our Sponsor:

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

Selected Resources:

  • The full e-book that I'm using for this episode can be downloaded here: http://beyondtheuniform.io/how-time-in-service-affects-navy-veteran-careers-ebook/
  • The full list of LinkedIn Industries - and the sub categories I created for my analysis - can be viewed here: http://beyondtheuniform.io/industry-category-explanations/
Oct 18, 2017

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

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

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

Why to Listen:

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

Our Sponsor:

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

Selected Resources:

Show Notes

  • What was the genesis of the Veterans Yoga Project?
  • How would you explain VYP to someone on Active Duty?
  • Is there an experiential part of this we could start with to give listeners a sense of the sort of tools you provide?
  • In your work with Veterans, what are common objections or reserves you see about this sort of work?
  • What are aspects of your work that you have seen be most beneficial to veterans?
  • What other resources - books, programs, podcasts, etc - would you recommend to listeners
  • Final words of wisdom to audience?
Oct 11, 2017

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

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

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

Why to Listen:

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

Our Sponsor:

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

Selected Resources:

  • Resources for finance
    • Can check out syllabus for corporate finance class at Wharton and see textbooks (or at any leading finance business school) - here is on example.
  • Book

Show Notes

  • Jason's background
  • When you left the Army, you went directly to get your MBA - how crucial was that decision in your career path, and what advice would you give to veterans considering an MBA?
  • What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when leaving the military, and what advice do you have for those on active duty listening?
  • I’d like to focus on your role at Skullcandy, but what would you want listeners to know about your career path from Wharton to Skullcandy?
  • How did you first come onboard the Skullcandy team?
  • How would you describe your role as COO & CFO to someone on active duty? What did your day-to-day life look like?
  • You achieve an incredible turnaround - how did you go about this?
  • How would you describe your current role as CEO - what does your day-to-day look like?
  • How do you grow and get feedback?
  • What were the gaps you needed to fill in from the military until the CEO role?
  • What advice do you have for veterans seeking to be CEO of a company one day?
  • What resources - books, programs, podcasts, etc - have been helpful to you in your civilian career that you would recommend to veterans listening?
  • Final words of wisdom
Oct 9, 2017

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

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

Our Sponsor:

  • StoryBox – People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces.
  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at BeyondTheUniform.io/books
Oct 4, 2017

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

Listen to the full interview here

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

Why to Listen:

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

Our Sponsor:

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

Selected Resources:

Show Notes

  • Tim's background
  • What did you do while on Active Duty to make this journey possible? How much money does someone on Active Duty need to save up to make this possible?
  • What led you to travel - was the certain moment when you knew you were going to travel the world? How long did you initially think it would last?
  • Could you give a high-level overview of what those four years looked like?
  • What was one of the most challenging moments of the trip?
  • Did you have a favorite location along the way?
  • Why might someone listening who is on active duty benefit from taking time to travel instead of going directly into a job or school?
  • How did you travels shape what you want to do for a career?
  • What resources recommend for traveling?
  • Could you talk about how you became involved journalism?
  • What is a typical week like as a journalist?
  • Where are you headed from here?
  • Final words of wisdom?
Oct 2, 2017

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

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

Our Sponsor:

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

Selected Links

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