We are hard at work getting our next series of brand new episodes ready. But, in the meantime, I’ve got a question for you: are you looking for a side hustle? Are you looking to build up social media and marketing skills?
If so, check out www.BeyondTheUniform.org/captivate
I’m in the midst of launching my next company and looking for members of the military community (and their families) to help. We pay by the project and will teach you all you need to know as you go.
See you next week with a new episode and I hope to see your application!
In this episode, I share thoughts about five books every Veteran should read, which are:
So Good They Can’t Ignore You
Mindset - growth vs. fixed mindset
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.
I reached out to Charles about six months ago, and am so happy that I was finally able to get him on the show. In this interview, we talk a lot about building up specific skills in one’s career. In Charle’s case, he learned skills at business school and then in private equity which both were in line with his eventual career goal: entrepreneurship. And we talk about a form of entrepreneurship you’ve probably never heard about - search funds. So many Veterans want to run a company, but don’t know where to start. A search fund is a way to buy an existing business and then build and grow it. Actually, for most of my time at Stanford Business School, I thought I would do a Search Fund, and I still believe it’s an incredible career path for many Veterans. As I mentioned, I reached out to Charles 6 months ago based on his background… I don’t really think I realized how incredibly smart and capable he is until we had this conversation… as an entrepreneur myself, I’m blown away by the moves this guy has, and on his ability to explain them to our audience. If you do like this episode, check out
BTU #117: Jim Vesterman: Marine Corps to Search Funds and Buying a Company to Run (https://beyondtheuniform.org/blog/btu-84-jim-vesterman-marine-corps-to-search-funds-and-buying-a-company-to-run?rq=search%20funds) which I’ll list in the show notes for this episode at BeyondTheUniform.org.
And, of course, this interview was only made possible due to the financial support of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, and I want to share a little bit more about them. Whether you're transitioning to a civilian career or continuing military service, an MBA from Carlson, at the University of Minnesota prepares you for a high impact career in business. Carlson is committed to the veteran community and provides the benefits, experiential learning, and network to accelerate your career. In addition to a resident tuition waiver, all admitted full time MBA military candidates receive generous scholarships and stipends to cover expenses that may not be eligible for the GI Bill. To learn more, you can visit the show notes at BeyondTheUniform.org for this episode, or you can email MBA@UMN.edu.
Charles Mullenger is the CEO of President of Ethos Preparedness, which has been building the most trusted brands in preparedness, starting with Med Sled®, since 2004. A 2010 graduate of West Point, Charles served as a Field Artillery officer in the Army for 5 years, before obtaining his MBA at Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He has served on the board of directors for Purity Zinc Metals, and founded Steel Tree Capital, which led to his ownership of Ethos Preparedness.
Normally I start with a nice quote, reasons to listen to the episode. I’m not doing that today. Today is a conversation I should have had 300 episodes ago - its a conversation I wish more people were having more candidly. Today I chat with Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, where we spend the bulk of our time discussing race and gender and the role it plays in the military. It is an open, honest, and very imperfect conversation, and something I sincerely hope you take the time to listen to. With that let’s dive in to my conversation
Natasha is an international speaker, leadership consultant, mentoring coach, and the visionary founder of the nonprofit Leadership LINKS, Inc. A graduate of the US Naval Academy and a former Marine Corps officer, she is the author of Mentor for Life and Hope for Us.
When Carlson’s School of Management came to us with an offer for financial sponsorship, Steve and I were like kids in a candy store. We had the resources to do any interview we’d like… that’s like a dream come true. As I was thinking through who I wanted to reach out to, I started thinking about purpose - purpose is something that comes up time and time again in my interviews. So, I wanted to find a company that is purpose driven. A company that is doing something pretty different. And that is how I view Impossible Foods. They are re-envisioning how we eat and driven by a deep desire to help us take better care of our planet. Not only that, but they have become a massive sensation - according to LinkedIn there are now over 500 employees at Impossible, and according to Crunchbase they have raised over $1.2B… that’s right - $1.2B… the amount of money a villain in a James Bond movie would demand to avoid destroying the world.
Here’s what I love about today’s interview. First of all, I’m joined by TWO incredible Veterans with TWO incredible career paths. We talk about innovation and sales, two very different career paths, and their perspectives on what it’s like to work at Impossible. While we do talk a lot about Impossible, we cover a lot of ground about general career advice.
If you enjoy this episode, check out the show notes for this episode, where I link to a few interviews I’ve done in the Cyrpto space - that seems to share the same purpose-driven culture that I felt in this interview.
And, of course, this interview was only made possible due to the financial support of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, and I want to share a little bit more about them, whether you're transitioning to a civilian career or continuing military service, an MBA from Carlson, at the University at the University of Minnesota prepares you for a high impact career in business. Carlson is committed to the veteran community and provides the benefits experiential learning and network to accelerate your career. In addition to a resident tuition waiver all admitted full time MBA military candidates receive generous scholarships and stipends to cover expenses that may not be eligible for the GI Bill. To learn more, you can visit the show notes at beyond uniform.org for this episode, or you can email MBA@UMN.edu.
About Ryan & Dan:
Dan Greene is a SVP of US Sales and Growth. He started out at the Naval Academy and served over 10 years as a Navy fighter pilot and director of operations for multiple aviation units. Dan served as Chief Revenue Officer for a conversational artificial intelligence startup, and served as an executive consultant with other early-stage software companies. Prior to that, Dan spent 11 years overseeing large teams and revenue-generating business units at Google and Twitter.
Ryan Fisher is the Director of New Product Innovation. He served in the US Army for over four years as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Officer. He has worked in global supply at both Apple and Uber. He holds an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
Craig is a serial entrepreneur who’s current company - Veteran Tax Credits - is relevant to all of our listeners. First of all, if you are a Veteran seeking a job, Craig talks about how the government provides tax credits for any employer who hires you. This is a financial benefit to employers that could play a deciding role in your next job offer, so it is worthy of your attention. Second, if you’re an employer, Craig talks about a tax incentive surprisingly few businesses know about. He’ll walk you through what you need to do to take full advantage of this benefit. In addition, we talk about entrepreneurship, partnerships and more. Lastly, one thing I really appreciated in this interview is the sense that when Veterans raise awareness of this sort of tax incentive, not only are they helping themselves, but they’re helping other members of the military community who may benefit from these tax incentives in the future. Many thanks to Craig for the work he is doing to help our military community, and for his sponsorship of this episode to help Beyond the Uniform further our work.
Craig Washburn is the Founder & CEO of VTC Veteran Tax Credits. VTC helps Veterans get pre-certified and find gainful employment through our partnerships. We help companies’ find outstanding Veteran talent and collect valuable tax credits for employing them. Craig started out in the Navy as an Administrative Supervisor, where he served for four years. His civilian career includes work at HealthCare Dimensions, PacifCare Health Systems, as well as Owner of the Pivot Management Group.
I'm so honored to have had time with Christian today I want to give a little bit of backstory that I give at the start of the interview but I think it's worth recapping here. So, as many of you know we were fortunate to receive financial sponsorship from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. It allowed us to do a new series of interviews and so as Steve Bane and I were talking about who we wanted to interview, I realized that we haven't talked to anyone in the drone industry, and I think it's an industry that has a lot of interest for veterans - it's growing rapidly, it's cool, it's high tech. And so I did a little bit of searching and Steve sent me some articles and we looked for Veterans in this space. And I came across Christian. He was the only person I emailed and I just sent a cold email explaining what I do with Beyond the Uniform and asking if you'd be willing to be on the show. And I just want to bring that up first of all to say like, I was so energized and inspired by this conversation. And it all came about because of simply writing an email to another veteran. And I just want to bookmark that for all of you listening because I think great things come when you get out of your head when you get out of your comfort zone when you get out of your office or home and talk to people. And that's a major theme in today's interview and Kristen has a really brilliant man I think that will come across in his, his advice to listeners, but he in 1998 got out of the military went into tech, when tech was just or that you know that is software programming, and that was just becoming a thing. And I think that you'll learn a lot from his story, although it's, it's one of entrepreneurship it's one about the drone industry. It's really advice relevant to every career path, because his story demonstrates, time and time again, the value that comes from pursuing one's passion, the value that comes when you put aside money. At least temporarily to focus on adding value and learning, and also a story of how, when you get out of your comfort zone when you talk to people when you circulate ideas, great things come about. So we cover a lot of ground we talk about minimum viable product we talk about customer development. We talked about why you should never have an NDA that's a non disclosure agreement. We talk about leadership on it was just really exhilarating conversation and so I'm really honored to have had Christian on the show.
Christian Sanz is the CEO and Founder of Skycatch, the leading industrial aerial data collection and analytics company, focused on indexing and extracting critical information from the physical world. He served in the Navy for 4 years, and his civilian career includes work as a software engineer for The Walt Disney Company, a Senior Software Engineer at LoopNet, the Senior Director of Engineering at Break Media, the CTO at Kin Community, the Founding CTO of Storify (acquired by Adobe), and the Founder of DroneGames. Over the last 7 years, Christian has grown Skycatch to have over 50 employees and $46M in funding.
Why Listen: Purpose is one of the most cited things on this show. In 350 episodes, I cannot count the number of my guests who have talked about how they have struggled to find their next purpose once they leave the military. I experienced this... and I've experienced multiple times since I left the military over 10 years ago.
In this episode, I have Craig Filek back on the show to talk about his Purpose Mapping work. Craig and I just finished up a 10 week course with 5 veterans, and we share some of our takeaways from this work.
Be sure to sign up for our FREE 90-minute webinar, where you can start to uncover your purpose and mission in life @ https://beyondtheuniform.org/purpose-mapping-webinar
Well, I just got done talking with Murph, and it's just such a great conversation and I wanted to just bookmark. A couple of things that we talked about in this interview because we cover quite a bit of ground. The first of all, I love Murphy's thinking around, expanding your thinking about what you're going to do in your career, and in his in his own story, and advice that he received along the way. He ended up doing things that he didn't initially plan when he got out of the military, out of the Marine Corps after 22 years of service, and it came from a conversation about expanding his thinking. He has great advice around never stopping your pursuit of your career, and there's stories, you'll hear about when he kind of backed off or thought he had a job and then it fell through, and I think is great advice for both career hiring, as well as sales. He works over at the University of Central Missouri and as their director of military and veteran services so he does have some great thoughts from his experience they're helping a lot of veterans. Talk about the value of education that keeps on coming up again and again and Murph story is the value that education has been to him to his Marines, his students, and whether that's after 20 years of service, or after three years of service, expanding one's horizons through education. We talked about the TV show that he's on called tough as nails and what it's like to be on a reality TV show and even though Murph is a giant of a man. He's a very you know gentle giant and very introverted and so he talks about what that experience was like being on the set, and what it was like and how that opportunity came about. And then I love He talks about a diploma being a certification of dedication I've never I've never heard that before but he talks about how rarely one's degree directly relates to what one does in their career, but it is beneficial for other reasons. We talked about Instagram and putting oneself out there, we talked about how his dream job was in the Marine Corps and a lot more. And so I think you'll really enjoy the show and check out the show notes, we've got a lot of links from today's episode, and check out CBS as tough as nails with him, it'll be launching. Shortly after this podcast goes live. I want to give a special thanks because the only reason we were able to record. Today's brand new episode is thanks to a sponsorship financial sponsorship from the Carlson School of Management and really can't express enough gratitude for how much I enjoy doing new episodes and how many people that benefits and this point were only really able to do that through financial sponsorship. So I wanted to share more about an organization that is putting your money where your mouth is and helping beyond uniform continue our operations. So whether you're transitioning to a civilian career or continuing military service, an MBA from Carlson at the University of Minnesota prepares you for a high impact career in business. Carlson is committed to the veteran community and provides the benefits experiential learning and network to accelerate your career. In addition to a resident tuition waiver all admitted full time MBA military candidates receive generous scholarships and a stipend to cover expenses that may not be eligible for the GI Bill. You can learn more in the show notes for this episode at beyond the uniform.org, or you can email, em, ba, actually, let's see if I can remember this, Mike Bravo alpha at uniform. Mike november.edu that's MBA at IU mn.edu to learn more. Thank you. And with that, lets dive into today's conversation with Murph .
Murph is the Director of Military and Veteran Services at the University of Central Missouri. He is also a competitor on CBS’s new show, Tough as Nails. TOUGH AS NAILS is a competition series that celebrates everyday Americans who roll up their sleeves and don’t think twice about working long hard hours and getting their hands dirty, in order to keep their country running. On the show, competitors compete in challenges that take place at real-world job sites. Murph served in the Marine Corps for 22 years. Since his military service, he has worked as an Adjunct Faculty member at Central Texas College and Columbia College and also worked at Lowe’s in their as a Human Resrouce and Training Manager.
There is so much to love about today's interview. First of all on the professional side, Matt went from the Army National Guard and an unexpected departure into opening a series of nutrition supplement franchises that built up a skill set for him to then start his own performance supplement company, actually creating and selling many of these products, and then to his current role with company called Fit Ops which is doing absolutely unbelievable things in the military community training people physically, mentally, and emotionally,.
II just loved so much of what Matt had to share in this interview. We cover a lot of ground in this interview we talk about things like mentorship, finding clarity through, of all things daydreaming. Finding one's purpose through a combination of authenticity, excitement and discomfort. And we talk about letting your gut guide you in decisions. And I love in particular Matt's thoughts about not discounting yourself not counting yourself out from the dreams and aspirations that you have.
This is both an informative interview, but it's also a very inspirational conversation and I think you'll really enjoy this this episode.
I want to give a special thanks to the Carlson School of Management, whose financial sponsorship made this interview possible. I want to share a little bit more about them, because while many people talk about supporting the military community, the Carlson School of Management, put their money where their mouth was and literally gave us the funds to produce five or six new episodes which you'll see in the next couple of weeks. So whether you're transitioning to civilian career or continuing military service, an MBA from Carlson at the University of Minnesota prepares you for a high impact career in business. Carlson is committed to the veteran community and provides the benefits experiencial learning and network to accelerate your career. In addition to a resident tuition waiver all admitted full time MBA military candidates receive generous scholarships and stipends to cover expenses that may not be eligible for the GI Bill. If you're interested in learning more, you can email MBA at you. in.edu also in the show notes at beyond uniform.org I'll include this information as well. Thank you so much Carlson School of Management for your support. So with that, let's dive in to my conversation with Matt Hesse.
Matt Hesse is the Chairman & Founder of the FitOps, the CEO of Performix, and the Founder & CEO of COrr-Jensen. He also serves as an Advisory Council Member on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He served in the Army and National Guard for nearly five years, and was a multi unit franchise store owner for GNC.
In this episode, I share thoughts about freelance consulting work and why both Veterans and those on Active Duty should consider this sort of work, either as a side hustle or a full time career.