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.