Entrepreneurship

BTU #237 - Army Veteran to Combat Flip Flops Co-Founder (Matt Griffin)

BTU #237 - Army Veteran to Combat Flip Flops Co-Founder (Matt Griffin)

Why Listen:
This is my one of my favorite interviews - whether you’re interested in entrepreneurship or any career path, there is something in this interview for you. We talk about how a library card may be more valuable than college or grad school, we talk about the pros and cons of gaining experience prior to starting a company, we talk about the tactics of starting a company and how to do that on a limited budget while supporting a family, we talk about finding co-founders, we talk about how to maintain a fresh mind even amidst the grueling mental battle of running a company, we talk about daily planning and finding your game-changers, and more.

About Matt:
Matt is the CEO & Co-Founder of Combat Flip Flops, which creates peaceful, forward-thinking opportunities for self-determined entrepreneurs affected by conflict. He started out at West Point, after which he served in the 75th Ranger Regiment as a Rifle Company Fire Support Officer with three tours to Afghanistan and one tour to Iraq.  His post military career includes work as the Director of Military Sales for Remote Medical International and the director of Special Operations for Protect the Force. 

BTU #235 - Navy SEAL to the Founding Declan James Watch Co (Brian Dougherty)

BTU #235 - Navy SEAL to the Founding Declan James Watch Co (Brian Dougherty)

Why Listen:
Brian is a Navy SEAL turned entrepreneur in the midst of starting his first company. We haven’t had a lot of guests on the show who are selling physical products, and Brain talks about what it’s like to start a watch manufacturing company. We talk about finding expertise and knowing when to pay for it, we talk about how social media is often shunned in the military and yet absolutely essential in business, we talk about the value of reserves for healthcare when you’re starting a company and have a family, and we talk about much, much more.

About Brian:
Brian is the founder of the Declan James Watch Co. He started out in commercial real estate for 6 years, before joining the Navy SEALs, where he served for 8 years including two deployments with Seal team 7 and one shore duty assignment as a BUDS instructor. He separated from Active Duty just about 10 months ago, and the Declan James Watch Co is his first venture.

BTU #232 - Lessons Learned from the IVMF (Maureen Casey)

BTU #232 - Lessons Learned from the IVMF (Maureen Casey)

Why Listen:
Maureen and the IVMF are incredible resources for the military Veteran community. In this interview, we talk about the #1 challenge facing the military Veteran community today. We talk about the best way for members of the military (and their spouses) to identify a fulfilling career after their military service. We talk about the BIGGEST mistake that people in the Armed Forces make when they transition to a civilian career. We talk about military Veterans in entrepreneurship, and specific data about how they stack up against their civilian counterparts. 

About Maureen:
Maureen Casey is the Chief Operating Officer for the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. She brings more than 25 years of public and private sector experience to her current leadership role at the IVMF, including work as a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase, the New York City Police Department, the New York State’s criminal justice system, and more. She received her J.D. from SUNY Buffalo’s School of Law and a Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, from the State University of New York’s College at Brockport.

BTU #230 - Navy Veteran to Hunt a Killer Founder (Ryan Hogan)

BTU #230 - Navy Veteran to Hunt a Killer Founder (Ryan Hogan)

Why Listen:
Ryan Hogan is a serial entrepreneur who has started the majority of his companies while still on Active Duty. In this interview we talk about finding like minded people as accountability partners, and the importance of believing that anything is possible. We talk about what it’s like to have a startup fail, and how to recover from this in a way that might not seem intuitive to most listeners. We talk about finances, and how Ryan has started his company and grown it to over $18M in annual revenue without raising a single dollar of investment from outside investors (and how he borrowed money from his Thrift Saving Plan) to do it.

About Ryan:
Ryan Hogan is the Co-Founder & CEO of Hunt A Killer (HAK), the fastest-growing thriller subscription service in the world. Hunt a Killer is an immersive murder mystery entertainment service that challenges its players to hunt and catch a killer through its interactive monthly membership boxes and premium one-time experiences allowing thrill seeking minds to solve ongoing fictional murder mysteries. Ryan started out as an Enlisted Naval Aircrew member, and served in the Navy for 15 years, most recently as a Surface Warfare Officer. He is currently in the Navy reserves.

BTU #227 - Navy Veteran to NASCAR Driver (Jesse Iwuji)

BTU #227 - Navy Veteran to NASCAR Driver (Jesse Iwuji)

Why Listen:
This is an inspirational episode. Jesse is a case study in pursuing one’s dream - figuring out what unique aspirations you have, finding others to hold you accountable, and not letting the opinions or doubts of others get in your way. Jesse talks about how he used a kickstarter campaign, credit cards, and his personal savings to inch his way closer - one race at a time - to becoming  a NASCAR driver. We talk about advocating for yourself, how to run a crowdfunding campaign, and how to train day in and day out to make your dreams come true. The topics we cover in this episode are relevant to every single career path - whether you too want to become a NASCAR driver, or want to start your own business, or write a book, or whatever your personal goals may be. If you like this episode check out our show notes at BeyondTheUniform.io, where, in addition to the resources we discuss in this episode, I also list 3 other episodes very similar to this one.

About Jesse:
Jesse Iwuji is the first active duty US Naval Officer to compete in NASCAR. He is also the Founder of The Red List Group which is an auto racing event company bringing drag racers together from the West to compete for trophies and cash prizes at track events. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Surface Warfare Officer for 7 years before transitioning to the Navy Reserves. 

BTU #226 - Navy Corpsman to Performance Coach (Chris Diaz)

BTU #226 - Navy Corpsman to Performance Coach (Chris Diaz)

Why Listen:
Chris is a Performance Coach with prominent companies including Johnson & Johnson. In this interview we talk about the psychology of high performers. We talk about “perpetual transition” and how one’s transition from the military is a continuous and ongoing process, not a one-time event. We talk about finding a new purpose after the military, and how to build it out of one’s own experiences, values, and relationships. We talk about the process of pursuing a PhD, and more. 

About Chris:
Chris Diaz is a Performance Coach at Equilibria Leadership Consulting. He is also the co-Founder & Executive Director of Action Tank, which tackles tough problems by harnessing the experiences, skills, and relationships of service-minded citizens to improve the social conditions of our community.. Currently working toward a PhD in Clinical Psychology, Chris also serves as a performance coach for the Johnson and Johnson Human Performance Institute. Chris started out in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman, where he served for 6 years. 

BTU #219 - Quadruple Amputee to Recalibrated Warrior, NYT Best-Selling Author, and Non-Profit President (Travis Mills)

BTU #219 - Quadruple Amputee to Recalibrated Warrior, NYT Best-Selling Author, and Non-Profit President (Travis Mills)

Why Listen:
Travis is one of only five veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his quadruple amputee injuries. His life and story since then are inspiring, including becoming a NYT Best Selling author, starting the Travis Mills Foundation to help other “re-calibrated warriors”, to being the subject of an upcoming major motion picture release. He lives his motto: never give up, never quit.

About Travis:
Travis Mills is the President of the Travis Mills Group, President of the Travis Mills Foundation, and a NYT Best Selling Author of the book, Tough as They Come. On April 10, 2012, while a Staff Sergeant in the Army, Travis was on a mission during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. He set his backpack down – and a buried IED exploded on impact. When he woke up four days later on his 25th birthday, he had lost all four limbs. Travis is one of only five veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his quadruple amputee injuries. His journey since then has been one of hard work, inspiration, and helping other combat-injured vets. Last summer, SSG Mills and the Travis Mills Foundation opened a fully accessible facility for recalibrated warriors and their families. For the second year, the retreat offers – at no cost – adaptive sports, recreation, spa services, chef-prepared meals, and whatever else the families need to rest, relax, and reconnect. Travis is also an in-demand motivational speaker and the co-owner of a lodge and marina. His story is set to be the subject of a major motion picture which is expected to be directed by Sylvester Stallone, who will also co-star with Adam Driver. He is also the subject of the award-winning documentary, Travis: A Soldier’s Story.

Our Sponsor: 

  • This episode is sponsored by Lockheed Martin. At Lockheed Martin, veterans are at the center of everything they do — in fact, one in five of their employees has served in uniform. Lockheed Martin is proud to help men and women like you successfully transition into civilian careers. Join Lockheed Martin and you will find opportunities to take on the same kind of long-term challenging assignments you tackled while in the military.  Whether you’re on active duty, transitioning or already embarking on your civilian career, Lockheed Martin’s Military Connect is your online community for professional support. You can find out more at https://lockheedmartin.bravenew.com

  • 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

BTU #218 - Marine Corps Veteran to Founder of Warfighter Hemp (Steve Danyluk)

BTU #218 - Marine Corps Veteran to Founder of Warfighter Hemp (Steve Danyluk)

Why Listen:
There is a major problem in the military Veteran community around over-medication, suicide, and drug dependancies. While in the Marine Corps, Steve realized this epidemic, which led him to start Warfighter Hemp. In this episode we talk about the legally approved, non-psychoactive CBD Oil that his company sells. While CBD Oil helps with anxiety and pain, it is non-addictive, and does not build up a tolerance in one’s body like many drugs do. Additionally, we talk about starting a company while having a full-time job and more. Steve is offering a 50% discount to the Beyond the Uniform audience at https://www.warfighterhemp.com/btu

About Steve:
After returning from a ground combat tour in Iraq with the Marine Corps, Steve spent the following year working wounded issues, primarily in the National Capitol Region at Walter Reed and Bethesda. Steve was so troubled by what he perceived as the over-medication of service members and Veterans that it led to him founding an all volunteer non- profit with the mission of addressing the myriad problems of what he believed would become long term crisis. Unfortunately, his fears materialized, and today’s Veterans suffer one of the highest suicide rates on record. Steve founded Warfighter Hemp based on what he learned from wounded Warfighters he has befriended over the past decade. He currently serves as an unpaid consultant for Warfighter Hemp, a Veteran founded and run business that provides CBD to the Veteran community. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserves as a LtCol in 2014. His wife Valerie still serves on active duty in the Marine Corps in the National Capitol Region and was recently promoted to the rank of full Colonel. 

BTU #217 - Army Veteran to Cyber Security and the Department of Homeland Security (Malachi D. Scott)

BTU #217 - Army Veteran to Cyber Security and the Department of Homeland Security (Malachi D. Scott)

Why Listen:
Malachi went from the infantry into Cyber Security without any background in Cyber Security. We talk about federal jobs in general, and why Veterans should consider a career in Cyber Security. Malachi also managed to get a tremendous amount of education debt-free, and talks about all the Veteran resources he used to do this. We talk about all the fields inherent in Cyber Security and the 2 Million job openings anticipated in this field

About C. “Malachi” D. Scott:
Mr. C. “Malachi” D. Scott serves as Program Analyst with the Cybersecurity Education and Awareness Branch in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C), U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS). Before his current assignment with DHS, he was an IT Pathways Intern within SECIR. Prior to working for DHS, Mr. Scott served as an Analyst in the Executive Office of the President at the White House. Previously, Mr. Scott served as the Operations Maintenance Chief at Tobyhanna Army Depot. Mr. Scott also has served in the U.S. Army, and is currently serving in the Pennsylvania National Guard as an Infantryman. 

Mr. Scott graduated from University of Western Florida with a Graduate Teaching Certificate. He also holds a Bachelor of Science and two Associate of Applied Science degrees from Thomas Edison State University. Mr. Scott also holds Associate of Applied Science degrees from Hagerstown Community College. He also holds an Associate of Science Technology degree from Penn Foster College. Mr. Scott also holds a Diploma Nursing. 

Our Sponsor: 

  • This episode is sponsored by Lockheed Martin. At Lockheed Martin, veterans are at the center of everything they do — in fact, one in five of their employees has served in uniform. Lockheed Martin is proud to help men and women like you successfully transition into civilian careers. Join Lockheed Martin and you will find opportunities to take on the same kind of long-term challenging assignments you tackled while in the military.  Whether you’re on active duty, transitioning or already embarking on your civilian career, Lockheed Martin’s Military Connect is your online community for professional support. You can find out more at https://lockheedmartin.bravenew.com

  • 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

BTU #216 - Army Veteran to the Shark Tank & Rumi Spice (Kimberly Jung)

BTU #216 - Army Veteran to the Shark Tank & Rumi Spice (Kimberly Jung)

Why Listen:
Today’s guest was introduced to me by Kill Anderson, from episode 182 at the Pat Tillman Foundation, who described Kim Jung as someone who moves a “mile a minute.” That may be an understatement. Kim went from the Army, to Harvard Business School, where she started Rumi Spice, a for profit company that employs over 2,000 women in Afghanistan. She raised over $500k in 24 hours, appears on the TV show the Shark Tank, where she raised funds from Mark Cuban himself. And is now at MIT getting another advanced degree, and focusing on the space industry. She asks herself frequently about if she is operating at 100% happiness… and if not, finds a way to get there. There is something for everyone in this episode. 

About Kimberly Jung:
Kimberly Jung is a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors of Bunker Labs. She started out at West Point, after which she served as an officer in the Army for 5 years, most recently as a Brigade Construction Officer. After her military service, she earned her MBA from Harvard Business School, and then started Rumi Spice, a for-profit social enterprise that imports saffron from Afghan farmers and cooperatives. 

BTU #215 - Army Veteran to Head of Cyber Security (Chris Koc)

BTU #215 - Army Veteran to Head of Cyber Security (Chris Koc)

Why Listen:
I’ve done several interviews about Cyber Security lately, but Chris is perhaps the most senior person I’ve spoken with on this subject. As Corporate Vice President of Cyber Incident Response at the New York Life Insurance company, as as Chief Information Officer previously at two separate companies, Chris has a very unique perspective. His story of switching from CIO to focus on cyber security, and about the incredible growth coming in this field is compelling for anyone even remotely interested in considering Cyber Security as a career path. We also talk about his experience in the Reserves and advice to other Veterans about considering staying in the Reserves.

About Chris Koc:
Chris Koc is the Corporate Vice President of Cyber Incident Response at the New York Life Insurance Company. He started out in the Army, where he served as a Communications Officer for over four years on Active Duty. Since his military service, he has worked at Accenture as a Technology Manager, at the Facility Group as their Chief Information Officer, LakePoint Sports as a Chief Information Officer, and more. He has served over 21 years in the Army Reserves, retiring at the rank of Colonel.

This episode is sponsored by Lockheed Martin. At Lockheed Martin, veterans are at the center of everything they do — in fact, one in five of their employees has served in uniform. Lockheed Martin is proud to help men and women like you successfully transition into civilian careers. Join Lockheed Martin and you will find opportunities to take on the same kind of long-term challenging assignments you tackled while in the military.  Whether you’re on active duty, transitioning or already embarking on your civilian career, Lockheed Martin’s Military Connect is your online community for professional support. You can find out more at https://lockheedmartin.bravenew.com

  • 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

BTU #214 - Army Veteran to Founder of Busy Baby Mat (Beth Fynbo, Bunker Labs)

BTU #214 - Army Veteran to Founder of Busy Baby Mat (Beth Fynbo, Bunker Labs)

While I’ve had a lot of guests on the show to talk about entrepreneurship, Beth is in the trenches right now, and towards the starting point of her entrepreneurial journey. In this raw interview, Beth opens up about a Kickstarter campaign she just launched, that didn’t work out as she hoped, and what she learned from that. She talks about the “imposter syndrome” and what it’s like to not feel like a “real entrepreneur.” She talks about working a full-time job, starting her own company, and raising her son, and not dropping the ball on any of those three. We talk about Bunker Labs, dreaming big and going for it, doing what you want to do, getting enough sleep, and fusing the gaps in your day.

About Beth:
Beth Fynbo is the Founder of Busy Baby Mat. She is also an Enterprise Account Manager at Cardinal Health, a global, integrated healthcare services and products company, providing customized solutions for hospitals, healthcare systems, pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices worldwide. She started out in the Army as a Crytpologic Linguist and Broadcast Journalist, where she served for over 10 years. Since her military service she has worked at the National Guard Bureau and Alutiiq.

BTU #212 - Founding The Institute of Veterans and Military Families (Michael Haynie, Ph.D)

BTU #212 - Founding The Institute of Veterans and Military Families (Michael Haynie, Ph.D)

Why Listen:
Michael is amongst the top thought leaders in the Veteran transition space in the country. In this interview, we talk about how IVMF is solving transition problems and opening transition pathways for Veterans and their families. We talk about business ownership, credentialing and licensing programs, and how IVMF helps with all of these - for free. We talk about entrepreneurship, and how fear is the biggest obstacle on this path. We talk about how the military trains people to be planners, and how this can be a major obstacle to success. And we talk about the cure: small, actionable steps.

About Mike:
Dr. Mike Haynie is the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives & Innovation at Syracuse University. He is also the founding Executive Director of Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families. The IVMF is the nation’s first, interdisciplinary academic institute focused purposefully on informing and impacting the policy, economic, wellness, and social concerns the nation’s veterans and their families. Today the IVMF’s educational programs directly impact more than 35,000 veterans and family members annually, and the IVMF is widely acknowledged as the nation’s hub of academic thought leadership related to the post-service concerns of America’s veterans and military-connected families.Michael started out as an Officer in the Air Force, where he served for 14 years. Mike also serves as an appointed member of the U.S. Secretary of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach, and as a member of the advisory committee for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Veterans Coming Home project.

BTU #209 - Army Veteran to Serial Entrepreneur and #1 Amazon Author (Mike Nemeth)

BTU #209 - Army Veteran to Serial Entrepreneur and #1 Amazon Author (Mike Nemeth)

Why Listen:
Mike has such an original and transparent take about the military transition. Starting with his own unexpected departure from the military due to an injury, and how he had to overcome this adversity. We talk about the importance of having a “side hustle” and how Mike has published 9 books, one of which was the #1 book on Amazon’s military section (as well as one which was #6). We talk about entrepreneurship and all the things that you NEVER hear entrepreneurs talk about. And we talk about avoiding a comparative mindset, and all the pitfalls that leads to.

About Mike:
Mike Nemeth is the Founder of Emblem Athletic, which provides custom athletic apparel to thousands of athletes across the country, from high school teams, private gyms, to members of the US Olympic team. He started out at West Point, was unexpectedly medically discharged, worked in the defense sector in both industry and a government contractor, and then started his own company.  He's also currently on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the Dept. of Commerce. He is also the author of 9 books, one of which reached #1 on Amazon’s best-selling military books list.

BTU #208 - The Veteran Influencer Podcast (Timothy Mossholder)

BTU #208 - The Veteran Influencer Podcast (Timothy Mossholder)

About Tim:
Tim Mossholder works at Bradley-Morris as a Digital Candidate Outreach as well as their podcast host for the Veterans Influencer Podcast, where he has produced over 116 podcast episodes.. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Surface Warfare Officer for over six years, serving aboard the destroyer the USS Barry (DDG-52). He has worked for Bradley-Morris for over five years. He also works at MBA Veterans in Candidate Marketing and Digital Marketing.

BTU #207 - Davita, Healthcare Startups, and Healthcare Consulting (Liz Callahan)

BTU #207 - Davita, Healthcare Startups, and Healthcare Consulting (Liz Callahan)

Why Listen:
Those of you who smoke cigars have probably heard the phrase “knuckle burner.” Well, this is a “knuckle burner” of an interview - I found myself trying to use every last second to get Liz’s insight, and Liz and I cover a lot of ground in this interview. We talk about Liz’s unexpected departure from the military due to an injury, and the importance of being prepared for one’s transition to a civilian career. We talk about her experience in grad school admissions consulting: the importance of telling a story, translating one’s experience, and emphasizing one’s strengths. And we do a deep dive on the Healthcare industry, including DaVita, graduate school, a healthcare startup, healthcare consulting, working at an academic hospital… so many facets. And we also talk about having a side hustle, and how to best utilize headhunters.

About Liz:
Liz Callahan is a Healthcare Consultant at Callahan Partners. She started out at West Point, after which she served as a MedEvac Blackhawk pilot in the Army for nearly five years. After her military service, she worked at Davita as a Program Manager, she earned her MBA from UC Berkeley, she served as the Chief Operating Officer at Advon Healthcare, and she worked at the Stanford Health Care system as both a Program Manager and a Director of Transition Strategy.

BTU #206 - Tech Qualled: Helping Veterans Enter the High Tech Industry (Nick Breedlove)

BTU #206 - Tech Qualled: Helping Veterans Enter the High Tech Industry (Nick Breedlove)

Why Listen:
If you’re aspiring to enter the High Tech Industry, Tech Qualled is designed to help you get there… for free. They offer a 7-week program that teaches you the skills you need to succeed in your first job, and they pair you with employers at the end of your training. Nick talks about his experience starting Tech Qualled, which is also a great perspective for listeners who aspire to start their own company. We talk about training, about the scars of entrepreneurship, about sales and how important this is to entrepreneurship, about education and the tradeoffs a degree entails, and much more.

About Nick:
Nick Breedlove is a co-founder and the CEO of Tech Qualled, the nation's first enterprise dedicated exclusively to training Veterans and Early in Career individuals for customer-facing roles in the High Tech sector. Through a competitive, immersive and intense training program, Tech Qualled helps motivated Veterans achieve new levels professional potential in the Tech sector. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a helicopter pilot in the Navy for ten years, achieving the rank of Commander while serving as an Instructor Pilot for a Navy Boeing 737 squadron. After his military service he got his Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, prior to starting Tech Qualled.

BTU #205 - Marine Corps Veteran to IRONBOUND Boxing Founder (Mike Steadman)

BTU #205 - Marine Corps Veteran to IRONBOUND Boxing Founder (Mike Steadman)

Why Listen:

I found my conversation with Mike inspiring; 15-minutes into our interview, I donated to IRONBOUND Boxing. Mike is a great example of an entrepreneur - his passion, determination, and resilience come through in everything he says. His company is also a fantastic example of a hybrid organization that is both for-profit and socially driven. If you are considering entrepreneurship, or just want to hear about an incredible Military Veteran who is doing good in the world after his military service, this is the interview for you. If you are interested in supporting IRONBOUND Boxing, you can donate to their organization, or support them through introductions to companies (Prudential in particular) or by providing technical assistance.

About Mike:
Mike is the Founder of IRONBOUND Boxing, which helps employees get fit, have fun, and support a great cause. They provide on-site boxing classes to corporations of all sizes in order to improve participants' self-confidence, morale, and health. IRONBOUND Boxing is also a fundraising tool for the IRONBOUND Boxing Academy, our nonprofit boxing gym which provides free recreation to Newark youth & young adults. He started out at the Naval Academy, after which he served as a Marine Corps Officer for five years. He is in the process of earning his MA from Rutgers University, and graduated from the Stanford Ignite program.

BTU #204 - 27 Year Army Veteran to Founder of My Military Loans (Michael Fuller)

BTU #204 - 27 Year Army Veteran to Founder of My Military Loans (Michael Fuller)

Why Listen:
Michael is a great example of someone who - after 27 years of military service - goes on to a fulfilling and very different civilian career. His company - My Military Loans - has funded over 81 military Veteran companies. He shares more about My Military Loans, as well as advice for aspiring Veteran entrepreneurs. Many of the businesses he helps fund are franchises, so be sure to check out the show notes, which features over 5 other episodes related to franchises and entrepreneurship. 

About Michael:
Michael Fuller is the founder & CEO of My Military Loans which provides working and startup capital for veterans to launch and grow businesses with a focus on fighting back against predatory lenders taking advantage of veterans. LTC Fuller retired on April 30, 2017 from the United States Army after completing over 27 years of service. LTC Fuller entered the United States Army on December 5, 1988 as a Private First Class, serving for over 10 years as an enlisted soldier promoted to the rank of Sergeant. LTC Fuller was commissioned in March 1999 as a First Lieutenant and subsequently rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

BTU #200 - Black Hawk Down to Founder of Pinnacle Solutions (Mike Durant)

BTU #200 - Black Hawk Down to Founder of Pinnacle Solutions (Mike Durant)

Why Listen:
Mike had an incredible military career of 22 years, where he received the Purple Heart and where is exploits were chronicled in the movie, Black Hawk Down. His Civilian career has been equally impressive. He is the author of the book, In the Company of Heroes, which details the story after Black Hawk Down’s credits roll. He worked for six years and then started his own company, Pinnacle Solutions, which has nearly 400 employees and over $70M in revenue. This is a great interview for aspiring military Veteran entrepreneurs, as well as those who are interested in the Government Contracting industry.

About Mike:
Mike is President & CEO of Pinnacle Solutions, which provides a wide variety of products and services to NASA, the Department of Defense and industry partners including aircraft and weapon system Original Equipment Manufacturers. In ten years, Pinnacle has grown from a home office-based startup to over 375 employees and more than 70 subcontractor personnel operating in fourteen U.S. and international locations, with over $70M in revenue.

He was a member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) as a Blackhawk helicopter Flight Lead and Instructor Pilot. He retired from the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 Master Aviator after participating in combat operations Prime Chance, Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Gothic Serpent, during which he was shot down and held prisoner in 1993 after a raid in Somalia, which was chronicled in the movie, Blackhawk Down. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Valor Device and the Purple Heart. He was inducted into the Army Aviation Association of America Hall of Fame in 2008.