S1E10. I had the distinct honor to welcome Marine veteran and best-selling author, Scott Huesing, to The Veterans Business Podcast. Scott is well-known in the Marine and veterans communities for his tenacity and leadership, as well for authoring the book, Echo in Ramadi, which details Echo 2/4’s experience in Iraq. He served 24 years in the Marine Corps before retiring and transitioning into a career of writing and public speaking. We talked about knowing your value and seeing the value in every transition, in addition to host of other items!
More information about Scott Huesing.
Scott’s book, Echo in Ramadi.
AUTO-TRANSCRIBED – PLEASE FORGIVE ERRORS OR TYPOS
Scott Huesing 00:00
What are you worth? What is your value? What is your hourly rate? And if you cannot answer that question, you’re going to struggle.
Aaron Spatz 00:13
You’re listening to America’s entrepreneur, the podcast designed to educate, entertain, and inspire you in your personal professional journey. I’m your host, Aaron Spatz. And on the podcast, I interview entrepreneurs, industry experts, and other high achievers that detail their personal and professional journeys and business. My goal is to glean their experiences into actionable insights that you can apply to your own journey. If you’re new to the show, we’ve spoken with successful entrepreneurs, Grammy Award winning artists, best selling authors, chief executives, and other fascinating minds with unique experiences. We’ve covered topics such as how to achieve breakthrough and business, growing startups, effective leadership techniques, and much more. If you strive for continuous self improvement, and enjoy fascinating and insightful conversation, that the subscribe button, you’ll love it here at America’s entrepreneur. Scott, thanks for agreeing to be on the program. We appreciate you. Appreciate you being here. And as we’re talking earlier, would just love to hear a little bit more of your, your background in what, what compelled you to join the military and give us a little bit of idea of what you were able to do. When you serve.
Scott Huesing 01:27
Yeah, well, again, thanks for having podcast, Aaron. You’re in Southern California, which you’re with. And so the app, I mean, where do you where do you begin about, I think, to find out all about me, I mean, you can read all about me, because I’m a writer, I kind of barf it out there for everyone to dig into my life and all over social media. But being on this podcast, I think it’s it’s, it’s not about what I did during my 24 years in the Marine Corps or the lights as a wayward high school youth lighting and running from the cops and drinking underage. And that barely squeaked out of high school to join the Marine Corps and then enlisting, and is that I think a lot of people talk about that, both in business, in the military and in most communities about what they did. And I think there’s been a lot of people in my life that have given me such great advice and perspective that. Now for me, it’s all about what I’m doing. And moving forward in the next thing I can contribute not only to the veteran nonprofit space, as an as an artist, as a writer, as a contributing editor to online publications. But that’s a tough thing for people to do, because for the listeners out there, we’re both veterans. So it’s easy for us to talk about being in the military and being in the Marine Corps and having all these analogies but I think it’s it’s interesting to note that when is the Marine Corps especially we think it’s this great meritocracy, but it’s really not it is this a cutting score for promotion, and time and service and time and grading some guys just get it. And that used to drive me nuts when I’d hear the young guys or even my peers say yeah, I’m due for promotion next month, and like now you’re not due for anything. Next month, I’ll promote you based on what you’re capable of doing. And I think that if you subscribe to that mindset of what meritocracy is, of having earned that to be given responsibility for the next step, I think that that is important to always fall back on as a leader, as an independent business person. And as an entrepreneur, I think that that is one of the things that keeps me going every day is I set tasks for myself that goals, daily, weekly, monthly annual goals, to really drive myself forward. And I think I absolutely attribute that mindset to the Marine Corps and all the discipline that it provides you individually, but also, you’re surrounded by so many great people constantly that give you new ideas and really push you in that direction. So that’s, that’s worth talking about, I think on this episode, and I mean, I love talking about anything when it comes to being successful, especially for the veteran listeners that are out there.
Aaron Spatz 04:28
Sure. I mean, let’s let’s go ahead and just dive straight into it. So you, you talked a lot about planning and goal setting and so parlaying, that training that experience that you that you had coming out of the Marine Corps into now your your post military life, what does that what does that planning process look for? You look like for you each year. So I mean, let’s just say it’s, it’s q4 2019. What is what is your planning process? Look for? 2020?
Scott Huesing 04:53
Well, for me, I’m always I’m always writing I’m always doing doing something too. share stories and I know that that’s kind of part of your tagline to with what you do is being a storyteller and, and to do that, obviously, I’ve adapted or kind of bastardized the Marine Corps planning process and in everything that we do to really set out an annual plan of what I need to accomplish. And then I asked myself, this question is like, how do I accomplish these things? How do I discipline myself every day to write or make phone calls, or, you know, clear out my inbox, it could be the month, the mundane that really separates you. And so I mean, I use that planning process i And again, I surround myself with great people, I do, I do have some help with what I do. But also, it’s important not to spread yourself too thin. And one of the one of the things that I’ve done for myself, having gotten to this point is being able to say no, and a lot of people can’t say no to things, especially veterans, and I’m not picking on veterans, but I’m saying, we leave a life of service to others. And in my case, it was 24 years in the Marine Corps. And we have this natural tendency to want to do everything for everybody. And we also have this mindset that we have to do it for free. And for a lot of guys out in the business space or being entrepreneurs or artists, or whatever it is you’re doing podcasters you have to find a way to monetize that. Because at the end of the day, you got to keep the lights on TOO. And I think for veterans, you really have to do one thing, and ask yourself one question, and I say this to people a lot. What are you worth? What is your value? What is your hourly rate? And if you cannot answer that question, you’re going to struggle, you’re absolutely going to struggle, because I’ll give you an example a friend of mine, and I won’t mention any names. But she she calls me up and says that she got this invitation to go to this political party, and it was a luncheon, and she was going to speak and she said I didn’t even think I was going to get paid for this. There’s a whole lot that your first year, your New York Times bestselling author, you do all these things, you go around the country, and they gave her a check for $500. I said, Hold on a second, let me break this down. How long did it take you to prepare the notes for your discussion? Five or six hours? Is that okay? Right there five or six hours, let’s just say six, then an hour to get to the event, then an hour to drive home, and then probably two hours on site talking and then gripping and grinning. So there’s 10 hours, you’re telling me you’re only worth 50 bucks an hour? And I’m doing grunt math here. Right. And I don’t like to do I don’t like to do math in public because artillery. But yeah, 50 bucks an hour. And that really struck a chord with her. And I said, Look, I give this advice to a lot of people and someone in your position at your level and the experience you’ve gained. You have? No it’s your work.
Aaron Spatz 08:06
That’s stellar. I mean, that’s, that’s critical advice. And that was probably probably a pretty eye opening conversation. What was her reaction to that?
Scott Huesing 08:14
But she thanked me. And she says, hey, that’s why it’s Why listen to you is why you because you’re able to do that. And it’s not because it has nothing to do with accumulating wealth or, or being greedy or thinking I’m worth more than someone else in comparison. But I know what I’m worth. And I think that, especially when we’re talking about writing, or what I do is as a as a, as a public speaker going around the country is I absolutely know what I’m worth. And the other thing too is, and this kind of relates just to not just sharing my story from echo in Ramadi and the success of the book, but the springboard that that serves as a jumping off point to go share that with public audiences. And I’ve spoken to audiences up to you know, 8000 people, but I also speak to groups of 80 people or eight people it does, it doesn’t matter. But every time you do that, in this space, you’re getting up, you’re preparing, you’re rehearsing, you want to make it memorable, you want to make it informative you want I always want it to be entertaining, I always want this cool factor to be there when I show up and I meet new people, because I think that’s what they expect of me, and I want to deliver. But that also comes with a price. And I think that a lot of people don’t understand that when they ask people to come. do public speaking engagements is not only the travel, but also the time away from your family, the time away from other things you could be doing to make money for yourself and monetize your brand. All of those things are accumulative, and it’s it’s a 24 hour clock. So when you say Oh, I’m going to go do a speaking engagement and use the example I gave for my friend, you know, the 10 hours No, it’s not Is 10 hours, if you’re flying across the country, those are three days of your life. So whatever your hourly rate is, imagine your hourly rate, now being $100, an hour, whatever, I’m just using an example, but you’re gone for four days. So now it’s 96 hours, times $100. Okay, so that should be your feet. I mean, that’s just how you have to figure the math out, because you’re really giving four days of your life to an organization. And if it’s an organization that can’t afford that, that’s one thing. But if they can’t afford it, and they have the resources, and they don’t value your time, you really have to ask yourself that question. And this doesn’t necessarily apply to standing up on a stage, you know, picking open the scab again, and sharing your life story in some of the grim details of you know, being a combat veteran, and dealing with a lot of the trauma that I dealt with, and war and the fighting and the friction and sharing stories of people that, in my opinion, could be applied to any endeavor in business. So whether you’re an author or writer, or artist, or an actor, or you’re working at a chemical plant, or pouring coffee, you have to know what your time is worth and what your skills are, and, and how those two things correlate to be really successful.
Aaron Spatz 11:22
That’s spot on. And, and I like to even take it a step further. So for the veterans that may be listening in, and I think this is really, this really addresses the heart of the matter where you guys got out, they were, they were connected to a sense of purpose. And they really clearly understood what it was that they had to do their, their career had a very predictable path, they were usually given three options, one of which is really bad. And it was all about service, you know, service to the country service to the unit, whatever. But now that they’re out. And I’ve talked with many, many veterans that struggle with this as guys that are floundering and or they’re frustrated in their civilian life pursuits. What did you do? Or like, can you share with us a little bit of your process? Or what did that look like for you? And, you know, what advice would you give to those people?
Scott Huesing 12:15
Well, if the thing is, when you, when you’re in the military, he is not only a sense of obligation, but your duty, that you’re bouncing by the oath, you take either enlisted or officer. And you’re really, there’s not an option, I think, when you when you’re on active duty, so you’re forced to do that. And you’re driven by so many factors to, to work hard to exercise to show up on time, all of those things, you’re kind of forced into that because there’s a lot of severe repercussions for that. When guys and and women transition from the military. And that whole system, that regimented system is removed, through whatever case, again, you have to be the person that disciplines yourself. And that’s a really tough question for people to to answer is they take off the uniform, they hang up the rifle, and now they’re sitting at a desk, or they’re on their couch, or wherever, and asking themselves, how am I going to discipline myself to be successful? And asking themselves the really important question, I think the most important question is, how do I make myself happy? That’s a very, very important question. And I’m not one of those guys that will lack esoteric either, Aaron, I think it’s, I think it’s it. But I think it’s a it is kind of a philosophical questions like, what, what do I need to do to make me happy. And because here’s the newsflash, the job is not going to make you happy, the paycheck is not going to make you happy, the people in the office are not going to make you happy, your wife, your husband, they’re not going to make you happy the kids are going to make you have to make you happy. And that isn’t said to sound selfish or self absorbed. What I’m saying is you have control over that. You’re the one you’re the one that sets the conditions for your own happiness. And I think all the things I’ve mentioned previously, if you’re surrounded by those things, that are positive influences in you that does that gives you satisfaction, and I think defines the word happiness. But everybody’s definition of happiness is also going to be different as well. But when we’re talking about moving from the military, into the private sector, in whatever capacity that is, I think that if being in the military was what made you extremely happy, then why did you get out Why did you leave? So I think people do that because they’re seeking different things. But, you know, I’m a big, big fan of writing things down. Obviously, I’m a writer I get paid to write but I would submit The process in and of itself is you have to be disciplined to really write out the plan, physically write it out, I don’t care if it’s on a post it note or on a, on a napkin at Starbucks, it doesn’t matter. Or sitting down and doing a full blown five paragraph order on your computer, man, you got to write out the plan. And then ask yourself those questions like, and also know along the way to achieve the goal and accomplish the mission, there’s going to be punctuated moments that you’re not going to be happy. And you have to push through that because that’s where things get tough. And that’s the important thing of just doing the work, that’s ultimately going to be the thing that contributes to your success. That’s what, that’s what works for me, no one helped me write a best seller, I didn’t wake up one day and just become a best selling author. I worked at it. And I took all those steps to educate myself on using the skills I had as a writer to apply those and understand the process and also learning the business of entertainment. That’s a tough, that’s a tough thing to do. And especially a lot of veterans think so I could never do that. But I got a new theory, there’s a ton of great examples, especially in the wake of this war, that’s still going on. Actually, there’s a lot of great examples of guys that have been successful that have done that. And I love sharing those contacts. And I love being a part of that network. Because it’s it’s just one very humbling and to very inspiring.
Aaron Spatz 16:30
Well, let’s go ahead and pivot to the book. So your your author, the best selling book Expo in Ramadi, and I’ve read the book, phenomenal, phenomenal work, and I appreciate you taking so much time and so much care to, to craft, you know, and, and tell that story. Tell us the story behind the story. So like what, what compelled you to to write this down? And it was published just a couple of years ago now. So what, what compelled you to tell that story and kind of walk us on that journey of was it something that you were you’ve been working on for a number of years? Or was it just kind of came to you one day?
Scott Huesing 17:10
Well, I the whole purpose of the story wasn’t to lock myself in my studio and and have this giant catharsis and share all these emotions. That came later. I did want to tell the story of the Battle of Ramadi, because I thought it was it is a very significant piece of history. In this war, we’ve been fighting in Iraq. And I didn’t want that battle to fall under the shadows of other great battles. The Kandahar’s and the delusions and the you know, kobolds and all these all these other places, we’ve we’ve seen more on the on the media because the battle for Ramadi, which started in 2004. Really, it by all accounts was a two year fight for that city with the Ebon ebb and flow of of fighting insurgents. But when we went back in 2006, at the height of the insurgency only a couple months after they ordered the surge strategy from President Bush and General Abizaid that is a city that they chose to stand and fight and my Marines and the soldiers and sailors that fought with me, were in direct contact with a very well trained me for day in and day out. I mean, we were fighting to three, four or five times a day in direct contact. And luckily, by the sheer leadership at every level of the the fine men and women that that fought alongside me, they were very successful, and I couldn’t have been prouder. And I am to this day of how they fought and how they took care of each other and how they took care of me. Every single day, it makes makes me extremely proud. I get a little welled up with emotion just thinking about it. But I’m still very connected to those people. And so that’s why I wanted to share this story. And as the, in the book, I think in a couple days, we’ll hit that two year mark we published on February 9 of 2018. And we launched on Fox and Friends with Brian Kilmeade. And the whole Fox family. The story in and of itself, in echoing Hurmati, I think started out being easier to explain about the fighting and the friction and all the emotions of war. But as it’s developed, it has just become this evergreen book that is still continuing to stall and has been number one bestseller multiple times. It’s number one on Amazon audible right now. Again, that story of the fighting has really just become a backdrop to what the story’s really about. And that’s people because they did at the front of the stage of the story now about these young men and women who fought about the families that supported us while we fought in our amazing Gold Star families who lost so much and still feel the pain of that loss. You yet still remain really inextricably linked to the veterans and the military space. And let them know that they’re not forgotten? And that’s a long answer to a short question, I think but it is it is. It is a complicated question. You know, why did I write this story, but that that’s what really drove you to that. And now, two years later, the flood of emails and DMS that I get on social media, from those who fought alongside me, to total strangers, like you, we’ve never met, you know, that I’ve read, read the book and give me feedback and say how important it was for them to understand about what their husband went through, or their, their brother or their sister, or whatever the case may be, to have that explained to them. And for me, again, it’s very humbling. And I’m very honored that when I received those emails, I try my best to read and respond to every single one of them. But there’s been 1000s that have reached out to me. And if you’re asking your questions, should I write to that tell my story? My answer is always think, yes, do it. But you got to
Aaron Spatz 21:09
do the work. And no doubt there’s a there’s a ton of work that goes into the whole process of writing a book, so I, I can only imagine the, their learning journey that you’re on. I mean, did you have anybody coaching you through that? Or was that like, completely? I mean, you just you just studied and worked your tail off?
Scott Huesing 21:27
Well, yeah, it’s, it’s pretty simple formula to do it. Anybody can write. Now, can everybody write? Well, I think it’s a learned skill, though I and I grew up not being a great student. It’s no secret. I barely graduated high school with a 1.24 GPA. I don’t think anyone even listen to this podcast, or you Aaron can beat that. I enlisted in the Marine Corps. And then was in the Reserves as a machine gunner and went to Illinois State. And I did much better I graduated in three years with a with a 3.0, was working 40 hours a week to keep my boat afloat. And I say that because that is a testament to the discipline you learn as a young Marine to be successful in the future. And then his fate would have it, I got my commission, thanks to a young, motivated Sergeant in Champaign, Illinois. And, you know, 24 years later, I retired. But throughout that whole time, I was always an artist, I was in Fine Arts in college, I’ve always been writing technical writing op ed pieces here and there. And writing in and of itself is such a portable medium, you can mean you can have an idea. Or you can have a thought or you can have a vision or plant and you just be just write it down there, wherever you’re at. I think for me, that became easy. And then the whole technical part of it. I was just talking about this on Vinnie Vargas, this podcast of in Utah, because he’s a writer, he’s an actor on mines. And we get hit up all the time. From especially from veterans. They asking that question, oh, I want to write a book. And how do you how do you write a book, people that email that to me, I just hit the delete key, be delete, because I can’t spend hours of my life teaching you this process. But there’s also guys that are smarter, like, Hey, I’ve written a book about this. If you could, I’d love to send you a page or a couple pages, some sample of my writing, and then maybe ask you a couple questions. If you can make time. Again, people on the other end in the ionosphere, need to understand respect your time and know that your time is valuable because you don’t just sitting around, you know, binge watching Netflix eating bonbons. As a writer in your home, you have to have a discipline plan to do that. But for me, I did it all myself. And you know, I It sounds rudimentary, but I Googled it, how to write a book, Google it, how many chapters are in a book, Google, how many words are in a Chapter, Google it, how to find in a Google it and all these things how to and then writing a book is easy part. And then selling it is not as easy. And then you get and then you sell the book. And then you have to go into the whole editing process. And then you think, Oh, great, man, I sold my book to a massive mainstream publishing house. They’re gonna have publicists and marketing and I had this editor who’s really cool and, and they love the work that will only go so far. And I think that that’s one of the things too that has distinguished me with my, my publishing house, Regnery in DC and the whole staff there is they understand that I didn’t put all the work on them I carry the load to and I have really found those spots throughout the process, what you write the book you sell, it gets printed, but then you have to turn your cap around and really learn about marketing and how to sell what you’ve written. And I don’t think Sell it to mean, you have to sell a lot of copies. That’s not the intent that wasn’t my intent was, I would have been happy if all the Marines in the company read the book and just knew the stories be told it, it obviously did much better than that. But if you just write it, and you’re not willing to market it and promote it, and I don’t say that to be gratuitous, but if you could have written the best book in the world, but if you’re not willing to tell people about the story, no one’s ever gonna read it. And that’s a sad thing. And I hear horror stories of that, do they? I wrote this book, but it’s not doing very well. What are you doing to market it? I mean, I learned more about social media and search engine optimization and cross marketing promotion at age 46, and ever wanted to learn. But it’s also something new and exciting that really adds to everything I do, not only in writing, or podcasting, or whatever it is, I think that that ability to continually transition and learn new things, and being a self learner is really important to your success.
Aaron Spatz 26:02
Yeah, it’s super critical. And being being just a perennial student, you know, just always, always being curious to learn more. And no doubt, that’s, that’s been a huge part of your story and your journey. Share, share with us a little bit about the about your transition process specifically. So, you know, we’re most of us are familiar with with your story. But then, but what did it look like? You came back off deployment? And then you eventually I mean, I know it wasn’t right away. But you know, a few years later, you’re getting out? Like, what did that? What did that journey look like for you?
Scott Huesing 26:42
Well, I always tell myself, when I when it stops being fun. You need to transition. And I say that with all love and affection for the Marine Corps. But at 24 years, I’ve either been a marine or leading brands my entire career, and also physically due to some some injuries I sustained. You know, I just felt it wasn’t fair. You know, people look at me now. And they say like, Hey, you look like you’re in great shape. But well, yeah, but I work at it. But I thought in fairness to the Marines, because it is a young man’s game. You know, I thought 24 years was a good point for me to try something new. And I think that the real story for me, especially about transition isn’t about what I did afterwards is the process itself about transitioning is being excited to try new things. And when you do 24 years, or if you do four years, a lot of people get to that precipice, and have or that fulcrum point, whatever you want to call it of transition, on what side, they’re gonna fall down. And they view that as something scary. And I always try and tell them to purge that word from their lexicon. Don’t be scared, be excited, you’re trained, you’re prepared to do these things. And transitioning, there’s also a model where the old parochial old school mentality of, I have to do this for four years, or I have to do this for 20 years and be in this job to be successful. Make a name for myself, I think that has been raised to some degree. And a lot of veterans will struggle with that to Aaron, is they think, Oh, I did this job for 20 years. Now, I have to hop into another job to do that for 20 years. And then I’ll have retirements and this, that and the other. Now, that’s not the case, you can transition, do something you you love it, find something that you want to do, whether it’s in your related career field, or maybe it’s something completely different that you’ve retooled yourself for. And then you do it for a year, you do it for two years. And then you think you know what, I need to challenge myself again, because if that job isn’t challenging you, and there’s not room to grow, you have to force yourself to transition. And the military is a great example of that. Because we force our guys to do that every 18 months to 36 months, like hey, guess what, we’re moving you different coasts are moving you different base, we’re moving to a different country, so that they’re forced to that and we’ve adapted to that. But if you’re not doing that, and applying that in the private sector, you’re going to stagnate. And I think that you lose, you lose the energy, you lose creativity. And every transition can be good. Even a bad transition, I think could benefit people if they get fired or sacked from some job. don’t view it as a negative. That’s an example of that something I absolutely don’t want to do again, because the results came out poorly. And use that to your advantage. It’s nothing to even hide on a resume. I think it’s something that is a career enhancer, it’s a day it was just I was not a good fit for this. And it took this whole experience for me to figure out. Yeah, that wasn’t a good fit for me. And I decided that this is the right career path for me or this is something I should be doing that makes me happy. And you could even explain that in an interview. in those terms, I
Aaron Spatz 30:00
think is something we talk about transition as a whole is the process needs to be repeated every single transition you do, whether it’s in life, whether it’s in career, I think every one of those transitions, build your resume just makes you a better person. And that’s certainly a great perspective, as far as using those opportunities to really point out, you know, a little bit of your thought process because I, and that’s something people aren’t expected, or they’re not used to hearing such raw truth. Because normally, those, those kinds of details would be covered up, or there’d be some, some cover story, to kind of mask that. So by just owning it, and in sharing, like, okay, that’s why this didn’t work, but this is why this is gonna work. That I mean, it certainly would make you stand out, I mean, I would say 99 times out of 100, it’s gonna make you stand out. But feel, feel free to pull from the book, if you’d like to, if not, it’s it’s all good. But would, would love to hear just any of your stories, whether, you know, whether is your time when, you know, while you’re on active duty, or since you’ve transitioned, but like, what have been some other setbacks that may have been something that you had, that you had to overcome while putting the book together? It may have been some some some of your own transition processes. But what are some other lessons some things that you learned that that you’re so glad that you’ve learned now, and that you’d love to share?
Scott Huesing 31:30
Well, I share a lot of my own personal struggles in the book is relevant in that went during the writing process was something that it took getting other sets of eyes on the work to give me feedback. And I think my one of my editors for that. And she said, Hey, this is really, it’s really great. It’s developing well, but there’s one thing missing. There’s not enough value in the book. Because Marines are really never accused of being these humble creatures. But in, in private, I think we are we do carry a lot of humility, and we don’t promote ourselves. But I had to share more of my own story. And I did that. And that was a tough thing to do. But it was also the right thing to do. from an artistic standpoint, knowing that I had pulled so many stories and so much pain from all of the people that contributed to the work and the families that I had to give of myself, that was a hard thing to do. And then also throughout the process, being able to understand that you’re going to be told no, a lot. And I think in the military, when you’re at a certain rank, or at a certain level, you’re really not used to be being told no to on a repeated basis. But as I went into that process, as I’m trying to find an agent and a publisher, and to promote the work, you have to prepare yourself for a lot of nose. And you also have to have the mindset to think every time somebody says no, to me, that’s one step closer to someone saying yes to me, because the odds are just going to get greater and greater, or less and less in this case. And ultimately, that was my, my philosophy. And my plan moving forward was he knows or part of the game knows a part of life. But if you really believe in something, you’re really passionate about it, ultimately, you will find a way and adapt your plan that will make you successful.
Aaron Spatz 33:35
That’s a great. That’s a great perspective to have. And no doubt that would I mean, that would apply to really every area of life in terms of just being being persistent. And it’s a great attitude to have to have just, I’m just I’m getting I’m getting closer to that. Yes, this is probably a mantra a lot of salespeople sell themselves every day. Every time I get a no, I’m getting closer to that to that. Yes. So now, thanks for thanks for sharing that. And for those of you listening. Yeah.
Scott Huesing 34:05
I think it’s important too, because the other thing that we’re always told is military planners don’t fall in love to your plane. And you have to be flexible as well. I think I’ll use my own personal example is, when you write something that’s very close to you, that’s very emotional, very personal, like I did an eco Hurmati you do fall in love with that. But I was also I’d also been trained so well not to fall in love with that plan, the tactical plan or my concept for whatever it was, when you have other people read the work and they’re, you know, from from editors to friends, and those are closest they like, yeah, I didn’t really like this. You have to be willing to make adjustments, especially as a writer as an entertainer, because people don’t buy books and read them and spend nine hours or live to be bored. They buy them to be entertained. And if you’re not willing to modify your plan, and and take a step off of the path, you think you’re walking down to really get to the final destination, you’re going to struggle, and you’re going to languish in that process. And I think for, for me as an as an artist, and storyteller, that’s been another key ingredient to being successful and being able to take criticism and constructive criticism and feedback from multiple sources that will really benefit you in the end. So that that adage is not just some bumper sticker about don’t fall in love with your plan, you got to find a way to apply it in your daily life. And that’s not just for writing, I think that that could apply to anyone. And the subset to that Aaron is listening to those people who are around you. And then I make no, no hidden secret about this is the secret to my success is being constantly surrounded by people that are smarter than me. That is, there’s no secret there. And I’m very fortunate to do that. But I also have found that the people who are negative influences in my life, it could be from co workers or even family members to total strangers who want to make some random snipe on social media that I don’t even know. I cut those people out of my life like a cancer because all of that negativity is nothing but detriment to your own happiness and your success.
Aaron Spatz 36:28
That’s great. That’s a that’s a great attitude to have. And it’s something that every single one of us need to take on board. What have you been up to now so you know, the books, the books come out. And you’ve been really, you’ve been really focused on that. But what is your what is your day to day life look like now.
Scott Huesing 36:51
I am continuing to write I am working on two other books right now one’s another great story about military heroics, which I won’t give too much away until it hits the shelves, and then I’m working on another, another period piece about you know, what we’re doing is as a culture and as a nation. With this these wars we’ve been fighting, I think it’s important to talk about those and, and that’s really an extrapolation of a lot of the opinion editorials I write for Fox News or USA Today, or town hall or whatever. I think that when you write for those periodicals eat, you’re very limited to 750 to 1000 words, because that’s American, right, we’re sort of attention span theater. But I want to pull all those together and really, really draw those out and explain things about how we’re doing that. I just finished writing a full length feature documentary, which is loosely tied to the book. And I’ve gotten a lot of great support on that, and gotten involved with, you know, some my friends up in Hollywood. And my friends, Dan Anthony Zucker, who is offered to be the executive producer of the project. And most people don’t know his name, because he’s not out there. But he created this little show called CSI, which most people have heard of. So I’m very honored to have his support. With the project, he fell in love with it. And he said he was in so that’s a, that’s a win for me as far as, again, doing something I know nothing about. But I’m excited to do it. I didn’t go to film school. I didn’t study that in in any any of my career pursuits, but it’s something I want to do. And as a storyteller, it’s just a different medium that I’m excited to learn about. And so that keeps me pretty busy professionally, in addition to traveling around the country and attending, you know, conferences and private functions to speak and share my story of leadership and team building, overcoming adversity to any group that wants to listen, you know, all of those things, pretty much consumed my day. And oh, by the way, I’m also the executive director of a amazing veteran nonprofit called Dave the brave.org. That’s been around for five years helping hundreds of veterans and Gold Star families who are dealing with the effects of posttraumatic stress through outreach programs. I’m also involved with other Veterans Service Organizations. I’m the president of the Second Battalion, fourth Marines Association and I’m the co host and producer of the break it down show a podcast that we’ve been doing now for years of Pete Turner, he invited me in and we’ve done over 650 episodes from and you name it rockstars to authors, actors, PhDs doctors, it the list goes on and on. So keeps me keeps me pretty busy. But I’m always looking for that that next step and and also not just these great ideas, but the real time sucker is developing the plans, make all of those things come to fruition. Because without that, you know, those ideas are just kind of fluttering around and they don’t, they don’t really have any, any tooth or any traction to gain momentum forward and actually become realized. So that’s it, man. I mean, that’s it’s setting goals for yourself, I think is, you know, we’re talking about this as no veteran veteran business podcast is, you have to have those plans, you have to have those goals. And then when it gets to that final stage, whether it’s a book or an article, or a podcast, or documentary film, how do you monetize that? How do you how do you make it all worthwhile, and it’s not all about money. Sometimes it’s about the people and the relationships that you develop along the way. And for me, that’s rewarding in and of itself. But I couple that with the the thing we started talking about on this podcast is understanding what your value is, and knowing what you’re worth.
Aaron Spatz 40:57
That’s so critical. And so no doubt sounds like you’re incredibly busy. And always, always run around with, with something going on. But with that in mind, I’d love to give this last segment back to you, you’ve probably already covered a lot of the things that were probably on your mind. But if there’s any if there are any other lessons learned, you know, good, bad, terrible, what if there’s any other lessons you’d love for someone to know, maybe early on in their professional journey, we have post transition with would love to get your thoughts on that as we wrap up.
Scott Huesing 41:37
The biggest thing is just stay connected. And that doesn’t necessarily mean staying connected to your military community that you learned so much from and it’s the smallest demographic in America, or American military, less than one half of 1%. But we’re also the most culturally, and religiously and racially diverse organization in the world. And that, looking back on it, you’re constantly surrounded by so many different people, so many great people and some bad, we shouldn’t be better share of rotten apples in there to which we quickly and sometimes summarily dismiss. But even those examples of that can can benefit you in some degree. And being able to look at that, that under that microscope of the military of how culturally diverse it is, as you move forward and doing whatever it is that you want to pursue when you transition from the military is stay connected to all of those different networks. And one of the things that again, being surrounded by great people, they’re not always known to me, sometimes I’ll do these events, or I’ll go speak and it’s something totally out of my comfort zone. But I forced myself to get out of the house, right, languish over packing a suitcase, and drive and fly. And I meet all of these amazing people from fields totally unrelated to what I’m doing now, what I did in the past, and being able to share my story and make that connection. I think that allowing yourself to do that. What it’s shown me is all of these different circles, whether it’s from the military to the private sector, first responders, universities, different ages, different racial groups, cultural groups, all those circles have tended to overlap. And as they overlap, they grow closer and closer together. And imagine these circles just overlapping at different layers, and they build this huge column of support that you can really rely on. So being able to do that and not isolate yourself staying connected and being willing to connect to other groups. That is really powerful.
Aaron Spatz 43:51
Scott, I just want to thank you so much for taking time to be here. And thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for your 24 years of service. And and of course, thank you for telling the story of your unit. And it’s been a sincere pleasure.
Scott Huesing 44:08
Yeah. And to you, Aaron, thank thanks for your service as well. It’s all the veterans out they’re all the Marines, obviously big Semper Fi to everybody and just know that I’m honored to be on this podcast. If you want to buy the book, you can go on Amazon. You can find me on Instagram at Echo and Ramadi. Follow me, I do some book signings and giveaways. We’re gonna do some good stuff here coming up very soon. And always happy to help. So people can always find me at Echo in Ramadi, and remember, if you go to Amazon and buy a copy of the book, a portion of the proceeds do go to save the brave.org So you’re not just getting the story in you’re gonna be helping veterans as well. So it’s, it’s an honor and a privilege, man and I’m glad to be on the show with you.
Aaron Spatz 44:57
Thanks for listening to America’s entrepreneur. If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review or comment on your preferred social media platform. share it out with friends, family, coworkers, others in your network. And of course you can write me directly at Erin at Bold media.us That’s a Ron at Bold media.us Till next time