#17. The FINAL episode of Season ! We take a look at the remaining episodes from this season and examine some the biggest highlights and best moments. Season 2 airs NEXT week and will be in both audio AND video, housed primarily on YouTube for the video format. Go to the channel and SUBSCRIBE so you can get both the audio AND video! And a BIG thank you to listening!
Aaron Spatz 00:06
I’m Aaron Spatz, and this is the Veterans Business Podcast. A podcast centered around the stories of US military veterans, and their adventures in the business world following their time in service. Its stories of challenges and obstacles, and an inside look at how veterans find their life’s work, their purpose, and their post military lives. So this is it, we are at the end, this is part two of the season one recap episode, we are going to cover the remaining episodes that we did not cover last week. So starting at episode eight with Max Garcia, and it will take us all the way through episode 15. With Christopher Hummel, I’m excited to share this with you. These are some amazing episodes just like you listen to last week. And so let’s jump right in.
Max Garcia 00:58
So the what I always said is that the best part about being a sergeant major is that people bring the biggest problems to my office, people with life, challenging things. And also the I can see the best things about Office. The other thing that’s fun about being a sergeant majors you get, you get to talk to your Marines every week information. So you out there, you get a big bunch of Ranger any kind of pump them up for the weekend, or you get asked to speak at a birthday ball or a couple scores. And I just love that. So therefore, I decided to become a motivational speaker and life coach and the short version about what I say, I use my combat experience to help people conquer, whether it be leadership, mental health, can be anything.
Aaron Spatz 01:37
Max was a true delight to have on the show. And his introduction was terrific. That’s why I let him just introduce himself. But we’re going to hear a lot about the way that he sets goals and the way that he helps guide others towards their goals. And so I’m excited for you to listen to the way that he approaches, tackling people’s life’s problems.
Max Garcia 01:54
I’ll say that too, for everybody who’s out there, that, you know, once you have saved, I don’t know, two years in service, maybe even less. You become a marriage counselor, fitness counselor, financial counselor, you become all those things in one without any qualification learned by drinking from the firehose. And another thing too, is that for those who are transitioning out, if you know you’re going to get out, I’m thinking a year or two out, experiment around with whatever business it is you think you’re going to want to get involved in. I don’t think I’m big enough. I’m a big real estate investor. And I started doing that, about halfway through my career. And, you know, learn, if you’re, if you take the time to experiment with your online business, or whatever it is you do, rather than just drinking beer and watching football on the weekends, because don’t pay, you don’t have time, because you do have time. You know, rather than playing video games, if you experiment around with whatever it is you’re interested in, you will find out what you really like, you also make mistakes, while you still have your military paycheck coming in. You invest a little bit of money in some help. Building your website, building your blog, building your brand, building your logo, invest some some time and money and effort in building those things. Experimenting around the making mistakes while you’re still in, versus when you’re out. Find yourself a mentor, find someone who is willing to spend some time with you, and have a chat. I don’t know, once a month, maybe a couple times a month, but not just a five second chat where they say, oh, you should read it. Oh, do that, oh, go to that course. There’s someone who’s actually going to sit down with you. Look at your record, look at what you’ve done. And then compare that to what you want to do. And give you quality. That by step advice. That is a huge mistake I did that I made. And luckily, I didn’t pay the price. Too hard for it. But where I did pay the prices was when I first started real estate investing. I just went out on my own. And yeah, that looks like a good deal. And so I bought Oh, that looks like a good deal. So I bought and did not have a mentor. That is a huge thing. I recommend a mentor a coach. But the way to do it is just ask someone Hey, you know, after after lunch, do you have a few minutes to you know, answer a few questions. And I was just gonna ask your advice on something you asked somebody that looks like or they look like they they’re not busy at the time. Hey, did you miss it to I’d like to get your advice on something and for some reason with egos we have a problem doing that. I can I can I meet with you during lunch and I just want to get your advices from get your take on something. And then you have you’re prepared you have questions written down those questions. Start a dialogue. Those questions start a dialogue you ask. They give you some answers. And then you say okay, got it. I’m gonna I’m gonna work on that. And then get back to you. And you get back to them say hey, I did that. Here’s how well it worked or didn’t work, and then they give you some follow on advice. And then you’re off to the races, you are light years ahead of your peers.
Aaron Spatz 05:08
These next two clips are especially fantastic. He goes straight for the heart, with the veterans community, and really challenging the way that we think towards our life pursuits after we’ve served. And then at the very end, he also covers how you set goals, and really the mindset around setting a goal, and how to just a slight shift in the way that you think and the way that you frame what it is you want, can make all the difference.
Max Garcia 05:33
There’s this whole vibe about so many veterans that they think that is the best thing they’ve ever done in their life. And they think that’s the best thing they will ever do in their life. In that man, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, being a veteran is so honorable, and I’m so proud that I did it. However, I can tell you right now, my best work is yet to come by far. And everyone should look at it that way. Because, you know, you have this thing called freedom and your DD 214 in hand. So you’ve got the credentials, you know, you’ve got, you’ve got the Been there done that T shirt, which gives you just street credibility, you know, you walk into a room and credibility just dripping off of you. And then you have your time to be able to do what you want to do with that. So for all my veterans out there, stop, you know, posting on social media, how you feel sorry for yourself that that was the best thing you’ve ever done AND, and OR could do with your life, and it was like 20 years ago, Stop, just stop thinking that you’re still the same person, you got that under your belt, use it, use it wisely. Use it as leverage, you’ve got something that, you know, very few people have less than 1% of the nation wears any uniform whatsoever, less than 1% of the nation. So you’re special leverage that don’t sit there and you’re in your sorrows saying, oh, woe is me, I wish I hadn’t got out, that was the best thing I’ve ever done, I can’t do anything else better stop thinking that your best work is yet to come. If you look at it, that way, you’re not certain how to look at it that way, or you don’t see it that way, call me, then I will pick your skill skills apart, which you’ve forgotten enough. And I’ll tell you exactly what you got to do to apply it in the civilian world. And I mean, you can become 10 times 10 times the young buck fresh out of high school that, that you were in the military. I hear a lot of people say, oh, you know, this year, I’m going to lose weight. And if you write down lose weight, and you’re focused on weight, that’s exactly what you’re going to get more of your focus should be, I weigh 130 pounds by set date, or whatever the number is for you. And, and I will do this by there, because that way it engages your subconscious mind better, and engage your subconscious mind from the direction of focusing on what you want, instead of what you don’t want. I hear a lot of people say, oh, you know, in 2020, I’m going to get out of debt. Okay, well hold on before you write that down. Or before you focus on that if you focus on debt, that’s exactly what you’re going to get more of. Instead, your written ambition, your written goal should say, I will have all three credit cards paid to zero balance by June 1 2020. I’ll have it paid to halfway at five grand by April 1 2020. I will do this by taking the following actions number 123. These things help you to focus your subconscious mind on what you want, not what you don’t want. Versus just most people, you know, they make these new year’s resolutions. It’s like they only have a vague and mystic concept, lingering in the back of their mind of the things they want to have do or become. And then they wonder why another year goes by, I mean ever give them
Aaron Spatz 08:57
really enjoyed having max on the program, I would definitely suggest that you go back and listen to his entire episode from start to finish. And everybody else for that matter. There’s a ton of just amazing guests that we’ve been able to have on the show. And I would really encourage you to go back and pick apart some of the lessons learned that everyone has shared. We now shift gears to James Mabel James is a fantastic guest also. And so we jump right into his story about how he joined the Marine Corps and that whole process.
James Mable 09:25
My senior year, I always remember this. Everybody was talking about what they were going to do after high school. I mean, literally, I heard everyone say they’re going to a&m, they’re going to UT there. I mean, everyone had plans. And for me, I really didn’t have a plan of exactly what I was going to do. I was a little depressed by that because I heard so many excited voices and just hearing what everyone was doing. And for me, I was like, you know, I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m going to do. And I just remember this was probably the last month of high school. Either we took a picture, or we did the senior trip, one of these, it was so long ago. But we were all in a hallway, hundreds of us in a hallway. After we took the picture. And the Marines, the recruiters were at our high school, and they were coming down the hallway. And I just saw the uniforms. And I immediately thought about my uncle. And I’m, you know, in a crowd of hundreds of people, and the recruiter saw me, they looked right at me. And one of them walked up to me and asked me, What are your plans after high school? And I said, I don’t know. He said, Well, would you like to come with us? And I’ll say, okay, and literally, I left the school, and I went with him down to the recruiting station. And they talked to me about, you know, joining the military, and, and just what what it would be like, and so, obviously, I was very, very inspired. And, in luckily, and I didn’t know this, but luckily, my uncle, he was obviously still in the military at the time. But he was stationed in Houston at the Houston Mets. And they knew him because of the recruiters in College Station. You know, they, Whenever someone’s signing up any branch, they’re going down to the Houston maps, and being processed. And then going from there. Well, he, my uncle was working at the Houston maps. And I call them and I talked to him, and I was debating the Marines or the army. And he kind of sold me on you know, afterwards, he’s like, you know, think about, you know, what that resume is going to look like, you know, the fact that you’ve joined the Marines, and you have that experience on your resume. Think about after the Marines. I was nine, I was 10 years later, out of the military, I didn’t have any experience. I just had a college degree. And so that didn’t work. I was applying for various opportunities and getting no callbacks. Then I focused on the private sector and was applying for jobs. And literally getting no callbacks at all. I was applying for jobs, actually, before I graduated college. And then after I graduated college, and even after I graduated college, I went back and you know, pursued my master’s. Because then I was thinking about teaching. So I enrolled in an ad program. And still I couldn’t find a job even teaching. This is, you know, during the recession, it was tough. And so I can understand and relate to people. Now, even with a 4% unemployment rate, how competitive it is now after 2008. So that’s, that drives me even in my current profession, because I just that that experience of first getting a degree, and I’ve always been told all my life to pursue a bachelor’s degree. And that’s the, the link to the American dream and, and just having that scary feeling of like, Look, I I went and did what everyone told me to do. And I can’t find a job, I cannot get even a call back. And that was very upsetting.
Aaron Spatz 13:05
That had been so frustrating. I mean, that I can’t even imagine what that what that what that experience is like, almost like you’ve been lied to?
Well, I think a lot of us, and I was older mind, I was 30. Now the thing about those millennials that graduated, you know, at 22, during the recession, yeah, you felt like you know that someone didn’t tell you the whole truth. And so now I’m just totally focused on ensuring that people are prepared to pursue their careers, that is not just about going through the motions and getting a degree anymore. Just this, this, the idea of career services, pushing students to be more prepared to pursue their careers, indicates how competitive the job market is, you know, if you’re having to really, you know, have a world class resume, have the best interviewing skills, have multiple internships, under your belt, be involved in a student organization, have gone to a career fair, have a LinkedIn account, had I mean, all of these kind of quiver of arrows in your quiver, in order to be prepared, that just indicates that there’s a lot of individuals out there who went through the motion of getting a college degree. And, and some of us like me, we’re just not fully briefed on what it really takes to start a career. We were just thinking transactionally about first getting a degree and then starting a job. You know that I’ll worry about finding a job after I complete my degree. And now, more than ever, it’s important to start your career before you finish your degree. It’s just a joy for me, after my experience getting started with my own career later in life It’s a joy, helping others get started learning in me just learning from my own mistakes and just not being informed, and so that I just feel every day and what I do, I’m paying it forward because of that. So I this is just, I enjoy what I do. And as long as I am positively impacting others, I feel unfulfilled.
Aaron Spatz 15:25
James had an amazing perspective, especially in the education space. And, you know, assuming that you can get a job with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree and everything else, and then in the middle of a really bad economy, the reality setting in about that not really happening. So I really appreciated his perspective and just his complete honesty, and you can really tell that he has such a passion for helping others and so he was a true delight to have on the podcast. And then next, we were able to welcome Scott Husing to the show. He’s a best selling author of echo in Ramadi, and so we jumped into some really fun conversation there.
Scott Huesing 16:02
Well, for me, I’m always, I’m always writing, I’m always doing doing something to 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 bastardize, 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 those questions 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. 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 gonna struggle. When you’re in the military, he it’s not only a sense of obligation, but your duty that you’re bound to by the oath you take be there 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 as 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. I’m not one of those guys that will wax 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 aren’t going to be happy. 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. I think all those 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.
Aaron Spatz 20:12
Scott shares with us some really cool advice about the power of perspective, even in the heart of facing a really difficult circumstance.
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 is a day 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, this is something I should be doing that makes me happy. And you could even explain that in an interview. In those terms, I think is something when you 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 your career, I think every one of those transitions builds your resume just makes you better person. 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, every language of our 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 the 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 22:23
Scott was a lot of fun to have. And I really appreciated his insight and perspective. And he was just a lot of fun to have a really warm and genuine conversation with. Next we switch gears and we went to Hollywood. And we interviewed Kimberly sell hammer, and she was an absolute treat, and tells a really compelling story, you’ll have to listen to her episode in full to really get full context and perspective. But man, what an amazing story that she has endured. And I was really excited to share her story with you.
Kimberly Seilhamer 22:53
But when I went to school, it was at a community college in Orange County. And they were amazing. They had an amazing film program. So I ended up at a screenwriting class, I didn’t even know what it was. But 20 minutes into the class, I was like, Oh, my goodness, this is me. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Like it was that clear. It was like a lightning bolts, when you know, just went off and hit me, you know. And I had always been a writer, the whole time I was growing up. I was writing poetry and writing novels and doing all kinds of stuff. And I had lost sight of that. And now with the screenwriting class, it came back to me because I actually see a story. I don’t conceive of a story as in words, you know, I see it as in moving pictures. So I what I did was, this was my first real sign. So I just took the bull by the horns and took the class and then I took the advanced class. And within six months, I had finished my first screenplay, and had an agent and was on my way. So yeah, it was it was really great. Incidentally, that script never sold. It did go to university, it did go to Monica school Bella’s over Universal Pictures. And I thought, wow, this is my big break. Well, they hated it. You know, and this is part of what you know, this is part of the process, as you learn in this industry, is that it’s a very subjective industry. Some people will love it, like my agent love it. And some people will hate it. Some people just won’t give a care, you know, one way or the other, like, it’s just non consequential to them. So, you know, you really have to be diligent and passionate and, you know, take the bull by the horns and be confident and always improving your craft. In life, you need to, you know, if opportunity doesn’t not, you need to build a door, so that you can open that door of opportunity. And so the way I built a door was I just kept writing. And, you know, I wrote another project called Alien sight. And then I teamed up with a wonderful gentleman by the name of Kenneth H combs. And we wrote power play. And by this time, I was actually starting to get some traction with, like, with power play, and I was my writing was actually developing now into something that I could be very proud of. So powerplay was a big budget movie. And it actually didn’t end up getting made, which is par for the course in this business. But, you know, so I really put myself out there, I continued writing. And I just remember, at one point, I felt so low, you know, because you just you’re working at it, you’re working at it. And that means you’re not seem to be getting any traction. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that. And I just remember, we had moved out of California, and I was really out of my element in Mississippi. And I was having to commute back to Los Angeles for meetings. And the meetings were, we’re getting less and less, you know, because because that’s the thing in this business is things ebb and flow. So I was really in a bad spot, like I was just, you know, in a place where I felt, I just don’t know if I can keep going. And I just remember going outside and looking up the sky. And I started to cry. Because I just didn’t know where I was going to pull that next. Let’s do this moment, you know, from right, and the phone rang, the phone rang, and I picked up the phone. And it was this director named Dan, Dan Milliken. And he was calling to say, hey, yes, I want you to be the writer on this project. And so it was crazy how that worked out. Like, I just couldn’t even believe it, you know, and that ended up. So I ended up CO writing the T man with him, which is the DVD title is finding redemption. And that script actually got made. And it was my first produced credit.
Aaron Spatz 27:40
In this last clip with Kimberly, I just have to say, I really enjoyed her honesty, and really practical advice on understanding what makes you tick and how to leverage your skills and your passions and the things that you desire. And rather than being all fluffy, it was actually like real practical, and you could get a sense of how seriously she takes research. And no doubt, that’s why she’s been such an accomplished writer. But it’s also it contributes to the way that we handle ourselves and the way that we view ourselves. And so I really enjoyed this, again, you’re gonna want to go back and listen to this whole episode, just for full context,
Max Garcia 28:15
research is key.
So, you know, one thing may lead to another thing may lead may lead to another thing. So if they have anything that interests them at all, no matter what it is, as you start doing some research on it, and they can continue, you know, just when I say do what you love, it may sound like Well, that’s easy for you to say kind of a thing. But honestly, I think that they might feel more fulfilled. Even if they have to keep that day job or doing you know, doing whatever it is that’s not fulfilling them for a while, if they put something in their lives that they’re passionate about. That gives them joy. That so there’s not just punching a clock and going home and and, you know, sitting in front of the tube and wondering, what do I do next? Like do some research think about do some real soul searching also, and say what interests me when I was a kid what interests me, you know, what, what was my? What turned me on then? Because a lot of times you know, we have a lot of clarity when we’re younger and who knows it may inspire somebody out there to say you know what, I really had an interest in gardening so they take us gardening and then you know next thing you know, they could be doing not having a podcast about Bart about gardening or or whatever but but but adding that passion to their lives is so important. And you know If if they’re floundering, it’s because they’re doing something that is, it’s not calling to them. Like, they may take pride to their, in their work, they may do an incredible job. But if they’re floundering, like emotionally or spiritually or, or, you know, just mentally, they just don’t feel like they’re all with it, you know, because because they’re kind of half checked out, even though they’re doing a great job, it’s just not what they envision themselves doing, then I would encourage them to really, you know, sit down and write it down, write down things that interests them, if they, if they watch a PBS special on the Indianapolis, the thinking of the Indianapolis, and they think that’s interesting, it should write that down, they’ll see a pattern emerge, you know, maybe they’re interested in history, maybe they’re interested in this area thing that has to do with it, maybe they’re interested in, you know, ships or the naval history or anything like that. So the search for for finding what it is that you are passionate about, begins with the first step in having an honest conversation with yourself, I
Aaron Spatz 31:23
really enjoyed having Kimberly on the show, it’s rare that we’re able to get somebody from the inside of Hollywood. And she’s someone who’s had a very accomplished and successful career, but she goes about it so humbly, but really had a lot of fun with her. Our next guest was Shawn Rhodes. And Sean jumps right into kind of a funny story about how he was applying to college, right from the middle of the war in
Shawn Rhodes 31:48
Iraq. And so I was in Iraq, second time around at a forward operating base south of Baghdad, and I was putting in my college applications from the field. So whenever I had a free moment to get into like the, you know, the MWR shed where we actually had Internet access, I was filling out college applications. And I would stay up until 3am, get on the field phone dial back to the admissions office at these universities I was applying to and, you know, make sure that they had all they needed, because it would take, you know, eight weeks to get mailed back and forth to us out there. So it was much easier for me just to wait for the phone. And you know, they always say your connection is really bad. You know, are you are you muffling your voice? That’s it that was south of Baghdad right now. Come on, man, help me how can I get this application through so I can, you know, attend your college. And so by the time I get out of the Marine Corps, I knew what classes I would be taking when school was going to start all that stuff was already mapped out for me, because I knew University was the next thing on my my kind of life path. And so three or four months after I got out of the Marine Corps in university, 22 years old, had seen at the World multiple combat tours, and my roommate, my college roommate turned 18, a few days before school started. And so I was like a lot of veterans that decide to go to university after school, I was surrounded by kids, you know, there’s really no other way to say it, because they still had that mindset about them. And I was, you know, far and beyond that at that point. And I knew how to take care of myself, you know, pay my bills, run my own finances, take care of my car, all the stuff that I’m kind of surrounded by people that are still in high school. And so it was always a very surreal experience for me and all the veterans that were attending school right after the military kind of dropped in this environment where it’s like, oh, dear Lord, what did I do to myself?
Aaron Spatz 33:32
This next segment was really awesome. There’s a lot of more backstory than what I was able to have time for this recap episode. But we jump right into him discovering a book in the middle of the war zone, and the impact that had on him in his Ford
path. And it was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. And random book in the middle of all these, you know, like paper romance novels. Yeah. And so I picked the book up, and it was the very first habit that really struck me. And it was, you know, right what I needed to hear at that point in my life. And it was that we can’t control always the things that happen to us. But we have complete control over how we react to them, or how we perceive them. And at that point in that combat tour, that’s exactly what I needed to hear, because I wasn’t going to, you know, must I got injured, I wasn’t going to give up my position. I wasn’t going to get sent home early. So I had to deal with what was being presented to me. It was a crappy situation, there was no way around it. But how I perceived it, how I chose to deal with it was completely in my control. And I could choose to make that an experience that was going to help me or one that was going to harm me.
Aaron Spatz 34:38
In this final clip with Shawn, he talks a lot about the process of starting a business and just some of the ideas and the things that a lot of entrepreneurs go through in the early days of a business and just some of his insights in the lessons that he learned through that process.
If I was going to consult myself and say, Shawn, here’s what I advise you do. What would that piece of advice be. And for me it was you’re trying a lot of different things, why don’t you do something consistently sustain that for as long as you can. And if it doesn’t work, then you’ll know that at least that failed to not do that anymore. It is what a lot of entrepreneurs do is we try everything. And then we wonder why we don’t get but very minimal results. Right. And so I began to do that, well, you know, a couple of things very consistently to generate business. And it began to generate business, learning what the Marine Corps had taught me, I looked at the overarching system and thought to myself, well, what’s not working as well as it could? How do I improve that? Or how do I scrap it all together? For the things that are working? How do I do those five times more or 10 times more, in order to get more results. And so I began to kind of play with it. If you think of the the structure of an engine, I was learning how to put better fuel into the engine, learning how to engage all eight cylinders, instead of just one or two. And when the engine began to really run, with good fuel, and on all eight cylinders, that’s when the revenue really began to come in. And that’s when I could also hire more people to take those tasks off of my hands that I wasn’t really excited about doing any more that I could systemize. So that I was only focusing on the things I was uniquely qualified to do in my business.
Aaron Spatz 36:12
Really enjoyed having Sean on the show, and really appreciated his honesty and the insights that he offered with his story. And so I just really treasured his story in his experience. Our next guest is Shantay Hall. And I’m actually going to let all of the clips that I put together for her, I’m gonna let those play completely through because they actually flow pretty well together. But the themes that you’re going to notice with her is a consistent trend in her life of education, you’ll notice that education is incredibly important. And she spends a great deal of time discussing that. But then also her ability to bounce back from some pretty substantial challenges and obstacles that she’s faced in her life. And the way that she’s turned those around to make an impact in other’s lives. And so you’ll really enjoy her episode. And once again, I know I’ve said it 100 times already, but I would go back and listen to everybody’s episode completely all the way through, because there are a ton of great pearls of wisdom that I just don’t have time to completely extract here in just a short recap episode. So enjoy,
Chaunte Hall 37:15
we want to ensure relevancy, and Long gone are the days where the high school diploma, you know, amounts to anything or the Associate’s degree. And so you’re looking at that even even if you go and you you become you get that HVAC or that plumbing, or, you know, you’re looking at the trades, whether I mean car maintenance, all these positions that are available right now. cybersecurity, you can take any, any one of these industries, what is going to set you apart as a leader. And so what are your long term goals and strategies and what is needed? So, to that, to that maybe possibly younger, you know, kid getting out of high school, I would say absolutely look at the trades, or if we’re looking at our military population saying, Okay, what are you looking to do? Case in point, I had a transitioning service manager of a very large in military installation the other day, tell me, Well, Sean pays, the troops just aren’t interested in these jobs. And we want to focus on the jobs that that the soldiers want. And I said, point blank, I don’t care what jobs the soldiers want. I care what jobs are out there. I care what jobs are available, because if a service member cannot exit the military and successfully reintegrate with a career path ahead of them forward thinking already writing out the narrative, and they’re not successful, then what happens to their resiliency, what happens to their overall health? You see, the civilian community is looking at us as the military right now going, Yeah, we want to hire from your pool of people, if I as a single mother, with two small children, have someone coming to fix my AC. And I realized that they, they kind of my their picture might look crazy. I’m not sure if I’m going to feel comfortable with that person coming to my home. But then I see in their bio that they were in the military, I might feel a little bit more comfortable and competent if I realized that that’s one of my brothers or sisters who served in the military. For me when people say, follow your passion. I kind of reassess and look at it that in the military, we wear so many hats. And and it’s important to understand that all of those hats become a part of us. And so to not negate one of those things, you know, we volunteer voluntold within our local community. How do we continue to give back once we switch uniforms, and so I was always looking for ways to volunteer. I was in San Antonio at the time. And to give back. And I stumbled upon a very large volunteer opportunity that led me into the nonprofit world, which then led me to being a director at the YMCA, starting a master’s degree in an MPA with an emphasis in government and policy. And that was because of my newfound passion for for the nonprofit sector, coupled with the fact that the state of Texas in 2011, had dumped millions into mental health. And my family was kind of coming together saying, you know, how do we go from being so strong and uniform, to then just just failing at reintegration not being able to be successful losing all hope, losing agency, again, there’s agency and pathway and your agency as your resiliency, your level of hope, the reason why you want to pursue a goal. And when we get out of the military, if we don’t foresee that pathway that we’re used to seeing, we could easily give up hope, and a level of pursuance, because we don’t know what to pursue. And so here I am, a mom with two young children, you know, with a husband going through all of this, a father that had gone through chemo and radiation, and still trying to maintain and help our military populace, because it is the passion that drives me. And I will tell you, that anything negative in my life that I have been through, I get through it, by helping someone else. And and I’ve always viewed that, when, when my ex chose to walk away and leave my family. You know, I was blessed that my father was able to step in, and that my children carry his last name. And he’s a he’s a man of strength that was there. And and I look at that, and I say, you know, when people will Shantay Why did this happen to you? Why why did something so bad? And we hear that a lot we hear why do bad things happen to good people? Well, because none of us are good, inherently. We, we all we all have something that is bad. We’ve all thought bad thoughts. And I do that tongue in cheek, but I truly believe that. But to this has allowed me now as as I go out, and I help and support other caregivers, as I teach military spouses, holistic health, well being and resiliency and the ability and the critical need to be self aware to have a backup plan to know who you are. Because if you would have asked me a couple years ago, was this going to happen to you Shantay, I would have never have foreseen it. And, and I think that I would rather these that some of the negative things happen to me, because I had a support structure in place. And not just that support structure. But I have that ability since I was a child that if something bad is happening, there’s a story behind it. God is going to use that for good. He has a purpose. Absolutely. And, and I think when you look at our military culture, Baron, we volunteer, and I love that about the military. It’s we’re always voluntold to do something. And I firmly believe in my heart that that is our ability to give back that that keeps us moving forward. You know, sometimes I love to run five K’s you know, I’m a crossfit coach and a yoga instructor and I love to run and for a couple years in Houston, I was number one in all these races, and I was on this streak. Well, all of a sudden, my children wanted to start running with me, they no longer wanted to be in the stroller, they wanted to get out and run, maybe get back in, get out and run. And it dawned on me for the first time that sometimes, you know, you have to take a step back in order to launch someone else forward. And, and that’s the beauty in leadership. That’s the beauty and encouraging future generation. And it’s something now that through the midst of the ugly, the tears, the pain, you see the beauty in the next generation, you see the beauty and lifting up someone else because you have a story that’s impactful and that resignate
Aaron Spatz 44:27
really enjoyed Shantae story. I really appreciated just her complete openness and the way that she shared her story. And we got into some pretty deep topics there for a few minutes and a few different segments and I’m just really grateful and appreciative to her and no doubt I can’t imagine all the things that she has been through in her life. But no doubt she is continuing to drive on and drive forward and just doing a remarkable job and all that she does. Our next guest was April sprints. She was a ball of fire and energy and I really, really enjoyed having her on the show, we actually connected over a common interest of a book. And we’ve talked about that. I’ve also talked about a wide variety of topics, from her time in the Air Force, to some of the really cool and exciting things that she’s been able to do since transitioning into the civilian world.
So one of my favorite things, and I got to do some amazing stories, I got to take a flight from Texas, all the way to Okinawa, with a team of doctors and nurses that were going to fly a baby back on an ECMO machine, which is an abbreviation for a really long term that basically, it pumps their heart and breathes their lungs for them. And it’s extraordinary the kind of medical care that the military provides to their military members that most anyone who’s in the military couldn’t afford in the civilian sector, you just couldn’t have that done. So that was really amazing to be a part of, to literally get on a flight, fly 17 hours to get that baby and bring them to the best hospital in the world, for that family. And for me, now, my news producer may have felt differently. But for me that ended amazingly, because by the time we got to open hours, the baby was doing well enough, we didn’t need to take him back. And I thought that was fantastic. So my news producer was like, but April, that was our story, I was like, Don’t worry, I can still make it work. So you could raise your hand and get out of the military fairly quickly, they could stay for up to six months, which Aaron, that would have been the right thing to do, I’ll take six months, I’ll transition I’ll find a new role. May, I was like, I’m going to give the airforce two weeks notice. So I got out two weeks after I said, because that’s what I had remembered, from my time in the civilian world, I was like two weeks this plenty of time to find a role. Oh, that’s great. Oh, I have learned the most in my life from mistakes. And that was arguably a mistake. But I learned a lot. And I’m really thankful for it. So I got out of the military and found out that the things that I did having a degree doing amazing things in the military are just absolutely did not translate to roles in the regular business world. And when you transition as a military person, and you plan it out better than I did, you have transition assistance programs, you have things that help you but candidly having a lot of friends who’ve recently retired, even that doesn’t translate it well enough, it can be difficult to make that transition. It’s why one of my personal things that I do is any veteran that reaches out to me, whether I know them or not, I’m going to help them, do those translations leverage the contacts they have that they’re not thinking about. Because if someone knows you, it’s much easier for them to vouch for you. And then you can do that translation. So for me, because I didn’t have a network, I didn’t have anyone I knew outside of the military, I went to temporary agencies, and just took temporary jobs swallowed my pride a little bit because I was like I have a degree I should, you know, have a role in some type of management. But I actually took executive assistant roles at various companies. So that one I could earn enough money to help support. At the time I had a family I was married at the time. So I could help support financially. But also my goal was if these people just know me, don’t realize they do want me to be part of their company.
So the biggest piece of advice that I could give to veterans or anyone is that sometimes we don’t see our own genius and our own magic, because we are ourselves, right. So if you think of thought in your head, you may not know how amazing that is. Whereas what you have to share with the world, to everyone else is phenomenal. So I would suggest that you talk to people that you admire and trust and ask them for their thoughts on you and your career and what they might do. And I give the same advice to entrepreneurs talk to other entrepreneurs that you like and admire about where you think you should go what you think you should do, because the benefit is you’re going to be talking to people in different industries, you’re going to be talking to people with different experiences. And Nate may come up with an out of the box thought for you on your career on your business that would never have occurred to you. And they can be such a vital source of not only information you don’t know, but encouragement because sometimes you don’t know how incredibly special you are. Whether you’re an individual contributor in a company, or someone who owns a business. It’s someone else showing you how they see you that can sometimes really help you understand your true value for me I love to read, I love to learn, take classes, etc. But nothing has been as valuable as actual people, actual mentors, people that you look up to, and you want to be like and asking them for their advice and their thoughts and their input. And I’ll tell you, that people can be afraid to ask someone for their advice for their help, or just reaching out to them to learn from them. I’ve never turned someone down in my entire life that asked for my advice or help. And on the flip side, I’ve never had someone turned me down. So what I would encourage people to do is to reach out to those folks that you admire. And ask them, how they might accomplish some of the things that you’re looking to accomplish. Because those nuggets of hard earned life lived wisdom are the most powerful things that I’ve ever experienced.
Aaron Spatz 51:02
As I’m sure you could tell, I had a lot of fun, talking with April and hearing her story and just some of the things that she’s gone through. In her experiences, I really treasured her insight and perspective. And I think the big takeaway there is really have a mentor have some people that you can really lean on and so that’s something that I actually personally do already. And it’s just it really is a game changer. Our last guest of season one was Christopher Hummel 15 global, it was a delight to have him on the show and I’m going to play all of his clips through sequentially back to back but there was a ton of just awesome insight from the challenges and their hardships as he has had to endure. It was pretty incredible. We could probably talk for a solid three hours diving into some of the topics and the specifics of the things that he went through. But he was a terrific guest to close out season one
Christopher Hummel 52:00
so I got out of Albuquerque believe was 2001 went back home to Michigan at time didn’t know what I was gonna do had no idea and it took me probably a good six months even to get a job but resumes out everywhere and finally landed in a place that did like some surveillance and background checks. So that was that was interesting. I did that for about about a year and then I got I got laid off. And if you’re looking for a moment that completely changed my life that was it. I decided literally probably that day or the next day I’d never like be put in that position again because it was about a month or two before my daughter was born just got a new house to start a family and I just remember the chair being pulled out from underneath me the rug being pulled out where I didn’t even know what was going on and I didn’t know how I was going to fix the situation I was kind of naive that something like that could ever happen there I am you know enjoying life one day and the next day I don’t know where I’m gonna you know make money and be able to pay for my house and the car payment and the family and all that type of thing so is something that definitely knock me down right it was a it was tough it was really challenging time I started putting out resumes you know want to figure out what I’m going to do but I knew in the back of my mind I needed to control my own destiny and I thought I’d share the story about just had a house and just bought a house recently it’s remember the real estate agent had a nice car had a nice you know had a nice suits on you know, dressed well and always intrigued me like okay, this this guy’s got money and must be doing something right so as I was putting stuff out there I jumped in real estate fairly quickly and just said I’m gonna make this happen and unfortunately it make it happen right away. I didn’t get it. I literally think I had one resume called the act but just started desperation. I just didn’t make sense to happen. I started just, you know, calling every single for sale by owner. As soon as I got my real estate license, I got fairly quickly got into an office and just started calling for sale by owner out of this magazine I used I used to call hundreds a day. Now just kind of on the same script. Have you considered listing your home with a realtor yes or no, I’d go into the same response and I would just mask just the math numbers and desperation I was able to set up a bunch of listing appointments and I would secure some listings and I did very very well very fast because it was like I said out of desperation
Aaron Spatz 54:29
Christopher Hummel 54:32
That’s a great question. I hear a lot of times people say that I’m just that’s kind of like how I am even keel I don’t think I was always this way. I think you just learned through through adversity as you mentioned, just to just keep the level just keep level don’t get too up. Don’t get too down. almost hate to say be robotic in your motion. Sure. But if you probably don’t get up into down, stay steady. That’s a good place to be Anyone that’s, you know, getting out of the military or looking to become an entrepreneur, a few things I would recommend is, is the first is, you know, planning and preparation is going to be key. I always say, you know, you’ve probably heard before the season favors the season favorites have prepared. So the more you can prepare for something and plan, the better off you are. But that doesn’t mean like everything has to be perfect. Some people want everything so perfect before they start doing anything, that it stifles them and nothing happens, they procrastinate and analysis paralysis, they overthink things for the the next thing is the people you have to get, you know, great people around you, you have certain strengths. So whatever it is you’re looking to do, where weaknesses are trying to fill those other people, consistency is key every single day, you got to develop these habits, you’re gonna get better at doing certain things, when we’ll do that. Do it day in and day out consistently. Who I’m big on being whatever business someone’s looking to start is to be big on customer, you know, customer focus quality, don’t cut any corners, a lot of times people are looking to cut corners, you’re not going to build a solid foundation, that way, the best thing you can do is, you know, build a solid foundation, if you’re looking to build a long term sustainable business, and then keep things simple and have faith they’re going to work out being uncomfortable is what makes people successful, the more the more you’re uncomfortable or uncomfortable situation that you’re in that you overcome. If you look at a very successful business person, they’ve overcome time and time and time and time again, to get to where they’re at. And most people are just afraid they don’t want to make a mistake. They don’t want to do anything wrong, they don’t want they don’t they’re worried about how this person is going to perceive them or what that person’s gonna say about them. And it’s, it’s just something you have to get over in sooner, the better.
Aaron Spatz 56:51
So what are some other uncomfortable things that you’ve gone through that that have just that you feel like is differentiated you?
Christopher Hummel 57:01
Great question a lot. 17 be in the military at 17. And most of my friends were getting ready to go to college and have a good time being in basic training and 17 that that was sometimes very uncomfortable, but not expect. Basically, basically, most of my time in the military is very, very uncomfortable. You know, and then just get into, you know, real estate, there’s that sale where, you know, it’s it’s scary to sell, so to speak, you know, people are afraid of rejection, what will they say? And you just you just you just take it you guys get through it, you push through it eventually, like I was fortunate, like I was desperate at the time. So I don’t have I didn’t care if somebody said no to me, I would go to the next person. But as you sharpen your skills, what you what you realize is it’s about it’s obviously about relationships, and if you listen to people and you’re looking for people that want what you have, yeah, so you know, you, you develop that but other other uncomfortable situations, I’ve been divorced, I’ve had had foreclosures, bankruptcy in oh eight when the market crash makes the unknown if it was. So I’ve been I’ve had my share car repo. So my list of being uncomfortable goes around the block.
Aaron Spatz 58:15
What an amazing story from Chris. And he went into some pretty great topics. And he went deep, really fast. And I really enjoyed hearing what he had to say on so many different aspects. And no doubt he is well on his way over the last five years of fit team, so I’m really happy for him. And I cannot believe that I’m telling you right now, but season one is now officially complete. I cannot believe we’ve arrived at this day in season two premieres next week. So season one man, I have had such an amazing time. One getting to know you, the audience, the person listening to the sound of my voice, I am truly humbled and honored that you have gone on this journey with me. I’m doing this really as my own gift back my way of fostering a veteran’s community. And I’ve been really, really overjoyed just to see how this whole thing has taken place. And how it’s slowly grown, and how we’ve been able to really grow the audience but really more importantly, just grow a really cool community of people. And so I just want to thank you, thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for tuning in to season one for I am so pumped for season two just to give you a quick update and idea of how season two is going to go down. It will be featured primarily on YouTube is where it will be both in video and audio so you can still listen to it. So if you’re listening to this over Apple podcasts or Spotify or Google stitcher wherever the heck you listen, you can still listen to the podcast in audio form that is all good. But starting with season two, you will now be able to consume the content in both video and audio forms. I would encourage you jump over to YouTube, subscribe to my channel. The easiest way to do it is just go to youtube.com then through a search and a very top bar with my first and last name, Aaron Spatz. And you’ll see my channel pop up, go ahead and subscribe, because that is going to be the primary place for episodes for season two in video form will be housed. And so I’m excited to see what you think is going to really feature folks on the entrepreneurial journey, some of the struggles and challenges, but I’m more interested in the stories of those that have grown a company from nothing. And it’s turned in, turn it into something. And so we’ll get to hear stories of people and various aspects of that journey. I’m pretty picky about who I have come on the show. But it has been a blast already. We’ve gotten off to a great start with Season Two. But once again, I just want to thank you for sticking in there for season one, for welcoming me into your routine and into the things that you do so just a sincere heartfelt thank you for me and I’m truly honored and I hope that you’ll join me for season two