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Going over the 2020 highlights of the show, pulling some key takeaways, and announcing news and developments for 2021.

Aaron  00:02
Hey everybody, how’s it going? Just want to welcome you to a very special edition of The Veterans Business Podcast. We’re going to do this live. This is a live show to close out the year 2020. So if you’re listening to this after the fact, again, I just want to thank you for tuning in. I want to thank you for joining. Obviously you can leave comments below. I’ve got quite a bit of things that I’d like to cover in this episode. And again, I just want to sincerely thank you for joining and jumping in.

So man, 2020 has been a heck of a year. I don’t know about you, but there’s been a ton going on in our country and around the world. And I have been determined to stay positive, to find the positive. It doesn’t mean we’re delusional. It doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge the challenges and the difficulties that may have presented themselves during the year, but there are certainly plenty of good things that have happened this year, a lot of opportunities. And so again, I just want to thank you for joining.

00:57
So what I’m going to cover in this episode specifically is it’s going to be a recap of 2020. So you are probably a little bit familiar if you’re been following the show for any length of time, you’ve seen that I’ll do an occasional recap of a season or a batch of episodes as a way to kind of help you get caught up, or maybe point you to a certain episode that maybe you missed. These episodes actually are very helpful for folks that have never watched or listened to the show because it will kind of highlight a few episodes that may peak their interest. So if you’ve never had the opportunity to share the show with somebody, this is actually a great way to introduce the show. So either this one or something else.

And so anyway, crazy that the show started almost a year ago. So February 5th of this year was when the first actual episode went live. So Season 1, Episode 1 with Rico Miller was a fantastic time and I cannot believe it’s been almost a year. Honestly, it feels like it has been much longer than that. And it’s crazy to think that how far we’ve come. And so I’m seeing some comments. I just want to acknowledge you for being here. To keep this episode as clean as possible, I’m probably not going to do a whole lot of acknowledging and shout outs, but I want to at least acknowledge you right now. And thank you for tuning in for, for showing up. It really does mean a lot.

Really what I want to do is I want to recap some of the highlights of the year. I’m going to point you to a few of the episodes for your own listening and watching enjoyment key on a few big takeaways. And then I’m going to leave you with some news. Some news for the upcoming year. It’s all good news. But I do want to bring to your attention a few developments and a few things that we’re going to be looking at in 2021. So let’s get started, shall we?

02:37
So Season 1 of the show ran through may and it was an audio-only show. So if you are watching – or I say watching, but if you’re listening to this, obviously through Apple or Spotify or any audio platform, you don’t know the difference. But if you’re watching the show and you started picking up episodes, starting in Season 2, you’d notice that there was video. Anything prior to that, that was audio. So I’ve uploaded the audio files of all these shows. And so, you can listen through YouTube also.

I’ve just got to say, it’s hard to pick favorites. It’s like picking your favorite kid. You’re not supposed to do that. There were some standouts though. And I think that’s probably the best way I can say this is I loved and value and I cherish every single interview that I’ve been able to do so far but there have been some standout, some ones that I feel like were exceptional in communicating some huge takeaway or takeaways and things that either that I can take from my own life, from my own personal, professional ventures, but things that I know have impacted you because I’ve heard from some of you.

03:43
So let’s start. So one of the highlights, I think, from Season 1 was Bezan Morris. He shared a really emotional and very raw story of navigating his post-military career. And I think a lot of us can identify with Bezan because a lot of us are high achievers. We’re very driven people. We do very well, right? So in a very tasteful way, he kind of pointed that out about himself. He’s like, look, I’ve done very well. Like I was great in school. I was great in the military. I did a great job and then I get out and then there’s a lot of struggle. There’s a lot of things that like, man, why isn’t this connecting for me? Or why isn’t this working out the way that I was kind of used to things working out previously? I just keep going and keep going.

And so him sharing a little bit of a journey, I’m telling you, it was very emotional. It was very emotional story. And if you haven’t had a chance to listen to it, you really should. He shared a little bit of during the recession and how he had a job and he got laid off from the job and it was struggling to put food on the table. And so I’ll just tease you with that. I’ll let you go back and listen to it. But it was a very, very powerful time with him.

So the big takeaway, I think, from his story. One, I think it’s important that if you’re in trouble or you’re having difficulty to reach out for help. I can’t read your mind. Your friends can’t read your mind. Those in your community can’t read your mind. We can’t help somebody if we don’t know that there’s a problem. And so there are tons – I mean, there are thousands upon thousands of veterans nonprofits. That’s where I would go first. I’m happy to talk with a lot of you. I’m just telling you, you can fast track yourself by knocking on the door of a nonprofit that addresses your specific need and they will help steer you to the right resources. So I think it’s important that if you need help, you need to say something.

05:35
Next standout episode for me was with Chipp Naylon. So Chipp shared a perspective about the war in Afghanistan that I thought was pretty remarkable. It’s going to go against the grain, right? So if you are a hard charging salute-to-flag yes person, you’re not going to like the episode. If you think and if you see the macro situation for what it is and you appreciate a different perspective, you don’t necessarily have to agree with the perspective, I think I happen to agree with the large majority of what he shared during this episode. But he was frustrated when he was in Afghanistan. So he was a part of a training team training with the local Afghan National Security Forces, doing a lot of work like that. So it wasn’t the traditional infantry or artillery or logistics deployment. It was a tight-knit close team of maybe a half dozen or dozen Marines at most working with a larger element. And so you’re doing training. You’re just really embedded.

So his frustration came with a lack of clarity with the mission, with a vision, with the end state, with the commander’s intent from a macro level, not with a micro, not with what they were doing, but supporting the greater overall war effort. And it was a very well-articulated position that he took. And I would encourage you. He wrote a book. That’s in the show notes. If you go back and check it out, you can click the link. It’ll take you over to where you could purchase his book. He didn’t intend to write the book. It started off as just some writings that he did for himself, a little bit of therapy there, right? And then he shared it amongst some family and friends turned out that there was something there. And so he proceeded through the process of getting it published. And so very, very fantastic story, very well-articulated. I thought it was a really fun discussion.

07:34
The next standout was Shaggy. So Shaggy, two-time Grammy Award-winning artist. He won a Grammy with Sting – I think it was two years ago, maybe three years ago now – for Best Reggae Album. He was hilarious. So what’s funny is he and I served in the exact same artillery battalion. So he was an artillery Marine back in the day, back in the back of the 90s. I mean, I didn’t serve at the same time. But back in the 90s.

The story of his childhood was interesting. It was fascinating. You definitely could get a good sense. He did a really good job of sanding the edges down ever so slightly because you could get a little bit of insight into his character, to his antics, to just kind of the way he is and overlay that against who he is now. And so a couple of things that he shared in the episode, I could definitely envision him as a young Marine and what he may have been like. So it was a fun discussion. You can definitely get the sense that he’s passionate about what he does. He loves what he does.

I think one of the takeaways from his particular episode was being able to make tough decisions. Sometimes decisions are not going to be the easiest ones to make or it can affect people full. And so when you’re in a position where you have a lot of pull or a lot of ability to affect someone’s life, you don’t take that lightly, but at the same time, you have to make decisions. And so I thought even though like you may be a founder or CEO or an executive inside of a company, it may not be a one-to-one translation here. I’m not pretending it is, but there is some parallel that can be drawn there about being able to make difficult decisions. And I think that is a true hallmark of what leadership is. It’s being able to make decisions in the midst of uncertainty or difficulty that’s when you’re getting paid to be a leader. That’s when it really comes down. And so that was just one takeaway of several from his episode. It was a lot of fun.

09:33
And then fast forwarding. So then we move into Season 2. Season 2 is when the show transition to video. So I mentioned that earlier. It was a true blast. I loved the instant change in the feel of the interviews. I can see your face now. They can see mine. We can actually have a bit of a discussion, a little bit of dialogue. I can read your face. I can kind of get a sense of your environment. It definitely makes for a better quality conversation. So there are a few standouts. You’re going to laugh at me because I say there’s just a few and I basically highlighted probably half of the season, but I’m telling you, there were some absolute gold in the season.

So first, for those of you that are in government contracting that either want to do government contract work in the medical space, the episode with Ted Terrazas, I think he was Episode 2. That was incredibly insightful. So Ted has spent a career in government. So he was an Air Force medical service officer. So he wasn’t a doctor, but he worked in the medical side of the Air Force and he was responsible for helping roll tri TRICARE out to a lot of different Air Force installations. So very, very interesting because he was basically a consultant, special projects manager in the Air Force, working on medical stuff. Then he gets out and he starts a company dedicated to medical related services. And so very fascinating. A lot of insights.

So again, if you have any appetite for government contract work, specifically as it relates to medical, that will be a very contextual episode for you. And shoot, you may even want to reach out to the guy and see what synergies there may exist or if he’s willing to coach you along or share a little bit information. I thought it was very, very fascinating.

11:16
Shane Foss. He’s a lot of fun. He is a local Dallas–Fort Worth guy. He shared a lot of details about taking companies. I got the sense of that he’s the kind of guy who loves to jump into the midst of an absolute stinking mess and make something of it. And you can kind of see that through his career. So he’s jumped in in the companies, whether he’s bought a company himself, started a company, or was brought in to help turn something around, that kind of seems to be his thing, and he’s done very well at it. So it was really fun to hear a lot of things that he’s up to, some of the lessons learned. He shared a story about a bankruptcy and just how that whole thing went down. And it’s a different flavor of bankruptcy. So I actually asked him a couple of questions because one, I didn’t know a whole lot about that particular style of bankruptcy. But I imagine if I had that question, a lot of you may have had that same question also. It was a lot of fun. Really, really interesting conversation.

For him, I think one of the big takeaways out of his episode was just this persistence. I think it’s important to systematize your business. You can read this in hundreds of business books. I mean, probably every person will tell you that it’s important to develop systems and processes in place for your business. I think he embodies that. What’s funny is he didn’t speak a whole lot about that, but I could definitely get the sense he’s a very structured guy, that he has a plan, he has a system. He likes to implement a system to help turn a company around or to correct something. So anyways, so he’s running a startup that I think they’re been around for a few years now related to health insurance. And so a very cool story. I’m excited to see where he ends up. Because I think it’s going to end very well.

12:59
Okay. So earlier, I know I said I don’t have favorites. I have to say for Season 2, anyway, these next three in order, these three were definitely up there on the list. So if I had to pick all-time favorites, these three episodes probably are going to fall in the top five, for sure. And what’s funny, I mean, I didn’t plan – you don’t know when you’re interviewing somebody, the gold that’s going to come out of that interview, it just kind of happens and it’s kind of my job, but it’s also, what is the guest going to share?

And so with these next three, the first one, Bill Militello. Bill was an absolute joy. Him and I got along really, really well. He’s a Wall Street guy. Very, very interesting thing, hilarious perspective. I love his delivery, love his style. A ton of learning that he’s been through. And I love the raw sharing of his journey as a young financial advisor. So if you’re a financial advisor, I suspect there’s a few of you watching, listening to this that are financial advisors, definitely check his episode out. It will help you. It’s not meant to criticize or belittle, it’s coming from a guy that has been inside the industry for quite a while. And I really do believe some of the things he’s going to share with you will absolutely change the way you do business and help you stand out amongst the sea of financial advisors.

And I think this applies to anybody in any industry. So if you’re looking to stand out in whatever space you’re in, if it’s a crowded market and there’s a ton of players, he articulated very, very well. And this is the key takeaway from his particular episode, one of probably a few that it’s important to differentiate yourself. And you can’t just say that we’re different. We’re the clear difference. There’s even a commercial running on TV right now that I’m not going to name the company. I don’t even remember the company’s name. But basically, they went around and say a whole bunch of things that you would expect a company in their position to say. We’re honest. We’re trustworthy. We work hard for you. We have your financial best interest in mind. And it played, and I actually thought of my conversation with Bill.

I certainly hope you’re honest. I certainly hope you’re working hard. That should be a given. It doesn’t mean you’re different. It doesn’t mean you’re any better than the next guy. How do I quantify that? How do I really know that? How do I feel that? And so anyway, very, very fun, very awesome conversation with Bill. And then at the very end, then he shares now he’s transitioned to more of the capital raising side of business. So very, very fascinating where he’s ended up. It’s pretty, pretty cool.

15:40
Right after him, I interviewed Ty Smith. Ty’s a retired senior chief Navy SEAL. He lives in the San Diego area and his journey has been really, really fascinating. So he talked about his journey into the Navy, a little bit of his childhood, and then moving into his Navy career and some of the difficulties that he had getting started and then eventually going through the pipeline and that whole journey. We talked a lot about leadership. And so I really appreciated his perspective on leadership. He has been the fortunate and very blessed recipient of being in cultures, in commands and units that are run with very strong leadership. And so there’s a lot of great lessons that you can pull from his conversation with me as it relates to leadership and why it’s so important.

And then towards the very end of the episode, we get into a very emotional, very strong segment where we talk about patriotism. We talk about the country. We talk about division. We talk about hate. We talk about the racial divide. We talk about a lot of things and he shares from the heart for solid few minutes there. And I’m telling you, it’s absolute gold. It will impact you substantially. And I really loved his heart. I love the way that he delivered and spoke to a lot of these topics. And so for me, one of the big takeaways from that is a phrase that he used. It was “let’s strive to find why we are similar.” What do we have in common? Rather than focusing on why we’re different. And I think it’s very, very powerful statement. Very simple yet very profound. And I really, really cherished that conversation with him. It was very, very good.

17:36
After him, then I had Jay Rogers. So Jay Rogers is founder and CEO of Local Motors and they are developing autonomous vehicles similar to some of the other big brand names that you’re hearing right now. But Jay shared a little bit of the story about the journey, what I call it – I think I even titled the episode this was the journey of a 20-year overnight success. And we joked about that at some point during our conversation about how overnight successes are not overnight successes. And that was kind of the point, the tongue-in-cheek little tagline there is that people will work their face off for five years, ten years, 15 years or more and then all of a sudden, boom, things just start to work out. They start to catch positive traction. Things start to move in the right direction for them. And so we joke about that being a 20-year overnight success because that really is what the journey consists of.

What he’s doing is very new. It’s very pioneering. He’s a very intelligent guy. You’ll definitely pick that up in the first 30 seconds of the conversation. Very, very intelligent guy. It was a very fun conversation, but I really appreciated his perspective on business, on the journey. Again, if you are fascinated by the story and the formation of a startup and all the new technology that is involved in that, you will absolutely love that conversation with Jay. I’ve gotten quite a bit of feedback on his episode specifically.

19:05
So one of the other standouts was able to welcome NASCAR driver Jesse Iwuji. You may or may not have seen him in the news. At this point, you probably should have. He’s everywhere on social media. And again, he is a Navy veteran. I believe he’s actually now in the Navy reserves to finish his active duty time and his story of just coming from nothing, zero racing background. So if any of you follow NASCAR, you know that it’s a family thing. You’re in a go-kart from the age of four and then eventually you’re driving trucks and cars and that’s how you get there. And he’s breaking into it from zero, from no experience. So it’s a very, very amazing story of persistence and perseverance and grit and just making it happen.

And one of the things I liked about him or about one of the points he made, one of the highlights from our conversation was he talking about preparing for the fight you don’t even know is coming. And so I think it’s a great way of saying work on the things that you may perceive as being a weakness. It may not be a critical vulnerability to you today, but it could represent a critical vulnerability in the future. And so prepare for the adversity, prepare for the uncertainty. I attribute it to just good characteristics and traits of just good stewardship and so being prepared for whatever the challenges may be.

I mean, shoot, 2020, right? 2020 has been a phenomenal year, has been a phenomenal exercise in what it means to adapt and overcome, right? So prior to March of this year, there was a cluster restaurants that did curbside, that did delivery, that did some of these other things. They were already doing that. And then there’s a whole another group that never even crossed their mind. And that’s just one really dumb, easy example, right? But there’s been a ton of companies that have had to pivot. We’ve had to do the whole work remote or work from home, whole host of challenges that are involved in that in terms of leadership, people management, company culture, helping teammates feel connected.

So there’s been a ton of things that has happened. So if you were kind of preparing for that, if you were already kind of keeping in mind, hey, what’s going to happen in the future if we needed to scale rapidly, but we don’t maybe have the infrastructure, the building space to do so. What would a work from home situation look like? Or if I’m a restaurant, what’s another way I can reach out and grab my customer and serve my customer in a more effective way. You might then start to kind of grasp the idea of doing delivery, of partnering with some of the food delivery services. So that I believe is some of the point of what Jesse was stating in our conversation where we prepare for the fight that you don’t know is coming.

22:05
Brandon Shelton. So, Brandon, CEO of Task Force X Capital. I could really relate to him and I think a lot of you can probably relate to him as well. So he has a glowing example of what relentless pursuit, grit, determination looks like. He was very, very quick to say, hey, look, I may not be the smartest guy. I may not be the most gifted or the most talented person, but I have worked my butt off to get to where I am. And it’s very clear that he has. And it’s very clear from his history and from the things that he’s done. You could definitely see that, you could definitely sense that.

He shared some really amazing stories just from his time in the military to this time on the outside, in the civilian space. Incredible, just raw passionate outlook on life and the journey he’s taken. And I think just his story, honestly, is a great reminder to everybody of no one’s just going to hand it to you. You have got to go work your butt off. And if you want something, you are going to be the only one who’s going to limit yourself to doing that. You’ve either got to go find the right people to put into your network. So whether it’s a resource captain, I think Bill Militello actually talked about this in his episode. Your success, your ability to raise is going to be a direct function of the size of the wallet of your network. And Brandon hits on that too to a lesser extent. But the point I’m making here was he embodies what it looks like to work really hard and to overcome the obstacles, overcome the challenges, force yourself to learn and just dedicate himself a hundred percent to the process and into learning what all he needs to learn and to be able to break into the different industries and places that he wants to be.

And so phenomenal story. Again, I loved his passion. I love the way that he shared some of the challenges that he’s endured and he’s gone through. And I’m really, really grateful to him for that. It was a very raw and inside look at his life and his career. And again, I think it serves as an amazing reminder and example of how we can overlay that over our own careers and our own ventures.

24:19
And then later on in the season, I interviewed Alexander Kunz. So Alex, he’s a former Navy SEAL. He also runs a company called OP2 Labs and he has got a couple of different brand names. One of them is FrogFuel. And so it’s protein, it’s supplements, it’s things that really help endurance athletes and another high performing industries perform at their best. I loved one of the main points that he made and I think this should be a reminder for a lot of us as veterans. I mean, and he made several good points. A lot of the points he made were so gentle and so quick and we’d kind of move on to something else, but I’m telling you, there was a ton of great things in that conversation that I would really encourage you to go back and take a look at.

One of the things that really stood out to me was there’s a lot of veterans running companies right now. There’s a lot of veterans that are – and we could pick on a few of them, right? So there’s like a couple of the obvious ones. Veterans apparel brands. Just a great example of how we’ve got – there’s probably a dozen or more, probably even more than that at this point, but a ton of – and again, I’m picking on just one example. This applies across just about any industry. The point being is that we’ve got a ton of veterans out there that are doing very similar things, going after the same audience, have the same target market and we’re operating in the exact same space. And what’s happening is we’re having to learn all these hard lessons and all these things by ourselves and it’s costing us a ton of time and a ton of money.

And if we would surrender our pride – and I’m telling you those are words that will just make you crawl, right? But if we would lay down our pride in here and our ego to some extent and be willing to partner with other people that may be in our same industry on our same market, our same target, and work together, it goes back to some of these examples you hear from some of these business shows, right? Would you rather have a large slice of a small pie or would you rather have a smaller slice of a large pie? And the point he was making is I would definitely prefer the latter. It’s a much better situation to have a small slice of a much larger pie. And you’ve got the benefit of a team. You’ve got the benefit of a whole collective of expertise in drive and determination.

So if we’re able to do that, honest conversation, it takes the ability to lay down a little bit of pride and ego as being one of the big things that hold people back. And that was really one of the main points that Alex brought to the conversation. Again, there’s a ton of other things that he talked about that were powerful. But pride and ego, that was a great point, especially coming from him as a former Navy SEAL, that has a whole another perspective, there’s a whole another thing that you kind of view that as. So coming from him and kind of seeing that the discussion about pride and ego, it was very powerful and it was something very, very much worth taking a look at.

27:36
So then we moved out of the season format. And then from that point forward, we moved into a sequential numbered format. And that’s been the way that it’s been since. And that’s the way it’s probably going to proceed for the unforeseeable future. It’s just a sequential numbered format for every single episode. A couple of highlights. I’m only going to pull out two or three now just out of respect a time.

So I had Bob Burg on the show. Bob is the only non-veteran I’ve had on the show and I’m not going to say never, I’ll never have another non-veteran on the show, but it’s going to take a very, very, very unique situation for me to invite non-veterans on the show. I mean, I’m telling you, with very, very few exceptions. Bob was one of those exceptions.

So he’s written a book. He’s actually written several books, but he’s written The Go-Giver series of books and that’s impacted my life and it’s impacted several people that I know personally in a very positive way. He comes from a military family though he himself didn’t serve. But man, he had such an amazing perspective on business, on sales and business development. Just a very, very clear and articulate approach and perspective on what it means to run business. And I really appreciate it. It’s very simple. It’s almost so simple and profound that’s difficult to grasp. And I see a lot of people struggle with the concept. But again, very, very powerful conversation.

But the crux of it being is to focus on the needs of the other person, of adding value to that person, of giving to those around you. It doesn’t mean that we just forsake the business development processes. It doesn’t mean that we just expect magically that we’re going to begin to close deals. We still need to have a sales process in place. But he simply makes the point of when you are so focused on yourself, it makes it a lot more difficult. But when you are focused on other people and how you can improve their lives and address their needs in a very sincere and heartfelt way, it really can make a huge impact.

And I’ve seen this personally, and it’s kind of off-putting, if I want to be honest. I’ve had a few people approach me about things previously, and they’re so honest, and they’re so willing to serve and to help that you assume, at least for me. I assume that they want something, that there’s okay, where’s the other hand going? Where’s this punch going to come from? Because I’m expecting to give that I’m expecting a punch to follow right after it. And there’s been only a couple of people in my life where that hasn’t been true. And it’s very crazy how it works.

But then it opens the door for a greater relationship because when someone truly cares about your situation and you kind of put your guard down, it opens up a lot of doors for that person as well. Because now, again, it’s not the psychological mind game of like, okay, well, I did one for you, now you owe me something. It’s not like that. But there is a little bit of psychology in play there. And I’ll just let you read the book because I’m probably going to do a horrible job of trying to summarize that.

But again, just focus on giving to other people, focus on adding value and understanding. And then there’s going to be an exchange in value, right? So making sure that the price that they pay is less than the value that you give. I may have gotten that wrong. But there is a correlation there between the value that you’re going to bring to them and the price that they’re going to pay for it. They perceive that the value that they’re going to get from this transaction is going to be greater than the price of pay. So I think I did say that, right? And so there’s a price to pay, whatever. It could be a product or service. And to make sure that the value that you’re going to add to that person, to their company, whatever the situation is, that it’s going to exceed what they paid for. And then everybody walks away winning, right?

27:36
After him, sometime later, I had Jake Wood of Team Rubicon. Jake shared again, very, very powerful story of just the formation of the nonprofit, of some of the struggles, the stress of running the company. Nonprofits are no different than other companies in their needs to generate revenue, in their needs to pay payroll, in their needs to do all the other things that every business does. They’re no different. A lot of them, they enjoy a tax status and there’s some other regulatory things that come with that. But in the end, when it’s all said and done, they have profit and loss. They have revenue that they need to generate and they have expenses they need to pay. And you better have more money leftover at the very end of it than you spent.

And so very, very powerful story, very insightful. And it’s a really cool organization, just what they do in terms of disaster recovery. It’s a very volunteer heavy organization. So I’d encourage you to check out Team Rubicon. And then Jake also released a new book. So you can get more about that. You just do search for Jake Wood. You’ll see it all over the news, all over social media. There’s plenty there.

32:51
And then sometime later, and I’ll just wrap this up here. I had author and lawyer Don Brown. So Don Brown, he’s been featured on several big national news outlets. He was a Navy JAG. He got out and went into private practice and he’s represented a couple of folks in fairly high profile cases. And we talk about that. We also talk about the author’s journey of what it means to be an author, right? So there’s a lot of people out there that write books. In fact, probably a third of the guests on my show, maybe roughly about 25% or a third of the guests of my show, they have written books. And so he kind of gives us a little bit of an insider trading information on what it means to be an author, what that looks like. What’s the process for that? How hard is it?

And so he shared a funny story about how that whole thing took place. And so back then, and this will show, I guess, how old or young we all are listening to this, but you might recall a TV series back in the 90s called JAG, right? It was a very popular show. In fact, I watched that show. And so he was at a authors conference or like some writing conference. And they were talking about all the different things that are required to produce a book, to get published, to do all these things. So he shared about this and he had to go back to the drawing board, came back a year later, found – I don’t think it was the same literary agent, but of somebody else, and then they were really intrigued by his writing and they asked him about maybe writing a JAG series and he’s like, yup, that sounds great. I’ve started that already. And so it was really cool because he hadn’t actually started it. He was in the process of developing the idea. So anyway, you’d have to watch it. A very, very awesome point.

But he shared a lot about the authorship journey. He also shared quite a bit about the lawsuits that he was able to participate in with some of these high profile folks. The one that I’m most thinking it was Clint Lorance, that whole story. And then he’s written a couple of nonfiction books. So he wrote mostly fiction works, but then he has written a couple of nonfiction books. I have one of them laying around here, which is the book about The Shoot-Down of SEAL Team Six in Afghanistan. So it was just a very, very raw inside look at how that whole thing went down.

35:22
So that’s that for all the episodes and the big takeaways. I hope that you’ve found some of these same takeaways. And so I just want to share with you a few more things that’s going on. So 2020 was a major leap forward. I pray that you’ve been able to glean some takeaways from the show. I don’t always get feedback from folks, but I did have a friend reach out to me and he let me know that one of the episodes, I’m not going to tell you which episode, I’m not going to tell you what industry he’s in, but one of the episodes really, really impacted him. So he’s in a very similar industry, very similar space to one of my guests and has been struggling with his business and some of the things that he’s working on. And one of the stories that when my guests shared about these specific business challenges that may be unique to this type of industry or this type of work really, really like hit him in between the eyes and caused him to really take a look and reevaluate what he’s doing. And so it caused him to kind of huddle up his team and understand what they’re going to do going forward.

And so, very powerful. Again, I don’t ask for the feedback. I love the feedback. It helps me, it keeps me motivated to keep producing the show. But I wanted to share that with you. It’s neat to see the impact of that some of these interviews have had on folks. And so I’m incredibly grateful for that. I don’t know how else to say it. I’m humbled and I’m honored to be a part of that. And so I’m grateful that if there’s even one little takeaway that you can take from any one of these guests and they may not even be in your industry, they could be just some profound point. I’m grateful for some of the folks or for everybody that I’ve had on, but I’m grateful for some of the stories that I’ve been able to hear, but this one was the most direct.

We are all on this journey together. I think that’s been one of the things that we can tend to put people that are in a spotlight status, we can tend to put them up on a pedestal and we don’t realize that they also have real needs, real problems, real life. They have kids. Most of them do. They have marriages. They have relationships. They have financial needs. They have all these other things that are going on in their life, just like you and I do. And so these people that we elevate and we put on a pedestal, that’s a bit of a mistake. And so it’s important to realize that we’re all learning. And it’s important that I think that true wisdom comes from being able to identify someone else’s struggle, why it happened, how it happened and how to not do that again in the future. And just overlay that on top of your own situation. It may not completely cleanse you or complete prevent you from making a mistake, but the hope would be if you’re not able to completely avoid that same pitfall, it will at least a lesson or deaden the sting of whatever it is that you may be going through.

38:16
So going forward, I’m excited to announce the show will continue for the foreseeable future. I’ve had a couple of folks reach out to ask me what the future of the show looks like. You will notice, though, there are going to be some look and feel changes, some intro and outro stuff that may change slightly in the coming weeks. I’m working through a few things internally with the way that the show’s going to be produced and post produced that will make it better, that we can maybe scale the show and do a little bit more with it and not get so bogged down in the post-production process.

And so, stand by for that. Especially if you’re listening to this on Spotify or Apple, you might notice a slight difference – and I don’t know this for certain yet, but the intro music might change. There might be a slight change. So I don’t want you to be alarmed by that. But the general, just the heart of the show, the whole purpose of the show will absolutely remain the same. And so I’m very excited about that.

I’m also very excited in January. I’m launching another show called The Dallas-Fort Worth Business Podcast. I’m sure it will be interesting to you even if you’re not in the DFW area, but it will be of particular interest to you if you are local, if you are in the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. It’s going to be a phenomenal time. January will be a test month for the show. I’m going to release an episode literally every business day of January. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to sustain that. That’s why I’m looking at some post-production processes and some improvements that folks that I’m working with and myself that we’re taking a look at to help improve so that we are able to do more in any more timely way. And so standby for that.

I’m also opening up sponsorship opportunities for both shows. So I’ve had a few people reach out to me in the past to ask me about that. I made a very, very, very deliberate decision early on that I really wanted to get to the end of year one without any sponsors. I wanted to produce the content. I wanted you to be able to consume it. I wanted you to be able to enjoy it. And I still believe that that can be the case with added sponsorships. So now that we have a little bit of traction and a little bit of a history with each other, now I’m confident going forward that doing tasteful sponsorships amongst some of these episodes would absolutely be the right thing to do.

So that might be coming. But again, if you are a company or a business that’s looking to promote the brand, I wouldn’t get so hung up on the opportunity of conversions though that’s a reality. I would also get more focused on the ability for you to have some type of evergreen sponsorship in that brand awareness that comes from that. Because it’s a very real thing. You may not buy something today for the promoted brand, but you’re going to be thinking about it because you heard it on eight episodes over the last three months or something like that. So anyway, something to think about. Again, I’m not pushing it, I’ve already had people reach out. I’m sure that I’ll book out and sell out of sponsorships before too long.

41:20
Most importantly – and this is why I saved this for the very, very end. Most importantly, I want to thank you. I want to thank you, the listener, the viewer, the subscriber, the guest, the friend, the colleague, for watching, for listening to the show. The show exists for you. It exists to help you in your journey. It exists to help provide you some examples and resources for people that are willing to share what’s worked for them, what hasn’t worked for them in their professional careers and their ventures. That is my heart. My heart has been to serve you in this way.

Again, I don’t talk about this hardly ever. This show costs me money to produce. It’s a way that I’m giving back to our veterans community. It’s a way that I see contributing and advancing the cause of business in both veterans and then now obviously in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But I think it’s so important that I acknowledge you. Because I don’t have a show without you watching or without you listening. And so I really do want to thank you. Thank you for being with me for 2020, whether you just found the show in the last three weeks, or have you been with me since February, Season 1 Episode 1. I just want to sincerely thank you. It’s been a wild and fun ride. I’m so excited for 2021. I believe 2021 is going to be a phenomenal year.

2020 has been an amazing year. And I want to encourage you to force yourself, to find the positive, to find the growth, the opportunity from 2020. That’s not to discount the challenges. I know a lot of you have had some very real, tangible, personal challenges, whether it’s been with health, whether your own health, your family, a family member, whether there’s been employment, employment’s dried up. You may have had a business go under. You may have been unemployed for a period of time. I am not insensitive to that. My heart genuinely goes out to you and I would encourage you to find the positive in the midst of all this. Find the opportunity, find how you can grow, how you can be better, how you’re stronger now.

You’re still here. If you’re listening or watching this, you made it. We’re at the end of 2020 right now. There’s only one day left in this year. You’ve made it. And so again, sincerely, I just want to thank you. Thank you so much. And we will see you next week. Take care.

AE Podcast

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