Be Seen, Heard, and Validated with Matt Currin

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Matthew Currin is a retired Marine Corps helicopter pilot and a current Team Penske NASCAR pilot. He is also a trainer, life coach, and founder of Convene Communities. Matt shares his passion for peer-to-peer counseling. He shares stories from his time in the Marine Corps and dealing with the loss of friends. 

If you are struggling in life: reach out, get the help that you need, and don’t think you’re alone.

Highlights:

{05:07} What makes Matt a Titan?

{21:51} Stories from the Marine Corps, dealing with the loss of friends.

{33:31} Surviving the Dunker 

{43:20} The Convene platform.

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Matt Currin Bio:

Matt’s career as a Marine required making split-second decisions and having access to the right knowledge at the right time. This could often result in either life or death for others. Matt saw the repercussions of this when his close friend died in a helicopter accident, which could have easily been averted if knowledge had been shared from another squadron of a simple aircraft change. The change of a simple bolt in the cockpit could have saved three Marines’s lives if information had been shared.

It inspired him to create Convene – a platform tailored for businesses and individuals to collaborate and connect.

Connect with Matthew:

http://matthewcurrin.com/

Well, good morning, everybody, and welcome to the show. I’m Carol Carpenter. And that guy down there not looking at the camera is Travis Johnson, my co-host. We have a special guest here today, and his name is Matthew Currin. As a retired Marine Corps helicopter pilot, if I can spit that out, and a former EMS Hilo pilot as well, he is currently a Team Penske NASCAR pilot. Really interested in that. We’ll talk about that, I’m sure. Matthew is a trainer, life coach, and founder of Convene Communities.

Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate y’all having me. It’s great.

I’ve been looking forward to this because I saw that NASCAR thing, and I’m I want to know Want to know?

Yeah, I know, guys, my history is pretty deep. So, I do. I fly the helicopter for Team Penske, NASCAR, and Indy. probably one of the best jobs on the face of the earth. My job is to fly the owner in and out of the tracks. The other executives and out of the tracks I get to drive, fly around some of the drivers in and out of the tracks, and the PR events and all that. So, as I said, I was an air medical pilot—right place, right time. So, I said that Team Penske is looking for a pilot. Would you be interested? and I’m like, yeah.  There’s no doubt, and so Yeah.  

So, I’ve been doing that since April of 2017, but you know, I had a little bit of a thing called COVID that hit, and we had that. I got a phone call that said, “Hey, we’re going to sell the What am I going to do? So, I was actually in the middle of going back to fly Air Medical again, and got the phone call that said, “Hey, we’re going to.” Possibly keep the Helicopter.  But what we want to do is train you on a Gulfstream g280. So now I’m also a jet pilot. Where I fly.

Yeah, freaking awesome.

So, we fly around again, fly Roger Pensky around a lot, and fly other executives in support of Penske Automotive Group and Penske Trucking. All those trucks, you know, moving trucks, you see going down the road. Yeah, I work for a man. So, I fly a lot of people around, so it’s awesome. And we’re still flying the helicopter quite a bit. In fact, you know. I’ll take off here at the end of next month and do my fifth Indianapolis 500. So that is really cool because I get to stand down in the pits while the race is going on. and all that. so much fun.

Well, you talk about racetracks, and that’s what we do with motorcycles. So, the minute I heard NASCAR, I was Like, “Oh, it’s got to.” Be the racetrack involved. I’ve got to know.

As I said, it’s fun. It’s the right place at the right time. Roger Penske is probably one of the most amazing men. I’m lucky enough to get to, you know, interact with him and just watch him. And just such an awesome, awesome person. Awesome job to have, so yeah.

And you say lucky. But the truth is, I think you are in. Exactly the right place at the right time.

Well, you are right, and I do believe that you know, God has a way to guide us and put us where we need to be. And you know, I also know that I worked pretty hard to raise myself, you know, up in my work as a, as a pilot to where, when it came out that Team Penske was looking for a pilot. My name was getting thrown out to them. So that was a great thing. Again, at the right place, at the right time, and walked into a good job. So, one of their six right now there are 3 helicopters that are in NASCAR and I’m one of the pilots on three of them. 

So, I’m actually the lead helicopter pilot for Penske now. And so, there’s only, gosh, there’s… Two handfuls of NASCAR helicopter pilots or less get to do the job. So, it’s pretty small, a small select few there, so that’s cool.

Yeah, that’s wonderful.

Awesome. Freaking awesome.

You know you, you said. You were a pilot in the Marine Corps, and obviously, you’ve kept her qualifications and did a good enough job to get picked up by Penske. Like that’s we know that’s like the fruit of your story, but we won’t really get down to the root of who you are. So, I have got to ask you, what are the qualities that? Make you a Titan.

Yeah, well, let’s go back. You know, if I’m really going to dive in and tell you the story, let’s go way back. and I go back to when I was a young kid. You know, I grew up in Raleigh, NC, and I have three older brothers or two older brothers. Excuse me, I am the youngest of three, and my older brothers were incredible athletes. We come from a very athletic family: football, baseball, and basketball, but mostly once we got older, it was football, baseball, and I got tired of following in my brother’s footsteps, and so it was, you know, after my freshman year of high school, I was like, yeah, I’m going to go out and go on my own. 

And so, I transferred to another school. I can actually remember the conversation I had when I walked up to the coach, which was between Coach Trevathan and I looked at him, and I guess that’s what I’m getting at. As a pretty cocky kid, this is the story I walked up to him and I said, “Hey, coach Trevathan, I’m Matt Curran,” and he went, “Oh, you’re a Curran.” and I was… I knew my brother… and I was like, “Yes,” and I said I just transferred in, and he knew I transferred in because we’d have gotten to him. and he goes. All right, you guys. We’re looking forward to seeing what you can do. And I said, “Coach, I’m going to play varsity football for you.” and he goes. You’ve got to prove it. and I said But I have one issue. I said we were getting ready to play in the state. baseball and that might take me to the southeast region. and he is doing well. Then you won’t be playing varsity football for me. and I was like, “OH.” OK,  

So, what ended up happening is: We lost. lost the state championship to an incredible team. And yeah, I was one of two sophomores who played varsity football. I ended up starting at defensive back the whole year. There and then, I was one of one sophomores that played varsity baseball. 

So, here’s where my story really, really kind of gets going: if we play the game on a Saturday afternoon and I go out and have a great game, I’m 3 for 4. I remember it just like yesterday because of what happened. I was 3 for 4 and had a good game in center field. I played center field at the time and went out that night. 

So, who are my friends? My friends were all juniors, seniors, mostly seniors, who kind of took me under their wing. Well, what a what? a high school. Kids, do you know? Do things well… went out and drank. I remember getting some alcohol. I remember taking, you know, turned it up to Jim Beam. and that’s about the last thing I remember. That was the first time I ever drank alcohol as a sophomore. I was 16 and woke up the next day in the hospital. And yeah, tubes coming out of your nose and mouth. Your, you know, IV’s… heart monitor is on you. That’s kind of a rough way to wake up as a 15/16-year-old kid, I think it’s actually still 15. time, and it was brutal, you know, and so on. 

So, if you go forward from there, that wasn’t the That was the bad part that I recovered from that, but what was going on was that we had this little fraternity thing in high school, and they had an event the next two weeks later that happened to another guy I got named James, and they would look at James and take one breath and say, “James, we’re sorry about what just happened to you.” They would look at me and say, “Otis, you’re drunk,” and they would call me Otis because of Andy Griffith, the town drunk, you know, and Andy Griffith, and that at that school became my nickname… Otis, It’s stuck, and as a 15-year-old hockey kid, it’s really confusing and frustrating for me. It’s like, “Well, why are they coming at me so hard?” But then, in the same breath, they’ll tell James that they’re sorry that that happened to him, and it was the same group of people.

And so fundamentally, it changed who I was as a person. I didn’t like it because, you know, guys can be brutal. Girls can be brutal. We’ll talk more about stuff later. But you know, guys and girls, people can be brutal and yeah, it was. It was frustrating to me. It was my first time being kind of “bullied,” you know. And it’s stuck and. Did they mean anything? No, it was. It was just good ribbing. It was fun, you know? But it did inside. 

So, I transferred back to the other school. I ran back to Sanderson, my other high school, and, you know, ended up graduating from there. I went off and played college baseball in my freshman year. Yeah, I didn’t want to go to school; I didn’t want to leave home, you know, because, like I said, it changed.

So, I got through my first semester of college, quit baseball, and couldn’t do it like I was done. My coach was great. He’s like, “Hey, you can come back just, you know, take your time.” It was at the end of the season. I was like, “I just can’t do it.” He does well. You can come back. So come back in the spring. They started practicing like I got to, I got to. The best thing that happened to me I walked in, and he said, “You can come back, but go make an appointment with this counselor.” And so that’s what I did, and it’s kind of fundamentally changed who I was also. I have a master’s degree in counseling now as well, and it really goes back to that.

I mean that’s the timeline of what happened. But that doesn’t tell us who you are, who you like when you said you became the bully. What was what? What was going on within you and what? Did you do that?

Yeah, I didn’t. I didn’t. Become the bully. I was bullied. 

  1.  

So, they were coming at me, you know, hard. It was always said, “No, no, really,” but it changed. I went from a cocky kid to a pretty girl, not an introverted girl; that’s not the right way. But I was very calm, very conservative, you know. You go forward. Oh, I’m very cautious. I didn’t go to parties. I didn’t go out. I didn’t do any of that stuff. I always change. I always had a girlfriend; you know, after that point, I always had to find somebody that I could dive into and trust. 

And that wasn’t bad, but I had been going out with a girl, you know, starting in my freshman year. Even though she was still back at the other school, you know, I kind of do that. It became about her, and the world became about me and her. You know, at that point in time, because I wasn’t cocky anymore, you know, I really was. You know, it really changed me. when I say it. It changed me. I went from that kid who thought he could do anything to that kid whom I was doing well, you know, in sports and on them, but I wasn’t that cocky kid like I was before.

Your perspective changed for sure, yeah.

My perspective of life changes, and to the point, it Is parenting, parenting, and just life, in general. That moment makes me tell my kids and other people to listen. if you wouldn’t like it. Then don’t do it to somebody else. if it hurts your feelings. Don’t do it to somebody so you can talk about the golden rule. All right, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

But it takes it even a step further. It’s the platinum right to treat people the way they want to be treated, and kindly, they’ll treat you the way you need to be treated, but it all came from that. It hurts, man. It literally hurt.

Would you say that that experience humbled you at the time?

Totally, totally humbled me. You know, again, I thought, you know, if I’m being honest, like I mean to walk up to your high school coach and say I’m going to start varsity for you, you know? Play varsity and start varsity. Who does this 10th-grade kid think? Yes, but I did.

My son, my son did the same thing.

But that’s it. You want to have that confidence, right? I’m not.

Right.

I’m not saying.

And I don’t think it’s necessarily cocky. It’s knowing your abilities and how you can contribute to your team. And my son knew, I mean, he played, you know, AU basketball, and I just did the same things as he was the team captain. He had an edge of cockiness, but he was very giving and kind and understanding to his teammates, so he was always the captain, but he was the youngest. And he was a combo Guard. 

So I get it. It’s when you know, you say. Well, it was kind of cocky. Well, I don’t know, you know. If you want to succeed there. Has to be. A degree of that. If you are to be able to succeed. Do you be 100% behind somebody in the shadows, you can’t.

Yeah, it’s cocky and confident, right? We have to have the confidence that we can. You can raise yourself to a level too. I mean, it’s a competition. You’re going to beat people out, you know, and I mean, again, if you took that where I was well, and you put it to where I am now. I’m no different. You know, I’m going to. I’m going to beat people out. You know, I’m not going to give up. I’m going to keep striving, but yeah, at the same time, as a person the way I treated people wasn’t about me anymore. It became about other people. That’s the fact.

So, you became others focused and a call, you know, confidence. With a humble nature, you know, and these are. These are all things that. Makes you a Titan.

Yeah, I think so, because if you have confidence in yourself that you can continue to rise to the level. And again, if you go forward with my whole career. That’s what I’ve been able to do. At the same time, I also got to treat people with respect. You know, and that’s something that a lot of people don’t do right now. So, I feel like we just said.

Everybody needs to teach. You know, treat each other with respect. I am so freaking tired of people talking like, oh yeah, I respect all these people, and then they’re sitting there **** talking to them. Behind their back. And you’re like.

How the **** is?

How? How is respecting people?

I beat my kids up with it. Don’t talk about people because you think like you’re talking to your friends and you’re smack-talking to somebody I like. And the next minute they will throw you under the bus. But what they’re trying to do is level up. They’ve had to learn the hard way, but I think everybody has to learn them. The hard way is again if you if. You wouldn’t want it said about you. It’s about somebody else. And if you say it about somebody else, somebody’s going to go tell that person it’s happening every time. It just happens, it’s brutal.

Lessons, though, don’t you think, Matthew for kids? You know, these days especially because it’s such it’s just, the norm these days for everybody to **** talk to everybody else, right? And it’s just like they’re just saying. They call it ribbing. But truthfully, it is **** talking. You know and if they would just realize these mistakes. If they would learn from them. And not everybody. Because some of them are just kind. Of like, well, whatever. You know, they continue **** talking but. If you really learn from these mistakes. I think it makes you a better person.

Yeah, those mistakes teach us the biggest lessons, right? A friend of mine is going through a breakup of sorts, and he asked me, “Well, what am I going to say about this?” People are going to ask me, “What happened? It’s like…

I don’t know what you should say, but I know that I’ve seen people break up before, and the ones that, even though it’s going to be a disaster, no matter how you slice it, it’s going to be a train wreck. But when you’re asked about what happened, you can. Just say that. My mom said, you know, if I had nothing nice to say, to say anything at all and move on. 

People are going to want the dirt. They’re going to want the story.  I have to give it to them. You can’t control the other person, right? Whatever happened has happened; that’s, you know, a historical fact. But you can change the narrative about what that looks like. You don’t have to be the person who says, “Oh yeah.” Dish, give me the scoop. Whatever happened, we didn’t see things eye-to-eye anymore. We found out that we couldn’t move forward in this situation, and that’s all I have to say about it.

Or you could be like the attorney and say, oh, there were irreconcilable differences.

It’s all about differences, and I’ve seen this. I’ve seen this. I’ve got someone close to me. Their parents went through a disaster of a divorce, and you ask one and you can’t talk to this person for two minutes before they start. Just run past the other person and look around. and you talk to the other person, and he’s like, “Yeah, so it is.” So right, they’re hurt, right? I get it. that they’re hurt, but the things you’re saying aren’t going to heal you. It’s not going to heal them. It’s not going to make anyone feel good about you. The other person says simply put; I have nothing nice to say. and I’m not going to say anything. 

We forget that that’s the option. You don’t have to… you can keep the stuff you don’t have to wreck the other person so much with is coming at you. I mean, when you’re growing up like your parents, Say you’re the best.  You’re the most wonderful. 

Chris Rock says, “You know, stop telling your kids they’re special.” There’s no one outside the house to believe it. Be honest, people. The house is on the fence about this whole thing, right? 

Then you get into something like You get around with the military. When I was going through commissioning at the University of Oklahoma, there was a Gunnery Sergeant because he had both Navy and Marine Corps, and he ran on the kids. And he says it all the time… look, your mom told you you were special for 18 years. I’m here to tell you that’s not true. and we’re going to get over that real quick. Mary’s have a special flair… a special flair for making you feel really terrible. And the next business partner I get, he’s going to be like a retired gunnery sergeant just for the flavor that they add to every conversation. I love it. They’re my favorite.

So, I have to ask why it is just the Marines that have that flavor.

Well, the rest of the branches are soft. And they could. I just get it.

Is that, is that ribbing, or is that ****? Talking right, we talked about this earlier.

Yeah, it’s tied to the Marine Corps. You’re not.  No, you know. To be honest with you, the Marine Corps takes pride in it. We take pride in it, and you know our goal is to set out and make the toughest Marines. You know, when you’re first in, and I think the Mariner still holds true in a lot of ways to that. If you’re first in and you take the foothold in whatever country it is, and you tell that marine to take the hill, he’s got to take the hill without turning and going, are you sure you want me to run out there, where they’re shooting back at me? You know you want me to. Do it, no. When you say, “Take the hill,” You go take the Hill, no question. So, when those gunnery sergeants come down and scream at you, that’s mild compared to what it is when bullets hit you flying back at you, and when he says go, I think that’s a big part of it.

Yeah, you know, being in the Navy for 22 years, I can definitely say that I specifically would never have been fit in the Marine Corps. I found out the thing like the thing that drives. It is like I’m always questioning. I’m always trying to improve. I’m always trying to figure out the thing and man, the Marine Corps does not have room for ******* people like that. They just don’t. They just don’t. 

When I was in Bahrain and was learning about podcasting and business and stuff a couple of years ago, I figured out what that was and that was an entrepreneurial spirit in me that I’ve had forever. I could just never define it, but like if I was in the Marine Corps like I would get my ass kicked. The Navy to tell me. To shut up and go. Right. They would be like again, with the ideas. Get the **** out here, dude. Like they can, you know, and especially in aviation, right? OK, Edgar dude.

Tap you on the head.

When I finally figured that out, though for me, like, really understanding who I am. Like I knew that I could no longer be in the Navy, you know, fortunately, I hit retirement and I didn’t do that for like 8 years or something like that. The 22 years I’m like, yeah, sorry, Navy. It’s not me. It’s you. We’re not. This is a break-up letter in two weeks, you know, saying been here.

We got to break up.

Yeah, we got to break. In two weeks. And that’s just how it goes. Really understanding who you are is at the core of everything that we end up doing. And Matt, you’ve been doing amazing things Beyond just flying, right, you’ve built this? This convened community tells us a little bit about that and why that started.

Yeah, let’s, let’s hear about that.

But to do that, I. Got to go to the next big saga story. In my life.

Buckle up, folks.

That was when I was in the Marine Corps. And So, it was a training camp. It was July 9th of 2001. And this night drives my whole life, everything I do is because of this night, and went out to do a training camp, 2CH46 echoes. We’re going to do some practice shipboard landings on what was called the LHA deck. The LHA deck. Of course, you. Know if A is a big ship, right? These are what we fly on now. But the LHA deck was on the side of the New River, we actually had a landing pad that was the size of the deck of a ship and that’s where we would do our practice shipboard landings. So, it’s kind of realistic because it was down a little Cliff. So, you felt like you got that feeling of crossing over onto a ship, you know.

So, I was supposed to fly with my combat crew chief, my combat crew chief gunner, Clark Beatty, has been checked into the squadron. The day that I checked in, I saw him, and I went down to flight equipment, not flight equipment, but flight maintenance control, to get signed for the aircraft, I said to him, “I might.” You’ve booked, and you signed the book. That’s like getting the keys to the car, right? You sign in as soon as you do, you own it. And I walked in. He’s looking through the book, and I was like, “Hey, bro, give me the book.” Let me sign it, and if he goes well, we’ll change the schedule. You’re not flying with me. Anymore, you’re flying with the new guy, Sergeant Salon. 

So OK, so I signed the other book, you know, and the last thing he said to me was, “We are not flying tonight, we’ll be together tomorrow night.” OK, so you have to fight. So, we go… We departed on a single ship. The goal was that we were going to each take off individually. We’ll get down to the left deck. We’ll do our landings, and we’ll park. Well, what did not happen was an aircraft issue in my aircraft; we landed on the LHA deck. Everybody’s inside.  We’re talking about it. 

So, nobody’s really looking out the gunny in the back. Hey, sir, they’re on downwind. OK, good to go. We continued our conversation. And then.  I say, “Hey, Gundy, can we lift?” And he goes, “Sir, did they call it a parting?” I don’t see him. The new guy, Sergeant Salah, the guy that got rotated in the last second to fly with me, goes. He had just gotten there from Okinawa, Japan, when he said, “Sir, there are rocks in this water.” I see something in the water, and he goes, “Sir, come up now there in the water.”

So, he came up and swung the  nose. Around and there they were, they had flown into the water and crashed. Long story short, there they made a 12-second human error, and from that 12-second human error, they flew it straight into the water, and three Marines lost their lives, including my combat crew chief, Clark Beatty. 

So, what was it? You know, we went from that to being on the scene, Commander. You know, we were trying to recover our peers, so the two pilots survived, but the three crew chiefs in the back died, and it was brutal. It was literally, to this day, the worst night of my life. Every July 9th is not a fun day for me, as everybody in my squadron starts at the beginning of the day and goes all you Know goes all day. The messaging back and forth and the post I’ve never seen, and this is no disrespect to all those other veterans, you know because I have a lot of friends who didn’t make it, but I’ve never seen a Marine that moved so many people as Clark Beatty. It is literally that day. It’s like Memorial Day to Clark Beatty. 

So, the hard part was this for me… I came out. We were sitting out on the LA deck. We’re watching them race the aircraft out of the water. I found out that the whole thing was about a 12-second human error. They turned on a red cockpit dome light. And so, they made their goggles go away doesn’t mean you can’t follow the aircraft. It’s a perfectly good aircraft, but everybody focused on turning the light out well; the reality of it is that it should have never happened. 

I found out that a year and a half prior, another squatter did the same thing that caused that mishap that night. And this squadron from a year and a half ago kept it a secret. They did it. It was a six-cent fix; it took less than two minutes to remove that little bolt, turn it from a single toggle switch into a dual toggle switch so that the red cockpit dome light would have never been able to be turned on, and therefore they wouldn’t have had the issue with their night vision goggles coming around and landing. 

So, when I watched him pull the helicopter out … three Marines sitting there just crying, Sergeant Law and Gunna Collins watched and pulled the aircraft. I made a promise that day that I would dedicate my life to, you know, helping. human error does not, you know, have things that cause mistakes, whether that be, well, first it was decision-making. I taught decision-making and career resource management in all kinds of environments because I’m a pilot in hospitals, the air, medical crews, the nuclear industry, and the power industry. But I was speaking at Duke University, and people are coming up and talking to me about their battles with their marriage, their relationships, and their parenting, and I thought about, you know, and I’m like, Yeah, this is bigger than just flying aircraft and working in a high-risk environment. This is everyday life, and it’s kind of what you guys are doing; Your show is here; it’s what we all have. We all have something that we can share, and we can all take our experiences and change lives with them. That’s what I’ve been doing since July 9th, 2001.

Yeah, it’s tough, I…

I was fortunate enough that we never lost an airplane in my 22 years, but we lost tons of sailors to DUI, suicides, traffic accidents, and all sorts of terribleness. Like I don’t know where your numbers are at, but like I know, I’ve known 12 people that have committed suicide. Which is a disgusting number. Absolutely disgusting number.

Or just today, just today a good friend of mine. It’s his anniversary day. I grew up in the Marine Core with him for 32 years in the Marine Corps, 32 years. It was his retirement day. It was his change, change of command. He walked in, walked past duty at 5:30 in the morning, walked in, walked into his office, and poured out a 9-millimeter. 

Yeah, after 32 years he was done. He was out. He had a great job, a wonderful family wife, and two kids. And it was just the thought of the transition, I guess out of the Marine Corps out of his life, he had known 32 years. He took his life. And that’s today. That’s the anniversary today. Because I saw his wife did a post about him earlier today.

Oh, well, you know, I think when you’ve been a part of a community and of a way of life for so long, the idea of it no longer exists. Being human can be too much to bear. That has been your main focus for so many years. And how do you incorporate a life that you’ve never known into your daily When everything’s been so regimented up to that point in time, you know? So, I can’t even imagine how overwhelming that would be.

You have some ideas, right? I retired a year ago, and the things that we’ve done and talked about, Carol, over this past year, you’ve seen me on the highs and the lows over the past year, and that’s just us meeting each other for the first time. It was 11 months, right, maybe one week shy of a year.

True, true, true.

The longest 11 months of your life.

Oh, wow, stop it. No.

That is not true.

Didn’t even think it was that long, to be honest, I didn’t, if I look back now, yeah. It is almost a year, but it hasn’t.

Almost. It’s almost a year.

Feel like it?

Yeah, I know us, you and I have had fantastic times and fantastic days there. I’ve known we’ve had some battles in there and that’s exactly what …

Life has ups and downs, right?

But it’s just, it’s just a transition because I retired from the Navy two months before I met you. So I was at that time that he was talking. And that was right after I retired, when we met and I see I was cocky enough to think that I was so prepared for the civilian world, that my transition wouldn’t affect me. I honestly felt that way and last November, like I just got crushed, I was completely burned down, and completely started being a jerk to people. I’m 100% sure it was a jerk to Carol sometime in the last couple of months.

I’m used to it, guys are jerks.

I mean, that’s why we’re friends. That’s why we’re still together. Right.

But you’re so Right. Though that if people don’t understand the transition. And when I talk to veterans and work with veterans, it’s the security blanket. You know, you had the Navy security blanket on. I had the Marine Corps security blanket on. You’re going to get paid on the 1st and 15th. You’re going to get every 72 every 96. You got your 30 days paid vacation and you know you’re coming up for deployment. You’re going to go. You are in the mindset. Life is that way you know if Travis and I walked into a bar, so I tried to fight him. He’s fighting him and he’s fighting me, because people have each other’s back for the most part you walk out to the civilian world and yours.

You’re on your own.

What is this? What is this? It’s literally it. It’s like the twilight zone and almost, you’re like, this is crazy. And you don’t. Think it’s going to be, but it is. It really is. It’s just a different world. You lose that whole security blanket, that support network that you’re so used to… it just being right there for you. You watch people suffer; you watch. People suffer going.

I really do. I wanted to.  I want to say something about your story, which is just awful. It really is there. I mean, I was a naval flight officer for the Navy for the last eleven years. I was an aviation safety officer. I was also a co-resource management instructor, and we like people whom we do safety investigations with… like All of those things are designed to be non-punitive, you can’t get into any trouble. You have to tell the truth, and that other squadron did that secret for a year. Had the process worked as advertised and you went and did an investigation, you would have ended up writing articles and sending them out not only nationwide but through all the military services messages that come out that help you update aircraft that help keep things safe, as they should. 

We share those stories, so people don’t find themselves in the same situation. We do things like go through flight school in Pensacola, go through helicopter and dunker training, and get a big cylinder. It’s on a crane. It’s in the pool. You strap yourself in, and you’re starting to go down towards the water and to simulate a helicopter going down, the rotors hit the whole thing that flips over, and you’re strapped in, in a pool, and you’ve got to get out. But the training gives people PTSD. The training itself has people quitting flight training, whether they’re an illicit aircrew or there’s some kind of flight crew that’s commissioned. The stuff is no joke.

That’s a great story about my last time. In the Dunker true story.

I mean, it’s what it is.

Yeah, that’s the best.

Dunker of the Dunker, I think. It’s great. I enjoy it.

Yeah, I do too. I actually like the dunker. Actually, I don’t say it’s fun because it’s not fun. Like one of your rides, you’re blindfolded. And how do they blindfold you? They give you these goggles that are spray-painted black inside. 

So, imagine this. OK, Carol, you get in the back; you’re in the back corner. You have goggles on. You can’t see. It’s black, I mean. It’s just that there’s no… So, it was my turn. I’m in the back, and of course, I have the worst seat in the back. It’s the doors over here, you know? So, it’s the back left corner. So, you have to reach across, grab, and then pull yourself down. You got to get to the door, and then you got to find the door, and you’ve got to pull yourself out. 

So, you have got the longest way to get out. So, I’m down. I find my way to the door. I feel my hands right in the corner of the door. Everything’s great.  I pull.  Bamn.  I hit the wall, and I’m like, “OK, what?” How is this happening? Because I’m feeling myself in the door. I pulled, and now I’m, you know, it’s been a long time here. I’m starting to lose my breath. I pulled it again. Bamn… I hit it again, and panic is about to set in.

And when panic sets in and the dunker is hit, what ends up happening is Things start flailing; you’re pulling the goggles off; you’re doing whatever. and I felt this hand come underneath me. Lift me up and push me out. And the driver came out, came up to me, rode up with me, and looked at me. I’m a major, right? And he knows I’m a major at the time he goes. You’re good, sir. 

So, I didn’t have to do it again because if you fail, you get to do it again, you know. but that was scary. That was like it was like, holy crap.  But I was at the door. What I was doing was hitting the bottom of the door. and I was hitting the edge. Think about that.

So, you weren’t clearing it

I wasn’t clearing it by that much, and I was about to panic. And he’s like now you’re good and. But yeah, that was. That was my last ride ever. In and in a conquer.

So, for a little bit of context, right? You’re in a helmet, flight suit, and boots, and you’re in an indoor pool in Pensacola, and they have divers in the water to make sure exactly what Matt’s talking about, that you prevent some kind of freak out or panic, and the training is vital because when you ride in a helicopter in the military, your first ride might go down, and you might need to have that training to understand how to save yourself. So, we do it. 

You have to hand over your hand,  lights out. You’ve got to break the window out. There’s, like, a thing. You’ve got to break the window out, and you’ve got to get through and get out and do all that stuff. I had a struggle in the pool myself, they’re like they always ask you to train. They’re like, “Oh, are you safe?” Did you get a lot of sleep? You’re a flight school. No one gets a good night’s sleep, right? Everyone just lies on that one, yeah. 

I grew up in the water. I grew up on the lakes, I grew up just having a great time in the water all the time. Well, how are you? Did you get to go to sleep? My son was sick. All night, I got like 30 minutes of sleep, and it was the one where you have to swim across the pool Flight suit, boots, helmets, and you’ve got a life vest on, but it’s not inflated, and you have to go to this section, and you’ve got to tread water for like 3 minutes. It feels like 3 hours, yeah.

Feels like 3.

And if you do it wrong, if you end up like coming up out of the water and start, like, bobbing like. You’re putting in a lot of energy. Right. And like 20 seconds into doing that, they pulled me out of the pool like you. Got to do this again. I was like. Like I was just, I was so exhausted. I was so tired from all the training, from all the stuff they put you through. And so, I got put on a swim hold for like 2 weeks and they had me redo it like. Oh, you did so easily. I was like, well. I actually got to sleep this time.

Amazing what happens when you get to sleep right?

Oh my God.

Heard people talk about like that have crashed. You’ve gone down the water and they’re like, you know, cord store reference belts. That’s what they teach you. And they’re like you, you just kick in, you just do it. 

Hit that adrenaline and that adrenaline rush is what pulls you through. I mean, that’s the reason we have it, you know, is for those emergency moments, it is nature’s way of protecting us, yeah.

It really is the. The thing that he mentioned was the sequence a lot of people forget, especially people that kills me… People that leave the military forget this. The reason that’s successful is because of all the repetitions you’ve done from all the training that you’ve done. A lot of civilians don’t know. That’s like 85/95% of what the military does is training. 

So, when it does come to that time when that **** does hit the fan when the healer goes in the water when you going to take that hill that because of the repetitions, the training kicks in and you do it like, but civilians don’t like to train for ****.

One of the guys that was his guy named Brent Woods, he was a captain. I can’t remember if I was still a Lieutenant. May I could have been a junior captain, but I was flying with him when my first Flight 1 of. My first flight. On the ship he gets in, and he straps in, and I look over at him and his eyes are closed, and he goes.

And he grabs the reference, and he pulls his belt. And he looks at me and he goes every time you get in this, you need to do the same thing. And he did. Religiously, he would get in when we’re coming off the ship, and he would, he would do it. He closed his eyes, and he would find his reference spot he Would do a cord/door because of what was happening with people? They found people that had come out and gotten out of the helicopter or whatever they were, and they were suspended in the water. Because they didn’t undo their cords. Oh God, I wouldn’t **** you.

Floating to safety. And you’re like, yeah, it’s funny as we’re talking about it here, but if it’s real life, you’re like, Oh my goodness.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, I have to ask them, Matthew, like when you were in high school, did you have your sights on being in the military?

Yeah, I wanted to be a pilot big time. I originally went to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to play baseball, and I actually tried to do Air Force ROTC at North Carolina A&T, which is in Greensboro, and quickly found out that D1 Sports is a full-time job, and you are not doing that. And a couple of weeks later, it was actually a few weeks later when the best-kept secrets in the entire world for everybody who listens. 

He is what’s called The PLC program between leader’s class program and it’s how Marine Marines become pilots and it’s basically I stopped doing RTC. I was walking through the cafeteria area and saw the marine recruiters. I always wanted to be a pilot but had no idea how to become a pilot. And they’re playing videos, but the PLC program is a program where you sign your dedicated contract. I knew I was guaranteed I had a guaranteed flight contract. I had to go to Officer Candidate School in the summer and then once I graduated, I became commissioned. And then I went off and did what was called the basic school and that was the rest of my history. 

But yes, you’re so right. I wanted to be a pilot. It was my dream. I still have friends that talk to me and speak. You did it. And I have one friend that tells me I’m the biggest overachiever he’s ever met in his life.

Pleased to meet you.

It’s so interesting that the people that we end up talking to and the people that we right here end up surrounding ourselves with have this drive within us, this motor that won’t quit like whatever. Like you do something before you do it. You’re like, oh, it’s impossible. Then you get it done. You’re like, well, that was easy. Well, the whole time you were telling yourself you couldn’t do it, you did it. And as soon as it’s over, you don’t even congratulate yourself. 

You’re just on to the next thing. Whatever the next thing is, we stack these things up and stack them up and stack them up and stack. And unless we burn out, you know we’re going to continue doing that in perpetuity forever. 

People look at my resume, I know they look at yours. Carol, I’m pretty sure they look at Matt and be like how the heck did you do all this? No, downtime is like we just go from one thing to the next thing to the next thing.

I’ll tell you something if somebody says it’s impossible. I take that as a challenge like I’ll find a way to make sure that it is possible because there is no such thing.

And I took that personally, right?

Another story like that. We haven’t, really. Talked about my platform. Convene right, which is good.

Yeah, let’s do it. Yeah.

But it’s so funny. When I introduced myself because I was up last weekend in Richmond, VA, and I got up in front of the crowd, I always introduced myself. I won’t make it as I do. But a retired pilot started a training program for it, which I talked about. Let me do the first part because it’s pretty interesting. So, I’ll say Yeah, I’m retired. Marine Corps pilot. I flew CH46 Echo, and I actually led some of the initial missions in Afghanistan in 2001, which was kind of interesting when I was on the way over to Afghanistan. After September 11th, I got off the ship out of Egypt and flew to Bahrain. 

I was locked in this room with this guy. You may have heard of It was me and two other Marines and General Mattis, and we planned the airfield seizure of Kandahar and, you know, the Southwest Desert airstrip. I did that. I became a weapons tax instructor, and I went to flight school and flew air medical. I’m shortening it now, but I flew for Air Medical, and then I flew to Penske, and I do all that, and people are gone when I’m telling the story. Did that mean you did that? You’ve flown 650 miles, miss. You know flights as air, medical pot, and now you start flying a helicopter for Team Penske NASCAR and Indy 95 Jet, and then I’ll say, but all that said, that’s my side gig, and I truly feel like that’s my side gig. That’s not my main focus in life. You know my platform convene.  

And so, the convening communities’ platform is, you know, a platform with a purpose; it’s for people like you guys, anybody, anywhere that has an idea, a passion, or a story to bring that passion story into the platform. 

It’s the lead behind. Because remember, I told you I spoke at Duke. University spoke at Duke University. Did you know a line of 20 people that wanted to talk to me after I got done, you know, with my speaking, and I’m there, and the topic is decision-making, crew management, and resource management in a high-risk environment like an air medical crew in a trauma center? I’m talking to doctors, nurses, you know, ENTs, all these air medical professionals. Nobody talked to me about that topic. Everybody took what I talked about for that hour and tied it to their lives. They tied it to their own experiences in parenting, marriage, and relationships. That’s who they want to talk to me about. 

The problem was, what was my lead behind? Where did I send them? I didn’t have a Facebook group. I send them to, you know, my website, but where can they collaborate with me? And so, I was… I had this platform that I had been building for years and was working with, and there were companies that used it business-to-business wise, but I’m Like, why keep? It’s just for myself. Why not let anybody and everybody use it? 

Like somebody that Travis and I know, like Lisa Herring, the lady that makes the most money on the platform, 66 years old, and she teaches people how to file for Social Security and disability? Benefits, and when you read her testimonials, they will bring you to tears because she’s teaching people how to file for Social Security and disability benefits, and she gets a testimony like, “You have made me feel like a man again because you helped me get a check for $60,000, and now I feel like I can contribute to my family.” That’s an influencer. She’s an influencer.

Lisa is flat-out Amazing.

One person is an influencer.

She’s flat-out amazing. I’ve gotten more referrals from Lisa than the next 5-10 people combined. She is all about service, all about helping other people and it sounds like she’s using your platform to the Max.

Driving. She’s thriving in it because what it does is you get to come in and it’s not. Don’t come in and take her, you know she is 22… We call them experiences because we learn through experience. I don’t call them; I don’t call them training class or whatever… 22 experiences that she puts people through. She has a workbook, but where the magic happens is they get to ask her questions, and they get to collaborate. 

That’s where learning management systems and platforms go wrong nowadays because I can put you through my 10-step course, but if I’m going through your ten-step course, Carol and Travis, I want access to you. I want to be able to ask you questions. She does so well on her discussion board. That’s where she makes her money because veterans can ask her questions, ask themselves, or anonymously, and she’s dealing with people with military sexual trauma. She’s dealing with people who are still on active duty with clearances. She’s dealing with people who have some sort. They don’t really want to talk about but they have questions, so they can ask her anonymously and she can respond to them. 

Is it in a forum type?

It has everything, so the platform inside of a group, you have groups, you have communities, and you have groups. So inside of the groups, we give you all the tools that you might possibly need. Discussion boards are like forums.

But how do you choose your groups? So, I’m going to ask a lot of questions because I don’t understand. And I’m going to come into this as somebody that’s never experienced it before. You first of all mentioned experiences and then you mentioned groups.

So, take me from the beginning if I say to you, Matthew, I want to join convene. What is my number one thing to do? Sign up and pick and pick a group that I…

Yep, sign out. So, you’re signing up in the 1st place your entry is a community. What’s my community interest? So, is it in Lisa’s case? Am I going into Social Security and disability benefits? That’s with Lisa Hearing. Am I going into a community? We talked a little bit earlier. We know we’re both parents and might go into the parenting community because there’s a community that focuses just on parenting. You name it we can have a community for it… Now I joined that group.

How many communities?

Right now if I have right now if I…

Are you currently?

Earth 16, I think if I’m going off time ahead, maybe 16 communities anywhere from.

And if you don’t have a community based on what that person wants, you create a community I’m assuming, OK?

That we can create, and we have community leaders. So, we have people in there that like the lady that leads the parenting community, her name is Kate Gallagher. She is a former pediatric PA, and so she worked 20 years as a pediatric PA and decided that she felt like she could do more outside of a pediatric office on a bigger scale than she could in, so she started a parenting community. 

All right, so let’s just stick with the parenting community because we’re on it.

We are all parents anyways.

That’s right, we’re all parents. I think that’s a good topic. So, the overarching umbrella is parenting. And then inside the community, you have different things that people use, like blogging. There are discussion boards. There are members, so you can join; it’s like LinkedIn. So, we took all the good stuff and all the different places we brought it into One spot.  So, you can do it all under this umbrella. There are groups inside a community because there are a lot of different areas where parenting can take place. 

There’s a lady named Amy Krause who talks about bullying and confidence in middle schools all across the country, and she has a group inside of there where she’s taking the stuff that she’s doing in schools. And that’s her space. It’s like being in the mall. You walk into the mall. Here’s the mall. And then, when you get into the mall, you want to go into different stores. In stores, that’s what groups are, right? So, Amy has a group. There’s a guy named Mark Goldman who’s a retired teacher who teaches leadership to kids. He’s got a place in there, so you name it, there can be any group because we all do different things, and I might come in. I might come in and say, “You know.” I’m just making this up, Travis. Let’s say he has a course on entrepreneurship for kids—you know, I might come in and be like, “Hey, you know, I want my kid to take your class.” So, I sent him over there, you know, but that’s not what you teach. You teach something or have a group that’s completely different. 

So again, it’s like going to the mall, where we all might go to different stores, but we get to choose which stores we go into. and inside of those. They have all the tools you need for document management. We’re a full document manager, so you don’t have to go to Dropbox. Google Docs or any of that, and then we have a CRM where anybody can have a CRM, so you can track your content, contacts, all those different things. And then for Boeing, we had a contract with Boeing. We built project management so people can actually run their entire business in one spot with all those different tools.

And they can monetize within it.

Absolutely. Yeah. So, people. Sell courses in three different types of groups because convening is a public benefit corporation. So, one of the things we do is help nonprofits, all nonprofits, always use the platform for free. But there are three different types of groups. There are free groups you can have private groups that you control. Who comes in and who goes out so I can send you an invite and invite you in, or you can request to come in or you have what we call premier groups. Those are the groups where you can set a paywall, yeah. Where it’s either a monthly membership or a one-time payment subscription there. 

So, there you go. let me tell you, the most important thing, the most important thing is it’s based on experiential learning. We all bring something to the table. So, if I’m going to have a course again, I did a TikTok video this morning on the 80/20 rule and the 80/20 rule.

I will use Lisa on the 80/20 rule. Most platforms focus 80% on their content, and 20% on their members. And what I mean by that is that you know, I might put a 10-step course on how to file for Social Security and disability benefits. We flip it. The group features come first, so the discussion board comes first. So, we focus 80% on our members, and 20% on the content because what the magic happens is yes, I’m going to go through Lisa. Content but I get to ask Lisa any question that I want. She’s the expert and she’s going to be the one responding to me and that’s her success rate is so huge. People are filing their claims.

So, but it’s based on those discussions being in a forum, right, not in a one-to-one discussion group?

Now yes, been a forum, absolutely.

So, then it allows everybody else to view the question and how she responds.

Yes, and that becomes like for her, that’s her FAQ that those discussion boards, those forms, are FAQ. They’re completely searchable. 

Yep, 100%, yeah.

And you know, maybe I come in as a veteran and I don’t want to put my, you know, that I’m suffering with something so I can do it anonymously or I can do it with Matthew Curran attached to it.

And it’s actually the one I like the choice, because then if it’s a sensitive subject, you don’t have to go into it with people knowing who asked the question, so I like that.

And what are you what? You see here is, you know, there are more people. People think they’re walking alone in life. That’s a fact. You know, again, I have a degree in counseling. Also, people think they’re walking alone in life and you’re not. You’re actually walking alongside people who are going through the same things that you’re going through.

And so, it allows you to really go in and maybe I put something, this is the best part of me. Maybe I put something in there and I put it anonymously and let’s say the parenting community or another community like that, like I’m the only one in the world possible parent in the world who’s dealing with this subject. 

And I Put it in there. I put it in there. And you’ll see that here they come. People are responding and what you’ll see is Travis’s responses himself. You respond as yourself and then other people start responding anonymously because they don’t want to share their dirt, so to speak, and so that.

Yeah, but there’s a part of that vulnerability. I think that you know, and when you respond and you’re and it comes from that place, it lets people know, hey. We’ve gone through some ****, you know, and it’s OK. It’ll be fine. You know, one thing we always know is we will survive, and we will persevere. And most people forget that at the moment, you know.

They do when they feel like it, when they feel like they can’t get up off the mat, that’s where you got to be there and help them lift.

They are up off the mat 100%. Somebody always extended a hand to you. Extend the hand to others.

It’s almost like we built this podcast on that print.

It’s like we started way back at the beginning to get to this moment right here.

Circle and back.

Some people are. Some people are really ready to share. Some people are really ready to get feedback. Other people, we’ve had to reinterview I guess because like initially she hopped on, and she was like. Why do you want to know all my secrets Travis, the walls came up, wasn’t ready to share, and I fully understand that it took me a long time to share my story the first time I shared it in public as I ran off the stage like I was like ohm like I got to get away from this.

OH God yeah.

But the more I share it…

I’m the creator and founder of Convene. Right.  If I can go anywhere, I want to go to one of the forums or the discussion boards called it, but I can go and put that in anonymously, let’s say I’m having a parenting moment, right? Nobody knows it’s me. It’s not like I’m coming out and saying, “Hey, I want to tell you about Brady, Meghan, and Delaney, and one of my kids is really having this problem.” 

And so, I’m putting my family under the bus, but I really want to know, and it’s like I always talk about this story. If you go to a group session, or maybe it’s a Bible study, maybe it’s something like that. You get the same people who talk over and over. over and over and over, and you get the other people that are sitting there in the corner have something to say, but they’re not sure themselves, and they don’t want to. They don’t want to say so. You create, we call them, experiences. You take that, you create those experiences, and you say, “Go home and spend your own time responding to this and that experience.” 

And guess what your answers are inside of You wouldn’t believe it. Your answers are anonymous, so nobody knows, and so we collaborate. You’ll see people just start opening up once they figure out that, hey, this is different. It’s not meant to be Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. This is meant to be a collaborative community where we’re coming together to help each other out. And when they do it and they figure out they can be open and honest and really get something out of it, oh my gosh. I’m not alone. Somebody else is going through the same thing that I thought I was the only one in the world going through. Then they started to open up. And that’s what makes us different in that moment, right there, you. Know which it is.

There’s this acceptance that comes with that and it is a basic need for all people, all human beings want to be accepted.

There’s a counseling thing, right? People want to be seen, heard, and validated. And if they’re going to be seen, heard, and validated and work with you, they have to know, like and trust you and that’s a fact that builds that vulnerability you can build that trust. Now you’ve broken down that wall where you can work together, and that’s just facts, you know.

Yeah, I love that. I love that. Whole platform, the community. I thank you for indulging me and kindly walking me through the process because you know there’s a lot of platforms out there and all of them will sit there and you know.

That’s a wonderful question. Appreciate it.

Tell you exactly why. But I wanted to break it down. It’s not about being the best or whatever. Does it serve? The purpose is that. You want it to serve right? And so that’s what I was trying to get at was I want to treat it like I am a complete newbie coming into it. Don’t even know what it is, and I want to ask these questions. 

I love what you’ve built because it allows people the opportunity at their own comfort level and speed to Open up and really engage with others I think once they start to realize they aren’t alone and they can open up there is this community now that they feel like they’re part of and truthfully, we’re human beings. We all want to be a part of something larger than ourselves. Being a part of a community like that is pretty freaking awesome. I’m excited to actually delve in and see what this is all about.

Yeah, you have to give yourself a chance too. That’s just a fact. No, is it for everybody? No, it’s not for everybody, but it’s different and it’s different for a reason. It’s different for.

Well, hey, it’s just like. As human beings, we are not for everybody. But we are for the right people.

But it is. Like we came full circle.

We did 100%.

So, it’s pretty cool. It’s fun to see the growth really taking off. It’s fun to see people now… You know, it used to be that, you know, for example, that I had to be at all the meetings I had to, you know, people now, now you got communities just running. It’s their community. I don’t have to be there, just I’ve. I’ve built a resource. 

And then that said, as you said, you said it perfectly like I, you know, people think, well, he’s selling the platform. No, it’s a resource and you could choose to use it. Whether you want to or not, you know and that’s. It’s a wonderful thing now that people are really kind of gathering, you know, catching hold of it and saying, OK, this is going to be used for the good, the greater good, you know? That’s why we call it a platform with a purpose.

Because you’ll meet people like Lisa Herring again if you haven’t. If you haven’t interviewed Lisa, Carol’s got to meet Lisa. Just the most amazing woman, it’s a story that’s just phenomenal, you know, but she’s just, you know, she was my guest last night on our show. You know, our Monday night call. 

Oh, you’ve got a podcast too, don’t you?

Well, the way I do it now is we do it, we do it kind of on Monday nights. We just bring, we bring a guest in on our Monday night calls. And I love this format.

OK, hold on Monday night. So, explain what the Monday night calls are.

You’re so good. Yeah, the Monday night calls are basically what we bring, we have a Monday, and I call every Monday at 7:00 o’clock. And what will we do, we’ll bring a guest who’s using the platform, but it’s really more about their story. And we talked for the first 30 minutes; you know about that interview. 

And I’m normally interviewing somebody that’s doing it, and it can be like last night when Lisa went through her whole thing about SSDI, how she is using the platform and all the great things that she’s doing. 

And then we kind of open it up. So, people are actually watching. They’re there; they’re on it. but they’re all muted. Their cameras are off, so it’s just me and Lisa. And so, after, you know, I’ll see comments where people ask questions in the chat, and I’ll pull them up and ask her some questions. And then what we’ll do last night is that we were actually, you know, interviewing her for about 40 minutes. 

And then everybody has the ability to turn on their cameras and start really collaborating and asking her questions. It is a good format for convenience, like next Monday night, one of the guys that’s inconvenient. His name is Josh Griffith. He’s a TikTok influencer, and so he is doing great things because on TikTok he does all this great stuff. Pretty funny stuff and everything but he focuses on men’s mental health. It’s his main thing. However, his audience is mostly women. Those two come on, and we do the same kind of format on Thursday nights with him. He has his own community, and you know, people are there and they’re watching, but it’s always 3–4 guys sitting around talking. We call it sitting around and talking barbershop style. And then about every 4th or 5th week he’ll bring at least 2 ladies on. 

So, it’s like “two against two,” you know, going back and forth about issues. So, we give our guys’ opinions, and then every once in a while, you know, the ladies come on, and it’s going back and forth and all that, which is really good. But he can do that now. He can take that TikTok form; that social media is where he’s at, where there are quick hits and all that, and now he can bring it over into a community. where people can engage and actually talk to him, sit on his podcasts, and engage in the podcast. So, it’s really pretty cool. But Monday night, yeah.

So now these people that come that you interview within convene, have their own podcasts on, on convene.

Oh, yeah, absolutely, absolutely, yeah.

OK, this is like multi-level. OK. So, this is as you go on.

I like asking questions, yeah.

So, you’re taking this podcast right, you’re taking this podcast, you’re recording it and then you’re obviously. Putting it out there all over the place, but it would be like this becomes your lead behind. Hey, do you want to learn more? If you want to interact with us, come into our community and convene. And now they’re actually in the community. They’re interacting and it’s in there. And they can ask questions and they can do all that. 

So, it’s engaging at a different level. So, he’s coming on Monday night and he’s going to talk about it because he is a TikTok influencer. We have so many people that social media and marketing are so important. He’s going to teach a class on the mechanics of using TikTok, how TikTok and other social media work, and then how he’s taken that concept and he’s pushing it. He’s not quitting in all of this. Keep doing everything that you’re doing. But now he’s brought it into this community that’s a little bit more engaging and incorporated and you know you get access to them. 

So, and he’s pretty smart business-wise, what Josh understands is that if he builds the model and he can go out and show other influencers and other people what he’s doing, then they’re going to come as well. And teaching them how to monetize because there are a lot of referral fees for convenience. So, we sell each other stuff too.

Love it.

Give each other.

It should be mutually beneficial.

It is very mutually beneficial. So, there you go. Like Wow, Travis, a marine built this man. A marine of all things.

This is probably the hardest thing for me to accept. In these 5 things, let’s be honest. There’s always this, so those that don’t know there’s these like interservice rivalries and we jab and rub each other all the time. And if you’re in, if you’re in the community, right, if you’re in the fraternity of brotherhood. You can say whatever you want to say. Here’s the deal. If you’re witnessing this happening and you’re not in that community, do yourself a favor and don’t say anything. See the entire group turn against you.

Right.

And that works out for you. Promise you it’s not what you would expect.

Yeah, that’s right. That’s pretty funny.

So, this has been fantastic, and as we’re getting ready to wrap up here, we’ve got just a few minutes left. Couple of questions for you. Well, we already know that you want everyone to be able to convene communities, so we’ll just go ahead and knock that one out for you. But if someone is struggling out there, wherever they are in life, with whatever challenges they have, what advice would you give someone in that position?

Yeah, you know, it’s reaching out, reaching out, and getting the help that you need. I’m a huge believer in peer-to-peer counseling, whatever that peer-to-peer counseling might be. I know that veterans will open up to veterans, just from what you were just saying. Travis, I know. You know, I’ll be honest. It’s very hard for me to do counseling in the substance abuse arena because guess what? I’ve never dealt with that. I drank and tried to kill myself one night, and you know I was done with it, right? 

So, finding the right type of people that you can talk to that have you walked your walk and talked your talk? It becomes very, very important to reach out. You know you’re not walking alone. I think that’s the thing that most people want. They get lost because they think they’re walking this life alone, but they’re not. You know, there are people who have gone through the same things that you’ve gone through, and so find your people, whether that be on convene, or elsewhere. That’s just one resource, whether that be on whatever resource a club or nonprofit uses. You name it. There are so many resources out there. You know, I got that. Just one example: I got out of the Marine Corps and got Medicare retirement. My first day, December 31st, 2006, was my last day on active duty. 

So, I’ve been retired for a long time. I’m old, and I’m an old man. Dang.  I just turned 51 the other day. But the thing is, I didn’t do anything better than be wise until 2019. That was when I reached out and did something with the veteran group, and it was one of the best things I did. The Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy. So I became an umpire, and then I went over with the organization called Heroes to Heroes to Israel. Oh, it took me a long freaking time, you know. And I’m telling you, every single July 9th is brutal. 

So, in 2020 or 2021. On July 9th, I was in Charleston, SC, umpiring a baseball tournament with a bunch of veterans. And it was the first time that I did not break down and cry. And you know what I did? I did a live podcast with one of my friends and another veteran that night, and it just helped me through. So, find your people, but to answer your question, find your people. They’re out there, and just don’t think that you’re alone, because that’s when you get into trouble. So, when you’re in the hole and when you’re not down on your knees and you’re in the suck, 

Oh, that’s a good answer.

Absolutely great advice, as always. Where do you want people to connect with you? If you have one favorite social media site or one favorite email, that’s the one place you want them to connect with you.

Sure.  Whether I believe it or not, obviously, it’s a convene community. So, they can come in and join convenecommunities.com. Again, you can go to my profile. And you can send me a message right there. And I like that. You know, if you come in to convene and connect with me that way, it’s good. I can’t tell you how many… I’m a counselor. OK, I’m a counselor. Right.  I will answer, and I’ll spend time with you. And that’s the platform that I’ve created. They don’t, perse, do counseling as a career because I’m a pilot, you know, and I got convene.

But I spent a lot of time, you know, when people reached out to me, and there have been some people who have reached out to me through the platform who are on the brink of suicide and all the other things. And you can always reach out to me. And I’ll answer, and I’ll get on a call with you. And either if I can help you, I’ll help you or not. I’ll find you a resource that can help you. a lot of times we’re very connected to each other. That’s a great place.

Thanks a lot, Matt. We really appreciate you coming on the show with sharing, sharing stories and even talking a little inter-service trash. With me today.

What do you have to do? What do you have to do? Thank you so much. This has been great. I really enjoyed it. It went fast, so that’s good.

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