Sales Platoon: S1:E3 | Navigating Career Transitions with Keith Heimricks

Watch Here

In this episode of the Sales Platoon podcast, host John Renken discusses the transition from military service to business. Special guest Keith Heimricks shares his journey from merging his passion for music and video production with his military career, leading to the creation of Black Hills Audio Video Productions.

The podcast explores the SkillBridge program, financial literacy, planning, and mentorship as key factors in a secure post-service future. The conversation also highlights the importance of creating a supportive environment for transitioning service members, challenging conventional notions of worth and value, and highlighting the transformative power of education, certification, and strategic career planning in unlocking post-military success.

Highlights:

{01:37} Keith Henricks Journey

{07:31} The value of the Skill Bridge program

{16:30} Mentorship

{20:30} Community engagement

{32:00} Understand your worth and value

Find us on your FAVORITE platform

Keith Heimricks Bio:

Keith Heimricks is the visionary behind Skillbridge Network (SN), an innovative social media platform revolutionizing the military transition landscape. Launched in November 2020, SN swiftly became a dynamic force within the industry, boasting 63,000 active-duty military members and facilitating over 600,000 interactions. As SN’s founder and driving force, Keith is dedicated to providing transitioning service members unparalleled support and resources.

At SN, culture is paramount, and Keith invests significant time in ensuring that the platform fosters a supportive and empowering environment for its members. His relentless commitment to excellence has positioned SN as the antithesis of ordinary—fast-paced, cutting-edge, and highly effective.

One of SN’s key strengths lies in its unique approach to connecting organizations directly with talent, bypassing traditional intermediaries and placement fees. Companies gain access to SN’s vast pool of qualified candidates through a simple and affordable monthly subscription model. Keith collaborates closely with organizations to craft targeted advertising campaigns, branded events, and livestreams, ensuring maximum visibility and engagement.

In addition to his role as the architect of SN, Keith provides personalized support to companies looking to hire transitioning service members and their spouses. He offers comprehensive advertising solutions, including custom video content and graphics, to showcase skill bridge programs and attract top-tier candidates.

For inquiries or collaboration discussions, Keith can be reached directly at keithheimericks@skillbridgenetwork.org. Companies interested in partnering with SN must provide the company name, type of opportunity, target qualifications, and sourcing location. Keith’s passion for empowering veterans and his unwavering commitment to excellence make him a trusted partner for organizations seeking to tap into the talent and potential of the military community.

Links:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/keithheimericks

keithheimericks@skillbridgenetwork.org

https://www.salesplatoon.org

Sponsored Links:

https://therootbrands.com/product/zero-in

https://newulife.com/hk/en 

https://trufinco.com 

Find us on your FAVORITE platform

John

Welcome to the Sales Platoon podcast, where strategy meets storytelling, and we’re right at the crossroads of the battlefield on the business front; I’m your host, John Renken. I’m bringing you all the tactics, triumphs, and truths from the trenches of sales and business. 

We will decode the transition from service to business in today’s episode. Keith Heimricks is a veteran who started the largest skill bridge community in the country.

That’s the largest group. He’s doing amazing things, and I accidentally found him and his group. I then ended up joining his group for sales in our skill bridge. We’ve become close friends, and I wanted to bring him on the show and talk about this idea of transition, what he’s doing, and how that can help you in your transition. Keith, welcome to the show, man.

Keith

Hey, I appreciate being on John. It’s an honor.

John

Yeah. Yeah. Thank you so much. So, if you guys haven’t seen our commercial yet, this guy is the one who did it with his music. So, he’s not just an entrepreneur, he’s a musician, which is kind of impressive because you’re super creative and doing all this, you know, music and video. Tell me a little bit about that before we get into your mic.

Keith

Yeah, sure, man. So, my grandpa used to play guitar, and all of our family got together. She would always break it out, and he would just be playing, you know, chords and stuff. And the whole family. It was a whole family thing. And that inspired me from a young age. I got my first guitar when I was 14; I didn’t learn to play it until my mid-20s. 

And I’m still learning, you know, and I’ve recorded a couple of rock albums. One did well. I learned that unless you’re Miley Cyrus, there’s no money in music. But it’s a labor of love. I love it, right? 

And yeah, you know, I did that for years and years and years, and then I spent a year in Turkey, learned video production, and merged the two. I started a business. I did it locally and honed the skill.

John

You did this the entire time you were in the Air Force, right?

Keith

Oh, absolutely, yeah. Yeah, the audio stuff, for sure.

John

Yeah. So tell us a little bit: when did you join the Air Force? What did you do in the Air Force, you know, talk to me about that.

Keith

Yeah, brother. So, I joined in 2003. I joined because of a slice of pizza the recruiter got me with the pepperoni pizza. I was supposed to go with a really good friend of mine. I made it. He didn’t hate my first six years. Dude hated it. 

And you know, that’s pretty typical. A lot of people do, you know, separate try to find a job I applied for, like 60-70 jobs, which is also very common. Even back then, the best thing I could land was maybe $ 11 or $12.00 an hour. I bit the bullet. I thought I was biting the bullet, so I re-enlisted and have not looked back since that day. I’ve just been going 100,000 miles an hour to try to help people and show them that, you know, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and if it is, you have to do your homework while you’re still serving.

John

Yeah, I love that. We will talk about the preparatory stages for actually making that transition. So what did you do in the air force?

Keith

Yeah, I mean, I started refueling aircraft with Pol, right? So, if anybody is watching this, who is the best career field in the Air Force? You know what I mean? There’s that, you know, you ever see that mug to where it’s like, prove me wrong or whatever. Bias. Right. I just refilled aircraft. And then obviously I rose in rank, and then I supervised people doing that and storing the fuel, issuing the fuel, accounting for the fuel, and any logistics. 

Did you know that for 17 years in the last three years, I was the career advisor for Ellsworth Air Force Base? And then that’s when I learned how to create content, not only the audio and video stuff but how to create content. How do you mold and teach people on a global scale? I was able to make it all go full circle, and then that’s where my skills are. 

John

Alright, so talk to me about this. I mean, so you joined in 2003, you do six years. 

So it’s 2009, which would have been a horrible time to get out because that’s right, during the financial crash, you know, so the housing bubble, so you come back in, how quickly did you come back in? Did you wait a year? What was that time frame?

Keith

Oh yeah.

John

Right.

Keith

So, a key point that we missed here, brother, was that I got in a lot of trouble whenever I was a young airman. So, I was an E2E3 and on the verge of getting kicked out. 

So, I like one more piece of paperwork, and I would. I would have gotten the boot from the military, and it was an E4, Chris Powers. Back then, one of my best friends helped me pull my head out. But he showed me the way.

So, I would be in the middle of the distribution lounge, is what we called it, right? And thousands of flashcards out of technical orders, out of Air Force instructions, like things that teach you how to do. Your job. So, that was it, about my 3:00-ish to four-year Mark. 

So, by the time I made it to six years. I had already gained A reputation as someone who would work hard, so I re-enlisted on day 59 of 60. It was a phone call to an E7, Master Sergeant Masterton McKennan, an amazing mentor of mine, and he called the commander, and it was like. That same day, my reenlistment paperwork was signed. I was going across the commander’s desk. Then he signed it and was back in the next.

John

Right. But you were out at this point, right? Did you get out and start applying for jobs? Yeah, OK.

Keith

Yeah. So. Yeah, it was 60 days and 59 days. I came back in.

John

OK, alright. Wow. Yeah. So, you weren’t out very long. And then we came right back in. I don’t even know the 60 days. Less than 60 days even count as a break of service.

Keith

Uh, no, thank goodness it didn’t. I was on terminal leave, so I was still part of the air force.

John

OK, well, that’s great.

Keith

Of the Air Force.

John

OK, alright, so when did you start doing side hustles? What year was that?

Keith

Man, so I started a lawn care business whenever I was in the military. That was my first enlistment within my first six years. So, I learned about profit and loss and hustle and all that stuff. Way probably, you know, I guess we’re going off today’s date, probably 17/18 years ago.

John

Right, right. OK. So, when were you in Turkey, you started doing all the audio.

Keith

Right. So that was from 2017 to 2018 when I recorded the rock album. That’s what I learned in video production. And when I came back, I started Black Hills Audio video productions.

John

  1. Then, you got moved into the career counselor and started doing it. So, when did you start the skill bridge network?

Keith

Yeah. So that would have been November of 2020.

John

Oh, wow, it’s so in the middle of COVID.

Keith

Yeah, yeah.

John

Because you were out in California, right?

Keith

Yep, so. No, I was in South Dakota. 

COVID helped me with a lot of things. Believe it or not, I already had this vision of creating a live-streaming platform within my classroom as a career counselor because I was also in charge of professional development for 5000 people. 

So, if I had created this live-streaming setup, there is no way I would have gotten approved before COVID. Still, after COVID happened, we were able to create a platform for, you know, non-commissioned officers to come into my classroom and teach subjects that would reach a global audience. So, it was because of COVID that we could get the funding for that.

John

Right, man, I had no clue you did all this.

Keith

Yeah, yeah, man, I’ve always. I can’t stop thinking it’s a curse.

John

Or maybe not. Or maybe not. Yeah.

Keith

Yeah, it feels like courage. A lot of times.

John

So, when did you learn about the skill and skill bridge programs, and what motivated you to start that group?

Keith

Yeah. So, like with anything in the government, I think the skill bridge is amazing. It’s a phenomenal program. But I guess let’s backtrack. I learned about it whenever I was a career counselor and advisor. You know, it was my job to know what skill bridge was. 

So, when people came in, and I had one-on-one sessions with people, I could say here’s where you’re at in your career. You’re ready, or you are not ready. But if you are ready, here’s a pathway you can take. Bridge and I learned quickly that there was a massive lack of communication with the program and an even bigger lack of support.

So, I just started thinking, what can I do to help this, right? And I had no way in 1000 years expected the skill network to blow up the way it did just because it happened. 

John

Earlier today, I talked with retired General Scott Brauer about the skill bridge program. And, you know. Militarily, when you look at it, we don’t want to be paying unemployment for everybody getting out. But we have to be able to maintain force readiness and fight two-front wars.

And we have a Skill bridge. The internal conflict of agendas makes it to where do we want to promote this and tell everybody about it, or do we want to keep it, you know, on the DL and it, and it creates an interesting chemistry because, you know, we’re roughly 12,000 people are getting out of the military every month. You know we’re replacing those numbers with whatever we’re doing now.

If you imagine your job as a refueler, if all of a sudden everybody within their six-month window went to skillbridge, could you still conduct your mission? You know, right, so good.

Keith

We could, you know if you could. We could. There’s should there. You should always have a plan A – Plan B and a Plan C.

That’s the whole point. I was brought up in the military; we did much of that all the time. 

So, if things failed, we were prepared, you know, great. We had more people. Then, if I could quickly, I would want to combat that thought process because that’s not a miss. Perception. That’s a very real thing across the force. 

So, we all are getting paid to bring the fight forward. You know, I get that, but. And well, that’s our number one priority. We also need to ensure that we are helping people from the get-go, from day one to their mid-career, whenever they’re separated. And then you wouldn’t have as much of A recruiting issue, because you would have me, you’d have you, you’d have everybody else that said, hey, you need to come to check this out, cause even if you do four years, you’re set up for life. And can we truly say that right now, you know?

John

No. OK, this is one of the things I’ve been discussing with my cohort. I am currently in my skill bridge cohort and recently did some stuff on it.

So, I don’t know about the Air Force, but in the Army, we have a concept of how we backward plan missions, right? So, if I have to be at the airfield at 1800 and the air for the airfield is in Turkey, what time do you have to leave the United States by right? 

And then, I got a contingency plan. This flight delays etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. So, I back it up a little bit further. Suppose I fly from Nashville, TN; traffic’s kind of nutty. 

So, I have to back up another two or three hours to plan for those contingencies, right? And so if we backward plan from where I’m sitting today, I have to be on the airfield in Turkey in two days. I should know how to do every step of the process.

So, in the army, we do that for everything, even for just regular PT, right? The only area I never see anybody do it in is what Keith does when he exits the army. So, whether we serve two or 20 years, we don’t do any backward planning of what life looks like after service.

Keith

Right. All we have from an Air Force standpoint is an informed decision brief mandatory for career advisors in my prior position. We had to give that brief to people halfway through their career as first-term and second-term enlisting. But that was it, man, and it was it. Very effective. We need to overhaul the whole process. The whole thing needs to be, hey, you’re in the military. I’m set for life, and I gotta do it. Some cool stuff. Along the way.

John

Yeah. Well, and I mean just, you know. Not really. Point of the discussion with you, but I’ve been discussing this with some people. So, what do you think about this? We have the TSP, or whatever they call it now, which is not that great of an investment strategy. It will give you a little money, but it’s not good. 

So, instead of giving to our TSP program, what if we opened up a whole life insurance policy the day we joined the service, and every month, we put in $250 just an allotment? Every time we get promoted, we raise that allotment by $50 a $100. If you did that and you served 20 years, by the time you’re done with your term of service on just a whole life insurance policy, you don’t do anything with; you’ll have roughly between 7- 750,000 to 1.5 million in an account.

Keith

Right.

John

If we did that, we would buy a real estate investment property to live in every time we’ve PCs, which I don’t know how often you guys have PCs, and then the Air Force. But in the army, it’s every three to four years, maybe 5. 

So, by the time you finish your 20 years, you should have a 4:00 to 6:00 investment. That is cash flowing. If you think about that, now you’re 38 years old, you have somewhere between 750,000 and 1.5 million and an insurance policy you can borrow against or take cash. 

Then you have four to six investment properties that are cash flowing to you 2 to $3000 a. Month plus retirement plus disability. At that point, you truly can tell everybody to go # sand. I can work if I want; I can work if I don’t want to.

Keith

Right.

John

But who’s teaching that to anybody? 

Keith

That’s not me. Even as a career advisor, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of it. What you just said? I’ve never heard that before. PCs buy properties and stuff, and some people do that, but regarding the life insurance policy.

John

So, in my last cohort, I had three individuals: one was a Warrant Officer, one was a higher Air Force enlisted guy, and one was an army guy. They all owned apartment complexes.

Keith

That’s awesome.

John

And between the three, they had $10 million in net worth just in property.

Keith

Right, that is awesome.

John

Yeah, the Air Force guy, who was an E6 or an E7 when he got out, got a job at Boeing for $ 125,000 a year. And he told me he was the driver for what do you guys call a 05? This is not.

Keith

Colonel, Lieutenant. Colonel.

John

Oh, it’s still Lieutenant Colonel for you. Yeah, it’s Lieutenant Colonel. His Lieutenant Colonel, whom he was driving for, said you need to. He was a young private or airman or whatever. Said you need to set yourself up for success. And she took the time to mentor him and teach him how to become financially savvy. Right.

Keith

There, there’s the key. Like, that’s the key. Who are the people who are taking folks to the education office and the military Family Readiness Centre, spending 30 to 45 minutes, thirty 4-5 minutes a week? You know, to sit down and talk to people, ask them their goals.

John

So not only that, but it doesn’t even have to be our military like I always tell people about this. So, if I were an insurance agent, for example, I would pinch my tent right outside the front gate and try to pick up every swing. Go and tell them. 

Do you realize the opportunity you have if you spend 20 years here? Let me show you. I don’t care if you buy my stuff or not. Let me show you the possibility. If I were a real estate agent, I would set up free home-buying investment courses for soldiers or the military to teach them. What could you do with four to five or six properties over the next 20 years? What does that look like on this sheet of paper?

Keith

I think that’s a phenomenal mindset, man, and it’s not one that I have ever had. Maybe my last three years, but nowhere near the complexity of what you’re talking about. 

OK? I’m 18, and I joined the military. What the hell do I know about investing in real estate? You know, that goes all the way through my 20-year career. 

So, there is so much value in what you just said that’s untapped; it’s mind-blowing.

John

Yeah. Well, and now you look at it like this, you have this entire huge network. 50 What are you up to now? 60,000, I think.

Keith

I’m 63/4 thousand

John

I get alerts from your group all day long. I’m like, this dude is crushing it.

So, we have a platform. That we could educate in so many different ways is what I love about you and the way you’re just open to information and how you manage that community. It’s been super, super, super, super impressive to me. 

So, you’re in this career counseling position; how did you decide to start? That group. What was and what was the motivation?

Keith

Well, the motivation is that I never stopped thinking the motivation is because I was raised to help people. The motivation is to not drive past someone with a flat tire and keep driving. You stop and help that person because it’s the right thing to do. So, there’s an intrinsic motivation based on how I was raised. And that’s always been with me. 

So I grew up in a small town with 165 people, and I spent. All of my summertime, almost all of my uncle’s farm. He had 2000 acres, so I used to work very, very, very hard for $10 a day, you know, and I built a lot of character, and it. I wouldn’t say I liked it at the time. But that character in that drive to legitimately want to help other people out because I feel like that’s the reason we’re here. On this earth, I think once you combine those two. 

And my brain doesn’t stop. So, I’m all in whenever I see an opportunity to help others or build something bigger. And I just became obsessed with it. But I guess to answer your question, it was specifically the group that started because of a need. I discovered that there was a need for the. The communication and support parts with the DoD Skill Bridge program, and as a career counselor, I just took what I was doing locally and started going.

John

Yeah, so you’ve got this group’s largest community, like, even the DoD Skill Bridge group doesn’t have as close to the number of people you do, which I find incredibly funny, you know, so inside your group. You’ve got this great platform that allows people to go into Crowdsource. What are good and bad skill bridges, and what are the opportunities? What do you think are some trends you see in the group?

Keith

So, the trend is something that I want to create, and it’s not been easy at times because you’ll get companies that want to come in. I don’t know who they are, and then they just start blasting posts everywhere, right? 

So, I deleted those posts, and then they got upset. But I want everybody to understand that. If you have a good program, people will talk about it. And when people talk about it, namely transitioning service members, your platform, your opportunity can become unbelievably valuable. 

It can be so popular if you’re doing it the right way, you’re taking care of people, and that’s kind of my thought process with all of that, you know, is let the community decide what is good and what’s bad. If you’ll notice, if you’re in that group, you’ll have so many posts. Has anybody done this? Has anybody done that? Has anybody worked here? So much talent has been funneled to companies based on word of mouth that it’s mind-blowing.

John

So, I love this part about what you’re doing, too. So, you think about this. So, your group got 63,000 just for a second. So, you have one that’s a very large Facebooker, very large. I’ve seen a couple that are bigger, but you know they’re worldwide groups, right? This isn’t worldwide. It is very niche, less than 6% of the population. We’re losing 12,000 members a month. So, kind of push on you, how do you grow that group to accommodate 12,000 a month? How do we spread that to 12,000?

Keith

So the only way that I know how, and one thing that I need to do better, is to be more involved with live streams to keep putting my career advisor hat back on because I have so much knowledge up here. I have so many connections now that I plan to bring them into the group and create massive amounts. This content is going to answer questions specifically. But you have to put yourself in my shoes to wear. I still have to pay the bills, you know. What I mean and how I would love them.

John

Yeah. So let’s talk about that for a second because I don’t think most people know you’re not making it.

Keith

Money off that group. I have six. No, I have seven partners that pay $100 a month. So, I made 700, I think. Well, after Patreon takes its cut, I think I will make about 600 something a month. So many people think I’m just raking in all of this money, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. And I’m over here. It’s a labor of love; I have 67,000 hours with this platform. There have been times when I’ve just wanted to throw in the towel, like, what am I doing this for? You know? But it’s because I like to help people and won’t let it fail. 

So, I think it will be on my part to answer your question. To have to create the most beneficial resource group in existence. We’re not there yet. 

John

Well, I haven’t seen anybody that offers as much value. It may not be as big as you want it to be. But tell me another group that’s doing the job better. Then you are.

Keith

Right. I don’t want to be arrogant, though. You know what I mean? When you have 12,000 people getting out a month, and I only have two to 3000 people joining, how many thousands of people am I not helping? I want to help that our E fours, E fives, and E6 are who I want to help. 

I have a lot of work on Facebook and TikTok on YouTube because Gilbert’s network isn’t just a Facebook group; it’s all social media groups.

John

Are you? You’re on TikTok.

Keith

Oh yeah.

John

Alright, so I’m going to have to follow.

Keith

I still have a lot.

John

You on.

Keith

Of work to do.

John

Tick that you. Yeah, I’m going to have to follow you there. I didn’t know you were on TikTok. So now, if you’re in active status, don’t download TikTok. We’ll throw our exemption hat in there for DoD because they’re not supposed to have it. But we’re both out.

Keith

Oh, I didn’t. OK, I didn’t know that.

John

The Air Force may not care, but they already made a big stink about it.

Keith

I promise you that every E2E E 1-2 and three has it anyway.

John

Oh, I know, I know. Yeah. So that’s a great idea, right? So, like cultivating on Facebook, I think TikTok is a far better option if you want to grow that group.

Keith

Yes. Yep.

John

Especially with the younger crowd and understanding that most people getting out will be in that 25-year-old range, right? Talk to me strategy-wise. What does that look like for you over the next three to six months? How do you implement that? 

And what do you need to get that implemented? This podcast is going to go out to everybody. You will be one of the first episodes to get publicly released. So, what do you need to make that a reality?

Keith

John, A dream came true for me. I would like to have it. 20 Partners, 30 partners. You know what I mean when I say where I’m making an extra 3000 a month. On top of my retirement and my VA disability, 

And then, if I had just that much coming in. I mean that would be my job. I don’t need or want a whole bunch of money. My parents won the lottery in 2009. They did. I did not. Right. And I’m glad that they won it after I left. So. So it’s not; I don’t care about the money, man. It’s not about the money. It’s always about helping that person who will be me in 2009, and I think that once my studio was built, like before we started recording, I was talking about it completely. Demolish the whole thing so I can finish it with drywall and all that stuff, and then put the green screen up once I have that ready. 

You’ll see some serious stuff happen over the next two to three months regarding content, and I just hope that when you have the content. You have the message, trust, and good information that maybe more companies will see, and hopefully, they will capitalize on what I’m doing here. Social media works, but you won’t get much ROI if you just like a post and forget about it. You have to be highly engaged. 

The point of what I’m trying to do is kind of corner myself into a very specific niche like that, if you will, to where we work together, and I help them create content that they can use anywhere, you know, not just on Facebook to source and recruit military members. And that’s what I’m trying to get after.

John

So, just a thought. I don’t know if you’ve thought about this because you used to be a career counselor. Have you considered circulating your group to all the CSP and skill bridge coordinators at each military installation?

Keith

I have thought of being that within. There comes that ethic. Ethics, part of it to where? If I’m making money off of it, I don’t want to.

John

Doesn’t matter.

Keith

You know it does it, but I got in trouble whenever I was still on active duty because there was a.

John

When you were active, that was one thing. That’s one thing, but you’re not active anymore, brother.

Keith

Right. So I mean that having that obviously would cause. It’s not like I’m just doing. I’m not doing this just for the money; I’ve already made that clear, right, and I know it’s a tool that would help. And if I could get all of the career counselors and career advisors on board so that we all work together as a team to create something that could be instructed.

 At the lowest level possible, that would be awesome. It will happen anyway because I will create that, but it would be cool to have everybody’s input.

John

There’s a roundabout way that you could do this: we could just pay my VA to scrape all the data from all the military sites. For all the CSP and skill bridge program coordinators and managers, we manually go through and add them to your group on Facebook.

Keith

I’m wondering how many of them are already in there anyway. You know, because there are many career counselors, and I know that there. But I still think that if you could scrape it and then I don’t know, what would you shoot them an email or.

John

Now, I would just go to Facebook and friend him. Then, invite the group. OK, I got you. Yeah. Like, I wouldn’t even say anything. I would just invite him and then just look. Look, you know, I’ve been in the group now for.

Keith

Right.

John

And there’s so much value in there; I still can’t believe people haven’t heard right. There are still people in the military who have never heard of the skill bridge program. So, guerrilla marketing, like, I would just Add all those people so they become your unwitting ambassadors. They go well, you know like I’m in this group.

Keith

Right.

John

And they just start kind of organically spreading the word throughout all the installations. And here’s this free resource for you.

Keith

Yeah. No, that’s a great idea, man. And you know, I added the military transition hub and, you know, parentheses, if you will. And it’s not just a skill bridge. So it’s.

John

Yeah, CSP 

Keith

It even goes way above that. If it has anything. To do with the military transition, I’ve kind of opened the group up for that to be a Q&A. The only difficult part about that is whenever you get people that have an ego or are arrogant, you know, I’m kind of a strike three person. But if it’s really bad, they get one strike, and I’ll book them. So, I spend so much time.

John

Just tell me when you want me to do some more controversial posts. I will get rid of those people.

Keith

I know, right? I spent much time on that platform, ensuring the culture was correct.

John

Yeah, dude, you do a lot of babysitting. I saw that post, man.

Keith

Oh, that was awesome, dude, like that caught the whole thing on fire.

John

Yeah, yeah, I mean.

Keith

I noticed that you took that same concept with LinkedIn. What blows my mind about that is how people can’t see the truth.

John

Yeah. Yeah, so.

Keith

So, I don’t know for context, John had made a post that said every transitioning service member, if you’re a veteran, you should be getting paid at least $30.00 an hour, I think is what it said, right, which isn’t that good.

John

It’s not good.

Keith

That’s good for Rapid City, SD, like me, and if the other seven people who lived here and I made that, we’d be doing great. But it isn’t that great if you live in, like, New York or California, 30 bucks now. But people were dogging that, yeah.

John

We can’t understand, and I was just having this conversation earlier. So, it is true. Nobody owes us anything because we volunteered; we were not drafted. Nobody, nobody in this group, I mean, well, I shouldn’t say nobody, but I don’t think there’s any Vietnam Veterans in your group. OK, so. None of us were drafted. None of us were forced into service. We all volunteered, so nobody owes us anything. I agree.

Keith

The same.

John

But there’s a difference between what’s owed to me and what I’m worth.

Keith

Right.

John

And I think our military experience, and I mean even if that’s you, were the cook or the, you know, the guy changing out toilet paper rolls, it doesn’t matter just by going through the boot camp or the basic or whatever each branch calls it. It separates you from the other 93% of our culture, right? I think that that intrinsically has value. 

And even if you weren’t, maybe necessarily the best airman or the best soldier or the breast marine or the best sailor, you still did something that 93% of our culture couldn’t do.

Keith

Right.

John

And I think that’s worth something. So, it’s not that anybody else; it’s our intrinsic.

Keith

I am 1000%.

John

Value, you know, right? It was so funny, dude.

Keith

I love that you come in with that angle because I don’t have that. None of us have that experience. I mean, you’re a freaking G, right? You’re. I look up to you, right? I have forever since I’ve known you. And I found out that you’re awesome. You’re authentic, and you’re the real deal, right? But I’m trying to attack it from the hay… Here’s what John just said, right? Yeah, but if you actually go in and learn your job to a tee and try hard when you’re in the military, you avoid the drama. Suppose you capitalize on your education and certifications and have an open mind. Dude, it’s wild.

John

Listen, I’m. I’m glad you brought that up because I don’t see it that much in your group. And now that you’ve opened up to all the transitions, maybe we could do something with this to discuss this, but the cool program for all four branches will give you up to $4000 to attain certifications, education, you know: certificates, all that kind of different stuff. 

And if you just did this one thing, if you went and got your tax accountant’s license, right, you can make. During tax season, an extra twenty $30,000. Just. Yeah. 

And you could use the cool money to pay for that kind of certifications to where when you got out, you could. You could have a side or full-time hustle that the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, or the.

Keith

It’s awesome, man. And then.

John

Marine Corps paid for.

Keith

Right. I mean, if I don’t care if you’re kicking in doors, pumping gas, or building bombs, you can get certifications and something, you can get a degree in something. And while you’re serving, you can volunteer time to get the experience and then close your gap.

John

That’s right. That’s right. I found its crazy job. They pay well. It’s like 90 bucks an hour. But it’s a really hard job. But they’ve got this chemical compound for fuel tanks that eliminates rust as it prevents you from rusting right now; these guys are making it start at $45.00 an hour, but they travel, so they get travel incidentals.

Oh, not yet.

And then they get. So, they get, you know, per diem. But then they also get overtime because they’re traveling. So, by the time it’s all said and done, they’re making 90 bucks an hour. Do you know what the prerequisite for that job is?

Keith

No idea.

John

You can stand for 8 hours a day. Hold your hand over your head.

Keith

Oh, my gosh.

John

$90.00 an hour bro.

Keith

That’s that’s.

John

Now, it’s a tough job.

Keith

Right. But yeah, so it’s construction. That’s right, that pays. $15.00 an hour. You know enough.

John

That’s right. So, this idea that we can’t get $30.00 an hour, and everybody got upset about it, I go. You might say that, but right over here, I’ve got a company that wants to hire guys willing to stand in El Paso, TX, for eight hours doing this.

Keith

Yeah, you’re talking to people still on active duty. And you’ve been, like, like they don’t understand. And they won’t until year two or three, maybe, unless they’re lucky right after they’ve been out as a veteran. So.

John

Yeah, I’ve been out for. Well, here’s the great thing about your platform, right? So, we can network with them. Companies and I’ve done this with my skill bridge program. I won’t work with a company that’s not at least paying $30.00 an hour. So, we have companies that are hitting this up and want to.

Keith

Right.

John

And labor. And I’m like, you don’t pay enough, sorry.

Keith

Same. I always get requests like that and don’t want them in the group.

John

Yeah. So, we, you know, we’re just two guys, but imagine we get another two guys that think like us, another two guys that think like us, and then pretty soon we could take the entire 2 million person force, and all of them are educated to know that when you transition, there’s a place for you don’t have. To bake for table scraps.

Keith

Right. Nor should you.

John

And nor should you. Yeah

So, I love that portion of what you’re doing and that we’ve connected in that area. And we think alike in that area. 

And I’m going to be in the show. I’m going to. I will attach the commercial you did for us so this goes out, but everybody can see what you did for those who don’t know him and don’t know our connection with him.

Keith

Oh, heck yeah.

John

I don’t even know. We hadn’t known each other that long, maybe a week or two, and I was like, hey, I saw you did this for Herb. Herb is one of my friends. And you’re like, oh, yeah, I’ll do one for you. 

And I was like. I was like, I don’t care what this guy needs. I’ll do whatever he needs, you know, because you just. I like that whole thing you were talking about. I just want to help people. And you did a really ****** commercial. With your music for nothing, and never ask me for a thing.

Keith

To me, I don’t understand why that’s such a big deal. You know, I mean, if anybody asked, I would do that.

You’ve got to blow.

John

Yeah,. And it’s well done. I mean, I loved it, so. What’s next for the skill bridge community? What’s next for the skill bridge network? And you know where people can find you at? I know you have a really big presence on LinkedIn. Talk to me about that.

Keith

So, it’s just on Facebook, more than anything, and you can connect with me on LinkedIn. I would just ask you not to follow me; connect with me, especially if you like to have conversations like this, because that motivates the heck out of me, other people who want to help others out. You’re not in it for the money. The future of Skill Bridge Network is a lot of content, so I am going to I already have a plan for where I’m going to start creating content and categorizing the videos and playlists on YouTube because since it’s since the beginning of Skill Bridge November of 2020, there’s been, I think, close to 200,000 questions. And then there’s 500,000 reactions and. Comments and all that that go with it. Right. 

So, over the years, I’ve kind of learned all the different pain points. So, I want to create some content around it. That is to start answering those questions, but I will be much more active on Instagram and TikTok.

John

Alright, what’s the plan for Instagram?

Keith

Just short reels, short reels, everything in my mind is short. Like, here’s your problem. I have your solution in 30 seconds, and if you want to learn more about it, here’s the 10-minute video you can link to.

John

Yeah, yeah, you have pretty. How many people have you got? Subscribed on your YouTube.

Keith

Ah, YouTube isn’t nearly as much as I think. YouTube, I think I just hit 1700 or something.

John

Have you done a push inside the actual group for them to?

Keith

It’s all a few times, but YouTube will more likely be its algorithm that helps you out. And then I have it put in nearly. The work the.

John

Well, it is.

Keith

I capitalized on that.

John

So let me know, and we can talk about this offline, but you should go live in your group. And it would be best if you were doing that regularly anyway. Every week, they should see your face, but go live in your group and do a drawing. Package, whatever it is. Where everybody who joins your YouTube channel will get entered into the drawing to win, you know, a pack of bubble gum, whatever you do, right and then and then that way you use that to bolster your YouTube, and then you build your YouTube that way you can even put it as one of the questions that they have to answer when they joined. Your Facebook says have you joined our YouTube channel?

Keith

I do have that. So, I just feel like there needs to be more value on YouTube. I don’t think there’s enough value there for people to stick around because I haven’t put more time on that platform than I should.

John

Yeah. The great news is that you can do it all on one platform with technology. Distribute it.

Keith

Right, yeah.

John

You’ll be able to do that. So, tell me, the Facebook group’s website becauseitsfacebook.com back slash.

Keith

So yeah, it’s just the skill bridge network. It will if you type in DoD skill bridge or Skillbridge network on Facebook. Pop up it’s. The largest, yeah.

John

Yep, good man. Alright. And then listen, guys. So, you heard him. He’s not making any money. So, when you join the community, go check out his patron. Support him, follow him, donate to him, and help him. The stuff he’s doing inside that group is valuable to all the transitioning soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines. And it’s just such a great resource. I’m glad you were able to come on to the.

Keith

Man, I appreciate it, brother. It’s good to see you, man. And until next time.

John

Talk to you soon.

Keith

All right, brother, we’ll talk to you later.

More from Titan Evolution Podcast

Check out all of our interviews: https://titanevolutionpodcast.com/blog/

Connect with Travis: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nonprofitarchitect/

Sponsored Links