Sales Platoon: S1:E6 | From Battlefield to Boardroom with Former Marine Corps Combat Correspondent Shawn Rhodes

Watch Here

Shawn, a former Marine Corps combat correspondent turned successful entrepreneur in sales and consulting, joins us to share his wisdom. From his intense military experiences to his transition into civilian life and entrepreneurship, Shawn shares invaluable insights and strategies for fellow veterans seeking to navigate the challenging yet rewarding path of starting their businesses or pursuing careers in sales.

Through his inspiring story and actionable insights, listeners gain invaluable guidance for charting their path to success in the civilian world, armed with the unwavering conviction to turn their dreams into reality. 

Highlights:

{01:00} Military Experience and Transition

{04:10} Early Business Ventures

{18:11} Sales and Marketing Strategies

{28:00} Building a Personal Brand – Lessons Learned and Future Outlook

Find us on your FAVORITE platform

Shawn Rhodes Bio:

Shawn Rhodes is the ‘Chief Sales Sergeant’ of Bulletproof Selling, an international keynote speaker, author of four books and a nationally-syndicated business columnist. Before becoming a Chief Sales Sergeant, he was a sergeant in the Marine Corps, tasked with accompanying troops into combat to witness how they became ‘Bulletproof’ on the battlefield. His work and insights have appeared in TIME, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC, Forbes, INC and hundreds of other media outlets.

Recognized as one of the industry’s top sales experts, Shawn is known as the ‘O.G. of sales systems.’ Wherever he speaks, he puts his experience studying more than 30,000 sales calls across hundreds of industries to work for his audiences, so salespeople and business leaders can remove hope from how they sell – and how they serve.

Links:

https://bulletproofselling.us

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

https://www.mysalesplatoon.com 

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 we will share stories from successful salespeople and businesspeople who have transitioned just like you and I have. 

And today, I’m so excited that I have with us Shawn Rhodes, who is the author of Bulletproof Selling and has a story that, frankly, I want to hear from myself. But I think all of you would also like to hear because he went from being in the core to running a 7-figure business. 

And I want you all to hear the stories of how you can translate your military success into business success. Shawn, welcome to the show, man.

Shawn

Thanks, John. It’s good to be here, and I’m excited to talk to some folks who might know that sales are their Career path.

John

Yeah, well, let’s do this. Just get and give me a brief background. You know, talk about your service, where you served, and what you did, and then we’ll kind of move into the sales portion.

Shawn

Oh, for sure. So, I was in from 2001 to 2000. Five was a real action-packed time to be in the military. You know, Iraq was kicking off. Afghanistan was in full swing. My job for the Marine Corps was combat correspondent  – they called it things like Joker and full metal jacket, which was me burning around the battlefield with a rifle and a notepad and clearing houses. But then when the rest of the Marines, you know, were eating.

John

Right.

Shawn

Now, cleaning their weapons, I had to do that and produce content for the world. Being 18/19, an 18/19-year-old kid, and seeing your stuff appear on CNN and MSNBC and time was pretty cool. So, I got to enjoy that and knew always that I loved communication, but I didn’t know how I was—going to apply that. After the military, I knew pretty quickly in the military that four years was it for me, and many people listening may be in that spot as well. 

Or maybe you’re at the end of your 20, or you’re 30, and you’re like. I don’t need to do this anymore. It’s taking a toll on my body and my mind. That’s exactly what it did to me, so I was in a rare situation where I had a clear path for myself after the military, and it was not to go into business. It was not even to find a job. It was to go straight to college. That was a promise I made to my family that if I went into the military, as soon as I got out, I’d be at university. 

So, in Iraq in 2004, you know, I’d stay up till 3:00 AM to get to stateside time. And I called the admissions offices of the universities I wanted to attend to ensure they had my paperwork.

Why is it such a bad connection? Oh, it’s because we’re taking incoming rounds right now. Don’t worry about it. I’ve got my helmet and my flat on. We’re good. Uh, that was my path immediately afterward, and it took maybe five or six years after I left the military before I realized that working for somebody else, you know, in a nine-to-five job, wasn’t going to be the path for me. 

It wasn’t until I opened my own business that I realized the value Of understanding how to sell was going to play into my life, so it was bouncing around from university, taking a couple of government jobs; a lot of us end up back working for the government cause it’s a pretty secure career field, steady paycheck on the same day as I was getting paid from the military. But I realized that my ambition was always going to be limited. 

If I was working a nine-to-five for somebody else, whether it was the military or whether it was for a corporate gig, it was because I had all of this passion, skill set, and ambition inside me that the military gave me. But what you can’t do with that in a nine-to-five job is apply it because you’ll always be limited by the time you’re there at work. You could be a stellar performer. That might earn you a bonus, but you do not have a cap on your income in sales. 

When I began to realize that it was like I had to do this now because the military, the Marine Corps, especially gave me this passion for doing the very best that I could, and when I got that in, you know, the career field to just working 9:00 to 5:00, it was like, hey, the best you can do. You still have to go home at 4:00 PM; we’ll pay you the same whether you produced like a high performer or whether you just did the bare minimum. 

And I always wanted to be that high performer. That was the mentality the military gave me. So that’s what bounced me into business for me and then into a career in sales and teaching salespeople, which I still love to do today.

John

Yeah. So, in 2004, you got out, and you kind of bounced around colleges. At what point did you start Bulletproof Selling? Was that your first business or not?

Shawn

No, my first business was in operational improvement because I could, from the military, easily look at a group of people doing something and say, well, it’s probably how we could do it faster, better, more efficiently because that was part of my job as a war correspondent, it was to go into these units that I had spent no time with but to immediately look at what are the very best doing because those were the stories that the Marine Corps wanted me to capture. 

So, when I began doing that for businesses, instead of producing a piece of content, it was to bring what the very best are doing in a way to the business owner or to the CEO or the executive team to say you’ve got a division that is kicking **** and taking names, let’s make this just the standard for your entire company. Everybody was doing this job, which was the very first business I found myself in. 

However, I realized the people who were more excited about using what I was bringing to them were the sales teams. Because these folks were incentivized, the better they get. The more they get paid, the more they say. Shawn, if you find a group in the southeastern US doing it well, we want to share that in the Northeast. We want to share that in the Midwest. Find what those people are doing and figure out a way that you can train and teach so that every one of our salespeople across the country can be at that level of performance.

John

And what year did you start doing that?

Shawn

That was probably 2018-2019, right before COVID-19, because I thought launching a sales brand during a pandemic would be a good idea. It turned out it was a bit more of a struggle than I wanted, but here we are in 2023, still making it happen.

John

Yeah. So, between, you know, so you said you had that kind of five years there. Once you got out of the core. So, what did you do from 2009 to 2018? What did that lifestyle look like before you started? That first business.

Shawn

So that was when I figured out that a nine-to-five was not me. I got out of the core with the immediate career plan of becoming a high school history teacher because I had some very impactful ones when I was going through. But the 30 grand a year that they wanted me to make plus the 80 hours a week they wanted me to work, not just to teach, but have to coach like three teams. I love doing this. But I will need more than 30 grand a year to meet my lifestyle.

Even if I lived very fluently, I would need more time to do it. And I said all right, well, what’s a career path? It’s a little more in line with keeping me and the things that I love doing, which is, you know, traveling, being outdoors, getting to meet people.

John

Right.

Shawn

So, I worked for the National Park Service as a park Ranger. You know, flat hat chasing Smokey, you know, bears around the Blue Ridge Mountains. That was much fun. And then I started dating a girl down here in Florida. I was living in North Carolina at the time. Right next to the Smoky Mountain National Park, I started dating somebody in Florida, and I got tired of that ten 1/2-hour drive. So I said I have to get closer to Florida. 

So, I found another government job in Tampa on MacDill Air Force Base working for the Air Force. So, coming from the Marine Corps and working for the Air Force was an upgrade; I got to stay in five-star Hotels, got fed good chow, and never had to sleep outside. No one was yelling at me and calling me names every day. 

But there was a misalignment of mentality, and they told me that they said Shawn, only a few people in the Marine Corps who come to work for the Air Force stay here. And I said no, I’m going to be, I’m going to be the exception. 

John

Right.

Shawn

Except for the idea of getting it done at all costs as long as it got done, which is what the Marine Corps gave me. The Air Force doesn’t work like that. They’re all about like if this is too difficult, we should look at whether it is worth doing at all, and that I can’t wrap my head around that from the Marine Corps, it would never be something we’d even consider like no.

John

No, they do not.

Shawn

You were told to do this. They die on that hill trying, but you’ll get it done. Well, therefore, it doesn’t work like that. 

So right around the time that I, you know, ended up getting married. This is 2013. Now, I caught up with you up to about 2013. The government, like they do about this time of year, needed help to figure out their budget, and what they do in that case is, they said. Unless we can figure this out, Congress can determine their budget. We’re just going to send all government employees home without pay.

John

Right.

Shawn

And that’s what happens.

John

2013, with that consequence, too.

Shawn

So I thought I had a job. Yeah, exactly right. Like, you know, we can’t figure it out. So, you pay the consequence as a civilian employee. So that’s what.

John

Right.

Shawn

And that was maybe the winter of 20/12/2013, and I said, right, well, if I’m ever going to try something that has an extremely high likelihood of failure, which is going into business for myself to be a salesperson, every small business owner is a salesperson first and foremost. 

So now is the time I’m married. I have a mortgage, but I don’t have any kids. Like, if I screw this up, the quality of life of a bunch of people is not going to be affected. So that was when I decided to do it. And like any small business owner trying to figure it out, I hit every speed bump you could hit along the way. Running out of money, I liquidated my thrift savings plan. Like a lot of you know, people getting out of the military are going to do if they go into business for themselves. 

So I had so much money and expenses that were eating away at it every month. I had to make some tough choices, which was if I was going to keep doing this, I have to get serious about it, not just network everywhere that I can think of, but … look at what is working and how I do more than just throw it at the wall and see what sticks, which the military taught. How to do so? I looked at it and said, “All right, if I was in the military and trying to execute this mission and create a profitable business, what would I begin doing that I’m not doing now?” 

And it was to make a plan, execute it, and, most importantly, after I executed it, look at if I had to do it again, what would I do differently? And I began to realize I was networking in the wrong places very quickly. I was talking to the people that couldn’t hire me. 

And I had changed as a result of that, just that quick debrief on my own, sorry, targeting those people that could hire me for me because speaking is a major part of how I market myself. He was doing more on-stage events, so I had to learn how to sell those because nobody knew who I was. I’m not, Jocko willing. I’m not Simon Sinek, so I had to learn how to get on those stages myself, with nobody having ever heard of me. And when I began doing that.

That marketing wheel began to start turning itself, and the gigs to get me into the corporate work I love doing with brands like John Deere began to appear. That’s, you know, how I transitioned from military university, working for the government, starting my own business, failing at it a lot. Then, I finally realized that selling is really where it’s at. And those are the people I love working with.

John

Yeah. So, it’s interesting that you bring that up because I’ve talked about this with our cohort, which you’ve spoken to several times. Well, I love having you every time.

One thing that we do well in the military is backward planning. We backward plan every operation. We plan back to everything that we’re doing. Except for our actual exit strategy out of the military, I don’t know about you, but nobody ever talked to me. Not even one day about, hey, whether you’re doing two years, four years, or 20 years, what’s your plan when you get out? 

And how do you prepare for that? And I and I think that that’s so pivotal. What did you say about this idea of let’s make a plan what’s the actual plan? And I think for many of our tribe, when they get out, whether they’re in the core or they’re in, you know, like they kind of served and we’re in the Air Force, they just, they don’t make a Plan, and I see that a lot so.

Shawn

Yeah, we think we’re going to figure it out.

John

It’s interesting, too.

Shawn

Out as we go, yeah.

John

You know, and that that you went through that as well. And I find that interesting because here you are as a top performer, somebody who’s made it and is making the money you’re making. And your struggle was no different than anybody else who’s not talked to.

Shawn

Yeah. And then, you know, you and I chatted briefly, and we have shared this with your cohort a couple of times, like, what would I do differently? You know, if I had to go back to that, that, you know, 22-year-old kid back in 2005 who’s just getting out of the military has a little bit of an idea what he wants to do. He will catch in that sweet GI bill money for a while. I was on the Montgomery GI Bill. It’s not that cool post 9/11 1 that everybody listening to this probably has access to. But I would look for myself, and I’d say, You’ve got the rest of your life in front of you and already accomplished the hardest thing. You’re ever going to do. 

And whether you served in combat or not, you know, maybe you’re that, you know, newer generation where, you know, really hoping you’re not just serving combat because it looks like a different warfare today than it did back when I was in. 

So let’s say you didn’t deploy anywhere; you just spent all your time stateside and had a great time doing it. You have already gone through the hardest thing you’ll ever be asked to do professionally.

John

Right.

Shawn

You’ve been asked to show up early, stay late, and get paid the same, if not less. You know you had to pay for all your gear. Probably. If you’re anything like I was in the Marine Corps, you had to buy all your stuff and were an issue. And you? Nothing. It was worth anything. All of this, and you know you’re working these long days for little recognition. You’ve already done the hardest thing.

John

It’s so funny that you bring that up. I just had this conversation.

Shawn

Perfect.

John

And here, here’s what I said, and it became controversial. And I don’t think it should be controversial because I think like you, which was, I said, if you served and were dishonorably or honorably discharged, right? Not dishonored. Oh, no. I said if you were honorably discharged, you should not settle for less than $30.00 an hour.

Shawn

No, not with your skill.

John

People got upset, and I talked about already being in the top 1%. What are? If you think about it. It serves less than 1% and even. If you were the cook or you were. You know. The pack clerk or you were the whatever; you still need to deploy you. I had to go through boot camp or, you know, basic or whatever the Air Force or the Navy calls it. Those are still, like, really difficult milestones. For the vast majority of the civilian population.

Shawn

Right. And let me tell you, John, though, the danger that you’re going to run into saying this and probably why it was so controversial is that if I show up and I say, you know, I’m a 22-year-old, I’m worth no less than $30.00 an hour. Well, that sounds pretty entitled. All right. And here’s how you get around it. You have to be able to sell it, and this is something I’d say to all the military members listening to this. All the veterans, so you are worth at least $30.00 an hour. I’ll tell you that. But you have to be able to back that up because an employer will say, why are you worth 30 bucks an hour? 

I got another 22-year-old with a four-year degree. We weigh a little more heavily than military service at this company, jacked up as that may be; we look at it, we say he’s got an undergrad, and you don’t. Why are you worth just as much, if not more? Now, you must be able to pull all those things out of your back.

John

Now, you have to articulate.

Shawn

Now you have to articulate because, at 18, I did something selfless that that 22-year-old you’re looking to hire next to me never did. It never did. I know how to work longer. I know how to work harder. I know how to take direction. I know how to show up on time. I know how to look professional. I know how to speak professionally. I know how to take charge of the situation. I know how to be resourceful. You give me a job and don’t provide me the resources. I know how to find the resources. I know how to find the training. Even if you don’t provide it to me. Because that’s how I was trained.

John

That’s right.

Shawn

And be successful in an environment where we were never given everything that we should have been given to become successful. You’d be able to talk like that to an employer. Now you’re worth 30 Dollars, if not more.

John

I love that, yeah. That’s right.

That’s right. And here, here’s the thing. So. If you don’t already have that in you to express yourself, like, why am I worth 30, then it would come off as in time. Right, and this is why I love sales, and why you probably love sales too because we’re always looking at how I get better and make more money. How do I serve my clients to give them what they want because I need to remember? I think it was. It’s either Brian, Tracy or Zig, or whoever it was. It was one of those old-school guys. 

That said, you attain wealth or any of those things by putting everybody else’s needs before yours. If you serve them, that will all come back to you. And if you’re 22 and served, you shouldn’t settle for under 30. 

But you’ve got to be able to do it in a way where you can. Prove your value and your worth. To whom are you going to serve, right? And some of that could be as easy as career selection, right? 

So, if I’m going to be a plumber, electrician, or wind turbine specialist, does any of those careers automatically start you at $30/35? So don’t settle like and as you and I know why we love sales. People need to determine how much roads make this year.

Shawn

Right.

John

But Shawn?

Shawn

That’s up to three.

John

Only Shawn can make that call. Right. You and I have talked about this before; one of the reasons I love talking with you is that when I started in sales, I wanted two things. I wanted nobody to be able to tell me how much I was worth and nobody to tell me how to spend my time. If I want to put in a late day, I’m putting in the late day because I’ve got objectives that I have to meet, and this week, it just takes me longer than normal. But I want to go to the Bahamas next week and need to hear back. No, you can’t take that time off. No, sorry, I’m gone, you know, right? Bulletproof Selling provides us with both income and freedom. If we do it the way you know you’ve done it in your career. 

So I love that piece, man. I love that we’re that we’re in that world now. 

So, you have that consulting business; how do you transition that? I mean, not knowing where you’re at, author, speaker, or company, Bulletproof Selling. You’re at all these major companies doing sales operations and revenue discussions. How do you go from there to where you’re at now? Tell me a little bit about that journey.

Shawn

A lot of it was finding the people who had already achieved what I wanted and figuring out how to model. And this is just like building a target package in the military, which I never actually did. I was never an Intel analyst, but I was part of a bunch of missions where I could tell we weren’t walking into this thing blind like many people have done much work on this to figure out how to make it happen as efficiently as we did because it was up to Shawn. We just, you know, load up a bunch of ammo and figure out how much stuff we could shoot. That’s a thing, but we did a little smarter than that, even in the event in the core. 

So, it was to look at whether I wanted this business model. I look out, you know, who are the people that have the type of lifestyle and are doing business with the type of people that I think I would want to model and do business with, and you mentioned a couple of names like Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy. 

All right, I’m going to go to their websites. I’m going to check out their companies. Going to go to their LinkedIn profiles, and I’m going to look at what are all of the Assets that, as a visitor, I’m looking at and saying, well, that’s impressive. Like that qualifies you to do what you’re doing. 

And one thing I couldn’t have was decades of experience like that. That was the one thing they might have marketed; we’ve got decades of experience doing this. I didn’t have that. And I can only, you know, if I get a decade or more of experience. But I look at everything else here; all the stages they’ve spoken on are all the clients they’ve had here and all the content they’re producing.

John

Right.

Shawn

Something that most veterans don’t realize because they’re just not in the military is that they don’t teach anybody but a very small segment of military people how to produce online. And this is something that you’re probably doing on Instagram. If you’ve got an Instagram account, you know, God forbid, you’re on TikTok. But if you are, you know, making videos and, you know, all these things every day, well, you can do that to market Health as a civilian. 

Now, if you’re getting out of the military, you have access to all these platforms where no staff NCO is telling you can’t write, that it’s up to you. Now, you can produce all these things about your ideas about how to grow in an industry or how to grow yourself personally. So, I began looking at all that and said, well, I can do that. I can write, and I can produce this content.

John

Right.

Shawn

So, I began doing that, and your reach is very small at first, but now your job is to figure out who you can get. This content is in front of. Who are the people that make the decisions, either in hiring, you know, you as a full-time employee or hiring you as a consultant? 

So, I began to reach out and do that in a very systemized way. Building sheets, you know, spreadsheets, to say. Here are all the things that I need in marketing assets. I need to be on a Ted X stage. How do I do it? Submit these things, and check that box. It’s done. Now I’ve been on a Ted X stage. I want all these banners of media organizations I’ve been to. How do I do it in time, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and CNN? Checklist boom. Start executing. Find the people that are, you know, sourcing that content. Get in touch with them. Make sure they know who I am. Get featured. Check the box. 

So I treated it like that. Like a checklist. They hand you like you run in the military and check and do a new unit. That checklist, and you have to find all these places. People will misdirect you because they think doing that to the new guy is funny. After all, you have to go check in, you know, at sip and get you all get her combat gear, and they’ll tell you it’s out. It’s on the back for you when it’s just right down the street. You have to figure that out.

John

Right.

Shawn

There’s no easy way to do it, but that’s what you got to do. So, use that same skill set, and you can do this to get yourself hired at any company. Get yourself in front of any decision maker, so if you want to get in front of the fortune, you know 100 CEOs of FedEx. I did it.

John

Yeah. Yeah, you were telling me.

Shawn

It has been about eight months since I’ve been. Yeah, it’s possible. You have to figure out how to leverage the passion, dedication, and ambition the military gave you to accomplish a goal. 

And so something that many people get out, and then it’s a wall that they hit. I hit it too, was to get out and immediately think, well, now I’m a civilian again, so I have an act and operate like a. Civilian no, you don’t just like in the military, if some staff NCO walked down and said, Shawn, we need you to accomplish this mission, and that’s all the information they gave me. Now it’s up to me, especially if you’re another NCO like you’re not allowed to ask questions.

John

You Don’t Do It.

Shawn

It is the same thing now that you’re out of the military, especially if you’re an NGO, which chances most of the people are if you did your four unless you are in one of those career fields like the infantry where it takes forever to promote, but chances are you’re an NCO, treat yourself like an NCO. You’ve been given a mission. It’s to set yourself up for success with the rest of your life to find the career field in which you will be happiest. 

You’re going to enjoy getting up every day to go to work if you are okay with your income being, you know, limited to 80 grand a year. 

Find that job, but maybe you think you’re worth more. Maybe you think you are worth half a million a year. Find the career fields that will pay you half $1,000,000 a year, either as a captive employee because you’re in sales or as an independent business owner, for which plenty of us make half $1,000,000 a year or more. Figure that out for yourself, and then execute it. Use the same skill set the military gave you not to accept no for an answer, but I can’t tell you how many times, and I know this happened to you, John, because you were in special forces, you guys or masters of hearing no and still getting the job done. I go, and I say, hey, I need a ride, and I’m thinking of, you know, many times I had to deal with this in Iraq. I had to get from the southern part of the country to the northern part of the country. All I had to know was that I had to take the land because nobody would clear me on a Hilo flight. 

So, I had to take a convoy. Well, how do I find a convoy that’s got an extra seat? You just have to show up and start.

John

Right. Just a short asking.

Shawn

You’ve got an extra three. Yeah, I’ve. I’ve got much ammo and a rifle. What window do you need to be covered? Because that’s how it is. It happens, and you find yourself going from Nazaria to Baghdad just like that. Ask him until you hear yes; it’s exactly how it works in the civilian world. If you have the dedication and the passion not to accept, no.

John

So, Who are some examples of people you model yourself after, like, you know, when you look across the spectrum of, you know, there’s Gary Vee, there’s Grant Cardone, there’s all these, like, really big shots? 

Who was it for you that kind of transitioned your thinking from? I’m going to be a consultant now. I’m going to run a 7 figure company with Bulletproof Selling. Who was the model of that for you?

Shawn

But in the early days, people were doing the things I wanted to do. So, the people speaking on stages were consulting companies, they were coaching individuals, and they were writing, writing books, writing articles, and all that. And there are plenty of people who meet that criterion. Tony Robbins, Simon Sinek, Brian Tracy, zig Ziggler.

John

Then you kind of were looking at all of them.

Shawn

Looking at them and building a spreadsheet, they have everything on their website. How do I get them?

John

Yeah. So, it differed from one individual you were focused on. It was more of the collective of everybody that was kind of doing those things at that time.

Shawn

Yeah. Yeah, because I knew it might be too difficult to model what one individual was doing, but if I could get 80% of what all of them were doing, then that was going to get me the credibility that I needed to be able to show up to an organization that.

John

OK.

Shawn

They had never heard of me before and said here’s why I’m worth listening to because I’ve got this stuff behind.

John

I love that piece because the thing about your story is that it’s so crazy good. 

Who cares who you are? It was the fact that you showed up at the company and said here I am. Hire me or don’t. That’s the balls that everybody needs to have, right? It’s like you just made it and created it out of nothing. 

Of course, you did your homework, studied the individuals, and devised a plan. But at the end of the day, that plan would have meant nothing if you hadn’t knocked on the door and picked up a phone like the FedEx, you know? What makes you successful is what makes everybody in the military, too, which is what I want to do. How do I get it done? Now I got to go to. And you did.

Shawn

Yeah, do it. Show up and do it and be willing to fail—the beautiful part about now that you’re a civilian or getting ready to be a civilian. If you fail, chances are nobody dies.

John

Yeah, yeah, for real.

Shawn

It was the one thing that kept us from risking a lot. Because if I risk it, I will pull the pin on this grenade. I’m going to Chuck it in a building in Fallujah, and I better hope and pray that we don’t have any friends on the other side of that. You have to worry about it. That was a kind of life-and-death scenario. If you fail, it will affect you, and your bank account might take a hit. Your ego will probably hurt, but you pick yourself up and keep going. If a staff CEO has never chewed you out, then maybe you missed this military experience that I did. But I had my ego just pounded on every day, every time I tried to get a little above my station. Many staff NCOs put me back where I needed to be, and some officers along the way.

John

Right.

Shawn

So, I’ve taken some ego hits. If I walk into an organization now and they tell me no or I’ve been yelled at on the phone, I mean, same as you, John. You know, everybody’s giving me, you know, their bad day. And I’m the guy that shows up to receive it sometimes. I’ve been yelled at worse. I’ve been kicked out of nicer buildings than this. People I respect more than you telling me I was worthless. So go ahead. Do your worst. 

And we all kind of the military. So don’t be afraid of hearing that in the civilian world; you’ll hear it eventually, but you’ve dealt with worse. You’ve overcome hard.

John

Yeah, right. Go ahead. Do your work, and there’s this meme. But I love it. I’ll send it to you. You, when we’re done, it’s Skeletor. From when we were kids, right? And he’s ohh. You’re trying to hurt my feelings. The army destroyed my feelings long ago, and then he’s running away. Be your worst. Yeah, so kind of as we wrap up here because I know you’ve got other things to do today. Whether they’re somebody who just done the four-year stent or at their twenty years.

Shawn

Right. Do your worst, man. Do your worst.

John

Park, and they’re looking at transition, right? They’re getting ready to get out of the military. With your experience of going to college and then doing the 9:00 to 5:00 and then becoming an entrepreneur and failing, and then starting an A7 figure company, right, what are some of the top things that you would recommend to somebody that whether they pick sales or not, what are the top two or three things that they should be looking at? That should be on their horizon as they prepare for that transition.

Shawn

So, I’d say you can now begin writing your own story. You’re getting out of the military. You’ve been given an incredible skill set. Maybe you’ve got a little disability, money coming in from stuff you went through, or a retirement check. You got your healthcare handled for a while. You have a window of opportunity that many people get once they retire at 65 or 70 and decide they want to start a second or third career. 

So now you can start a second career and still have most of your years ahead. Even if you did, you’re 20. You know, you’re 38 now. You’re still pretty young in the workforce. So, what can you do with yourself?

John

Young.

Shawn

I had to learn the hard way to avoid some of my mistakes because I believed I needed to put myself back on a more traditional career path. I look at what things I would love to do if somebody were willing to cut me a check just to waste time; what does it look like for me to waste time every day and still do some kind of activity? 

And it may be to talk to people. It may be to mentor others. Maybe, as an NCO, you love mentoring, too. In your troops, maybe you love something you did in the military. Like if all you could do is just train firearms all day and somebody just gave you boxes of ammo and kept you fed, you’d be happy just putting rounds down range even if you weren’t shooting at people. Maybe that’s your thing, whatever that is, and realize that you can make a career path out of it now, and you can find the funding to do it. 

There are plenty of programs. It will pay for you to be trained to create a business model out of it or to find another company with that as a business model. You could be an employee of. But don’t cut yourself short, and think well. Now I’ve got to suffer from 9:00 to 5:00. I have to go. You know, punch a keyboard for, you know, 40 hours a week. 

That’s what people do when they get out of the military. That’s what professionals do. That’s what white-collar folks do. Whatever that is. It doesn’t have to be. You pick something you’ll be passionate about and have fun with because you put in your hard time, man. You gave back to Your country. I don’t want to say that you’ve earned the next, you know, 80 years of your life back. 

But you kind of have. You’ve done more than most. You can still be a productive member of society but no longer have to suffer like your suffering check box. It’s been checked, especially if you’re in the Marine Corps. That’s done. What can you do to make the rest of your life enjoyable? Easy. Give back to your community. You know, live the rest of that life that you had. To put on hold for. A while now is your time.

John

That’s great, man. So, if somebody wants to contact you, what’s the best way? What’s your website? Then, talk a bit about your book as we wrap up so we can do a shameless plug for you.

Shawn

Shameless plug. Yeah. So, you can connect with me on LinkedIn. John and I are connected, so start using LinkedIn. It’s the professional network that you can begin to leverage as a veteran here in this, or if you’re in the military and you’re here in this, you have an open line of communication. 

To me, it’s not hard to find my phone number, so feel free to shoot me a text. Pick up, make a call. Shoot me a message on LinkedIn from my website if You’re interested in finding out what it looks like for a? Crayon-eating marine to go and, you know, create something that sells sales training. Bulletproof is selling us. That’s where you can find my website and a lot about me. 

And then plenty of videos on YouTube and LinkedIn about all the cool stuff I get to do now. And I thought to myself, the same advice that you gave me, John, are they, you know, that just gave you pardon? Do you know what my idea of a great life looks like? It’s having these conversations daily and figuring out how to get paid. 

So that’s what I do. I’m logging off here, and I’m going to have a conversation with somebody. It serves people because I love having those conversations with other humans. Figure out a way to get paid for it.

John

Great man. Thank you so much for your time. I’m going to have to have your back. There’s so much more to dig into your story and your success and how that can translate for everybody else. 

So just thanks for who you are because I can just tell you. I look forward to when you send me these random texts, and you’ve been such a great support to both sales and putting them in; I look forward to seeing you here in Vegas.

Shawn

See you soon, John, man. Have a great week.

John

Here man. Bye.

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