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Service Academy Business Mastermind

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The Service Academy Business Mastermind (SABM) is a transformational program for Service Academy graduates who are building businesses.

Our podcast features entrepreneurial success stories from the Service Academy community (West Point, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and Merchant Marine Academy).

To learn more, please visit: www.sabmgroup.com. Continue Reading >>
The Service Academy Business Mastermind (SABM) is a transformational program for Service Academy graduates who are building businesses.

Our podcast features entrepreneurial success stories from the Service Academy community (West Point, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and Merchant Marine Academy).

To learn more, please visit: www.sabmgroup.com. << Show Less
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#215: Helping Business Owners Find Talent with Freddie Kim, USMA ‘04 “I think a lot of us as entrepreneurs need to hit that home run in the beginning, early. We just need to get something and we’re going to crush it. But it’s those singles and doubles, and winning those little by little, getting one client. Making them very happy with your service, or your product, then doing it again and again.” - Freddie Kim (USMA ‘04) Freddie Kim, a former Special Forces Green Beret, founded MilSpec Talent where he helps businesses connect with and recruit the best leadership talent. Freddie calls these candidates “Veteran 2.0 Executives” who have successfully transitioned from the service and have proven themselves to achieve business results. Since transitioning, the Veterans he seeks have served in exceptional capacities in their various industries and business functions, with the common theme of being outstanding Leaders. In this episode, we discuss: The early days of MilSpec Talent and overcoming large obstacles like COVID-19 What MilSpec Talent currently looks like today and who they work with What things every company leader/recruiter should look for when hiring  Resources that MilSpec Talent has for business leaders to take advantage of before recruiting Freddie also talks about another business he started in the wake of COVID-19. We enjoyed hearing how Freddie founded MilSpec Talent with two objectives in mind: 1) to help veterans find their passion and purpose post-military and 2) to facilitate company access to high-impact veteran talent with proven performance histories in both the military and the private sector. We hope this episode motivates you to consider having an open mindset and inspires you to spend more time investing in recruitment resources. Connect with Freddie: LinkedIn MilSpec Talent If you found this episode valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague. If you are a Service Academy graduate and want to take your business to the next level, you can join our supportive community and get started today. Subscribe and help out the show: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Also available on Google Podcasts, Spotify & Stitcher Leave us a 5-star review! Special thanks to Freddie for joining me this week. Until next time! -Scott Mackes, USNA ’01
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#215: Helping Business Owners Find Talent with Freddie Kim, USMA ‘04 “I think a lot of us as entrepreneurs need to hit that home run in the beginning, early. We just need to get something and we’re going to crush it. But it’s those singles and doubles, and winning those little by little, getting one client. Making them very happy with your service, or your product, then doing it again and again.” - Freddie Kim (USMA ‘04) Freddie Kim, a former Special Forces Green Beret, founded MilSpec Talent where he helps businesses connect with and recruit the best leadership talent. Freddie calls these candidates “Veteran 2.0 Executives” who have successfully transitioned from the service and have proven themselves to achieve business results. Since transitioning, the Veterans he seeks have served in exceptional capacities in their various industries and business functions, with the common theme of being outstanding Leaders. In this episode, we discuss: The early days of MilSpec Talent and overcoming large obstacles like COVID-19 What MilSpec Talent currently looks like today and who they work with What things every company leader/recruiter should look for when hiring  Resources that MilSpec Talent has for business leaders to take advantage of before recruiting Freddie also talks about another business he started in the wake of COVID-19. We enjoyed hearing how Freddie founded MilSpec Talent with two objectives in mind: 1) to help veterans find their passion and purpose post-military and 2) to facilitate company access to high-impact veteran talent with proven performance histories in both the military and the private sector. We hope this episode motivates you to consider having an open mindset and inspires you to spend more time investing in recruitment resources. Connect with Freddie: LinkedIn MilSpec Talent If you found this episode valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague. If you are a Service Academy graduate and want to take your business to the next level, you can join our supportive community and get started today. Subscribe and help out the show: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Also available on Google Podcasts, Spotify & Stitcher Leave us a 5-star review! Special thanks to Freddie for joining me this week. Until next time! -Scott Mackes, USNA ’01
#214: Bringing Families Closer Together with Matthew Brown, USNA ‘05 “If you want to build resilience in kids, the first rule is to take them into an unfamiliar environment…and the second rule is to plan it in a stepwise way meaning plan, discuss, do and then revisit the shared memory together….We built this curriculum for a ship out of a need, but this isn’t just a Navy thing this is something that everyone can benefit from.” - Matt Brown (USNA ‘05) Matthew Brown is the Founder of Chimeny Trail Co., a subscription box service that helps parents build resiliency and emotional durability in their children through fun outdoor adventures and activities. Once a Captain in the U.S. Navy, Matt experienced firsthand how a warship’s “operational readiness” was strongly linked to the sailors’ “family readiness.” Almost half of those serving in the U.S. military have children. Our “warrior elite” are also moms and dads and their amazing stories are what inspired Chimney Trail Co.’s mission. In this episode, we discuss: The moving origin story behind Matt’s company, Chimney Trail Co. Why the wilderness is a great place to build resilience  Why it’s important to support your coworkers both personally and professionally How to start meaningful conversations with your teammates Activities that will help bring your family closer together Matt also shares a few recent wins, including some exciting NASCAR publicity. We also enjoyed learning about Matt’s different target markets and discussing why family wellbeing should be a priority not only at home but also at work. We hope this episode inspires you to spend valuable time with your family and encourages you to get to know your teammates as they work to provide for their families. If you found this episode valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague. If you are a Service Academy graduate and want to take your business to the next level, you can join our supportive community and get started today. Subscribe and help out the show: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Also available on Google Podcasts, Spotify & Stitcher Leave us a 5-star review! Special thanks to Matt for joining me this week. Until next time! -Scott Mackes, USNA ’01
#213: Helping People Turn Unique Talents Into Lifelong Careers with Matt Louis, USMA ‘91 “My personal mission statement in a phrase is to eliminate the civilian-military divide in the country…what we bring with us as veterans, those underlying soft skills are precisely what today’s corporate leaders say they desire for success for their businesses in the marketplace.” - Matt Louis (USMA ‘91) Matt Louis is a leading expert in career transition for veterans and public service professionals. His award-winning book, Mission Transition is a practical guide for veterans in career transition, their families, and their employers. During active commissioned service in the U.S. Army, Matt served in the Southwest Asia combat theater and in the 194th Separate Armored Brigade. Later, Matt served as a reservist on the staff of the Army’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and commanded multiple regions around the country for the U.S. Military Academy’s Admissions Office. Matt now serves on the Service Academy nominating committee for his local Congressman and is also the President of PurePost, an SaaS platform that instantly matches people’s talents to their best-fit careers. In this episode, we discuss: The importance of having a purposeful mission statement Why the talent matching industry is ripe for disruption How Matt’s company PurePost translates talents into careers Why military veterans have skills the civilian world needs Why now is the best time to start thinking about a career transition Matt also shares his top tips on how to transition from the military into a civilian job and why military veterans’ collective abilities to create order from chaos, thrive in discontinuous environments, and work cross-culturally enable them to thrive in corporate leadership roles. Matt also discusses why the military-civilian gap exists and details what he and his company PurePost are doing to close it. We love what Matt is doing at PurePost and wish him every success in the future! Connect with Matt: LinkedIn Matthew J. Louis website  Mission Transition PurePost If you found this episode valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague. If you are a Service Academy graduate and want to take your business to the next level, you can join our supportive community and get started today. Subscribe and help out the show: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Also available on Google Podcasts, Spotify & Stitcher Leave us a 5-star review! Special thanks to Matt for joining me this week. Until next time! -Scott Mackes, USNA ’01
#212: How to Live Off Short-Term Rentals with Kirby Atwell, USMA ‘05 “Once you start thinking about residual results, meaning you do something once that will pay you in perpetuity, then things change in your life. I try to do more things to create these residual results because that gives you so much more capacity, autonomy, and control over your time.”  - Kirby Atwell (USMA ‘05) Kirby Atwell started his first full-time property rehabbing company, iCandy Homes, with two good friends after leaving active-duty military service in 2011. Five years later, Kirby formed Green Vet Homes, an investment company that leveraged everything he’d learned over the previous 10 years in order to support military veterans and their families. Today, Kirby also hosts a podcast and educational platform called Living Off Rentals. Kirby believes that owning high quality, cash flowing real estate is a great business model for someone who wants to create a lifestyle they desire. In this episode, we discuss: How real estate enabled Kirby and his wife to quit their W2 jobs Why short-term rental properties are so profitable What makes a good short-term rental investment property  Why decision making is easier when you have a vision and set clear goals Kirby also shares how his interest in entrepreneurship through real estate began, why he decided to focus in on short-term rentals, and the criteria he uses to assess whether or not a short-term rental property will succeed in his chosen market. We enjoyed hearing how his real estate podcast grew into an educational platform and listening to Kirby reflect on what he wishes he knew when he first started out. We hope this episode helps you to identify what fears are holding you back from creating the lifestyle you want and inspires you to take action to overcome them. Connect with Kirby: LinkedIn Facebook Email Green Vet Homes Living Off Rentals Effortless by Greg McKeown Essentialism by Greg McKeown If you found this episode valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague. If you are a Service Academy graduate and want to take your business to the next level, you can join our supportive community and get started today. Subscribe and help out the show: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Also available on Google Podcasts, Spotify & Stitcher Leave us a 5-star review! Special thanks to Kirby for joining me this week. Until next time! -Scott Mackes, USNA ’01
#211: Building Innovative Technology to Treat Lower Back Pain with Niv Caviar, USAFA ‘90 “I think all of us who left the Academy know how to adapt and learn in often a rapid, stressful environment. I think that’s the hallmark of Academy grads…all of us have learned the skill of learning how to learn. Part of it is having the confidence to know you have that skill.” - Niv Caviar (USAFA '90) Niv Caviar is the CEO of Spine Ovations, Inc., a clinical-stage medical device company developing a novel, minimally invasive treatment for lower back pain based on a proprietary technology platform. Their minimally invasive product addresses lower back pain and functionality by targeting key unmet needs: reduction of back pain, improvement in motion and mobility and delaying or eliminating the need for costly back surgery. Prior to his decades of experience in the healthcare industry, Niv served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. In this episode, we discuss: How Spine Ovations treats lower back pain Why lessons Niv learned from the Academy are helping him excel The biggest challenges in bringing a medical device to market Why investing in medical device technology has a beneficial outcome Niv also shares how Spine Ovations has grown over the last eight years and tells us all about the worldwide clinical study he is currently orchestrating. He also discusses why low back pain is so common, how his outsourced business model works, and how he transitioned from the U.S. Air Force into the healthcare industry. Spine Ovations’ innovative technology is fascinating. We value Niv’s knowledge, perspective, and contributions to the healthcare industry and wish him every success as he begins clinical trials. Connect with Niv: LinkedIn Email  Spine Ovations If you found this episode valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague. If you are a Service Academy graduate and want to take your business to the next level, you can join our supportive community and get started today. Subscribe and help out the show: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Also available on Google Podcasts, Spotify & Stitcher Leave us a 5-star review! Special thanks to Niv for joining me this week. Until next time! -Scott Mackes, USNA ’01
#210: Creating a Podcast App to Revolutionize Continuing Medical Education with Chris West, USMA ‘88 “We want to be the dominant player in professional education and usher in an entirely new era of professional education. We want to be the medical education platform for a mobile generation.” - Christ West (USMA ‘88) Chris West (USMA ‘88) is the Chief Operating Officer of ConveyMed, the number one app for Continuing Medical Education (CME) that aggregates content from leading medical education podcasts and partners to provide Continuing Education for medical professionals. Chris is a former executive in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry where he held several senior sales and marketing leadership roles. These roles included general management, medical education, strategic and in-line marketing, and senior sales leadership. Throughout his career, Chris has routinely collaborated with key opinion leaders and societies on physician education initiatives.   In this episode, we discuss: Why podcasts are an effective and successful educational tool What ConveyMed is doing to push the boundaries of podcast education How ConveyMed creates, produces and monetizes podcast content Why healthcare professionals are ConveyMed’s primary audience Chris also shares some fascinating statistics on podcast listenters and who some of his content partners are. We enjoyed hearing how Chris and the ConveyMed team are working to optimize audience experience and learned a lot about different challenges in the mobile app industry. Chris also talks about the types of investors ConveyMed is seeking and how he wants to build out various content partnerships. We love what Chris is doing at ConveyMed and can’t wait to see how the company continues to grow! Connect with Chris: LinkedIn ConveyMed If you found this episode valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague. If you are a Service Academy graduate and want to take your business to the next level, you can join our supportive community and get started today. Subscribe and help out the show: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Also available on Google Podcasts, Spotify & Stitcher Leave us a 5-star review! Special thanks to Chris for joining me this week. Until next time! -Scott Mackes, USNA ’01
#209: Accelerating Innovation in Healthcare with Matt McBride, USNA ‘06 “Grittiness and the ability to wear multiple hats simultaneously are the two areas that I see as being big lessons from my time in the military and that have carried over and proved true in spades as the leader of an early-stage startup.” - Matt McBride (USNA ‘06) Matt McBride is a dynamic healthcare leader that has spent the last decade guiding early-stage technologies to the commercial market, managing start-ups, and driving innovation policy and processes at large academic institutions. Matt actively leverages Wave Strategy’s extensive network to make meaningful introductions that expedite the development of cutting-edge technologies through strategic enterprise partners, healthcare systems, industry influencers, and entrepreneurs. Prior to working in the healthcare industry, Matt served as a Naval Officer at several commands around the world. In this episode, we discuss: How Wave Strategy’s services benefit pre-revenue startups Why transparency, trust and accepting what you don’t know are keys to success in healthcare innovation Why Matt wants to help military veterans become leaders in biotech  Tips for early-stage healthcare startups that want to bring their product to market Matt also shares how he transitioned from the military into the healthcare industry and why military service doesn’t need to be the limiting factor in determining what industry you work for in the future. Matt also explains why it’s important to be able to discuss new technology openly and why provisional patents can be valuable when getting started in healthcare technology. We enjoyed hearing about Matt’s short-term and long-term goals and really value the wisdom he shares in this episode. We can’t wait to see how Wave Strategy continues to grow in the future and we’re excited to help Matt share Wave Strategy’s mission with a wider audience. Connect with Matt: LinkedIn Wave Strategy If you found this episode valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague. If you are a Service Academy graduate and want to take your business to the next level, you can join our supportive community and get started today. Subscribe and help out the show: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Also available on Google Podcasts, Spotify & Stitcher Leave us a 5-star review! Special thanks to Matt for joining me this week. Until next time! -Scott Mackes, USNA ’01
#208: An Inside Look Into Business Acquisitions with Jeff Evenson, USMA ‘90 “Being the leader of a business is sometimes a lonely spot to be in whether you’re leading 10 people or 1000 people. The ability to have someone else to lean on and ideate with, to have conversations with and to think about the next steps with is really important. The more you understand about yourself, the better and more effective you will be as a business owner.”  - Jeff Evenson (USMA ‘90) Jeff Evenson (USMA ‘90) has owned multiple businesses since 2008 and has successfully launched, or purchased and scaled, several multi-million-dollar companies. Along the way, he’s experienced virtually every good and bad element of business, including startup, rapid expansion, purchase, sale, and franchise, which taught him countless valuable business lessons. Today, Jeff invests in, or buys companies, with an aim to scale them up and retain them. His goal is to create $1 billion in generational wealth for military veterans and their families over the next 25 years through his new venture, the Thayer Gate Project. In this episode, we discuss: The story behind Jeff’s new venture, the Thayer Gate Project Why Service Academy grads make great business leaders Why acquisition is a great path to entrepreneurship What the general capital requirements are for acquiring a business How to find the right acquisition opportunity for your situation Jeff also shares who his ideal partners and clients are and why personal services and manufacturing companies provide great acquisition opportunities. We also discuss why business acquisitions aren’t as risky as people think, why approaching acquisitions the right way is the key to success, and why starting a business from scratch isn’t always the only route to entrepreneurship. We enjoyed hearing Jeff’s thoughts on how teamwork and collaboration are essential when scaling a business and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes through the Thayer Gate Project. Connect with Jeff: LinkedIn Email Thayer Gate Project If you found this episode valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague. If you are a Service Academy graduate and want to take your business to the next level, you can join our supportive community and get started today. Subscribe and help out the show: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Also available on Google Podcasts, Spotify & Stitcher Leave us a 5-star review! Special thanks to Jeff for joining me this week. Until next time! -Scott Mackes, USNA ’01
#207: Optimizing Operations to Help Businesses Drive Revenue with Matt Bolian, USMA ‘11 “Almost 80% of the buyers' journey is not attributable. We focus on the 20% that is. Our recommendation is also to focus on the dark funnel, where that 80% are feeding and getting their thought leadership from.” - Matt Bolian (USMA ‘11) Matt Bolian is the Co-Founder of RevPartners, a company that designs, builds and executes revenue operations to support holistic go to market strategies for scaling companies. RevPartners weaponizes data to drive a predictable, repeatable revenue engine through a proven growth operations framework while providing customers with less risk and better value when it comes to driving both strategy and execution. Matt has led teams as large as 250 people and thousands of projects in the United States and abroad for hundreds of clients across multiple functional areas in the military and in the private sector. He thrives under pressure and breaks rules when it makes sense. In this episode, we discuss: How RevPartners’ revenue engine diagnostic and ops analysis works Why data is essential to operations optimization and deal velocity What customer life cycles look like and how to identify market qualified leads Tips on how to stay top of mind as consumer patterns shift What dark funnels are and why they are important Matt also shares some tips on how to know when to hire someone to lead your sales and why now is the best time to start using a CRM. We also discuss why thought leadership is the sales function of the future and how a podcast can be a great way to get people thinking about your business or product. We enjoyed learning why Matt is such a big fan of HubSpot and value the insights he provides on some real-life examples of operations strategies. Wherever you are on your entrepreneurial journey, we hope this episode inspires you to engage more effectively with the operational side of your company. Connect with Matt: LinkedIn RevPartners If you found this episode valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague. If you are a Service Academy graduate and want to take your business to the next level, you can join our supportive community and get started today. Subscribe and help out the show: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Also available on Google Podcasts, Spotify & Stitcher Leave us a 5-star review! Special thanks to Matt for joining me this week. Until next time! -Scott Mackes, USNA ’01
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