Tyler Reiser (00:01): From my own perspective, life is a perpetual stumbling of sorts. I was surprised how badly people stumbled before they actually found their opportunity to shine and change the world you get out of something the time you've put into it.
Intro (00:26): Choose not to live in a world of filters, realize your mistakes, set the foundation for your success. Get some wins knucklehead podcast.
Stephen Colon (00:27): Welcome to another edition of knucklehead podcast. You've got with you today. Chief Knucklehead Steven and I, and I got Mr. Tyler with me here today. And so Tyler, for those of you who are listening to knucklehead, you know, we've had authors come on the podcast before and each time we've had an author, who's written a book. They come from a perspective where they've had to go through the mental process of unpacking all the crap in their life to put into written word, to actually give you some tangible takeaways and give you a reason, honestly, to devote the 10 to 15 hours that it's going to take for you to read the book. And so my encouragement to you as you listen to this episode, and as you kind of uncover a little bit about Tyler's background here, my encouragement to you is to go out and check his Bookout check checkup, check him out, go to LinkedIn, go to Amazon, take a, you know, go to the veterans advantage and, and take a peek at what he's doing.
Stephen Colon (01:17): And I'm saying that because I, I want him to tell you about how painful some of the process has been to get from where he was to where he is now and why you should read about it. So Tyler riser, I appreciate you taking some time. And Tyler you're out on the East coast years. I live in the COVID life as, as a, as most folks are in a lockdown you're in the management consulting business. However, you wrote a book recently, uh, over the course of the last year, and you're letting folks know, I don't want to mischaracterize the veteran advantage, but in your mind, what does that mean? As opposed to maybe a wet behind the ears college grad, who happens to be, you know, leading, you know, they led their, their, their class. They they've volunteered all over the place. They, you know, they're out there kicking in, you know, hooking and jabbing.
Stephen Colon (02:07): They did an internship for some type of McKinsey and, you know, they're, they're, they are an ambitious person who comes from a wealthy family. What is the veteran advantage over somebody like that? That's a great question. Let me, let me start by saying thanks for having me on a great opportunity to be on and, uh, thanks for, uh, you know, getting veterans voices heard. So that's always, that's always awesome. Um, so may I ask you just to start, what is your perspective? What I'm always curious about this. So what does the veteran advantage mean to you? That's a good question. So I listened, so like everything that's great, you know, you always were able to take and steal what somebody else w w w what somebody else made sound really, really good, and then just kind of wrap your own skin to it, to make it your own.
Stephen Colon (02:52): And I heard at a panel one time, uh, one of my buddies, who's a management consultant for a company called slalom here in Dallas. He said it really clearly. And he said that whenever you're placed in positions of leadership, like you are in the military, you have an opportunity to take responsibility and, and maintain a certain amount of professionalism, uh, in a military sense. So you're, you're responsible for an inordinate amount of, of, uh, personnel and equipment. However, you may not necessarily be, uh, that same level of responsibility from a, from a business standpoint. So your business acumen doesn't necessarily catch up with what your leadership document is. So in the instance of the college graduate, who's comes from a well-to-do family. Who's done really, really well. They may have more business acumen because of their exposure to those types of environments, but maybe not necessarily the same amount of leadership document.
Stephen Colon (03:44): And so, because of the difference in the discrepancy between the two, they're both a little bit of like a fish out of water. So I think that if you look at the military capacity, you can insert business acumen and business experience, and the folks with better leadership acumen, we'll actually be able to step up to the occasion a little bit more, then somebody who's just, who's just simply has business acumen, but not necessarily the leadership characteristic, because I see more often than not a lack of progress. Typically there's some type of at the underbelly and the core of the issue. There's some type of rotten leadership characteristic. That's not being, uh, exploited very well. Uh, just so just because you're smart and business doesn't necessarily mean that you're a great leader.
Tyler Reiser (04:28): Yeah. Those is great. Absolutely great points. And I think the veteran advantage does, does touch along some of those points of, you know, talks talking about leadership, as well as a whole host of other, uh, character traits that, that veterans, uh, and, and military personnel often, you know, have, and holding and carried, I think carry on with them. How I perceive the veteran advantage is, is a little bit of a juxtaposition on itself where veterans do have an advantage, but at the same time, the veteran advantage comes from being a veteran of whatever you're doing. So not, not necessarily in the sense of being a veteran coming from the military, but actually having experience in the thing that you're working on. I think that's, I think that's the true veteran advantage where that the veteran advantage relates to the military member or the former or current former military member, um, I think is it comes from our ability to withstand adversity, our ability to be malleable. And I mean, look at the current situation now with COVID out, I'm sure everybody's sick of hearing it already, but I think probably people that were in the military and especially those that have deployed and been through combat zones can probably more easily get through scenarios like this, then, then maybe their civilian counterparts and can be the leaders because they've, they have the experience they've been through.
Stephen Colon (05:52): So when you saying been through, uh, adversity before, walk us through, what's it like writing a book, you know, when you've never written a book before now, it, at one point in time, you had, you had made reference to you working a job while you're writing a book, because so writing a book is actually something that folks do while they're working full time, but I'm curious how in the hell did you to block the time to actually distill it down into words to tell the story I'm interested about that process and how painful was it?
Tyler Reiser (06:21): Um, I think it's painful. I think any, any big thing that somebody tries to achieve, that's going to require a lot of effort. It's going to be painful. And, um, I really liked the idea of eating the elephant one bite at a time. You know, don't, don't worry quite so much about the elephant, you know, just worry, worry more about that next bite. You've got to have the elephant in mind and maybe you can eat some of the worst pieces first that way it, uh, you know, it tastes better as, as things go on. But, um, yeah, I mean, it's, it's just really, if you, you get out of something the time you put into it and the effort you put into it. So if, and the effort really comes from the time and the time being intentional, you, you can say I worked on the book for an hour.
Tyler Reiser (07:10): If you just, you know, kind of just sat there and nothing happened and, and that's okay too, but at the same time, did you, was that an hour of effort or were you watching videos and doing other things? So I think there's some certain level of the it's, it's like a kind of a machine, the more effort you put into it, it's going to spit out the return of that. Like, life is kind of that way. And big, big projects are that way where it's going to require a big amount of effort. You're not going be able to do it yourself. That's another big component that requires a team of people. You know, I had support with editors the whole time I was writing. I had other authors. I was working with that, that helped me get through it through the, through the challenging times. And through the times where you are just sitting there, staring at your computer.
Stephen Colon (07:54): Describe for me, if you can, the emotion that you get, when you hear an editor after you've gone through the mental exercise, the discipline of focusing on writing the words and the editor pick it apart. Describe to me real quick, just what that process is like.
Knucklehead Break (08:10): Have you ever asked yourself why you haven't started a podcast? Well, I already know the reason. So to you, you don't feel like you're tech savvy. You don't feel like you got your message wired, right? And quite frankly, it's just, it's all this mystification going on. Quite frankly. Uh, our process helps the demystify that we're pushed button for podcasts. We're knucklehead, why knucklehead, but we lead with the fact that you don't know what you're doing. We do. We've been there. We've actually been in your shoes. We take your spoken voice. We literally give a human voice to your website. You want to bring dead leads to life. Well, then you need to talk to knucklehead. Essentially what we're going to do is we're going to take you through our process, or we're going to help take your human voice and increase the process for you going from dead leads to life.
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Tyler Reiser (09:30): Yeah, there's a part of writing, especially in writing. And I don't know how much writing you've done in the past, but there's a part of writing where you're like, kind of looking in a mirror at yourself. You know, your words are a reflection of who you are on the inside. And it's, it's hard to look at, you know, you have to, you know, you have to kind of push push through that, that feeling for me, I think it was, I, I was open to the idea I'm I don't consider myself an excellent writer. I know that the editors are much better writers than I am. I'm open to their suggestions. Um, I, I believe in finding the people that have the most amount of knowledge and, and, and seeing if I can get their input because that's, what's going to make my product the best overall.
Tyler Reiser (10:14): So they say, get rid of it. I hit the delete button and say, let's go well, it's you, you've given two examples thus far about your willingness to sacrifice the immediate or at least the, uh, maybe the task for the overall strategy or the overall big goal. And so I, I liked how you've, you've been able to be reflective enough to say, all right, listen, if this is crap, it's call me out on it, but let's not lose sight of what the big objective is here. Talk to me a little bit about how you develop that perspective. So let's, let's maybe begin at the beginning. What was your experience prior to, uh, to writing a book or, or even in process management or improvement management, what you're doing now, uh, how did you get to the point where, you know, what you could sacrifice a little bit of that maybe immediate objective for the overall goal of accomplishing the big thing?
Tyler Reiser (11:03): How did that perspective come to be? I think that's a really hard question to answer. I don't know how, how my perspective in that sense necessarily came to be. Um, I think one thing that really changed in, in me even going through this process of writing, writing a book and really studying entrepreneurship, and more specifically studying agile and, uh, you know, scrum and different types of tools and techniques that you can utilize for, for, uh, you know, completing projects. But, uh, instead of you, you talk about being a knucklehead and failure and what, what changed, what changed for me that that really changed my opinion on a lot of this is almost, everything's a draft for me now, nothing is nothing's complete. Nothing has nothing really has a permanent success or failure.
Stephen Colon (11:54): It's only what level of successes is it currently at and how can we improve that? How can we change that, make it better? Maybe we have to throw it away, cause there's a totally better idea, but it's using the scientific method. And, um, and, and a lot of techniques that we learned from fighting and Wars and uncertain environments, you know, you have information you have today, you go identify new information, see what you can do with it, and then you improve it and make it better. And, and I think changing my mindset into anything's only in a current state of where it is, and I can only improve it or make it worse and let's figure out how to improve it. And that's changed my mindset from not caring about what did I screw up. Maybe it doesn't even matter. It's just, what did I learn from it?
Stephen Colon (12:35): What, what new information can I derive from it? And how do I better predict the future because of that information, you know, when you see, yeah, it's interesting. Um, there had to have been, so this is not quite podcast, not you did it perfectly the first time podcast, right? So, uh, when we think about, when we think about making mistakes or failure, they are definitive moments of time where the example that the knucklehead, uh, audience gets a chance to listen to is, you know, I was managing a sales team and building and scaling a sales team, which, you know, prior to my being, there was about two to $3 million in annual reoccurring revenue for that company. And then post, you know, 24 months of me being there, uh, we're looking at 16, $17 million in annual recurring revenue as a business. So as a pressure field position, looking at the amount of volume that it increased over the course of that 24 months, there's a lot of external forces that are, that are pushing on you, that indirectly impact sales, I E HR marketing are you demand fulfillment, are you demand generation in terms of what your product or services that you're going out there and selling.
Stephen Colon (13:40): And it's interesting. HR started to kind of impede on sales progress because the type of person that would be attracted that type of let's go take new ground, maybe doesn't necessarily have the same level of respect for maybe some of the HR practices that help with a, you know, global workforce management or even, you know, human capital management and change management to your, to your point a little bit earlier about which, uh, some of the things that you do. And so there are best practices kind of almost started to interfere with our particular team. And so what I did is I actually shot a text, uh, after somebody was lying to, uh, the guy that I was working for about me and one of the things that was going on in our team. And when I confronted them about it, I shot a text over to my wife exactly how I felt about this person. But in that moment, I almost felt like I was getting shot at, in a way in that moment. I actually made a mistake. I actually shot a message over to the, to the HR director as opposed to my wife. Oh, no. So what I call that as I call that a knucklehead moment, and there's gotta be times, you know, over the course of your career, as you've matured through this process, to realize that, you know, there's a difference between permanent and temporary failure and the scientific method
Tyler Reiser (14:52): to improve performance. How did you, um, how did you come across that process or what pain, or what screw up along the way, left an impression with you where you're like, Oh crap. So man, it's so many, but, uh, I will, I will, you know, there are some pains and, and there are some failures that are acceptable to, uh, there's some that are so consequential that, uh, you know, there's no, no fixing it, but, uh, I think I have to credit probably EOD school. And, and I don't, I don't know if you're familiar with how familiar you are with DOD, but, uh, for those who are listening, who aren't familiar, can you, can you educate them on what that means? Yeah. EOD is a explosive ordinance disposal. It's the, uh, the militaries bomb squad, uh, you know, everything from military aircraft to munitions to provides explosive devices, chemical, biological, nuclear weapons, EOD is responsible for ensuring that those things are, if there is ever a situation that they are safely handled and disarmed.
Tyler Reiser (15:53): And for those of you who are listening in, as you, you hear that acronym and you start to hear some of those terms. If you really want to go find an accurate depiction of this, go, just go watch the movie, the hurt locker. Is that right, Tyler? Right. So you got the Hollywood version, but it's a, it's an interesting movie. Go check it out. It's fun. You can watch, uh, the, the history of how EOD started in, uh, England. You can watch endanger UXB that's a really interesting one. There you go. Alright. So you heard it, you heard it from Tyler first. So after you get done, uh, rolling your eyes a little bit at the, at the Hollywood version of go, go listen to the, to the British version of, of the history of VOD, but I interrupted you talk about, uh, one of the scripts that you had along the way that was acceptable.
Tyler Reiser (16:37): Obviously that's not unacceptable. Yeah. And I think there are a lot of scripts, especially, uh, you know, when you're first get going in the military and, and you're going through that training, uh, our school is, you know, nine months plus, and, and it's, it's learning how to not screw up. It's learning about how to be so intentional with every single thing you're doing, that you don't afford yourself the opportunity to screw up, because if you screw up when it's game time that there's, there's no coming back. So, you know, they'd say initial success or total failure and, and that's it. So train hard, you know, it's, it's really what you do before you get to game day. That is the thing that makes you capable at that time. And I think that's what prevents some of the screw ups from actually happening in the first place is knowing what you need to know and knowing what you don't know and essentially understanding what is the environment you're operating in, what tools and abilities do you have, and what can you imagine for the situation that could potentially resolve the problem? And I think
Stephen Colon (17:50): those are kind of the key points and when you're dealing with people and things, right, the, the, the unknowns in there are almost endless, especially when you're dealing with, especially when you're dealing with people, but things that you're unfamiliar with actually provide a different, completely different dynamic that you're like, Oh my goodness. So for instance, if you're trying to disarm a bomb, you know, just for example, with EOD in that context, if you clip the blue wire, as opposed to the green wire, that shows my ignorance in terms of, of what that all means, but not every bomb is constructed the right way. And then you're dealing with the extra layer of why did that person put it in that area? So talk about the mental, uh, almost dysfunction that you have to go through to unpackage and accurately depict a scenario, uh, whenever you first come up on a scene. Yeah. And I think that's, that's really the, the key to what I've taken away
Tyler Reiser (18:42): a from that point in my life is okay, is really understanding because, and probably why I'm drawn so much to agile and agile concepts, because, you know, an EOD team really runs as a small agile team. And, you know, we, we generally arrive on a scene and somebody says, yeah, I saw some something in the road. It looked suspicious over there. And that's really the information we have to go off of the additional information we might have. We may know a bit about our environment, what we've seen there before. And we may also know what, what kind of techniques and, and things that the enemy has done before. However, if we only consider those opportunities, those things, now we're putting ourself into a situation where we're dismissing anything that could be new. So lots to think about. And then you're essentially w you know, going up to something and you don't know anything about it. So you have to go find this thing in the road, find out some information about it. And that's what, that's what it becomes. You come up with a plan, you use things to, to gather more data and more information, you learn more, then you come back together and you come up with a better plan, a you imagine new things from the information you've derived, and, and then you choose a new pathway of, of new certainties and uncertainties. And there's probably no cert
Stephen Colon (20:01): is, they're probably all just the level of certainty, educated guesses. I mean, that's why they talk. And that's why they use the term practice whenever they're describing what a lawyers and doctors do. Right. They're practicing, they're applying what they, what they've learned in practice. Right. And so I, um, kind of, uh, poking fun a little bit. I I've got some buddies who are attorneys and MDs. Uh, so it's, it's always fun to, uh, to give, uh, a tip of the cap, so to speak to those folks. All right. So let me ask you this then. So why should somebody read that particular book, as opposed to, you know, something that's marketed as learn agile? You know, why would somebody want to read veteran's advantage as opposed to maybe a textbook or so to speak on best practices of, of implementing these work remote teams or that type of thing? Why would want to read this particular
Tyler Reiser (20:48): book? Well, I think the, I basically did research for a year to try to, well, it was essentially, I interviewed a lot of veteran business owners that are very successful and they told me about things that they thought were important. Um, so it's not really all my ideas or anything like that. It's, it's more so their stories. And then, and then I conducted research to look into that deeper and add some theoretical components and, and some actual backbone to it as well. And, and I think, I think of the book, not so much as, Hey, you should do this. This is the right way. Or there's, you know, there's some kind of way that something that I know that, that you don't it's, you know, it's more so, Hey, this is the stuff that I spent a year researching and looking up and, and other people thought of thought what was important?
Tyler Reiser (21:30): Here's the research I found. If you want me to go check that out, if this topics important to you, uh, here, here's some other good bits that you can go read and dive into, and yeah, absolutely. Go learn more about scrum and go become certified scrum master and learn all those skills too, because that's, that's really just the next step. This is just to open the eyes of the people that want to be entrepreneurs, and don't necessarily know where to go look. So here, here's a starting point, which all are, I can't wait to read it. Um, I'm looking forward to, uh, to unpacking it. Um, and, and, and seeing some of the stories and some of the answers based off of that answer. I've got one last question before you can tell folks exactly how to come find it. What was one topic that you anticipated that you would find whenever you were asking the question of the successful business owners, you were expecting that you didn't get what preconceived notions turned out to be untrue?
Tyler Reiser (22:23): I thought there would probably be more planning and stuff involved, but I think it happens less that way. I think planning often comes around later, what planning's really important. And in the end, there are ways to plan, but planning and shorter ways is it was more so the way to do it versus, you know, coming out with a longer term plan, like fortune 500 companies can do that all day long. They can five year plan and look at what they're doing, but a young entrepreneur, they don't know when the next one an invoice is going to come in. So how do you longterm five-year plan that? So I think that was, that was kind of one of the big things. And I was surprised how important a network was to people. And I was surprised how I think Jeremy Green put it best transition is, is a perpetual stumbling of sorts.
Tyler Reiser (23:07): And I will just change that a little bit from my own perspective, that life is a perpetual stumbling of sorts. And I think that I was surprised how badly all these people will stumbled before they actually found their opportunity to, to shine and change the world. Not that it gets a really good summary, what's the best way for folks to get in touch with you, and then how can people find your book and, and work with you directly? Yeah, the best way to find me is on LinkedIn. I'm sure that's what you hear every day. And so if you're not on LinkedIn, you should probably be on there. Look me up Tyler riser. You'll be able to see my banner is the veteran advantage, which is my book. And you can find the veteran advantage on, on Amazon. Let's go check it out. You can
Stephen Colon (23:45): buy it in print, or you can get an e-copy. Well, the, the unique thing about, uh, the digital asset, otherwise known as a book that exists out there in the marketplace is, is you can you being the listener can give Tyler feedback directly. And that's what I love about this ecosystem that exists right now, where you can exist in a little bit of an echo chamber in a way, if you're not willing to put yourself out there, we call that don't be beta here at knucklehead, and Tyler's willingness to go and confront what he doesn't know or what he's not sure about, or what's what, you know, some preconceived notion. I love how willing he was to go and learn what he didn't know and go find information out from other folks that surprised him. And with enough application, with enough information, he was able to put his own spin on it.
Stephen Colon (24:31): So that process that he went through, that's my encouragement to you as you're listening to not just not go, what if this is your first episode, go back and uncover episode one, right? Or if you're just going to be unique, looking at Tyler, go back to his posts and see how he's interacting with those folks that are on digital media. And then once you've consumed, once you've had an opportunity to read veteran's advantage, go and leave him a review. So other people can look at what your take was on what he wrote and how it helped you in your life. Or if it didn't at all, Tyler told you how to get in touch with them. So you can ask him about that. So I appreciate it. Tyler, anything else that you want to leave these folks with before we jam?
Tyler Reiser (25:08): No, just thanks a lot for having me on, and I wish everybody the best success, and hopefully everybody's getting to this remote time and able to hopefully get some exercise. Don't forget to do those calisthenics. I love it. I love it. It's true. There's, there's probably a physiologist. That's listening to this right now. And I agreeing with you fervently and not just my wife in the other room telling me to get off my ass and go run. That's it. That's it. We all need to. Alright, well, thanks a lot. Have a great week. Absolutely, man. We'll see ya. Take care.
Coming from a military background where he can’t afford the opportunity to screw up, you will be surprised by how our guest views failure as leverage to learn, improve, and predict his future success.
Today’s episode shares a great conversation with Tyler Reiser. He talks about his perception of what a veteran advantage is, the processes he has been to shift his mindset, and how he successfully wrote a book while being in a management consulting business.
Tyler Reiser is the author of The Veterans Advantage. This book shares the stories of veterans who have overcome the challenges of transitioning from the military into entrepreneurship, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.
“From my own perspective, life is a perpetual stumbling of sorts. I was surprised how badly people stumbled before they actually found their opportunity to shine and change the world. You get out of something, the time you’ve put into it.”
In this episode:
4:51 – How Tyler perceive the veteran advantage
6:11 – The pain of writing a book
9:30 – Emotional engagement of going through the process of writing
11:15 – His mindset in parallel to failure and accomplishing big things
14:54 – How he learned to be intentional that failure is not an option
20:37 – Why read The Veteran’s Advantage
22:11 – The misconception behind every successful business owners
Connect with Tyler Reiser
Connect with Knucklehead Media Group
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