Clint Bruce (00:00): Two things happen when you say make new mistakes. If you're allowing people to innovate and create and deploy this genius that all of us have in some capacity or another, right? But you're also calling them to be a professional because in order to make new mistakes, what do you got to do? Get to know your old ones.
Intro (00:14): Choose not to live in a world of filters, realize your mistakes, set the foundation for your success. Get some wins Knucklehead Podcast.
New Speaker (00:27): Well, Hey listen. For those of you who like listening to Knucklehead, this is a special treat. I just got done walking around, being toured there, the ready lab, the not just the ready lab. It was an entire facility chock full of, I don't want to call it gadgets. I don't want to mischaracterize it. It was, I was blown away.
Clint Bruce (00:46): [inaudible] she calls it the Island of lost boys, because it's just, I know that's actually a product. That's more just, she makes fun of me for just not wanting to grow up, but it's not that I don't want to grow up. I just want to share with everybody what I've learned along the way. Right? And to have a facility that allows me to, uh, introduce someone to this heroic version of themselves. Like you don't, you don't need to become a seal. You just need to become this hero version of yourself. Right. And, and, and I kind of subscribed to the Christian definition of heroism, which is, it's not a standard. It's an expectation. It's, it's really why Nazi Germany lost is they tried to invade Creek the Creek style of heroes once they invaded it, but they never occupied it because they fought everybody on the Island.
Clint Bruce (01:24): Cause Creed's definition of heroism has to be a magnificent use to those who need you when they need you most. So there's an expectation that all of us become a real look, right. Without what we know too, in a way that we do. Right. So, so for me, it's fun to watch people who are, um, self-selecting out of adventures. Uh, and, and I, I talk about this. We have this thing called the achieving average, which is really kind of stabs a needle in the heart of talent being the only thing. So for me, the mountain makes all men and women average, right? So in order to achieve anything, meaningfully, you got to have angles, allies and advantages. So talents and advantage for sure. Treasures and advantage for sure. But absent angles and allies is just one third of the two third equation. So angles are, what we learned in our military is like, slow is smooth.
Clint Bruce (02:08): Smooth is fast. It's like being a craftsman like eliminating all wasted motion. You know, you looked at nature and align looks lazy till it's coming at you. And you're like, Oh, that's what that was built for like a great white shark look lollygagging until it's coming at you. You're like, Hmm. Okay. No wasted motion. That's what I was designed for. So angles are finding mechanical advantage, right? So for me, whenever I faced a running back, that was faster than me, which was every time I faced it, run it back if you're faster than me, but I know where you're going. I'm now faster than you. If you're bigger than me, but I'm lower than you. I'm now stronger than you. Right? So finding that mechanical edge allies are surround yourself with people who mean what they say as much as you mean what you say. Right? Understand. And you know, T Lawrence once said an opinion could be argued with, but a conviction is best shot cause opinion doesn't change. The world opinion, rarely fails to produce action, but conviction always produces action. Right? So you remember when you were going through Marine Corps, I gotta stop you here real quick. So for those of you who are listening yeah. We waited right into that.
Stephen Colon (03:07): Sure. Yeah. It's all good. You got to introduce yourself Clint. So yeah. I'm going to butcher your backstory. So rather than take a stab at it and miss the Mark, you know, and small Ms. Small here, let's let's uh, let's have you correct? Our listeners, everybody who's listening to knucklehead knows my knuckle dragon story. They understand what knucklehead is. We essentially empower progress and we empower folks through failure.
Clint Bruce (03:33): Yeah. Because nobody talks about it. Talks about what they shoot at man. Want. Let's talk about the accomplishments they want to look good. They want to sound good in a boardroom. Yeah. Most of life's a hot mess, man, but most of it is done is better than perfect, except for it's about escaping the gravitational pool of your last big mistake, right? That's kind of life, right.
Stephen Colon (03:50): Convenient for social media. It's not convenient for, for those who like to attract a headline or follow that headline and then sell ad space to that headline.
Clint Bruce (04:00): Clint, introduce yourself. So my name is Clint. Bruce. I've kind of had this forest Gumpy and kind of life. I've just kind of stumbled around and done things grew up in Arkansas, moved to Texas when I was young, played high school football here was part of a very successful program, had an opportunity to go play at several different places. Um, but I'd always love that army Navy game army Navy game. It always meant something to me. And I grew up watching magnate BI and, and Thomas Magnum played football at the Naval Academy was a Navy seal. So I was like, man, if I, if I go to Naval Academy and become a Navy seal, maybe I can look like Tom Selleck. And my wife reminds me daily, that hasn't happened. And I know I didn't have her for her. I got a road in a Ferrari and I got stuck.
Clint Bruce (04:37): I couldn't get out there very low. And so the valet guy actually pulled him in with, it was super weird, but uh, I had an opportunity to play at multiple places. My father passed away. My senior year in high school, uh, had to make a 40 year decision instead of a four year decision and chose go play at the Naval Academy, had a, had an amazing career. There have been around some amazing men and women, uh, that are really in a lot of ways, really radically redefined what's what's possible. Um, can I stop you just for sure.
Stephen Colon (05:05): Some of the that's some of the backstory, whenever you, how old were you? 17. 18. When he passed
Clint Bruce (05:10): It was, I was 17 when we kinda knew it was going to potentially in that way when I was 18, when he passed.
Stephen Colon (05:17): Okay. So 18 years old, for those of you who are listening for context, either you have an 18 year old or at one point in time, they were 18. So there's not necessarily going to be 18. I would hope so. My kids fall into that category. And so I think of what my mental state was at 18 years old. And again, this is not quite podcast. This is not, you did it perfectly every first time podcast. So when it comes to screwing up and making mistakes, who was it that held you accountable and what mistake did you make at 18 when your dad passed?
Clint Bruce (05:49): Wow. I would tell you is, I mean, I made so many mistakes before then, but one thing I'll tell you is the minute he passed and I realized I wasn't gonna to learn from anymore. I became acutely aware of how, how poorly I listened to him for I lost him. Right. And so I was, I was self aware of that. I was like, Oh, what was that thing you told me about being a man that I was pretty convinced. I already knew because I was a starting linebacker, self grown high school, and Molly loves me and we're going to like a blah, blah, blah, all this other stuff. Right. And all of a sudden he's gone and I'm like, Oh man, I wish I had taken notes. Right. And so I was fortunate to be in an ecosystem with a bunch of men who knew my father and were his friends.
Clint Bruce (06:26): So they were able to share with me kind of what he would've thought, what he would have said and, and give me tremendous grades. Cause I was really, really hard on myself. And then really what I try to do from that point on was kind of build this aggregate father in a way. And I was very aggressive about finding percentages of him or what I remembered him being or what he would have wanted to be in these other people, right. On the ball field, on the battlefield, on boardroom and the breakfast table. So for me to, uh, try to find that thing that he was trying to give me after he was gone. Um, yeah, that's, that's one of the mistakes that I'm, uh, are constantly work myself around and out of. Right. I hear more now than I did then now I'm 46. He was 46 when he passed away.
Stephen Colon (07:16): So there was seeds that he planted, we're not ready to germinate that we're not mature enough that didn't get nurtured.
Clint Bruce (07:22): The soil wasn't the seeds were, the soil was the soil. Right. So, so for me, yeah. I mean it's, most of my life has been about escaping the gravity of my mistakes. You know,
Stephen Colon (07:33): Crazy how, first of all, I appreciate your sharing that story. Yeah, sure. But the friction that gets created off of poor decisions Oh. And the, the net effect of the impact on other people's lives, it's resistance. It's drag. You don't. Yeah. But yeah, that's a really good way to characterize it, but at the same time, it's, it's also what doesn't get shared. So you store it and when you store it, right, you have it in order to
Clint Bruce (07:56): Were talking about the body keeps the score. Right. I mean, I tell people like emotions are like water, it's going to get out, it's going to be ice. It's going to be steam or it's going to be water. Right. And water is a thoughtful distribution of that, which happened to you or when you happen to you. Right. And, and so for me, I talked to my daughters about, there's a, there's a difference between shame and regret and shame is the shovel that Satan will use to bury you and regret is this I wish I would have. I wish I wouldn't have, and it's okay to have regrets. Right. Um, but you can measure that inflection point between shame and regret and in time, like once you, once you've extracted the value out of that mistake, the more you marinate on that mistake is that irrecoverable time, it's just you losing it.
Clint Bruce (08:39): You can't get it back. Right. And when I, when I talk about pursuing elite, when I go and get that presentation, one of the things I talk about is these kind of qualities that elite achievers have. And one of them is authenticity. And authenticity is always there because there's, there's, you preach from their pain and you share their, and there's tactical and more reasons for this tactically there's wisdom in sharing our scars because it harvests time, like every football game I ever played. And there was 60 minutes on the clock, no matter who was playing and the clock didn't care about either one of us. Right. And if I make a three second mistake and I don't tell anybody about it, I'm doing 10 other men to potentially replicate that mistake. No, we've lost six, nine, 12, 15 seconds. Right? There's a lot of ones that didn't lose.
Clint Bruce (09:19): I ran out of time. Well, you lost games over, you know, you didn't have as many points as the other guy, but if you attribute why the loss was to lack of authenticity on the sidelines or with the sky box, that's on you. Right. And then morally, morally it's right. To share our scars and pretty formal pain. Because not only would we save someone else's time, um, we, we harvest the one finite resource of some of the competition enemy adversary dealing with, but you spare them pain. And here's, what's magic about that. Like when you spare someone paying, you have, it does not recover that time. It's not a time machine, but you do redeem it like Whitman, nothing or negative now means something. Right?
Speaker 2 (09:54): Yeah. That's so true too. Cause when you haven't seen somebody that you've gone through pain with you share that common struggle. You shared that mistake with it. Maybe that friend that you haven't seen for you almost pick back up where you left off. And it's interesting. And there's not really a lot of other things out there other than failure, screw up in almost the embarrassment of baring your soul with other folks who, who see you for who you are,
Clint Bruce (10:19): Failure, pain, and failure and incentive.
Speaker 2 (10:21): It's revealing. 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 site. And quite frankly, it's just, it's all this mystification going on. Quite frankly, our process helps to demystify that we're push button for podcast. We're not going ahead. Why knucklehead? What 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 knuckleheads. Essentially what we're going to do is we're going to take you through our process and we're going to help take your human voice and increase the process for you going from dead leads to life.
Speaker 2 (11:04): How do I, how do I do that? Well, you essentially just take your human voice, put it in a directory and let people consume more of you. Give your audience the ability to Netflix on you. They want to binge watch you. They want to binge listen, give them the ability to take your voice along on that commute with them. So you can get in touch with us, Steven at knucklehead podcasts, or if you've got a really cool story stories at knucklehead podcasts, you can find us on LinkedIn and on Facebook and not go out promotions LLC, and get in touch with us. Don't be a beta about the process. Don't let the fact that you don't know, permitting you from getting some wins. So don't be a beta, get some wins and contact us at Axiom.
Clint Bruce (11:42): So as you really kind of dive deeply into brain science, it's interesting. And I may be misrepresenting this, but I think I'm right. Yup.
Speaker 2 (11:49): We're not scientists. I'm a knuckle dragger. He's obviously could categorize things with the brain,
Clint Bruce (11:54): Lacks a stimulus to learn on positive feedback. So the brain gets sticky when as Oh, that didn't work so pain or failure, the two things that produce that. Right. And so that's why we have to change the words like for me, changing quitting were synonymous.
Stephen Colon (12:09): Have you read the book? The talent code? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And the way the mileage. Yeah.
Clint Bruce (12:13): Dan coil and all the yeah. Yeah. And that is fascinating
Stephen Colon (12:16): For those of you who are listening, who are listening to what he's saying. If it's resonating with you at all. Yeah. Would you suggest that book too?
Clint Bruce (12:21): Well, without question, I'd say read all day and cool stuff for me, why I'm, so
Stephen Colon (12:27): You have Marines like me, if you want to do a book by
Clint Bruce (12:29): Audio is audio. But when I say I read something, just know that I listened to it. So one of the reasons I got so fascinated with brain science is because, you know, in my transition, there were just, there was so much,
Stephen Colon (12:41): You got to clarify it's to transition out of the military and stop playing football. So transition.
Clint Bruce (12:49): Yeah. It was one played football Naval Academy had a, was part of a really remarkable team, amazing coaches, Gary Patterson, who's head coach over TCU. Paul Johnson was head coach at Georgia tech. You know, Phil Emery was the head. He's the player personnel, Atlanta Falcons was just Tommy Ray, man. I just had a Hootsuite coaches, right. And some really, really great players. I got to be teammates with and, and, and then go serve with as well. And I had an opportunity to play in the NFL. So I went to the Baltimore Ravens briefly, and I remember being in the league and just going, I can learn more about football. I can learn about more about myself, but I feel like I've drink pretty deeply from this. Well, and I don't know if I can be a seal. And I was afforded an amazing honor to be one of 16 guys selected to go pursue seal teams out of Apolis.
Clint Bruce (13:33): And I just could imagine wasting ability that someone else fought for. And I was gifted with. And also I just have this been to go where I don't know. And I remember go home and tell my bride, I've gotten married right after Naval Academy. And I said, Hey, I gotta go do this. And she was, she was, she was more proud that I wanted to pursue being a seal and haven't been NFL. And she did say like, how much I'm, I'm proud that we're, how much did we just lose? I'm like, well, a lot, like financially, we gained a lot, but financially not so much, but you know, you get to experience things that money can't buy. Right. So leaving the NFL went through seal training, made it, it was very fortunate part of a really strong class with some really good instructors and some really, really amazing enlisted guys that just kind of drag my big tail through the whole thing. And then a chicken, the seal team five had a chance to come back out with the saints and it was with the saints for a little while. And it's just kind of remembering, I'm always want to breathe that rare air. Right. And then I breathe that rear air over in the seal teams that I, I didn't even know it existed. It was everything I love about football.
Stephen Colon (14:36): Do you ever, do you ever take the time to stop back and think what if your dad was there? So you could bounce some of these decisions off of him? Cause I, I just, what I'm hearing over and over again is this elite. So this call of the elite. Yeah. You answered the call. Yeah. There's a call from me.
Clint Bruce (14:52): Oh, there's a call to pursue it. Right.
Stephen Colon (14:55): We could agree that NFL and the seal teams are both elite. Yeah.
Clint Bruce (14:58): Yeah. But let me explain outcomes, really cookie. So I really kind of believe there's five outcomes. There's bad average. Good, excellent. And elite. Okay. And we have to decide what output we're, uh, energy willing to accept from ourselves. Right. And so if it's our passionate profession, I think we want to be somewhere between excellent and elite. Sure. And excellence is this place on a map that you get to, and then you got to rest recover and revel. That that's what the brain sounds will tell you, but then you have a choice. Do you reload? Or do you relax? And I've always wanted to be someone who reloads. Right. And so there's, there's, there's a bunch of moments where I, man, I wish I could ask dad about this. Uh, probably more so after I got out and then when I was in, but having always been part of a team sport, having always had really amazing coaches and I've always been intentional about trying to replicate and aggregate that wisdom that I no longer had access to you.
Clint Bruce (15:47): I didn't replace it. I can't replace that. But I don't. I have fleeting moments of man. I wish you could ask my dad, but I'm rarely in a position where I don't have someone to ask. Right. And he surrounds me and that's by design. Yeah. You surrounded yourself with, I tell people the more talented you are, the more you have to surround your pill, you have to, the mortality, you are, the more you have to surround yourself with people. That'll tell you the truth. Cause the world will tell a talented man, anything he wants to hear. Right. And I'm not representing myself as a talented man. I'm just saying, I noticed around myself, true tillers. Yeah. I come and work and this dude's like, Hey, you're looking fat. I'm like dad gummy. Like, dude, you're not supposed to tell me that. Like I like, you know, so, but I mean, and that's why like
Stephen Colon (16:24): Want a mirror? How do you want to play this game?
Clint Bruce (16:27): Oh, that's why I love being around young guys, man. Cause young guys are just too dumb to, to know, not to be afraid. Like you get around some teenagers, like I thought you could do this. I'm like, wait, give me a week. I'll do this thing again. I'll stop a mud hole and you, right. So, so yeah. So, and then, um, you know, had a really wonderful crew in the teams. I don't talk a lot about what I didn't do that much. I mean, I, I tell people I did more than some but less than most. Right. And you can swing a bat and hit someone more accomplishing in combat than me. And, and uh, they did multiple platoons as an officer. I was very fortunate to have a chance to deploy multiple times. Most times as an officer, you only really get two shots with a combat element.
Clint Bruce (17:05): I got to do three, which I'm very grateful for. And then, uh, came home to a tired broadened eight month old daughter. And I just remember looking in the guys I was surrounded with in the seal teams and going, man, I not, not only are the teams not going to miss me, but it might be better for the community if I just get out of these guys' way. Cause I had some amazing joy. I got to work around and got to build into them. And in there it was just like, there's 20 guys that are me plus that I'm just looking at right now, but no one can leave my family. And, and you know, I'm a father and my bride's family was in it. Her father was in a declining health and you know, my sister and my brother and I was like, I need to, I need to come home and take my family.
Clint Bruce (17:44): So came home and went into a wealth management was horrible for me, a really important industry. I wasn't good at it. I would sit down with somebody go, Hey, can I manage your wealth? And they go, no, I don't. I'm like, well, I don't want to manage your stupid wealthy. Anyway. I hate unit. I had some anger issues I was processing at the time. I'm also pretty honest. So I'll sit down with somebody go, Hey, can I manage your wealth? And they go, are you better? My person I'm like, well, who's your person. They'd tell me. I'm like, nah, they're so good. Like they die call me, but I'd stay with them. So that was going great. And uh,
Stephen Colon (18:14): Yeah, let's clarify.
Clint Bruce (18:17): Yeah, but I worked with a mate. I worked with an amazing team.
Stephen Colon (18:20): Let's let's peel the onion, bear back just a little bit here. Cause I think it's important to, to hover over this, you were willing to go out there because you felt as if wealth management was an admirable career and it just on time, there's, there's a way that you can build wealth by helping to manage other folks.
Clint Bruce (18:34): Fantastic career. The second part is kind of how I rationalized it to myself, knowing that it wasn't my gifts, right. Is AI. I'm still protecting people. I'm just protecting the wealth. But then you're looking at a landscape. If you take it as seriously as you take everything else and you go, Hey, am I the best person to protect this person? Right? And in an athletics and Ellen Baldwin on the battlefield, you gotta be really honest with yourself. Like, Hey am I, I pulled myself off of, in the last snaps of the first bowl game in 20 something years at the Naval Academy, because I was like, they're going to pass. And unless you're going to blitz me, you need to get Aaron in here. Cause he's better at this than I am. So I just want to win. I don't care. I don't care who scores.
Clint Bruce (19:08): Everybody gets the ringer, nobody gets the ring. And so as I immerse myself in the world, I just, I couldn't look at someone and tell them I was better than some of the people I was working with. Right. I couldn't envision a scenario where I was passionate enough to become as good as the people I was competing with and even working with. And so I just, I was really struggling with that. And um, but there were amazing people. I worked with incredible, amazing bosses from the top to the, to my immediate report. And they were inspirational and they cared about me and they cared about my family and
Stephen Colon (19:37): To run in those circles,
Clint Bruce (19:39): I don't want to let them down. Right. So I like, Hey, I'm more your family. I'm not supposed to be here anymore. Like, this is what I'm supposed to do, but I don't want to let them down. And changing quitting were synonymous to me at the time. And then Katrina happened. Uh, and then I went into Katrina, pulled a bunch of people out and came back and all these people that were rightly saying, don't manage my wealth. We're going, Hey, can you manage, uh, help me manage the rest of my family and my business. And how does it mean I know how to do that in, and not only do I know how to do that, most military veterans have a concept of how to do that. Right. And so I started TRG in 2005 and now we've just been really blessed to be trusted advisors to businesses and families on matters of risk for almost 15 years now.
Clint Bruce (20:21): And then, uh, he looked at me kind of surprised when you said that, Oh yeah, every day I'm like, we're still here. Right. And kind of when he sings. Right. And uh, I just feel very fortunate. I feel very fortunate to be able to be someone that gets looked to and ask questions about kind of serious no-fail things. And do you ever feel whenever you're asked a question that you don't have an answer to it? Oh, I have no issues going, Hey, that's a great question. I'd have an answer that give me five minutes and what's cool about place is I can walk down the hallway and bring in someone who's, you know, like Rick Burkett, we did in 26 years in the FBI. And I mean, we have 200 plus combined years of special operations experience and intelligence and rescue in this company. Right.
Clint Bruce (20:58): So I love as an officer, that's really your job. Sure. You know, if you're the best operator in your platoon, then the Target's screwed because you can only be in one place at one time better to be surrounded by a bunch of guys who were better than you and be good enough to handle the room you're in, but let the boys do the work. Right. So I've had no, I've never had any problem going out. That's a great question though. Give me, give me a little bit time and I'll either find the answer or I'm going to have you talk to the person who has the answer. And I think that just kind of came out of, for, you know, the first 30 years of my life, I was involved in things where if you misrepresented what you knew, then more than you suffer the consequences of that. Right. So a hundred percent. And you know, I was carrying a lot of trust cause I would tell people, I don't know how to do that. And when it came to people's wealth, they were like, I just want to, I want to be around someone who's honest with me. And clinch re almost, almost irresponsibly honest with me by telling me he's not good at this. Right.
Stephen Colon (21:51): When I get around folks who are like that and think like that, they're good at two things, they're actually good at a lot more than that. But the two things that they're really good at is vetting folks in and vetting folks out. So walk me through kind of what your thought process is. Whenever you meet someone new, who, you know, that can add value to what it is that you do, how do you vet them out or how do you vet them in? Yeah,
Clint Bruce (22:11): No, that's great. So, so again, I talk about this one pursuing elite. When I talk about these qualities, you know, elite, elite achievers, people who don't want us, they get restless on the X. They want to find the next original line and go right on the ball field on the battlefield, the board with the breakfast table, they have these kind of five consistent qualities. They're balanced. They're curious, they're tribal, they're intentional and they're authentic. And I've seen this evidenced, uh, at the breakfast table. Like that's, I want to build lead and love my family really well too. Right? So those are the kind of the four domains that I think really matter. So for me, uh, someone's capacity to be tribal, meaning submission of the self, uh, intentional, then they know why they're doing what they're doing. But for me, the first bell cow, the first indicator that someone has the capacity to be great teammate is the absence or presence of curiosity.
Clint Bruce (22:55): When you see somebody who's not curious. When I see someone that's not curious, what they're telling me is they're perfect or they're done and you can't be perfect. So now you're a liar and you're lazy. It may not be that malicious, right? I was with a pro athlete the other day. He's amazing, but he's not curious. And I told him, I said, listen, here's the deal. You're great. But you're not curious. So that tells me, is this as good as you're ever going to be? Which that's fine. As long as no one comes along, who's as good as you or the game doesn't change. And there, there may be a scenario where no one comes along, who's as good as you, but the is changing the game change from last week to this week. So your days are marked, right? And for me, the absence of curiosity is going to suggest that in compatibility between me and them, cause I'm, I call it for me, curiosity is intellectual courage.
Clint Bruce (23:45): And it's the co-equal and precursor to physical courage. We find courage is action in the face of fear, right? Well, what's the reason most people don't do this because we don't want people to know. We don't know, or we're afraid of the answer, right? So doing this is courageous. And so it's evidence of courage for me. Um, and if I'm not done yet and you are then inevitably, there's going to be a breakup, right? So for me, that, that presence of curiosity, that willing to willingness to look, Hey, am I doing things the best way possible? Are we doing things the best thing possible that willingness to self examine, um, that
Stephen Colon (24:15): Seek alignment with folks prior to, I mean, that seems like it's a foregone conclusion. However, you seek alignment first and those that are surrounding you. Sure. Even as a prerequisite before you decide to move out, do you feel like that's a, a way to protect whatever it is, whatever ground you're about ready to go gain, or
Clint Bruce (24:33): It's a way to protect them because I'm going to go where we sit, we're going to go. I don't want you to be a casualty, right. Because if you're not curious, then we we're, we're they're not going to get there as fast as we should, or you're not going to be there when we get there. And I don't want that to happen.
Stephen Colon (24:48): Yeah. We were talking about last time there for a second, the sense of urgency and efficient,
Clint Bruce (24:51): You guys would quit during hell week, man. I would never discourage anybody from quitting whole week. If you were thinking about quitting, I'd be like, you probably gotta to quit because the dearest mean thinking about quitting and quitting, is that thin in, if, if you're thinking about quitting, then, then maybe this isn't what you should do. Now there's a caveat in that. I would tell you that hyper talented guys that have been around, um, talent is this interesting animal man. There's a, there's a, there's a point where talent becomes a curse because talent kicks the can of adversity down the road long enough, or all of a sudden when you, when you hit that thing where you're not telling your town isn't enough and you're in your 20 junior thirties, man, that's a, that's a lot. So I would see guys kind of lead the NFL because this is the first time they surrounded about people who were as talented them. And it's not a character flaw. It's an exposure fall, right? Cause there's the, there's the body of the brain and the mind and adversity helps cultivate a mind that can impose its will on the body and the brain. Right. And you would see guys that just, they hadn't cultivated a mind through no fault of their own.
Stephen Colon (25:54): I don't mean to jump into it, to interrupt you. But curiosity can also get somebody hurt pretty quick too. If they, if they start sniffing in areas that they shouldn't sure.
Clint Bruce (26:01): Have you ever been disciplined curiosity, right? Curiosity is the key to, you know, you ask questions when something doesn't work out, right. A hundred percent. So curiosity is a catalyst. And so for me, curiosity is a catalyst is a creator and it's complacency killer. And when you get kicked in the teeth, it's like if talent, your plan a and buds is built to beat your plan a what do you do if you don't have a plan B cause you never had to. Cause talent is always enough, right? So you're getting served towards your, and your body's going like we're frozen and it brings like hypothermia, we're going to die. You got to have a mind. That's like shut up. You know, I tell my daughters adversity is open mic night, right. And the body and the brain monkey brain is going to try to grab that mic. And if you don't have a mind that goes, monkey brain shut up. You know, then, then you might not make it. Right. Yeah. Cause everything feels infinite when you're feeling it. Right.
Stephen Colon (26:52): So disciplined curiosity. I like that. Clarence
Clint Bruce (26:54): And focus curiosity too. Yeah. I could, I would say curiosity is good clay. If you're asking the wrong questions and curious about the wrong things, that's just good clay. Like I'd rather, you have the impulse to curiosity in, in, in me just kind of muscle
Stephen Colon (27:09): Jujitsu coach talks about there's two different types of sheriff kids in the family. Sometimes, sometimes you got to Whoa. Sometimes you got to go and I'd rather have the wo cause you're, you're almost like pulling back the rain. It's easier to steer a car in motion versus steering. Yeah,
Clint Bruce (27:24): Sure. Yeah. You know what I'm saying? I get what you're saying for me, curiosity is that qualifier and then intentionalism, like I'm going, Hey, a tribalism is knowing you need something more than yourself. Do something bigger than yourself. So I would say there's gaggles groups and he teams and tribes, uh, gaggle is United by misery groups. You're not by preference teams. You're not by purpose, but purpose can be an opinion. Yeah. So it's my, we, we agree that one of the super bowl together, we have a shared purpose, but then adversity hits and you figure out if someone's opinion or their conviction. So for me, um, you look at attrition on one side and conviction on the other and someone's opinion is their purpose in adversity. You're in a tug of war towards pulling their opinion towards a conviction. And you can really only do that with passion process performance and purposefulness, right? It's almost like a tug of war, like passion, step pool, purpose, step pour. Right. But everybody's gotta make their own decision. This guy asked me, how do I get everybody in the boat? I'm like you don't can't you just, you just got to figure it out. You got to pull their opinion that y'all share a purpose towards a conviction with your own efforts, right. Passion, purpose, performance problem.
Stephen Colon (28:25): So the way that you described the answer to the first question about, um, you know, you're going to get to where you, it is that you want to go it's whether or not those folks are going to be along there with you, they're going to be a casualty. Right? You want them to figure that out right there. Right?
Clint Bruce (28:38): I want them to be where they can't imagine quitting. Like my deal is like, there is something you could do and something, you should be doing the words on the fathomable for you to quit. And I want you to find that and everyday you're doing something where you can imagine you're measuring that in irrecoverable time. It's like with the relationships, you know guys, Hey, should I marry or breakup or there I'm like, well, if you can literally ask yourself that question, don't merrier. Right? Because when I met my bride, I was like, Hey, you want to get married? She's like, you want to go on a date? I'm like, yes. But you're the most beautiful thing they ever said yes to me. So I'm just going to keep asking you to marry me till you say I do, or you call it please. Second, second day. That's why I asked my wife to marry me a hundred percent the same way my wife's like, Hey, can we go on a second date? And I'm like, yep. But you knew how this thing's going to roll.
Stephen Colon (29:23): We're fine. Before you met me. I was. But I'm just telling you this ends in us getting married, you know? Yeah, yeah. I understand.
Clint Bruce (29:30): So for me having that, having that intentionalism. So I love, you know, tribalism, intentionalism and curiosity and intentionalism is knowing why you're doing it. Like for me, knowing what I reading right now, I didn't get time. I'm reading five things. I'm reading a biography about a person, history about an event, something about just business developments. I'm going to try to learn about my craft, always reading the Bible. And I always have an off channel. Like I'm always reading something. That's just fun. That's just like, I'm not
Stephen Colon (29:57): W what are you reading right now?
Clint Bruce (29:59): All channel right now. It's actually, I'm not reading it. I'm walking my daughters through a Magnum PI marathon that day. And he's like, not, I don't count this new, this new one doesn't exist to me. But my my off channel is watching, you know, eight seasons of Magnum PI with your daughters, my daughters good for you. And the problem is my wife are minds. And like, your father has never looked like that. I'm like, babe,
Stephen Colon (30:23): You I'm Tom Selleck. I am talks to Tom.
Clint Bruce (30:26): You don't know if Townsville had gotten on a squat rack. Maybe we'd be dead now, but that's fine.
Stephen Colon (30:30): But always have an option to squat rack right upstairs to those of you who are listening. If you're in the DFW area. Cool.
Clint Bruce (30:38): It's hard to explain it is. So we built a ready lab where leaders can come to feel ready to protect, perform, compete, recover, and transition, right? So when you walk in like, Hey, this can only be ready to protect myself and my family or how I can be ready to perform in the Spartan games and compete in this part in games or, Hey, I can learn what, how to perform under pressure. Right? And so you, you, you do with a veteran, like I've got amazing veterans here and you can, you can drink deeply from the well of being able to protect yourself and your family. But within, there's gonna be a point in time where you're like, Hey, I feel pretty ready, but you'll never exhaust of learning how they perform a distress. Like, Hey, before you make that shot as a sniper, what's your breathing module.
Clint Bruce (31:16): Cause you can apply that, right? Cause the medulla it's agnostic. So if you're going to perform under a pressure, a lot of times, what we do is we deal with these really influential decision makers with kids, colleges and blue, who are willing to proactively invest in themselves, their businesses and their companies, that's in their families, in their, in their people. And so what we do, it's really fun. And while we built the ready lab, we built it as it's an immersive environment where we show you that a, because you know how to do it over here, you know how to do it over here. So if you can swim in a pool, you can swim in open water. Like if you can have, you can, uh, you know, you can shoot one thing, you can shoot anything. You just got to export the fundamentals and that you can learn that from 22 years
Stephen Colon (31:54): Exporting the fundamentals. Yeah. I love that.
Clint Bruce (31:57): You can learn how to, if you can learn that you can perform at a pressure already and how to do it in the home defense environment from a 22 year old devil dog that doesn't think he's smart. And then all of a sudden you're the CEO. And I see this happen all the time. It's my favorite thing. The CEO super successful CEO runs a multinational company. He'll come out and he'll be like, that's the smartest guy I've ever been around. And a lot of guys end up in the military because the K through 12 experience, isn't a rewarding one. And I don't know that they're smart. Well, if you're a sniper, that's just physic tried. And if you're a breacher, that's just chemistry. Right? Yeah. And so it's amazing. It's so fun for me to watch these veterans and their families realize that, uh, they are smart in, in, in whether to go back to school. So I have a desire to try to lose a percentage of my guys, to my clients. Cause if I've done my job in 22 months or less, uh, these amazing guys and gals are going, they've either found a home in this ecosystem of companies that we run or they met someone they didn't know and discover something. They didn't know how to do.
Stephen Colon (32:57): I mean that. So what, what, you're, what I'm hearing there is with opportunity and a new perspective, they can do what they've always done and just get better at it and be able to apply the commercial application
Clint Bruce (33:09): Transition. Yeah. That's, that's, that's spot on one of the ways I explained transition. I was like transition as an, as a, as a, as an operator is like being a, you can't play football anymore. Sure. But you can play other sports. Right. So you just pick a sport you're interested in and you find the coach you want to learn from, and you just do whatever you can to get on the field. Right. Like, Hey, uh, I want to learn about lacrosse. So here's this exportable skill I have from football that transitions into lacrosse. And I'm just going to earn my spot on the team, learn lacrosse, and then increasingly do what that coach needs me to do to become a starter. I mean, that's all business is right. And what's really cool about the private sector that I've noticed is that the military does not have a monopoly on servant leadership. I mean, there are some of the most sacrificial moral could leaders, servant leaders, uh, just, uh, I've encountered more of those than the bad ones since I've been out and it's fun and it's fun to go work for those guys.
Stephen Colon (34:06): Amazing. So I, I love that. We're going to, we're going to kind of land the plane with this thought of good people when equipped and surrounded by other good people do good things will force even the bad folks to, to have a different perspective on, on this or they'll make them go away. Yeah. When you bring light to darkness, darkness is a funny way, a polarizer pool, man. It's friction between the two. I think it's very, very good. The stories just don't get told all the time. Right. Right. And it's seeking an answer when really it's, it's being able to ask enough questions to enough people to where you can get. Yeah.
Clint Bruce (34:40): That's, that's one of the things that, that I really learned and I've had some amazing combat leaders I've been around. And when we do after actions and stuff like that, like I always, I always felt extremely unfit for leadership during, after actions. Cause I think I made more mistakes anybody else. And if I am, I expect authenticity, I gotta have it. So I'm like, I asked you this at this, at this of this approved. And it was really neat to hear, and I won't share his name, but he's probably one of the more decorated combat leaders I know in the special operations community kind of regarded across all branches. And he said, well, you have more potential for mistakes than anybody else's leader because you're consuming more information, the volume of decisions that you're making. Right. So you're going to have more incompletions. If you play 80 snaps, then if you play 10 snaps and just the clarity of that, and it wasn't an escape and it wasn't a pass for making mistakes. It was just a consideration of the context. I was like, Oh, all right. I'm not the worst. I'm not the worst at most. I'm just bad at a few things right over and over and over again, let me fix those things. Right. So I think authenticity and that's the other part like, but curiosity can be applied towards authenticity. Curiosity is like, Hey, what could I have done better? What can I do better? How can I get better? I mean, that's a question, right?
Stephen Colon (35:51): It always exists. The answer is you can always get things done better.
Clint Bruce (35:55): I don't like being around people that don't ask themselves and others, a lot of questions because for me, it's a declaration that you're done and if you're done and I'm not, then inevitably there's going to be distanced and it's just going to grow. And I don't see that as any kind of character it's okay to be done. Sometimes the best you can do is be done when you're done. Luke, Keekley retiring when he did an NFL, because he knew he was done to play, pass that point as a disservice to him and to the game that he loves the robbery of who you were supposed to be. So you're not done. I'm just done with this. And I would tell guys, after he was like, Hey man, you didn't, you didn't quit. You just didn't finish. Right. The quitters, the guy that said he wanted to be a seal and getting that's where in like that guy quit before the work started, right? That's the quitter. You just, this is hard. Yeah. It was really hard. But we went up for five days.
Stephen Colon (36:39): So when it comes to our listeners, we have folks that like to hear what people screw it up. They like to, they like to hear ideas. You're telling me, however, just for the sake of this particular show, what's the one thing that you would encourage somebody who's just come to the realization that man there's, there's actually content, there's actually material. And there's folks that believe that making mistakes is the precursor to accomplishing anything significant outside of curious, what would you say
Clint Bruce (37:06): They do? We have this concept called championing. And so if you're driving or driver, if you're flying your flight for swimming or when we're defined by our actions. So if you're championing means you're constantly state of producing championships, right? And I had this really neat conversation with a, I mean, he's a highly regarded, proven national champion, Superbowl champion. And I was sitting there talking to him. We were at his practice and he said, Hey, make no mistakes. And I kind of flinched when he said it and he noticed he observes everything. He's an amazing student of humanity. And after practice, he goes, Hey, when I said, make no mistakes, you flinched. And I said, yeah. And he goes, why? I said, well, let me be really clear. I want one Superbowl. This is, I don't want to pretend. I know what it's like to be you.
Clint Bruce (37:46): And he goes, okay, disclaimer, acknowledged. I said, you're surrounded by genius. Like all these guys are geniuses. They're all physical geniuses and a percentage of a more intellectual geniuses than they even know. And when you tell a genius, make no mistakes, you inhibit their creativity and their ability to adapt and improvise and innovate this craft. Right? And so you don't want to do that. You want to elevate the craft. You want geniuses to make mistakes. You want to, but you want to make new mistakes. I said, I don't, I've never told guys make no mistakes and send, make new mistakes. So two things happen when you send me new mistakes. You're allowing people to innovate and create and deploy this genius that all of us have in some capacity or another. Right. But you're also calling them via professional because in order to make new mistakes, what do you got to do?
Clint Bruce (38:29): You got to know your old ones. You got to understand the environmentals. Like you gotta be pretty, pretty hardcore about documenting here. I made this like, here's why, here's what I ate the night before. Here's how long I slept. Here's the play. I didn't read whatever you're inventorying the supply chain of that mistake. And it's not about making no mistakes. It's about making new. I hate it. When people say he gets better, as the game goes on. No he doesn't. No. He gets better. As game goes on, what happens is he fatigued slower? He's reducing mistakes. He's reducing inefficiencies. So for me, it's a precision. I said, Hey, four reasons. Anybody wants championships, passion, talent, precision, and endurance. The higher up you go, the less passion and talent matter. Not because they don't matter. It's just, everybody's got it. All things being equal. Passion, talent will re-emerge as a deciding factor. But all you have is precision and endurance. And so precision isn't being right more precision is being wrong. Less. That's a faithful that's Hey, I made less mistakes. And endurance is making is making less mistakes for longer than your competition, right? It's not an absence of mistakes. It doesn't happen. Know we say, Hey, you rise to the occasion. No, he doesn't, you know, rise to the occasion.
Clint Bruce (39:35): So Hey, make no mistakes and make new mistakes and make new mistakes for longer than the competition. Right? That's all it is. And so be encouraged by your imperfection and just try to resolve, to just make new mistakes.
Stephen Colon (39:49): We call that process, get some wins. That's it. That's more of the net result of it, but you gotta be willing to, we call that don't be beta and get some way,
Clint Bruce (39:57): Get some wins, I guess, wins. Yeah.
Stephen Colon (40:00): Get some wins because you can enter really create momentum
Clint Bruce (40:03): A hundred percent. If you're on patrol and your petrol's going perfect, like stop, it's an ambush. Like the only perfect patrol route can be shaved the bad guys. The only guy that can do that. So if you're a patrol routes going that grade, like all stop, we're probably walking into an ambush. Right. And so you're going to encounter, Hey, I planned this didn't either. Those things are contour lines is way steeper than I thought it was let's pivot. Right? And so it was a mistake. Yeah. It was a moral mistake. No, it was. I mean your operating environment of, you know, you look at problem sets and you have simple, complicated, complex, and chaotic, right. And depending on what you encounter in the tapestry of that problem is going to determine how innovative and creative you got to get this all thrown out. But the library of lessons learned that you tapped into before then, as everything like EOD, the two communities I think are probably the best at after actions are no listen, everything in the military is a no fail community, but aviation and EOD aviation in EOD a, I made a mistake at 2000 miles per hour.
Clint Bruce (41:04): Like you don't get many chances. So you get to learn from the collective knowledge of everybody's gone 2000 miles per hour. Right. Um, and then EOD, I mean, just like when something goes wrong in the D landscape, it's horrific. Right. So why would you ever let anybody learn what somebody else has already learned? And so I think when we abide by life, that's why I love the Bible. And the Bible is not a story of perfection. I mean, uh, but for one person, but for one person then, but majority of the Bible is about overcoming imperfections, right. A hundred percent of stage. Right.
Stephen Colon (41:34): And using those otherwise you're less qualified.
Clint Bruce (41:38): I read a Proverbs a day to my daughters, into my phone and this is horrible. Cause every day I read someone, I was like, ah, shit, shit. I know I'm either going to face something like that. Or I probably should have read that. Yeah.
Stephen Colon (41:50): There was a lesson, there's a lesson for you. Right.
Clint Bruce (41:53): Walk right into that one. Yeah. It's cool, man. I read, uh, uh, I learned this from his amazing business guy named Holt LUNs for here in Dallas. And he learned from his father, his father would read a Bible from cover to cover for each one of his kids. And he'd annotate the Bible, uh, for that kid. Like, Hey, here's what I think about the Bible for you. Right. And just intimate knowledge. It was on kid Indiana for his grandchildren. It was incredible. It was incredible. So I started reading the Proverbs from my daughters every morning. And then I take a picture of my Bible with this nodes. And then I'm teaching about stoicism now, which is kind of this philosophy. It's not your, it's not this pessimistic. Stoicism is like, Hey, all you can do is all you can do. So what is authentically all you can do and just do that, right?
Clint Bruce (42:33): If you bring yesterday and today you'll compromise day and you take today and then tomorrow you'll compromise tomorrow. So, you know, extract from yesterday, what's helpful for today and projecting tomorrow, which you think would be helpful tomorrow. But the rest of it's just figured out. Right? So John Stockdale talks about that in his prisoner award, how stoicism helped him make it through. I understand what you could do in his reckless optimism was, Hey, we're going to be out by, there's an element of reckless optimism. Optimism is good. Positive mindsets, not, not a bad thing. Right. But I think irresponsible optimism says, Hey, we're going to get out by December. We're going to give out Christmas, you're gonna about it because what happens when you, what happens when that time passes? What do you do? Right. And so it was a better way to say like, Hey, we're going to get out by Christmas, but if we don't, I'm going to make it to the next one. Right. And it's just that qualification. But if we don't, I'm still going to be okay. Yeah. That's that positive stoicism. Right. So I'll read that to him. Pictures of my Bible, with my notes. And then I'll typically a quote from Marcus religious or Seneca or pick the cusser. I picked kids three daughters, 17, 14, and 10.
Stephen Colon (43:39): So that practice of, of sewing, you know, realistic expectation, understanding that there's an accountability component of there doing that work. It's a very helpful parenting lesson for those of you who are listening that honestly, we didn't even think that we were going to get into parenting lessons.
Clint Bruce (43:55): Okay. You talked about co parenting during competitions. Like I spend most of my time talking to other parents on the sidelines. I understand. And I look at parents, I'm like, Hey man, here's dude, your kid can't hear your heart. So whatever you think you're telling them, they're not, they can't hear you right now. Right. And I know your heart is for your kid, but they're not hearing your heart and you sound stupid. Right. And uh, you know, if you notice a lot of the most accomplished people on the sidelines, you know, the copper chef Southern the quietest, right. Because we want the sport to teach their kids. So a lot of times, some of the most accomplished athletes, uh, on the quietest or the quietest during games, because we want our kid to drink deeply from what competition taught us. Right. And we also know like that and play girls soccer.
Clint Bruce (44:37): So I don't know what I'm gonna yell at you. I gotta like, that's true. I, I, I'm just now learning what offsides is. My daughters are played soccer. So they just now figured out, don't know whatever it looks like. I know whatever it looks like. My youngest is playing hockey. Now I go for life and I can't figure out blue line. Like, what's this black thing. I don't understand the line thing. Right. So I don't even know what to yell at him on a tactical perspective. I just, yo Hey, go love you. Proud of you. And I, and I'm pretty instantly people started. I'm like, I know what coach my kid, let the coach, coach my kid. You can encourage my kid, but don't coach my kid. I'm going to encourage your kid. I'll never try to coach your kid.
Stephen Colon (45:09): So what I'm hearing here, and a lot of what you're saying is first of all, you have to be willing to be curious, to pick up the pieces of what went wrong, but you also have to be willing to take whatever it is that you've made mistakes and, and be willing to go.
Clint Bruce (45:22): You get actual truth that you just told yourself
Stephen Colon (45:27): And it's, and it's hardest to implement that. Cause you know, you're going to run into that same resistance.
Clint Bruce (45:31): It was a habit. I mean, as with anything, the more you do it, the more habitual it comes, the more you it's like a malfunction drill you have, I don't know. When's the last time you pick a puzzle, but I saw them out jump fucking drill in your head goes, Tabak bang. It's just, it's just there. It's motorway. That's when we go into yeah. And then that's when we go into Maslow's hierarchy, huge competency, were you sure it was it take to go from unconscious incompetence to conscious competence, right? And I think unconscious competence, native skills it's over celebrated. If you can get in that drain of conscious competence where you knew what to do and given the right prompting resources, teammates, and materials, you can get it done. Like that's, that's not a bad place to be a hundred percent. So we'll clan we're so far past your time.
Stephen Colon (46:11): I was going to say we are well over it, but I appreciate no, of course I appreciate a lot of what you uncovered. And to be honest with you, there's, there's going to be more and there's more resources that you have available to that we'll make available in the show notes. So if there's things that we touched on that go back through the books, even some references that he's talking about, those will be in the show notes. Yeah, absolutely. But those of you who like listening to knucklehead, we got new episodes coming at you every Tuesday. Clint, tell these people where to go. If they want to get in touch with you.
Clint Bruce (46:38): So apparently I have social media. I didn't know this, but my daughters told Clint, Bruce HFS T put it, use it where they call it a handle. Instagram. I told my dad, I was like, my Institute chats, not working. They're like, there's no debt gives your phone. And then you can go to [inaudible] dot com, which I hate having. But uh, someone told me someone else is gonna get it if I didn't. So I had to just create a landing page. There you go. And that's probably a good club receipt GFS to your Columbia's dot com or LinkedIn. LinkedIn is really the only social media. I somewhat really understand. Those are really good ways to kind of begin a conversation. And I, like I said, I love talking to leaders who are ready to protect, perform, compete, and recover, and are willing to proactively invest in themselves, their families and their businesses.
Clint Bruce (47:16): And talking to me about getting ready. Isn't investing. There should be a point in time where you're, Hey, I want to do this, but you don't. And we're going to have to part ways, not because you're bad person. I just know what I'm here to do. Right? I want to work for the leaders in America, create amazing careers for veterans and their families. They transition when the war and veterans suicide with power daily winds and good days work and invest in success in military marriages, man knows what he wants. That's it. That's what we learned from military experience. Right? So that's what we do. So this is great, man. I, I love the knucklehead story and this is really cool. And thanks for the opportunity to visit with you all briefly. And you bet, man, push out your buddy. You bet. Alright. See you guys.
Speaker 4 (47:56): [inaudible].
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In pursuit of finding what his father would have wanted him to be, Clint left the NFL to become a Navy Seal. But his passion for building companies and organizations deeply impacted him. He then leaves the Navy and achieves a deeper purpose.
Today’s episode of the Knucklehead Podcast shares the story of Clint Bruce, the mistake he had realized when his father passed away, how he redeemed himself, and how he transitioned into becoming the master of the map he is now sailing on.
Clint Bruce is the CEO and Co-Founder of the Trident Response Group. He is dedicated to working with the best leaders in America who are ready to protect, endure, compete, and recover as they lead their families, businesses, and themselves.
Trident Response Group (TRG) is an Intelligence-based consulting firm that specializes in risk mitigation, threat solutions, and readiness training. TRG’s services cover corporate and individual needs with the ability to provide Risk and Readiness services including Disaster Planning, Risk Assessments, Enhanced Background Checks, Due Diligence, Private Investigations, Weapons Training, a Self-Defense School, Security Guard Services, Situational Awareness Courses and more.
“I made so many mistakes before then, but one thing I’ll tell you is, the minute he passed and I realized I wasn’t gonna be able to learn from anymore, I became acutely aware of how poorly I listened to him for I lost him.”
In this Episode:
4:13 – Getting to know today’s guest
5:58 – What mistake Clint did before his father passed away
8:19 – The difference between shame and regret
9:10 – How sharing his pain and mistakes helps him redeem yourself
17:05 – His sentiment working into wealth management
19:11 – How Trident Response Group (TRG) started
21:25 – His thought process in adding value to his services
30:15 – What ReadyLab is all about
36:46 – His perception of making mistakes as a way of the champions
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