001 - Dwayne Paro welcomes Byron Chen to today’s podcast. He is the author of Barracks to Boardrooms, Negotiating After Serving in the Military, and the founder of SuccessVets.com, a website and podcast dedicated to helping military members with their transition. He’s been working on several different business ventures since he left the military while balancing a career in tech. He was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.
Serving our Great Nation (2:05)
Byron’s father worked near twin towers when they fell on 9/11, this had profound impact on shaping Byron’s dedication to serving his country. After attending the Naval Academy he was commissioned as a Marine, starting as a military police officer, stationed in NC. Later deploying to Iraq and returning to finish his career in San Diego working with Drill instructors. Being able to see recruits being turned into Marines was an amazing experience for him.
There were various values from his training at the academy; comradery, being a great follower, leadership, and relationship management that have shaped his military career and future. Byron believes persistence is a core strength to be great at what you do and you have to be committed to your choice of what you want to pursue.
Transitioning to Entrepreneurship (9:20)
Service to others has always been a very important aspect of his life. He built successvets podcast/resource site for veterans as a result. His goal was to get out of the gate with something so he started with successvets to grow his audience and tribe. As well as attending various entrepreneurial boot camps for veterans. As he continued to work on his entrepreneurial endeavors, some successful and some not, he decided to write a book that he felt would add value to his audience. Through this experience as an entrepreneur he was able to grow his marketing skills. As a way to generate additional revenue he consulted with other strartups to generate to support their projects, as well as started building sites to bring in affiliate income. He feels his overall career grew as a result of doing these entrepreneurial endeavors.
“Entrepreneurship is a process; you realize what it takes to be successful the farther you are into the process.”
He has used skills obtained to test the water in various opportunities and build bigger ventures. During this process he decided to go back into corporate world while continuing to work entrepreneurial ventures.
Barracks to Boardrooms Book (20:00)
Bryon wrote Barracks to Boardrooms, Negotiating After Serving in the Military. He had always wanted to write a book and saw this as a chance to launch a product that adds value to his audience and generates passive revenue. Figuring out topic was a process to narrow it down and test the customer base, he used his successvets tribe to test it based on what was driving the most interest on his website and podcast. In order to make sure his product was a success he committed to paying for various services for graphics, editing and producing.
Put a marketing plan together by networking with other podcasters to ensure that it rose to a high ranking in amazon under various categories
In the Zone (27:02)
Two points in time, since he was young in high school and recently after talking with his mentors about the path to entrepreneurship he was able to validate what he has been doing is the right thing to be doing as an entrepreneur. He always wanted a lifestyle he had control over.
He has the mentality that he is building something very important, but it will take time to develop the craft and learn along the way. Reflection is an important aspect for him to understand what he has chosen. As well, mentors are important for him to understand if he is on the right track or not, being in a vacuum doesn’t work. You really need the support of others.
How to Contact Byron (35:20)
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