002 - Dwayne Paro welcomes Justin Constantine to today’s podcast. He is a former Marine and attorney and is now an inspirational speaker and leadership consultant. He recently published his first book, My Battlefield, Your Office, Leadership Lessons From the Front Lines, which focuses on teaching mid-level managers how to lead people. Justin is also a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a member of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, and a Senior Advisor at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation focused on veteran employment.
Serving our Great Nation (2:50)
Justin joined the Marines on active duty and transferred to the reserves where he was activated. 1998 to 2004 Justin had several different assignments on active duty. Justin deployed to Iraq in 2006, serving as a Civil Affairs Team Leader while attached to an infantry battalion. During a combat patrol, Justin was shot in the head by a sniper. Although the original prognosis was that he had been killed in action, Justin survived thanks to risks taken by his fellow Marines and a courageous Navy Corpsman. For his service in Iraq, he earned the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
After recovering from his injuries, Justin worked at the U.S. Department of Justice and as Counsel for the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. More recently, he worked for several years with the FBI as an attorney on a counterterrorism team. Justin was the Honor Graduate of his class at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and in 2011 the Secretary of Defense appointed him to a four-year term on the Task Force for Recovering Warriors. In 2015 he graduated on the Dean’s List from Georgetown University with a Master of Laws degree focusing on National Security.
Justin retired from the Marine Corps with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His writing on military and leadership issues has been featured in such outlets as CNN, Time, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Forbes magazine, USA Today, Business Insider, Stars and Stripes and the Huffington Post. Last year, Justin also co-founded the Veteran Success Resource Group, a military nonprofit organization that provides personalized networking opportunities for motivated veterans. He serves on the board of directors of several national military nonprofit organizations.
“You are stronger than you think you are.”
Transitioning to Entrepreneurship (6:35)
Entrepreneurial spirit predates his military experience. He can remember as a young man doing many entrepreneurial type jobs over the years. Even during law school he was looking to do entrepreneur based efforts. After leaving the military he took on an entrepreneur effort in relation to a line of clothing that supported Veterans who had served in the Iraq War. This wasn’t as successful as he had hoped it would be so he decided to take on other entrepreneurial possibilities. He highly encourages strong market research to ensure you have a market that is sustainable. Be very careful who you use as an advisor. Justin attributes coming up with creative solutions as an entrepreneur to his experience in the military. He believes you are in many situations where you need to think outside the box.
“Military is a lot tighter overseas, especially in a combat situation outside of the wire…..you get pretty tight and lean on each other...as an entrepreneur you have to rely on others as well…”
“We can all do better together.”
Justin frequently takes time to assist those in his network and believes this is a necessary part of being successful, he highly encourages others to do this as well.
In the Zone (20:40)
Justin says as an entrepreneur you eat what you kill. As an entrepreneur he loves to control the things he get to do and who he interacts with as a result of the lack of control he had due to his combat injuries. He knew he was in the groove when he was getting speaking engagement by them calling him vice marketing. Hitting those success milestones was a great validation he was in the right space for what he offers.
How to Contact Justin (30:36)
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