Michael J. Penney Founder of Cigars and Seastories029 - Dwayne Paro welcomes Michael J. Penney to today’s podcast. In 2015 Michael co-founded Cigars and Sea Stories, a podcast devoted to sharing stories with veterans who are adding value to the world. March of 2016 he presented at TEDx Raleigh, “What’s Your IED: How to Add Value to During Life's Explosive Situations” - in an effort to bridge the life of veterans and civilians.  Tune in to learn about it!

Serving our Great Nation (Intro)

Michael J. Penney is a Marine combat veteran of Ramadi, Iraq; Kajaki and Sangin, Afghanistan. He served with 3/7 weapons company deploying twice to Ramadi, Iraq in (2005/2006) and 2007. Reenlisting during his second tour, Michael transferred to Quantico to become an instructor. He is certified as a combat marksmanship coach, trainer and instructor trainer. He’s a formal school instructor; school trained designated marksman and foreign weapons instructor. In 2010 Michael deployed on a third combat tour, this time with 1st battalion 5th Marines, leading a section of advisors through Kajaki and Sangin Afghanistan. Having served in two wars in 8 years of service as an infantryman and weapons instructor, Michael left the Marine Corps as a Sergeant.

“When you hear that it’s thicker than what you put down on paper”

Transitioning to Entrepreneurship (3:33)

As he was transitioning out he wasn’t sure what he was going to do.  He dove into various books of importance to make a successful transition.  He jumped into inventing a product that he felt would support various deployed military.

“In my spare time on deployment I spent time dreaming up product.”

Right after returning from deployment he had the provisional patent and was ready to start his first company.  Self-study allows you to connect data between the various pieces of literature.  Understanding the basics in entrepreneurship is very important and then grow from there.  His first endeavor ultimately failed due to not managing the entity properly due to lack of business knowledge.

As a result, he attended Institute of Military Veterans and Family (IVMF) to gain the business knowledge needed.  He made some great connections and learned a lot of important information.

Mike transitioned to Boston to attend college but found it wasn’t a fit for him.  Moved to Raleigh NC, after his first attempt at an entrepreneurial venture didn’t work out as well as he hoped.  He then started the Cigars and Sea Stories podcast.

“Hundreds of thousands listeners”

He approached Bunker labs as he still wanted more training.  He wanted to find entrepreneurs who happened to be veterans as well.

“Create an advisory group, taking experiences out of the military and providing experiences to civilians.”

Market research is something you have to master and figure out first.

Mike has created a 5 paragraph business plan from standard military operations order from his experience in the military.  He is also creating a fill in the blank business plan creator that produces a business plan after entering some basic information.  He has taken his military experience and used it as a basis for his entrepreneurial efforts.

How to Contact Michael (32:45)





Business Plan

Bunker Labs

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