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The Scuttlebutt Show

Diego joins The Scuttlebutt podcast. 

Diego Ugalde The Trident Approach - TTA Mission

A comment from Diego:

Thanks to Max Bloom with The Scuttlebutt Show! This is our first installment with them and in this episode, we go into the long version of my journey in becoming a SEAL. The short story is, it takes most people 6 months to make it through SEAL Training; it took me 10 years to complete. Read below or click the link above to find out why.

Podcast Auto-Transcription

Participant #1:

Welcome to the Subtle Budge on 89 one KNSJ deskanzo, San Diego's only Military Radio Hour with your hosts, Maximus and Van, radio news stories and interviews from and for the military and veteran community of San Diego. What's up, guys? Thanks for listening to another episode of The Scuttlebutt Show. And I have one familiar voice here, Mike. Mike, what's up? What's up? How's everyone doing? You guys might remember Mike From. He is my buddy. He's a photographer, filmmaker, and his company is Star Spangled SUPs CBD oil Company. And how's all that going? It's going great. It's going great. Start the new year pretty strong. Just finished hosting two events, one here in SoCal, one in Virginia Beach, actually finished yesterday. And we're looking to sponsor a couple more events for power lifting and more weightlifting events as well. So it's going great right now. Awesome. And photography is doing well, just shooting a lot more. And it's trying to link up with more people, including yourself. You always shoot together. Where else wants to shoot? Let's do it. That's awesome, dude. And I saw you were hanging out with Dean Kane, who in my opinion is maybe like the greatest Superman. Did you ever watch that, Diego? Lois and Clark, the new adventure of Superman, where Dean Cain was Superman? No, I haven't seen it yet. Well, it's old. You have to go back and see it. It's from like 1990s. But I think it's in my opinion, one of the greatest renditions of Superman death has been. So now you've heard his voice. Our special guest today is Diego Galde. Hello. Did I say that right? Sure did. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Tell us about your military career, and then we're going to talk about you're retired. You retired from the Navy. About that and how the good life is and how business is. All right. Yeah. So I just retired of the sales team just last May. And during that transition, we've started a company where the Trident approach. And so we just help companies learn how to create the same type of family environments that we are able to experience in the Seal teams. So we're brand new, but we've already gotten some really cool projects under our belt already and looking forward to a really strong opening to this new year. So, yeah, excited about that, for sure. That's awesome. So tell me about the family environment of the teams. Can you expand on that a little bit? And then can you kind of describe the messaging of our show? It's for people who are getting out right, people whose military career is coming to an end. And one of the biggest things that people struggle with is the culture shock of maybe moving to corporate or industrial or working in retail or whatever people really are striving to do or entrepreneurial. So you're addressing two of those big things. You're an entrepreneur and you're also dealing with corporate people so what is the biggest problem or gap that you see in teams of people who have never served, never had an experience like yours and coming out of the military? Well, yeah, that's absolutely why we started the chart in approach to begin with. About two years before I was getting ready to retire, I started thinking like, well, this is getting real. What am I going to do when I get out? And people don't understand that there's a lot of growing up that needs to happen with people in the military. Even though you may be in your late 30s, early 40s, and haven't been working in this professional environment for 20 plus years, you're kind of always told where to go, where to be and what's where and all that stuff. And when that date hits, that's now up to you. And it may sound like a little thing, I think, to most people who've been doing that stuff every day for their civilian lives, but it's something new and significant for those of us who weren't. So there was that. There was that whole thing like, how am I going to take care of it? But more importantly for me, I need to be surrounded by people I can trust, and I also need to be surrounded by people that can trust me. And whether I'm right or wrong, my idea of what life is like in the corporate world is that you kind of have to fend for yourself if you want to succeed with the term that we use in the military is kind of like serial bowling. This is mine. This belongs to me. Nobody else can have input on this or whatever. And then you go to your boss and then you show them, like, whatever it was that you're working on and say, hey, this is me. I did this. And honestly, I would just drown in that environment because what that ultimately ends up leading to is kind of infighting kind of creates scenarios of distrust. And like I said, I just would not be able to survive in those types of environments. So I had two options. I could either get a job with other veterans where living in that supportive, mutual, supporting environment is just that stuff that just goes on set. It's just understood. Or I could start my own company. And so I decided to start my own company, but I didn't necessarily know what I was going to do. And then I went to the Honor Foundation with you and Mike and through some really hardcore kind of self introspection, kind of figuring out who I was, why I'm here, what I was born to do. I started connecting the dots and was like, man, the most common question I got when I was serving on active duty from corporate leaders was, how is it that you guys work together and communicate together so well? And I was like, man, I've got answers for that. And not only do I have answers for that, but if I can play a part in helping people get to a place in their work where they trust the people that they're with and they're happy to show up to work and they're really kind of doing what they were born to be doing, that's a huge, awesome and amazing way for me to spend the next chapter of my life. My whole entire professional life has been in service of others. But for that to be my new mission is just awesome. When you're an entrepreneur and it's up to you got a blank slate. Whatever you want to do, you could do it. And being in that position and just kind of creating your own path, you're retiring. So there's a sense that maybe you've got a certain number of years under your belt, but, man, it's rejuvenating. I mean, there's this whole brand new energy that I wake up with every day that I didn't necessarily have the past couple of years, especially in the team. So it's been a really awesome journey. We're doing well so far. Just really fortunate and lucky to be where we're at right now. Yeah. So I think now is probably a good time to mention to people listening. That's how we met. I talk about the Honor Foundation on the show almost every episode. I'm always plugging it. It's such a great program. You guys know, that's how Mike and I met. If you've been listening, and then that's how Diego and Mike all kind of linked up and got to know each other. And fun fact about Diego, he was our honor man. Diego was our leader in the honor. He was voted as the leader of our cohort in the Honor Foundation and still gets to be involved in the future classes and the development of that program, which is really cool. So you said something that I wanted to ask you about well, before I do. Mike, do you have anything that you're thinking off of that? No, it's perfect. I mean, knowing Diego, I first met Diego actually on a deployment in Iraq almost a decade ago. Now, I think. So it's awesome to see you again. The Honor Foundation was like, oh, man, good to see you catch up the progression of our second chapters in our life of where we're going. So it's awesome to see. Yeah. So even before I get to the question that I had another thing that I'm astounded by every day, especially being part of the Bunker Labs program now, is the post military veteran networks that I've noticed exist, and they are strong. So wherever you are and wherever you are when you're listening to this, even if you're still active duty, I would start considering reaching out to different Facebook groups, local veteran networks, like there's the Veterans Beer Drinking Club or something like that in San Diego, which even if you're not a beer drinker, it's really more of a professional network. Like, you go there and you meet other veterans who are in business. There's a lot of that stuff going on. And then within your organization, maybe seek out or consider starting a veteran network because there are veterans serving at every level in every industry right now. And that's only going to continue to grow as the post 911 generation starts to retire, which, believe it or not, is like next year if you join around September 11, when, of course, there was a large influx of service members. So hitting that corporate sector and developing and transferring your skills that you learned in the military to business is going to start to become more and more valuable and make that known that you are in that elite club. So, Diego, the question I was getting at was I heard you say something that made me think maybe at the end of your career you are ready to move on when you retired. Are you ready for the next adventure, so to speak? Yeah, absolutely. What I didn't realize until after the fact was that I absolutely do have an entrepreneurial spirit. And when you get into the Navy, all that kind of stuff, there's not a whole lot of room for that kind of thinking. But when my time was obviously when I was talking about I was thinking about this about two years before I retired. It was not in the forefront of my thought process to be like 820 years. I can do 30. I was a senior chief at the time. Absolutely. I can stay in this thing for a whole another ten years if I want to be honest. Everything is different for different people, for sure. But for me, it was I've got this whole other Avenue that I can go down. I can create this whole force of good for other people. And there's no real reason to delay that ultimately, is how that whole thing ended up being. I think it's great that you had the self awareness to decide that and then the drive to pursue it. So I had the same feelings when I was getting ready to get out. But one thing, and I don't know if you share this, I've talked to other people who have said both like they experienced what I'm about to describe and also that they have not. And maybe that's because they had more of a concrete like, this is how I want my life to go after I get out. But I was almost overwhelmed by the idea of being able to do anything that I wanted. The moment it hits you, you can move, you can stay home. Right. Your success or failure or amount of work that you want to put in and return on investment for that work is entirely up to you, which is good, but it can be overwhelming, too, because you reach a point. And we were kind of just talking about this. And Mike, I'm sure you'll have something to add here where you need to start going out and finding opportunities and talking to people and making phone calls that doesn't just come to you and you don't just get tasked. It's up to you to seek it out. What do you think? Did you feel something like that? Was there a moment where you were like, oh, man, here I am. It's up to me now. Yeah, but it was an amazing feeling. It was absolutely energizing. The possibilities are endless kind of thing. And it's almost like you're cutting the tether, you're out and outer space, and you're just cutting the Ted to see what happens. That's not for everyone for sure. And it's not a good thing or a bad thing. It is what it is. But for me, it was absolutely just like, oh, man, it's time to start living this whole other life now. So for sure, I did experience that. What about you, Mike? Yes, I think for me, I think I can relate to this, obviously, is that I felt I can take control now. When I was in, it was just like, I didn't have that control. Someone was trying to dictate a lot to me. We kind of had some type of freedom with being in NSW, but being out of that completely like, you have a control. I can go do this, or I'm like, no, I'm going to go do this today. I can dictate my day, my hours, my week, my month, my year. It's just amazing to have that control. Some people, I feel they're in the military, they don't want that. And that's totally fine because some people are able to capitalize on that. I just knew that when I was ready to get out, I was like, I just want to do me. I want to dictate my life and my schedule from this point on. I'm not going to go back to working for somebody else. Yeah, it's great, right? What I did wrong, and I don't know if too many people have this problem is I did too many things. I got involved in too many different things, and I started to realize that I was doing a lot of things, but I wasn't giving all of those things the attention that they deserved. And you know what these are like, well, not big things, but these are things that certainly were, like, my choice to do. I did improv comedy nice, and I really enjoyed it. It was super fun, actually. When were you talking about that? When we went through that's really super cool. Yeah, it was super fun. And I did it for a while, but eventually my team and I appreciate this. That's how I know this was a good team. They were like, hey, Max, we need you to be here more at practice during the week and not like traveling. Like, if you're going to be traveling for work or doing other stuff. We need you to make a decision. Like, we could bring somebody else on who can be here more or you're welcome to stay, but you need to put in more time. And I was like, respectfully, and I appreciate where you guys are coming from. I probably can't put more time in. So you're right. I should make way for somebody else. And that's totally fine. And I do this show and this is a huge passion of mine, and I do my video production and then I have a day job and a family and all this stuff. So it was like I let the opportunity to go do whatever I wanted, and I did everything all at once, and it was a lot it was a lot to take in. So now I'm settling that stuff out, and I've been out for a couple of years, and I'm finally in my groove of things are pretty smooth and under control now. Yeah, that's awesome because there's nothing wrong. I don't know that that's wrong at all. There's nothing wrong with this. Just jumping in the ocean and figuring stuff out. As long as you can swim, which you can in the relation to that is to make that relative. You're a grown person. You're mature, you've got drive. You'll make it happen. You're not going to sink your family from the decisions that you're making. So if that's the case, if you've got that stuff to fall back on. Yeah, man, figure it out. You can figure out so much and so many things by talking to people who've already done that and been there and all that kind of stuff. But you never really know until you're the one who's taking all that stuff on. I think what you did is absolutely normal and brave and really great and all these things. I don't think that's wrong at all. I think it's awesome you did that. Thanks, man. I totally agree with that. I think many people live their life now with a lot of caution. And instead of like, you know what, you did it. It worked out. It did. If it doesn't, it doesn't. But at least you look like, you know what, I tried this by sitting when you're like 70 years old, eight years old, and you're just like, now, what if I actually go trying to improv what would have happened? I'm like, no, I did it. I tried it. It was great. But things are happening in my life that were more priority in a sense, and that's why I decided to focus on. So you have an answer to that question. It's never going to be like, what if I tried this? Or what if I didn't? Yes. I've always said you should never not do something because you're scared you might fail at it. Instead, you should do it because, you know, you might succeed at it. Yeah. I've heard people say that failure is not an option, but it really always is an option, especially when the enemy gets to say, as we use in mission planning. Right. So failure is always an option, but when you try something new, you have to just put all of your effort into it and try your best and persevere when things start to get weird. Or maybe in that case, like I was talking about, I was like, oh, that's just not for me right now. And then that was totally fine, too. I'm sorry. I think the question you asked is it really failing? I wouldn't fail. No, I wouldn't say that was failing. That was just timing, focusing on the right thing at the right time. So, Diego, when you started the Trident approach, what was the process of launching your business from conception to, like, going through, filing a business, getting your first client, dealing with contracts and all that stuff, what were some lessons learned? What was the first time like? So this may be hard for a lot of people to believe, but they don't teach Navy Seals how to market or build business plans or any of that stuff. When you're doing that, I suspect, like many first time entrepreneurs, it's a completely new world. And so I'd like to share with your listeners things that the three of us were taught in the Honor Foundation. That absolutely helped me through the process. It didn't help me through the process. They hand walked me across the street through the process. And that is the concept of 50 cups of coffee. I talk about this all the time because it literally absolutely changed my life in a really positive way. It is the reason why we've come as far as we have with the Trident approach. And so I'll get to it. So whether you want to build a house, plant crops, or start a business, what you do is you have 50 cups of coffee with different people who've already done what you're trying to do. And what ends up happening is after that 15 cups of coffee with those 50 different people is you get 800 years of experience of where to put your money, where not to put your money, where to put your time, where not to put your time, essentially making you as efficient as possible, and especially when you're starting a company, just disappears. It's just kind of the way it goes. And if you can be more effective with those decisions, then that's all the better for you. So the idea is that you start off generally speaking, I haven't met anybody yet who did not know who their first cup of coffee should be with yet, regardless of what they were trying to do. But what you do and the thing about it is you can have these conversations with people that you've known for years, for example. But the conversation is absolutely different when you say, hey, listen, man, I want to talk to you on this day during this time, but I'm really interested in getting your lessons learned. What did you learn? What did you learn the hard way? What was some things that you kind of discovered on your own? Because I'm getting ready to do what you do. And like I said, you could have had conversation with these people many times over about the same exact subject. But the conversation turns out to be just a little bit different because it's now changed from, hey, we're just talking to I'm here to help you. And so you never show up to a cup of coffee without something to write with. And you're letting them know that their time is valuable to you and you appreciate the time they're taken out to spend. So you write down as much as you can. And then the next most important thing that you do in your cup of coffee is do you know who else I can talk to about this? And just to put it in perspective, because of my 50 cups of coffee, I've been able to speak to the director of marketing for Ford Motor Company. I've been able to speak to the guy who created and how many lifts does it take to get to the center of a tissue pop. I talked to the guy who created the store for Velastic Pickles. I've talked to the CEO of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and CEO of Dan and Yogurt. I mean, all these people that I would never have otherwise had the opportunity to talk to if it wasn't for, you know, hey, you need to talk to this guy. And what I found is no matter how huge these guys are in the industry, they're 100% happy to talk to you. If they see that you want to better yourself, you want to improve, you want to do all these things here, they will give you so much time. At least that was my experience. And so going through the 50 Cups of Coffee process brought me from literally knowing nothing to get. We became an S Corp. Developing the business plan just in case we needed investors for later down the road, doing competitive analysis on who our main competitors were and figuring all that type of stuff out to pricing to develop in our curriculum and all that from beginning to end, we figured all that stuff out. Obviously, what I had in mind, who you were going to become. But getting there is a whole, completely different story. And so, yeah, absolutely. Through the 50 Cups of coffee, through the help of the Honor Foundation, I was able to get to where we are now. So that's how that happened, really. I think that's a great place to start out. 50 Cups of Coffee is a powerful it's an article, wasn't it? An article. That's how it started. It became a book, I think. Is that what happened? I think so once you hear it, it seems like simple advice. Yeah. But it never occurred to me ever to think about doing that prior to and you hit on something that whenever I get to talking about cups of coffee with anybody, because I always talk when I'm talking to somebody, I don't say it as much as I should on the show, but whenever I'm talking to somebody who's getting out, I always bring this up because it was such an amazing, life changing tool that I still use to this day, all the time, weekly at least. And you said it was the reception of that request is always positive. I've never had a negative response. Are you kidding me? You want to have coffee with me? Do you know who I am? It just doesn't happen. Yeah. They become real people real quick. Yeah. Great. Okay. You're a normal dude. Yeah. Sweet. I think from being in what you kind of hear a lot when you're in the military, that the one that shocked me was the willingness of people to help you out. Like I said, you showed interest. So many people say, hey, I'll talk to you, but sit down and go through what you're trying to do and all that. I think that's one of the biggest shocks. And I think for me, that's what it was. And I think kind of gave me that confidence. I was like, you know what? I can do this people information or passing to me was tremendous. Yeah. And also in the military, we have our chain of command that is very much something that's in place. Like, you do not jump the chain to go talk to somebody you kind of did when you talk to the CEO of Ben and Jerry's. Now, this is me. So that's also something that is hard for us to kind of wrap our heads around. But yeah, you just go straight up to the CEO, because guess what a lot of people in the military don't realize is our strengths and leadership are just huge compared to most people because especially in the listed side, while everybody else is going through calculus and all these really deep classes in history and stuff like that, we're scrubbing toilets. And then when we're done scrubbing toilets and we have one day we can get one person under us and then we can tell them to scrub the toilets and stuff like that. So we are raised in leadership. And so when a CEO hears in my specific case that somebody wanted to talk to him about leadership in the military, he was like, please, God, clear my calendar. I need to talk to this guy, which again, from our perspective, you want to talk to me, really? And so, yeah, it's just a different way of thinking about it for sure. I'm sorry. One thing I was surprised about was that when you tell someone, like your story in our case, where we came from all that. They just want to talk to you, and it's about you to learn like, wow, this is crazy. Like you being a Seal, us being enablers for the Seal teams. People are just like, you were able to do that. That's crazy for us. Oh, yeah, it's our job. But in their mind, it was like that's tremendous. Right? So we always have something to share, which I think is what you're really surprised about. How many people actually are interested in hearing your story as well. It opens the door right now. I remember specifically one day at the Honor Foundation, one of our meetings, somebody said, what did they say? I know I'm not going to be able to quote it, but it was something like this. Are you sure that the CEO of this company really wants to talk to me? I'm just a Seal. And then somebody you remember this, and I'm not a Seal. I'm quoting somebody from the Honor Foundation. Me and Mike were enablers. Right? So we just were support. But this is what somebody else said. And not that we were just support. That would go against everything I'm saying right now. But then one of the coaches or one of the it might have been like, Phil or somebody gets up and goes, Are you kidding me? You're not just anything like, it's our honor to talk to you. Not your honor to talk to us. I think there's a CEO of a company that said that. And it's like, Are you kidding me? Yeah, we want to talk to you. We want to learn about what you're able to provide for us. And to your point, it's not the whole Seal thing. It's the fact that we're in the military. You know what I mean? We have this different experience, especially going down range and having those types of things kind of go on in our lives and have an effect on who we are as people. So, yeah, it's absolutely not like, hey, just because you're a Seal, it's just like, hey, this is what I did. That's stuff that's absolutely valuable information for them to learn about and to potentially implement into how they do business and their corporations. And that's a great point, too, about what you were saying about leading from the beginning. Right. So the first thing you learn in the military and boot camp is you get broken down. Right. And then they build you back up because you have to learn you're part of a team. So the very first thing you learn is teamwork. Then let's say you come in as an E one in the Navy. Right. You are technically everyone subordinate, but there are ways to lead at that level, too, because you could be, like, naturally fall into the role of leader of everyone else at your level. But then as soon as you become even an E three, which is you still basically don't even have a name for that yet. It'd be like a private in the army or the Marines or a Seaman in the Navy. You start to maybe have a couple of people that work for you, and then you become an E 45. You go on and on as high as you go. So you have that leadership. You learn it. You might not even realize. You might have accidentally learned how to be an incredible leader. And you don't realize that about yourself. If you got out of the military as an E five, you might have leadership skills that dwarf that of somebody who is acting as a manager or even a C suite executive of another company, a smaller company. Absolutely right. And the other thing. So, Diego, I don't know if you've heard me say this, but I'm making this the hashtag of the show is another soft skill that all veterans have is trained to train. So somebody over dinner told me that. I was like, I don't know, what am I doing, man? I don't know what he says. It doesn't matter what you're good at. You're trained to train. You're good at learning. You're an expert at learning. You're a master of mastering things. And nobody, except for veterans, have this kind of like, here's some new equipment. You're going to use this tomorrow. Your life depends on it. And that is something that happens all the time. Okay? I have to learn how to use this thing. I have to figure it out. I have to find a process that makes me learn how to do this new thing. And it's probably why you're succeeding as an entrepreneur and probably why a lot of veterans succeed at whatever their next journey is. And like you as well, you have a company, you do creative stuff, and you're succeeding at that as well. And I'm trying to Treadwater over here myself and be as successful as I can, gracefully drowning. As long as you look cool doing it, it's fine. Yeah. Rule number one, look cool doing it. Okay, so cups of coffee. That's a great one. What's one of the other things you got? Well, literally everything that I got came from my cups of coffee. You know what I mean? For example, if the people who are listening to this or in the military, we write our evals and we write our Fit reps and that kind of thing. And if you could just think back to the first time you wrote your Eval and you hand it into your chief, most likely what happened was yelled at you for about an hour and told you how everything was jacked up and how you need to redo it. And you're sitting there in front of the computer with your head in your hands and figuring out how I'm going to make this guy look awesome. That's exactly what happened to me with my business plan. I sat down with some of those folks that I mentioned in the past and said, hey, here's my business plan. And it was 38 pages long. And I had all this stuff going on, and they were absolutely gracious and they were patient and they listened to me brief the entire thing. And they're like, hey, I appreciate your time. Yeah, that was awful.

Participant #1:

Here we go again. You know what I mean? You got to stand by to get your teeth kicked in. It's just part of earning your wings there. And I was like, all right, what's the deal? These are just incredible people. And I just sat down. This doesn't need to be in there. I don't care about this. You barely talked about this. That's stuff that I'm really going to need to know, for example, if I want to invest in your company, I need to see this from beginning. Where's your charts out, Where's your data? And now I'm going back and I feel like I'm not even at square one yet. And then going through the process of making the corrections and making the additions and doing a lot of research and all that, that was a big thing for sure. And most of the time, business plans are done for the purpose of getting investors and all that. I didn't necessarily want that, but it really helped put everything in perspective. It helped frame out the process of where I was going to. Tony Robbins says if you don't have an exit plan, then you don't have a business. So helping create an exit plan was, I going to sell this, we're going to go to the stock exchange and all that stuff. So that was definitely like a huge plus. And you have to learn it at lightning speed if you want to get anything done. So that's kind of how it went down. Pretty funny, dude. You just said it learned at lightning speed, right? You got to keep up with what you're doing. And that's one of the skills that you a lot of people don't even realize that how good they are at that compared to other people. I don't want to assume this. I'll ask you, your team that you work with now, are they all probably mostly veterans? All of them are. All of them are, yeah. Everyone so far is either a Seal or enabler like you guys. And then we also have the only other person who's not is my sister. We do a lot of human analytics, so we try to understand how people perform as leaders, as members of the team and how they are communicating. So we take data on that so we can present it back to them and all this stuff. But yeah, absolutely. All the instructors, though, my sister is not involved in instruction in any way, but all the instructors are all former Seals or one of our guys, Tagging W, actually. Oh, cool. Yeah. So, you know, these guys have you hired anybody that you've had to do? And have you interviewed anybody or do you know, like, do you know these guys? Do you pull them? Do you shoot an email like you're recruiting or how does that go? Have you hired anybody that you've had to interview? I interview everybody, even the guys that I know, even the guys that I work with in Platoons and that kind of thing, because it's just like having a cup of coffee. It is a different conversation than you might have ever had with somebody who's at a bar or maybe you've been on an app with them or whatever, and you kind of know them inside and out. But this is a little bit different because we're not talking about other teams. We're talking about people who literally sit at computers all day in program. They may not necessarily be type A. So I need to know all of my instructors. All of them are the right fit for us, and they have to be. And that is they are inspirational and motivational, and they've got a deep sense and understanding of emotional intelligence, which at the end of the day, when you boil everything down, is they've got a strong level of empathy for other people. Like, where are you coming from? Okay, I understand that you made that mistake, and why did you make that mistake? Or I understand that everyone else is putting this work into this event or whatever, and you're not. Why is that? And helping them get past those barriers. And so these are very important things that need to come out in the interview process. Like, hey, we're not in the business of finding the next Navy Seal. We're not in the business of screening for Seals. We are just trying to help people come to an understanding of where their limits are and why those limits are in place and helping them push back those if that's what they're push through, those if that's what they're designed to do. And also, we just need to get a deeper understanding and help these guys because we do put people through stress, and it's stress that they can handle. But when they're not performing up to their standards, we help them understand why what that takes, because everybody has a different communication style for sure. Some people like to be yelled at. It helps motivate them. And some people, if you yell at them, they'll never talk to you again, because who are you to yell at me? The instructors in the Trident approach have to be keenly aware of where they are with each individual person, because you can lose somebody in a second if you approach them the wrong way. And we can't afford we don't have enough time to lose people. We have to earn their trust really quickly, and we have to work hard to maintain that trust throughout the duration of our relationship where we've lost. So, yeah, absolutely. There are things that come up in a job interview that I have with my guys that have never, ever come up, even if I've known them for ten or 15 years. One of our guys have known them for 15 years now. And yeah, it's just a different animal altogether, for sure. You have given me a question here that I have. You go out to a group of people, how do you initially get them to understand that you're there to help them and that the lessons that you have to teach are valuable? So it's an upfront and Frank conversation of mentioning that word for word, really, and saying so generally the conversation goes like, hey, listen, all of our course is entirely built upon trust. The sooner you guys develop trust in us and so you start to take on board the lessons that we have to share with you. The more you're going to get out of the course, the more you resist us, the less you're going to get out of it. And that's fine. Trust takes a long time to really establish. So some of it is really kind of. I'm just hoping you guys are going to trust us, but change doesn't happen overnight, for sure. And so our program is designed for us to have twelve total days of contact with these people over the span of a year. In the best case scenario for sure, people take to each other at different speeds. People understand new information, lessons learned at different speeds. All of these things, people are different and they're complicated, which is totally great. That's what I love about relationships, you know what I mean? Everyone's different. Everything is different. And so we understand that going in and we do our best to set manage expectations upfront so they understand that as well. And if we go three days with them and they don't quite trust us yet, that's just something that we have to overcome. But the goal is for us to make sure that they understand as quickly as possible that we only have their best intentions at heart. Like none of this is for ourselves. It is all the reason why the Trident approach exists is so that they can be happy at work, so that they can be working better together amongst each other. And then we're gone. I mean, we're always around for sure for them to say, hey, I've got this scenario that happened. How would you manage this? Or how would you deal with it or whatever? We're always there for that for sure. But it's up to them at the end of the day to take these lessons on it. And you really can't do that without them trusting us. It is definitely something that we have to manage and address right up front. You would think, Well, I'm sure that the resume that you bring to the table has a lot to do with that, but it's not everything like we were just talking about like the cups of coffee. Right. So people or job interviews. Right. People will talk to you. They will sit down with you. They will listen to what you have to say, but you have to then show up and provide what they are expecting you to. Or I'll still start to realize, like, there's not a lot of value added here. You have to talk the talk and walk the walk. And I think that's key to building that trust. Right. And coming through on those cups of coffee and job interviews and all that, people will give you that opportunity. And then you need to mean it when you get there. And what you said about emotional intelligence, what you said about emotional intelligence, I'm sure you didn't even realize the power of the word empathy when you use it. Right. Or maybe you do, and that's why you chose to use the word. But I read something a long time ago, and I've said this on the show before. I read that the two most valuable and powerful emotional intelligence traits you can bring to the table are empathy and sincerity. And if you can talk to somebody with empathy and sincerity, you'll get further with them and you'll break through and communicate and get to understand that person. And they'll understand you better than any other way. I've used that advice my whole life, and it's always rang true. Empathy and sincerity are huge. People will be able to tell if you don't mean it, and they'll be able to tell if you're faking that you care. Yes, that's absolutely true. And that's kind of like what you have in your toolbox that hopefully you're bringing to the table. But at the end of the day, communication is a two way street. You can be doing everything, quote, unquote. Right. But if they're not ready to hear you, if they're not capable of listening to you for what I mean, who knows? I don't even know what happened to both of you guys today. Maybe you guys got a parking ticket. Maybe you guys got a speeding ticket or whatever, and we're sitting here having this conversation and you're watching my mouth move, but your mind is elsewhere. People have lives and people have serious things that happen, like the most unexpected times. So for sure, you need to start as a communicator or as a teacher. You need to start with empathy and sincerity. But also understand that the people that you're talking to, you have no idea where they're at for the beginning. You just don't know if you're connecting with them. And they could be not in their head and even repeating some of the words you're saying, but their minds and their hearts can be in other places. But you're absolutely right. You're beyond in a negative space. If you're not at least starting with those two, for sure. You definitely I think one of the most important things, especially being an entrepreneur. And if your business is people facing is emotional intelligence, and it's something that they're listening and they're not really quite sure what that is. I highly, highly recommend you buy books about it, look it up, because it will benefit you no longer as your business is forward facing toward people. I remember when we were in class, we all had our scores for most intelligence. Remember this? And I think 95% of us have low empathy. And the class was rebolted against the instructor. It was just nuts are like, oh, my God, this is going to go so well. Yeah, I do remember that people came up really low on the empathy. It was like, we don't care if you're sad, you guys can't do that. But also I thought it was very interesting, too, because I honestly think that people in the military, I would say I work with you guys. I think our empathy is very high. I think that how we show empathy, though, is very different because we're used to people who are around us, that they have their shit together no matter what. Even if they are going through something, we know that they can handle it. But once we kind of see them getting past that bear that they might be able to handle that, we always will step back. We always have their back. We're always different to support them. I think that it's like with doctors, too, they see so much things. They see things that most people not see in their regular lives, that their level of empathy is also considered low. But I think as a way, it's actually pretty high than what you're actually looking at, too. So I think it's very interesting subject to talk about. It is we should get somebody from that program on here and talk a whole episode about emotional intelligence because it is a super valuable skill. Diego. So the Trident approach, before we go any further, and we've been going for a little while now, where can people find you? So we're at the We're also on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, although I don't typically put us out there that much on those, although it wouldn't hurt us for me to do so. But we're mostly out on LinkedIn. I do a lot of stuff on LinkedIn, but yeah, we're constantly updating our website so you can take a look at what we're doing. You can schedule classes and that kind of stuff straight through our website. Linkedin really feels like a good arena for you with what you're doing. Have you had a lot of or any experience reaching out to people kind of cold calling on LinkedIn? Yeah. In fact, that's the majority of our marketing is straight through. So you've got your sales Navigator type of account within LinkedIn. And then so it's like an extra subscription that you pay for. And then it gives you all kinds of access to huge databases and so for us, because we do talk about leadership and cultural alignment and that kind of thing, we need to have conversations from people right at the top. Just because somebody's like a manager of a Department or whatever, because we may resonate with them, doesn't necessarily mean that we're going to be in line with ultimately what the leadership is wanting to do. So we reach directly out to CEOs and VPs of HR. And that type of thing says, hey, this is us. This is what we do. If you guys are in need of this. And one of the most common responses we get like, hey, we're already culturally aligned. We're all this. And my response to that is always like, there is no finish line. It's something you need to water, like a tree. You can be so awesome. Everyone can be happy one month. It's like, what have you done for me lately? Things have a tendency to turn on a dime. Like I said, people have these lives, really terrible things can happen. And how attuned are you to these changes? Our programs are not only designed to help you build and establish these things, but it's also there to maintain, to make sure that the camaraderie is still going on, to make sure that people do understand the direction and the mission and the values and the principles of your company. So, yeah, for sure. So LinkedIn is a huge Avenue for us to market through. I love what you just said so much. There is no finish line, dude. That's a great quote right there. I hope everyone hears that. Because when it comes to team building and organization development and the way that your people kind of connect you're right, there is no like, we've made it. It can always get better. And that's why we're always improving our teams in the military and improving our Foxhole. Right? So that's your office. That's where you get business done. That's the war room. You should always be developing and improving relationships within there. And your whole kind of environment should always be an upward trend. I just heard the word. It's ever increasing upwards. There should be no Plateau. There should be no idea that you can Plateau at any point. I think that's amazing. I think that's great.

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Here's the other thing. I have to tell people that I know who are getting out that LinkedIn is a real website. You know what I'm saying? People don't get it. They don't get that there's value added in LinkedIn. But I can tell you right now, I get hit up pretty often by recruiters on LinkedIn based on my page. And you are saying that you reach out to people on LinkedIn. I'm sure people reach out to you, Mike. I'm sure you have the same experience. So if you're listening and you're someone who's considering getting out and you're thinking like, LinkedIn, is LinkedIn a real website? Does that matter? It totally does. Am I right? It's the professional version of Facebook is what it is. You have your narrative about you, your work experience and educational experience and that type of thing. And if you need to do anything in the realm of networking in your post military life, LinkedIn is literally a must. I don't have any stock and stuff. I don't really care. But you need to know, especially in the sales teams, it is so foreign for us to go out there and say, hey, I was this or that or whatever. Even now it feels funny for me to even talk about. So we are so not used to doing that. But you have to break through that and get used to just putting yourself out there and saying, hey, this is me. This is the value that I can bring to your organization or whatever it is. And ultimately, at the end of the day, if you're there to help, there's a lot of really great stuff that can be done by going through there. But you got to break through that mentality of, hey, listen, I have no digital signature. I've got this. And I understand where all that stuff comes from, but at some point you have to. That's part of the transitional process for sure. Because if you don't exist online, you don't exist. Right. Nowadays, especially if you're a business. Yeah, I struggle with it too. Lately in the last couple of months, I've been putting way more stuff on social media and trying to have more of a presence myself because we create this content. I think this content is really awesome and I want to share with as many people as possible. But part of that is me going out there and putting myself online and it's a little uncomfortable. Part of it is, does anyone care what I have to say? And the other part is, am I supposed to be doing this? Is this okay to do? But you have to kind of I've been working on getting over that and kind of being more present on that stuff. It takes practice like anything else. And I'm one who always talks about when it comes to that trained to train. We all know how important rehearsals are, right? You rehearse, you do it over, even if it's something simple like how are you going to take your seat belt off in a car? Well, if you're all kidding up and you've never taken your seat belt off in a car, that's going to get caught up on something, right? And then you're stuck in a car. There's like a way to take your seatbelt off. Somebody showed me like, oh, you want the real way to take off a seat belt and you go underneath the chest part and reach over and pull it off like this, and it comes off. You don't get it snagged on anything. And if you just get in the car, kid up first time you didn't practice that. And then you go to take your seatbelt off, and then you get hung up, and now you're screwed, right? That's just like a very military example of how you should be rehearsing even the simplest things, especially when you get into business. You do the rehearsals, you practice, and you get an infinite amount of mental rehearsals. You can practice when you're head as many times as you want. Those are free. So take advantage and don't think that anything is going to go the way you just assume it's going to go. It never does. You should rehearse everything I think that comes from our training as well. Yeah, for sure. If I'm a business and I call you at the Trident approach and I say, hey, man, I'm interested in what you guys are doing. Tell me about the program. What would you say? Everything we do is customizable, but it's not about us. So, you know, what works for me may not necessarily work for your organization. So the first thing that we do is we get a deep understanding of what their culture is, what are their values, what are their principles, and then we talk to them about what it is that we actually provide. And the reason why that's important is because if there's just no parallel between who we are and what we do and the company that's calling us, there's no real value for them to work with us because we can get people in a lot of trouble if they go back to work on Monday starting to do all this Trident Approach stuff, and they're like, hey, what are you doing? I just learned this, right? So we need to make sure that we are at least in alignment, that there are some similarities and direction where we're at. And once we figure out that, yeah, we should be talking to each other, we can add value with this relationship, then we move forward. Essentially what I do is I just ask them, what is the perfect case scenario look like for you once training is done and then we work backwards. Here's how we create this picture that you're looking for. And then oftentimes I'll find or identify maybe some gaps into what they're looking for and some of the end state pieces. And so I'll add those in if necessary. And then, like I said, yeah, we'll work back. Everyone always needs to work on communication. Everyone always needs to work on leadership and team building. In fact, I'll say that our five tenants like the five items that we work every event around. Number one is cultural alignment. These are things that I can talk about at length for. But number two is building trust. Number three is communication, number four is teamwork, and number five is leadership. Everything we do is somehow related to those five items, because I think that once you sort of master the curriculum that we've got set up in those areas, then you're going to be unstoppable. That's just the bottom line, because people leave our organization with an intensely deep understanding of the communications, of the communication styles and preferences of the people that they work with every day like they've never had before. And the same is true for their strengths, and the same is true for how they lead each other. So, yeah, absolutely. Those are really kind of the tenants that we make sure that these people have a really deep understanding of why we're on the phone while we're creating their specific and customized program, because that's what we do. Everything we do is customize. Every program we've run so far has been different than the one previous, and that's because everyone has a little bit different requirements and expectations than the next person. So looking at your website, right? I've been all over your website since we met last week. Okay. So looking at your website, if I was getting ready to go through as a customer, like, let's say I was at an organization and I'm not the senior leader, but I fall in chart somewhere middle level. Let's say I'm like, dude, are we doing a helicopter insert rescue mission? Looking at your rescue. Tell me a little bit about when you get in the down and dirty phase, four of your training, the culmination, what do people have to look forward to? Okay, so I'll just say we have four phases to our program. Each of the phases, there's always cultural alignment and building trust in there. The first phase is communication. So that's where you learn how you like to communicate and how you like to be communicated to. And the same for the people that you work with. The second phase is basically how you work together as a team. So teamwork, what are your strengths and how do those strengths apply to accomplishing any mission that you might have at work? And then the third one is emotional intelligence, and we work with leadership. Once you've done all three of those phases, you have the option to come back and do the fourth phase, which is basically the Seal experience. And so what we do is we have three options where you can do basically close quarters combat in an Afghani village that we have set up here in San Diego through strategic operations. Or you can do helicopter operations where you're going to rescue a hostage. Or you can do Skydiving, not military free fall, but basically you jump tandem with a Seal and you go rescued down pilot. So that fourth phase happens in two different ways. One, you cannot do any of our team building at all. And you just want to have a good time and shoot some guns with paint bullets and have people shooting at you with paint and explosions and RPGs and walking down the streets of Afghanistan. You can do all that. And it really is a good time. There's plenty of time for beer afterwards. But when you've gone through all three of our initial phases, then much more is expected of you. We have you plan emissions, execute the missions, all leveraging, all the lessons learned that you received throughout the duration of our program. And the reason why we do that is no one knows how to complete a Seal mission unless you're a Seal or an enabler. So these people are absolutely outside of their comfort zone, which is great because now they're absolutely forced to lean on the skills that we've taught them all the way through. And it helps them understand that these things are transferable. You don't need you know, these things only don't just apply to tech or they don't just apply to construction or even being a Seal. Cultural alignment, teamwork, communication, leadership, and those things, they apply across the board. So it's just a really fun way to bring those lessons learned to bear. And so the only things that you have to depend on, it really kind of solidifies the message and really brings it home. It sounds awesome. And I'm over here. If you're able to see me, I'm over here smiling, shaking my head like, that sounds so badass. And it is right. But we've done training like that, and I know how much goes into planning it. So what I'm really thinking is like, wow, that's awesome that you coordinated this, right? It's a lot of work. You had to find locations, you had to find equipment, you had to find instructors, you had to make it safe. You had to find actors, role players, right? So you had to do all these in pyrotechnics and all this stuff to coordinate jumps. This is no joke. This is a lot of work, and it's awesome that you have done it. It's incredible, dude. It's really great. We're 100% serious about what we do. Although the participants may feel at times that there is fun and games going on, there is absolutely a lot of thought in curriculum development and study behind what we have finally released to the general public. There are thousands of hours of, like you said, preparation and development and relationship building and networking and all of that stuff behind this. This is not a little thing or we didn't start the Trident approach for fun. We really want to make a super positive impact on the lives of other people, no doubt. So we have to take it with that grain of sincerity, for sure. We're getting here into our 1 hour point. So usually just when we start thinking about closing thoughts and I feel like we've only scratched the surface. So I'd love to talk to you. Sit down and talk to you in this environment again. Yeah, not a problem. What's the biggest dream you have for the Trident approach? What is your best end state? Five years down the road? Where do you see it if all your dreams came true. My ultimate dream is our vision, and that is to change the face of the corporate world from me. First of the team, first mentality, plain and simple. I understand what that means. I understand how kind of a big idea you're not going to do that and all that, but I don't care. That's what I want to create. I want to create a nation of businesses that understand that this is the way to do things is to build mutually supportive and trusting environments to allow people to just crush in their own excellence. That's the deal. It's not about self serving stuff. So I can make sure I got mine. So that is my ultimate dream, to have people really understand that everyone has a genius, and here's how I tap into it and here's how I support them. That's a perfect case scenario for us. I love that it's right in line with something that I truly believe, which is if you really want to serve yourself, do it by helping others. Because if you direct your efforts to improving the people around you, it rewards you. You benefit from it as well. And then so does your team. Right. So it's that whole mission, team, self order of operations, where you should always land at the bottom of your interests and like team year, personal year, personal stuff. Right. So it just goes in that order. And I think that's one of the most valuable things we can pass on as veterans when we go into a business is that priority stacking. Right. And making sure people understand that the way that we succeed together is by focusing our efforts into one place. And it's not inward, it's outward towards our mutual goal. Right. Yeah, that sounds awesome. So again, for people who are listening, the website is the, and if somebody reaches out, they find you at the other end of that email, right? Yeah, my email is on there. It's And yeah, we just start the conversation and figure out the best way to move ahead. What do you want to pass on to people who are listening about anything, man, about being retired and how great that is, or a career in the military and how rewarding that was. Or starting a business when it feels difficult or like when all these hurdles come up about regulation and law and paperwork and how you persevere through all those things when being a small business operator feels very difficult and you're not a small business. I was just thinking in my head, like, there's not really any small business because every business is a big deal. Right. But when you're starting out and you have a team of maybe a dozen people, would you say, yeah, that's a lot of work. There's nothing small about that. So I don't like the term small business. I apologize for using it doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother me at all. So, yeah, if you had thoughts, lessons, learned, life advice to pass down, I would say if you were to sort of read for the first time where I am today and all that, you might think, wow, that must be cool. I could never do that. The reason why I say that is because it's important to realize that I failed almost every step of the way. I failed in literally everything I tried to do. I didn't make it through buds the first time. I didn't even pass the ASB to make it into even try out to be sealed the first time. I mean, almost everything that I've done, I've had to do it once or twice. I got fired when I was in the team. There's, like, so many things. And so the only thing that I would say if I was going to pass on anything to you guys, if you get your teeth kicked in, like, all right, that's cool. Just keep going and you learn along the way. Not everyone has had this perfect, stellar, whatever career. And it doesn't matter if you do or you don't do. The only thing that does matter is you can either quit or you just keep going. And trust me, when you keep going, no matter how hard it is in the beginning, when you kind of reach each respective mile marker or respective finish line, I mean, it's absolutely worth it. That's what makes life awesome. And just to be a part of that, so don't give up. Don't quit. Whether it's entrepreneurship or you want to be a Navy diver or you want to be a pilot, it doesn't matter. Just keep going and you'll get there. It's beautiful, man. Yeah, that's awesome. So your background coming into the teams and everything, it took a couple of drives. Absolutely. Yeah. How much time do we have? Because this is long. Go ahead, man. I was going to say, knowing Diego is like his story gets a team just pretty crazy itself. That's a whole conversation, I think should be sure, too. It's awesome. Yeah, it's a long one. All right. So I was lucky in high school to have someone that I could lean on for mentorship. And that person just happened to be our high school nurse. And I used to go to her for guidance and trying to figure out strategies on how to talk to my dad about stuff that he was going to find out about soon and all this stuff. And one day I went into our office with my report card and my report card. I was failing almost every one of my classes. And so we're coming up with different strategies on how I'm going to bring this up to my dad. And in the conversation, she says, what do you want to do with your life? I was like, well, honestly, I think I want to be a doctor. She said, Diego, you got a one point 63. And she's like, do you know what a paramedic is? And I was like, no. She's like, well, they're kind of like doctors. But instead of going to school for ten years, you go to school for about ten months, and you save people's lives out on the street, and then you bring them to the hospital where the doctors then take over. And I was like, wow, man, that sounds awesome. Let me go check that out. And I started reading up on it. And then I happened to also right around that time, see the movie Pretty Woman. And I was like, look at this guy who's got all this money. He gets to just jet out to San Francisco if he wants to to go watch this thing. Like, I want to live that life. I made the connection. I was like, you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to start my own ambulance company, and I'm going to be a paramedic, and it's going to be awesome. That was my direction. That was everything. I took a CPR class, and I was going to be in EMT since I turned 18 and all that stuff. So that was my junior year, the summer break between junior and senior year. My friend and I, we had this thing where every Friday we would go rent movies, and we happen to rent the movie Navy Seals. And I'm watching this thing, and I'm just freaking out. I mean, these guys are jumping out of planes. They're scuba dividiving. They're like going after bad guys. They're shooting guns and driving fast and all this stuff. And I'm like, what is this? And about halfway through the movie, I realized that there was a paramedic on their team. And I'm like, that's it, dude, I'm going to be a Navy Seal, and that's it. So I go to the recruiters and they say, Cool, no problem. If you want to be sealed, you've got to get a source rating that they accept, because this is before 2006, obviously. So then I think they had, like one of 15 jobs in the Navy. You could be like a radioman operations specialist, hospital Corman and all that. So I'm like, yeah, I want to be a hospital corner and do this. Okay? So you got to take the ASV. And what I thought was, okay, you needed the score or whatever it was to be a Seal and also to go to core school. So I took the ASV. And for the people who don't know what an ASV is, it's basically like a placement test for people joining the military. It gives you and the military an idea of where you might excel at. So if you're mechanically inclined, if you're really strong at mathematics or whatever it is, it just helps you select maybe a job that you may not necessarily know to look for. So what I knew at the time was that there was this overall score that you had to get. And so I took the Azvab, and I actually got the score that I needed to be a corner in a Seal. So I was happy. So I went to boot camp in San Diego, which Sally doesn't exist anymore. And then a week or two in, I said, hey, who wants to be a Seal? Well, I raised my hand, and I'm like, okay, you need to go over here, and you're going to take the screening test, which is where you do your swim, and you're running push ups and all that stuff. And so I get to where they told me to go. And there was about ten other guys there. And before everything starts, this guy standing there, an EOD explosive ordinance disposal guy who was administering the Seal screen test, said, who's? You golden? And I was like, oh, man. I raised my hand like, that's me. And they're like, yeah, you can't be here. I'm like, what happened is like, well, you scored a 48 on mechanical comprehension. You need a 50, and mechanical comprehension is part of the AZV. It's one of the sections of the test of the AZV. It was then and right then and only then did I know that you needed certain scores in certain areas to make it to be accepted. And I'm sure everyone listening has experienced this. At 18 years old. I was just told for the first time that my dream, the thing that I've been working 18 isn't very old, but in a year and a half that I've been trying to do this thing, it was all gone to me literally talk about being punched in the gut. Because at least for me, I don't know if it's this way for everyone. I kind of thought it was over. And so I kind of had to regroup. And I was like, what do I do? And he's like, well, looks like you're going to hospital Corman school. Go to hospital Cormon school, and then you're going to go to a regular duty station. And when you go to the regular duty station, then you have to take some sort of class. And then when you take that class and you prove to the neighbor that you took the class and you could then retake the Azweb. So I went back to my boot camp company with my tail in between my legs and just was crushed, kind of. So I ended up graduating boot camp. I went to core school. I graduated core school. And then my first duty station was Oakland Naval Hospital, which also, sadly, no longer exists, and neither does the horses.

Participant #1:

When I showed up, they assigned me to labor and delivery. So I was a labor delivery medic for a little while. I was like, hey, listen, I'm only here. This is a pit stop. I'm going to be a Seal. And they're like, okay. So I went through the whole process. I did the thing. I retook the Azvab. I scored well enough that time, and then I left the hospital, and I was able to go to Buds, and I got orders to go to Buds. I show up, and it just so happened. I'm telling you, this is a long story.

Participant #1:

I showed up at a specific time where they said, hey, you have the option because the class 198 is starting, like, next week. So you can either show up and just start training with them, or you can go through the pre training class for class 199. And I was like, well, you know what I'll do? The pretraining to keep in mind was I was absolutely not mentally ready in a lot of different ways. I wasn't mature enough. There was a whole lot of shortcomings that I didn't realize that I had that existed within me. And so what ended up happening was we did our first training evolution in what we call Ptrr at the time was like the pre training phase. You do everything you do in first phase, which is lifting the boats and the logs and all that stuff, but just the days don't count. It just mean nothing. The only thing is that they're half days, and then so half the day, you're doing, like, Buds type training just real quick. Bud stands for basic underwater demolition seal training, like the train everybody goes through if you want to be a Seal. And then it's broken down into really four phases. The first phase, which doesn't count. We call that pretraining phase. And then there's the actual first phase, which is like, where they hammer you to see if you really want to be there. And then you have the second phase, which is the dive phase, and then the third and final phase, which is the land warfare phase, where you learn how to shoot guns and do all those kind of small unit tactics. Well, anyway, so I show up in the pre training phase and we do our first basically, workout, which is we started doing these berm. Sprints up and down are about 15 foot tall, soft sand berms. And we basically just do an iteration after iteration after iteration. We did that for whatever 20 minutes or something. And I was doing pretty good. I was kind of hanging in there with the class and all that stuff. And as soon as I thought, okay, we're done. We're going to go get something to drink and do, boom. We just went on like a six mile conditioning run. I was like, Whoa. And immediately. And when I say immediately, I mean instantaneously, the entire class was 300ft ahead. I was so behind. Oh, my God, what's going on? And so the whole class is in front of me. I can see there's nothing but dust because all the sand. And then there's just me. And then there's, like, the white pickup truck with the instructor and he gets on his little intercom, which is hilarious because he's 3ft away from me. He's like, Why are you back here? And I told you I was not ready to be here. I was like, I put it out too hard during the Berm sprints. It's just the dumbest answer ever, you know what I mean? I was just sitting there like, oh my God, I did not expect this again going back to my maturity, because who doesn't expect to get their teeth kicked in? And buds are like, in buds, they have this thing. It's called a goon squad. And the Goon squad is like, if you go on a conditioning run or whatever, at the end of the run, if you fallen back at all while everyone else is stretching out and drinking water and that kind of thing, they take everyone who had fallen back and they put them through extra training. So you're doing fireman carries, you're doing bear crawls, you're doing all this stuff. And it's really hardcore. And it serves two purpose either to tell you that you don't want to be there or it makes you stronger so you're faster the next time so that you don't fall back the next time. My problem was that I was just not ready to be there. Even though I passed the screening test. No matter. I was in every single Goon squad we had. And so what ended up happening was very early on. Absolutely. Of course, every instructor hates you to begin with, but every instructor for sure hated me, resented me even being there. But easily half the class hated me too. They're like, what the heck is this guy doing? But I will say that I did have friends with about half the class. Just keep going. I told you, during pre trainering, half the day is blood type workout. And then the other half of the day, what you do is you kind of do like menial labor. You're standing watches, you're doing whatever stuff because they just want to make sure that your days are occupied, you're not getting paid for nothing. And one of the things that you do when you're in pretraining is you set up these big, huge green canvas tents that they use for hell week for the guys going through first phase. And they're GP tents, they're general purpose tests, but they fit like, whatever, 60 people in them. So there's these huge things. And so you set those up and then you put the COTS in there for the guys to sleep a couple of hours during whole week four. I remember very vividly turning to a guy who was standing next to me. I'm like, Man, I can't wait till they're setting up a tent for our whole week. And he laughed. So anyway, it was what it was. And then first phase started and the beatings didn't get any less intense. My reputation preceded me. The first phase, instructors are different from the pretraining instructors. First day, they're like, Where did you go? I was like, oh, man, here it goes. And it was just hammer session from beginning to end. But what I noticed was the days were going by and dudes were quitting. Dudes were quitting. Dudes were quitting. I was still in every Goon squad, and guys, Goon squads are getting smaller and smaller and smaller. But the lines of when you quit, you put your helmet on the ground and the line of helmets, but I was still there. What I wasn't telling anybody was that I was slowly breaking. Like, my legs were just like, you did not come here prepared. So I don't know what makes you think that you can just do these eight mile conditioning runs in the soft sand plus this, plus that, plus whatever. But to me, I just knew that I wasn't going to quit. So everything is going to be cool. One day we were going to start Hell Week that weekend. So I think it was Thursday. Thursday before Hell Week, we had to do this thing. It's called the Beehive. And the Beehive is a really intense thing that everybody has to go through. But what it is basically, is everybody jumps in the pool with their pants and boots and shirts on. And then you put your have your mask on, and then you fill up your mask with water, and you have to tread water with your hands out of the water. All the while, the instructors are pushing the class together. So basically what you have is like 100 people in the pool just kicking and clawing at each other, not because they're trying to survive, but because they're trying to survive, but they're also at the same time trying not to kill anybody else. The intensity of this thing and the stress is just as high as it can get. And by the way, also, it was like one of the worst storms in, like 100 years. In Coronado, like, trees were being uprooted, the streets were flooded. It was like 40 deg outside. It was like 40 miles an hour winds. I mean, it was just torrential downpour, and dudes were quitting, like, in droves and whatever. So we're going through this whole thing, and we get out and we get out of the pool, and it's the end of the Beehive. And you're kind of looking around. It's almost like after a big, long arduous fight, and you just look around and you see the guys that are left standing, and you're like, this is badass. For the first time, one instructor comes down and he says, you guys like, you guys did it today. Hell Week starts this weekend. And I can promise you that it doesn't get any worse than this. If you guys made it through today, you guys can make it through Hell Week. So get out of here, whatever. And so it was the end of the day, so we had to run to dinner. And I'm telling you, all of us, our chests were just, like, busting out of our shirts. We were just like, we're going to be Navy Seals. You know what I mean? All of us were just thinking, this is going to be awesome because we knew we could do it. And so we're sitting down, and we're just kind of reflecting on the day, talking about our little stories and our own unique experiences of what we had all just gone through together. And I get this tap on my shoulder, and I'm like, Diego. I'm like, what's up? And they're like, well, so there's this thing. It's called the Hell Week Board. If you failed anything, you failed a time run, failed a time swim. If you felt underwater, not tying. If you felt anything, you got to go in front of the Cell Week Board, and they decide whether or not you're going to stay. And right there, my heart just dropped. And I was like, oh, man, that's not cool. And they said, don't worry. If there's anybody in this class that's safe, it's you, because you've been through so much. You've come such a long way. You've taken everything they've had to throw at you, and you're still here. Like, there's no way they're dropping you. And I 100% did not feel that way. I thought, Man, I'm done. So that was Thursday. Friday comes, and while the rest of the guys are prepping for Hell Week, they're prepping the boats, and they're doing all this stuff for me. For my part, I failed literally every single time around. We had all of them. I passed the time swing. I don't know why or not time, but I absolutely failed every single time run. And I may have failed one or more obstacle course times as well. I'm not sure. They called me up into the office, and they're like, okay, so it's my turn. So I get my helmet in my hand, and I go, hospital men call. Their reporting is ordered. And they're like, yeah, you're gone.

Participant #1:

They didn't know. Of course, in order to care of all what I had to go through to get there in the first place. Either way, it wasn't good enough. I didn't deserve to be there, which is a true statement, but it's just my whole life just dropped out from out of my chest. And that's how immature I was. Even though I saw it coming, I didn't see it coming. And they're like, we appreciate your time here, but it's time for you to go. And it was that quick. It was that short. It was just all of those years and months and all that stuff just down the drain again. If I felt like everything was over when I was in boot camp and I found out that my asthma wasn't high enough, I mean, this was them telling me that I wasn't welcome there. And I was like, man, I left the office and I went up to our barracks right on the beach there. So I went up to my room to pack all my stuff. And when I came out of the room I noticed that our Hell week tent was up. And so right there I just sat down on the stairs and started crying like I was supposed to be. It sucked. So I left. I ended up going into I think they call it exdividend or I can't remember what they call it, but it's for guys who are processing out. So all the guys that quit, all the guys who didn't make it, are in this thing. I ended up calling our retailer, which is the person who decides where we're going to go next, what our next job is going to be, and ended up taking up a slot to be a quorum for the Marines. But absolutely, I left in my eyes with dishonor. So if somebody had my name, you got it. Like I was doing something negative for my name and it was a really tough thing and had all these stress fractures and all this kind of stuff. It was just like it couldn't have been worse for me, really. Right. And so I ended up going to the school that you go to to become a corner for the Marines. And then I served out the rest of my enlistment, which was about a year and a half or two years, went on deployment with the Marines, which I'm absolutely grateful for because it gave me an entire absolute appreciation for the Marines as a community. I think no matter how highly people Revere Marines, I don't think that they Revere them high enough. I mean, Marines to me are just go to war with them any day. So that happened. And then it would come up to me. The decision was to either reenlist or get out. And I was like, well, I joined to be a Seal. I'm not a Seal, I'm getting out. So from that moment, literally for the next eight years, at minimum, two to three times a month, I mean, minimum, I would have just some terrible dream about not having made it through, but the instructors that were there, some of the students that were just ultimate in this huge weight of shame. And also what I didn't understand at the time, but just living my life off tracks, like I was some place where I wasn't supposed to be. And so one day at the time I was working as a paramedic in Florida. I was working night shifts and I woke up one afternoon like one in the afternoon and there was a TV at the foot of my bed and I couldn't barely see the screen from past my stomach. I was like £270 at the time. And I just had one of those dreams about not making it through buds again. And it was a Discovery Channel of the Para escalator going through the Air Force version of Buds and I just knew. I was like, I got to go back, I got to do this. So it took me a long time. I was deciding whether or not because I love Param Edison, I love that whole aspect. At the time the pair rescued were the best paramedics in the military. I was like, man, you know, which one should I? Because what they call Buzz is indoc and indock is no joke. It has a 90% failure rate. It's a serious program. But ultimately I ended up saying, hey, if I'm going to get this monkey off my back, the only way it's going to get off is by going through Buds and there's nothing like it. So I decided to go through I lost £70 and this time I knew what I was getting into. I knew what it was like to be class 199 that I was in was a winter class, so I knew how cold it was going to be. I knew all that stuff. It was just a matter of getting my mind and my body right. I was still having problems with my legs from my last time in Buds, but I honestly went to Buds not knowing if my legs were going to be able to carry me through this time, but it was a chance he had to take. So I ended up training myself back. The first time I was in Buzz, I was 20 years old. This time I was 29. I was right at the cutoff and I went in with class two, four, six and I separated my shoulder and second phase. But nothing I went through either dropped me from the course or even rolled me back. I graduated with two four six and I finally ended up making it. So it was a long road to get there for sure. So, yeah, I told you, it's a long story. Well, that's an awesome story. Yeah, man, let me say thank you for sharing it, because it's inspirational. Everything went wrong, but you overcame it, right? So that's incredible injury, being told to leave, right? Being told you had to retake your test. And one of the hardest things in the military that I think most people can resonate with is getting sent somewhere you don't want to be. Even if it's not bad, it's not where you want to be. It's disheartening and it's easy to just kind of lose all your motivation. And if people don't know, I'm sure you had to train to go the first time and go back, train every day endlessly. And those berm sprints. That's just one example. You see people doing it and you're like, oh, there's run up a little burn, but you do it for 30 minutes and it's really exhausting. And then to go running if you don't know how it feels to run in soft sand. That's really hard, too. And then do that for eight months. Yes. Not at your pace either. Even though you would have had every reason to not make it. You found a way, dude. Thank you for sharing that story. No problems. I love talking about it. And again, I'm coming from a place where I was broken and crying to where I am now, where it's part of who I am. So it is not a story of regret. It's just part of living, really. So I'm glad that I went through it in a way. I kind of wish that every team guy had to go through Buds a little bit and then come back if they really wanted it. And I know some people, whatever it is, what it is, but I never felt like anything was owed to me after I was kicked out when I made it. And I went to Hell Week the second time when I actually got to go to Hell Week, I loved Hell Week. I had the greatest time on Earth in Hell Week because it was taken away from me. I didn't deserve it, didn't belong to me to begin with. But when I got there the second time and I did pass all the time runs and I passed the time and I did all this stuff and I earned my right to be there. There was no way I was going to honestly had the best time during all week because I was just so grateful to be there for sure. It changed my perspective. And I know that a lot of guys showing up to the teams, they show up, they didn't get rolled back. Everyone's go Buds isn't easy for anybody, but for me, it just gave me a level of appreciation that sometimes I don't necessarily see in other guys. They just said, what do you mean? Yes, I wanted to be a Seal, so I'm here, I'm a Seal. Like, what do you mean? And I was like, man, it really is such a sweet thing to kind of go the route that I went. I don't think everybody should do it, but I think there's value in it for sure. I guess, really, at the end of the day, that's all I'm saying, is that there is. Absolutely. And it was like the leaving statement that I was mentioning before. There is value to getting your food taken away from you, you know what I mean? And figuring out how you're going to go about rectifying taking control of your life. We're about at a time in our space today. So I'm going to wrap it up for this segment and this time sitting down with you. But I think my closing statement would be after listening to what you just said, that if somebody is listening, they find themselves in a situation where you feel like the carpet just got ripped out from beneath your feet and the floor disappeared and you're falling through space. Go ahead and feel it. It's okay to feel it. It sucks, right? And just own it. Like feel it completely, but don't let it destroy you. You got to feel it. You got to know what that feeling is like because that feeling can make you stronger than before. Yeah. The pain in those moments will make you stronger on the other side of it. So go ahead and just let it be what it is, but don't let it define you. That's what I think when bad things happen is it's okay to feel bad about it. It's okay to feel the pain, but recover and let those calluses build and you'll be tougher on the other side. Yeah. Mike, you got anything for us? No, historian, it is what it is and it can truly inspire somebody. And some people may go like that and it will completely break them and that's their life. That's it. And there are some people who like, suck it up going back at it, give it my all and hate roller day. It's awesome. Like I said, I was in Iraq told me and it's just like it's amazing. It's an awesome story. Yeah, that is. Thank you for sharing. I mean, I'm sure everyone who hears that is going to appreciate that. I think I'll leave here today thinking about it and apply the lessons that are there to life in general. So to everyone out there, thank you for listening to another episode of the Scuttle bust show. I hope this one really knocked your socks off. It did mine. Thank you to Diego yalday from the, your new company, the Trident approach. Congratulations on the business that you have going. Thank you. And the classes that you've done so far and the ones that are up that are coming up. I really hope that I get the chance to come check out one of your apps here in San Diego when you're going down. Yeah, we got some coming up next month. Awesome. Happy. Come out. And Mike, thank you for sitting down with us today. Always. Yeah, always is true, right? You've been on the show a few times now and I really appreciate that. And Congratulations on all your businesses as well. Appreciate it. Like I said to everyone listening take these words and learn from them and grow and create your own story after your service is over and be successful and continue to win you.

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