Bill Nowicki | Veteran’s Podcast Network Coach | High Speed Low Drag Podcast

Bill-1024x682Bill was a stuck 50-something engineer working in the commercial nuclear power industry. He decided to find his voice through podcasting by interviewing fellow submarine veterans.

Now Bill helps others tell their story and find their voice through coaching in a veteran’s podcast network.

HSLD: Besides the little background that we’ve given about you, could you tell us a little more about yourself?

Bill: I grew up in a large family in New Jersey and was the middle child. Education wasn’t that important to me so I ended up working at Friendly’s.

After that I ended up in the military and then in the commercial nuclear industry.

I then started to help transitioning veterans by creating a book highlighting 6 common mistakes that they make. This is what really excites me at the moment-helping vets transition.

Click here to listen to Bill Nowicki’s HSLD Podcast on Stitcher

Click here to listen to Bill Nowicki’s HSLD Podcast on Itunes

HSLD: Let’s start with your success quote. What is it?

Bill: I chose Bruce Springsteen’s song “Badlands”. In it there’s a line that goes:

Honey I want the heart, I want the soul, I want control right now.

Talk about a dream, try to make it real.

You wake up in the night with a fear so real.

You spend your life waiting for a moment that just don’t come.

Well, don’t waste your time waiting

I love this quote because when I was in the navy I was in the nuclear power program and part of that program involved operating a plant.

We worked 12 hours shifts in extremely cold condition in a plant in New York. Every time I needed to make the drive there I would pop my Bruce Springsteen tape.

This song was always a great motivator because when you were in that line of work, there was always a risk that you could do something wrong and something bad would happen.

That song just busted through my doubts and I was able to start transforming my life through that song.


HSLD: Let’s focus on your military experience. Tell us a story of your most pivotal moment in the US army and share with us some of the lessons you learned.

Bill: That happened early on. I was an ice cream scooper at Friendly’s and the wouldn’t even let me work the grill.

I decided to check out the military. I filled out some forms and the next thing I knew I had signed up for 6 years in the navy nuclear power program.

I ended up on a fast attack submarine at the height of the cold war and it was a transformative experience. It helped me realize that my life was going to be more than I envisioned.

The military really gave me that feeling that I had something more in between my ears than what I previously thought.

I was proud to serve and I realized that I could also transform my life through it.


Bill NowickiHSLD: Let’s focus on your transition out and the failures, challenges and lessons you got from it.

Bill: When I got out I went to college at Virginia tech. I had many plans, money and knew where I wanted to go.

Within 9 months though I was out of that money and my wife and I were really struggling.

When I got near graduation I was ready to interview. I had really good grades but I missed the opportunity to impress these great companies because my interviewing skills were poor.


HSLD: Bill, can you quickly just share one tip that you have about interviewing?

Bill: Come in the interview with the thought of you will be trying to solve that person’s problems.

As much as you can, try to talk to people at the company and find out what some of the issues are. Try to come up with solutions to these issues and present them when you come in for the interview.

Start removing barriers to them not hiring you so when they’re done with you, you’re pretty much a shoo in.


HSLD: Tell us about your AHA moment.

Submarine-Sea-Stories-LogoBill: two and a half years ago I moved to Atlanta and took on a new job. Before that I was a manager with 67 people working for me.

My new job was more of individualized work and I realized that what I really missed was interacting with people as a manager.

What I did was I got a coach and we sat down and really went through my personality. When we went through the exercise he started teasing out things about myself that I didn’t even realize.

He asked me to talk about my perfect day and I said that it involved being on a sailboat, feeling the sun on my neck and all that good stuff.

Up until this point I described myself as an extrovert but the coach pointed out that in my perfect day scenario I was acting like an introvert.

What I learned was that I really want to help people. I love interacting through media. I love telling stories.

When I started putting everything together I immediately decided that I was going to do my own podcast.

That was when I created Submarine Sea Stories which has really been such a blessing for me and has given me so many opportunities.


Bill’s Lighting Round Answers

  • What is one of your habits that you believe contribute to your success? Being generous.
  • What is the best business advice that you can pass along to people that are making their transition now? Get started early. Start making connections, asking for help and getting a support structure together.
  • What is the most difficult adjustment you had to make to the civilian world? Changing my mindset and how I approach things.
  • What is the biggest generalization of being a veteran that you had to overcome? A lot of folks think that we’re rigid and need a lot of direction.
  • If you can recommend one book what would it be? Chris Brogan’s The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth
  • If you woke up tomorrow and it was the day after you transitioned and you still have all of the knowledge that you had now, what would you do in the next 7 days? That’s a great lead-in to my book. I would start creating the network about me- getting to know people, helping them out, start leveraging who I know, learning interview skills.
  • Give us one parting piece of guidance and What’s the best way that we can find you? Go to, download my free book and we can go from there. I love helping people and I would love to help some of these listeners!


Click here to listen to Bill Nowicki’s HSLD Podcast on Stitcher

Click here to listen to Bill Nowicki’s HSLD Podcast on Itunes