Byron Chen Founder of Successvets.com | High Speed Low Drag Podcast

Byron ChenByron Chen is the founder of Successvets.com – a resource blog and podcast for veterans. His goal is to provide the best advice, insight and inspiration when it comes to transitioning, building a great career and having a fulfilling life after the military.

HSLD: Besides the little background that weíve give about you, could you tell us a little more about yourself?

Byron: Successvets.com is something I built after I left the Marine Corps as I found the transition to be very hard. I knew there had to be a better way to do it.

Succesvers.com became my blog and podcast, itís where I interview veterans , learn about their journeys and pass along the lessons from their transition.

Through that Iíve helped veterans land jobs, negotiate their starting salaries and take the next step in their career or business so itís been an awesome ride.

 

Click here to listen†Byron Chen HSLD Podcast on Stitcher.

Click here to listen Byron Chen HSLD Podcast on iTunes.

 

HSLD: Letís start with your success quote. What is it?

Byron: This is from Steven Pressfieldís War of Art. He says:

Never forget this very moment can change our lives. There never was a moment and never will be when we are without the power to alter our destiny.

I chose this quote because I started this journey years ago and always wanted to build a business but could not do it. I always stopped when it got too hard or when the money didnít come in and I would always say I was comfortable where I was.

One day I sat down and thought ďWhy am I doing all of these things that I donít really care about?Ē. I realized it was because it is so much easier to do things that you donít care about.

When you make the choice to spend time on the things that you truly care about, you know that they are going to be hard as there is that resistance.

I knew nothing about writing blog posts and podcasting but last year I vowed to dedicate myself to it because it is something that ensures the survival of my authentic self.

I decided to take control and do something that I really care about.

 

HSLD: Letís 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.

Byron: I come from a hometown where no one joins the military but I knew that service to others was important to me. I wasnít sure if I could do it as I was kind of goofy but decided to anyway.

I graduated from the United States Naval Academy and then I was commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps.

I went through the 6 years and Iím glad I didnít back down from something that was important to me because I was worried that I wasnít the ďrightĒ person for it.

When I was making the transition into the civilian world, I kind of forgot all of that- that I had that in me.

I started feeling I wasnít ready for it (the civilian world). When I took a step back and talked to my mentors they told me I had all the skills that I needed. I just needed to change my mindset and really go for it.

That was when I really started to find success in transition.

 

HSLD: Letís focus on your transition out and the failures, challenges and lessons you got from it.

Byron: The biggest struggle was trying to get a job after I left. My first initial interviews were not very successful and I didnít understand why.

I realized that it was because I was doubting myself.

The way I learned to communicate my value effectively was I learned from successful veterans that I reached out to.

I realized that if I knew how much value I was bringing and what I could bring to the table then my mindset with job interviews changed and I slowly gained success.

 

Success vetsHSLD: Tell us about your AHA moment.

Byron: I was conversing with a couple of other veterans about our journey. We were talking about how hard it was for us to do this but didnít really understand why.

What we realized was that there wasnít really a good resource to bounce all these ideas off one another- because veterans want to learn from veterans.

When I was talking to one of my buddies, he mentioned there was a thing called podcasting out there.

That was my big AHA moment combined with seeing you in San Diego teaching people about podcasting. It was just perfect timing.

 

 

HSLD: What has you fired up right now?

Byron: Meeting with veterans and helping them figure stuff out. That is the flame that keeps me going.

Whatís exciting me about Successvets.com is that I am starting to connect with businesses that allows me to help more veterans and do it on a larger scale.

 

HSLD: How does your military experience help you in your current role?

Byron: The military network is one of the strongest in the world. Iíve never had trouble connecting with the military. And so I always reach out to that network and developing it so that they can help me and I can help them.

 

HSLD: How has your military experience hurt you in your current role?

Byron: I would say that one thing that has hurt me is that I apply a standard from the military with the people that I meet and work with.

I have to take a different leadership way because not everyone is used to that.

 

Byronís Lighting Round Answers

  • What is the most difficult adjustment you had to make to the civilian world? Finding people you can trust.
  • What is the best business advice that you can pass along to people that are making their transition now? You have to build the habits to become a successful entrepreneur.
  • What is one of your habits that you believe contribute to your success? The Pomodoro technique- I work for 25 minutes at a time, take a 5-minute break in between and after four rounds of that take a longer break.
  • What is the biggest generalization of being a veteran that you had to overcome? My value is based on my certification or position.
  • If you can recommend one book what would it be? Steven Pressfieldís Turning Pro.
  • Give us one parting piece of guidance and Whatís the best way that we can find you? The secret to business is committing and adapting to the journey and having the perseverance to continue and succeed. To reach me, you can try successvets@gmail.com or on twitter at @successvets.

Click here to listen to Byron Chen HSLD Podcast on Stitcher.

Click here to listen†Byron Chen HSLD Podcast on iTunes.