High Speed Low Drag Podcast 10: Chad Grills Entrepreneur and Author of “Future Proof”.

chad-grills-entrepreneur-business-imageChad Grills is an army infantry veteran, entrepreneur and the author of “Future Proof”.

He is currently finishing his second book entitled “Veterans, Don’t Reintegrate, Rebuild America”.

He also just launched collegeornot.org and serves on the board of directors at the non-profit Higher Hour Heroes.

Click here to listen to the Stitcher version of the HSLD podcast featuring Chad Grills


Click here to listen to the iTunes version of the HSLD podcast featuring Chad Grills

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

Chad: I joined the army infantry in 2006 and I deployed to Iraq and Egypt. I left the army in 2012 with the intent to get into entrepreneurship, specifically technology and I’ve never looked back.

I’ve built several different products. I’ve failed and have gotten my butt kicked but have also made a little bit of money along the way.

Now I’m in a space that  I really love which is helping veterans and everyone make better educational choices.

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

Chad: The best success quote that I’ve applied and reflect on pretty often is from the definition of modern stoicism and is by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It goes

 Transform fear into prudence; pain into information; mistakes into initiation and desire into undertaking.

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.

Chad: That moment for me would be 2007 when I just joined the military. I had just gotten out of basic training and army infantry school and I was prepared to go back to college because I wasn’t challenged by it anymore. I was all ready to go back to school and do ROTC.

Two weeks after I left I got word that my unit would be deploying to Iraq. I had to make the decision to either do ROTC and be exempted from deployment or go to Iraq as an enlisted guy.

At that point in time I had already decided that the military wasn’t going to be a career for me so I chose to deploy.

That was one of the most pivotal moments in my life. It is a decision I’m very glad I made because it allowed me to make the best of the time I had left in the military.

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

 Chad: I got out of the military in 2012 and I was building a technology business with no real prior experience so that was very challenging.

I also felt that around me no one was really embarking on those challenges and taking personal risks to make it better. So dealing with all of that and trying to change it was a challenge for me.

HSLD: What would you want to tell that person who was transitioning out?

Chad: Focus on all of the things that you can control and really try to filter out any negative input from the news or toxic people. Be less fearful of getting a loan, working out and spending time with your loved ones. These are the healthiest moments to rebuild.

Chad-Grills-military-imageHSLD: Talk about your first civilian gig. What did you do?

Chad: I started to work for a hedge fund after I got out of Iraq. That was how I got my feet wet in finance and quickly realized that I didn’t have the stomach or the interest for it.

HSLD: Tell us about an AHA moment that you’ve had at some point in your civilian journey.

Chad: My AHA moment was when I started to write my first book. I really had to put everything aside and focus.

My wife took over all of the app stuff and CTO responsibilities while I focused 100% on the book. My AHA moment was that nobody else was going to write this book except me.

HSLD: What is the one lesson that you want to share?

Chad: Do not underestimate yourself and not even show up. You have no idea how much outside support you may get because the project that you’re doing may resonate with someone else, an individual or a company.

As humans, we may not be as creative and recognize the many opportunities that we could have if we only just put yourself out there. Let yourself be judged because amazing things may happen.

HSLD: What’s the one thing that has you fired up more than anything else right now?

veterams-rebuild-AmericaChad: Writing my book. I’ve managed to keep my daily number of words pretty high even while on my honeymoon. I also find working with my editor a blast.

Chad’s Lighting Round Answers

 What is the most difficult adjustment you had to make to the civilian world? Breaking down my defensiveness and being content to be called foolish.

  • What is the best business advice that you can pass along to people that are making their transition now? The difference between the wise and those we consider foolish is when the wise encounter a topic that they are ignorant about, the just realize that that is a stepping stone on the path to wisdom. The foolish however view that sign of ignorance as a sign to stop.
  • What is one of your habits that you believe contribute to your success? Reading. It’s the best thing to calm your mind and distill wisdom
  • What is the biggest generalization that you had to overcome in the civilian world? That all veterans have something wrong with them.
  • If you can recommend one book what would it be? Anti-fragile.
  • If you woke up tomorrow and it was the day after you transitioned. You have all the experience and knowledge that you currently have. What would you do in the next 7 days?  Do nothing, work out, get healthy and take a second to hit the pause button after leaving a high pressure situation.

Click here to listen to the Stitcher version of the HSLD podcast featuring Chad Grills

Click here to listen to the iTunes version of the HSLD podcast featuring Chad Grills