Founder Story- Antonio Centeno : High Speed Low Drag Podcast #3

12844062114_d94a99096d_kThe last podcast that we did, featured one of the founders of High Speed Low Drag- John Lee Dumas.

However John isn’t the sole founder. He founded HSLD with two other individuals.

We thought it was only fair to bring you the second founder’s story- that of Antonio Centeno’s.

Read up on this guy’s experiences, inspirations, and amazing business.

Antonio Centeno is the founder of and He has created over a thousand articles and videos on men’s style.

He also blogs over at Art of Manliness and is the creator of the internet’s best style course for professionals – A Man’s Guide to Style.

Click here to listen to Antonio Centeno’s interview on iTunes

Click here to listen to Antonio Centeno’s interview on Stitcher

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

Antonio: I grew up in Odessa midland Texas in a small town called Greenwood. It was what many would consider a manly area.

I then went to college in Iowa and happened to run into a Marine Corps recruiter one day. My father had served in the army and my brother had also enlisted in the Marine Corps.

My grandfather as well as my cousins had also served so I feel like it was a natural step for me to join the army as well.

I did it for patriotic reasons as I felt I was obligated as a citizen of the country to join. I ended up becoming an officer of the marines and spent five years in the Marine Corps.

I was in the third battalion in the marines for most of my time and spent some time in Iraq. We went to different parts of Iraq including Nasiriya and Baghdad in 2003.

After my five years I left the marine corps and spent a couple of years trying to figure everything out. I lived with my then-fiancé and now wife over in Ukraine. I was there for the Orange Revolution in 2004.

I then came back to the states and ended up going to business school in the University of Texas. I got my MBA and went off and found a company that wanted to hire me as a CFO. They promptly fired me and then I decided that it was a great time to start my own company.

I started A Tailored Suit and within a couple of years transitioned  and pivoted that into my second company which is Real Men Real Style which is what I currently run. I still own A Tailored Suit which is a custom clothier but I would say that my big thing and the one thing I’ve learned is to put your money where your winners are and that’s what we’ve done with Real Men Real Style where I am able to scale up and teach men using military history and science.

I teach them why style matters and help them get what they want out of life. We create informational courses that can be taken anywhere in the world, have four books on Amazon and have a very successful Youtube channel with almost 11 million views and 200,000 subscribers. I never would have believed that people would pay me to learn how to dress better but they do.

HSLD: What is your personal success quote?

Antonio: This is quite a long quote but it is the one by Teddy Roosevelt.

“ It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…”.

Basically, that quote is telling you to get down there and take action. Some of the scariest moments for me in the marine corps were doing things that I didn’t want to do. When you put yourself out there then you really learn about who you are.

I really think that for many veterans who leave the service we tend to forget about that and we settle. We get comfortable. Let’s get back there. Let’s get hungry and let’s get raw.

12842351935_df3a6d378e_oHSLD: Let’s focus on your military journey. Talk to us about your most pivotal moment in the military.

Antonio: I would have to say it was when I transitioned from the wing and I went to the infantry.

I blew my sinuses when I was in the T34 and I went from being a student naval aviator in Corpus Christi Texas to getting sent out to third battalion first marines out in California.

There was a huge transition from being a student pilot to suddenly having a platoon of young chargers who are looking for guidance but at the same time were alpha males.

If I didn’t have a great executive officer at the very beginning who took me under his wing then I would have failed miserably.

It took me a while to figure out just how much of an influence he was to me but I really grew up a lot in that first year. I went into a unit that had unfortunately had the previous officer screw up. I had to take on marines who had kind of lost trust with the officer who had left them. I had to rebuild that trust but I didn’t really know what I was doing.

For me that was my most pivotal point in my military experience. I became a servant leader and by the time I left I knew that the guys respected me. When I would ask them to do something it was not because I was too lazy to do it but because I did not have the ability to do it myself.

HSLD: Can you share one takeaway that you really want others to absorb from that period in your life?

Antonio: It’s simply to put yourself in a position where you have to be uncomfortable. I put myself in the position where I was going to have to sink or swim. Majority of the time you will find that you are actually going to swim.

HSLD: Take us to your transition and share with us the challenges you faced and the lessons you learned.

Antonio: I always knew that I wasn’t going to spend my entire career in the military. I knew that I wanted to do other things. When I was transitioning I always asked what skills I was picking up in the military that I could use outside of it.

I considered going to the FBI or law school but I didn’t really know what I was going to do afterwards.

By the summer of 2003 I flew back to the United States from Iraq and knew I would be on total leave in thirty days. I had to do this class of transition assistance but I really felt as if it gave me no help in getting out.

I already had some idea of what I was going to do. I had some money saved, about $20,000 in the bank and I decided to go and live with my girlfriend in Ukraine and figure things out over there.

HSLD: Can you tell us about a powerful AHA moment that you may have had at some point in your civilian career? What steps have you taken after that moment to turn your life into a success?

Antonio: There were a couple of points but the one I focused on was when I discovered the power of the Internet. When I was over in Ukraine I was looking for ways to keep myself busy.

I volunteered for a buddy who was running a non-profit called Adopt an Angel, which basically involved going all over orphanage’s all over Ukraine and then finding connections all over the world for people who were willing to support these orphans by sending clothes, medicine and toys.

I had always felt that I had to be doing something for a higher purpose but the AHA moment that I experienced was when we created a website for that non-profit. We used imagery and photography to get the message on our website.

It amazed me to see people from other countries like the United States and Spain donate all this money because of the images that we were putting up. That really opened my eyes to what I could do on the internet.

13293735084_ef24a01a53_zHSLD: What is the one thing that gets you most fired up right now?

Antonio: I really don’t make a big deal about it but if you check the testimonial page on you will find hundreds and hundreds of testimonials.

People write me and thank me everyday for transforming their lives because I helped them focus on one thing that led them to good habits.

These are called gateway changes and some examples are dressing better and exercising. Whenever someone loses their path in life I am very proud to say that we have found a way to help them find their way back.

In a small way I am very proud that we have been able to find a small niche into really helping so many men around the world to be better fathers, husbands and co-workers.

When you know that you can be doing something that is helping others lead better lives, there are really fewer things in the world that can be better than that!

Antonio’s answers to the lighting round:

  •      What was the most difficult adjustment that you had to make in the civilian world? It was the fact that when you would ask people to do something they would say yes but actually not do it.
  •      What business advice would you pass along to those making the transition right now? Get started. The sooner you can get going, the better. Start taking action TODAY.
  •      What is one of your habits that contribute to your success? Getting up early and not being afraid to put in the work early.
  •      What is one of the biggest generalizations that you had to overcome as a civilian? To accept the compliment of being in the service. To be honest, I don’t really need to be thanked because I loved my time in the marine corps.
  •      What book would you recommend to High Speed Nation? Any book by Chip or Dan Heath. Examples are Made to Sticky and Switch. These books help you develop the right habits.
  •      If you woke up tomorrow and it was the first day that you transitioned and you still have all of the knowledge and experience that you have, what would you do in the next seven days? I would get started and start making connections. I would make friendships.
  •      Can you give High Speed Nation one parting piece of guidance? Also, tell us where we can find you? You need to know your why. It’s going to be a tough road so you really need to know why you’re doing something. If anyone wants to reach out to me you can go to Real Men Real Style and find my contact page.

Click here to listen to Antonio Centeno’s interview on iTunes

Click here to listen to Antonio Centeno’s interview on Stitcher