November 30, 2022

How to Network the Right Way, Keys to Marketing with Milo Speranzo, Senior Director of Marketing North America at Dell - Ep. 73

Networking The Right Way, Keys To Marketing, And Career Tips!

Here's How To Grow Your Network 100x And Learn About Marketing!

Today, we have Milo Speranzo, Dell’s Senior Director of Marketing to talk about how to grow your network effectively, excel in your career, and the ins and outs of marketing.

Milo Speranzo is the Sr. Director of North America marketing for Dell Technologies. In this role, Speranzo is responsible for driving the vision, strategy, and execution of all marketing functions for Dell Technologies’ Public, Channel, and Specialty Sales teams. Previously at Dell Milo held the role of Sr. Director of US Public Sector marketing and Director of North America Federal marketing.

Speranzo has more than 20 years of experience in leading, consulting, maintaining compliance, developing best practices, and managing procurement operations for IT manufacturers and system integrators both in the commercial and public sectors. In his previous role, Speranzo served as Sr. Director of strategy and compliance for Tech Data. Leading up to that position, he was the owner and president of Split Rock Inc., a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned company, where he was responsible for providing a broad array of business development consulting services to some of the largest IT manufacturers and systems integrators in the world.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Speranzo served in the U.S. Air Force and as a Department of Defense (DoD) civilian as chief of command and control. He was awarded the Air Force Command and Control Noncommissioned officer of the year in 2006 and 2007. He assumed full responsibility for coordinating classified communication dissemination, and regional response, along with national incident and threat monitoring, and was also charged with maintaining constant visibility and current status of all assigned deployed personnel and assets deployed to disasters and war zones that were assigned to his team while stateside. He was deployed over 40 times, five of those times to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and the Global War on Terrorism. During deployment cycles, he was awarded numerous medals including the Air Force Meritorious Service and Commendation Medal with valor in combat insignia.

In this episode, we talk about:

- How to grow your network a hundredfold and why going to a networking event isn’t the way to do it
- The importance of KPIs, metrics, customer personas, and other marketing tips
- Why you should do something for a couple of years that you don’t want to do career-wise

Ryan and Milo also talk about how colleges prey on ex-military people, and some tips for people who are getting out of the military.

Enjoy the episode!

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Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha folks and welcome back to Degree Free. I am super excited today to have our guests, Milo Speranzo on with us.

Milo, thank you so much for taking the time.

Milo: Oh, of course Ryan. Thank you. I first became aware of the podcast via just chance on TikTok of all places and then I listen to a couple here over the past month or so. I think what you're doing, you and Hannah, it is invaluable. So I absolutely love It.

And it's something that not only I believe in, I, I've preached a bit to some of my veteran counterparts over the past, it's 15 years now or so.

Ryan: Amazing. And thank you for those kind words, but you know what's so funny? Like, You talk about being aware of our podcast from TikTok. Yeah.

TikTok is literally, has been the best networking "network". Everybody talking about building their network and everything like that. It has been the best networking tool that Hannah or myself have ever had and I kind of tell this story. There's this one time that I went to a networking event and I said, I'll never go back.

And it's like I'll never go back. Like

Milo: I've done that.

I've done that.

Ryan: Yes. Yeah. Like maybe to like a conference. Okay. You know, and then where you network at a conference where like people are speaking about things that are relevant, like to a podcasting conference for one. Like, you know, I'm a professional podcaster, this is what I do.

Maybe, you know, I'll learn something but I went to this one networking event, like strictly networking and I was a young entrepreneur, so was Hannah. We were running a tattoo business at the time, and we don't really talk about this much on this podcast, which is interesting. We were running like a very specialized tattoo business and we didn't have any entrepreneur friends.

And we were about a year into it and we go there and we show up and everybody is just focused on how they can get something out of the other person.

Milo: A hundred percent.

Ryan: Right. You know.

Mainly we were there just so that we could meet friends. Like, mainly so that we could, like, you know, we were working a hundred hour weeks and we were like, God, I don't have anybody in my life that's like this.

And, but anyway, everybody there was like a digital marketer and they all, like, everybody except for Hannah and myself, were like doing digital marketing agencies. And so Hannah and I were the only people that were doing something that wasn't digital marketing and so they just, you know, latched on like sharks.

Milo: No, I so I, early on, I, and the good news is, I don't know, maybe the, your listeners will find value in this, but, I have made so many bad decisions. It's been great though for me. It has been like one dumb thing after another, after another for like five years. And I learned so much through that that one, hopefully, you know, the listeners can take something from that.

But two, I started with those networking events too, and it was, professionals or this or that, whatever it was. I went out and tried to build a network. It caused more churn, frankly. I mean, and I'm sure there are some out there that are absolutely amazing and somebody's cracked the code and it's like, you go to this conference and you're gonna, you'll, take whatever you're doing specifically to the next level.

But for me, I went to build relationships and the only relationships that I could build were ones that were artificial. People were trying to sell me services. They were trying to it was like poachers almost. It felt really like, Oh, there's people here selling to me, Hey, come and do this. Come and, come and join this program, get this certification, join this network, which is like a paid network to meet all of the local in your geo.

So I've had the, I've had a very similar experience and I could say that, that's one area. And like I said, not to be general, I hate generalizing things, but I look back through my LinkedIn connections here occasionally, I don't have anyone in there from the networking event days, everybody has been grown fairly organically and through other methods.

Ryan: Absolutely.

And we talk about it like, my network has grown much more. One, by doing two things. One, doing something in public, and that's gonna be like whether with my tattoo studio or this podcast, right? Like doing something in public where I'm making it aware to other people that this is what I'm doing.

And then the second is providing value to other people. Right? And it could be something as simple as like, you and I like value is you and I align on something where we think that people do not necessarily need college degrees to have a successful career and to, quote-unquote make it, success is such a difficult word because it means so many things to different people.

Milo: Yeah, absolutely.

Ryan: You don't need that. And so it could just be providing a platform for like-minded people to come on and just kind of express, your stories and stuff like that. It could be as simple as that.

Milo: I can't agree with you more. I kind of, I didn't brand this. I'm a marketer at heart, so I currently work for Dell Technologies.

I've been there for, I've been for about five years now. And, it's absolutely wonderful company. We do a lot of, let's call it, they have their own, all companies, they have their own languages, but in marketing, top of the funnel and you and you on the podcast, you talk about marketing a lot.

So, you know, there's this top of the funnel awareness and I preach this to the vets that I work with and having that awareness is the absolute key to building the network. And, it's after. And I think, you know, we could probably take a step back and talk about how to introduce yourself into different environments and, but ever since I was in the Air Force for 14 years and I always, for some reason I just was one of those guys that just liked to build relationships. I just like to, I didn't wanna be bored. It was very self-serving. It was like, I started off as an aircraft mechanic and it was like, alright, well I don't wanna change, you know, an oil filter today.

What can I volunteer for that'll get me out of this work? You know, very self-serving stuff, but lessons learned through that. So, you know, it's, what do you wanna be, do you wanna be the door guard today at the command post? Do you wanna go pick up this dignitary at the airport? Yeah, I'll do that.

I'll do volunteer for one, my value to the organization with just doing these little side roles, incrase more than you could ever. All of a sudden I'm like the go-to for random things. Then I'm the only guy, the one guy retires, and I'm the only guy that knows how to go and, you know, pick up the general in the right manner.

So, , I'm that guy. But from a network perspective, I've always been relationship driven. I've always, certainly engaged the people that, that I work around work with and my near, near network, it didn't explode until I did this, you know, kind of top of funnel awareness, like two inches deep across the broader, whatever that organization is, the company, the military base that the Air Force command, whatever that is.

But I would say in the matter of the first six years was kind of heads down. After that my network increased. I don't even, I can't quantify it, maybe a hundred fold in the following five years after that and then that started like this ball rolling of, wow, you know what? I'm starting to see some things that I really enjoy.

I want to dig deeper into this. Maybe I'll take a side project, maybe I'll do a stretch project, or whatever corporate calls it today. Get a mentoring, get a formal mentor mentee relationship, whatever that is. That awareness piece was so key for me to be successful in any way in, in any form military, personal life even, and then certainly in the corporate world.

Today. It's just been a godsend.

Ryan: I kind of wanted to take a couple steps back and I definitely want to get to actually what you do in your job and all of that. Yeah. But since we're kind of pulling at this thread, I wouldn't mind pulling a little bit more, but just to kinda go back and define some of the terms that we were talking about here for some of the viewers, you know, we were talking about top of funnel awareness and, for most of the people listening to this, they're not marketers and, they don't understand what that is.

Could you explain a little bit about what you mean, especially when it means from a personal brand perspective or like, a new agey word but you know what I mean?

Milo: Yeah. No, no, no. Absolutely.

So, I mean, there's, and in marketing it's gonna be different than a personal kind of brand piece.

That marketing top of the funnel is, where you start, it's broad communication, it's email blast, it's whatever and then you work your customers down the funnel into a more one to one relationship to sell X or Y Or there's transactional buyers that buy at the top of the funnel. Lots of things.

Personal, brand wise, I consider top of the funnel, the initial relationship building. They say you're better off being, and this isn't like the jack of trades, master of none, but it's the two inches deep in a very broad subject set is what you're trying to do with your network.

You wanna build the numbers, the quantity top of the funnel, and then from the top of the funnel, you have, let's say, you build 15 new relationships and that might, and that'll be targeted. So, you know, maybe you are really interested in marketing. So you build these 15 relationships with people that are some sort of marketing, whatever it is, like a PR person here, a communications person, an advertise, somebody that knows Google ads.

You know, and that's their specialty, whatever that is. And then from there you really wanna start to work your way down the funnel from a relationship and a career perspective. What are you really interested in? Is it the comms portion? Is it the pr, is it the public relations? What is it? But that first layer, that pool, that network top of funnel network, is so important from a success matrix as you start to work down that funnel.

So that was probably a convoluted way to describe it. I apologize but it's that first level.

Ryan: I completely agree with you and one of the interesting things is the broader that you, you make that, the better chances, and I guess this sounds bad because it's all about what you're getting outta your network.

But you know, let's just be selfish for a second and think about what you would get outta your network and with, if you are to make it broad in all of these different fields and different industries, especially professionally, one of the things that's well known is that you don't get jobs and work from your first degree connections course.

You get them from your second degree connections. So now that you and I are a first degree connection, maybe somebody that is gonna refer me to a job or something like that. And that is huge when you think of it like that because if you can make a lot of first degree connections, then you've exponentially increased the amount of people that statistically will get you your next job.

Yeah. Yeah. If that makes any sense.

Milo: Oh yeah. Oh my God. Yeah. it's, I mean, that, the quality and quantity of those top of funnel connections really lends itself to so much goodness as you go forward and depending on, and you said you know not to be kind of self-serving. What can you get out of if you're doing this right, your connections will garner as much value out of you as you do them. So I have a lot of folks that go in and they feel that way. They feel like, oh, I'm just trying to, feel weird, I feel sleazy. I'm trying to like, no you're not. Listen, they're gonna ask you for something. They're gonna use your second degree connections.

They're gonna find value in, we're all very unique, not just people, but our journeys are unique and tattoos, we talked about tattoo shops earlier. I know some great tattoo artists here in Pittsburgh, and that has zero to do with what we're talking about but if you ever, you know, that's a second degree connection and they're gonna find the value.

Your network, even the top of the funnel network that you have is gonna find value in you. So you're in there providing a service and you also gotta pull that value out of them as well. So never , never think of it as, as it's a very symbiotic relationship in my opinion.

Ryan: Definitely. Yeah. And I'm glad that we kind of started there because one of the most commented or email inbound that we get is like, you guys keep talking about how 40 to 80% of jobs are filled in formally, like through your network. How do I build my network? It's like one of the, it's one of the biggest questions that we get, and it's honestly one of the hardest ones to answer because it can't be difficult.

It can be difficult.

Milo: Oh, , and I think it's, you know, and that percentage, I can't agree more, and I think it probably leans more towards the 80% is filled, but it's also filled, when you talk about that, it's different levels of, so a lot of those roles are filled it's the network, it's the who you know, but it's when you're already inside of the organization.

So, for instance, at Dell you have to have an IDP, like an individual development plan, and people look at it, you build a network off of it. It's a tool that you use and they're proud. We, we are proud that, you know, a lot of the positions we have open are really, I don't wanna say predetermined cuz they're not, there's a rigorous, obviously interview process and everything else.

But that manager knows that if there's somebody in an adjacent organization or outside that they have an interest in this, they know because of this individual development point. So, you know, that's, I do believe that percentage and I think there's a way to get from point A to where you wanna be.

And even if it's kind of a, let's call it a, not a straight line and I would say most of the time, especially for the veterans, That I work with, it is hardly ever a straight line from this is what I figured out. I really wanted to be all right, go do this completely different thing in an organization where you can build that network and make your way to your dream job in a lot of cases.

And it works and it really does work but at the beginning stages, it's top of the funnel. How you get in, who you know, there's also some tactics, digital certifications, and I think you mentioned it in maybe one of your past podcasts, and I've never branded it this way, but, it's like looking for a job backwards.

I think you've said that is, I've never called it that, so I'm gonna steal that if you don't mind. Yeah, absolutely. That's where we start. That's where we start in many many cases and we look at their goals, we look at the veteran's goals or non-veteran, it's the same for both. And then how do we get them into, Maybe the field they want.

Is it medical? Are they into healthcare? Are they into tech? Are they in, you know, go through the list. And then how do we build their network and also give them that, maybe that digital cert that they need that they're already looking for. They already have 10,000 Salesforce licenses, so we wanna get you an inside sales, go get a Salesforce cert, come back, you're a no-brainer.

And then when you're an inside sales, which is a great entry point, look at the marketing, build some relationships, do some stretch projects with the marketing team, if that's where you end up wanting to be. But it is who you know and that network is infinitely important. You're right.

Ryan: Yeah. And just for those listeners that don't know what we're talking about as far as looking for a job backwards, it's basically just to put it simply, it's basically starting at the end.

And so it's thinking about what job that you want to have and then let's say you want to be a phlebotomist, that's the type of person that, that, you go when you need to get your blood drawn, and she or he draws the blood. You just, you're gonna go and look up phlebotomist on Indeed or your favorite job site and you're gonna look through all the different certifications that they need.

And you're like, oh, I just need a two week course at my local community college and now you go and get that and you go and apply. Okay, maybe it says that two week course wasn't enough after you've gotten that certification, then get the next one that it says, and then go apply to more jobs.

And that's very simply that's what it means just for those listening. Yeah. And Milo, I kind of wanted to backtrack and talk about, you know, you mentioned that you work at Dell Technologies. Would you mind telling us your role there?

Milo: Yeah,

absolutely. So I came into Dell about five years ago and I was through my military public sector background. And this was my start. This was kind of like my in. I took what I had and, the skill sets that I had and that I knew, and I've always wanted to be in marketing, but I started in sales, so I went essentially, from government life to inside sales, government sales, and then from there it was, how do I get into, I always wanted to be marketing.

I'm a big relationship guy. That is marketing. It's building relationships, just not for, you know, not just for yourself and the company, but for your stakeholders. So being able to foster a relationship between this, sales guy or saleswoman who owns a region, and then bringing a potential customer to them in a meaningful way, and that's, it's really rewarding for me.

So I loved marketing and I worked through kind of the IT side of the house in sales and eventually took a job at Dell in their public sector marketing department and from there, all of the tactics I think that we talk about progressed me into a senior director role. So from manager to director to senior director, and I now have North America field marketing responsibilities, so channel and partner.

So it's been widely, my scope has grown significantly over the past four years, but it's exactly what I've wanted. I mean, that is what I want. So I focus on, North America, which includes Canada, you know, obviously, and channel marketing, public sector, vertical marketing, specialty sales, which is our kind of, let's call it specialty routes to market.

So through education and our communities, we have built and marketing directly to them. But, yeah, Dell for five years and yeah, it couldn't be happier. It's a great, it is absolutely a commercial for Dell, but it's a great company. I would tell you it wasn't, I promise.

Ryan: And for those listening, marketing is one of the number one like industries that people wanna get into.

And I'm not really sure. Maybe you can give some insight into that. Maybe.

I think it has to do with like the allure of storytelling and like getting people to take action on something, but not having to like directly at be the person, like get me that money, and being like sales.

But what I wanted to ask though, too, as a follow up to that thought was, it's kind of my job to know what every job is. And what we say here is if you don't know, like the jobs that are out there, how can you get a target for it? So what does your day to day look like?

Milo: Yeah, so it is, so I have a team of, it varies here daily.

The job market is tough, so we're hiring and people are going other roles, but 50 or so marketers and the day to day really includes working in a massively matrixed organization. So Dell is, it's big, it's a hundred thousand employees. It's, every country you can imagine 90 billion plus a year.

And everybody is in pockets and they all do their things. So we have a full stack of IT solutions. So you got, your laptops, then you got your servers, then you got your server, you got all this stuff, and everybody has their own, let's call it, , their own value props, their own messaging, their own, their own decision makers that they have to target.

So you have some, like the laptops that we're going after students, and it's like, buy Dell, this is great. So we work, and then you got servers and storage and it's like, hey, this is the CIO we're looking at, or whomever, one of the engineers. So we spend our days working twofold.

Looking at the, working with the product teams and taking what they have. This server is, this is the new 16 G Edge enabled, blah, blah, blah, product nonsense. Okay, let's make that marketing team, my team. Let's make that not only understandable but intriguing to our potential customers.

So we go, we do a lot of different things. We map personas. Personas is a big one. Like I said, it's the laptops. Even our laptops and the range there. Students, like some of them, the creatives, the people that love the art, they like different ones., Gamers. We have Alienware, the Alienware brand.

They like something totally different, you know, so who is your persona and what do they actually care about? So it's this deep dive from a marketing perspective into different personas and what's gonna make them one, what's of value? You have to bring value. You can't just bring, this is the coolest thing, we're gonna get you so excited.

Here's our jingle, here's our celebrity spokesperson. Buy this. There actually has to be value because those customers have to grow into what brand loyalists and that's the key, that really is the key. So our goal is to make brand loyalists out of all of our potential, let's say customers out there.

And then from a customer set, like I said, it's everything from. I've got students to, Lockheed Martin and these enterprise level massive companies to small businesses just starting up to whomever but we have to figure out a way as marketers to build that great technical messaging into something they understand, they'll see value in, and then we have to deliver it to 'em.

And then when we deliver it to 'em, you have this journey that's, , everybody in marketing talks about the customer journey, from awareness, top of the funnel, all the way to purchase and then post-purchase. What do we do with you afterwards? We can't just be like, ah, good luck. We have an entire post-purchase marketing journey too.

So we look a lot at psychology, which is really fun. We look at, , what are our personas, our potential customers interested in? What do they like, what do they wanna see? Do they. Enjoy meeting with the salesperson or are they intimidated by salespeople? If they are, let's do something virtual. Let's do, there's all these tactical marketing outlets that you can do, and that's what we spend our day doing, looking at the new products, the cool new Dell, the new tech stuff that's out there, what our competitors are doing, and then what we can do to best position our gadgets, our stuff, our services, our whatever in the most relevant, meaningful way to our customers.

That was a long definition. I'm sorry, I kind of went off on a marketing tangent.

Ryan: That is great. That's exactly, that's exactly what I wanted. And my, I'm wondering for you guys at Dell, or even for your personal job Yeah. How much of it is metrics based versus, qualitative.

Milo: Yeah, it's, so, it is, KPIs, the key performance indicators for the team. For everybody listening, acronyms kind of drive me crazy from the military.

You gotta spell 'em out for people but the key performance indicators is you can't go a meeting at Dell without talking about what the KPI is or roi, return on investment or, you know, whatever. Let's call it measuring metric we're going to use for this specific project engagement.

This I, one, this is really good for the veteran community. So the veteran community, not to go back on the vet side, but they come in and four vet. There's some very specific value props that you bring because of what you've done in the past. even no matter what your role is in the military, you come in being able to want attention to detail.

It's recognized immediately inside of, corporate space. You would be shocked at how fast and they'll say it different ways. Wow. I can't believe you caught that. Well, yes, you're right. That, you know that piece. So that attention to detail is immediately recognized and helps a vet, but also the ability to measure success KPIs, that is second nature for a lot of the veterans coming out.

There's success metrics and in marketing for us, you got everything you got margin gearing, how much margin are we making based off of a specific event, but high level pipeline, what leads, how many leads, how many people joined that, joined that webinar that we put on, 150 registered and only 30 people showed up, and of that we only got seven leads.

Ah, okay. Yeah. Not a good one. Another one, 150 people showed up and then you start to, to benchmark, and this is where kind of that tech cert piece of comes in a little bit, but if you're like a power user in Salesforce for instance, and you know how to build the reports and you can track and you use Marketing Cloud Holy Smoke. You are, pick your job wherever you want to go.

I mean, just do those reports, the analytics of it. But yeah, I would say we probably have 20 key metrics that we use depending on the marketing activity with pipeline being a top one, lead generation, demand generation, and and then obviously, revenue and return based off of whatever the activity was.

Ryan: One of the things that I really love about this conversation, I think that I hope that people can get away from is there's a lot of similarities between like marketing for business, whether you're trying to get people to buy your product or marketing when you're trying to get a job. Like, it's the same exact thing and everything that you were saying earlier about, personas and what value you bring and just being able to then, do that analysis, whether it is in an interview or whether it's through your resume or video pitch or whatever it is, you can see, okay, I'm gonna sit across from Ryan today.

I'm gonna sit across from Milo today and you do a little bit of research about what they do, and then you speak, and I'm doing a customer service role and so you speak about how you can bring value to that, customer service role and I think everything that you touched on is really valuable for people to bring in, even if they're not, marketers by trade or not trying to be you.

Milo: Yeah, no. And it's, and I think, you know, and we have a lot of success stories, we. I don't have an organization we, I just consider, it's like the royal we, it's me and you know, everybody that I've worked with, my best friends, it's just everyone but we have a lot of success stories where, let's say.

This goes back to the kind of backwards look into finding a role. They don't know what they want to do necessarily. And we get that a lot because, I was command and control in the Air Force. My first six years was, I was an aircraft mechanic and then I went into command and control and intelligence at the Air Force.

And then when I left, essentially those skills don't translate. There's no, you know, I can't, there's no directing , a medevac operation in downtown Pittsburgh. It's like, okay, you know, I could be, but a lot of friends will go, they'll be public security, they'll be police officers, whatever that may be, which is awesome.

But for me, it didn't translate necessarily into what I enjoyed. And you see that a lot, not just with vet. But with two years into a college degree, and maybe they're not feeling it, or it's like, holy, , it's, or somebody that's been a teacher for 10 years and they're just like, it's time for a career change.

No matter what that is, you have this inflection point where you're about to make, it takes a lot of guts, but you wanna be happy and you wanna make that transition. And we have a lot of our folks look at, not job specific, but industry specific. So we had a young lady who, she wanted to be in the healthcare field.

She wanted to be in something in healthcare. She loved exercise, she did some, she was train her work, all this stuff. We said, all right, well, let's get you there. We looked backwards. We said, okay, this. We looked at the companies that are hiring, and at the time, Peloton was one of them, and they needed a essentially, a programmer type of certification.

It was very entry level. And we got her into a 15 week course that taught like SQL and CSS, whatever the languages where it's basic languages. She got in with that company and with Peloton and has since skyrocketed through the company. I mean, she's, you know, now she's out there presenting on behalf of Peloton.

She's a thought leader in the physiology and exercise space. She was a personnel person inside of the military and then coming out completely different career field but if you have that passion for an industry, You can get into it, and then from there, figure out what your dream job is in the industry.

She doesn't do coding anymore, she's in public relations now. It's the greatest thing that's ever happened. You know, it's just like a fairytale, but sometimes backing just into that one segment. I wanna be in healthcare, I wanna be in medical, I wanna be in public safety. I want whatever it is. Get there, get your foot in the door, and then build that network.

Ryan: Totally, totally. And you know, one I offer, if you don't wanna talk to this person, I would very much like to meet this lady if,

Milo: Yeah. Absolutely. She is wonderful.

Ryan: If we could connect.

Yeah. That would be, that would be fantastic. I would love to hear her story and the second thing is, yeah, you know, I have a friend very similar to this, and I've never talked, I never talked about him.

He's actually a really good friend of mine. He was a marine biologist by major and then he actually did it by trade as well. We were in Hawaii at the time and he was just sick of it. The marine biology doesn't pay a lot and, he wanted to get into tech and so what he did is pretty much the exact same thing.

He kind of found a job backwards, looked at what was the in demand. He took a 16 week bootcamp to learn how to code just the basic languages, exactly what you said. I think it mostly, it was actually mostly just Python and, he ended up getting a job at, Meta while Facebook at the time and he got a job at Facebook and he was like, he was working on the Oculus devices.

He's like, I don't really like this, this isn't really what I wanna do. But, fast forward two, three years later, he's now working at a completely different firm in the tech space as the. Like procurement director, manager. You know, and that's, a lot of people think that like, okay, you, so if I start with the Salesforce like certification, I'm just using Salesforce since we used it already.

If I start with this one cert, then I have to be an admin forever.

Right.

But it's just your foot in the door. It's just that, it's just that transition out of whatever it is that you're doing right now. And then you can, it's much easier to connect the dots once you're in there as you've said.

Milo: Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. And it's, you know, it's the other, I guess, lever that, um, that veterans have to pull is that they're veterans. So there's some, I don't wanna say there's some well earned preferential treatment with, you know, let's say government jobs, for instance, for veterans as well as, uh, state and local jobs.

Uh, you'll get veterans preference if you do wanna be a, a, a public safety officer. Um, also, With government contractors, like the big folks like Lockheed and Booz Allen and General Dynamics and those, those teams. So getting your, and that's the key. It's taking the leap and doing something that might not necessarily be your dream job or the, you know, or even, I hate to say it this way because it never ends up this way.

It never ends up, you know, just do something for a couple years that you don't want to do. But when they do it, they never end up being miserable. Ever. Like ever. I mean, even if it's coding and it's like, oh my God, I can't, you know, go get a, a cybersecurity, you know, 15 week cert and, and, uh, work at a help desk or do whatever.

I know it sounds miserable, maybe, but I bet you it won't be. I bet you you're gonna be excited, then you're gonna start to get excited about the politics of whatever company you're in. And it's not, and I, politics is a bad word for us today. But realistically, you know, whenever you're inside these big matrix orgs, it's, you see all these different divisions and you'll find things and you'll get excited.

Your, your day job will be secondary to you as you go through and figure out what you want your next steps to be. You'll be excited. It's, and not to, you know, and I love the people that, that come in with. Degrees are awesome. I'm not being disparaging to them at all, but they go through this same thing as well, because I would say that, you know, even our vets with degrees, 90% of them, I mean, that's an, that's obviously an informal study of, of my network.

But, uh, they're doing something completely outside of whatever degree that they, you know, that they attained. So it is taking that leap, being confident in yourself, knowing there's an end goal. And, and, and then building that network and going after it. It's, it really does work. Degree free. It does work.

Yeah. Thanks. Uh, absolutely. One of the things that I, I'm just giddy right now because you said do something for a couple of years that you don't wanna do, you know, and it's like, that is so refreshing because. In, and, and I'm even guilty of this myself sometimes be like, you know, oh, do the things that you wanna love.

Like that's do things that you love, right? Like, that's what you hear. Do things that you love and you'll never work a day in your life. It's like, alright, one, I, I think that that can be true. Uh, definitely. But I think for the majority of people out there, especially the ones that are listening to this podcast, it's like doing the things that I love aren't gonna pay the bills, right.

This set. No, totally right. Like, uh, I might love to do this podcast, right? But like, if it's not paying the bills, like, you know, I gotta go get a job, right? And so, Uh, it's useful to a point. I think it's very useful if you're thinking about, like, from an entrepreneur's standpoint, I think like yeah. For entrepreneurs, you're gonna have, most people are gonna work, you know, 60 to a hundred hours a week, seven days a week for five years, and it's probably gonna fail.

You know what I mean? Yeah. Like, and so if you're gonna go that route, which a lot of degree free people do, like okay, then you probably wanna at least enjoy the work, you know? Or at least not hate it that much. Yeah. But if you're just, if you're gonna go and take the career path, which is what most people do.

Yeah. Suck it up. And like, well, a common one that we hear is, I have no soft skills. I have zero soft skills. I don't know how to talk to people. I don't wanna talk to people. What's a job that I can do? And it's just like, easy, easy. What is it? What is it?

Let's, I mean, there are. Infinite jobs that don't require soft skills these days, especially in the remote workforce.

And I understand that. I mean, we deal with them constantly and it's, you know, and it does get into that IT space. There's a lot of those, it, uh, technical roles. I mean there's even there, there are logistics roles. So, you know, when we look at supply. And logistics and, you know, let's call it maybe the operations side of the house.

I, you can look at, um, you know, we have a great, I have a, I have a guy now he's at ups. He's, uh, he's doing logistics. He's, he wants to eventually be a supply chain. He wants to go into the supply chain side. I don't wanna say he doesn't have soft skills, but he doesn't wanna, he, he's not keen on exercising Scott soft skills.

He is very, he's very analytical person. He loves to do research on things like that's his deal. And, you know, so he wants, so we said, all right. Let's get you at a loading dock at ups and we're gonna start you there. And then we're gonna show you how to build your network and get you over into the supply chain operations, logistics side of the house where you're gonna be, right where you want.

He's, I mean, he started, he's a young guy, so he started that at 22. He's now 24. He's supervising at the loading dock. He's making 55,000, bought a little starter house. He's got a line of sight into the exact division he wants to be in. It might take him a couple more years, but he is gonna be in that, you know, uh, non soft skill needed role.

you know, any, any month now. And he thought he was gonna hate throat. He, he, he doesn't, he loves that job. I don't know that he's even gonna leave, to be completely honest, cuz he ended up, this job is gonna make me miserable. I'm gonna be there on a midnight shift. I'm gonna be loading packages. But he got so excited about the opportunities and what the future looked like at UPS and the, you know, the, the, I could move to, you know, he has a city that he might wanna move to.

I think it's Memphis or wherever it's, but it, it's, he has not been miserable one day in that role and he's positioned himself without the soft skills to be in an operations role. But that operations side, tech side, you know, that's, I, I think it's a no brainer if, if you don't necessarily enjoy building relationships, being in front of people doing that, you know, soft stuff on a daily.

That's awesome. I am going to steal that because normally what I say to people is very much not as helpful as what you just did, which is actually given Well, like I, I usually say like a, uh, in not so many words, I suck it up buttercup. Like you, you've gotta, you know, like your career is gonna be helped by learning soft skills, at least just a little bit.

That's true. That is true. You're right. Like even the, even the smartest engineers in the world, you know, well, maybe, maybe not like the top 10 or something like that. They can be, you know, but for majority of the people out there, you're still gonna have to be, you know, people are gonna wanna work with you or gonna, you're gonna have to make them like you in some, in some way.

And soft skills helped that. I, I wanted to, I wanted to transition though, and. Talked a lot about, uh, veterans and, uh, the military. I kind of wanted to head in that direction because as we were talking offline about this, it's like one of the most common questions that we get as well is about transitioning out of the military.

And, you know, you and I both know that, uh, people, veterans, People that are coming out of the, the military, they have a lot of skills to offer. But I think one of the problems is, is one companies don't know about about those skills. And then two, a, a lot of it is that the veterans themself don't have that confidence of like, well, you know, I used to bust down doors for a living, or, you know what I mean?

Like I was just a crew chief. Uh, you know, and they're like, how, how does that relate to an office job? Or how does that relate to civilian life? And like, there's no equivalent. And so one, I guess if you couldn't, if you wouldn't mind just going over a little bit of your military background and what you did, uh, you kind of went over it commanded control.

Yeah. Um, but a little bit, maybe a little bit more, give it a little bit more color and then, uh, kind of talk about, you know, some options for these veterans.

Yeah, yeah. No, absolutely. I, I, So from what I can tell, and obviously, um, in the days of social media, this might not seem like a, the, the common path because everybody makes, you know, ah, it's amazing.

My home life's amazing. Everything's kind of, I don't wanna say falsified, but, but, you know, it's, there's a bit of a glow to it that might not necessarily be exactly wrong, , but from what I could tell in my, in my life growing up and, and military life, I, I started, I had a very, very common path, very similar to a lot of the vets that are out there.

So, um, grew up, me and my sister, no real, uh, no real parental unit. You know, we had, we had parents with some mental illness and some substance abuse or issues and, um, we were essentially raised. Family members, grandparents for sure. So we were very lucky in that. And, and, and I say that because one, it felt very normal.

I think only have one friend that actually had two parents. So that guy was the weirdo, Mr. You know, two parents, guy. It's weird, . But, uh, but you know, for me this was like, this was, this was very, very common. And as I, I, you know, got through later years in high school, it was that degree. I mean, that was, that was how to do it.

That was the only way. That's where everybody pushed, like that's the next step. Uh, went to a state school. I was very bored in high school, to be completely honest. It was, it wasn't something that I completely enjoyed necessarily. And, uh, and, and I, so I ended up with like a, I don't know, whatever gpa, 2, 2, 1, 2 I, who knows?

And, uh, I went to whatever state school would let me in. Well, I did that for a semester. And, um, Just absolutely everything that you could, all the worst case scenarios occurred, joined a fraternity, didn't go to class, just complete nonsense. So, uh, what was great where I look back now and I feel, you know, back then I felt like I was, uh, not lucky, but in real life was extremely lucky as I had zero safety net.

And, and sometimes that's a good thing. There was no moving back home. There was no, uh, you know, uh, a pocket of money where I can rent a house for a couple months and then figure out what I want to do. That negative, it was like, I have $4, so join the military. That was it. So I, you know, that drove me to, to join the military.

I did, I joined the Air Force when I was 18 and, um, uh, went to bootcamp and, uh, one, it, it was, that was an example of, oh my God, I'm gonna be miserable and I don't think I was miserable for. A day that I was there. So, you know, taking that step back. But I found that's an insanely common thing that occurs not just with military vets, but with people that go to college.

Like it is, I couldn't believe how many people were just like that. I did a semester, I did a year, I did a whatever. And it's like, oh good god. Okay. Alright. So I'm not as terrible as I thought. So, uh, so I progressed through, through the military. I learned some networking traits. We talked at top of funnel.

I volunteered for some things. We did this, we did that. And um, and then I was at an inflection point where I, I, I wanted to do something else. You know, I wanted to, there was a money aspect to it. I wanted to make more money. You're very much capped in the military, you know, you have ranks and grades and, and uh, I said so, you know, it's like what do I do next?

What do I do next? And, and that is a big moment for a lot of people and a lot of vets. Have that moment, either a disabled vet that is, was unable to make the decision, the decision was made for them. You know, here's your 2,500 bucks a month. You can't really live off of it, but it's what we're giving you.

Go do, you know, go be great or, or somebody that's ready to make that transition out of the military. And this is where I started to get, and, and, and I say this and I don't, and once again, I don't wanna paint the broad brush. I hope none of your listeners hate me for this, but, but it's. The, the, the college, um, factory, the education establishment preys on people like that.

They prey on these, especially military men and women who have a bit of a GI bill who could pay, they will sit at your door when they find out you're, you're getting out trans, go do that. Come get this degree, come get that degree. And it was, and I saw that and I saw a lot of vets take that path and go and spend a lot of money on, you know, whatever degree it is and then never use it.

And, and so that's what made me passionate about one working with vets. And, and I've done that for a while. And, you know, volunteer spots and like Wounded Warrior Foundation, it's amazing. And, um, you know, it, it's, the USO is an awesome organization. I was on the board over there for a while, but it is, It is unethical sometimes I think on how they poach and what they, you know, what they sell.

Whenever. If you just dig two inches deep, you see the stats, you don't use your degrees. These vets can make more, you can get into a career, be making money, get free training, get to the job you want. Never have to, you know, take that pause. And those four years, maybe five years, six years, that you miss in the workforce in the long term for your retirement, for your, it's a hit at the end.

That's five earning years that you, you know, even if you were only making 40 grand, 18 bucks an hour, 17 bucks an hour. That's all 401K that's in there compounding. So, you know, I, I, I just have a personal, uh, opinion that that wasn't necessarily the right decision for, for all of the folks. And then that brought me from, you know, what I'm doing there to my career, my career path into it, which I was really interested in.

Um, started to work for an IT distributor and then through the distribution it was like, oh, I wanna go work for Apple cuz they're super cool. But then I met Dell and I was like, oh, Dell's cool too. I didn't really know what to, all right, let's get over to Dell, you know, and then, so now, you know, at Dell, but, and through that path there was a lot of, uh, a lot of failures, a lot of lessons learned, but a lot of very simple things that if the truth was being told, could definitely direct, you know, a vet or non-vet, to be honest.

Just somebody that's. A year after college that's like, nah, this is, this is crazy. You know, I've been, I've been drinking a lot lately. I gotta give something else. Whatever. It's, whatever. It's, but that's, uh,

so just to jump in here, just to jump in here for a second. Yeah. Like, I, I completely Hannah and I completely agree with you on the college's prey, on the ex-military people, basically, you know, and it's like, One of the things, and it's difficult for me to get up on my soapbox and have an opinion about this because I'm not a vet.

I did, I did it enlist. I'm not in the military. No. That being said, that being said, like I look at, I have family members that we're in, I have family members that are currently in, and like I look at them and I be like, you don't have to use, you know, like, you don't have to use your GI bill. Like, I mean, I know that that's the reason why you went, I get it, man.

And like, and like I'm getting a little like, you know, it sucks. Like, you know, you went and you did a bunch of shit, you know, you did a bunch of stuff. Yeah. And I can see it in your eyes when I'm telling you this, that, you know, that hurts. And, um, you know, it hurt me when I was having this conversation. And, uh, but you know, the truth of the matter is, is like, Exactly everything that you said, you're giving, you're giving up the opportunity.

Look at the opportunity cost of it, right? Like yes, yes, they're paying for it. And yes, you get subsidized, you get subsidized a bit, but you can just, if you start to get work, you can make more money and be more financially, you know, ahead and be more financially, uh, secure because of it. Yeah. Um, and I think it's a difficult, it's difficult for for, for me to say that to people, but it's also difficult for people to, to

hear.

No, no, I think you're right. I think you're right. And you have free license to use me as the, you know, the guy that said it. So if you ever from a reference perspective, but it, it's, they and that GI Bill doesn't pay for everything. And there's always, you know, and then if you have a family, which so many military members come out and they have, you know, the young family or or about to have a family or about to, it's, it is, um, And I always say, you know, there's some folks that come out the military that have a very distinct idea of what they wanna do, and it requires a degree.

They came out and they want to be a lawyer. And it's like, listen, you're never gonna, I know knowledge is at your fingertips more now than ever in the history of, you know, the rock that we're on it. You could just go and learn. You could probably, if you wanted to and dedicated your, you could know more about law than some of the lawyers that are out there if you really wanted to, but you can't practice without that cert, you know, and, and, you know, there are these barriers to entry where you need that education.

If that's not the case, and that's a rare case in my, in my at least engagement with the military community. You know, that might be one. 50 or so that say, you know, this is exactly what I wanna do. I wanna be this type of scientist. I wanna be this engineer, you know, or I wanna be able to, an architect that stamps the, you know, the electrical, okay, you need a, you need a piece of paper for that.

I get it. The other 49 of those 50 should at least take a run at a, maybe like a, a degree free path or a, or a, or a certification type of path, or a trade type of path to get to where they wanna be. There are so many ins now into these companies, into these industries. You know, you look at just entry level inside sales.

You look at the, the, the, the kid we have at ups, you look just, there's so many entry points. You would be remiss, you would look back, I can almost guarantee you'll look back and say, I should have been doing that. I should have been doing that. And, you know, and maybe taking these certification, I should have been.

So I, I'm always cognizant of the few that know exactly what they want and need that degree, and I understand, and we're gonna help 'em get there. And we're gonna teach 'em how to use their GI bill efficiently. Uh, so they're not just completely, you know, a prey to one of these schools that here's your 500 a month, uh, will defer X amount and you'll owe 50,000 still at the end instead of 70.

But it's a great deal. It's like, no, it's not. But the, the majority of, of people would really, really benefit from not just, you know, wealth wise, money wise, but emotionally. I mean, you're immediately contributing to military folks. A lot of 'em, like I said, have young family. You're immediately contributing.

You don't have that and. Now, psychologically, I look back and there's a lot of people that sacrifice and their spouse goes to school for something specific. They want to be a nurse, and they say, all right, you know, let's, let's shoestring budget this sucker and get you that degree. And that's unbelievably noble.

And I, I absolutely love it. But you know, there's a psychological effect to that on the back end where it's like that person getting the gre, the woman, the man, whoever it is, feels like shit, I'm not contributing. I'm not, you know, I don't, I feel like I'm not, I got this young kid at home. Emotionally, financially, just, it feels different.

It's a very different path in life to try to do the, you know, degree free path as opposed to maybe the more, I, I don't even wanna say traditional, because I don't really think it is traditional these days. It's, you know, that, that other way, the other, the other option.

I, I completely agree with that sentiment of calling it traditional as well.

Um, and, and yeah, I think what we tell people here is that actually being degree free, and I'll speak from personal experience, like I actually have a college degree. I went for four years and, uh, as soon as I got my college degree, like literally on stage grabbed it, I realized that I was just as unemployable as I was, like 10 seconds before I got this thing, you know?

And I just like, wow, I just wasted four years of my life was actually four and a half for me. But, you know, yeah. Like, and, and a lot of money and, but what we tell people is that, you know, being degree free isn't easy. Like it's simple. It is, it, it is simple like, uh, But it's not easy, you know, like just using the tips that we've talked about today and the tips that we've talked about in our podcast, like, you'll be able to triangulate, you know what to do, figure out, you know, get a target and then go for it.

It just takes hard work, you know? And um, I. I wanted to ask specifically though, for those, uh, for those veterans and then for those, uh, spouses of veterans listening, like what are some specific tips that you've used and that you've seen people use that are getting out and, you know, getting placed in these, uh, you know, roles, entry to, you know, mid-level roles, um, out there?

Cuz one of the things that I think about is, and this is from people that I've helped that were like, uh, I'm a, I used to be a firefighter, um, firefighter emt and so, you know, I've helped some EMTs and firefighters transition. Um, and one of the things that I think about the most useful thing is kind of just giving them the vocabulary.

And the confidence to say like, here's what companies care about and here's how your background fits that, and here's the story to tell that. Is there something, are there some tips like that for the military community? Yeah, I mean,

you kind of just, you kind of nailed it. So we didn't do a prep for this and you just kind of nailed that one.

So a lot of it really is, um, understanding, it's understanding of what's out there and the vocabulary and everybody speaks, and we joke about this inside, you know, Dell now the military is terrible with acronyms in their languages. Well, corporate America is twice as bad. Is do you think that you think, you know, uh, the nine 11 airlift wing has crazy acronyms come to a meeting at Dell and not hear three actual words, just acronyms and nonsense.

It's crazy. So one, having that knowledge of two things, What's actually out there? What's, what's available? What's, what the job roles entail, you know, what is marketing, what is this, and then what are some of those, let's call it key things, terms, languages, to look for in order to kind of start your search.

So when you come from the military, it's, it's a bit different. You have, you know, everywhere has a chain of command, but in the military it's a very distinct chain of command. You know, it's not So just from an organizational structure standpoint, we typically start there just to be completely, you know, transparent.

It's that basic. At the beginning it's like, uh, you know, a vice present president is an equivalent to a colonel. It's different. It's very linear in the mil or very horizontal In the military, a general is a general, a private, it's a private, you know, it's what it is in. Corporate America, a director at Amazon could be the same level as a svp, you know, at a smaller startup.

You know, it's so looking at the org charts, figuring out, you know, who the, what the C-suite looks like, what the SVPs, the global roles, the North America rules, the local rules, the regional stuff, all of the organizational structure is where we typically start. And you could do that, like you can get that info online and we'll typically, you know, send some webpages over.

But, uh, but that's, that's important. And it's important because they have to know what their targets are. They have to know, you know, what does an inside sales rep do? What does somebody the call center do? What's the difference between an ism, an inside sales manager, an inside sales lead, an inside, because you gotta know what your first target should be.

And then from there, We do try to train in the vocabulary. So we look at some of the tech pieces and if we say, you know, you have somebody that really wants to get into, um, the medical field. They're super interested in medical and science and longevity. We have somebody that loves longevity. Now he's, he's taught me about telomeres, which are like things in your brain that if they stay long, you live forever or something like that.

I dunno what it's, but, but, you know, so he, he loves that stuff. So we got him an inside sales role. At, uh, at a firm that's, that's doing some, you know, it's not longevity. It's like, uh, Respironics, it's like maybe C Pap, stuff like that. But it's an inside sales rule. And we explain to him, okay, here's how this works.

They're gonna expect this from you. 50 calls a day, whatever it is. Oh my God. Once again, it's gonna be terrible. No, it's not Salesforce. They use Salesforce here, or they use, uh, fresh Works, or they use whatever, go through the list at this company and they're looking for somebody that has like one to two years experience that has sales.

Grab this Salesforce cert, here's a free one. Or if it's a Google cert, I don't know what Google charges these days. It's like, 50 bucks

Ryan: or something. Yeah, it's like $39. They've, they've teamed up with corer. It's like $39 a month until you get your

Milo: shirt. Yeah, yeah. And then there's some out there that are free, you know, get that cert so you look good on the resume.

Military highlight all of your, we can have a 23 year old that led a battalion of 30 people. I mean, the, the resume piece is super impressive. And if you tie that and teach the words, teach the vocabulary, teach the, you know, the, uh, the, the org structures and then add in one of them digital certs or, or knowledge, you know, a knowledge piece on the back end.

We're getting them in, we're gonna get 'em into that field. And then once we get 'em in, then it's, all right, phase two, let's build your network. Let's start to talk to somebody in your exact same position at, um, on it or whoever you wanna work for, you know, whatever the longevity company is, or supplement company.

And then we start to build the network there horizontally. And then we try to take that person into a lateral, move into the company they want to be in. And, um, And lately, certainly the job market is still really strong and I, I, you know, there's a lot of discussion around there about how it might soften and this and that.

Industry wise, it might soften. I don't know. I feel like we're in a very good job market. For degree free, just to be completely

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. We, we totally are. I actually, I had the pleasure and, uh, privilege to on with, uh, the Chief Economist at ZipRecruiter last week. And oh, that was, that was Jobs day where we, uh, we kind of went over some of the jobs numbers and, and while a lot of people that listen to this podcast, like, it sucks guys, like the job search process sucks.

You know, like something's gotta be done about it. We recognize that. That being said, you know, for whatever it's worth, The job market has never been better. Uh, there there are two open roles for every one job seeker out there. And that's just the numbers. Yes, exactly what you kind of were starting to say.

Yes, there's maybe some softening in some, uh, sectors. Uh, right now, just the data, I think it's 1110 that we're at 11, 11 that we're having this, uh, conversation. You know, there's tech layoffs everywhere. Um, but that doesn't, that doesn't mean that, uh, you know, the job market in general is, is bad.

Milo: Yeah, I agree.

I agree. I think it's, I think I, I agree with this sediment that, that we are in and, and I think it's gonna last. I mean, I know inflation is crazy, but I think this job market is gonna continue and there's gonna be a lot of opportunity. And if you do it, if you do it right, if you build that network, if you're not afraid of lateral moves, you know, everything doesn't always have to be a promotion.

And we, we went through that a lot with our vets sometimes. And this is the org structure decision. Sometimes you'll get in and you'll have like a field marketing pos or a field, uh, sales position with a very small company and you're out there selling some, you know, maybe some services or whatever. And then you look at an inside sales role at, you know, pick any at Salesforce, we've been talking about Salesforce or at, or at now or at what Even go out tech, you know, look at, um, Boeing or whatever, any, anywhere you wanna look.

An inside sales person from a monetary perspective sometimes will just, you know, they're on target earnings or ridiculous. It can be 150 K right off the bat. So, you know, there's, you have to keep an open mind. And that's something we preach diligently to any vet that we talk to don't look at because they're so fixated on that chain of command.

I'm a senior airman, I'm a staff sergeant. I'm not gonna go take a role as a senior airman. Like, no, that's not how it works here, dude. No, you are a. Very valuable human being. Let's get you to where you need to be. Do not look at titles. Look at one, can you network better? Is there more to offer at this company?

Is it getting you closer to, you know, from med sales, from C pap sales to longevity? You know, is it, you gotta look at your, your, uh, career journey as not necessarily necessarily linear, could be a nonlinear all over the place go, but we're gonna get you to where you wanna be and when we do, you got 20 more years after that to just enjoy life.

So, you know, that's the. That's the, that's a, that's an obstacle for a lot of the vets. They're, they, they come in and they're intimidated by the org structures. They're intimidated by corporate language and they, they'll sit in on somebody's call and they're talking ROI and margin gearing, and it's just like, hang on, I can explain all this nonsense super easily to you and I'll even relate it in terms that you'll understand and uh, and then you got it.

Don't be intimidated by this stuff. So we break that intimidation factor. We teach the vocabulary, we look at the org structures, and then we start to take a look at the entry points based off of what they want to do, where they want to be, whether it's industry or role specific. You know, if it's marketing, then you got a lot of different entry points.

If it's, if it's a specific industry, let's get you as close as we can to that industry. If it's soft skill piece, Well, we know operations and logistics is, if you don't necessarily, you know, we'll get you over to that operations and logistics side of the house, we'll get you in there. So it's a, it's, it's a process, but it's one, I think it's more fun than, you know, doing it the, the traditional way.

To be completely honest, I think it's more rewarding. I think it's more emotionally satisfying. And then on the back half of it, I know now, I don't wanna say degree free, but I know more people with degrees and degree free folks that either are not doing anything related to their degree or have had no degree at all that are more, and like you said at the beginning of the, of the show, success is such a, a wide, you know, I know successful people that make $30 an hour and they freaking love their, they don't wanna do anything else, period.

They're, and they get to go and they, you know, whatever their pastime is, they play. Whatever sport on the side, or they, they t who knows, whatever they do, they absolutely love their lives. And then I have people that are just, they got into the finance industry, they moved their way to New York. They're working 50 hours, 60, I mean, on 60, 70 hours a week.

It's like, but they love it. Like that's their thing. Like they love that. So they've gotten there. So the, the definition of success is very, very different for everybody, as you've mentioned earlier. But I know more people that are successful, that are degree free or not using their degree at all than I know that got a degree.

And they're in that field and they're, you know, and the ones that I do, they're the ones that, it's like, I know a couple doctors that are very happy being, one's a pediatrician. My cousin's a, he's a oncologist. They're super happy. But that's what they wanted to do for the, I mean, there is a path for degrees, like, I get it, but I'll tell you what, for those two, I know 20 that are thrilled with life.

That have a, you know, a random degree that means nothing to what they're doing or no degree

Ryan: at all. Yeah, totally. Totally. And, and it's the same experience, uh, for me as well. You know, one of the things that I did wanna like touch on is like, you know, we're talking about that alphabet soup, you know, knowing your vocabulary, like, that's so important because I feel like.

We're also used to understanding each other, right. When we communicate, we're both speaking English right now. And when you go into an environment where you know that that person is speaking the same language that you are and they start just rattling off. Exactly. You know, like OKRs, KPIs, like exactly what you said, roi, you know, uh, it's very easy to, uh, shrink into yourself and just be like, I'm stupid.

Like I don't, I don't know. I don't know what is going on here. And, you know, I personally can't stress in enough about how empowering it is to just learn that vocabulary. And then if you don't know that vocabulary too, like just ask. Right? Yeah. Don't be

Milo: intimidated. Exactly. I cannot agree more. It is because there's, I, I mean I've seen it enough now in the corporate world where sometimes, you know, the knowledge is power thing.

Is real and people will, will feel more powerful based on what they know sometimes. And they'll use, you know, there's some egos out there you're gonna deal with, just like in the real world, you know, narcissism and egos, and they'll use that, uh, you know, let's call it vocabulary or language knowledge base to, to intimidate people.

And they'll come in and purposefully, you know, start, ah, but we need to, the metrics of success, blah, blah, blah. And they'll go through this whole spiel. Don't be intimidated. Don't, you know, don't, don't give up. Don't feel that what they're saying took, and, and, and I'll tell them this, but it's like, you know, don't feel that what they are talking about right now is because they have.

A communications degree, uh, from, you know, wherever, university of whatever. And that's why they're so smart. No, no. They know this because they got a degree, they got an entry level job. They probably don't use their degree, but they've learned the language over the past X amount of years. And for our vets that are coming in, they're coming in.

You know, I equate it to take any, um, take any sales manager that's out there or bring an engineer in the smartest engineer you have in the tech space and, and put them on a mission with us in Afghanistan. Hey, you wanna talk about intimidated? They aren't gonna know a damn thing. You're even saying, let alone what you're about to do.

What a, you know, so it's the, it's the same thing. You just gotta temper in the intimidation a little bit, learn the language. And we do that. We do a lot of, of, of, uh, especially in specific industries where they have their own acronyms. You know, tech is one of them. SFDC is one salesforce.com. It's, that's one we teach 'em right away.

You'll hear somebody say, it's Salesforce. It's, it's a tool crm. Tool crm. Okay. Here this is. Yeah. It's like, shit. So you gotta go and you gotta do, you know, but that, that is an intimidating barrier to entry. You're, you're absolutely right that, that, uh, you gotta, you know, be a therapist a little bit and, and, and help people get past that.

Ryan: Yeah, totally. Totally. And I guess I don't wanna take up too much more of your time just to kind of wrap up. Are there any like resources or books where people could learn a little bit more about how to become effective marketers, you know, to doing what you do? And then also for those people transitioning outta the military, there's, uh, you mentioned wounded warrior uso.

Yeah. I'm sure that most vets know, know, know of those. Is there anything else?

Milo: Yeah, no. So there's, I mean, so the good news is there's four vets. There's a, um, the, the awareness piece there. There's a lot of opportunities out there for vets to get help. But like I said, some of the help isn't necessarily help that they, that they want.

There are your, your local transition office, your military transition office, if you're coming off of active duty, they're amazing. They are wonderful individuals. Uh, career guidance and transition advice that they give is great. Utilize them. The uso, uh, The, the, a lot of the organizations am vets the, uh, the American lead.

There's a lot of those organizations out there that will most certainly help you in whatever direction you want to go. Nothing substitutes for your own, let's call it, um, excitement for, for your life. You, you gotta, you gotta come out, you gotta take things, you know, a bit into your own, into your own hands and make a plan.

And then from that plan, work backwards. Work backwards into that role. And, and, and a lot of, a lot of those resources that vets have will help them get from point A to B, but they're not gonna help them come up with a plan, a life plan, a goal, uh, you know, this is what I want. So I would go. I would go into to those organizations with an idea of what I want to do, at least at a high level.

And, and then start to build that network. And, and that's part of your network, that's an initial network for you as you come outta the military and transition out are those support agencies. And, and having them and their secondary contacts is certainly something that's gonna help you, help you move. Um, feel free.

Look me up on LinkedIn as well, you know, just my name. If send me a note. It's the best way to get ahold of me if, if you, if you have any questions or need anything from me from event perspective, I'm all for it. And marketing from a marketing perspective, it is like, uh, almost like the digital certs these days for marketing.

There's podcasts, there's, uh, marketing outside of the grain, uh, or marketing against the Grain. There's a great podcast that's out there. The, I mean, there's online marketing certs, there's, I, there is a Just Wealth, it's an. Unfillable Well, of stuff that's, it's almost overwhelming, but, but it's, but it's out there.

If, if marketing is the way you want to go, I would take a quick step back and look at, start with almost the hierarchy of marketing and see what you want to do inside of that hierarchy. Is it digital? Is it social media marketing? Is it, they're very, very different. So do a search, take a look, you know, figure out where you wanna be in marketing, and then from there, do the double click.

If you wanna, if you wanna, you know, focus on social media, which is super popular these days. Great, okay, go figure out how to use Google ad words. Go figure out how to do, you know, just dig into that, that specific area. But there's so many resources available right now.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. I think that's one of the things that's difficult for the people that are just trying to break into an industry.

They're. Like you don't know what you don't know. Yeah, right. And so it's like, well, I think I want to be in marketing. And it's like, what part of marketing? You know, like, and well, it's so funny kind of, uh, when I was first hired at my first job out of college or maybe my second job, uh, I was in the, it was a big regional bank, and so it was a new hire orientation.

And I'm sitting across from this young, this young kid, maybe a few years younger than me, and he's like a math major and he's doing an internship for the bank, but he has to go through the new hire orientation as well. And, oh, what are you, what are you doing? Like, he's like, oh, I'm in the marketing department.

And I'm just like, at the time I had no idea. You know what I mean? It makes sense to me now. It makes sense to me now, but like, I'm just like, What are you doing? Like, that's not, like, you're not like story boring storyboarding ads and Yeah. You know what I mean? Like, like how were you supposed to be like selling me, you know, uh, whatever financial instruments, right?

And you're just like, no, like, uh, the stats, you know, like metrics. Yep. And I was like, I don't even know what you're saying, man. Like I . Yeah.

Milo: Yeah. And, and, and it's, and that complexity lends itself to that, that overwhelmed feeling that we get a lot for veterans when they come out. And it is more than okay if you have zero idea.

You know, we always say if you have zero idea what you wanna be when you grow up after the military, that's fine. That is not an issue at all. Try to find. Something that you're interested in. And, and everybody has something, whether it's an industry, whether it's it is a specific role, whether it's a, a personality trait, whatever it is.

And then everything is working backwards. And I know we've, we've touched on this a couple times, but it's, everything is kind of working backwards from whatever that sense of happiness is. And it changes, it changes. A lot of times we see vets that, that have this, this would make me happy. And then we get 'em to it in 2, 3, 4 years and they're like, this sucks.

I hate, no, it's, it's a journey, man. Like, it's, it's cool. Just embrace it. Let's do something else. There's no, there's no right or wrong answers. The difference between school and that process or, you know, higher education in that process is what you've done in the last four years is gonna be infinitely relevant to everything you wanna do in the future.

Whereas sometimes those 4, 5, 6 years as a degree just aren't so, so this is something where, You know, don't worry if you maybe wanted to get into sales and you realize that quota being strapped to your back is just too much for me. Like, I can't, I can't work to that number every quarter and it's just too stressful.

No problem. But that's no big deal. That's sales experience. You have infinitely transferrable. We got you covered. Like, so, so you know, don't be too, um, don't be too worried. One if you don't necessarily know what, what the end game is. The, the key is to get in the game. That's the absolute key metric to, you know, pulling the proverbial trick to get in the game.

Get in the game, we'll get you, you'll get, we'll build, you'll have, you know, the, the network, the, the subject matter understanding to get where you want to be very quickly soon. And even if you don't. We'll figure it out as you go. Get in the game. Get in the game. So it's, it's, uh, you know, that is something we harp on if we, we see a lot of folks that don't necessarily know exactly what they want.

And that's fine. It's completely fine. You're actually in a better position if you're not stuck, you know, in whatever 1 0 1 course for two hours every Wednesday. Just get out there and do, you know, some work,

Ryan: it works out. Yeah, definitely. I couldn't agree more, but yes. Um, Milo, thank you so much for taking the time and, uh, honestly kind of spitting these, uh, truth bullets out at me.

I, I love it. I have one more question before I ask the, where people could find you. Yeah. At the very beginning you talked about, uh, within Dell you talked about individual development plans. Yeah. Uh, real quickly, could you just kind of touch on what those were? I, I put a note here and I forgot to ask you earlier.

Yeah,

Milo: yeah, yeah, yeah. No problem. So, so it's, it's becoming more popularized. It, it's a, um, and, and, and like I said, Dell uses them. A lot, a lot. I don't wanna say, you know, exclusively, I don't know the right word to use right now, but it is, it is absolutely imperative to, to your next step, to, to putting yourself in a position to get to where you want to be professionally, inside of Dell.

And it's that way. And a lot of other orgs now. So these individual development plans are, they are multifaceted. It's a multifaceted look inside of your current career and your aspirations. So here's what you've done so far career-wise. Here's where you are, here's what you've done, here's where you want to go.

And it's a moving target. It never has to be the same, but it's documenting it. And it's documenting it for a very specific purpose. And that purpose is for. Your team, your immediate supervisor, your uh, SVP to help you on that journey. If the company really cares about your growth and development, you're always gonna have these, let's call 'em pro in place.

We use that word. They're at the role they love. That's what they want to do. You know, we have people that do events. They love these freaking events. They're like, I, I can't think of anything more exciting than a trade show. We're gonna go surrounded by 10,000 people. We're gonna do this stuff. Amazing.

Your IDP says you are a pro in place. How do we continue to make this role as valuable as possible for you? That's your in develop your individual development plan. In role, most folks will either want to progress either into management, senior management, um, or into a completely different role, let's call it inside of marketing, inside of their division.

Or they wanna go completely outside and to maintain top talent these days. You have to give that opp, you have to offer that opportunity to, to, uh, to your employees. Or they're just gonna hop, you know, they're gonna go from one to another to another. So this IDP or indivi individual development plan allows visibility into what you want do.

And we've had multiple marketers that wanted to be in engineering, and we said, all right, as part of your idp, we wanna get you with the tuition assistance program. Let's get this, whatever paid for if you need it, let's get, uh, or let's make these connections for you. Let's, let's connect the dots for you.

I would suggest that even outside of, you know, a formalized IDP plan, if your company doesn't have one, you always have a personal IDP and, and you're mapping out, and it's like I said, it is ever changing. And at one point you might want to be, uh, a logistics coordinator and then two weeks later you get, you dabble in that you do a stretch goal and you realize that's not what you want.

You wanna take a look more at, um, you know, a programming role or a whatever sales position, whatever it is, that's fine. But it's a living document. The IDP is a living document that's your own, that's made to one, keep you on track, but then also allow. You know, and, and it's something too, you have to socialize.

An IDP isn't good if it's just internal. It has to be internal to you, but it also has to be shared with, you know, your, your direct supervisor, your peers, your peers will help you, your, your, uh, you know, skip level two up, whomever. But it's a great source of truth to have.

Ryan: Awesome, thank you. And um, you mentioned already LinkedIn is a good place to, uh, find you.

Where else can people find you? Is there anywhere else or is that the best

Milo: place? I, the, the absolute best place is LinkedIn. I check it all the time cuz we're on there. We do a lot of ads and a lot of advertising. So I got the old LinkedIn, whatever, the gold or whatever. Right, right. So that's the, that's the best place to, uh, to make contact.

Um, but then also it's just my email is literally my [email protected] So if you, if you have any questions, if you're a vet or if you're anybody, I mean, it doesn't have to be a vet, but if you, if you have any questions about marketing or tech or, or transitioning from a vet or non-vet into the marketing space, just reach out.

I'd, I'd, I'd love to send you a note and, and help out anywhere

Ryan: I. Absolutely, and we'll put links to everything that we talked about and everything, uh, in our show notes, degree free.co/podcast. And Milo, thank you so much for taking the time. I, uh, really, really appreciated

Milo: it. Yeah, no, thank you, Ryan. This is great.

Keep doing what you're doing. Looking forward to, uh, to being a fan as you go forward. So thank

Ryan: you. All right. Thank you. Bye-bye.

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