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Transitioning From Leading in the Military to Leading in Business with Michael Diamond



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In this episode, Gary Pinkerton welcomes the General Manager of Payments at Mitek Systems, Michael Diamond. He shares the reasons why he left the service and his transition out of the military. Gary and Michael talk about the skills that servicemen learn and how to use them after getting out of service.

Announcer 0:04
Welcome to the heroic investing show. As first responders we risk our lives every day our financial security is under attack. Our pensions are in a state of emergency. A single on duty incident can alter or erase our earning potential instantly and forever. We are the heroes of society. We are self reliant, and we need to take care of our own financial future. The heroic investing show is our toolkit of business and investing tactics on our mission to financial freedom.

Gary Pinkerton 0:39
Hello, and welcome to Episode 104 of the heroic investing show. On this show, we focus on the unique challenges faced by members of the armed services by veterans, and by first responders, those firefighters, police officers and EMTs that, like those members of the active members of the armed services, put their lives in harm’s way every day, to keep the rest of us free, safe and happy. And we also though, focus on the challenges common to all investors, those where they’re attempting to put in place passive income to help free up their time, stop trading time for dollars, so that they can get time back with their families back with things that they enjoy doing, and can build a sustainable protected retirement and future so that they can get focused on things that they enjoy doing things that inspire them. I don’t mean to say in my introduction, or make you believe that all of us out there who have served active careers, have served as a first responder, dislike what we’re doing. That’s certainly not true, we almost all of us have seen it as a calling, have seen it as a mission, and have some extremely proud memories of having served. But we all have a future. We all give up that at some point and move on. And some of us find throughout our journey that we want to do it a little bit earlier. For me, it was a desire to help more people faster on a bigger scale, to change their lives and to give them an opportunity and tools to be able to focus on their unique genius to share more with the world. I’ve mentioned in previous podcasts about the inspiration I get from my mentor Jason Hartman and my mentor Patrick Donahoe, and specifically from Patrick right now, with his wealth standard podcast, his podcast where he talks about in 2018, to focus on life, liberty, and the pursuit of property and and that pursuit of property thing is the one that inspires me to help others get in place, and ability to share what they’re uniquely good at doing, with others around the world to create a better, more prosperous place for all of us. So please stay tuned. Please listen to the other podcast. Jason’s creating wealth, Patrick’s wealth standard, and especially Patrick’s new focus of wealth standard here throughout 2018. Today, we’re going to talk with Michael diamond. Michael is an amazing individual. He was a desert storm, member of the Army Reserves. He did his entire time, lots of activated time as a reservist throughout his career. So Desert Storm going back to the early 1990s, he spent time in Iraq and surrounding regions. He was focusing his career was focused on civil affairs. But he throughout that period of time, he was very active, very successful in a civilian company, focusing on technology, you know, Silicon Valley, spent a lot of time there. Currently, he is an executive. He’s General Manager of payments at my tech system. So my tech systems is the company that is tremendously successful and is the one that is enabling most of us doing mobile banking, and they also have done quite a bit regarding identity protection, identity, verification of individuals of employees of different companies. Very, very successful company. I found it to be really interesting as I researched that, but Michael has spent most of his time living in the Midwest, but as I mentioned, has been in Silicon Valley quite a bit with his companies over over these years. I love what he says on his website, he says that I have carried either a computer a backpack or a weapon through over 25 countries and of all three, I prefer that computer and Michael was really engaging, interesting discussion here. I would say that you can always tell when you’re interviewing somebody who is a comfortable speaker, he’s a professional speaker has spoken in many different environments, and has just created a really good vibe, you know, during our meetings, the best thing that I can say is, during our interview it was was really good, he gave some timeless advice for all of us out there. So some of it about the concept of transitioning successfully transitioning in and out of the military service into the, you know, translating our skills to civilian, you know, companies, both in the hiring process, we get into some of that, and I talk about my experience leaving the military and going through a job conference, Michael talks about this concept called entrepreneur, which is becoming more common of a phrase out there. So as opposed to, you know, intrapreneur, as opposed to entrepreneur, meaning that you can make a huge difference, you can be inspired, you can make big changes with somebody else’s company, it does not have to be your company. I talk generically about entrepreneur, and sharing unique genius and making a big difference by running your own company. But that last part about running your own company really is not the key aspect of it. It’s about having the freedom, as john Locke said, having control of your property, pursuit of property, meaning that your intellectual property, when you add value, you get compensated for it. That’s what inspires people to add more and more value in the world. So you can do that as an intrapreneur, as well as an entrepreneur. And so his contribution to our audience was just amazing during that discussion, and he also has lots of other timeless advice that I think is good to revisit, or maybe many for many of us to hear for the first time, like leaders are readers. You know, I asked him, you know, what is? What is your advice for those of us to help us continue to grow in our civilian, next chapter of life, he had quite a few. That was just one of one of the takeaways that I had. So in the venue of learning from others, please dig into this discussion with Michael diamond. It’s a great one. And also, please don’t forget to go to Amazon and get a copy of my new book, the one thing that changed everything, participate with 25 other authors, many of them that you’ve heard of, and in our short stories, we talk about challenges that we had, how we overcame them and what we learn from it, there’s some timeless wisdom from the others in this book that I’ve already put to work. You all will be familiar with, I think my story, at least some of it, but the stories of these others are really, really good. And we’re talking a very inexpensive book, especially if you get the Kindle version, but either way, the proceeds are going to charity. So I think that should lower the bar and make it a no brainer to jump out there and grab the book, please do go give a rating for that book. And for this podcast, you can do the book of course on Amazon. You can do the podcast either on iTunes, on heroic investing calm, or on my website, Gary Pinkerton, calm, please enjoy this amazing discussion with someone that I consider a mentor and a good friend, Mr. Michael diamond. Mike, thank you so much for joining us here on the heroic investing Show.

Michael Diamond 8:15
Hey, I’m thrilled to be here, Gary, thanks for the opportunity.

Gary Pinkerton 8:17
So as I mentioned, Mike started at least I picked up Mike’s story where he was in Desert Storm in the army, military intelligence actually, and and, Mike, if you have if there’s anything in your childhood past that leads you to that path. Feel free to please add it. But I’m curious have you know of any insights or just you know, kind of your your story of your time in the military?

Michael Diamond 8:41
Sure, happy to. I guess everybody’s got a slightly different story in my mind is no different. I grew up in a household with a high degree of respect for the military and started to think about going that direction. When I was going to college. I was looking into ROTC programs. That’s how I went through college I received a scholarship was commissioned on the day of my graduation, got commissioned in the morning and graduate from college in the afternoon, and became a Second Lieutenant and my branch was in military intelligence. That Desert Storm portion of my service was actually a little different. Although my branch was military intelligence. I was in Desert Storm as part of something in the army that not everybody’s familiar with. It’s called civil affairs. In effect, we’re liaison between US military and a local government civilian population get involved in a lot of low intensity conflicts, weird Special Operations type situations dealing with with refugees and all sorts of issues associated with that. And so I was in Kuwait City during and of course, after the the brief ground war with Desert Storm was in Kuwait City for six weeks to kind of try and get Kuwait City back on its feet deal with a lot of issues associated with third country nationals, Palestinians, etc, all the rest of it. And then I did the same thing, just after that in northern Iraq with the Kurdish refugee crisis. So very sort of different things than then you typically might hear about the military.

Gary Pinkerton 9:57
Sure. And so what was the year there was it

Michael Diamond 10:00
Yeah, 91

Gary Pinkerton 10:00
’91. Right. Okay. And so your time in the military before that event, How long had you been in before that?

Michael Diamond 10:06
I had been in probably about five years or so before that I had been a platoon leader of a combat electronic warfare intelligence Platoon, which I had Russian linguist in my platoon. And so our job was to basically listen in on you know, this is still cold war days, desert storm force, we have to paint all of our trucks brown and get into uniforms in a big hurry. Right, exactly. But, ya know, it was old time listening in on transmissions in the battlefield, taking down just quick information, sending my soldiers to Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California to bone up on the Russian and so that’s what I did there.

Gary Pinkerton 10:41
Nice. Okay. And so when you came back from Iraq from Desert Storm, and then your stuff up with Curtis at the Kurds, then you spent time in the reserves, or did you transition out there?

Michael Diamond 10:53
Yeah, actually, that’s the I should have mentioned that that’s a pretty important part of all this. I was in reserves the reserves the whole time, okay. I was in a reserve and they got mobilized for Desert Storm. Got it? Okay. So even like the combat electronic warfare intelligence Platoon, I led that was at O’Hare military in Chicago, right? There’s a reason for that the military bar needs kind of unique skill sets for some of these things. And so they’d like to borrow from the civilian community. So even though I wouldn’t say that I have any particularly impressive hard skills, I certainly didn’t when I was at that time. But you know, you’re going to draw from people who are civil engineers, and police officers, and all sorts of things. And because those are the sorts of skills you want to look at, as you start to try and get a society back on the path to prosperity, right?

Gary Pinkerton 11:33
Sure, of course, clearly, activating the reserves I can remember. So I was just out of the Naval Academy, then in 91, and was spending some time at University of Illinois, getting a master’s and I can remember, like, you were just saying, There, that’s a funny flashback, when you mentioned that painting everything Brown, I can remember them traveling up and down the highway there. And just thinking, My gosh, why are they Brown? I just like it was just very unusual, even being in the military and connected to it, it was. But now of course, today, I mean, the desert candy is what everyone sees and knows and understands. But not back then No, I can remember that activating the reserves was something we hadn’t done in a while. It was very,

Michael Diamond 12:10
it was very unusual. I mean, everybody that the paradigm, that’s a perfect example of a paradigm shift, right, everybody in the military in the reserves, your idea as to why there is a reserve is in case this Soviet Union comes storming across the fulda gap. And, you know, in West Germany, right, and unless the stuff hits the fan, unless that happens, for the most part, you’re expecting a career of one weekend, a month and two weeks in the summer kind of a lifestyle. And then suddenly, in Desert Storm, that was the ultimate paradigm shift. And one of the reasons why I got out by the way, I’d very much enjoyed my time in the military. But I could see the skill set that I had, and the unit that I was in, I could see the writing on the wall that we were going to get mobilized over and over and over and over again, that paradigm shift was lasting, I knew that and that turned out to be true, right that you rise up to Bosnia has been to Iraq a couple times since Panama some different things to deal with, with weird situations. And I just knew that I was heading towards a career that I wasn’t going to be able to do that some of my colleagues and close friends, like, for instance, if they were a school teacher, you know, they could kind of say to their school district, I’m gonna be gone for six months, or I’m gonna be gone for a year, they come back and continue to teach math. But for me, it was difficult to go to a tech company that was trying to grow and say, Hey, I’m going to be gone for six months or 12 months. And it’s just like, Well, you know, it’s just just doesn’t work. Right. That’s why I got out, but I, you know, there’s the st goes, you can take somebody out of the military who can’t take the military out of the boy kind of thing. And that’s my case.

Gary Pinkerton 13:32
Absolutely. How would you stay connected with, you know, with veterans or military, you know, after your transition out there,

Michael Diamond 13:38
I would say that there was a core group of guys that I was in Desert Storm with who are still among my closest friends, right. And many of them went on to great careers. As matter of fact, one of them is on the promotable list for oztix. And so, you know, some of these guys have gone on and done, done it really well. They’ve been deployed a number of times, right? They had to have the tough goodbyes with their their families and friends and go leave. And these deployments, you know, really, at the time, Desert Storm was a very, very different thing. And it seemed like a big deal to go to the Middle East for six months now that that’s not even, you know, that’s half of a deployment. I mean, these deployments are so long. It’s unbelievable, right?

Gary Pinkerton 14:16
Yeah. I’ve got classmates that I met at a recent reunion, seals, a couple of Marines that have, you know, done seven, eight deployments. I mean,

Michael Diamond 14:24
It’s incredible. I know we’ve, as a citizen, now, I’m a private citizen. And as a taxpayer, I do believe we asked too much, but nevertheless, a lot of great people continue to answer the bill and we’re lucky for it.

Gary Pinkerton 14:36
Yeah, we are. And they have some amazing families to be able to get through all right, support it. And so like you I tried to give back where I can and try to recognize that continuing to go to the well like that is going to have an impact. You know, eventually we need to support them however we can. So he kind of in that that vein, I guess, you know, everyone comes to that point where it’s time to get out of the military. Some of us do it like I did with a pension. Some people go to 30 years with a pension. But many times people are transitioning out without that, and they’re certainly focused on a follow on career. And so you did that kind of help us through? Was it a big transition from what you were doing in the military or what you’re doing before you were in the reserves?

Michael Diamond 15:14
I think that the military was extraordinarily impactful and helpful to my career, but ultimately, the skills that you need for kind of charting that next move and that the rest of your career are true, whether you are coming from the military or not. So for instance, like I made the comment that in the part of the military that I lived in, you deal with a lot of unusual situations, you know, Case in point might be, I remember, when I was in northern Iraq, somebody asked me, they were going to be bringing some Kurdish men down from kind of the mountains where they were hiding, to set up a refugee camp. And we were working with the State Department, the United Nations, UNHCR, and so forth, and the Special Forces Sergeant came up with 900 Kurdish guys behind me saluted, said, Here you go, sir, and turned around and left, you know, there’s nothing that tells you what do you do with 900?

Gary Pinkerton 16:03
He turned over 900 refugees?

Michael Diamond 16:05
Yes. To me. To put to work, right to put to work to set up this camp. I figured it out. And that led to a second day, I have another 900. And I worked my way into a job. And that’s how what I ended up spending my time doing it during that portion of my deployment. The reason why I bring that up is because there is nothing to tell you. You don’t open up a field manual, say what do I do about when presented with 900? refugees? Right, right, just have to sort of and that’s true as you transition over. And so there’s no obvious map, but I have some, I guess, like some guideposts that were helpful for me that I’m happy to pass along. One of them is the importance of curiosity, and reading, and asking questions, we tend to think of the interviews is something that happens when we’re going to hire somebody, I’m going to interview somebody, or I’m going to be interviewed. But I think that we have when I say we I mean all of us that all of us are pretty weak in realizing that we can and should be interviewing people, even when we’re not looking for a job or looking for a particular opportunity. And interviewing people to get information at podcasts are a great way to get information, you know, so I applaud anybody who’s even listening to this. And by virtue of the fact that people are downloading listening to podcasts indicates that they have that streak of curiosity. It’s really, really important because more than ever, the work world is filled with ambiguity. There are no civilian equivalents of a field manual to consult when there are decisions to be made. And so looking at being curious, reading, interviewing people asking questions, writing down the answers, by the way to yourself, so you don’t forget, you know, those are some of the things that helped me because when I came back from Desert Storm, my company had invested in some new technology, it was at that it was its interactive voice response technology. So it was effectively the type of thing where you could punch in your account number on a bank, phone call to an automated assistant at a bank and get your balance, or you could call an airline and figure out your reservation information. So that technology been purchased while I was in Desert Storm, I came back my my company, of course, is legally obligated to rehire me which they did. And but but it wasn’t like there was a role for me sitting right there, because I’d had a sales territory that was being worked by somebody else, while I’ve been gone and all the rest of it. So I could have sat there and waited for something to open up. What I did instead is I sat there, and I started grabbing the manuals for the saying that these guys had purchased. And I started learning about it. And I started talking to people in the industry. And in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king kind of thing. And so right after, it didn’t take too long for me to become like the smartest guy in the room about this stuff, believe me, it didn’t take very long. And it certainly isn’t due to any capabilities that I had. But it’s just like, you read three pages, and you’re suddenly smarter than anybody else, right? Because nobody knows anything about it. Don’t bother to read it, right, didn’t bother read it, or they have other things to do and all the rest of it. And then I realized as I was going out into the business community, let’s say talking to a large bank about this technology, you know, they know that they need to get it, they know that it’s important. They know that it costs a lot of money, but they know deep down inside, they don’t know anything about it, and they’re nervous about it. And if you bring the technical people and they started to you know, use a lot of jargon and all the rest of it, which further intimidates the economic buyer. And I was able to bridge the gap to define to really just as I just as I helped a bunch of non government organizations, Kurdish refugees, and US military personnel communicate with one another and get a refugee camp built, just as I did that. It’s the same sort of thing as walking into a bank or a manufacturer or a telecom organization and translating from techno speak to business speak and here’s what you have to these are the three things you only have to know Don’t worry about all of those stuff is what’s most important, and giving people comfort that they’re looking for

Gary Pinkerton 19:42
Your comment they’re about, you know, asking questions, be inquisitive, writing things down, you know, that reminded me of an article I was reading very recently about how our kind of our education system but just the way in which we train children to become adults, you know, don’t be bothersome, don’t you know, things that can hurt That process of being inquisitive, you know, kids come into this world, just asking questions about absolutely everything, being super inquisitive, trying to build their cognitive abilities, very good at that process of asking questions about something, processing it, learning something from it, you know, and then go on to the next one. And we kind of work that out of people as they become adults. And it’s really important process that I think the military puts back into us.

Michael Diamond 20:25
I think so I think it can. I do think also, I’ve long had the opinion that one of the other mistakes and I think you’re right about the about the education process. One of the other things is that we haven’t a feeling of most of us that optimism and curiosity are traits that somebody either has or hasn’t, or they have more of this and less of that. So people tend to think of those as well. I’m an optimist or a pessimist or I’m that person’s innately curious, but I’m not really, I don’t think that’s true. Actually, I think that’s a fallacy. I think in reality, these are traits that can be enhanced, just like anything else through practice. And practicing optimism. One of the great ways is I’ve been like if you’re going to journal, you start writing down your wins, it’s really good. When you write down your wins, you tend to forget about it, and you see your win streak over time you see your progress. And the same thing is on curiosity, practice asking the question, I wonder why that is, even if you don’t feel it, start asking that question and challenging yourself to ask that question, I find that both of those traits can be enhanced through practice, just like a lot of other things,

Gary Pinkerton 21:21
I absolutely agree with you, I believe it’s a learned trait, it’s a choice, whether you’re going to be optimistic or not. And you can certainly set yourself up to be more optimistic than not. And as you know, in journaling, I do that as well, actually, I haven’t done it as long as probably you have. I’m fairly new to it. But it came to me through some professional and self development stuff that I’ve done. Since I left the military in the last year and a half, what has been most helpful for me is setting myself up for going to bed correctly establishing a routine of not being around computer screens, and you know, getting myself ready for a good sleep. But our effective sleep, I guess I would say, but even better than that I found and probably even better for me than the journaling is doing an old gratitude journal. So I just write down three things I’m grateful for in the evening. And it really has helped me sleep so much more soundly and wake up in such a better mood. And the other thing I did, and I haven’t mentioned this to my audience yet, but when we were at the venture Alliance mastermind, which is a real estate mastermind group that I’m a part of, we studied a really good discussion about better sleep, know how you can set yourself up for that. And I kind of branched into it a moment ago there. But the other thing I’ve done is I’ve gotten a wake up alarm clock. That’s not what they’re called. But the one where the sun comes up, you know, in your right, yeah, yeah, that has been amazing. For my mood in waking up. It’s hard for me to to explain. I certainly didn’t believe it was going to be as good as it was. But it’s perfect. The only thing I would say is be careful about the settings because I messed mine up and the sun came up at like 1am one day. And it really works. And I was fully awake the wrong time today. Yeah. So I completely agree with you. With respect to optimism. We’re certainly very similar about our outlook on being optimistic and abundant mindset. I tell my kids all the time that that you know, you don’t get to choose what happens to you, you get to choose how you react to it. And that’s far more important anyway.

Michael Diamond 23:11
That’s right. That’s right. Absolutely.

Gary Pinkerton 23:13
Your field then when you came back from the reserves, your company, it sounds like you had been in sales. It was a little bit technical sales, but it was business sales. And the landscape had changed a little bit. But basically, you characterize yourself as an executive in the technology field. Is that is that accurate?

Michael Diamond 23:32
Yeah. Like a business person in a tech field.

Gary Pinkerton 23:34
Right. Okay. Business, Business person and technical. Got it? And so that was really been what you were before and after your activated time in the military. It’s just that when you came out it the the landscape changed a little bit and you had to adjust.

Michael Diamond 23:49
Right. Absolutely. And that has never stopped. I mean, that’s life forever, right? Is it’ll keep the associate get your feet under, it’ll change again,

Gary Pinkerton 23:58
Right. Of course. Yeah. And those of us who aren’t growing are falling behind. That’s right. And so there’s a lot of people who come out and they’re thinking, do I want to start my own business? Do I want to, you know, leverage my skills for someone who would employ me? I was a more contemporary, W two employee. You know, you went one way I happened to go the other way, there was a lot of trepidation going the way I went for me, no ceiling, but there’s also no parachute. I mean, I mean, I have retirement and I, so that certainly did help me. But what are your thoughts on that? And any advice?

Michael Diamond 24:30
It’s funny, you know, I write a lot about, you know, entrepreneurship, and startups and all the rest of it yet, realistically, I’ve not ever started a business and run it or sold it or anything. But there’s a concept I was introduced to some years ago that I really like, which is the term intrapreneur that I haven’t, yet so great. Yeah, an intrapreneur is in effect. Somebody who brings entrepreneurial skill sets inside a company and uses those to the benefit of the company. Of course, I can’t imagine there are many companies on the planet. Wouldn’t value something like that or doesn’t like to think that they aspire towards something like that? You know, there’s not too many companies that say we just like to stay the same and we’re not going to change. Right. And so what I’ve been very, very fortunate in is that I’ve been in the tech world, which is inherently entrepreneurial in a certain way, anyway, through and what I’ve come to appreciate there is no right answer is I think everybody can anticipate there is no right answer. But the advantages of the intrapreneur route, which is effectively find a traditional role in an organization, hopefully find a role within an organization that itself is pro growth, and that the group that you’d be joining within the organization itself is also charged with, with growing the business. But if you get it in part of that, what the advantages of that, like, let’s acknowledge what a huge disadvantage that people immediately lock on to, which is, well, that’s not going to be a big homerun, for me, economically, right. And that can be true, although that’s not necessarily true. Like, of course, in the tech world, you can get things like you can get options as part of a company and you can you can participate in the upside in certain ways. Certainly, if a company is privately funded, if it’s a venture backed company, you’ll have opportunities to do that the risk reward continuum can still be pretty high when you work for a company. But the one thing to consider is that you said was very scary, and it is scary. And the reason why it’s scary is because you do your best to draw on resources that you might be available to you, but they’re limited. And increasingly, when you’re trying to cover off things like depending on the type of business you want to start, you want to cover off on, you have to make sure you’re paying attention to the G and a part of your business, your cash flow and all the rest of it, you’re worried, of course, about the product or the service and developing that you’re thinking about marketing. And increasingly, that’s becoming a lot more complex to think about those things. When you’re an intrapreneur. When you’re working for an organization, you can draw on on shared corporate resources that are already good at those things. And it gives you an opportunity to build and develop those muscles. And just like we talked about developing the curiosity, the optimism muscle, you can also develop your entrepreneurial muscles. And sometimes it’s a good idea to go. And almost as a waystation, if you will, even if you’re you know hell bent to start your own business, to get some opportunity and some experience with a company inside and see how certain things work, you’ll probably shake out you know, the Navy has a concept of a shakeout crews before they go into law crews just go out for a few days at a time and see what’s working and what’s broken. And my brother had been in the Navy. So I’ve always liked that metaphor. I like the idea of the shakedown cruise and just basically go out and and see and you can do that with the company. And so the idea the path of the working in a company is not anti entrepreneurial, it is more about what sort of a company which sort of a group Do you join that will have its impact on how entrepreneurial it is or isn’t,

Gary Pinkerton 27:51
Right. So how restricted the company is how open that division or that group is. That is a great comment. I haven’t heard it presented quite that way. When I was looking to transition out I was I was in Washington DC at the Pentagon and I went to a job conference there. Only one I’ve ever gone to, I saw a lot of people who had that kind of trepidation and met a lot of other people retiring or separating, they certainly felt like they needed some amount of kind of a backstop. So an amount that was salary, and perhaps commission as well. But no one was very interested in going cold turkey commissions. And that’s what I ended up personally doing a year later. But it certainly I think would be even a notch more difficult if you didn’t have you know, retirement income that would offset some of the concern. So that’s a really interesting concept and thought. And the other thing that I noticed when I was at that conference is that there are a few companies that are paying attention to that they’re starting to put together packages that do offer a combination of salary while giving you even even in positions where you’re kind of starting your own branch. I’m thinking of like, Farmers Insurance, for example, offered me something like that, where I can open up my own agency, but there’d be a period of time where I was on salary before I transitioned completely out while I learned the business. Yeah, there’s there’s quite a few and but I really like your comments there about entrepreneur, no one’s ever really presented it in that limelight. And that like to me, that’s like very helpful.

Michael Diamond 29:16
I think the other thing, too, is just a bit of advice or something to consider for listeners who might be thinking about making this transition about the nature of how civilian hiring personnel tend to view people coming out of the military. It’s mostly good news. Right? I mean, the military is held in high esteem, you come out even if it does just the military, your other, you know, civilian base first responders, people have had roles like that, let’s let’s be honest, the vast majority of everybody in the civilian world has never served in the military or better first responder. Right, right. But they have thankfully, you know, it’s a lot harder for people in the in the 60s and 70s. But thankfully, you know, the opinion of the military is very, very high. And so that’s very good, right? And so they That’s very helpful. People say, okay, that’s great. You’re in the military. The one downside, it’s a small one, and it can be overcome. But because a lot of people haven’t been in the military, they have a really weird sort of an opinion about what goes on, they actually don’t know. Like, it’s all very murky. And their understanding of the military is fueled by, you know, movies and television or something. And certain biases. One of the biases is, well, if you’re in a military, you’re in a highly regimented, hierarchical organization where your lanes are established ahead of time, and there is not a lot of opportunity for you to improvise. So you’re not a creative person, you’re not a creative person, you’re used to taking orders and giving them Yeah, and that’s about it in every job. That was not my world, in the military. And most of the people I worked with in the military weren’t like that anyway. And as a matter of fact, it’s one of the reasons why I think the US has has such a that’s really one of the secret weapons of the US military is that like, when I would work with soldiers from other countries, if I said, go do this, they would go do it the way I told them, if I TOLD US soldier and the US Army, go do this, they might come back and say I did it. But I did it this way, like, slightly different, right. And so one of the things I’ve noticed is that you have to be have your radar up for people having an unconscious bias about because I’ve heard more than a few times in my career, like, wow, it’s really great. You’re in the military, you know, but here at our company, you know, we really need people who are going to be you know, flexible and comfortable with ambiguity, and all that kind of stuff. And so you just have to watch out for that. But by and large, it’s mostly good news, right? People mostly are going to come from a position of respect,

Gary Pinkerton 31:30
Right. Right. And then you can also give your cognizant of that, listeners, when you go out there, you know, you can make sure that you highlight aspects of your own past or your career, your successes, that, that play to those examples of flexibility and creativity. That’s great. So you write a blog might tell us, first of all, most importantly, how to find it. And then some of the topics or things that might attract first responders and military.

Michael Diamond 31:58
Sure. Yeah, I started the blog over five years ago, and it’s easy to find it’s my name, Michael diamond calm. So just Michael diamond calm. The reason why I started is because I I like to read and write. And by the way, there’s a nice little phrase that leaders are readers, and readers are leaders. And so it says people are looking to enhance their leadership capabilities. It’s good to be a reader, or a podcast listener, of course. So I did a lot of reading. And I would do writing, I would write for industry publications, I might write something for my local newspaper. But along the way, people would say, well, geez, why don’t you start a blog? So the reason why I did it is it was really a passion project, with really no obvious like, What’s in it for me sort of a thing. So I started to write a lot of these things. I think I know in my life, I have had a tendency I know about you. But I’ve had a tendency from time to time to get really wound up with a really like a really super great idea. And you get lathered up, and then you go through like a hangover after that. That was that was. That was such a great idea a while ago, but now it doesn’t seem like so smart anymore. This is a normal thing for people to go through. And I suspected that I would do that with the blog. And so I told myself, Well, if I get through six months of continuing to write, that’s a milestone, like I actually made it and I did. And there’s a phrase that I like I heard it from Michael Hyatt, who’s a blogger as well. But he, I think it goes something like thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through lips, and through pencil tips. And in effect, the idea of working out what’s in your mind and writing about it. That’s a good thing. And then the second thing on the blog is you just never know, I’ll give you a perfect example. I did a blog post, and maybe the show notes, maybe we can stick it in there. But I did a blog post a while ago on something kind of interesting that I noticed in this Kurdish refugee camp in 1991. We had, I would say several 10s of 1000s of refugees eventually once we got this thing rolling, so I wrote about it. And I had a blog post out there for a while. And I got a inbound message from a guy in Mosul, Iraq, who had had as a young boy been in that refugee camp. Whoa, right. Yeah. And so and he’s like, Oh, yeah, I was in that camp. And thank you very much. And you know, etc, etc. We had a nice little email conversation. But that’s one of those things like until you put that out there. You don’t know what’s going to happen. And I’m a huge believer in you never know, you know, you just go out and say yes, don’t say no, if there’s an opportunity, or like, Where’s this gonna lead? You might not know, say yes. Anyway. And so I’ve been really passionate about the blog and writing and I up to your other question, I tend to focus on three areas with an important caveat. The three areas are leadership, innovation and personal effectiveness. That’s what I focus on. The caveat is, it’s my blog, and I get to write whatever I want, right. So sometimes, sometimes I’ll do I’ll do I’ll take a departure. But for the most part, those are the three categories I’ll focus on.

Gary Pinkerton 34:50
That’s great. And do you have someone who did you use to kind of edit it? Do you have an editor or someone who goes over it or is it is it just straight your own initiation and Have you have it, then you then you put it on.

Michael Diamond 35:01
Realistically, this is how it works. So I do everything I do the writing the, you know, the photo that put it up and create the links and all that kind of thing. So I do all that work. I’m married an English teacher. So I have sort of a, an editor on staff, which is either she’s used to me saying, hey, I’ve got this blog post, and I need to publish it in like 30 seconds. Can you read it? So she has a lot of time. So a lot of times what happens is after the fact so I just put one up yesterday or the day before on something I called Get Rich slowly. Yeah, I read that way. Yes. It can even tie into your audience here. But the funny thing is, I put that up. I didn’t say anything to my wife, I just put it up. She, of course, gets the blog emails, and her emails are so then she reads it the next day, which is how she knows about and then she goes, I don’t this one word, I don’t think this one word was exactly great. And she’s right, you know, like, like, 99% of the time. She’s right. Of course, you know, this is a sentence fragment or MCs, you have to go and clean it up. Or sometimes it might just be like, you know, one of the things I tried to remember, it’s hard for me, but I tried to get over any kind of perfectionist tendencies. It is a blog. It’s not a book, right. And so you know, if there are little things that aren’t great, that’s part of the allure of it is that it’s a little bit stream of consciousness focused, right. And people understand that I think

Gary Pinkerton 36:17
It’s no secret that the best way to learn something is to teach it right. And I’ve learned the same thing through writing blogs at paradigm life or on my own websites. And just I think what you very well explained there, I’ve learned myself in spades with with both reading and also blogging. But certainly when I’m writing either a blog or a book, it causes me to get my thoughts together, which is what Michael Hyatt was saying in his phrase, and I absolutely agree with him from the pencil or from, you know, the lips, like I will all the time, go to somebody and say, Can you just help me walk through this? I don’t get it. And they ended up saying nothing. I just say it and as I go through it, my own mind trying to explain it to them. I’ve got the answer. Just because Exactly. You know, I went through the thought process. It’s about going through the thought process, thinking critically and getting it on paper. Well, that’s amazing. And I have read a couple of years and that most recent one getting rich slowly is a really good one. So please do head over to Michael diamond calm. There’s quite a few other blogs and articles. Pretty cool. I don’t know what would you call that an infographic about a recent presentation you did? I saw?

Michael Diamond 37:23
Oh, yeah, that somebody I was doing a presentation at an innovation conference. And they had a graphic artists not like doing that thing as I was speaking. She was creating that real time. It was really great. Yeah.

Gary Pinkerton 37:33
Nice. Well, so Mike, thank you so much. This has been really, really informative. I think the audience has gotten quite a bit out of it. And if they go to your website and look at their your blogs, I think they will get tremendously more out of it. I’ll have you back on to try to bring your thoughts and your any recommendations you have on, you know, on investing, but on real estate and on just being in things for the long haul. And like you said, getting wealthy slowly.

Michael Diamond 37:58
That’s right.

Gary Pinkerton 37:59
Awesome. Thanks, Mike, for helping us.

Michael Diamond 38:00
Oh, my pleasure. It’s an honor to be on. Thanks a lot.

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