Today, we’re joined with a Air Force Veteran who decided to take control of his life and mental health to become an up-and-coming brand strategist.
After spending 5 years in the Air Force as a mechanic working for a test squadron, our guest today Irving Gil transitioned out and began to feel the mental health strains of being alone and the with the war within himself. Irving decided to pick himself up to build his own business and today’s he’s going to share some helpful tips to help you build your brand and overall reputation.
This is important for those of you there who are looking to find the right customers after creating your own business or potentially marketing yourself to an employer.
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How to Begin a Bookby Michael Bungay Stanier
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Productivity Planner by Intelligent Change
This episode is powered by Aktau education, go to www dot ACC now education.com For free comprehensive educational resources and opportunities for active duty veterans, military spouses, and children.Irving Gil:
Sit down with your spouse or even your mentor get you a mentor like today, who do you want to be in the future find that person and have them be a part of your life.KP:
Warriors fall in. Today we're joined with an Air Force veteran who decided to take control of his life and mental health to become an up and coming brand strategist. After spending five years in the Air Force as a mechanic working for a test Squadron, our guest today Irving Gill transitioned out and began to feel the mental health strains of being alone, Irving decided to pick himself up to build his own brand. And today he's going to share some helpful tips to help you build your brand and overall reputation. This is very important for those of you out there who are looking to find the right customers After creating your own business, or potentially marketing yourself to an employer. Irving, I want to thank you for joining us today. Thanks, JP, thank you for having me. Honor is all ours. And first of all, can you explain what's a visual identity such as a logo? And what is a brand strategy? Well, the simplest way to put it, think of it of like a house, the visual identity is the outside of the house, right? It's your shingles. It's the paint, whatever, right? It is visually appealing, and wants to draw you in. Now brand strategy that's more like the plans that the architect drew up, so that the builders can go do their job and make a house that safe. The foundation is sound. So a lot of businesses, they don't they don't think about that, right? They think like, Well, I'm a plumber, and my boss taking advantage of me, I'm way better at being a plumber than he is. So what I'll do is, I'll buy a logo, get a website,Unknown:
keep on trucking.Irving Gil:
With the brand strategy, what that does is that it lays down the foundation and the systems that you need in a business, so that it's not like overwhelming you so that it runs without you. And then you can go out and like attack. It's the plan, right? Mission Planning, you gotta do all the research, you set that with your guys. And like you come up with a plan, and then you execute. So that's what you want to do.Unknown:
Yeah, cuz we had our conversation early on, I talked about my logo, and then you explain the differences between my reputation and how that logo or how that cover art makes people feel a certain way. And so you mentioned, you just said shoes. What do you think about when you think of shoes, and I said Nike automatically. There's several others at the top of that list. But, you know, I didn't say like new balance or anything like that. And I think a lot of times people don't, don't go that deep into it, don't think about it that much. And that's why I wanted to hit that right off the bat and make sure people understand the differences between logo and overall brand strategy. So, Ervin Do you have several tips on how someone in the military community could position themselves for business during their active duty service or after the uniform. I always say that, you should always be thinking of the future, you know, everything that you're doing, it's all it's all about stepping stones, you want to leverage your set your time the service for your future, because there will come a day when you will not be in even if you serve 30 years, you know, if you start at 18, you know, 30 years, you're 48 you still have a whole life ahead of you. So always be thinking about like your future. So what should you do? Start some sort of side hustle, right? Nothing serious, especially for those of you that have a high deployment tempo. Like, just think of something that you can do on the side, like, buy a Glowforge and start like laser etching cups and stuff like that, for your buddy isn't like they they buy a onesie to these right? Nothing serious. But then when you get out, you can buy 15 machines and go hard in the pain and right because you're already established, right? You already have customers. So like, if you're thinking about going to school, minor in business, it doesn't matter what your major is gonna be right? minor in business, because in all things, business sales, it's all important. Sales is an everyday part of life. And even if you're not looking to be in your own business, like you need to sell yourself, and you need to have that confidence. Because if you walk into that interview, and you don't have that you're done. It's like it doesn't matter that you served 20 years in the Marine Corps. Like if you don't if you ain't got it like it's not gonna be there. Yeah, yeah, I can't remember who it was there was a commercial back in the day, I think it was Spike Lee. He said don't don't fake the funk. gymnastic dunk. I don't know if you remember that commercial. And again, you can't fake the funk. Whenever you're going in, and you're talking to someone, or if you're trying to portray yourself as something that you're truly not. And would you also agree that if you're currently in the service right now that it's also important to to align yourself with peers who are like minded in a sense. So if you have peers who are business hustlers, or people that are thinking ahead, thinking to the future, it's important to be, they always say that if you're, if you're in a group of five idiots, then you're the sixth idiot, right? That's the one thing that I've always thought of, for myself anyways, was to try to align myself with folks who are also along the same foundational bandwidth when it comes to where we're headed going forward. So would you also agree that that that's part of it, too, is making sure that you surround yourself with the right people? Yeah, I mean, you don't, you don't want to surround yourself with crabs, right? Crabs, you can throw a bunch of crabs in a bucket. Yeah. And if you're trying to escape, they're just grabbing you and pulling you down, you're going nowhere. So you really need to consider who's in your top five, that inner circle. And like, make sure that you're building each other up. They are always like talking about money, like having fiscal responsibility, like just building the life that you want. Because if you don't have that, you're just going out partying, doing a bunch of E three crap. Like, yeah, it's fun. But when you get out, like, what do you have nothing? Yeah, I think that was my biggest message when I was a PL when I was a platoon leader was to, you know, because when you're in the military, a lot of times, you're 1819 2021 years old, and you're in the barracks. And so you're surrounded in this environment that may not cultivate sort of a mentality of thinking into the future. So it was, you know, kind of upon us leaders to try to bring people back and say, Hey, consider going to the Education Center and things like that. And that's why I wanted to mention that. And in my own past, Irving, I've been very unclear with my overall path and goals. So it's taking me some time to better my own vision. Do you have any helpful tips on how our military community can adjust and refine vision clarity? That's actually during the brand strategy process? When I do my workshops, this is my favorite part of the workshops is the 20 year goals, I set people down, like what do you want to do this quarter? What do you want to accomplish in five years? What do you want to accomplish in 10 years? What do you want to accomplish in 20 years? Because for the most part, none of us think like that. None of us have ever been taught to think like that. I'm all for being present. And like, I'm talking to you, I am here. However, like, I need to be thinking about, like, how my grandkids are going to be taken care of when I'm gone. So like I'm trying to lay down this foundation, I was like, well, in 20 years, I want to have a real estate portfolio of 10 properties. Well, is partying every weekend going to get me there? Of course not I'm just taking money and putting it away. That that's not getting me there. I recently I was with a client, and we were talking about a new work a new a new business idea, you know, getting people to start their business in 60 days, right, so we're gonna do X, Y, and Z. Well, that's not gonna meet your goal of hitting 10 grand in the next 30 days, you're focusing on the wrong thing. Like if you want to do X and 30 days, like all this other stuff needs to go to the wayside. You need to sit down, write down your goals, have a vision. I highly suggest this book right here. How to begin by Michael Bungay. Standard stand here. He really goes hard in the paint on goal setting. And like having certain criteria on making sure that your goals are something that you achieve. Yeah, that's a that's a that's absolutely fascinating. I just wrote that down. That's why it took me a second or so. And it's called How to begin by who's the who's the author on that one? Michael Bungay Stanier. You'll see him on Instagram as MBS works. I think MBS underscore works on ps4, so Okay, cool. Y'all check that out, man. I'm always interested in learning more and growing So I wanted to make sure that I captured that. And a lot of what you're saying is real talk. I mean, it's a straight up, I think the biggest challenge for some of our lower enlisted folks out there is simply being young. And the biggest challenge for some of our younger NCOs out there is simply not thinking ahead when it comes to what's going on beyond next week. And that was one thing I encountered as a military leader was trying to get people to think further than that years out not just days or weeks. And just wanted to ask you, you know, how would you suggest for folks in our military, folks in our military community to align themselves with their overall focus brand, business audience and their future, always, just sit down with yourself, or sit with somebody like me a strategist, and like, write this stuff out? My goal is not to really come up with anything, my goal is to draw out of you because all the answers are within you. Everything is there. I can't remember who did it. But he made the statue of David, it's in Rome. Beautiful piece. But he said that David was always in the stone, I just had to carve him out. So all those answers all that stuff, it's within you. And you just have to take the time. Sit down, write it out. And just think about it. Think about the house that you want, when you're in your 40s the vacations you want to take with your wife. Do you even want to have a spouse, if you're your spouse needs to be involved in all of this too, because a lot of us make the mistake of we have this grand vision for our future. And we we split off from our spouse, because they have a different view of the future. And like we're not conjoined together, because like we're in this together, right? So sit down with your spouse, or even your mentor, get you a mentor and like today, who do you want to be in the future, find that person and have them be a part of your life. That's an excellent, excellent tips. Sharing your goals, I think is the most important part of that, when it comes to sharing things that because at the end of the day, you can take those you can take those goals, and you can you can internalize them. But in reality, you kind of need to check yourself because those goals may not be achievable, they may not be feasible. And if you set yourself goals without sharing them with someone else, and you don't make those goals, you don't achieve those goals. That can be a complete downer for yourself. And, you know, it won't motivate you to continue utilizing that process of making goals. So find a mentor, share your goals with them, make sure that they are feasible, they're achievable. And they're, you know, things that you can do in reality. And I love what you said about the statue and David, and what the creator of that statue said, as far as David was always there just I had to, I had to, you know, Chip him away, basically and create him. But he was always in that in that stone. And many times our community is looking for folks to tell them the answer versus finding the answers themselves along their own path or their own journey. or V i just want to ask you because I was just thinking a lot of times military folks feel like they're very multitasked out. They've got several things going on family, working, active duty, all the extra stuff that you're doing, aside from that, because you're you know your soldier, Airman sailor, 24/7, right. Do you have any advice or any tips for folks out there on how to better multitask? I know this is kind of off the topic of branch strategy, but just based off of everything that you've done in your experiences. Do you have any advice on time management? Or multitasking? How can people better perform those two things? There are several studies saying that you shouldn't multitask that you it's impossible. That what you're doing is you're splitting up the bandwidth in your brain. And you're just doing okay at several things. But what I highly suggest, and we didn't prepare for this, but luckily I got it right next to me. This right here, it's a productivity planner. This one's by intelligent change. I'm not sponsored by anyone by the way. I just think that these are fantastic. Like tools. And one of the things that it has in there is a is a theory called chunking. Or a technique called chunking. So let's say that I have to write a 20 page paper for this class, and it's due in a month. Well, how many pages? Do I have to write a day? How many pages? Do I have to write a week? Do I have to write in the beginning? Or am I in the research phase? So what you do is, you write out your weekly goals, what are five things that have to be done this week? Have to be there? Like there's no questions about it has to be done. So okay, so I have to write five pages. Well, that's a page a day, if we don't count the weekend. Right. So page, one page has to be written as number one. And that has to be done. And what you do is you break it up into segments, called the Pomodoro. method. So you set a timer for 25 minutes, and then you step away and completely disengaged for five minutes. And then you keep doing that until that number one task is done. There's other things too, like, it would be nice. If this was done, this is the next one, you do the exact same thing. I have a fence to be built. That would be nice. If it was done. It's not super important right now. But it's nice if I do it, same exact thing. 25 minute timer, step away for five minutes. And until that task is done, and you just work down your list. And then at the end of the night, you sit down, how productive were you? How do you feel? And you sit down and you journal? And then you plan for the next day? What is the number one thing that I have to get done tomorrow to feel that I did something? Because a lot of us think about this and even in your own life? How many times is at the end of the day? And you're just like the heck did I do? Oh, yeah, that happens a lot to me sometimes, like if I'm completely swamped in my work, and I just did a bunch of stuff. And like, at the end of the day, your brain is kind of like frazzled a little bit and you have no idea what you did. When you journal every day like that that stops happening. And you have like this incredible clarity that otherwise you wouldn't have. Yeah, that's actually excellent advice. And for anyone out there listening, try it. Try it for two to three months, see how you feel because nothing is better than being efficient and effective and productive. As far as Yes, release, releasing those good chemicals in your brain and feeling like you're actually progressing and moving along with your overall goals. And Irving, would you mind explaining a little bit about the importance of overall online reputation. We all know that. reputation is everything. It's so hard to build, and it's so easy to tear down. So above all things just make sure you're above reproach. And make sure that you actually think about the reputation that you want to have. And all touch points in your life. Think about like, early in the morning, when you're dropping off your kids at school. And everybody like they see you. Like, do you want to be known as the guy that is in like sweat pants and you look like very slovenly. And then like, Come to find out you're a real estate agent, right? But people are gonna think of you is like, That guy's a real estate man. I don't want him showing up to my house and like coffee stain sweats. That's not no. At every touch point. You need to think about how do you answer the phone? How do you write your emails? When you're posting something on Instagram getter, clubhouse, whatever, whatever it is that you're doing? Like, what are you putting out? does it align with your future? It's okay, if you're not there yet. Write it down. What who I want to be is this this is this is my image and go on Pinterest and make a board. This is how I want to look in the future to people on the outside. This is the voice that I want to have. Like another exercise that I like doing is in the future. Like what's the pop culture character that you want to be? If you're making a business, nine times out of 10 You want to be some sort of sage. You want to be Yoda. You want to be Gandalf. Why? Because you're not the hero. In this story. cuz you're a business, the business solves problems. What problems does the hero have? While at this point? I need the hero needs his gutters cleaned? Well, what if I did a YouTube video showing people? How to clean their gutters? How do I do a YouTube video on why you should even have gutters? Some people don't have gutters? Well, if jacking up your foundation, you know water is going to get under it. You want to protect that? How do you install a gutter guard? And like you just work your way that way. And just think about like, Who do you want to be. And then you just you work your way out to be that thing. You just have to again, you have to write it out. If it's in your head, it's not reality, like sit down and write it out exactly who it is that you want to be in the future, at every touch point in your life. I absolutely love talking to folks like you around because it starts it even in this conversation right now you're generating ideas in my head thinking, Okay, this is what I got to do. And this is, this is what I should take into consideration. So just listening to you talk man is really getting the gears rolling up here in my head. So I want to talk to you about your business. Can you tell us a little bit about your design business? And what inspired you? Funnily enough, I, I got my master's degree in 2017. And for the life of me, I couldn't even get an interview. Why? Everybody wanted somebody with three years experience, why don't have three years experience. I've been in school for 10 years. So what was I going to do? I couldn't be an intern, you know, or a full time intern. I have kids to feed my kids and my priority. I'll work at McDonald's 80 hours a week to ensure that they're never hungry. So that's not happening. They're not starving for my dreams. That's, that's just not something I'm willing to sacrifice. So what was I gonna do? I started with a side hustle. I was working three jobs. And I was making logos here and there. I was making people's websites here and there until I could establish myself and I could do it full time. But if I didn't have a goal, and if I wasn't willing to work at it, it would never have happened. Because I don't know why this is this way. But you come on a school. And then you like these people expect you to have all all this experience for an entry level job. And it doesn't even make sense. Like, what am I what am I supposed to do? So I started my business, I did exactly what I told you not to do. I got a website, and I just started rolling. At the time, I didn't know any better. But as I grew, and I got more into my community, I figured different things out. And I grew as a businessman. And I knew that choosing someone's typography isn't going to save their business. Them having a solid foundation is going to save their business, it's going to be able to send their kids to good schools, or even to college if they so want that for them. So as I as I grew as a businessman, I wanted to solve bigger business problems. So I invested in my education. And I moved into being a brand strategist, I still make your logo. But I know for a fact that's not as important. However, it still is important. It's the face of your company. So spent, would you spend $5 on on a plastic surgeon for your face? Of course not. What are you gonna do? You're gonna find the best, because you don't want to look like a monster. Yeah, yes, exactly. Right, man. And a couple of things you hit on there. You talked about, you know, getting your college degree getting out of the military thinking that you got all the hardware that you need to go find that job that you want your career dream job, right, and then you come out and you realize that doesn't happen that way. I was very, I was part of that. Like, I thought that hey, if I'm an Army Captain combat experience, graduate degree, you know, what more could you ask for besides Ivy League at that point, right? Like I come out and then I realized that my competition was not just other veterans or other folks in the military community. My competition was civilians, like I was dealing with people who went to better schools that I went to college Wise, who were part of fraternities, sororities, other groups that resonated better with the executives and hiring managers at the company that I ended up working for, and they got better positions than me and it was just like, well, how is this fair? Like I I served my country. You know, it took time to do that it could have just stayed here and joined could have went to Notre Dame and joined a fraternity that would have gotten me a job at this specific company at some point. But I didn't, you know, I took the hard right, join the military deployed, did my time came out here and and now it's like I'm fighting for a job, an ideal job. So yeah, it is frustrating. I know what you're saying, Irving. And that's part of the reason why I started the more information is to make people understand people in our military community understand that. Yeah, it's not as easy as you think you don't just come out the military with all the hardware you need to understand. Like things that we're talking about today. Online Reputation, your brand strategy for yourself, if you're going to do a business, you got to understand who is your client? How do you reach your client, there's so much more to this than then than what I thought. And that's why I enjoy talking to folks like you. And I like how you, you're not just kicking out logos, you're not just doing stickers, and posters and things like that, but you went two to three tears deep into it. And now you're like talking about what's behind the logo, not just the picture and the and the cool graphics and whatnot. But what does it mean? And I think that that's really important for folks out there, would you mind talking a little more detail about the pain points that your business fulfills to our military community? The number one pain point that I feel so happy about bringing is I bring clarity. There's like, I just get this, like goosebumps, when you just see a business owner, they're sitting there. And they're, they're doing the exercise in writing. And then like, oh my gosh, like, okay, and then like, they just, they just get this boost of energy. And they're just like this forever. It comes out of them. It's crazy, right, that aha moment. And there's just so many people and I talked to them. And like, they don't have a unique selling proposition. Just think about when you go to the grocery store, like, how many kinds of Rice Krispies do I need? Why there's chocolate Froot Loops, right? Like, what, what are we doing here? There's just a sea of sameness. And like, you need to look at your competition, and like, who was not being served? And how can I serve them? Just having that clarity, and just like, it's gonna suck at first, and it's gonna hurt, probably. But when you have that aha moment, and like you find these gaps in the market, like you can serve these people and do it better than everybody else. What swiftness just think about how you're just so foggy, I meet so many business owners that their SEC of the fog of war has just taken over their brain. And like, they're working so much in their business that, like, they don't they don't know how much money they're, what's their profit, they have no idea. There's money in the bank. And they don't know that they're doing this, but like, they're technically money laundering, because they're like taking money out of the business for themselves. And that's not how things work. Right. So like, there's just their systems that aren't there. There's like a lack of clarity. Like you're just doing stuff. And you don't know why. That's the number one pain point that I bring to the table. No, I think a lot of folks out there. I think a lot of folks out there in our community can completely identify with that fog. I know I can for sure. I know that I had goals in mind and things that I want to do. But I was never clear on how to get to those goals. I had an idea. I had an Asmath on a direction. But I wasn't able to really understand what path was I supposed to take. So that is a huge pain point for for a business to cover. And for anyone out there, Irving that might be interested in contacting you connecting with you or checking out your business, where can they find you? You can look up my name, Irving GL Gil. I should be Irving evolve on Instagram. You can check out my website, Irving Hill designs calm. And I've also signed up with evolve training.us And I'm trying to help out more business owners and people who want to be in business so that they're actually successful at a faster rate, instead of let's be bopping around for three years and kind of just sort of figuring it out. We're trying to expediate that process. Yeah, that's that's absolutely awesome. And before we round out the show today, Irving, I just wanted to ask you, is there anything that you'd like to In summary, let our audience know about anything that any piece of advice or any anything at all before we finish out the show. Definitely read get a mentor. start journaling. And one, and this is one of my favorite ones called the homies. When you get out this whole 22 A day nonsense. Just call the homies. You don't have to do it every day. Maybe once a no, once in a great while call the people you said, well ask them how they're doing. Yeah, that's it. Yeah, man. I mean, I honestly, that's a great, that's a great lead into what I was gonna mention next. You recently had an interview with Ryan from that with a mic. And you talked a lot about mental health. during that interview, I listened to the entire interview, it was absolutely fascinating how open you were about things. I think that's one of our biggest problems as we try to internalize a lot of a lot of things, not just bill, not just folks in our military community. But I speak to folks that have never been in the military before, who in today's society tend to internalize a lot of their issues and a lot of their problems. And that's something that we need to get over. And just be 100% authentic and genuine, and not afraid to talk about the things that bother us or the things that are within us. And if you're listening right now, and you get an opportunity, I want to ask you to download that episode with Irving Gill, because it's as far as mental health on the mental health topic and issues. It's a very authentic, very genuine episode where he just talks about his his struggles overall on how much you realize how much he really had to pick himself up to get to where he is today. journaling. Journaling is something that I certainly want to start doing because I actually my my podcast assistant, and co host Avi who just started this week at college at ASU, Arizona state. It's something that I suggested to him to start doing because looking back at my time in the military, it's something that I wish I had done as a young as a young even as a young enlisted man, or even a young commissioned officer that I was, I wish I could go back man and just write down my thoughts for that week. As I was taking my journey, you know, up to my my rank of oh three, and Captain when I finally got out, and I wish I could go back. And fortunately, I did take some videos and pictures of myself back then I sent some videos home that I posted to my Instagram, to my parents telling them, you know, hey, I miss you. And just looking at myself back then and how skinny I was. And it looked like a stray animal. That was during a deployment. So I lost quite a bit of weight. But man journaling it that's those last points that you mentioned, there is absolutely that just sums up the entire show. And I appreciate you doing that. And it's very important for folks out there, whether you're in service, or whether you're a veteran and you're out right now or you're a military spouse, and no matter where you're at, man, it's never too late to start. Start today. Start today, because five years from now you're gonna 10 years from now you can really appreciate it. So, Irving, I want to thank you for joining us on this beautiful Saturday morning. And for anyone else out there, go down to the shownotes you're gonna see all the links that Irving mentioned during our interview. I'll put them down there and you can contact them and just to be clear, it's Irving Irv ing. Gil, gi l, not two L's just Oh, no, not so why now? Yeah, it's actually a more common name than I realized when I was doing some research and just look it up some of your some of your your stuff that you've done. So, Ervin, thank you so much for joining us and more information. As for everyone else out there, would you stay tuned, stay focused and stay motivated? Warriors Fallout