by Scott R. Tucker

May 2, 2021

Ryan Jones

Veteran Wealth Secrets 19 with Ryan Jones - NETWORK!

Today we will sit with Sergeant First Class (ret) and founder of Honoring the Heroes, Ryan Jones,  to share his wisdom and advocacy about helping the military community as well as the law enforcement community through  Honoring the Heroes. 

Episode Highlights:

01:03- Ryan Jones's role in the military 

03:26- What is Honoring Heroes about? 

06:19- A police officer has no decompressed time, unlike the military. 

08:19- What's next on the horizon for Ryan Jones? 

09:52- Honoring the Heroes is limited by funding.  

13:02-Networking- Ryan's secret in pulling it off 

16:40- Ryan's transition story 

21:20- What's next for Ryan in the coming years for Honoring the Heroes?


Key Points:

  1. Honoring the Heroes gives tactical backpacks filled with resources for mental, emotional and spiritual health. 
  2. LinkedIn is more than just a social media platform but an incredible platform to reach out to people and establish your network. 
  3. Networking is the key that made Honoring the Heroes a success.

Quotes:

  • “One of the best things that we could do as veterans is to talk positively about our service. Don't sugarcoat the negative, but let's also emphasize the positive things that the military has given us.” - Ryan Jones
  • “I am amazed how many people are willing to help if you would only ask, and Linkedin's been amazing for all of our tractions and everything going forward.” - Ryan Jones
  • “Pick something that you enjoy doing even if it doesn't pay enough because if you're doing something but you're miserable, you'll only do it long enough until you think you can quit.” - Ryan Jones 

Transcript of 026 with Ryan Jones - NETWORK!!!!

Scott Tucker: Welcome back everyone. Scott Tucker here with Veteran Wealth Secrets. Thank you so much for joining us. If you're new to the show, when we're all new to this show, we're just getting started, but we're already on episode 19 or 20. We're rolling these things out fast.

We're really excited about it. We've been talking to amazing people. And, really what this show is about is not only to share insights and stuff but to network, that's what I'm doing personally. I'm networking with my guests. I'm networking with all of you who are getting to know him.

My last guest today he's been following my stuff all along. I had never met him before, but now we did. So that's going to be, I think the topic of today's show so excited to have Ryan Jones on because. This is someone who's transitioned during the COVID era. I'm sure. You'll tell stories to your grandchildren about that, but a former army, a first Sergeant?

No Sergeant first class. Sorry, I forgot. Okay. And and so re recently, what'd you do in the military? 

Ryan Jones: So my job I trade was a Calvary scout. And then the army in their infinite wisdom decided that at the last five years of my career, I should be a recruiter. So lately opposite ends of the spectrum.

Okay. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah, but recruiting you're probably having to do a lot more, what a better job to at least be in the civilian world Hey, this is what's going on. I'm still walking around in a uniform. Everybody's Ooh, look the army guys here. You got to commute. You also got to learn.

Marketing and sales skills, which are my opinion, the number one lacking skillset coming out of the military, because other than selling your troops on taking the Hill they got to follow orders anyway. So you don't really have to develop those skills. If you just want to be a jerk, but since you mentioned that, I didn't know that w would love to talk because the bottom line is regardless of what you're doing, even if you're not in a sales job.

You, we're all communicating. We're all trying to persuade. And in, in whether you're persuading, your kids eat the vegetables or you're persuading somebody to hire you persuading the customer to buy your product or service. Can you talk a little bit about what it's like as a recruiter?

Is there anything we could do in the military as a whole to bring that in or in the transition process? 

Ryan Jones: Oh, absolutely. So one of the best things that we could do as veterans is talk positively about our service. So we get a lot of people that would talk negative. Maybe they had a bad experience, but it wasn't all negative.

And a lot of times when we get out, we like to talk about the negative because it's a story and it's something to talk about. But a lot of these kids hear these stories and I'm like, guys, this is. This isn't Vietnam, this isn't even 2000. This is a totally different military, totally different army.

And let's talk about the good things I've got my degree through the army. Learned, got a career through the army. I have medical and dental benefits for me and my family. The rest of my life through the army. So there's been a lot of good things that the army has given us. And if we could just tell that story, tell about how it is positive now, don't sugar coat, the negative.

Cause it's all there is negatives that happen, but let's also try to emphasize the good things that the military has given us. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah. And I'm glad you put it that way because I want to talk more about your foundation honoring the heroes. Cause I think. W what you're doing there. And then tell me more is you're translating that, that same sort of, again, communication.

These are sales skills. Hey, w how do we let it be known that our police military firefighters or whatever, like, how do we make sure we've seen what's happened in the last few months, Dee phoned the police and all this it's geez, people, what is going on? We're not talking to each other anymore.

Tell us what honoring the heroes is about. 

Ryan Jones: So obviously the heroes was actually a brainstorm between myself and my senior pastor. And we basically were talking about all the benefits for veterans and I made a comment and I was like, yeah, there's a lot for firefighter and police too. And he just chuckled.

He's you have no idea. And so I took that as a challenge and I'm like we're at the same cloth. It's gotta be out there. And I did some research and there wasn't, there was little pockets here, a little pocket in Minnesota, a little pocket in San Diego. But nothing nationwide, nothing that was either local.

So what we decided to do was we were going to give these guys a tactical backpack. And so we fill this backpack filled with resources, for their mental, their emotional, and their spiritual health. And the goal is the couple alongside law enforcement firefighters. And basically tell those guys, Hey, we love you.

We appreciate you. Thank you for, defendant US here. I help. And to me, it was a very important mission to take on. And it's just, it's really grown. The police departments, the fire departments, they love it. They've never seen anything like it. They think it's amazing. We just had a church on the South side of Tampa get 150 bags for their entire district.

Of the Tampa Hillsborough County sheriffs. And every one of those guys was like, Aw, ah, a moment, the face wide nobody's ever done this. Or like the most we get as a thank you or somebody will buy our meal, but these are actual resources that they can take home and use. So we have resources for the spouse.

We have resources for PTSD. We have resources for their marriage. We have resources just help them in daily life. One thing that us veterans, we had the privilege of serving and then we got to come home and decompress and law enforcement. They work every single day and they live sometimes in the same communities.

And so they go and deal with people on the worst day of their life. If you think about that, even if you're getting pulled over because you were speeding, you were probably speeding for a reason. You were probably in a hurry. And now this police officer is taking more of your time. Probably the worst day that you're having that week, they go to a domestic violence is obviously the worst day of that lady's life.

And they go to somebody being killed or something happening. They're responding to people at their worst. And they do that day in and day out and they wake up and they put that uniform on every single day. And so they don't really get a decompress time. Like we got our year off, we got our six months off, whatever that was, they don't get that.

Fast forward to 2020, and the world is just upside down the deep on the police, the Tampa PD we're out there protecting the protestors that were telling them how terrible and awful they were threatening their lives, doing their job to protect them because there was other people that wanted to harm them for what they were saying.

And they were actually standing in between the two groups. Protecting those that we're talking about them. And then they get to go do that again tomorrow 

Scott Tucker: America and a wonderful and amazing place. I w I'll lay down my, you might disagree with me, but I will lay down my life for your right to disagree with me.

And so sad that sometimes other arguments are said, no, you have to agree with me is the only way we can be anyways side point. But it's so important because. I've always thought that it's, people say, Oh, thank you for your service. And I'm like, yes, I went down range.

I was an officer. I didn't have to go out the gate very much. I wanted to be a platoon leader, but the guy above me got fired. So next thing I know, I'm the XL and I didn't get to, I didn't think I, yeah, I was like, Oh, I went to West point for four years to be a platoon leader. And when it's all said and done, I was just like, Oh yeah, that's next guys here.

So we're just switching it out. And I was like, Oh man, these leadership skills I didn't get to use, but no, I love the idea of, cause it's just so obvious. These, you see the police drive around it's yeah. I get scared every time a cop is behind me. And then that's not fair to that guy, but I'm just like, Oh man, if I get pulled over something, I'm going to act awkward and think they're taking my liberties from me.

And so it's a rough job that, and what a great idea. I'm more fascinated that there isn't anything else out there. I There's forty-five thousand veterans service organizations. So what do you see next on the horizon for either you guys or other organizations? 

Ryan Jones: W so this has been an amazing experience and God's just been open doors.

We are actually partnering with other people that are trying to do the same thing, both locally in their little area. There's a couple of guys in Idaho that are really doing some amazing things and they've been doing little goodie bags and gift bags, and they want to do a full bag and they want this to just be Idaho wide and they want every officer to get one.

We would ideally love to partner in every community. And make sure people are getting these bags and get in the resources. What I tell everybody is the resources in here might just sit on the shelf. And we know that they're their books. And they might sit on a shelf, but you know what, when something really bad happens at two in the morning, and that officer has a choice between his service revolver and a book that might help him.

I pray that he reaches for the book and reaches out. My cell phone number is in every single bag that we give out. If these guys just need somebody to talk to I'm there. So we just want to partner and be broader and just more people that get it, the more people we can help. 

Scott Tucker: Wow. To give your number out like that.

That's amazing. I wouldn't even ask if you've gotten any calls yet, but thank you for offering that. So how are people involved? How does, how do you guys get the bags together? Pack them. Get the books. How do you fund it? Like how can folks help if they want to obviously spread the word to the various communities, are you limited by funding or is it just depend on who wants to start something?

Ryan Jones: W we're absolutely limited by funding. We've worked with all the authors, so we have 13 books in our deluxe bag and all of those offers have given us the books at their price. So they bought into the mission and they think it's a great thing. Right now you can go to our website, w w. Dot honoring the heroes.com.

You can donate, you can sponsor a bag. What we really like is when somebody buys a bag. And so let's say, Scott, you decided to buy a bag for your neighbor. Now I can send that back to you or I can send it directly to him. I prefer to send it to you and then you hand it to them because now it's a personalized gift.

Now you've invested in that officer's life. And now it's a lot more than just, Hey, this organization sent me something cool, but now it's man, this was a gift from Scott. He really cares about me. So that's what we'd love people to do. We love it when they buy a bag and then we send it to them and they give it to somebody corporate sponsorships, anything like that because there's a backpack.

The beautiful thing about it being a backpack is you can add whatever you would like to it. Okay. You've wrote a book on Wealth and we honestly we'll put a little plug out there. We don't have a Wealth book in there. So if you decided that, Hey, I want to be part of this and we can talk offline and we get a good deal going.

And then, that's something that we could add to the bag that now these guys would have another resource for their future. 

Scott Tucker: Thank you. I would be honored to participate in something like that. Yes. I'm writing more to the Veteran specifically. But we all go through changes, guys.

Aren't, don't stay in the police force forever. They might have a transition out. They might want to, have an idea of starting a business. I would love, obviously there's a lot of veterans serving in the police and firefighter community. Yeah, I'd put the, I put the website there.

I'm just going to leave that up. So folks we'll note participate, contribute. I love the idea of buying a bag. I'm going to go look to do that as soon as we get off here that all came from something. I know we wanted to talk about some of the other secrets today, but you've got some how you built this up so quick.

How long have you 

Ryan Jones: been doing so we had the idea about a year ago, November of last year, but we didn't get kick-started until right around. February March. And then as we all know what happened in February and March 

Scott Tucker: time to do something, right? Bravo on that and some of the success I'm guessing has to do with the secret that you wanted to talk about today, you're going through your own transition, trying to launch a nonprofit that's different than a for-profit business.

I You're competing for donor dollars. You're just competing for attention, especially. It's like worse, like who wouldn't support that. It's not about that. It's that there's so many other donation organizations that, it's hard. And I know you got to hustle, you got to get out there and meet people.

Ryan what's your secret? What's your secret to the last year? Because I know you've also gone through the skills bridge program. You just land a new job. You're starting next Monday, right? So crazy time and not just transition trains, unknown uncertainty. But you've pulled it off. You're pulling it off.

What's the secret 

Ryan Jones: networking networking. I'm amazed. I didn't even know what LinkedIn was until February of this year. I went to a tax class. They were like, you have to be on LinkedIn and I'm like, What is that another social media thing? I was on Facebook for the army.

I was on Instagram for the army and I wasn't that guy. I wasn't the social media guru. So another program LinkedIn, I'll tell you, LinkedIn has been amazing. All of our traction, everything going forward has been LinkedIn. It's been networking. It's been, I'm amazed at how many people are willing to help if you just ask.

Scott Tucker: So I'm so glad you brought up LinkedIn, that's been, I've been on LinkedIn since like 2007. Just had it up there, like the standard kind of profile thing. Like don't know what this is for. But about two years ago, I thought. Hold on. I think this is a place to share a bunch of ideas, meet a bunch of people, throw some stuff out there.

See what hits, Oh, by the way, you can practice writing practice, video, practice communication. It's about skillset development and LinkedIn is not a social media platform, as much as it is. A networking event where you can show up 24 seven for any particular topic you want. Yeah. I'm curious, what were, what did you do?

What was that? I If you just learned about it and in February, we're able to immediately go cause most people, most gun guys don't think begrudgingly get on LinkedIn because they think it's the requirement for the job application. And it's no, it's all about networking. You got to communicate and gosh, how much easier is it to be able to send a quick note, say, Hey man, would you be willing to talk.

If they say no. So what, move on to the next one. There's thousands of people on there, but there's a lot of different strategies and stuff. I actually teach some of that in my LinkedIn course. I would love to hear what you did, both for your own personal stuff. And also for honoring the heroes.

Ryan Jones: So complete honesty. I was using it for honoring the heroes. I was like let's network. If people want to donate, if people want to give it's another network for that, because of honoring the heroes, I ended up obviously in the veteran community and what first people and people were just willing to help with my transition.

People were like, Hey, do you know about this course? So I did four blocks through LinkedIn. I learned about it. I did a entrepreneur class through LinkedIn that I learned about all of these programs that were free. For veterans because of LinkedIn. I did the, Hey, this is who I am. I'd like to have a conversation.

Are you available? And I was amazed that people sent me their calendar invite and they're like, pick a time, we'll spend 30 minutes. And that 30 minutes turned into a half hour, turned into an hour, multiple conversations, people just wanting to talk and wanted to help. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah. It's. It's just, there's so much going for us.

All right. Now, because a lot of times we don't know how to help. And so we get stuck in that. So the ability to just get on a phone call, ask, Hey, do you got anything that you learned? Are you are you a before me ahead of me above me? Whatever it might be. I think everybody's got a little bit of insight that they can share with those coming behind them, so to speak.

And that's really what this show's about. So Ryan tell us. Tell us what's going on. You ended up finding through, through some of that networking for honoring the heroes, finding an opportunity. Do you, can you tell us a little bit more, what was your specific transition like?

Cause you didn't just use, a four block you also use DOD skill bridge and that's becoming more, well-known at least in the LinkedIn space, hard to miss it, but I'm guessing in the greater army and military. It's still an unknown thing. So I always wanted the opportunity to spread that word.

Ryan Jones: So DOD skill bridge through by army was literally a one sentence. Hey, when you guys are getting out DOD skill bridge, next line, and that was it. And it's okay, that obviously wasn't very important to that slide because of COVID because of LinkedIn, I got all these veterans that are like DOD Spielberg's DOD scale version.

I'm like. What are the world is this? So I looked into it and so I can get up to six months off of the army before I get out, while I'm getting an active paycheck to go work for a company that I may want to work for, seems like a no brainer. So then I called my command and they're like, we hate to lose you.

I'm like, you're losing me anyway. And they're like, yeah. All right, deuces. They basically signed off on it. So in June I was able to do a DOD skill bridge with systematic business consulting, SPC. Those guys are amazing. I love them. I'd recommend them to everybody. Now my DOD skill bridge didn't work out with SBC.

And it didn't work out because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I was like, I'm coming out of this. I was a scout at one point, maybe I'll do security. I've been a recruiter. Maybe I'll do recruiting. We mentioned sales. We mentioned communications. I was like, maybe I'll do that. Systematic business consulting was.

Business consulting. Basically we contacted metal industries. We helped them get hires. We help guys go through the whole process of being hired. It was a lot of telephone calls and social media, and I'm just not 

Scott Tucker: sure, not a problem from that. You're not that guy. 

Ryan Jones: Nope. When it came to recruiting, they were like, Hey, make a hundred phone calls.

I'm like, what's the end state? They're like two appointments. I'm like, if I can make those two appointments. Any other way, can I not make phone calls? And they're like, yes. And so I did that, so that was my goal. But I found out what I didn't want to do through the skill bridge. And I found out I don't want to do.

Cold call sales. I just, it wasn't my thing. And so I love the company. I would highly recommend them to anybody. That's Hey, I want to work from home. I don't really want to go to an office. They're perfect. I got two little kids working at home was like, Hey, now dad's home to play all the time.

So to me it just didn't work out, but I'm so thankful for the opportunity to do it through the army, get paid and learn what I shouldn't do. And because of that, I was able to still network through LinkedIn and through all that other stuff and ended up going to Aramark. And I start with them on the first and that is going to be outside sales.

That's going to be face to face. That's going to be talking with people. And that was my niche for recruiting. I was a face-to-face person. If I could get five minutes of your time. We were having an appointment. So I think I'll do very well in that area, but I am so thankful. I cut out a whole section of what I don't want to do.

Scott Tucker: Yeah. I'm glad you brought that up. I think that's, that should be the first thing we dive into. Cause oftentimes, Hey, I don't, it takes many years to figure out what you really want to do when you grow up. If there is, coming out of the military, that's something we always hear. But you can definitely remember what you don't like doing and what, since you're not in uniform having to do everything, it's like yeah, you got to get a job and you're an employee employees.

So you got to do what they say. But now you've got the full gamut of opportunities in, in, I honestly think, that, that opportunity to try something out and in maybe even the next job and even the third job doesn't work out. Don't we can't think of it as failures. It's just reminding us of stuff.

If you couldn't identify, I don't want to be doing this. When you're coming out of the military, start to identify, especially in the civilian world, because once you might get paid and do a good job and stuff, but once you're miserable and you get pissed off or somebody else gets pissed off, it's out the door, th there's no disciplinary boards usually.

I think that's super important to be thinking about, what don't I want to be doing. So I'm glad you had that experience. Thank you for sharing that. Brian, w what's next? What you got honoring the heroes going on is that, how much time is that going to take or how much do you want to grow it?

Where do you see yourself? I know you're literally just starting the job, but if we were talking three years from now, personally and professionally, what do you thinking you'd like to see happen for you, your family? To hit some level of professional or personal success or feel like, yeah, I did my transition, somewhat right for 

Ryan Jones: you.

Absolutely. So I ideally, I would love to see honoring the heroes, be a self. Paying jobs. So right now I'm not 

Scott Tucker: taking that's the version entrepreneurship. 

Ryan Jones: Yeah. Yeah. Not really taking a paycheck. Nobody's really taking any kind of money for it's money's coming in. We're sending it right back out to help first responders, which is great.

So I'd love for that to be, the wounded warriors of the law enforcement community kind of thing, but that's big picture. For me, I'm just looking to Be able to get into the civilian world. We'll get back out there and just enjoy it. I want to have fun, like what you said, if you're doing something, but you're miserable, you'll only do it long enough until you think you can quit.

I used to tell every kid that asked about the military have that I'm like pick something that you enjoy and if it doesn't pay enough, you'll still enjoy doing it. But if you pick something, just because of the pay, you will only do it until you think you can quit. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah, no, that's true. Or you're, like I said, piss somebody off and get fired, but no, Ryan, thank you so much for coming on and sharing the wisdom.

I'm just so happy to see someone come out and take, just take, Hey, these are the resources available to me. To me. Some of them are through networking. Some of them are tools. Some of them are just passions and ideas I have, but you got Work through it all to figure out what you want to do and how you can zoom in.

You want to continue to serve and figuring out whom you're meant to serve. I guess I should have asked you this earlier, but I'm curious all of a sudden did you have any law enforcement. Background connection whatsoever is just I can't believe nobody else is doing this. Th that's exactly 

Ryan Jones: what it was cool.

It was one of those things where, like you said, there's 45,000 Veteran organizations, and I can almost guarantee if you put all the small ones together for law enforcement, they don't need an equal a thousand. 

Scott Tucker: Holy cow. Okay, cool. I'm excited to help you get the word out as much as possible. I actually have someone that's already coming to mind.

I wanted to introduce you to but anyways, how do people get ahold of you who should be contacting you and where can they find you? 

Ryan Jones: Absolutely. So the website's still down there. That's the best way you can send us a message we're on all the major social media platforms, LinkedIn Facebook, the new ones that are coming out now, parlor honoring the heroes is pretty much our tagline for everything.

We're always looking for people that are willing to sponsor a bag, whether that's an individual or a company, and whether that's one bag or a thousand bags we want to work with you. To partner to love our law enforcement officers. So this isn't about me or honoring the heroes. This is about us coming together and supporting our community and our leaders.

Scott Tucker: Cool, man. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing all that. Love to have you come on again, down the road to see how things are going and especially in the postcode COVID era when everybody loves the cops again. But no I, it's just an amazing idea, especially around mental health.

I'm actually going to be on the veterans path podcast here in a week or two. Talking about the mental health and an experience. I went through myself. I ended up going to a shaman in Mexico. So I'm going to tell that story, but all right thanks again, Ryan, for joining us, everybody, we will see you next time later, guys.

Yep.

About the author 

Scott R. Tucker

Scott R. Tucker is an author, speaker and the founder of US VetWealth, a lifestyle and financial consulting brand that helps service members go from paychecks and government benefits to wealth and liberty. He likes to say, "I Help The 1% Who Serve Our Country Become The 1% Who Influence It." A West Point graduate, serial world traveler, military financial expert, and entrepreneur, Scott brings valuable experience and insight to those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country.

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