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Russ Johns 0:02
Welcome to the #piratebroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let's get this party started.
It's another beautiful day in the #piratebroadcast. We're bringing you #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. And #thepiratecommunity is all about a little bit of kindness, a few smiles here and there. And one of the things we want to do is bring different subjects different topics to the table, and kind of expand our ability to understand what is going on in the world around us. So today I have David Johnson,
David Johnson is part of a growing trend of people that are serving the community in a kind way and helping others around them. David's certainly The military, he's done some great service for our country. And now he's giving back to the veteran community. And I wanted to bring him on and talk about that and what that looks like. Good morning, David. How are you doing?
David Johnson 1:12
I'm doing great. Good morning. Thanks for having me on.
Russ Johns 1:15
You bet. You bet. Now you have started up a show as well, our mutual friend Matt O'Brien, who is here in Phoenix. He's just an amazing individual that we both know. And so you've started this program out to help veterans and military service people in an amazing way. So talk a little bit about the show and what your intentions are.
David Johnson 1:39
Correct. So it's a passion project. I really love doing it. We're pretty new. We've been on the scene really, five months, I think. St. Patrick's Day St. Patty's Day actually, I think the day they kind of started quarantine. This year is really when we finished filming season one as a matter of fact, so pretty Do but yeah, we're a talk show designed with the military and veteran audience in mind and just to talk about all sorts of issues, provide a little bit of entertainment at times and just get real issues out in the open and just talk for lack of a better word. That's just really what I wanted to do.
Russ Johns 2:21
Yeah it's one of the things that we have to deal with on a regular basis is I heard a number and I'm not sure how accurate this number is. However, it's one of these things that you have to wonder 270,000 individuals are being brought back into civilian service every year from the military because of turnover and people coming in and out. There's a lot of people that go into the military they may not necessarily all serve on the front line. However, they serve in some capacity. And so that's a huge number of individuals that could be part of your audience and being called Put it in your audience.
David Johnson 3:02
That's true. And to expand on that a little bit, and I can't quote the stats. I used to read them and know them. But from the deployments, we've been at war since 911. And there are still troops deployed as we speak to this day. And most people there's kind of classifications of the era veteran, like I say, the Vietnam era veteran, or the world war two era veteran, and this is now kind of being called the post 911 era veteran, and that brings its own challenges with the constant deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and other places. And now that you mentioned, a lot of people are getting out and transitioning, and that presents its own unique challenges.
Russ Johns 3:48
Yeah. Well, I know that, Matt and I think you're already you're also involved in Arizona. It's a nonprofit organization that Yeah. Through organizations like that, and conversations like you're bringing to the table, it's a really fundamental conversation that you can have. There are people that transition out of the military, find out what they need to do or find out something that they can do. Or they transition their skills that they learned in the military into civilian life. And what were some of the challenges that you're seeing and having conversations around?
David Johnson 4:31
The main thing there's stages as well, like for as an example, I've been out of the military longer than I was in. I mean, I was only in from 2000 to 2006. During that six year period, I had four deployments. So I call you up out of the chapters of your life, again, I've been out long enough to where I've been fortunate enough to where I've gone through my not knowing what the heck to do. Do phase and kind of figuring it out.
Again, I've fallen into place, I believe for myself, and maybe I'll still grow in and every single day, but a lot of yc for the people kind of just out or in that kind of three to five year mark or after B analysis really know what's next what to do next. Just sometimes it could be all sorts of issues. I mean, you're new, I mean, think of it even related to even some college graduates don't even know what to do after they graduate. So it's not necessarily always a bad thing. It's just you don't know what you don't know. So just kind of finding what's next.
Russ Johns 5:35
Yeah, it's a journey. Life is a journey. And I like the analogy used because I use it often as chapters in the book your life.
David Johnson 5:44
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
Russ Johns 5:46
It's like you write a chapter and then the next thing you have to figure out okay, what am I gonna write next? is like,
David Johnson 5:51
yeah, there's different chapters. I mean, if you would ask me a year ago, but I have been down this passion project path that I'm on, I'm like, No, absolutely not. No, I'm not gonna do that. So another and things pop up and happen and that's what life's all about.
Russ Johns 6:11
What's your secret superpower that nobody knows about? David Johnson in some of the things you're bringing to the table are unique.
David Johnson 6:22
secret superpower I don't have love but if I had to make one up,
Russ Johns 6:29
now's your opportunity.
David Johnson 6:31
Yeah. I have different identities. I call it like, I'm a father. I'm a soldier. I'm an entrepreneur. I think I've been through so many failures as an entrepreneur, that I guess a secret. I kind of see what I kind of know intuitively what doesn't work immediately. I'm not saying I know one word. Still got a test and figure it out. But I can kind of say like, like, instinctively I'm like, No, let's just stop. I just kind of feel that's not Not gonna work and I'm not gonna go down that path. It's kind of like a feeling I get or not but
Russ Johns 7:07
that is truly a superpower because some people just say, Hey, I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna push through it. I'm just, I know this. There's light at the end of this tunnel, and it's not the train this time.
David Johnson 7:18
Eight years of failure has given me that superpower.
Russ Johns 7:22
Yeah, I think that's a great superpower. What's the first entrepreneurial journey that you experienced or you remember experiencing?
David Johnson 7:34
Ah, the first one, I mean, well started in high school, my buddy Tony and I would go to Costco and buy Gatorade and water and sell it outside the swap meet.
Russ Johns 7:45
That's a great one.
David Johnson 7:47
That was back in high school. We would here in Phoenix you live in Phoenix, obviously some addresses have or some address some houses have their addresses on the curb in high school would go around and paint addresses on the curb but I've always been Kinda in that realm then when I joined the military got out of the military. And then in 2008 or nine, I don't remember exactly, I kind of launched my first real company. And then September of 2011, I shut it down. I'm sorry, September of 2010. I shut it down. So ran it for about two, two and a bit years. At our peak, we had 12 employees. We were a tech startup, no clue what I was doing just all in all honesty, but that was the launching pad if you will, and learned a lot of lessons from it.
Russ Johns 8:42
well, that's how you get experience you venture in outside your comfort zone. you expand it a little bit and then you figure it out along the way and that's probably taught you a lot about having conversations with the military in in your current and the David Johnson show It's really something that you can actually articulate some ideas, share some thoughts and actually interview some people that are doing some great work out there. I I have to believe that that's the case.
David Johnson 9:13
Yeah. I couldn't agree more. I mean, I literally nothing to add you nailed it. You hit it. That's exactly it.
Russ Johns 9:22
So here we go. Guess who's in the room?
David Johnson 9:25
Hey, there's Matt.
Russ Johns 9:26
Hey, hello, Matt resin, David. Amen. chapters in your life. Absolutely. Absolutely. We got Wendy here in the room. Wendy set in from the Facebook. We've got Kathy Spooner. She's in from with from LinkedIn. great conversation, Wendy says, I want to step back a little bit because I did not serve I was at the age whereas right at the end of the Vietnam War and the draft, I missed the draft. By, I don't know, just barely, I'm of that vintage and so my experiences is slightly different than your experience. And I know that serving tours and military has a huge impact on so many and when you just pack up your bags and take off and you're gone for a year that has that has to make a huge impact on your family and your life and what are some of the experiences that you want to help out? others get through I guess or get past or what's this journey look like longer term for the David Johnson show as you go through a couple seasons?
David Johnson 10:46
Yeah, loaded question. Give me a split second, gather my thoughts. And there's so many ways to answer that. First and foremost, you're hundred percent right. We talked about that on the show and how it affects the family. how it affects the individual. And there's this whole new concept around mental health and the stigma around it and actually asking for help and reaching out and admitting what you're going through. A couple buckets when you talk about need ask about what the future.
The show is the show. we need 10 episodes in season one, call it and each episodes anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour, we're already planning season two, the show's really my passion, what I like bringing guests on telling the stories, having that conversation much like we're doing now, so that's always going to go on, and I'll just keep getting better and better. And we'll just keep producing that show. And then down the road. Phase two and phase three of this launching early next year will then be also bringing certain resources to the table. Maybe even certain courses to the table to teach veterans about entrepreneurship, business, finance, other things of that nature. And then like I said, bring other resources to the table.
Russ Johns 12:11
No, no. Well, and I think it sounds to me, David and correct me if I'm wrong. It sounds to me like a passion project, we just want to get back, you're at a point where in your life where life hasn't been terrible to you, you're not sleeping under the bridge. You got some food on the table, you got some things you lights on in the house, and you want to give back and so many of us really don't know how to do it. So I applaud your efforts and energy into putting a show together that's starting the conversation, because I think that's really where it starts is, and that's kind of like the #piratebroadcast. I want to put out the fact that this is not the news. This is not doom and gloom. There's a lot of people doing some good stuff here, and you're one of them. So I just want to I applaud you for your efforts and your energy that you're going in here and starting the conversation because that's what it's about.
David Johnson 13:07
Yeah, well, number one, thank you. Yeah. Number two, I've been blessed to like I said 10 minutes ago, I'm a full time entrepreneur and I have been since 2009. Just my personal definition of an entrepreneur is you rely on you yourself for a small team to generate your income. You don't produce you don't eat dinner. I can assure you for many nights I did not eat dinner. June of 2015 I opened up the company that I still own and operate today. Knock on wood. We're doing well. I mean, even with Coronavirus, we took some hits but we're doing well. So yeah, to your point. This project is self funded. I enjoy it. It's pure passion, and that's why I'm able to do it wake up early, early mornings, late nights whenever have you so it's been It's been fun.
Russ Johns 14:00
I encourage everyone to go check out the David Johnson show. He's on YouTube as well. And you're, you're, I got to give hats off to Matt. And I'm going to interrogate Matt later because your YouTube statistics are phenomenal. Also the fact that it's like, I have been an advocate. For years I've been an entrepreneur and teaching people on podcasting, and broadcasting and all these different activities. And I believe that #youarethemedia, meaning that anyone that wants to take the initiative, to share their story, share their gifts, and share some valuable information with the community could pick up a pick up a phone and start producing content.
I think it's important for us to understand that there's our experiences, David, allow us to share that experience in a way that can help Somebody else see a new perspective. I think one of the things that you really bring to the table is opening up that opportunity for somebody that's younger or less experienced or not quite in out of transition period. To see that, man, I can do that. And it brings me chills to think that, people like yourself in this passion project, open up a new dimension to somebody else's life. And if you could touch just a few people every season and do something good. I mean, that's what it's all about.
David Johnson 15:38
I feel I'm the 15 year younger version of you. everything you just said, is what I feel. I can't articulate it as good as you are. Number one, number two, a big shout out to Matt O'Brien minstrel show as you mentioned our YouTube statistics. We could not be here today. out to him. He was also a guest on the show and talks about what you talked about a little bit about being an influencer on online investigating, but yeah, everything you just said is like the message I'm trying to get out. I call me later and I need to hear that again.
Russ Johns 16:19
No kidding. Realistically, we are in a position and we meaning the community in a community, we are in a position to do exactly what you're doing in our own way. Your production is spot on. I love what you're seeing. I love the way you put together. I love everything that you're doing. And I just wanted to bring you on and highlight you and say thank you for helping out in the community. It's it's deserved, it's needed. And thanks for stepping up and doing what you're doing because it brings value to The world and anytime you can bring value to the world, we can't run out of abundance in that area. I just want to give you a shout out for that.
David Johnson 17:09
Well, thank you very much. That actually means a lot.
Russ Johns 17:11
Yeah. I want to shift gears a little bit. This entrepreneurial journey and a lot of pirates are in the entrepreneurial space one right here that's also in Phoenix is Howard Kauffman powered. I have to give you a shout out today. I've been slammed the last couple of weeks and I want to talk to you. Howard's a startup here in Phoenix. He's doing some great stuff in the in toothpaste, and mouthwash in. It's very unique.
David Johnson 17:40
Russ Johns 17:41
very. It's amazing. It's amazing. I want to get him on the show as well. And one of the things like with Matt and yourself and Howard here and there's a lot of amazing entrepreneurs that are not yet connected and building a community around that I think is important because I don't know about you. Sometimes it can be very lonely in the entrepreneurial space. You can be in a crowded room and feel alone. You ever sensation
David Johnson 18:11
100 all the time for sure.
Russ Johns 18:13
Yeah. So one of the things that I think I want to bring to the #piratebroadcast is #thepiratecommunity where we can actually kind of huddle together at times in different capacities in different ways and let each other know that, hey, I'm down or I'm up, I had a win or I had a loss. And it's kind of a thing that you can actually offer assistance to other people. And I don't know what it looks like. I don't know exactly what it's gonna end up being. However, I think that there's a lot of, and I've been in mentor groups and met mastermind groups and different communities like that. I think it's so important for entrepreneurs and mental health, to be able to pull these resources together
Where you can actually have a safe place to Say, my day sucking really hard right now, I just need somebody to vent to and it's kind of one of the things that I see about the David Johnson show with the military is it's like, people can relate. They understand when they're talking to somebody that's been deployed. I can't speak to that. Because I don't have that experience, but you have that experience. So it's kind of like, for me, it's entrepreneurial journey, because I've been, doing the entrepreneurial thing for years. And like yourself it's like, and there's that, that loneliness. So, talk a little bit about that in the journey on the entrepreneurial side versus the military side.
David Johnson 19:44
Well, I mean, to your point, definitely, military can relate to military better I could talk to somebody about my three tours in Iraq and driving through the streets of Baghdad. But if somebody has actually done it, obviously, there's going to be that relationship on a deeper level and and same with entrepreneurship. I mean, if and nothing wrong with not being an entrepreneur by any means.
Russ Johns 20:14
No not at all
David Johnson 20:16
Yeah, not but nobody can it's hard if nobody's ever had to go out and sell their own product or service, get it, get a customer to say, hey, buy my product or service. There's different challenges that go into that. So if nobody's ever done that, and you know, I'll choose my I'll take my brother as an example. I love my brother to death. One of my best friends, he lives in Houston, Texas, he went corporate america route. I mean, he's in literally, the senior management of a publicly traded $70 billion company. I can't relate to that. I don't even know what that means. I literally can't even tie. I love hearing his stories. But yeah, hey, I'm about to launch this website and Oh, let me tell you the challenges I have, I have to go get up customer after go get a customer for my product or service and I had to put together this and the data and how it all works and the messaging and he can't really he loves hearing my stories.
Russ Johns 21:17
so into the spectrum.
David Johnson 21:19
Yeah. But I don't know if I answered your question there. But that's the entrepreneurs can definitely relate to entrepreneurs a lot better.
Russ Johns 21:28
Yeah. Sherry lolly says, she has slapped tags. She's done a lot in the construction and healthcare industry and she has a company that does a lot of great work. Absolutely true. She says, I just got the chills. Matthew O'Brian. I just got the chills from what you two are sharing. Thanks, Matt. That means a lot. Great definition and so true, Kathy says Jill Sullivan. Who's A amazing individual. She's a chef is doing some great work all the time. Thank you so much. Jill being here, Jordan, a creative student in California doing some amazing work as well.
assan What is this? This is the #piratebroadcast brought to you five days a week. 7am in the morning, Arizona time. Thanks for your service. David, thank you so much. Thank you. One of the things that I want to talk about is this idea that giving back to the community a lot of people struggle with that. You can donate money and you can give to some charities and things like that. And there's a lot of different ways that people can give back to the community.
I know by doing your passion project that's given back to the community, and I know a lot of entrepreneurs give back to the community. So what are some I know her here rezone is one organization that is doing a lot of great work as well? What are some other ways that we can support the military community from your perspective? Because I know a lot of us struggle with that it's like, What do you say? What do you do? Who do you help?
David Johnson 23:20
I struggled with that, too. For many years, I personally just did one on one mentoring and one on one type. And that's how I gave back. But if somebody really does want to support the veteran community, honestly, I'll start asking people, because there are so many organizations, so many organizations out there to where if you just start googling stuff, you're probably going to be inundated with information VSOs and Veterans Service Organizations.
At one point in time I've read the stats years ago, I mean, it was like 600,000 VSOs in America, between the nonprofit scene Tonight, so everybody knows everybody has some connection to the military, whether it's a neighbor who have an uncle or my uncle served or a friend or something like that. But if that is something you want to give back to the veteran community, really start looking in your close inner circle and see what other people are doing. Because chances are there's a connection there somewhere.
Russ Johns 24:20
Yeah, that's great advice. That's great advice. What's a big idea that you've discovered in your entrepreneurial journey that you'd want to share with any individual that's thinking about starting a company, or maybe has already started a company and needs to think a little bigger because I think one of the things that is a limiting factor on a lot of entrepreneurs today is they can only see the results based on their previous experience.
There's so many more opportunities if you if you start looking around There are so many opportunities out there. Even right now during COVID, I see so many opportunities. I don't have time to, to generate all of these ideas. However, I still see them and I'm thinking to myself, other entrepreneurs have to see it this way, because that's kind of what the Is it the DNA of our art inside of us is like, there's an opportunity. If somebody did this, they could go do X, Y, and Z. Have you ever? Have you ever experienced that and what would you want to share and impart to people that are thinking about being an entrepreneur today?
David Johnson 25:35
That's a great question. I might dance around this for 45 seconds before I
Russ Johns 25:43
You dance around it. Take a minute or two
David Johnson 25:45
even attempt to answer the question, but I can speak for me from my standpoint, real quick. You know, I mentioned I had a tech startup in 2008 to 2010 timeframe and I didn't really know what an entrepreneur meant back then I thought to myself at the time, if I don't have a tech startup and take it public for a billion dollars, then I'm not an entrepreneur. Well, that's just the wrong answer. I was just so caught up in one scene, one industry, all my friends were in the tech seems. So I thought I had to create some online, Facebook and go public in order to be an entrepreneur, where again, the second that company failed, and I didn't get out of bed for three days.
I finally stood up and dusted myself off. It was like, Well, do I even want to do what industry do I What do I even want out of a business? I mean, so again, entrepreneur can mean many different things. You could have your own company and generate $80,000 a year in revenue, and you're an entrepreneur and you know what, that's great, awesome. Or you could have a company and generate a million dollars a year in revenue and great or you can take a company public for a billion. All of those are entrepreneurs. So I wrote a blog on this actually. It's on the David Johnson show calm under blog. I'm doing a four part series on entrepreneurship.
But one of that is really defined what type of an entrepreneur you want to be, and match that to your lifestyle. Once you match that to your lifestyle, then you just got to put all the pieces of the puzzle in place. And one of those is the business model how are you actually going to generate revenue? How does the scale of that revenue look like? Can this scale to be a multi million dollar revenue stream? Or is this going to be $100,000 revenue stream? Either way, nothing wrong with that, but just understand what you want out of that, and then match that to your lifestyle and your personality? I don't know. I'll never work hard enough to take a company public for a billion dollars. It's not gonna happen. Yeah.
Russ Johns 27:50
But I that's fine. That's fine. I have no desire to do that. And I think the big point that you bring to the table and I want to unpack it before we wrap up is you have to decide what you're willing to sacrifice because the 24 hours in every day are the limiting factor for everyone across the board, and you're unwilling to sacrifice what it takes to go public and make a billion dollar company. Because that's a big sacrifice, that's a huge sacrifice. And there's a lot of focus that has to be invested in that activity.
However, you can have a very balanced life and a very productive career in entrepreneurship by you can I mean it, almost anything you can create, and build a small team of individuals that are doing some great work out there and building a product or a service and putting things out into the world and have a very productive company. That's the other side of the entrepreneurial space. I love the diversity in our choice to do what we want. But I think it starts from what are you willing to sacrifice? What are you willing to focus on? And what brings you joy every day? So,
David Johnson 29:12
such a man to go billion dollar company, I've got a billion dollar idea and I'm just not that smart. So
Russ Johns 29:21
Well, I've had more failures than most people have startups. I can relate to that.
David Johnson 29:28
Yeah, man. That's a good buddy of mine who I served in the military with I've known him for 20 years, Jason Sheehan. He started that company to help provide jobs and freelance jobs, mainly, obviously, hence the name for the military, spouse, military and veteran community. Great, great.
Russ Johns 29:48
that's fantastic. And Wendy says thank you for your service.
David Johnson 29:53
Thank you Wendy,
Russ Johns 29:54
another Wendy says, Oh pirates, what great words of wisdom we are fed. By chef Russ and pirate posse daily and then when he says What you want is bigger than what others tell you that you should want. Interesting. I love that. So you can't really and then Kathy says great feedback on entrepreneurship, had a small business for 14 years that last, last word. last three were hard. I'm finally at a point to see all of the invaluable learning I got from that. And how excited to get back into it.
Sometimes we get beat up. Like the song says, sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug, right? So, David, this has been a pleasure. I'm glad that we got to hang out and talk about some of these important subjects and thank you again for your service in in some of the things that you're doing in the community. Everyone if you're not connected, reach out to David connect with him where's the best place to connect with you and how to reconnect with you, David?
David Johnson 31:08
Ah, the Danny Johnson show calm. There's all contact information there. You can subscribe to our newsletter, contact us reach out. All the information is on there very much appreciate being honest. It's been a great talk Russ, I'm telling you, you're a little bit slightly not much older version than me. You just learned how to articulate everything. Clearly. Everything you've said everything you said, I feel in my heart. I just gotta learn how to say it better.
Russ Johns 31:33
You're well on your way, David, and I applaud your efforts. And thank you so much for being here. And for those that are joining us and those that are alive or watching the replay all the gratitude in the world for what you're doing, being part of the pirate community is is important. We have so much to give back to the world and so many things that we can do together. So continue to share, like, comment In all the internet things that make it worthwhile. Please support the community and each other in your journey. #kindnessiscool. #smilesarefree, and you #enjoytheday. Take care, David,
David Johnson 32:17
Thank you have a good rest of the day.
Russ Johns 32:17
I'll be right back Don't go away. We'll be back soon.
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