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Season 1 Episode 10 Marine Veteran Adam T. Cummings

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Welcome. Today we are speaking with Adam T. Cummings, who is the current producer and host of his very own podcast vetting America, which is designed to tell the stories of veteran entrepreneurs while highlighting the organizations and resources they are part of in the veteran space. He is a recent graduate of the University of Tampa and his last September has begun his own entrepreneurial journey towards creating a life that is completely his own. Welcome, Adam. Thank you, john. How are you? Fabulous, okay, so a couple things we need to stay to that. Adam is a marine veteran, he five Sergeant rah, rah.

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That's

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all I want to talk to you about later. The difference between old core and new core. Yeah, and millennial versus whatever you want it. We don't have time. We don't have time for the EU anymore. Gotta go raw.

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Change it to text speak anyway. Okay. So Adam, if you would do me a favor and wait, I told you I was going to tell you how

Unknown Speaker 1:00
Give you a little bit of something to smile about. I decided I was going to do a few weeks ago it was that it was just time to start this podcast and nothing has been ideal since so unlike your beautiful space you have there in Tampa for recording live or recording video inside your I am sitting here in a Dungey hotel room with a because they're doing construction as well as people screaming around on their chairs and there's no carpet Anyway, I'm sitting here with a soundproofing curtain draped over me and draped over my computer. So I'm in a little tent kind of like a kind of like a little picture.

Unknown Speaker 1:38
It's black, it's funny as crap. So anyway, that's that's our experience. That's you know, I don't know where you are. Yeah, I'm, I'm comfy and probably gonna be sweating here before long. So all right that after we've now that we've said that, that imagery for everyone, tell us about first how you ended up joining the Marine Corps, how you chose the core or what or maybe the torque core chose you

Unknown Speaker 2:00
Tell us about your time in the Corps. And then how all that to what you're doing now. For Okay, welcome. I don't know if I said welcome but welcome you guys. Okay, basically the core was in my blood from the time I was born. My dad was a Marine, I grew up with all the stories I grew up being instilled with the same ethos, honor, courage, commitment, integrity, helping others, you know, putting others before yourself, you know, giving the whole everything that it is to be a marine I was raised to be, and I guess that having older parents my mom was 35 when she had me My dad was 32. I was always an old soul. So I never really felt like I belonged anywhere as a kid. I always kind of felt like an outcast even though I call myself a social chameleon because I can adapt to any social situation and inevitably be able to participate in it. But like I said, I could be in a room full of people and feel completely alone. And so as I was growing up, I was always intrigued by the Marine Corps, but I always thought I was kind of like a wuss.

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I never thought that I'd be strong enough to really do it. After high school I started really floundering. I've always needed structure. And I've always I've always needed some sort of routine. And when college came and it gave you all that freedom, it also, you know, gave you all that time to F off in a way. So I started I started drinking a lot, though I was I was going to school full time, I was working full time, I was partying full time. You know, I was smoking a lot of weed. I was drinking a lot. I was you know, and it was great. The first six months, you know, you graduate high school, it's fun, it's this and that, but then like life really hits you 2008 financial disaster happened. But before that, I ended up getting underage drinking when my my best friend got a DUI and that kind of really opened my eyes. I think I was like, September of 2007. I just graduated high school about four or five months before that, and I had already gotten in trouble and never gotten in trouble. My entire life was always a good kid always did what I was told, you know, he's got good grades, everything like that. And all sounds like oh, I'm an adult now and it's in it actually matters. Okay, let's get in trouble. This is a good time to do it.

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That was my first running with the law. And then about three months later, I got in trouble again. And at that point my parents were pretty disappointed. financial disaster happened. And basically our money ran up by my positive karma ran out, and I had to put myself through school, which meant no longer going to a four year university, which was that was a goal. It was now 13th grade or you know what I call it Community College back then, just felt like I was in 13th grade, I was high school over again and it felt like I had gone backwards. And I started to really really flounder at this point. I ended up getting a job at Walgreens, huge distribution center had about 19 which was pretty incredible because I was working alongside people that were accountants. I was working beside people that were making that used to make $100,000 a year. But then you know, everything happened, everything fell apart and people lost everything and now they're making $15 an hour working 10 o'clock at night to six o'clock in the morning driving forklifts and moving boxes. It was it was a very rough time for everyone. There's

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A lot of camaraderie in our team but the the allure of making that much more money I was making $15 an hour, you know, at that age at 18 years old, 19 years old, which was pretty good, especially in a way, but that incentive kind of wore off real quickly and I realized I was like, Is this it? I mean, is this going to be my future and I and I started panicking and I started getting really depressed and I started getting really anxious and this would be around the first time I really started entering a rabbit hole where I just felt like i've i've vortex of mediocrity was overcoming me and I thought I would never make make it out one night after just a lot of stress. You know, a lot of BS, we had just moved into an apartment so we live that is really nice house growing up. It was my family home, you know, was my childhood home, I loved it. As my parents dream home, they built it and then they lost it, you know, and just a matter like that, within one month, they both lost their jobs. And then within you know, three or four months after that they went bankrupt, lost the house lost everything. And then we had to move into like an apartment that was like a two bedroom apartment in like, not so good part of town.

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And going from like a really nice house to this, like it was like, you know, bottom of the barrel, and it just felt like everything was falling apart around me. I was stagnating, I wasn't motivated anymore, I must have changed my major like three or four or five times. And one night I was by myself in the apartment before my parents had moved in because they're getting everything ready at the house. And I drink a bottle of lock into my face, lock the door or brace the door with a chair, went to the kitchen sink and took a steak knife to my wrist. I'm a worse so like I don't like pain at all. And I don't like blood. So I didn't draw blood. But the fact is, is that I was I was even willing to get to that point where they had all started with thoughts of like I'd be driving my car down this like really tiny road. This back road I would take to Walgreens distribution center in Easton, Pennsylvania. I would take I'll take this one road and it was really windy and beautiful, but I was really tiny and there's always tractor trailers I would take it to cut through which they weren't supposed to but it did anyway. And I always asked myself I was like what would happen if I turned the wheel of my car into this truck? And so that night in my my apartment building, when I did that to myself instantly sobered me.

Unknown Speaker 7:00
And I said, What the fuck am I doing? Excuse my language. I was just like, you know, I freaked out. I always a happy kid, I don't hurt myself. I don't hurt people. And for me to get to that point to even think that that was something that could be an option scared the living daylights out of me. And so the next day, I go back to my house, and I start talking to my mom, and I'm like, Hey, Mom, you know, I just did this last night does this thing and I'm not very proud of it. But this is where I'm at. And this you know, I'm really scared right now she goes, she goes, Adam, I've, I haven't I've waited to tell you this. But this is the time is I don't know who you are anymore. I don't like the person you've become. You're bitter. You're upset all the time. you're depressed. You're not you're not the person that I knew. I know you to be. You know, she goes I think it's time you joined the Marine Corps and I literally stopped me in my tracks because when I graduated high school, she was completely against it. My buddy Andrew Clinton was trying to recruit me into the army he had when we were 17 we had calculus together and every morning he come in after a PT session and go man, I love the army. The you know this that and I'm like, I'm not

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On an army, I'm not going in the military, blah, blah, blah, I'm going to college, you know? Well, that didn't last very long. So she says, We're sitting there in my kitchen, and she's just like, there's something I haven't told you. She goes, when you were born. I saw you in dress blues, she's very intuitive. My mother and, and she's always been able to kind of see things before they happen. And especially with me, they were just very connected that way. And like growing up, she would know I was gonna go do something bad before I even knew it. Or before, like, I wouldn't even tell her, you know, she would just like just find like my energy. She knew what was going to happen. Like, if I was gonna go drinking that night, or if I was gonna go do something, do something dumb basically. She's like, Yeah, but before I saw you in that pinstripe suit, when I when you were first born, I saw you Marine Corps blues. And she had never told me that I was that she saw me being a Marine, but she always kind of knew was going to happen, but she was always trying to like not not have it happen, right? Because of influence either. Well, yeah, because the thing is, is in 2007, the fighting with

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Still pretty rough down right over in in Iraq and Afghanistan. So she really didn't want me to go. She didn't want me to risk it. But by 2009, Obama was in office, he was talking about bringing troops home and stuff. And she felt like that it was a good time, or my dad sat down, talked about it. And that's when she was waiting for the time and telling me that serendipitously The next day, I go to school, and I parked my car. It's about February. It's cold as shit. I hate the cold. And that was like, a big reason. So beyond not having purpose and kind of floundering. I get seasonal depression up north when I lived there for 20 years. I get seasonal depression just because of like, shorter days, not enough sunlight. It's cold, you know, so I was just I was I was having it was the worst one I ever experienced. And so I'm walking through the parking lot school, freezing, whipping wind, and all of a sudden I see this marine get out of his car, and he's in dress blues, and he's he's up you at the time. I thought he was like, you know that he was a PFC. He had just graduated boot camp, and I walked up through the ranks. Do you see that? I saw that uniform.

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Yeah, absolutely.

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walk up to him and say, Hey man, you know, Kevin, can I talk to you about the Marine Corps a bit about your experience? He's like, absolutely, man. Let's go. Let's go grab, grab something to drink or something. So we go into the we go to the school, I'm talking to him. He's getting me pumped up. And I asked him if he could take me to his recruiter. And he said, Absolutely, because he was on our way anyway, and that was his job. That's why he was at that school that day. The next day I go in to I went to a recruiting station an hour away in New Jersey. I didn't even go to the local recruiting station because I heard it wasn't that great. The one the one that was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, I heard that the the recruiters are kind of shady. They were kind of like taking advantage of people. He told me that his recruiter was a straight shooter told him exactly what it was about. So the next day, I go with him to his recruiting station in Washington, New Jersey, and I still remember his name of the Staff Sergeant Horrigan, the guy was like 29 years old Staff Sergeant with like eight kids already. It was crazy. You know, from the moment I walked in, there he goes, so. So why are you here today? And I said, I want to be a marine. And he goes, Okay, you

Unknown Speaker 11:00
I get that but like, Why else are you here? I said, There is no other reason. The only thing I want right now is I want to be United States Marine. That's it. And from that moment forward, I worked my butt off. I was and I was heavy too. So I was overweight at the time, and I had to like really work over the next three months to lose the weight to be able to get into boot camp. You know, fast forward three months later, and I'm on those yellow footprints outside Parris Island, you know, freaking out. And at that moment, I said to myself, I just call myself you know, not the buck with everybody gets nobody sweat. You've been on a bus for five hours. It's two o'clock in the morning, I had to fly from I had to fly from Pennsylvania to south south carolina, then take that bus. I was just all over the place. I was freaking out. I said, What am I doing? What did I do? Why did I do this to myself? And basically, I just said, You know what, Adam, this is what you chose, you know, this is the right path for you. You're going to hit the ground running and you're never going to look back. And I can say to this day, I've made that promise to myself that I've never broken. And that's what kind of led me to this point. And this conversation was that fateful night where I decided to do something

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dumb, but it was so dumb that it woke me up to everything. So in the end nice, great. So I want to interject just a little bit here couple of things that that resonated with me as you were speaking. You know, you talked about how despite partying and the grade, you were really you were maintaining your life while the same time your life was falling apart, that over achieving thing is it's a large I can almost I would almost make a bet and I

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would almost make a bet that the largest percentage, maybe 90% or more of Marines that have ever gone through, and especially the best ones, I know that I, I think I mentioned when we spoke before that I had interviewed a Medal of Honor recipient at the age of 17. But he was that kind of person. He was the you know, he loved the core but he was rowdy, he was over the top. He You know, he would go AWOL, he'd get in fights, things like that. I think it was that. It's that overachieving nature, that the go all in whether it be good or bad. go all in on me.

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Everything, everything kind of it's kind of a core aspect. I never knew any Marines. I when I joined Marine Corps, I didn't even think they took women because I dropped unlike your mother who had her son late. I was barely 16 when my son was born, so I didn't you know, I didn't know anything about the core. I just went in and said, I'm joining a military and who will give me the job I want but it's as learning about Marines while I was in and then since then, that that push, especially you know, not not everyone is like that. But those of us who really

Unknown Speaker 13:36
I think it's just that's part of being a marine. somebody posted a marine friend of mine posted some time ago, he said, it just a meme. It said it's not a competition. We're all crazy here. And really, and that's, that's a big part, like I like to think is you have to be crazy to join the Marine Corps. Like you have to be a little crazy. Crazy. Yeah, it's a positive Great. Well, at the time, usually most people's lives it's not a positive

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What it is, is the need to be channeled. But

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that and that's the thing. It's like we talked about being I'm an obsessive person I always have been I'm all in or not at all, I don't know how else to be. I'm learning how to find pace and I'm learning how to find balance now at 29 but it's been you know, it's been 28 years of pure soul searching to figure out why I am the way I am. Instead of just accepting who I am and being able to run with it. I've always been very judging of myself, right? Yeah, and so in the Marine Corps I finally found a situation where you know, being the smartest was praised well being the fastest being the strongest being the toughest be you know, being the best version of yourself was not only accepted, but it was mandatory, right. And I felt like you know, in high school and school like the dumb kids were the cool kids to shit where the cool kids and I'm like, why are you cool? You don't even know how to how to speak. You don't even know how to write you don't have no, you have no skill set. You bring no value to people's lives, and yet you're cool and you're popular. You know, I was like I never understood

Unknown Speaker 15:00
Dude that I always felt like society was kind of like, backwards was commented on. Yeah, yeah. And then and then that and then I joined the Marine Corps and I was like, You mean, you could tell me? You mean to tell me that I could be completely intense get in people's faces be aggressive. And it's actually promoted? Well, I found I, you know, I found my place for the first time in my life, I found I felt like I belonged somewhere. But you know, and there's a there is a miss understanding, I think about the Marine Corps. And I've discovered this in interviews that I've done with civilians. Yes, you had all of that. And you're right, it was encouraged and praise and such. But the other thing the Marine Corps teaches you is temperance, in the sense that yes, you can't have all this power and this knowledge and all it doesn't mean you have again, you use your your powers for good rather than evil. there's a there's a misconception that, you know, because we are so intense and such that, that we can't, we can't function within society. But that's not true. It actually makes us better.

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as civilians better but it also it we find a challenge sometimes to make that transition help you learn to now I had no balance and get a couple of real quick stories. So while I was in I started bodybuilding, power lifting, I never I was always athletic but I got to the point I was dead lifting 315 four reps now I don't know many men who do that much less women. However, when I got out, I again athletic all my life. At one point, I got to nearly almost 300 pounds on my five, four frame. So again, all in no good or bad no matter what you do. You just kind of you know, but those experiences allow you to help others too. But anyway, okay, so keep going. Oh, so yeah, and just another thing about the Marine Corps too, is everyone thinks, and it took me a while to really understand it. But, you know, everybody, you know, equates kindness to good and intensity or even kind of being mean to bad and generally it's true. But if you think about the

Unknown Speaker 17:00
Way bootcamp is designed. It's designed to completely break you down completely deprogram and reprogram units and that, and it makes it seem like they're mean, right? It makes it seem like they hate you that you're a piece of crap and you're nothing that you're this and that. But if you really look at everything we're taught, everything we're trained at, it's all there to help us grow. It's all there to help save our lives and combat. It's all there to help us save other people's lives and right, so in reality, it's, you know, on the surface, it's mean, on the surface, it's angry on its surface, it's bitter, it's on the surface, it's all this but deep down in the core of what everything it is to be a Marine, it's all about becoming 1% better every single day. And I've taken that and I've adopted that to everything I do in my life. I like I said, I'm obsessive. So, if I'm not doing like we were just talking about before, if I'm not working, you know, 18 hour days, every single day, I feel like I'm not doing enough, right you know, and it constant in that idea of comparison to other people and the amount of time you put in the memory

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corps teaches us and especially the military, but specifically the Marine Corps teaches you how to be efficient and effective. And we've always been, we've always been kind of that branch that takes a four hour job and does it in one because we don't want to work four hours, right? You want to work for one hour, and then mess off for three hours, you know? And so it's kind of like I take that mentality to and we were talking about it again, before this interview is I sprint, and then all of a sudden, like, I'm good for one day, and I'll crush it and I'll be sprinting 100 miles an hour, and then the next day, I can't even get out of bed. So I'm so exhausted. And so it's like, is that effective? Maybe, maybe not. Is it? Is it my way? It's my way. Do I want to change it? Yeah, I would like to change because I want to be more consistent. I kinda want to be having more pace. I want to I want a better work life balance. But at the end of the day, I'm still getting and I'm still going exactly where I need to go on a timeframe that I need to do it. And it's kind of like I'm always battling myself. I'm always like battling destiny in a way and that's kind of something that I'm working on right now in my life is just figuring out how to just accept

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myself for the way I am and not compare myself to others and the way that they run their paths that's huge because yeah you are you're very all that intensity and again, like you were talking about the with stupid people or that they don't even have to be intellectually stupid, but just I'm just willfully ignorant is the way I term it, but how can how they, you know, they are the cool ones, you know, society again, we kind of go to the lowest common denominator and so most people don't know how to handle people like you and I that the high intensity the you know, just on the go all the time and we are looked at as the aberration as the as the freaks, but in a lot of times, part of it is sometimes people would rather be more like us, but they don't know, it's just it's again, figuring out who you are, you know, and accepting the good and the bad because there is good and bad in either of those lifestyles. The matter. You know, what are your gifts and what are you you know, how do you use them, but Okay, so what did you do for the Marine Corps?

Unknown Speaker 20:00
So I was a 6092 airframes mechanic, so I worked, I worked on flight surfaces and landing gear of fighter jets at f8. teens. Wow. And then and then Afghanistan, I worked on CH 53 Hughes Cobras IV 22. You know, my dad did something similar for it while he was in Vietnam. And, to me, I hear that I am so thankful for people like you and like my father, because I imagine those planes aren't working properly. I mean, look at how, you know, they're so important to us. And it goes, you know, so I am very thankful that it's something I could not and would not want to do. But I'm very thankful for the for the men and women who do that stuff. So that's, that's a big thing I like about the Marine Corps and the military in general is that every single person's job is imperative to Yeah, absolutely. And that's really big for for military people to understand that when they're in because you know, we have this we have these inner inner branch competitions and then you have, you know, popes, not popes, personally.

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grants person not you know other than grants and this and that and and so I will you know I'm an air winger and we are winners and we have a bad rap you know what I mean? But like and I given you know we're returns in comparison to the like to the rest of the core because we aka we have quote unquote it easy right well maybe like maybe the marine mentality is a little easy, but you know working 17 hour days in a rear you know non stop aircrafts non stop turnovers non stop factions non stop you know, you don't have any Marines kill themselves one way or another that have to work in the air wing because it's either like it's either they actually killed themselves or they like take so much caffeine, so much supplements that they overdose on the flight line, there is a reason that it's made easier for you guys when I say guys I mean men and women whoever because because your job it you have to be on top of things again, because you have to be good at making those planes work properly and this and that. So there's a lot of stress related to the actual job therefore, they have

Unknown Speaker 22:00
The rest was like I was stationed at Parris Island for my first two years. My life was night and day from the air Winger's at Marine Corps Air Station, Buford, because we had to be on, you know, on point as my son always says, For the recruits and things like that, for people who came to visit, we had to look good. I mean, we started our day GM uniforms, stuff that you would never do an era would never do that. Oh, my gosh.

Unknown Speaker 22:22
No, my my job was not you know, nobody life was at stake if I failed to write an article properly or if I failed to do an interview properly, what Pete lives are at stake for you. And so therefore, people that you they can't be worried about their uniforms and weather their boots are shot like that. So there's a really good reason for that. Yeah, yeah, that's exactly what they explained. It is like is, like you said is you don't want, which they say you don't want to, you don't want to stress out there when there's too much because then they don't do their jobs. Right. And people die. Right. Well,

Unknown Speaker 22:52
it's true, but it's not how it works. Because if you think that there's, you know, all it is is stress and then they play they play you know, they play what we call football games on

Unknown Speaker 23:00
top of it. So you know you have a 17 hour day where 12 hours of it you're working and the other five you're playing games. So it's just

Unknown Speaker 23:09
part of the Marine Corps. Korea is what it is, you know. All right. Tell me then when you got out what led Tell me about that in America and tell me what led to that and what your your ultimate goal is with that. I decided to get out of the Marine Corps for two for two major reasons. First reason was that I had gotten the green weenie so many times I was tired of being leftover for how hard I was working a little bit of money I was making. I was promised a bunch of things. A lot of things weren't delivered on that's fine. But I had worked. You know, for years, I had dedicated myself picked up Sergeant and for years, I was running a $25 million aircraft shop at 23 years old. I had all the credentials, all the certifications, I needed everything that is and I was ready to go get this new job as new MLS called non destructive inspection. And what it is, is basically you use a bunch of different technologies to pretty much check the structural integrity of aircraft so that you can see if there's anything

Unknown Speaker 24:00
cracked parts that are within the jet but you can't like cut up you can't cut it. aileron or a trailing edge flap which are the wind controls. You can't cut them in half to see if there's damage so you have to use like Eddie current inspection, you have to use sonograms you have to use x rays you do use all this technology to like look inside of it without damaging it right. And I was really excited to go it's a three month course in Pensacola. You get to go down there you live like a king outside the Marine Corps. You know, you're guaranteed between like a 6060 to $100,000 a year job just to start. I mean, this is this is big for oil companies to check the oil pipelines. My Gunny now works for Disney Land out in California and all he does is ride roller coasters all night because he does.

Unknown Speaker 24:40
He does he said specials on the roller coaster because it's all metal, you know, stuff like that structural integrity. So I had been slated for the school. And I was on leave, and they call me and they're like, hey, there's no one else with your certifications and credentials in the entire Squadron. So we're taking you off MDI school and we're going to put you into the desert for six months.

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Browse.

Unknown Speaker 25:02
By going to the desert for six months I go to Kuwait and Bahrain and basically at that point I was already done and then they stuck me in a desert and it was just kind of like a support role. We were there to kind of it was more of a supply deployment to VFW. I forget who we went with the Black Knights. We went the Black Knights I forget their Squadron, nothing was 315 or something. And so back in Miramar, we had like 110 jets that we would service so there was always constant work out here. There was only one squadron of 12 jets and we're in we're in the desert intense there's no there's not going to be a lot of capabilities for air framers out there specifically because a we don't have welders out there. So you can't weld can't machine. You barely can metal fab I did. I think I did like one repair the whole time I was out there. And obviously you're going to advanced composites like have lar and carbon fiber because you need you need like really clean rooms to do that. And so I sat out there in the desert for doing nothing for six

Unknown Speaker 26:00
Six months and they had taken me they had taken my dream away too. So I was just like super bitter. I was I just started studying the whole time I was out there, I just was studying, I got really into fitness always been into fitness, but I got really into it. I started like researching the science behind it, and I thought I was gonna get out and start in and open a gym. So I get out of the Marine Corps with the intention of being an entrepreneur. And I started a business with my buddy, it was a drop shipping site, e commerce website. So basically what we wanted to do was we wanted to take fitness brands that were smaller, and through using web development, SEO and digital marketing, you know, when it added, you know, this was back in 2014. So it wasn't as big as it wasn't, then we were going to use that to kind of help the smaller brands get into a larger target audience. One thing happened after another my partner he ended up starting a new job, I end up starting school at the University of Tampa and we just kind of kind of just fell off. So that was my first kind of venture into into entrepreneurship. And I loved it.

Unknown Speaker 27:00
But as I was going through school, I realized that I think I realized I really want to do corporate America for like five years and get some experience and then I was gonna go out and do the whole entrepreneurial thing. I kind of didn't lost faith in myself in that aspect that I could do it. At that point, I worked my butt off in school, again, all excessive all in. I got a I got a four year degree in two and a half years. I pulled 100 credits the first two years, and my last two semesters were just like, one semester was three credits or three classes. And then my last semester was two classes. But I had I had picked up tax accounting internships. And so I had done my final semester in school, which was in it started January of 2017. I started my first internship at Price Waterhouse Coopers I learned a lot in that time. It was during busy season I was going to school and what I learned in that time was that is exactly what I didn't want to do.

Unknown Speaker 27:55
Taxes accounting and me or not. Yeah, I can't wait.

Unknown Speaker 28:00
Most people say to and I was like, I don't know what I'm, like busy work, but I need like four hours busy work, and I was talking to people. And all it is, is you're just sitting in front of a screen clicking away all the time. And I was just like, Yeah, I don't like this. And I thought at the time that maybe it was just because it was a big, it was one of the big four. And it was just like, you know, Price Waterhouse Coopers has 155,000 employees. And so like, you're just a number and I just got out of the Marine Corps. I just got done being a number and I didn't want to be another one. I learned another tax accounting internship with a regional firm, Clifton Larson Allen, out of downtown Tampa. And I was like, okay, so maybe maybe it's just the firm, maybe it was just like the culture. Maybe I wanted something different. And within two weeks, I started that internship, I realized I was I absolutely hate this.

Unknown Speaker 28:43
And at that point, you know, the reason I got in the Marine Corps was because I was a sergeant and I knew I didn't want to pick up Staff Sergeant because as soon as you pick a staff sergeant, it's all politics and games. I really don't want to play them. And even at you know, even when I was doing my accounting internship, I knew I didn't even want to be an associate. I was an intern.

Unknown Speaker 29:00
didn't even want to rank up.

Unknown Speaker 29:02
Associate and so I was like, well, this isn't working. And basically, I started. So as the internship was coming towards a close, I started interviewing for different types of accounting positions, staff, accountant, bookkeeper, all this other stuff. I even tried to get into one of the clearing houses DTC out of Tampa, the a business analyst, I was actually really excited about that position, but it just didn't work out. So as I'm doing these interviews, as I'm putting my, you know, putting out my resume and doing all this, I'm just getting more and more and more depressed, more and more and more anxious. I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know left from down and right from up. And I just, I just knew that I had just worked 10 years towards this, right like eight years. Basically, I worked eight years towards this goal. And all of a sudden, I wake up one day last summer and I didn't even want to live anymore, and I had found myself exactly how I felt and

Unknown Speaker 30:00
was the that night that I drink a bottle of rocket in my face? Right and put that chair against that door, you know? So that scared me so much because I said to myself, I just worked nearly a decade to be right back where I freakin started, right? And I said, Well, last time I was here, I left. So I guess this time, I'm going to have to leap.

Unknown Speaker 30:26
So I was in a part of this Facebook group called Banda Bravo's. There's like 90,000 people in it. And one of those conversations we were having was on PTSD. And as I'm reading through the comments, and I'm reading through everybody what everybody's talking about, nobody really had a definition of PTSD. Everybody's definition was different. everybody's opinion was different. And I was like, you know, there's so much stuff out there talking about PTSD pts, now it's called.

Unknown Speaker 30:53
They talk about all you know, all these things, but not a single person in this had a concise definition of what it was. And it was all very

Unknown Speaker 31:00
Kind of subjective, right? And I said to myself, I said, I can't be the only veteran feeling the way I'm feeling right now. I can't be the only veteran with that's going through these manic depressive episodes. I can't be the only veteran that's going through this anxiety. And and as I was reading those those comments, I was seeing how many other veterans were going through the same thing. And the way I looked at two was I go, all right, Adam, you're not happy, you're on the wrong path. And I'll start to get annoyed with myself because I've been so negative, pessimistic and I worked so hard not to be like I've worked Naturally Speaking of a negative, pessimistic person, aka Marine, you know, it's the same thing. And so from that point, I said, then what is it that I want to do like stop complaining? What is it that you actually want to do and I broke it down as simple as possible. And every time I go on vacation, I I'm just in a different vibration I'm in I'm in a good mood. I live in the moment. I phones away. I've never on my phone when I'm on vacation. I just I'm in the moment and I just talked to everybody I don't know doesn't matter if you're a flight attendant.

Unknown Speaker 32:00
If you're a bartender, if you're Uber driver, if you're a random person on the subway, I'm that guy that talks to everybody and my friends hate it and they don't understand. I love it. There I go everywhere I go, it is absolutely disgusting and mode but the thing is most the time, people yeah, the people with me might be a god, here she goes again, but the people you interact with, I was at the at the doctor's office recently picking up something and there was a lady and she was in a wheelchair. And anyway, I commented on her hair, we sat and talked, she's legally blind. We sat and talked for I don't know how long but she was so happy afterward. And she says You made my day because everybody else there walked past her ignored her. She didn't exist. And because I engaged her, it just it changed that. You know, I mean, she lit up and so you know what, I don't care what anybody says.

Unknown Speaker 32:54
I was high for the rest of the day because I had gotten something from it too. So yeah, but I yes.

Unknown Speaker 33:00
We are absolutely kindred spirit in that in that regard don't stop no matter what absolutely because it when I do stop I get depressed. Oh yeah and so that's what I you know, I realized so I'm a meme the earlier today and it said look what happens to plants when you speak nicely to them imagine what if you what would happen to people who spoken Yes, absolutely so something something so small you to get out of bed in the morning and make someone else smile because I'm a workaholic like you I will spend many many many hours holed away here and then all of a sudden I start getting that that funk and the doubt and and all those other things start to creep in and I'm only thing I might do is go to the grocery store and interact with the clerk. And that's enough. I just have to have that. Like you said the Uber drivers. One of the best reviews I ever got is an Uber driver was a woman said you know, I got out of the car energized ready to tackle my day. She's you know, Don's the best not just as an Uber driver but just as a person and I was like, What more can you ask for if that's all you do is make someone smile. It improves both your lives and if you think about it, I mean

Unknown Speaker 34:00
Love is love is the only currency that's real in this life again, I still fall victim to this. I'm I'm in it right now. But money and material items and things if they're fake, they're not real. All of the social and the societal constructs though, the programming that we've been designed to think is real and true is not the only thing real is the relationships you build the people you influence the love you show. I mean, as the only real currency is the only real language. Yes, exactly. So, you know, it's like, exactly, exactly. And as I as I traveled, you know, as I travel the country, I would just meet random people and I literally have had many, many people tell me like, You changed my life today. Yes, yes. From this conversation. Like the perspective you gain take long. No, doesn't have to be. Okay, I have to share this story. And I actually recorded it. And I don't know how many people even listened to it. But I have to share this because I was interviewed by a entrepreneur recently. And he asked me because he's a civilian, and he asked me, How do we say thank you to

Unknown Speaker 35:00
Veterans if they're not wearing anything if we can't identify them as veterans, and it stumped me for a minute, because I was like, I Gosh, I don't know. And then I suddenly realized I was like, You know what? That's not the point. The point is, be kind to everyone. And then over the course of the conversation, you might learn that they're a veteran. So on On that note, the other day I was in Walmart. Now I was in Augusta, I still had to drive to New Smyrna. I'm a very early person. So by this time, it was like one or two, I still had a five hour drive. I was exhausted. But I was in Walmart, came across this gentleman, we got talking, I won't give you the whole backstory. But over the course of our conversation, I discovered he was a Marine, because you can't talk to me without five minutes without finding without finding out that I'm a marine. So he lights up. He says, you know, Semper Fi, which, I mean, it's anyway, so we got taught long story short, too late for that. I guess. He's a Vietnam era veteran. His wife passed away. Just a little over a month ago on my birthday. Wow.

Unknown Speaker 36:00
So that little interaction we stood there and I cried, people were walking passes looking just like we're nuts. But we It was such an amazing connection we traded phone numbers and email addresses we've talked since then. But that would have never happened had I you know, just seen him as some you know, old man walking down Walmart not paying attention. I mean, it's just it was a natural interaction for us and it led to something really amazing and speaking to the point that neither of us was wearing anything identifying us as as veterans, but we were able to really impact and change each other's days and and even life in that little bit of time. You know, taking rather than me saying I'm busy I gotta go I got this long drive. I was actually energized by that and I anyway so that that's the point is that

Unknown Speaker 36:47
I don't believe that I don't believe that anybody comes into your life randomly. I believe that there's no I don't believe in coincidences. people. People have asked me before, you know, like, do you believe in free will? I said of course I do. And they go Do you believe in destiny and I said

Unknown Speaker 37:00
idea where they're like how do you how is that possible you can't have one in the other as of course you can because you right so the difference between destiny and free will is destiny, those doors those opportunities are always going to come and free will is your choice to walk through them. Right and so as the universe aligns itself as as the universe shuffles itself to be able to unfold with what it is you need, you need to be willing to walk through those doors that the universe opens for you to be able to attain the wants that you have. So like I use I used a small example of I've been really wanting to go to a lightning game I mean, I've been living in Tampa now five years I still haven't gone are super expensive and I've been broke the whole time at home because I've been grinding you know and and all of a sudden got last week my friend Erica invites me to go with her and her boyfriend to box seats lightning game, all you can drink all you can eat. I didn't go because I didn't get the message until was too late. But the fact is, is that the opportunity was there but the Free Will came into play of me choosing to go and accept that or for me to let it go.

Unknown Speaker 38:00
So that like when it when it comes down to it, I also believe the way we affect other people's lives is exactly how what's returned back onto us. Yeah. So, you know, like attracts, like, if you're positive and you push positivity out there and you show people love and you show people kindness, you will then get that in return. But a lot of people will say, Oh, I don't get it done in return. Well, because you have expectations of reciprocity, right? And that's the problem is that a lot of people I call it I call it the good guy, you know, you have this good guy who, you know, do nice things for a woman he'll he'll, they'll be there for her when she when she needs to talk to somebody, you know, he's usually the friend zone one. And then all of a sudden when she doesn't put out and doesn't have sex with him, he's all of a sudden, he's mean, and he's bitter, and he acts like a fool. Why am I Well, at the end of the day, you weren't actually being kind of a bottom of your heart. You're being kind with it with an idea of a transactional relationship. If I'm nice to you'll have sex with me. And that's the type of like demeanor that we have transactional relationships in this life. My buddy, I have a really close friend. His name's his name.

Unknown Speaker 39:00
is Charles Davis the third, he's going to be a professional football player. But the same day that he was going to try out for the Bucs was the same day he had to take this test to pass college. His mother had passed away about a year before that. And in that time, he promised her that he'd get a college degree. So he had to choose between keeping his promise to his mother or chasing what he thought was his dream. He decided to keep his promise to his mother and hasn't looked back since since then. Now he's a big, he's a big speaker. He's a public speaker, and he goes around trying to influence kids. And he tries to help kids kind of find the love for themselves and like he's found his purpose in that and being a leader of community, but what he what he, how he basically explained it to me is that America made America is a very nice place, but it's all transactional. It's all what you can do for me. And I've noticed that kind of in the business community is Tampa is really great for for you to start out if you're an entrepreneur because there's no barriers to entry and you can get as you get so much help, but it'll get to a certain point where people will only help you if they can get

Unknown Speaker 40:00
something from you. That's understandable. It's business. I get it, you know, but yeah, but it doesn't have to be you know, exactly. It doesn't have to be and that's not how I work. I don't know really how that is. And so I do as we were saying before, you have to trust that it's we are doing the right thing. And so companies and individuals Can't I listened to so many books. I can't tell you which one it was recently that I heard this but you know, they talk about how companies and individuals who act that way the transactional they can be temporarily successful and they be mostly slow so but long term and their legacy that's my feeling about Facebook, that's my feeling about a lot of these. Yes, you can look at the the bottom line money right now. But long term, what are we going to remember about these companies and they won't they won't last the companies that last are the ones that they start with their why and their Why is other people but I want to go back and say something really quick because this was a book, going speaking to the universe, saying he was

Unknown Speaker 41:00
Talking about and I'll have to figure out which and try to put it in the in the show notes what book this was, but it was talking about how, you know the universe has a plan, not necessarily for you not it has a plan and it will present that plan to you. And you can either take advantage of it and run with it, or it will take that plan to someone else, it will take that it's going to find the person who is willing to take that plan and run with it and build it and, and make something of it. So the plans are out there. And but like you said, you have to go through the door. It's not that any one person is more lucky or more. And I've said this a million times you as you said earlier, you put out happy you get happy back you will go around with that sourpuss face and kicking the curb and being angry and running red lights and flipping people off then that's what you're going to get back. There's no way because people who might otherwise want to engage you want to help you want to be a part of things. There's no way that they they are even a

Unknown Speaker 42:00
Able to positively engage with that. So you again, you get you get back what you put out. So, absolutely and and that's the and that's the big thing too. And it's we also talked a lot about, you know, good and bad. There is obviously things in life that are inherently good and things in life that are inherently bad. But in the end, it's very subjective. I think that we we get so caught up, especially in culture today, especially in Western culture today, with these labels, everybody wants to everybody doesn't want to be a label, while completely labeling themselves. It's just I do it. I do it all the time as myself. And the words you use dictate the vibrations in which the frequencies in which you vibrate on. So even when I say something like, Oh, I can't remember names. Oh, now I'm reinforcing the fact that can't remember names and have a really good opportunity of not doing it and and that's what people don't understand. There is no such thing as a good or bad situation. There just is right and it's how you handle that situation. It's how you roll with it. And so like this last couple months, I've been I've been really depressed and like really lost on my path.

Unknown Speaker 43:00
It was because I was on the wrong path and didn't realize it. I had I had taken an opportunity that I thought was going to help me. And it ended up actually being a detriment to my growth. I would say that's been to my growth not at all because I grew a lot from it. So it's exactly what I needed to do and is exactly what needed to happen in this part of my journey in this part of my life. Because since since I was able to highlight what part of my life wasn't working and make an adjustment. Everything's starting to really flow again, I'm happy again, I'm not stressed. I don't have anxiety, I can breathe. I mean, it was it was bad. We talked about it, we've talked about it. And so it within the last week, I figured I finally figured out what it was. And I don't regret the last three months of my life at all. I don't regret chasing that opportunity. Because I grew so much from it, it humbled me. It made me more more self aware of the red flags that life will show me which demonstrates that I'm not on the right path and that I need to adjust

Unknown Speaker 44:00
So, you know, from the whole thing from everything we do, I think people get so hung up on failing. And I think people get so hung up on the bad feelings that they don't see how much lessons there are to be taken that can help you transcend and reach that next level of growth and evolution that will help take you to where it is you're trying to go. Right. So as we talked about earlier, the, you know, and as, as a 52 year old speaking to a 29 year old, oh my gosh, when I learned that Adam was born the same year I joined the Marine Corps I that was an eye opener. But, but but you see how you know how simpatico for lack of a better term our philosophies are, but as someone of my age speaking to someone of your age, I'm going to tell you right now that you're going to keep going through those those bad days will come again. But now you have the knowledge that you'll get through it, and you'll be a better person because of it. And what oh, yeah, I'm saying there's no quitting now. It's just right. I knew the whole time.

Unknown Speaker 45:00
I was going through this point I mean, that was miserable at some points and even while you know, it was bad even at the worst times I was like, You know what, there's a reason I'm going through this right now there's a lesson I need to learn and until I figure that out, I'm not going to get out of this hole. And so I was very aware of it and so instead of a three or four month rabbit hole, I was in a 10 week one right which was like a lot which Hey, you know, still three, it's almost three months, but it's not. So it's better, you know? Better. I want everyone especially our veterans and and especially and not just military veterans our first responders are up to because they just like us they tend to be high you know, overachievers and very stressful jobs. One thing, most important thing I want people to take away from this is that I mean, I was yesterday it was just a few hours that I was in the space that you that you've been in, but while you're in there, it seems like there is no tomorrow there is no coming out of this. It is just the worst possible thing. How can I I am the worst, this is the worst, everything is the worst, but you do whatever it takes you reach out to whoever you need.

Unknown Speaker 46:00
Need to reach out to you make that connection. Even if it's just the store clerk, you make that connection because tomorrow, it is amazing what 24 hours can do and you know, even by the afternoon, but certainly this morning, I got a lot of sleep last night, which is something I don't usually do. I got it this morning, just ready to just go after it again, you've got to stick it out for that 24 hours, put the knife down, put the pills down, put the the alcohol and the gun down, put it all down and just reach out make that connection with someone because you have something to offer and you can't offer it if you're not here. Exactly, you know. And the big thing too is with mental health problems. The reason I decided to go with a veteran niche with this is because I'm a veteran and I can relate to veterans. Yeah, and that's the way I start. But this is a people problem. This is an Eastern culture problem. This isn't a Western culture problem. This isn't a woman problem, a male problem, a Muslim problem, a Christian problem, a black problem, a white problem. This is a people problem. And the reason you see so much hate and

Unknown Speaker 47:00
discontent in the world right now is because our souls are sick. And and unfortunately I was actually I really want to write an article on it. I don't know if it's if it's I should or not, but I was, you know, I was raised Roman Catholic. And as I've explored myself, I mean I I knew by six years old, it was cold It was a cold and I didn't want anything to do with it. And and but I was always had a relationship with God. And then when I joined the Marine Corps, I had my heart broken by a young love And then from there, I just was like, I'm a marine now I don't need God. And I push God out of my life. And it was like the loneliest freaking loneliest eight years of my life. And when I returned back to him the day I prayed, I was driving down to meet a friend in Sarasota and I had prayed god you know, this was this was that summer this so this is after all those all those jobs that didn't come through is after two failed internships after just actually they were successful internships, it was just failed and failure in my path, and my buddy goes, Adam, pray and go pray. I don't know how to do that anymore. It's been a decade. He's not gonna listen to me. Anyway. I was like, well

Unknown Speaker 48:00
Got nothing else to lose. So I literally said, God, I don't know what I'm doing. I haven't talked to you in a long time. I'm sorry for that. It's been a crazy, you know, it's been a crazy eight years. But I really need your help right now. I don't know how long I can last. This isn't sustainable. And I'm scared that I'm going to do something myself. And four days later, he came to me with this idea for betting America. And and so with vetting America, it started off, I wanted to talk about the mental health problems that veterans are going through, but I wanted to be real with it. And so me and me, a team of four other veterans, we started kind of making videos and pushing a social media campaign around talking about the ups and downs and stuff we were going through as we transition out of the military and try to like find our purpose out here in the real world. Ironically, you know, three months, three months later, all of us lose our mind kind of it and a whole team fell apart. And then I kind of ended up like by myself with doing this thing. It was just I had a good response from people when I told my story, but kind of taking like a morose negative spin on it. It wasn't really gaining any traction, right. And so

Unknown Speaker 49:00
What I realized you either Yeah, it wasn't it wasn't it was just reinforcing things right? And so what I realized is that why not tell? I love entrepreneurship and I love the veteran community. So that's where I came I came to be with shoot with an entrepreneurship not in veteran community because I think for veterans like you and I, I think entrepreneurship is what can save our lives. Oh, absolutely. I can't be in a corporate setting. I can't be in that structure angle, or they fire me. Yeah, yeah, it's just not gonna happen. I have to opinionated and siloed Yes. You know, like, there's a problem.

Unknown Speaker 49:35
Yeah, and I've been told, I just found it so funny, because I've been told, you know, you can't follow directions. I'm like, dude, I was a marine. I am. I am. I'm walking direction. Okay.

Unknown Speaker 49:48
Yeah, well tell. So tell people you are you do a lot of writing on medium. You have the Tampa post betting America. So tell people, all your social channels, tell them where they can find you.

Unknown Speaker 50:00
What you know what to expect from you, but you know where to find you and how to connect with you and, and well, let's go. Let's start with that first. Alright, so you can find me on facebook, facebook, Adam T. Cummings, you can find me on LinkedIn at MZ. Cummings. Follow me on instagram@adam.tc You can find you can email me at avid Adam Travis Cummings calm. Facebook is I'm finding my best platform. It's where I make the most connections. Ironically, I tried using them all but it seems like Facebook is where I get the most traction. So you can just send me you can shoot me a direct message there. Right now I spent the last year kind of

Unknown Speaker 50:39
validating this this setting America concept and that's where the whole telling the stories of veteran entrepreneurs came into place because that gave me an opportunity to show the successes that veterans can have out here, but also with like a with a big emphasis on self development and how they were able to gather on way to create their happiness and success out in the civilian world.

Unknown Speaker 51:00
So that's what kind of stories I wanted to say. So if any of you have a story that you think is worth telling, and if you have a veteran organization or resource that you would like to highlight and talk about, you know, direct messaged me, email me find me wherever I'm hoping that within 2019 and start landing some sponsors, I want to build a team around it, and then I'm gonna start taking it nationally. So my goal is to is to take is to create a Web TV series. That's sort of like dirty jobs, but for veteran organizations and resources where I go to those veteran organizations and resources with a film crew, spend a day or two with them, and show the world what they do, how they do it, why they do it, where the money comes from, and how they spend it. And I'm literally vetting these resources for people. So not only do they know about it, but then these resources have content that they can draw more donors and more support from. And so that's kind of like my vision for it moving into 2019 I'm very excited. That's I am so excited for you. I'm so excited that you've found this, this passion at such a young age.

Unknown Speaker 52:00
I it took me a long time to figure out I had to go through all of those stumbling blocks to figure out what I could do best in the world. So on that note, I'm going to close out with my little, for lack of a better term gimmick. But we have there and more and and you vaguely know this, although we didn't talk about it. Since you and I, since I was on your show. At that time, we were trying to be kind of all things to all people and verint more was not only a dating app, but it was also a friend profile. We were trying to target veterans and it was just it was it was getting too confusing for people. So in answer to that confusion, what we did is we've split off and we've created a separate entire working on creating an entirely separate product called Hero Harbor. And it's looking at connecting it's the same mission always but this one is just for just focused on connecting people like you and I people who have been there both veterans both active. As I said before, first responders, that sort of thing.

Unknown Speaker 53:00
One of the little things that we do in Barrymore and in Hero Harbor to help people make a connection is something called conversation starters. So I'm are my last question to you is going to be a conversation starter and it's this one's a pretty simple one. What would you like written on your tombstone? That's a good one. I never had that question asked me before. It's not something we think about because we know because I don't think about dying because I'm

Unknown Speaker 53:25
not here. Basically, what I would want to say on my tombstone is I would want here lives here live. Here lies a man who gave life his all who impacted people