Stephen Kuhn is the decorated United States Army combat veteran. He's a speaker. He's an author and consultant who helps individuals dramatically improve their quality of life through the consistent conscious application of honesty, integrity and transparency.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 179
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
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Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[03:08] Tom's introduction to Steven Kuhn [06:09] The H.I.T. Man [13:21] Having humble beginnings at home [18:31] Shipped to Germany where he wanted to go [28:30] Getting into the business of helping others [42:01] Sponsor message [44:09] Programs for entrepreneurs [48:17] Parting thoughts for us Screwballs
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Episode 179 – Special Patriot Episode Steven Kuhn.mp3
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:22] It's Tom here with Screw the Commute podcast. This is the special Patriot series. And we have Steven Kuhn with us today. And I was just introduced to this guy by my school advisory board member, Leesha West. And boy, did we hit it off. Me both of us had been kicked around, shot at punched in the face owned bar. And all that was on our good days. And I just had the great honor of addressing his group of vetrepreneurs at the Military Influencers Conference in Washington, D.C.. Now, this is part of September's Vetrepreneurs Month. And I have lots of vetrepreneur friends who could be featured on this day in our history. This special day in our history. But I thought Steven would be a great patriot to have on today as he's helping veterans all around the world and and entrepreneurs all around the world. And I'll introduce him to you in a moment. Now also, please tell your friends about this podcast. The more successful it is, the more freebies they'll be able to give our faithful listeners. And I'm sure you know somebody, that's either starting a business or in a business that's struggling. And we've got great information here. On Mondays, I do my in-depth trainings and on Wednesdays and Fridays, I interviewed great entrepreneurs like Steven. Grab a copy of our podcast app. It's in the Apple store. You can go to screwthecommute.com/app and we've got complete instructions on showing you how to use all the fancy features so you can take us with you on the road. And of course, grab our big freebie to thank you for listening to this podcast. It's a 27 dollar e-book called How to Automate Your Business. It allowed me with one part time temp person to handle as many as 150000 subscribers and 40000 customers in that part time temp person didn't even handle them. I'd say so. So check it out at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. Now our sponsor is the Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia. We're approved by the Department of Defense to participate in the My CAA Military Spouse Scholarship Program. Now we give a ninety five hundred dollar scholarship to military spouses and all other anybody in the military. And the my CAA program gives them 4000 so they can get a total of thirteen thousand five hundred dollars towards their education that they can take with them anywhere they happen to be deployed. I'll tell you more about that later, which you can check it out like everything we'll talk about today in the show, notes at IMTCVA.org/military.
[00:03:13] All right. Let's get to the main event. Stephen Kuhn is the decorated United States Army combat veteran. He's a speaker. He's an author and consultant who helps individuals dramatically improve their quality of life through the consistent conscious application of. Listen to this. Honesty, integrity and transparency. So, hey, hit man, are you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:03:43] I almost answered that.
[00:03:43] I know. Your wife's not listening is she.
[00:03:48] Well the kids are the grandparents.
[00:03:49] Oh, okay. So you're Okay. So. Oh, man. I'm just so thrilled to have met you. And quite an honor to have someone like you on the show here. You're helping veterans around the world. So tell everybody basically what you're doing, because I've seen you on stage in big crowds and got a great following. So tell him what you're doing and then we'll take you back to see how you made it up the ranks.
[00:04:11] Thank you. Well, you know, I was I wasn't offline consultant for 20 years. And about two years ago, I decided to go online because I wanted to stay location independent. I didn't want have to go to work. And since I live in Hungary and in middle of nowhere and a village of 2000 people, that was the best bet. And I just went online and I looked for my niche. And my niche is, of course, veterans because I lived in Europe for 20 years or 25 years. I didn't really have a connection to the veterans anymore, but that proved to be my bonus because I showed up out of nowhere and ended up just giving free advice about how to run. Start, Run, grow, scale your business. Little things about Web sites and how do you know how to how to get people attracting traffic and all kinds of things that I've been doing for 20 years. And it turns out that the veterans face there was a huge gap there. So I ended up till today after 19 months almost. And I think it's 235 veterans that I've helped one on one, including group trainings and things like that. So it's pretty, it's super it's very, very fulfilling for me. But it's also getting the job done and that's that's what's important for me. So, yeah, that's pretty much what I do. I turn around their business as if they're in trouble. A break through plateaus and I help them start their businesses and solve problems.
[00:05:21] So you lead a big Facebook group, too, right?
[00:05:24] Yes. It's called the Vetpreneur Tribe or thirteen thousand five hundred veterans at the moment. It started out when I joined. It was three thousand. And then the guy who started it. You know, he went another way and just said, Hey, Steven, everyone thinks you were you own it anyway. So why don't you just take. Because I was there every day.
[00:05:39] That's leadership, I guess.
[00:05:41] Well, you know, I did a live single day for 19 months. So, I mean, how could you forget me? Yeah. So Facebook like, you know, weekends.
[00:05:49] So it must be exclusive because I tried to buy one of your new hats and they wouldn't even sell it to me. That I had permission to. Seriously. The guy said, no, I can't sell the hat unless I get permission illegally and everything else. Well, give it a try.
[00:06:08] We'll get you one. Yeah.
[00:06:14] Tell us about H.I.T. I mean because there are a lot of people know me know that I'm all about Antion scam. Yeah. High integrity. High transparency. So you have personified this. You're the hit man. Tell me about it.
[00:06:28] Well, you know, just to go back to the consulting part, you know, a big part of my business is actually consulting businesses all over the globe that not necessarily our veterans. So that this is where this comes into play, because when you work with veterans, it's almost a given. Like, look, I know you, you know me. We're in a similar space in our mind. We've been where we've been together and in our bodies, we grow together. So there's an automatic attraction there. But when I go to the civilian world, I speak with people. It's very key for me to know that I'm working with somebody that is hit and hit. Is this hit stand. H stands for honesty. I stands for integrity and T stands for transparency. Honesty is being true to who you are and how you live. The transparency is communicating your honesty for everyone to observe. And integrity is a result of those two. And it's also your ongoing reputation. So, for instance, if you live by hit, you have the clarity of who you are and exactly what you want in life. And when you do that, you don't have to live with expectations. You don't worry about other people's expectations. So you have pure clarity. You live in an incredible happy life where everyone seems to help you every step of the way and you naturally attract others who live the same way by hit, even if they don't know what's called hit, making life super really easy and enjoyable. And when you operate under hit, of course, you get real authentic connection, significance and true happiness, because every healthy relationship on the planet is based on integrity, period. So without integrity, you don't have a relationship. You might have leverage and you might have sort of manipulation using NLP and all these kind of things. But I can tell you this, using hit and our concept we call creating space. You can you can literally close any deal. Walk up to any person, go anywhere you want and get whatever you want. And you do it with a win win every single time. Creating space is real simple. You have one intention when you meet somebody, it doesn't matter if it's a sale or you're buying or they're buying or you're in a meeting or you're meeting the president. Whoever it is, you have one intention, only zero expectations, zero cookie cutters. That one intention is adding value. Simple, simple as that. So you go in guns blazing value, value, value, value, value. And what that does is it creates a space for them, almost a vacuum, because you're like, look, you're not trying to sell me, but let me step a little closer. When they step closer, they're actually stepping into what we call their own greatness because there's no pressure there. And what happens when two people get close and have that connection? The mastermind is formed. And that's where the magic comes in. That's where the solutions and problems get. The solutions are found for the problems magically. You know, you come up with ideas and solutions that you never would have thought of on your own. So that's pretty much that's just an overview of what it is.
[00:09:03] Yeah. And I think that's kind of how we hit it off, because as we started talking and we started saying, hey, he's talking the way I think. And then I guess you thought, hey, he's talking the way I think. And yeah, it was a very I mean, a very fast connection. I mean, normally I vet people like crazy and you do, too. Yeah. But we kind of come really.
[00:09:24] Really within a few days we had you speaking on stage. Yeah. So that's you actually experience creating space. You create you found that you stepped in. We connected. We created solutions. We had ideas. Next thing you know, we're making appointments with the White House. I mean, it's crazy.
[00:09:41] And Vetrepreneurs Month came because I met you. I mean, that I always supported military, but I never, you know, went that far, made a whole month out.
[00:09:51] You know, I thought about because it was never urgent or derive a reason to do it. But the funny thing about all of this is this happens every day right with me. This happens every single day with me. I mean, I walk.
[00:10:01] Oh, you mean I'm not special? Oh isn't that nice.
[00:10:03] Of course, your special. It happens different every time.
[00:10:07] For instance, as I walked up to Mick Jagger after I heard on the radio that he was in Berlin for his tour of Germany for three weeks and his bodyguard hurt his back in and stayed in the U.K.. So I waited from this hotel lobby, walked up to him, created space and said, I'm your new bodyguard. Who are you? Who sent you? I said I sent me the next and the next thing you know, they pay me 400 bucks a day to be a bodyguard. That's what creating space. How powerful it is.
[00:10:35] Yeah. It makes it makes making decisions in your life easy to when you're thinking. All right. What's the integrity way to do this? You know, in this whatever situation you're in, what's the fair with the transparent way to do it makes it that much easier. So. So Mick Jagger, huh? So how many people get the kill that were they were all women chasing them?
[00:10:55] It was more I want to be honest about this. I might get sued for this. But if it was more of him keeping him away from women who were much younger than him, I say it to his credit. You know, he became famous when he was 17. So that. That probably sticks, right?
[00:11:16] He's still sinking, right. Didn't he just have a concert.
[00:11:22] I mean, can you imagine? I grew up, you know, my my my mother listened to the Stones Painted Black and, you know, that kind of stuff. And this is this this was 1990, by the way. So, you know, I there I am. It's we're in Berlin, you know, which is the first time that they were in there since 1969 because they completely demolished a place that ripped it apart. All the fans just went nuts. They wouldn't let it back in. So this was this was historic. And I'm standing on stage with these guys going, I'm living history. I can't believe this. And I'm standing here with Mick Jagger, and I got to hang out with them all. We got a cab. He's like, where you wanna go? I mean, he's like, Steve, wanna go get a coffee or someone like. All right, let's go. And I would just call my buddies who own restaurants. Dude, I'm bringing Mick Jagger in place and call your friends and get the press. And I was like I was hooking up all my friends around town. And what that means is that's what I call investing in relation to capital. So when you invest in relational capital, it's like it's like investing financial capital. Same thing, but you're guaranteed a return. Right. And that the law of reciprocity says, you know, give what you have and you will receive what you don't have in return. So that's what I did. I didn't know what I was doing at the time. I just knew that when other people feel good, that I feel good. So I just kept doing that. And no matter, I had Olivia Newton John. I worked for her. I brought her company to six countries in Europe. And I brought her to all these places, invited all my friends. And even if they weren't customers. But they got to see her and meet her photos. You know, I kind of stuff. And Andrea Bocelli, the same thing. You know, I worked for him as well. All the same way. I walked up, created space boom. I'm working for now. I never even worked in the music industry yet feeling like contract with Warner Brothers for Bocelli's team. I was like, what? But you know what I did when I wanted to CEO's Office of Warner Brothers, Rhino Rhino Records. I created space. He pulled out a beer. We started watching videos on YouTube. It was crazy.
[00:13:06] Well, for both of us have made major mistakes in that we bought bars.
[00:13:14] I actually made a bigger mistake with that. I took a gallery and turned it into into a bar. So no one knew what was there. The first year it was like me alone in the bar.
[00:13:25] All right. So let's let's take you back. So I understand you had humble beginnings.
[00:13:31] Yes, I did. We. You know, my mother was a very strong woman who knew what she wanted at least year to year. And so we switched locations and who we were living with. So to say she got married a couple times and that kind of stuff, we moved around a lot and it was always literally within like twenty five miles of where we were. So we always saw the same people, even though we moved away, quite strange, went to the same school the whole time basically. And you know, the last home I lived in was a mobile home. And that's when I joined the army to get the heck out of here. I just I don't even care. I really wanted to join the Navy. I joined when I was 18, but I was held back. So I had I didn't finish high school till I was 19. So, yeah, I was lazy in those days. I know I hated myself. You know, I was a I was like a doofus. I tried football, baseball, wrestling, saw I tried everything and tried soccer. I tried basketball and I played football for for three years. I was just so tired of sucking at it. I quit, you know. And it's because I had no self-confidence and no self belief and nobody freaking believed in me, you know? So. So I know I said, I'm gonna go the army. This life isn't fair. My mom still makes that joke today. You think you're gonna be fair in the army? No, but it did. It changed my life.
[00:14:50] So how did the Army instead of Navy? You said you wanted to go to the Navy?
[00:14:54] Yeah. Well, the Navy's because I went to the recruiting station to sign up. Hey, take a seat. I'll be right with you. And I'm waiting and I'm waiting. This is after a year of prepping to join the Navy. I learned how to fold, speak their language. All that Morse code, all that stuff. And he let me sit there for like an hour and a half. And this Army recruiter in his blues and just look looking bad ass, you know, walking by here, you still sitting here, like, yeah. Come on, let me show you what the Army's got after about, you know, after that I went in and signed up just to spite the Navy guy. So all these heroes things by joining the because I know I joined to get out of where I was and I joined the army because I wanted to spite the Navy guy.
[00:15:34] Was it a shock from your life in the trailer park to all this regimentation.
[00:15:41] But I wanted it. I needed it. You knew I had zero regimentation. You know, I was an idiot. And I'll never forget when I was sitting in that chair to get my mullet that I had to shave off. It was more like a disco mullet. It was like back and it was horrible. Anyway, so they took that razor and started shaving it, right? Yeah. And I I felt it. I felt it and said, this is the new me.
[00:16:14] Oh, really? That was a turning point for you.
[00:16:17] Oh, my God. Oh, my God. It was like everything that I hated about myself fell to the ground with that hair. Yeah. And I felt it, too, was like. It was like, this is epic for me. I know this is a defining point in my life. At that time it was so I had this thing through my whole life. I have periods in my life, situations in my life where I make a mental photograph and say, I'm going to remember this in 34 years. Like, I literally do it at that moment, doing it my whole life. It's crazy. And then, you know, I went in 240 pounds, was 19 years old, pudgy guy. And I got out of boot camp. I was like, one hundred eighty seven. Yeah, it was amazing. But one thing happened in boot camp that changed everything for me. I was I was I loved what I did. I loved boot camp. I slept two hours a day and it was OK for me. It was hard as hell, but I loved it. I love pushing myself. I was the slowest guy. I have short legs. I guess I'm 6 4, but I've short legs. Go figure. I'm the guy. You see an airplane with his head sticking way above the seat. He's tall. No, I just have a long upper body. And so we did a 20 mile jog. And then we get to the obstacle course. Right. Which is hard enough as it is. And I get to this wall that's facing me. It's like it's 15 degrees facing me. No rope. It's about you know, it's about an arm's length over my head. And I'm 6 4. I'm thinking like, how much will you get over that? Everyone else is getting over it. But I couldn't get over it. I could not get over that wall.
[00:17:40] It's facing you right.
[00:17:42] Right up. Yeah, yeah. Leaning towards me like, what the heck? So I couldn't get over. The drill sergeant took me by the back of the neck, threw me in the mud, put his put his boot on the back of my neck and just started calling me every name in the book. And I exploded and I shot up tears in my face, snot around my nose. And just like a gazelle right over the wall. When I landed the other side, it was like slow motion. And I saw angels. It was like, yeah, I just figured something out. Well, it was in my head the whole time. And from that point on, I did and do whatever I believe I can do. Amazing. And I realized that was another one of point points. I took a photo in my mind and I said, I'm going to remember this for rest of my life.
[00:18:28] Yeah, yeah. You know the guy still.
[00:18:31] No, I know his name. Gilbert. Staff Sergeant First Class Gilbert.
[00:18:36] So then what? So you went into combat.
[00:18:40] Then I got shipped to Germany, which is where I wanted to go. It's funny. They give you a dream, a wish list, they say, write three places down where you'd like to be stationed. I wrote, Hawaii, Italy, Germany. And little did I know I was in tanks. There was no tanks in Hawaii or in Italy, but they didn't tell me that. So I went to Germany. Go figure. And it was the Cold War. The wall was up. I was on the border looking over it. Ivan the terrible. Oh, you know, it was it was pucker factor ten. It was. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. It was it was real. It was tension. It was high stress, you know. And we a lot of time off.
[00:19:19] You carried an M4 at that time or machine gun?
[00:19:23] We were since we're tankers, we carry forty fives. Forty five, 1911 A1s. Yeah. Well we have one one crew weapon which is an M 16.
[00:19:32] Well, amazing. Yeah. So you stare at the wall with some binoculars and a .45.
[00:19:40] Model 1911 A1. And, you know, if we're if we're on patrol because we weren't infantry, but we would take patrol, we'd have one M60 and, you know, I guess that you'd never carry the weapon and the ammo, which is the same person because it's too heavy. But I always volunteered. I would both you know, that's that's how that's my mindset as someone pushes and and it it really paid off because everything that happened in the military happened at the highest level for me. So I was in my division. I don't know. Was like thirty thousand people is the highest, highest decorated sergeant. And I was just a sergeant at the time because of all of the opportunities that I created for myself by doing the right thing. Always never slacking, never complaining over pitching. Nothing has always been abstract and scrap and went all the extra duties and all everything that I want to do. You know, taking people's guard duty on Christmas so they could go home to their wife. I was single. It didn't matter. And it was all at the time investing relational capital. Everyone knew it. But it always created this amazing return for me. And I've had this life that I can't even explain how blessed and amazing. It's not it's not it's not easy. I was homeless. I was broke. I mean, I've been through all that. But I was always still always somehow grateful for what I went through, as I can always look back and say, even if it ended right now, right?
[00:20:59] Yeah. Yeah, yeah. You know, I mean, that's kind of this thing with screw the commute, I mean people look at my resume. I like B.S. How could you do all that? Well, if you're not sitting in traffic commuting, you can live two or three lives.
[00:21:13] That's the one question I get all the time. And that matter fact. I was in an interview in Switzerland 2012 for Apple. I was almost going to take a job because it was for Apple. And I thought what would a great company to work for. Until I found out they're like a cult. But anyway, so I was in the I was in the office, my 12th interview. And it was it was in their office in Zurich, Switzerland, and it was for a cluster manager. I think they called it and it was for three countries. So it was like Switzerland, Germany. And because I speak German and I'm sitting there and there's all these people and the director of Europe. Right. Looks at my resume and goes and all of my accomplishments and says, no way. There's no way you're doing all these things right here. How did you possibly. How can you possibly do that? And I said, well, you delegate the task, but not the responsibility. I don't do it all my own. And that's just like shut him up. He was completely shocked that I actually had a solution or, you know, I got an answer for that, but it was true. You know, I had like you, I had three cocktail bars and a nightclub and I ran a corporation, a British PLC for Europe. Thirty five hundred employees and I had three bars and a nightclub. Like, how can you do that? How is that possible? Delegation automation and delegation.
[00:22:21] Yeah. And that Apple thing I was talking to one of the kids that worked on their live 7 months of interviews for part time to work at an Apple store. So you've had some some quite poignant moments in the combat arena.
[00:22:39] Yeah. You know, I. There's there's. OK, we're diving deep now. OK. When I was when I was when we were starting, we we landed in Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm. And my buddy was there. Sergeant Young Dylan. And he was with the Field Artillery. He's what they call a forward observer. He sits up front with us and tells you artillery behind us where to shoot. Right. And so we you know, we're hanging out all the time. And about a month and a half was by we go into battle and we're in the famous battle. Actually, video game is made out of it. It's the most biggest thing battle in history since World War 2. And of course, there weren't any other battles, you know, open, open range battles. And I hear on the radio, you know, the FO has been hit forward observer's been hit. And I know ran over. And there he was, you know, and I caught his last breath and his last. And his look to me was. Don't mess it up, man. You got you have a chance now. You know, like that. So whenever I get to the point where at least now where I'm, you know, at the end, I guess you could say or I'm not feeling so hot, I just look up and I see him looking at me going don't mess it up. Well, the chance you got this chance. So and that's how I help other veterans when they say to me. I mean, I actually I veterans called me in tears, say, I can't do this anymore, man. I left five friends over there. Why me? What the fuck am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to do here? And I said, look, they're up there playing, you know, dominoes, looking down at you saying, man don't mess this up, brother. We're up here. You can down there and he's like, I never thought of it that way. These guys are like, no, I never thought of it that way. But that's I think it helps to keep me a little sane because, you know, people say, well, yeah, you know, it was it really was 100, whatever, 100 hours or I was worse. And I had a Vietnam veteran say to me, one time I marched in the parades as the color bearer for the 8th Calvary in New York City on Fifth Avenue ticketed parade and Washington D.C. And I had a Vietnam veteran say to me, I was there for three years. I said, look, first of all, come March with us. That blew his mind, you know. And then I said, you know what? That was my Vietnam. I don't want to know what it's what it was like where you are. Sorry, but it's all relative. And so when I was in Iraq after that, it was really tough for me. And I started wavering like Jesus. What are we doing here? And I we were on a checkpoint on Highway 8 right outside of Basra. And if people remember, Bush senior said to the Shiites, form an uprising in Basra against the Sunnis, against Saddam's tribe and the Baath Party, and we will support you. And we were right there waiting. So they started the uprising and Bush said, nope, sorry, we're not going to help you. Stand down. So we watched as thousands of people were massacred, burned, shot, killed. You just you name it. And we you know, we our commander actually broke broke rules and went over and captured a whole company of people just to mess with them and we had to send them back. But. One time I was sitting at the checkpoint and I see this like two figures coming quarters and far away and there's a little pink dot. And it was this little girl wearing a pink dress, something like in the middle of the desert. There was nothing there. Highway and nothing as far as you can see, except for Basra in the distance burning. And as she gets closer, she's holding her hands like she's flying it like she's an airplane. I'm thinking like, oh, I guess she's playing. I guess that's her mother. Well, she got closer. I saw that she was burned from, you know, from her neck all the way down and her clothes were stuck to her in that dress. I guess they found it on top of her. And it was hard. It was really, really hard to see. And I saw she she came to us and help in that kind of stuff. And I sent her to the medics and the medics bandaged her up. And we had to send her back because she wasn't an enemy combatant. We couldn't take a prisoner, couldn't help or couldn't feed her or nothing. Weren't supposed to anyway, right? We did. And. She came out and she looked at me and I I got down on my knee. And I looked at her eyes and in my grenade pockets I had butterscotch candies. Right. So my aunt would send me to me. I pulled a butterscotch candy out and gave it to her and she smiled. And in that moment, I said you never have a reason to complain ever again in your life. Here's a little girl who lost everything burnt from head to toe and she's smiling because I gave her a freaking butterscotch candy. So if that doesn't move you, nothing does, you know. And to this day, I'm looking for her. You know, it's like I in my mind's eye, I want to meet her. I want to see how she is. Yes, I want to see it. Yeah. So that was a defining moment for me where I said, enough. I'm getting out. I'm done with this shit. You know, I don't regret anything that I did. And I I'm a proud patriot and I love my country. And for what I did it that's not me anymore. So I went back to Germany. I had about a year and a half left. They they sent me to Berlin, Berlin for a while. So I met my first wife and I went down to southern Germany after that. And while they closed Berlin first, they closed where I was stationed. And I went to Berlin. They closed that. And I went to because, you know, when when Clinton came into power to shut down. They sent me to southern Germany and I just decided to get out. And I stayed in Germany. And I stayed in Berlin, hung out with that girl. That's when I started the bars and stuff. So, yeah, I was it was a what a journey that I don't talk about very much.
[00:28:19] Maybe we can make something of the butterscotch thing, make a little logo of it. A reminder, people give him give him some candy bars and they hear this story. Amazing. Amazing. So when did you really start helping getting into the business or helping others in the business world?
[00:28:43] Well, I always saw me in the bar as helping others. You know, when I was in a bar. Yeah. Because. What I did is every time there's a sporting event, I had three or four TVs in each bar and I would, you know, I'd sing the national anthem. I would stand on the bars. And. So when it was a sporting event or something, Americans.
[00:29:02] Is this all expat kind of people.
[00:29:03] No, no, it was German, aka German police. And there's thing I loved. That was when they loved America. This is 93, 94, 95, 96. And they just you know, they. Matter of fact, I got fairly famous pretty quick because of that, because of the way I acted with people, the way I need so much freely myself. I had people come to the bar and I'd say, where you want to go tonight? And like what? I mean, I said, pick a journey. What would you like to be right now? Like Brazil. So I did I go make him a cocktail. Just make him make something up if they liked it. I'd name it after them, according to my menu. So I just keep doing all this weird things like that. And so and yeah. It just it ballooned. And then I started for the corporation and corporation and then I sold my bars and stuff and then the corporation crashed and they put a hostile takeover in and kicked everybody out and there I was without a job or anything. And at the same time, my life, my wife cheated on me and left me and I lost my job and money and the bar. So I sold the bar. So I decided to write a book. I mean, else to do so, I wrote a book about my time in the Gulf War and I talked about all these things that were in my head. I don't talk about we were on like Delta and we're moving through. And it wasn't like that at all. It was like I was scared shitless and I didn't raise my hand quick enough to volunteer. And now I feel like a loser kind of kind of a book, like really my personal journey. And it shot immediately the bestseller in Germany within two weeks. I wrote it in two weeks and came out two weeks later and two weeks after that was a bestseller. And the thing about it was the Americans wouldn't pick it up because it came out the day the war started in 2003. So here was telling this story very, very personal, hurtful story about a G.I. And here we are rolling into Iraq. Oh, yeah, we're gonna win. You know, so it was sort of a Random House picked it up and they said Oh, no, no, no. So it became a bestseller in Germany, Austria. It's all in the German speaking nations. And I did a year book tour. And I did a year of TV, a year of commentary on the news. Just I even did MTV there. Now, it's like they had me doing everything. That was the only American war veteran, I guess, who spoke German. I don't know the only one they could find anyway. So I was I was a full time job for me and a lot of money was great. But I still have a career, a job. So I went back into the corporate world after that. And I got into the health club business. So we ended up having eighty seven health clubs. Not me, but they were you know, it was like a partnership. And it was on the Nasdaq joint venture, all kinds of stuff. And I ran an operation. That's where I really had the great time helping people will either or health and fitness dreams and stuff like that. But I was an executive. I wasn't down for training people stuff. But I trained every day and I still do. So I was that guy that was an executive, but always hung out with the team and not with executives. So I was that guy, you know, and it just it just made life in those clubs so much more enjoyable because people look at this guy. He's down here with us, man. He's got to be here. He'd be up there because when I wasn't in Chicago with our joint venture partner, I had a stack of tickets on my desk every day. Oprah Winfrey, the Sox Cubs. You know, it was just it was it was ridiculous. They never worked. Never. Never. We had three thousand dollar lunches. It was ridiculous. Yeah, it was sick and I left it there six months and I just couldn't do it. So then, unfortunately. I got into the business with my brother, who is a mortgage banker. My twin brother, who's a mortgage banker in America, and we had it. We were doing well. Well, this was back to six, probably ended 6 7 0 6 7 and 8, actually 6 and 7 5 6. And we started making so much money, we decided to had a friend who said, hey, you guys ever produce films? We're like, nope. Like, what do you do? You just gotta use your money. I thought we could do that. So we started. We started producing films, you know, working on films produced in Hollywood, New York. And I was doing like I was doing the year, the co-production in Germany try to get the tax credits. And we were doing CGI in Belgium and it was just like the whole, you know. And then, of course, 2008 came actually with the end of 2007, 2008 and everything crashed. I mean, everything within weeks I had no apartment, no money, no job, no nothing. So I was homeless and I rented my apartment out. To an American named Steve, and he allowed me to stay on my sofa every second weekend or so. Yeah, so my own sofa. And it got got really, really bad. I had a toxic relationship at the time with this crazy woman who who always put me down. And of course, because I was in a position where I was down, I took it and said, Yeah, she's right, she's right, she's right, she's right. I just kept feeding that that evil devil inside of me where I got to the point where I was lower than a snake's belly. And that's that's when it really hit rock bottom because we're driving down the road and she's coming out again about how stupid I am and how rich she is and how what a loser I am. And this is oh, this is 2008, by the way. So wasn't it long ago and. I said get out, just get out, I can't take this. It was like a 16th time I broke up with her. All the toxic relationships. It's like an addiction. And she got the car and I hit the gas. Literally 100 feet sped like 100, 200 feet on the road and got stuck in a police trap in Germany. And I'm already crying. I'm up two hundred. Well, it's time I was 300 pounds and like huge, massive, six foot four massive ball of whatever I was. And I got out crying and snot coming out my nose. And the police and the German police were like, what? What do you what you know? And I'm standing there and I'm trying to explain and I got to fight and then I don't give a shit. She comes walking up. Because there's only six hundred feet. She's like he's a war criminal. Arrest him. He's crazy. I was like, what? And so there is three police beside me on the left side. You know, I think one or two on this side. And then she was over there with another because there are like 15 police there. And they they what she was saying that I look beside me. There was like this little female cop, couldn't it be more than 5 2 and was like a toothpick. So I grabbed her gun. So I grabbed her gun. And I was going to shoot myself and my girlfriend would say, do it. Do it. In German, they tackled her and literally dragged her behind the paddy wagon so I couldn't she her anymore. And this little girl put her hand on top of mine. Pushed back into the holster, turned to me and said, this is not you. I know you don't want to do this. I was like. So I said, I froze anyway. So the situation de-escalated really quickly. Put me in a paddy wagon. Let me sit there. They didn't press any changes for that. I lost. I lost. Yeah, I lost me like. Well, German police are uber social. Like 1 percent of German police draw their weapon in a 35 year career.
[00:36:19] We don't have that picture of Germans.
[00:36:21] I never did either. Are they are the most social caring people police officers I've ever met. So anyway, they sent me home. I had to walk home. Wasn't that far at home with my buddy who was running my apartment. And he let me in and he left. Well, you're all my should fill in all my stuff. You know, hanging in the closet. And so I go to my closet and I pull up my uniform. My army uniform hung up on the door, take a picture a for myself, put it below there, write a note. Take out a big marine, a knife. Yeah, like a Bowie knife sticking my neck and I'll get ready. I guess it's knocking on the door like a loser. And you know what? A loser that, right? So I go to the door and I rip it up. I'm like, what? It was that little girl police officer. And I was like, What? And she's like, minutes ago she came in my hand and put the knife down on my little table there in the hallway and led me into my own living room, which looks like I'm going to look at one of your readers and one of my book readings I did. I know who you are. This is not you. She said you're going to live an amazing life. You gonna have kids and find love. And it could be the most amazing thing for you. Hang in there. You're gonna get through this. And then she got up, give me the kiss on the cheek and left and I'm sitting her going, well. But it didn't really hit me at the time. But I'm thinking like, okay, what's weird man. And she what happened was that then I called my buddy Michael in Austria and I said, look, Michael, I I think if you don't come and get me, I'm not going to be here. So he sent literally like five minutes later I had a plane ticket and my email. So I flew to Austria. He had broken his ribs the day before. So his buddy picked me up who I didn't know. He drove me to this monastery in Austria. With Benedictine Christian monks who meditate and chant and sort of said, you. We'll call you.
[00:38:29] You know, all this stuff. Yeah. You're used to from the trailer park.
[00:38:33] Exactly. Yeah. So I walked in and I didn't have a laptop on my phone. I would tell anybody where I was going. I wasn't paying any bills. I didn't. Nothing. I don't give a damn. It's appeared in my answering. And I came out the other side. Like eight months later, I guess it was six or eight months later. A completely different grounded source. Powerful, strong, grateful, humble, loving person. To myself. You see. And that was the problem. The entire time it was, I was always trying to go to the outside. Right. Always trying to go the outside. Be powerful, be big, be strong, be the one Be Be Be. Well, I am. I already am. I just have to realize it inside of me. And that's what monastery. Not on it. My, my. My connections, my my life, my love, my relationships with everything just changed forever.
[00:39:32] I feel like calling you grasshopper. Oh, man. So. So you came out of that. All right. You're all in. You're OK now with you. But now you're looking out to help other people.
[00:39:54] Yeah. So I got called back by the company that was working for. They said, hey, you wanna come back, I said, nope, I'm not going back to the corporate world too destructive. There's not enough giving in there. They said, look, we have a position just for three months in Budapest. I was like something inside of me said, go. And I was like, well, I never been. Three months, I can do that. And I also knew that Budapest was is the heart chakra of Europe. Every year, every year they have a big bonfire here. People come from all over the world. Celebrate this energy point in Budapest. Much too much to like on that side of spirituality. But I sort of like the. But I took it in the first day in Budapest, the first in Hungary, the first day ever in Budapest, the first day ever in the business. The first person I saw. Was a woman I ended up marrying. Yeah. Talk about fate. I walked in and I said, oh, my God, I wanna marry her just like that. It's like, wow.
[00:40:55] What did she say?
[00:40:57] I didn't tell her that. But it's funny. I walked up to her and this is a taboo in America. But in Europe, no one cares. I said, you have the most beautiful face that I've ever seen. And she was like she looked over the right side and said. That's your office over there. At the time it didn't matter to me because I because I knew I was you. That was what I was saying. What I was doing was 100 percent purely based on truth and in belief and love and care. And so she didn't feel that. She didn't feel that that should be shooting back at her again, creating space. Right. There was no information from me at all. Zero. And I think she felt that. But I didn't bug her anymore. So I started dating other women. And every day that come, the receptionist even area would. And then after like a month, she's like, hey, can I ask a question? I guess she was. Am I really only worth one try? And I said, nope, you'll meet tomorrow night. That was it. Not. Yeah. And I point out we were together and it's been 10 years. Now we've got two kids. Amazing. An amazing woman. It gives me so much power. Which love is incredible.
[00:42:07] Wow, what it would inspiring stories, so. So we've got to take a brief sponsor break here when we come back. We're going to ask you how you're helping entrepreneurs. Well, you have for them. All right. So we'll be right back with Steven Kuhn. What an inspiring story. I tell you so.
[00:42:23] So since this is vetrepreneurs Month, but I want to tell you a little bit more about how my school supports military families and how our training can help them now. First of all, we give a 50 percent or ninety five hundred dollar scholarship to thank them for their service. And this applies to active duty folks or veterans. And then for eligible military spouses, the Department of Defense gives them an additional 4000. And and the reason this is perfect for military families and I know this firsthand living in Virginia Beach, where we have you know, we're near Norfolk, they call it Norfolk North Folk. But this is one of the biggest collections the military in the world and spouses around here normally have to take crappy jobs at lower than average pay because employers know they're going to get deployed. So employers don't want to invest a lot of money in the people that they know are going to be leaving. Then the spouse has to get deployed to find another crappy job in their new location. Well, this sucks, though. So with Internet marketing training, companies don't care where you live. You can work legitimately from home. And if you get deployed somewhere else, it just doesn't matter. You could still be handling social media, e-mail marketing, shopping cart stuff, customer service and all the other things. Every business owner needs. And not only that, you can study at home with no expenses for books, travel or childcare. I mean, it's a perfect fit for military families. And one more thing. You can also sell your own products and service with the same skills you learn. So check it out at IMTCVA.org/military and then give me a call and check that out in the show notes and I'll be thrilled to support our military families. And there you go.
[00:44:15] So let's get back to the main event. Steven Kuhn is here. He is a decorated Army veteran. He is a grasshopper that I didn't know about. And he he's been been through the ringer, but has some very interesting insights on life because of his life experience that a lot of us hopefully we can learn from his experience and not have to go through some of the things he's been through. But anyway, Steven, you're helping entrepreneurs like crazy. What kind of programs do you have for them?
[00:44:48] Well, we have a few programs. I have my one on one, which is a coaching consulting. So I help people find their you know, they have an obvious problem that they typically focus on. We knock that out of the way for them. So you typically get I need money for my business. I got to make the plans because they're calling this problem first. Then we work on the underlying problem. That's the one on one that I work with. And I have a program called Humble Alpha CEO program, the Humble Alpha CEO program for companies that have been in business at least for a year, which have about a hundred. And it's a customized program which is designed to take the leader or the CEO and their senior direct reports from their current level of performance to a high performing laser focus and deliver quality of life would certainly do both. If the one on one sometimes group with mastermind stuff would do all this in a five stage process and we do it in a year and in that year we also make them a million dollars. So it's it's it's a pretty exciting program. We use a lot of cutting edge technology with it as well. And we have subject matter experts who come in and do the actual one on ones with the specific parts of each stage.
[00:46:04] I understand you're working on a new website for this. So it may not be in the show notes right now, but folks, you can always check back in the show notes. So what's the best way to get a hold of you if they want the one on one stuff?
[00:46:15] Just go to my Web site, steven-kuhn.com, and you'll see a little bit of my stuff there, some testimonials. Click on contact and then off we go. It goes right to my inbox. No filter. I answer you directly. Yeah. You know, I do everything one on one as much as I can. I think it's it's. Keep it that way. I actually have like a direct response to this.
[00:46:37] Yeah. That's the way I am too. It's another thing to we connected on because big group stuff, the advance people were bored. If you're talking to the beginners and vice versa though or the beginners are lost if you're talking to the advanced people. So. So nobody gets any value and that's their whole our whole thing is value, massive value. Which. Yeah. I'm thrilled about. So. So you're you're in what time zone for like if a lot of my people were in the U.S. You're in Budapest, right. So that's what six hours.
[00:47:11] Six hours ahead of time. Yeah. Yeah. East Coast. Nine hours of West Coast.
[00:47:15] Right. Right. And what's it like living in Budapest?
[00:47:19] Oh, it's it's picture a postcard and stepping into it. That's that's what Budapest is like. Honest to God. There's obviously bad areas as well. But, you know, I just as I do with life, I try to look at the good things.
[00:47:34] So are you an expat community.
[00:47:37] There is but a funny I'm not sure if you ever lived anywhere, but Americans never stick together. We're like the only expat community that don't hang out together. So, you know, the Brits, the British. They have massive parties. You go to the American Chamber of Commerce parties here. It's all Hungarians. There's no Americans. You have the British, and the French. You have the Italian chamber of commerce. You have. I mean, it's just it's just parties. Is the high season, of course, is September to December. And every single night there's an event, a party, an opening, something on. It's a breakfast lunch. Incredible. When I started the business here. That's all I get. Six weeks every single day with the whole city. Great.
[00:48:20] Wow. Well, yeah. Yeah. So. So what the parting thoughts would you have? We call them screwballs. The people that listen to this.
[00:48:29] Well, there's one thing that I would say the biggest problem I see and this is not only with entrepreneurs we're starting out or middle level entrepreneurs, but even large entrepreneurs, even companies. Is that they, if I ask, would probably you solving they're gonna be some general, you know, we provide service or know what problem you. What problem in society. Does your company exist to solve? If you have that, you have gold. If you have the problem pegged and you have a solution for that specific problem. You can communicate to that niche or that demographic, you're the winner, period. Most people do not take time to do that. You think I have a digital marketing agency. I can make websites. Actually, they don't. And of course, there's a million people out there. Why are you doing it. Well, my USP I'm not talking about all these buzzwords, you know, ROI. That's nice. You know, all these big buzzwords, they think that they have to know. No, you need to know what problem you solve. Why do you exist? Why does your company exist? For what problem? Right. And you get that, you nail that you find a way to get in. But that's that's what we do. We don't want to want with me. We we zero in on that. So hard and heavy. You're marketing your brand language, your mission value proposition. The next thing you know, all of you communication from that on out. You don't have to guess anymore. All of your employees, all of your clients, all your customers, and everyone knows exactly what you stand for, why you exist. And that is powerful.
[00:49:59] So it's kind of like the hit thing. I mean, it's easy to make decisions when you know those ahead of time. But if you don't, you're just flipping a coin. Every time something comes up. Right.
[00:50:09] Right. Well, you know, how why do you go to a company and you ask for different for different people? What's your mission? Right. All right. Four different answers, right? Well, this is the way that we solve that is with that with the coaching that we do with the one on ones is that the outcome is that everyone's speaks the same language. Conflict goes out.
[00:50:26] Extremely powerful. A great, great thing. Then don't. So thanks so much, Steve, for taking the time to inspire a bunch of screwballs out here. And yeah, I can't. Can't wait to do more with the veterans than you have a thing called the tribe in the. The most important thing, though, is to get that guy to sell me a hat. I mean, I guess it's going to happen. Let's get this thing to happen. All right. So thanks so much. And everybody, check the show notes. Get ahold of Steven if you want some inspiration and powerful training to really focus yourself and get that k bar away from your metaphorical neck. Then get in touch with Steven. All right.
[00:51:09] That was good. That was really good. Thank you so much.
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