244. Air Force Academy Pilot Feels Rush of Flying High–With Feet on the Ground
He found something that gives him the same rush he felt when flying T-38 supersonic fighter jets. And, he does it with both feet on the ground.
Matt Miller spent the first nine years of his career as an Air Force pilot and flight instructor before entering the private sector to work in the medical device and advertising industries. His career soared as a top performer in the corporate world, but his long term desire was to be his own boss. A good friend mentioned the gum ball machines he and his young daughters owned. And that began a 10-year business quest which brought Matt’s company, School Spirit Vending, to the cutting edge of the vending and school fundraising industries.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Matt’s competitive streak emerged when he applied to the U.S. Air Force Academy after high school. “There were 60,000 applicants the year that I applied, and only 1,500 of us got accepted. I figured out really quickly that I had been a big fish in a little pond and became a little fish in a big pond, with a bunch of hard-chargers from all over the country. It was a rude awakening!”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
After learning to fly the C-5 Galaxy—the second largest aircraft in the world—and becoming a flight instructor on the T-38 supersonic jet trainer used by NASA astronauts to fly cross-country, Matt got out of the Air Force in 1998. “I realized that I didn’t like people telling me what to do, and the military is not a good place to be if that’s the case!” He became a top performer selling hospital diagnostic equipment for Abbott Laboratories, then transitioned into advertising sales at Advo. “My first full year at Advo, I ended up being the Number Two sales rep out of 750 reps in the entire company.” Along the way he discovered the passive income opportunities through vending machines. Soon, he developed a passion for teaching other successful people how to succeed in vending.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“The reality is, it’s going to take a while to succeed. In today’s microwave society, people want something immediately. The get-rich-quick message abounds in our society, but it doesn’t exist. It’s not real. It’s going to take concerted effort over a long period of time. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Someday I’m going to write a book: The Thirteen Years to Overnight Success.”
Steps to Success from Matt Miller
1. Be willing to focus and take the long-term approach, if you want to do something great.
2. Don’t fall into knowledge constipation or the paralysis of analysis. Sometimes it’s best just to DO it!
3. Learning by doing might be best for you. Discover this by identifying your own learning style.
On His Bookshelf
Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kyosaki (http://amzn.to/1qpcOS8)
How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael E. Gerber
The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry, by John Warrillow
Connecting With Matt Miller
Free e-book for our podcast listeners: Live Your Dreams: The Top 10 Reasons You Need to Own a Vending Business, and an invitation to talk directly with Matt Miller.
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