Rise From The Ashes

Riding the Waves with Seth Ryan: Transforming Adversity into Stepping Stones for Success

January 22, 2024 Baz Porter® Season 3 Episode 4
Rise From The Ashes
Riding the Waves with Seth Ryan: Transforming Adversity into Stepping Stones for Success
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Are you ready to be inspired? Our guest for this episode, Seth Ryan, is a former ranger and military veteran whose journey is nothing short of remarkable. Coming from a background marked by poverty and familial addiction, Seth harnesses the power of determination, the backing of his community, and the significant influence of a strong role model - his grandfather - to overcome adversity and achieve success. Amid personal challenges, Seth's tale is a testament to resilience, teaching us that trials are not setbacks, but stepping stones to triumph.

Seth's story doesn't stop at overcoming adversity; it's also about growth, leadership, and authenticity. With the backdrop of higher education, we explore how Seth's experiences have shaped his unique approach to leadership. His belief in vulnerability, authenticity, and servant leadership as essential traits for connecting with others is both powerful and uplifting. We dive deeper as Seth opens up about his failures and how they have been the driving force behind his successful career and personal life.

The final leg of our journey with Seth takes us to his experiences in the 75th Ranger Regiment. From his struggles with the rigours of military training and the challenges of combat tours to his life as a Christian and a non-drinker in the military and civilian world, Seth's story is wrapped in courage and perseverance. Then, we shift gears as Seth shares his expertise on active shooter training and school safety, highlighting his strong commitment to protecting children in the face of violence. Through his experiences, Seth shows us that resilience, determination, and a positive mindset can power us through even the darkest of times. 

Join us as we ride the waves of Seth Ryan's inspiring journey - a tale that will remind you to never give up, to keep pushing forward, and to always see the light at the end of the tunnel. We hope this episode encourages you to transform adversity into stepping stones for success, just like Seth.

Support the show

Friends, our time together is coming to a close. Before we part ways, I sincerely thank you for joining me on this thought-provoking journey. I aim to provide perspectives and insights that spark self-reflection and positive change.

If any concepts we explored resonated with you, I kindly request that you share this episode with someone who may benefit from its message. And please, reach out anytime - I’m always eager to hear your biggest aspirations, pressing struggles, and lessons learned.

My door is open at my Denver office and digitally via my website. If you want to go deeper and transform confusion into clarity on your quest for purpose, visit http://www.ramsbybaz.com and schedule a coaching session.

This is Baz Porter signing off with immense gratitude. Stay bold, stay faithful, and know that you always have an empathetic ear and wise mind in your corner. Until next time!

Baz Porter:

Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to another podcast and another episode of Rise from the Ashes. These are your stories, brought to you in your leadership style and serving you as a servant leader. My name is Baz Porter. I'm your host. I'm joined by a guest today who is phenomenal. He's got a life story upon life stories. His name is Seth Ryan and he was a former ranger and military veteran. I'm going to go let him explain all of that jazz, because I don't speak about people, as you all know, because they speak best about themselves. Let me introduce you to Seth Ryan. Seth Ryan, please say hello to the world.

Seth Ryan:

Hello everybody. I'm very excited to be here and getting to know Baz and getting more familiar with podcasting. This is my very first podcast and my very first public interview, because I've been working with top secret clearances and areas where you can't speak about what you do or where you are. That stuff is behind me. The contract works. Now I'm ready to just start sharing my experience.

Baz Porter:

I want to say, first of all, thank you for trusting me with some of this information. Obviously, it's not secret, not top secret, but I want to thank you for your time and your service and the forces. A lot of our listeners are really intrigued by stories of adversity and overcoming challenges in life in general. Is there anything you can share about a challenge that you have that you overcome not just overcome, but turned into an opportunity?

Seth Ryan:

Yeah, as our conversations have gone, you know a little bit more already as to how many times I've had to overcome adversity and specific and diversity, specifically, you know, with my family's background. So just to give everybody an idea of my family tree, there's only been a couple of people that made it through high school in my family tree, that's cousins, grandparents, uncles, you know, uncles, aunts, everybody my immediate family. My dad was in, lived in South America for most of his young adult life and then came back and just showed up for his last two years of high school. So that counts, obviously, but it was, it's still kind of odd. He left with a fifth grade education and came back and just jumped into junior year. So mine was the what would be seen as normal, was anything but, and I understand that with only a younger teacher, it was very hard for me right from the get go, just because we were as poor as you can be poor without being homeless, and I say that when I was five, actually, our mobile home burned to the ground and I was homeless. But from that we quite literally rose from the ashes. With help from our Christian friends from our local church. They everybody donated a bunch of clothes to us, a bunch of money, and we ended up literally rebuilding our lives. And it was to me as a five year old, six year old boy. It was fantastic. I thought, well, man, you know, maybe our trailer should have burned down a little bit sooner, because we have nicer clothes than we've ever had and we're in a house. I've never lived in a house before and it was just one of the members of the church had rental properties and he's like well, I've got a house right now, this vacant, you guys move in there. And it blew my mind as as a young child as to how nice life could be. And keep in mind all the clothes that we were given. Those are secondhand clothes. The property was just a rental property and a not nice part of kind of the ghetto in Oklahoma City, but to me it was the world, like everything had changed and and I have this whole new perspective on life that if things go bad, you have, you know, if you, if you keep a family of friends and when I speak about my church family, they are as much a part of my family as is anybody that I that I share blood with. That always has some has been something that's played in my my brain and I've always known that I can't fail Because ultimately, my immediate family is going to help me with anything that they have. But I have a Christian network of brothers and sisters all over the world and you know, as you know, having traveled to the Middle East a lot and actually being a preacher at the Baghdad Embassy from 2019 to 2021, during my time there, you know again now I'm meeting brothers and sisters from Africa, from Uganda, from all over the United States and elsewhere. That that was one of the biggest lessons I learned as a small child.

Baz Porter:

Thank you for sharing that. Success is driven by many different factors in life and you mentioned in your last response that community and family, through religion and other things, are so important to you. Have any of these played a role in forming habits for you that set you up for success in the days, in your day to day?

Seth Ryan:

routines, I would say the thing that helped me kind of create my own path as to which direction that I was going to go, because most of my family I mean most, as in almost all of my family has been addicted to drugs, alcoholic and met early you know method of my early life. I only have a couple of cousins who had a rough go of it. Their mother was in and out of prison their entire life and she's, you know, been addicted to you know pain pills, which is the main thing that kind of ravishes Oklahoma a lot, which is where I spent most of my childhood and you know it was seeing the destruction of my family. It was seeing the destruction of everybody around me and even people my age were still getting tied up with. You know this fascination with and needing to go drink and be drunk and go try to smoke weed and all of those things. I just was very, believe it or not, I was very introverted. I was an outgoing child but I was so shy and I was so beat down by just not having friends, just not having a, just not really having a normal go of it. I wasn't an attractive boy, so I was actually a kind of a obese child for a little while there and so I had very, very, very low self-esteem and because of that, you know, there's a lot of things that I just kind of sat back and watched, and I think that's one of the things that when I talk to kids nowadays, I recently taught the high school class at my church. One of the things I brought up to them is, if you will just keep your eyes open, your ears open and just keep your face out of your phone and watch what people are saying, what people are doing, you're going to learn so much of how to make it through this life. And of course, again, this is a Christian setting and so we're going through the Bible and that is the guidebook that I've used. And I'm far from a saint and I'm nowhere near an amazing person, but the principles even if you weren't a Christian, if you could just take the principles of the Bible I caveat that with you have to believe it for it to work but if you take the principles of the Bible, the principles of Jesus, what's taught in the New Testament specifically, and you just tried your best to live by that, the outcome that you will have by default will be unrecognizable by most people. So when I say to somebody I've never drank alcohol in my entire life, I get the dumbest look from every single person I've ever told that to, because it's it's hard for them to comprehend that a just a normal Office you know, office goer works at cubicle could possibly make it through their life without being drunk at some point and and relaxing, which is the way most people use that. Yeah, well, that's how you relax. Now you throw into that my time in the Marine Corps, in the, in the reserves, and then September 11th, I switched over to the 75th Ranger Regiment for combat tours. With them, law enforcement, federal law enforcement, in the Bureau of Prisons Almost everyone there is alcoholic, unfortunately and and then you go into contracting and, literally, when you're off of work, everybody you could just assume everybody's pretty much hammered while they're a home Before they come back because you're not allowed to drink on contract. You can get fired for that and several Unfortunately several will we get good guys did. They got fired for that while we were there for sneaking in alcohol and drinking it. So again back to back to the question. You know, just one thing, just one thing, and that's just one of many. But if you could just control and not Drink alcohol, if you could be sober your entire life, the, the Outcomes of just that default of never spending money on alcohol, of always being the one who's driving safe. You never have to worry about. You know somebody saying that you did something while you were drunk and you don't remember. None of that applied to me, and because of that I've unfortunately seen the downfall of so many of the my co-workers and brothers In arms that you know. It seems like I'm 43 now. I just had my birthday. I've seen a lot of guys that are just now coming around to realizing you know how much they've lost due to one simple thing, and that was just alcohol and alcohol dependency.

Baz Porter:

Yeah, and I can actually love personal. I can personal not I can relate to that Going through the alcoholism and drug addiction that I went through for many years. So you know, For someone never to ever drink good hats off to you and, as a hell of achievement, never to be, you know, back down or be, be taken for granted, because I know firsthand how difficult that can be in, not just as you said earlier, not just in the military environment, but any environment and social setting now in in the world. So thank you for it, for being that person and taking the lead in your family and setting that standard. It says so much about the character, who you are. People love stories of role models and Adhering and modeling people. Is that anybody in your life you've really modeled? Will it be a family member or somebody you looked up to, that you admired, that? You took the lead. They took you what they took a lead you took a lead from. I.

Seth Ryan:

Wouldn't. I would say that that my grandfather on my mother's side only had a very big impact on me, but not until I got older. So I would say growing up in the 80s, which was a wild time to live. You know Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know Joan Claude van Damme. I watched bloodsport every Saturday For months on end and then we would go out immediately, me and my cousins, and jump on the trampoline and practice our kicks. You know, there's always those people you looked up to and you're like man, I wish I was a karate master, I wish I was this, and you see Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, in commando, and then, of course, rambo. I always looked up to the idea, the idea of people who were able to do those things, and I always loved. I guess I was some, but I was a weird kid and that I would. My mom would get me to read, but I Wasn't, wasn't that? I was just not strong and read. I just I didn't enjoy spending my time sitting With a book, even though if I actually read the book, I got very interested in the books and then I wouldn't be able to put it down to. I finished it, but what I loved and what made me so weird was I would just be, I know I would have been labeled ADHD, even though I'm tech, even though I'm not really not that I don't really have a disorder per se but I would just be bored and I would want to do something physical and there wasn't. There wasn't someone that drove me there. It's just like I just had this energy and I had to get it out. And so I would Go out and we lived on on multiple acres in Oklahoma and I we had a couple of axes and my mom and dad always wanted to do projects in clear land, and so I, I had Just an axe, and my mom came out and and tied ribbons around which Trees she didn't want and which one she did, and so anytime I was bored I would go out into the yard, off into the woods, by myself with an axe and Again, 80s child, nobody ever thought twice about that and I would just hack away and cut down a tree and then cut down Another tree and cut down another, and so I had developed, you know, muscles and stamina for no reason per se other than I was bored. But that that ended up, you know, really helping me as I later on got into Military service and and all the other things that I've done. I know I'm kind of taking a sidetrack there, but my point is as a child I was just I wanted to be doing physical things, even though I didn't ever think In a million years that I was ever going to be in the military or in special operations in any way. I just I thought that was something. That you're raised in a good family with all this money and you get to go to play, go to Sport camps and you get healthy food, which you know we eat super unhealthy food, very Overfed but malnourished my entire life with my parents and to this day, there they, they don't have good health Eating habits and we're trying to help with that right now. Ironically, and it's just that my grandfather I would say one of the main people that I physically had to look up to was him, and the main reason why I Say you know took a little while, is because what he taught me was he didn't have Again, he didn't graduate high school. He never did. He never got his GED. He worked at a factory that a guy from our church owned. He was an entrepreneur, he owned a factory and they made sausage meat and he just did that job all the time and when he would get done from that 10 12-hour shifts, he would come home and immediately go out into the garden and Teal the garden and then he would go out and if you're broke down he's loading up his metal trailer that he literally welded himself and built so it was indestructible and he's coming to get you wherever you're at. And that was the thing was just a human that had no Drive to do something for themself. They. He literally lived every single day, all day, for his entire life. His only Goal was to help his family. The end, when he died, it was with the family surrounding him in Admiration and love, and he was the linchpin that kept our entire family Together. When he passed, our family immediately just dispersed and and we're not in contact anymore. There's only a couple of Family members that I even stay in touch with at all because, again, most everybody was addicted to drugs and in and out of jail and doing terrible, terrible things to other people and and you know it was it was just he was there and everybody always came over to grandpa's house and we just loved being around a person that was so selfless. I you can't tell me there's a more selfless human, because literally every moment of his life was spent completely on Just providing for his family. And I would say that one thing made a very profound impact on me as I got older, but it wasn't one specific thing. He didn't give me some pep talk ever. He never gave me a pep talk. He never gave me some magical wisdom. He said read the Bible and live by it. And that's what he did, and it was his example is what I would say, made the lasting impact on me and our entire family.

Baz Porter:

That's amazing. I mean, he never gave you any Direct advice, but he lived by a standard and you sort of followed him in his footsteps in a certain ways and that's that, and that was the impression of that, which was quite phenomenal really. It's a very rare trait to have. Yeah, in this fast-paced world, people are always trying to live by example, as you were just saying about. Is there any books or education that you've had that you can recommend other than the Bible, because we've mentioned that one? Yeah, is there any educational books that you can recommend that you've read personally and employed in your life?

Seth Ryan:

I mean honestly, I can't remember the names of all of them. I believe Strength Finder is one of the most well known. Like every time that I'm in conversation with somebody you know in a professional setting, especially a defense contracting, everybody had seemed to read that one book. I had read that book in my master's program which, again, coming from a family where nobody had graduated high school or gone straight through and graduated high school to have obtained a master's degree as I have, that was a pretty profound thing for my family tree. And so just all of the books I just fed off of them because the master's program that I went through at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, oklahoma, was it's hard for me to describe it adequately because the associates degree and bachelor's degree was so stereotypically what you would assume about a college education was which is just you're checking off boxes of classes you have to take for your degree so that you can say you have a bachelor's degree and use none of that information ever, under any circumstance, like literally. There's probably two or three things I've ever used and most of them are jokes that I have that I found a way to like make some funny joke about something I learned in international law and how pirates is still an actual thing on the international and the worldwide books and literally, if a pirate tries to attack you in the ocean, you can do anything to them you want, always, forever, and like there's no rules. It's insane. That was literally the most useful information I obtained in my bachelor's degree. Switch over to the master's degree. Every single class, every single thing that I learned in there was applicable to my life and I've used especially the leadership. But the reason why the master's program there? Because it's a private Christian college and although I still have no idea what the Nazarene religion specifically believes, because that wasn't taught to us at all what was taught day one was, if you are coming into this program, our model is Jesus Christ. He is what we're going to look to in every single class as the example, as a servant leader, and we're teaching servant leaders here. When you leave this program you're not going to necessarily know what we believe at SNU, but you will know what Jesus, how Jesus taught, you'll know why it was so impactful just from the human perspective. Take religion out of it and that single thing being carried over into just the idea of a servant leader. Now you put that into every single class Economics, servant leader in economics, switch over to leadership, obviously Servant leadership in that, in ethics, taking the ethics class, marketing Everything that was taught to us there was so applicable. I can give you, and I definitely will, of course, send you, a list of the books that I took in that curriculum, and I still have the stacks of books and those are some of the things that I want to cover as I go forward with now, trying to introduce myself to the public eye and trying to share some of those direct examples of things I've experienced, along with the knowledge and wisdom that comes through these books and these authors.

Baz Porter:

Yeah, the one thing I've always recognized between successful entrepreneurs, business owners, people breaking into markets although it's a very diverse competitive market, forget you're in competition with anybody because you have your own unique skills, gifts and some of talents and one of the traits that I've learned from my experience, just to serve you with this the more authentic you are, the easier it is to people to relate to you, and that does mean, in certain circumstances, being vulnerable about how you were feeling in situations and people aren't. People are scared to do that. Also, the gratitude and the expression of gratitude in everything that you do, they shine and they show up at a higher level than anything else that I've ever seen. And if you take someone like Gary Vandachat, for instance, look at him as a role model in that, because all he does is compassion, gratitude and empathy. Yeah, that's his business model about everything he does and he tells stories around that. Yeah, how his father can overhear, et cetera, et cetera.

Seth Ryan:

Yeah.

Baz Porter:

But that stuff works and it resonates at a much deeper level with people. If you have a look at what Gary does and you take failure as a concept, people see failures as a negative, but it can also provide positive and valuable lessons. Is there anything that has happened within your career stroke civilian life that has been viewed first of all as a setback, but then it's been turned around and led to a greater success?

Seth Ryan:

In that question. I want to keep this at under 12 hours. Yeah, I don't want to cover just the highlights, because that's 12 hours my life has been. When somebody sees my resume they're mind blown and they don't understand how I can be job hopping from all these different careers. I also lived on oil rigs for a few years, in addition to the other positions. I've had each and every one of those things. Getting out of the military, I had an idea as to what I wanted to do. Now I would say the best example of where I had lived a life of pretty much failure all the way up to joining the military. For me, joining the Marine Corps was going to be the test Grew up in the 80s. Desert Storm happened when I was a very young child. I knew that we took over a country in 72 hours. That was my frame of reference when I thought of the military and this. I'm out on my own, I'm working construction full-time during the day and I'm going to class at night and it's just not happening fast enough for me. I don't know what gave me the idea that I could make it, but for whatever reason, I got that idea in my head when I decided I was joining the Marines. I heard from so many people that I was going to fail. I'm talking about my immediate family. I'm talking about my parents, I'm talking about my sister. There's only four of us and I was the only one that thought I could make it. Now you go to my friends at that point, my people, my peers at that age. Again, nobody thought that I was going to make it my roommate at the time, because I had to have a roommate then and we were living in a mobile home, still living that poor lifestyle, and he believed in me. That, to me, was something that was very profound and the reason why we're very good friends to this day. But, aside from him, I can literally think of almost no one that thought that I was going to make it. Now I go into boot camp. I get injured but I end up making it through. That was Marine Boot Camp, which was, to me, again, the greatest achievement of my life and it completely changed me as a person, because I went from this introverted although I definitely am an extrovert on the inside. I had to suppress that my whole life. Now I'm not obese, I'm not ugly as much as I. I mean, I'm still a little ugly, but I wasn't as ugly as I used to be. Now girls are paying attention to me a little bit. That transformation was so profound to me when I came out of Marine Infantry School and then Marine Heavy Weapon Specialist Training, you got to realize I was so over the moon with having accomplished that. Now my self-confidence was not to the point where I'm egotistical and I'm full of myself at all, but I had that confidence to where, if somebody asked me if I wanted to do this or do that, I have no doubt in myself and my own ability. So skip forward. Now I'm out as a civilian September 11th happens. I'm working as an EMT at that time and still going to college in the Marine Corps Reserve. Again for the reason of I had been successful in that one time, I decide I'm going to join special operations and that's where the failure started. And so for me, I went from the highest of high in my life, believing that I have all these limitations that I put on my own self, but that those weren't real, and I've pushed through those now and now I'm able to do things and people see me as a completely different person. Now I go to join special ops and, right from the get, go just trying to get a contract. Well, you can't do this, you can't do that. That's a long story. I end up getting not the one that I planned on getting, and that was all because of regulations with the contracts. And I was already infantry qualified in the Marine Corps, which surpasses the Army's infantry certification meaning or qualification meaning, not that I mean the training is longer and it's harder. That's the reason why it's accepted that way. But the point is that they wouldn't break up the contract. So now I've got to find a different one. So already in my brain I'm like OK, I don't know how I'm failing here, but already I'm not getting what I should get, what I deserve. Now I end up finally getting the forward observer. Most people don't know what that is, of course, and it is the guys that you hear about, who call in air strikes, and the guys with the radio but not just a radio operator the guy who actually knows how to call in fire from artillery, from everything In special operations. Those are the guys that make hugely profound impacts on the battlefield, and for me that was. I was so excited, even though I didn't really know what a ranger was at that point with the 75th Ranger Regiment, but still I knew that that's where I wanted to be. And when I went through Fort Observer School, I ended up failing the final exam, and I did that, and this is the right. So this is how my brain is like no, wait, wait, we didn't fail, but we fail. We go up to do the final exercise and this is in Lawton, oklahoma, fort Seale, unless they've renamed it, but it was Fort Seale, oklahoma and there's. There's tornadoes there all the time. Why show up to training in April? Well, we're in spring and by the time I'm getting through with our training and we're ready for the final exam, we have to go up on an actual hill. There's no mountains in Oklahoma, truly, and so we're on this hill and we're overlooking all these other hills. There's miles of property out there that we can blow up with artillery and, sure enough, the sky is black and everything starts swirling and we're like crap, there's going to be a tornado, and even if it's not a deadly one, you can't be out there when there's even the winds of a tornado start picking up. So a bunch of guys actually made it through and, of course, most of them all passed because it's easier in real life than it is on the simulation. In a in an office, big, it's kind of like stadium, stadium seating, kind of like the movie theater, just really small compact movie theater with a wall as a screen, and there you're trying to judge distance on a screen. It's almost impossible to get first round effects on it, which is the gold standard. But even to get your rounds on to the target by walking them on to the target, it's still hard and although we did great in training, there was always that understanding that it's still harder. When we get out there it'll be easier, and the instructors reassured us of that. And sure enough, we get out there and some of the guys who performed less well ended up doing just fine ahead of us. Well, I'm at the very end to go. And so they of course like oh, no, we're pulling the plug, we're about to do our final exam. No, we're going back to the schoolhouse. So we go back. And then I fail. And the pit in my stomach when that happened is something that I can still feel right now when I'm talking to you Like I can feel how desperate and how completely like slapped in the face I am at that moment of Well, guess what? The instructor didn't like me because he was army and he knew I was a prior Marine, and I don't know which Marines his wife might have previously dated, before they were married or even while they were married, I don't know, but this guy loathed Marines, okay. So he took his opportunity there to let me know that I was a piece of dirt and I'm a dirt bag and that he's glad that I failed and that I'm gonna get recycled now. But if I fail, the next one, my MOS, my military occupational specialty, my job, will be picked by the army, the needs of the army, and they're gonna send me wherever they need me. And guess what? They need cannon cockers at Fort Sill, because nobody wants to do that job where you just spend all day, every day, loading cannons and firing artillery rounds that the forward observers are calling in in training. So I'm thinking there's no worse job in the military at that moment and that the reality that I could be doing that Skip forward. I end up surviving that. I end up making it through. I make it through selection in the Ranger Regiment. I get out of four combat tours in the 75th Ranger Regiment. I don't do anything amazing while I'm in. I'm the most grateful witness and I'm surrounded by some of the greatest leaders of our generation. My last direct supervisor in the 75th Ranger Regiment is a guy named Richard Clark and he was the four star general leading the entire Special Operations Command, socom, and for the last two years this is 2023, I think he was 2021 and all of 2022, I believe so he was a Lieutenant Colonel at the time and I was his personal assistant driver, bodyguard, whatever he needed me to be when I was overseas. Obviously it was a little bit more driving and protective state side. I'm just picking up his coffee and his dry cleaning and those types of things. But it's like I leave from having experienced all that success. Now and I'm not failing I have a lot of issues with people don't like me because I'm a Christian. A lot of people don't like me because I don't drink and I don't trust anybody that doesn't drink with me. I got a lot of that in the Rangers, but there was a lot of guys that weren't that way too. So I get out now I go into the civilian world and for the rest of my life, up until today, like I'm still getting caught up in going in a path that seems like the most obvious, where I'm suited for, and then I get laid off. I've never been fired in my life, I don't do anything wrong, but it's like I just keep the timing of my life and, where it's been, I get into the law enforcement, to go into federal law enforcement, because I wanted to go be federal agent somewhere. I wanted to be a FBI HRT when I found out that existed ATF, but be one of the good ones, secret Service, actually protecting the president and then that became a very not the type of job I want. But all through my time in law enforcement federal law enforcement I kept there's a hiring freeze, you can't get into these jobs, okay, well, I need to make another move. I need to get close to my goal. I've got my degree, I need to do something, and then it just all falls apart and I'm making less money than I will make five years into the job and I'm a federal law enforcement officer. I just graduated from Glencoe and I'm like this doesn't make sense All these different times where I'm in the oil fields living on oil rigs. I do that for nine months with this fantastic tiny little company. Everybody there is so welcoming, really solid guys. Again, a lot of alcoholism, but I made a great name for myself because I'm not that. So a lot of guys kind of looked up to me for that one thing and kind of they knew that I'm not gonna be hung over. They knew they're never gonna have an issue If they send me to a rig. I'm gonna show up on time, I'm gonna be sober, I'm never gonna have issues with anybody I work with. Like those are just literally me saying that I basically breathed and I did the bare minimum and that automatically excels me right. Like even you don't have to be special at any of these things, just meeting the bare minimum of not doing things that are fireable. But then the oil field that company ends up going under. So I applied a slumberge, the world's largest oil drilling company. I worked for them and they started sending me people to train them immediately after graduating from the actual school. And then 2014,. November of 2014 is when the big October. November is when the crash happened, the last big crash that we've had and we've never been back to that. I lost my career path there. I thought, 100%, I'm gonna be living on oil rigs. This is the path I wanna go. These guys are great. It's just a bunch of guys covered in oil out on oil rigs and it's rough, and I can work out all day, every day. When I'm not working, I can spend my time just bettering myself, reading books, doing those things. That's where I started my master's program, and getting laid off is where I finished it. So then I'm having to look for another career path and then I move out here to Tampa, florida, where I live, and, lo and behold, I've got a buddy that I served with in the 75th. He's got his own company. I worked for him for a little while and we're barely barely making it, and then I end up making that decision. I'm at that point 37, 38 years old and we've not been able to have children. Now, when we take it away from jobs that's what everybody has said right, here's the things that people assume that you work through. I can tell you that there's no greater devastating thing in my experience than for me to have gone, for it ended up being over almost 15 years that my wife and I weren't able to conceive, or even her to get a positive on a pregnancy test. That was very devastating for me and on so many different levels, including being a man of faith and believing in God and believing that if you do the right things and if you pray to him and he's gonna make a way for you to serve him. And there's a part of that where I would say the biggest test of my life was just maintaining a marriage while going through those insanely demanding jobs they might cross out getting my degrees, all while working full time through all of those jobs. So even in my spare time there was no spare time. I think that part of the reason why I accomplished so many of those things is because I just had to throw myself at what's coming next. Okay, it's a loss, it's in the loss column, I just got laid off again, but I need to move. I got to go. And that's one of the most profound lessons I learned in the military, especially in the Marine Corps and bootcamp is it doesn't matter if you're making the right decision. The only thing that matters is that you're moving forward toward the decision that you can make quickly and seems sound at that moment, with the information you have, that look cool. Let's move forward. My wife hates that because I've said it every time we're trying to decide on a restaurant to eat and I and I'm talking this happened yesterday I'm still like, okay, let's just make a decision and move forward. I'm the unpicky person here. Where do you want to eat? I don't care, cool, we're going to the Mexican place? Okay, but not Mexican. Cool, we're going to the Asian place. I don't want Asian. Cool, let's make a decision to go with it. I have now made decisions. You now make the decision. Unless you go with it, well, I don't know. Cool, let's still make a decision and go with it.

Baz Porter:

There are people out here now listening going. I've had that conversation too.

Seth Ryan:

So many times, so many times. So that's that was what I did every single time that I got a loss. You know, there I'm again a very strange human. I recognize that because, although the normal human emotions of Men cry, I've cried a lot in my life, but the things that I have cried about have been relationships and and shortcomings of me as a husband, as a Christian, shortcomings of me, of me as just as a human being. You know, when I was a police officer and in times that I just I don't understand why I'm putting handcuffs on this pedophile and then I have to take them off and he walks off laughing at my face, and those are the times that I've cried. The times that I didn't cry is when I just lost my dream job for the 10th time, you know, since I, since I got out of the military. I don't because I know that, no matter how bad I fail, I have a family. I have a family. I have so many families. My Christian family is the go to because they're right here always. They're always here. Wherever I've been, there's a Christian family there, even at the US Embassy, where we're we're swapping it out. You might not, you might meet somebody for the first time and then he's already gone. She's already gone. I mean that. That's how fast everything moves there, especially as a contractor. You're there. You're supposed to be there for three and a half months and then go home for 35 days, then come back, but I was there for 2019 and all of COVID 2020. I was locked in the US Embassy and it's it's a two mile, it's the largest embassy in the world and it's it's roughly two miles around the wall of the embassy. But being locked in any space like that, it was was very, very challenging. And I would say again, going back, you know all those L's. Now I'm, now I'm locked in a US Embassy. What, what am I going to do now? I can't get home to my wife. I'm doing this so that we can have kids, so I can save money for IVF. This has to be God's plan. I made the decision. As soon as I start moving toward it, I got yeses, I got green lights to go, and this is. I have so much gratitude for where I am. And now, now, they're launching Molotov cocktails at us. Now, things are catching on fire. Now, the gates are burning down. They're going to come in and kill us. They're announcing it on loudspeakers. Outside they built catapults. There's a lot of stuff you guys didn't hear about the Embassy at actually there's so many things we're knowing that's going on out there that we're going like and we're locked in with the. The backside of the embassy is the is the river is the Euphrates River, I believe and it's it's massive, but it's also low at that time of year and it's just it's big gitch. And on the other side it's just more people that want to cut your head off and put it on film on Al Jazeera. So it's. It was very, very. My life has been one of the craziest roller coasters, with loops that that circle back on itself. But all the while I would say, you know, to anybody out there that has a loss, you don't have to compare your loss to my loss. That you know I'm not trying to one up. Whatever you're going through, if you are in the company that you really wanted to be in, then all of a sudden they cut your department. That happened to me one month ago roughly now, and and I've been working for a defense contracting company where I loved working there. I love working with everybody I work with and I, even though it was a hour drive minimum, one way to get to work every day in South Tampa. And I'm in North Tampa like I still loved working there every day, and they, I got promoted. I'm taking over the entire marketing department for this multimillion dollar defense contracting company. And then one day the my my boss, calls me in and was like hey, we're cutting the marketing department and you're still getting paid, but you don't have to be here. We kind of already have a plan as to what you know, what we're going to do with you on the exit. And man, I've got a. I've got a new baby. He's. He turned four months old on the third of this month and he is my. He is my life, of course, again with my wife and God, but he is what I spend all day, every day right now, focusing on and raising him and being there to hold him against my chest and and I put him to sleep for his nap. And he, he wakes up, as he does quite often. I think he has a little bit of dad's energy. He's going to be a handful. He sets, sits up and looks at me, and just the look on his face and the innocence and the love that is the thing that makes every L that I've ever experienced in my life Um completely. Takes any feeling out of that as a, as a mistake, and everything has led me to a point to where I'm currently able to just to stay home with my son at the moment and we're financially fine because we were very intelligent with the money we saved and paid everything off. So you know, I would just say you know, there's, there is no L. Like Gary V, I followed him for many, many years now. There aren't really losses, there's experience. There isn't anything that you can't bounce back from. There's no age, do you? It's, you're done, you're washed up. You can come back at any age again. I'm in my mid 40s, just now trying to break into a A the ultra saturated market of people talking about their life experiences. So I hope that I'm able to share things with people that make it, that make it worth their while, and that I can can help people make it through this life a little bit easier. At the same time, even if I'm just trying to do that and I fail to me, I'm still documenting my life and my kids and my grandkids and my great grandkids, even though the definition will be totally different than there will be, like androids of us walking around and all of that. This 1080p that we're using right now will be a document. You know will be documentation of an interesting and weird life that their grandfather, great grandfather, dad, lived. So, even even if I don't make money at it and I and I help anybody, that's fantastic but ultimately it's still a win.

Baz Porter:

Thank you very much for sharing a lot, but there's some very valuable information there. If people are looking for you, obviously LinkedIn is where we spoke when we first met. Is there anywhere else you would like to send somebody, or should we just send them to LinkedIn for now?

Seth Ryan:

I would say for now, linkedin I built, you know I'm working on building websites and getting a couple of things going. I'm currently teaching. I just taught active shooter training to the Hernando County School Board some of their members not all of them, some of them and so I'm going to be going in that direction immediately too, because the amount of you know just the active shooters situation in this country and the amount of violence that I've witnessed in my life on the news and I haven't been there I don't know anybody who's been in one of these schools but just looking at that and trying to take my professional experience and apply that to helping our schools seems like the most obvious Make a decision and go with it that I can. And so I'm hoping that protection focus training is the protection focus trainingcom and that's where I'm going to try to help at least provide value physically For people and their children that are, you know, ultimately being victimized at a school that needs to protect those children a little bit better.

Baz Porter:

Yeah, but for me, thank you very much for your service, Seth. You're a Trudy Testament of leadership and many other skills encompassed in that. To all my listeners, thank you very much for tuning in. This will be on all platforms. As usual for myself Live with purpose and inspire with legacy. Have a blessed day and I'll see you very soon.

Overcoming Adversity and Finding Success
The Impact of a Selfless Grandfather
Learning From Failure and Higher Education
Navigating Career Challenges and Setbacks
Experiences, Losses, and Gratitude
Active Shooter Training and School Safety

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