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The Champion Forum Podcast

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Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum with Jeff Hancher! In this episode, Jeff sits down with fellow veteran Rich Cardona to talk about leadership, military life, entrepreneurship, and purpose. Rich served in the Marines for 17 years. When Rich left the military in 2015, he struggled to adjust to working for a civilian-run business. With his wife’s support, he started his own business, Rich Cardona Media in October of 2018.

Since then, Rich’s business has given him the opportunity to work with many thought leaders and small to mid-sized businesses that want to create, repair, or amplify their brand with a video content strategy. Rich also enjoys helping service members and their families as they transition out of the military.

Keys to being a good leader:

  • Think about other people before you think about yourself. In the military, your first thought is for the person of your left and your right and how you can make the best decision for them.

  • Be present and invested.

  • Show your team members that you value them for more than just what they can do for you.

Q: What examples of leaders have you had in your life? Excluding people at your current company, who stands out as the best leader? What qualities do they have? How did they invest in you and value you? Describe a moment when a leader earned your trust.

Benefits of good leadership:

  • You are going to make mistakes, but when you make deposits into your team and include them, you can make mistakes without losing their trust or loyalty because they know your heart.

  • People will trust you, even if you don’t always make the right decision.

Q: Describe a time when a leader you trusted made a mistake. How did you respond? How did that mistake influence your opinion of them as a leader? How do you think the situation would have been different if you did not trust the leader?


  • Entrepreneurship is your opportunity to take a mission and a vision and execute it, not because it is cool to work for yourself, but because it will challenge you and stretch you.

  • You will find yourself alone and afraid because no matter how invested you are and how invested everyone is in you, you are on an island. It’s all you.

  • You can’t screw up if you wake up every day and give your all. Whether through failure or success, you will improve and succeed. The only way to fail is to wake up and say, “I don’t feel like it.”

  • Success is not about how much money you make, it’s just about the desire that you have.

  • Learning can be a form of procrastination.

  • Conferences and programs can be a setback because they can keep you from taking action on the work you want to do.

  • You are either working toward your goal or you’re doing nothing, there’s nothing in between.

  • To be successful, you need to be humble and regularly audit yourself and honestly look at where you’re going.

Q: Define success and failure in your own words. What do you think is the number one reason people succeed? What do you think is the number one reason people fail? What effect do you think being honest with yourself has on whether you succeed or fail? Do you think that the definitions of success and failure are the same for companies and individuals? Why or why not?

How to approach a transition:

  • Figure out the reason that you have been put on the Earth

  • Know your worth.

  • Prepare as far ahead of time as you can.

  • Don’t be afraid of challenges

“What you have to offer this world, and the manner in which you offer it will be unveiled over the course of your life. You can never actually realize your capabilities, your purpose, and what drives your performance, if you stay in situations that do not challenge you.”

On being a Champion:

  • Champions are completely at peace with themselves.

  • They leave the world better than the way it was when they arrived.

Application Activities:

  1. In the episode, Rich talks about a conversation he had with Gary V, where Gary told him that his hatred for bad leadership was his biggest weakness. This week, take note of your “triggers.” Write down anything that happens that causes you to feel annoyed, angry, or on edge. At the end of the week, look to see if there is a pattern. If so, make a plan to deal not only with those negative feelings but also with the root of your negative feelings. Ask yourself why those situations cause you to react so strongly. A counselor, life coach, or close friend can help you sort through those emotions and experiences and be honest with yourself.

  2. Rich mentions that learning can be a method of procrastination. Is there an area in your life where you are procrastinating? Take a moment and really think about why you haven’t taken a step forward in that area. Set a firm timeline and hold yourself accountable by sharing that timeline with others. If you truly feel that you have a weakness that will cause you to fail, find a person who can immediately support you so that you remove any reason for delaying your start.

  3. Take some time to make a list of major events in your life. Then, write out the story of your life as though it was a tragedy. When you are done, rewrite the story as a triumph. As you reflect on your life, think about the top 3-5 events that made you who you are today. Were they challenges? Did they seem like challenges at the moment? How did it feel when you finally overcame the challenges? Let your personal story of triumph inspire you to keep pressing through your challenges and know that they will help you better understand your purpose, strength, and skills, just like they did in the past.

Rich Cardona

LinkedIn: Rich Cardona


Instagram: @richcardonamedia

Podcast: The Leadership Locker

Connect with Jeff

Facebook: The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher

Instagram: @thechampionforum


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