“Righting the Ship” is a naval term that refers to correcting a process that is not proceeding properly.

I recently took back the reins as CEO of SOFREP, but let me explain how I got here. 

Transitioning from 13 years of active duty in the SEAL Teams and going from a regimented schedule to no schedule, no identity on the outside, no Navy SEAL alumni (just SEAL vs. SEAL on the outside typically), divorce, losing my life savings on my first start-up…then SOFREP saved me. 

We created a community where veterans could share their stories, a membership base, and a community that supported the site and each other, and then we started to lose our way a bit. We started Crate Club off the SOFREP community, and then it became a pet Godzilla in a tiny New York apartment…just got out of control, and we had to sell it during COVID. Then some more challenges for me personally.

I had a terminal illness to deal with in my family and was burned out, so I left SOFREP to the current management team to run. 

I took 2022 to finish business school, spend time with my kids and family, and take a break while I set up my new home in Portugal. 

Then just when I thought I’d seen it all in business, I found out a few weeks ago that someone in our finance department was stealing from us. Not a few hundred, or even a few thousand, hundreds of thousands…Bills I thought were being paid weren’t, staff was paid late, vendors were paid late or not at all, store refunds were not being issued, and members (the lifeblood of SOFREP) were marginalized. I’ll leave it at that for now since there’s an ongoing investigation, but I wanted to share it with you because many were affected by store returns. 

I fired those responsible for the above oversight to send a clear signal to the rest of the team, and now have the opportunity to rebuild our culture at SOFREP and use my learnings from business school to shore up the company.