Q&A with MarchOnVets - Get to know Todd Conner from Bunker Labs
Q&A with MarchOnVets
This month we are featuring Todd Conner, CEO of Bunker Labs. Bunker Labs is a national not-for-profit 501(C)(3) organization built by military veteran entrepeneurs to empower other military veterans as leaders in innovation.
Through local chapters across the U.S., Bunker Labs provides educational programming, access to resources, and a thriving local network to help military veterans and their spouses start and grow businesses. They work to Inspire, Educate, and Connect veterans with the right resources and people locally to be successful, while also providing national tools and resources.
We did a rapid fire Q&A session with Todd so you can get to know him a little better…
1. What was your military specialty?
Surface Warfare Officer – USS Bunker Hill (CG-52)
2. What do you wish civilians understood about military veterans?
We take veterans way too seriously or “solemnly” – I encourage people to think of the 18 year old version of the veteran – the version that the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines appeal to in their ad campaigns to recruit them in the first place.
3. Cat or dog?
Dog – Pitbull
4. How would you like to be remembered?
That I stayed authentic to the basic idea that young veterans with a business idea should be able to pursue that in a community of likeminded dreamers.
5. What about your job most excites you?
I love hearing new business ideas that veterans are starting.
6. What was your most embarrassing moment?
Too many to count. I believe in taking risks as an entrepreneur – which means you have to put yourself out there. And that means you are vulnerable to embarrassment but that is part of the job hazard that you have to accept if you want to start your own business.
7. What’s the most important thing you learned in the military?
To lead by serving others. I learned early on that if I just focused on what my Chief needed, he would make sure the LPO’s got what they needed, and they would make sure that each sailor in the Division got what they needed.
8. How often do you exercise?
Every other day. That’s not true. Every three days.
9. Which living person do you most admire, and why?
I think we don’t pay enough homage to the young people in this country – who both choose to wear the uniform and serve as well as those that go out and start things. I admire the disruptors – which both are – who choose to do the difficult things while most people would rather coast.
10. Best piece of advice you've been given?
That doing is the new resume. The sooner I started just “doing” the things I felt compelled to rather than trying to “qualify” myself, the sooner I was able to connect with my true potential.
11. If you could tell your 18-year-old self one thing, what would it be?
Stay focused on doing the right thing, right now. Destiny will unfold in an improbable, exciting, and beautiful journey – just work hard with what you hav been given in the present moment and your future will be revealed accordingly.
12. Tell us a joke.
My nephew loves a joke about two Olive’s horsing around in a tree. One Olive pushes the other Olive off the branch as he descends to the ground. Landing (with great dramatic fashion when I do this in person) the Olive in the tree looks down and says “I’m so sorry – I didn’t mean for you to fall – are you ok??” To which the Olive on the ground, wounded, looks up and says “I’ll live [olive]”. It’s the dumbest joke I’ve ever heard, and subsequently choose to repeat as often as possible.
KNOW A LEADER IN THE MILITARY OR VETERAN COMMUNITY WE SHOULD FEATURE? EMAIL US AT HQ@MARCHONVETS.COM