Timothy Lawson, Founder of Lawson Entertainment : High Speed Low Drag Podcast #8

TimLawsonTimothy Lawson has served five years in the United States Marine Corps.

He is also the founder of Lawson Entertainment.

He hosts four weekly podcasts- The Capitol Experience, Tim and Brandonís Bromantic Comedy, One Two Many: Veteran Suicide and The Veteran Empire.

The last one was actually nominated for a 2013 podcast award in the culture and arts category.

Click here to listen to the Stitcher version of the HSLD podcast featuring†Timothy Lawson

Click here to listen to the iTunes version of the HSLD podcast featuring†Timothy Lawson

HSLD: Besides the little background that weíve give about you, could you tell us a little more about yourself?

Timothy: When people ask you to tell them about yourself it can be a pretty loaded question. The best way to start my story is this- When I was 17 years old and graduating from high school I was also battling cancer.

I conquered that and moved on. I decided I wanted to be in the Marine Corps. I got in and got to do a lot of things with the Marine Security Guard program.

After I got out of the military I realized that podcasting, broadcasting and general conversation was what I wanted to do.

I also knew I didnít want to do one show which was why I started Lawson Entertainment. I do a few shows weekly with different topics and I am loving every minute of it.

HSLD: Do you have a success quote you want to share with us?

†Timothy: Itís actually from the rapper Joe Button. In his song ďAll of MeĒ he says

†Depression tells me I suck, so I reply, I am not here because I fell down. Iím here because I got up.

Any time you look at something that you did not succeed in or didnít go your way, you have to remember that you have to look at the opportunity that you had to fail. A personal example was when I was nominated for that podcast award. I had every reason to believe that I could contend with ďThis American LifeĒ and other big ones.

I went into that believing that somehow I could win but of course they won. I had a few minutes feeling like I didnít do enough but the reason I had that opportunity to fail was that a while ago I had decided that this was the path that I wanted to take and I pushed forward to this point.

Any time I want to criticize myself I also have to remind myself that the reason this failure is occurring is because of a line of reattempts and successes that led me here.

HSLD: Can you tell us what was your most pivotal moment in the military was and what lessons you learned from it?

Timothy: When I was a marine security guard my third post was in Lima, Peru. I had done so many things at this point but the one thing I had not done yet was a president of the United States visit. Sure enough we got the email that they needed marines in Rio de Janiero and other parts of Brazil to do security for Obamaís visit.

I was sent over for the job and at the end of this 10-day stay I was there waiting for that photo op. Sure enough, the President comes in to shake all of our hands and he says a few things. I felt so lucky at that point and that my life is really so unique.

I realized that this event could not possibly be the pinnacle of my life. It was a pivotal moment because I knew at that point that I only had less than a year left in the military so opportunities like this are going to dry up.

Eventually it was going to be up to me to make these opportunities again. I learned that if I wanted to continue doing cool stuff it was going to have to be self-created and thatís where I am now.

HSLD: Tell us about your transition period. What failures, challenges and obstacles did you face and what lessons were learnt?

†Timothy: Transition takes a lot of preparation. I felt like I had more of it because of my job in the military and what I was thinking about doing.

It really takes a lot of short and long term planning. You have to figure out how to take care of yourself, what youíre going to do the first month you are out and so many other questions. You have to start thinking about these things because time will pass you by before you know it.

Itís not the most fun thing because you are leaving a sub-culture and going into a world with people who may not be able to resonate with that sub-culture.

One of the biggest challenges I had was that I kept on getting jobs that I was qualified for but not necessarily things that I would enjoy. I think this is a huge problem in transition. This is the biggest challenge I had and I know a lot of my friends suffered the same problem.

HSLD: Letís talk about an AHA moment that you may have had as a civilian. What steps did you take to turn that into a success?

†Timothy: I got out and I was in my third university, been through a handful of jobs and the only thing that stayed consistent was podcasting. I was lucky that I had someone who was supportive about podcasting and asked me if I had really thought about doing podcasting for a career.

I started with one podcast just as a hobby. One day I was just finishing up some psychology homework and I realized that while I was fascinated with the material I really didnít want a job in that field. I had just finished recording a Veteran Empire podcast with Vincent Hancock who is an army veteran and Olympic gold medalist. I realized that podcasting was what I wanted to be doing. I wanted to talk to people and others to hear those conversations.

A light bulb went off and I started to really think about it. I searched my university program and went and just researched everything. That was my AHA moment.

photo-mainHSLD: What is one thing that has you most fired up right now?

†Timothy: The veteran suicide project. Iím currently doing my sixth episode and I have gotten great feedback from veterans.

I find that getting all this feedback and hearing how the podcast has impacted peopleís lives make doing them really worth it.

It has me fired up to know that veterans are really coming together to help each other out and open themselves up.

Timothyís Lighting Round Answers:

  • What is the most difficult adjustment you had to make to the civilian world? Finding employment that I enjoy and not just something I was qualified for.
  • What is the best business advice that you can pass along to people that are making their transition now? If youíre looking to go into some entrepreneurial venture or anything that needs some capital, borrow money when you can get it and not when you need it.
  • What is one of your habits that you believe contribute to your success? Not being scared of getting in front of people.
  • What is the biggest generalization that you had to overcome in the civilian world? People are going to say ďthank you for your serviceĒ like they are opening the door for you. It may not be that and you have to just accept that.
  • If you woke up tomorrow and it was the day after you transitioned. You have all the experience and knowledge that you currently have. What would you do in the next 7 days? †Thereís two directions I could go- school or no school. In the no school route, I would figure out what I love to do and build a business around it. In the school route, I would find a school that had an expensive BHH and get into a degree program that I would enjoy.
  • One parting piece of guidance? Keep your head up and realize that everyone around you is going through the same challenges that you are.

Click here to listen to the Stitcher version of the HSLD podcast featuring†Timothy Lawson

Click here to listen to the iTunes version of the HSLD podcast featuring†Timothy Lawson