Former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb was living on his own, out of his parents’ house long before he collected that high school diploma and joined the US Navy.
When 1997 came around Brandon Webb’s SEAL training package was approved, and he joined over 200 students in class 215 and went on to complete the training as 1 of 23 originals.
As a Navy SEAL Brandon Webb worked with SEAL Team 3 and the Naval Special Warfare Center (NSWC) sniper course. He served as sniper Course Manager. After many years of diligent service to his country, Webb ended his Navy career early to spend more time with his children and to start his entrepreneurial journey into the American business landscape.
Brandon attended night school on active duty at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and post navy at Harvard Business School’s OPM program.
Brandon was always one to have an entrepreneur’s mindset, so it was only a natural progression that he would start his own business out of school.
Within the first four years of entrepreneurship, Brandon lost his first business, his entire life savings, and wife/marriage all in the matter of a year but went on to found the Hurricane Group, a men’s lifestyle company with digital publishing and e-commerce brands that reach over 50M monthly. Brandon Webb used his time and experience to also co-found GSD Logistics
Brandon is regularly featured in the media as a military and business thought leader and a multiple New York Times bestselling author.
Brandon Webb began writing about his time as a member of the Navy SEALs as a therapeutic outlet and to pass on what he had learned from his time at war to his children. Leaving home at 16, joining the SEALs, going to war right after the terrible day that the twin towers fell, these were all stories that Brandon wanted to tell his kids and these were the moments that inspired his first New York Times Bestseller The Red Circle.
In 2012, Brandon lost best friend, Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, in Benghazi. Brandon founded The Red Circle Foundation (RCF), a non-profit with a 100% pass-through model; every dollar donated goes to the mission and business partner donors pick up the Foundation’s overhead. RCF is focused on supporting families of the Special Operations community through emergency memorial, medical, and child enrichment programs (camps & scholarships). In a short period of time, RCF has donated just under a million dollars in grants to Special Operations families.
The Former Navy SEAL is an active member of the Entrepreneurs Organization New York (EONY), and enjoys his time with family & friends, being outdoors as much as possible, and experimental aircraft upside-down. He splits his time between his residence in San Juan, PR and Manhattan, NY.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I used $10,000 of personal capital and a big helping of faith. I had lost just about everything in the world and I was ready to succeed. If channeled correctly, your failures can be the inspiration for some of your greatest successes. I modeled the company after my platoon in the SEAL Teams. We are fast and nimble and just get stuff done.
How do you make money?
I prioritize my daily activity, I try to work as smart as possible. I surround myself with people who are genius at what they do and I listen to all ideas and implement when needed.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
Luckily we had some upfront manpower to crank out content quickly
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
There are too many times that I doubted I would ever see success with my business pursuits. When I left the SEALs team and came back home to focus on my job as dad and husband for my family, I started a new business, my first real entrepreneurial endeavor, and I never considered the possibility that it would not succeed. So… when my business crashed and burned along with my marriage, I did not see it coming and I had not prepared myself for the aftermath. I had to find a way to create a positive story from the intense amount of failure I was actually feeling inside.
I had to choose to take the lessons learned from the failed company, all of the investor slip-ups and the quick decisions that deserved to be slept on, I had to take all of these experiences and make smarter, more strategic moves that would hopefully create an entirely different outcome the next time around.
How did you get your first customer?
A network of family and friend and those that took very special interest in the Special Forces and helped to create buzz for us in the online space and we never neglect the buzz that comes from good, old-fashioned word-of-mouth. If you build it and it’s something that many people are interested in and/or need, they come out of the woodwork to by what you are selling to them.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
I think the biggest secret to smart, focused business growth is to take the steps to find out exactly what your audience needs and wants first. Then it’s a matter of providing them with value and fostering a smart professional relationship.
We use surveys through various avenues of our business to find out what our readers want. My team incentivized its audience to take these surveys. We find out exactly what they want and in turn we give them something in the form of free products, enticing discounts or new content to educate.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
To shut down several e-commerce product lines I started that just were not working.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I modeled the company after my platoon in the SEAL Teams. We are fast and nimble and just get stuff done. Recently, one of my team members said we’re like a storm and that is why we became Hurricane Group…”Business by Storm”. The way that we execute with precision and speed every single day makes us successful
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
When we wrote a big check to the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation. Felt good to know the business made a positive impact like that.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I’m most excited about growing our SVOD video channel because I think we have a real content niche with our Spec Ops channel.
What business books have inspired you?
The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding by Humberto R. Maturana, Francisco J. Varela, J. Z. Young.
That book rocked my life in so many good ways. I can apply so many of its incredible lessons to both my life and my business. Everyone should read it.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
Tickets to Hamilton. I know that it seems hard to believe but you’d be amazed the happiness two tickets to that Broadway show can bring people.
Where do great business ideas come from?
Everywhere. One of the most valuable assets that I have come to respect and utilize every day is my ability to listen to every single member of my team. Genius ideas come from every single corner of the globe and when you surround yourself with smart, thoughtful teammates opening your ears and listening to their ideas will change the game.
How do you give back and say thank you to your community?
I ask myself this question because I have to plug the Red Circle Foundation every chance that I get. Red Circle Foundation’s major purpose is to raise money as Gap Funding that covers memorial services, emergency travel, household expenses, home modifications, alternative treatment and recreational rehabilitation programs. While government and other foundations can take months or even years to provide relief to families of soldiers, Red Circle make certain that they have the money that they need in the moment that they need it the most to provide immediate relief. Every cent of the money that you contribute goes directly to support the families in need. With your help the Red Circle Foundation can continue our mission of providing a better future for all of these families today, not tomorrow.
Please visit THE RED CIRCLE FOUNDATION website and learn how you can make an actual difference in these families’ lives today.