Episode 290 Graciela Tiscareño-Sato From Military to Marketable: B.R.A.N.D. Before Your Resume Transcript

This transcript is from episode 290 with guest Graciela Tiscareño-Sato.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio. Uh, today my guest is Grace Tiscareño Sato and Grace is an Air Force veteran who currently helps, uh, other veterans, uh, brand themselves after leaving the military, getting out into their civilian career and into their civilian lives and creating that brand for themselves, uh, that maybe, uh, takes ’em a little bit away from, uh, their, their military career and.

Brands them as, uh, what they are now in their civilian lives. So welcome to the show, Grace. I’m glad to have you here.

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: I am so happy to meet you in person, have a longer conversation [00:01:00] and talk about this important topic that we, um, need to communicate to our

Scott DeLuzio: brothers and sisters. Absolutely. And I’m, I’m glad to have you here as well.

Um, for the listeners who maybe aren’t familiar with you and what you do, uh, could you give us a, just a quick, uh, background on, on who you are and, and what you do?

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Yeah, I’d like to introduce myself, Scott, as daughter of Mexican immigrants becomes military aviator, becomes award-winning author because that just kind of encapsulates the full trajectory of of all those years.

And what I do today is I’m the founder of an independent award-winning publishing company in the San Francisco Bay area called Gracefully Global Group. I’d like to say I’m a bilingual storyteller that teaches other veterans how to become epic storytellers of their value. Because that is a thing that for all the awesome things that we could do in the military that we were trying to do, that was not one of them.

Do you remember? There’s no i n team,

Scott DeLuzio: right? Exactly.

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Right. So like you’re not an individual and like you’re part of this unit, which of course we have to be, [00:02:00] but that just does not work out here to attract. Who you need to attract. It

Scott DeLuzio: doesn’t. And it, I think it’s important to be able to tell a story about who you are, what you did, where you came from, and what you bring to the table.

Especially when it comes to going on a job interview or meeting new people in your professional network or even a social network to, um, just basically let people know who, who are we talking to here? Who, who is this person? And. What, what do they have to offer? So I think what you’re doing is, is pretty incredible.

Um, uh, thank you. And, and so let’s just kind of take a quick step back. Um, tell us a little bit about how you got to what you’re doing right now.

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Okay. So there’s an origin story to the branding work, and of course it starts with veterans. And this was about a year after my first book published, uh, called Latino Waiting Green American Jobs, and then Latinos creating them.

Cuz I’ve always. [00:03:00] Been an entrepreneur in my heart. Um, and I’m obsessed with entrepreneurs actually. So I wrote this whole book about entrepreneurs and, and it launched at Stanford University. And then I was doing a lot of speaking and I got a phone call from an Army veteran named Dolly Rivera at Townsville University.

So she was a student veteran, and she said, I’ll never forget that. She said, I see you on social media, I see you out there, but I never feel like you’re bragging. You’re, you’re, you’re just everywhere. But I, I love following you because you’re not bragging, and I hate bragging. I’m like, well, who loves bragging?

I don’t love bragging. And so she says, can you please come out here to Towson? Because there’s a whole student veteran community who doesn’t like to talk about themselves, who were launching businesses, but nothing’s happening, and I think you have a lot to teach us. So the request for this work literally came from the student veteran community.

And I said, oh, so you want me to come out there and. Do a personal branding workshop for you. She says, yeah, that’s what we need. Like how do you do that? So I put it all [00:04:00] together. And then very importantly, Scott, I realized if I go out there and I do what a lot of people do, and I don’t know if you’ve been to the SVA conference, but there’s people that’ll stand in front of you and go, blah, blah, blah, personal branding, blah, blah, blah.

LinkedIn, have fun, branding yourself, and then they leave, and then you’re sitting up with nothing. So I knew that I was not gonna do that. So I put together the workshop for that first student group where at the end of the 90 minutes, They’ve brainstormed a whole list of what marketers like us professional marketing people call extract product attributes.

Like what are you gonna say? What are all the stories you could tell? What are the words you could choose? But you make no decision until you’ve got the target audience in mind. Right, exactly. And so I put it together. I went out there, I did two workshops of about 20 veterans each. And what I like to say is by the time we’re done, every person in the room has their new brand in their hand.

So I work with each person and we co-create and then they have it, and now they can go do LinkedIn [00:05:00] and everything else. So it came from the student veteran community and that has just spread. And I’ve been able to teach thousands and thousands in many universities all over the country.

Scott DeLuzio: Well that’s excellent.

So, uh, let’s take a step back a little bit. I know in the intro we kind of talked a little bit about what you’re doing now, but let’s take it even a further step back and talk about your time in the Air Force and how it prepared you for the work that you’re doing now.

Uh, as far as personal branding and working with other veterans. Mm-hmm.

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Excellent. So my Air Force career began when I kept showing up at my high school counselor’s office asking how does a kid like me, oldest daughter of Mexican immigrants with four siblings go to college? And it happened that my high school counselor’s husband was an Air Force Major Scott, I mean, Like that’s so random, right?

But it’s an asking this question that she said, you know what? Come to my house for dinner. I think you would love to know what my husband did, because he had eight siblings and he grew up in West Virginia. So this is how I met Major Wendell Burgess, who just became my mentor. [00:06:00] I. This is how you apply for an Air Force R O T C scholarship.

This is what you can expect at the physical and the interview with the officer. So it really started there where I was looking for how do I go to college and I ended up, uh, getting into uc, Berkeley with my counselor’s help, and then getting the scholarship with the help of her husband. So that’s where it starts.

Like how, how can I even do this right? And then went straight to Berkeley. So I moved 1100 miles away from my, uh, Mexican family, which freaked everybody out. You know, they called me as a rebel. I’m like, oh my gosh, she’s doing what? And she’s not even married. She’s leaving. Right? And so I became a cadet at Berkeley, which people don’t know this.

But uc, Berkeley is where the first Air Force R t c detachment even started. You know, really all you know about Berkeley, people don’t know that, but that’s where it starts. And it was two years in where I went to the field training, which is, you know, as much of bootcamp as officers are gonna get. And in that time they flew us around to meet officers in different careers.

And I found myself at a pilot training base in [00:07:00] Arizona with, uh, female instructor pilot. Captain Dolly Delisa who took me up on an orientation flight, let me fly, go inverted, roll all of the fun and you know, 103 on the ground. I don’t know how much hotter up there, but when we landed she says, you really enjoyed this and you’re the only person that hasn’t thrown up today.

This was, this is my second time in an airplane right in my life. My first time was getting there. I know. History of aviation. And so I said, yeah, well this sounds great. And I said, but you know, I have an, I have an architecture scholarship from the Air Force and I have to go to civil engineering. Cause again, I don’t know things, right?

Again, career ignorant, 20 year old, this is who I am. And she’s like, no, no, no, no, no. She’s like, this is the Air Force. You have a scholarship and you, you clearly love to fly, so tell the staff you wanna fly. So it starts there, and I went back, did the paperwork, was selected for undergraduate navigator training, went straight to Sacramento.

After finishing at [00:08:00] Cal, I had about six months off to run around Europe. And then I flew, I, I was the only woman in my class of 32 to start, and then there’s always this attrition. And so I was the only woman in my class of 24 to graduate. And then I was assigned to the KC 1 35 refueling tanker and got checked out to deploy.

And then the very first place was Saudi Arabia, right at the very beginning, like the first week of Operation Southern Watch in southern Iraq. And then just flew a ton of combat swords. Ended up, uh, earning an air medal on that first deployment. Which they didn’t give to us cuz it was a year before combat exclusion was lifted.

Oops. Um, and so then they sat on our medal for my whole crew for like a year and a half. And then eventually we got it and then I spent the next nine years just flying refueling missions all over the world. And I ended up with over 2000 flight hours, I got to, um, work for NATO using my language skills, Spanish and Italian.

And then I even had an, an embassy, uh, t d y down to Ecuador in [00:09:00] um, To serve in a liaison capacity because of my Spanish. So it was flying, flying, flying. But I found these amazing other duties with our, our, you know, our NATO allies and our Latin American partners. And so it was this whole variety of amazing things.

And how did it prepare me? I finished my master’s degree in business and marketing while I was active duty, and I was always writing Scott. So while deployed somewhere, I would write a story about what we’re doing in Suda Bay Greece during Operation Restore. Hope. So, I was flying technical, but I was always writing creative.

And I think that’s the formula for a lot of us that did technical stuff, but we have to also be creators. And I think that was always setting me up for everything I’m doing now.

Scott DeLuzio: Sure. Now I wanna talk about your book too. It, it’s a brand before your resume. Um mm-hmm. And. What makes the book unique, uh, compared to other job search resources for veterans as [00:10:00] far as, uh, specifically think about veterans and, and how their job search may be a little bit different from, uh, maybe a typical civilian, uh, job searching.

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Yeah. Oh, I love this question. So first of all, it’s not a job search resource. I’m not telling you how to find jobs in this. I’m doing the thing you have to do before you will ever even be considered for an interview. So, uh, I’ll show you the cover and I’ll show you, um, the subtitle. So it’s your marketing guidebook.

Right here. Your marketing guide for veterans and military service members. So there’s lots of job search books. There’s, this is how I transition in. You can two books and they’re all good for one person’s experience. What I’ve done here that’s different and unique, to answer your question is there are no marketing guides for military veterans because.

There just aren’t, because you don’t have people who have marketing backgrounds who are military veterans. I, I’m like kind of in unicorn out there, right? Some people who get their MBAs later. But as far as coming out of the service with a, with a graduate degree and a marketing degree, and being able to go [00:11:00] straight into a marketing job in tech, right, like right outta the airplane, and then getting all that experience, which then set me up for entrepreneurship.

I’m a marketer, like that’s my core, that’s, I was able to market products, technology, launch them, do media work, brief CEOs in three languages, you know, analysts from, you know, the industry. So I got to do all that before I ever started my business. So when it came time to help our community, like what’s missing is marketing.

There’s nobody who has a marketing background in tap. They’re just doing the, you know, congressionally mandated curriculum. Right. You’ll get no marketing. So,

Scott DeLuzio: and they’re checking the boxes.

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Right? Exactly. So they, you can say, yep, we expose them to that. But what I did here is it’s a marketing guide. It is the pro, and these are my bookmarks for when you asked me about examples later, which I’m sure you will.

Um, so I have featured in here the, remember the workshop? I told you the origin story. Right. It’s an online class. So during the pandemic, I just had the [00:12:00] online class transcribed and then hired an editor to turn it into a book, and then I added 30 examples of incredible personal branding written by veterans that I’ve coached.

So you’ll finish a chapter and then boom, there’s an example from Raul, and then you finish another chapter in the middle. There’s Brandy, who was a gastro turbine engineer who became a nurse. So it’s filled with the examples from our community. So that you can see how they’re now communicating to the world about their new identity.

So that’s what makes it different.

Scott DeLuzio: And I, I think the, uh, the examples from those veterans who’ve gone through this, they, they’ve done the whole program. They, they, they understand what it is that, that. You’re asking of, of people or telling people to do, and they’ve applied it to their own lives and having those examples of the, um, the success stories, I guess you can call ’em, is I think, super powerful because, uh, yeah, sure.

Anyone can [00:13:00] say, do this and you’ll, you’ll have all the success and everything will be great and everything, but. You know, how true is that? And until you do it and you know, you won’t really know and are, are you wasting your time? Are, you know, whatever. But when you have those examples, um, and especially from other veterans, um, you know, I personally, if I hear, uh, something coming from another veteran, I’m gonna be more inclined to believe them.

Then just your random. Joe Public, you know, whoever, you know, I’m gonna be more inclined to believe them. Um, because there, there is that connection that that brotherhood, sisterhood where you have that connection with people and you want them to succeed, you’re not gonna just blow smoke just right.

Telling ’em, Hey, go do this thing. Knowing full well that is not gonna work. So, um, you know, I think having something like that in their corner is, is really useful. Right. Um, you know, did you, did you find it, uh, Kind of difficult to, or, or easy to get the veterans to [00:14:00] share their stories with, uh, you know, their successes with this, this, uh,

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: book.

Yeah. So there’s always a hesitation because we don’t wanna talk about ourselves, or we’re super shy. We’re super humble. Every once in a while you find the exception to that rule, but by and large, We’re like, oh, I don’t know if I wanna do this right. But it, it’s a transformation. Can I just tell you, like, when we do the in-person workshops and, uh, it’s, it’s a transformation in 90 minutes and in the beginning they’re all kind of like shy and sitting there, and then we do the exercise, right?

Where I ask six questions and I give you one minute to come up with your answers. And it’s the same thing in the book and the online classes. You got one minute. To come up with like the most important answers to these six questions about yourself, right? And then we identify the target audience at the end after you brainstormed, and then I walk around and help them come up with, you know, the format, but they’ve seen examples all the way through.

And then at the end, Scott, what I love to do is I ask. Three people to stand up and read their awesome new [00:15:00] brand that we’ve created. Again, I’ll suggest say, you know, for this audience, this is most important and this and this and the highlight stuff, and you know, why don’t you use Steven’s example and I’ll put that back up.

And so they draft, I walk around and by the time we’re done, there’s always three outstanding brands. And I’m like, would you please stand up and share them? Right. And they made it their own. It’s their brand. They get up and they, they read it and there are tears. There are hugs. There are people who are like, man, I never knew that about you.

I didn’t know your coach and your son’s Peewee football team. You know, he just kind of threw that in there as an example of his servant heart and his ability to lead, or whatever the example is. Sure. Or the woman who, and I, I would like to actually share an example with you so you can see what we’re talking about.

Okay. The power of this. Um, do you want me to do that now or later? Uh,

Scott DeLuzio: let, let’s, uh, if we can get a quick one in now, uh, then, then we’ll after that we’ll, we’ll cut to a quick, uh, commercial. But if you have a, a quick one that we could share now, that’d be

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: great. There we go. So, This is what I mean. Like they stand up and they say things like this, and then I record, [00:16:00] you know, I ask ’em to stay after and I get a little video of them and I promise them that we will only see this video in future workshops.

Okay. So that, that’s the trust that we have. And then when I was doing the book, I asked permission of every single person to share. So here, here’s. This one that just tears. I’m Kristin Army veteran and domestic violence survivor. Boom. She’s leading with that. Okay. I’m a student pursuing a medical records degree, building a loving home for my two boys.

I’m determined to help empower others to live their best lives, achieve their goals and dreams. No matter how big or small, I’m looking forward to serving in your employment organization as a community partner and survivor mentor. Wow. She was so not confident in herself and like, oh, I don’t even know.

But then she led with that because she wants to go work for an employment development, you know, department workforce placement to help other women like her who are dis. Coming back after having survived Absolute hell in their marriage, right? And so she led with that cuz it matters for this audience.

She’s trying to [00:17:00] go work for Google. She’s not gonna say that. And that’s the important thing about branding. That’s not an elevator pitch. It’s the right words, the right story. For the right audience and I’m happy to tell you she’s working for Washington State now in exactly the role that she wanted and she bought a house for herself and

Scott DeLuzio: reports and that’s great too.

Having, having that mindset of having that target audience. And speaking to them, um, not embellishing, uh, at all, that those are her experiences and, and that that worked out in that case. So, you know, I think with everyone, you know, we, we can take our experience and we can find those, those little nuggets that, that will speak to that audience.

Mm-hmm. Um, and Grace, I wanna talk about how. Veterans can use personal branding to get ahead in a competitive job market and stand out against their peers.

Especially when you’re talking about people who maybe never have applied for a civilian job. Um, they’ve, they work 20 plus years in the military. They’re retired, they got out, and now they’re, they’re going up against peers [00:18:00] with years of experience in certain, uh, industries. And they’re, they’re now, uh, trying to.

Figure out how to get themselves into these industries, uh, and compete against their, their peers here. So how can they use personal branding to their advantage?

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Okay, so. How is such an important question? I’m gonna answer the employment question, but I’m also going to answer that. The supplies, if you’re pursuing education and if you’re an entrepreneur.

Okay. So how? Um, I was coached by a group of women veterans and their professional network when I was getting outta the military. That became my. Really valuable own transition assistance plan is these women who were all professionals were like, stop, do a self-assessment. Who are, you know yourself first, right?

Because you’re running around trying to get a job. And we’ve seen the numbers of how many veterans quit before their first year quit before the second year because. They mismatched. And so these women were like, that’s not gonna happen to you. You gotta stop. So I self-assessed, which helped me to learn words to describe myself.

So it was like an early personal branding, but what did [00:19:00] I do and, and how can we use it is, lemme tell you what I did. I went to a a conference and I remember just walking up to people and saying, hi, my name is gra. I just left a decade of flying for the Air Force and I’ve. Lived in 27 countries and speak three languages.

I also happen to be pretty good at marketing and writing, you know? Would you like to know more? I just walked up to the table at the job fair and no one else is walking up and saying that. I didn’t say, hi, I’m a veteran. Hire me cuz I’m entitled to a job. A lot of people have this entitlement thing going on.

I told them a story about what I saw that they were looking for. Look, you know, global savvy people, MBA preferred, right? So I could walk up and say, yeah, I just finished my, my graduate degree. Just left a decade of flying and. Happen to speak three languages. So I’m saying attributes that that matter to them.

I’m speaking their language, telling ’em a story that they wanna hear, and if I went to talk to defense contractor, I might say something a little bit different and maybe drop top secret clearance in there. Right? So it was situational. So [00:20:00] how can you use it? You can use it just to get their attention.

Because if you’re at a job fair and they’re just hearing thousands of people walking up and saying boring things, then you better be able to tell a story to cut through that. And again, examples are gonna show you how, like I’m, you know, I’m Chris and I, you know, I’m a problem solver. I remember the night that I was in Afghanistan.

There was a windstorm and the antennas broke. It had to jump on the ceiling and fix them. You know, just stories that nobody else is going to tell, right? That intrigues people. So that’s the key. You use your branding that you create to intrigue, which is why I call this brand before your resume. And Scott, any tell you what brand means?

Brand means become relevant, authentic, noticeable, and differentiated. It’s an acronym. So you gotta do all those things to intrigue people before anybody’s gonna ask for your

Scott DeLuzio: resume. And we love those acronyms and we love the acronyms in the military too. So it’s, I I think it’s, I know it’s fitting that you have that, uh, included into part of the book, right?

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Yeah. Well see. It’s literally an acronym. It’s got little [00:21:00] periods in between, right. It’s, it’s sure. So, so it’s got all the meaning, but it’s, it’s to intrigue people to make their heads turn and go, what? What did you just say? Because literally if you’re just sitting there, you think about the 23 year old college graduate HR person that they sent to the job fair.

What did they say? Oh, just go to the website, apply. I mean, they’re so bored, right? Sure. So you can come up and tell them a story that they’ve never heard that’s got some of these attributes that are uniquely to you. You’re gonna get asked like I did that day. Can you sit down and do an interview right now?

Absolutely. They didn’t even ask for a resume. They wanna know more about me. And then later, can you send us a resume for the second round? Absolutely. Now I’ll go do a resume. And that’s how I’ve always done it. So that’s how you use it. That’s how you use it. Because you need to attract an interview first.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. And I, I think. Just like branding or, uh, marketing for products, marketing yourself and branding yourself to the target audience that you’re looking for. The, the way you’re talking about here [00:22:00] is really important because you want to talk about the problems maybe that they’re having that necessarily specifically saying, Hey, you have this problem and I have this solution, like you’re, uh, you know, a telemarketer kind of thing or anything like that.

But, but

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: that’s what messaging is, right? You,

Scott DeLuzio: you throw those into the conversation. Uh, just kind of naturally, organically. Mm-hmm. Get that conversation going. And when you hit some of those maybe keywords or you hit some of the, um, pain points that they’re having, um mm-hmm. Then you make maybe a, a claim about how you are capable of handling those pain points.

You know, the problem solver, like you were talking about, okay, here, here’s an example of how I solve this problem. Um, and then. And then just basically dropping all that stuff in there. It’s giving them already before they even interview you, they’re giving, you’re giving them an idea that, um, this person probably is gonna be able to handle whatever it is that we are dealing with.


Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: I need to give you a [00:23:00] tip because you have to have insight into the company to be able to do that, right? Sure. And so one of my favorite tips to to share with people is every company files quarterly reports of their financials and their operations, right? So if it’s a publicly traded company, you can find their latest report they had to file with the s e c.

Okay? You’re gonna find a section in there that’s like management considerations, management thoughts. That’s the pain points of the company according to the C-level people. Right? So just read it. And then you can say, you know, I was actually reading your latest q uh, your Q3 report, and I see that what you’re really struggling with is recruiting, you know, talent to be able to address the markets in, in all your, your theaters where you operate.

Well, you know, I happen to have experience living in 27 countries, and I. Breakthrough languages. So, you know, how can I apply my skillset to help your, you know, your strategic recruiting problem you have here. Sure. Wow. Okay. So that’s differentiating yourself because you’re literally speaking your language and saying, I know about you [00:24:00] and I know that my skills are matchy matchy with what you’re looking for.

Let’s talk. Right, right. Um, but that’s, that’s what marketing is, Scott, and that’s the craft that I’ve studied before I got out is, is, and that’s the exercise that we do. That’s why this is different. And so when they identify their audience, some of them are gonna be entrepreneurs. You know when you get out, you have those three E’s, right?

Education, employment, and entrepreneurship. So we talked about employment. How can you use it to be an entrepreneur? Well, origin story I flew out to at Towson University and I helped those veterans launching businesses, right? To understand that their story is gonna be how they intrigue people to consider buying their products.

They just wanted, Hey, buy my cutting port. Why would I buy your cutting board? I could buy a cutting board at Macy’s. But then she tells me that she’s a veteran and she sources the wood from her home country, Nicaragua. And ooh, now I want her cutting board. Right? And so it was getting them to understand that the story is everything.

And so that’s how branding and telling your story and your unique story turns heads. When you’re a [00:25:00] founder and you’re an entrepreneur. Absolutely. And similarly, applying to school, what is that? Applications, right? Essays. You gotta distinguish yourself. So branding works to be able to write incredible essays when you’re applying to university, grad school, law school, lots of examples in the book from people who did that too.

Can you

Scott DeLuzio: share some of those? Speaking of those examples, can you share some more success stories? I know we talked about one. Prior, uh, earlier in this episode, can you talk about some of the success stories and, um, other people who you may have worked with who have effectively branded themselves and. Got themselves into a fulfilling career, uh, as opposed to just absolutely just a job.


Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Yeah, exactly. Well, and that’s, that’s it. Remember I said earlier about the women veterans said, stop, like you’re running around crazy. Stop and self-assess first. That way you really have clarity on what you’re looking for and what that means is not just follow your passion, that’s like so overused.

No, it’s very specific. What kind of organization do you wanna work with? Big, small. Do you wanna be big fish, a little pond or little fish and big pond? [00:26:00] Um, do you wanna work with a lot of people? Do you wanna be a leader? Do you wanna be in the middle? Do you wanna be a follower? Where do you want, like, and it helps you understand the kind of environments where you’re gonna thrive and the kind of functional roles and responsibilities that you love versus your skills.

Because skills are important, but I’m really great at spreadsheets, but I hate them. Right? So I’m not gonna go look for a job where I have to do spreadsheets every day. Right. Okay. Example. Um, and, and listen to. To how subtle this is. I am Brandy, former gas turbine engineer in the Navy who recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science and nursing.

I’m competent, dependable, and caring traits I know you’re looking for in your next labor and delivery nurse. I look forward to advocating for my patients, an inspiring women and moms at your hospital. She just said, I used to work on ships doing gas turbine stuff, which means. I’m, I’m trainable. I can work in all kinds of hard environments, but I’m gonna now switch over and deliver babies [00:27:00] and I, I’m nurturing.

And so she created this story where she’s not just another nursing student, she’s coming in with this whole career that she cuts through in there before she shifts over and tells you that I know you’re looking for someone like me. She is absolutely a pediatric nurse at a hospital in Southern California today.

And my favorite one, and I’m flipping through here trying to find it, but I’m not gonna be able to find it, but I, I know it pretty much by heart. Um, his name is Raul. I met him up in Portland at Portland State University, and his brand was about being a lifelong tinkerer, the go-to person who, his family.

Fellow, you know, professors or students and faculty go to when they can’t understand their technology. His curiosity, that was satiated. He used the word satiated in the Marines when he was trained on avionics and kept, you know, helicopters flying. Has that curiosity has led him to learn three computer languages.[00:28:00]

And that he can’t wait to interview and be the best candidate you can find for your Intel, um, apprenticeship, uh, program that he was applying to. Okay. And so he, he built this story about being a lifelong tinkerer, innately curious. He threw the avionics in there to say, I’m a technical guy. But then that lifelong tinkerer that people rely on when you don’t understand your technology.

He’s the go-to guy, so I wanna know more about him and his coding. So, yeah. Intel hired him, scooped him right up, and now he’s actually getting his master’s degree in computer science at Georgia Tech. He asked me to write a letter of recommendation for him, which I was happy to do. So that’s the thing about branding and this community is that once I know who you are, and I know what you want because you have clarity now, I’ll introduce you to my network so that you can, you know, do informational interviews all day long and learn about what’s next for you, because that’s exactly what was done for me.

Yeah, those are just some other

Scott DeLuzio: examples. Yeah, I think those are, are great examples and they show, I think, especially important, uh, the ability to [00:29:00] pivot from, you know, someone who’s working on navy ships and mm-hmm. You know, the turbines and everything to being a pediatric nurse, that those are two completely different worlds and a lot of times you feel like you’re just stuck in this, this one, uh, position you can’t get out of and, and you have no other options, no alternatives to.

To move on to another, um, uh, you know, another way of, uh, earning an income because you, this is the training, this is the only thing I’ve ever done. Um, but a question I had for you, Grace, is how do military spouses and family members, um, use things like personal branding to.

Benefit them cuz I, I know it’s really hard for military spouses when you might be moving every couple years from one place to another. They have to be pros if they’re gonna be working. They have to be pros at getting out into those, those interviews and being able to land a job. And they’re probably gonna have to do it pretty quickly because otherwise, you know, they, they [00:30:00] spend six months or or more waiting to get a job.

They’re gonna be almost at the point where they’re ready to pack up and move to the next place. So how can they use that to their benefit?

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Yeah. You know, looking forward and starting soon is so important for them as much because everyone’s transitioning. Right? When the service member’s transitioning.

Everyone’s transitioning. Sure. So, uh, did you know that 48% of military veterans, uh, or I’m sorry, military spouses have a small business, a side gig going on? It’s, it’s a very high entrepreneurial rate. I don’t doubt that. Yeah. Yeah. And, and that’s part of the, the Rosie’s network that I participated and stuff.

But no, it’s, it’s a very high number. And, you know, I was married to, uh, a guy who was a civilian who had a job, and so he experienced that and the way that they do it, and, and it’s really awesome, you know, when we do, uh, work at colleges and universities and now virtually is please bring your spouse because he or she’s gonna need this too.

So we always make sure that we let them know to bring them to also go through the training. And what they can do is, since a lot of [00:31:00] the time they’re looking for remote work is I set ’em up with the resources that are only recruiting remote workers because a couple of them are created right here in Silicon Valley.

There’s like places like Power to Fly, which is created by moms and women, and it’s all about. Tech remote working wherever you happen to be. So I connect them with those resources and then they do the, the training and they go straight to how can I intrigue someone to hire me for remote work? And then they can weave their stories in of the business they’ve created, the employees.

That they’ve had. Again, I ask six questions that draw from all facets of your life, and so you come up with this intriguing story, and so they just do the same thing so that they can intrigue sooner, get interviews sooner, and then start working right away if they’re gonna work in person or remote. But a lot of times now I’m seeing it, they wanna just do a remote job.

Because then they can keep it, they don’t have to keep doing this every three years. Right. So it’s really personal choice, but that’s, it’s the same thing for the employment and the entrepreneurship. Um, they’re just gonna be telling a different story.

Scott DeLuzio: Exactly. And I, [00:32:00] I like the ability now, especially after Covid, everybody is, Just used to the, uh, the remote work aspect of things mm-hmm.

Where you don’t necessarily need to be in an office to do certain jobs. Um, yeah, of course. There’s certain things, if you’re gonna be a dental hygienist yeah. You’re not gonna be doing that remotely, but you know, there’s certain jobs, certain jobs you’re, you’re gonna be able to do remotely. Yeah. And it’s perfect for those military families.

When you’re, you, your spouse is still in the military and you’re traveling. To different locations. You’re moving every few years. You wanna have that, that continuity. You want to be able to continue working without having that downtime. Um, you know, where you, you’re leaving that job at the, the end of, uh, one duty station, you’re moving to that next place, and then you gotta find that next job, even if you’re doing the interviews and everything, uh, remotely.

Mm-hmm. Um, beforehand. There’s still that, there’s that gap when you’re moving and everything’s just right. Chaos [00:33:00] and it’s hard, right? So when yeah, you have that ability to, to work remotely, I think it just makes life a little bit easier and mm-hmm. Um, and when, when you have the employers or, or if you’re an entrepreneur, when you have those people who are willing to allow that, um, and not necessarily require you to be, You know, on premise to, to do all of the work.

It, it just makes things so much easier. And then it makes it even easier when you’re transitioning out of the military or, or your spouse is transitioning out, um, to, mm-hmm. Again, continue because you may or may not stay, you know, wherever your last duty station was, but you, you may move someplace else and you want to be able to continue providing for your family, um, especially when, uh, your spouse is getting out and.

Is now losing that paycheck and the benefits and everything else that goes along with it. You don’t want your whole family to, to be losing a hundred percent of their income when you’re getting out. Right. So, so I, I love how you, you put that, right? Mm-hmm.

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Um, yeah. Well, and can I just [00:34:00] add real quick my current virtual assistant that I have that.

Like I rely on so much. She is my little goddess, and I’m shouting out to Anne. I’m going to share this with her, but she is an Air Force veteran with an accounting and finance background who’s a military spouse, and I hired her 14, 15 months ago. Met her in person in San Antonio, and she just moved with her husband, who got assigned to the Air Force Academy to Colorado, and she kept her employment seamlessly.

You know, she had a couple weeks and it was chaos. I gave her less work cuz I knew what she was doing. Sure. But she didn’t have to move to Colorado and have the additional burden of having to find new employment because she kept working for me. And that is huge for her and for her peace of mind and that she can focus on getting her kids in school and the sports and all that other stuff.

So it is absolutely important that, um, that. You know, you set your boundaries like I’m going to keep working remotely cuz I know we’re gonna be moving every three years. I’m just gonna go remote and that’s the way I’m doing it. And you decide that, okay, that that’s for you to [00:35:00] do. Right. It’s a thing that you can do now, or I’m just gonna keep getting good at this and every time we move, I’m gonna work at the local dental office for your example.

Right? Right. Whichever they choose. This skill, and this is very important that I wanna emphasize, is when you go through the personal branding training that I show you, you are literally learning a marketing skill through your entire life. I said, I’m giving you no fishes. But I’m teaching you to fish.

There’s no free fishes here. This is a repeatable exercise. And then in three years, if you need to reassess and just go through the same exercise again, some of the answers might be different, but you know the process. So once you learn it, you can do it again and again and again. And then in five years, maybe you start a business, you just do it again, right?

Sure. So that’s really important that this is a, a core marketing skill, a professional development skill that you need leaving the service. But you’ll use it over and over and over again as you. Get laid off, decide to change jobs, whatever, you now have this confidence that you know how to con [00:36:00] continue to intrigue people.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And I, I think it’s especially important when you’re talking about, uh, those people who choose to start their own business being an entrepreneur. Mm-hmm. Because not only are you, uh, gonna have to sell yourself to your clients, potentially. Mm-hmm. Um, but you’re also gonna have to sell the products or the services or whatever it is that you’re offering.

And so that’s something. Just learning that branding and the marketing is super important to be able to, um, successfully sell whatever it is that you’re selling. Um, in addition to selling yourself. Like, why buy that thing from me? Like you were talking about the person who was selling the, like the cutting boards, I think you were saying like, Okay, now I know, know why I wanna buy it from you because now this, this has a story behind it.

It’s interesting. It’s not just a block of wood that I found at Walmart or Target or something. It’s, it’s, it’s something that with a, with an interesting story and um mm-hmm. I wanna support this person because I like their story. I like their background. I like Yeah. What it is that they have to say and offer.

Yeah. And so that, that to me is the, the key [00:37:00] difference there. Um,

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: well, and marketers know that people make decisions, buying decisions based on some emotional connection. That’s just what we do. Yeah. And so that’s the same thing with personal branding for a person. Right? That if you can make an emotional connection with me, if you can intrigue me with your story and you know, snap me outta my stupid at a job fair when I’m really bored in hour six, then you just made a connection with me because I’m like really impressed with something you said.

So it’s the same psychology, but I’ve applied what I learned and what I practiced all those years for our community because there’s so much value in our stories if only we knew it. Okay.

Scott DeLuzio: Well, let’s, let’s talk about, change gears a little bit, um, but talk about some of the mistakes and some of the, uh, issues that people come up with when they’re working on their personal brand and creating their resumes and trying to pitch themselves to a company.

What are some of the things that you’ve seen people making mistakes with?

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Well, the first one is, I [00:38:00] think it’s universal when we leave the military, and unless somebody has arrived in our lives, like I mentioned, the group of women veterans that I was with, unless someone arrived and said, Hey, can you just stop for a second and let us, you know, tell you that that thing you need right now is self-assessment?

Know yourself first and then start looking for work universally. We’re being told to create a resume. And to, you gotta sell yourself, but no one tells you how. So, so just coming out, it’s like, oh, you gotta learn how to sell yourself and market yourself. They tell you, but they don’t know how to do it. Sure.

Because they’ve just been working for d o l for 20 years and so you feel like really overwhelmed. Okay. So mistake number one is just doing tap and thinking that that’s gonna get you something. Okay. That’s a really big mistake cuz there’s so much missing that is important in the civilian market. So that’s a huge mistake.

Is I thinking that that’s enough and not seeking mentorship from other veterans who have already succeeded in what you want to do. Is there a veteran who went to law [00:39:00] school will please find them on LinkedIn or ask me and I’ll connect you? Right? Whatever you wanna do. There’s somebody out there who’s already done it, who’s a vet, and you need to talk to them and be mentored.

So that’s number one mistake. And I have to tell you, um, A major that I worked with when I was at Fairchild, and he was my supervisor when I left. I connected with him I think last year after he heard me on a podcast and he called me and he says, you know what? I made a really big mistake when you left. I said, what?

He says, I didn’t stay in touch with you. He says, because when I got out, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I didn’t know anybody. I thought I just was, you know, a big, tough guy who was gonna figure it out. And he ended up going back to the Air Force as a civilian, and he hated it. Hated it. And he said, my mistake was that I didn’t stay in touch with you.

My mistake was that I thought I could do it all by myself. And he says, and I think a lot of men do that. And he just told me straight up, women were like, Hey sisters, how can I help? You guys are like, I gotta like figure it out. And he said that, I’m like that, that’s a mistake. So that’s a big, big, big one.

I wanted to mention number two is thinking that you [00:40:00] have to do something exactly like what you’ve already been doing, whether you went for six years, eight years, 10 years, or 20. You do not. That is the moment where you have permission to reinvent yourself and have your network help you to land that.

Remember what I did, Scott? I was an aircraft navigator that was hired in a Silicon Valley global marketing management role at a telecommunications and software company. What I had to sell the right skills for them to give me an interview. But once I was there, I had so many stories that were like, well, obviously she’s gonna learn the technology she was flying.

We’re fueling our planes, right? So, uh, you know, you just need that opportunity, which is a interview for you to shine with your amazing value as a veteran, but you have to intrigue people. Okay? But that thinking that you’re stuck, it’s so prevalent. I, I mean, if people hear nothing else today, like, please, please, please, you are not stuck.

You don’t have to keep doing the same thing. Um, you know, Intel officer [00:41:00] to speech pathologist counting in finance to speech researcher. Um, Uh, sniper to UX designer. I’ve got thousands of stories of those transitions that we do. So please join us and reinvent yourself. Don’t get stuck in that mistake that you have to keep doing the same thing.

So I think those are the top mistakes right there. Um, and then in the actual branding process, you jump out of those mistakes with the questions that I ask you that force you to think about answers from all over, not just your military service. Okay. From your hu, your human experience, your volunteer service, i, I draw from different places of your whole life, right?

And so any of those mistakes that we just mentioned, those go away because we turn our vision forward. Branding is forward. It’s aspirational. You bring in the right elements from the past, but very selectively. So for your audience, right? Branding is forward-looking and aspirational. So those mistakes are rectified and fixed through the branding [00:42:00] process.

Because now you’re like, boom.

Scott DeLuzio: Sure. And I, I like how you put the, um, you, you mentioned about the, the sniper becoming a, like a UX designer and um, yeah. When you think about a sniper, you think, okay, well what could that person possibly do when they get out and you think, okay, well maybe they can work for the.

Police department or the SWAT team or something like that, maybe that, that seems like about the extent of what they could do. But when you think about it, there’s a lot of attention to detail that you need when you’re a sniper and when you’re a UX designer, you need to have a lot of attention to detail.

So a lot, some of that stuff carries over. And so it’s just thinking differently about some of the stuff that you already have, that you already do, and how that could apply to something different in, in your, uh, In your potential next career. Right. I, I think that’s, that’s really the, the name of the game part of it.


Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: But Scott, that’s non-intuitive, is it? No, no. That requires a conversation with somebody else that requires some, some discovery. And if you’re just sitting by yourself, [00:43:00] I. You know, desperately uploading resumes to random places, you’re not doing that right, and that’s the most important thing is to sit down with someone and help them.

Again. That’s why this self-assessment is so important, so you can discover what are those things that I love to do. Sure. I mean, if I really love being a sniper because I love shooting and, and, and being so accurate, well, by all means, please go do that. But if you’re like, okay, that’s done, and you know, I’m gonna go do all these other things with all these other skills, and I love working on a team, like the whole world is open.

And that’s what those women taught me. They said, the world is so huge, you have no idea. How big the world is and how much is available to you for opportunities. That’s why you need to stop and learn, and that’s why I’m saying surround yourself. Here it is. You’ll be successful when you surround yourself with people who want you to be successful.

Exactly. It’s been true my whole life.

Scott DeLuzio: I’m here talking with, uh, Grace about the personal branding and how [00:44:00] you can use that to benefit yourself as you’re getting out of the military. Uh, how military families can use that as, uh, military spouses are either moving from one place to another, looking to.

Get into a, a career. Maybe it’s a new career, maybe it’s, you know, something that they, they have been doing. Um, but you know, also importantly for veterans as they’re, they’re getting out, um, you know, to, to get themselves. Mm-hmm. Into a career. It could be something completely different from what they did in the military.

Maybe they have, you know, limited experience, but, but it’s something that they have, um, you know, some skills from their background. And it’s just how do you get that message across to your target audience, the, the employers that you’re looking for? Um, Grace, really, it’s, it’s been. Uh, eye-opening has been insightful, speaking with you about all of this.

For the listeners who want to know more about what it is that you do and where they can maybe get a copy of your book and, and things along those lines, uh, where can they go to find out more about what [00:45:00] it is that you do and, um, and, and, uh, you know, where they can follow you.

Graciela Tiscareño-Sato: Yeah, so easiest of all is the website that is the title of the book, which is Brand Before Your Resume.

It’s just all together brand before your resume.com. And what I would encourage your listeners to do, Scott, is go straight to the Veterans Tab and the Veterans Tab. You’re gonna see, uh, videos and uh, written testimonials from veterans I’ve trained. Saying what the value of the training was to them personally.

So you can see examples. And I’m just gonna share one real quick. I mentioned Arul earlier, the Marine avionics guy who became the software engineer. He sent me this message. I have the job and I start in August with Intel. Thanks again for the help. Speaking with you really helped me get this job. I read out loud the ways to describe myself and they loved it.

People need to hear you. No way. Can you nail your. Dream company without the info on branding that [00:46:00] you teach. Okay? You can get a job. You can get placed somewhere by a recruiter so that you know, they, they can fulfill one of their client’s needs cuz they got you to go work for Frito LA for example, which is something they tried with me.

And then the recruiter gets paid 30% of your first year’s salary, so they’re happy and you’re stuck in an ops job managing trucks for a warehouse that you never wanted to be there. So, so you can land up in a job. Or you can do what Raul did and go through that introspective personal branding exercise and land a job at your dream company that you never imagined you could even get an interview.

But because you believe first that you can go do that, and you change your mindset with marketing mindset. And you know, you can then all of it’s possible. So I would encourage you to go there and you’ll see links to the online class, uh, contact information. So if you’re in a community veteran serving organization, you want me to come in and do a workshop, you can just buy the online class on the book together.

I mean, it’s all there. Um, but I’ve done it now so that I do the [00:47:00] workshop in person and coach people, which I’m actually doing in half an hour with some students in Wisconsin. Doing the one-to-one consultations. I did group training yesterday and then now I’m meeting one-to-one for 45 minutes with each of the students to work their branding, uh, or the book cuz it has a whole process in there.

So there’s all these different levels, uh, so that it’s all the same process so that you can learn, you can even like just buy the book and do this with your spouse and both of you do the exercise. Um, so that, that’s the best way. And again, read the examples.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And I think those examples are some of the examples that we shared already, uh, through this episode, I think are super powerful.

It kind of shows you how this can be used and, um, can mm-hmm. Can help you think a little bit differently about yourself and your future career, uh, prospects. Um, no, and for the listeners, I, just so you know, we’ll have links to. Uh, everything that, uh, that we just talked about here in the show notes, so that way if [00:48:00] you’re looking to, to find some of this information, you can just click the link, just go to the show notes.

Um, again, uh, Grace, I, I think, um, everything that we’ve talked about here has been super important. I, I think the listeners are going to gain a lot of great. Insights and information from this episode. Um, I want to thank you for taking the time to join me on the show and sharing everything and also for everything that you’re doing now, cause I think it’s really impactful for the, the veterans who you are helping.

Um, and, uh, for the listeners, I want to also thank you for taking the time to join us here on the show, uh, and, and learning about this personal branding. Hopefully it, it’s, uh, helpful to you and hopefully you will be able to take this and apply it to your own life.

Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow [00:49:00] the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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