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Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 54: Alex Kunz

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Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior Podcast With Mike Sarraille is a podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with disrupters and high performers from all walks of life. In episode 54, we spoke to Alex Kunz, co-founder and CEO of Frog Fuel. 

Passionate about health and fitness, the former U.S. Navy SEAL spent years working with his team to develop a collagen-based protein designed to maximize performance and support recovery. Whether you’re an athlete looking to improve performance, a fitness enthusiast seeking to optimize nutrition, or an entrepreneur working to build a successful business, this episode is full of valuable insights and inspiration.

Listen to the full episode above (scroll down for the transcript) and see more from this series below.

This interview has not been edited for length or clarity.

————————————————————————-Michael Sarraille 00:11

And welcome everyone to the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast. I’m your host Mike Sarraille today I am joined by Alex Kunz—good friend, former seal, co-founder and CEO frog fuel, which if you didn’t know, was the biggest sponsor of the Triple Seven Expedition, where we just set four world records: The tandem for six continents, the sports for six continents, and then the same two records for seven continents. Alex, what’s going on man?

Alex Kunz 00:39

Not much, man Mike. Appreciate you having me on. It’s interesting weather here in Texas having to deal with a few tornadoes but finally made it down.

Michael Sarraille 00:48

Yeah, it for the audience listening. It’s what’s the date here. It’s the third of March courses probably won’t come out for about four weeks. But we had tornado tornadoes in the Dallas area. George Silva, who’s supposed to be with us, unfortunately had some damage on the property. So couldn’t make it down. But I’m glad you made it down. Texas has had some strange weather. Yeah, it’s go rapidly.

Alex Kunz 01:09

It’s like every day it’s changing. Yeah, it’s

Michael Sarraille 01:11

like 20 degrees or 80 degrees. We can’t find in between what man for the audience, you’ve got an interesting background. That just you know, were you born and raised eventually into the SEAL teams.

Alex Kunz 01:22

Yeah, so born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, or, excuse me, born in Massachusetts. My father was actually a flight surgeon. So we went from Massachusetts to Tucson where he worked at at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. And then he became the lead doc over at top gun for a while. So military military career in that career. Well, he now he left’s around 10 years. And then he went into reserves for because last 12 or so. But yeah, so I moved what was in Tucson was in college, actually, for med school. And I think I’ve shared the story before, it’s kind of interesting. When I applied for med school, I got accepted. And it was at that time, my father who used to run a private practice, because he really believed in really helping people and doing the right thing. And he came up to me one day and said, Listen, I want to talk to you about your career choice. And he said, Listen, I know you want to follow in my footsteps, because you’ve been a part of my practice, you’re always helping me out he goes, but I want to tell you that the future of healthcare is not going to be what it once was, especially with manage health care. He says it’s really going to be about not about proper diagnosis, but it’s going to be about prescription. And he says, I’m telling you this because I don’t think you’re going to be happy with it, that career. And so I you know, I always trusted my father and I made a career change. So I went into computer science when an engineering and just didn’t know what I wanted to do. And it was one day I was walking down the campus at the University of Arizona. And I almost ran into this guy with a khaki uniform. And you know, and I looked up, but I could see this big gold emblem on his chest, I had no idea what it was, at the time, didn’t even know what special operations of the SEAL teams were. And he kind of stopped me said, Hey, listen to you have five minutes to talk? And I said, Sure. And he says, Well, you know, I want to talk to you, because you don’t look like you’re really happy with, you know, with, you know what you want to do? And I’m you know, first thought I’m like, fuck is this guy? Yeah. You know, what, what does he know about me? And so, you know, the conversation progressed. And you know, what it ended with is he said, Do you want to do the hardest fucking thing you’ll ever do in your life? And it was literally at that moment, I said, I want to go do this fucking job. But that was a difficult choice for me. Because you know, my father is German. My mother is Chinese. And she has a very Trish she was raised very traditionally, and their outlook on life is your doctor, your lawyer or your nothing. And so she pretty much pushed our culture. Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And that’s how they raised their children. Tiger Mom. Yeah, absolutely. And so the thing about is, I knew what I wanted to do. But I also knew that when I went home and told my mother, I was going to drop out of college and go in the SEAL teams, she would disown me. And so I did. I went home and I said, Mom, I’m dropping out of college, I want to go do this thing. She didn’t know what it was. She just knew as a military. And she says, Well, if you quit college, you’re no longer my son. And I said, Okay, I guess I’m no longer your son, and I left. And so

Michael Sarraille 04:30

in your dad knew in the military knew what the fields were like, Hey,

Alex Kunz 04:33

he knew about them. He didn’t know. You know, he knew there were seals, but he never really knew what they did. And but you know, we’re not at you know, of course, I don’t want to make my mom sound to be this evil person. Because at some point down the road, she did support me, right. She didn’t she was wild with me. Yeah, yeah. So yeah, so that was my that’s what kind of ultimately that’s how my career started. I did 10 years at SEAL Team One And I actually got out pre 911. And then, and I was working in the corporate world doing cybersecurity for. So my first job was actually building the next generation Navy Marine Corps is internet. So it’s everything from their cybersecurity infrastructure or their intrusion detection

Michael Sarraille 05:17

years. So it says we went, that was

Alex Kunz 05:20

Oh, 101 2001. And then when did you get out? 2001? April 2001. Yeah. And so I saw I was working, and I remember about, oh, I think, oh, four, or no, no, 911, obviously, I’m sitting in. I’m sitting in our big Network Operation Center, which we can monitor hackers and all this other crap. And on the left hand of the screens were the Twin Towers, and I’m watching these planes fly into the towers, and I’m like, fucking, I gotta go do something here. So at the time, I actually had a kid with, you know, my former girlfriend, I wasn’t married at the time. And we were going through a custody battle, because she was she actually had a drug addiction. And so I had like, before this kind of happened, I just said, Fuck it, I need to go do something here. And so I called Jeff Byers, my partner and I said, Hey, dude, you know, you’re you’re working, doing contract work for the agency, how can I get into this and go do it. And so I left corporate work and and deployed to Afghanistan during OEF for about three years.

Michael Sarraille 06:31

In this is when the pay was the pay. Yeah, the pay was good.

Alex Kunz 06:35

And I and as a matter of fact, my long term goals, I really wanted to go into ground branch, and I had met Billy staff at the time who was running, running the group. And he said, Hey, you know, come and apply. Well, when I got back to the States on a rotation, this is when I found out, you know, my ex had a drug addiction problem, because I had no money in my account, she had spent everything I’d made overseas. And so I wanted to cut that off at that point. But, you know, it was it was a difficult decision I had to make because I had to take full custody of my son because of her addiction. And the one reason the only reason that she had of winning custody being the mother was the fact that I was never home. Yes. So so that was really the turning the second turning point for me. It’s like, Hey, are you really going to continue going down range and fucking run around with a gun? Or are you just are you going to just put your head down, and I’ll focus on a new career. And so at that point, I just said, You know what, I’ve got a son I got to take care of, and then I’ve really got to, I got to stop letting these things distract me and just focus on learning a new skill set and, and being good at it. And so I went into, you know, everything from, you know, I worked at three different fortune 250 companies climbing ladders, so to say, I worked at Sempra Energy. I built their risk management program everything from cybersecurity audit and compliance to all their technology infrastructure. I did that for about seven years. And then I worked at a mergers and acquisition firm in LA for about a year on the weekends. And then started a clothing company with my brother and sister. While I was at Sempra, and then it was about six years ago, I started frog field. So 2012 2000 2012, we’ve filed for licenses, but we really didn’t start the company until about 2014.

Michael Sarraille 08:31

So two years of testing, product development and yeah, yeah, interesting. So it’s an interesting background. It’s amazing. The seal got you to get into your mind. Quickly. Do you ever do that recruiting duty? Now? Will Have you ever been approached by a recruiter? High School? What were your What was your impression?

08:55

I’m from a rural town. So it’s like, every but half of my people that I knew would go to the military. Yeah, I mean, you just kind of walk into a room and you let them talk to you for a little bit. A couple brochures and then yeah, think about it. Yeah.

Michael Sarraille 09:09

Recruiters don’t have the best reputation within the military. No, but

Alex Kunz 09:14

I go home. But I got lucky because at that time that I actually went in is when they started the dye fair program

Michael Sarraille 09:20

in what year is this? That was

Alex Kunz 09:23

990 9091 80 No No 8989 No, no, no. Yeah, it was 90 to 91 is when they come

Michael Sarraille 09:32

in before after the first

Alex Kunz 09:34

Gulf War after the before the first Gulf War no kidding Yeah.

Michael Sarraille 09:38

So at were you at a team but the time to go no, I

Alex Kunz 09:42

just when the gulf war was ending. I just checked in a team one so we all got the question, a little defense ribbons, little ribbon without any like little combat deployment type thing. I just got a team once. It was a team three, Team One had guys over there. And they had a couple guys over at Somalia to buy But I think Team Five had had the larger presence in Somalia. It’s when fap and Gardner were on sniper duty out there during the extraction and stuff.

Michael Sarraille 10:07

You know, funnily enough there’s like for those guys that got the benefit of, of a deployment, or quick little combat became like the All Stars with the ones with stories now like, those stories were totally Trump political Warren’s Oh, yeah, course. Yeah. You’re proud of your time. That’s, yeah, that’s it. I did that recruiting duty. It was in not only did I do it, I did it in the Bay Area. Yeah. In 99. As a corporal in the Marine Corps, it was awful. It was awful having to go to campuses and just talk students, and they just seem pretty, she was not exactly a hotbed of military recruitment. Now it was, it was awful, especially when they sent me to the mall to go to the mall. And it was just not my not my Salomon. That’s a career leap from building all this infrastructure, especially on the technology side to a, let’s say, very medical grade protein.

Alex Kunz 11:04

Yeah, it is. But a lot of those are I feel like our you know, even though I think corporate career doesn’t really recognize the the types of skills that you acquire in the military, and they don’t really, they don’t really convert over to civilian job from their perspective, but are translated talking like actual hard skills, actual hard skills and soft skills. Right. And the reality is, I you know, I went from knowing nothing about cybersecurity to be a nationally recognized expert in cybersecurity in about five years. I mean, I was actually the subject matter expert for the Obama and Senator McCain’s national cybersecurity bill, I helped NIST develop their ISO standards for risk management. So I mean, and the reason for that is when you look at the types of threats that you’re dealing with in cybersecurity, all the things that you learn in the SEAL team directly translate over to that side, everything from gathering intelligence to try to figure out who’s trying to penetrate your networks, how they’re trying to do it, and how to put up a defense or put up an offense. And so it’s a lot of the skills I learned as a team easily translated into cybersecurity, all I had to do is think about it, okay. I’m not on a standing on a ground anymore. I’m in a cyberspace, but yet, I’m trying to protect a facility, I’m trying to protect an asset. And I have bad actors trying to break in or destroy that asset. And so so so when you start thinking about it from in relating cybersecurity to a physical world, then it’s very easy to start figuring out how do I build layers of fence? How do I build intelligence? How do I build communications? And how do I protect networks?

Michael Sarraille 12:40

In not only to something that is very similar, but to also again, a medical grade protein? Yeah, you and Jeff taking the same those lessons that you don’t I would say, for those special operations guys, or even coming out of the conventional military, because your CMOS is a badass from West Point, Aaron. If you have the ability, and you’re not as dark dogmatic, that it’s got to be this way, the way the seals or the military ran ran things, but you can take the soft skills, you could take the principles and planning all the way to execution and follow through, then you’re gonna be wildly successful in the private sector. I think you’re an example that you walk through any self as an example of that. Glenn Callen is great. And I know you’re friends with Glenn, our lone Canadian, on the triple seven team, he likes to say that venture capital is a special operations. It’s taking limited resources, knowing where to deploy at the right time, or the right companies pouring into them and ultimately exploiting them as much as one exploring executing building. And I found that to be true, what, who is the best. And this may be two different people who was the best mentor or leader you ever served with in the SEAL teams?

Alex Kunz 13:50

Kevin Fitzgerald, so Fitzgerald was a team one with an admiral. I don’t know if he ever made it to Admiral, but he became the CEO and why he stood out for me is he was on there. I’m assuming. I don’t think he’s Vietnam era. No, he was probably in his when I was there, late 40s. Kind of a stocky blond headed

Michael Sarraille 14:15

what would have been post post Vietnam

Alex Kunz 14:19

tell on Vietnam, but you know what, what stood out for me with him is he was the guy who really wanted to push the boundaries of Team one’s capabilities. And he just said you know, here were like, you know, for example, when we were doing AI ads, everything was really about safety too much too much safety. And so it I remember it changed this next button and I got into we were doing just basic AI training and next thing you know, instructors saying just lay out on the dirt and they start firing rounds right over our head. And they said put your head up we want you to we want you to know what it sounds like when the crack of a bullets flying. You know I’m a foot above your head. And then you had us doing things like getting into a ditch. In your I mean, your ditches here and your heads right here and there am 60 strife in the ditch and rocks are flying up and hitting you. And my point is the training became more realistic because they wanted us to know what it would be like to actually get shot out. And so one of the things that Fitzgerald did was he, you know, he said, Okay, we we absolutely are a waterborne unit, so we have to be the best at it. So I want to know, what the feasibility is of diving, actually diving and performing operations with communication gear and all this shit. And so of course, he passed us down or Putin and ever he’s like, fuck, dude, you know, we got to dive with all this fucking calm gear and everything. It’s like, This is crazy. And because we’ve never done anything like that, and so I remember the day we showed up for the dive, we’re trying to kill everything up double waterproof duct tape, and you already know the shit the you know, the submersible bags, and they’re more than likely going to fucking open up, fuck up while you’re gone here. So the cool thing about is we showed up and he was down there, he showed up in his dive gear. He had his wetsuit on. And, you know, he said, I’m going to join your platoon. I’m not a leader, I’m one of the boys and I want you guys to tell me what to do. And what he said to us, he says, I am never going to push down a policy down to the lowest level of my units without knowing that I can do it myself. And that really stood out for me. I mean, at that point, that’s when I learned the difference between senior management and leadership. You know, managers push down policies and just expect people to abide by them. A leader is the one who will never expect somebody to abide by a policy he or she wouldn’t themselves. And he had a meaning meaning meaningful impact because I felt like he was really pushing the boundaries of our training and our capabilities, but at the same time, he was out there, looking at the stuff and saying, okay, is this really practical? Or am I just doing dumb shit and just dumb ideas? And he’s the one guy I absolutely remember in my whole career, and him in the Hulk, the Hulk, which was I always said the whole keys. He’s a former. He was the 9191 92. He was the admiral for group one. Vietnam vet. He always drove a Corvette. Of course, he did. Yeah, he’s a good guy. awesome guy.

Michael Sarraille 17:27

Maybe the whole been big, big dude. Big dude. Yeah, I

Alex Kunz 17:30

don’t know why I’m not drawn to mind like his name, but

Michael Sarraille 17:33

voeckler just,

Alex Kunz 17:34

I think he was a football player. Yeah, gotta be Yeah, I think so. Yeah, good, good guy. But you know, Vietnam era guys were good. Or they’re very black and white. You know, it wasn’t there wasn’t gray area with them. And it’s like, you know, I liked that I liked you know, when you got direction or wasn’t a lot of bullshit in between, it’s like, this is what I expect of you, and you do it.

Michael Sarraille 17:56

I’m assuming that that was a pretty serious generation. There’s just, yeah, we’re just coming off that board and just, you know,

Alex Kunz 18:03

what it was, it was good and bad. You know, I to be honest with you, when I left team one, I, I went, I didn’t leave from a good perspective, because it were they were so strict at team one that they used to have this policy at in training, sales training. So was that the you know, like the senior guy

Michael Sarraille 18:24

in it not to cut you off, but it will SEAL Team One was known as Starlog one or Stalingrad. So, they always, they always had very tight haircuts and not really, I mean, tighter for for the seals. And they were always very strict with your uniform standards, but it is hence relaxed, but it actually came to the point that team one had to be sort of cleaned out in the current Admiral, again, I’m gonna butcher his name. I think it’s Keith Richards. Yeah. Are we David’s? I think Keith Davidson came in and sort of restarted up. I mean, for the SEAL teams. That’s that’s bump in the road. Yeah,

Alex Kunz 19:00

it kind of it definitely. The culture changed a lot. And some things were for the worst. You know, like one of the policies they had for trading sell is when you were out training platoons on advanced tactics is that you couldn’t fraternize with the platoons. And that was one of the stupidest rules because I’ve already I had already done five cruises by then and so I’m like, I worked with 80% of these guys. Right and so it was you know, the reason I had a bad taste in my mouth, the culture was we were we were out in Fort Chaffee, I think. And you know, a guy named Brad I won’t say his last name, but somehow he got into something with somebody in the bar and next thing you know, I’m watching this guy run up behind him this guy’s friend that Brad’s office is gonna get a fight with he’s got this wine bottle in his hand and he’s about to club in the back of the head with it and so of course, I’m not going to let that happen. So I stood up lit this dude up and when I got back to Team One, they kicked me out of training cell because because I shouldn’t have ever been in the borough platoon. And so after that, I was kind of like, you know, fuck you guys on Um I liked a lot of the dudes there but it’s just I felt like the the leadership some of the some of the leadership team at the point had really peacetime you know, it’s kind of peacetime antics when you have nothing to do you start you start with a lot of bullshit.

Michael Sarraille 20:16

I can agree but I didn’t learn that until about 2013 ish yeah because I came in in 98 which was right the whole time. And you know, I had fun with the boys because I knew nothing else that was I didn’t know anything about the military so that’s what I thought it was but was definitely you had a lot more authority and responsibility to make decisions at your level into I enjoyed that for the extended my almost entire career and then all of a sudden, as we started to, I don’t want to say reduce combat operations it felt like fingers were going back in pots. Oh, yeah. And all of a sudden decisions I was able to make as a ote I couldn’t make as a no four at JSOC in that got frustrating. You know, it’s it’s interesting that usually your last leadership experience with any organization shapes your perception of it. Okay. I had a bad leadership experience. My last expired experience in the SEAL teams and was the self inflicted. They they moved me into a position to deal with a personality who was absolutely a warfighter. but difficult to deal with, and I respected but we just didn’t get along. But I think as I’ve had time to reflect, it’s, you know, that’s one incident of the good all the good times, I had an Associates all great leaders I worked for, but there are some bad leaders in for an organization that teaches leadership for a living, seals military, how it misses with certain individuals, or they have a agenda for for some reason.

Alex Kunz 21:48

Well, Admiral Smith years ago, and it was like 19, recently passed within the last three years. Yeah, it was 1993. We had this big command group one group two, meeting and it was they were specifically talking about, you know why we didn’t have our own SOCOM rating and why Admiral Smith was not pushing for that. And he made it very evident. He said, Listen, there’s a reason why I’m not doing this. Because he goes, I feel like if we create our own SOCOM rating, we’re going to have little groupie type things and limited billets. And what’s going to happen is there’s going to be good old boy fractions and networks, and you’re not going to get promoted. Unless you’re part of that he goes, I don’t want the teams to turn into, you know, into a political structure. He called it back then and which is the reason why he never supported it for many years. And then you know it, but you know, I also feel like things like that will work themselves out. I mean, the Army has obviously proven that through through its organization, right? They, they probably had a lot of political infighting when they first 20 years of having their own ratings and structures, but they eventually resolve those issues over time. So I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad move. But very clearly, you know, leadership at the time felt like it would create a lot of infighting. And that’s reason why they didn’t want to do it.

Michael Sarraille 23:05

The SEALs were not what they are today, back then. And they were still a redheaded stepchild and a lot of ways to the Navy. Yeah. And we didn’t have a seat at the table. Now. I think we have more admirals per capita? Yeah. Community in the Navy. But you mentioned about Fitzgerald, doing realistic training, shooting live rounds, just over your heads. Could you imagine that video coming out today? There would be

Alex Kunz 23:30

Oh, yeah. outcry? Yeah. Well, on one of the incidents, too, we were doing. We were doing an assault formation where we had an elevated group, and we were doing a walking assault on the target. And this is just training. But I ended up getting hit shot in the back with a 40. Mike Mike. And it didn’t go off because the range proximity, but it knocked me right on my fucking face. And I thought somebody hit me with a fucking bat. That’s how hard it hit me. And, of course, we’d never said anything about that. But do I look back and say, you know, I would have done things differently? No, because I probably learned in that platoon alone, I learned more, more, more realistic training than I ever had my entire career. I felt like, you know, the level of performance was so much higher, you know, the expectations were higher and I enjoyed it, quite frankly.

Michael Sarraille 24:21

They have to be there’s there’s no organization that’s going to replicate such a high standard as the US Special Operations community. It’s cutthroat. We know it’s cutthroat. Yeah. And a lot of people can’t thrive in that environment because in a will is been learned a lot. You will be called out quickly and in sometimes in what people would think is an unprofessional and tactful manner. And maybe it is on I hate to say civilian terms, but it’s part of the process we utilize to make sure that we’re policing our own in that that standard does move, which was the phrase standards move one inch at a time for you note. You don’t have standards at all. Oh, Um, you know, it’s, it’s still to this day, if somebody young asked me, should I join the military? My answer is 100%. Absolutely, yeah, of course. Yeah. And I know right now they’re struggling with recruitment. But I could not imagine who I would be today without the trials and tribulations that the military put me through, while providing me some of the most world class coaching and mentoring and leadership of course I’ve ever seen. Yeah. You mentioned something about, you know, inspire. I read a great article from Tom Colditz. Try pulling this up. Well, General Tom called it’s the military leadership. But he said, and I’d love this, you know, the reason that the military per capita turns out, I want to be cautious here, I want to say better leaders, but more leaders is one. The military’s it’s not, you know, we’re not tactically the greatest, but we produce the best leaders. You look at World War Two, you could argue that the Germans were one not not not only tactically superior to us. They were also combat hardened. But still our guys through just exceptional leadership overcame those those challenges, but he talked about how the dominant form of leadership within the military is transformational leadership. In he defined it as the ability to inspire confidence and trust, turning the complaint into the willing. Yeah. If you think back to those great leaders, you’re like, damn, good. I would follow that. Motherfuckers to the ends of the year.

Alex Kunz 26:32

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And there’s some guys you feel like you wouldn’t there’s other guys that you’re like, I just wouldn’t follow this guy anywhere. Yeah, but you do. You do? You do because of, I would argue that it’s more about the structure and hierarchy than you don’t have a choice, right. But I think the you when you’re more passionate and more inspired by people, then you tend to work harder. at you. It’s I feel like, if, if you’re following somebody because you feel like you have a choice and you believe them enough, then I feel like it’s a it’s a different, you know, the mentality is different, right? You work harder, you’re more passionate about what you’re trying to do, as opposed to just following somebody because you have no respect for them. Because you have to.

Michael Sarraille 27:14

Yeah, I guess from from the civilian sector, you have a choice, you can always leave the military, once you’ve signed the contract for six years, you’re in there. Regardless, what I have seen is went in there were plenty of bad leaders, platoon commanders, bad chiefs, were the boys, middle level management stepped up and tamp and down their negative impact, or at least kept the guys focused on on the mission? And sort of Yeah, again, the saged whatever impact that person could have. But I mean, it’s no different than the the military was just on Fox News. They said, Hey, what about woke, this woke culture, you know, being forced upon the the military? And my answer was, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. The military has lived through what something like 40 Plus presidents in the needle never moves too far from the right or to the to the left, where even if woke, policies are being forced in the military, we push so much authority and responsibility down and lower lower levels that keep the guys focused on the mission, being lethal being ready, in in a superior position compared to or our enemy combatants. And if there’s policies, they, they they make sure they’re in compliance and then move on. Yeah, and

Alex Kunz 28:25

that whole, you know, whole phrase wickedness. I mean, this isn’t the first time it’s happened. It’s happened in history. And what typically, I feel like resets. That is when we actually go into conflict. Because when you look at the time from when we went into conflict, and Afghanistan, how many admirals and generals were removed from position because they didn’t know what the fuck they were doing? Right? They came from a culture that was not a warfighters culture. And as a result, you know, we wanted to kick ass so they ended up finding the right leaders to lead the units into combat. So I feel to your point, I agree with you. I think it’s just an ever changing thing. Right? It’s a cycle and the military. absolutely wild, livid. Yeah.

Michael Sarraille 29:04

It’s you the other point of getting relieved for protecting a buddy in the bar. It’s that still to this day, you do it great. He’s an admiral nowadays, and I only mention his name, but he was great commander, great mentor of mine. He said, I don’t know one point. The pelvis can realize we’re not in the process or profession of creating Boy Scouts. Yeah, we create the number one man through the door. And for the audience. What that means is, when you enter a house, you can put a number on everyone who enters the door, the first guy through the threshold, the second, the third, the fourth, usually we enter rooms in two to four depending on the size of the room with the configuration, but enough that one man has a high probability being shot at Yeah, and I don’t know what it is when you put a seal platoon in a bar. There was always a drunk guy that thought it would be a good idea to like mess with one. It’s the strangest, knowing who you are. It’s the strangest phenomena. And I’ve seen it like God. Again. I’m not gonna use his name, but what Those met them you may have as well. Let’s just call them J. played football at the University of Texas, in somehow, despite his size, made it through buds, and is a massive dude only dude I’ve ever seen that would kick kicked open a steel double bolted out door with a mule kick butt, like clockwork six for about 270 Cheese guys in the barn that were drunk would just come and try to pick fights with them. It’s like what the fuck? He’s like, are you getting this is a joke. My punch line here. It’s some guys ended up getting knocked out. But let’s I want to transition. So again, you’re you’re in the risk management, cybersecurity world. You and Jeff are like, Hey, let’s break off and let’s do a was it did you know it was protein?

Alex Kunz 30:46

Yeah. So where it originally started, to be honest with you is Jeff. And I actually said, Jeff, I think was in the teams for four years. So he did a couple of cruises. So he was in my second platoon. And it was kind of funny. I mean, Jeff and I were friends. But I would argue our relationship was probably more contentious than anything, because we’re always trying to one up each other. So for us, every time we were on the range, it was like him and I were who’s the who’s the best, when we’re running, who’s the best. And so we’re always, you know, contentious, meaning that it’s like, I’m better. And you know, I’m better than you. And we always we act and like that. And so, you know, we always had this idea, like in the back of our heads. And we talked about it when we’re in Afghanistan, like, you know, if we started this company, could we make something that didn’t exist in the marketplace? And then, you know, then the opposite opportunity presented itself to do something. And I was already doing corporate work. Jeff didn’t have experience. He was still downrange, working for the agency at the time. And he just said, Listen, man, I don’t really want to continue fucking doing this anymore. You know, are you you want to get this, what do you think about you know, getting this company off the ground? I said, Sure. Let’s fucking do it. So we did

Michael Sarraille 31:57

it. So two years of research into how to guys because the, the market is so freakin saturated with protein. Yeah. And I think to a lot of average consumers protein is protein is protein, but it’s not. So, I mean, to differentiate a protein that had to be wildly,

Alex Kunz 32:18

it was hard. It was it was really hard. But our strategy was really because when you when you looked at the market, yes, the protein market for human performance is really largely saturated. So we had to think about it from a strategic perspective, how do we educate a consumer that’s already brand loyal. And so what we knew was at that time, there were a lot of products with supplement labels making claims, but there was no research to back those claims. So what we did is we decided to start with our medical brand first, because we wanted to, we wanted everybody to know we were a true clinical brand that we’re actually which

Michael Sarraille 32:50

is which is protocol protocol protocol, which which your primary client for protocol is actual medical facilities, medical facilities, for post surgery.

Alex Kunz 33:00

So we use it for bariatric surgery, post surgery, post surgical wound care, dialysis chemotherapy, we arthritis treatment, we use it for treating burns. I mean, there’s about 14 different medical indications we use that product for and that product is actually probably black people don’t know and they think frog feels our larger brand through Protego. Oh, yeah. But frog pro T gold actually is our larger brand. I just said most people don’t see it because it’s at a medical facility.

Michael Sarraille 33:29

How many for protein, gold, how many products do you have two or three,

Alex Kunz 33:32

we have one formula pretty much available and liquid powder in two flavors

Michael Sarraille 33:38

in what’s the I mean the major ingredients,

Alex Kunz 33:41

collagen, protein, collagen protein. And we manufacture our own collagen protein here in the United States. And when you look at like 80% of the college and market, a lot of its procured from one overseas manufacturer. And it’s not really a unique product. And that’s where we have the benefit is when we developed our own product, we had the ability to create our own protein molecule, we’re not sourcing it from somebody else, and throwing it in a bag or a box or a bottle and saying, we’ve got a unique product that we truly do. Because we could design the amino acid structure based on real world application. And that’s what we did. And we actually also have real world studies, everything from post surgical wound healing to how quickly our product digests in the body to the performance gains that are present.

Michael Sarraille 34:30

So let me ask you that because on this it says 100% protein. We took this off triple seven leading up to it and we’ll talk about some of the guys were like I took it for 30 days and my joints felt better 100% protein digestible in less than 15 minutes. Which to me, I guess I would ask you okay, that I mean that sounds pretty awesome. But compared to you know, that typical protein, collagen powder and putting in what’s the difference that usually takes what an hour

Alex Kunz 35:00

9060 to 90 minutes typically, and the best way to explain it is that the reason why our products different is because we actually manufacture the protein molecule down to a size of like 2500 Dalton’s, which the to give you an idea. Human, the pores in a human digestive system can roughly absorb a molecule roughly 4000 Dalton’s or smaller. So we’re half the size that can be absorbed. So go right into the bloodstream. Now you compare that with like a hydrolyzed, whey 18,000 Daltons, a standard collagen protein molecules 30,000 Dalton’s which means that the acids in your mouth are the the enzymes in your mouth and the acids in your stomach have to break that molecule down multiple times before it can actually be absorbed in your bloodstream. And most of the time with other proteins, that doesn’t happen until it gets down to your intestines, where for us, the majority absorption happens within the mouth and stomach.

Michael Sarraille 35:56

Interesting. Into it’s all in the process of getting the protein molecule as small as possible.

Alex Kunz 36:04

And there’s a limit to that. Because if you start if you start going anything below 2000 Dalton’s now what happens is you’re actually breaking apart the amino acids themselves. And so I mean, that’s something we do want to test down the road. But you know, the theory here that we have is that well, if you break down the actual amino acid itself, and technically you’re kind of eliminating the effectiveness of that amino acid. And that’s a theory. We don’t know if that’s true, because we haven’t tested it yet. But that’s one of the things we want to look at download.

Michael Sarraille 36:31

Interesting. You and Jeff definitely don’t I mean, I know you had an interest in the medical field, you just don’t come from a chemistry background. I mean, so you went out and found subject matter experts brought him in and

Alex Kunz 36:44

so we what we started with is looking at research papers that we’re already conducted. So major research by universities and the first thing we actually noticed is that a lot of the research in the United States at that time around 2012 was really biased. It was biased on way there’s a there’s actually a study that was conducted and it’s actually used as the basis for prescribing protein for and they call it the thick it’s the DT DSS study but it was really measuring protein absorption in children but what they use what they did is they use that test as a way to say that if you’re a person trying to gain weight you have to take your body weight and grams of protein per day and it was it was just a very it was done by the monopolies at that time who manufactured way it was old, it’s old science and it actually doesn’t apply anymore because we’ve actually done a lot of studies with our product say you know, that demonstrates if you take any more than 15 grams per serving it’s providing no medicinal benefit for your body so you’re really just wasting protein and I you know I came from the era taking 200 grams of protein a day now I take 30 Maximum a day 30 grams maximum and I’m still maintain the same same size, same weight everything else

Michael Sarraille 37:58

in so your frog fuel. You do have one that has what’s what’s the max protein?

Alex Kunz 38:03

15 grand 15 grams.

Michael Sarraille 38:04

That’s what I thought zero carbs. Yep. Yep, these in particular this one is the Ultra and then you got the ultra energized these are more for you want to take these during an activity Yep,

Alex Kunz 38:15

absolutely. Protein, carbs, electrolytes and two amino acids to increase endurance output and

Michael Sarraille 38:20

capacity. So you’ve got triathletes and inter triathletes taking power lifters

Alex Kunz 38:25

so we get it’s all over the map I mean arm wrestlers guys don’t slap

Michael Sarraille 38:31

where they call it that’s that’s got to be one of the Yeah, it’s crazy. Yeah, it makes no sense to me. Yeah, it’s awesome. I’ve seen some women get knocked out. I’ve seen some dudes getting out. Yeah, these

Alex Kunz 38:42

are big dudes. I mean, these guys are like, hoax man.

Michael Sarraille 38:45

I think what we’ve got Mr. Olympia is going on right now. Not Mr. Olympia. The Arnold Classic is going on right now. Right, march 2. And I know what’s the Jake, what’s the famous youtuber guy? Jake Paul, I saw that he in Arnold and promoting one of those contests at the Arnold Classic. Yeah,

Alex Kunz 39:05

artists all over the place. Yeah. Yeah, there’s some big dudes that show up there. And I mean, first time I ever met a bodybuilder was in Thailand, and we actually deployed through there and I came to learn I didn’t I knew nothing about steroids and all that other stuff. And then what I eventually learned is a lot of these guys go open these gyms in Thailand because then they can they can juice up access, have access to juice up and work on a gym. But I mean these guys that the level which they’re pumping the stuff in their body it’s crazy. I mean, we met one guy that time and he was Mr. Olympian. 20 1215 shots a day. And his and enlarge that he’s he was telling us a story too. He said it the largest heart so so so much, that he couldn’t effectively pump blood into his body. So when he worked out he could only work out for two or five minutes at a time and then he would have to take an hour break and then so like his whole day was, instead of somebody like us working out for For an hour and you’re done, he would do these little five minute sessions and he’d have to take a break because he couldn’t breathe and then he would go back and drink a smoothie and then go pump iron again. But I mean, he was massive. I mean, this guy was huge. But now it’s I don’t know. Not a lifestyle. I’d want to live

Michael Sarraille 40:16

but no, no, no, everyone is fresh in the liver. King. We went, we went off in the liver King, I think one of the Friday sessions, but I think I read accurately he was spending $10,000 on substances. Yeah, probably per month. freaking insane. Mills came out about it. Yeah.

Alex Kunz 40:35

Yeah. It’s crazy. And they had that one guy. I can’t remember his name. But he was a celebrity. I think he lived in Florida. He was a big time bodybuilder good YouTube channel. Yeah, he was he died, what, six years ago? massive cardiac arrest. What age? I would say he’s 40 or under. He was young. Yeah. You

Michael Sarraille 40:53

know, it’s not that I’m in that community at all. But it’s amazing how many guys died before they’re like 45. Yeah, people are like, Oh, it was so tragic. You’re like, while tragic? Yes. Anyone dying is tragic. It’s like, the guy was also like 265. Seven. At like, 8% body fat that? Yeah, that’s crazy. It again, tragic, nonetheless.

Alex Kunz 41:18

But yeah, you were so you were asking the question about I mean, sorry, I kind of deviated but but yeah, so what we noticed is like, we started looking at all these research studies in Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany. And they were in what we noticed the United States was predominantly waste studies and everything overseas was pretty much they were testing pea protein, soy proteins, collagen, protein, all these other different proteins. And so that’s where we educate ourselves on the different types of proteins, the different amino acid structures. And then we found the most convincing evidence came from collagen, because they, at the time, it wasn’t commercially viable. They were spending millions of dollars to perform these studies, which didn’t necessarily mean you can create a product and make it commercially viable at the time. But what we noticed is they were using collagen to treat to rebuild knee joints they were using to treat macular degeneration, which is your rods and cones and your eyes are dying, and it would reverse that process. So the evidence was there that that college and truly was a superior protein. So then, to your earlier question about did you hire expertise? Yes, we weren’t formulators. We’re not chemists. So we ended up partnering with a Stanford doctor to actually help us formulate, we basically went to him and said, these are five requirements we have to have in a product. Can it be done? And the answer was, yes.

Michael Sarraille 42:34

But five, five requirements being driven by probably the medical community. Absolutely. What they what they want to purchase. Yeah. I’ll tell I’ll tell you this. I did this for quite a while. But I would take this in the morning the ultra energized, which, surprisingly, has a little more caffeine than I expected. Yeah. And then afterwards, I would take the standard frog fuel with just the 15 grams of protein.

Alex Kunz 42:57

Yeah, yeah, that’s my staple every day. I love that product. One of

Michael Sarraille 43:01

the most interesting observations from a couple guys is they took consistently for 30 days. And they said their joints I know Fred Williams. Fred’s gonna be around 35 scattered community so he’s probably had his share of of joint issues but he said his joints felt great guys said the other very similar input that their joints felt really, really good.

Alex Kunz 43:23

Yeah. So I mean, for me getting out of the teams, I you know, one of my major injuries is we were doing a sub ops and I got, we were in this was actually you could technically say wasn’t wartime, but we were actually doing a real world extraction for another platoon that had some issue where a guy got stranded stuck on an island. And so we had to, we were already in a submarine. So they actually asked us to do a dry deck recovery. And so we ended up having to get this guy and it was amazing. The water was crystal fucking clear. It was flat and we were just you know, and it’s beautiful. When you’re just cruising across. Everything was perfect and flawless. We go to the beach, we get this guy on the boat and he’s all jacked up and we get back to the sub. We’ve got all four boats, we did the periscope, wet deck thing the boats came lined up perfectly. And we’re untying stuff. All sudden out of nowhere. This rogue wave about 50 feet comes out of nowhere. And so I’m to guys like the two like four guys got washed off the sub one was Tony and myself, Tony Lena Lena. Yeah, and I actually had so at the time I had a 35 pound motor on my shoulder and I had that we had to carry that up the mast to drop it in. And the way you maneuver it, you know you’re you’re tied into a line but you got to carabiner in that line is tied into the boat. So every few feet, you got to unclip that carabiner clip it back in and slide this thing along. We’ll just as I unclip this thing I hear wave and and all sudden I just feel like some hits me right in the face. And I’m in the water and all that all the while this is happening the motor pealed like took my arm and I felt my arms go real outlet and pop and in that process the motor itself actually hooked on to my UDT shorts the carabiner did and so I’m I can’t see anything it’s black I’m my ears is gonna pop pop and I’m like I’m I’m fucking dead I’m going to drown here and so I’m sitting here just fucking with his saying trying to get it off I got my spider CO out I’m just sawing whatever I can to get this fucking motor off of me and I at that point I thought I was dead I thought I’m like I’m just fucking done and right when I had that thought I just feel this release of tension something popped in the motor came off I don’t know if a rip my pants or what so I’m just fucking kick in and kick in and kick in. You know, I remember the first thing because I couldn’t tell what was up or down and I’m like I can’t see anything I you know the training came in effect blow a bubble. So that’s exactly what I did. And I you know, I’m watching where it goes I just start kicking my ass off. And I didn’t think I was gonna make it because I was probably I don’t know how deep I was but I was deep and I ended up just pulling my life fast. You know wasn’t really inflating at that point, I start kicking kick and kick in and then I just start seeing like this light shrink and shrink and shrink and shrink and and then I blacked out at some point but at that point, I think my my vest had enough air to float on the surface because next thing you know, I could all sudden I’m coming to and I can feel this coldness on my face. And I made it to the surface. But I’m like I I come up and I’m looking at the sub that’s like way fucking down there. And we ended up losing I think three boats, a bunch of weapons, calm gear, all washed off the boat. Which was kind of fucking crazy because it was it was literally the most perfect day you could ever imagine. And we just one wave came out of fucking nowhere.

Michael Sarraille 46:52

And that is the ocean for you. She will always always win. Yeah, some crazy days and see.

Alex Kunz 47:01

Yeah, that’s and that’s like for me, like you know, I have I literally have no muscle. And so of course you know the teams you don’t tell I was just deployed and I’m like, you know, I’m not fucking tell anybody but it’s the muscle that connects my shoulder to my actual pectoral muscle. And so what it did is it balled up in my pack, and I just didn’t fucking tell anybody and, and, and so that did me kind of in now because I can’t get it repaired, right, the muscle just it retracted and it just dissolved and went away. But I have no muscle in front of the shoulder. So I can’t lift a lot of weight vertically. But I had a lot of joint pain because of that. Lot of impingement, my fingers would go up and back, my lower back was always fucked up my knees. And I’ve been taking this product now for going on seven years. And I feel like I’m a new man. Don’t have any joint pain. I’m actually lifting. I can’t lift a ton of weight. But you gotta remember I went from not being able to lift a five pound dumbbell with my right shoulder now I can push press 165 pounds. Yeah. So I don’t know what changed. But something changed. Right?

Michael Sarraille 48:08

Yeah. It’s amazing to hear the stories where people forgo surgery. Yeah. And then they just sort of I guess adapt around it evolve around it that’s Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of their stories but the the triple seven man let loose talk about that a little bit. Cuz you were almost immediately and like it wasn’t we didn’t really have to convince you to like get we’re in any speak with the CEO. See, I don’t know if I’ve told you. We were about to support six soft guys, three seals. Some of you may know. They’re gonna row drinks passage from the tip. Like, Hey, do you guys want to get on Team Eddie, Nick and I were like, no, but we’ll support you guys. Yeah, so six guys a little younger. Drake’s passage is the most treacherous stretch of sea. Over 20,000 sailors have been lost over 806 ships have been sunk in these guys are going to do it in the three. So there’s position for three rows. And then three guys sleep and the little compartments. So this is going to be insane. But they’re going to train here in Austin with John Welborne. I don’t know if you know John, no power athlete played in 10 years in the league, NFL, and then with with CrossFit until he started CrossFit football, which turned into power athlete. So he’s gonna be training those guys, but that’s insane. But what was attractive to you about triple seven was just the challenge of it.

Alex Kunz 49:32

Yeah, I think well, it’s it’s a challenge. It’s the, you know, it’s the team itself. Because, you know, I think that’s something that you never lose as a former veteran is that camaraderie, working with teammates, and you always you know, practical realities, you always gravitate to it. You know, it’s one thing I used to tell, you know, tell folks because, you know, we have a lot of problems with post combat stress guys getting out. And what I always tell people, the worst thing you can do is go on ice elation. And, and I did the wrong thing. So I ended up buying a house up in the fucking mountains away from civilization living in a home. And I people started telling me this I really started paying attention to like what I was doing, I was like, you know, fuck, I got a gun in my car, I’ve got one in fucking drawers throughout my house, I got one under my fucking pillow. Every time I sit down to watch TV, I’m flipping the blinds down because I don’t want somebody looking in my window. But it was very like I was perpetrating like this really bad behavior. And it’s because I just came from down range where I had 360 degree security around me, I was always wearing body armor always had a gun. And now I’m being put in this environment. And I remember thinking all the time, you know, there could be a fucking sniper out there. It’s going to shoot me from the house. You could call that overly hyper, hyper vigilant. Yeah, it’s weird. And so I finally said, You know what I I’m like, You know what, I fucking tore down all my shades when I’m like, There’s no goddamn sniper out there and there never will be a fucking outside my window. So I started, you know, and what I realized is that I needed to get back into that camaraderie I needed to, to hang out and be with, whether it’s art. I mean, my preference was obviously guys in our community. But at the very least, it was about just getting back into society and being part of society. The isolation is what’s going to kill you.

Michael Sarraille 51:20

And you’re getting back into skydiving, as well. Did you end up ordering a rig?

Alex Kunz 51:24

I don’t know. Not yet. Because there I guess 10 to 12 month. It’s

Michael Sarraille 51:28

what? You already have a parachute. Yes, we had the frog fuel to 10 which I think Fred was Jabin

Alex Kunz 51:34

Yeah, so I’m gonna see if I can talk to Fred about leasing water just using a rig

Michael Sarraille 51:39

the that industry is so behind right now. I know. The best route is Fred or guys like Nick.

Alex Kunz 51:45

Yeah. And it’s everywhere. It’s not just through him. I mean, I went down to Spaceland and they’re saying even to just get a suit is 10 to 12 months. Yeah. Crazy. So I don’t know what’s going on. I mean,

Michael Sarraille 51:57

supply chain? In. There’s only a few major manufacturers in the space. And they’re all competing for the same sources, but no, it is. It’s yeah, so I just found out today that my 260 We I got to 260 with D rings. So you can jump rock rucksacks and a rifle to 60 for the audience is a little larger, but that’s complete. So we just got to get a parachute. Now can’t be for the 260. But everything is complete. The containers are the hardest problem. Yeah, that’s the containers in cyberspace. So you’re gonna jump at 260. With what? I’ll jump to 60 when we’re in the mountains, or high altitude, or jumping into a hunting trip. So we’re, this is what we’re gearing up to. And I don’t want to, you know, right now, I know we’re gonna make this happen with Adam Roach, who will bet 12 years in the MLB now doing, you know, human trafficking, he got deputized, and then also as a Task Force officer in Kansas, but we’re going to try to do extreme a hunting, jump into a hunt on his ranch. And he myself, Nick, probably tanaman and Adam, maybe a friend. And then just, you know, it’s a proof of concept. Yeah. Cool. So yeah, but that’s where we want to go in and yeah, so I’ll leave it there. We got a few other things on the table. But no, without your support for triple seven, and a couple sponsors along the same lines, we would not have been able to do that. And I know you guys supplied us to the, to the hill with with plenty of protein. Or guys still hitting you up? Like, Hey, can I get

Alex Kunz 53:30

it? I haven’t actually heard anything from anybody in a while. The only person I talked to is actually Fred, it just seems like everybody went back to like isolation. So it’s kind of it’s kind of weird. It got real quiet. It.

Michael Sarraille 53:41

It did in we’ve actually talked about this in when you I mean, the guys were on cloud nine. You know, we of course the guys, there’s personalities. We didn’t all agree. But we were flying on the mission. And we got it done. And there was a sense of accomplishment. But then when guys went back, it was realization that you’ve lost that brotherhood again, in a sense. Yeah. And I think there was a little bit of depression, some guy shot me the other day, I feel a little off and like I feel the same way. And then in terms of sleep cycle, so we’re gonna have Chris Kristen, and Finn on from whoop, to die. Have you seen the data yet? Now. So we’re going to release the data. We’re at least at a Men’s Journal about how how long it took for guys to recover. But I’ll be honest, I still have not recovered onto a sleep cycle. I was off and then about a week and a half after I started falling asleep from 910 until about two in the morning, and then I just can’t go back to sleep. Wow. So it’s been a little rough.

Alex Kunz 54:34

Yeah, it probably didn’t help that you’re you guys were flying commercial to coach.

Michael Sarraille 54:41

Yeah, that was I’m not going to try to decipher this but we’ll we’ll have Kristen Kristen on as well as Finn, and they’ll explain it but this was pretty interesting data. Wow. From what she told me and you saw it I mean, go go down a little. Well, you gotta in order to get one nine. Yeah. No, that’s good. Just remember, we had a stage out of Antarctica. So guys got back on the baseline. Yeah. But you see, right when you hit Chile totally changes. Yeah. You see where we got sleep in Abu Dhabi? And how it sort of reset the guys because we did get about

Alex Kunz 55:12

but no REM sleep, just light sleep. No,

Michael Sarraille 55:14

that’s where very little, very little.

Alex Kunz 55:18

That’s interesting.

Michael Sarraille 55:18

Yeah. So we’ll we’ll publish that. What do you go forward with, with frog fuel and protein, you just stick with those core products, because they’re so essential.

Alex Kunz 55:28

No, we were gonna, we actually have a long laundry list of products we want to develop. But you know, it’s one of the things that, you know, so we have a good board of directors like Mike janky, and a few others on there. And, you know, I was always the type of guy that likes the new shiny object. And so for me, I always got distracted, he’s like, I want to do the next thing do the next product. But what I realized over time is that all these things were a distraction. And what I needed to do is keep my circle about an inch wide, but go about a mile deep. And so it was about three years, three years ago, I just got the team together and said, Listen, we need we’re going to discontinue these two products, because they don’t align with our core products. Right now. It’s a whole different type of marketing, it’s a different audience. And I said, let’s just pull everything in. And let’s just focus on one aspect of the market. And since we’ve done that, I mean, we our growth has been tremendous. And it you know, is something that Mike, Mike heads, Mike janky, you know, because I’ve been friends with a long time. And I saw that same thing with him where, you know, he had the focus and started sock, and then he started doing all these other things. But what I noticed is, all these other little things he was doing, they were all failing, and he was losing money. And so what he ended up doing is he just like, You know what, I’m just going to run this one company until I make my hundreds of millions of dollars, and then I’ll do something else. And and he did and he’s he’s he’s been crushing it. So it really told me, it’s the same thing one could argue you’re just running one company I am. But you know, for every product you create, it’s a different audience that you’re trying to sell it to. It’s you’re now you’re pulling resources from marketing, you’re pulling resources from your sales team. And so you know, since we’ve had market focus, our average growth rates been about 120% year over year as as compared to about 25 30%. So it’s a huge change, massive change. And now what I feel like is, you know, once we get to be a major brand, like a Red Bull, in Word, all the Walmarts. So then line extensions are fine, because I already have shelf space, and there’s already brand awareness, because it’s still going to be frog fuel, we’re still going to be pretty gold. But people at that point are going to know it’s a trusted brand and be willing to try their products. And I don’t really have to try so hard to market the additional products.

Michael Sarraille 57:42

So I think that’s that is a valuable lesson for the audience. And I don’t want to say that I’m able to speak from this position, given how much should I have on my plate, but say that again, inch wide and a mile deep and a mile deep. Which is to say, become so freakin good at one thing, and I know there’s a great book, The Power of One become so good at one thing. Yeah, become the subject matter expert. Or if you want to look at it as a bull’s eye. Yeah, it’s company, fill that bull’s eye up to the brim until you move on your core product, your core service, before you ever move on to anything else.

Alex Kunz 58:20

Yeah. And I think it’s a lot like you know, it does directly translate from the teams to you, because you don’t want to wait to look, the teams is where Jack of all trades, master of none. But but that’s perception because you get good at all these little things. But the second you get that mission profile, you’re rehearsing and rehearsing, rehearsing and rehearsing, until you figure it out every other What if and every other contingency so that way, when you go on that, by the time you get all that off your fucking expert, right? You’ve you’ve had all that focused to complete that one mission. And then you move on to the next you do the same thing over and over and over again. And I think that’s how kind of the team’s relates to businesses. We have the versatility to do a lot of things. But we do have to focus on that one mission to make sure that we’re successful with it. Yeah.

Michael Sarraille 59:05

So another way I took that was as a whole jack of all trades, master of none, is we’re never the best in the world or anything. Interesting thing for the again, the listeners is the best snipers in the world are not military snipers. They’re civilians. And I remember going to McMillan sniper School in Phoenix, where it was like four seals. I brought the guys three others, and then all these police snipers, and they’ve wiped the table with us. Why? Because they had a mandate to fire something like 100 rounds per month. Yeah. Where you and I were you sniper. Yeah. Where we would become really good within two weeks of training, and then we wouldn’t touch the gun for another three months. But we did have people that were experts within certain fields which had this beauty I think, you know, we call it dynamic subordination if you’re the Breacher. When we have a breaching scenario, regardless of rank, right, we’re all falling Alex If I could be the Strikeforce commander of the troop commander, you’re like, get the fuck out of the way go hold security over there. And what do I do? I go hold security and there because you’re in charge at this moment, there was a beauty to that. But yeah, I do remember getting tasked with missions that we’re just, we’re not our subject matter expertise, but we have just rehearse for six months, absolutely. And then get the skills to great after one month, you’re not doing it anymore.

Alex Kunz 1:00:23

Yeah. And I feel like you know, really, the versatility in a company is that we have the versatility that we know enough about each of the different department capabilities like finance, accounts payable, accounts receivable, marketing and stuff like that, that we know enough to know how to run those departments and how to structure them. But by no means am I going to be the person getting into that system doing the fucking bookkeeping, because I don’t know how to do it. But if I didn’t want to do it, then I would focus on that one specific skill set and learn it and be good at it, and then move on to the next. So you know, for me, you know, having somebody like Mike as a mentor, and Daniel and a few others, I mean, I got to see it, you know, because I always have this vision, which you don’t think of, is like, these guys have hundreds of millions of dollars, and you see him doing all this shit. And you’re like, I can fucking do that, too. So I remember the first thing I did is I drew out this structure of a holding company and all these entities. So the funny thing is, when I started the clothing company, I had also started frog fuel. I was also working with a group that we were actually doing diamond mining and Africa. And so we’re importing diamonds. And yeah, I mean, all of them could have been fucking lucrative. But what I realized is, every one of those things I was doing was distracting me from something else. And I had to take resource time. And that’s when I, you know, went to the clothing company, my brother and sister said, Listen, I’m done. I, you know, you guys are doing a great job with it, you take it, the guys for the diamond thing, I’m like, Listen, you know, this is really a distraction here, we got to do all the security, I got to fucking hire people. And then I, you know, everybody’s trying to rip me off. And I just don’t want to fucking deal with it. So shut that down. And I just, you know, for me, I just frog fuel oil all and burn the boats. It’s a hard decision, man. Because, like a diamond thing. I mean, we would have made about like, for per transaction, about $3 million, a transaction doing about 30 transactions a year, made a shit ton of money, but you don’t realize is all the work and effort because everybody’s trying to fucking rip you off. Everybody’s trying to steal from you, you got to have these huge security details. And you got to go through all these regulatory approval process. And it just to me, it just wasn’t it wasn’t worth it.

Michael Sarraille 1:02:27

That’s that’s the for will that’s the cost of doing business overseas, is you know, you have your expense sheet and one of the line line items would literally be used, some people would call it fudge, like 50,000 for bribes and everything else. It’s just it’s the way it works over there. Especially when I started getting to the maritime industry. on the military side. I learned that is a racket, as well, everyone’s trying to rip you off by just jacking the price up on diesel or whatever, Mo gas, whatever it is, but in I think it’s worth mentioning. So my Genki former Navy SEAL, and that’s what I love about you guys both enlisted, both, you know, created and ran highly successful companies. And he goes to show the caliber of the guys people are like, Oh, well, you know, was he an officer? I’m like, No, it wasn’t. And trust me in our community. That doesn’t fucking matter. Yeah, I remember when I was a StrikeForce commander or true commander, you know, really 25 core guys. I had a bachelor’s degree. And like five of them or six of them had master’s degrees. Yeah. And what was even more amazing is we get back from a target at like 6am. And we debrief for an hour, and the guys would go knock out three hours of their masters online. I’m like, I don’t know how they can do it. It took everything in my power just to be good at my job without adding one more thing to the plate. But as well as Daniel, I always screw up the last one wine and who was the founder of Shopify? Yeah. Is what on your board as well to two heavy hitters. But for those that didn’t know, when we did triple seven, there’s a reason we went coach. We didn’t want a private plane. Everyone’s like, oh, just get a private plane. We’re like, no, no, we don’t want to do that. This isn’t you know, this isn’t a luxurious trip. We don’t want it to be a luxurious trip and the optics on that would look awful. And even when I told guys we’re gonna fly commercial, I think it was glad he’s like, Well, okay, so we’re flying first class. I’m like, No, dude. We’re flying. We’re flying economy to keep costs as low as possible so that every dollar we can we make can go to Folds of Honor for scholarships. But when we ran into or landed flying from Santiago to Miami, an hour and a half before we landed in Miami, the no tam system went down I’m forgetting what Davis is asked to be I think January 11. Or something. First time the no Tampa system has gone down since 911. And so when we land and there’s no no

Alex Kunz 1:04:44

airplanes taken off, that’s just all flights.

Michael Sarraille 1:04:47

All flights grounded. And so when we land we turn on our phones. You know, the boop boop starts popping up from American Airlines. Your flights are canceled, and we still have to knock out that jump in Miami. I Actually Scott I’ve Clewiston and we started, we came together and this is what I love about the group too is like, Okay, this is problems that no one’s losing their cool about it. What do we do? guys throw out some, some some ideas and it was Glenn Cowen the Canadian said, let me make some phone calls. And he called my Genki. He called Daniel and said, Hey, we need some help. Yeah. And so we got in, we flew private for one leg to stay on mission. And to get Americans by Jackie and Daniel, we made that happen. Yeah, with a G five. And so we owe them big time. And we’ll make sure we make it up to him. But Alex, I can’t thank you enough for for going on what I would say, because you’re not a sponsor of this podcast, in your response, or triple seven is for the audience. Here’s my challenge. I took two a day, I don’t know what your recommendation is. But Tuesday, yeah, fitting gram, once plus one of these. So actually, that’s close to 340 grams of protein through frog fuel. Do it for 30 days, and I guarantee you’ll see a difference in your joints. And that’s just my unofficial challenge for you guys. If I’m wrong, send out and I know say you’re full of shit, I’m fine with that. But it did for me from a guy who has a lot of injuries. But Alex, the way we we end this man is usually with with two questions. First off, you’ve met with a lot of success. I know there’s a lot of failure along the way. But what are maybe those three rules, those ground rules, those tenants, whatever you want to call them, that you follow in life, that have statistically lead to good outcomes.

Alex Kunz 1:06:40

Yeah, so one of my core beliefs is be a leader. And what I mean by that, specifically, is what you what you expect of others, you have to be willing to do yourself. So don’t expect others to do something you yourself can’t do. And I think that applies for everything from company to your children. I mean, I always laugh when, you know, I like I used to go to this climbing wall. And I see these parents yelling at their kid to go climb this climbing wall, and they’re getting mad at their children. And I’m looking at him going like, once you get your dumb ass up that wall and get prove your child you can? Because, yeah, and so you know, you know, the true definition of leadership is important. You know, perseverance absolutely is important for me qualify that. Yeah. Because not not, it’s not always going to work out how you expect it to when you expect it to. And perseverance is is your willingness to push beyond those obstacles to accomplish a goal. And that’s, you know, I think that’s very important. And then the other thing I found to be very important for me, I don’t know if there’s one word to say, but that you have this natural instinct that when you know, you have to do something, you have to do it. Good. And this happens all the time. This used to happen all the time, where I’m like, I gotta get that thing fucking done. And then I don’t do it. And I, I’m like, Oh, I got this whole other list of things to do. But then I realized that was the one thing I would needed to get done. And I had to get done. And so now it’s I regardless of what I have on my plate, I trust my intuition. If something is telling me, I gotta get that done, I don’t waste time I fucking drop everything else I’m doing and I get that one thing done.

Michael Sarraille 1:08:15

You know, I heard a quote from Elon Musk, which I liked. And I think it was about an entrepreneurship. In this is what I think he was trying to convey as entrepreneurship is like, staring down the abyss or chewing glass. And when he qualified it or quantified it as is a entrepreneur gets the things done that need to get done, not the things that they traditionally like to do are represented. I talked about this in the book, the everyday warriors, we call this and it sounds like what you’re describing is self accountability and self discipline. Yeah, we call it get shit done. Get the things done that you need to get done that you’ve been tasked with, make things happen. Yeah, don’t wait or be passive for things to come to you go to the you know, as we say, run to the sound of guns, identify problems, or seize initiatives on behalf of yourself, your organization, and they do it all again tomorrow. It never stops. And for a CEO, and I always hear I always hear CEO says, if we can just get to, you know, like 5 million EBITA. We can coast. I might. Yeah, let me know how coasting does for you. And organization. Once you get there. I have no doubt you can get there. And you let a pedal? Yeah, that’s what at the end of the day, man when’s all all said and done? Let’s say 30 years from now, 40 years from now? What do you want your legacy to be? And how what are you doing to secure that?

Alex Kunz 1:09:33

You know, that’s a that’s a great question. Because I had actually thought a lot about that throughout the years. And it I’ll put it into context. So you know, once I joined that made it into teams, I realized that I could have anything I wanted in life as long as I focused on it. But what I said at that time is because I didn’t really have a lot of nice stuff. So I remember saying one day I’m going to buy a GT you know, sports cars like $100 car and then I remember four years went by and I fucking bought it and then next next time I knew, hey, I, at some point, I want to buy that $100,000 Ducati motorcycle, and I fucking ended up buying it. But what I realized is that I wasn’t really creating a lasting legacy, I was just buying, you know, putting value on monetary things, and I was getting them. And I’m, like I said, you know, what’s weird about is I’ll just keep continuing down this path and getting things I want, and that none of these things are going to add any value to my life. And so what I realized, for me, my life, what my legacy was, was not about me, it’s about helping others be successful. So what, what, how I want to be remembered is that is when I’m in a fucking casket, or whatever, are burned or depending on how I die, I guess or end up on side of a fucking mountain. That’s,

Michael Sarraille 1:10:44

that’s not a bad way to go. Absolutely. Yeah. I

Alex Kunz 1:10:46

mean, I always told people you know, if I’ve got terminal cancer, I’m not going to fucking sit in a bed and die. I’m gonna go climb up Mount Everest with a bottle of water and take off my fucking clothes and pour the water myself and freeze myself up there, and just stay there. But, you know, legacy to me is that, you know, is if if I’m dead and people are in the room, it’s I would love for it to be that the people in the room are like, this motherfucker helped me accomplish my goals. That to me is a legacy.

Michael Sarraille 1:11:12

That you’ve I know, you focus, you can’t help everyone you focused predominantly on helping a lot of team guys. Yeah. And I know, that’s been your focus, and you helped us

Alex Kunz 1:11:22

to me, it’s paid for it, right? Because you help that one guy, he helps another it’s that person’s always going to remember you for for being the one that helped them. And it’s like, you know, all these times people told me, you know, business friends, like, why aren’t you charging for fucking consulting? You know, you’re helping this person in their company. I’m like, why? I mean, why I said, but because ultimately, if he’s successful, I’m successful. That’s what you don’t realize. I don’t need anything. It’ll pay you tenfold. Yeah, tenfold. And so I always do that. I mean, occasionally, yeah, you’re right. I gotta keep my circle small because I still have to focus on what I’m doing. I’m I’ll do inch wide. MALDI. But yeah, I’m on the like, technically, do I advise like three or four companies? Yeah, I’m advising three or four right now that are startups, a consumer goods company, to tech companies, and just trying to help them like, you know, do well with their business, how to scale how to raise money, how to structure your company. I’m not asking for any money to do that. You know, but at the end of the day, these guys turn out to be billionaires, and I’m happy with it.

Michael Sarraille 1:12:17

Yeah. You mentioned something down the side of the mountain, there was a TF 160s pilot, who just passed away climbing. I’m forgetting what mountain in South America, OSHA but I wouldn’t say late 60s and saw an email chain because he was an ambassador for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which is a good foundation. Yeah, provide scholarships to the kids of the fallen. People like hey, my condolences. This this is tragic. And again, it is tragic. And my response to the group was I’m like, I’m like, Hey, don’t don’t get me wrong, but this is fucking awesome. Yeah, I said, he is blessed. Yeah, to go out in that manner. I can only wish at you, you know, hopefully a little beyond. But I go out, I go out on the side of a mountain, on some expedition. Surrounded by my brothers and my family. There’s no greater way he was still pushing. He was trying to conquer the mountain. The mountain just conquered them on this one. Yeah, but that’s a good way.

Alex Kunz 1:13:15

I mean, good outlook on life is live life to its fullest. Because if you know if you you know, people talk about dying and not being afraid of dying and it’s my firm belief, adamant belief that if you’re not living life to the fullest, then you’re going to be afraid of dying because you’re going to have there’s going to be a lot of guilt and animosity at the things you could have done and you didn’t do. So the point is, do what you want to do. And at the end of the day, you know, when I fucking die, I don’t want people feeling sorry for me, I want them to know that I live life to its maximum capacity. And that means helping everybody I can but also being the best person I can very Yes,

Michael Sarraille 1:13:51

absolutely. Well, Alex, strong words, be a leader, perseverance, self discipline and accountability, get the things done that you need to get done, and then ultimately, a legacy of helping others to achieve success. Hey, brother, thanks for coming on. Where can people find you at Frog fuel? Frog fuel.com or LinkedIn usually is where your

Alex Kunz 1:14:09

your LinkedIn? Yeah, LinkedIn. I’m always up there on my own social media to god of Archangels is My call sign God with

Michael Sarraille 1:14:16

Archangels. Let’s get one. Well, guys, remember, we were trying to remind our audience pick up a copy of the everyday warrior, which is the basis of this very show in the Men’s Journal, everyday warrior Initiative, a new hack, practical approach to life. Again, this is not my autobiography. This is a collection of lessons I learned from watching some of the most amazing men and women who I consider warriors that I served alongside, and what I learned from them, not only from foundational building blocks, positive habits, as well as mindsets, again in 50% of the proceeds are split between Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and Folds of Honor, because I’m basically taking the lessons of the fall and putting it into a book so that is my way of paying it forward. You can find that on Amazon. The audio book comes out on March 21. It has about 30 minutes of exclusive content where I go off script and give you a little more context at the book doesn’t give so please check it out and support these two communities with your purchase of the book. Alright, this is Mike Sarraille, host of the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast. Until next time, be good.

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