Justin C. Pearson is the SPN member of the week for so many reasons it has been hard for me to narrow them down here. The man went right into the Army as soon as he legally could and spent over 20 years honorably serving the United States.
He also spent time in combat having been through things no one should have to even think about. Justin lost loved ones and has first-hand knowledge of what the “horror of war” really means.
Mike O’Connor told me to connect with Justin a short time ago so I could get to know one of the original SPN on LinkedIn group members. I was told that Justin was a helper with a big heart that been in SPN for a few years now. Having the opportunity to speak with Justin gave me first-hand knowledge of how big of an understatement that really was.
It didn’t take long for me to notice that Justin has a really strong moral compass and drive to both help people and succeed. There aren’t many of us that strive to make an impact like Justin strives every single day.
Interviewing and getting to know a bit about Justin has been a true honor and joy. It’s also an honor to help give him a platform to tell a small piece of his story.
Justin C. Pearson – Born to lead
It’s not hard for anyone that takes time to hear the story to know that Justin C. Pearson was born to lead. Check out Justin’s LinkedIn profile, so you can see his military history and background in greater detail.
Craig Wasilchak: I usually ask people about their social media “why” here, but I was hoping you could share your personal history instead. I think telling the story of your youth will also explain your “why” clearly enough.
It sure made an impact on me so I think it would be a disservice to the readers not to ask. Would you mind sharing a bit about what made you enlist so young prior to 9-11?
Justin C. Pearson: As a kid, my dad would talk about how he wanted me to live the American dream. He wanted his kids to have a better life than he did.
Living the American dream is turning out to be much different than he made it sound.
My father passed when I was 12 so I grew up in mobile homes and trailer parks.
Waiting for the next batch of food stamps to come in the mail was always a weekly occurrence.
Collecting pop cans became my hobby so I could add up all the nickels to help pay for past due bills.
My mother tried to commit suicide a few years after my father passed because she couldn’t handle life.
At 14, I began working every job I could in order to provide for a dead broke family.
At 18, I left out for the Army to force myself to become someone. As a kid, I knew that life had more to offer than life in the trailer park. I could go serve my country and get a chance at a different life or I could stay in that trailer park without much hope.
My family had major resentment due to my joining the Army and the feeling of abandonment. This led me to only return home to Montana a total of four times in over twenty years of service.
In the army, I was able to learn structure and build a solid foundation of skills and tools that help me every day of my life.
My dedication was to serving the military and only the military. The Army became my new family.
I went to the darkest place on earth, Afghanistan, in a time of war not long after September 11th, 2001.
My new family and I went off to battle the enemy. In a lot of ways, we are still battling them now because the memories never go away.
We all lost friends, battle buddies, and family members in combat.
We saw things that will forever change us.
Nothing prepares someone for the worse that war has to offer.
The only good war has given me is a new love for life and different perspective on things.
I’m truly lucky to be alive and I’m also very much aware of the reason why I made it this far.
I’ve been in some of the most dangerous situations one could ever imagine.
The only reason why I’m giving this interview is due to the sacrifice of others. My family is why I made it. Without the team, there would be no me right now. Now, I also owe it to those that didn’t make it. I need to be someone that makes their sacrifice worth something.
One doesn’t need to go to off war to know we are all fighting our own battles. I don’t want anyone to go through what I’ve been through. Like my dad, I want a better life for my kids. Perhaps being a little more greedy, I strive to provide a better life for as many people as possible.
I’ve been a big supporter of SPN since day one due to the Golden Rule. Living your life with a sense of purpose and treating everyone the way you would want someone to treat you sounds about as close to the American ideal as one can get. We all owe it to our family members that did pay the ultimate price to strive as hard as we can to see it becomes more than some set of ideas on an old piece of paper.
I’ve seen real men and women of honor with integrity and discipline that has no equal die defending that promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The opportunity to be a leader in the Army is one that I’ll cherish forever. It’s also one that taught me any adversity or obstacle can be overcome with teamwork and the right mindset. With a strong mind, you can rise up, move forward and overcome any adversity you may be facing.
We all at one point in time or another need someone to help us readjust our perspective or mindset. Nearly twenty years of recruiting for the Army made me realize how much I like people. The hardships that I’ve been through with some of those recruits made me realize how much I like to help people too. I don’t like seeing people struggle.
Justin C. Pearson- The lighter side
Craig Wasilchak: What is your fun or unique unknown gift, skill, or talent that you can share with everyone?
Justin C. Pearson: I’m a little crazy on the Ping Pong Table. Most people are a little surprised at my Ping Pong skills. I obviously love to shoot firearms too. A lot of time was spent honing both of those skills. Marketing is also an area where I tend to shine due to my upbringing and need to hustle as a kid. My youth taught me how to find the value in things. It also taught me how to show the value in the worse things life has to offer.
Craig Wasilchak: I guess describing a product or positioning service offerings in a certain light is a little easier than recruiting people to go off to war.
Justin C. Pearson: Yea, it’s a little bit easier. LOL!
Craig Wasilchak: What good causes or charity organizations are you trying to help?
Justin C. Pearson: Over the past 3 years I’ve had over 2,000 mentorship calls with veterans, military spouses, and professionals to aid them in the success they’re trying to achieve in their lives. Seeing people thrive in life and knowing I was part of their journey provides a great sense of accomplishment. However, I find myself with a wife and kids now, so it’s also time to move onto a new challenge that will help my entire family live a more complete life.
Craig Wasilchak: I certainly understand the need to balance your career needs and goals with the needs and goals of your new family. What type of role are you looking for?
Justin C. Pearson: I’m looking to continue my growth with a company where I have an integral part of moving the organization forward, scaling, and accelerating growth. The ideal position is a senior role within operations, marketing, brand strategy, communications or sales. My work and Army experience really help me fit into any of those roles. I’m willing to relocate if it’s a win-win scenario. I just exited my last role last week to explore options, so the timing of this interview is great. Any help anyone in SPN can provide in helping me find a win-win employment opportunity would be greatly appreciated.
Craig Wasilchak: You certainly have the credentials to warrant further investigation from anyone looking to fill those type of positions. I hope this interview helps open some doors for you. After, the help you have given so many people it sure would also make for a great story.
Top Social Media Friends
Craig Wasilchak: Who are the TOP 6 Social Media friends that have helped you grow the most on social media?
Chaunte Myers is a true catalyst in making a difference in the military space and supporting the echoing of those she believes in.
Natalie Olivero always goes above and beyond in supporting my efforts.
Judi Fox provides a great outside perspective on how to enhance my brand based on the individual I am.
Mike O’Connor has been an ear for me for nearly 3 years and supports me every step of the way.
Carin Sendra is a huge supporter and advocate for our military families.
Manny Atencio is a great mentor, leader, and friend.
Justin C. Pearson – the personal side
Craig Wasilchak: What is one piece of wisdom that you received, that changed your life forever?
Justin C. Pearson: If you do good unto others people will do good unto you.
Craig Wasilchak: How do you find inspiration?
Justin C. Pearson: I find my inspiration every day in the success stories of those that I’ve been able to help. I love the feeling of seeing someone turn things around especially if I have a hand it.
Craig Wasilchak: What would you say to the 12-year-old version of yourself knowing what you now know?
Justin C. Pearson: Save your money and invest: because you’ll need it later on in life. Don’t ever let your guard down because people will take advantage of you in times of weakness. It’s at your weakest moments you see both the best and worse in people.
Craig Wasilchak: That is pretty great advice all the way around. It’s been a pleasure for me to get to know more about. Sincerely thank you for your servant’s heart and sharing your story with us here today. I’m pretty sure you’ll be helping a new company grow here soon.