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347 Bouncing Back: Facing and Conquering Life’s Toughest Challenges with Combat Veteran Travis Mills

Wednesday 10th July 2024
FYD EPISODE 347 Travis Mills

We all encounter radical challenges, and we face big choices about how we approach life in the most challenging moments and learn to survive in – maybe even thrive. Today, we are joined by a combat veteran, retired US Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, as he shares his challenges and the choices he has made to get to where he is today.

Travis Mills is a serial entrepreneur, the driving force behind the Travis Mills Foundation, and the author of Bounce Back: A playbook for facing life’s toughest challenges with grace and gusto.

Make sure you listen all the way to the end. You don’t want to miss any of Travis’s unrelenting spirit, wisdom and humor.

You’re listening to Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different. We are the real dialogue podcast for people with a different mind. So get your mind in a different place, and hey ho, let’s go.

Travis Mills on his Military Service and Experience

Christopher starts off the conversation by inquiring about Travis’s motivation for joining the military.

Travis recounts feeling directionless after college, and was prompted by family advice to choose a military path for personal growth and benefits. Fascinated by infantry roles, Travis enlisted for a signing bonus.

He breezed through basic training due to his athletic prowess and later engaged in military ground fighting tactics, drawing on his childhood interest in karate. Despite his combat skills, Travis values self-control and notes the discipline instilled by martial arts.

Travis Mills on Mental Toughness

Travis reflects on being featured on a magazine cover for his mental toughness rather than physical appearance. He also appreciates the recognition for his foundation work. Christopher acknowledges the disparity between modeling and true toughness.

Travis also shares instances where he had to assert himself, highlighting his ability to de-escalate conflicts but also assert authority when needed. He explains how his military background balances his jovial persona, noting people’s tendency to underestimate him. He emphasizes the importance of professionalism and corrective measures in his businesses, showcasing his leadership style derived from his military experience.

From Military to Entrepreneurship

Christopher admires Travis’s entrepreneurship and proposes introducing him to Iron Mike Stedman, a fellow Marine and entrepreneur. Stedman’s mission involves helping inner-city kids through boxing and assisting veteran entrepreneurs with their businesses.

Travis expresses his belief in pursuing dreams and betting on oneself, citing personal experiences in entrepreneurship. Despite facing challenges, Travis advocates for seizing opportunities and embracing failure as a motivator. He shares his ventures in house flipping and marina ownership, emphasizing the importance of surrounding oneself with supportive people and taking calculated risks.

Travis’s resilience and clarity of purpose derived from his military background inform his entrepreneurial journey.

To hear more from Travis Mills and his journey and challenges from being in the military to being an entrepreneur, download and listen to this episode.


Born and raised in Vassar, Michigan, United States Army Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne is a recalibrated veteran, motivational speaker, actor, author and an advocate for veterans and amputees. In addition to being the founder of the Travis Mills Foundation, Travis also serves as the President of the Board of Directors.

Travis has achieved his vision for the Foundation by bringing together a talented array of experts who masterfully accomplish the Foundation’s mission. Per Travis’s lead, the team at the Foundation are not only respected colleagues, they are family.


Connect with Travis Mills!

Travis Mills Foundation | Instagram

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Christopher Lochhead: Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast / Spotify!