From Marine to Firearms Instructor: A Story of Dedication with Daniel Shaw of Team Whimsy

About This Episode

In today’s episode of Tactical Business, host Wade Skalsky sits down with Daniel Shaw, Firearms writer to discuss , firearms expert Daniel shares his journey of becoming an expert in firearms parts. He discusses the importance of deep knowledge, practical testing, and staying updated with the latest advancements. Get inspired by his story and gain valuable insights into the world of firearms parts.

Insights In This Episode

  • How can testing and experimentation help us improve firearms parts and practices?
  • Learning beyond the basic training is essential to teach accurate and proven information.
  • Regularly updating knowledge about outdated firearms parts and practices is crucial.
  • Maintaining humility while promoting oneself and one’s expertise is essential.
  • The ability to analyze and critique firearms and their parts is a valuable skill.
  • And SO much more!

About Tactical Business

Tactical Business is the weekly business show for the firearms industry. The podcast features in-depth interviews with the entrepreneurs, professionals and technologists who are enabling the next generation of firearms businesses to innovate and grow.

Episode Transcript

Wade: Welcome to the Tactical Business Show. I’m your host, Virginia Beach based firearms entrepreneur and copywriter Wade Skalsky. Each episode will be exploring what it takes to thrive as a business owner in the firearms industry. We’ll speak with successful firearms industry entrepreneurs about their experiences building their companies, leaders and legislators who are shaping the industry, and tech executives whose innovations will reshape the future of the firearms industry. Let’s get after it. Welcome to the Tactical Business podcast today, and our guest is Daniel Shaw, veteran entrepreneur and firearms influencer. Daniel, how are you doing today, sir?

Daniel: I’m doing good. Thanks for having me on here.

Wade: Absolutely. I’m so excited to talk to you. You have such an interesting story. And every time I hear it, I pick up little pieces that that I just am amazed by kind of this Forrest Gump Ian life that you’ve got going on right now, which I like. So let’s start with let’s start with Little did I stun you? Did I send you in a silence for the forest?

Daniel: For the Forest Gump Ian life? I don’t know about that. But sure.

Wade: To a normal person like me who was never in the military, I love hearing all those stories. So why don’t we start there? Why don’t we start with a little bit about how did you get into the military? Why did you enlist? And a little bit about your experience there?

Daniel: Yeah, I haven’t told that story in a long time about how I joined the military. Nobody cares about that anymore. But the Or at least till now. I mean, when I was a kid, I just wanted to. I wanted to run and climb trees and, like, play cops and robbers and, like, cowboys and Indians and do all the things that I saw on TV. And I had kind of a strict upbringing. And and so I was allowed to, to read some like, military type books, which they had like a Christian leaning. And it was pretty cool. The at the time I hated that. I wanted to get a little bit more depth and everything, but it was probably a pretty decent policy. There’s some not great stuff out there sometimes, but me and my neighborhood friends from the things that I was into and reading about and the things that I was learning and I would go to the I couldn’t really afford like to go take martial arts, but like I’d go to the library and I’d get like a book on judo or jiu jitsu or like whatever was out there. And there’s a lot of stuff now. But, you know, in like the 80s, there wasn’t quite as much cool stuff out there. It wasn’t that popular. And but I would read these things and try them out on my friends in the neighborhood. And we ended up like building this just group of people, of just friends, some guys and some girls that we would just all beat the crap out of each other all the time.

Daniel: We’d be in the woods like on a tree that fell down trying to knock each other off with sticks or beating each other off of trampoline, having a battle royale there on it. And we just kind of developed this like, self-created martial culture. And it was like four of us that went in different branches of the military from that group. And some of them took some not so productive routes as well in life. But that’s just kind of how I was growing up and I just got really into it and I played a lot of sports and I wanted to be tested and I wanted to see what I could do. And I’d read about these heroes and these people in the these books and these people that I heard of called Marines and didn’t know a whole lot about them. I was actually real dumb, weighed. When I went to the recruiter, I said, Hey, I want to be an air gunner in the infantry. I just thought it sounded cool being an air gunner. I knew it had to do with the machine gun, but I didn’t realize I was like the assistant automatic rifleman. Like, I don’t even get to shoot it. I’m just like, running ammo and, like, helping point out targets and stuff. But that’s what I said. I wanted to be. So like, they didn’t laugh at me. They signed me up and sent me to go be an infantryman. And then they decided later on what part of the infantry or what job specific I’d do in the infantry, but.

Wade: The part of the country. Did you grow up in.

Daniel: Was in Greensboro, North Carolina. Kind of the middle of North Carolina

Wade: Yeah. A lot of woods, A lot of woods. Get into trouble in out there.

Daniel: Yeah. We lived just outside of the city, kind of like in the I guess we call it. The county wouldn’t quite call it the country, but there was a lot of there’s a lot of plenty of woods out there to go hang out in.

Wade: So you’re you’re going to the Marines and you get to the Marines. You’re in there for a while. And then what started your journey from the entry point in the Marines and when you started to get into firearms instruction and your interest basically in teaching.

Daniel: Man, it was that’s I had just the luckiest or most fortunate career in the Marine Corps. I was made a dragon gunner and the dragon was obsolete. I went in in 97. It was obsolete then and they eventually replaced it with the javelin and the I got it because our weapon was obsolete. I got attached to this team for a new deployment. The Marines always have a force that’s out there in the Mediterranean, out in the Pacific. The Marine expeditionary units that are ready to go do our country’s work or defend our assets and our friends and allies forward deployed all the time. And they’re always out there ready to go. And it’s usually a battalion landing. What is a battalion landing team? Plus, like a whole air-ground task force and all kind of stuff. They can do a lot. They can bring a lot of combat power. And one of the things you have to do to be a MEU is try to be special. They’re not everyone gets qualified, but they usually do. It’s pretty rare that they don’t these days, but become what’s called special operations capable. So you can go handle rescuing hostages, taking down oil platforms, taking over ships. There’s other missions that fall under that as well. But my team did those things and so I was a security element team member.

Daniel: So what I did was provide security for the direct action, the super high speed guys who would go in and do it. And in doing that, man, I was 17 years old and I got to hang out around people who had been fighting wars that we didn’t even know existed. And just like the snake Eaters, the tip of the spear, guys that you didn’t even know, there was a spear and it was cool, the things that they had done in there. And but they were all what I notice about these guys who were really the elite of the Marine Corps were they were all super humble and they all wanted to learn. They were all hungry for more knowledge to be better the next time they were in a fight or the next time something happens. So I think I was just super fortunate to be put around them for like a year straight, and my job was to protect them until they got to a certain area and then and I would go into an enclosure with them and or into a crisis site with them and then help them inside. But almost like there I was like their helper. That was like nine of us who were qualified to go inside the crisis site.

Daniel: And we would just do whatever they told us to do. We’d have our specific jobs, but it was just awesome being 17 and learning under men like that and that really they were. You could tell they were set apart from the people that I usually worked with in the Marine Corps, and I wanted to be set apart like them. And so they would stand around and talk tactics or debrief a mission that we did for training or whatever it was. And I would never have anything to add because I was just a young 17 year old who didn’t know anything, just as green as you could be in the Marine Corps, but learning very rapidly, shooting tactics, thinking problem solving, all kind of communication, all kind of stuff. And I would just stand around and take notes. And then one day, many years later, after getting sent to Parris Island to teach guns and after helping train up a lot of personnel in an infantry battalion, I found that everywhere I went, there was a bunch of young guys standing around me taking notes, not really adding anything that I said, and they were believing and trusting in the knowledge and the information that I was giving them. And I realized that they were looking at me the way I looked at those other guys.

Daniel: And when I saw that and that was probably about five years from or four years from being on that team there, I realized, like, I’ve got to know this stuff. I’ve got to know it inside and out. I’ve got to be right about everything I’m saying because they are just trusting me so much. And since that’s the case. I really dove into it, not just regurgitating what I was taught at the Marine Corps level or what the publications were saying and what the latest and greatest was certified doctrine or whatever. I wanted to know what was outdated and what we really should be doing that we’re not testing. I wanted to test things and I wanted to prove things and make sure that I was teaching the right stuff, not just because I was told to teach it, but because it was right and it was proven. And so that led me way outside of the Marine Corps and learning new things. And the next thing you know, everywhere I go, they were having me teach guns and teach tactics and teach other things because of that enthusiasm that I developed from really from those guys. Early on in my first platoon sergeant and those first team members that I was with.

Wade: So you’re in the Marine Corps now. You’re teaching. Teaching firearms. Teaching tactics. What led you getting out of the Marine Corps? And then what did you do to take those skills into the private sector?

Daniel: Well, I started offering early retirement and I was like, I had just re-enlisted for my last war. They would have taken me to 20. So I retired at just a little over 16 years and they had been doing a podcast and it’s like 2006 back whenever you would have to tell people, Hey, it was an Internet radio show because nobody knew what podcast was. Now everybody and their grandmother has a podcast, but then everybody looked at your crazy when you told them that. So I was doing that. It’s called Gunfighter Cash and Go look it up. I think now it’s called the Mag Life podcast because we rebranded and a company now uses it. But it’s a I did that for a long time and because I was doing that, I had a big audience that was like, Hey, we want to go. We want to take a class with you. We want to train, we want to go hang out and can I host you for a class? So I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for work. So I ended up starting a business not knowing how to start a business, not knowing that I. I thought only really smart people who were like really good at business and had a lot of money started businesses. I had no idea that, like, they’ll let any of us idiots start businesses too. So I started a business and training business and man, I would be either gone every I’d gone every weekend teaching. And when I was at home, I was fixing a broke website, trying to figure out how to run a website and trying to figure out how to run a business and try to figure out how to make it make money.

Daniel: And I had almost I had like four classes away from finishing a bachelor’s degree in business management, but that was all worthless. I mean, it’s not worthless. It was some good things. It’s like Wikipedia. It’s a good place to start, but you know, you’re not going to cite it or anything. But the doing it is where I really learned a lot of things the hard way and and learned a lot of the questions I needed to be asking. And so I just started traveling around teaching and it just took off. And I eventually got somebody noticed and they were like, Hey, we need you to come out here and work with us. So I worked for an academy in Kansas for a little while and and that was I learned more about business there because I learned some another aspect of business. And I started learning sales because it was tied into a gun store and a range and everything else. So I learned more about policy and OSHA and all kind of other stuff that I didn’t think I would ever have to care about. It all suddenly mattered to me, so I kept learning stuff. What I really have learned along the way, if I zoomed all the way to right now, it’s like I learn what I like to do and what I don’t like to do. But I also learned that we can do pretty much anything if we’re willing to work for it and put in the time.

Wade: I know a lot of people that are probably coming out of the armed services that and veterans that may want to start a business. What are some of the mistakes that you made that maybe you can help them avoid? And then what are maybe some of the positive things that you can remember that you definitely like? Yeah, you should definitely do this. Can you think of anything kind of that might help someone that was that is coming out of the military and saying, okay, I do want to start some kind of training business or I do want to to do get into being an entrepreneur. What are some of the mistakes that you maybe made that you could help them avoid?

Daniel: Yeah. If I was telling some guys and I’ve told some guys recently that are coming up in like the firearms training world, they just got out of the military and and they’ve got just a tremendous amount of experience in the global war on terrorism. And they’re very articulate, very good teachers. They understand the material inside and out. They have a depth of knowledge that just greatly surpasses a lot of their peers that they have now and now say their peers are like the top level trainers that are out there and but they don’t realize that they’re also more humble than some of these top level. And I always encourage everybody, never lose that humility. But at the same time, we have to strike a balance. And this is what I struggle with the most. And I think a lot of the best teachers have a level of humility because they understand it. I’ve signed up for many classes. They went and took them. I’ve went in some classes and said I suddenly had a family emergency because I was like, I am not hanging out with this clown all day long for two days or anything. And I had to leave the class. And I’ve made an excuse. But one of the things that I value most as an instructor is their humility, because somebody who’s not humble, they often haven’t changed their curriculum in 20 years, ten years or five years because they’ve got it all figured out back then and they’re missing so much stuff and you can’t tell them anything.

Daniel: And I can usually pick apart what they’re saying and what they’re doing, especially when things get outdated because things do get outdated. The these guys like stay humble, keep that humility that you have even when you start getting a measure of success, keep that humility because that humility is the reason why you reach that measure of success. But at the same time, you cannot be afraid to self-promote. And this is one thing that I absolutely hate is self-promotion. I despise it. I want people to tell me, Hey, I’m going to have 20 people at a class at this date. We want to learn rifle and cool. I just show up. I don’t have to do any promotion. I have to do any of the marketing. I have to do any of that other stuff. I just want to go there and teach. And then when you’re in a class and you’re teaching, if that’s what you’re doing or if you’re if you have a job or if you’re going and getting that job that you want to do in sales or that job that you wanted in, when whatever it is, man, when you have the job, that’s the same as a student signing up for my class. When that job starts or that class starts, I don’t need to keep selling myself. I’ve already got hired. I’ve already collected their money. I don’t need to get to that position or make them like me more because I bash somebody else, man.

Daniel: Just don’t lose those things that you had in the military of being humble, being a servant leader, trying to bring everybody up around you, because that is going to make you the most valuable person in every organization and most people out there outside of the military. And I’d say most people because I’ve. Work with them. They don’t understand that bringing up everybody around you is the greatest superpower that an organization can have. In one of its employees. Instead, they’ll try to make themselves look better or do things to where they tear down the skyscrapers around them so they have the highest skyscraper, if you’re familiar with that analogy. And I just think whenever somebody comes in with that humility and that servant leadership, they stand apart. You know, I see it in people, in organizations. And as a leader of of organizations, I’ve been at the executive level and at the single business owner level, executive level, multi-million dollar organizations. It’s a powerful thing to have servant leadership and that humility and strength, there’s strength in that and people think it’s like weakness, but it’s the opposite, man. The meekness that you have, you don’t have meekness. I forgot exactly what Jordan Peterson said, but people aren’t meek. Weakness is weakness. Unless the person has strength. The idea is to be very strong and dangerous and have that under control. That’s the kind of people that are forces to be reckoned with out there.

Wade: Yeah, well, the Bible, a lot of people like to quote the verse, The meek shall inherit the earth. But the translation of meek in that means controlled strength. It’s not passive. It’s someone that has the ability to say, I have the strength to deal with the situation, but I’m not going to. Right. That’s the meekness is the controlled strength. And I’m paraphrasing that because I’m an amateur on the Bible, but I totally understand that concept. I think another thing, I’ve got.

Daniel: Something cool for you here. So like I was writing something on that recently, something I’m working on. The Greek word there is precious and for Meek, and there’s a couple of ancient writers out there. Xenophon, who wrote the very first book on horsemanship, which is pretty cool on training horses and also Aristotle. But Xenophon basically describes this as this precious, as horses have it when they’re well trained and they’ve been working hard together, they stand quieter together. Soldiers have this precious when they’ve been well drilled and they’re very tired and they’re more hungry because they’ve worked harder and they’re sweating because they wrote with this in one of his stories. So that Precious is a thing because of more well disciplined, well drilled soldiers. They’re better. They’re quiet. They get along better with each other then because they have there’s a direct correlation between an increased produce and and discipline and strength and and going through trials. And I think that’s pretty cool.

Wade: Yeah, that’s actually that’s really interesting. I’m definitely going to want to reach out after we talk and get some more information on that because I love I love that concept. I think it’s very misunderstood. Do you think part of the challenge for people that come out of the military and that they that they are humble and they don’t want to self-promote is also something where they may not want to ask for help sometimes so that if they’re going to start a business or if they’re going to do a project that they want to try to do everything themselves, instead of trying to say, Oh, you know what, I don’t really want to do sales, let me find somebody who’s good at sales. Let them do that, and then I’ll stay in my zone of genius. Do you find that people have a challenge doing that?

Daniel: Maybe. But yeah, and I don’t know if that’s just military specific. There’s I think a lot of people who have been in the military for four years, this is going to be hard to put my finger on. Explain properly, I see a lot more people that did a four year one enlistment maybe have that attitude more and like, hey, I did this, I got out and now I’m going to go do this and I don’t feel like I’m capable on something. They have a lower confidence or they feel like that I can’t ask anybody for help because they were at a lower rank where they were expected to perform constantly at a certain level and they were disciplined if they weren’t it. What I’m saying, they some of them have bad leadership at that four year level. They they run across some bad leaders in their first unit. They never get to leave that unit or they go to two units and they ran across some bad leaders because that happens in all branches of the military. But I think after, you know, I say only the four year guys, the one enlistment, but after you’ve been in for a while and I saved myself included in this and a lot of friends that I’ve made after staying in for a while, we see a lot of good examples of leadership eventually and a lot of very poor examples of leadership still. But your ability to discern which one is which is very rapid and exactly why this person isn’t an effective leader and why this person is effective leader, you really begin to understand that really well.

Daniel: So I think a lot of these guys that are younger and haven’t matured in that, but they’re getting out of the military after that first enlistment. There is a thing that says maybe I shouldn’t ask for help because that says, I don’t know my job. That says I’m not capable. That’s a that’s an indication of me not being ready for this. And and I disagree with that. Of course, I think that they should have the confidence, like we’re all going to fail and we’re going to mess up. We’re going to do things that are wrong. We’re going to lose some money. We’re going to and we’re going to we’re going to eat like crap for a little bit. We might even go hungry. Some people around us that we care about may suffer some for our mistakes, but we can work through it and we can do good and we’re all capable of it. And even though if you’ve had a bad year that told you you weren’t, I think that this is something that I’ve learned recently and it’s been a very powerful thing for me. Um. The we often people say things and I’m not talking about some crazy like voodoo hoodoo witchcraft or like that. People say things that I can’t do this or I can’t make this happen or like, I’m not good at X or like, No, I’m not.

Daniel: I can’t do I can’t public. I’m not good at public speaking, right? So I think when I hear somebody say things like that, I was taking a class with somebody a couple weeks ago who kept saying that he was dumb, that he and he was a little bit older than me. And he had like on three different types of camouflage. And he had never taken a class before. He had some not great gear and everything else. He was he had he didn’t have like the high speed rifle in the class and he didn’t really feel like he belonged in a lot of ways. And he he ended up being right next to me. And I was like, man, this is perfect. This is going to be awesome. This guy’s going to be with me because he had very low confidence. And so I kept helping him, talking him through stuff and throughout the day. And he kept saying, and when the coach came down there and talked to him, one of the assistant instructors, he was like, Oh no, I’m an idiot, I’m dumb, I’m an idiot. And I grabbed him one time. I was like, Dude, stop, man, stop saying that. Stop saying that you’re dumb. Stop thinking that you’re dumb. Stop thinking that you’re an idiot. Don’t just stop saying it, but stop believing.

Daniel: That was like somebody throughout the years. Somebody a long time ago or recently, I don’t know, told you that. I was like, But they’re wrong. There’s we have there is an evil force in this world that is that is here to steal, kill and destroy. And I believe that that when someone has been told that and they’ve been convinced a lie like that, it’s to keep them from doing their purpose in life. It’s to keep them from doing the thing that they are supposed to do. So his belief that he is not smart, that he can’t do things, that he’s dumb, that he has, that he does every time he runs into a problem, he goes back to that because somebody told him that. They told him that lie that has held him back from his true purpose. And whenever you have something like that that you believe that you can’t do, that’s exactly what you need to be doing, Even if it’s not your purpose. It’s so that you get more comfortable at being uncomfortable or being out of your comfort zone. So that’s what you need to go after. That’s what you need to engage with, not just keep that same mindset of like I’ve never been able to. So I’ve convinced myself that I can’t. Like, Man, you’ve been convinced yourself because you can’t. Because there’s powers that exist that are doing they’re, they’re scared if you ever start doing that thing.

Wade: Yeah, well, and I think it’s, it’s powerful because that person, the fact that he went to go get training, the fact that he went to go to a class that takes a level of courage to do that. Absolutely. So a lot of people don’t do that. A very small percentage of people actually go get training or go to a class compared to the larger whole. So he definitely had that courage. It’s just a question of like getting those reps in so that he can start to see that.

Daniel: And he wasn’t dumb. He’s like, farm smart, man. The dude could like fix your plumbing, your tractor, like pour concrete, build your house like the dude’s far from dumb.

Wade: That’s all the guys I grew up with in North Dakota. You take an 18 year old from 1985 in North Dakota and they can fix anything. You transport them in time now, right? Anything.

Daniel: Car man. Just the weather. You got to fix stuff in.

Wade: Yeah. There’s some corn fed North Dakota boys. They get pretty big. So this episode is brought to you by Every few years it seems large banks and national credit card processors suddenly decide that they no longer want to process payments for firearms and firearms related businesses. And so they drop these businesses with almost no notice, freezing tens of thousands of dollars in payments for months on end. If you want to ensure your partner with a payments provider that is dedicated to supporting the firearms industry or you just want to find out if you could be paying less for your ACH debit and credit card processing, visit Again, that’s I think that’s a good segway into doing something that makes you uncomfortable doing something that’s your life’s purpose. So you’re going through this entrepreneurial journey, you’re having success, you’re getting notoriety as an influencer. You’re flying all over the country. And then after a while, I know that you sort of changed paths a little bit into something a little bit more of like volunteer type things, like things that are more positive for the community. So things like the Tangi, the Tango-yankee project. So let’s talk about that for a little bit. What is that? What was the transition to that? How did that come about? Kind of walk me, I know all about it, but let’s walk the people who don’t know about it, walk them through it.

Daniel: Yeah, I’ve always not been a big fan of …, right? And I’ve also really enjoyed serving and volunteering. I started volunteering at a fire department when I was in I think it was the year 2000 was when I first started volunteering at a fire department. I wasn’t even 21 yet, and it was in Beaufort, South Carolina. I was stationed at Parris Island. I did that for a few years. And then I would go just I would go volunteer with things and do stuff. Whenever opportunities came alive, not working parties in the Marine Corps, if any Marines are out there, you don’t volunteer for that stuff. Don’t volunteer for stuff when you’re on active duty. But then I started getting into some other stuff later on and but the whole disaster stuff and we’ll get to that, I’m sure, here shortly. But the Tango-yankee project was actually I had me and my wife and youngest son, we had just moved into an RV because we wanted to live in an RV. We wanted to try to live small. We wanted we knew we were going to start traveling around a lot. I was going to teach classes and take classes, and just instead of flying, we could all go. And I was like, Well, let’s try it. So we got a little RV and it was about to be winter time and we were just going to see how it was and somebody did something really nice for me and bought like a big hundred pound propane propane tank and filled it up and everything, and he didn’t even know we needed it and that we needed we didn’t really have a lot of money to get it or anything, but he just texted me.

Daniel: He was like, Hey, just put this out in front of your RV. They’re just about to get cold. You’re going to need one of these. So he came by to make sure it was all fittings were all good, and I had just got a patch from a unit that I was teaching that was really cool. I’d never got one before and it was really small patch. You just hold it in your hand, a little rectangle and I wanted to give him something to say thank you because it really meant a lot to just like, not just the fact that what he did, just his thoughtfulness for doing that. And so I shook it and he also went out of his way. He works like four hours away, and he drove two hours out of his way to come to my place before he went to his house after working a whole week as he’s gone for a whole week. But it was just even more than just what he did. So I put that in my hand and I shook his hand and I gave it to him.

Daniel: Like, I want you to have this because, like, it means it’s the thing that means a lot to me right now. And I want to show you how much this means to me. So after that, I thought about this for a while. I was like, Man, I want to make a challenge coin just to say thank you to people. When I looked in the challenge coins and they’re like, expensive. So I decided that wasn’t a thing that I was going to do. So I found these poker chips and I helped a friend that is a graphic designer helped me design them, and I was like, I’m going to make these chips and I’m just going to tell people thank you every time they do something nice for me or for anybody else or anything cool. And I’m going to it’s going to be a way to say thank you, like a challenge coin, because we used to give away in the military and then all my friends wanted them. And when I gave them one, I was like, What could I get some so I could have one and pass it on? And I’m like, Man, that’s a great idea. We should just have everybody passing these on to each other out there in public. So I ended up ordering some more and then I ended up making a website and put them up for sale. And even since then I’ve done next to zero marketing for them.

Daniel: But we sell quite a few a month and it’s a cool thing they’re in. Like, I think last time I checked like 17 different countries. We have tango-yankee chips in there all over the world and, and people just they hand them out and it’s a little it’s just a little poker chip. It’s really cool. And it just it’s got a Marcus Aurelius quote on it that says, Be the one to show an attitude of gratitude in the present moment. And then on the back of it, it says, What you do in this life matters. And the very first generation of them said, it still says that what you do in this life matters because I believe we’re put here for a reason. And what this what we do in our life matters. And I want people to know that what they do in their life matters. So I tell people to hold keep two of these in your pocket, Walk around. If you see somebody who buys coffee for somebody forgot their wallet or holds a door for somebody goes out of their way, or it’s a friend that you really appreciate or whatever it is, it could be a stranger or somebody. It could be a veteran, it could be anything. That vet where in the World War two hat, anything, doesn’t matter. Or it could be somebody who’s never been in the military first responder or anything.

Daniel: No big deal. It’s not for any specific group. It’s for humans. You just shake their hand and give it to leave it in their hand and tell them why you’re thankful for what they did, what I saw, what you did, and I really appreciate that and it was awesome. And then you tell them to pass it on or they can keep it. I often give people two of them like one later on that after we talk for a second just so they can give it away because people want to keep that one. It’s going to be a special moment. I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve seen from giving them a tip because people aren’t used to people recognizing their kindness. People are used to assholes all day long looking for evil all everywhere looking for the bad stuff in society. But if you’ve got one of these in your pocket and you’re looking around for somebody doing good to give one to, you’re going to be behaving in a way that deserves those chips and you’re going to be looking for goodness out there. And when you look for goodness, you find it. When you look for bad and evil and fault, you’re always going to find that, too. So that’s what these little chips do. And we started it in 2013 and they’ve been pretty magical. And it’s it’s pretty cool.

Wade: What’s the website?


Wade: Perfect. All right, cool. Yeah. I mean, I definitely think the world needs more positivity, especially right now, more than ever. I mean, I feel like after the last few years, a lot of people are jaded. A lot of people, they’re, they’ve been cooped up or they’re off their game or things aren’t going in their lives where they want it to. And you never know what little piece of goodness that you can do to help someone that that changes their whole life. It’s funny.

Daniel: My son works at a donut shop. The oldest son, he and he told me that there was this guy who just arrived. He just immigrated here and he works with him. And he’s he’s from Ukraine. And he said they were talking with, like, all the people hanging out when they weren’t busy. And he was like he said something about racism or something. And just people were like really, really mattered what race people were. And my son and people were like, Yeah, nobody really cares. And he’s like, Well, then this about the something else that was I forget what it was, but he had he named off like 5 or 6 things that just if you only stayed on social media, if you only scrolled Instagram, TikTok or the News or whatever, you would think, this is the United States of America, this is how things are. So he had this perception that was based on the like the news media and what ads come up and what your feeds fill with on Twitter. He had this Twitter version of America. And if you have a Twitter version of America, you think you’re going to die of a disease. If you walk outside, you’re going to you’re going to have somebody you’re going to you’re not going to have any opportunities, no matter what race you are, because everybody’s a racist. You’re going to have it’s just like this whole world that doesn’t exist. But if you go outside, you realize nobody acts like that, man like that. Nobody. No, they don’t act like I’m not saying nobody. There are some pockets, but like, it is not at all the doom and gloom that is perpetuated our current society and our current system. And some some governmental entrepreneurs have to have constant crisis to stay in control. And we don’t have to live in that frantic, constant crisis like we can rest and who we are and what we are and not have to even buy into any of that crap.

Wade: Yeah, no, I agree with you. And when we deal with crisis, we want it to be real. A real crisis. Right? And so I think that’s a great opportunity to talk about. So you’re doing the tanking or the. I can not say that today the tango-yankee I’m about to.

Daniel: Say how good of a host you are, how like running these Segways. He’s like, man, he’s about to take us into disaster. No, I’m going to.

Wade: You gave. You gave me. I was like, I just. I just take what’s given to me. I mean, the guest gives it to me and I’m like, Oh, here we go. We’re going to move. This way. So you’re working on the project and but there are real there are real crisis events that happen. So walk me through your crisis team. How did that come about? What is it? Where’s it at now?

Daniel: So I got to do some humanitarian stuff. Whenever the Fukushima disaster happened, I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and it’s a little bit involved in that, not heavily. I was kind of more like we were in Okinawa, so we weren’t on mainland and I was just doing like watch stuff like in a skiff and just kind of helping with whatever could happen, answering phone, moving stuff around, whatever I could do. And I saw and I got sent to us after that happened, it kind of prompt some local stuff to to start having some training that happened locally. So I started taking some classes there and from like USAID and that kind of stuff and learned a few things about what we do as far as humanitarian stuff as a country. And I thought that was really cool, what we do. And so when I finally got back to the US after my retirement, one thing that I wanted to do was try this disaster stuff to like help out with the hurricane. And Team Rubicon is a is the first organization that I joined and I’m still a volunteer leader with them. But in 2017, I started with them and I went and just drag limbs for people cutting trees up after a hurricane that hit North Carolina and deployed quite a few times Since then, I’ve been a task force leader with them and helping the what we call blues guys when there’s not a disaster growing the organization and training people.

Daniel: And I just I love that side of it. I love the incident management side of it. The the system that we use in the US and really internationally for managing these disasters and the leadership pieces of it and everything else. It’s a it’s problem solving and it’s, it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s a lot of fun. And then we, my wife and I both do this. And then we volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse a few times for tornadoes and hurricanes and another awesome organization to go hang out and volunteer with. And it just does tons of good internationally. And we got to a point where and I love volunteering with Team Rubicon, I love volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse, but they’re big and they’re slow and they’re clunky and they have a lot of liability things that they have to worry about. And and because they’re big and they’re clunky and they have tons of employees, me, I have myself and I have my wife and we are a nonprofit. We have a nonprofit organization and we have a few other people that help us out and that that have shirts. We call them red shirts because we wear red shirts and we we come work with us one day, we give you a shirt, you show up, you get a shirt to wear all that day, and then you’re one of what we call a red shirt.

Daniel: I stole that from Team Rubicon. They have gray shirts. I’ve got blue shirts. Red shirts with every disaster organization wears a different color shirt like Southern Baptist wears yellow, Samaritan’s Purse wears orange, Team Rubicon wears gray. So like, everybody’s got a different color shirt. And so we really care a lot about our red shirts and that red shirt experience that they have a great experience and that’s a pretty deep and moving thing that can happen in a disaster for those volunteers that come out. But we decided to start our own because we got tired of waiting on these big organizations to say that we could do stuff that should already be done. And and we didn’t want to wait on them anymore. So we wanted to stay small and very agile, but also highly focused and highly trained. So we’re both volunteer firefighters, we’re an EMT school and we eventually have some grander designs on having a urban search and rescue team that’s internationally deployable. And I think we’re probably a year or two from that. But what I can do right now, which is really cool, which is a small group, is we can go into a community and a lot of times these communities get overwhelmed in the poor areas along the coast and the tornadoes and all these small towns all over the country, when a tornado comes, their incident management team is either nonexistent or they’ve never done this before.

Daniel: And now they have to manage a massive incident that could have lives lost. It could have search and rescue happening, road blockages, a lot of stuff. So we can do route clearance. That can be if it’s a hurricane, I can be there for the hurricane to run over us in a semi safe area and then we go out and start clearing routes so people can get to their medications. People can get away from their medication. The first 72 hours is the most important. After a disaster, people start dying if they don’t have refrigeration for some of their medications. Small injuries for a large subset of the population begins to be very dangerous injuries. But in that 72 hour window, so being able to clear routes is a capability that we have. We can I’m working on the capability of when I get a little bit more money being able to do site to do surveys with drones and thermal imaging and overlay that on topographical systems and applications. So I can give this directly to the incident management team and show them exactly where the greatest need is and where the problems are. So we basically the whole idea here is to reduce lives lost.

Daniel: But also we we just like one of the things that we love about Samaritan’s Purse. We believe in being the hands and feet of Jesus. And so we go out there and we actually cut trees down and pull them out of the way so we can get to people to show them love and to show that, give them help. And then at the same time, we can help that leadership, that local community leadership, whoever it is that’s doing the the incident management, we can help them with some management ways to ease the burden on them a little bit to make their jobs easier. And we get to do spontaneous volunteer management. So if there’s. 20 volunteers They don’t know how to handle. Give them to us. We’re going to go put them to work. We’re going to go keep them safe. We’re going to give them PPE. We’re going to go get them. But what we do is we can be there immediately. We don’t have to wait to get the big trucks going or anything else. We just take off. She’s in our van and like I’m in our truck and we just bring seven chainsaws and a bunch of tools and a bunch of PPE and some friends that we can get to follow us in our little group chat that we have that we’re growing and we go get to work.

Wade: Yeah, it’s amazing. Now with technology, everyone complains. We were talking about earlier about how social media and Twitter and all that stuff can really give you a like a twisted view of reality, but at the same time, as a tool, you can get people from all over the country to meet you somewhere that are part of the community like like that. And that is an amazing part of it.

Daniel: Got this cool partnership with an organization or a company called It’s a tech company called Lawn Buddy. Lawn buddy is like if you need your grass cut, he’s a marine buddy of mine. If you need your grass cut and you don’t have a provider, you go to lawn buddy and you say, Hey, I need somebody to come cut my grass at whatever address you are, Somebody will roger up on that app that they’re going to come cut your grass and they’re going to take care of it. And so he has these providers all over the country. So if this tornado Lee turns left and even like like like right now, we’re watching it and it looks like it really tears up some stuff in Virginia. Like, I might head to Virginia with a team and as I get to Virginia or get closer there, I’m hitting up my buddies at home, buddy. I’m like, Hey, can you send out an email to these providers? I need a mini excavator, I need three skid steers and I need this much people with chainsaws. Can you can anybody facilitate that? And he’s got this network of people that will help me get heavy equipment that I don’t have or I can’t take out there and possibly even personnel because they’re all people who want to help out in their communities and they’re part of that list. So the technology is awesome, man. And even the small thing, like he’s making money and running a business and employing a lot of families with his tech company that he had the idea for and designed and grew and now he’s using it to help me. And we’re together. We’re able to help more people and employ more people.

Wade: That’s cool. Well, yeah, It’s like, why do you need to transport all the equipment out there in the United States? Has equipment everywhere, right? I mean, I’m in Virginia Beach, so we’re too small, so I.

Daniel: Don’t even own any equipment. I’ve got some agreements with or some people that are like, Help me out. Hey, you can borrow this, don’t break it, that kind of stuff. So one day we’ll get to the point where we have a steer or a mini skid steer. We’ll have a mini axe and trailers and stuff. We’re not quite there yet, but we’ve got some we’ve got a lot of good handles and cool thing in between disasters like we don’t have any tornadoes or hurricanes that we need to go help with right now. So we recently built a wheelchair ramp for a diabetic that recently lost both of his legs to diabetes and stuff. We find ways to to go out there and show love to people and also keep red shirts involved and keep them doing stuff locally. And whenever I get this model kind of nailed down, I hope somebody out in North Carolina starts a chapter of what we’re doing, same name and everything else. And then somebody out in California does somebody in Louisiana like I would love for it to grow and I would help people to grow it. Whatever.

Wade: What’s the what’s the name of your response? Team.

Daniel: Team Whimsy. Right. That whole idea of of not waiting, not taking our time, it’s it’s we do it on a whim. It’s we’ll be right there as fast as we possibly can.

Wade: Yeah. No. And so I just want to make sure people knew the name of it because like I said, as I, I think something like that could grow with different chapters all over the country. Do you know what I’m saying? And especially with the sort of how decentralized it is, I think that keeps it nimble. I want to talk about one more.

Daniel: Decentralized command structure from the military. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And the boots on the ground making decisions. But yeah, it’s it’s and we are a A 501(c)(3) and there’s a way to help donate or whatever they’re on the website and you can contact ask any questions or anything.

Wade: Yeah. Well I want to talk about really quick one more thing. I want to be respectful of your time because we’ve gone from your service where you learn the skills to entrepreneurship to sort of a big picture volunteer. But now I want to talk a little bit about sort of your Brazilian martial arts training and that organization just really quick, and then we’ll kind of make sure we talk about how people can find you.

Daniel: Sure. So I got to a spot like I guess it was June of last year. A little bit. Actually, it was before that. It was about two years ago. But I was like, Man, I got to get out of this job. I was up in the higher level executive world, basically CMO for multi-million dollar company, and I enjoyed growing it. I enjoyed growing that company. And then when we got to the point where we did the same thing every single week, we would continue to grow when we built that system and that was unchallenged and we just kind of had to keep repeating the same thing. And I think when a man gets to the point where he’s unchallenged and he can just kind of repeat the same process and continue to have success and was making more money than I ever made, I think it’s a dangerous spot to be. And I started to feel it. I was depressed. It got anxiety. Never really had any of that stuff before, you know, It was new to me. I didn’t like it. So I started looking for somewhere to go, and I ended up going and helping a nonprofit that takes learning disabled kids on adventures. Like they take them backpacking for like 14 days or canoe packing for like four days. You don’t show up and like play games all week long at some pretend summer camp, like you’re out in the wilderness. And it was awesome. And but then my buddy was trying to wanted to start a company and beat me up for like three years to come work for him.

Daniel: And I was I’m trying I was trying to do a little less in the gun world. Not that I don’t love the gun world. I’ve been very thankful for it. And I, I still train and teach and take classes. I don’t teach. I’ve kind of taken a year off from teaching other than a couple. But he said, Come down here and help me start this ammo company. We’re going to do an ammo subscription and that’s available at and people sign up for ammo subscription and they get a you know how much you train with, you know how much you shoot with a month and we’ll lock you into it like the same price for six months straight. You know we won’t change the price no matter what happens politically or in the pricing or whatever. We already have it on hand. We’re not going to change the price on you. If you want 300 rounds every month, it’s going to show up. We’re going to charge your card the same time every month, and it’s going to show up there at your door. Pretty cool. And we just finished building all that and getting it running. But that wasn’t why I came here. He wanted me to do that and told him I was like, I’m not really interested in doing this ammo thing. I’m not really interested in doing this gun store that we have here in Conway.

Daniel: And I said, I want to do something in service. And I told him about Team Whimsy, but I didn’t even have the name for it then because I was just when I agreed to it, I was actually driving back from Hurricane Ian Week with Samaritan’s Purse, and I said, if I could do anything, I’d turn around and go back to Samaritan’s Purse and stay there until all these houses were rebuilt or done. That’s what I would do if I could. And I said, I want to keep doing that. And he’s like, Well, we’re going to start a nonprofit. And my buddy Ryan I served with in the Marine Corps, he’s a federal agent, but he’s a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and a few other things. He’s just a very well trained, awesome guy and been a friend of mine since like 2005, 2006. And we built a Brazilian jiu jitsu gym. Huge, nice, awesome tons of mat space around him to be able to do his thing. And we’ve hired another couple of other really awesome guys Brazilian jiu jitsu, black belts to help teach classes and to run. One of them is running the organization and he just does an amazing job. And the whole idea here is to provide community for veterans, law enforcement, first responders, EMS people who have seen some things that the general public don’t usually have to see, who have given a piece of themselves.

Daniel: Sometimes physically, we have a lot of physically disabled veterans that come in, but often mentally they’ve given a piece of themselves where they’ve had to bear some burdens that most people out there don’t have to bear. So we found that we provide a group for them to come sweat together, work out together, lead a workout group every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5 a.m. and we’ve got a group come there. That’s man, We’ve got a judge, we’ve got a banker, we’ve got landscaper, we’ve got an illegal immigrant. We’ve got, like everything you can think of coming to this group and a bunch of veterans, physically wounded veterans. We’ve got a bunch of veterans and firefighters and stuff that come to this group and then work out with us. And it’s just awesome. And our Brazilian jiu jitsu that we do in here, we have a scholarship for people that come and they can’t afford a guy. We take we help, we figure out ways to take care of them. We give them super deep discounts on classes or make them free in cases whenever. That’s what we need to do. We’re just trying to provide community with people for people to come heal and and grow spiritually, mentally and physically together. And that’s what we built this gym for. And that’s what it does every single day. And you can check out more on that one at

Daniel: Yeah we opened up in July and and we have every week we have about I think 60 individuals coming through here doing different classes, different things every single week and that goes up and down. But, but we have growing very quickly and it’s doing good. And people when people come in and they we tell them about it, they’re like, this is here in Conway. This is a thing that I can do here. I’m like, Yeah, let’s go look at it. And they come, they blows their mind and and it’s awesome, man. And I believe that it’s already saved lives and it’s going to save more lives because a lot of folks are struggling right now. There’s a lot of things that are happening and the whole world. The reason this thing exists, man, this is the reason why I care so much about it, is if you turn on the news, if you turn on the TV, if you scroll, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, any of that stuff, everything on there tells you to stay home, do nothing. The world is terrible out there. Don’t. Be out there with people like do not is trying to keep you separated is trying to defy unity the opposite of what we need. So when we have community, when we have people together, everything’s trying to fight community. Every time this thing is trying to fight physical, mental and spiritual fitness, it’s telling you lies constantly from the lies of the food groups all the way to what you’re seeing in tonight’s news. Right. It’s all lies designed to keep you from being physically, mentally and spiritually fit with the community. If you look closely, that’s it. That’s a tactic that’s being used. And we want to defeat that tactic. And we want people to come out and have those three things and have community with each other. And we’re seeing a difference already.

Wade: Well, I know we covered a lot of ground today, but I wanted people to get to know you and to get to know all the different things that you’re doing and hopefully be inspired to either help you with your efforts or for people to be inspired to start their own similar type of things in the community. Because I agree with you, is that we can definitely all accomplish more together than we can apart. How do people find you? Daniel What’s the best way to find you?

Daniel: Man the best way to find me.

Wade: I’m on to contact you.

Daniel: Yeah, I’m on Instagram. That’s the one that I use the most is Instagram. And it’s @DanielShaw03XX Instagram. Also Facebook. I think it’s the same thing. It might be my Mos, so it’s just DanielShaw0369 on on Facebook. But those are the best ways to find me. You can email me. The one I use the most is also my most. You guys are everybody welcome to to email me or whatever man. I would love to hear from people. Send me a message. I’ve been that’s one of the things that I’m trying to do is I’m trying to be more accessible to anybody because I don’t get on social media a whole lot anymore. I actually took them off my phone. I don’t get on there a whole lot. Don’t check it. But I’ve read a couple of books by this author named Bob Goff, and if you haven’t read Bob Goff, he’s absolutely awesome. Read Love does read. Everybody always. They’re amazing. But he puts his phone number in the back of his books and he’s got this rule that he always answers the phone no matter who calls, no matter what’s going on, no matter if he’s in a board meeting or anything else. He’s a lawyer, too. But he’s a he’s a he’s just he’s a You’ll fall in love with this guy if you read the books. He’s just an awesome individual. And I’m like, Man, I need to be more like that guy. And I love what he’s doing. And I think it’s super cool when I’m trying to get to that point. I think I’ve always been pretty decent about responding to people because, like, I don’t think that I’m special at all. I’ve been super blessed and super fortunate and I want to help other peoples achieve the same thing that that I’ve had.

Wade: Well, I really appreciate you coming on the show today. Thank you for your service. Thank you for coming on the show and definitely want to have you on again.

Daniel: Cool. Thanks, Wade.

Wade: You’ve been listening to the Tactical Business show by Join us again next episode as we explore what it takes to be a business success in the firearms industry.