The desire to provide employment for veterans pushes Kip Azzoni Doyle to be innovative.
What’s your story?
I’m a human launchpad for mission driven content and products. In the case of my invention of The CardShark WalletCase, for which I am the original inventor with 3 utility patents – my product IS my mission- to hire and help employ homeless and at-risk veterans through the work we generate in sales. How have I come to this? An inventor is someone who solves a problem the rest of us didn’t know we even had. In the content I write as a screenwriter and author, it’s much the same , seeking content that can educate us about emerging subject matter.
What excites you most about your industry?
My mission is what motivates me most so the opportunities afforded to expand the CardShark line out beyond just an integrated credit card carrying phone case into new ideas and proprietary technologies is always going to excite me. The problem solver in me is what delivered me three utlility patents on such a universally used item as a credit card phone case- so there’s no stopping me now!
What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?
The mission to help hire/employ/engage our at risk veteran population. We hire those veterans that others overlook. We hire them out of shelters and help provide them the divinity of a JOB!
In my writing I tackle stories that tackle the underbelly. I am currently completing two documentaries about veteran reintegration back into civilian life.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Curiosity, tenacity, boldness, humility, teachability. But mostly, compassion. These are the tenets I’d most strive to implement in every shred of my work and life.
When everyone looks right, look left. What we see is often down the alleyways and side streets when the rest are looking down the road.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Persevere, keep your head down and keep quiet until you have your patents and/or your ideas protected. Talk about stuff and you will get ripped off.
Who inspires you?
Listening to people and learning. Everyone has a story to tell. I’m always most inspired by finding a team of like-minded people to work with. I know what I know and I know what I don’t know, the willingness to surround yourself with those who know better than I is always a better strategy. Being willing to accept that you don’t know better than others means you can focus on what you do know. Believe it or not, we don’t have all the answers even if it’s your company or product. Be humble, take a seat, let others chime in.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
The expression Fare Niente in Italian means “to do nothing”. Sometimes it’s good to just sit and do nothing. It frees up the brain to daydream a bit and come up with new ideas or ways to look at problems in an effort to solve a few along the way.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
The failed projects in which I invested a boatload and lost, have provided me with many important lessons. Mostly never give up and yeah I’m the queen of the carry-forward on my tax losses. It’s not a bad thing actually. I’d never stop trying and these ideas are never dead and gone, there are still opportunities to bring ‘em out, it’s definitely about timing and pivoting and digging deeper to NOT focus on failure. You ain’t fishin if you don’t have a line in the water. Keep going.
How do you unwind?
My Ducati 848 is my bff. Racing cars or taking the bike out is a must. Sports are also everything! Banging tennis balls or finding the corduroy ski runs, taking the bike out on some switchbacks. Surf casting for stripers is another good way to let stuff go: you leave the dock and you leave the issues behind.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?
Work with like-minded people who care about more than the bottom line. Mission driven is everything to me. Money is about affording opportunities to grow which is all about helping employ or provide jobs and help to those who most need it. In our case that’s the veteran population.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Naturally I’m gonna pitch my own book about the challenges to being an independent inventor, it’s called ‘Blood in the Water: America’s Assault on Innovation’ but I might also recommend Steven Pressfield “Gates of Fire” – talk about tenacity and some good ole gallows humour at the precise moment of truth.
Shameless plug for your business or career:
My book I plugged above shamelessly 😉 my family of brands are all helping hire at risk and homeless veterans.
Rags of Honor tshirt and apparel company I started with my husband, Veteran Roasters coffee company I started and CardShark Cases – all of these hire at risk veterans.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.