Former Navy SEAL Rory O'Connor Discusses Digging Deep

Discipline yourself to always push forward

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  • Grew up in Ft Lauderdale, FL
  • Heard about SEALs when he was 8-9 from his dad who was in the Navy
  • Did ROTC in high school
  • Was not “college material”
  • Had his heart set on BUDS
  • Was a Corpsman (1984)
  • Went to bootcamp in San Diego
  • March 1985 BUDS
  • SEAL Team 1 in Dec 1985
  • Thought about medical school but changed his mind
  • Finished his B.S. in Florida
  • Married, two kids (26 & 23)
  • Got into banking during college (leasing)
  • Liked it at first then hated it after 7-8 years when things changed in 1999-2000
  • Had a staff of 6-7 salesmen plus underwriters
  • Went into traditional loans.
  • Heard about Edward Jones and moved his money to a friend with them
    • Over a few years he left the bank and worked from home but it didn’t work out so he started with Edward Jones
    • Culture of volunteerism
    • Rotary, YMCA, Boy Scouts
  • Around 2007 got involved with the Semper Fi Injured Marine Fund for 3-4 years
    • Focused on PTSD working with about 40 at a time for a week
    • Met other veterans including the former Chairman of the Navy SEAL Foundation
  • 2009 some people got together to raise money for an injured SEAL
    • The goal was to raise $500 per swimmer (Jan 2, 2010) and 39 swimmers showed up to help a veteran who stepped on a land mine
    • It was 37 degrees and the water temperature was 55
    • John Doolittle only had on his Speedo on
    • The news was there (TV and newspaper) and took an iconic picture of Doolittle with his hand up and the Victory sign
    • They interviewed him and he said he wanted to make it as painful as possible
    • Raised $34,000
    • An email went out to make it a formal event
    • Rory and Kurt Ott along with Terry Tomlin and Dan O’Shea got it going
    • Jan 2011 raised $55,000 with 55 swimmers
    • Operating costs are 10 cents on the dollar
    • Raised $500k in 2017
  • 18 years old going into BUDS
    • He got his own personal Hell Week from a couple of older instructors who wanted to make sure he was up to the challenge
    • He stuck it out Was sleeping 1-2 hours per night Fell asleep in class
    • “I’m graduating with my class or going out in a body bag.”
    • The 40% rule
    • Don’t think too much
    • Don’t get wound up
    • Focus on the moment
    • Execute. Start. Take one bite of the elephant at a time
    • Jocko on Joe Rogan’s show talking about suicide and the need to stay connected and staying involved and staying in the game
    • Be present
    • Focus on the task at hand
    • Have a plan
    • Stay with it
    • We have unrealistic expectations that the media perpetuates and we don’t hear about the struggles
    • Strive for excellence, not perfection
  • Golden Gate Frogman Swim - Inaugural Event August 6, 2017
    • 1.5 mile point to point swim North of the Golden Gate Bridge
    • Catching a flood tide $
    • 250 registration to cover the costs with a fundraising goal of $2,500 each
    • Warrior Support, Education,
    • August 6th, 2017 (Sunday)
    • This is the same day of Extortion 17 and the day the registration opens for the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim
  • 0.7% of our nation serves in the military

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