Hey everybody, this is in the trenches with Michael King. I am Michael King, your host. Thank you for joining us this afternoon.
This has been a really exciting week for the show because we're transitioning from the setup and configuration phase of starting a new podcast. And next week we're moving into the interview people and do some exciting things with the show phase. So one of the things that I had to do this week was visit the straight up podcast studios in Fort worth, Texas. I sat down with the founder Johnny Peterson, he's handling all of the technical work on the back end with the audio and getting RSS feed set up and all of that. So we were just kind of dotting some I's and crossing some T's and he said, Hey, why don't you take some time later this week to do a quick episode and just introduce the listeners to you and tell them a little bit about you and your background. I thought that was a great idea. And so here we are.
So I was born in Valdosta, Georgia as a Navy brat. I grew up primarily in and around Virginia Beach, Virginia, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in Pensacola, Florida. In 1999 I joined the Navy where I spent 11 years supervising nuclear power plant operations on submarines. After 11 years of doing that, I took my engineering degree and I moved on to the civilian world and took a position as a staff engineer at apply wood manufacturing plant. Now, most people at this point think, wow, submarines and plywood manufacturing. This is exactly what I dreamt of as a child. I know. So after a few promotions at the plywood manufacturing facility, I've found myself in charge of operations for the entire facility and we employed around 500 people. I say that to highlight the fact that this was not an insignificant operation here not too long after taking the role, I was informed that I had some P&L accountability.
The problem that I immediately realized was based on my military background and my engineering degree, I didn't really know what P or L stood for. So it wasn't quite this bad, but it wasn't a whole lot better. What I've, what I found is that the accountants and the controller would bring these really fancy looking reports with charts and graphs and KPIs, and I would kind of look at these reports and then I would look at the number crunchers like what in the hell am I supposed to do with these? And very politely they would smile, but ultimately they just walked away. I eventually decided that the business world was more of my jam than the engineering world. So I went off to business school and I got an MBA so that I could understand what all of these business words meant. So business school taught me for the most part, that finance and accounting for maybe 80 to 90% of businesses isn't that crazy complex?
It's just that finance and accounting types really struggle to explain their insights to regular people. It's kind of like asking a developer to coding to a dentist. It just doesn't work well. But then when you consider that somewhere between 40% and 80% of businesses fail in their first five years, and most of those failures are due to poor financial management. You realize this communication breakdown is kind of a big deal to the entire economy. Business owners and decision makers really need to understand what's going on with their company's finances. They just need someone to explain it to them in their language. I decided that I wanted to bridge the gap between the language of accountants and regular people, so I started KFE in 2016 with a mission of helping business owners understand their numbers so they can make better decisions. In total, the KFE team has worked now with around 200 companies.
We've worked with pre-revenue startups all the way through fortune 10 companies and we found that the companies that experience sustained success that is success over a long period of time typically have three common denominators from a financial perspective. They have sound business structures, they have robust financial systems and reporting and they have well thought out forward thinking strategies. So at KFC we help businesses build and improve their financial foundations so that they can experience sustained success. Now we'll talk more about what that means in future episodes, or if you're super interested, you can check out our website at kfesolutions.com
to get more information as to what we're all about. So after working with all of the executives and entrepreneurs and leaders at these 200 or so companies, we started to realize that a lot of the people that we've come across have some really amazing stories that they've accumulated in their time in the business world.
And these stories aren't just focused on their wins and successes and how they're killing it. But, but they have stories about the lessons they've learned, trying things that didn't work, making mistakes, kind of flirting with disaster, fighting in the trenches of the business battlefield. Recently, I heard a wise Redditor say, learning from mistakes is one of the best ways to learn. There's no reason those mistakes have to be your own. So I made the decision to start this podcast so that we could bring these entrepreneurs, these business owners, these leaders to you and share their stories with you firsthand. We're going to have really transparent conversations with clear takeaways that might be applicable to you in your business. This will all come with the normal humorous tone that I bring to everything I do. Thanks for listening. We're amped to bring you our first full episodes on January 8th, 2020 if you'd like to appear on the show as a guest, please go over to www.inthetrenches.show
and shoot us a note. All right. That's it for today, everybody. Thank you very much for joining us. We're really excited to connect with you again here soon. Have a great rest of your day.