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Ryan Hetrick

Audacious Journey Podcast Introduction

Audacious Journey Spotify Channel

I am excited to announce that I will finally be launching my podcast tomorrow! The purpose of the Audacious Journey Podcast is to bring on younger people who are in the process chasing their ambitious dreams.

I will be talking to professionals from many industries including business, sports, military, and tech. The Audacious Journey podcast will primarily include younger people who are in the process of achieving their goals; however, it will also inlcude some more accomplished individuals as well. I plan to talk about their experiences, theircareer moving forward, and how their life journey has been audacious so far.

Chandler Smith will be the first guest on my podcast. The first episode will drop tomorrow (April 16th, 2022) and my second episode will drop next friday (Arpil 22nd, 2022). Jason Anderson, CEO of VeteranPCS will be on the guest for the second episode.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me so far and I am excited to see where this goes!

Deliberate Practice and School Update

Giving a mock interview in a simulation for my U.S. Congress and Lawmaking Class at the Harvard Kennedy School. (Note, this interview has no ties to the Economist and is a Mock Bill).

I thought I would share the progression I have had in my thesis, some of the obstacles I have had to overcome, and some of the great experiences I have had so far. Producing a thesis is a requirement in the Technology and Public Policy Program at MIT, and I am glad that I have the opportunity to conduct research that could impact this world. I am conducting my thesis on U.S. Artificial Intelligence Policy and Dr. Luis Videgaray is my research advisor. Dr. Videgaray is the Director of the MIT AI Policy for the World Project and Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan. He has been terrific, and I am excited for what is to come.

My thesis question asks, “What type Artificial Intelligence Policy will allow the U.S. to continue to lead the world in AI innovation while doing it in an ethical way?”. I am in the process of drafting my thesis and I am expecting to release it in Spring of 2023. I have learned a lot about Artificial Intelligence and policy over the past six months. However, I have had to quickly adapt to the fast-moving pace of AI, and the rigorous classes that I have had to take.

Before I came to MIT, I actually never had opened up a python file before. I also no knowledge on AI Policy. Next thing I know, I was expected to build, train, and deploy machine learning algorithms on python. I was extremely out of my comfort zone and had to put in a lot more time than some of my classmates to learn about machine learning.

One of my favorite podcasts that I have listened to is a Freakocomics episode called, “How to Become Great at Just About Anything”. My former wrestling coach at West Point, Coach Ward shared this podcast edition with me, and it has stuck with me for a long time. One of my favorite quotes from the podcast states,

“Deliberate practice involves well-defined, specific goals, and often involves improving some aspect of the target performance. It is not aimed at some vague, overall improvement…

Deliberate practice takes place outside one’s comfort zone and requires a student to constantly try things that are just beyond his or her current abilities… it demands near-maximal effort, which is generally not enjoyable.”

Deliberate practice is something I try to do often at school and in life. Deliberate practice has been the key to success for me. I came into MIT with no knowledge on a lot of these AI topics, and I have had to focus in on specific tasks that make me uncomfortable and force me to grow and learn. Sometimes these specific tasks involve reading books geared towards specific AI topics or trying to code specific algorithms. I am also grateful that I have had great classmates to help me learn and grow along the way.

The video above is another example deliberate practice. I was a little uncomfortable talking about an AI Policy Bill that I have proposed in a simulation for one of my classes. I have learned how to talk about these issues and explain how AI Policy topics As a side note, this interview was taken in one of the best classes I have ever taken –  U.S. Congress and Lawmaking at the Kennedy School.

To conclude, my greatest takeaway so far at graduate school is that I must conduct deliberate practice as much as possible if I want to become great at something. I truly believe that you can become great at anything, as long as you are willing to put in deliberate practice and make yourself uncomfortable. This is how you grow. I am by no means an expert on AI Policy yet; however, I will continue to apply deliberate learning in my life and produce a thesis that will hopefully give great insight on U.S. AI Policy moving forward.

Also, here is the link to the Freakoconomics Podcast called “How to Become Great at Just About Anything”

Remaining Nonpartisan in the Ukraine-Russia War

As you all know, Russia has declared war on Ukraine and is attempting to overthrow the Ukrainian democratically elected government. I have not seen anything quite like this in my entire life. I am fueled with emotions and constantly following what is happening right now in Ukraine.

However, as military members, we must remain Nonpartisan – especially on social media. As military members, we must support the decisions of the President of the United States, Vice President, and Secretary of Defense. Soldiers cannot condemn the decisions of our country’s leaders. We must support their decisions and support the Ukrainian people.

Not only does partisan activity on social media erode trust between the military and the American people, but it also violates UCMJ law and the Department of Defense Directive. We need to be united as a country and support the decisions of our leaders.

I understand that many of us have not seen anything like this. It is easy to get engulfed by emotions and speak out on decisions that are made in the United States. However, I encourage our military members to be professional and have full trust in our government. Let’s be united as a country and be ready for the future ahead. I will continue to support the Ukrainian people and keep them in my prayers.

Guided By Faith

I’ll be the first to say that sometimes I do not do a great job of being consistent in my faith. I feel that sometimes I am not “all in” when it comes to my faith in Christ and that I do not do a great job of showing how great he is to the world. It’s important for us to realize our faults and address them. I also think it is important for us to use the platforms that we have to be a light to this world and inspire others around us.

One thing that I have realized, is when I commit myself to God, many incredible things happen to myself and others around me. I may not realize it at the moment, but magical things happen when I commit myself to him.

My favorite bible verse is Proverbs 16:3. I have a lot of plans and great goals that I want to accomplish; however, I know that if I do not commit myself to God, that I will tread down the wrong path. God has incredible things planned for all of us, and it is important to know what God is calling you to do.

I know that God is calling me to use my platform to shed great light on him. I need to do a better job of living a life that is “Guided By Faith”. I need to do a better job of inspiring others around me to follow God and pursue their dreams. Lastly, I will say commit yourself to the Lord and your plans will succeed. I plan to use The Audacious Journey platform to inspire others to achieve their dreams and live a life that is Guided by Faith.

Manna is Revolutionizing Drone Delivery

CEO of Manna, Bobby Healy pictured above (All photos are courteous of Manna Drone Inc.)

Yesterday, I had the incredible opportunity to meet the CEO of Manna, Bobby Healy in my Global Business of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics class at MIT Sloan Business School. Bobby is originally from Ireland and started Manna in 2019. I really love his start up and I think it will be the future of delivering consumer goods to people. Let me first give you a rundown of what exactly Manna does.

Manna Drones can hold up to 3 kilograms of products

Manna is a drone company that will take consumer products (Coffee, sandwiches, beer, etc.) from a local company store in a suburb to someone’s residential house. It is like uber eats; however, it uses a drone to deliver the product. The artificial intelligence and robotics that go into this drone are incredible. Manna drones must identify the best path to travel through the air, where to land, and how to avoid other objects in the air. It is truly an incredible technology that will flourish in many places around the world.

Manna Drones delivering products to consumers in Europe

When Manna first starts to operate in a town, it uses GIS technology to scan the ground for possible stores to use as a “home base” and identifies no fly zones (such as schools). After it figures out where to operate, the drones use its technology to find the best place to hover when people order from the app. When a customer orders coffee from their local shop, Manna will inform the customer the exact time and location the drone will drop off the coffee. When the drone arrives at the residential location, it will drop the package off as the drone hovers about 15 meters above the ground. It is an incredible technology.

A Manna Drone flying in a European neighborhood (Courteous of Martketplace Europe)

Right now, Manna only exists in European towns and suburbs. The regulatory process in Europe is a few years ahead of the United States; therefore, they are focusing on delivering food to European cities and suburbs. Manna drones work very well in condensed areas; however, the drones cannot fly in downtown areas where there are tall buildings.

Manna eliminates many problems (such as traffic) that Uber Eats runs into

Have you ever waited for a long time for uber eats to deliver your food? Is traffic so bad that you can’t go get it yourself? Manna drones eliminates all these issues, and you are guaranteed to get your item very quickly. It will revolutionize the consumer delivery industry

I am a huge fan of Manna and I think this company will be super successful in the future. I really hope they come to the United States. When Manna becomes a publicly traded stock, I will surely be investing in them. I want to thank Bobby for coming in and talking to us.

I had the opportunity to talk to Bobby after class and he has incredible energy and passion for what he does. I wish Bobby and Manna nothing but the best, and I am looking forward to seeing Manna drones delivering my coffee in the morning soon!

Using Coffee to Change People’s Lives

The Black Rifle Coffee Company launched their IPO at the New York Stock Exchange on February 10th. (Photo Courtesy of Forbes).

Last week, the CEO of Black Rifle Coffee Company, Evan Hafer rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange as he watched his company go public. Black Rifle Coffee Company merged with SilverBox Merger Corps, which is expected to deliver $150 million in proceeds to the Black Rifle Coffee Company after their IPO. Evan Hafer stated that the NYSE debut will help his company accomplish his goal of hiring 10,000 military veterans.

Black Rifle Coffee Company products. (Note, the picture above and the rest below are Courtesy of Black Riffle Coffee Company).

The mission of Black Rifle Coffee is to serve coffee and culture to the people who love America. Evan Hafer founded Black Rifle Coffee in 2014, and it has come a long way since. Evan Hafer is a former U.S. Army Green Beret and has an incredible story. He is helping thousands of Veterans around the country gain employment, and he is inspiring the military community.

Evan Hafer’s story is great, and he serves as an inspiration for all military members. Not only did he serve this great country as a Green Beret, he also continued to serve the military community after he finished his service. He prides Black Rifle Coffee Company on being a Veteran owned company.

Evan Hafer, CEO of Black Rifle Coffee Company

He is also an inspiration for many other military members because his story shows people that you can have a positive impact in this country after you serve. A lot of my friends and I have entrepreneur aspirations after we serve the military, and it is great to see veterans before me achieve their dreams as entrepreneurs.

Evan Hafer shows off some Black Rifle Coffee Company products

The Black Rifle Coffee Company serves as a great example of how you can use your passion to have a positive impact on people around you. In Black Rifle Coffee’s case, they are passionate about brewing great coffee, and they are having a terrific impact in the United States.

Position Your Brand

How do you want customers to view your company? In your market, where does your company stand? What is your business known for, or what do you want it to be known for?

These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when you develop a market positioning strategy. Finding and establishing your market position is important because it allows you to find your target market and establishes the core qualities people associate your brand with.

How car companies position themselves in their industry

Here is a great example of how different car companies position themselves. All these companies have done extensive research to find where their company resides in terms of price and quality. For example, Mercedes-Benz has established themselves as one of the most expensive luxury brands.

Car consumers know that they will pay a high price for a Mercedes; however, they know the quality will be good. It is important to map out your company’s industry and figure out how you want position yourself.

Here is a roadmap to help you position your business. First, you want to determine how your company is different from others. When you do this, you will look to identify your own current market position. Next, you want to look at your ideal customer and position your business in a light that appeals to them the most. Lastly, you need to deploy your strategy and use marketing tools to reach your audience.

Go and position your market in the correct space. Effective market positions will elevate your company and help you reach your target audience.

The Golden Future

Expect gold prices to soar over the next 5-10 years

Many of my friends laugh when I try to tell them that gold in today’s market is a good investment and will soar in the next 5-10 years. Many of them are much more concerned with cryptocurrencies (which I am not against; however, I think both gold and cryptocurrencies should be in your portfolio). Now, I am not telling you to sell your stocks and buy up a ton of gold. What I am telling you, is that I expect the U.S. Dollar to devalue due to the hyperinflation we are now seeing, and gold prices will skyrocket.

The Great Devaluation by David Baratta – I highly recommend this book

I recently finished the book, The Great Devaluation by Adam Baratta, and I highly recommend this book for anybody interested in investing. He first explains how the Federal Reserve was created and how gold originally backed the U.S. dollar until Richard Nixon broke the Dollar from the gold standard. Presidents have used gold to devalue the U.S. Dollar in times of crisis (President Roosevelt for example in 1933).

Countries have been increasing their gold supply to curb future inflation. (Image from CyrptoCrunchApp)

Based on what I have learned, I am going to tell you why I will be putting some of my money into gold over the next several years. Let me first explain to you why gold is valuable in today’s world. Gold is an element that cannot be made. Thousands of years of failed alchemy projects have proven that mankind cannot combine other materials to create gold. With inflation soaring and debt rising at unprecedented levels around the world, we are starting to see the elite and many countries (The U.S., China, Russia, and Turkey) buy gold.

90 years ago, one ounce of gold was worth this $20 Bill. It’s now worth over $1,800

90 years ago, one ounce of gold was worth $20. Now, one ounce of gold is worth over $1,800. Read that again. Famous investor Paul Tudor Jones stated in 2018, “Gold is the number one asset to own in the coming years as demand increases”. So the question is, why are the elite and many countries buying gold?

80% of all U.S. Dollars in existance were printed in the last 24 months due to increased Quantitative Easing

The reason is because Federal Reserve is using this tactic called “Quantitative Easing”, or to put in layman’s terms, “printing an absurd amount of money” to increase the liquidity of U.S. banks and to inject trillions of dollars into the economy. 80% of all U.S. Dollars in existence were printed in the last 24 months. Read that again. People are not realizing how much money the Federal Reserve is creating out of thin air in order to keep the economy afloat. While the stock market may look decent, our debt is starting to overcome our assets, and the Federal Reserve is keeping their interest rate at zero.

The Federal Reserve does not want you to think that gold is a valuable investment. Gold is the anti-dollar. Gold is a reserve, and the Federal Reserve manipulates reserves every day. However, with inflation soaring and quantitative easing practices becoming more prominent, eventually the Federal Reserve must try and devalue the U.S. Dollar. Do not bet against the Federal Reserve. They will find a way to devalue the U.S. Dollar before it is too late (we have seen them do this in the past). As a result, gold prices will soar, and owners of physical gold will flourish.            

Some experts predict gold will be worth $10,000 an ounce by 2027

David Baratta has made a prediction that I believe will be true as well. The Federal Reserve cannot continue to keep printing money at this rate without creating a recession. They will be forced to devalue the Dollar to avoid another significant recession. As the Dollar devalues, and the Federal Reserve attempts to manage the balance sheet, gold could soar to $10,000 an ounce by 2027. Again, I am not saying to put all of your money in gold; however, I believe you would be a fool to not have some in your portfolio. The state of the market is clear and there is only one path forward to curb inflation. The dollar will devalue in the near future, and the gold price will skyrocket.

Team USA – A Preview of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games

Team USA gears up for the 2022 Olympic Games

Some of the best athletes in the world will be gathering this week to kick off the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing on February 4th. The United States looks ready to gear up for the games; however, they are not projected to win the medal count. Team USA is expected to finish in fourth place in the medal count race. Norway is expected to win the games, with Germany and Russia trailing behind in second and third respectively according to FanDuel odds. I would not count the USA out from winning the medal count as they have some incredible athletes who could really shake things up. Let’s take a look at a few of USA’s Olympic stars.

Shaun White winning an Olympic gold medal in the 2018 Olympic Games

Shaun White is one of the most decorated USA Olympians, and he is going for gold once again in the snowboarding halfpipe event. Shaun White won the halfpipe gold medal in 2006, 2010, and in 2018. He is now gunning for his fourth gold medal in Beijing. The 35-year-old stated that these Olympic games will be his last in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE magazine. Shaun White is an absolute must watch as he attempts to cap off his career with a fourth Olympic gold medal.

Mikaela Shiffrin is looking for her 3rd Olympic Gold medal

Mikaela Shiffrin is among the early favorites in the Alpine Skiing women’s giant slalom. She is currently favored to win the event, although she has recently contracted COVID-19. That could through a wrench in some of her training leading up to the games; however, she is expected to compete and to be fully healthy at the start of the prelims for Alpine Skiing.

The NHL is not allowing their hockey athletes to participate in the Olympic Games

Some other athletes to watch for are Jamie Anderson (Women’s Snowboarding), Kevin Bickner (Men’s Ski Jumping), and Brittany Bowe (Women’s Speedskating) just to name a few. Also, it is important to note that NHL players are not allowed to compete in the Olympic Games. The United States was originally projected to take the silver medal home; however, since America’s hockey players are forced to stay home, the U.S. hockey team will be at a significant disadvantage. The USA hockey team now has +1250 odds to win the Olympic gold medal (currently the sixth highest odds) according to Bovada.

Let’s hope we see some Miracle on Ice as the USA Hockey team must overcome significant odds to beat the Russian team who is favored to win the Olympics with +132 odds of winning gold.

Mamba Mentality

Two years ago on January 26th, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna passed away in a helicopter crash outside of Calabasas, California. This moment was a tragic for millions of people and sports fans around the world. Kobe’s legacy will forever live on. I was never a Lakers fan, but I always idolized his work ethic, tenacity, love for his family, and leadership he showed every day.

Kobe Bryant once said, “The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do”. This is one of my favorite quotes of all time and he truly embodied these words. He inspired the world around him to be great through his work ethic, love, and leadership. He always set the example and people would be inspired to chase their dreams from just watching him.

In Kobe Bryant’s book, Mamba Mentality, he talks about how his mindset sets him apart from everyone else on the court. The Mamba Mentality is about prioritizing your goals and doing everything possible to achieve them. It’s about obsession. It’s about greatness and love for what you do.

Kobe also talked about how you need to be about greatness. Talking about big goals is easy. Everyone will tell you about all the great things they will accomplish but most people do not have the audacity and courage to chase them. I take this to heart. I admit that I am sometimes at fault for doing the exact thing he says not to do; talking about it and not being about it. Kobe reminds me that if I want to accomplish the things I set out to do, I must have a relentless work ethic and intense dedication if I want to get there.

Not only does Kobe Bryant’s work ethic and mentality inspire me, but his love for his family does as well. He is a true family man and cared so much about his family. He cared deeply about the success of his daughters and helped them achieve their goals. Through Gianna, he inspired a lot of women around the world to chase their dreams in sports. Kobe’s impact was felt all over the globe.

Let’s take this time to remember the great Kobe Bryant. Let’s embody his values and let him inspire us to chase down our goals. To Kobe, Gianna, and the rest of the crew killed in the helicopter crash, you will always be remembered. The Mamba Mentality will always live on.