BTU #37 – David Cho: Starting a Cosmetics eCommerce company while in the Army

“I’m in the beauty industry. I’m this ex-combat arms officer who knows way too much about cosmetics now. I think it’s really funny. For me, timing really worked out. When we started Soko Glam, I was an Executive Aide to a General Officer. Although my time was really sporadic, for the most part I was in garrison. So I had a lot of time to research and take night classes, research certain things and go out and network. That would be my piece of advice – when you’re still in really take the time to meet people and  figure out what you want to do. Do as much reading as possible but you gotta go out there and meet people.”
 – David Cho

David Cho is the Co-Founder and CEO of Soko Glam – an eCommerce beauty shop and lifestyle brand with the best selection of Korean Beauty products and content. Dave started out at West Point, and served as a Combat Arms Officer for over 8 years. After his transition from the Army, David attended Columbia Business School, during which he worked at Facebook as a Global Accounts Intern. In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • How Dave started an e-commerce beauty company while on active duty in the Army
  • What it’s like to have your wife as your co-founder
  • Resources Dave would recommend to any aspiring veteran entrepreneur
  • WhatWhat Dave wished he had known when he first started his company, Soko Glam
  • And much, much more…

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QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Links

Show Notes

  • 2:19 – Dave’s background
  • 2:53 – An overview of Dave’s company, Soko Glam
  • 4:48 – Finding a co-founder, and what it’s like to be married to them
  • 11:11 – What Dave’s like as a Co-Founder & CEO looks like on a day-to-day basis
  • 13:16 – What Dave’s lifestyle looks like as an entrepreneur
  • 16:33 – What it was like to start Soko Glam while on active duty in the Army
  • 19:19 – Resources Dave would recommend when you’re preparing to start your company
  • 23:30 – Whether or not to consider business school when starting your own company
  • 29:07 – How Dave’s wife, Charlotte, continued to work on Soko Glam while Dave was at business school
  • 29:37 – What Dave wished he had known when he first started his company, Soko Glam
  • 32:32 – Some of the best advice Dave received when making the transition from the Army
  • 38:15 – Some consistent misconceptions that Dave sees veterans make when he is mentoring veterans going through the transition to civilian life
  • 41:30 – How to better know if you’d like a large company or start your own company
  • 43:20 – The bad habits that Dave needed to break when he left the military
  • 46:30 – The biggest surprises Dave experienced in his transition to civilian life
  • 49:20 – Dave’s final words of wisdom