From Military to Chef to Software … Chaney Picks Up Important Lessons

Success in business is never easy; especially when you’re overseeing a start-up.

Brandon Chaney, general manager and chief operating officer of InspectionXpert, knows this all too well.

In the latest episode of our Next Matters Most podcast, Smashing Boxes CEO Nick Jordan spent some time picking Chaney’s brain about what’s helped him succeed.

Chaney’s background includes time in the military and he spent some time as a chef. Now, he’s honing his skills as a leader in the software industry.

Chaney heads up development of software that makes the inspection process and quality control easier for manufacturing companies. He’s leading his team toward new ventures where data collected also can transform the quality department into a revenue stream.

No matter what Chaney gets his arms wrapped around, a few principles have guided him along the way.

Be Curious: The best leaders don’t have all the answers; they’re constantly asking questions and learning about their industry, their business, and their product.

Be Learning: It’s not enough to simply ask the right questions; good leaders absorb the information and use it to make better decisions in the future.

Be Listening: Constantly; some of the best lessons come from places least expected; after all, we have two ears and one mouth for good reason.

Something else Chaney discovered is no matter the passion and work ethic of an entrepreneur, without the right system in place, a new venture surely will not maximize its opportunity.

For Chaney, that system has been the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), which helps entrepreneurs and their leadership teams solve root problems, manage human energy and gain traction in their businesses through simple proven and practical tools.

Most entrepreneurs know exactly where they want to go. But Chaney says having the right system in place is vital to getting there.

Another key ingredient is having the right people in the right seats. Chaney adds that visionaries who don’t have a partner to make operations hum just might struggle.

Successful entrepreneurs also are able to manage, monitor and move. They’re intentional with their businesses, but also understand they must pivot at times.

To learn more about Chaney’s life lessons, check out the entire latest episode of the Next Matters Most podcast. If you’re interested in participating in a future Next Matters Most podcast, send an email to

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