Transitioning from a military career to the corporate world can be a fraught process. In addition to networking their way into new professional circles and learning new cultural mores, veterans need to find an answer to the most fundamental question: what career will best suit them? Make Your Move: Charting Your Post-Military Career, written by Gene Moran, is about that transition. Published in 2021, Make Your Move is an entertaining and information-packed guide for those transitioning out of the military or through post-military life – or anybody facing a significant career change. With more than 24 years in uniform, retiring as a Navy Captain, Mr. Moran now owns and operates his firm helping businesses navigate the federal sales environment, resulting in billions of dollars to their bottom lines. Mr. Moran also gives back to veterans by sharing his post-military career experience through his books and the Make Your Move Podcast.
“The decision to go out on my own as an independent consultant was big. I enjoyed the structure of military life and thought I enjoyed the structure of corporate life. During a series of corporate changes, I recognized I did not want to continue a career where I was not in control of outcomes,” says Mr. Moran. With command at sea, Mr. Moran. had a lot of control for which he was directly accountable. However, he could not experience that in the corporate world. “I realized that being an independent consultant would restore that fulfillment. In working for myself in support of great clients, I was not content to just hang a shingle. I am leading, innovating, and dominating my support of the defense industrial base like no other,” explains Mr. Moran.
During his corporate years, Mr. Moran recognized that many defense companies not resident in Washington, DC, did not fully understand the intricacies of federal sales or the nuance associated with exercising positive influence. He knew he could help some of the hundreds of thousands of companies that fit these criteria. As a solo practitioner by design, Mr. Moran started offering advisement services to support funding and policy pursuits for defense companies. By educating industry presidents and CEOs on the federal processes and the most effective strategies and tactics to achieve their objectives, Mr. Moran helped entrepreneurs understand what is required to move forward. Further, when assisting decision-makers in the executive branch and Congress to understand the issues and concerns of his clients, Mr. Moran routinely sees opportunities to influence better outcomes for both the government and the clients.
Mr. Moran applies his experiences working in both the executive and congressional branches. Furthermore, his research in support of his Ph.D. in Public Policy specifically focused on the relationship between defense executives and their understanding of Congress. “In my recognizing how unfair the balance of access is for those who understand the interrelated processes of government versus those who don’t, I saw a need to document a condition of unfairness,” shares Mr. Moran. He has explored the US process and the industry’s relationship with the government in ways no one has done before. This in-depth understanding allows Mr. Moran’s clients to gain a better advantage in sharing their solutions with the government buyer.
Growing the Venture
Mr. Moran’s investments in improvements directly translate to investments in himself that he shares with others. His intellectual property is ever-evolving, and he continues to look for various channels to share that knowledge through public speeches and sessions periodically in university settings. The Defense Acquisition University, where all defense acquisition professionals are certified, uses Mr. Moran’s intellectual property in teaching part of that curriculum. “I will teach a public policy course at Florida State University in 2023, as well as the United States Naval Academy, and Defense Acquisition University” he shares. Mr. Moran has also written multiple books about federal sales, Capitol CurrencySM, and Million Dollar Influence, co-written with Alan Weiss. Later in 2023, Taylor & Francis will publish his next book, Government Deals Are Funded Not Sold: How to Integrate Lobbying into Your Federal Sales Strategy.
Over the years, Mr. Moran’s relentless pursuit of innovation has garnered multiple accolades. Capitol Integration is twice recognized by Bloomberg Government as a top-performing lobbying firm and is on track to do so again in 2023. The National Institute of Lobbying and Ethics (NILE) has recognized Mr. Moran twice as a Top Lobbyist among 12,000 federal lobbyists. Capitol Integration has been identified twice by Florida State University as one of the 100 fastest-growing alumni-owned small businesses in the United States. The Society for Advancing Consulting recognized Mr. Moran as the Consultant of the Year in a global field. Lastly, Capitol Integration is the only government relations professional inducted into the Consulting Hall of Fame®.
Progressing into the Future
Throughout his career, Mr. Moran has led through action and attempted to develop those coming behind him. He understands that not everyone is ready to receive mentorship and developmental support, and that people grow at their own rate. “A passion project I undertook was writing my own story of transition from a Navy Captain to an independent entrepreneur. Make Your Move is a book intended to help others who may be struggling to find fulfillment in their post-active duty lives,” Mr. Moran explains. It’s also inspired the Make Your Move podcast, where other veterans share their business success stories since active duty. All proceeds from the Make Your Move effort support Freedom Fighter Outdoors, a charity dedicated to providing unique outdoor experiences to wounded veterans.
An outgrowth of his Ph.D. work is Mr. Moran’s recognition of a need to democratize access to Congress. In the executive branch, the Small Business Association exists in many forms to support companies trying to sell to the government. “Too many companies fail to recognize that the table is set in Congress regarding federal spending. I intend to continue to identify ways Congress might offer additional avenues of access for companies of all sizes,” states Mr. Moran. Today, fewer than one percent of defense companies participate in formal lobbying of Congress. In theory, all companies have equal access, but without someone like Capitol Integration by their side, they’ll never tap into that opportunity.
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