Welcome to our new website!
March 16, 2022

From NYPD Detective To Fundthefirst.com

Let us listen to our special guest, NYPD Detective Robert Garland. Robert has had a pretty cool career, being a detective in New York. And this had some amazing assignments with some amazing success. But unfortunately, he sustained a career-ending injury. And it's transformed his life now into business, something that gives back to the community of first responders in a little bit different way. It's called Fund The First, so we're going to talk about his career. And we're talking about Fun The First and maybe a little business coaching in there.

Let us listen to our special guest, NYPD Detective Robert Garland. Robert has had a pretty cool career, being a detective in New York. And this had some amazing assignments with some amazing success. But unfortunately, he sustained a career-ending injury. And it's transformed his life now into business, something that gives back to the community of first responders in a little bit different way. It's called Fund The First, so we're going to talk about his career. And we're talking about Fun The First and maybe a little business coaching in there. 

In this episode, we can learn:
👉How to deal with mentally when you're not able to work because of having an injury;

👉How to donate to first responders and their families through Fund The First;
👉How to start up a business using Fund the First especially if you don't have enough capital;
👉How to lessen failures in business;
👉Why chasing dollar is not the top priority in building a business; and
👉Many more!


Visit their website:

Fun The First


Host Information
Your host Jerry D. Lund can be reached at 801-376-7124 or email at enduringthebdage@gmail.com or voice message use the icon microphone at www.enduringthebadgepodcast.com. Please feel free to give my information to anyone that might be feeling down or anyone you would like to be on the podcast. Please subscribe to the podcast and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast.  If you like the podcast please share it and join the online community at www.instagram.com/enduringthebadgepodcast.


Hi, everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of Enduring the Badge Podcast. I'm host Jerry Dean Lund, and I don't want you to miss an upcoming episode. So please hit that subscribe button. And while your phones out, please do me a favor and give us a review on iTunes or Apple podcasts. It says, Hey, this podcast has a great message and we should send it out to more people. So please take that 30 seconds to a minute to do that review. And just maybe by doing that, it will push this up into someone's podcast feed that really needs this message. 

Today on this episode, my very special guest is NYPD Detective Robert Garland. Robert has had a pretty cool career, being a detective in New York. And this had some amazing assignments with some amazing success. But unfortunately, he sustained a career ending injury. And it's transformed his life now into business, something that gives back to the community of first responders in a little bit different way. It's called Fun the First, so we're going to talk about his career. And we're talking about Fun the First and maybe a little business coaching in there. For those of you first responders or spouses of a first responder looking to start a side hustle, Robert might have some tips for you. Let's jump right into this episode. 


Fund the First


All right, welcome to Enduring the Badge Podcast. My very special guest today is Robert Garland. How you doing, Robert?


Hey, Jerry, how are you?


Pleasure. Pleasure to be good. Yeah, yeah. said we could finally connect and talk about you being a detective, which is going to also lead into some business stuff that you can talk to us about.


Absolutely. Absolutely. I look forward to really explaining it. Yeah.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

So I'm a detective of the NYPD. I'm going on 14 years. I'll be retired, hopefully next month. Let's cross my fingers. Due to due to an injury. I have an injury.


Oh, sorry. Oh, no, it's okay. Listen, I can pick up my kids. I could do whatever I need to do with them. And that's all that matters. I have three wonderful kids. And that's really all that matters. Now. Being on the job, I spent the majority of my time in narcotics. I spent a large portion of my career there. But I started in Midtown. If anyone's ever been to Times Square, that's where I was walking to walk in a foot post that at four in the morning wandering around in the middle of midtown, you know as a young 22 year old kid, but it was fun times go from there wanting to Midtown North Precinct which covers more. Have you ever been to like Central Park that area? Yeah, yeah, yeah, set South Central Park. It covers all the areas over there and all the high end stores. I went into an anti crime unit there where we mostly did like fake credit card arrest, robberies, pickpockets, burglaries, forcible touching around the holidays, if you go to Rockefeller Center, there's always it's always these creeps, they would sit by the ice skating rink, and watch, you know, the women leaning over, and they'd go over and push the book. It's like, what are you doing? And we get three of three or four of these guys a night? Well, we'd have these guys that were these giant jackets. And they're, you know, touching themselves underneath the jacket. And watching watching the kids and going over and touching kids afterwards. It was disgusting. Yeah, that stuff. No, that stuff will always be there, unfortunately. But that was one of the things that I addressed in anti crime because it was the condition of the precinct. That was one of the things. From there. I moved into narcotics, I did a lot of fun things. Buying drugs, still my case is doing search warrants, all that kind of stuff. Time that's where I mean, I'm covered in tattoos. But it was a fun, fun time. I got hurt. I was temporarily assigned to the 13th precinct detective squad where I handle missing persons for a little while. And now back in narcotics. But this is where I'm going to be retiring from.


Oh, yeah, you've you've had in those 14 years to bounce around doing some fun things. That's sounds pretty cool.


Yeah. It's fun time.


Yeah. Do you mind talking about your injury at all? Or?


Yeah, no, it's fine. I mean, listen, we're all out there on the streets. Right? Right. At five firefighter, whatever it is, we're risking our lives every single day. And my injury was not anything out of the ordinary. We're doing a buy and bust operation and narcotics but it was blocked around we're buying drugs. And then as soon as the drugs are bought from these people on the streets, we move in with you know the effect the arrest but man cuz my injury happened one of these kids sold weed before we was all legal all over the place. And, you know, he sold weed to one of our undercovers. I moved down to grab the guy, he fought. I don't know why they fight over weed arrest that he's going to be out the next day for, you know, he fought. Originally my pain was in my thumb, my thumb went numb, and I compensated, and when I was really wrestling with this guy, all the energy went into my shoulder, and my shoulder popped. I felt that right there, like something's not right. Or get an MRI or week later. Sure enough, I had a labral tear, labral tear. Now I have anchors that fasten the muscle to the bone. Yeah, it's really akward in New York when weather is always changing, because I feel like I feel the vibrations, right? That's just not feeling weightlessness. It's not life threatening, it's nothing that's limiting me as a person, as a human. However, unfortunately, I can't do my job anymore. You know, I can't be out there on the streets anymore. And I love this job. I love protecting the city, I love doing what I didn't narcotics. But you know, it's time to move on and transition. And luckily, I was able to transition before that injury into the business. 


That's, that's awesome, awesome, that you're able to do that. That's terrible. You've had to fight through an injury that's gonna, you know, force you out of something that you love to do. I think a lot of listeners and including myself have been through, you know, some serious injuries that have happened on the job. And some of those, you know, some people are facing ones now that you know, happen off the job, which even complicates things even more so. But I just remember how it affected my mental health by just not being able to go to work and, you know, participate in, in the job that I love to do every day. It did, how did that affect you?


I went from when I was in narcotics, I was doing these large scale wire investigations. And one of my my last takedown my last biggest takedown, before getting hurt was in 2018. And it was a wire, a wire case that affected the rest of 36 people cross over 20 search warrants over five different states in one night, there was so much fun. It was a wiretap case that I had ongoing for over a year. And you're up online to listen to people you see in Okay, we got a subject here, you got sort of there, we hear them doing this, we have the we have the PCMS. And you're trying to then identify these people and get it out there. And then you find to get to their door, right, you try and get we had doors in Massachusetts, and Connecticut and Florida, and Georgia, all over New York, you know, Long Island in the city, I've stayed in Yonkers, we had him everywhere. But it's getting out and building that case. And it was so incredible, and such a fun experience to be able to get to that next point in your career to see what you're doing and see how you're really pulling what you did as a rookie cop into, you know, becoming a detective and pulling out for a certain rank. And saying, Wow, I can really do all this. And when I did that, I said I want to keep moving with my career. I want to do new things, things that people have never done before. And I did I transitioned into the world of the dark web and buying drugs using Bitcoin. It was, it was a time where my where my supervisors were like, no shot in hell are you doing this? I basically told them too bad. I'm doing it. Yeah, it was one of those kinds of things. And but it helped me help me in my career, and I had an opportunity to go to a highly advanced and specialized task force that only did this overseas, which is super cool. And then I got hurt, I got hurt, right before my transfer was coming down, I got hurt. And that was a killer, you know, your pride, everything that you've worked towards to get hurt, and say, shit, I'm not going to do this now. Right? You know, it hurt. But then, at the same time, I was starting my business and starting something, a new journey, that it was something that I could focus on now, because I was hurt. And I said, Okay, I'm not going to be able to do everything at work as much a movie out with this with this injury, you know, how can I transition and focus on what I've learned as detected as a cop, and go to help others and do something in a different capacity. And that's what I did with no report that was on the first calm, but it was I didn't, I didn't necessarily have that sort of, say downtime, where I was like, gosh, you know, I don't know, do my library. You know, I had some I had something going, which help, you know, definitely helped. But I understand where you come from, because so many guys go through, they get hurt. They're sitting around, you know, what, what do I do my wife now?


Right? Right. Right? How did it affect your family? Because that's, you're probably out and about sounds like doing all kinds of things all times today. And now you're probably at home a lot more often. How did that affect your family being home?


I mean, be home for the kids is everything. Being home and and being around? I mean, I went from doing 5 to 700 hours of overtime a year to doing zero. Yeah, so being able to see my children on a different scale is super, super special. You know, especially you know, when I retire and be able to see that everything you know, Dad's gonna be there that's not going to have to do a search warrant three in the morning Dubai and bust operations right after that, and then go back to work and do a double. It's not happening anymore. And luckily they're young enough but they really never understood on you that to really know, get a full grasp on it. But being home with them is it's special.


Yeah, yeah. How did it make your marriage? Was it, I mean,


Well, we got we got divorce.


A divorce, since you've been home?


It's okay. You know, that's that's just the way life goes, you know, people separate people go to different paths. Yeah. But again, as long as the children are fine, that's all that matters. 


Yeah, yeah. yeah. Life is always changing and evolving, and it will never never stop. And, yeah. As you change careers and transition and stuff like that, that's cool that you're gonna have the opportunity to go in from spending so much time at work in such a crazy schedule into this business that you're forming.


Yeah, it's, it's special. Because my personality is given back. I want to give back to people in a true fashion. And you do that as a cop? You do as a detective, but not on a grand scale. How you a grand scale? And we developed fundthefirst.com to be able to deal with it.

Really do that. Yeah. Have you always had the desire to want to give back since you were young?


Yeah, yeah, I just didn't know how, you know, no one, no one ever knows how to really give back. No, say I want to do fundraisers I want to give to a nonprofit. But then you question all these things? Yeah, question, where's the money actually going through? How do I actually do this. And there's never like, you know, when you're not educated enough on the on the topic, you don't really know if you should be making that judgment call or not. And that's where I took my education, I learned from being a detective on high scale investigations and high end investigations, and really detailed investigations to transition out into the business world and say, If I could do this as active, and do a case work, where I'm dropping 200-300 reports a day, on hundreds of subjects, that I can transition to the business world and help 1000s of people across the country, you know, in a different fashion that no one's ever seen before.


Yeah, yeah. Let's, let's talk a little bit about, you know, the transition that you're making, into into the into this new, this new business. Explain that a little bit.


Yeah, so we developed on the fundthefirst.com. It was formed in July of 2020. That's when we launched our platform. Now, before launching the platform, obviously, everyone has to go through a process of developing a business business plans insurances, you know, forming your actual business, whether you're gonna be an LLC, an S corp, a C Corp, you know, what you're going to have shareholders in the company, whether you're going to bootstrap, whatever you got to do to capitalize off, you know, get have capital into the company to really, you know, get your mission out there. You know, developing websites, clothing, if you have clothing, so there's so many different things that we were brainstorming for so long. But the main idea came from one of my closest friends, his daughter was born with a rare illness.


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Window passingly on actress all traffic. And when when I was watching this happen, seeing that hardship and seeing my friend go through a major financial medical crisis and an emotional crisis. I said to myself, How can I help? What can I do to help them? Now the immediate thought is, let's go and go for me. Right, right, right. Yeah, let's go and go for me. Let's do a fundraiser. Yeah. And I said this, then he said, No. He said, we're not doing. I don't want someone cross country using my daughter's face to benefit off my hardship. Now, when he said that I didn't know. I didn't necessarily know what he meant by research. I came to realize that in the crowdfunding industry, number one, there's no true means of verification. There's all these platforms out there. But there's no way of verifying where the money goes to. There's no way of verifying who the beneficiaries are, the organizer is nothing. And there's no real source for those who serve the families or friends, first responders, military, medical providers, businesses and nonprofits. There's no real source to do this. And that's why from the first develop, it was a holy shit moment. Right? It was one of those moments where you say, Wow, the industry has so much competition. But I could conquer that competition by bringing something new to the market. And that's what we do upon the first. And it's been a truly incredible experience to create a crowdfunding platform. That is seamless, free, we have no fees. It's fully verified. And it gives back to those who serve in a means of clicking a bottom, click Sort of fundraiser and you get started super simple verification processors through id.me. Now, if you're familiar with it, yeah, it's, you know, people use it for discounts. But to get this right, you have to verify, we integrated with them in a new fashion where we integrated, were verified Group Status, which is your first responding military modified, or whatever it may be. And then we verify identity. So we take it two steps to really bring that trust factor into the into the donor. So donors know when they donate to that fundraiser, the money is going to a verified source, not only that, it's only going to the beneficiary. Now crowdfunding as a whole, if you look at these platforms, whoever organized the campaign, the organizer receives those funds. That's an issue, because now the donors are relying on the organizer to give those funds to the beneficiary. But now what happens in that case, most of time doesn't have the money in the pocket, are they taking some of it and saying, Hey, I, whatever it is, on from the first car, doesn't happen, the organizers never touch the money only goes to the beneficiary for verification model, we've now been live for 20 months, 20 months for up to 340 fundraising, fundraising campaigns on our platform that have surpassed $3.8 million raised. That's impressive. It really is the average campaign. Thank you. The average campaign on our platform is raising over $10,000. You know, it's a lot a lot of money. Yeah. But you have to rely on your own network as well. You have to share them and you have to ask people. Now fundraising is a very hard industry. Right? Right. I've come I've come to say that I'm an expert in this. But sometimes people don't like to hear what I have to say. It's the asked, Hey, you have to ask. You have to hound people. Hey, Jerry, I have this fundraiser. Can you donate? You'll say Sure. I'll take a look at it. And then I'll look into this later. I see you didn't donate. Hey, Jerry, can you donate? Sure. He can donate. Yeah, keep doing it. You just got to keep doing it. Because eventually people get sick, not, I feel fine, I gotta do it. You gotta, you gotta keep hounding people. And you got to give the emotional connection when you're fundraising, you have to be connected. And that's why the networks and your personal networks are so important. sharing them social media, emailing and texting it, everything. If you have local newspaper, getting a local newspaper, or local news, getting a local news, if you want us to help, we'll try to help you get in the news, whatever it is, you know, we'll help you. But we're there for you with this platform. And it's so special, that we're able to provide for the entire country with a trusted resource. And, you know, thank you for having me on the show, because you have listeners probably that weren't aware from the person and may be aware, right? They'll say, Oh, wow, this this free platform, there's no fees. This is verify platform. And as this platform that supports us. Yeah, I'm gonna I'm gonna use them to fundraise. Right? I'm not gonna go with these other ones.

Robert Garland, an NYPD detective and CEO of

Yeah, there's a lot of fundraisers created throughout the year to help, you know, did first responders you see him popping up. You know, pretty much daily, unfortunately, you know, people were trying to raise funds. And I think you're right, there's a lot of people that are very skeptical about donating funds, when they don't really know where the money is gonna go, and how much of the money is actually going to go to that person. 


Right. I mean, there's too many platforms out there that say, free to set up. Now, that's an important term free to set up. Yeah. What are the fees after? Our structure, we have one fee and one fee on the attack, credit card processing. It's nothing it's 2.9%. Yeah, unavoidable, we have to have that because there has to be a way of money getting from A to B. Right. Right. You know, it's it's no, we're not cryptocurrency, even cryptocurrency there's miners, I guess they need to be in this percentage to come out of that. But that's a whole different. That's a whole different topic. Everyone talks about that. That's a whole different topic. I'm highly, highly into the cryptocurrency market as well. But with with any business you need, you need a processor, you know, so there's going to be that pay. But we don't have that additional administrative fee. Originally, we did. We had a 5% fee, which is still extremely small, but we took it away. We took it away.


How are you able to take that fee away?


Yeah, so we rely on tips. For now what happens is when someone donates to a fundraiser, there's a little slider that says "Help us from the first". And it's basically from the first step on the free plaque on the rise. We rely on your tip to help us support those who serve across the nation. Without people's tips, we can survive. And luckily, and thankfully, people don't people tip us on top of their donation, which is incredible. You know, we're able to give back. You know, every business has been interesting. I know some people always say, Oh, why don't you do this for free? Well, we to kind of do it for free, you know, but you still have bills, we have high integrations of different technologies into our platform. Right? Surely there's no media, there's all different bills that go in. Yeah. But I don't do this to necessarily monetize and put money in my pocket. I do this to give back to the country.


That's right. Are these type of fundraisers only good for, you know, the, this this country for the United States?  


Yes. Alright. So basically, the biggest thing that we have is an identification process, which I did on it. So we can only verify in the United States right now. However, we're going to be transitioning into Canada Idemia Is, is integrating a Canadian program. So we're gonna be transitioning there. And then eventually, they're going to subset different countries. So as countries open up, we'll be able to open up in different countries. And that's important because all these other crowdfunding platforms have the other countries. Now, however, they could still use us and do a manual process we actually had. One was last month, a Greek police officer died from a heart attack. And a woman out there in Greece found us on on social media, and she saw a fundraiser on our platform. And she contact us and we did a manual verification process. You know, we got all of our credentials, we followed up with phone calls, emails, and made sure everything was legit. And she raised money for this Greek police officer, which is incredible. Yeah, we had, yeah, we have one of these overseas campaigns, which is pretty cool. Now, stuff like that word of mouth spread, but word of mouth will also come with. They don't necessarily have the seamless button to do it yet. But eventually, we will.

A map of Canada and the United States.


So if someone were wanting to set up for a fundraiser for first responders in Ukraine, right now, is that something they could do?


Yeah, so we actually have two, two campaigns going off that one of them is a port authority police officer. His family is in Ukraine. So he's helping raise money for his family. And also, we have a military, military spouse, and her her husband, what was her husband? Some of the troops that he trained overseas are from Ukraine or something, or they're raising money. They're amazing, raising money for them and sending it over there. But anyone could do it for Ukraine. But now here's the thing. As the organizer, you're not getting those funds, we have to issue it to Ukraine. Yeah, we have to send it around. So it's it's a little bit of a manual process on our end. Sure. Happy to do. So if anyone wants to set up a fundraiser to support you know, in the firefighters for police officers. Everyone's falling apart. Yeah. Yeah. to support them. By all means, you know, you get that song.


Yeah. Yeah, I would imagine someone's the thoughts crossed my mind. I have a friend over in Ukraine, and I'm getting little bits and pieces, you know, through through Facebook and stuff like that about what's what's going on. And, gosh, I just can't even imagine going through what he's going through over there. Just send in your family away. And then I'm staying to fight and I will hopefully survive and find you at some point. So, yeah, yeah. So it's awesome that people are getting involved or ready to set up fundraisers. Because I mean that I feel like that that money will go really far over there and these these times?


Well, we got a whole polls upon setting up this fundraiser, that the money is actually going where it's intended to go. Yeah. Yeah, I spoke about this on the show that I was on earlier. Yeah, bring it up here. People are starting fundraisers. High end actors and actresses are starting fundraisers on platforms like GoFundMe on the these different platforms. And they're saying the money is going to support Ukraine, support the people of Ukraine. But here's the question, how are they getting those funds raised there? Yeah. That's the question. Yeah. People donate blindly to the campaign. But are they getting the money there with our team, we ensure that it will go to what needs to go to really take seven months from now will ensure that it still goes there? Yeah, we'll do we'll do every check possible to make sure that it goes to the right source. So that's the issue. And like, I wish people would know about our platform, because we take that stuff that I saw I campaigned on our platform, we'll make sure that it goes to.


Yeah, what other things should we know about their platform?


I mean, listen to so many different reasons to start a fundraiser, right? There's, there's illnesses, deaths, catastrophic losses, there's toy drives, whatever it may be, the platform is available. You don't have to be a first responder to startup or military, whatever it may be to start one. You don't even have to be one to be a beneficiary. It just has to be that Nexus, the Nexus has to be there. The organizer beneficiary has to be one or even if it's not, if you're a spouse, a widow or you know, whatever it may be. We can make it happen. There's always ways ways of back manual verifications and making it happen. We have other other things with the platform as well. We have a store. I mean, we got some nice cool see ever store, we really don't promote it too much. We also do some consulting, my partner and I, Michael, he's our CFO. We do consulting, so we help people transition from problem first responder world, into the business world. Because there's so much that goes on with it. It's not just, Hey, I got this business idea, I'm gonna start an LLC. Yeah, highly against. I'm just not an advocate for LLC, but I'm going to start an LLC. And I'm just gonna, you know, bootstrap this and come out of pocket and do whatever, right? It's different ways. Why are you going to start that? Why not start a C Corp, really get your business plan together, and find some investors. See, also invest, give up some shapes and shares of your company, you know, go a different route. So we help people transition to educate them more on what maybe they don't know, right? Because everyone doesn't know everything I don't. I educated myself in the space, it took a long time. And I still got I'm learning I'm learning every single day. And it's important to educate ourselves every single day. But we help people out with it with consulting with that, we do that. We also have sponsorship opportunities, want to be a sponsor, and any fundraiser. You know, basically, it's just showing you a logo. So yeah, our work, our website has insane amount of traffic, you know, 1000s of people coming to individual campaigns daily, and to have your logo, you know, on a on a fundraiser as, you know, proud sponsor from the first comp just only on that fundraiser, but as people see it, it's ingrained in their head and visit the website. Yeah.

Jerry  That's, that's awesome. That's a great opportunity for, for businesses to get their name out there. I was just trying to go back to what you said originally, had just lost a totally lost my train of thought. You're good. Dang it. Anyways, that rarely happens. On the show just totally drew drew a blank, but trying to get people to help you out and get the word out there is thinking other ways that can happen.


Well, organic growth is everything. And that's what we rely on right now. We don't do much paid opportunities. We've been in the news. I mean, you've taken from the first crown and Robert crawl and Google, we're everywhere. We've been all over the news. But it's always What have you done for me lately? Right? You just see it. They remembered in that moment. And then the next day, they forget about it? Because we're not that Burb yet, right? We're not, we're not the Go Fund yet. That's the verb, right? But the verb needs to become fund the first, I'm gonna do I know, that's, it's going to get there. We're not even two years old yet. You know, when we get to five years old, when we get to five years, I can guarantee that we're a household name. And everybody knows. But the organic growth is everything. And we have some of these large scale fundraisers that are raising 100 200 304 and $500,000. We have those ones, the organic growth is everyone people sharing and people seeing from the first calm, and they're saying to themselves, what is that they see the fundraiser, but they immediately associated with one of these other platforms, because that's what they used to. But then they see the former first.com As a nonprofit. Now, you know, we're here, we're a problem platform. And it takes a little while to research. But I mean, less than if anybody ever wants to share what we're doing, you know, just let them know, we're free fundraising platform for those who serve their parents.


Right. I, my thought came back to me, got business consulting. So most, were talking about this before we started recording, most first responders have more than one job. And they're trying to start this new business to make a little extra money or, or maybe to start this business. So they can, you know, have a plan to retire and stuff. So I think consulting is would be a very cool option to you know, to reach out to you and get some of that because I know when I started, I have a couple businesses, I have fire and fuel parallel have the podcast. I do some speaking and coaching and stuff. And you know, without having some consulting and coaching and mentoring, you make so many more mistakes, and it's so much more costly in both financial, you know, losses, but time losses is something. Yeah, go ahead.


That's okay. You want to fail, right? We always want to fail when we're looking to succeed because without that failure, we won't know where to get to that success. The old saying with that. Yeah, yeah, like a rubber.


I want to feel less I want to feel failure is good. It is good. It is good in a lot of ways because you do you do learn any do discover a lot of different things. But, you know, I think just when you have someone that you can consult with your failures, one you're going to be able to learn from by having that extra person there to help coach you or mentor you through or pass that failure. And I think that's, that's something that every business owner should have is some kind of coach or mentor.


So one thing I always I always highly stress, whenever I talk to anybody starting a new business or going through the business opportunities, you you've created that business because you had a, you had a goal, right? You had a mission, you had a drive, you had, you know, a motivation, whatever the factor may be to get started. But where you originally created that business to make money, and that's what you need to think about. Because if you start chasing the dollar, you will not succeed. Right? Cannot chase the dollar. chase the dream, chase the goal. Do not chase the dollar the second you start chasing that dollar sign. That's where you'll fail, and you'll fail hard. Yeah, you know, yeah, I made those mistakes. I had ideas when I was younger, you know, as a rookie cop I had, I had this pants idea I wanted to make, because when you're in a gun belt, and you got to go number two, yeah. run to the bathroom. Yeah. Yeah. You don't want to take off your pants rail. It's like, right, yeah, I gotta take my gun out, throw everything all over the place. Yeah, and the radio hits you like a central standby? You know? Yeah, you don't know, you don't know what to do. So I had an idea for these pants were basically they would zipper down and you keep your belt off. And I said, I'm gonna ship a lot of money from this. And that's where I failed, because my idea got stolen. Just by one of the largest brands out there. Yeah, because I brought it to their attention, like a moron. I brought to the attention without protecting myself first, and not really getting the idea. But that's where we learn. We learn from from our mistakes. But I was chasing the dollar, because the only thing I was thinking about was making money with that. And now thinking that I'm going to be helping 1000s of cops cross country. Right. All right. Luckily, that didn't really succeed. They developed a product. And it didn't really go anywhere. Not too many people bought it. It's still there, you can find it. But I won't say the company that sold. It started sourcing to be Yeah, but you know, it is what it is with that Bob will fund the first I created this company to give back to those who serve to give back to their families, their friends, to those who need it. For those who want to fundraise to those who want a trusted resource. And whatever your business is, you know, whether it be T shirts, you have this awesome design you want to you want to put out there, you know, your dream is that design. Yeah, right. Your dream is what you just created, you want to give this to people, you want to see your logo on people's shirts, on people's bodies, you know, you want to see them, some of them wearing that. But when you start thinking about the money, you got to make off that your logo design now starts to go down the hill. Yeah, you forget about the dream, and you forget about what you really do it. So that's one of the things that I that I advocate for, and really try to stretch them I talk to people about building develop businesses developing what they have already. But then there's so many different factors there. Yes, really, there's a lot of things behind it to start the business. And a lot of people that don't understand is raising capital, you know, doing a seed round doing a series day doing a series B, you know, doing a regulation crowdfunding round, which is giving away capital in your business, with shares to different people to be a part of your company, but then to help you have capital to start your idea and move further. Right. And that's different that's building out your business plan. That's getting lawyers on hand that's stressing a PPM purple, private placement memorandum that's drafting things, the SEC, that's all these different regulations that go into play that's putting together a pitch deck, which if you're familiar, is basically it's like a PowerPoint presentation to show to investors and say, Hey, this is the idea or this is our working product will be Apple over your stages, and then move forward from there. So I love like, I have a passion for being able to give back to people that want to accelerate their careers and move move on to the next chapter in their life. Not everyone ever, but again, I don't know everything. I'm going to give you what I know and the steps that I've taken to succeed and the steps that I've taken to fail, you know, and I'll try to help you along the road. Now. That's what we do, and Miko our CPA. He's been involved in multiple businesses. He's got his own practice as a CPA, super smart dude. But he's He's highly intelligent as well, but we'll say the same thing. You know, he's always learning. Always like,


Yeah, yeah, I think as a first you're smarter. A lot of times you don't have a lot of just bear capital sitting around to start a business. So I think that's where the dream dies.

Why Businesses Shut Down Early: The Reasons Why

But it shouldn't die there. Because yes, it's concerned you say, you say okay, let's let's use a T Shirt Company. For example, right? You have t shirts. You have to figure out a printing company. Whether you want to use a third party that's going to print on demand or whether you want to have supply over leader. You need to figure out those expenses. You need to figure out your basic insurances. From the directors and officers kind of stuff like that. And then from there, you know, you got to think about overhead, you know, if you have any, any people, you have to pay the companies, all that kind of stuff, it all factors in, but you shouldn't worry about that, develop your plan, develop the whole scope, get everything ready, and then say, well, my idea is incredible. I know that this is something that could be highly fruitful in five years, 10 years, and you present it to people that are in that industry. So this is what I'm doing. You know, this is what I want to do. I need X amount of money to get started. I need X amount of money to hold me over for a year. I'm willing to give up x in my company to do that. You know, people don't people don't necessarily think about that. Because when you hear the word investor, what do you automatically think, Oh, I invested in a stock?


Yeah, I think.


Yeah. Right. You think Shark Tank, right? But they're a little scummy with what they do. You know, you think about those things. But you're investing in a privately held company that one day could possibly go public. Or if it doesn't go public one day, you could possibly getting getting dividend returns from you know, that I'm talking from the investor standpoint, yeah. Or one day after that, you could possibly that company could be bought out and acquired, and they making a return on their investment. So there's all these different things that you could say to investors and say, This is what you could potentially get. But it's getting an investment out to I mean, we had, let me tell you something, when we started funding the first we had this idea, we didn't have fun, the first thing was create website wasn't there. There was nothing, it was an idea in my head was put to paper. And our team did it. We got on the phone from November to January of 2019. With easily 12 or 1300 different people. So a lot, a lot of people, you know, blended up and 42 people ended up investing for the first 42 After talking to 1300 Yeah, there was insane. There's the same person, the drivers, the motivation, and it's portraying your dream, right, you're telling, you're telling them that they're going to make a return on investment, but they want to have passion. They want to hear that you're you have the drive biggest the biggest drawback for me with these investors was what's your experience, Robert Palmer to check them? Yeah, you have no experience. We're putting trust in you know, experience as a businessman. I don't care how much you read, I care how much you learn. You have no experience. You know, now I have experience, if I want to start a new business, I can say I have the experience. But then it was difficult. I didn't have the experience. So trying to convince somebody through your passion through your driving motivation. It's difficult. It's difficult, but it's it's not something that can't be done. And sometimes people people don't become motivated to get to that next step. Because they're afraid of the failure. Right? Right. Don't be afraid of the failure. Just bring it. Yeah, yeah.


Yeah. I know, I know. Sometimes I read a lot, listen to a lot of you know, podcasts and books and everything. Just, you know, sometimes you just, you know, we I don't know, where we look. In society, we came to this decision that failure was such an awful thing, that we're all so afraid of it. And I don't know, maybe it's just the social aspect of the world that, you know, failures, like, oh, man, you fail. That's like, end of the world. But it's, it's a learning experience. You're learning. I mean, everybody's failed, and continues to fail at something pretty much every day. You know, it's I think it's true failures when you just give up and you stop learning. Like, I quit. I'm done with that. Like that. That's failure to me.


Yeah, when you quit, that's true. You're right. That's true failure. That's definitely true failure. But you have to have to fail. Yeah.


Yeah. And you learn something, though, you did learn something before you gave up. And I, there's very few things I've ever given up on. But I did learn a lot about what I was doing, you know, and basically, I didn't, what I learned was to pivot to something different, you know, this wasn't working. So I'm going to pivot to something different this, this avenue. Yeah. It didn't work. You could consider that a failure. So I'm pivoting pivoting to this different direction.


That's an important statement. You just said the pivot is everything, you know, changing directions. When you learn from what you're going through and learn from either your successes or your mistakes. That pivot. It could be minor, it could be drastic. Yeah, it could be everything in your career.


Yeah, yeah, definitely. Well, I really appreciate you being on today and sharing fun the first they know the platform and some of your business knowledge and I think people are gonna be able to look to fund a first and with confidence You know, to do the right thing with my money, because, right? Everybody that is probably donating to these types of platforms are really working hard for their money, and they want to be sure that my dollar goes to the person who should.


Absolutely, absolutely. Yes, it's important for people to know that they can trust and rely well.


Yeah. Where can people find you and follow you?


Sure. So I'll give all my contact information. Yeah, I mean, I'm even going to give my cell phone number because perfect. Don't care. Call me who cares. So if you want to visit fundthefirst.com very simple www.fundthefirst.com. To get started with a fundraiser, you're gonna click start a fundraiser and everything is self explanatory from there. However, if you have any questions with contact us at info at fundthefirst.com, you can even call me directly to 014315686. Also, our social media handles follow us app from the first app from the first camera on all social media platforms. And my personal if you're going to send me messages over there, it's at Robert Garland


Awesome. And on that website, of Fund the First. The the first there's a short little explainer video that was made Yes. Yeah. So it's a it's a great way to kind of get introduced to Fund the First and what how that's operating.


Yes, yes. Thank you, Jerry, thank you so much.


Thank you so much for listening today. If you found value in this podcast today, please tag me in your Instagram Stories. That is the only way this podcast grows organically is through things like that, the ratings and the reviews and tagged me in different things. And I will also do my best to reshare anything that you post and tag me in. Also, if you're looking for a little extra help, trying to find some right answers and some difficult times in your life. Please reach out to me on Enduring the Badge Podcast, there's a place you can leave a message for me and I will get back to you as soon as possible for some one on one coaching.


Thanks again for listening. Don't forget to rate and review the show wherever you access your podcasts. If you know someone that would be great on the show, please get a hold of our hosts, Jerry Dean Lund  through the Instagram handles @jerryfireandfuel, or @enduringthebadgepodcast. Also by visiting the show's website, enduringthebadgepodcast.com for additional methods of contact and up to date information regarding show. Remember the views and opinions expressed during the show solely represent those of our hosts and the current episodes guests.


This podcast is part of the Everyday Heroes Podcast Network, the network for first responders in those who support them

Robert GarlandProfile Photo

Robert Garland


As an active first responder, Robert Garland has seen firsthand the hardships that the brave men and women who serve their communities face both on and off duty. As CEO and Founder of Fund the First, his sole mission is to provide a trustworthy platform where fellow first responders, members of the military and their families can get financial support in times of need.

The inspiration for Fund the First came when Robert set out to help his superior officer who was facing mounting medical expenses related to his daughter’s rare illness. As he researched the best ways to raise money, he realized his brothers and sisters in blue were skeptical of existing crowdfunding sites. It was then, Robert made the decision to build a better platform that all first responders and military can trust.

In 2017, with a passion for entrepreneurship and a tenacious will to help those in need, Robert built his organization from the ground up. In July, 2020, after three years of development, Robert and the co-founding team formally launched what has quickly become the nation’s leading crowdfunding platform for first responders and military!

Beyond Fund the First, Robert is a decorated Detective with the New York City Police Department where he specializes in complex investigations. During his 12 years in law enforcement, Robert has worked in various roles and the NYPD’s Narcotics Division which included various joint interagency operations with the Department of Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Well respected in his field, Robert also serves as an expert witness to the Office of Special Narcotics New York.

Prior to his career in law enforcement, philanthropic and entrepreneurial endeavors, Robert attended New York Institute of Technology where he majored in behavioral sciences and played outfield for their Division I baseball program. When he’s not protecting and serving the people of the five boroughs, or helping first responders and military personnel in need, Robert can be found spending time with his three children. Massapequa raised, Robert continues to be a fixture in the local community as a volunteer baseball coach and Director of Technology for Massapequa Coast Little League. Robert also serves as the Chairman to the Fallen First Reserve non-profit organization and a podcast host on Heroes First Podcast.