GET NAKED! Navy SEAL Veteran William Branum’s Journey to Rediscover His Purpose and Help Others

It is inspiring to hear about Navy SEAL veteran William Branum’s journey of transitioning from military life to civilian life and finding a new purpose through his coaching and entrepreneurship. It is important to recognize the challenges that veterans face when leaving the military and how they may need support in adjusting to a new way of life.  Branum’s drive to move forward is a great example of how veterans can use their experiences and knowledge to help others.

Last September, I had the opportunity to speak on stage with some of the nation’s finest military veterans. I felt like an outsider being among a panel of male speakers, but that weekend introduced me to so much more about our military that is not often portrayed in movies or the media. 

During this event, I met Navy SEAL veteran William Branum.  Branum had served as a SEAL for 23 of his 26 years in the Navy, and had completed 10 deployments, seven of which were in combat, four in Iraq and three in AfghanistanHe shared a compelling story of his life challenges and how he had to figuratively strip down and get NAKED to rediscover his purpose in life.

Branum explained how difficult it was to adjust to life outside the military after having a team and a mission for his entire adult life. “I lost my family, I lost everything that I knew and the military doesn’t really prepare you to start over, to prepare you for civilian life. They assume your time is done and you have to figure it out,” he said.

Branum compared retiring from the Navy in 2018 to the movie “Avengers: Infinity War” when the character Thanos snapped his fingers and half the world was gone.

After struggling initially, Branum found a way to move forward and restart his life with purpose. He discovered CBD and how it could help him and other veterans as a way to “quiet the noise” in his head.  He started his own company, “Naked Warrior Recovery,” producing THC-free CBD products to maintain his top security clearance he currently holds.

But Branum did not stop there.  With little knowledge of running a business or marketing his products, Branum hired a business coach to guide him.  He recognized that there was always more to be learned, even with his vast experiences.  He soon found himself becoming a business coach and speaker himself, a path he never imagined he would take.

“The way I became a business coach, a speaker and all the other things I do now, I swore that I would never do – I think it’s funny,” Branum laughed.

Branum sought to find ways to help as many people as possible transitioning through life, not just military veterans, but civilians as well as everyone goes through life challenges they may not be prepared for.  He realized that through the skill sets he developed from being in the Navy, he had a newfound purpose to utilize his decades of experience to help others.

“I love getting on stage, speaking and inspiring people.  I love helping people become better versions of themselves, better leaders and working on one’s mindset.”

Branum continued to improve his speaking and coaching abilities by joining an organization to become a coach. “I looked at it as a paid internship since they did not pay me much money, but I found out very quickly that I was good at helping people develop better mindsets and leadership qualities.”

Branum reiterated that this did not happen overnight, “it took time, effort and more people believing in me than I believed in myself at the time.”  In addition, Branum continued to learn from coaches in the field.  “I strive to be at least 1% better.  I still have coaches that I hire even though I am a coach.  Just because I am an expert in the things that I do, I still need to learn and there is that accountability factor.”

Branum now speaks on stages coast to coast as well as internationally sharing his “5 SEAL Secrets” which he calls “GET NAKED.”

“NAKED is about taking our ego off, taking off that armor, taking that mask off that you hide behind, so that you can find what you are truly capable of doing.”

NAKED is an acronym for:

N – Never Quit

A – Accept Failure

K – Kill Mediocrity

E – Expose your Fears

D – Do the Work

Through coaching others, Branum found a love for one-on-one coaching. “I can build a relationship with the person and establish a trust, oftentimes a trust that they don’t even have with their significant other.”

When asked about his biggest accomplishment, Branum expressed gratitude for the impact he has made on people’s lives through his coaching and speaking. 

“Knowing that I am having a positive impact on people’s lives, no amount of money can buy that kind of gratitude.”‘

To learn more about Branum’s coaching/speaking services, go to

You can also follow him on Instagram @NakedWarriorRecovery and @William.R.Branum


Photographer: Jenna Selby