S4 Ep 10: Coffee and Leadership

Ben Horton

In this episode of The Warrior U Podcast, Bram chats with Ben Horton of Ironside Coffee Co. The two share a similar background of military service and trade stories of their deployments – like dealing with RPG threats, getting promoted, and working under excellent leadership.

Ben served a total of 19 years before discharge and eventually opening Ironside Coffee Co with his family. He shares the mistakes he made on the way and the lessons they learn as a whole to keep the coffee business running and scaling.


18:33 to 18:49 “The troop leader that we had, I’d made real change in the way that I started to develop myself and that was driven by him. And so I was really lucky to spend a couple of years with him.”

25:46 to 26:05 “I got attached to Task Force 66 for an operation and the level of preparation blew my mind.”

28:08 to 28:22 “One of my mates said to me once, he goes, if all else fails and you can’t do anything else, you can’t do any other planning, do a rehearsal of concept drill. Just do a ROC drill. And when you finish the ROC drill, then do the ROC drill with radios. And then when you’ve done it with radios, then go and fight the battle. And he’s right.”

51:56 to 52:17 “You’ve got all these projects but what that says to others is like, hey, look. Learn from these and I’ll engage with you. I’ve built this business, I’ve built that business. These are things you can do. The end of ADF isn’t the end. It’s just that chapter’s done. Reinvent yourself. And I think that’s what Ironside Coffee means to me.”


05:13 Deployment around the world

14:53 Getting promoted: Dealing with boundaries and respect

24:04 Serving in Afghanistan in 2009

36:02 Ironside Coffee Co: Starting and growing a business

48:44 Lessons learned: Scaling and social media



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