Brandon Dean [Humanoids of Huntsville]

By the time he finished college, Brandon Dean had already started a promising career in his chosen field of aerospace engineering. But after a single summer of the cubicle life, a change was already in order.

“That one summer was enough to tell me that the cubicle life was not for me,” Brandon says. “I liked the people I was working with. I liked the work that I was doing. But I hated the environment and the idea that I was going to be sitting in a cubicle 60 hours a week… and basically just sitting there getting soft.”

Rather than sit, Brandon trained. Inspired by scouting and obstacle course racing, he set his sights on becoming a Combat Rescue Officer (CRO) in the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. But then a speed bump: The week of his physical evaluation, Brandon injured his back performing a deadlift.

With his chances of becoming a CRO gone, Brandon decided to help others. His startup, Titan Forge, offers battle-ready fitness inspired by American Special Operations Forces, military-style workouts, group training, and personal training – all with an emphasis on injury prevention. The workouts, according to their architect, are “not for the faint of heart.”

“Even if I can’t get in and pursue this, I can help other people do it and help other people get to that fitness level without making some of the mistakes that I did,” Brandon says.

Feeling such a deep personal connection with his startup was central to Brandon’s decision to pursue it in the first place. Which is why he recommends the same for anyone considering a startup of their own.

“If you have that idea and you know it would work because you yourself would be a customer, latch onto that and figure out the details later,” he says. “Just go ahead and start working because as long as you are worried about figuring out every single detail before you start, you are stuck in analysis paralysis. Those issues get a lot smaller and the solutions come up a lot easier once you start working on it.”