Today we’d like to introduce you to Joe Shahoud.
Hi Joe, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I was introduced to firearms in my teenage years by the man that ultimately became my father-in-law. I took a huge liking to them and ended up getting my concealed carry permit while in my early twenties. I carried all through my twenties and thirties while living in Florida and then moved to South Carolina.
Fast forward ten years and it was time to get my concealed carry permit again. Being in my forties at the time, I had more wisdom under my belt and approached it very differently. It didn’t take long before I realized how lacking the CWP classes were in Columbia. My first thought after taking the class was how awful it was and how I could do so much better.
In comes the year 2017 and the idea for Safe Family Defense was born. Carrying a concealed firearm is no small thing; it is a big deal. It’s an absolute life and game changer, yet, what I quickly learned was, the majority of instructors out there didn’t teach like it was.
Carrying a firearm is not just something you add to your everyday routine like choosing to drink more water or wearing a fitness tracker and counting steps. It is a massive lifestyle change, yet very few are teaching this to their students. Safe Family Defense’s mission was to change that and truly prepare the CWP student for what the lifestyle truly entails.
Five years and hundreds of happy students later, Safe Family Defense has a mature course catalog, multiple talented instructors, a successful spin-off business SafeFamilySafes.com, and satisfaction that the mission has been accomplished.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
For the most part, it has been a pretty smooth road. Has everything happened at the pace I would have liked? No.
But, everything has happened at the pace that was necessary. The beauty of embarking on a journey like this in your late 40s is you have a nice little storehouse of wisdom under your belt.
You have the opportunity to put the teachings you’ve learned from the likes of Stephen Covey and others to good use – “Fast is slow, and slow is fast”, “Put first things first”, etc.
I remember the late fall of 2020, things were going a little slow. I was questioning if I was crazy for trying to pull this off. I was close to throwing in the towel and just forgetting about it all. I was encouraged by my good friend, Lawson Condell, to stay in the race, so I did.
That December, things started picking up. Before long, things had really taken off. By March of 2021, Safe Family Defense had already generated more revenue than all of 2020. I have never looked back and the business has been on that trajectory ever since.
My biggest strength is understanding that this will continue to progress in God’s time, not my time. Once you understand that, everything falls into place.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Interestingly enough, I have been in the wireless telecom field my entire professional life. Right out of college, I started working for Motorola. Six years later, I landed my dream job in cellular with AT&T as a Wireless Engineer. I’ve worn every engineering hat in the wireless industry over the 27 years I’ve been there.
I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, though. In the early 2000s, while working for AT&T, I started a writing services firm called Concepts In Text. We wrote product manuals for technology products, context-sensitive help systems for software, HR manuals for corporations, and provided translation services.
We moved from Florida to South Carolina in an effort to lower our cost of living so I could quit AT&T and run Concepts In Text full time. Turns out, I loved my new role at AT&T in South Carolina so much, that I decided to put the firm on the back burner for a while and never reopened it.
Additionally, in the early 2000s, I published a book called Landscaping Timbers Made Easy. It was intended to be the first book in the How-To, Made Easy series.
Looking back, some of the things I am most proud of are having no fear. I’m proud of the fact that I give everything my all and never hold back. The words “I can’t” are not in my vocabulary.
I believe all of these experiences over the first 30 years of my career have shaped me in a way that has allowed me to relate to people in ways your typical firearms instructor isn’t able to do. Most in this industry are former military or law enforcement and lack what I call a “good range-side manner”.
They come across as tough and brash, and simply do not know how to relate to everyday people, much less, teach in a way that is pleasing to their students. That’s what makes us different. It is what I believe contributes to our perfect 5-star rating.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
I would say I have a couple of favorite childhood memories. One is of the cabin my grandparents built in Franklin, North Carolina.
My little brother and I spent our childhood summers up at that cabin. I’ll never forget reaching into the antique Coca-Cola cooler my grandfather filled with ice and pulling out an ice-cold peach anytime I wanted while up at that cabin.
Another is when my dad would take me to work with him on his side jobs. My dad used to fix movie theater concession equipment on the side when I was little. You know, popcorn machines, ice makers, etc.
He used to always grab a big black trash bag and fill it up with popcorn after he was done. I would sit in the front seat of his truck on the way home with this bag of popcorn that was bigger than me just munching away all the way home. That was awesome.
- Firearms Safety & Shooting Fundamentals – $99
- SC CWP & The Concealed Lifestyle – $95
- Pistol Level II – Be a Better Shooter. – $150
- Carbine Level I – Intro to the AR. – $250
- Carbine Level II – Intermediate AR Development – $250
- Defensive Shotgun – $TBD
- Combat Medical for the Armed Civilian – $TBD
- Website: www.safefamilydefense.com. and www.safefamilysafes.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/safefamilydefense
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/safefamilydefense
- Other: www.safefamilysafes.com