ENTREPRENEURSHIP WITH A WARRIOR'S MINDSET: ZACHARY GREEN'S JOURNEY FROM THE BATTLEFIELD TO BUSINESS SUCCESS

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Submitted Date 03/04/2024
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In entrepreneurship, some tread the beaten path, and then some forge their trail, armed with grit, tenacity, and discipline. Zachary Lytle Green falls into the latter category, a true business warrior whose journey from the battlefield to business success is remarkable.

A Warrior's Beginning

Born on May - 1973, Green's story begins with humble roots, but his aspirations reached far beyond his upbringing. After completing his education at Roger Bacon High School, he took a less-traveled path that led him to the United States Marine Corps. Initially enlisting, he soon found himself in the Officer Candidate Program, where he graduated at the top of his class, a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence.

Green's service in the U.S. Marine Corps Infantry spanned until 1999, instilling in him the values of discipline, teamwork, and resilience that would become his entrepreneurial bedrock.

The Spark of Innovation in the Dark

After leaving the Marines, Green's journey took an unexpected turn. He became a Firefighter Lieutenant with the Wyoming Fire Department, situated in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio. During this time, his visionary mind ignited with an idea that would change the lives of countless firefighters.

While battling blazes in dark and disorienting structures, Green developed a prototype for a glow-in-the-dark silicone stretchable band that could be placed around a firefighter's helmet. This simple yet ingenious innovation was designed to enhance firefighter accountability and reduce disorientation during low visibility situations.

From Pharmaceuticals to Entrepreneurship

Before fully venturing into entrepreneurship, Green garnered invaluable experience at Eli Lilly and Co. His roles spanned sales, corporate training, strategy and development, and various brand and marketing training assignments. These experiences equipped him with the knowledge and acumen needed to navigate the challenging terrain of entrepreneurship.

The Birth of MN8: Illuminating Success

In 2010, Green took his first entrepreneurial leap by founding MN8. The company's mission was to develop, manufacture, and sell photoluminescent technology that emits light in the darkness. Using a proprietary process called Advanced Photoluminescent Technology®, MN8's products quickly charge with any light source and emit a strong afterglow for extended periods.

MN8 boasts two divisions: Foxfire, focused on firefighting products, and LumAware, specializing in energy-free EXIT signs and code-required egress solutions for high-rise buildings. Green's relentless drive and dedication grew the company from its humble beginnings to a remarkable achievementÔÇöover $30 million in organic sales and $5 million in venture funding.

Today, MN8's product line is distributed by retail giants like Home Depot, and its client roster includes the U.S. Government, Walmart, Kroger, General Electric Aircraft Engines, and Procter and Gamble. Over 50 MN8-Foxfire safety and egress products have been developed using Green's groundbreaking Advanced Photoluminescent Technology®, leaving an indelible mark in prominent locations like the Abu Dhabi Civil Defense headquarters, Dubai Royal Palace, sports stadiums, and The Bank of Kentucky Center.

Warrior Entrepreneurship: Lessons Beyond Business

Green's entrepreneurial journey is not just about creating a successful business. It's also about imparting the wisdom he's gained along the way. In 2021, he authored "Warrior Entrepreneur," a self-help book that won accolades and served as a blueprint for others seeking to cultivate an innovative business mindset.

He shares his insights through virtual and in-person speaking engagements under the banner "listentozach.com where he teaches how to harness a warrior's grit, tenacity, and discipline to succeed in business.

A Commitment to Service and Advocacy

Green's commitment to service extends beyond business. He served as a City Councilman in the City of Wyoming, Ohio, as Chairman of the Public Safety Committeee, and a council representative to the Economic Development, and Historic Preservation committees. As a Veteran Advocate for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, he played a pivotal role in advising veterans and first responders on entrepreneurship.

His advocacy reached new heights when he testified before the U.S. Congressional Small Business Committee, aiding fellow entrepreneurs to expand U.S.-made products globally.

Adapting to Challenges

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Green demonstrated his adaptability and resilience as a business leader. He led MN8 to retool its manufacturing process, creating protective barriers under the brand ClearGurad®. The move showcased his ability to pivot in the face of adversity, a testament to the warrior's mindset that defines him.

A Warrior's Legacy

At the beginning of 2023, Green founded his latest venture, Warrior Enterprises LLC, a U.S. SBA Certified Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). Under his leadership, the company launched the Warrior Academe Leadership Management System, a transformative online learning curriculum aimed at empowering entrepreneurs, small business owners, and corporate executives with the warrior spirit.

Additionally, Green co-founded The Warrior's Voice Podcast, spotlighting individuals who have harnessed warrior tactics to conquer adversity in business and life.

Recognition and Awards

Green's outstanding contributions have not gone unnoticed. The South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs (SCDVA) named him the Veteran of the Week in March 2023. Furthermore, former Ohio Governor John Kasich named him Entrepreneur of the Year, and the Obama White House selected him as one of ten entrepreneurs in 2016 to represent the U.S. at the Global Entrepreneur Summit.

He also received the Ohio Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and President Trump's prestigious President of the United States "E" award for his remarkable success in expanding U.S. exports.

A Balanced Life

Beyond his entrepreneurial endeavors, Green maintains a fulfilling personal life. He is married to Jennifer Ach Green and is a proud father to his son, Bryce. Although he recently moved to Hilton Head Island, SC, Green remains an avid traveler, outdoorsman, and hunter.

Green's journey from the battlefield to business success is a testament to the power of a warrior's mindset. His unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and service has left an indelible mark on both the business world and the lives of those he has touched. He stands as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, proving that with the heart of a warrior, success is not just attainable ÔÇö it's inevitable.

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