Mark Green, founder and CEO of My Silver Boots, and a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army with 34 years of service, served as an Inspector General for two tours — one in Afghanistan. He was the eyes and ears for his commanding officer and was responsible for keeping tabs on approximately 10,000 soldiers. While serving in that capacity, Green kept an oath that continues to guide him today. "You are the beacon for those people who come to you for help," he said. Those people are active duty and reserve soldiers, those returning from battle and their family members, who are all faced with the challenges of returning to a normal life after war. Like most great entrepreneurs, Green saw a need and took action to meet it.
My Silver Boots is positioned as one of the top “Resilience and Transition” companies in the United States. Green explained, "We combine certified coach success principles with story and use our published works to build resilience and improve transition for veterans, their families and others. No other company is led by someone with this length of time with boots on the ground coupled with doctorate level education and who has dealt with adversity like I have. My program deals with mindset and is relatable.”
His book “Step Out, Step Up: Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Transitions and Military Service,” upon which some of his coaching is based, was named a Top 10 Leadership #readtolead book pick for 2017 by a Harper Collins Senior Vice President in a video that went viral, garnering more than 264,000 views. The disabled veteran’s book along with its companion “Warrior’s Code 001,” upon which his resiliency program is based, became a dual pick for November 2017 for the Pulpwood Queens Book Club, which has more than 750 chapters across the nation and the world. “We're poised to become a leader in resilience and transition across Florida and the nation in the second year of business," Green said, who was recently featured on Parade.com.
Throughout his own life, Green experienced transitions and having to overcome adversity. "Because of what happened to me in Afghanistan, I needed surgery and had to learn how to walk again," he said. He realized that rest was a vital step in his road to recovery. He joked, "I had a competition with my dog to see who could be the laziest." Fortunately for Green, the dog won, and he went on to build a business helping our heroes. Green shared with us another time he basically hit rock bottom while stationed in Atlanta, Georgia. Experiencing yet another separation from his family, after his request for compassionate reassignment was denied, Green faced some serious challenges that our service men and women are all too familiar with. "A switch went off in my brain, and I told myself that I wasn’t going to be a statistic," he said.
Unfortunately, some people don’t have a switch, and they require assistance from people like Green as an unconventional means to build resilience and transition. "Someone might need a medication. Someone might need time. Someone might need a psychologist. Someone might need a shift in mindset. Everyone is different,” said Green, who chronicles how he made the shift in his two books. As military families move around from base to base and deal with deployments – sometimes multiple ones -- their lives are in a constant state of flux.
In addition to offering consulting services on resilience and transition, Green is also a keynote speaker and is building curriculum around his books. His newest book “Warrior’s Code 001” will be cargo-pocket size, intended to allow service men and women to easily read it and then store it on the go. An additional book will be published on September 1st, 2018. Green is also studying the federal contracting system in hopes of incorporating his program as part of the Transition Assistance Program and Master Resilience Training provided by the US Army. His program revolves around his 7 Steps to Remarkable Resilience, which includes rest, reconnecting, reset, removing problems and reengaging.
Going forward, Green will use the moniker, 'The Mindset Vet', to distinguish his services and further solidify his personal brand. He's speaking at The University of Central Florida for the UCF Veterans Graduation Ceremony. He's also spearheading an event called Vet Fest Live. The event, scheduled for September 1st, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri, will consist of a golf tournament, a BBQ and entertainment provided by local bands. Vet Fest Live will promote resiliency and Green's company, My Silver Boots, but it's also designed to give back to the veteran community and pay tribute to their sacrifices. One of the largest Harley Davidson dealers in St. Louis is the main sponsor. They're giving away a commemorative motorcycle that was ridden onto the field at the Army-Navy football game in the fall of 2017.
Green's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs? "Be prepared to spend some money," he said. "Find an accountability partner and a great mastermind group. Keep your sword sharp by doing things to make yourself better." Green joined a Toastmasters group as a way to sharpen his public speaking skills and pointed to that as a great example of something you can do to better yourself and your skills.