Zach Sanns is a former United States Marine and distinguished academic scholar known for his integration of military discipline with intellectual rigor. After serving with distinction in the Marines, Sanns transitioned to academia, where he pursued and excelled in the study of history, particularly focusing on its impact on modern military strategies and risk management. An advocate for the practical application of historical knowledge, Sanns has provided consultancy services that blend his military experience with his academic insights, offering strategic solutions to organizations dealing with complex challenges. Besides his professional endeavors, he is an avid enthusiast of extreme sports, including skydiving and CrossFit, which complement his dedication to maintaining both mental and physical fitness. His journey highlights the power of discipline across diverse life endeavors, making him a sought-after speaker and consultant in both educational and strategic circles.

How did you get started in this business?

After transitioning from the Marines to academia, I realized there was a significant opportunity to apply my knowledge of history and my military experience in risk management and strategic consulting. Combining these disciplines seemed like a natural progression and an effective way to leverage my unique skills set in a meaningful career.

How do you make money?

I make money primarily through consulting services, where I offer strategic advice to organizations that deal with risk management and historical analysis. This often involves working with educational institutions, defense contractors, and government agencies who benefit from my historical insights coupled with tactical expertise.

How long did it take for you to become profitable?

It took about two years to become profitable. The initial phase involved a lot of groundwork—establishing connections, defining services, and ensuring I could offer unique value based on my background. Persistence and maintaining high-quality service were key.

When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work?

Certainly, there were moments of doubt, especially when facing the typical challenges of starting a new venture. Transitioning sectors added another layer of uncertainty. However, my military training in resilience and strategic thinking helped me navigate these doubts effectively.

How did you get your first customer?

My first customer came through networking. I presented at a conference on military history, discussing the implications of historical tactics on modern strategic thinking, which resonated with a representative from a think tank looking for someone with my background.

What is one marketing strategy that works well to generate new business?

One effective marketing strategy has been leveraging my unique niche through speaking engagements and seminars. These platforms allow me to showcase my expertise and connect directly with potential clients who are interested in how historical perspectives can inform contemporary strategies.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?

The toughest decision was choosing to turn down certain projects that were not aligned with my core mission. While financially lucrative, they would have diverted resources and focus away from my primary goals. Staying true to my vision and expertise has always been paramount.

What do you think makes you successful?

I believe my success stems from a combination of discipline, persistence, and the unique perspective I bring from both my military and academic experiences. My ability to apply historical insights to modern challenges provides a distinctive service that distinguishes my consultancy in the market.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

The most satisfying moment was successfully advising a non-profit organization on developing strategies to educate communities about historical conflicts and their impact on current global issues. Seeing these strategies implemented effectively was incredibly rewarding.

What does the future hold for your business?

Looking ahead, I plan to expand my consultancy to include more international clients, particularly those in emerging markets where understanding historical conflicts can greatly aid in current political and social development.

What business books have inspired you?

“The Art of War” by Sun Tzu has been incredibly influential, offering timeless wisdom on strategy and leadership. Additionally, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins has provided valuable insights into what differentiates successful companies from their peers.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would advise my younger self to be more proactive in seeking mentorship and to not be afraid to reach out to those with more experience. Building a strong network can provide support and open doors that might otherwise remain closed.

Are you willing to be a mentor?

Absolutely. I believe in giving back and sharing the knowledge and experience I have gained. Mentoring others not only helps them grow but also enriches my own understanding and appreciation for what I do.

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