Episode 24: Justen Garrity, Founder Veteran Compost, U.S. Army Veteran

Veteran Entrepreneur, Vetrepreneur, Veteran Business Owner

Justen Garrity, Army Veteran, Founder Veteran Compost


I had the opportunity to interview Justen Garrity for the 24th episode of The Command Your Business Podcast. Justen is the founder of Veteran Compost, which is a veteran-owned business focused on commercial composting of organic waste in the Baltimore Metro area.


He attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant through the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). He served as a combat engineer in Korea and for over 15 months in Iraq. After leaving active duty, Justen earned an MBA from Pennsylvania State University and went on to found Veteran Compost.

Starting a business as a Veteran

In this episode Justen talks about the challenges and the sacrifices he made to get Veteran Compost off the ground. He recommends the use of a free resource in the Small Business Development Centers and is a big fan of Guy Kawasaki’s Book “The Art Of The Start“.

For 8 months I slept in my car between activities….I don’t think other people out there would be as willing to live as low to the ground and as sleep deprived as I did, but to a regular military person you just make some strong coffee and drive on …

Justen has been named to “20 In Their 20s” by the Daily Record, “40 Under 40” by the Baltimore Business Journal and “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Harford County Chamber of Commerce.

Tweet: I just listened to The Command Your Business Podcast @cmdyourbusiness, check it out for great #Veteran #Entrepreneur inspiration

You can hear the interview below or on iTunes and Stitcher Radio, and don’t forget to Subscribe to the weekly SITREP

  • http://www.zensellerhq.com Mike Grossman

    I like Scott more and more each day :-)

    • http://commandyourbusiness.com/ Scott

      Mike, I appreciate that. Congrats on the success of ZenSellerHQ!

  • http://absoluteimpact.com Adam Hathaway

    Scott and Just an this was an awesome episode. One thing I would like to ask Justen is, you mentioned that you should be part of the 90% of failed businesses based on all the mistakes you made. Why do you think it is that you did not fail when so many others have? Again loved the episode and as another veteran business owner, thank you for what you are doing Scott.

  • http://www.veterancompost.com Justen


    I think I was able to keep things going for a couple of reasons:

    1. I didn’t run out of cash. Businesses cease to exist when they no longer have access to cash. I had enough money saved up, kept my costs very low, and hustled to grow the revenue to break-even.

    2. I refused to quit. I’m sure at some point it would have been logical to walk away or give up, but I refused.

    3. The overall business idea made sense. This idea to compost food scraps was a good one, it just took some time to find our stride. But, since the core idea and business model were good – the business was destined to succeed.

    • http://commandyourbusiness.com/ Scott

      Love that answer Justen! It is pretty obvious why you have been successful with Veteran Compost. Thanks again for taking time to share your story.


    • http://absoluteimpact.com Adam Hathaway

      Thanks Justen that was a great answer. I apologize for the autocorrect mangling of your name.