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Name: Mark Sisson
Location: Malibu, California
Business/Blog: Mark’s Daily Apple and Primal Blueprint
Website: MarksDailyApple.com and PrimalBlueprint.com
Q: First things first: What is your Paleo story? After all, most businesses are shaped and inspired by something. How did your life change/shift when you found Paleo?
Sisson: I started investigating ancestral health when my own health failed 30 years ago while training as an elite endurance athlete. When my various ailments resolved after a few months eating and moving this way, I decided to dedicate my life to sharing this new “technology” with the rest of the world.
Q: Prior to starting MDA, what were you doing for work, hobbies, passions, etc?
Sisson: I was a supplement designer and distributor, making very high-end performance-related products for athletes looking to naturally recover from training and to mitigate the damage that the training was doing to them. I have always been very fit for my age, so working out had become second nature to me. What I hadn’t yet realized was how truly fit and healthy I could be on very little training, provided I could nail the diet part.
Q: How did MDA come about? Tell us the humble beginnings!
Sisson: MDA was a hobby at first—a way to spread information about Primal and Paleo eating and a way to help people regain access to their health. It grew very slowly at first, but within a few years, it really started to take off. I wrote a book (The Primal Blueprint) based on the many posts I had written, and the book became a best seller. By then, I realized I had created a strong brand within the Paleo community, and my audience was demanding new information and new products.
Q: What need/role does MDA serve in the community?
Sisson: MDA is primarily a platform from which I offer free health and fitness advice. PrimalBlueprint.com is our commerce site, where people can go to purchase goods and services that help them get the most from their Primal experience—whether it’s deeper knowledge and education from our books and our certification program, or from supplementing with state-of-the-art probiotics, omega-3s or antioxidants, or enhancing the taste and healthfulness of their foods with our Primal Kitchen Mayo (made with avocado oil and organic eggs).
Q: How did it begin to take off? Any distinct “a-ha” moments in your journey?
Sisson: My business started to grow significantly when my first book appeared in 2009. I think the fact that the concepts in it resonated with so many people added to the awareness and credibility I was also establishing through daily posts on MDA. In turn, I think people are attracted to my products and services because they trust the Primal Blueprint brand to offer the highest quality in terms of ingredients and research underlying every product we make.
Q: What challenges have you faced in the process of starting and running a business?
Sisson: Business is always a challenge. There are legal hurdles, financing hurdles, staffing hurdles, etc. All you can do is put your head down and forge ahead. It helps tremendously to have a business based on one’s passion.
Q: What top three things have you learned that you wish you knew before?
Sisson: I have been an entrepreneur my whole life, so there’s not a lot I have learned recently that I didn’t already “know.” But I occasionally realize I am relearning that 1) the major determinant of success in the long run is hiring the right people; 2) as hard as you are willing to work to make the business a success, you still need to create time for family and friends; 3) the best investment you can make is in yourself, whether it’s more education/experience, more dollars put into your business or more time spent maintaining your health.
Q: Any advice for other entrepreneurs?
Sisson: If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your entrepreneur journey? Are there any inspiring people/books/conversations/movies/etc. that have shaped you?
Sisson: “Don’t focus on what others are doing—focus on your own business; run your own race.” I am always scanning the horizon for new ideas, reading books, soaking in movies, talking with entrepreneurs, so no single iconic inspiring passage comes to mind. I did just read Tony Robbins’ Money: Master the Game. I highly recommend it.
Q: What is your vision for your company? Anything coming up we should know about?
Sisson: Primal Kitchen will be launching several new awesome sauces and salad dressings in the next few months. We are extremely excited about soon becoming a nationally recognized brand.
Q: Fun stuff: What’s your favorite Paleo food/meal?
Sisson: Still love rack of lamb.
The post Paleo Magazine Entrepreneur Spotlight: Mark Sisson appeared first on Paleo Magazine.