Mark Sisson On Blogging & Selling His Company For 9 Figures

Published: April 25th, 2022
Mark Sisson
Mark's Daily Apple
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My name is Mark Sisson and I’m a diet, health, and fitness writer, New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and thinker who grew a huge following on Mark’s Daily Apple by changing the way the world eats and lives in modern life.

Eventually, I started Primal Kitchen, a food company dedicated to making and selling condiments, sauces, and meals using avocado oil and other better-for-you ingredients—taking advantage of an enormous blind spot in the food industry—and the business exploded.

A few years ago, I sold the business to KraftHeinz so we could take our mission to revolutionize people’s health to even greater heights.


What's your backstory and how did you get into entrepreneurship?

I’ve always been an entrepreneur. For about as long as I can remember, I was figuring out ways to make money for myself. When I was a kid in Maine, I mowed lawns. In high school and college, I painted houses and threw dorm-room BBQs, making enough to pay my way through school and put off any sense that I should get a “real job.”

And I never got one.

Go after what excites you—not just what interests you, but something that you care enough about to drop everything and throw your entire being into its pursuit. That kind of energy is necessary to make it all work.

Take us through your entrepreneurial journey. How did you go from day 1 to today?

As I said, I’ve always been an entrepreneur. My experience painting houses in college, where I was making more money as a kid than I would with a “good job” at some respectable institution, destroyed any notion that I’d have a normal life. Ever. In effect, I was “ruined” and could go no other way.

Still, I was in college, a pre-med student at Williams College headed for a life as a doctor. I’ve always been deeply interested in health and fitness, and I thought being a physician would allow me to make a “deep dive” into that world while retaining my autonomy. Then one day a former Williams alum who’d lived in my dorm room years ago knocked at my door. He just happened to be in the area and was feeling nostalgic.

I invited him in and he was shocked by what he saw. See, I was also an amateur carpenter. My dorm room was filled with my creations—chairs, tables, desks, and other furniture. The man told me I should dream bigger, aim higher. It was a random moment, but it’s those random moments that stick with you. I listened, eventually finishing my degree but dropping my plan to pursue medical school. Instead, I moved out west to California to try qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the marathon.

From there, I never stopped moving. I became an elite endurance athlete, first running marathons and then, when my body began breaking down, moving to triathlons. Endurance sports didn’t pay much back then, so I trained other athletes, tried a bit of sportscasting, and attempted acting. I opened a frozen yogurt shop in Palo Alto, CA, that did quite well but failed when I expanded into a second store. I kept painting houses and doing construction work.

One of my gigs was consulting work with supplement companies, helping them develop new products. This landed me a spot on the anti-doping commission for the sport of triathlon. Eventually, I started my own supplement company, Primal Nutrition. This led me down the path of starting my Mark’s Daily Apple blog so I could share the health, fitness, and diet wisdom I was accumulating. Today, the blog receives over a million monthly visitors.

After years of writing about how to eat and which foods do and do not support human health, I get fed up with not being able to find products in the grocery store that align with my values. So, I decided to do something about it. I started by making and selling Primal Kitchen Mayo in 2015.

The rest is history.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We are expanding into new stores and new markets almost every week. The acquisition by Kraft Heinz has allowed us to access otherwise out-of-reach supply chains and economies of scale without—and this is crucial—sacrificing quality.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

I’ve learned that there is an enormous market for healthy products and it’s only growing. People are realizing that the mainstream conventional ideas about health, food, and fitness are failing or, worse, absolute fabrications. And yeah, most people still follow the conventions, but every day more and more of them are peeling off and learning that there are other, better ways. Those are future customers.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

The biggest, most important platform I used, and continue to use, was my blog, Mark’s Daily Apple. I built a loyal audience over 10 years by providing excellent information and content that you could apply and see incredible results without paying for a single thing. It gave me credibility when I unveiled a product. Readers knew it was worth buying.

You don’t have to use blogs, of course. Blogs aren’t nearly as big or effective as they once were. But the point is to build credibility, provide value, and amass a loyal audience before trying to launch.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux. It’s one of my favorite books of all time. It’s about a hardheaded, stubborn inventor who gets fed up with the state of things in America and moves his family to the deep, dank jungles of Honduras where he starts a little colony and begins making ice using a contraption he dreams up. The ice changes the surrounding villages, and ultimately the story ends rather tragically. Fantastic book and I see a bit of myself in the protagonist: I don’t give up, I pursue my dreams wildly, and I risk total failure.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Don’t stop moving. When you stop moving, doubt sets in. You get stiff (just like with training). You overthink. Just as walking improves thinking, moving improves iteration.

Go after what excites you—not just what interests you, but something that you care enough about to drop everything and throw your entire being into its pursuit. That kind of energy is necessary to make it all work.

Of course, it should be viable. Other people should want to buy it or care about it, too. But the cool thing about business these days is that if you’re obsessed with it, you can probably find others who are too.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We have a solid team right now, but we’re growing fast. Keep an eye on our LinkedIn if you’re interested in joining us.

Where can we go to learn more? is the blog where I post health articles almost every day. I also write a weekly newsletter.