Mark Convery, Co-Owner of CoCo Vodka and CoCo Rum, is an accomplished Entrepreneur with 15+ years’ experience founding and successfully running companies in Toronto and throughout North America, within the fields of Alcohol, Marketing, Sales, Web Design, Wholesale and E-Commerce. Mark’s passion to succeed at whatever he does and a constant desire to create, has contributed to the ongoing drive behind all of his companies. Today, he is one of the owners of CoCo Vodka and CoCo Rum.
Like all good journeys, launching CoCo wasn’t easy. However, with a ton of persistence and hard work, Mark and his co-founder, Av, were able to get the product made in New York. And, despite CoVid reaping havoc on businesses (especially NEW businesses), they launched CoCo in the USA and Canada July 2020. Since hitting the shelves in North America last summer, the company has expanded to 22 states and three provinces. Soon everyone in the US and Canada will be able to escape with CoCo.
Where did the idea for CoCo come from?
While enjoying some drinks, Av and I ended up asking ourselves: “How could you put a vacation in a can?” That’s when we instantly thought of coconuts. We couldn’t believe there was no mixed drink on the market using coconut water. It was then that we started playing around with vodka, rum and some sparkling water and eventually created CoCo Vodka and CoCo Rum.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I oversee anything that has to do with operations, so my days are full of production, marketing and design, for the most part. A typical day is full of creative moments, handling logistics, answering phone calls and, of course, zoom calls. It gets pretty hectic because I’m dealing with multiple countries, languages, and labelling laws. Additionally, there’s been an ongoing shortage of cans so there really is never a dull moment.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I have been fortunate enough to have created a few successful companies and products before, so I didn’t have the fear that a lot of new entrepreneurs have. It’s common to feel nervous or worried when you’re launching a brand new product or company, so my experience has definitely been a plus. Along with that, I like to follow something I created called “The 3 P’s of Making Things Happen”. If I’m passionate about something, I know it only takes persistence and patience to turn an idea into reality. Passion, Persistence and Patience! It works once you take the leap of faith.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love how technology continues to evolve at such a fast rate. There’s so many ways that technology is helping us do more, create more, and live longer, healthier lives.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Without a doubt, my ability to stay focused on the right priorities, would be one of my most helpful habits. Our world is full of distractions – but only if we let them get to us. My phone is pretty much permanently on vibrate and all of my notifications for my other electronic devices are usually turned off so I can be in the zone with whomever I’m with or whatever I’m doing.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be PRESENT. Don’t think about the past and don’t worry about the future. Enjoy today and enjoy life for all it is and will be.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You can be happy 99.9% of the time if you choose to be. I actually think I annoy people because I smile through it all – good times and the bad. We all have challenges. Smile and keep moving.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I believe that we all have a desire to learn and to grow. The best way to feed that desire is with nurturing books. So, my advice is: make the time to read more books that will help you be better at something you are passionate about, or read more books that help you be a better version of you. For example, if you love business, read more business books. If you suck at managing money, read more books on finance. If you are stressed out all the time, read some books about managing stress. My favorite is when people I meet say they don’t have time to read. Problem solved: read some books on how to be more productive. Books, combined with action, will help you create a more fulfilling life for yourself, and in many cases, for those around you.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Knowing that nothing worth having comes easy. If it’s tough, get excited and keep moving forward. Also knowing that you win some and you learn some. I love that saying.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Entrepreneurs are constantly faced with challenges and struggles, but I think we only fail if we give up and don’t learn from those challenging moments. That being said, one moment that felt like a complete failure at first was during the first four months of the first company I started. I remember making sure all of my employees were paid before the Christmas holidays, and then realized there was only $27 left in my company account after paying everyone. I hadn’t paid myself and felt like such a failure. However, I learned a great lesson: if you take care of your company, eventually it will take care of you too. In January, my team came back more excited than ever, and we went on to have a record breaking year which also allowed me to pay myself as well.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
How about creating a website that allows companies like me to sell alcohol around the globe directly to our customers?
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently paid $9.99 for the Apple Fitness + App. Apple continues to amaze me. I love it. Money very well spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I’m a big fan of Mac Mail. I have multiple email addresses so it simplifies my daily, relentless bombardment of emails.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One of my favorite books that I recommend to everyone is The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. It highlights the importance of small, consistent habits we create for ourselves, and how the small day in and day out things we do, add up to big results (good and bad). I have read it multiple times and would recommend it to anyone.
What is your favorite quote?
“Talk Doesn’t Cook Rice” – Japanese Proverb
- Work Hard
- Take Action
- Love lots and enjoy life.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.