Mark C. Winters | From Cyber Cafes to Rocket Fuel

Mark C. Winters is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of entrepreneurial leadership experience. He has worked in all kinds of companies from small startups to large companies like Procter and Gamble and British Petroleum and this has given him a diverse background which enables him to identify and apply patterns of success for virtually any business scenario. 

Mark is also the co-author of Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business which he wrote with Gino Wickman. He holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. 

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran is joined by Mark C. Winters, co-author of Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business, to talk about Mark’s entrepreneurial journey from running a cyber cafe to selling high end bikes. He also shares what it’s like working with Gino Wickman and becoming an author.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Mark C. Winters talks about his time with Procter & Gamble and what drove him to entrepreneurship.
  • Mark talks about starting his first company, CyberExplore, and what he learned from running it.
  • The strategies Mark used to create more demand for his company’s services.
  • What Mark did after shutting down his first company and his journey back to entrepreneurship.
  • What the Rocket Fuel book is all about and how the Rocket Fuel University and its programs benefit entrepreneurs.
  • The people Mark acknowledges for his achievements and success.
  • Where to learn more and get in touch with Mark C. Winters.

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

Along with my business partner Dr. Jeremy Weisz, we have over 18 years of experience with B2B podcasting, which is one of the best things you can do for your business and you personally. 

If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

To learn more, go to or email us at [email protected]

To learn more, book a call with us here

Check out Rise25 to learn more about our done-for-you lead generation and done-for-you podcast services. 

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:14  

Welcome to the revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran  0:40  

All right. Welcome everyone. John Corcoran here. I’m the host of this show. You know, I might know my story. I’m a recovering political hack and a recovering lawyer having spent many years working in politics including as a speechwriter since working at the Clinton White House and for California Governor. You know, I spent years practicing law in Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area. And 10 years ago, I discovered this medium podcasting. I’ve been doing it ever since I get to talk to incredibly smart and engaging CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs, authors, you name it for all kinds of different companies today is no exception. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25, where we help b2b businesses with this strategy in production. They need to create a podcast and content marketing to produce a tremendous ROI connecting them with their ideal prospects and referral partners. And today, I’ve got a great guest. His name is Mark C. Winters is a seasoned professional, with over 25 years of entrepreneurial leadership experience working in all kinds of companies from small startups to large companies like Procter and Gamble and British Petroleum petroleum. He’s got a diverse background, which enables him to identify and apply patterns of success for virtually any business scenario. He’s also the co-author of Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business with Gino Wickman, also a past guest on the show, so go check that out, as well. And we’re going to dive into some of the work that he’s focusing on these days. 

But first before we do that this episode is brought to you by Rise25 Media. Rise25 helps b2b businesses to get clients referrals and strategic partnerships with done few podcasts and content marketing. If you’re listening to this and ever thought about doing a podcast, especially viewed b2b business, I say absolutely one of the best things I’ve ever done for me, both personally and professionally, is to talk with really smart people like Mark here today. So I highly recommend if you have any questions, or need more help, go to, or you can email us at [email protected]. All right, Mark. I know this was many months, incoming It took us a while to get around to them. I’m super excited to talk to you here today. You’ve got a real diverse background in entrepreneurship. So tell me I like to ask people sometimes, you know, were you out there on the weekends as a kid seven years old, setting up a lemonade stand kind of like my six year old bugging me all the time to do or are you more like me were kind of later in life. You just kind of embraced entrepreneurship.

Mark C. Winters  3:01  

Yeah. So I mean, I probably did a lemonade stand or two and didn’t feel like they were big moneymakers. And so you know, my entrepreneurial Genesis sort of came later in life. And it’s interesting I out of undergrad, I went to work for Procter and Gamble. So kind of a, you know, prototypical mega Corp, right. And I had a mindset at that time that this is where I’m going to be for the rest of my professional career. In fact, I actually somewhere have a sheet of paper that mapped out to the year when I would become CEO of Procter and Gamble, I knew exactly how long I was going to spend at each level of the organization and how many regimes we’re gonna have to turn over at the top to kind of open up a spot for me. And I think when I was 43 years old, that’s what I was supposed to be was the CEO of Procter and Gamble. And then, you know, fast forward, and I had some experiences, where I sort of saw what was happening to some of the other folks that were working around me when they were in their mid 40s. And remember, I’m, you know, 20, early 20s at the time, and they would they would be presented with these choices of, hey, you’re a good performer, would you like to uproot your family and move them to a completely different part of the country where we have a place for you? Or would you like to leave. And that was something that they were totally unprepared to hear and, and really left them in what seemed like a really bad position. To me, I thought, you know, what this may be kind of a risky thing to be in a company where your sort of future is going to be determined by somebody else completely at their whim. So I sort of had that in the back of my head. And then I was in graduate school at the University of Chicago. I’m sitting in class one day, I remember it was a The, the strategy and tactics of pricing that was a class, and we were doing group projects. So teams would come through and present their widget that they had invented, and it was going to cost them this much to make it so they could sell it for this much. And they thought they could move this many units. So here’s how much money they were going to make. That’s interesting. And then another team would come through and then they’d found this unmet service niche in the market. And they could fill it, it would cost them this much to fill it, they could sell that for this much. And here’s how many of them that they could move. So here’s how much money they were gonna make. And I thought, you know, that is actually way more interesting than what I’m doing, which is moving toilet paper and diapers and paper towels and coffee and peanut butter and stuff like that through grocery stores. And and so I made the decision that I was going to be an entrepreneur, I didn’t know what I was going to do, or how I was going to do it. But I literally, that was the moment when I was bitten. And I felt like I needed to burn my boats. And so I literally went in and quit Procter and Gamble. Probably should have talked to my wife before I did that. Since since we were married, and she was, What did she say when you came home and said, guess

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