People always tells you to create a business idea out of a personal pain point. Have you ever been running a company and been frustrated by an industry pain point and decided to solve that? That's exactly what Mark Graham of commonsk did. During his days running Rightsleeve, he faced challenges and needed a workflow management platform. That workflow management platform became what commonsku is today and it's made for the promotional products industry.
Mark gives a bunch of tips on balancing two companies, going through a successful acquisition, and running the company with his wife and co-founder, Catherine. He shares how they balance and integrate work and family life and their love of bringing work home as well as sharing success and solving challenges together.
Co-Founder of Rightsleeve and commonsku
Mark Graham is the co-founder of commonsku, a workflow management platform designed for the $24 BN promotional products industry. Mark’s desire to get into the software business was born out of the frustration he experienced in building his other company, Rightsleeve, a promotional products agency.
Mark has been an entrepreneur from his days at Queen’s University, with a brief stop in the corporate world when he worked as an investment banking analyst. From that experience, he knew that working for someone else was far less fun than working for yourself.
Mark is passionate about mentorship and helping other entrepreneurs in their journey. In 2011, he helped start a non profit community called PromoKitchen which serves as a mentorship platform for promotional products professionals. He has also been as a mentor at U of T’s The Hatchery since 2015 where he has helped engineering students launch new businesses.
When not at work, Mark spends as much time as possible with his 3 kids and wife, Catherine, who is also his business partner in both companies. Mark loves photography, travel, reading and long distance running.