Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mark Zakaib, Founder of Survivor Filter, located in Richmond Hill, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Survivor Filter is the #1 emergency preparedness water filter brand in North America. Our portable and in-home water filter solutions fit any needs so that everyone can have access to clean drinking water no matter where they are. A large component of our customers are backpackers, campers, hikers, and survivalists who appreciate the importance of having a reliable source of clean drinking water in case of an emergency.

Tell us about yourself

I am the founder of Survivor Filter. I come from a career consulting on military operations alongside the US in troubled hot zones. Seeing firsthand the emergency of a global water crisis, I knew I needed to provide better technology and access to clean water to combat this.

My belief is that improving the way people access clean water around the world has always been our top priority, and we're proud to take care of our customers like a member of our family.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My proudest accomplishment is being in the position to supply people around the world with charitable water filters following natural disasters. We have helped relief efforts after hurricanes hit Puerto Rico and The Bahamas as well as other regions such as the Philippines and Africa.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

You can do everything right in life, and you're still going to get failure. There is no such thing as a road map for an entrepreneur. No matter how much you plan, strategize and create contingency plans. In business, it's not that clear cut, and you have to be prepared for failure and learn to adapt, and that's the most important thing as a business owner.

Do not get discouraged when you're down, and do not get overconfident when you're up. You will never eliminate the potential for something catastrophic to happen. It's how you respond to them. If you take that attitude and use it as a learning tool, you're going to increase your likelihood of success.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Look at the competition and decide what you bring to the table that is better or provides more value than what currently exists.
  2. Stay humble and work hard.
  3. Nothing in life comes naturally, everything worth achieving requires hard work. Don't get discouraged. Always remember that it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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