Marketing Your Art the Right Way

Selling Art, Not Selling Out

Cracking Creativity Episode 21: Mark McClung on Taking Action, Finding Your Passion, and Leveraging Side Projects

Mark McClung is the creator of My Daily Mark, a blog dedicated to helping people, especially high school students, take action in their lives. In this episode Mark talks about the lessons he has learned, why you need to find your passion, and leveraging projects to your advantage.

Here are three important lessons you can learn from Mark:

Taking Action is Essential

One of the most important lessons Mark has learned is the importance of taking action. Every success he has seen was the result of taking action on the ideas he has.

One thing Mark said really stood out to me. He says that inspiration alone is not enough to get you where you need to go. “Without action, inspiration is nothing more than entertainment.” I can’t agree with him more.

Anyone can watch inspiring talks or read inspirational books. Only people that take action on that inspiration actually achieve something great.

It doesn’t require much to take action. All you need to do is break down your goal into individual action steps. Once you break things down into small, actionable parts, it becomes much easier to accomplish them.

Find Your Passion

Another thing that Mark advocates is finding your passion. Once you find your passion, it becomes much easier to move forward with your idea.
Just because you don’t know what your passion is doesn’t mean you won’t be able to discover it. When you pursue things you enjoy, you may discover your passion.

This quote perfectly describes passion and taking action, “You don’t have to know what your passion is. You just have to take passionate action.”

The most important thing is to take actionable steps. It doesn’t matter how big or small those steps are, just as long as you are taking them.

Leverage Your Projects

Mark is a huge advocate of starting projects through your passion. He has used these projects to make himself stand out from his peers and get new job opportunities.
In college, he started his own advertising company which lowed him to learn many aspects of business. He was able to turn a $100 budget into a company with 20 clients. This separated himself from other recent college graduates when he went to get a job.

Mark and his wife also started a social network for teachers. Although he eventually moved on from the project, it taught him valuable lessons and allowed him to start his next project.

These projects have allowed him to rise the ranks of his career ladder, they have taught him lessons that he might not have learned otherwise, and they have allowed him to experiment and find things he was passionate about.


  • World Domination Summit – where we met
  • My Daily Mark – his blog
    • was started with late night writing of notes
    • similar business lessons – lessons from mentors, mistakes, and successes that allowed him to climb corporate ladder
    • wife found Google Doc with notes and told him to turn it into blog
    • doc was called My Daily Marks – which he used as blog title
    • scattered thoughts of what he wanted to teach high school students
    • biggest lesson was TAKE ACTION
    • things you can implement immediately

“A lot of people struggle with inspiration and how to turn it into action because, without action, inspiration is nothing more than entertainment.”

“Really once you break down from a huge goal into individual small action steps, that’s what’s really resonating. That’s what really makes it feasible and realistic and helping turn inspiration into action.”

  • had lunch with mentor who told him to take the correct indicated action at the moment followed by the next correct indicated action
    • on taking the next best action
      • “Just break it down into what you know is going to work, what you know you can do right now, even if it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get you that much further ahead, it puts you in the right direction and gives you the chance to do some corrective action.”
  • never considered himself a good writer, feels better on stage and mentoring students one on one

“It comes down to finding something you really like, you’re really passionate about, and just go forward.”

  • positive influences and teachers that led him on the wrong path and had negative influences that helped lead him positively
    • negative: went to radio station – someone told him he would never make it in marketing/advertising
    • positive: part of DECA – marketing organization in high school/college
      • was bullied in middle/high school
      • found support in DECA
      • 10th grade – saw motivational speaker for the first time and wanted  to become one
      • made a challenge for himself to begin speaking by 30, and ended up achieving it
  • David Villava’s episode

“Everybody has their own opinions and you can’t control their opinions, but you can control your response and your reactions to those opinions.”

You can settle for average or ignore it and use it as motivation Click To Tweet
  • power through negative reactions and know you have room to grow
  • story about charging his parents to bring them drinks to the hot tub

“All through high school and college, I always found passion projects and side projects that I really did to learn but also gave myself the opportunity to earn.”

  • started an advertising company in college because he was working for a small business and saw their weren’t many opportunities to advertise
    • took action immediately, grew company to 20 clients
    • taught him how to do accounting, graphic design, selling, negotiation, etc.
    • gave him experiences that others wouldn’t have when finding a job
  • started social network platform for teachers, shut it down to start different projects
  • can point to experiences that other people wouldn’t have
  • has started many small projects and built them up to learn new skills
    • even if you stop doing projects, that doesn’t make you a failure

“If you’re interested in something, you don’t have to turn right over and call it a career immediately and quit your day job. You can pursue it as a passion just to learn it, and as you’re learning it, you’ll expand your network, you’ll expand your knowledge, you’ll learn more about it, and you’ll kind of create your own path.”

  • doing small projects might not get you 100% to where you want to be, but you can alter your path and learn more about what your passions are
  • power of the process
  • on starting his ad agency
    • sometimes being naive helps you in certain situations
    • people are willing to help you if you tell them that you trust and value what they know
    • scheduled one on ones with professors and local businesses
    • sister moved to college with him and helped start up his company
    • being open and vulnerable breaks down barriers, makes people are more willing to help
    • started with $100 and went door to door selling
    • received a lot of no’s but wasn’t discouraged by them
      • each no brings you closer to a yes
      • don’t be afraid of hearing no
    • as long as you are providing value, people won’t be upset about you asking
    • first yeses lead to more, received 10 clients in first month, had 20 by second quarter
    • was able to make money while going through college

“I’m never ashamed or afraid to ask people questions and to say I don’t know. I would like to learn from you.”

  • on knowing when to quit a project
    • when you stop growing or the project has outgrown his interest
    • make sure motivation is not the reason you’re losing interest and make sure you’re still passionate about it and providing value
    • quit most projects because they brought him new opportunities
  • on becoming a motivational speaker
    • looked at life when had the American Dream, but didn’t see that as successful
    • changed his mindset of success from one based on money and things to one of growth and potential
    • found happiness in that growth mindset and wanted to bring that to high school students
    • work on your passions and your will find joy
    • reflected on his life at 30, so he challenged himself to speak
    • sent out emails and got 2 speaking gigs
    • had experience speaking from DECA
  • uses sales/training experiences to speak
  • reached out to advisers to speak about passion and finding success
  • first speaking gig
    • went to the wrong class, spoke to wrong group
    • kids responded well
    • steps and path are not rocket science
    • when you see someone successful, all you are seeing is the end result
    • no one sees the beginning of the domino chain, you only see the result

“You don’t have to have someone deem you as special. Anyone can do it.”

  • Jeremy Cowart at World Domination Summit
  • finding your passion
    • do something you enjoy, that you really want to learn about
    • when you pursue those things, they may become your passion
    • figure out if you really like it
    • give yourself 28 days of action
    • it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s a small action towards your goal

“You don’t have to know what your passion is. You just have to be willing to take passionate action. So don’t just take action for action’s sake.”

“It all just comes to down to just starting it and doing something no matter how big or how small, just starting it. It’s not that difficult to start.”

  • on failure and trying
    • at the very least, you’ll know what you don’t like
    • when you fail, you see something that doesn’t work
    • you can always change direction and alter your trajectory
  • support network
    • surround himself with more inspiring people
    • when you surround yourself with people who like the same things, you will become more motivated
    • Andy Miller:  daily call for accountability and support
    • my accountability partner interview with Jacques Ho (correction  – episode 3)

“Failure is a misconception. Other people might be able to call something you’ve done a failure because they don’t see what it resulted in.”

  • Take Action Guide and accountability call at the end of the 28 days
  • New Year’s Eve Goals
    • problem of setting goals that are too concrete and getting discourage
    •  Mark and his wife set 5 year goals based on what lifestyle they want to live
      • what do we need to do this fist year to achieve goals
      • throw away five year goal and first year goal
      • what do we need to do first month and first week to reach goal
      • setting small goals allow you to adjust
      • modify goals to do what you enjoy
  • Guarantees – things have attributes success to
    • Take Action – you have to take action to achieve anything
    • Lucky Isn’t a Thing – something lazy people attribute to other people’s success
      • people put themselves in positions to get lucky
    • Waiting on Perfect – I’m not good enough/perfect
      • no one starts off a millionaire
      • everything is a progression
      • don’t look at where you are now, look at how far you’ve come in six months
    • Start. Don’t Finish – you will never be successful if you draw a finish line
    • Be 100% You – if you are anything but yourself, why are you in that situation?
      • be authentic
      • don’t put yourself in the wrong place by being inauthentic
    • Twinkle Twinkle Ya’ll – watch one of his speeches
  • What can I teach recent graduates what to do?
    • saw common themes
    • nothing magical or get rich quick
    • things that can be done immediately and by changing your mindset
  • reshaping My Daily Mark towards what he wants to do
    • give people tools they need to change themselves
    • focusing on videos and teaching young people how to find mentors/internships and implement immediately
  • Mark Guay’s episode has been released
  • morning routine – starts morning routine at night
    • preps morning so he can get moving
    • wakes up at 4:13am every morning, coffee, breakfast, meditate/work out
  • resources
  • creative influence – wife
    • surrounds herself with beautiful things
    • little things that are sentimental
    • cleans out Instagram feed so everything is positive and beautiful
    • surrounds herself with creatives

“My definition of creativity is just creating, just doing something that you enjoy, that’s output that makes the world a better place, a more beautiful place, just changes. “

  • creativity doesn’t have to always be original, but original to you
  • being more creative:
    • explore, do things that you have never done before, put yourself in positions where you feel uncomfortable, and work with other people
    • continue digging and exploring
    • one medium leads to other mediums of creative self-expression
  • take small steps for 28 days, and reflect on those things
  • start now, do something small, and reflect on the progress you’ve made | Twitter | Instagram

  • finish meta info
Receive email updates for the latest podcast releases!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *