Guitarist, songwriter, & business owner, Mark Thomas, shares his wisdom on using music to open doors in both business and personal relationships, using music to relieve stress, create a balanced life, feel happier and more energetic. He has a lot of wisdom to share with men about following your passion and staying true to what matters most in life.
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Mark’s band, The Mojo Brothers, has recently released a music compilation that can be found on all platforms where music is streamed. In this episode, you’ll hear songs from that compilation, plus hear him play live, as we talk about the importance of music in his life and to men in their desire for a happy life and the ability to connect with family, friends and business associates.
(times are for audio
1:00 – Mark introduces himself to us with a great guitar riff from the new Mojo Brothers music compilation, Lucky Thirteen, called “Long Shot”! You can find the compilation on all DSPs (link below).
2:15 – Mark has been playing guitar since he was nine years old. We went to high school together and later connected on Facebook when we found we were involved in so many similar pursuits.
4:08 – Mark talks about his journey from college to L.A. and back to Texas where he went into radio sales. He used his music abilities to create great business relationships that resulted in a successful sales career. Over time, he set the music aside due to the responsibilities of corporate work and raising kids.
7:20 – After his kids grew up, he found more time to come back to his music and the result was that his sales numbers went up. He became happier and even more successful in his work. We discuss how important music is in relating to people.
9:11 – Mark’s clients were more interested in knowing him as a guitar player and musician than as their account executive and sales person, so music has been responsible for creating quality personal relationships outside of business.
10:30 – The naivte of not knowing how to sell allowed him to be creative in approaching potential clients from a musical perspective, playing his guitar for them to open the door to conversation. Mark talks about the communication and messaging involved in an effective ad campaign and the way most execs go at it backwards – putting the numbers first and failing to put the time into the creative aspects of advertising.
11:30 – Musicians are entrepreneurs, more and more, as creatives taking their music business online.
13:12 – Men in a black and white thinking pattern struggle to enjoy life by seeing their dreams and desires in the past and their present responsibilities as the only choice, leading them to burn-out, depression and anxiety. When Mark didn’t take time to play due to other responsibilities, he became very frustrated. Growing up listening to the radio led him to want to learn to play guitar at an early age, so getting back to it was key to starting his own business. Timing is an important element in creating music and Mark found that the same concept applies in business. His company, Thomas Media, was formed through understanding right timing with the right people as partners and has been a successful outgrowth of his creative approach to relationships with customers.
16:45 – The journey of being an entrepreneur or small business person can be scary because the success of your career is on your shoulders. But, having the courage to do it, in the face of fear, is worth it.
18:45 – Mark talks about the timing of restarting his band and performing live as his kids went to college.
20:23 – His lead singer leaves with a gig only ten days out. Mark talks about winging it with the new singer in the Mojo Brothers Band three years ago.
22:15 – SONG: “Women, Cars, Guns, & Guitars” – from The Mojo Brothers compilation, Lucky Thirteen (link below)
27:20 – You can use music in an intentional way to shift your perspectives and your energy. If you’re down, you can use it as a tool to lift yourself up and when feeling anxious or too tense, it can be used to bring the energy down for relaxation.
29:15 – Mark has used music to get through tough and painful times in his life. He uses it to relax his mind at the end of the day. It creates better mental health, leading to greater enjoyment in life.
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31:22 – Songs exist. As writers, we capture them. It’s up to us to pay attention and serve the song. If we don’t capture it when it comes, it will leave and find another way. Creativity is like lightning. We are the conduits. When we don’t engage in creative endeavors and allow the energy to flow through us, it can result in a cranky mood.
34:17 – Does Mark have a “go-to” riff? He plays it live for us and I can feel where it leads. We agree there must be science behind our “starting points”, our notes or chords where we continually start. Major keys versus minor keys create different feelings within us. I tend to lean to the minor keys when I’m writing and it may be because it feels like accessing the mystery of creativity and live. Country music and rock music stem from different places in the pentatonic scale.
37:43 – Music allows us to better tap into the feelings of others. It can help us be more compassionate and understanding. It can be more difficult for men to tap into deeper feelings. Mark talks about the way men are judged and where it starts in childhood. He talks about teaching his kids how important it is to keep from worrying about the things in life that don’t matter. It’s family and friends that are most important. We should teach kids, starting at a young age, that chasing the things that don’t matter will never lead to happiness. Music is a way that Mark balances his emotions.
41:07 – When Mark plays live music, he’s aware that the audience is there to have fun, blow off steam, forget about troubles and he want to do that with them and for them. It dictates what the band plays. Putting the audience first and putting things in perspective serves people. It creates experiences for them that they remember and that make them happy. Music makes everything else work.
42:41 – Music is a community endeavor and can be a spiritual experience to connect with others creating it. The communication between musicians goes beyond the thinking mind and provides the ability to let go and relate to others in a completely different way. The process is therapeutic and listeners can engage in it as well.
44:21 – The struggles that men go through to carry the heavy weight of life and providing for others can become much lighter by changing your mind set through activities that lift you up and make you happy. Engage in activities that help you find your center and stay in touch with who you are, with your dreams and desires. There is never a time in life when you should let go of what creates the spark of life within you. When you let the “inner rock star” come alive, many problems take care of themselves.
48:20 – A man should never be embarrassed or feel guilty about keeping his passions alive.
49:17 – SONG: “Lightning Comes Around”