Episode 129 for June 22, 2021

The following is an automated transcript from episode 129, with author and entrepreneur mentor Mark Sephton.


Tom Gentry: It’s funny. I don’t know if you know this, but so Gina Moffa, who’s a psychotherapist in New York City was a guest of the show a while back and man, she works her tail off. So, we’ve kind of developed this friendship over the course of the last several months. And I got a push notification saying that she was in a room.

At 8:00 AM on Easter Sunday. And I texted her saying, you know, what the hell are you doing on clubhouse at eight o’clock on Easter Sunday? And she pulled me up on stage. So, before that, I had never spoken on clubhouse and, uh, you made me feel very welcome right away. And I kind of picked up on that. You did a really good job of moderating rooms.

So, I made a decision to come. Not only because I enjoy the subject matter, but because I felt like I could learn from you in the way that you do it, because if I was going to moderate rooms, I wanted it to be professional, you know? So, I appreciate that from you. And so how did you get into clubhouse? What was your first introduction to club?


Mark Sephton: Yeah, that’s a good question. You know, because, um, I think I downloaded it in December, and I don’t think I really used it until February. And I was going through my phone today, just clearing some space. And I saw my first clubhouse room, which was with my friend, Ashley, Ben Dixon, like this. And, uh, we had five people in the room.

I remember that. So, with tell people now, you know, and this star in their own rooms, you know, whether where you’ve got five or 5,000, you know, you still got to deliver the same energy and enthusiasm, you know, and all you have to do is change one life. And then the world. Can change by default. And so, uh, I downloaded the app.

I found out about slope house through my friend, Rachel Pedersen. Uh, Rachel is a, an incredible digital marketer in with, in the states. She’s really incredible at she and she, she posted about swimming, and I was like, what’s this as I’ve never heard of it, but I was always very mindful from reading. Uh, Gary Verna checks a book, crushing it when he talks about the next social media platform to go all in on.

And so, I had already made a decision. The next one that kind of seemed to have some kind of resonation with me. I was going to go all in. And so, um, When I downloaded the app, uh, it was on a invite only as we all know. And, uh, I think within two minutes of me downloading the app, my friend, Katie, in, in New York, she, uh, she approved of me.

Uh, and then I kind of didn’t really understand it so much until I invited Ashley. And Ashley is a solid girl that kind of. She’s really good at helping sharpen and me, she’s like, come on then let’s, let’s, uh, let’s create a room together and let’s just see, see what we can create and see how it works. So that’s how it all started for me.

And, uh, and here we are now,


TG: so obviously you see it as an opportunity to broaden your career. So, tell me about that. How does this fit into what you were doing before?


Mark: Yeah, I think the byproducts of something like clubhouse, of course, I think it plays as a strategic way to help other people find out who you are and what you do.

But if I’m honest, I’ve already said in other rooms that I feel like clubhouse saved me. And I don’t think I can actually say that it was so much about a marketing strategy as a way to sell more books or get more clients is actually for me personally. It was the fact that because we’ve all been facing this pandemic around isolation, you know, not being able to do everyday things, actually it was clubhouse just having the ability to speak to people and hear their voice and, and build a rapport and build connection and relationship, which has been, uh, very much the reason why I keep showing up.

And yeah, the natural by-product of that is the fact. Sure, I’ve done more podcasts and I’ve, um, I’m obviously doing this one with you, Tom, because of clubhouse and, and three people that I either knew already or through new people that I’ve connected with. And the beauty of it is the fact that I’ve also have seen within my own network.

People are also doing those things through my introduction of them or whether it’s me hosting a room and then people just connect. A room that I’ve been holding space for, and then everybody’s benefited. So, you know, for me, I think there’s more of an innocence if I’m on, rather than me being clever and smart with clubhouse.

But the fact that, uh, it feels like a win-win that it feels like my life is nourished as well as nourishing other people’s lives. For me. I prefer that anyway, because, uh, there’s nothing worse when you connect with someone and they just vomit what they do and they’re off, they’re all over you. And there’s no, there’s no context of relationship.

And for me, this is the best social media app. There is out there in terms of engagement, uh, opportunities. Actually, the ability to change lives, you know, is, is incredible through this app more than any of the others that I’ve built. I mean, Twitter, I’ve got, I think, 14,000 followers on there, you know, and I don’t get half, not even a quarter of the engagement that I get on clubhouse.

Clubhouse is so beautiful because you get that dialogue, you get that engagement and it’s real, you know, you can’t hide, you can’t hide like you can’t under the social one. It’s. Yeah. You can tell when people are sincere or not, or whether they’re just full of hot air and ego. So yeah, that’d be it for me,


TG: social media, they can be pretty toxic.

And one of the things I like about this, the fact that it’s the human voice. I mean, it’s either you’re real or you’re not here or you’re about to get run out. Right. And even lately I’ve seen other, you know, like celebrities on social media who are posting things and people taking shots at them saying nasty things to them in the public square.

And I just think this sort of eliminates that I haven’t seen anything ugly. In my experience yet. I mean, I’m sure there’s the aberration here and there, but generally it’s, it seems like you really have to show up and be genuine if you’re going to engage in this.


Mark: Yeah. I mean, for the most part, I think I’ve done.

I have done 220 rooms now, Tom. Um, since. Uh, I’ve had three incidences that have been negative on clubhouse, but the majority have been very uplifting. Uh, and the good thing about I think clubhouse is that they do really respond to abuse pretty quickly and seem to have a non-tolerance kind of approach. It has been really positive, and I’ve really enjoyed the engagement and the compensation, you know, and what it can bring, you know, a human life, let alone, you know, the whole business side of, of clubhouse.


TG: So how long have you been doing the one thing room and how did that come about?


Mark: Yeah, so the one thing room, which is one of three clubs that I, that I have Thomas, as you probably know one thing’s been going, I it’s about 10 weeks. Um, I started. As soon as clubs became available, I actually put in the request for one thing, uh, before they kind of opened it up, actually said, you can now create a club within the app.

Uh, and as soon as that was available to me, I already knew I knew what I wanted to call it. I knew the essence. And, uh, I don’t know why I seem to have a really good, uh, sense and the ability when it comes to naming books or articles or little phrases, I’ve always seen. Be able to articulate what the essence of what I want to achieve is in, in a sentence.

And I knew that just from observing a few of the rooms, and when you look at the things that you don’t like, you know, because I’ve been into rooms and I must admit I’m hardly ever in anybody else’s room. Now, 95% of my presence on clubhouses is holding. My own rooms. And I do jump into a few of those, but when I examine and listen, you know, often, uh, there’s some things that I don’t like.

I like it. Don’t like the fact when, you know, majority of the stage is Mo moderators, like, and I’m talking 30 moderators, you know, I think maybe fourteens, probably the max that I would. That is kind of a good mix, you know, and you, you see people like talking a lot on and kind of not being concise. And I thought that if I create something called one thing where everybody gets a chance to share, it will also help people stay on track.

Uh, and, and even now, I still have to manage it a little more tightly because some people will share three or four things. And it is hard because I think I could have a clip called 10 things for sure. And we could do the same thing, but it takes 10 times as long. Uh, but the essence really was to be able to look at different topics where I could have as many other people be a part of it.

Uh, over topics or passions that either I feel I have a real good knowledge of, or things that I enjoy, or actually sometimes things that I know that I could learn and grow in. And there has been a couple of rooms where I’ve hosted a room with a good understanding, but actually after the room, I definitely felt like I was the student and not the teacher.

And one of those rooms, I think it was about ego, which I still. It was really fascinating because my idea of ego was maybe a little different to what other people felt. So that was, that was kind of, yeah.


TG: Hmm. So, have you ever written headlines?


Mark: I mean, I have, I have written headlines in terms of radio because I did radio for six and a half years and I have, um, a number of press releases for myself and other people.

Uh, so I think that probably the most headlines, right. Is when I’m writing for entrepreneur or whether I’m, I’m coming up with titles and chapters for my books. I must admit, I find, I find writing books quite easy. I did write a whole article on entrepreneur of how to write a great book. Uh, some people may cause there’s a lot of people I think now more than ever, because we’ve got so much time, uh, interested in writing their own books.

So, if people search, you know, mark Sephton, how’s your eye, great book with entrepreneur on Google.


TG: So, when did your journalism career start? How did that come about?


Mark: Yeah, it’s cool actually, because, um, I always believe that you gift and makes room for you, Tom. And it always comes out of service. And I noticed Zig Ziglar said, you know, if you help people get what they want, you’ll always get what you want.

And you have to do that in a, in an authentic way, rather than a manipulative way. Cause that’s my concern. The sorts like that, because then you know, that are people really doing this genuinely or are they actually being strategic? And, um, when I first started my own business, it was as a hospitality consumer because my background was hospitality.

My foray into entre, entrepreneurship, uh, derived from my grandfather, who is a serial entrepreneur, would deliver, uh, fruits and vegetables to their local restaurants, pubs, and hotels. And actually, I live quite close to one of the ones that we, we first delivered to, which was the chest Granger, not too far from where I live.

I understood the premise of entrepreneurship from my grandfather, which was really to solve a problem. That’s the essence of any businesses is your ability to solve a problem. And I noticed that reputation was the most important ingredient when it came to business. And my grandfather had, had such a good reputation with regards, with regards to that, I want to start off in my own business hospitality, consultancy business.

Uh, I went to a lot of networking events and there was a guy there called. And Tim was sharing a vision for a radio station that he wanted to create. He realized having worked in the BBC that a lot of media, these days isn’t even news anymore. It’s just negativity and he wanted to promote it. Uh, the local CA capturing positive news, positive stories, people that are really making a difference.

So, I really loved, I loved the essence of about, I thought, wow, that’s so refreshing because I’ve really stayed away from media for the good of my own mind. It just feeds you nonsense and fear and doubt and worry. So, I liked the idea of having something that had a positive disposition. And so, he started to share his vision.

Cause I know a lot of people, especially in hospitality and in the business world, I just started to connect him with some designers who designed the logo. I did some practical things to help get the radio station up and running. And then he said to me, a few months in, he was like, mark, we’d love to have you on the board of directors or have your own show.

And I thought, you know, I really don’t want to necessarily be on the board of directors, even. That sounds cool. I’m literally going to have to share my ideas with 12 of the people. And if I don’t get my own way, it’s just going to frustrate me. So, I just thought, you know, there’s two real big passions at that point in my life, which was sport and business in particular football, soccer.

And I decided that, you know, I didn’t want to take the enjoyment away if I had to work like going to events and broadcasters. I decided to create a radio show called talk business. I came up with the name. I came up with the concept of just interviewing creatives entrepreneurs about their human side, as well as their business.

And just have a two hour show once a week, where at up between two and four guests. And I did that for six and a half years. And I’m that kind of really coincided with me pivoting away from hospitality to work in specifically. With entrepreneurs, especially around self-leadership. So, it really kind of came at a good time for me, but it came out of my heart just to serve and help.


TG: So where does the writing come in? I mean, so you’ve been a audio journalist for her radio journalist. Then when, when did you sort of make the transition into.


Mark: Yeah. So interestingly, I was produced in YouTube videos and I still, I still I’ve never taken any of them down. It’s quite funny. Some of my YouTube videos when I look at them now, because first of all, it looks like I’ve just been born, which I think is hilarious because there’s no there’s no stubble or anything on my face.


TG: You’ve got a pretty young face.


Mark: anyway, more. It’s not too bad, but I am 39. So, it’s probably about right for my face. And, uh, yeah. I was producing YouTube videos and it was an entrepreneur that came across them and said, actually, mark, we really like what you’re producing here. We’d like you to, we’d like you to write what your, what you’re sharing.

So, I was like, okay, that sounds good. That what a great opportunity. So, I started to write and after a few arts schools that kind of gave me the confidence to. Right. My first book, which I did inside job, and then things go from there. It’s interesting. Isn’t it? How sometimes we kind of are looking for. The front door, but sometimes it’s through the back door that you get the opportunities.

So, you know, for me, I always think that you just got to do what you love and people that people are attracted to people who know who they are and what they’re about. And you’ll find that the opportunities will present themselves to you. I mean, it was the same. When I went from radio to TV, uh, two ladies who owned a TV network in the states, they came across my radio show.

They called me up and they said, we want you to host a, you know, um, a show on our, on our channel. And I was like, great. And then I transitioned there. So, when do you do what you love? People do pay attention, and then you find that the opportunity presents itself.


TG: You know, it’s funny. Uh, I always loved radio as a kid and I had in my head that I wanted to be a radio personality, and I went to a high school where we had a station and, uh, I was involved in that.

And at one point I had taken a journalism class, a news writing class. Long story short, I had this teacher stopped me in the hallway one day and pulled me into this classroom. And I said, what are you doing? And he said, you’re going to be a sportswriter. And I said, no, no, I’m going to be, I’m going to be on the radio station.

And he said, okay, well, you know, as long as you’re doing something in the media and so long story short in that spring, there was a thunderstorm. That’s a lightning strike, hit the tower, the radio tower. And in the fall they hadn’t replaced it. They didn’t have the money to replace it. So, I went on to, uh, to be on the school newspaper, which eventually led me to covering high school sports for a couple of daily newspapers and my adulthood.

But then now here I’m doing this. It’s come full circle, right? I think you’re right. I think if, if you’re doing what’s in your heart, you’re going to find the right people and opportunities are going to present themselves as long as your heart’s in the right place. Right?


Mark: Yeah. Totally agree. I think.

When you’ll true to yourself. And when you realize that some of the things that you have gone through, uh, for the sake of then serving other people, uh, in years to come, I feel like that’s where, like you said, things come full circle, you know, and I really believe that your gift in this make room for you.

I think the desires that we often have in our heart are not by accident. It’s because we’ve been designed, we’ve been human lead designed by God or university. You have a, you believe in some it’s God. And, you know, I believe in, in like a creator, God. So, for me, just like an Eagle, how it is designed, like the wingspan and it’s body form, it’s designed to soar a book above the wind, you know?

And so, for me, it is. It’s not by coincidence that our Eagle desires to do that because of its very design. And I often think that the desires we have within us, because we are designed to actually bring that into fruition and we have to believe, and we need each other to. Kind of create that space, uh, because sometimes we don’t even see it in ourselves, you know?

And I think that’s a really important that we do see in others, uh, things that they may not see in themselves, and we call them out and we realize that the greatest opportunities in life are not out there in the world. You are the greatest opportunity, you know, when people say, you know, mark, uh, just got to get in the flow.

I say, you are the flow. You know, it’s not so much about finding is about.


TG: Well, you know, that’s the whole reason I do this podcast is to talk to people who’ve done what you’re doing to show other people that it can be done. You can be who you are and do what you want to do. Because so often we undermine ourselves with our internal dialogue, the things that we want, we tell ourselves all the reasons why we shouldn’t either we won’t make money or we can’t do this, or we can’t do that.

And, you know, we have the answers, but sometimes we, a lot of times I think people, you know, they talk themselves out of having the lives that they want. And then to me, it’s no real surprise that so many people are miserable. You know, they have no sense of meaning or purpose. So, I’m all for the idea that we have the answers.


Mark: It’s true. We are the answers. 


TG: So, tell me about the book you’re working on now.


Mark:  Well, the book I’m working on now is with the publisher. And so, I’m actually chomping at the bit. I’m kind of saying to them, come on, the, the world needs this book. You know, I’ve given a lot of myself. It’s very poignant, very purposeful.

It’s very intentional. And it’s a book for men in particular. I wanted to create a resource and also just help men be better men. And so, I wanted to talk a little bit about the expectations and responsibilities of being a man. I wanted to talk about. Mom’s emotions, what they are, why we fill them and how do we express them.

I also wanted to challenge men on the way that they treat themselves, but also women. So, I wanted to take on, you know, some of the things that I’ve cringed over by being a man and listening to the way that men speak specifically about women. And I kind of really want him to get inside. People’s heads a little here.

And really how men see what a real man looks like because the world needs men to know who they are and to stand in that masculine energy in order to bring out the beautiful, feminine energy that’s within women. And so, I talk a lot about actually the beautiful differences between the sexes, because you know, the world’s gone mad with a quality.

Now I believe a hundred percent that if a man and woman does the same job, they should be recompensed equally. So, I believe in that equality, but I don’t believe that men and women are equal time. I believe we’re beautifully different. These things that women do way better than men. And I’d be a fool to try and stop a woman from doing that.

And likewise, you know, I think there’s things that men are way better at than women and women need to do themselves a favor and let a man be a man. And we need to let a woman be a woman and we’ve got to come together now, and we need to create a symphony, which is what I believe is the right order of the male and female species.


TG: This is right in my wheelhouse is stuff I talk about all the time. So. What led you to this subject matter? Was there anything that happened in your life that brought this to the surface?


Mark: Yeah, I mean, I must admit, uh, it’s not for divorced men, this book, but I talk about some of the pains and struggle and, and the journey of going through a divorce, uh, from a male perspective, because you’ll find there’s lots of groups.

There’s lots of literature. There’s lots of magazines for women when it comes to. Going through these things, but very little for men, if I think of magazines for men, you’ve got men’s health. And outside of that, you know, obviously you got all the sports ones and all that, but in terms of actual men navigating through some of the difficulties in life there’s missing, you know, for me, it was as much about, you know, I find when I.

I always write from my own perspective. So, a part of that kind of my own self-healing when I write, I, I heal a little like process, but I also know, as I’ve always said that none of us can lead anybody. Uh, away from a place that we haven’t been ourselves before. And so, when I go through pain and heartache, I know that that pain and heartache can actually encourage and support and show somebody else.

And so, I, I wrote this through the lens of, of my divorce, of wanting to just get really real. And so, this is what it feels like this. Felt, these are some of the emotions that I was feeling. This is how I navigate through this is how I try to find courage. This is how I try to find healing. This is how I kept cool.

Just continue to be responsible and honorable, especially to my children’s. Um, mother, you know, and just, uh, I just really want it too yeah. Create a book that would really engage with men who really struggled to be able to understand their feelings, let alone express them.


TG: That was a huge turning point in my life too.

And where I started to really look closely at this stuff, basically how I was showing up or not showing up as a man. And how I ultimately undermined my marriage because so many of the interactions I was coming from a place of fear, you know, fear of rejection or fear of abandonment, you know, I hadn’t worked through everything.

And then it’s, it’s funny because. I work in the helping profession. My ex-wife is a therapist, so we knew all these therapists and we’d seen a sequence of several. And finally, after several years, I said, you know, we need to, we need to get a new therapist. And as long as it’s someone, neither of us know.

And, um, and so I said, you know, I’ll see whoever you want you. And she found a guy. And he helped me see this stuff. He helped me see how, um, passive I was being, uh, not only in my marriage, but in my life. And I wasn’t taking an active role and I was hiding behind this, uh, this mask of being an accommodating man.

I will do whatever you want. You know, we’ll eat wherever you want when really I didn’t have the courage. To assert myself, that’s really what was happening. And so, because of those inadequate boundaries, you know, I mean, when we don’t have boundaries with people, they run rough shot over us. And so I began to change.

And then when I began to change the marriage, wasn’t going to survive that. And I just kind of dived headlong into this work ever since then. And I use it all the time. And my work with clients, not only in addiction, but also codependency. And, and really, I think if you boil it down to what actually happens is that we lose ourselves in relationships.

And if I am not being myself in a relationship, how can anyone really love me? So a lot of times the guys that I work with, that’s the first thing. Well, what are you doing that you enjoy? And then usually you own nothing, you know, and then, you know, working through those things and you got to improve your relationship with yourself.

And then that is, you know, all our other relationships are reflections of that relationship. So I love that you’re doing that. And I look forward to your book. What else you got on the horizon?


Mark: Yeah. I mean, for me, it’s like people say to me, you know, what have you gotten three, five years? Honestly, the magic is always in the 12 months.

And for me, I, yeah, there’s aspirations. There’s things that I think about, uh, that I may go after or want to achieve and free or five years, but I’ve done all that over the last. 12 years of working on myself and working with clients, I’ve done the free and the five-year planning goals. But I tell you the magic’s always in the 12 months, it’s always in the, in the, in the, not too distant future for me.

And so for me, I, I feel like I’ve got everything. So, you know, we’ve talked about some of the things here, you know, I write, I write for entrepreneur I’m brains magazine and busted. So I look for other writers as well. I host their podcasts, you know, I have a TV show called one more round. I write books, you know, I’m been mentoring entrepreneurs or the best part of 10 years.

I’ve kind of created the life that I want, where my growth will be on what stages that I appear. So what, what events will I continue to emcee on? You know, I’ve done some good, I’ve done some good local events or national events. And I have done a couple of international, but growth would probably see me, uh, maybe on more influential stages.

And then in terms of writing, I think entrepreneurs, one of the best, uh, actual media outlets for writing. A lot of the other big magazines you have to pay for the privilege, you know, which for me, I don’t know, it’s, it depends on whether you’re paying to write or whether you’re paying to, uh, Maki self position yourself.

Uh, so I know every, um, magazine in particular has, it has a difference of how, how it goes about that. But I think my gross is, is really on the people that I get to influence and how many people I get to influence on what stages. So maybe not so much about, uh, me doing anything different to what I am now, but for example, I’d love to go mainstream to you, uh, rather than just being on apple TV, uh, and.

You know, some of the other Roku networks and things that would be a good progression, but I see my progression. Yeah. More, more in terms of the stages and who rather than what,


TG: so where exactly do you live?


Mark: So I live in a place called Royal Lemington spa. So, um, it’s right in the heart of England. So it’s right in the center is about an hour and a half north of London.

It’s a little further north than Oxford. It’s not as far up as Birmingham, but it’s a, it’s a beautiful county it’s county of Warren share. I really, I mean, not, it’s definitely a silver lining being locked down with beautiful surroundings. For the most part, I have great neighbors and a beautiful community.

Cause I walk every day for an hour and 20 minutes. So I’ve got to know probably about 20 people on that circuit that I see every day. You just say hello. It just feels very, very warm. And your environment is something that’s so important when it comes to development. Comes to happiness comes to impact, you know, environment of where you live and where you dwell is so important.

It’s really got to, you got to have a peace about where you live and you’ve got to, you’ve got to enjoy it. And for me, Lemington is quite affluent. Uh, it really fits with life. I guess my standards of living, I like to be sophisticated. I like class, but I’m not, I’m not a snob. I involve everybody as you, as you probably gathered, but I do like quality and I do like being in an area that’s clean and inviting.


TG: Now you lived in the states as well, right?


Mark: Yeah. I lived in Michigan for a time and I’ve been to 15 different states. And my two favorite cities in America are Chicago and Austin, Texas. I love those two. 


TG: What is it about those two places? 


Mark: Um, Chicago. I have free loves and they embody them, uh, massively, which is I love jazz music.

I know, uh, New Orleans is the, obviously the place for jazz, but I mean, Chicago is real good jazz. Uh, I love tacos. Which, uh, again, I think I’m thinking, right. I think I’m right in saying there’s more Michelin star chefs in Chicago than any other city in America. Uh, I think I’m Ryan saying that the food there is phenomenal.

Like I had some tacos in the west loop. Oh, it was, it was unbelievable. Like seriously, really good. And then the third thing, which again, they Excel out is a ginger beer. Love ginger. Beautiful. So those three. I’ll tell you what so good. The ginger beer. 


TG: Is there a brand? Because I like that, too.


Mark: I mean, my favorite one actually is Australia, which is Bundaberg.

I love that one. I’ve had, I’ve got two in my fridge at the moment. And my cousin in Australia always teases me like, because they get home in like 24 cases in here in England. You get, you get to buy one and it costs the earth. 


TG: well, be pretty stout, right? I mean that’s, that’s good.


Mark:  It’s tasty. And then Austin, Austin is really, it’s a little hotbed of entrepreneurship.

Uh, I went, I spoke during south by Southwest and that was an absolute Nazi, uh, occasion. Wow. Like that place, that’s just insane, but I mean, if you love music, you love film and you love, uh, entrepreneurship. It’s a fantastic event. I was just super impressed by all the creativity, good climate as well. I remember it was March and it was like 90 degrees, and I was thinking grief.

This is like, this is incredible and just good people. And it has, it has some nice natural Springs as well. Yeah. So, it kind of has a bit of everything, you know, and it’s the place for the formula one in, in the states. Yeah, great music, great people. Um, and actually, I, I kind of came up with my name plots with, from when I was in Austin, Texas.

And I talk about that story in the book of how I got the name. Uh, Austin, Texas. Yeah, a couple of chapters actually within plot twists. Cause I was speaking at hanger, which is, uh, the largest, uh, company that makes prosthetic limbs. So, it made the, uh, the dolphin tail for the film? Uh, yes, I was speaking there and met some awesome people.

I had my own little private event as well. Yeah. Love that place. 


TG: What about Nashville? Have you been to Nashville?


Mark: No, I’ve never been Nashville, Tennessee. I would love to, uh, I’ve got a couple of friends though. I mean, I think I’ve got friends pretty much everywhere and it makes me laugh actually, because the amount of people that have invited me to come and stay with them while the UK has a travel ban, I just think it’s quiet.

Funding. I’ve been invited to every continent in the last six months. And a lot of it’s come through clubhouse. People are like, not come, come speak, come see us, come do this, come do that. And I’m like, we’re under a band. Like you rotten.


TG: Yeah. Well, if you like Austin, he’d like Nashville too. I mean, the music, there’s just incredible and it’s not just country music.

Great food. I mean, and it’s, uh, it’s described as a big city with a small town. Very much feels like a family place too easy to get around. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, what about, what about Florida then


Mark: Florida? Florida has been a lot, uh, especially as a kid went to Disneyland, did Orlando did a Universal Studios?

I did all that stuff. I, um, I, uh, I have a funny story of where my dad and his friend and I, we traveled to Orlando and I was kind of seeing a girl from Georgia in Thomasville, Georgia, and I got a Greyhound bus. Uh, Orlando Kissimmee, Orlando, uh, to Tallahassee the Northern part of, uh, Florida. And then she was going to pick me up from there with a mum that’s, it’s just a 45-minute drive over the border and all that.

Greyhound bus was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I mean, I got on the bus, and I tell you what, there was two men at the back of the bus, right? They were black and blue and one of them was holding a gun. And I was like, I’m 18. I’m thinking guns are illegal in England. This is like, I’m like, I don’t even know if I want to get on this bus.

And then a nun comes on and then a mom with, with a, a kid like a kid. There was some other riffraff that, that ended up coming on. We had sort of a mix of like the world’s best and the world’s worst people all on this Greyhound bus. And here’s me. I literally held my bag for the whole eight hours on my lap when people could get off to go to the bathroom, I just sat still.

And. Waited and waited until I got off. And I’ll tell you, as soon as I got off that bus or I felt like, uh, uh, escape to bullet or anything. 


TG: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, buses, if your parents knew a bus trip was like in the United States, they probably wouldn’t have let you go.

And that’s a long drive from Orlando to Tallahassee, maybe 10 hours. Something like that. Florida’s a big state.


Mark:  I mean, I went through a lot of Florida, like Jacksonville and yeah, I saw, I saw a lot of saw a lot of it, but, uh, yeah, like I said, I’ve been to 15 states so far and, uh, I’ve not really been over to California.

It’s all been east coast, east coast stuff and mid.


TG: Well, I grew up about three hours from Chicago in Indiana. So, it’s a nice place to come from. The people are they’re really, really nice. Yeah. But I’ve been in I’m about an hour north of Miami in west Palm beach. I’ve been here for almost 25 years, but if I had a magic wand and could be anywhere, it would be California.

I mean, it’s really, it’s so beautiful. It really. And it’s everything you can, uh, like here I talk about how you can look out at the ocean, the ocean’s beautiful a year, but imagine turning around and then seeing a mountain range on the other side. It’s just, it’s incredible. It is. And there’s just something about the energy in the air out there that just feels different in California.

Yeah. So, this has been great mark. So, the, the last question, if you could go back at any point in your life, when the younger mark would’ve needed some advice or encouragement, when would that have been and what would you say to him?


Mark: Yeah, that, that would be when I was a, when my, when my parents, uh, separated and I still remember it now, um, Well, my sister’s bedroom.

Uh, my mum came. And she said, uh, mark and Jenny needs to speak to you about something. Uh, and then my dad came in as well. And, uh, she basically said that she didn’t love my dad anymore. And that she was, she was leaving and our member that just crushed my little heart when I was eight. My dad has never been an aggressive man.

And I remember him walking out and he, he punched, uh, punched a hole through my bedroom. And he’s not, he’s, that’s the only, only, ever time I’ve ever seen my dad, uh, be aggressive once just through pain. And I think, you know, and, uh, I think, you know, that whole moment of when my parents divorced, it really did break me a lot and I come for it.

So, I think, you know, if I was to go back in time, I would take, I’d take my hands or take my eight year old hands and I’d look myself in the. And I would say to my little, my little self, and I’ve actually done this Tom, because it’s actually a healing process when you can actually go back and revisit some of your childhood and actually centered child work.

Yeah, exactly. Speaking to, uh, the little boy that I was. And, and even, even in the last couple of years, I’ve done this little elements, you know, I’ve done it, I’ve done a lot of healing, but you know, the conversation I’d be saying to my little self is the fact that. Life is a mosaic of the brutal and the beautiful, it does hurt.

It does stink. There is pain. There is a loss, there is setback, but mark, all these things will help shape you. And the reason why you’ve gone through this is so that you can reach, and you can speak and you can give strength and you can give courage and you can give hope to those that are going to come after you experiencing the same.

Pain difficulty and challenge, but you’re going to be able to rescue them, help them, persuade them, encourage them, heal them, give them hope. And you know, for me, that’s what I would say to my younger self, because well, the certain things in life that we wish had never happened. I think we all can acknowledge this often is the things that we go through that, that shape who we are.

And, you know, it’s really true that if any of us want to achieve anything in lifetime, then we’ve got to realize that we’ve got to be willing to suffer something in order to be able to achieve something. When I think of a skyscraper. I want to think of how tall it is. I always think about how, how deep down his foundations must be.

You know, and people, people nowadays, they want the skyscraper, they want the prestige, they want the accolades, they want the influence, but they don’t realize what somebody has to go through in order to have the depth, to have the foundation that is able to hold. Uh, that skyscraper hold that impact, that influence you got to go through some things, you know, and, uh, I’ve gone through some things and, uh, you know, it takes time.

It takes a lifetime maybe to even fully heal and immerse yourself out of that, you know, but for me, that’s what I would be saying to my, to my eight-year-old self is mark, you know, These things are going to shape you. They’re going to help you have perspective, and they’re not going to spoil you because the thing is, is I never forget where I came from, which is one of the reasons why I’m so inclusive on clubhouse, because I know what it feels like to be isolated and cutoff and broken and bruised and loss.

Therefore, I kind of really want to make sure that I’m involving each and every person that I interact with. Whether it’s on clubhouse or the supermarket.


TG: Well, I appreciate the opportunity to get to know you better, mark. Thank you so much for doing this.


Mark: Thank you. It’s been great.