Taking the Jump

In 2015, I am taking the jump. I will become a full time creative, and I hope to inspire you to do the same.

Feeling the FlowState

The mission of this post is to begin a real life story of someone making their creative abilities a successful freelance enterprise. The documentation of this journey will help serve as a model for those looking to do the same.

Last year on 9/11, I was traveling from Florida to San Diego with two brothers of mine.  Coincidentally, in the middle of the Arizona desert we stumbled upon  pieces of the World Trade Center at a 9/11 Memorial. I guess that experience must have reminded me of my mortality because I wrote down my long-term goals the same day in the back of the car.

Stumbled across this piece of the World Trade Center buildings in #Arizona. #LiveFree

A photo posted by Mike Mark (@mikemark) on

I broke my goals down into three different intervals: 1 year, 10 years, Lifetime.

One of my 1 year goals is build a successful freelance business.

The Universe blessed me with great company throughout my lifetime. I have been able to witness friends like NIKO IS, Tim Larew, and Dave Krugman turn their creative abilities into businesses. Their art affords them the opportunity to travel collaborate on beautiful art with big names like Talib Kweli & Dub FX, Logic & Mac Miller, the MET & Esquire.  All of these guys and more have inspired me to manifest similar circumstances for myself.

 What Does the Landing Look Like?

I am taking the jump towards earning a living doing three things I love.

1. Rhyming

2. Making Gear

3. Marketing


Within the past six months, I have had fun using Uber drivers as a test market. Typically, I will ask the driver, “Do you like hip hop?” When they say yes, I ask their favorite artist, find an instrumental from that artist, and rip a freestyle. Oddly enough, most drivers assume that I earn a living from the music. That was eye opening.

Making Gear

Making the Sideweight and Cop Out gear made me really happy. I felt closer to many people because friends loved to support the cause. After studying the game, I recognized that a large portion of musicians’ incomes come from merchandise. People feel my shirts look really clean. The shirts have been selling. Gotta go with what works.


Building my personal brand coupled with years of marketing for brands like LRG, Karmaloop, and Westgate Resorts has given me a strong sales and marketing sense. Talking to artists, I often find myself helping them developing their brand. Many even offer to pay me, but I love the work so I don’t charge. Now, I realize, I should be paid to do what I love if I truly am that good at it.


Take a leap of faith. Jump towards doing what you love in 2015. Life is short. Why do something we don’t want to do? Let’s make our creative abilities our business. A wise man once said, “Your smile is your logo.”

To ∞ and Beyond…

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