Friday, July 15, 2011

Men We Admire: Mark McGuinness

Mark McGuinness writes one of the best business anywhere devoted to the field of creative enterprise and the art of dealing with the business of being an artist. His free "Creative Pathfinder" course is a godsend to creative professionals unsure of where they are going or how to navigate the commercial realities of their work. We seldom receive such training in regular education as creative professionals, and Mark's work really ought to be required reading for university students. It is for my private students.

Name: Mark McGuinness
Occupation: Coach and trainer for creative people
Education: Too much. :-) The last formal education I did was an MA in Creative & Media Enterprises at the University of Warwick, UK. But every day is an educational experience, if we pay attention.

I'm a poet so I prefer qualitative measures. :-)  If I'm excited to get to work every morning, and making a difference to the people I work with, that's the awesomeness box ticked for the day.

How did you get started on your current career track? 
I started as a psychotherapist, then noticed my favourite clients were the artists, writers, actors and other creative types, so I decided to specialise in coaching them.
Did you have any mentors who helped steer you on this path?
Yes, John Eaton is the most visible online. Check out his blog at 
What motivates or inspires you in your work?
The opportunity to do things I personally find meaningful and to help others succeed at doing the same. Also what Yeats called 'the fascination of what's difficult' - if it's never been done before, I'm itching to do it.
Do you have a personal work philosophy?
Very similar to Gurdjieff's: 'Whenever I do something I do a lot of it.'  I tend to focus on one thing to the point of obsession, then move on to the next one when that grips me.
If you weren't doing this, what could you see yourself doing?
I've never seriously considered an alternative.
What are you working on right now?
A new product for creative business owners, to help them deal with the point where their creative ambitions collide with commercial reality. 
To stay in shape, what's your basic diet look like?
I'm pretty omnivorous. I don't really think of food as a way to stay in shape.
What sort of fitness plan, if any, do you follow?
I run around the park. 
What one piece of advice would you give to your own son (hypothetical or otherwise) in the hope of making him a better man?
Question everything - but don't forget to listen to the answers. 

What's next for you? What's your next big idea or project?
I've got several projects stacked in various stages of completion at Lateral Action, about creativity, business or both. And a new poem I've started tinkering with...
What's the one thing about you that never turns up in interviews:
I'm not sure I've ever confessed my admiration for Daddy Pig before. A true gentleman and a great role model for fathers (if not necessarily for children).

Creative Coaching at Lateral Action
(be sure to check out the "Creative Pathfinder" course. HIGHLY recommended!)


Post a Comment