A New Kind of Musician Entrepreneur: A Chat with The Donating Drummer Mark Powers

A New Kind of Musician Entrepreneur: A Chat with The Donating Drummer Mark Powers

Written by Emilie

Topics: Podcast

Ever meet a musician with a VA?

Today on Undeclared for Life, we interview Mark Powers of PowersPercussion.com and TheDonatingDrummer.com.

Mark is a percussionist, world traveler, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who’s flipping the starving artist model on its head. By mixing lifestyle design strategies with music, Mark has found a way to get paid, promote social justice, and travel the world at the same time!

We also discuss using music as an umbrella for your many interests, and why digital entrepreneurship is such a powerful tool for artistically-inclined multipotentialites.

Listen to the Podcast


Mark Powers and his Various Digital Homes

Your Turn

Do you have one particular art form or medium in your life that acts as an umbrella for your other interests and talents?


  1. Mark Powers says:

    Emilie and Abe- thank you both so much for thinking to include me in your podcast series! Great getting to chat . . . and I know there will be more interesting opportunities to team up down the road. Kudos!

    • Emilie says:

      Definitely! And thanks to YOU for joining us on the show. It was great to hear about all the amazing stuff you’ve got going on. Very inspiring. :)

  2. Abe says:

    So glad to share what you’re doing with the Puttylike fam, Mark! You’re a great example to other entrepreneur artists–music or otherwise. If you ever need a sidekick drummer/director/video editor/joker for a trip you know where to find me haha.

  3. Holli says:

    Totally awesome. I was just talking to my man about the direction of my blog and artistic passions…Mark is an inspiration. I love this episode. Nice work Emilie and Abe!

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks Holli! I love combining artistic expression with blogging and business. I’ve been devouring a lot of Hugh MacLeod lately. :)

    • Mark Powers says:

      Happy to hear you dug it, Holli! Wish I’d have read this a couple days ago- we could have connected while I was in Seatle teaching over this past weekend. Next time! :) Thanks for listening and commenting

  4. Rene says:

    This was great! I just listed for the second time. It was freeing to hear Mark mention he sat on some of his posts, thinking it was stupid. I am struggling with fear and self doubt right now. I also felt inspired by the the comments that “scanner-types feel like we’re not an expert” and that there’s someone who has is not yet where I am, but wants to be. Yes, I do want to “put it out there” and help others who are on a similar path. Thanks so much Mark, Abe, and Emilie.

    • Emilie says:

      Very cool, Rene! I’m glad you found the podcast helpful. I love hearing from multipotentialites who are making it work and pursuing all these incredible projects. Even if you don’t have the same goals, you can’t help but get inspired. Plus us scanners are in such a good position to create our own version of what Mark’s doing.

      Also, you might like this post I wrote a while back on expertise:


      Thanks for the comment and kind words. :)

    • Mark Powers says:

      Rene! Hello, fellow Salemite- thanks for the comment. :) I think that some amount of that fear will always exist for some of us. It’s a sign that we’re DOING something. Something new, something scary, something that is most likely going to change our lives. If we never encounter that fear, those nerves, we’re probably going through life with our ass on the couch. To each his/her own, but that’s certainly not MY idea of fun . . . and, I’m assuming, since you’re here, not yours either. Really appreciate you dropping a line!

  5. Jen says:

    First, great podcast. I really liked listening to how at ease Mark is about his life and marrying diverse passions. Like most things, I imagine it’s not easy, all rainbows and kittens and what not, but I liked how comfortable he seemed to be with the diversity.

    Second, and not related to the podcast, have you considered doing posts on multipotentialites throughout history? Maybe I’m the only one geek enough to find this interesting. For example, actress Hedy Lamarr…actress, scientist, inventor, and mathematician, and also co-inventor for some type of early technology I won’t even pretend to understand that impacted wireless communication today. Pretty fascinating women. Okay that’s it; take it for what it’s worth. :)

  6. Mark Powers says:

    Thanks for checking it out, Jen! I think that I feel good about the way things are specifically because my life has become a nice mix of those many interests. You’re completely right about it not always being easy, but the things we really want most rarely are. Nor should they be. The process and challenges each of us encounter along the way are precisely what make the end result uniquely you. Or me. Or Emilie. Or Abe. It’s all well worth it! Thanks again . . .

    • Jen says:

      P.S. LOVE the picture with the tiger. I’m quite jealous. And this is coming from someone who has very little interest in animals (any former housemates with pets can attest to this), but I’ve been fascinated by large cats since I 10 years old. I would also like to get some face time with a river otter, but that’s mostly because I like anything that seems primarily motivated by having fun.

  7. Mark Powers says:

    Dang, girl . . . river otters?! Way too dangerous for me. I’ll stick with the Bengal tigers! ;)

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