Creating Inspiration

 Better Relationship Podcast Episode #025

Creating Inspiration & Collaboration with Mark Henson

Show Notes: (by R. Pumphrey)

Mark Henson is the creator of Sparkspace – the most innovative and fun business meeting & retreat center in the world! Mark talks what inspires him, and how this led him to create Sparkspace to inspire others! This one-of-a-kind business has been an adventure, a challenge, and had required Mark to be more intentional about being present for his wife and family.

Mark’s Bio

  • Mark is the Founder of Sparkspace, the most inspirational business retreat center on the planet!
  • Mark is also the host of the Rockstar Academy podcast and he has a blog that is read by thousands each week.
  • Mark’s passion is helping people live a life full of positivity, simplicity, contribution, and balance.
  • Mark just celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary, and is the father of 2 teenagers.

What is Sparkspace?

  • A fun, interactive, colorful, and unique meeting space that inspires teams to be more creative, collaborative and have fun while doing so!
  • Sparkspace is the exact opposite of the stuffy, monotone conference room!
  • Candy walls, Hat racks, Mr. Potato Heads, inspire play, while giant size whiteboards, colorful post it notes, and Rubix cubes add a tactile element to planning and ideation. Susie spent a day at Sparkspace in August and calls it one of her favorite places for meetings & events!

Challenges of Being an Entre-spouse

  • Mark and his wife did work together in the business for about a year, but the downside was business creeped into their life 24/7!
  • Mark’s wife told him she needed him to stop talking about the business during their personal time and focus on her and the family.This was an adjustment for a few weeks while they re-oriented into talking about non-business things.
  • Mark’s wife left the business about 5 years ago. He found that he tried not to talk about the business a lot, but then realized he was only sharing the complaints and negative aspects.
  • She is his best sounding board and ‘advisor,’ but it’s still a conscious effort for him not to be ‘on’ about Sparkspace all of the time.


Focusing on the Future

  • Mark is a personal development junkie, so he rarely has a shortage of things to discuss.
  • Mark enjoys involving his whole family in talking about future plans, dreams, and activities.
  • Mark believes you can find out what is really important to people by asking them how they see their future.


Making Time is a Choice

  • Mark and his wife probably spend more time together than most spouses they know.
  • They enjoy physical activities together and walk 3-5 miles a day.
  • Mark is intentional about asking his wife if she wants to join him for just ‘everyday’ errands.
  • Mark believes in taking a long term view and focus on making sure that they are spending time together building a solid relationship, so they can enjoy the next 50 years with their family, not just the next 50 minutes.
  • They both hope this will model for their children, how they look at their long-term health and their relationships.


Handling Disagreements

  • Mark does say “I’m sorry” a lot. He’s very quick to admit it when he knows he’s wrong in a situation.
  • Mark and his wife are very different in the way that they approach conflict.
  • His wife is able to compartmentalize and put conflicts aside, while he is an ‘open book’ and just wants to finish the discussion.
  • Mark has learned to let her have her space and then approach it later when she’s ready to talk.
  • Defensiveness has derailed them most in their ability to handle conflicts.
  • One of the hardest things they’ve both had to learn is to set aside their emotional gut reaction about what the other is sharing about their feelings.
  • In the middle of an intense conflict, Mark makes it a point to hug his wife and tells her “I love you no matter what!”


Juggling Work and Family

  • Being an entrepreneur is a 24-7 endeavor. Even when you’re not working, you’re thinking about the business.
  • His son perceives that he works “all the time.” This is not the perception Mark wants his kids to have about his business.
  • Marks is flexible schedule allows him to spend time with his kids during the day- for example, he is the family ‘taxi driver’ because working from home gives him flexibility.
  • Mark is intentional about being present and engaging with his kids, which means closing the laptop and putting the phone down. He can multitask but his kids want him fully present.
  • Marks very open with his kids that he’s ‘learning as he’s going.’ He wants to be Superman, the perfect husband and father, so admitting “I don’t know what I’m doing” can be difficult.

Where You Can Find Mark

His website:

You can also find his podcast, The Rockstar Academy, on iTunes and Stitcher


Susie’s website:

Susie’s book: