Celebrity tattoo artist, tattoo industry entrepreneur, rock star and global force, Mario Barth has done more for the tattooing industry and culture than anyone else in history. He is the visionary that stands at the forefront of a $1.7 Billion industry – the 6th fastest growing American industry with an 8% annual growth.
Mario was just voted by the Tattoo Society “Artist of the Year” for 2021, Mario’s journey to the top started in the Austrian underground in the late 1970’s when tattooing was illegal. He perfected his craft and quickly rose to prominence. Winning over 200 international awards and setting multiple Guinness World Records – one for tattooing 679 tattoos on an entire Austrian pro soccer team, SK Sturm Graz, in a single day. Mario never lost sight of his calling as a true artist as he became the #1 tattoo artist choice of celebrities. Clients include the biggest stars in music, sports, and film / TV, including: Sylvester Stallone, Tommy Lee, Chris Angel, Steven Tyler, Lenny Kravitz, Usher, Wendy Williams, Nikki Sixx, NFL NY Giants’ David Diehl, Rapper Jim Jones, Avril Levine, Brody Jenner, Dead Mouse, Korn’s Fieldy, NBA’s Jason Kidd, and many more.
Aside from his accolades in the tattoo industry, Mario has made some major waves in music as the frontman of the band “About Kings”. “About Kings” is originally from Austria, and they have played to crowds of over 80,000 in Europe and toured with Austrian superstar singer Andreas Gabalier. Incredibly for a Southern Rock Country Band, their first album was primarily sung in German! The record was a hit in Europe. Songs from their album, “Guardian Angel” passed 1 million Plays on Spotify, and the music video for their song “Easy Rider” currently has over 2 million views on YouTube. Their song “Weikhard Uhr” hit #13 on iTunes chart Austria. They just premiered their new all-English 14-song Nashville Album “Go Big or Go Home” in a Las Vegas Concert performing with country music stars, Lonestar and Tyler Rich.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
It was in 2017 when my friend Gernot Pachernigg reached out and wanted me to write and perform a song with him, so I did. It was called “Easy Rider” and was shot in Vegas. The video ended up getting over 2 million views on YouTube, and so we decided to do an entire album together.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts at 6 AM where I have a family breakfast with my two beautiful babies – a 6-month-old and a 19-month-old. Then I get to work at my corporate office for Intenze Products, which is my international Tattoo Ink manufacturing business. We make the safest Ink products in the world, completely vegan safe. A lot of my day is spent on the tattoo industry globally. As head of the International Coalition for Tattoo Safety, I’m dealing with everything from government regulations that threaten the Tattoo industry… to the importance of health and safety in an industry with 30,000 licensed tattoo studios just in the US… and maybe double or triple that with unlicensed home studios. To put it into perspective, there are only 18,000 McDonalds in all of North America. We are having our annual “World Tattoo & Piercing Trade Conference” at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas from May 23-28, 2022. It’s a massive event with the greatest tattoo & piercing artists in the world, and incredible seminars and workshops. It’s a great time and not to be missed, but a lot to coordinate. This year it will also be live streamed. Also daily, of course, I check-in on all my retail tattoo shops, before heading to the shop myself to tattoo clients. I go home in the evening to have dinner with my family every night, before heading to band rehearsal at 8PM.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Through emotion. I went through a very difficult divorce recently that lasted over 2 years. It affected my relationship with my son which was very taxing on me, but it gave me a lot to write about. The tough things in life. Music has always been very cathartic for me.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Knowing that you can be and do whatever you want, as long as you put 100% into it. I love that we can perform music that mixes country with rock, and that we can be the heavy metal of country. Opportunity is everywhere.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Compulsiveness. I am relentlessly compulsive with everything I do and put everything into it – being as detail oriented as possible and soaking up as much knowledge about my field as I can. Why commit to things you’re not 100% passionate about?
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell myself to do everything that I did, because I’d always learn from everything. I regret nothing. I always swam upstream, but I learned that the more people who tell you not to do something, means the less people you’ll have to battle with when you do it.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You’re 100% responsible for the life you live, and your relationships with those around you. You decide your own destiny.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Stick to your guns. If you’ve made your mind up, don’t fold.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Know your field and become a master at it. Listen, and get as much information as possible. You’re your own research. Learn from the best, and get educated in your field.
Otto von Bismarck said: “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” Now, of course you learn from your own mistakes. Everyone does. The point is, if you seek out the best to learn from, and absorb their knowledge and skills based on what THEY learned and their mistakes, you will succeed much faster.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I had that stuck with me came out of success. I had a tattoo shop called “King Inc.” in Las Vegas that performed so well that local shops complained that it was stealing their business, which ultimately led to it getting shut down. That was a hard one to get over, but I’ve always been able to fall back on music to get me through tough times.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
So many people try to start a business based on budget or trends. Understand your dream first, then create the idea. Being passionate about it is the only way it will succeed.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Recently, I overheard a kid ask their mom if they could get a toy at a store, and the mom said “no.” So, I bought the toy for the kid. Needless to say, he was pretty happy.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Office 365. It puts my tasks in order, and is the only artificial intelligence that keeps me in line.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Unleash the Power Within”, by Tony Robbins. It teaches very valuable lessons in life.
What is your favorite quote?
“Who says I can’t?” is a quote I live by. It’s also the name of the book on High School Football, Coach Rob Mendez, who was born without arms or legs. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t be great, or that you can’t achieve your goals or dreams. F – them. Use it as motivation. Just put in the work and passion.
- I’m the poster child for the American Dream. You can do whatever it is you want to, as long as you commit 100% in it. Never expect something from nothing.
- Concentrate on your surroundings. If you open a business, know everything about everyone within a half mile of you. Know and support your community and you will succeed.
- Share what you’re passionate about with those around you.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.