In today’s episode we had the pleasure of chatting with Rod Williams, entrepreneur and musician. He has founded numerous successful businesses from oil field lodgings to his newest senior living search. Rod and his wife, Shelley Mac, have toured with amazing national artists such as Sting, and have also made a mark on the local Austin scene. Rod shares his favorite local musicians, venues, and advice to make it in the live music capital of the world. It’s very rare for someone to be so successful in both the entrepreneurial and artistic sectors as Rod, so we were very honored to have the chance to talk with him!
[1:35] Before Rod moved to Austin in 2007, he was working as an entrepreneur, and sold one business while shutting down another.
[1:50] The quality of life Austin provides really attracted Rod to living here full time. He and his wife Shelley enjoy the creeks and rivers, and hiking, etc.
[2:57] When Rod was in fifth grade, he worked for his father, an investment banker, helping at one of his father’s properties — a diaper company. He made minimum wage, which he believes was $2.11 an hour.
[4:33] His first business was a dive shop.
[5:30] He started playing local gigs where he could rotate local musicians and count on having cash flow with consistent shows he could count on.
[6:19] He and his wife Shelley Mac met when she came to see one of his shows while on a break from a tour in New Zealand. She took special care of him during a low point in his life when he suffered losing a friend and fellow musician.
[6:35] Shelley and Rod toured with Sting in 2011, and Rod calls it a “magical experience.”
[8:55] Rod gives important advice to musicians considering moving to Austin who want to make a living playing music — both original and covers. He talks about business factors very important for musicians to pay attention to for their career.
[12:55] Besides having a business sense, musicians that connect with their craft authentically and pour their heart and soul into every performance or song-writing session is what separates them from the rest of the crowd. Dave Madden, John Pointer, Wendy Colonna, John Lockart are all people Rod names as amazing, whether they are the leading the band, or backing another musician.
[14:17] Thank you to our Sponsor, the Papasan Properties Group.
[18:51] Rod names some venues he loves to play at in Austin and beyond.
[19:52] Rod talks about his involvement with oil field lodgings and handling all the busy business tasks that come with it.
[22:40] Rod took a personal interest in Alzheimer’s, and helping others with the disease, when it started to affect his mother’s short term memory. He talked to others about their similar experience, and decided to find a solution by helping with senior apartment and community locators.
[25:00] Rod’s goal is to put out a record this year. He and Shelley are working on a new project and album called Sweetness and the Storyteller.
[35:17] Find Rod’s favorite taco at Tacodeli — he will even break his ketogenic pact for the tortilla!
Tacodeli | The Happy Taco