About mJ

my story

MJ grew up in a family of 6.  With a father who taught school and coached sports with a mother who was an old fashioned stay at home mom, money was tight and we had to fend for food.

I have two distinct memories of my childhood.  One Christmas I was 11 years old and I remember sneaking by the tree and looking at the gifts that were there.  At this age there is great anticipation and joy of what was to come.  I dug for the gifts that were mine and grabbed them, all two and realized in those packages was a set tee shirts and in the other was a package of underwear.

At this age, it was much harder to control my emotions and needless to say that I was disappointed.  Seeing the disappointment in my face.  My father at 9pm on Christmas Eve, in the snow, walked down to the local Village Pantry. (He couldn’t get the car started.) He bought a pack of pinnacle cards which were added to my stash on Christmas Day.

That was one of the best Christmas’ I ever had.  The whole family laughed and played pinocle it was so much fun. We also took our old tee shirts and wrote different messages on them.  These were the best gifts ever and I’ll always remember that year.  I don’t remember many other Christmas’ where the tree was stacked but this one was by far the best. 

A few years later my sister had just completed her first semester of college at Purdue University.  She lived on campus and loved it.  Unfortunately, she was not able to go back because we could not afford it.  

at age of 14th

I went out and got a job pumping gas, the only job I could get but it was far away.  I would hitch hike to work, which in those days everyone did it and being a younger kid, I could usually get a ride.  My shift was  from 4pm to 12 midnight six days a week.  Pay at this time was $2.65 an hour. One guy that gave me a ride had a car to sell an old Ford Falcon.  He told me that the only problem was a leaking freeze plug. “Just fill it up everytime you drive it and carry extra jugs of water.”

He sold it to me on a payment plan for $45.  I didn’t have a drivers license yet, but these were different times.  I drove that car for over a year to get to work and back.  I couldn’t drive it to school because I wasn’t old enough to drive and get a parking pass.

The gas station pay was small and I had to learn a way to make more money even though I had no skills or marketable knowledge. Part of my job was washing the windows of cars that pulled up to full service.  Back then many gas stations had full service and self-service was not as popular. I realized something one day, this guy pulled up to full service in and I grabbed the squeegee and started to touch his windshield. He started to yell no no, don’t put that dirty water on my car.

The next day, I bought a bottle of Windex and started using that.  Amazing, I started to get some tips. 

Then I thought what else could I do? There were a couple of neighborhood kids that would hang around the parking lot always getting air in their tires.  I did my first joint venture with them.  I bought wheel cleaner and as I did the windshield – one of them would wipe off their wheel rims.  We would split our tips and the customers were happy.

The hours were not very conducive for going to High School and making it to class, let alone have good grades.  Eventually, it became too much to go to school and I quit school.  I knew my future was limited.  I did the best thing that I could was to finish High School and then join the Army.  In the strict military environment there were several gaps, mainly that they continued to do things the same way because that was the way it was always done.  I was able to see a gap and communicate a way to improve the process and became known as the “idea guy.”

After leaving the Army

I opened a restaurant outside two military bases, Ft Dix and McGuire AFB.  This was a hard lesson about the restaurant business. The hours are long and the work is hard.  We offered the best quality subs and chicken wings delivering to the military bases. We could put flyers out in the barracks and grab business, we had ambassadors that we feed free food and would hold their checks until payday. We had 17 drivers on our busiest shift. I sold this business and went to  junior college, Brookdale Community College.

After completing my associates degree

I transferred into Notre Dame and graduated with a degree in accounting. I worked in the CPA world for a large firm but realized it was not for me.  I left there and got hooked up with a group that was all about business structure and tax planning while buying and selling companies.  The education was hands-on real-life experiences.

Eventually, I went on my own and bought a company that was an importer.  After closing on this business I learned that two of the sales reps were leaving and had made their own product that directly competed with the company I had just bought.  With the same unit they had an advantage because their cost structure was much lower because they didn’t just buy the business. By necessity, I had to learn how to invent and come up with new products fast to keep the business going.  This was my baptism into inventing and since this time I have developed and manufactured over 60 products from an idea to actually selling in the market.  What an education. After stabilizing the market and crushing the competition I divested the company.

I have always maintained a select few clients and operated as a behind the scene strategist.  I was able to help them grow and maximize their profits.  All my relationships were word of mouth.  Sometimes when working with a company it can be quick to get the results under a year and sometimes longer like the one, I just finished in five years.With this company it started from scratch no product and just an idea modeled from the medical market.  I made the product; got FDA approval and we built a strategy that made it the number one seller in the marketplace with massive year after year growth positioning the company to sell.  COVID-19 hit and slowed this down but it is the number one product in its space.

Through the thirty years of experience, I have made many mistakes that have taught me great lessons. 

I am able to creatively problem solve, look at a business or invention, understand where it is now and more important get the business or invention to the next level at lighting speed.