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  • Writer's pictureMark Olivito

Breaking The Blog Hiatus!

Updated: Jul 3, 2022

As Ross infamously said on FRIENDS: “We were on a break!” I guess 18+ months between blog posts qualifies as a break. So what does it take to break the dry spell? One heck of a week!

The unplanned/hectic episode that started the week? My daughter Hope getting rushed to the hospital with a virus, ug! Always painful to see a family member, particularly a child get sick. But she has an amazing ability to find joy in every situation, face-timing with her cousin while getting her IV!


But the episode, no matter how stressful was marked by a number of inspiring people.

  • First, the police department shows up in what had to 5 minutes flat. Amazing!

  • Than the EMT wasn’t more than another 5 minutes behind the Police.

  • All were great, related to Hope compassionately and had a very professional, calming affect on everyone.

  • Than the hospital, and Hope was treated, by……I kid you not: DR. LOVE. Need I say more?

3 days later we get a visitor at our house. Who was it? “Officer Kevin” who happened to see the report and knows our kids from his patrol work at their PREVIOUS school. He was concerned, stopped by, chatted. Officer Kevin has been talked about in our home since we moved back to NJ in 2014, this was the first time I met him. Pure Class. A GREAT reflection on our town and his fellow cops.

If this isn’t “ABOVE AND BEYOND” the call of duty, I don’t know what is.


The combination of all of the above made attending today’s pancake breakfast fundraiser for the Town EMT even more fun.

So that’s the first part of the week.

Earlier in the year I started a good book. The Great Tom Peter’s Excellence Dividend.


Tom Peters has a way of distilling the critical elements of business success (“Excellence”) into simple, overlooked elements. One line of the book jumped out at me, a short story of Peter’s meeting with FedEx Founder Fred Smith, who asked him:

Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met in the last 90 days? How do I get in touch with them?”

That’s a pretty fascinating question and speaks to the need to really get out of your comfort zone. How easy is it to get (or stay) complacent and just hang with your current circle of friends/co-workers/advisors? Too easy.

Enter the back half of last week…..

A couple months ago I started searching for fellow NJ Based business owners, ideally manufacturers serving a high end market.

In August 2018 I had another one of those “you did WHAT?” moments in my career, acquiring a hard-scaping manufacturing company called Paverart. Bricks. Design. Manufacturing.

Nothing to do with Food Manufacturing where I’ve spent 20+ years.


More on Paverart down the road, back to the search for interesting people.

I came across a fascinating individual, and an interesting industry.

Jack Guarnieri, Founder of Jersey Jacks Pinball.

Many things drew me to reach out for Jack beyond the obvious (NJ Manufacturing business owner, with a last name ending in a vowel!)

  • Founding a company in 2011 (tail end of great recession) in what most would consider a dying industry is certainly bold.

  • Than, doing so with a super premium product, doubly bold.

  • In short, manufacturing and selling a product that people WANT but by no means NEED, and a high ticket item lined right up with the company I just acquired. So why not knock on Jacks door?


So what happens?

First off, and there’s no scientific proof behind this, but I’ve seen a direct correlation between people that are responsive AND accessible and success. They all move in the same direction. Jack fit the bill before I met him, and reinforced that feeling during and the days after our visit.

Jack & I covered a ton of a ground. Clearly I won’t go into details of the conversation, but I will say a few things about IMPACT.

Here’s something so simple: Jack carries a gold Sharpie with him. He personally signs all the product, like an artist signing a beautiful painting.


Jack Guarnieri, Founder of Jersey Jacks Pinball


And here I own a company called PaverART, and what are we NOT doing? Yup.

  • Downloaded a couple page of notes, and reviewed them with my Co-founder of Paverart. We both mulled over each topic.

  • It inspired ACTION on the ride home. I decided to take a Paverart Field trip with new energy with a stop by Asbury Park NJ, the site of an install 12 years ago. I was tired AND energized, and had to write my first blog on Paverart’s site since acquisition.

    • The Paverart “‘ism’s” & Field Trip Lessons


Last, Jack personally signs the wooden base of his Wizard Of Oz Pinball game. It now awaits an install in my man cave, along with “Stay Humble Hustle Hard” and an engraved Concrete Paver with my life Mantra: “Heart & Hustle.



I’ve thought a ton about Pinball in the past few days!

Jack and Officer Kevin are in 2 completely different lines of work. But BOTH have very similar DNA. It’s called Heart.

Hustle may be the core of this blog. But Hustle without HEART leaves an awful lot on the table. And the impact on those around you? Not much.


Thanks to all who’ve followed Hustle Or Bust for the past 7+ years.

MO

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