Hustle or Bust; Powered by Paverart
By Hustle or Bust
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Hustle or Bust; Powered by PaverartAug 26, 2023
Episode #46: Interview Hazing
Episode #46 we dive into the world of interviewing. More specifically, the disturbing trend of businesses of all sizes to act like Greek Life: "Pledging" or competing for acceptance into an organization with a variety of odd, de-humanizing activities and long, drawn out processes that don't map to the real world job. It's unprofessional, and becoming all too common. We shine a spot light on this, and offer some alternatives for candidates that find themselves caught in this cycle.
Episode #45: 5 Year Ownership Review
A spur-of-the-moment podcast with zero preparation: Mike corners Mark and said "I'm in charge!" On Mark's 5 year anniversary of owning PAVERART, Mike decided to go through a deep dive of: * Why did you buy PAVERART? What did you see? Why? And why 5 more times. Naturally, this got us deep into the world of building a business with Heart, not just Hustle. None of what is required to successfully build a business is easy. It's hard, time-consuming and requires skill and sacrifice. PAVERART has been operating for 20 years, and it's clear that it still operates with a day one philosophy, and where the best days are still ahead of us.
Episode #44: Small Business Health Checkup
Every business needs a health check-up, and what better time of year than the halfway mark? We critically evaluate and grade ourselves on this episode. In someway, this felt like the small business rectal exam! Drop us a line with any key areas we have missed.
Episode #43: Sales Pro Interview: Mark Fuss
Leading the Sales & Marketing function for multiple decades is no small feat. Mark Fuss joins to take a look back at his career, what makes a great salesperson, building and protecting a reputation, and what life looks like being recently retired. Check out our website for more blogs, podcasts, and business insights: https://www.hustleorbust.com/
Episode #42: Sales War Stories: Developing Deep, Long-Term Relationships
Episode 42 of the Hustle or Bust Podcast focuses on sales, but extends well beyond a successful transaction. We focus on past war stories that highlight the importance of adding value BEYOND your product or service. This value creates deep, long term personal relationships. That’s what separates the average performer in sales from the great ones.
Episode #41: Sales: “Northing Happens Until Somebody Sells Something”
Sales is extends well beyond generating revenue from customers interested in your product or service. It’s about the art and science of persuasion. That persuasion, or leadership extends to all stakeholders: Employees, suppliers, the community. Episode 41 we dive into the Art & Science of SALES. From success traits off effective sales people, common stereotypes, and adding value BEYOND your product.
Episode #40: Marketing in the World of Small Business
Small Businesses need to fight for awareness in a way the big corporation does not have to worry about. Episode 40 we cover a range of Marketing topics. Story-tellingImage-creating, enhancing, and destroying methodsClassic vs digital marketing, and the Prisoner dilemma of 3rd party digital agencies.
Episode #39: Crisis Management
Every business will face a crisis, that's a guarantee. What is NOT obvious? WHEN will the crisis happen. On this episode of the Hustle or Bust Podcast, we dive deep into crisis management and how to deal with those existential threats to your business when they happen. A war story of a multi-million dollar disruption and how FAMILY became a detriment, not an asset to a small business owner's ownership. Support networks are key, choose wisely.
Episode #38: Cap-Ex. The Investment Decisions To Power Growth
Capital Expenditures (cap-ex for short) are long-term investments needed to accelerate growth and strengthen the overall business. Over the past 5 years, PAVERART has executed 2 transformational projects that had massive investments fuel all areas of the operation. From tripling production capacity, doubling our space, focusing on branding/marketing, and building the team, you name it, we've invested. We break down the key learnings and a few war stories. Hope you enjoy and drop us a line with feedback!
Episode #37: Ken Bull
A special episode with the return home to PAVERART by Ken Bull, an original founder of PAVERART. Now? A Chief Operating Officer at Five Below, one of the country's most successful, high-growth retailers. We covered the intricate planning of PAVERART's beginning days, actually covering 2 years PRIOR to its start. This was our first episode in the new Hustle or Bust Studios, so early that we didn't even have a sign! Also of note? We just passed our 20th anniversary, so welcoming Ken back to the place he co-founded was truly special.
Episode #36: The Mental Freight Train
We dive into a topic that needs to be talked about: Mental Health. We all have our battles we fight. This episode started as an impromptu discussion and Mike said "This needs to be broadcasted, it can help others." The mental freight train is an ONSLAUGHT of brain activity, anxiety, stress, and to-do lists that are unrelenting all rolled into one. We also discussed empathy and talent selection. The human aspect of the business is challenging, and this podcast episode covers many of those areas.
Episode #35: Rodney Adams
What do you get when you combine an Marine, an MBA and a thoughtful approach to building austainable business of true value? The makings of a successful venture. Rodney Adams is the Founder of Mr. Home Repair, a new Handyman Business with big aspirations. This is part 1 and we cover some key areas of branding, what you should think through in the pre-planning stage, and hiring your first employee.
Episode #34: Reg Zeller
Reg Zeller is the Founder and CEO of Cane Kast, a fast growing manufacturing business he acquired in 2017. As you’ll hear in this episode, Reg’s background in Corporate America gave him both the foundational experience AND the motivation to take a shot on his own. He’s taken the strengths of his past and tried to shed some of the “bad stuff” as he’s charted his business on a hyper growth trajectory. We cover all facets of scaling a small manufacturing business through a roll-up/acquisition strategy. Entrepreneurship through acquisition (ETA) is a massive opportunity, but it is too often glamorized as a deal making gaming. That’s important, but it’s MAYBE 5% of the hard work needed for successful outcomes.
Episode #33: Phillips Contracting (Part Two)
Episode 32 brings you Part 2 with Robert Phillips, owner of Phillips Contracting. We get more clues as to how this business has defied the survival odds for over 2 decades. Have you ever thought about charging clients for price quotations? There's a strong case to be made that you SHOULD, and Robert dives into his experiences here. How about NOT expanding your employee base beyond a core team? Robert talks about that as well along with his "it's all of us, or none of us" philosophy of running a great business.
Episode #32: Phillips Contracting (Part One)
The Contracting business ranks high on the list for failure rate in the world of business ownership. So when we see a businesses that has not just surivived but has thrived for over 2 decades we were thrilled to dive deep. Robert Phillips, owner of Phillips Contracting is that exact person. This is part one of an extended conversation where we discuss the start, the challenges, capturing new opportunities and Robert's passion to continue to stay on top of an evolving outdoor living market.
Episode #31; Veteran Wood Co
Mike Legregni joins the Hustle or Bust Podcast. Mike is the founder of Veteran Wood Co., a Veteran and former Law Enforcement professional. He started Veteran Wood Co. in 2019 and put his skill working with his hands to immediate use. We dive deep into Mike’s background and the decisions a new entrepreneur encounters when deciding on when to take the plunge into full time business operator. We also work-shop a current cross-roads decision with a potential full-time role back in the law enforcement field and some potential ways to examine the opportunities ahead.
Episode #30; Ready for Walmart?
It's the holy grail for many entrepreneurs, getting their product into the world's largest retailer, Walmart. But there's an entire process, language, and system that you need to understand. In episode 30 of the Hustle or Bust Podcast, we speak with Brian O'Dell, CEO, and Co-Founder of NOR-Dell, a strategic sales development business specializing in big box stores like Walmart. And he's also an award-winning author of the Mud Street Misfits line of books. We speak about his 2 decades plus career, winning strategies, and we even debate the very title of the Pod, HUSTLE!
Episode #29; Bruce Marks - M&A Trench Warfare!
Bruce Marks joins the podcast and we dive deep into Merger & Acquisition Trench Warfare! Bruce has closed over 1,200 deals valued at over $320,000,000. We go through the growing and dynamic world of Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition, also known as ETA. We go through deal dynamics when deals blow up, and aspects of search and selling businesses that too many overlook.
Episode #28; Employee Engagement
It's a simple fact of business life.....highly engaged employees are more productive, create less turnover for a business, and common sense tells us they have a better quality of work life. We talk about how this topic impacts small businesses, especially in the context of competing for great talent. PAVERART is in the middle of our largest investment project in 20 years, and this serves as a real-world backdrop to this topic.
Episode #27 Wake-Up Call To Parents (of Teenagers)
The teenage workforce participation rate has been on a multi-decade decline, hurdling towards 25%. That has massive implications for future generations to develop the needed work ethic required to compete. But we focus on the flip side: What are the OPPORTUNITIES for 4, summers a teenager will have in high school by spending time in the workforce? What will their life look like? Massively different than those that choose to spend their time on play vs. work.
Episode #26; Hunker down? Or invest?
Episode 26 we deal with the strategic decisions and challenges owners confront: Invest for growth or hold things tight to the vest. As we head into tough economic conditions most will look for areas to cut back in their business, build cash and reduce expenses. Let’s call that “conventional wisdom.” The other approach is contrarian: Investing heavily to gain market share and set you up for the future BEYOND the economic storm. That is the approach we’ve embarked on at PAVERART with a larger capital investment project than at any time during our 20 years of operation. We talk through our thought processes and break-down of the situation in hopes of providing a different view of the economic situation.
Episode #25; HUMILITY!
There's a critical trait in leadership that is too often overlooked: HUMILITY. Being coachable. Listening. We often idolize our national political and business leaders when they meet our worldview. But at the same time we totally overlook their faults and "train wreck" moments. So the question for the small business owner? If we can't see the faults in the highly public leaders, how do we see it on our own teams? That's a blindspot. And an absence of humility. Hope you enjoy episode 25.
Episode #24; Mike Marino
Episode 24 of the Hustle or Bust Podcast was a blast! We introduce you to Mike Marino: Actor and Comedian, affectionately known as the Bad Boy of NJ comedy by his millions of fans worldwide. We cover the struggles of starting out, the rough business known as show business, and forming great partnerships. And of course, plenty of laughs.
Episode #23; The Fight to build an Emotional Connection
Small businesses face an age-old dilemma: How to compete with bigger, more well-capitalized brands. One tried and true strategy? * Provide outstanding, personalized customer service. Another? Over-deliver against your customer's expectations, creating an emotional connection with your clients. In this episode, we discuss a number of brands, 8 in total. Half the brands are multi-BILLION, and half are SMALL. LARGE Brands * Five Below * Target * Costco * Wegmans Smaller Brands * City Bonfires * Drug City * Solo Stove We cite a few solid examples of the small brands breaking through and making it very difficult for the big brands to match, with the City Drug Story.
Episode #22: Paver Pete & Ryan Ravalli
Moving From Product Function To Lifestyle Brand When businesses start, the owners are generally consumed with product functionality and find that elusive product-market fit. Successful businesses get through this stage quickly. Businesses that become SHARE leaders move beyond this. They think bigger. They tap into broader industry trends and have their brands positioned as central to those broader lifestyles. In the world of Hardscaping, that broader trend is referred to as "outdoor living." No company has become synonymous with premium outdoor living hardscaping products more than Techo-Bloc. On this episode, we sit down with Paver Peter Baloglou and Ryan Ravalli from Techo-Bloc, and as always, we covered a ton of ground: * Organizational Culture * Effective sales processes for contractors * Hardscaping industry challenges and opportunities * Continuous learning We hope you pick up a nugget or two, we sure did. If you like what you hear, drop us a line with some feedback, and be sure to subscribe.
Episode #21; Dean Dzurilla
In this episode of the Hustle or Bust podcast, powered by Paverart, we interview Dean Dzurilla. He is a 3x founder and a sales expert.
Episode #20; FIELDTRIPS !
A friend of ours has a fantastic saying: If you want to learn how the lion lives, you go to the jungle, NOT the zoo! The same is true in business. Seeing customers, suppliers, and team members in THEIR environment is needed to understand what challenges they experience, which yields opportunity for all. That's the value of a field trip, getting out of YOUR environment and into theirs. We talk through our intentions and past experiences with the Field Trip idea.
Episode #19; Jeff & Alice Fisher, Never Give Up; The journey back from surviving a Stroke.
Episode #19 of the Hustle or Bust Podcast introduces you to an unbelievably inspiring couple: Jeff & Alice Fisher.
In 2011 Jeff was undergoing a medical procedure, and during that procedure suffered a severe stroke that left him paralyzed and completely unable to speak. Searching for answers, medical pros, and anything that could provide a glimmer of optimism, in the next decade Jeff & Alice tell their story of re-building. Truly inspiring and a testament to the couple's tenacity to Never Give Up.
Episode #18; Put your big boy pants on: The role of outside advisors
There are coaches or consultants that come into businesses to provide an outside perspective. Often times these are lengthy, expensive engagements with no real "skin in the game" for the consultant. In this episode of the Hustle or Bust Podcast we present an alternative method, aimed at getting to 80% of the value with 20% of the time. A hyper focused view of the business with a skilled, trusted advisor you trust and respect. But be ready for the mirror you will confront, and be ready to take on the real behavior change needed to make the deep dive worthwhile. And don't forget to keep your advisor in the loop...... their counsel is invaluable, and selfless.
Episode #17; Economic Storm: What'dya Gonna Do 'Bout it?
Welcome to episode 17 of the Hustle or bust podcast, the Economic Storm: What'dya Gonna Do 'Bout it? Were gonna dive into 3 areas critical to these challenging economic times. Your digital footprint, your reputation, and taking a solid risk assessment of all areas of your business.
Episode 16; Getting out of your comfort zone.
Growth is about disrupting the status quo. It's about defining your baseline and then up-ending your normal routine and behaviors to create new activity that drive growth. This episode of the Hustle or Bust Podcast we talk about getting out of your comfort zone as you build your growth plan.
Episode 15; Mr Direct
Episode #15 we introduce you to Marklyn T. Johnson: Comic, Host,, Motivational Speaker and 2 Time Author. Marklyn takes us through his journey from corporate to solo entrepreneur, the struggles, challenges and crafting his own definition of success that leaves him at peace and fully energized.
Episode #14; Worklife balance
One of the most controversial topics, with judgement, excessive opinions? WORK LIFE BALANCE. How to gain it? How to manage towards it? At what stage of your career does it matter? We dive deep into this topic in the context of small business management, careers, and various family stages. There are no easy answers for this topic, but this much we DO know: It comes down to the INDIVIDUAL, and that is their view on what is right in the context of their own definition of success.
Episode #13; The Dog Days of Summer & A Tip Of The Hat To Labor Day!
It's important to take a VERY hard look at yourself and your business from time to time. On this episode we do that and critically evaluate the PAVERART summer, our failures and wins. We talk about a new phenomena we dubbed: The Man Child, and talked about a great young man who at the age of 16 has already compiled 2 years under his belt, and what that could mean for his future.
Episode #12; Solving the higher education crisis in America
On the heels of the President's Executive order granting $10,000-$20,000 of debt relief and another payment delay, we talk through something the government FAILS to do: Propose real solutions that get to the root cause of the problem in front of us. The executive order does NOTHING to fix the system that has caused the cost of higher education to escalate well north of inflation for the past three decades. Hopefully, people will start discussing practical solutions like we propose on episode 12 of the Hustle or Bust Podcast.
Episode #11; Braden Wallake, CEO of HyperSocial
Episode 11 is special. We start by diving deep into a post that went viral on LinkedIn: The post now known as "The Crying CEO" went viral, garnering 15mm+ impressions as of this podcast. Of course, there was a massive mix of positive and negative reactions that resulted that reveal a ton about the state of our public discourse that plays out on social media.
The first part of the episode Mike & Mark break it down, giving their point of view and initial reactions.
But what's more special than OUR analysis?
We reached out to Braden Wallake, the CEO of HyperSocial to come on the Hustle or Bust Podcast to talk with us not just about the post, but his journey, his approach to his small business and what happens next.
We hope you enjoy, and drop us a line with feedback.
Episode #10; Interview with Angelo Viscoso
On our 10th episode, we couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce our first guest.
Angelo Viscoso personifies the term entrepreneur.
At the ripe old age of 25 Angelo decided to leave a great position in corporate America to pursue one of the most challenging ventures in America: The Restaurant Business, in the NY Metro Market.
Not only has he defied the odds of survival, but he’s found a way to THRIVE for over 25 years.
We hope you find inspiration in Angelo’s story, we sure did.
Episode #9; Customer service, Nice guys finish First.
On this episode we confront a topic we are all familiar with, customer service. More specifically, a couple of illumining experiences that made us think about building and destroying lifetime value. Too many businesses fall into the later camp, we will give you a hint, Nice guys finish first. Make sure to give feedback and subscribe to see future episodes.
Episode #8; Grit and grind; Building resilience in the midst of the journey
Hustle or bust Podcast #8
In this episode we talk about the grit and grind, building resilience in the midst of the journey. From finding joy from the daily struggles, practicing gratitude, getting your first big win, and the sobering responsibilities that come with business ownership.
Episode #7; The critical role of a spouse in your business
This is the Hustle or Bust podcast; Powered by PAVERART In this episode we cover the critical role of your spouse in the startup of your business, and their importance to you in and out of the business. https://www.hustleorbust.com/podcast
Episode 6: The Mentor/Protégé Relationship & The Value of Candor in the Workplace
In this episode we dive deep into the world of MENTORSHIP, developing young talent beyond simple on the job training, and in the context of GROWTH.
We also cover candor in the workplace, the adult conversations that confront the brutal realities all businesses must address to get to a new level of performance.
Episode 5: The world of time management
Time is the ultimate equalizer......we all have only 24 hours in a day. It's how we CHOOSE to utilize this asset that makes all the difference in the world. Too many business owners are consumed with working IN their business vs ON their business, and in this episode we talk about specific ways to deal with the common everyday whirlwinds to help improve in the area of time management https://www.hustleorbust.com/
Episode 4: The 10000 Hour rule
What does it take to develop true subject matter expertise?
In this episode of the Hustle or Bust Podcast we dive into Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule, as he discussed in Outliers. We talk through, with a fair amount of "banter" how you can develop it and how hard work and accumulating the hours is NOT enough.
2 side topics:
1) A trip on the NJ Turnpike revealed a missed opportunity in pricing management. What was discovered? Diarrhea medicine, mis-priced, oh no! We expand the classical definition of economic theory to include, well......urgency!
2) Ancestory.com - Not much to do with small business and entrepreneurship but we had some fun and discovered some real gender differences on this topic.
Episode 3: Defense, Preparing For Challenging Economic Times
This episode builds on episode 3 where we talk about OFFENSE, preparing for challenging economic times. EXCEPT, we talk about DEFENSIVE measures any business can take to prepare for stormy waters. From analyzing the operation's throughput, solidifying inventory positions, capital management and supply chain relationships, we dive into different angles of looking at this challenging topic.
Episode 2: Offense, Preparing For Stormy Economic Weather
We are likely headed into challenging economic times. In this episode we cover a host of topics small businesses can under-take to be proactive and prepare for challenging conditions. In fact, these suggestions work in ANY economic client!
Episode 1: What is Hustle? What is "Old School Meets New School?"
Our first episode of the Hustle or Bust Podcast we lay out the origin of the name, what we hope to achieve and who will benefit: Small business owners, entrepreneurs, individuals that aspire to grow.
We tell the story of our recent efforts at PAVERART that all businesses owners can relate too: The quest to hire ONE capable individual in an extraordinarily challenging job market. The multiple efforts, approaches and investments made to attempt to have any outcome greater than zero!