We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Machuszek and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Over-the-years and through travel, my businesses, mediation and my start-up consulting, I realize most entrepreneurs never really give a thought to the “environment” yet alone thinking of it as a huge business opportunity and not just “something to deal with”.
When structuring a company of any size, you need to list all opportunities, risks and cost but recognize some of the “risks are actually opportunities in disguise”. One of my partnerships took place two plus decades ago, it was a small organic coffee shop that made really amazing drinks in a time where most people had never heard of a cappuccino or café mocha! And while the quality, atmosphere and service were spectacular , what made the company really grow was everything in the café was “certified organic” and produced with care and stewardship of the environment.
Mind you, this was in an era before that was a hot topic and before the internet was used as a promotional tool. So, the care and health of the environment, farmers, customers turned out to be a driving force that created the first certified organic café in North America that also became one of the most popular in the World – Urth Caffe.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Well, I’m involved with a number of businesses (my own) and consult for both start-up companies and growth companies. My latest venture solves a problem most people have in their car – there’s little room to eat and drink – so I invented it, The Wheel Tray.
It’s a fold out device, like a mini TV-tray that turns your steering wheel into a table so there is no more mess when you’re eating and drinking in your car (when parked). And when you’re done, it folds up tucks away and prevents thing from falling between your seat and console! The product just launched! Be creative and solve every day problems that you have because they are problems others have as well!
There so are many business clichés out there that people need to stop saying like “think out of the box”, because when you state that, it means you’re actually thinking “Inside the Box” aka “group-think” since you just stated something everyone else says! lol Be original and instead think with bold imagination like Walt Disney, Nichola Tesla, and Leonardo Da Vinci did! These guys would think in another dimension and realm with focus, creativity, visualization thus seeing inventions and ideas in 3D. Like them, I love new ideas, innovation, unique business models and inventions that I can create and bring to the world. It inspires me and keeps me solving the problems with solutions.
Ideas can come fast, some good, some just okay, others crazy cool and amazing. Evaluate them with an open yet critical mind, then figure out what you need to do to create them. The toughest thing for me to do is not being distracted since I love new ideas and concepts. Its important to focus and temporarily shut down distractions both internally and from the outside, then take the best two ideas you have, write down all “parts” associated with them then start to put them together. When I hit a road block on one, I simply move to the other and over time they both will move forward. Then, when one is completed take the next idea in line. Challenges are usually time constraints and hitting daily/weekly/monthly goals on-time. Don’t rush but be methodical and creative in the designing phase and keep moving forward!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We start out at Urth Caffe Main St Santa Monica for an amazing breakfast and perhaps have them make a lunch for the road as well. Then head up the beautiful coast on Hwy 1 thru Malibu, then go hiking on Los Leones trail with its stellar ocean and city views as we head toward Topanga Canyon. Back on the road, we would head to Manhattan Beach with its stunningly beautiful, wide-open and clean beach!! And then hang out, swim, play volleyball and bike ride the strand. Later we would pop into Simzies, Rockin Fish or MB Post for dinner and drinks!
Next, we would spend a few days and do a loop tour up to Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear where we would hike, bike ride and zipline! Lots of fun and fresh air. We might drive to Palm Springs and take the famous Aerial Tram up San Jacinto mountain and have lunch at the top of the mountain overlooking the amazing desert. Then head over to Tyler’s in Palm Springs for something to eat!!
On the way back we take a detour, and stop off at Hemet and ride in the hot air balloons for another high up adventure, then cut through the back country to Temecula for wine tasting and touring the vineyards.
Once home in Redondo Beach, we take day trips to places like Hollywood Bowl, the Queen Mary, Melrose Ave, Venice Beach and horseback ride in Palos Verdes then wind each day down in Hollywood Riviera cafes and the Redondo Pier area with Blue Water Grill, Cheesecake Factory, Tony’s on Pier and of course Eat at Joes for the World-Famous John Wayne Special!! A great time and a great week of fun and socializing!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Well of course, the love and support from MOM aka Missy, other family members and friends but mom takes-the-cake on so many fronts with her ever understanding nature, depth of insight and genuine heart felt empathy and care!
And yes, there are some important books for life… and business because in reality aren’t they one in the same if you love what you do? A couple of really influential books were not business books at all but rather about life and health like Diet for a New America and Fit For Life 1 & 2 being a few!! Both do tie into business indirectly and I recommend them still today. These books make you questions things, and solve problems while helping your health and the environment! One Minute Manager is a great fast read that helps you get things done without procrastinating on things like, doing this interview! lol Don’t mistake the title of Looking Out For #1 as a self-centered, self-promotion book but rather a great insightful read on a number of life and business subjects! Fun, fast and funny with great one-liners along the way! Two movies for business, so you don’t give up are Rocky ( the original) and Shawshank Redemption, two amazing stories about will power and focusing on goals!!
Other: I have a number of businesses and websites so I don’t want to confuse anyone with listing different unrelated ones. My latest project, The Wheel Tray just went live and we will be doing a crowd funding soon!