June 16, 2023

Episode #86: Mac McKeon – MacquyverTech

Mac is the founder and CEO of MacguyverTech with over 25 years of experience in the technological world. Before he began work, Steve always had a passion for creating and taking things apart. His knowledge of software development extends from a passion for reverse engineering and ethical hacking. Mac began his career with MacGuyver Music where he not only was an accomplished DJ, but he was also creating commercial soundtracks for Hasbro and Motorola. Mac’s philosophy on software has been a guiding lens for the team. He believes that no company should have a “cookie-cutter mold” system; each company is unique and requires a fully customized software to fit their specific needs.

Steve also has a fiery passion for blockchain. With the emergence of this new technology, Steve is able to integrate it into a lot of different projects. The applications for blockchain are almost unlimited and Steve has the knowledge to propose the best application of blockchain technology to the system to fit a company’s needs. While the team at MacguyverTech as well as Steve have the technical skills to create such a system.

Transcript

hello this is coach Tim Campsall and I’m your host for the self-made as a myth make a difference together show where we are chatting with successful business owners to hear their story of the journey to building their business and because we know that success in business is not something that we can do on our own we’re recognizing the folks who have helped us along the way and today I’m excited to have a fellow business owner from Pennsylvania with us and my guest loves blockchain as well as helping others use social media in his downtime he loves to learn new things in Tech and communication and he does that by listening to a ton of audiobooks and he’s most proud of the culture that he’s built in the MacGyver Tech Team it’s my pleasure to welcome back to the show today hello Mac hey how you doing pleasure to be here I am awesome thanks for asking so hey let’s start with having you introduce yourself tell us a little bit of your personal story like where you were born and live about your family and your hobbies sure yeah now I started in humble beginnings in South Jersey I went to Rowan University um I’ll back that up a little bit uh I went to Delsey Regional High School in South Jersey I was active in the sports played football baseball a little basketball was also on the track team um so it’s a little background of me always been a little bit of a nerd always really loved taking things apart um and uh kind of like just kind of building you know building things as a kid had a lot of extra parts but I guess they weren’t needed you know but that just means I was a natural tinkerer if that makes sense so you know uh fast forward a little bit you know I really was uh I’m really attracted to math and sciences so you know I I wind up initially going to Rowan University I was going for electrical engineering and I was going to switch to computer science but then that was around a time that that school got donated a lot of money from uh Henry Rowan who put put a lot of money into computer science departments so I wound up staying and not going to rockers which is kind of nice it stayed local once I finished school there I lived I moved up into the Boston area worked for some tech companies up there and then I came back down here after about seven years or so living up in the Beantown um you know I actually got to be experiencing the whole thing was like to win a lot of super bowls with Tom Brady and uh when that all happened so it’s kind of unique especially being a Philadelphia fan we’re used to heartbreak in the city you know so it’s like it’s like I was like oh my God this is what it’s like huh so um so I kind of enjoyed it you know um I kind of you know really really kind of you know took in the uh development stuff and I worked for another company that did some government work called CSI computer software Incorporated that was my last job um I wound up you know um working for some people that I just kind of you know I started doing everything other than make the money and I got smart enough to start up my own thing and you know fast forward about 10 years later and here we are running MacGyver Tech slash Mac nerd and we’re pretty much a secure focused software Dev shop full circle so that’s uh you know uh interesting yeah tell us a little bit about your family sure I mean my family you know my mom you know uh you know we’re like honestly the thing is she wasn’t really so much the education and stuff like that math The Sciences around fifth grade I kind of was already surpassing her and you know I God bless my mom she really means well but she you know really to helping that department so I kind of started doing a lot of stuff on my own honestly one of the funniest stories actually speaking to my mom if you want to kind of know is she kind of a uh said you know I don’t remember this because I was a toddler but I used to take apart my crib but my thumb and it would just collapse in on me because obviously it needed the screws to hold it up but you know I was always I was trying to escape I was trying to get my way out so I was I was taking things apart my whole life and boarding warranty is pretty much you know all my childhood y’all thinking my parents happy there’s a little story of me there um so cool awesome fantastic so tell us is there a funny story that your family likes to to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us today I mean I think that and all the story right there with me with the crib collapse you know it’s a very humbling story you know knowing that basically you know uh you know I’m trying to escape doing good will get out but in the process you know whole thing collapses in so I guess there’s a kind of a story of trying not to get too ahead of yourself but I guess I didn’t learn and I’ve been you know my whole childhood as I was going through that Journey now you mentioned uh earlier that you you took things apart and put them back together and you had spare parts so it did yeah so I would try to make little robots and a little electronic stuff I was even at that young age I was playing around with a soldering iron I was hacking my like video game consoles like Atari Xbox yeah and uh I take it every single one of them apart um now I I did that I took stuff apart too and had extra parts and it never worked so when you put it back together did it work without those parts times

um one of the biggest things as a kid that you know my racking we were pretty humble and really not you know not you know we were pretty poor and you know we couldn’t afford to like like say our vacuum cleaner would break my job was to go in there and fix it so I would have to do all these creative kind of things like if the adult group and we didn’t have the money to buy the belt I would have to super glue the belt pull them together and kind of diver the vacuum cleaner together I felt like a little Kirby salesman back then and I just kind of I was just learning how to kind of fix all this stuff as I went through it basically it was no training this kind of bulldozing through it so I don’t know I kind of I guess I’d take that knowledge as a kid and learning to be really creative about problem solving is probably helped me you know even today I love it um so tell us Mac uh how’d the business come about and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business hmm that’s a really good question so um I was working for you know a company I don’t want to name names but you know uh you know and they you know the problem is they got complacent they started putting a ton of responsibility on me I was doing all the work I was building the team I was doing everything other than merely making the money and and when I try to have conversations about that I fell on deaf ears I was like you know what I’m going to try you know Joe my own I want we’re getting really lucky there was an opportunity that showed up that wanted to give me a really good base to start as a company um I had to work my tail off personally I did whatever it took I wound up you know living out of a suitcase for a little while and you know just you know did what I had to do to build my um you know Network I was around the same time you know we had a new family member come into our life you know I have Logan as a kid so he kind of like came in you know as I was starting to go through this process so you can only imagine how chaotic that might be with my wife at home with a kid you know here I am traveling out doing all this stuff and she’s like you know think I’m gallivanting all over the world where I’m just trying to obviously give us you know future here so um a lot I didn’t know how hard it was because honestly now in hindsight I don’t know if I want to jump as fast and hard as I did knowing how much work is involved in running a business because boy it’s much more than you would ever imagine it’s like literally the best and the worst job all one so Matt tell us a little bit more about the company what’s the name what do you guys do how do you help people oh sure yeah so I actually have two companies one of them the primaries MacGyver Tech and we’ve been around for probably about 10 years and we’re just a custom software Dev shop and we build software solutions to help companies basically whatever they need there’s a lot of you know products out there to do a little bit of this a little bit of that but none of them really care about the company itself they’ve been serving they care about the product and churning as many as they can we don’t have that methodology we build them exactly what they need and we tie together all their systems we have a very security focused mindset we are an active member of the FBI invigard we do work with FBI cyber crime sometimes and we have a very security focused mindset it so we kind of make sure everything we do is really secure in today’s day and age you know you can’t take that lightly um and something that we care about and uh I’m really happy about the culture we spent the last couple years going through Executive coaching personality profiles finding the right persons for the right seats like all the things you do grow in the opposite business so that’s been a humbling and really cool journey and you know some of those audio books I think you mentioned are honestly not what you would think because I’m a tech nerd at heart right you would think I really want to gravitate towards maybe sci-fi Tech stuff no I’m I’m doing exact opposite I’m learning how to be a better a more effective Communicator I’m learning how to work on all the soft skills the stuff that never never came natural to me right yeah you know I mean the math and science stuff I can skate by because I have a natural ability there but boy someone with ADHD you know I’m naturally good at not listening a little bit on autistic scale so I’m a little handicapped on the emotional intelligence side you know it’s extremely fascinating to learn about this stuff that never came natural and boy that’s a whole it’s been really humbling and enlightening to learn that kind of stuff you know at my age now you know I wish I’d known younger if I’ve made me more effective communicator but being a leader I have no choice you know if I’m a horrible Communicator I’m probably going to be a horrible leader you know so you know I’m doing everything I can to self-empower myself better myself every day I’m a lifelong learner you know I try to challenge myself as much as possible and I try to do good things with good spirits and good intentions you know I’m a giver I do I think you mentioned about social media one of the things is I do have a pretty good following especially on Twitter and I use that as a vehicle to give back to people less fortunate myself I’ve been doing it for five years now or so and um it’s kind of rewarding in its own right A lot of people use social media for a lot of wrong things and bad things and misinformation it’s like diarrhea I’m like trying to go the other direction I’m doing inspirational quotes I’m trying to give to people that has forced to myself you know all the things I think are missing a little bit in humanity trying to soften the edges a little bit wonderful what’s the second business so the second business is Mac nerd Enterprises and that is a company solely focusing on blockchain development um blockchain is a technology that you know you might have heard the buzzwords but it’s really a new phase of the internet that’s secured at the network layer it’s worth a lot of money some of these things probably heard a lot of stuff of scans and stuff fortunately a lot of people that see newer technologies always try to take advantage of people that is really kind of a groundbreaking technology once it you know becomes fully integrated with Society but it’s already you know this is something that’s not going anywhere and it’s really you know we’ve had the information age of the internet but now we’re going into the internet of value and this is a way of controlling all that in a way that you know you can actually have value in something not like you know if I copied a Word document how valuable is the copy that’s not like that in a blockchain and these this is there’s probably I don’t know a few hundred billion dollars moved a day in this area and it’s worth trillions of dollars I mean it’s nothing to sneeze at so we’re just building stuff in that area if you ever heard in a buzzword smart contract nft projects tokens we build those software things that go and live on the blockchain that’s kind of cool it’s a whole different world that’s why we had to create a new company because we were trying to do that type of work under MacGyver Tech and my marketing people were pulling their hair out they were like what is this and they sell this and it doesn’t you have Anheuser beer people as your customers you can’t talk like that to them so it’s like there’s a whole different you know so we separated it and it was for good and it’s been great we built like 15 projects in the last year awesome yeah so max share a story where uh someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn’t think you could and the impact that that person had on you wow I mean that’s actually a really good question so one of the actually when I was going through that transition period And I was working for somebody and there happened to be a project I picked up that I was working for for the company and that person identified he’s like listen you know you’re smarter than this why are you kind of dealing with this he kind of like made the light bulb kind of go off and kind of let and said Hey listen you know you’re making all the you’re making all the shots here you’re doing everything why are you answering somebody and and then I had an opportunity to show up I jumped all over and uh I never looked back yeah congratulations that’s awesome a terrifying exciting all-in-one yeah I tell you what going out on your own can be really exhilarating but you know it’s really like also you’re like oh my God like you know you have to kill when you hunt we kill kind of thing you know what I mean it’s not like everybody thinks like that like my wife she’s she works for Boeing been there for 20 years collects a paycheck every day risk aversion doesn’t you know when I start the business uh probably not a good idea you know yeah yeah you know I find that uh couples are usually opposite right we we attract our opposite because we know that we need our opposite to be complete so that’s awesome right you’re more than risk taker she’s the the more conservative person yeah you get to a couple in the china shop

and uh you mentioned the ups and downs right that it was it’s the best thing you’ve done and also the most scariest so you’ve probably had a lot of learning through the the years what’s your biggest learning as an owner not every business is good business be careful who you pick up as customers because they can be toxic and you not know it and you know this is a small development shop we’ve worked with very large companies and sometimes you get personality people on these large companies that aren’t exactly paying the bill but are a decision maker and they’d like to throw the political weight around and you know not exactly know what’s going on and they have their own self-agenda not the the product and overall success their own success is the only thing they care about and they can destroy relationships and I’ve seen that happen I’ve had to go to litigation for a customer for 650 000 wow yeah talking about being terrified and um I almost lost my business I basically stuck in there and I started to sell everything I had all my every everything I had to liquidate to stay afloat and I did that and then I got lucky um I wanted to have him hiring really good lawyers they wound up getting an early settlement I almost ran I mean I literally hung in there like Rocky it’s a last punch and then you know I the lawyer called me say hey they settled within a week or so I got my checks and I was able to stay you know to move on and then I you know kept building from there and it was like literally like a V straight down and straight up the one thing I could say is stay in there the worst thing you can do is give up yeah you know you got to be you know there’s going to be extremely challenging times even for people like Elon Musk you know there wasn’t too far of a past when he was struggling and begging his friends for money so he can keep his payroll going for his Tesla company that was struggling yeah now look at him you just got to stay in the game it’s the best thing I guess you know I could say is like you know just find a way to survive and be tenacious and you know and when those times come you just got to make sure you take you know take the time to do it otherwise you know it could be the end of the road could be the end of whatever you’re doing and you know that could be devastating for a lot of people I just I’m unhireable I have no other option so I had to dispatch forward in my opinion so I just see it that way it’s like that’s my only option really um you know I’ve been on my own for too long of a time you know I’m probably not a good fit for somebody maybe probably not I love that I’m unhirable I mean it’s uh it’s important though to know right are we all in or not right the success isn’t going to come if we’re well you know we still have one foot in the corporate world and one foot in our own business um we you know we’ve got to go all in and we’ve got to we’ve got to approach it uh this has to work because to your point right there’s it’s a bit of a roller coaster ride we need to be able to ride you know ride out that roller coaster and and I love your illustration of the V right that’s a that’s a real true right almost out of business Story I mean you see these gray hairs I think they’re growing a whole lot faster than they should be uh I’m telling you it’s some of the most stressful humbling life lessons I’ve ever went through going through that yeah it has made me a better person I’ve realized who I am I realize I can actually go that far you know that’s one thing I didn’t even know I could do that sure yeah you know I learned a lot about myself I realized I had more grit than I thought I did good for you you know and that’s that’s kind of humbling too to know that you know when it really came pushed to come to shelves I mean some people

to find out who you are fair enough no we know business success doesn’t happen in isolation so tell us about the and maybe it was the story you just shared what’s the biggest challenge you faced over the years and and maybe a fellow business owner who came alongside you and helped you get through that sure actually it’s a really good segue because that catastrophe that happened and I had to go to that lawsuit spawn something in me that made me go ahead and work on my weakness my weakness was networking I had I was lucky enough had a decent number of clients and I had you know the 80 20 rule kind of thing for 2080 you know kind of thing I had enough clients give me a good amount of money on a monthly basis that it made sense but then one of them fell through cost a whole lot of money had to go to litigation almost lost everything so what I did is I went out and I with Commando about networking one point was doing 150 Zooms in a month probably a bit much for most human beings but I went out of my way to meet as many people as I possibly can and all I did is look for two things in people really one thing if you’re a giver or you’re a taker and all I did is attract myself to their givers yeah and I gave first I don’t I expect anything I give first and that opens up the relationships with people much easier and I just did tons of that I probably meet a thousand people a year wow and I just kept doing that and doing that and doing that and you know the most important thing you need to do is build your network is talk to every living soul you can when you’re starting I mean that’s what I did and I just kept building finding people to get me to more people to the right people and now I’m connected to Fortune 100 companies and billion dollar companies to Mid all amazing relationships I can connect it to movie producers in Hollywood connected to the royalty in the music industry all from this networking and meeting people and wow it’s amazing to see in this life it’s I think the universe kind of rewards you for making connections to others and I just kind of do that and um it’s been very it’s the one thing that’s helped you get through this when you need to build the network that help you build your business yeah I I like what you’re saying about you know we we get what we give so if you you know your philosophy of if you give first then you know there’s going to be a a a return on that um it may not be immediate it may not be direct but people remember when you help them and they have a natural desire to help you back right and I actually joined a thing years ago called BNI I don’t know if you ever heard of that and they have a little term it still sticks with me today it’s called givers game yeah and I always and you know just to kind of actually not just kind of say hey I did this I want to show something on the wall if that’s okay so those blacks are up there when I broke the record for the number of referrals in a year over 180 referrals oh that’s awesome and you know I was atrocious at that when I first joined BNI I was like holding my card like high we do software development are you interested in working with us yeah now I’m like what are you selling yeah it doesn’t even matter so I kind of really learned how to public speak get in front of a lot of business owners pitch on and and that is like and I was atrocious at it you know I was at the bottom of the barrel but by the time I left I Rose to the top and I challenged myself you know and I forced myself to do that it was terrifying at the time most people would rather die than public speak to be honest and I was one of them so I’m gonna put you on the spot here a little bit Yeah if I was to ask you to pick three people in your business owner Journey that you’re most grateful for being there um for your in terms of getting your business to to continue growing as it has who are those three people and how they help you well two of them are going to be my team members one of them is going to be John Hoyer she’s my CEO he was initially hired to do business development within a month he hit his three-month targets he was an All-Star and he’s helped organize our entire organization what I mentioned about our culture is not due to me you know somebody who is a little devoid of emotional intelligence and probably not the sharpest tool in that area John is exact opposite of me he’s helped build the team get the right people in the right seats absolutely instrumental of getting us over to that next phase of where we are and his partner is nayela um who initially came known as my EA and she had a very stiff competition we literally had five people down the line and she wasn’t my first choice John said it’s something special about her so I gave her a chance she’s now our security operations manager and she’s really moved up and uh has been an instrumental part and basically basically assembly lining all our operations with John Hearn and John are like a team a unit so I was I’m extremely grateful for having them in my organization and being friends with them as well we wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t have them in my team 100 sure and the other one is um his name is Justin Justice and he’s an executive coach he’s out of the Jacksonville Florida area and I became good friends with him and he’s helped me work with the team and and help you know analyze all the right team members get them in the right seats you know help me being a more an effective Communicator find out where my strengths of weakness is because ironically um if you do a disc assessment on me and you know what that is right absolutely yeah this is IDC and they said uh the best way to kind of say who my uh personality profiles is exactly like Steve Jobs like mine and his are very same so I share the same pauses and minuses of him yes you know and his minuses are he wasn’t the nicest person to people you know I tend to put tasks over people in my younger years now I as I said I’ve been working on being more of effective Communicator I’m really been working on that so it’s like something to me is what it’s really humbling even though I have maybe some of the raw talents that Steve jobs has it’s extremely humbling and he’s been a big inspiration in my life and I want to kind of I like what he does and how he went about solving the problems I kind of think like that I’m trying to make like software better security better I’m always like looking at how to make things better you don’t have to make the first product in something but you can make it much better like look what they did with the mobile phones sure yeah and the IMAX I mean you know they were very inspirational so I kind of like I needed some people that you know being so high on that scale I need people to complete be opposite so John is exactly opposite of that and I also fits in there so we have a diagram where everybody’s fit nice they there’s a lot of things that happen without my knowledge yeah that’s fantastic it’s kind of nice you know well it is so for uh you know somebody who you know wants to have results you know yesterday that’s that high D right and somebody who’s very perfectionist the high C right you need somebody who’s going to be able to pull back and go all right now what are the steps that we have to get there and how do we take care of the people and nurture them and right and make them feel appreciated so as you know those are not my strikes so I mean 100 and you know to build a good culture those are things that are really needed yeah and you know for the earlier years of my career I didn’t even know that and my problem was is my perception was actually that I wasn’t laying on enough of the DC and I was like it’ll work yeah so I was I was like pushing the gas pedal through the floor you know it was absolutely the wrong way to communicate yeah now I’ve learned how to pull it back I’ve learned how to mask and mirror I learned how to communicate with people more effectively and tone down those idiosyncrasies from my ADHD in the autistic side and then really pay attention to conversations and slow myself down to be more effective yeah what I love about that is you’re first of all there’s awareness but more importantly you’re doing something about it right you’re you’re informing yourself you’re educating yourself you’re working on becoming better right you’ll never be a a an is but right you’re being more aware of what an is wants and and being able to give them what they need to be able to be successful so I had no idea what they wanted before I was given with DC and they hated it they threw it right back in my face I mean for a long time I always wondered why I struggled in relationships and I would be off-putting to some people yeah I had no idea why yeah now I kind of do yeah and then if the situation does show up I’m kind of like what happened here I analyze it and I try to find my way you know to you know I’m trying to do the best thing I don’t want to I’m doing principal based thinking here I’m not trying to do ego driven thinking you know I’m also applying stoicism here I’m trying to you know move remove emotion from my decision making process yeah you know and these are these are not easy things to do I can tell you that for somebody like myself so Mac last question here I know that uh you being a Serial uh networker you’ll appreciate this so Jim Rohn all right great uh business Guru he says we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with so as you think about that quote what advice would you have for business owners who are trying to do it on their own who think that they don’t need others and and shouldn’t uh ask for help from others

um you need everybody I mean it does I mean even my competitors I’m you know you can’t you can’t if you have a silo mindset you’re not going to get so far I mean you might make a little bit of a business but if you’re interested in some long-term success here you you here’s the best way to think about if you want to go fast you can go by yourself but if you want to go far you need a team oh I love that yeah so that’s a way it’s some kind of quote I learned years ago and I always kind of resonate with me it’s like you know you really need a team to take you far because there’s going to be situations like you know you’re going to need like you know kind of think of like you know back in times like you need like a locksmith to get you to a door sometimes or you’re going to need somebody that’s going to be a little bit more stealthy you’re going to need you need these team members in certain situations that you’re going to need to in business and life that you can get through like trust me if I had to do the operations I’m going to want to jump off the bridge you know it’s the last thing I want to do I’ll I’ll do it grudgingly but you know where I’m effective is I’m a I’m a Visionary I can see way further in the future I’m a good seeing connection and dots you know as being a good connector a powernecker my my skills of become is like once I identify like your referral Partners or your sphere or even in your industry and I’ve seen enough people I can most likely give you handfuls of people that will most likely be really beneficial to your business yeah you know help you get more business that’s where using your Social Capital to get other people social capital is probably one of the most highest leverages activity you can do yeah you know and that says a new business owner I would say is and using your social capital having hiking up my solo mindset hey all my contacts are mine and stuff like that is not going to allow you to do this you have to completely open up be completely exposed and vulnerable allow yourself to be vulnerable to give first yes and I tell you the more you do that the more effective those relationships are and more long-lasting they are I don’t know I mean this is me this you know maybe if I’m wrong here but this is how I’m learning going through this like I said this is fascinating to me because this is something I was never good at or even even noticed sure yeah right I didn’t even know this stuff existed you know so if like wow I’m like wow like even like you know like learning like some of the stuff even going back to like you know I went to all the memories of Marcus Aurelius you know he was the he was the leader of Rome he was an emperor of Rome and he uh he basically uh no applied stoicism to how he managed and ran his own Empire and some of the things that he did back then are so applicable today you know 2 000 years ago his mindset is still valuable today and if you apply this principle-based thinking where you’re not kind of like what’s in it for me right if you do it for the greater good and the higher you know for everybody involved that tends to lead to better opportunities and Trust and I just look for those things you know I like to I feel really good about connected people I get emails all the time saying oh my God you help me with this net years ago of something that I did and that’s kind of nice you know to know I kind of inspired or helped or did something that’s you know it helps another human being yeah way to go I love it it just you’re you’re giving mentality you’re helping others is is just a it’s refreshing to hear though it sounds like it’s all been uh you know more than worth it in terms of you got a lot of incredible people in your life who is who have helped you along your journey Mac if they’ve we’re all on the show here today what would you want to say to them thank you I mean I appreciate all your help I mean I’m really humbled and I have such good people around me you know fantastic I mean that’s the the only thing I could do I’m just I’m excited to be part of that you know yeah I mean what else can I say yeah it’s that’s that’s that’s that’s that’s what people want to hear so that’s awesome hey that’s the truth you know it’s that it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today thank you so much for being on the show yeah thank you for your time it’s been a pleasure as well to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made is a myth show with your host coach Tim cancel be sure to help spread the movement by liking us and sharing us on your social media and to join our movement go to bmadtogether.com all right folks that’s a wrap make sure to pay it forward and I’ll see you all next time take care sounds good thank you