extreme,” Miguel said. “Every job I had, I always went above and beyond what my role was. That’s just the way I was raised. I’ve gone from student to teacher, from barber shop owner to now owning and operating a barber school. I get to not only teach, but also watch these students grow and become part of their future. It’s an amazing process to be part of.” Miguel’s philosophy is based around one word. “What typically gets forgotten is sacrifice. Can you sacrifice your family, your friends, your life savings, your home, all of your toys, vacations? Are you willing to serve the needs of not only the public but your team? Are you willing to not count hours but make every hour count? And with no guarantee that you’ll make money—everyone gets paid before you. You’ll get out of it what you put into it. Hard work will pay off, but only honest hard work. Dedication has no off season, and that’s what makes the difference.” His advice? “No matter how hard things can get—because they will get hard—remember why you chose this
path, because you saw a purpose. It can’t just be about money, because the money is never guaranteed.”
Computer Doctors Kevin Mash’s motivation for starting Computer Doctors in 2005 was one of necessity—but maybe not in the way you’d think. “I first started out of the very basic need to get all of the IT equipment out of my house after my then fiancé, now wife, Jessica moved in.” Kevin was running an IT network consulting business out of his home office, “which sprawled across the entirety of my apartment.” Kevin figured he’d have a workspace for himself and then-solo employee, Greg Palloni, as well as storage for all of his equipment. “Greg and I figured we’d be open two days a week to cater to local residential computer needs and expand our IT service offerings into the borough.” Those two days turned into three, then five, then six, and three employees grew to five. “Since then we’ve added additional staff and another location,
Miguel Nieves has grown Champions from a single shop to multiple locations and a school of barbering.
totaling 11 employees between them.” Kevin knew he was on the right track early on. “Large box stores have higher prices and less-skilled team members, and other small providers didn’t seem to have the skills to adapt to the fast changing PC/Mac landscape. I understood that if I met this need and built a team of likeminded employees, success and growth would follow, putting the customer first and never looking to get rich quick.” His biggest hurdle in growing the business is common: staffing. “It’s easy to know what you need in a staff member, but finding the special mix of traits that make an employee truly great is difficult. I’ve hired and fired more staff than I care to remember, and in doing so have developed a very good sense of potential in new applicants.” And what would he do differently? “In hindsight, I’d have made more of an effort to market and grow my business-to-business IT management ser-
FEBRUARY 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM
Voice of the Borough