Tech Entrepreneur, Johnny McCartin, Uses Family Values to Achieve Success

Have you read the interview of Elon Musk with his mother? No? That’s because most successful entrepreneurs don’t invoke mom when discussing their achievements. However, in this interview with tech entrepreneur Johnny McCartin, we hear from his mom, because his family plays a major part in who he is and how he has achieved such great business success.

Johnny McCartinINTERVIEWER: Johnny, I’m glad your mom can be a part of this interview because your parents are the primary foundational elements of why you’re a great man – you come from a great family. It’s impressive to see that you instill all of your core family values into everything you do entrepreneurially. It is rare to see a man who does everything with such integrity, and with a heart for others. So first, Mom, tell us about young Johnny and how he became who he is.

MOM: Very early on we realized that there was “something different” about Johnny. He has two older brothers, and he is seven and eight years younger than they are. He went with us to LOTS of sporting events, and he was around adults all the time. Unlike his older brothers, he was not into sports. But you could tell that his mind was always going.

He attended a private school with kids from all over the world. So he was exposed to many different kinds of people. Our house was always open to anyone who wanted to come… no matter the color of their skin, where they were from, their age, or their situation in life. His entrepreneurial tendencies started showing up in junior high. For example, the kids loved playing paintball. They would play a few rounds, and then have to go somewhere to refill their CO2 cartridges. Johnny said, “Mom, why can’t we just get a tank here so they don’t have to go somewhere else to refill?”. We placed a rented tank in our basement, and he would collect the money. When he was around 14, he started a lawn-mowing business for all the neighbors. He was a doll and everyone loved him because he was so nice. After the first year, the business grew, so he hired a friend. His dad helped him buy his own John Deere lawn mower.

JOHNNY: My dad was a great mentor. He would drive me to my job at the golf club when I was in high school, and we would talk. I learned so much from him.

MOM: Then he went to college at the University of Pittsburgh for engineering. We were very proud because he got an internship at BMW.

INTERVIEWER: Mom, I think something happened while Johnny was in college that was a bit of a surprise. Tell us about that.

MOM: In his second year in college, Johnny called us, and asked for both his dad and I to be on the phone. He told us he wanted to drop out of college. He realized that he was not really interested in engineering, but he knew what he did want to do. We were shocked, but still trusted Johnny.

INTERVIEWER: So Johnny, tell us what you did after leaving college.

JOHNNY: I sat at the kitchen table in my parents house, and that’s where XeRo Media was born. I built websites, helped form LLCs, and created trademarks. When I was at the University of Pittsburgh, I met a very important person. John was always glued to a computer, so I asked what he was doing. I was fascinated to learn that he not only built websites, but he monetized them. He was building communities by driving traffic to the websites, and generating revenue on public social pages. So I started building my own projects. One of the first ones was called AllThingsSuccess.com. It was simply blurbs about success principles, inspirational quotes – things that contributed to my own fabric of success principles and believing in myself.

INTERVIEWER: Where did you come up with all those quotes and principles?

JOHNNY: (Chuckles) My parents had success quotes posted on their kitchen wall.

INTERVIEWER: So once again your parents were contributing to your success. Sounds like they gave you freedom with support, but with wisdom, not just reckless support.

JOHNNY: Yes, they were always supporting my decision to be more free.

MOM: We were confident that Johnny wouldn’t spend his life tripping and falling. Again, we trusted him, because at a young age, he always found small ways of being successful.

JOHNNY: My mom helped me out financially in the beginning.

MOM: Yes, I helped, but he was always giving back in different ways.

INTERVIEWER: Johnny, what was the number one thing that drove you to success?

JOHNNY: I wanted to be successful so that if she didn’t want to, my mom would never have to work anymore. The core thing that drove me to succeed was that I never wanted to disappoint my parents. They gave me guidance, but latitude and freedom. They did a great job of equipping me to make decisions. I never wanted to jeopardize our relationship. At the end of the day, all you have is family.

MOM: I loved to entertain, and I always involved the kids. It was never, we’re having people in; you stay out of the way. They were a part of everything. I had a friend that I knew from the travel business. She was younger than me, but certainly much older than Johnny. They decided together to have a Phllly cheesesteak party. They took orders, prepared everything, and invited guests. Johnny was an equal partner and he did a great job.

JOHNNY: My parents made me believe “anything is possible.” If someone had an idea, it was, “Let’s make it happen.” I thought it was exciting and fun to take what seemed unrealistic and just do it… make it possible. Will Smith said, “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”

INTERVIEWER: How you do life as a McCartin has shaped how you do life as an entrepreneur. Johnny, now that we’ve talked about what made the man behind the tech, tell us about your tech offerings.

JOHNNY: The main company that I started 10 years ago is XeRo Media. It is a web development and digital marketing company. We help businesses, individuals, and entrepreneurs build their home in cyberspace – from basic informational websites to full-blown e-commerce websites for those who want to sell products online. We want that website to work for you, so once we build it, we drive visibility, leads, business, and sales to your organization.

On the digital marketing side, we have two specific disciplines: SEO and Pay-Per-Click (or PPC). On the SEO side, we help you drive the rankings and get your website up in the search results organically. The Pay-Per-Click are the paid positions on Google or Facebook. Also a website is heavy on visuals, so it’s important that you have pro photography or video, and those are all things that we can provide. In a nutshell, I see XeRo Media as a digital outfitter, meeting all your digital needs.

INTERVIEWER: You have another division. Tell us about that.

JOHNNY: Another division is XeRo to Sixty, which was spun up about four years ago. We started getting requests for things outside the realm of a traditional website – products, concepts, ideas that people had that would be fulfilled through the means of technology or software, but they had no idea how to do it.

XeRo to Sixty takes that concept, helps you formulate it, tighten it up, put together a plan, and develop the actual technology. We also help you launch that into the market. If the purpose isn’t to launch a product for sale, we show you how to use the product so that it can benefit your organization, make it more efficient, drive more sales, etc. So, in a nutshell, if you have a concept of something that you’re trying to build, but just don’t know how, XeRo to Sixty is the company that can help you bring that about, and get it into the market or into your office.

INTERVIEWER: I think you have another company as well. I’d like to hear about that.

JOHNNY: EndUserValet is an IT company, so we offer primarily remote tech support, but we can be on-site when needed. We can supply a company with in-house hardware, such as supplying laptops, or computers, printers, all the hard tech support. We can be your remote tech partner without the expense of having full-time employees, or third-party providers.

INTERVIEWER: I remember some time ago, one of your clients was a large law firm with an IT guy who sat in an office and maybe got called on three times a week. Contracting with EndUserValet saved the firm more than $70,000 a year, plus health benefits.

JOHNNY: Yes, with us, you only pay us when you need us.

INTERVIEWER: So you do all the Google Suite stuff, provide in-house hardware and software, offer remote tech fulfillment, and onsite support.

JOHNNY: One of the biggest things we’re really good at: There are tons of organizations out there operating on what we call “legacy,” or old-school systems, which require a bunch of servers, hardware, and software; whereas, the cloud is the future.

We are very good at looking at a business, seeing how they operate, and then saying, “Hey, look, these are your main functions, which are super important and critical to your operation – but you could do it like this. It will exponentially increase your efficiency across the board and it will actually save you money.

We do data back-up, data breach mitigation, and all that, which is a big need in this day of ever-increasing cyber-security concerns.

INTERVIEWER: I’d like to talk about how you bridge the gap between the man you became by coming from such a great family, and how that man considers challenges that are universal because of tech. Technology has made life really great, but there are also many challenges because of tech. You said earlier, “The world is losing relatability.” I watched a special about a big tech guru who wants to create and launch an entire universe that doesn’t exist, and then you cohabitate in this universe. Joe Rogan and a bunch of others have raised great concerns.

I really started noticing about a decade ago… I go out to or go hiking, whatever, and I see people staring at their phones. We are losing relatability! As a tech visionary, a man of integrity, from the ultimate hospitable, relatable family – how do you see bridging the gap to build back, strengthen, and maintain relations that we need?

JOHNNY: It’s amazing, isn’t it? This is a massive problem. I’m going to try and answer, but I want
to break it up a bit, and then drive it home. From a technological standpoint, we’ve seen a lot of amazing things. Even this interview is being facilitated miles apart. There are many examples. I had great friends in college.

However, we were still friends once we left, but the contact quickly dwindled. Technology, used for connecting with family, friends, and loved ones, is amazing. We see a darker side when we become so heavily ingrained in tech, and start losing important social aspects of life that really keep the world together.

Not to go doom and gloom – but when you think of different atrocities, even in the past two years – you can look at those who committed them, and the state of their lives. They often were isolated and didn’t have social interaction. This contributes big time to psychological issues and them going off the rails.

I am a technologist … but one thing I would say for sure, is that I believe the future depends on basic principles that existed without technology. It’s important that kids are outside playing basketball. I want people to smell my breath, even if it’s bad. We need to actually have togetherness.

Any family should get around the dinner table together at least once a day. That is powerful. That’s where you share ideas, connect, and together make those things possible. It helps you to remember you love each other.

INTERVIEWER: It is important to remember that there are simple things in life … as simple as seeing
loved ones and telling them you love them. Tell me if this tracks with you: Francis Bacon said, “Money is a powerful tool, but a wicked master.” I think it’s the same with tech. We need to be sure that we are not degenerating because technology is becoming the master instead of the tool.
So to wrap up, Johnny, you have brought your family values into everything you do.

That is exceptionally commendable. The world needs a lot more of those values!

JOHNNY AND MOM: Agreed!