My Story

Mark Joseph Szymanski

Mark Joseph Szymanski (born January 28, 1996) is an American entrepreneur, web designer, speaker, and investor. He is the founder of MJS Industries, the parent company to several passion projects.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Szymanski graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in computing and information sciences. 

Contents

Mark Joseph Szymanski

Szymanski in December 2020

Born

Mark Joseph Szymanski
January 28, 1996 (age 26)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Other Names

MJS

Citizenship

United States (1996–present)

Nationality

American

Political Party

Republican (2014–2020)
Independent (2020–present)

Height

5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)

Weight

180 lb (82 kg)

Education

Bishop Canevin High School (2010–2014)
University of Pittsburgh (2014–2018)

Occupation

Entrepreneur
Investor
Podcaster
Web Designer

Years Active

2018–present

Hometown

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Net Worth

$100.4 thousand (January 2021)

Title

Partner

Amanda Lynn Masters (2016–present)

Parents

Robert Szymanski (father)
Giovanna Rea-Szymanski (mother)

Relatives

Sara Szymanski (sister)

Website

Signature

MJS-Signature_Black

Early Life

Childhood and Family

Mark Joseph Szymanski was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 28, 1996. His father is Robert Szymanski, an HVAC tradesman born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His mother is Giovanna (Joanna) Rea-Szymanski, the manager of Rea’s Restaurant born in Sant’Amasio, Lazio, Italy and immigrant to Pittsburgh in 1975 when she was seven years old. He has a younger sister, Sara (born 1999).

His maternal grandmother, Concetta Rea (née Alonzi), was born in Sora, Lazio, Italy. His maternal grandfather, Luigi Rea, was born in Arpino, Lazio, Italy, immigrated to Pittsburgh, and passed away when Szymanski was one year old.

His paternal grandmother, Mary Szymanski (née Martenick), was born in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. His paternal grandfather, Thaddeus (Ted) Szymanski, was born in Shaler, Pennsylvania.

During his early childhood, Szymanski loved to play sports and puzzle games. He was a naturally curious child and loved to explore the expanding world around him. He became a technology user at a very young age, as well. He enjoyed playing computer games which sparked his interest in the digital world.

Rea's Restaurant

Szymanski’s grandmother and late-grandfather, Concetta and Luigi Rea, opened a small diner in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania in April 1990. Having not being born yet, Szymanski could not have realized how this diner called Rea’s Restaurant would affect his future. His mother, Joanna, worked full-time at the diner. Only weeks after his birth, he was being brought to Rea’s daily and put in a playpen.

Every weekend and summer, he was put to work. Clearing, wiping, setting tables, and filling drinks were his first duties. As time went on, the list grew to mopping the floor and cashing out customers. More time passed and he started working in the kitchen, cracking eggs and making toast. Over the ten years that he has worked there, he was lucky enough to avoid washing dishes and waiting on tables.

Szymanski spent many, many hours at Rea’s Restaurant. After a long week of school, he wouldn’t get enough sleep on the weekends because he had to get up at 5 AM to go to work. He was never able to stay over friends’ houses on the weekends. All that being said, it was probably the single best thing that could have happened to him.

As much as it deprived him of, it brought many times more value. He gained experience at such a young age that many people don’t get in their entire lives. Skills like customer service, work ethic, and ingenuity are hard to teach. He learned them through his years at the diner.

Education

St. Philip School

In August 2000, Szymanski’s formal education began at a small Catholic school in Crafton, Pennsylvania called St. Philip. His Pre-K to 8th grade days were simple times. He also showed a love for learning and most classes came easy to him.

In eighth grade, Szymanski was 5′ 5″ tall and weighed 183 lbs. He had always been a short and chubby kid, but he was tired of the way things were going. He made a change during the summer between middle school and high school. He replaced pop with water and chicken tenders with grilled chicken. He added broccoli and other vegetables into his diet as well. He was always an active kid, but he added strength training to his repertoire. Deadlifts changed his life. He worked out daily in a playhouse his father built for him when he was younger. He had a Pro Spirit bench, a barbell, two dumbbells, and 85 lbs. of assorted weights, but he made it work. By the end of the summer, he was 153 lbs and on his way to high school.

Bishop Canevin High School

In August 2010, Szymanski started classes at Bishop Canevin High School, a four-year Catholic high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Athletics were important to him. He bowled all four years an was captain his senior year. He played baseball up until his senior year, then quit to play more ball hockey.

Szymanski got his driver’s license and first car in October 2012. The pre-owned 2010 Honda Civic is still running today.

He graduated in May 2014 at the commencement ceremonies held at Soldiers & Sailors Hall in Oakland, Pennsylvania. 

University of Pittsburgh

In August 2014, Szymanski enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, specifically in the Swanson School of Engineering. At the outset, his intent was to acquire a degree in Computer Engineering. The program was known to be challenging and Szymanski had started to grow tired of school.

His Freshman fall semester did not set him off to a good start. On a 16 credit schedule, he posted a 1.234 GPA (B+, C-, D, F, F). Adding to his mediocre College in High School GPA, this put him at a cumulative GPA of 1.836. This landed him in academic probation.

Szymanski rode the public bus to school each day during his Freshman year. Szymanski was exposed to web development at this time. He built his first website in his Freshman year. 

He transferred from the Swanson School of Engineering to the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences to pursue a Computer Science degree.

He built his next website in his Junior year.

He changed his major for a second time and started Information Science.

In the summer after his third year, Szymanski started exploring internship opportunities.

In May 2018, Szymanski graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Computing and Information Sciences, but did not attend commencement. He had amassed just over $26,000 in federal student loan debt, all of which he would pay back by March 22, 2019, less than one year after graduating.

Career

RE/MAX Select Realty

On June 30, 2017, Szymanski started an internship at RE/MAX Select Realty in the summer before his senior year at Pitt.

Upon graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in May 2018, Szymanski was offered a full-time position in the IT & Marketing department.

In April 2019, he was promoted to Digital Marketing Strategist.

In August 2019, he was promoted to Director of Marketing.

On January 31, 2020, Szymanski resigned from RE/MAX Select Realty.

MJS Industries

In February 2019, Szymanski established Mark Joseph Szymanski, LLC. This would be his parent, or holding, company that would own all the future business entities he would go on to own. He quickly realized that it was not a wise idea to name a business entity explicitly after himself, mainly because it was causing a fair amount of confusion. In June 2019, the company’s name was changed to a much better option, “MJS Industries, LLC”.

FindIT Tech

In February 2019, Szymanski & MJS Industries established FindIT Tech, LLC.

Zenith Properties Group

In February 2019, Szymanski and his business partner, Zachary Mell, co-founded Zenith Properties Group, LLC.

The concept was conceived one evening in early 2019 at Mell’s house. The two had a mutual interest in exploring real estate investing and decided to form an official entity. Having prior experience in company formation, they were able to quickly complete the process and began gathering the digital marketing material such as domain names, social media handles, logos, etc. Within a week’s time, the business was certified and the team began strategizing.

The original plan for Zenith Properties Group (ZPG) included roughly two years of research and capital acquisition.  At the time of formation, the duo was repaying student loans and planned to hit the ground running once their respective balances were reduced to zero. During that time, they were deciding on what business model the company would adopt. Research to find out information about property management was crucial. Their biggest question was would they manage their own properties or sub-out the management to a third party. 

Szymanski and Mell scouted a few potential investment properties throughout 2020 and 2021 but did not come to an agreement on a deal. Due to the market climate and personal circumstances in early 2022, the team decided to stop the search and revisit it at a later date.

Szymanski Media

In June 2019, Szymanski & MJS Industries established Szymanski Media, LLC.

Fueled By Progress

In June 2019, Szymanski & MJS Industries established Fueled By Progress, LLC.

For several years prior, Szymanski had watched Maxx Chewning’s YouTube videos. Maxx is a fitness and lifestyle vlogger that founded an apparel company called Ever Forward in 2016. Szymanski admired the meaning behind the Ever Forward name and wanted to create something similar for himself. He just needed a name.

While on a cruise with Amanda and his family in May 2018, Szymanski was thinking of potential names for new brand. He came to a realization that he is not happy if he is not making progress. Thus, Fueled By Progress was born.

AM In The PM

In February 2020, Szymanski started a podcast with his partner Amanda called AM In The PM.

In June 2020, Szymanski & MJS Industries established AM In The PM, LLC.

Personal Life

Szymanski met his partner, Amanda Masters, on August 28, 2016. They were introduced to each other via mutual friends and began dating only eleven days after meeting.

On December 30, 2019, Szymanski underwent septoplasty surgery to fix his deviated septum. It resulted in much better breathing and increased energy.

On March 4, 2022, Szymanski proposed to his girlfriend, Amanda, during an episode of AM In The PM.

Pillars

These are the areas of life that Szymanski focuses on the most. He has developed deep understanding of these concepts and their importance over many years.

Health

Lots learned here.

On July 6, 2019, Szymanski got his permanent teeth retainer removed. He had it since his braces were removed in high school.

Personal Development

Lots learned here.

Relationships

Lots learned here.

Wealth

In June 2018, shortly after graduating college, Szymanski hit a turning point. He went all-in on learning about and understanding personal finance. He consumed a vast amount of content from Dave Ramsey and other finance figureheads on YouTube. Over the latter half of 2018, Szymanski became well-versed in saving, trading, and investing.

On January 3, 2021, Szymanski eclipsed $100,000 net worth.

Spirituality

Lots learned here.

Ball Hockey

Szymanski is an amateur ball hockey player. He shoots left, plays forward, and wears #11. He’s watched the community grow tremendously. His most serious injury came on March 14, 2017, when his left thumb was broken from a slash.

National Ball Hockey League (NBHL)

In April 2021, Szymanski began playing in the National Ball Hockey League (NBHL) for the Pittsburgh Pioneers.

Following the 2021 season, Szymanski was released by the Pittsburgh Pioneers and joined the Pittsburgh Guardians.

I'll have a real Wikipedia page one day 😉