Joseph A. Machado, better known to some as Joey, now as Joe to many, was that kid who would question the rules and walked his own path, his own way. There were times his actions brought conflict and irritation, but it was his determination, a strong emotion Joe knows well, that drove him to go forward and create his own successful construction business based out of Fernley, Nevada.
In school, Joey often experienced frustration and did not do well fitting into the traditional school system. Suspensions and even being expelled are consequences that Joey experienced. He recalls that once he could read and write, he thought he should be out using and applying his knowledge, not sitting in classes with another book. A grin comes to his face as he recalls some of those times and the teachers, like Leslie Brown and Louie Mori, who saw something more in him than just an angry, rebellious young man. He thanks them for believing in him and giving him the confidence to believe in himself and his ability to succeed, even though his path was not a smooth one.
Joey’s folks divorced when he was a sophomore and that resulted in him going to school in Gardnerville for that school year. Joey experienced some of the emotions divorce can create like anger, frustration, a sense of loss, and sadness. Joey could vent some of those emotions while out riding his dirt bike, which is often where he could be found. Those much-loved dirt bike rides resulted in a broken collarbone, two broken arms, a broken foot, a fractured sternum, and two concussions. These serious injures not only affected Joey’s mood (He was a bit grouchy), they made attendance at school an issue.
When Joey returned to Fallon his junior year, transcripts and credits created another obstacle. He was often seen as a ‘slacker’ kid who was fighting the system. And, he admits he was. The system was not working for him. His mom, Cheri, his greatest supporter, was frustrated, and that added weight. A good family friend, Leslie Brown, stepped up and took his case before the Churchill County School Board and was able to work with Joey and see that he would graduate with his class.
Joey’s reputation as a difficult student had followed him for years, but it had also led him to a path that offered more of the “apply what you know” philosophy. During his senior year, Joey, who had often worked some odd jobs in construction, only had to go to school half day. On any afternoon, he might be found out somewhere roofing for Claude Evans, building pens and miscellaneous projects for Dave Hybarger, or working on site for Ed Zimmerman. These manual labor job experiences taught him much about the skills and responsibilities he would later use to build his own business.
After high school, at the age of 18 years, Joey bought his first piece of property in Fernley. At a get-together with friends, he had been flirting with a young lady who turned out to be in real estate. During their chit chatting, he asked about property for sale. Shortly after that conversation, Joey took $800 out of his $1,000 savings account (much to his mother’s chagrin) and bought a lot in the Fernley subdivision. Three years later, he had a construction loan and was on his way to being able to start building his first house.
Joey spent the next couple years living part-time in a camp trailer in an RV park in Fernley and a motel room on 4th St. in Reno. Cheri, Joe’s mom, had worked out a deal with an investor on a space in Reno. In that space, Joe and his brother, Rich, would work, clean, rebuild and establish a bar, Joey Nixon’s, that opened on New Year’s Eve of 1999. Joe found himself working the bar business as a bar back, bartender, janitor, and handyman during the open hours. In the after hours, Cheri was teaching Joe the bookkeeping side of the business, and he got really good at completing those hand-done ledgers. This schedule also provided Joe with time to study for his contractor’s licenses (B-2, C-5, C-3), and the pool tables at the bar provided the saved quarters to help pay for the exams which he passed the first time out.
Then 9/11 hit and everything stood still. The bar had closed, and the house sat on the market. Finally, the house sold and there was a little money to put in the pocket. Joe was working full time in construction now.
He made connections with an investor, and by 2005, he had built 50 homes in Fernley. Then in 2006, at the age of 26, with 10 homes in his name on the market, he recalls, “I was counting my million bucks. These sell, I’ve got $900,000.00, which was good enough. That was a million to me. And like that, nothing, nothing, nothing.” It was a humbling experience that brought an eye-opening for Joe. He took on any job he could find from concrete work in subdivisions to work in Oregon. He began to see that diversifying his skills was what would allow Endured Builders to endure the construction world and grow.
And endure is exactly what Joe and his business have done. The bleak years were weathered with pure grit and determination. Failing was not in his vocabulary; it was truly sink or swim. “There ain’t nothing about construction that’s easy. I endured the learning and hated getting up and doing manual labor jobs. It was hard work…you get beat up, it’s physical every day.” But the progression of learning, from the ground up, the dirt work, to the framing, to the roofing, to the finished building, to “dropping the bags” and dealing with deadlines , establishing budgets, and writing contracts is what has taught Joe how to be a man on his own path.
Today he has a great partner, Cyndi Jackson, and two beautiful children, his son, Little Joe and daughter, Ellie June, who have changed his focus and give a different meaning to what real success is truly about. “I don’t want big limelight. I want time to be there. Less is often more—enjoy it.”
Joe offers this advice when asked, and only when asked, “Don’t give up, don’t quit. Learn everything, in and out, and then go for it. You can’t hold anybody accountable for your actions. You can’t be mad at mom, dad, brother, wife, boss… We are all given the ability to make choices…Don’t get caught up in being the angry victim.” Joe is a great example that believing in your own unique talent will bring the endurance you need for success in your way.
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