Springfield, Massachusetts… Back in the 1980s, before the term “kidprenuer” was coined, Mychal Connoly was a pint-sized businessman in Back A Town, Grand Bahama trying to figure out a way to earn more money to buy himself some of the top toys on the market. His grandmother Nora Connolly had a tuck shop in her home and suggested he sell some candy since it wasn’t selling as well as she hoped. He took the candy to Freeport Primary and realized that kids wanted different brands and flavors. He took that insider info back home, begged her to buy the candies and before long, Miss Nora’s tuck shop was the hot spot for children to get the best treats.
“I tripled her sales in the space of three weeks simply because I realized what the customers wanted,” he smiles thinking of his beloved grandmother. “I was nine-years-old and I didn’t realize it but I had a successful marketing plan and executed it so well, she had enough to generate a steady income. She gave me a commission and that was enough because I wanted to buy video games. Back then in the late 80’s it was a big deal to have a video game and that was my motivation. She was able to continue that business until she passed away in 2005 and to this day, I continue to execute that strategy with my businesses and for my clients.”
Fast forward to 2020 and Mychal has literally written the book on what it means to launch and stand out amongst competitors. He launched several successful businesses including a baby diaper decorating company Mr. Stinky Cakes, a consultancy firm and a company that generated six figures within three months during the COVID19 pandemic.
“You have to create collaborations even when they don’t exist,” says Mychal. “Everyone thought I was crazy to have a digital truck and drive it around doing nothing. They were convinced I should have been using the truck for deliveries because of the size. I took my truck, uploaded the logo of a major national franchise and parked in front of their company then reached out to them on social media. By the end of the week, I had a contract to be their official mobile digital billboard. You can’t limit yourself. You must always create a way even if the signs say that’s impossible.”
Mychal is the kind of guy who spends his Mondays interviewing up and coming business people or challenging his group followers to think outside the box. His tough big brother style is one that gets people to see their inner potential in a big way. His clients have included the creators of million-dollar brands and he thrives on connecting people to the right networks so that they can build together.
The side that he doesn’t always share on his social media is the donations he’s given to hurricane victims, mentorship to single parents, and about a dozen foster children who have lived with his family.
“I have two sons who are my world,” says Mychal. “They’ve inspired me to be a better man in more ways than they can imagine and they are the reason I understand the importance of legacy building, teaching children the proper tools when it comes to generational wealth and so much more. My sons are a big part of my business even though they are teenagers and when the pandemic hit and they were home with us, they got to see a whole lot more than usual. My foster children as well have taught me so many lessons and when they leave our home, I hope that they leave with the tools we have given to them so that when they age out of the system or find forever homes, they have a life skill to set them up.”
So far, his sons Mychal, Jr. and Aiden are active in his newest venture, the Stand Out Truck. They participate in nearly every aspect from seeking out clients to switching out the signs.
“The only thing they don’t do is drive,” laughs Mychal. “It gives us time to be together to communicate and communication is so key in business. Another thing is that you can’t be selfish with information. Some of us have to do better than those who came before us and offer our information to those who come behind us.
“Whether it’s as simple as offering something through a social media post or video, or selling that information in a book or workshop.”
Mychal said that it is especially important for young black boys to see black men in attainable roles instead of simply athletes or entertainers.
“2020 has shown us so many things as it relates to black men in the U.S.A, and growing up in the Caribbean, I realize me and my children are living two different experiences,” said Mychal. “As black men we have to be there. At the same time we have to be able understand that we have to create products and services so great, that people won’t see it because of the owner but rather because it’s an amazing product. At the end of the day, it’s all about business and profiting from your businesses.”
Mychal encourages Bahamians to hang in through the tough times and he often takes moments to mentor Grand Bahamians online. He reminds them to surround themselves with people that will help develop a growth mindset.
“You are an idea + an asset + execution away from making $25k in 60 days, $150k in 1 year, $2.5m in 3 years and $120 million in 5 years and $2 billion in 10 years,” he says. “Find your combo, do the work and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Also, focus on your customer experience and give them so much value that they really love your products and services so much that they will buy repeatedly and tell three people about your business that will do the same. Also build a team Build a team and finally, make time for what really matters like literally scheduling time to be with your family. Even though I run a businesses, chair a non-profit organization and sit on the executive committee for another, I still make time to play NBA2k with my sons and coach their travel basketball team. Time is the most valuable commodity, spend it wisely.”