Full Transcript - Dal LaMagna - Wild Business Growth Podcast #292

Full Transcript – Mika’il Naqvi – Wild Business Growth Podcast #260

This is the full transcript for Episode #260 of the Wild Business Growth Podcast featuring Mika’il Naqvi – Teen Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Ornament Anchor. You can listen to the interview and learn more here. Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Mika’il Naqvi 0:00
Life might not be treating you the best but that doesn’t give an excuse to give up.

Max Branstetter 0:18
Hello and welcome back to the Wild Business Growth Podcast. This is your place to hear from a new entrepreneur every single Wednesday morning who’s turning Wild ideas into Wild growth. I’m your host, Max Branstetter, Founder and Podcast Producer at MaxPodcasting, and you can email me at to save time with your high-quality podcast. This is episode 260 it I don’t know I don’t know. Why is it a voice like that? But 260 and today’s guest is Mika’il Naqvi. Mika’il aka Mickey is the co-founder and inventor of Ornament Anchor. What started as a school project has now turned into a multi million dollar business has resulted in two appearances on Shark Tank, and is the latest in the line of really cool entrepreneurship stories from the really cool and really entrepreneurial, knock we family. In this episode, we talk how ornamin anchor has seen such crazy success, how Mika’il balances work and school he has a teenager and everything else in his life and some of the business principles that he learned from an early age that have been foundational to their success. It is Mika’il. Enjoyyyyyyyyy the shoooooooow! Aaaaaaaalrightyyyyy we are here with Mika’il Naqvi. Awesome dude, one of the amazing minds behind ornamin anchor and multiple businesses at your very old age, Mika’il. But I’m sure you hear that all the time. But really excited to speak about your entrepreneurship journey and everything in that realm. Mika’il, how you doing? Thanks for joining today.

Mika’il Naqvi 2:06
I’m doing great. I’m really, really excited to be here. How are you doing?

Max Branstetter 2:10
I’m great. I’m great. I’m really, really, really excited to be here as well, even if I can’t pronounce it correctly. But we’re gonna dive into the ornament anchor story and beyond. But I would love to start off with you to have some crazy entrepreneurial spirit in your family. Like it is like your family just screams entrepreneurship. And I love it. It’s awesome. Like it’s such a great energy. Thank you. Where do you think that entrepreneurial spirit comes from in the first place?

Mika’il Naqvi 2:35
I would say that the entrepreneurial spirit comes from a few generations ago, right, my great, great grandfather, he started to visit a business initially in 1919, which was a furniture business and it’s honestly been throughout the family. It was passed down all the way to my mom who was an entrepreneur and who had her fair share of businesses all the way down to me and my brother. So I think it’s always been something in our blood, something in our family. And I’d say that’s the main reason why I’m here today.

Max Branstetter 3:03

  1. So that was a couple of years before your time. Yeah,

Mika’il Naqvi 3:06
I believe I believe so. I believe. I don’t know for sure.

Max Branstetter 3:10
Furniture. What kind of a furniture is like, like they sold furniture? Yeah,

Mika’il Naqvi 3:15
they sold furniture. I remember that he? Well, I don’t remember, obviously it wasn’t. But he they would, you know, create their own furniture. And it was also a moving and storage company as well. And it was pretty prominent here in Connecticut. That’s

Max Branstetter 3:28
so cool. So you grew up with those roots, like, can you think back to at an early age? Is there a memory you have like the first time you heard about entrepreneurship, I got excited about it.

Mika’il Naqvi 3:39
I can’t point out a specific time, but I just don’t I was always around it right. My mom had owned a business for 12 years on Etsy. And I always remember coming to the office, you know, having fun messing around and then helping during the busy seasons of her business, you know, helping with whatever I can, whether it could be just the little chores and stuff I would always help. And I remember that as I would grow older, I would have a bigger and bigger role in her businesses, I would start to learn about, you know, how backend things work and what what a business really is. So, you know, I’ve always just grown up around it. And it’s always been, you know, a very, very interesting thing for me. And

Max Branstetter 4:16
what is it? What kind of stuff has your mom done on Etsy? Oh,

Mika’il Naqvi 4:19
she made lots of like event based art. So she is a graphic designer. We had 30 plus employees and in graphic design, where they would make like maps and tapestries for weddings and all sorts of really interesting items.

Max Branstetter 4:35
So not just entrepreneurial, but extremely creative background is Yeah, how about your dad? Does he have entrepreneurship side of him besides helping out with your businesses? Does he have that?

Mika’il Naqvi 4:45
I like to think my of my mom and my dad is like a yin and yang right my mom’s that super creative genius graphic designer, right very creative person. My dad’s more of a math guy right. He graduated with a degree in finance. He worked in hedge funds for really long time until eventually he quit his job to help my mom with her businesses as they were, you know, growing to be a lot stronger. So they’re very, you know, good together, they work really well together. He’s more of a math mind. He works on ad sets and works on like finances and stuff. So yeah,

Max Branstetter 5:16
so it was the most complicated math formula that he’s taught you, oh.

Let’s get to ornamin anchor, so on an anchor, awesome business, I think just hearing the name, you kind of get a sense of what it might be, which is really cool name in itself. But where did the idea for ornament anchor come from in the first place? Right.

Mika’il Naqvi 5:44
So when my brother was back in fourth grade, he had a school project for invention convention where he had to come up with an invention. And he was we’re sitting around our Christmas tree trying to think of something when our dog knocked an ornament off of our tree with one of her tails. One of her tails. Yes, one of her tails. Yes. That sparked an idea. Like, what if we created a way to keep your ornaments from falling off your Christmas tree, so you wouldn’t need hooks, you wouldn’t need ribbons. It was just a simple way to keep your ornaments safe on your Christmas tree. And that’s exactly what he invented. He invented ornament anchor, which is like a little string with a toggle so you can zip your ornament to your branch. And when he went to the school fair, everybody loved it. It was an instantly a success. Everyone was swarming his booth. And then by that time, I knew that he wanted to create a business. And then fast forward two years, I’m in seventh grade, and I’m doing a homeschool year. And I want to learn more about entrepreneurship, right? I’ve been with my family, I’ve been in entrepreneurship. But now I want to take that first step that leap and start my own business. So I go to my brother, and I say, hey, remember that genius idea that you had back in fourth grade? Let’s turn it into a business. So that was the birth of automatic and that was how it all got started?

Max Branstetter 6:59
Was there any convincing that needed to be involved with

Mika’il Naqvi 7:04
the super excited to start with me, because you know, we’re brothers. We didn’t choose to be brothers, but we chose to be best friends. You know, that’s what I always say. So the two of us, we were super, super, super excited to work together.

Max Branstetter 7:15
Oh, that’s awesome. That’s not the worst business partner in the world. What were the early steps and turning it into an actual business?

Mika’il Naqvi 7:22
Picture it it was September, we just come up with an idea. And we did something called a SWOT analysis. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. If you know about business, right? Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. And I still remember that day like it was yesterday, we started it, we emailed a bunch of lawyers tried to get a patent for free. But you know, lawyers don’t like kids. So we didn’t end up getting a free one. Our parents loaned us about $5,000, that first year to get the business on the ground. No, not fourth, I lied, I lied, it was like $2,000 or something, because we made about $5,000. That year, we come together, we get patent pending. And I still remember my brother and I looking over that patent search together, we spent like three hours locked in a room just looking over the patent search together. And we went to local Christmas and craft fairs around our area, set up booths, and decided to go up to people and sell the product, right. And the reason we did this the reason we didn’t focus on any online strategy, right, this is pre COVID. This is December of 2019. So right before COVID began, we wanted to know, in person in real time, what do people think about our product? What are variations of products that we can make that could maybe supplement this one, you know, what are our best selling points, or one product who is our main target demographic who’s really going to buy this product? So we set out and in addition to like selling product, we also were gathering data on our consumers at the same exact time, right? We we gather data on price points, customers, demographics, and all sorts of other things. And that was a really, really successful year for my brother and I within three weeks, we paid our parents back in full with all the money that they lent us, you know, we took home a little bit to them. Finally, like last but not least of that year, we decided we wanted to take 10% of all the money that we made all of our profit and donate it to animal shelters in need. That’s

Max Branstetter 9:15
amazing. But I gotta go back at the start to a quote that you had at the start of that, which is, I guess lawyers don’t like kids. That’s fun. Cool. I’ve never I’ve never I’ve never heard that. But I think that’s an awesome way to go about a lot. Yeah. Like anybody that’s taken any sort of business class, whether that’s high school, college, whatever, like you hear about SWOT analysis. Yeah, I think it’s one thing to hear about it, but to actually put it into action, and lay things out that way and in way Wow, this is like this. This is a positives, this is the negatives. This is where we can focus on I think is an awesome way to do it and really get yourself grounded. And you wanted to get feedback right away. So like what what was the early feedback from consumers?

Mika’il Naqvi 10:00
Well, our early feedback was, you know, just simple, simple little things about like, This color looks a little bit strange, or writes, the string is too short, we want you to lengthen the string, this string is too thick, we want you to make it skinny. So it fits through our ornaments and stuff like that. But overall, 99% of everyone loved it, and they loved me and ion, you know, selling, we really that year, we were just sort of discovering, and the big thing, the big takeaway more than changes to the product, those were minor, those were tiny development, you know, things, you know, every business goes through a process of development. And that’s all that was, the biggest thing for us was finding our demographic, right, because mean ion, we initially thought, you know, who’s gonna buy it, it’ll sell to everybody, no matter what, right? Everyone’s gonna love it. But there’s really, very, very few products in the world that can appeal to everybody. And if you have a product that’s going to appeal to everybody, you’re not going to be as successful with it, because it’s much easier to create a successful product when you’re in a specific niche. So what my brother and I found that 90% of the people that bought a product were women, 90% of those women were women over 40 over the age of 45. So that instantly said to me and my brother, right? You know, when we go next year, and we start an online strategy, Facebook ads, why? Because there’s generally an older demographic on Facebook. So I feel like, you know, that was one of the major things that when you can find a niche, and you can find a specific demographic, you can cater your business and everything that those people might need. Right to them.

Max Branstetter 11:32
It’s really smart, it’s not always the easiest thing to drill down and find their your target consumer. So it’s great. You did that. So, so early on there. And you mentioned the I don’t know if you call it the charity or giving back aspect of it, but 10 10% of what you make goes back to for the well being of pets and animals. Where did that come from? How did you decide to add that aspect to your your business,

Mika’il Naqvi 11:55
our parents always, always raised us and taught us with the fact that no matter what we do, we should give back. No matter what right? My brother and I are Muslim, we have to do the cot, which is literally donating about 10% of all of your wealth and all the money that you make, right? So we knew that that was something that we were going to do even before we made a single sale, it was in our hearts, my brother has always grown up loving animals, loving creatures, loving dogs, especially. So his passion for animals was what drove us to donate. And this place that we specifically donate to is North Shore animal league America, which is the largest no kill animal shelter in the world. You know, it was ions, passion, I had a passion for animals. So we thought that it was you know, the perfect thing that would work for our business, especially since ornamin. Anchor saves pets lives as well. Because, you know, we get a lot of veterinarians say, you know, dogs, cats especially, will swallow hooks and they can get stuck in their throats. But ornamin anchor keeps them completely safe. That is such

Max Branstetter 12:53
a good cause to put money behind and the fact that you’re, as you’re growing your business, you’re growing, you know how much you’re donating and how much you’re giving back. It’s gotta it’s gotta make you feel good for what you’re doing as well. Right?

Mika’il Naqvi 13:08
Yeah, it feels it feels amazing, honestly, to give back and you should give back, you know, as much as so that it doesn’t hurt your bottom line, but enough to actually make a difference. How

Max Branstetter 13:18
about on the distribution side. So I know at the time of this recording, like you’ve had some amazing news getting into hundreds of locations of Lowe’s, which like I mean, talk about like an iconic retailer in the space not only

Mika’il Naqvi 13:31
getting in, but completely selling out as well. There you go. That’s

Max Branstetter 13:35
the key there that there’s a big difference there. But you’ve got Lowe’s, before even getting to Lowe’s, like what what was your approach to getting distribution or like finding customers in the early days.

Mika’il Naqvi 13:49
So a lot of it is just straight up cold emails, LinkedIn, right, just trying to find, you know, uh, probably more than anything that you can learn ever in your entire life, the more important thing than all of that is networking. Because no matter what you do, there’s going to be someone that can do it better, always. And you can never go into life expecting that you can be the best at something because there’s always someone that could do it better, more efficiently, faster, whatever. So, you know, we had built up my dad especially had built up a pretty strong network where we would reach out to lots of people. And we would say, Hey, do you have a retailer from this, or this or this? And one thing that especially boosts us, which I know we’re gonna get to a little bit later in the episode, but I want to bring it up as Shark Tank, right? When you get into Shark Tank, you, you know, you start to meet a lot of the other people on Shark Tank who have lots of other connections as well. So what we did was it was a lot of cold emailing. It was a lot of going on LinkedIn and finding and then it was a lot of just from our network, you know, finding people. There’s it’s one thing to find someone but it’s another thing to convince them. Right. So what my brother and I used to do, we used to request zoom calls, right? And we started getting them in the middle of COVID. That’s when we start At our hunt for retailers, my dad would usually handle the back and forth between the two of them working on the specifics and the numbers, right, specifically, but when it came to closing the deals, it was me and my brother on a zoom call. I still remember this is a really crazy one, my brother and I were pitching to target. And we had our 10 minutes and we were pitching like crazy. We were reading so fast. We were like somebody was moderating the auction. That’s how fast we were talking.

Max Branstetter 15:29
Oh, hold on. Can you do an impression of that? Can you still talk?

Mika’il Naqvi 15:33
I don’t think so anymore. Probably not on request. Yeah, probably not on request. But I just remember being so very passionate about that 10 minutes was up, right? Because they give you a limit. You have to you can only do 10 minutes, 10 minutes is up, and I’m feeling the pressure and the tenseness in that Zoom call. Right. You’re not in an actual room, but you can still feel the tenseness. And she says, you know, you know, boys, it’s been really good. And you know, it was nice to meet you. But I just don’t think this is gonna work out we’re at capacity because of COVID, whatever, that did not stop us, me and ion continued selling for another, I want to say 10 more minutes, we kept them on that phone call, no matter what we could do. And finally at the end of it, I don’t know if it was our junior salesman, or she just wanted to leave the phone call. But we ended up getting a P O for target online, which was crazy. But you know, you’ll never, you’ll never know until you don’t keep trying. Right? You can’t take no as an answer sometimes. And that was definitely a strong example of that.

Max Branstetter 16:31
You can feel the heat from that Zoom call. And that’s an intense moment in itself. Well, we’ll use that to, to segue into the shark. So Shark Tank, you’re one of very few people in the world to be on multiple times. So you see, you’ve been Shark Tank twice. For anybody who’s not familiar with Shark Tank. Can you explain what No, I’m just kidding. Everybody knows. So. Can you? You’re like who? Who the heck is this guy? But what do you what do you take away from your experiences on Shark Tank like what sticks with you the most looking back on the most

Mika’il Naqvi 17:04
important lesson I think anyone can learn in life is what I took away from Shark Tank, right? You go into the tank. And I know most people go in scared, but I didn’t go in scared. That wasn’t my mentality. When I went in my mentality was I’m getting a deal. And I’m not walking out if I don’t get a deal. Like I’m staying in there. And I’m not well, I’m not leaving until I get a deal. But unfortunately, that’s not how things go. And things in life are never going to go exactly as you planned. And you have to be prepared for that. I’ve been on the show twice in season 10. And in season 13. And I have not gotten a deal either time, which is devastating, right? It’s hard to even go back to school, knowing that you failed two times, right. But the most important thing that I learned, and this might sound cliche, but it’s true, it’s perseverance, right, you have to be able to go do a challenge that you think is difficult that’s out of your comfort zone, maybe that’s, you know, something monumental, and be able to fail and keep going. Because that’s the strongest trait that a person can have is to know that things might not be going your way, life might not be treating you the best. But that doesn’t give an excuse to give up. Right? You have to persevere you have to continue if you want something in your life. And if you want to work, if you want to have something if you have a goal, you have to work for it, you have to be able to push through, even when things seem completely helpless. I remember after Shark Tank, when you do or don’t get a deal, you actually have to go to a therapist. They have like an onset. I’ve heard

Max Branstetter 18:30
about that. So that’s so they like whether you want to or not, they like make sure that you do that. Right.

Mika’il Naqvi 18:35
Yeah, because it’s a it’s a crazy experience for someone you know, to go in 45 minutes to maybe decide the fate of your business. It’s pretty intense, right? And that intensity of Shark Tank is completely real. Right? A lot of it is completely real. There might be some you know, smart editing tricks here and there, but a lot of it is authentic, you’re in the tank for about 45 minutes to an hour of just pure raw business talking. And when you leave that tank, you can be devastated. And it hurts a lot and I’m not saying that you know that failure isn’t going to hurt because it is but that’s the great part is that it hurts so much but you’re still able to overcome it so yeah, so my major takeaway from Shark Tank was you have to keep going if you believe an idea and everyone tells you no it doesn’t give you a reason to stop because you know the sharks didn’t give us a deal but if they would have they would have 3x their money already which is you know truly incredible

Max Branstetter 19:31
they missed out they missed out big time. What were your friends at schools reaction to it once it aired so I know that there’s you know, there’s the down part of like facing your friends knowing that you didn’t get the deal but I mean, you’re you are like big man on campus, like you’re on TV or on Shark Tank like what how do your friends react to that? Funny

Mika’il Naqvi 19:50
thing, you might think that’s what it would be like but it’s not it’s actually completely opposite of what most people think it is. It’s not like you go on Shark Tank national TV and instantly you’re the most popular person at school. That doesn’t happen. I’m not even close to the most popular person in school I in fact, I’m actually a pretty quiet person. I have a pretty small friend group. In terms of school, a lot of my close friends took it really well. They were very nice, very supportive. There were a lot of them thought that it was super cool. They’ve never met, you know, person that’s been on Shark Tank before. And then a lot of other people, it sort of isolates you and creates a persona of this person. And this is okay. By the way, this is I’ve never told anyone this before in my life. I haven’t even told my parents this. So you’re lucky to hear this, but appreciate

Max Branstetter 20:31
what will tell them right after Yeah, right.

Mika’il Naqvi 20:33
I might, I might have to, but it creates a sort of this person is not an authentic person. This person is very salesy. And it’s weird to talk to this person. Because of said experience. It’s kind of strange. I will say it’s it was strange going back to school, it wasn’t like a big like, everyone throws you a party. Oh my god, you were on Shark Tank. That’s nothing like you. You know, it’s not a high school show. It’s just high school. So yeah, it’s different than what most people would expect. I think that’s a pretty interesting insight.

Max Branstetter 21:04
Yeah, that’s really appreciate you sharing it. Your parents gonna be really upset with me for for hearing that before they did. But it will be okay. What did it do for your business though, just just appearing on the show.

Mika’il Naqvi 21:18
Shark tanks numbers at the time, obviously, by the time season 13 comes around, they’ve been declining for a little while, like just in terms of ratings. So it was a big night for us. But it wasn’t the biggest night for us. We’ve had nights that have actually been bigger due to other sorts of press, for example, in 2020, I believe we were on the front page of CNN, which actually I believe, I don’t know for sure, but I think usurped the title from Shark Tank in terms of biggest sales nights. And, of course, Black Friday, and among other things, yes. So the big thing for Shark Tank, more than the exposure from the episode was, like I said before networking, and I’m really going to hit this hard, because I believe that it is the most useful skill to have in your arsenal. If you are going to be an entrepreneur, if you are an entrepreneur, it is very useful. The sheer amount of people that we met from Shark Tank, right, so many different connections that we make, that’s what made the difference. More than anything. I mean, I can tell you, our business has has improved tenfold just from the people that we have met. And from the knowledge we have learned, and from the help that we’ve gotten in all sorts of things like that, for example, one thing this past October, my parents actually hosted the biggest shark tank reunion ever where I want to say about 150, Shark Tank members all came together conglomerated for a massive two day event, where lots of networking happened. We had, you know, sessions of, you know, panelists and all sorts of things from Shark Tank, and it’s Shark Tank exclusive. So nobody else can get in just Shark Tank members, the only ones that can get in,

Max Branstetter 22:53
I feel like I’m up to wrong just hearing about it like this exclusive stuff. Yeah, I

Mika’il Naqvi 22:58
mean, it’s not it’s not very, I don’t know how much I can even say about it. But it’s, it’s a really cool event that we held. And I know that’s as much as I can tell you, but the amount, the sheer amount of knowledge that my parents came back with, like they were the ones who were hosting it, they were running around doing everything to try and make sure it was the perfect event. And even they learned tons and tons of knowledge and the amount of like knowledge gained just from that exchange of brains and exchange of thoughts between those people is what was really valuable. So if you’re an entrepreneur, the key to creating something successful is making sure that you’re making connections with like minded people with other businesses, too. Yeah, no,

Max Branstetter 23:38
it’s a phenomenal, phenomenal network of Shark Tank, alums. And, yeah, I’m with I’m with you and your point of networking, like networking can literally build businesses and you never know what the connections you have can turn into. And I just know from past guests on the show, and people that have been referred and like people I’ve worked with that. That Shark Tank alum group and the camaraderie there and the helpfulness there is I think that’s like one of the most helpful people in the world it

Mika’il Naqvi 24:05
is it is the company’s biggest tool for business. So I would say more than any takeaways, that’s the big one. That’s the big takeaway, or the big like thing that our business that affected our business.

Max Branstetter 24:20
The big thing you should be considering adding to your inbox is the Podcasting to the Max newsletter. But that was just for the purposes of the segue. It’s not even big. It’s actually quite short and sweet and includes an awful pun, a podcasting tip and entrepreneurship lessons from Wild Business Growth Podcast guests. It comes to you every Thursday, and you can sign up at MaxPodcasting.com/Newsletter Now let’s get to more big things. So let’s get to the second biggest now I’m just going to let’s switch it up a little bit. Let’s talk about more you know, on the personal side, how you stay inspired how to create have like your your style of working and approaching that. So this is like my inspiration, creativity. I first want to start off with, you know, people talk about work life balance. In your case you have school work life balance, I don’t know the order of those three, reveal the priorities there. But how do you how do you divide your time, you know, at the time of this recording between school business, everything else you want to do and like everything else you do in your day to day life. So

Mika’il Naqvi 25:26
I wish I could give you a concrete answer. But the real answer is it’s always adapting every single day. Because the thing about being an entrepreneur, it’s not a nine to five, you’re doing the same repetitive task, right? There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s very fluid and it’s very flexible. So you’re constantly everyday learning changing and adapting to new things. So I would say in terms of school life balance school comes first no matter what, I’ll get home school, my late nights are mostly school consistent, right? Next year, I plan on taking 6 APs in school and my junior year, I plan on taking 6 APs, that’s going to require a lot of heavy time on my part. No, I’m

Max Branstetter 26:03
sending you the best that’s gonna be awesome for like how much you’re gonna learn an awesome for the resume, and I think you’re gonna enjoy it a ton. I just like if you need help with homework, I got you because I

Mika’il Naqvi 26:14
definitely need it. So I would say school comes first no matter what. And my parents preached us as well, right? Even though I have a business, even though I’m successful, that should not take away from my studies, simply because one I enjoy learning and two, I want to become an educated person, because there’s no point of being here if you’re not going to be educated, right? It’s important. You know, don’t be the smartest in the room. But try to be the smartest in the room, right? Don’t think you’re the smartest, but try to be the smartest, right? So school comes first work come second, when life gets really busy. The thing that you can’t rely on like I know you said inspiration, right? I really don’t believe in motivation or inspiration for things. I believe in discipline. I think that if you can keep your head down and work as many hours as you can, without excuses without saying, I’m tired, I’m hungry, I want to just want to go to sleep, right? I don’t feel like doing this right now. Those excuses aren’t going to make you successful. No matter what you do. You might even whoever’s listening right now you might be running through a set of excuses. I haven’t started because of this, because of that thought that’s just your brain trying to trick you so that you don’t have to do the things that are difficult than your life. More than anything more than motivation more than you know, listening to a pumpup song right before you get to work, right? More than any of that is having the ability to do things that suck and to do things that you don’t want to do consistently. Right? Because if you ask a bodybuilder, right? Does it hurt to do the exercises? Heck, yeah, it hurts as the exercises, but they love that, right? That’s their favorite part is that the exercises hurt because they know that that discipline in their brain is what’s going to help them grow and be have the greatest physique they possibly can, I kind of got off track a little bit on a little bit of a tangent, but I’d say that discipline is the most important thing that I put in my daily regimen and my daily schedule, so that I know that, you know, hey, I’ve got three hours of schoolwork today, and I got two hours of work today, I’m not going to be able to enjoy the rest of the day, I don’t have time to relax, I might be up until 12 In the morning, one in the morning, that might be my life, I might have to give up this social gathering that I could go to with my friends that might I’m gonna have to sacrifice that. Why? Because I’m trying to build the best version of myself that I can and trying to improve myself as much as I can. So I prioritize that over things in life, right? That doesn’t mean I’m not like going to go eat ice cream with my family or gonna go watch a movie or anything like that. But I prioritize doing the work and not making as many excuses then not doing it and then having like some sort of, yeah, balance or something like that. Yeah,

Max Branstetter 28:53
I am all for tangents. And I think you’re gonna learn a lot about tangents and your AP. I don’t know if that’s trigger or what has just been tangent. Yeah, exactly. So speaking of tangents. Now, a really important point I was wondering about the business was, of course it has a seasonal nature to it. How does that approach, like how many hours you spend on the business, like how you operate or just leave your overall mindset, knowing that you know, that time of year is so important for you. The thing

Mika’il Naqvi 29:23
is, a lot of companies you’ll see will test products, right? They’re like testing processes of testing ads. We have one time to shine we have one Super Bowl and we have to wait another 12 months for that to come around again. So even though it might seem like you’re not doing anything until October, it’s a lot more work than you might think because we have to gear we have to completely make sure our business is completely safe sound. So when we go into that game time, we’re not messing anything up. There’s no there’s nothing that’s broken. The machine is going to flow perfectly. It goes to different stages. January February is when, believe it or not, retailers are Preparing for Christmas is in January and February of the year. Then you do Christmas in July, which is a big like QVC event, which we have to ramp up for us. We have to buy some inventory for that and do some fulfillment in May in the June so that to get it ready for July, summer comes around and summer, we don’t have school. It’s wonderful, perfect time to plan. So we’ll just lock ourselves in a room for a week and we’ll just sit there, plan every single thing we can for our business, get things ready, make sure all the logistics are in place, make sure our PR person knows what they’re doing and is starting to reach out to people. You know, make sure that we’re starting by August by September, we’re starting to test some ad sets out right on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok you to one late September hits October hits, pedal to the metal, every single thing is going q4 is when I might have to sacrifice a little bit of my grades, right? Because I’m really, really just trying to churn like the biggest beast we possibly can and to try and make the biggest year that we possibly can. Because it’s game time, right? I’m going to leave nothing on the plate. That’s a lot of what happens. So in q4, it gets intense. And that’s the most stressful time of the year, right? everyone’s enjoying Christmas and during Christmas Eve, right, the advent calendar, we are stressed we are staying up late we are you know, grinding, making sure that we can get as many orders out as we possibly can. Because believe it or not with such a big business, we’re lucky because we have a pretty small product. It’s all in our garage. Last year was all in our garage, we had one container in our driveway, we would keep inventory and the rest was just out of our garage fulfillment. We hired a bunch of people and we hired some people, but a lot of it was just us doing fulfillment as well. Right? So that’s sort of what the year looks like. Even though it might seem like hey, you’re a Christmas company. You’re only doing Christmas. We’re actually working almost year round.

Max Branstetter 31:55
You mentioned planning season, and I hope you’ve been planning for some terrible questions. Let’s get to the unusual. So no problem with a pet peeves. quirks weird talons. This is more this is just about you doesn’t need to tie back to the business. Of course you can if you want, but it can be pretty tough. What would you say just in general is your biggest pet peeve.

Mika’il Naqvi 32:16
Okay, I’ve got a funny one. And then I’ve got a serious one. The funny one is people who sing very loudly, but they can’t sing. They think they can sing well, but they actually can’t. That’s very, it gets very annoying, right? They’ll be singing their heart out. But everyone else will just be covering their ears because it’s just not good singing. That’s a big pet peeve of mine. And then the main pet peeve is people who don’t keep their word. If you’re going to say something to me, and promise me that you’re going to do something, I expect you and I have my faith in you that you’re going to do it. And so it’s a big pet peeve of mine, when somebody like doesn’t deliver on something, if I have a friend that just doesn’t deliver on a thing that that’s happening, like, I’ll be pretty upset. And they might come up with an excuse here or there. But still I’ll be pretty upset. So that’s probably a big pet peeve of mine.

Max Branstetter 33:08
Those are two great two different ballparks there. Yeah. Fortunately for you today, I will not be doing any loud singing, but I think I’m with you. The when somebody somebody somebody has that trait, you got to respect the confidence, but it can just be painful and the voice is not a beautiful voice. How about weird talents or some say party tricks? We’re talents what’s like something that you could do that has no impact on your business, but just like around the house or a magic trick or something like that?

Mika’il Naqvi 33:38
First off, I just want to start off with saying I don’t have much time for to develop weird talents

Max Branstetter 33:43
Why? What do you have going on now?

Mika’il Naqvi 33:47
I’d say I’m very very good at being able to catch food in my mouth. It’s pretty incredible. Anytime we’re at you know hibachi it’s always first tried. My brother can throw something across the room. I’ll catch it in my mouth instantly done easy. I’m better than my own dogs and catching food in my mouth. Okay.

Max Branstetter 34:03
That’s good. Perfect. You can do that. You know when you’re out to trade shows you need to draw people over to your actually your table just do it from like 40 yards.

Mika’il Naqvi 34:13
I’m pretty sure catching food your mouths probably more impressive than kid entrepreneur. What do you think?

Max Branstetter 34:17
I think so too. Well, this is maybe we’ll title this episode. The kid catcher. The kid Yeah, it sounds like a children’s book. How about quirks What’s something a little quirky about your personalities a little bit unique, but it’s who you are. You gotta love it.

Mika’il Naqvi 34:35
I’m such and this is going to make me sound like such a nerd. Such a loser. It’s going to it really will. I’m basically exposing myself I will talk about like politics and like, like I always am an intellectual conversation. 24 hours. You can’t ever catch me just with chit chat. That doesn’t work. I’m always no matter what I’m I’m asking like random philosophical questions in the middle of dinner and everyone’s like, can I just eat my food and peace without having To think, right. I can’t think and eat food at the same time. So I think that’s the main thing that people will call me out on. They’ll be like, why are you even asking this question right now? Like, I’ll be hanging out with friends just in the mall. And I’ll like, just make a random philosophical question. Bring up something about Polycom and be like, Why are you doing that?

Max Branstetter 35:17
If they get too burnt out of you doing that, they just need to start throwing food at you and see how much of that Yeah, but know that the intellectual curiosity is definitely there. And appreciate that. Alright, let’s wrap up with some rapid fire q&a. You ready for it?

Mika’il Naqvi 35:31
All right. Let’s go. All right,

Max Branstetter 35:34
let’s get wild. If you could only have one single flavor of ice cream for the rest of your life. And then you had to eat it every day. For lunch. Don’t ask what would that ice cream flavor be? Peppermint

Mika’il Naqvi 35:46
ice cream. Easy done. It’s a strange ice cream flavor. Not a lot of people have heard of it. But there’s a place that’s pretty close to me that serves it and it’s incredible. It’s

Max Branstetter 35:55
on brand with one of an anchor I never even thought about maybe that’s why your your brand is seeping through all around. You mentioned earlier kind of as a joke, but you mentioned pumpup song. What is your favorite pumpup song?

Mika’il Naqvi 36:12
Oh god, what’s the best family friendly pumpup song that I’ve listened to?

Max Branstetter 36:19
We all read it explicit. So it doesn’t have to be one. I don’t know how your parents feel about it but probably reproach

Mika’il Naqvi 36:24
by x. Probably. It’s a good song. I guess it gets me going by x or DMX x x 10. Tashjian. Yeah. Oh, god. Yeah.

Max Branstetter 36:36
Very, very cool. Yeah. Yeah. Look, some of the stuff. How about the first business that started his family? Kudo Banz? Am I saying that correctly? Cool, man. Yeah.

Mika’il Naqvi 36:45
What was the second business? Second business?

Max Branstetter 36:47
That one’s the second one?

Mika’il Naqvi 36:48
That was the second? Well, okay, first one on Shark Tank. But second business first business was Paperama, which was my mom’s.

Max Branstetter 36:55
What do you think is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned from certain, you know, was multiple businesses before getting into an ornament anchor? What’s the biggest thing that’s helped you?

Mika’il Naqvi 37:02
I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is you have to be able to put yourself out there. And you have to be confident. You can’t sell something. If you’re not confident, and you can’t especially it’s hard to succeed in life. If you’re a shy person, you have to be blunt. And that ties back to the networking thing I was talking about earlier. I think it taught me a lot about confidence, and a lot about being able to put yourself out there and be confident while you’re doing it. Your

Max Branstetter 37:24
brother so you mentioned of course you have you didn’t decide to be brothers, but you decided to be best friends, like you have a great you have a great relationship together. Now you work together. Obviously, you live together, you know, do so many things together. I know it’s probably mostly on the good side. But every sibling fights at some point. What’s the one thing that you find yourself fighting or arguing about?

Mika’il Naqvi 37:42
We argue about literally everything under the sun, like some of the dumbest.

Max Branstetter 37:47
What’s the one thing that you don’t argue about? Let me rephrase. I don’t know what’s something that you always end up bickering with each other about?

Mika’il Naqvi 37:56
I don’t really know. It’s just random, dumb stuff. Like it’s just really dumb. There’ll be like a very dumb little thing that literally affects nobody. But we’ll argue about it. And it’ll become this large, like intense argument. For no reason. stuff that doesn’t make sense to argue about that’s what we’ll argue about.

Max Branstetter 38:14
Somehow, that makes sense. Appreciate it. And last one was a movie you’ve seen that just like totally blew your mind.

Mika’il Naqvi 38:22
Creed, the Creed series. It’s incredible. Probably. I mean, it teaches discipline, motivation, or not motive discipline, right? Honestly, that that movie, every time I watch any creed movie, I am pumped up. I am ready to conquer the world. It’s crazy.

Max Branstetter 38:38
I was just about to say there’s a I’ve listened on Spotify to I don’t remember if it’s the first or second movie or what but the soundtrack to yeah, great movies. And

Mika’il Naqvi 38:49
it’s a great soundtrack. Awesome.

Max Branstetter 38:51
Well, Mika’il, thank you so much. This has been fantastic. Just big fan of your your entrepreneurial family. Thanks so much for coming on. And where’s the best place for people to get their hands on ornament anchor, if they if they’re interested, as well as just learn more about or connect with you online.

Mika’il Naqvi 39:08
We’re on Amazon. So it’s probably really easy. We’re number one thing if you just search up Wunderman anchor and we’re going to be the number one thing that pops up on Amazon. And if you want to get to know more about us our story, tick tock is probably the best place to do it. I’m at ornament anchor. That’s literally it. And that’s probably the best place to learn about our journey, who we are and what we do. Last

Max Branstetter 39:27
Final Thoughts, stage is yours, it could be a quote just like one line, word of advice to send us home here. stages here is

Mika’il Naqvi 39:34
do the things that suck. Try to eliminate all the excuses that you might have in your life. Things that are holding you back, forget having a balance. If you want to be the best at what you do. You can’t have a bounce, you can’t meditate and read and you know, go for a quick little jog. If you’re trying to be the best in your workspace, the best thing that you do. So I think you have to be able to wake up do the things that suck do them consistently and don’t make any more excuses.

Max Branstetter 40:06
Well, excuse me. Mika’il, thank you so much for coming on the podcast sharing your amazing story and your amazing family. And thank you listeners for tuning in to another episode. If you want to hear more Wild stories like this one, make sure to follow the Wild Business Growth Podcast on your favorite app and tell a friend about the podcast. You can also find us on Goodpods, where there are good good podcasts and podcasts recommendations podcasts, people can keep going that sentence forever. And for any help with podcast production, you can learn more at MaxPodcasting.com and sign up for the Podcasting to the Max newsletter. That’s at MaxPodcasting.com/Newsletter. Until next time, let your business Run Wild…Bring on the Bongos!!