[quote style=”boxed”]Do something. You can think and dream all you want, but do something about it. Don’t be the person watching Shark Tank and kicking yourself.[/quote]
Michael McConnell is a second generation co-owner of Prince Lionheart, a company that designs and creates top quality parenting innovations. There’s the flawless parenting you see on TV, and then there’s reality. Prince Lionheart focuses on the reality by creating products based off of real life as parents. 40 years and going strong—Bath & Potty, Nursery, Travel, Home, & Play. Prince Lionheart has been family-owned, family-operated and family-inspired since 1973. To learn more about Prince Lionheart, visit www.princelionheart.com.
Where did the idea for Prince Lionheart come from?
My dad. Truth be told, it came from his desire to be an employer, not an employee. It came with the understanding that there would be hard work, sleepless nights, day and night shifts, a ton of sweat for just a few bucks, and the guarantee of absolutely nothing. It provided an opportunity, a chance to work hard and find out what you’re made of, and that’s it. So in the end, our story began like many others: in a garage with an idea. Fast forward forty-one years and I have the opportunity to write about their humble beginnings. Pretty cool.
What does your typical day look like?
These days my mornings start with my 5 month-old son, Scotch, waking up in my arms. Everything else just seems to fall into place. Can you see this smile?
How do you bring ideas to life?
Every product should make us feel something. Inspired, excited, sentimental, calm… something. Otherwise, it’s a missed opportunity and we haven’t done our job. There’s absolutely no reason a product can’t be memorable in some way. We take things that move us, turn them into something tangible, and try to make them available to as many people as possible. That’s what we do.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Gen Y is fun, the Millennials are even better, but have you noticed the Hipsters and their beards. Yo.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
There are few things I enjoy more in life than a good old fashioned brainstorm with good people. Next time you have folks over, forget Bunko and instead have a beverage and talk about cool stuff.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve never really hated a job. There were certain things I didn’t like about it, but I always learned some pretty good stuff working with different people. When I was fifteen, I worked at a chocolate factory and had to polish the brass rails every night, which sucked.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t have worked at the chocolate factory.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Do something. You can think and dream all you want, but do something about it. Don’t be the person watching Shark Tank and kicking yourself.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
When we hired my brother in 2003. It’s been sunshine here ever since.” <——— Sister speaking.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
If you’ve only had one failure, you’re probably not an entrepreneur.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Someone needs to come up with a way to create more time in a day. Golden.
Tell us something about you that very few people know.
I used dance to really loud music in my room before school. I wasn’t very good, but looking back, neither was the music. We actually have people who work for us who don’t know Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Seriously.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
My wife is my search engine and my love. She can google anything. When I google, the same stuff pops up and I end up on the same page I wasn’t looking for to begin with.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’ve never been much of a reader; I really only remember reading two books cover to cover in my life: Wuthering Heights and The Da Vinci Code. I remember Wuthering Heights was a love story so if that’s your kind of thing, enjoy. The only thing I remember about The Da Vinci Code is that Tom Hanks was the main dude, so I’m not sure I read the book.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
I like people who smile and laugh. Perhaps they’re just happy. Maybe they just want to make us feel better. Either way, this world could use more of them. Bookmark or like them, follow or pin them, do what you have to to keep them in your life everyday.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.