Bullied as a 12-year-old honor roll student during his seventh-grade year at a Boston school, Mike Todd took that ugly incident in his life and turned into a positive.
The immediate years after the incident were challenging and Mike spent a lot of time reflecting about it at home. A voracious reader during that time, he read the book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” and it gave birth to his entrepreneurial spirit.
Todd believes that the entire experience helped set the foundation to his future. In a way, he is thankful for the struggle because it shaped who he is today and how he looks at the world.
And today Mike Todd is the owner of a highly lucrative business, lives in Westchester County, N.Y., and his latest venture is motivational speaking. He specializes in helping people turn setbacks into comebacks while motivating them with actionable steps.
Todd, 36, is the owner and operator of three businesses, The Landscapers of Westchester, Handyman Westchester, and the Westchester Contractor Group.
“The business has blossomed quite a bit,” he says humbly.
A Move to Revere Brought a New Outlook
Following the school incident, his family moved to Revere when he was in the eighth grade.
Local residents will remember Mike Todd running a landscaping company (AMA Landscaping) as a teenager in Revere helping neighbors with their lawnmowing on Haddon Street, Beach Street, Victoria Street, and Vinal Street.
After spending his freshman year at Savio Prep in East Boston, he started his Revere High School education as a sophomore.
He briefly studied business management at Bunker Hill Community College and many years later received a master’s degree in hygienic health care and sports nutrition from the University of Health.
Many Revere residents know of Mike’s sister, Cyndal Todd, for her accomplished career as a model, actress, and winner of multiple beauty pageants. He also has a younger brother, Donald, and a sister, Elizabeth.
Their mother, Mary Jane, still lives on Victoria Street, Revere. Their father, Donald, lives in Dorchester.
“Everybody is very supportive, very helpful, and very much behind me in everything I do,” said Michael.
Entering the Field of Business Ownership
Michael Todd did not meet with instant success as a business owner. “I started a landscaping company and it failed,” recalled Todd. “I started another one and that failed, so I would go from working a job as a waiter or bartender or restaurant manager until I had enough money to start the next business if I could.”
In 2006, Todd launched an electrical installation and IT company hanging televisions and installing point-of-sale systems.
“That company really took off and I bought out an IT company that a friend had owned and we merged the two,” said Todd. “We became one of the top installers for the entire Northeast for Toys ‘R Us, Barnes and Noble, Target, Starbucks, and Chipotle.”
The success continued when in 2010 he launched ‘The Landscapers’ brand, the company he owns until this day.
Todd brought that company to $250,000 in revenues in the first year. But a disagreement with a business associate led to Todd moving to Las Vegas for one year and starting an outdoor fitness business at a public park.
He then returned to New York where he rekindled a relationship with a former girlfriend, Crystal, with whom he is now married.
Todd got a job at Equinox as a personal trainer but decided to start his own personal training company.
Two years later, he had a staff of four personal trainers and the business had gross annual sales of $400,000.
Todd and his wife moved from New York City to Westchester County, where he relaunched a landscaping, design, and construction business.
“The company blew up the first year – doing $250,000 in the first year, a half million in the second year, and we’ve been doubling every year,” said Todd.
“We do high-end, hardscape, patio, wall, and walkway landscape design. We don’t do any lawncare of any sort. We also do decking, which opened up the contracting side of the business. The handyman business was something I thought of for the winter months and that took off on its own. So the ball just keeps rolling and growing.”
Becoming in Demand as a Public Speaker
Mike Todd is being called upon to tell his remarkable story of overcoming early adversity, navigating the trials and tribulations of a new business owner before forging success.
He has delivered thought-provoking speeches to middle and high school students and appeared at National Speakers Association and private events.
“The whole essence of my learning and my speeches is not just rah-rah, motivational,” said Todd. “It’s more just about taking each one of the setbacks that you have and realizing why those setbacks happened, how to learn from them, and how to use those to catapult forward into something better.
“I speak from the perspective of entrepreneurship. Your business fails and you can either blame everything around you or you can look at the reasons why the business failed and make your next step better,” said Todd.
He does include the childhood bullying incident in his remarks as an inspirational message to his young audiences. “My message is that even something this dramatic, you can pull the good out of it and see the positive from it and you can utilize it. Everything in your life has an effect. It’s just whether you like to focus on the negative or the positive of that scenario. Every single setback is a setup for a comeback.”
Looking back on his days growing up in this city and living in the family home on Victoria Street, Mike Todd, successful business owner and motivational speaker, says, “Revere was very good to me.”