Michael faced the perfect storm when the financial crisis of 2008 nearly destroyed in a matter of days the business he built for ten years.  His journey led to a successful sale, a reputation as an industry pioneer, the discovery of The Lonely Entrepreneur and his mission to help entrepreneurs worldwide.

In this episode, Michael Dermer reveals how the “perfect storm” he faced in his business led to the discovery of The Lonely Entrepreneur. Michael watched the business he built over ten years – the first to provide financial rewards for healthy behavior – almost get destroyed in ten days by the financial crisis of 2008. And he discusses how his ability to change perspective was the difference between success and failure. Michael’s story includes:

  • details how he left a prestigious law firm to make the entrepreneurial leap
  • what it was like to see the business he built over ten years nearly collapse in a week
  • the two years of twenty-hour days it would take to save his business
  • how his change in perspective led to the successful sale of his business

“The universal problem is the struggle.  The real aha moment for me was it wasn’t a different spreadsheet or a business plan. It was my change of perspective that was the key.  And that’s what led me to The Lonely Entrepreneur.”

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Quotes of Note

  • On founding the first health rewards company: “We felt that not only could we create a good business but we could change the world a little bit.”
  • On the financial crisis of 2008: “It was October 2008 and we just closed our equity investment. It should have been a day for us to celebrate. And the world just came crashing down around us and what took us ten years to build up to a multi-million dollar business was gone in ten days.”
  • On the crisis: “Our investors were angry. Family was really concerned, My brother and I were battling every day. I really couldn’t say to the people that I cared about the most, we just have to do this and we will be fine. We were looking at two years to save what it took us ten years to build, and I don’t know if I can save it.”
  • On perspective: “There’s got to be a different way to think about these problems because the normal solutions are not going to work.”
  • On the discovery of The Lonely Entrepreneur: “This change of perspective was really a way of thinking that could help a lot of people. The universal problem is the struggle. Why does one business succeed and the exact same business not succeed. It’s really a change in perspective.”

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About The Lonely Entrepreneur

The Lonely Entrepreneur Podcast series – called Perspectives – help entrepreneurs with the one issue we all face – the struggle – by changing our perspective on the business and personal issues we all face. We share parts of The Lonely Entrepreneur methodology, crazy stories from our journey and interviews with well-known entrepreneurs about how they have succeeded in the face of their own struggles. Passion and grit is not enough – and it is our goal at The Lonely Entrepreneur to provide perspectives to help each of us become better entrepreneurs each day. We believe that the difference between success and failure is your perspective. We hope to help the community of startups, entrepreneurs, small business, venture capital, angels, investors, incubators, accelerators and universities unlock the entrepreneurial spirit.

TAGS: struggle, entrepreneur. startup, lonely, investor, stress, succeed, business, learn, venture, angel, perspective, innovation, solopreneur, success, failure, management, funding, growth, passion, grit