Michael Dermer is an entrepreneur, speaker, lawyer and founder/author of The Lonely Entrepreneur. Michael is considered the founder of not only a company, but an industry – rewarding individuals for healthy behavior. Michael left a promising law career to start IncentOne, the first company to provide rewards for healthy behavior. At the time, rewards in healthcare were not only non-existent – they were offensive. He was told over and over “we will never reward people for things they should be doing to be healthy.”
After bootstrapping for a decade, his company received a large private equity investment on October 15, 2008. They had arrived. It should have been a time for celebration. Then the financial crisis hit. Ten years were gone in ten days. Bankrupt customers. Investment gone. Credit dead. Family dollars at risk. Angry investors. Family relationships on the brink. It would take two years of working 24 hours a day to save what took ten years to build. The perfect storm.
It was doomed. Or was it? Today, health rewards are everywhere, he sold IncentOne to industry innovator Welltok and his company is credited with creating the health rewards industry. What resulted was not only a business success, but the discovery of a unique method on how to thrive under the pressure, chaos and burden of being the entrepreneur. The Lonely Entrepreneur was born.