Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Andrew Denton, Founder, and CEO of Glia Health, located in Frisco, TX, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We at Glia Health are building a mobile app to diagnose common brain conditions. When our app launches, the average consumer will be able to utilize the app to screen for concussions, strokes, and similar neurological conditions. We believe in three core values here at Glia modeled after the Glial cell in your brain: to INSULATE the patient from the high cost of healthcare, to make the healthcare system work more EFFICIENTLY, and to CLEAN healthcare from the excessive waste that has plagued it over the years.

Tell us about yourself

I was a great student growing up. Took all honors/AP courses and performed well, played multiple sports, national honor society, and even graduated a whole year early. I did all of that while sleeping in nearly every class I took. Not a brag, as you'll soon see.

The goal was to get into a great school and then apply to med school. When I entered college, I tried to repeat the same habits (intermittent laziness, "it'll work itself out," etc.) that earned me good grades and early graduation from high school. However, I failed, often and hard. I ended up graduating with a 2.7 GPA and a year late. Clearly, the negative feedback I would get never seemed to stick. Still, I went on and took the MCAT. Did very well but didn't get accepted into med school. GPA stuck out like a sore thumb, I guess.

With a lackluster showing at university and countless rejections from medical schools, I entered the workforce. I worked multiple dead-end jobs till I found some success as a pharmacy technician. I had a knack for the job, probably because, in spite of the majority of my college failures, medicine and healthcare came naturally to me. This ultimately proved unfulfilling, however, both from a financial standpoint and a career one. At this point, I had spent five years largely existing in denial and unfulfilled. I realized I had to do something. I wasn't happy with who I had become, both in my career and in my personal life. Like a light switch, I committed to starting over and pursuing a life of intention.

I went back to my alma mater and begged, pleaded, cried, crawled, and bribed (just kidding) my way into their Applied Neuroscience and Cognition Masters program. The school, aware of my previous failures, made me jump through every hoop in the book to get accepted. I had to meet with the dean, and I had to write multiple letters and an essay stating I would commit to the hard work of the program. Finally, they accepted me on the condition I don't fall below a 3.5 GPA and that I would be on probation for the first 6months. I swore to them I would not make below a 4.0.

To my credit, I accomplished it. I graduated with a 4.0 while attending classes full time, working a full-time job, and an unpaid internship. But now that I had graduated, what was next? To make a long story short, I reached out to a pair of friends and set out to what would become Glia Health. I took all the knowledge I learned during my Master's and set out to improve healthcare and make a real impact on people's brains. I finally had a fulfilling career. I knew I was born to do this.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Building a version 1.0 product with no coding experience, no money, and no industry vets. Just hustle copious amounts of reading and get creative at solving problems. Oh, and building a team that has stuck around despite the no pay (we are still bootstrapped) because we all see a better, brighter future for the world's brain health.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Working longer hours than you thought you'd work. During my master's, I remember a few limited weeks where I had put in 100+ hours across my various responsibilities. I thought those days were largely over or, at minimum, a rarity. At my current business, I can count multiple 80+ hour weeks (and even a few 100+ hour work weeks) with little sleep.

Don't get me wrong, it can definitely be exhausting, difficult, frustrating, and stressful, but it is also incredibly fulfilling, hopeful, fun, exciting, freeing, and the best decision I have ever made. Working towards something you love and know will make an impact upon its completion truly makes all the difference. Finding something you love, and you'll never work a day in your life, isn't quite true, but it's darn close.

Discipline kicks in when passion runs out. Passion kicks in when discipline loses its meaning. You need both to work for you, so ultimately, you can work for others.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don't go it alone. Find someone to build the future with you, at least if you are looking to build a new product to sell. If you are planning on buying/selling existing products, you can accomplish it alone, but if you want to change the world, even just your corner of the world, get a partner.
  2. Keep your head down, do the job, and ignore everyone else who isn't moving your needle forward. I could write a whole article on just this. I'd also say small-minded people talk about other people. Earth shakers, movers, and makers discuss ideas. Take note of what your circle is discussing.
  3. Ask for money; you'll get advice. Ask for advice; you'll get money. Nuff said.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Stay humble, honest, empathetic, accountable, and patient. If you are humble, you can always learn something new that can help you move toward your goal. If you are honest, you will attract those with the same values as your own, and you will build confidence in yourself and your ideas.

If you are empathetic, you open the door to have compassion for your fellow man. Or even yourself. If you are accountable, you demonstrate that you can be trusted to do what you say you will do. You reinforce your honesty, and you exercise the muscles that are required for responsibility. It's important to not only be accountable to others but to yourself as well.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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