Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michael Alvear, Founder of NeuroSlim, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
A no-diet weight loss program based on techniques developed by neuroscientists. My customers are people looking for innovative weight loss methods that don't involve the deprivation of dieting.
Tell us about yourself
About 20 years ago I gained a lot of weight. I tried every diet and failed every diet. Like all dieters, I had to endure the deprivation, the constant vigilance, and the math; OMG, THE MATH! I had to count those calories, weigh these products, measure those foods, calculate the fat, subtract the salt, and divide the carbs; it was EXHAUSTING. And it didn’t work! Turns out that diets have a 95% failure rate.
There had to be a better way to lose weight, but what? I found out at one of the lowest points of my life. I had been prescribed medication no one warned me was addictive, and when I tried to get off it, I couldn’t. I found myself dealing with something I never anticipated—an addiction to prescription drugs. Fortunately, I found a therapist who got me off the drug, and I’ve been fine ever since. During our last session, I asked him a question he hadn’t expected: Could the same technique that got me off Klonipin get me off Oreos?
I was eating Oreos like it was the Civil War, and the doctors were coming to saw my leg off! He agreed to guide me through the process, and the next thing I knew… I had quit sugar the way I quit drugs. I lost 10 lbs, and it was at that moment I realized it was possible to lose weight with techniques borrowed from neuroscience. For the next ten years, I devoted my professional life to researching what scientists OUTSIDE the diet industry had to say about weight loss. I went through thousands of academic studies published by leading researchers in the most prestigious scientific journals. The more I tried the techniques in these studies, the more weight I lost—20 lbs and two pants sizes, to be exact. And I’ve kept the weight off for 18 years!
I wrote about my discoveries in major magazines, websites, and other media (WebMD, New York Times, Huffington Post). And authored several books chronicling the effectiveness of using neuroscience to lose weight. Today I’ve turned all my years of research into one easy-to-follow weight loss program.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Stayin' Alive! Seriously, I'd say my biggest accomplishment isn't external (awards, money, etc.); it's internal —Resiliency. There were dire times when quitting or becoming cynical was entirely justifiable, but somehow I never lost the passionate curiosity that animates entrepreneurship.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The unpredictable financial ups and downs.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't go into something you feel passionate about. Go into it because you're really good at it. You will become passionate when you see the rewards of being great at what you do.
- Invest in a meditative practice. You'll need it.
- Don't trust your instincts—they're too often just hopes parading around as strategies. CONFIRM your instincts with advisors, research, etc.
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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