Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mike Stella, Founder of The Movement Underground, located in Farmingdale, NY, USA.

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

The Movement Underground is a health, wellness, and movement company serving athletes, physically active people, and weekend warriors looking to overcome pain and injuries and move their best. By combining comprehensive injury, mobility, and movement assessment with manual therapy and custom programs, our clients make faster progress in their rehabilitation and training, getting them back to the sports and activities they love in minimal time.

Tell us about yourself

I was a former division 1 lacrosse player who sustained a catastrophic knee injury that sent my athletic career into a tailspin. I went to doctors, therapists, and trainers, seeking an answer to regain my prior level of athletic performance, only to hit dead end after dead end. You see, I could do all their programs and exercises, but I was still in pain and could not get back to where I knew I should be.

So I went on a mission. A mission to be the best sports medicine practitioner I could be. To be 100% honest, I was doing it for selfish uncover WHY I wasn't able to get my body back despite trying seemingly everything. In that process, I uncovered the REAL REASON people don't get better in traditional rehabilitation. The reason is it's too ZOOMED IN. I sustained a knee injury. So I went to knee specialists, and they gave me knee answers to my knee problems. The trouble is, you can't see a painting through a microscope. I had developed poor movement habits and patterns during my rehab, which kept me in pain and limited my performance ability.

The Movement Underground is a culmination of nearly 20 years of helping athletes overcome injuries and THRIVE. We utilize a full system and data-driven approach to uncover the linchpins that hold people back and keep them in pain.
They don't need drugs and surgery. They need education, empowerment, and someone to help guide them on a path directed at the root cause of their problem.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As an Athletic Trainer (ATC) by trade, it is more common to work in Traditional settings like pro/college sports and high school athletics programs. I have been able to break this barrier and show my AT colleagues that entrepreneurship and owning a business is not only a viable career path but perhaps the future of our profession. I am most proud of busting this glass ceiling for a profession of hard-working and passionate people.

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

I think the hardest part is also the most fulfilling part, which is the 100% accountability of the destiny of the company. It is this 24/7 accountability and developing a mindset that can be the downfall for a lot of new business owners. Social media is a breeding ground for the idea that business ownership is the fast track to the good life.

However, there is also a high degree of fragility that comes with the territory. Being able to own the successes and failures that come with business ownership and the ability to reflect, learn, and grow without punishing yourself can be very difficult.

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

  1. My first tip is to be patient. This takes time. Like growing a garden from seeds, there is so much work that must be done before the fruit is ripe for picking. Delayed gratification is the name of the game.
  2. My second tip is to be careful who you partner with. I don't recommend partnerships for new biz owners. I've personally been through and seen countless others ruin relationships, friendships, and families over businesses gone wrong. People want to see you do well, just not better than them. So be aware of who you surround yourself with.
  3. Lastly, would be to stick to your values. When I first started, I put together the CORE VALUES of my business. They are the guiding light behind every big decision I make. Once the money starts coming, it's easy to put profitability before everything else and lose sight of WHY you started to begin with.

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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