Michael Zimmerman is a 23-year-old entrepreneur who’s founded multiple start-up ventures in the United States. First investing in stocks when he was 7 years old, Michael has always had a passion for understanding the complexities of domestic & international marketplaces.
At age 12, Michael told his mom that he would be in “Sports Business”. Eleven years later, Michael has co-founded multiple ventures in the Sports marketplace. Born and raised in the small town of Kailua on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, Michael co-founded his first start-up venture, Swagger (Social Swagger LLC) when he was 18 years old, shortly after graduating from Punahou High School (with former alum such as Barack Obama, Steve Case, Pierre Omidyar and many others).
After attending college for 2.5 years, Michael decided to drop out in order to pursue entrepreneurship full time. Since that decision, Michael has not looked back. Michael is now the Chief Operating Officer & U.S. Managing Director for Volution Insights, which is based in Manchester, England, U.K. Volution Insights focuses on creating customized B2B/B2C mobile-friendly SaaS in the Fitness marketplace.
V.I.’s first B2B app software was released on the App Store four weeks ago, and over 75,000 users have downloaded and signed up for their app designed on behalf of our first B2B client. By mid-September, over 35,000 personal trainers & athletic coaches in Europe, Australia, and the U.A.E. will be active on white-labeled mobile apps created by Volution Insights.
Volution provides a solution to the marketplace in which licensed trainers can be independently employed and take 90% of their revenue per session, while simultaneously receiving access to a platform that gives the general public a view of the PT’s ratings (5-star rating system), written reviews, categories of fitness expertise, etc.
Key Features for Personal Trainers: - Control of rates per hour & times/days of availability - Retain 5x more revenue per session vs. working at a gym - Live-Results from their client’s training session via FitBit Connect - P2P messaging-platform to keep in contact with all Volution athletes - Tip option added after each session via push notification to consumers
Key Features for Volution Users:
- Location-based services via GPS-integration
- Ability to control & choose the date/time, location, workout theme,
etc. via custom filters
- P2P messaging-platform to keep in contact with all current &
potential personal trainers
- Professional Analysis of FitBit workout results via Volution's software providing over 100,000 metric points of data
The Volution App, which will be released via the App Store/Google Play later this year, is the ‘Uber’ of fitness. Similar to their B2B software, but targeted for the general marketplace, personal trainers make a profile on the app -- and consumers from the public will reach out to them based on workout goals, PT ratings, reviews, etc.
Volution allows personal trainers to work independently while having access to a platform that provides them with a steady stream of clientele. Gyms in the United States take 50% of every session that a PT works. Volution takes 10%, and allows the personal trainer to retain 5x more money per session.
1. Humble Beginnings
Q: How did you get started and what or who inspired and empowered you to?
My Mother and Father were both entrepreneurs, so to say it was destiny for me to be an entrepreneur wouldn’t be far off. I’ve been blessed to learn from business mentors like my father, Thomas C. Zimmerman, and my uncle, Kevin Comcowich, who have been two of my greatest influencers towards developing an entrepreneurial mindset. No one is self-made, and these are just a few of the people who empowered me to be where I am.
I’d also like to thank Susan Field, Maureen MacLeod, Jack Belli, Rachel Lau, Pascale Hunalt-Berg, Lynne Tsuda, and Beverly Allen for caring about their students, and for giving each of them a voice. It is important to recognize the greatest teachers in our communities, and these are some of the very best from my upbringing.
Making the decision to drop out was hard, but it brought on a “do-or-die” mentality that I feel is necessary to compete as a business in 2018. The entire world is innovating daily, and in order to keep up with the rapid pace of evolution in the business marketplace, one must be all-in on their goal of building a business.
Q: What unique and creative strategies if any did you use when you were first getting started?
To create something from nothing is a beautiful process called “entrepreneurship”.
Working on my creative process and implementing unique strategies is most of what has gotten me here. I’ve contacted individuals all over the world, from professional athletes, political rulers, legendary investors, entrepreneurs, advisors, mentors, etc. in order to network with these individuals and to learn from them.
An everyday goal of mine is to network with the world’s greatest minds, in order to solve highly-complex problems that currently challenges the well-being of the world & its inhabitants.
Networking is the single most powerful thing that one can do in the globalized 21st Century that we are living in. It’s also easier than ever, thanks to technology, so I feel that we owe it to ourselves to connect with the world’s best mentors in order to improve.
“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”
Q: What mindset distinguished you from others who were doing the same thing? How did you develop it?
Hard work combined with opportunity has gotten me where I am. However, it took me a lot of time failing time to learn this lesson, but I eventually figured it out in my late teen years. It takes more than hard work and opportunity to get to the top, though.
There was a time just over a year ago when I had $3.08 in my bank account, and I had no idea if I would ever get a chance at fulfilling my dream of being an entrepreneur. I remember thinking to myself:
“If I can be happy in this moment, if I can lose all personal attachment to money, the personal freedom going forward will be unimaginable.”
I saw this not as being broke, but as an opportunity to work on how I see things. I’ll never forget $3.08, because it’s a reminder that no matter how much money anyone makes, it is proof that happiness isn’t derived from a piece of paper, or from items that money can purchase.
Since joining Volution, I’ve put in 80+ hours every week. Owning a business is more than a full-time job, but it is one of my passions and I will never complain about the amount of work. Staying relentlessly positive is the key to being a successful entrepreneur, because I’ve failed a lot more in my life than I’ve succeeded.
“You only have to be right once.”
- Mark Cuban
3. What is your definition of success?
Success has a different meaning for everyone. For me, being successful means that I am contributing to the world on a daily basis, while simultaneously working on myself to improve the quality of life for my family, my friends and for myself. The most important principle in my life is “Amor Vincit Omnia”, which is a Latin phrase translating to “Love conquers all things”, and is a concept that can be applied to all aspects of life.
"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts."
-- Winston S. Churchill
Q: What do you think is the main reason why some people face failure when going after their vision?
I don’t use that word in my personal vocabulary. I don’t believe in the sentiment of the word, simply because I’ve developed a “Win or Learn” mentality towards life. There are simply victories, and there are lessons. Both are equally necessary for personal growth.
“What defines us is how well we rise after falling. It’s a tough pill to swallow but we can either run from our adversity or run to our adversity, tale it head on and conquer it.
It’s not really that big of a deal – you brush it off, and you come back. Defeat is the secret ingredient to success.”
-- Conor McGregor
5. What is the best piece of advice you have received or came across and would like to share with everyone?
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”
-- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Connect with Michael on Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-zimmerman/
Download Volution Insights here: http://volutioninsights.com/
The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!