Building Your Passion - The MoveU Story
Entrepreneurs face a constant struggle of failure and doubt that requires the necessary motivation to push through. Mike and Andrew -- the co-founders of MoveU -- are no exception to this notion, having built MoveU from the ground-up after a series of early struggles and a decision to follow their passion.
Arising From Passion and Necessity
Dr. Mike Wasilisin is the founder and CEO of MoveU, a unique online exercise and rehabilitation program born out of relieving body pain, overcoming injuries, and circumventing the invasive and drug-filled approach of the healthcare industry. Mike is a chiropractor who owned a chiropractic care clinic in California before founding Forever Fix, where he met MoveU co-founder Andrew Dettelbach, who was interning under him at the time.
Andrew had suffered a massive disc herniation that left him disabled for months. Consistently seeking professional opinions from doctors, the advice was always the same, he needed invasive surgery and painkillers to reduce the pain until then. However, Andrew did not accept invasive surgery as an option, so he and Mike set out to troubleshoot how to improve body pain organically.
Mike and Andrew soon realized that improved movement and exercise techniques that focused on deconstructing different portions of the body and reconstructing them back into balanced exercises had powerful potential. Andrew was able to overcome his injury without surgery or medication after 18 months, and adopt the idea of organic movements as a method to take back control of your health was born.
As a chiropractor, Mike had always been frustrated with the typical structure of the relationship between patient and doctor. Doctors would prescribe therapy, medicine, or surgery without personalizing the approach and empowering the patient to really understand their body. He felt shackled by the inability to adequately help people the way he saw was best for them.
After realizing he didn't just need to run a chiropractic clinic like everyone else in his profession, Mike sold his practice.
Following several failed startup attempts and stagnancy in his original business plan focusing on lower back pain for 2 years, Mike received some vital advice from his friend Shane, a successful entrepreneur. Shane told him that he wasn't failing because he didn't have what it took to be successful, but rather that he hadn't sought out his passion or purpose yet, something that resonated with Mike.
After 18 months of researching and designing a program for Andrew to overcome his back injury, Mike and Andrew hit their lightbulb moment. Their YouTube account had roughly 10k followers at the time when they posted a video of a lesser known lower back stretch. Soon enough, the video had reached 140k views and garnered the attention of an MMA company that shared the video with their followers. The views spiked to 4 million in 2 days, and they even had 500 people signing up for a non-existent program through their website.
They had found their opportunity.
Neither Mike or Andrew had experience with building an online business, but they decided to turn their concept into a digital business, empowering people to overcome their injuries, learn more about their body, and get excited about doing it. Mike started incessantly researching and learning about how to build and grow an online business while Andrew focused on creating the MoveU program.
Their exercises had been focused only on working with people in person at the time. Andrew decided to create a program that people could easily follow online by focusing on simple exercises involving the body as a whole. The MoveU program contains activities that everyone can do from the ground up and build on top of them into their daily lives.
They had no fundraising or investment and initially launched with a self-funded webinar program. The webinar program is something they regret now, as it allowed them to charge a higher cost upfront, but in the end, it just produced a high barrier to entry for many potential users. They slowly transitioned out of the original design, offering a monthly plan for users to sign-up for a multi-phase program, community support, downloadable resources, motivational videos, and even an anatomy library.
After around 12 months they quickly started gaining traction as a digital business, growing their Instagram presence and getting feedback from people who said they had changed their lives. People were flying in from around the world to see them, so they started launching seminars and expanding their digital offering. Now, MoveU has 44 million social media impressions, nearly 4,000 program members, and close to 700k Instagram followers. Their decision to follow their passion, help people understand their bodies and take control of their health had paid off.
Fruits of Success
Looking back, Andrew had some significant doubts about what they were doing in the beginning, before it became a surreal success story of what Mike had envisioned. As for Mike, his message to young professionals, students, and entrepreneurs is:
"You can rise above with a good work ethic and a strong vision."
Mike takes pride in their accomplishment of being leaders to young professionals and people seeking to improve their way of life. Once he gets more time, he would love to give back more to the people with the entrepreneurial mindset that ask him "what do I do?" or "where do I start?".
Andrew is most proud of what they've accomplished in helping people to change their lives. Whether it's overcoming an injury to play with their kids or being able to play their favorite sport again, MoveU has made an impact and achieved what they set out to achieve.
The MoveU videos not only contain great workouts and exercises to improve your health but are also funny, informative and creative. As for one ancillary MoveU exercise that they would do every day if they could only pick one? Both Mike and Andrew say "The Snatch."