Michael Cherry began his career as a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1967. He worked full time and attended night school to obtain his J.D. from the Detroit College of Law and managed to graduate a semester earlier than scheduled. His efforts were recognized when he received the Outstanding Scholarship Award by members of the junior class and the award for the Top Wills Trusts Suit.
In 1974 Michael was an Associate Attorney for Riley and Roumell, where he practiced Family, Juvenile, and Criminal Law. During his time with the firm, he was appointed as a special assistant attorney general in 1978. In 1990 he changed his professional focus to Workers’ Compensation Defense and began his specialty with the Lacey and Jones law firm. After two years, Michael struck out on his own and established a private law office practice. The success of his practice has stood the test of time and has graced him with the leisure time to fulfill his enthusiasm for long-distance running and traveling the world.
Michael often works from home and lives a healthy, self-disciplined lifestyle. He starts his day with a morning run and often incorporates a work-out at the gym even on the days when he works from the office. He believes in eating well, getting plenty of rest, and never consuming alcohol. His interest in long-distance running began at age 48 and he began a vigorous marathon training regimen. The intensity of his training led him to qualify to run in five major races on five different continents. Over his athletic career, Michael has completed 15 marathons often placing in the top three and taking the award podium. He continues to train daily and is scheduled to run another marathon on his sixth continent.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I thought that I had the intellectual ability to achieve in that field. I always felt that the money would come with success. Money wasn’t paramount. Initially, it was the intellectual challenge and being able to help others. The financial reward came as a by-product of client care.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I have an office, but I often work from home. A portion of my day is spent reaching out to clients. I combine my work with an exercise regimen that typically involves outdoor running most days of the year. I maintain a healthy lifestyle. I am disciplined and focused on my health.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Ideas and concepts are created from research and due diligence based on the requirements of each client. At times I will collaborate with or network with colleagues.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that I see is that being a professional attorney has become far more diverse than it was when I began my career. I appreciate having a lighter caseload.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
The biggest advantage you can have is to stay well connected. Make sure to do a lot of networking, you will be surprised at how often you will benefit from good connections.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Your time is like money, don’t waste either one of them.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
People who know me ask why I don’t run on a treadmill instead of running out in all kinds of weather. I won’t do it and they don’t get it. For me, a treadmill is monotonous and not effective. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 degrees or 90 degrees, raining or windy, I’m out there every day, and it is awesome.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The most important thing in life whether it be in business or with a serious hobby is maintaining your discipline. Success comes from being disciplined. Maintain a very healthy lifestyle, drug-free, alcohol-free, and eat healthy food.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I have an engaging personality and high intellectual functioning. I have been able to engage with people on all levels. Staying connected with people is important, you never know who may become a client.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It is difficult to maintain a business and train for a marathon simultaneously. The intense training necessary to qualify to participate in a race is difficult and time-consuming. I had to adjust my caseload to accommodate both.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One thing I would like to see change is the way automobiles are propelled. It would be good to see some upgrades and other adjustments to the hybrids. I know they’ve experimented with hydrogen but it is not yet viable. It would be good if somebody could upgrade features and add a lot of amenities. There is still a range of problems with sustainability with electric cars.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I purchased a beautiful piece of art. I purchased it because it gives me great pleasure to be able to look at it whenever I please.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Google. Often when I’m thinking about business, health, or investments, it can be quite a useful tool.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Catch-22. It has been around for a long time, it is cleverly written, entertaining and amusing.
What is your favorite quote?
“To thine own self be true or often fall still, can’t be true to any man” – Polonius in Hamlet
- Educate and Train while young, then follow your passion.
- Success comes from being disciplined.
- Eat well, sleep well, and maintain healthy habits.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.