Mike Dreher was fortunate enough to start his early childhood with the incredible adventure of moving from Canada to Venezuela. This instilled a passion for travel and experiencing other cultures that Mike has carried with him ever since. It also gave him a clear understanding that not everyone in life was as fortunate as others.
After moving back to Canada Mike’s family maintained a farm for all of the 1980s, at a time when mortgage rates threatened the livelihood and homes of everyone around them. During this time Mike remembers his parents both holding down full time jobs while at the same time also managing crops, livestock, and massive gardens. Mike attributes his strong senses of determination, hard work, and perseverance to this period of his life and his parents.
Eventually Mike’s family moved to the city, and Mike would go on to university – however, after taking 2 years of formal education while working full time, he decided that something was missing. In order to figure out what it was, he left Canada to embark on what would become a 3-year adventure of backpacking all over the world. As Mike puts it “adventure is what feeds the soul and shows you what you are truly made of.”
Upon returning to Canada, Mike went back to university, and completed his degree in International Relations and Political Science. As Mike puts it, “It was never so much about getting a job in these areas, so much as it was about completing something I’d left unfinished.”
After University Mike’s professional career included working in public communications, corporate sales & marketing, small business ownership, and business coaching. All of this, as well as a lifetime of travel and degrees focussed in history, culture and politics, have served him in his online career.
Since 2014 Mike has worked with his now husband, Darren Ewert, online – and today they support a community of tens of thousands of online business owners – from all across the world. “It’s become a movement of sorts,” says Mike – who is so very proud of the fact that he’s helped thousands now to not only wake up to their potential, but also to create their own successful online businesses.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
A member of our community came up with it.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A lot of time on the computer –video conference meetings with vendors, having conversations on chat platforms with community members, building out new tools and resources – it never ends! But over and above that – we also try to carve out some time every day for exercise of some sort – it clears the mind and keeps your body agile. I’m incredibly lucky, because my amazing business partner is also my amazing life partner. We spend every single day together – and have for years – and we love it! So every day ends with sharing a meal together, evening time together, and then decompressing and “chatting it out” before going to sleep.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We talk them out with all the stakeholders. Build flow charts – plaster walls with sticky notes – create mind maps – anything to bring the idea into the physical space. AND then we manifest it by focusing on that physical creation every day until it happens.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I look at every scenario from the other side(s). It helps me see the big picture from the perspective of everyone involved and develop a plan that makes everyone as happy as possible.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Listen to your intuition.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
This world will only get better if we learn how to draw a line in the sand and create some boundaries. Stop giving a free pass to the bullies in the world – and tell the people who expect everything for nothing that it’s time for them to step up and start contributing.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Business success is about one word: Consistency. It’s all about doing things over and over. When you stray – you change – and customers no longer recognize you – and leave to go find what they’re missing.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Consistency. It’s all about doing things over and over. When you stray – you change – and customers no longer recognize you – and leave to go find what they’re missing.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
We have always led with trust – and sometimes this can really bite you in the behind. Sadly in the world of business, there are those that make money by taking advantage of people – sometimes they realize what they’re doing – and sometimes they don’t. Desperate people do desperate things. All that you can do is learn from a mistake and try to change things so that if something similar happens again in the future that it has less impact on you and your business.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
What true entrepreneur gives away their ideas?!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A gift basket for one of my best friends on her birthday. We don’t get each other gifts every year – but she’s had a heck of a year, and I wanted to just let her know I was thinking of her, and I love her.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Evernote. I have used it for years – it’s got my ideas, meeting notes, plans, recipes, everything in it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Answer by John Assaraf and Murray Smith
What is your favorite quote?
Life is a journey, not a destination.
- We’ll never have all the answers – so never stop learning
- Everyone has their own perspective, resulting from their own experiences – try to empathize with them
- When you’re faced with challenges – try to keep perspective – and consider all possible outcomes. Odds are it’s not the end of the world – and instead, simply something that you’ve never had to deal with, that creates an uncomfortable feeling. You’ll be fine!
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.