Nicole Matthews and Dani Michels

Take calculated risks. You don’t get anywhere in business (or life) by playing it safe all the time.


Renew Youth has been the leader in healthy aging made better since 1999. They pride themselves on the knowledge, experience, and expertise gained by focusing on developing effective treatment solutions relative to aging and longevity.

Where did the idea for your company  come from?

Our dad founded Renew Youth in 1999, when he was beginning to experience the effects of age-related hormone decline and was frustrated by mainstream healthcare’s inability to provide solutions. He did not believe in “growing old gracefully”, and he was pretty sure he wasn’t alone in that. He thought other people might welcome the opportunity to manage the aging process, but only if the proper resources were available. As a result, he embarked upon a quest to find his own solutions.

Our dad had worked in hospital administration for over three decades, so he was adept at navigating within the healthcare world—he knew how to talk to doctors and researchers, he knew how to find quality clinical studies, and he knew how to cultivate medical resources. Over time Renew Youth was born—a comprehensive, personalized, doctor-supervised anti-aging program with balanced hormones as its foundation. Today we (his two daughters) run the company. We have doctors and clients across the nation, and for years have prided ourselves on being pioneers within this field. More recently we have worked to leverage our proprietary enterprise software to maximize efficiency, enhance the client experience, and scale our business.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Our entire team is on the phone—a lot. It’s where we can make the biggest impact for our clients, providing one-on-one attention and personalized customer service. Simply put, a productive and successful day for our us is one that is relentlessly focused on improving our clients’ quality of life.

How do you bring ideas to life?

When it comes to the development of new products and services, the name of the game is research, research, research. Having said that, not all research is good research, and mis-information in the marketplace abounds. Our clients rely upon us to provide solutions that are based only on the best science, and we take that responsibility very seriously. They also count on us to remain on the cutting edge, so we’re continually reading, and studying, and educating ourselves—always scanning the horizon for what’s next. When we come across something that we conclude will positively impact the health and wellbeing of our clients (after completing our due diligence) we start talking about it, and writing about it, and integrating it into our day-to-day interactions with clients.

When it comes to continually improving the client experience, we rely heavily on the right blend of technology and one-on-one client service. Technology is where new ideas can become limitless. In this context, we continually identify opportunities for automation. These efforts result in shorter client wait times, fewer steps a client may need to take to complete a task, enhanced access to information, and more.

What’s one trend that excites you?

“Biohacking”. This is the idea that people can take their health and wellbeing into their own hands, rather than limiting themselves to what their insurance will cover or resigning themselves to being satisfied with more conventional practitioners who may take a cookie cutter approach to treatment. What we’re hearing from our clients is that they are fed up with insurance companies that make potentially life-altering decisions about their health based on whether or not a lab result is “within normal limits”. Large percentages of people will have lab results that are within those “acceptable” limits, yet many will still have symptoms and a compromised quality of life. Increasingly, people are refusing to sit still for this. Instead, they are looking outside of these more conventional systems to find solutions that are life-changing (in a good way). Likewise, a growing number of people have become weary of doctors who are focused solely on treating disease after it’s already happened, rather than preventing it in the first place. These same people are looking for a more personalized experience—because after all, how likely is it that any two people are going to need exactly the same dose of Vitamin D (or anything else)? We think this is a revolutionary shift, and Renew Youth is proud to be a resource for our clients in this regard.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

We have a task system built into our enterprise software that helps our whole team to be more productive. We leverage this function as a highly visible means for setting deadlines and assigning responsibility for smaller tasks, which enables us to chip away at larger projects over time.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Start taking care of your body early. The earlier the better. It’s a lot easier and more effective to prevent damage than it is to perform damage control later on. Eat well, exercise, control stress, get enough sleep, drink enough water, take the right supplements in the right amounts, and keep your hormones balanced.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

“This too shall pass.” It can be hard to remember this nugget of wisdom when the going gets tough, but it is one hundred percent true. Events that are challenging will pass. Most people will recognize this in hindsight, but few are able to see it in the present moment. Yet remembering this truism in the moment is one of the most effective ways we can manage stress.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Take calculated risks. You don’t get anywhere in business (or life) by playing it safe all the time.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Once the concept is proven, business is almost always a numbers game. But as you grow, you can’t lose sight of why your customers are with you in the first place. You have to focus on product quality and a positive customer experience every single day. The importance of technology also can’t be understated. We have worked hard to strategically leverage technology to build a scalable business where we can control costs, but without compromising the client experience or sacrificing one-on-one interactions.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Underestimating how quickly competitors will try to duplicate a successful concept. When Renew Youth was founded, we were first movers when it came to providing anti-aging therapies to patients on a national scale. But the marketplace is collectively observant—when it sees that a company is having success with something, it’s just a matter of time before an endless number of competitors will pop up and try to copy your business model. That few of them managed to do it well has been both a blessing and a curse—a blessing because most of our competitors haven’t lasted or haven’t thrived; a curse because their efforts muddied the waters for consumers, since many offered bargain pricing that could be achieved only by cutting corners.

Effective and safe hormone replacement therapy requires protocols based upon the latest science, routine lab testing, experienced doctors, and a personalized approach that is tailored to each patient—and there’s a cost associated with that. Our solution was to simply stay the course. We stuck to providing safe and proven methods, and we refused to cut corners. We continued to focus on our customers’ wellbeing and continued to work every day to be the best at what we do. Over the years we’ve learned that what we do and how we do it is actually pretty hard to effectively duplicate. Fly by night companies will come and go. We stay the course.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Slow cooker dinners for busy people! Someone with cooking skills absolutely needs to do this. Whoever executes this idea would simply deliver crockpots filled with creative and delicious concoctions to their customers’ homes in the morning and would plug them in before leaving. Then when their customers arrive home from work at the end of the day, they’d have a hot meal waiting for them. The empty/dirty pots would get picked up the next morning, and the cycle would continue. We would totally pay someone to do this for us at least a few days out of the week.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A couple of months ago we licensed an inexpensive app that has helped us to automate a specific manual process within our business. That function had historically taken days to complete; today it takes just one day. Now we’re working to integrate this app into our enterprise software so this particular function will be even more seamless for our clients and our employees.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Some time ago we concluded there was no one system or piece of software that would broadly suit our needs. Meanwhile, managing and maintaining several disparate systems was inefficient, cumbersome and risky. Ultimately, we decided to build our own enterprise software that could be customized to handle the various nuances and life cycles within our business—and we’re still building it today. This platform allows us to service a sizable population of clients with a more boutique-sized staff. It was also built to be flexible. As Renew Youth’s needs change, the platform can change with it. The longer we have it, the more functional and efficient it becomes, for us and for our clients.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges”, by Amy Cuddy. Everyone should read this book. The science is clear: your body language affects your body chemistry—including your hormones! Read it…and then strike a power pose!

What is your favorite quote?

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill

Key Learnings:

  • Never stop educating yourself, and never stop learning.
  • Knowledge creates opportunities; opportunities create freedom, and freedom creates the space for happiness.