"I'm Diane and I met Michael in the Autumn of 2019 and immediately recognized that we shared a profound compassion for entrepreneurs. We have both been serial entrepreneurs, ourselves, and had overcome impossible challenges.
We share in the frustration that very few really "get" just how hard the struggle is. We were each trying to help fellow entrepreneurs in similar ways, with me in Nashville as a successful consultant and speaker and Michael in New York with his successful online learning community.
We began to brainstorm on ways to work together towards a common goal of a scalable solution to this struggle. One night, around 3am, the idea of TEI was divinely downloaded on me and we immediately began to build it out!
Enlisting the help of the corporate and philanthropic community to invest in thousands of Tennessee's small business owners by sponsoring them into Michael's well-established business learning community, The Lonely Entrepreneur, could only end well for everyone.
Entrepreneurs don't need another "course" or "workshop". They need day-to-day, interactive support for their pressing questions and they need the motivation to keep going on those hard days when they just want to quit.
Corporations are always looking for ways to get close to small business owners and stand out among their competitors. By providing business owners with real-world help to their silent struggle and having a new way to build a relationship with them in an impactful way, we suspect this should do the trick.
Much like parenthood, nothing can quite prepare an entrepreneur for the overwhelm and complexities of running a business. We speak "entrepreneur", we've been there, and we are on a mission to help many more of them succeed!
- Diane Michel Canada, Co-Founder
DIANE MICHEL CANADA
Without a college degree, and thanks to an apprenticeship from a female VP of a major consulting firm, Diane spent the first 15 years of her career helping Doctors recover their practices from major business challenges. She owned her own consulting and staffing firm, which was wildly successful, but after the crippling 2008/2009 recession, she had to close her company.
She switched gears and reinvented herself. As a former singer/songwriter, she tapped back into her creative side and created an upscale touring production, featuring the professional Nashville songwriting community. The show evolved into a national and international television show called Nashville Unleashed and it syndicated in the US and in Europe for 2 years.
For the last several years, Diane turned her attention to guiding women through the launching and scaling of their businesses across a variety of industries. This has now evolved into keynote presentations and the penning of her first book, Lady Up + Don’t Quit.
Diane serves on the Mayor of Nashville's Minority Business Advisory Council. She has served as the Political Advocate for the Nashville Association of Women Business Owners. She teaches entrepreneurial skills in the Tennessee maximum-security prison for women. She is a 2020 candidate for the Tennessee State House of Representatives.
Michael brings a unique understanding of the entrepreneurial journey. Michael discovered unique perspectives from living through the “perfect storm” and emerging with not only business success, but with a set of perspectives that help entrepreneurs thrive.
Michael is considered the founder of not only a company but an industry – rewarding individuals for healthy behavior.
Michael left a promising law career to start IncentOne, the first company to provide rewards for healthy behavior. At the time, rewards in healthcare were not only non-existent – they were offensive. He was told over and over “we will never reward people for things they should be doing to be healthy.”
After bootstrapping for a decade, his company received a large private equity investment. They had arrived. It should have been a time for celebration. Then the financial crisis hit. Ten years were gone in ten days. Bankrupt customers. Investment gone. Credit dead. Family dollars at risk. Angry investors. Family relationships on the brink. It would take two years of working 24 hours a day to save what took ten years to build. The perfect storm. It was doomed. Or was it?
Today, health rewards are everywhere, he sold IncentOne to industry innovator Welltok and his company is credited with creating the health rewards industry. What resulted was not only a business success but the discovery of a unique method on how to thrive under the pressure, chaos and burden of being the entrepreneur. The Lonely Entrepreneur was born.