5 Secrets to 15 Years in Business

By Michelle May, M.D.
Fifteen years ago, I wanted to change the world. I still do.
In August 1999, I founded Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Programs and Training (it was called Changing Weighs back then) with the mission to “Change the way the world thinks about eating.” Whatever your mission is, here are our top five secrets to fifteen years in business!

1. Have passion for your work.

I started my company while I had a young family and a great job as a family physician. But like many of my patients, I had struggled with yo-yo dieting for years. The freedom, peace, and balance I experienced when I stopped dieting and learned to eat mindfully was, and still is, something that I passionately believe everybody deserves. I’ve since retired from my practice to focus on Am I Hungry? full-time. I wake up every day passionate about my work and feeling lucky to do what I love and love what I do!

2. Fill a need.

Many millions of people have wasted their precious time, energy, and money in a futile eat-repent-repeat cycle. Most companies take advantage of this by simply offering more “new” diets so they can grab the money and run. Other companies continue on and on, changing their program each year to attract new customers and lure the old ones back—which is only proof that they don’t work long-term for most people.

Our Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Cycle brought a simple, but profoundly different approach to the table and has helped shift the entire conversation about eating.

3. Believe in your mission.

We knew our approach to eating was different. Maybe a little too different. Painfully, my first book proposal back in 2003 was rejected by a major publishing house with the following reply:
“Regrettably, it seems to us that the majority of people are more inclined to pick up a more gimmicky diet book like the South Beach Diet or the Atkins Diet rather than a sensible, well-thought-out one like this. We worry that the market—those few sophisticated people who would take a more holistic approach—would be too small for us to publish this effectively.”
Happily, it turns out that they were wrong. They vastly underestimated the wisdom of the public who would see through the crumbling restrictive paradigm and seek a completely new way to think about their eating. Indeed, many of you have opted out of old-fashioned dieting and are learning to eat mindfully and become an expert in yourself!

4. Stay focused on your intention.

We don’t worry about our competition. We just focus on providing the most effective programs, the most comprehensive training, the best books, and the most life-changing retreats we possibly can, and we don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.

5. Create a grassroots movement.

We don’t advertise, but we invest heavily to provide mindful eating resources to educate and inspire individuals, communities, companies, and health and wellness professionals about the power of mindful eating. In turn, you have helped us spread the word to your family, friends, patients, clients, colleagues, and community. Thank you!
As we reflect back over the last fifteen years, we are incredibly grateful for the privilege of making a difference in the world. Many of you have taken the time to write and share your personal stories and appreciation for the difference our work has made in your lives. Your encouragement has meant so much to us and we love to hear from you!
Our work is not done. We have a beautiful new website, several new programs, a new Director of Workplace Wellness – and most important, the mission and passion that has gotten us this far.
But we need you! Tell somebody about mindful eating today! Better yet, share this little Taste of Am I Hungry? with them. Let’s change the way the world thinks about eating!

Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly!
Michelle May, M.D.

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