How Former Red Sox Pitcher Mike Garber Thrives As An Athlete Turned Entrepreneur With Ming Zhao

Spending quality time with my family (my wife and 3 kids) is the most important thing to me, so just being with them on a daily basis, whether it’s walking them to school or taking them to their sports activities, that’s truly something that helps my mind thrive. As a part of our series about […]

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Spending quality time with my family (my wife and 3 kids) is the most important thing to me, so just being with them on a daily basis, whether it’s walking them to school or taking them to their sports activities, that’s truly something that helps my mind thrive.

As a part of our series about how successful “athlete turned entrepreneurs” thrive both professionally and personally, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mike Garber. Mike is a Chicago native and former professional baseball player looking forward to bringing a fresh look and feel to wellness services through Lume’s luxurious, yet comfortable, setting. Mike’s relationship with self care began at the peak of his Professional Baseball career; Through his time with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox organizations, Mike experienced the latest recovery services normally available to professional athletes, celebrities, and VIPS. His goal is to take these “exclusive” services out of the locker room and into the mainstream, with the goal of integrating Lume’s practices into guests’ daily, weekly, or monthly routines.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is a great honor. Our readers would love to learn more about your personal background. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Igrew up in Palos Heights, Illinois — the south suburbs of Chicago. I was the youngest of 4 boys, and my closest brother in age was 10 years older, so I was the true baby of the family. Ha! My mom was a homemaker and my dad was and still is a real estate developer. Sports, baseball and athletics dominated my childhood.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career as a high level professional athlete?

Of course my parents inspired me to be the best. Whether it was driving me to tennis tournaments in Michigan or taking me to the batting cages, it was definitely my parents who pushed me to be a high achiever.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your sports career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

Alongside so many great athletes, many became famous. At the time, they were simply a teammate or a friend, but in fact, many of those friends and teammates became huge superstars. Looking back it’s fun to see how those personalities developed into the famous athletes that we see today. I learned that with hard work, sacrifice and determination, anyone can achieve their goals.

Did you ever get a serious sports injury? Do you feel comfortable sharing that story? What was the lesson or take away that you took out of that incident?

I actually didn’t suffer a serious injury during my career. I guess that’s out of the ordinary, but my pitching arm was resilient and I truly took care of myself with proper nutrition and daily exercise.

As someone with a background in ‘wellness’ I’m interested in stories about interesting wellness experiences. Do you have a story about the weirdest or most humorous wellness experience, treatment, practice, or practitioner that you’ve ever partaken in? If you do, we’d love to hear it.

Up until very recently, treatments like IV Drips and Infrared Saunas were thought of as very exclusive, celebrity treatments. I was used to seeing players use these treatments for recovery, and while IV Drips can seem intimidating to some, they truly play such a large role in being at the top of your game. Now through my newest venture at Lume, I can help bring those services to everyone.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. Can you tell us the story of your transition from a professional athlete to a successful business person?

As my baseball career was winding down, I shifted my focus to one other thing that I knew best, real estate/construction. As I stated earlier, my dad was and still is a real estate developer, and so I grew up going to construction sites and interacting with those workers. So after baseball was over, real estate/construction was a natural fit for me. I started out developing small condo buildings in the city and eventually ending up building and developing high-end custom homes in the western suburbs of chicago — Hinsdale and Burr Ridge.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting new projects you are working on now?

Lume is the most exciting project that I am working on now. At Lume, our focus is wellness, and our goal is to bring these exclusive wellness services to the public in an everyday luxury setting. We recently opened our doors for business, so it has been exciting to see our concept come to fruition.

Do you think your experience as a professional athlete gave you skills that make you a better entrepreneur? Can you give a story or example about that?

I’m not sure if that’s the case, but I do feel the need to constantly compete, and win. So perhaps that drive to compete and be the best is a skill that helps overcome obstacles in business and beyond.

Most athletes have not been able to transfer their success from the sports arena to the business arena. But you have. Can you share with our readers three main strategies you have used to help you succeed?

First and foremost, find something that you love to do.

Second, don’t stop until you succeed. You will fail, it’s expected, but don’t let a little failure stop you from achieving your goal.

Surround yourself with people who are supportive and help you achieve your goals. You can’t do it alone!

In my work, I focus on how one can thrive in three areas, body, mind, and heart. I’d like to flesh this out with you. You are a very busy leader with a demanding schedule. Can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

1. Meditation is a routine that helps me break away from the daily grind

2. Physical exercise is another routine which helps me refocus my thoughts and energy into what’s important

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

Spending quality time with my family (my wife and 3 kids) is the most important thing to me, so just being with them on a daily basis, whether it’s walking them to school or taking them to their sports activities, that’s truly something that helps my mind thrive.

Finally, can you share with us two routines that use to help your heart, your emotional or spiritual life to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

Besides going to church, and meditation, I would say spending quality time with my family makes me feel fulfilled.

You’re a high achieving business leader, and you also have family and loved ones that may require a different side of you at home. How do you leave the executive at the door, and be the most loving family member at home?

Good question, but I turn my iPhone notifications off and schedule the do not disturb mode. This allows me to “turn off” the work duties and allows me to focus on being a good husband and dad!

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I don’t see myself as someone with great influence, but if I were to have that influence, it would be to help others recognize that wellness can be achieved by setting aside a small part of each day in order to focus on yourself and your physical and mental needs. Lume Wellness is a sanctuary where those needs can be achieved.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

It’s funny you ask, but we have a few sayings that we live by at Lume — “slowing down is the new hustle” or “rest, you beautiful idiot” — these quotes just encapsulate our philosophy at Lume of taking care of ourselves, and by slowing down you are able to pursue your best self.

What are the best ways our readers can follow you on social media?

Readers can follow Lume (@Lume_Wellness) on Instagram.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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