Michael Simmons is a young, serial, award-winning entrepreneur, Forbes columnist, bestselling author of The Student Success Manifesto, and internationally recognized keynote speaker.
Michaelâ€™s company, Empact, helps build the entrepreneurship ecosystem globally. Empact has held over 500 events at colleges, high schools, workforce development organizations, corporations, and Small Business Development centers. One of Empactâ€™s signature programs is the Empact Showcase, the largest showcase of companies run by the countryâ€™s top young entrepreneurs with recognition events at the White House and United Nations. The annual Empact Summit brings together over 300+ invite-only college presidents & deansl senior government administration; elected representatives such as governors, congressmen, and senators; icon entrepreneurs such as the founders of AOL, Chobani, and USA Network; along with the countryâ€™s top entrepreneurship foundations and entrepreneurship support organizations. Michael has be recognized by President Obama for his work as a young leader in America.
Michael co-founded his first business, Princeton WebSolutions (PWS), when he was sixteen years old. PWS was later rated the #1 youth-run web development company in the nation by Youngbiz Magazine. In addition, Michael has been the winner of three entrepreneur of the year and was personally recognized for his entrepreneurial accomplishments by President Barack Obama. He and his company have been featured in five books and on the AOL Home Page, USA Today, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, ABC, NBC, and CBS. Finally, in 2006, Michael was named by Business Week as one of the Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25 by Inc. as one of the Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30.
In middle & high school, I used to set aside time every night to think about the world and life. I had never heard of meditation. No one told me to think, but for some reason, it fulfilled me, and I havenâ€™t stopped pondering ever since.
I think I may have seen every science fiction movie worth watching. Iâ€™ve spent hundreds of frustrated, unsuccessful hours of my life simply searching for a good sci-fi flick that I hadnâ€™t seen yet or didnâ€™t remember seeing. I love the wonder and possibilities of these movies and books.
I love learning. I like connecting to people and understanding them. I can ask questions of anyone for hours out of pure intrigue. Some think that Iâ€™m interrogating them. In reality, I just find them fascinating. Iâ€™ve read hundreds (perhaps thousands) of books. I lost track a long time ago. Barnes & Noble loves me except when they have to clean up after Iâ€™ve explored 10+ books and chosen the few that Iâ€™m going to purchase. One of my favorite experiences in life is to be exposed to a new body of work that completely recontextualizes how I see the world.
Iâ€™ve been humbled many different times in different ways, and Iâ€™m not afraid to share my failures and mishaps. It takes a lot of pointless energy to put on a front and only release the positive things about oneâ€™s life. Furthermore, itâ€™s not even the best way to build connection or trust. So, I donâ€™t mind sharing. It keeps me more honest anyway.
Wonder, introspection, curiosity, and humility give me a unique and deep perspective on life. More than anything, these traits have allowed me to be a world-class connector of ideas and people. I make introductions daily, and I love bringing people together in a spirit of mutual support. As a result, Iâ€™ve built a network of some of the most inspirational, purposeful people in the worlds of entrepreneurship, business, academia, non-profits, government, and philanthropy.
I believe I see patterns in life years and decades before many others do, and I know this perspective can save a lot of years and pain on the journey of purposeful people.
I am not for everyone. People who donâ€™t want to go a level deeper in life generally humor me, but donâ€™t get me, and they probably stopped reading this bio a few hundred words ago.
Thatâ€™s me in a nutshell.