I believe happiness is felt by making other people happy. If you do anything for anyone, it is going to make you feel better. So, if I look at wellness, there are all the different components that play a role that will make you feel better. But the most powerful in my view is if you are impacting other people’s lives in a positive way, that makes you feel really good.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mickey Beyer-Clausen at the 2021 Global Wellness Summit in Boston, Massachusetts.

Mickey was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1975, but has lived in New York since 2006. In the ’90s, Mickey was one of the first to launch internet businesses, and since 2008, he has pioneered the use of technology to improve people’s lives. Today, Mickey builds companies around innovations that improve the human or planetary condition. His output includes several sustainable businesses in the technology sector and a foundation.

Mickey is the Co-founder and CEO of circadian technology pioneer, Timeshifter, which he co-founded with Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Steven Lockley, as well as fellow Danes, Tony Hanna and Jacob Ravn. In June 2018, Timeshifter launched its first product — now the most-downloaded and highest-rated jet lag app in the world. Recently, Timeshifter released a revolutionary circadian app for shift workers to help them optimize their sleep, alertness, health, and quality of life.

Thank you so much for doing this interview. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have co-founded a handful of technology based startups across different industries with very different solutions. The older I got, the more I was craving something, doing something meaningful beyond building a company which in the beginning when I was younger, was everything. I just loved it. I didn’t care what it was just let’s go, but the older I got, it was sort of like what really makes a difference. And so I moved into the scientific world, although my background is not in science, it’s in tech and being an entrepreneur I was lucky to meet with some different people that got me on a path where I was part of a co-founder company that launched the first mindfulness app in the world on the app store. I did the first sleep app way before steep devices were kind of a thing and very early on before Headspace and all of that.

And then I was lucky enough about maybe five years ago to be introduced to Dr. Steven Lockley, social professor at Harvard Medical School and Dr. Smith Johnston from NASA who was hitting their longevity fatigue and performance programs there at Johnson Space Center and those guys have been working together for many years to apply neuroscience at NASA to really get the astronauts prepared for rocket launches, the international space station, and sort of deal with the rhythm. It’s very different up there compared to on Earth and also just when they traveled national, traveled to Russia, Germany and Japan for training, jet-lagging is a real factor for them because if they’re not alert and awake when they train, it’s dangerous for them in a different way than when you and I travel.

So, what was appealing to me as an entrepreneur was that they had all the scientific stuff figured out to address jet lag, shift work situations and peak performance in general before rocket launch. So this was simply a matter of converting that into a consumer product everybody can access for a very cheap price. So that was the challenge. That’s what got me really excited — the circadian science field, I looked at the science and it blew me away.

If you’re able to control your circadian rhythm you can live a better life; how you can perform better, how you can sleep better, how you can do everything better and it’s not just a matter of feeling well. It’s like in all of our organs in our body there are clocks. The circadian master clock we have in our brain is the conductor for an orchestra. It’s conducting and trying to synchronize all of our clocks in all of our organs so that they function well together. So five years from now we’ll be talking about circadian science. Everybody will know what it is.

What are your “3 things I wish someone told me when I first started my career” and why?

Whenever I’m on a panel talking about building a company and starting with an idea, the question often is, so how do you make a successful company? Is the team the most important? What I’ve learned in hindsight is that in some respects, most of those things are less important. It’s all a matter of timing. So I’ve become very humbled by some experiences where you might have a great idea, a meaningful idea, but it just wasn’t the right time and you see it later on, somebody else did it and it’s massively successful. So I think for me, at least if I could talk to myself when I was younger, it’s like, okay, be humble. Think about, does this connect with society as it is, or with that target group right now?

If it doesn’t, do we believe that it’s going to happen within a short period of time, otherwise, park it <laugh> and come back to it later. I would also probably advise myself to get involved into the scientific world much sooner, because there is a wealth of things that are just waiting for someone right now to go in and convert and translate into products and services that would really make a difference in the world. I feel too much of those ideas with academia. It’s at the university level and it doesn’t go anywhere. There’s great research. There is great proof that you can do things. So I wish I’d gotten involved in that world earlier. Although I really enjoy my journey in general, I’m very happy and very grateful.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

I think it’s very easy to just put a name out there and say that’s the person for me, but 95% of the success I’ve had has been related to other people’s ideas and work. I’m just fortunate once in a while to go on stage and present something and say, here it is and everybody thinks like, okay that’s really great work man. When in fact it’s just connecting the dots that are already there built by other people and done by other people. So I’m massively grateful to everyone when you’re a startup, when you’re a co-founder, every person matters tremendously. If one little thing is missing, the card house will fall apart. So I can’t put a specific name, but I can always refer to my mom and my wife and my kids and all of that.

I keep plugging other people’s names and other company’s names that have helped us along the way because they are the reason why we are here at the Global Wellness Summit. We had Susie and Nancy who discovered Timeshifter. What the Global Wellness Summit has done for us in terms of exposure and credibility is massive. We need the exposure. We need to build business relations. We need to get customers, we need to get investors, but also more than that right now, both you and I are also promoting the whole circadian field and that’s even more important.

Do you have a favorite book or quote that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?

I have several favorite books. I like The Alchemist just because you find happiness right at your doorstep. You don’t need to go anywhere to find it. I think that’s probably the best book I’ve ever read. It’s very simple. I recommend anybody to read it because it doesn’t take very long. It’s not a big thing.

I believe happiness is felt by making other people happy. If you do anything for anyone, it is going to make you feel better. So, if I look at wellness, there are all the different components that play a role that will make you feel better. But the most powerful in my view is if you are impacting other people’s lives in a positive way, that makes you feel really good.

How has wellness played a big role in your life?

I think I’ve been on a very exploratory journey in terms of how I can optimize my own life from a very young age. I was fortunate to be successful with my second startup very early on, which almost gave me a little bit of a depression in that I didn’t know what life was about because I thought it would take me longer and so for me, it became a matter of exploring the meaning of life.

And then it also creates this chain reaction to other things. I feel like with wellbeing and health, what I’ve discovered is that if you change one thing and start to put effort into becoming healthier or feeling better, that puts you on a chain reaction doing multiple things better. Like, okay, let’s focus on running two times a week or three times, okay, now I’m interested in drinking more water instead of something else. Now I’m interested in sleeping a little bit better, or now I’m interested in really trying to figure out how to get myself motivated and keeping on track and of course, life always gets in the way, and then you need to find a way to get back to it. But as long as you are aware.

As you know, COVID-19 changed the world as we know it. Can you share some examples of how health and wellness companies will be adjusting?

Well, the first thing that happened to us was had a jet lag app when COVID hit, so that flatlined.

As a startup and as a company, you just need to find new metrics to rely on. So now the milestones are not really about revenue this year. It’s about something different and you can get everybody around that and focus on that. I think during COVID that’s what many companies needed to do. Some companies have benefited tremendously from COVID and for other companies it’s really been terrible and devastating for them.

I think the whole industry is going to come out of this roaring because we suddenly realize a lot of things about ourselves and about humanity and what matters. So if I’m in wellness right now, which we are, I would be very optimistic.

In my work as a Board Certified Wellness Coach who caters to the cancer survivor community, I have found the theme of “second chances” to be a powerful motivator. What keeps your spirit still firing?

This is not very motivating to say because for many this won’t help them. Genetically, I’m structured in a way where I can’t help myself. There is a drive that must be genetic. The one thing that is very powerful for me personally that pushes me even in hard times is my ability to visualize how things look in five years from now, where I’m absolutely dramatic in my thoughts. Thinking, okay, so now with Timeshifter, here is how it looks in five years from now. We’re going to have thousands of employees. We’re going to do all these great things in different areas and just by being able to visualize it, I can go to work every morning and feel really energized and excited no matter what’s going on.

Of course there are some people that I need to be extra grateful for, including my kids and my family, my wife, where you know, recognizing how important it is to completely detach yourself from even the most exciting things that you’re working on like with Timeshifter. For me, just getting home and finding energy and building a family and raising kids is phenomenal.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Well right now it is to try to create products and services that are actually meaningful. I know every entrepreneur on the planet, including myself, when I was younger saying we’re making it different and all and most often we are not really and I just see a change in that right now.

I think what’s happening in Silicon Valley, seeing what’s going on there, it’s becoming more and more clear that technology can be used in two different ways, in a good way and a bad way and we need to focus on how to use it in a good way. I love being in the for-profit world. I certainly have been involved in non-profit activities as well. Making a difference for people at different levels certainly affects my personal happiness, but finding an idea and building a company around an idea that can impact people in small and large ways is what I find interesting.

How can our readers follow you online?

I would love it if your readers go to our website Timeshifter.com and check out what we’re doing both on jet lag, and now a new app we just launched for shift workers to help them optimize their sleep, their alertness, their health and their quality of life.

I’d encourage any one of your readers depending on where they’re coming from. They can certainly benefit from the products we have, but also encourage them to dig much deeper into circadian science in general, and not just rely on our website. Being surrounded by some of the leading experts in that field, I learn something new every day. I thought I knew everything I needed to, but that’s not true. It’s mind boggling.

This was very meaningful, Mickey, thank you so much!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.