By LevellingUp

Today we’re peeking behind the scenes to get to know the engine that is MIKE DEBOER, LU co-founder and Julie’s husband and partner in (creative) crime!

An engineer by trade, Mike accidentally discovered the power of true, collaborative community when he joined a group of weightlifters, hoping to get stronger. This experience fuels him every day in creating space for rich/impactful relationships between artists that elevate the quality of their own work.


Mike deBoer

“Going into any event I wasn’t sure how far I’d be able to go. But having these guys around who trained with me and really understood what it took to compete, I’d find another gear I didn’t even know I had. They made me feel like I mattered, and I believed them.”

That experience grew in Mike the desire to create a space where people can master their skills and talent, reaching their potential through the power of being together

Mike deBoer

“We all go into something thinking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ That’s human nature. But along the journey you discover how valuable being seen and known is. I dream of, and I think we’re working toward, a different world where we actually feel seen and known, where we’re able to dive into our creative pursuits knowing, ‘I have my people, people who truly understand.’

“This is what I want for everyone. To be a part of a community that sees the best in them even when they can’t. Life is too short to not do it well.”

Mike deBoer
Mike deBoer

 “I lifted weights for 20 years without much to show for it. Just 2 years after I started training with a group of Strongman competitors, I won the title of Alberta’s Strongest Man. 

It was the first time I was in a community doing something I loved with others who loved it just as much. A place where I could get real-time feedback on my technique and approach. And it was a game changer. Over my seven year career, I won nine competitions!”

Mike deBoer

“If you look at the people down the path who’ve managed to accomplish what they wanted to accomplish, they didn’t do it all by their own darn self. Show me the top level athletes who got there by watching YouTube videos. If we’re honest, when we get to where we want to go, it’s because of people feeding into us and supporting us and encouraging us and giving us wisdom and advice and mentoring.

Mike and Artits

More LU Stories!
NEXT: hear the story of LevellingUp and the amazing artists who are making the community what it is today: a place where beyond-beginner creatives from all over the world flock to pursue mastery together through real connections with master mentors and peers in a true community of learning, feedback, care, and support. 

Author: LevellingUp
Date: February 15, 2022

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