August 11, 2022

Chapter 16 — Decide What’s Next

This is the (ten) million-dollar question.

I’ll start with another big thank you to my fiancee, Yvonne. She gave me the space and support to allow me to build Difrent, and feel free to crack on and really make it happen. We hadn’t been together long when I kicked off this adventure and she has been relentless in her support.

I have been through so many emotions since selling the company. The emotions ranged from freedom, to loss, to wanting to learn from the experience, and that aspect forced me to write this all down so I could share it widely. I hope it has helped or inspired someone who fancied building a business, or someone who was already on their journey. Let me know if it has — feedback is always welcomed! Doing this has allowed me to relive the experience and think about how I would improve things if I ever did it again.

What happened next

Post-sale, I left my London home of 20 years and bought the dream house in the country. After about a year, I realised that although the grass is actually greener, it isn’t greener in the proverbial sense. I’ve found I needed my London fix way more than I thought, so a gaff in West London reappeared during early 2022. I’ll see if a part-time fix will cut the mustard!

Understandably, I can’t build a competing business with Difrent for a chunk of time, which is a blessing at the moment because I’m probably not in the right headspace to do so. I remain a shareholder in TPX (renamed from Panoply when we sold), so it would be more than a little silly to entertain that idea! And if I’m honest the thought of that doesn’t float my boat. I will want a new challenge in a different space when the time is ready.

I took 4 full months off and tried incredibly hard to chill, enjoy myself, did things I loved, spent time with family and friends and of course threw a couple of wild cards in there with a psychedelic retreat and some fundraising for refugees and a trip out to Ukraine to help out!

What will happen next

I’ve spent the last 12 months researching and learning about the psychedelic market in every conceivable way. From companies such as Behold hosting retreats internationally, to drug trials (recently Awakn’s psychedelics trials in the UK) and Albert Labs trials using psychedelics for cancer patients, to investment firms that are investing in these startups, to the trials in the US and in Canada. Just before Christmas, I started interviewing some CEOs who are running some of the largest psychedelics companies in the world and that has absolutely cemented my interest in the space. I firmly believe the links to solving addiction and mental health will continue to hold my interest in this space and undoubtedly I will do some work in this sector at some time.

The other thing I’m super keen to do is more and more public speaking. I’m keen to share my journey, talk to other entrepreneurs and startups/scaleups and see if my experience can help others. I’m hoping this will include some international speaking, if Covid permits. So if anybody is interested in speaking to me about opportunities please do reach out! Im the process of spinning up for this purpose!

Finally and perhaps most importantly as a Non Exec for Careology (Digital Cancer platform from diagnosis to survivorship) I’m hoping to get more and more involved in the business as we raise our Series A and start to explore wider opportunities across Provider, Payer and Pharma clients and with an eye to International expansion for 2023.

I’ve got to end this by saying a big thank you for staying with me on this journey and… watch this space!

She believed she could, so she did
R.S. Grey “She believed she could, so she did”

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