I was stretched like I’ve never been before, and became so ill that even now I still feel the repercussions of it; I have to be really careful. As soon as I get a cold, it can develop into a chest infection. It’s a constant reminder not to go too hard, but when you have your own business, it’s kind of hard not to do that. I had six weeks off and it really forced me to look at myself and what I wanted from life. It reminded me of a time when I promised myself that I would always enjoy what I do.
During my first year of university, my stepdad was diagnosed with cancer, and in May 2011 I moved home temporarily to help look after him and my family. He passed away in August. One thing he said, which will always stay with me, was “Work work work – all I’ve ever done is work, and look where it’s got me.” That’s really sobering to hear, especially from someone you love.
From then on, I realised that whatever I do, I need to make sure it gives me more purpose than working to become successful and rich. I need to enjoy myself and live the best life I possibly can at the same time. Having pneumonia really reinforced that. I said to myself: This is what you promised, you have to live by it.