Nicole Ryan – Turning Tragedy into Alex’s Adventure, Improving Drug Education & Social Entrepreneurship! – EP121
Every episode of 1% Better tells a story. This week’s episode is that of Nicole Ryan’s story.It began in Jan 2016 when my only brother Alex went to a house party in the Greenmount area, Cork City and took a synthetic substance believing it to be a less potent drug called 2-CP. Alex had thought he had done his research on the substance he was trying. He was 18 years of age and had a lot of plans for his future. Alex ended up taking a huge dose of the lethal drug known as Nbomb which resulted in him being brought to Cork University Hospital where Alex never regained consciousness and subsequently 4 days later sadly passed away after being pronounced brain-dead.Alex changed the lives of 4 people by donating 2 of his kidneys, his liver and his heart but Alex’s story did not end here. Nicole wanted what happened to my family to never need to happen to another so needlessly again so she decided that Alex would change the world and she would be his catalyst and his storyteller.She gave up her career as a Marine & Plant Engineer to come home and build Alex’s Adventure. Over the last 3 years Nicole travelled the length and breadth of the country visiting schools and delivering her workshop educating and sharing how our choices can impact our lives forever.She has visited over 55+ schools, colleges & youth clubs and has delivered this workshop to over 5500+ students nationwide. From this life changing experience Alex’s Adventure was born. Nicole and her team developed a brand-new program that aims to not only help the students learn more about substance misuse and about the impacts our choices have on the greater community.In this episode, we hear in more details how Nicole decided to take the chance with setting up Alex’s Adventure, what she’s learned since starting out, how the business has grown and evolved, how she is constantly pivoting, learning, and iterating Alex’s Adventure to be a better product.I really enjoyed this one and know it’s one that you will enjoy listening to, as there are many stand-out takeaways from the interview.Other topics covered:
Being a realist but having to be strong for her mother
Media and Empathy with the loss of Alex
How Alex’s Adventure works and focusing on learning & key skills
Dealing with Feedback
Creating a Digital Solution
Pivoting & Letting go of the original ideas
Learning to influence and sell
Language, Additions and how we speak to young people
The importance of Coffee Meetings
Working on your strengths, weaknesses and working on growing
Expanding her team with others that are adding value to the program
Taking herself out of the mindset of working in her business to working on her business!
The Importance of Social Entrepreneurship
How to switch off and detach from the Business
Standout Moment from Nicole’s journey so far!
Mentors & Great Advice – Her Friend asked Nicole - The worth thing that can happen is nothing!
If you knew one thing at the start that you know now?
Next for Alex’s Adventure – looking at the 5 year map!