These are the three mantras which our founder Rich made a commitment to live by after walking away from a successful 20+ year career working in the alcohol industry. Here’s how the last few years have panned out in his own words…..
“I consider myself lucky to have spent 20 years of my adult life doing a job which always felt more like a hobby. During my time, initially managing bars and then latterly working in sales roles within the alcohol industry, I was fortunate enough to visit some incredible vineyards, breweries & distilleries all over the world, and on the way meet some truly wonderful personalities and get familiar with some of the worlds most admired drinks brands. Safe to say that alcohol was a huge part of my identity, and my life was built around it, both inside and outside of work.
But as I entered my thirties and settled down to start a family, the negative effects of alcohol as a consumer become ever more acute & apparent. It was also around this time when my love of running begun, and without really knowing it at the time, I think I was subconsciously beginning to reject alcohol until at the end of 2021, I made the decision to take a break from drinking alcohol.
Although at the time I hadn’t considered the impact that this might have on my career, it soon became clear that a) this was unlikely to be a short-term change, and b) it felt somewhat in conflict with my day job…….on the one hand I was actively distancing myself from the very thing which I was being
paid to promote & sell. I felt like a hypocrite as my career no longer matched my lifestyle, and in many ways my new values.
Walking away from a career which I’d built over all those years was incredibly hard, not least because I had no idea what I now wanted to do……I knew what I didn’t want to do anymore and that was sell alcohol. So, I found myself somewhat lacking in purpose, and to some degree felt a loss of identity given that alcohol had been the foundation for my lifestyle and career for so many years!
Thankfully whilst this was happening, I had also begun to invest in myself, my mindset, and my wellbeing, and had made real positive progress in all these areas. So, combined with a new level of creativity, energy and clarity thanks to my new alcohol-free lifestyle, an idea was hatched which would allow me to follow a dream and long-term aspiration to start my own business.
Clean Break actually begun life as an idea for a book title (which I still intend to write at some point in the future)………….Clean Break – my ‘messy’ divorce from alcohol!
But with young mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay, the prospect of writing a book didn’t seem like a particularly reliable source of income. But luckily it did seem like a great name for a brand, not just an alcohol-free beer brand, but for a lifestyle brand which could represent health, wellbeing and opportunity.
Upon leaving my career in alcohol sales, I took a role working within the security industry, a sector which I had absolutely no experience of, but which turned out to be a great segue out of my previous role.
But sometimes life gives us very clear and obvious signs. And so when the security company decided not to extend my three month probation period, I knew at that moment that I had a new purpose in life……..to share the joys and benefits of taking a Clean Break from alcohol.
The rest is, as they say, history.
Of course my background in the drinks industry has been a huge advantage in getting things up and running, but I’ve also been lucky enough to work with some incredibly talented people in order to bring my idea for Clean Break to life…….huge shout outs in particular have to go to Jordan Childs from Mash Gang, Mike Williams of The Brewers Design Society and Neil & team at Allendale Brewery.
Where Clean Break goes, I have no idea. But I’m grateful to once again be enjoying the journey and the path it’s taking me on, and along the way I hope to inspire others to do the same and help them make #positiveprogress in their own lives.