A DAY IN THE LIFE
Sean Hamitlon, CEO and co-founder of War on Epilepsy
Sean Hamilton is CEO, co-founder and chief health evangelist for his charity War on Epilepsy. He’s 27 years old and currently lives with his parents in Charlton, near Greenwich.
What time does your alarm go off?
Due to my epilepsy and other conditions I often only get around an hour and a half of proper restful sleep. As I frequently wake throughout the night, I try to use that extra time wisely and get a little more work done.
What are you responsible for?
I’m responsible for making my vision a reality, and leading the overall direction of War on Epilepsy. We strive to create opportunities for others, unlocking the potential and true power of technology, in particular how it can help give people a little independence and control over their own lives, especially for those living with long term, chronic and complex challenges.
We’re also exploring how technology can greater empower and impact others living with various seizure disorders and other inter-related conditions, and how we support patients and the care teams to become the CEO’s of their own health.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
As a traditional full-time job isn’t a viable option for me, I decided to get a little creative and explore my passions, whilst at the same time helping as many others as possible..
Describe your typical day?
Currently I don’t really have an average day, as much of my day is structured around the business, my health and arranging meetings around my dad’s schedule. Unfortunately, because of my epilepsy, when I travel alone I very rarely reach my intended destination, so my Dad will always accompany me. In the past, I’ve ended up on the missing persons list while falling ill attempting a train journey, and instead ended up spending three weeks bouncing around different ambulance services and hospitals.
When I can maintain a routine, I try to stick to it as much as possible. After I take my morning medication I’ll try and have a small breakfast, often only tea and biscuits, then sit down and knock out a few emails and phone calls, followed by a bit of research time before moving onto whatever the day may have in store.
Most memorable moment?
I spent some incredible time with the London Fire Brigade when I was younger, but if I am truly honest I would like to say my most memorable moments are yet to happen. You can’t change the past and nor should you dwell too much on it, but if you use it to inspire you to do bigger, better and greater things, then personally I believe you can’t go wrong.
Where do you go for advice - for yourself and for your business?
There are a number of people and places I seek advice from including former mentors, professional contacts, as well as my dad. I also plan to get better systems in place to take full advantage of the professional guidance and support offered by organisations like the IoD.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Don’t let anyone tell you something is impossible; the fact is until the first man landed on the moon, it was believed to be impossible. Look at Elon Musk with SpaceX or Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. Some say that Mars is impossible too, but I believe if it can be perceived, it can be achieved.
What are the best things about your job?
The best things are the freedom to do what I am passionate about, when I want to do it; being the master of my own destiny, and being able to continue to help change lives for the better.
How do you unwind after work?
Currently my main way of unwinding is a bit of TV, chilling out with an audiobook, or some personal development. Soon I plan to unwind a little more with VR which I haven’t fully taken advantage of yet. Gaming is something else I want to take advantage of very soon, and in the not too distant future, I look forward to being paired up with a suitable rescue dog that will become my constant companion and hopefully help me get a bit more active.
What do you rely on for ideas and inspiration?
I try to attend as many tradeshows, networking events, meet-ups, and professional development and training events as I can. Currently there are regular logistical challenges to this, so I am working to take more advantage of digital media such as webinars, pre-recorded footage, and VR and AR to counteract some of the challenges I face.
I’ll watch everything from TED Talks, to videos on YouTube and everything in between. I try to make the most of ideas & inspiration wherever I may find them.
How do you stay productive throughout the day?
Truthfully, sometimes staying productive can be challenging. I so often hear people say how bad technology can be for productivity, but in my experience, if in moderation, it can be a seamless extension of yourself. Although there is no perfect formula or quick productivity fix, it’s about constantly evolving and being open to trial and error.
What would have been your alternative career?
My dream career has always been to be a paramedic. For a time it was also to be a firefighter - part of me would still love both - but sadly they are off the table at least for the foreseeable future.
My ambition is to one day become a benefactor and supporter of the wider emergency services, to give something to back. I can honestly say, I can’t imagine where I would be without them and the incredible work they do each day. If it was ever possible, and the opportunity came up, I would love to start a new emergency service.
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