Founder Stories

I Went From Daydreamer to Entrepreneur in One Psychedelic Trip

How to go from six-figure salary to startup founder, with only a big idea and a small bank account? Mushrooms, for starters

Amy Chan
Published in
6 min readOct 10, 2019


Credit: InnaPoka/Getty Images

II sat on the idea of Renew Breakup Bootcamp for over a year. In an endless state of planning, I was never “ready” enough. The humming and hawing of launching my first boot camp was exhausting. If there was an excuse to rationalize away my procrastination and countless delays, I’d find it. But this wasn’t just about leaving a job, it was about leaving a system that I had spent decades feeling comfortable in.

After all, I was trained to be a corporate cog since grade school — a system that sets you up to study hard, strive for good grades, and get rewarded if you’ve been obedient, disciplined, and well-behaved. If you play in that structure well, then you get the jobs. It’s not a system designed for rebels, trailblazers, or those who dare question the status quo.

Nope. Instead, you’re taught to conform. Please your bosses, be the first to arrive, and last to leave. Navigate office politics. Be a value add, but never too opinionated. Then maybe, just maybe, you get to advance to the big boys table.

I learned the game and played it well. I knew whose egos not to bruise, which allies to make, how to appear confident yet not bitchy in one big, can-do, can-please attitude. I was the only C-level exec on my team and was proud of that. To walk away from everything I had prepared my life trying to attain seemed crazy. But my decades of programming to be an obedient student turned good employee all changed one night with a little help from my friends. Enter: magic mushrooms.

To this day, I still can’t quite put it into words, but it’s a feeling that I have a mission that’s bigger than me.

The psychedelics made me do it

Guided by a shaman (who denounces the title of shaman, as shamans do), I was led through a six-hour sound meditation with nothing but an eye mask, hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms, and an open mind. In complete…