Oli Wheeler, CEO of THRSXTY
WITH 25 YEARS IN THE PR INDUSTRY, INCLUDING 18 AS RIGHT-HAND MAN TO ICONIC PUBLICIST MATTHEW FREUD, OLI WHEELER SAYS DISRUPTED SLEEP IS THE NORM FOR HIM.
Recalling his pre-internet days at Freud Communications, where much of his work was around reputation management, Oli admits that he would go to sleep every night worrying about how a story he had worked on that day would be reported in the morning.
“There were many times I woke up at 4am and couldn’t handle the anxiety, and I would jump in the car and go to King’s Cross station where I could get the first editions that were being loaded onto the intercity trains. This often paid off, because if parts of a news story were plain factually wrong, I could get hold of the newsdesk and work fast to get it changed for the second edition.”
Now the CEO of communications agency THRSXTY, he still wakes up at 4am, but these days he stays in bed.
“The difference between then and now is the internet,” he says. “I can review the news without leaving the house. As a small business with narrow margins, I’m more likely to be thinking about the agency’s numbers.”
As a crisis management expert who is also an adrenaline junkie, Oli uses visualisation to control his anxiety.
“I ride off-road motorbikes and much of the training for this sport is done by riding across miles of forests and rugged countryside,” he says.
“If I imagine I am riding across these landscapes, I can hypnotise myself into an enjoyable and peaceful state of mind.”