Healthcare entrepreneur Cathie Reid on getting out of Dodge (or in her case, out of country Victoria!); & how divorce upended her life plans, but opened her up to seize opportunities & build an international pharmacy empire
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Growing up in country Victoria, Cathie Reid worked part-time, as a schoolgirl, in the local pharmacy re-stocking shelves & vacuuming floors, thinking her life trajectory would likely involve marrying her teenage sweetheart and life would be sweet and uncomplicated. Well, that plan fell apart when the sweetheart marriage fell apart!  But armed with a solid work ethic from her mum and dad, and her pharmacy degree,  what Cathie did next, is an inspirational tale of how uncertainty in life can be seized and turned into genuine possibility and reality! Cathie decided then and there she would lead an epic life! Over the 2 decades since Cathie Reid and her 2nd husband Stuart Giles slowly but strategically built up one of Australia’s largest private pharmacy groups – Epic Pharmacy, for aged care facilities and private hospitals -- and integrated cancer care services group, Icon Cancer Care. They did it without a well-known brand name; they worked with competitors, not against them; and they had to put their tears and fears when the Global Financial crisis swamped them in 2008, to one side to work their way out of a deep mire of debt. Along that journey to build their impressive business, and create serious wealth, she’s managed to indulge her AFL passion (once a Victorian, always a Victorian!), as a Brisbane Lions board member and become a philanthropist, through their Epic Good foundation.  In Part 1 of my chat, Cathie Reid reveals how they bootstrapped & built their business, how failure is never far away, and what she’s learned as a startup queen and a leader of people.

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