A Tribute to Philanthropist Sir Paul Judge

I was deeply saddened to hear Sir Paul Judge’s death. I remember the first time I met Sir Paul. It was at his business school, Cambridge Judge Business School, at the University of Cambridge.

Meeting Sir Paul

I was quite nervous as I knew how accomplished he was. Furthermore, I was about to give a presentation to an investment committee, which he was going to lead.

“Y-you must be Sir Paul”, was all I managed to stutter.

“Hello”, he replied with a kind and warm smile. His friendly demeanour helped put me at ease.

I shook his hand firmly and tried hard to remember to make eye contact. Not only did I have to pitch to him, but a lot was riding on this presentation. I barely had enough money to buy baked beans and orange juice at one point.

Deep breaths. Look confident.

I opened the door, and the whole investment committee is there. Thankfully, my advisors had shown up, and their familiar faces gave me comfort. In what felt like the blink of an eye, the presentation was already over.

Sir Paul’s Generosity

Afterwards at the local pub, the director of Accelerate Cambridge (Cambridge Judge Business School’s startup accelerator), began to debrief each entrepreneur who had presented. I held my breath.

“Sir Paul’s committee has decided to give your company an £8,000 investment”, she explained. I felt elated and relieved. This investment wasn’t a regular one where I’d have to give up equity, but rather, it was a philanthropic act. There was no term sheet. No lawyers involved. This kind of generosity is unheard of for a regular profit-driven company like mine.

Sir Paul’s Wisdom on Well-being

I remember when I heard of his speech at BNY Mellon for my fellow entrepreneur’s inauguration. It went something like this:

“Life is a game of juggling five balls: work, family, friends, health and spirit. The work ball is made of rubber: if you drop it, it will bounce back up.”

“The other balls are made of glass: if you drop them once, they will be irrevocably shattered.”

Unfortunately, Sir Paul, I made the mistake of dropping the other balls, particularly health and spirit. As a result, they completely smashed, and I ended up having a mental breakdown six months ago.

Thankfully I’m on the road to recovery now. From my horrendous experience, I learned something pivotal:

We have been sold a big lie about happiness which is literally killing us. Sometimes slowly, and sometimes quickly. When I felt like I was going to die, everything I worried about, everything I had strived for, suddenly didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered to me was health and love.

I plan to write about my journey before and after my life-altering breakdown in a book called “The Great Deception”.

But first, I must pick up the pieces and glue back together the broken glass balls.

Rest in peace, Sir Paul, and thank you for your generosity and service to entrepreneurs.