A lot of people ask me “what do I do?”
Sometimes that’s fun. A lot of the time that is frustrating.
My whole family. They have no idea. I talked to my dad on the phone the other day and he referred to it as “computer crap”. I don’t think he meant any harm by it but it’s still a sign that I am not communicating something right.
Simon Sinek believes the best way to describe what you do is to tell people why you are doing it. Then, you can talk about the how and the what. Here’s that famous clip if you haven’t seen it:
Generally, I’m not a Simon Sinek fanboy but this really helped me. In this post, I’m going to take a shot at communicating what I’m up to.
I ask myself this all the time. I suffered a lot during and after University. At one point after my hockey career and University degree was over I was partying too hard, experimenting with psychedelics for the first time, and my dad, who I have a strained relationship with, had a heart attack, leading me to have quite a “mental breakdown” in public.
I couldn’t handle the world anymore. And, it seemed the world didn’t want to handle me. I was experimenting with different ways to best end my life. I had a serious enough of an attempt and I ended up in the hospital.
I’m trying to improve. I’m trying to take care of my mental health. I’m trying to be more productive. I’m trying to understand myself better. I want to be kinder and more empathetic. I want to build my knowledge and skillset. I want to connect with the right people. I want to communicate effectively.
I’m trying to prove something to myself. Sometimes I think I’m over it other times I know I’m not. I think there is a lot of shame over my fiasco and all the damage and pain I caused for my family, friends and self. There’s a sad lost boy in me that just wants to prove to myself them, and the world that I can accomplish something worthwhile. My mom’s partner Mike who is an amazing man once said “Tyler, you’re putting too much pressure on yourself”. To hear it from him and the way he said it was so moving to me. I remembering tearing up a bit later that night with the relief to have someone I care about and respect vocalize that.
I am trying to make the world a better place. I do have this naive altruistic part of myself. But, it’s also a selfish desire to make it a better place for me. It’s hard to feel at peace when there’s so much suffering in the world. It’s hard to not feel some responsibility to contribute when I’ve had the privilege to make it through a lot of suffering. I’ve been lucky to figure a few things out that have helped me along out along the way.
It doesn’t mean I have the answers for everyone else. But one thing that I am confident about is that working on and engaging in the practice of self-reflection and self-awareness has been instrumental for me. I’ve been using different ways to engage in that practice. A lot of that has been note-taking, journaling and audio notes. Another big part of that has been meetings with people I respect and care for, preparing and reviewing presentations and talks I’ve done, and experimenting with creating and sharing content.
There are so many insights we can gather from all of that. So, part of my why is that I want to understand myself better so I can live a better life and hopefully help other people too. I’ve seen gaps in the current way I do try to understand myself and I see technology as a powerful way to capture, analyze, and improve that.
My relationship with money
I think this an important thing to talk about when you ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s been an evolving relationship and one that I still wrestle with. I really do know that I want to do good. It’s crazy this world we live in right now. Money has so much power. I’m going to write a lot more about this. But, generally, I live my actual personal life quite frugally. I spend money recklessly on my company so it still doesn’t leave me in the best place sometimes. I’ve invested a lot in the current situation and pushed myself in terms of taking risk and financial obligations.
It’s been extremely stressful but I’ve managed to desensitize to it or something because I seem to handle it better now. I have a lot more confidence in myself and what we are doing now and that’s been helpful. However, I still want to make the money I’ve invested back, pay off those obligations, and hopefully set myself up for a life that I don’t have to care about money anymore. I know that sounds naive and elitist but I do believe in myself and have learned how to create value and know the paths other companies and people have taken to success enough that I know it’s possible. Especially, if I can type that last sentence and not feel ashamed or fraud because at one point it definitely would have made me feel that way.
I don’t know why, because I know it won’t fill the void I have, but I want to make a lot of money. I want to be able to pay people well. I want to have an amazing group around me that keeps innovating and changing the world. I want to have access to the things that can help me get to the right state of mind so that I can do my best to contribute more to the world.
Analyzing audio notes, video recordings, text notes, journals, social media posts, emails, meetings, Zoom calls, webinars, psychedelic trips, mental health therapy sessions, press releases, company reports, and more. Anything that is audio, video and text right now really. We’ll add more abilities at some point.
Audio and video is awesome because it is information-rich. We can look at the linguistics and the paralinguistics of audio. Simply put, we can analyze the words you say and how you say them. There are valuable insights into people’s thinking, communication, intentions, health, mood and more because of them. If you can extract and classify that data right there is almost limitless potential on how you can analyze this information and pull insights from it.
We consider insights different than analytics. Analytics is almost just like raw data. It’s really useful and you need it to make insights, but it can be overwhelming for people. People want insights.
Privacy & Security
This is something I think about constantly. I’m dumping my own vulnerable personal notes, journals and info in our system. I feel as skeptical about technology and the state of data as many. It’s been really quite scary to build what we are building knowing the potential for good and bad with the power of our technology and the horror of data leaks that leave people afraid and hurt.
We’ve still got a lot of work to get where we want to be. We want to get to HIPAA and PIPEDA Compliance. I actually talk about getting HIPAA Compliance in another post. The bottom line is I am doing everything I can to figure this out for you and everyone because I understand how scary being vulnerable can be. If you want to support us on our journey to making our platform a leader in privacy and security please feel encouraged to connect.
Speak Ai inc
The current incorporation. Possible rebrand coming. But, that is the vehicle that I do this work through. I’m looking into becoming a B Corp. I considered nonprofits for a long time and still support the nonprofit sector a lot.
Ugh. I know this is confusing already. We own the domain Sessions.ai. Because of the defensibility of Speak Ai Inc. we may have to rebrand. I’ve muddled up this because I’ve labelled it as a “Psychedelic Technology Partner” but we may transfer the whole brand and product to this which will be focused on our core mission at Speak Ai Inc to help live better lives.
London Health Sciences Foundation Campaign. Openly sharing my struggles through social media. Especially in the beginning.
SixFive (65 Interactive Inc. – never name your company with numbers in it 😂) is the sole proprietorship that I started in 2015. I went through the Summer Company program at the Small Business Centre in London, Ontario. They gave me a $3,000 grant. It was the time I really cemented that I wanted to be an entrepreneur or an artist or self-employed or something. Frankly, I couldn’t handle the thought of working at a company. I was still struggling a lot with my identity and I wanted control. For some deluded reason, I thought starting my own company for the first time would be a good way to do that. Lol. So young. So naive. But, I’m so glad I did it.
Currently, SixFive’s clients have been switched over to Speak Ai Inc. SixFive is really now just a blanket for the work I do in marketing and especially with helping nonprofits get access to Google Grants. At one point soon, I may “formally close” it so people know my focus is on Speak Ai Inc and building incredible software that can change people’s lives.
It’s been a wonderful ride that’s taught me everything. I’m appreciative of everyone who supported me along the way. A whole community has lifted me up.
I love work. I don’t know if it’s a void thing again but I enjoy my life so much and work and life feels integrated. It’s stressful and it’s a lot but the bliss of helping someone and seeing something together is worth it.
Brydzy. I’ve made music for forever. I just made some tonight. It gives me peace, stimulation. It allows me to tap into a flow state that means everything to me. I will continue to learn and create.
Probably the one that people are most curious about a lot of the times. Psychedelics have been a huge part of my life. It may sound cheesy, but there was a before and there was an after. Many of the lessons I’ve learned and apply today have come out of accessing those altered states, connecting with my higher self and the collective consciousness, documenting those moments, and using that information to change myself for the better.
Like many things in my life, I started down the psychedelic path recklessly. With experience and research, I’ve built a beautiful relationship with plant medicine that enables me to be the person who I am today. I self-healed. And I am so thankful for everyone who has helped me on this journey.
My podcast “Speak with Tyler Bryden”:
This has been a hilarious project. I don’t even know what to really say. I love good quality sound and here I’ve got these horrible lone walking and talking, car-driving, I don’t even know recorded audio files. You can check it out and see for yourself. I’m quite capable of good sound too. One day I’ll make this more legit. I’m not sure if I have it in me to delete the ones already up there though.
Psychedelic Panels & Talks
I’ve been privileged to do a couple of Psychedelic panels because of some of the work (what is “work” 😂?) I am doing in the psychedelic community. This has been humbling, surreal, and fulfilling. You can see my talk at the awesome Psyched 2020 talk put on by Tabalua Rasa Ventures and Marik Hazan below. They are updating to a version where you could see the whole slide show. This was an epic moment of failure for me actually where I share the wrong screen the entire talk and did a demo that no one could see. That’s the biggest ego-filled temper tantrum I’ve had in a long time.
Forest City Psychedelic Meetup Group
Canadian Psychedelic Association
Tabalusa Rasa Ventures
Speak Ai and Sessions role in Psychedelics
This is part of my live learning and writing process. Content on my site will be unfinished and often times uncoherent 😂
I’ll be back at some point to flesh this out. It’s a lot to think about and really puts some pressure on you. But, it must be so powerful to be this clear about what you are doing.
Listen to my podcast:
Support my work