Hi! Please share a little about yourself and what you do.
I am Annabel Acton, the founder of Never Liked It Anyway, an eBay for breakups where you can sell all the breakup baggage you’re left with at the end of a relationship. We’re here to help people feel better, faster. After a long stint overseas (London, New York and LA) I’m currently living in Australia, having come back here to start a family with my partner who is also Australian.
Can you tell us about a significant heartbreak and how you recovered?
My boyfriend and I broke up five days before Christmas. We were meant to go back to London to have Christmas with his family, and suddenly I had these plane tickets that I no longer wanted. I started thinking about all these other things I had that I didn’t want any more – they were all perfectly nice – but I knew I wouldn’t want them anymore. I mean, who would want to wear jewelry around my neck from your ex?!
I started joking about a site that would let you offload your breakup baggage – I wanted to make it playful and positive and warm. Everyone laughed (including my ex). I then investigated the world of breakups and found there wasn’t really anything out there. The things I found were either really mean, bitter and evil or a big soft (and pointless) group hug. There was nothing with attitude, cheekiness and something built around definitive action – sell something and use the money to buy something that will make you feel great! So, armed with this personal and universal insight, I set off to bring my idea to life.
Tell us a bit about your background – what led you to starting your own business?
I worked as an innovation and marketing consultant for about eight years in Sydney, London and New York. My job was to come up with ideas for other people’s companies. I loved what I did as it was the perfect blend of strategy and creativity. I find that running a startup requires me to flex both these muscles at all times – it was the perfect training! When it came to launching Never Liked It Anyway, I’m an entrepreneur at heart and had worked the concept up to a point where there were no good reasons NOT to go forward. I had shared the idea with anyone that would listen, and gradually incorporated their feedback so by the time I launched, I knew I had an interesting and differentiated product on my hand. I didn’t know it would work, but by that point, if someone came and took the idea away from me and said I couldn’t go forward with it, I would have been really disappointed. That was how I knew to dive off. It was still a scary leap, but one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
What are major red flags for you when you start dating someone new?
When things feel hard or complicated, there’s normally a good reason for that. When you connect with someone, and you’re both in a place to welcome that connection, things happen seamlessly and quickly. Big red flags for me are the sense that all the momentum is coming from one side, or inconsistency is communications. When two people are drawn to each other and the timing is right, things just happen.
What are your favorite mood elevators to uplift and inspire you?
I’m a big fan of dress-up parties and dancing. Put on a cheesy 90s playlist and open a trunk full of costumes (especially hats and wigs) and watch things turnaround instantly! I also love anything that gets my endorphins pumping, like a hit of tennis or a hike. And anything that makes me feel connected to people that matter most.
Do you stay friends with your ex? Unfollow or follow them on social media, etc?
Unfollow! You don’t need a permanent reminder of what they’re up to and who they’re with. You need to start creating a life and memories independent of them. The healthiest thing to do is cut the cord and move on.
Any tips for our users on moving on from heartbreak?
Yes! I wrote a whole book and designed a card game around this! I believe the key is to start to break the cycle where you get stuck in your head, overplaying every scenario and reliving every detail of your breakup, and instead get into action mode. The minute you start actually doing things (instead of just thinking) you engage a different part of your brain. Set yourself small challenges, and try to bring new people, places and experiences into your life. Try something you may not have done in a while, like sketching, running or rock climbing. Call up people you may not have seen for a while, try cooking a dish you’ve never tackled before or go to a flea market and start a hat collection. Basically, you want to se yourself small, achievable challenges that require you to live in the moment and snap out of your old ways of thinking.