I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Cali Estes, the Celebrity Addictions Coach, founder of The Addictions Academy, and best selling author of “I Married a Junkie.” She is known as the disrupter in the Addictions Industry for having taken the rehab process out of the actual rehab setting.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I had a rough childhood; I came from a very poor family and witnessed a lot of violence. I was a food addict and a diet pill addict for many years. My addiction spiralled out of control and brought me very close to death.
I was led into the work of helping addicts after learning first-hand the hell of living with this disease.
I was the first person in my family to go to college and earn a degree, and I left home at an early age to travel and see the world. I had a bucket list at age 14 that included: Making a million dollars, buying a new car off the showroom floor, living in a beach house right on the beach, and meeting a real man that would love me for me. I accomplished the first 3 by age 33 and had to lose all 3 to gain number 4.
I met my husband when I was living in a house with no heat and no water after I lost my company in 2007. I had to pick up the pieces (everything I had owned burned up in a fire) and start life over. We had a 150 square foot room in Manhattan with a shared hall bath - and it was probably the best time in my life.
Why did you found your company?
I wanted to offer top notch services that are client-centered and client-focused. I found that a lot of people in private practice did not work evening or weekend hours and as a concierge brand, we are reachable 24/7.
I also wanted to create a brand that was a movement not just a service platform. With my school, The Addictions Academy, we have trained almost 7,000 people worldwide; we are in 22 countries and 5 languages now.
By offering classes to teach others how to do what I do, we have created an army of support for people suffering from the throes of addiction.
What is it about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
I am always on the cutting edge of new therapies, new coaching techniques and new ideas. Many of the programs/services in the industry are based off of “old school” practices and when you go against the grain with a new idea, my colleagues are quick to shun the prospect that their might be a new way of doing things.
We know that addiction treatment inpatient has a 95% FAIL rate, yet we keep dumping people into addiction treatment centers expecting a different result. I have taken the insanity out of that equation and offered a real, viable solution with my Sober on Demand and Launchpad Xpress programs that help people with real life, in real time.
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors?
Wayne Dyer is probably my most famous mentor. His Law of Attraction and positive mindset turned my negative thought process around. I was able to delve into the Law of Attraction on a real deep level and I utilize this in all my work.
Chellie Campbell is another that I have followed for a long time. Her works on how to break the barrier to ask for money and that money is not the root of all evil helped turn my childhood training upside down. I utilize her books to create my vision board and wealth strategies.
How are you going to shake things up next?
I have a new book coming out. It is about tapping into the wealth inside of you. Most people detest money and view it as the root of all evil, but it is not. It is merely the energy by which we exchange goods and services. I will be challenging people to create abundance into their lives by challenging their currently limited beliefs.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey?
1. Persevere. You will have times in your personal life and business life when things go horribly wrong, weather the storm. In 2007, I lost my company that was making millions until the economic downturn. I ended up penniless, broken, and homeless. I got back up and got to work within 3 months. It wasn’t easy.
2. Put your Big Girl Panties on. When I was first starting my company, I had to resist the urge to complain and give up. My mentor would remind me to ‘put my big girl panties on’ and not everyone in business would like me. I was forging the way for a new way of thinking and needed to disregard all the gossip and negative talk my competitors would throw at me.
3. Enjoy your life. Do not get so caught up in making money and helping people that you do not enjoy life. I have a tendency to get so wrapped up in helping others and marketing my business that I miss fun events. There is a picture of me working while whale watching in Alaska.
What’s a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking?
There is a section in Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Book “The Power of Positive Intention” that talks about Connectors. How certain people just connect to ideas, events, other people. They always seem to be happy no matter what is going on and never seem stressed. He discussed how powerful you can be if you can master the art of connecting. Reading this section got my thinking about how to change my thought patterns and focus more on connecting and less on doing.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
Mark Cuban, self made billionaire. I love when people are able to take nothing and make it something. Creation is half the battle, sales is the other half. Mark Cuban not only built an empire, he created a brand and actually got people to buy into his brand. Most people stop at a no, and that is critical to success — keep going until you get a yes.
How can our readers follow you on social media?