Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anyone, regardless of background, economic status, and education level.
Yet it’s more common than we like to think. Substance abuse is so common that one in seven people will struggle with addiction throughout the course of their lifetime.
Addiction is so common, in fact, that some of your favorite entrepreneurs struggled with it.
You may be addicted to success, but these entrepreneurs overcame their addictions and changed the world. Keep reading to learn their stories.
1. Thomas Edison
If it wasn’t for Thomas Edison’s inventions, you likely wouldn’t be reading this article. Edison’s work spans fields ranging from early tech and manufacturing to, most notably, electricity.
Yet behind Edison’s brilliance was a troubled man.
Historians note that Edison would often take cocaine to stay awake longer and work for days on end. In many instances, Edison would even lace wine with cocaine.
2. Harold Jonas
Dr. Harold Jonas is one of the world’s leading addiction specialists and founder of Sober Network Inc.
But before the success, Jonas was an addict himself, struggling with a bad heroin habit that almost cost him everything. With the help of his wife — a fellow addict — and his family, Dr. Jonas has remained sober for over two decades.
Now, he uses his experience as an addict to fuel his innovations. Jonas serves as CEO of SoberSystems, a tech-based initiative designed to provide affordable assistance and teach people about treatment options medication-assisted therapy.
3. Steve Abrams
For most, vacations are a time to relax and indulge in some of our less serious vices. But for a recovering addict, temptation can lie around every corner.
No one knows this better than Steve Abrams, one of the most famous recovering alcoholics in the tech scene.
After struggling with alcoholism for years, Abrams decided to get serious about his sobriety and his career. The result is Sober Vacations, a travel agency specializing in creating group-based vacation packages for recovering addicts.
4. Mike Lindell
Before the fame and fortune, MyPillow founder Mike Lindell’s life looked a lot different.
The entrepreneur’s struggles began during his adolescence. After dropping out of college and getting fired, Lindell turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with his frustrations.
Even during the height of MyPillow’s success, Lindell continued to struggle. At his lowest point, the entrepreneur recalls staying up for two weeks straight due to a cocaine binge.
5. Lucy Rocca
Lucy Rocca’s alcoholism nearly took everything from her. A few years ago, she was struggling to keep her family together and hide her crippling alcohol addiction.
Since beginning her journey to recovery, Rocca has authored several books about alcoholism. Most recently, she helped create Soberistas, an accountability program designed to empower women and encourage sobriety.
Addicted to Success: Final Thoughts
As these stories prove, we all have the capacity to change. Whether you’re addicted to success or struggle with other vices, let these stories lift you up and show that you’re more than your past.
Being an entrepreneur comes with its share of ups and downs. Make sure you’re prepared by reading our guide to handling the rollercoaster ride known as entrepreneurship.