This Inspirational Interview brought to you by Shane Griffin.
Shane is a successful entrepreneur who went from owning and running nightclubs in Toronto, Canada to going through a personal journey from addiction to recovery in rehab, to now owning some of the largest health-based companies across North America. Shane now lives in California (on a houseboat), and is the founder of the Vitamin Patch Club, the first vitamin patch company that helps people absorb 3x more than a pill form. He also donates hundreds of thousands of dollars a month to various charities across North America as his way to give back through his successes.
How has your childhood affected you as an adult?
I was raised by a pair of entrepreneurial parents that have had a huge impact on my work ethic. I have one older brother and we were raised in a small community outside Toronto called Ballantrae, we are very close. The biggest lesson from my childhood would be the importance of family and respect two things that I was modeled by my parents and as I grew up my older brother as well.
When did your problem with addiction begin?
Interestingly enough my addiction began long before I actually used a drug or abused alcohol. I had over years developed low self-esteem and low self-worth eventually looking for a way to disperse those feelings began using. I self-medicated to combat those issues. It wasn’t long before the drugs and alcohol were the only way I felt empowered and then it really began to be problematic.
Why did you feel the need to be addicted to the things you were?
As I mentioned prior (albeit nobody would have known) I was very self-conscious and had extremely low self-worth and self-esteem. Over many years of using mischief and even more serious issues I found drugs, or rather they found me.
What was your bottom?
My absolute bottom was in an unlikely place. I was traveling the Greek Islands in paradise. However, I was out of control and to be honest I was only there to impress a girl I took with me, it was an attempt to basically show off to her by going in the first place. I never at that time believed I could get a girl without all the trappings of success, a direct response to low Self-esteem and Self-worth. However, during the trip, I got incredibly drunk and drove a car off the road and wrecked it. Wrecking myself in the process, fractured orbital, broken nose, fractured ribs and a punctured lung. Before you get excited this wasn’t the rock bottom, seriously I was ok with the wreck, I know pathetic. I actually hit rock bottom a week later, the woman I was traveling with had the courage to stay with her family and not venture on the trip with me any further. I scared her with my actions and I lied to her saying I was beaten and carjacked, which she knew I was driving. It was after she left me and I continued on my trip I realized that my life was a mess. Truthfully it was the first time that my drunken behavior actually took something from me. Or at least the first time I didn’t get what I wanted directly due to being an addict. At that moment, in a Villa in Mykonos, I decided that it was time for me to go to rehab.
Tell us about Vitamin Patch Club?
VPC is a company that has taken the common technology of transdermal (through the skin) patches like Nicotine, Estrogen, and Pain Medication and replaced those active ingredients with Vitamins. I have been a thought leader in the Health and Wellness space since my recovery, earning a degree in Applied Holistic Nutrition and as well becoming a Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner. I built VPC with convenience and absorption in mind. I wanted to utilize the technology to deliver more bioavailability and in a more efficient way. VPC has done just that with 90% absorption and no binders or fillers, plus our patches are time released, organic, vegan and non-GMO, it truly is the evolution of vitamins. As an added bonus we also are extremely active in giving back, we have instilled in our business the idea of Philanthropreneurship by design we give back from every patch purchased by raising awareness, money and donating patched to the needy.
Did you come up with the idea pre or post-recovery?
I came up with the idea in my 5th year of recovery after successfully launching another wellness company where I worked one on one with clients as a nutritionist and life coach. I saw the waste of and confusion of supplement companies first hand and felt compelled to find a better way.
How was your professional life during your addiction and how did it improve in recovery?
My professional life for over 10 years during my addiction was actually quite good as I was a Nightclub owner, healthy no, but I didn’t know health. I was successful in my chosen career owning and operation 5-nightclubs in Toronto. However, my substance abuse was detrimental on my relationships and I didn’t know it at the time but I was quite depressed. Post recovery was challenging I had built an image and reputation in my industry and now I was attempting to rebuild an entirely new me. I worked tirelessly on my recovery, going back to school to earn my degree and even became the valedictorian of my class. I earned a degree in life coaching as well and embarked on a new life with purpose and passion. My entire life did a 180 and now I am driven to help people in any capacity I can, and I do.
Advice for young entrepreneurs?
Sacrifice, and Survive. It takes a ridiculous amount of dedication and hard work. There is no shortcut. You need to be driven and passionate and you need to be willing to sacrifice. I love what I do but am not always right, my passion to do things can sometimes impact the process so always listen to constructive criticism, be willing to pivot and work your ass off!
Myths about entrepreneurs?
That we know what we are doing or have it all together. Social media has created a bunch of know it all’s, you only truly can know you and your business.
Which charities do you donate to?
VPC is active in new charities all the time, whenever we are called to we commit, it is sometimes, money, time or awareness wherever we can do our part.
Some recent actions:
The Midnight Misson LA
Habitat for Humanity
Smash Global Media Anti Bullying Campaign
Model Citizen Fund
Foothill Regional Medical Center
Why is philanthropy so important to you?
It is hard to explain but easy to understand. I believe we are all one member of the human race, I like to keep it simple it is our obligation as a society to support and nurture one another. No matter how bad your day may be there is always someone with greater obstacles, I have a philosophy ” If not me, Who?, If not now, When?”
What are your hobbies?
I love spending time with my best friend, my dog Mr. Bronx we are inseparable. I love boating, in fact, I live on a Boat in Marina Del Rey. I love hiking and off-road racing with my truck. You can usually find me doing something adventurous with a healthy dose of danger.
What’s next for you?
I want to build VPC to a global brand and with that create a foundation to help others.
Top 3 things on your Bucket List?
-Donate $1,000,000.00 a month to various charities
-Race the Baja 1000
Could have a conversation with anyone Alive or Dead? Who?
– Robert Downey Jr. = alive
– Gord Downie = dead
One thing people might not know about you that really tells what kind of person you are?
I don’t see myself as nearly finished and feel there is much more work to do.