As the Director of Operations at Blu by the Sea, Chris Ross is responsible for all aspects of the facility and the services it provides. A rehabilitation center located in Destin, Florida, Blu by the Sea was founded 10 years ago by Mr. Ross and his family in an effort to provide access to alternative treatment programs for those dealing with the powerful effects of addiction and issues relating to mental health. Mr. Ross, who has experienced these effects himself, has established a treatment facility that utilizes the most advanced treatment methodologies and employs an experienced and well-credentialed staff with the goal of helping clients regain control over their lives.
Mr. Ross, once a promising collegiate football player on scholarship at a school in Indiana, suffered a career-ending injury that required pain management through the use of prescription medication. The end of his football career brought about the onset of depression and a feeling of a lack of direction, which in turn led to the abuse of prescription painkillers in an effort to self-medicate. With the abuse of painkillers and the social drinking turning to addiction, Mr. Ross and his family were fortunate to find help through an alternative treatment center.
Once Mr. Ross had regained control of his own life, he set his sights on helping others do the same by founding Blu by the Sea. After 10 years, the facility has helped over 1000 clients and continues to provide compassionate care to those enduring a struggle with addiction.
Where did the idea for Blu by the Sea come from?
I had my own difficult experience with addiction and benefited tremendously from the care I received. My family and I wanted to help others overcome their addiction in the same way I had overcome mine.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts very early in the morning with a strong cup of coffee. As I drive to the center each day, I pray that our clients can find peace, success and happiness through the help of our program. Once at the center, I take clients through a training program that focuses on total body conditioning, including strength training, cardiovascular exercise and flexibility training. The remainder of my day typically includes handling the operational aspects of the facility, including responding to inquiries from prospective clients and overseeing the admissions process.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We conduct daily meetings with our clinical staff of professionals to discuss how each client is progressing in the program. We also discuss any new methods that have scientifically proven benefits in treating substance abuse or co-occurring disorders.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
One of the most critical aspects of recovery is in ensuring that clients stay motivated throughout the process, and the SMART recovery system has proven to be an extremely beneficial treatment modality in this regard.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I believe my productivity is a combination of my work ethic, my faith in God, and my dedicated relationship with my family. It is these factors that I believe allow me to help others reach sobriety.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I worked with a blacktop paving company during a particularly hot summer, and though it was a trying experience, I always relied on the advice of my father, who told me, “No matter how hard it seems at the time, keep working hard and good things will happen.”
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
There is not much that I would change, though perhaps we would have focused more on one-on-one treatment sessions during the early stages of operations.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I have found that communication is the key to success in any industry. We keep open lines of communication at all times and we encourage clients and staff to be thoughtful, willing listeners as well.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
We recently rebranded our facility, changing the name to Blu by the Sea while also adopting new evidence-based therapies that are blended with key holistic treatment modalities. We employ a staff of licensed and accredited professionals who hold master’s- or doctorate-level degrees.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Unfortunately, many former staff members have left and copied our business model and have opened similar centers with the primary goal of generating profit. Any business needs to turn a profit to survive, but the primary goal of Blu by the Sea will always be on the successful treatment of our patients and not on generating as much revenue as possible.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are many clients who are looking for options aside from a 12-step program and meeting schedule, and there are even more who are looking for continued treatment outside of residential treatment. Creating an online presence to meet these needs could prove to be a profitable and highly beneficial business opportunity.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I take our clients out to dinner on Saturday nights as a way to help ease the transition back into society.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I use CRM software, which helps me monitor all of the calls Blu By The Sea receives each week. I can access contact information and any notes made about a prospective client through this program, and the program is also able to protect the confidentiality of anyone who inquires about the facility regarding potential treatment.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Power of Full Engagement,” by Jim Loehr. It is a great read for someone who is new to recovery, but it is also beneficial for anyone who wants to lead a balanced life.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Two major influences of mine include Steven Covey, the author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People,” and Jim Loehr, who wrote “The Power of Full Engagement.” These authors have helped me in achieving success in my personal life and my professional life, and I have found that their advice has been key in helping me become a well-balanced individual.
Chris Ross on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/pub/chris-ross/68/14b/499
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.