Mark Calarco – Medical Director at American Addiction Centers

I strive to continually establish meaningful personal and professional relationships with clients, co-workers, and constituents.

Dr. Mark Calarco is the national medical director of American Addiction Centers, a leader in drug and alcohol abuse treatment. He is a pioneer in treating hormone imbalances in recovering individuals and has served as a board member for the State of Tennessee Medical Laboratory Board and the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Calarco was also the first board-certified anti-aging and regenerative medicine specialist in Tennessee.

What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?

I am most productive in the morning, so I focus on important meetings, calls, and business strategies at that time while spreadsheet work and emails are tackled in the afternoon. I have CrossFit training from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and then I head home for dinner with my wife and son. However, as an executive of a rapidly growing organization, 11th-hour meetings often pop up out of the blue, so I have to remain flexible throughout the evening.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I typically learn everything I can about the subject, and then I collaborate with smart colleagues to realize the idea.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

There are actually two: wearable biometric devices and personalized medicine. The mobile biometric technology boom not only allows people to monitor their own biological metrics in real time, but it is also being used to predict behavior. For example, we are currently conducting a research project to help us predict if a patient has started reusing methamphetamine or heroin while they are wearing a biometric wristband.

With personalized medicine, the customization of treatment based on an individual’s unique genetics, rather than trial and error, is an exciting and important trend. We are doing this testing in our own lab, and it is really intriguing because it improves outcomes, decreases adverse effects, and reduces costs.

What is one habit that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I carry around a calendar book, check it frequently, and immediately record important obligations as they come up. This helps keep me organized and prepared for the future.

What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?

I worked as a garbage collector. Back in the day, there was no fancy automated lift system — you had to hoist the metal cans yourself. Some of them weighed more than 100 pounds. Everyone who’d done the job for years had joint and back issues. I learned to appreciate my education after that.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would read “Think and Grow Rich”  and “The Richest Man in Babylon” sooner.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I strive to continually establish meaningful personal and professional relationships with clients, co-workers, and constituents.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I envision where the industry will want to be five to 10 years from now and make sure to provide those services now.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

We started a unique treatment facility for eating disorders that were truly revolutionary and had excellent outcomes. However, it was too far ahead of its time; third-party insurance did not reimburse enough to make it viable, so we had to close it after three years. It goes to show that even good ideas that are implemented well are not guaranteed success — timing is important.

What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Anything that can significantly extend the human lifespan.

What is the best $100 you recently spent?

My biometric wristband is definitely the best $100 I’ve spent recently. It not only provides me with real-time biometric information (which has many potential benefits), but it has also helped me control my heart rate and breathing during stressful moments.

What is one book you recommend our community read, and why?

Besides the two books mentioned above (“Think and Grow Rich” and “The Richest Man in Babylon”), I think “HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence” is a must-read for anyone who is a business leader or aspires to be.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

In the entrepreneur and business realm, I would include Napoleon Hill , Dr. Stephen R. Covey, and Tony Robbins.


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