When your heart is in the right spot to help people you will never fail.
Todd Crandell, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC), has dedicated his personal and professional life to helping substance abusers re-channel their destructive behaviors into positive, life-affirming action. By sharing personal stories about the perils of substance abuse, best practices in prevention and how to lead a holistic lifestyle, Crandell offers a positive alternative to those struggling to overcome a life of addiction. His 13-year struggle with drugs and alcohol nearly destroyed his life, devastating relationships with family and friends and shattering the promise of a professional hockey career. However, through his pursuit of extreme physical fitness and personal well-being, he found a productive outlet for his once-negative energies, transforming himself into a world-class athlete and champion for sobriety.
In the process of rebuilding his life, Crandell realized traditional recovery programs weren’t always enough to help people refocus their addictive drives into positive actions. In his pursuit of recovery, he applied his energy to pursue the most grueling sport imaginable, the Ironman™ triathlon: A 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. Crandell ran his first triathlon in 1999 and has never looked back.
He has since competed in 28 Ironman and 2 UltraMan on six continents and 15 countries.
Crandell’s experiences and inspirational efforts led to the formation of Racing for Recovery™ in 2001, a federally approved 501 c-3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping people from all walks prevent and overcome addiction. A multi-faceted empowerment group, Racing for Recovery offers professional counseling services and support meetings alongside athletic events such as an annual triathlon, 5k and 10k run/walk events, all in the effort to promote a balanced, holistic lifestyle. Racing for Recovery™ has been featured on several publications and television including CNN, ESPN, USA Today, the New York Times and Runner’s World Magazine. The organization is recognized throughout the world.
Where did the idea come from?
It came about in 2001 after my story of being a former drug addict and current ironman triathlete was featured in the local newspaper, Toledo Blade. The response was so overwhelming and I knew I could take the story and turn it into a program and help thousands of people.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
It starts at 4:30/5am and the first thing I do is 25 pushups, then I’ll read something that has spiritual content, do some work and answer emails and in between do sets of 25 push ups to equal 300 a day, run 6 miles or so and get kids off to school before going to Racing for Recovery where I counsel people. When I get back home, I’m a father and husband. At end of day I’m grateful for everything and do it all over again.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by hard work, perseverance, passion, endless support from family friends and peers.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Healthy living on a nutritional, physical, spiritual, educational and social level. Overall, health in any capacity excites me… including latest trends in health: plant-based diets really excite me in addition to running and different forms of exercise. I follow a vegan lifestyle and I love it for 3 reasons: it’s good for my body, for the environment and it doesn’t hurt innocent living creatures.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
The habit I have that I’m thankful for is I like to be original. I don’t’ copy other things that aren’t mine, I don’t plagiarize. I’m a unique individual who has been helping to save lives for the last 16 years.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Find self respect, self love, compassion for self, and not to do drugs!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
That living a plant-based diet is the way to go. That’s just because most people I encounter don’t understand the magnitude of eating a non plant-based diet, the impact it has on body, environment, and cruelty to animals.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Be consistent. In what I do, I need people to consistently do what is working for them to sustain sobriety. Whatever Racing for Recovery is offering them and working for them, I need them to consistently do it and improve it.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
The strategy that helps grow Racing for Recovery is to utilize the marketing components of Ironman and the ones I have done. It’s a catchy thing that I get to deliver important value of the Racing for Recovery message from a marketing perspective where you need that hook. The strategy is to use that hook in a productive way to promote what Racing for Recovery does and I use that through media, word of mouth and endless marketing materials.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I really haven’t had failures. I’m not saying that to be conceited. Through my consistent efforts and support from others, we have achieved everything we set out to achieve thus far so I haven’t failed at this. When your heart is in the right spot to help people you will never fail.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I invested 100 dollars into a client’s education to pursue his dream of becoming a counselor.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I love Skype. It’s good for media, counseling people out of state and out of country, it’s personal and effective and it’s overall beneficial.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
There’s More than One way to Get to Cleveland. I wrote this book and it’s the second Racing for Recovery book. Anyone who reads it will be educated on addiction and inspired to improve their lives whether they have an addiction problem or not. It’s emphatic to those who are hurting in some capacity.
What is your favorite quote?
With sobriety anything is possible.
Todd Crandell on Facebook:
Racing For Recovery on Twitter: @Racing4Recovery
Racing For Recovery on Instagram:
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.