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How This Entrepreneur Turned a Challenging Past Into a Present Triumph

Where you're coming from doesn't necessarily determine where your future self is headed.

Some people, like Chris Ferry, walk the walk and talk the talk. I recently had the chance to interview Ferry, founder of Boca Recover Center, about his unique story. Ferry was born and raised in New Jersey. Growing up, one thing captivated his interests — ice hockey. 

His passion and skill of the sport landed him an opportunity to try out for the USA National Team Development Program. During this process, Ferry found himself struggling with drug use. Addiction caused Ferry to walk away from hockey. He went to rehab several times and became all too familiar with relapse. 

After countless hours of learning, hard work and self-study, Ferry was able to find a life of sobriety. Equipped with new knowledge, he decided to try and help others in similar situations. Ferry founded the Boca Recovery Center when he was six years clean. 

Using Talents for Good

As a competitive athlete, Ferry thrived on endorphins. When his athleticism was no longer providing an endorphin rush, he sought it elsewhere. “I have the talent and curse of applying myself 100 percent,” said Ferry in our interview.

“When I’m applying myself to something like my family, this quality is such a blessing. Of course, it’s equally a curse when I fall into behaviors that are self-destructive. To maintain my sobriety, I needed to dedicate myself to something that would take up a lot of my energy and time, so I decided to found the Boca Recovery Center.” 

Ferry uses his drive, coupled with his extensive knowledge of marketing, to educate the public on addiction. He aims to create awareness about addiction while showcasing what a life of sobriety can look like. 

Words of Wisdom

Interestingly enough, when I asked Ferry what his advice would be to someone new in recovery, he said, “My words of wisdom for recovering addicts and entrepreneurs are the same: find a support group. Being sober can be hard, especially if you’re alone. We all need a community, mainly one that includes people with similar life experiences. During addiction recovery, find a mentor with years of sobriety who can help show you the ropes.”

Continued Ferry, “As you start a new business or want to develop yourself as an entrepreneur, you need a mentor. Individuals who are more established in the field can help you gain perspective and a greater understanding of what it takes to succeed.”

Ferry also told me about the importance of finding a mentor who resonates with you. There’s a difference between having your admiration for your mentor wax and wane when he or she gives you constructive feedback and an overall disliking of said person. You don’t always have to like what your mentor says, but you should respect him or her.

If you don’t, it’s time to find a new mentor.  

Why Boca?

It quickly became clear to me that Ferry is an intelligent man who’d excel in seemingly anything. So, I had to ask him why Boca Recovery Center was his choice. “I felt the need to help people overcome addiction,” remarked Ferry.

“With the first-hand knowledge of attending treatment centers, I had the unique opportunity to create a center that reflects the culmination of my experiences. My recovery required several elements, and I make sure these facets are available to all in treatment at the Boca Recovery Center. With highly-trained staff and individualized recovery plans, successful recovery is possible.” 

Expanding Boca’s Mission

What makes work worthwhile?

Ferry’s company is designed to help others, but he still finds other ways to give back.  

“In April of 2016, a pillar of the South Florida recovery community, Andrew Badgley, died in a hit-and-run accident,” noted Ferry. “Badgley had been sober for over two years. After seeing him put up such a fight, it was devastating to lose him just two short years after he turned his life around.” 

Instead of being consumed by Badgley’s passing, Ferry threw himself into creating the Badgley Scholarship. The Boca Recovery Center started providing scholarships to people who would otherwise not be able to access treatment in Badgley’s honor. Being able to watch individuals on scholarships graduate from the program has brought more meaning to Ferry’s life. 

The Big Picture 

As mentioned above, Ferry is someone who can give 100 percent. Although this sometimes works to his advantage, he has to remember to stay balanced. “I’d argue that nearly every American family has been impacted by drug abuse,” remarked Ferry.

“Addiction is a common disorder that’s devastating the United States. When I’m faced with statistics that say more than 100 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, it’s hard to think of anything else. I have to remind myself that sustainability is key when it comes to overcoming hurdles. Whether in business or in social justice, you can’t forget about your self-care while you reach for your goals.”

When Ferry isn’t trying to address the problems of drug addiction, he loves spending quality time with his family and friends. He has also found that physical fitness is an important part of his life that helps make his sobriety and business goals attainable. 

Moving Forward

Ferry and I ended our conversation discussing quotes and mottos that help us grow as individuals and entrepreneurs. For Ferry, “Never Say Die” is the motto by which he lives his life. He has experienced many challenges that tried to break his spirit, but he never gave up on himself. 

Through hard work, dedication to giving back and the support of his colleagues, friends and family, Ferry has been able to overcome addiction and serve as a beacon of hope to others hoping to do the same.

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