“I’m the worst CEO on the face of the Earth, for sure,” says Richard Taite, the founder and CEO of Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center.
Who would have imagined that the genius behind one of the world’s most successful addiction treatment centers was a former addict himself? Through the Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center, Richard Taite has been providing quality and results-oriented services to people with a claimed addiction. Overcoming tremendous adversity this is the story of Richard Taite.
But unlike success stories of other CEOs and big shot entrepreneurs, Richard Taite had a seemingly dark one. Born in Lake Encino, California, Taite was brought up in a not-so-ideal way. At an early age, he suffered from physical abuse from his parents, who both had strong and unhealthy parental influences on him. And at the age of 12, he was already introduced to illegal drugs (pot) as a form of “quality time” with his father. When he turned 16, he resorted to snorting cocaine and eventually smoked crack on a daily basis. A year after, his father left them.
Fortunately, he got through college but took 7 years to finish. He also dropped out of law school in 1991. After that, he tried working as a workers’ compensation claims representative for various lawyers and got fired every time as well. In turn, these circumstances became the main reason for Richard’s ultimate downfall. He even remembered being homeless at one point in his life, where he only had one Big Mac per day just to get by.
Needless to say, Taite’s drug addiction got the best of him. Some time in 1998, he got buried in a $300,000 debt due to his addiction. Without the means to support himself nor a family to depend on, he resorted to kiting checks just to continue his vices. However, Taite got caught doing this and was immediately informed to stop or else he would be reported to the authorities, where he would face even bigger problems.
And so in 1999, desperate Richard Taite decided to seek help from one of his friends, who was very eager to lend him a thousand dollars in cash. In a way, this became the first pivotal moment in Taite’s life.
He knows from experience that if he gets the money in cash, he’ll use it again on drugs to satisfy his urges. After that, he will be left alone with absolutely no one to turn to. All of these taken into consideration, Richard Taite made the biggest and boldest decision in his life.
Instead of cold cash, Taite asked his friend to write a check for a sober living facility where Taite had no choice but to check in, as he was homeless after all. This facility became Taite’s home and the key to his transformation. His perspective widened and his mind cleared out. He was finally sober. For the first time, Taite was thinking straight.
In his stay in the facility, Taite was able to identify key reasons for his drug and alcohol addiction. With the help of therapists, he was able to make sense of his experiences and turn this into something beneficial to his self-esteem.
And so on March 23, 2003, Taite finally reached sobriety, which in turn, marked the first day of the rest of his life. Despite the adversity Taite had to face since childhood, he was able to rise above the occasion. Even though he struggled, Taite made money by buying up medical bill debt. By the time he turned 37, he got a mortgage which enabled him to acquire the Malibu Mansion in California.
Taite then decided to turn the Malibu Mansion into a treatment center for people with addiction problems. On July 2005, he opened Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center. The main goal of this rehab facility is to help people overcome their addition problems so that they can get to the best version of themselves. At Cliffside Malibu, treatment may range from 30-120 days, depending on the choice of the person concerned.
But what set Cliffside Malibu apart from other rehab facilities is its unconventional manner of treating patients. Cliffside Malibu is considered a luxury resort for people with addiction issues. The mansion has five-star-hotel-like amenities, such as ultra-modern flat screen TVs for patient’s use. It also has Ralph Lauren furnishing and offers organic food to its patients. And on top of that, there is no tight security enforced within the facility. Taite firmly stated that these are not there to impress anyone, but to serve a healing purpose.
In a relatively short span of time, Cliffside Malibu became the premiere rehab center for the rich and famous. In 2011, Richard made $6 million in gross. The following year, the center made $8 million. And in 2013, Cliffside Malibu made $10 million. Truly an unexpected success which brought Richard Taite to the comfortable status he has now. “It was never meant to be profitable; I just wanted to break even. I was newly sober, about 15 months, and I didn’t think it through,” says humble Richard Taite.
The story of Richard Taite is about second chances. Taite reminds us that life is full of adversities that will definitely knock us down every now and then. This should not dishearten us to become the better versions of ourselves. Richard Taite is an example of someone who lost absolutely everything, yet found the courage to bounce back and face adversity head on.