I Needed Help To Stop Drinking, So I Built My Next Startup
By Mike Russell, CEO & Co-Founder of Monument
My Drinking Years
Most people don’t know I have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Friends, employees and even my parents didn’t know that I struggled to control my drinking until I told them. Some as recently as a few weeks ago.
After working in finance out of college I entered the party promotion business with pretty instant success. Partying and drinking became my livelihood, and I was good at it. I would only drink when going out, but I was going out all the time. My binges and 48-hour hangovers came and went and came and went, and no one seemed to be bothered by it.
“Was I addicted to alcohol? I didn’t know where I fit on the spectrum of people with alcohol use issues, or if I qualified at all.”
After seven years of promoting I decided to transition out of that business and ‘settle down,’ but the drinking behaviors followed me into my next chapter. I founded two startups, married my incredible wife, had two beautiful kids, and continued to binge drink. I would only drink once every week or two, but I would find myself out until the morning and sleeping through the days as my kids stirred asking why their dad was so sleepy.
About the Author
Mike Russell is the co-founder & CEO of Monument, an online treatment platform for those looking to change their relationship with alcohol. Mike is a member of the founding teams of Paintzen (Acquired by PPG Industries), Bombas, Zipdrug, and MyClean, four successful New York City technology startups still operating today. Mike is also a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor and has dedicated much of his time towards raising money to help children with cancer.