#45 Gregg Champion Speaks On Addiction and his Journey to Sobriety

Posted by Top LIVIN on



Thanks for listening to another episode of It Ain’t Weak to Speak with Sam Webb. Please rate the podcast and leave a review if you enjoyed it. 

My guest today is Gregg Champion who, amongst many things, is a recovery coach, branding expert, author, TEDx speaker and founder of Start Up Recovery, a luxury sober living retreat designed to transform lives through entrepreneurial education, wellness practises, mentoring and sober living. 

In this episode, Gregg shares how he nearly ruined his life with drug and alcohol addiction, what led him to that place and how he found his way out. We talk about bullying, how addiction is transferred from one thing to another and how shame plays a huge part in the cycle of addiction. Gregg shares the story of the night his sobriety began 24 years ago and how he has never looked back.

We discuss the incredible work Gregg and his partners are doing with Start Up Recovery and how it teaches recovering addicts to channel their addiction into a passion. Gregg discusses the unique curriculum he developed called the Recovery Playbook and how this can be used for anyone to go deeper into themselves and change their lives.

There is so much value in this episode and we barely scratch the surface as we talk about the people you surround yourself with, the stigma around people who choose not to drink and leaving a legacy. If you’re struggling with anything in life right now, there is always a way out and it starts with reaching out for help. 


[4:50]: How Gregg’s father was killed in a drunk driving accident when he was 4.5 years and how this immediately made him feel different and want to prove himself by excelling in class, being a good athlete and becoming a bully

[6:00]: How being insecure and not feeling equal made Gregg want to force himself upon people and bully them and he didn’t have tools to deal with it

[7:30]: How his energy was transferred when he discovered alcohol and drugs at age 13

[8:30]: How you have no idea what other people are going through and that we can educate our children with this understanding now, knowing that kids are only bullies because they have something going on in their lives

[10:00]: How Gregg used to sneak across the border to Tijuana with a fake ID at age 15. He drank a lot and used a lot of drugs and got arrested numerous times

[11:30]: How the disease of alcoholism is that all the rules go out the door, it’s self centered and it leads to problems 

[12:00]: How Gregg started hanging out with “lower companions“ which led to selling drugs from the the west coast to the east coast and how he drank and medicate to cover the shame 

[13:30]: How so many of us want a shortcut but we’re not willing to do the work

[14:20]: When Gregg got arrested for carrying 50lbs of pot and 18 days later got arrested for dealing, facing 5 years in prison

[16:00]:  How he heard a voice saying “Gregg, there’s a better way” and he felt to call his mother. She told him to go to church and he confessed to the priest who was coincidentally his step father’s first sponsor in AA

[17:45]: How the next day Gregg went to AA and was told to not use drugs or alcohol, go to 90 meetings in 90 days and take up boxing to release the negative energy

[19:10]: The priest went with Gregg to the court hearings which helped him get probation and how if Gregg hadn’t stopped doing what he was doing, he would have wound up dead


How Gregg remained sober even though he experienced life trauma and hardship and eventually started coaching people into recovery and entrepreneurship

[22:30]: How Startup Recovery helps people shift their addiction into passion and they use the recovery playbook  

[23:20]: Doing a “digital scrub” by going through the contacts in your phone and deleting anyone who you know who’s relationship doesn’t serve you

[25:30]: How on the flipside, you can randomly scroll and choose a contact to reach out to

[26:50]: You are who you surround yourself with in life and that having a smaller circle of friends who are valuable will serve you well

[28:50]: How the Recovery Playbook is for anyone and that if you run through them, you will do some deep work on yourself and change your life

[29:55]: How there is a negative stigma around people who choose not to drink or do drugs

[31:30]: How Gregg was the only one in his social circle who was getting sober but how after a few years the obsession to drink left him and he didn’t care because sobriety had shown him a better way of living

[33:00]: How Gregg hangs around people who encourage and inspire him and how his legacy is the book he wrote, his two daughters and his work at Startup Recovery

[36:00]: How it’s not necessarily easy to find your passion but part of it is rediscovering your joy before addiction




The Recovery Playbook

Thanks for listening to another episode of It Ain’t Weak to Speak with Sam Webb. Please rate the show and leave a review if you enjoyed it. 

Click here to leave a review & rate our show!

If after listening to this episode and you don't quite feel right or you want to reach out to someone to speak to, we have provided some useful resources below. 

For immediate support please call one of the following 24/7 hotlines. Someone will be ready to take your call. Remember, ‘It Ain’t Weak to Speak’

If you are in Australia:

Emergency: 000

Lifeline: 13 11 14

+6Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

If you are in the United States:

Emergency: 911

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text LIVIN to 741741 in the United States

If you would prefer to speak with someone face-to-face, we recommend visiting your local GP (doctor) who will be able to have a chat with you about what is going on in your life and refer you to a mental health professional if required.

For some tools to help you with things like stress, low mood, general worries, please check out our LIVIN tips and tricks here.

If you would like to learn more about LIVIN, join the movement, or help spread the word, please visit us at the links below:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin 

Shop Our Merch collection to support the cause and start a conversation that could save a life.

Get Involved in one of our upcoming events or book a program at your school or workplace.

Donate to support the mission and help us spread the message.

Join us on our Facebook Group to continue the conversation and to connect with our community so that we can help more people.

Subscribe to our Newsletter so you can follow our journey.