We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Dr. Cali Estes. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Dr. Cali below.
Alright, Dr. Cali thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Setting up an independent practice is a daunting endeavor. Can you talk to us about what it was like for you – what were some of the main steps, challenges, etc.
I started my private practice with $300 in my bank account and a renting a condo at the Wind. I had 3 weeks before rent was due and knew that I had to hustle. I made a bunch of cheap business cards at Vista print and put them out at LA Fitness. The biggest challenge would be how quickly I could get a client or two and cover rent and expenses. Within two days I had my first client, my first paid in full 10 session coaching package and it covered my entire rent and gave me enough money for food for the month. The biggest thing I can tell someone first starting out is that you really need to focus on that initial marketing and start to build your reputation. As I was able to get more and more clients I was able to create a professional website, and then I was able to hire a public relations firm to push me for TV appearances and print media. Sometimes you’ll make a business plan and not stick to it because things change and new ideas come up that you want to offer in your service platform. I have been lucky and able to pivot and add new services as I go. After a year doing coaching and therapy for clients, I created The Addictions Academy which is now the largest online school for addiction studies in the globe. A few years later, I added Sober on Demand, a concierge firm that goes to the client and works on addiction and mental health issues from the comfort of their own home. I am always expanding and adding services and ideas to what we can offer clients.
Dr. Cali, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Dr. Cali Estes is a highly sought-after addiction professional (MCAP, MAC ICADAC), life coach, recovery coach, and wellness guru that blends talk therapy with positive change to assist her clients in unlocking their true potential. She has been featured in books, magazines, radio, and television for her work in the addiction and therapy fields. She works with individuals, drug and alcohol treatment teams, and addiction professionals looking to advance their knowledge base.
Dr. Estes is a renowned addiction recovery specialist and master coach. For more than two decades, she has helped people overcome a variety of addictions, including those to drugs, alcohol, and other addictions like sex, Internet, gaming, gambling, food and even shopping. She brings to the table a profound understanding of addictions, including utilizing a different and fresh approach. She gets to the root cause of the addictions and helps to combat the vice that you have. Addiction can be part genetic, part lack of coping skills and also some underlying trauma. Dr. Cali Estes takes a no-nonsense approach to her approach, blending cognitive-behavioral therapy, positive psychology, addiction coaching, and life coaching to help her clients dig deep and end their destructive behaviors.
Cali’s multidimensional approach aims to uncover the root cause of her client’s addiction, tailoring her tactics based on what works for the individual.
Dr. Estes currently offers concierge addiction recovery coach services, working one-on-one with clients in private settings—their homes, movie studios, and even on international retreats. She’s offered her unique perspective to national audiences on CNN, NBC, ABC, MSN Money, CNBC, CBS, Fox News, and The Dr. Drew Show. She has also been featured in The Washington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Reader’s Digest, People Magazine, Yoga Journal, Yoga Digest, Max Sports and Fitness, The LA Times, and more.
Cali holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, international certification as a drug and alcohol counselor, and a master addiction professional certification, as well as 24 other certifications. In addition to these professional qualifications, she has experience as a personal trainer, yoga instructor, Pilates teacher, and life coach.
In addition to her sober coach work, Dr. Cali Estes is a best-selling author. I Married A Junkie covers her own husband’s journey from heroin addiction to sobriety. is about her husband using heroin while she was opening her private practice. Her second book, The 7 Keys to Tap into the Wealth Inside You, How to UnPause Your Life and Make Success A Reality, is a self-help book guiding readers on how to tap into their unique potential and access the life of their dreams. She also authored the best-selling Recovery Coach Workbook, an option for working your way out of addiction independently.
Dr. Estes founded The Addictions Academy, the premiere virtual online school for addictions studies and certifications. She is the exclusive provider for the core addictions counselor classes and OUD classes throughout Canada, Curacao, Venezuela, India, Florida, Texas, and Nebraska. She also serves as the keynote speaker for training in Kansas. She oversees a team of more than 30 individuals and has trained and certified over 15,000 people in 25 different countries, covering topics such as internet addiction, substance abuse, harm reduction, recovery coaching, and intervention.
Cali Estes has also assisted addiction treatment centers in improving their practices in call center training, ethics training, and AMA/APA block training. She has trained the entire state of New Jersey police department, firefighters, EMTs, and even University psychiatry departments.
Dr. Estes founded Sober on Demand, a concierge rehab service for clients who require extreme privacy in their recovery and need treatment that comes to them. Through this program, she has helped numerous high-profile clients reclaim their lives without inviting the media in on the process. She brings together all the important players in the client’s life to help them make the changes that will bring them happiness and success. She also offers medical detox and inpatient teams, as well as sober companions, nutritionists, personal trainers, and other support personnel that enhance the journey.
Dr. Cali Estes is focused on the client as a whole—not just the “addict.” She approaches treatment with the goal of restoring the body and the brain. She and Dr. Terri Sell created the supplement line ProRecoveryRx, a unique product line that focuses on neurotransmitter support for brain health, serotonin and dopamine production, and even improved gut health.
Dr. Cali Estes is also the host of the popular podcast, UnPause Your life.
To learn more about her addiction recovery coach services, reach out to Sober on Demand.
Can you talk to us about how your funded your firm or practice?
I am a big believer in mindset. I had quit my job and started my company with $300 to my name. I didn’t go out and look for investors or solicit family members to buy into what I was trying to do. The best motivation when starting something in business is to be hungry. If you’re hungry and you know you have a deadline to meet otherwise you’re going to end up being homeless because you can’t pay the rent, you will learn to hustle. This is one of the best motivators to get yourself going and get your product or your service to the market. If someone gives you a bunch of money it’s much easier to take your time and sit around and not get the things done you need to get done to scale what you want to do and live your dream. I teach all of my clients that they need to get moving and get motivated and chances are they don’t need to have half the capital that they think they do.
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
When I first entered the field of addiction and mental health, most of the major players were men. I had a horrible time trying to break the glass ceiling and get a seat at the table. Most of them made fun of me or said that I wasn’t doing proper services. I was able to actually bulldoze my way in and offer a really high-quality service that could not be questioned. With the help of the PR firm I was able to get on major TV shows like CNN, KTLA, NBC, CBS, Fox News, and published in major publications like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, LA Times and more. This really helped solidify my reputation as a pillar in the community of addiction and earned me a seat at the table. I also wrote two best selling books and a best-selling workbook for recovery coaching and did more than any of the men in the industry within five years of getting into private practice. One of the highlights of my career is when I was in LA on the Sunset Strip at the Laugh House and I was the opener for major celebrities and comedians and as I was coming down the red carpet the media called me “The Female Dr. Drew”. This told me that I had arrived and I’m now seated at the table. From there my reputation excelled as being able to deliver high-quality services in a concierge and discreet manner to NFL players, NBA players, celebrities, and business executives all over the globe.
- Website: https://soberondemand.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr._cali_estes/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaliEstesAddictionCoach
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caliestes/
- Twitter: @theaddictionsco
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/theaddictionsacademy
- Other: Tiktok @dr_cali_estes
Xander Steve Vreatt