NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - A recovering addict turns $300 into $36 million and helps others overcome their additions along the way.
John Giordano, who grew up in the south Bronx, once thought his life was cursed.
"My father sold produce, among other things. He was actually a heroin dealer," said Giordano. "He couldn't make enough money doing what he was doing, so he sold drugs."
When Giordano was 8 years old, his father went to prison for four years.
"Nobody wanted to tell me my dad was in jail. They told me he was on a sales trip. That was one hell of a sales trip," he said. "Then when I was 8 and a half, I got molested by some kids in the neighborhood."
Giordano was soon into gangs, but at age 14, he found karate. He eventually moved to Florida and became a certified karate instructor.
But that didn't keep him from getting into drugs. When Giordano's family initiated an intervention, he had what he calls a spiritual awakening.
"And from that day on, I decided I wanted to open up a treatment center," said Giordano. "They all laughed at me and said don't drink, don't drug, just go to meetings, and I said, 'No, I want to open up a treatment center.'"
After two failed business partnerships in 10 years, Giordano went out on his own. He rented a room for just $300.
"It started from that. I was the only employee -- it grew," he said.
With Jerry Goldfarb, his business partner, Giordano has turned G&G Holistic Addiction Treatment Center into an unique facility.
"I had an idea to treat people different than any other treatment center. We need to treat them holistic, that means comprehensively," said Giordano.
The center employs over 100 people and brings in $36 million a year.
"I can't believe it. I'm still in shock to be honest with you, but you know what, we did one thing: we put people first -- not money -- and we still do," he said.
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