Marsha Stone
Healing Horizons

As an entrepreneur, the first step to destruction is to worry about what other people think about you.

Marsha Stone
Listen Now
Show Notes

CEO and founder of Foundation Stone, Marsha Stone(@Marsha Stone), provides specialized programs nationwide for individuals and families tackling mental health and addiction.. With a decade-long tenure overseeing the expansion of BRC healthcare, she’s a trailblazer in the recovery industry. Marsha’s personal journey with addiction fuels her passion for high-quality rehabilitation services, as showcased in her bestselling book “Rewired Workbook.” A prominent figure in media and academia, she holds a JD with academic honors and is a licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor based in Austin, Texas.

“ If you are true, if you’re brave, if you’re willing to speak out, if you have courage, and you’re honest, you can make a difference.”

-Marsha Stone

Key Takeaways:

  • Confidence and Perspective: Confidence enables bold decision-making and is crucial for navigating business uncertainties. Perspective-taking fosters adaptability by understanding diverse viewpoints and market trends. Together, they drive innovation and long-term success in entrepreneurship.
  • Top Qualities for Business: Timeliness, accountability, and a Socratic approach to questioning are vital for fostering a productive and accountable work environment. Vertical development is essential for leaders who want to guide the way in today’s paradigm.
  • Personal Relationships in Business: Nepotism and personal relationships can coexist with professionalism when individuals maintain focus on business matters during work discussions. Firm boundaries and thoughtful agreements help navigate interpersonal relationships at work.
  • No Regret Attitude: Effective leadership embraces a “no regrets” mindset, prioritizing learning and growth from mistakes to foster resilience and innovation. By cultivating this philosophy, leaders create an environment of continuous improvement and fearlessness in pursuing ambitious goals.

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Mark Divine  0:02  

Coming up on the Mark Divine Show. 


Marsha Stone 0:05

The life that I crave is based on connectedness, but it’s also based on like hitting homeruns. I think that if more people could be more sincere about the life that they crave and more willing to create that life, then I think we would have a lot more successful businesses and happy people.


Mark Divine  0:25  

Welcome to the Mark Divine Show. This is your host, Mark Divine. Super stoked to have you here. Thank you very much for being part of this adventure. On the Mark Divine Show, I like to explore what it means to be courageous by speaking to some of the most inspirational and compassionate and resiliently courageous leaders from around the world. I speak to all types of folks, motivational scientists, nutritional experts, peace, crusaders, and female entrepreneurs who are changing the world with mental health and recovery. 

My guest today is Marsha Stone, CEO and founder of Foundation Stone, which is a network of specialized programs for individuals, families, dealing with mental health and addiction issues across the United States. Marsha integrates her personal experience with addiction into her work, providing high quality rehabilitation services. She’s also the founder of BRC healthcare, overseeing its expansion for over a decade to a sale in 2020. Marsha is a prominent figure in the recovery industry. She is the author, the co author of Rewired Workbook, a manual for addiction recovery, has made appearances in many media outlets, she has a JD with academic distinctions, and is a licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor in Austin, Texas where she resides.


Before I get into the show, I wanted you to know that I’m opening up slots for our Unbeatable Coach Certification and our Unbeatable Team for 2024. The Unbeatable Team is an amazing year of transformational training. It’s where I direct my full attention and time in coaching and training. I don’t do it anywhere else. It’s here in the unbeatable Team that I can give my full attention to help those deeply committed to transforming to become uncommon in a world that you know is rapidly collapsing into fear, moral relativism, and mediocrity. We meet virtually every month as a team come together four times during the year for three days of powerful in person training and practice. And I’m here to help you break through any barriers and to crush all of your goals for 2024. So if you’re ready to go deep with me, and willing to do the work, I can guarantee amazing strides will be made, go to unbeatable team.com and unbeatable coaching.com To learn more about these unbeatable events. Now, back to the show. 


Mark Divine 2:32

Thanks so much for joining me on the Mark Divine Show. Super stoked to have you here.


Marsha Stone  2:35  

Thank you. We’re excited to be here. Thank you for asking me.


Mark Divine  2:38  

You know, I don’t get to talk to many female entrepreneurs and business leaders. So I’m stoked to kind of get your perspective on that. Before I dig into that and kind of your, you know, your experiences in, in running a business that’s involved in mental health. Give us a sense for where you know where you came from, like, What What’s the origin story of Marsha Stone? Like, where were you from? What were your influences, good, bad and ugly, that helps shape who you are?


Marsha Stone  3:02  

It’s interesting, you know, to be in this podcast world where we get to ask each other these, you know, sort of deep and searching questions, but it’s fun, you know, to kind of look back and put the bread crumbs together like Hansel and Gretel. I was born and raised in South Georgia. And, you know, my family was sort of small town lawyers and tobacco farmers and stuff like that. And I had a lot of family around me growing up. So I had a lot of support in that way. My parents divorced when I was really young. And I think if I’m looking back and trying to kind of pinpoint, you know, when did the heartbreak occur that needed, you know, anesthesia in the future in terms of alcohol and drugs, I think it was a lot about that, you know, and um, abandonment, and not being quite sure where you fit into this world and all those, you know, big feelings for little kids, right? 

I went to college in Virginia and married my sort of college sweetheart, also my best drinking buddy. We had three kids, by the time I was 24. And uh, he hit the eject button and went home to his mom. And, you know, for me, my career really started when I realized sort of really quickly, I was going to have to be able to support myself and my children. At that time. I had two years of college and I remember that I had won a debate competition in high school and decided that maybe I could be a lawyer. People say did you go to law school because you know, you had this aching desire to practice environmental law and you know, to save the whales? No, I mean, I hate to say this, but I was trying to get to a place…


Mark Divine 4:38

You were a good debater, hey, that makes sense. 


Marsha Stone 4:40

That’s true. And I wanted to have some security, right? That was what I was always sort of searching for. And I did that and I actually got a scholarship to go to law school and went through that experience with three little kids and that’s when I really started to have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. I chalked it up to stress. I chalked it up to you know if you had a wildlife you would dot dot dot. But I didn’t really understand anything about alcoholism or addiction. I didn’t know about genetic components, you know, in the south, you don’t air your dirty laundry. So I had no idea that in my family tree for hundreds of years, there was mental illness and addiction, alcoholism, intergenerational trauma. Once I finished with law school, I thought that I was going to, you know, get my drinking under control and sort of do the right thing for America. And that was my intention. And I really tried, but I couldn’t pull it off. And you know, I didn’t understand and it still is, you know, sort of one of those esoteric questions, even today, if I make up my mind to do anything, I’m usually able to have the work ethic to do it, except when it comes to my relationship with alcohol and drugs and making that decision every morning. I’m not going to drink this afternoon at all, and then doing that almost against my will. And so all those things started to happen. And it was just question mark after question mark for me.


Mark Divine  5:56  

So for the listener who doesn’t maybe is curious, I wonder if I’m like that. Or they’re like, I’m totally not like that. Or I’m really curious, what was that like, you know?


Marsha Stone 6:05



Mark Divine 6:06

So yeah, what did that look like for you?


Marsha Stone  6:08  

So, you know, when I finished with law school, I became the first female assistant district attorney in the southern Judicial District of Georgia. This was 1999. Big job for a little girl, right? I’m 29 years old, I’ve got three kids, you know, my husband kind of came back and left, he came back and left, and we did that for a long time. But there was a lot of pressure on me, I was confused and scared. Because it literally is, it’s like Groundhog Day. I’ve drink too much. I pass out whatever, I wake up the next morning, I have a hangover, I’m trying to get my coffee down, trying to go to work, trying to take the kids to school and promising myself, you know, okay, that’s done. Tonight, we’re playing Monopoly, where I’m gonna make spaghetti, it’s gonna be a normal night. And then somehow, about three or four o’clock in the afternoon, it felt like I changed my mind, I would start to have these thoughts. Like, it wasn’t that bad. Like, you only drank two bottles of wine, like plenty of people drink two bottles of wine. And it’s just constant negotiation. And I had no idea that there is a brain science involved here. And that I was not actually changing my mind. It’s almost as my neurotransmitters were changing my mind for me. And I just wasn’t educated about that. 

But yeah, one of the things that I’m really grateful for and this sounds so weird. I was not one of those people that like, you know, stayed home and drank and was quiet about it. You know, I was driving, I was doing drugs. It was just, it was always…


Mark Divine 7:37

You wore it on your sleeve. 


Marsha Stone 7:39

I did. There was like this big dust ball around me wherever I went. It was like a Tasmanian devil or something. So I ended up having a really bad car accident. This is a small town, there’s nothing going on. They put my picture in the paper, my family is devastated and shame. And everybody’s kind of pointing to me like she’s got a problem. Now, knowing what I know now, I was like the recipient and the holder of hundreds of years of problems.


Mark Divine  8:04  

You were part of a system of problems, big Problems, capital P. 


Marsha Stone  8:08  

I was really screaming like, this is effed up, but I didn’t have those words, right. So it was just acting crazy and out of control. Long story short, I went to treatment the first time 2002 I basically stayed sober and I was practicing law that whole time. I moved to North Carolina, I had a license there and in Georgia. And by that time, I had my own practice, things are going well. I get remarried. We have five kids blended family, beautiful white picket fence. Everybody’s driving nice cars, and the latest Air Jordans to go to school, all that stuff, right. And that is like a good life in America.


Mark Divine 8:40



Marsha Stone 8:40

And one day out of the blue, I relapsed. And it became sort of the beginning of the end of all that. Within a year, I lost my license, I lost my house, I lost my car, CPS took custody of my children. My mom kept my kids for a year. 


Mark Divine 8:55

Oh my god.


Marsha Stone 8:56

It was tragic. And it was like, it’s what I did, though. Like I burned it all the way down. I wasn’t just gonna, you know, have a bonfire in the backyard. It was like a five alarm fire. And after that happened, I went to long term gender specific treatment. And because my license was suspended, when I moved to Texas, my husband’s from Texas, I started working in the treatment business thinking I was just going to do that until I got my law license back reactivated. Mark, I just fell in love with the work. I fell in love with this idea of understanding how like all the darkest points of my life and all the trauma and all the pain and all the tears and all the lies and all that sweeping things under the rug. Now all of that was all of a sudden useful to me, to help other people. And so you know, when I think about like, you know, the similarities in my sort of career choices. It’s always been about trying to help other people. 

I hate a bully. I love an underdog. I love you know, comeback stories and what I found out in recovery that I never knew before is, I’m an entrepreneur. I mean, from the time I wake up to the time I get to bed my assistant came in today and she was like teasing me for being a night owl, because I was texting her like midnight last night with an idea I have for, you know, like a new Sober Living concept. And through all of that process, I just got to the point that I was just so grateful, and so excited that I kind of knew, like, this is my purpose, this is why I’m here. And because of all that, you know, I’ve had several different businesses and, and found a real, you know, sort of acumen for business that I never knew I had, and had been really successful in that way. And I’m proud of that. But what I’m more proud of, is all that loudness in my family, literally, you know, my kids are all in recovery now. They’ve been to treatment, you know, my dad got sober at 74. And it’s just really cool, because I can share these experiences with other people, not only from you know, like a professional perspective, but a personal perspective as well. You know, that saying, like, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day, I feel like I should have that tattooed on my chest or something. Because it’s like, it’s my life, you know, recovery, behavioral health, business, all of these things are just, you know, I guess who I am, who I always needed to be. But I just had to walk through a lot of the mud and the mire to get there and get, you know, over to the other side, so I can talk about gratitude. 


Mark Divine  11:26  

Yeah, well, it’s interesting, the trauma that leads to whether it’s generational or situational trauma.


Marsha Stone 11:33

Still trauma.


Mark Divine 11:33

Still trauma that leads to you know, addictions and codependency and all that. People can function in the outer world at a pretty high level without ever addressing any of that. We see it all over the place. There’s like narcissists rule the world. And this has been a big push for me for the last, like 10 years, my latest book was called Staring down the Wolf, and it’s about leaders really taken a look at their shadow, right and saying, you know what, you’re the limiting factor in your team, because you’re not willing, you think you have to be perfect, or you think you are perfect. And you’re wearing all these masks, because you haven’t dealt with your own trauma.


Marsha Stone 12:05



Mark Divine 12:06

And some people are offended by that. When I say, well, you have trauma period, because if you were born human, you have trauma.


Marsha Stone 12:11



Mark Divine 12:12

You know what I’m saying? So where I’m going with this is the skills to be a an entrepreneur and a leader, you’re going to be profoundly more effective, because of the trauma and having dealt with it, or having the awareness of the trauma, having dealt with it, right, doing the really deep emotional work, staring down that wolf of fear. So I applaud you, and it’s not easy, it’s scary work, right? It’s scary. And that’s why a lot of people don’t want to do it. 


Marsha Stone  12:35  

Really scary. I did therapy, of course, when I was going to treatment, but I did a lot of therapy, you know, when I left treatment, and then I kind of like got into not I’m gonna say workaholism, but I was really like work focused for about six years. And one day I woke up, and all of a sudden, it was just like, some memories. And just, you know, I was observing my relationships with certain personality styles, you know, always ending badly, and actually went back and did like a week of personal experiential sort of one on one with a therapist in Tennessee, actually. And that, to me, it’s almost like, you know, your brain protects itself from pain that it’s not ready to handle. And so after I’d been you know, like, sort of eating and sleeping and exercising and praying for those six or seven years, it was almost like, something inside me said, Okay, we’re ready to deal with this now. And I’m just really grateful that I didn’t hide from it, I didn’t drink over it. I didn’t, you know, I had all of the experiences in education that pointed me toward do the work. And that’s what you’re saying. 

Because I think what happens is when people are scared to do the work, or don’t know that they need to do the work or whatever reason, don’t want to take the time, whatever the excuse is, it doesn’t matter. Because if you don’t address it, you’re gonna bleed all over everybody around you one way or another. Over the years, I’ve sent most of my executive directors to do some personal work like that, you know, there’s been so many times that friends and family, you know, have called me up, you know, what do you think I think you’re in the second layer of the onion now. So you’re gonna have to sit down for long enough to, you know, look at it, get it out, talk about it, whatever you need to do, because I’ve seen so many people, you know, blow up their marriage, blow up their business, because they’re just afraid to look at sort of the undercoating of their actions.


Mark Divine  14:29  

And I love what you said, You’ve got to stop, right.


Marsha Stone 14:32



Mark Divine 14:33

People who haven’t addressed the underlying issues, let’s just call them that. They’re in constant motion, right.


Marsha Stone 14:40

Which is another anesthetic.


Mark Divine 14:42

Which is anesthetic, right, they’re in constant motion trying to distract themselves and avoid having to just stop long enough for that, that situation to arise where they can then stare at it and look at it and be like, Oh, interesting. That pattern keeps coming up and up and up and up. So instead of running from it, now you can confront it and objectify it and then deal whether whether it’s through a therapeutic process, or some people are effective at dealing with it, just through that awareness of it, but it’s difficult. I always recommend professional help. I’m curious, I want to get into kind of like the business of health care and recovery and your challenges as a female leader and CEO, but before, you know, to bridge it, you know, someone’s listening goes, Yeah, you know, Mark, you’re right, Sharon, you’re right. I do drink too much, or I do you know, constantly chasing something to avoid something else. Well, what tools have you found to be most effective in your program?


Marsha Stone  15:33  

I think one of the reasons that my programs, our programs are effective, not only clinically effective, the clients are having an experience, and that’s one part of it. But the other part of it for me is, what is my retention look like? How many people are coming in and out of this door? How many people are quitting? How many HR complaints are we getting? What’s going on? It’s interesting, we opened up a new mental health program in May of this year. And we had like a soft opening in a week of training. And I went out and I gave like about an hour long talk to all the new employees. And I said something along the lines of if you’re living in Austin, Texas, and you’re applying to work at one of Marsha’s programs, Marsha Stones programs, you have probably heard some things before you came here. And you probably have heard that I am demanding, that I demand excellence, that I’m going to push you, that I’m going to ask more of you than you think you can do. And all of that is true. And here’s why it’s true, right? If I’m called into this work, if I’m literally called to work in behavioral health, to me, that means I am in the business of saving lives every single day. We don’t call it emergency room? We don’t call it a hospital, you know, we call it so inside recovery center, so and so Wellness Center, these clients are in the fight of their life. And I know that because I was there. 

And if I’m going to enter into this business of helping people survive and fight for their lives, then I’m going to need to show up with 100% every day. Oh, you can’t show up with 100% every day. Yes, you can. Yes, you absolutely can. And I told the new employees, I said, and also you guys are are capable of much more than you realize. And we’ve got a way and we’ve got a system and we’ve got a training program. And when you come out of this, you know, a year or two down the road, whether you stay with our organizations or you don’t you will have basically, you know, a Harvard PhD education in how to function in behavioral health and to do it well. I don’t shy away from that. I’m proud of that. And I feel like sometimes when we’re teachers or you know, drug counselors or you know, whatever some of these like highly demanding jobs that don’t necessarily have the monetary you know, remuneration that they should right, then to me, what that says is, I have to fill in that space for people so that they will be attracted to wanting to do this work with us, and that they will sign up and be on board with, like, the excellence that we demand. 

What I’ve heard from people is in terms of communication with treatment centers, behavioral health firms, there’s, you know, the name of my company, and then there’s everybody else. And that’s the biggest compliment to me, because what that says is the people that are working with me, first of all, I’m not asking them to do anything that I don’t do, and haven’t done and wouldn’t do. And I see that the lights come on, and that they’re having an experience with feeling good about themselves and realizing that they have talents and abilities and education. And they’re proud of themselves. And I feel like that there’s, you know, a real synergy between what’s going on with employees and what’s going on with clients, because we’re providing a space for growth and transformation in both those areas. 


Mark Divine  18:54  

That’s really cool. I thought you were gonna give me some like tool, but it makes, I 100% agree with you, you know, it’s the caring presence.


Marsha Stone 19:00

It’s culture.


Mark Divine 19:01

Yeah, the culture and the caring presence of the healers, that provides the transfer, you know, the possibility for transformation and the modeling, right in the space.


Marsha Stone 19:09



Mark Divint 19:10

And the tools or the tools, right? Those, those are going to be similar across different disciplines. But it’s the people that make the difference. 


Marsha Stone  19:16  

Exactly. I never want our clients or their families to feel like that they kind of drop their daughter or their son or their wife or husband off at our front door. And we say or give any kind of impression that we’re like, don’t call us, we’ll call you see you in 30 days. That doesn’t work. I don’t think it’s ever worked. What we’re doing is a lot of collaboration, we consider the family to be part of the treatment team. I was doing a panel last week and they said, you know, what’s the future, what are you doing now versus what you were doing before? And I said, you know, the future the is collaboration, more of collaboration, and not just they have addiction, they have mental health, they have co occurring disorders. It’s all the same right? And the more people that we can get interested in that process and in that transformation, and in that longevity and holding that recovery in place, the better for everyone, for families, for individuals, for employers for the world. And I’m excited about that happening, because I feel like sort of recoveries almost transitioning into a word that sounds like wellness, and talking holistic. And to me, that resonates with me, because it’s not, I didn’t just have a problem drinking too much. There was like, a whole litany of problems and things that have gone awry and needed healing,


Mark Divine  20:37  

Yeah, yeah, right. But the point was, you weren’t a bad or broken human being who needed to be, you know, named something. 


Marsha Stone 20:43



Mark Divine 20:44

Right. That’s why I’ve always had an issue even with isms, right? Like, yeah, there’s alcohol in my family. But don’t don’t call me anything near that right.


Marsha Stone 20:51



Mark Divine 20:52

Like, right, no, no. So treating something as part of a system that has negative energy in it and what not, and then you can move toward the positives. And the positive side is health and wholeness. So when you approach things from the health and wholeness and integrative perspective, and you know, there’s things we can do behaviorally, there’s things we can do cognitively, spiritually, bringing the family in, so treat it as a whole system, like you said, and then begin to see that some of those negative things really, like you said, belong to somebody else. And you can like detach from those and all of a sudden, it frees that energy up. And then there’s some that you own because you took it on as a child and within your psyche, or your energy body.


Marsha Stone  21:28  

This whole scapegoat, right, the whole this whole scapegoat thing in the family. That’s bull. That’s, that was never true.


Mark Divine  21:34  

Right. It’s not who you are. It just, just happened.


Marsha Stone  21:37  

Exactly. And I’m not ashamed of it anymore. 


Mark Divine 21:39



Marsha Stone 21:39

You know, and that’s the gift, right? I don’t care if I’m talking to Mark Divine. It wouldn’t matter to me if I was being interviewed by, you know, President Biden.


Mark Divine 21:47

For a short interview. 


Marsha Stone 21:52

Oh, my gosh, sorry, that wasn’t appropriate. 


Mark Divine 21:54

I’m just kidding.


Marsha Stone 21:54

I was doing a talk sometime on like the steps of the Capitol in Texas, and I said something about being an alcoholic. And somehow that ended up on YouTube. I don’t know how these things work. But I’ve had so many people say to me, like, how could you get on the steps of the Capitol and say that you’re an alcoholic? And I was like, I am, like, that’s like me saying, like, I have green skin and purple eyes. Now you don’t, you know? 


Mark Divine 22:20



Marsha Stone 22:20

I don’t know. But to sort of, like, own it, to own it, and make it a part of my story and how that goes forward. It doesn’t make sense without reflection and honesty about the past. And, and so that’s, you know, when I’m talking to employees, when I’m setting up culture, you know, the things that we always talk about are honesty, humility, courage, you know, sisterly love, and the spirit of collaboration, a win for an employee is a win for me, a win for me is a win for them. I had another business, the first business I started on behavioral health. And I went through sort of a transaction and brought in some investors. And sold part of it, duh duh duh, and 2020 It was kind of a nightmare for me, because I really realized there was more emotion to it than I was aware of it is that there were some but I had a two year contract to work there. And it’s like watching someone else not do it quite right was your child every single day. It’s just it was it was hard, but worked out the contract did the non compete and just this year started a new program, a set of programs, a new platform, and a lot of the people that have worked with me before, called up and said, hey, what are you doing, we want to come over there right.


Mark Divine 23:28

Oh, cool.


Marsha Stone 23:28

And Mark, I mean, I’m telling you like, until the day I die, I think that might be one of the biggest compliments I’ve ever received. 


Mark Divine 23:35



Marsha Stone 23:35

Because even if it was hard, even if I was demanding, even if all these things, they wanted to be a part of it, because it’s based in spiritual principles and greatness, and that makes me proud.


Mark Divine  23:52  

Okay, we’re gonna take a short break here from the Mark Divine Show, to hear a short message from one of our partners. And now back to the show. 


Mark Divine 24:01

You know, I come from the Navy SEALs, and yeah, we’re like..


Marsha Stone 23:03



Mark Divine 23:03

…counterculture, because we we appreciate hard, like, we know that hard work works. And easy makes you weak. 


Marsha Stone 24:11

Not everybody gets a trophy.


Mark Divine 24:12

Nobody ever gets a trophy. And very few people get the trident. And even when we get the Trident, the Navy SEAL insignia, we have to earn it every day. That’s one of our ethos, earn your Trident every day. 


Marsha Stone 24:21

I love that. 


Mark Divine 24:22

So this is something that we we teach with our clients, both corporate and individual, as well. And there’s a little bit of adjustment just like yeah, I want to hear your take on this with the culture, like someone new comes along, and not everyone is ready for that. And some people opt out. 


Marsha Stone 24:35



Mark Divine 24:35

But you know, after a year or so, all of a sudden, they are just absolutely thriving. And like you said, we use the term 20X, we  found that they’re capable of 20 times more than they thought they were.


Marsha Stone 24:44



Mark Divine 24:44

And they realize that power comes from the team and not from themselves. Right and suddenly the whole culture is thriving.


Marsha Stone  24:50  

Actually, see I could have been in the Navy, I say exactly that, I believe.


Mark Divine  24:54  

You could have been the first female Navy SEAL.


Marsha Stone  24:58  

I don’t know about that. My husband went to the citadel, so Rob kinda like, boys need boy schools. But that’s all another story.


Mark Divine  25:04  

Tell us a little bit about how you like more specifically how you build culture and then maintain it in your organization? 


Marsha Stone  25:12  

Well, you know, there’s a few sort of tenants that are tried and true. And those are timeliness. You know, we have a five minute early rule. If anyone ever breaks that rule, it’s me because you know, I’m in my car talking on another phone call and don’t realize, but when I walk into a meeting, everyone’s there. So there’s just timeliness. And there’s a respect to that, right? The other thing is accountability. Every Wednesday, we have what I call big staffing. And that’s when all the directors from the different departments of all the companies sit around. And that’s where I get reports on what’s going on. And that’s where, you know, everybody says, like, Marsha has this knack, if you know, like, 99 answers to the 100 questions, she’s going to ask the one. And I don’t know if that’s true or false. But it doesn’t matter. Because what we’re talking about here is accountability. 

I believe in nepotism, I have my kids, you know, their spouses, my friends that I got sober with, there’s lots of relationships and connectivity within our team, usually. And it doesn’t matter what my outside relationship with you is, like when we’re there, we’re there to talk about the business of what’s going on with the clients that you’re responsible for, or the accounts that you’re responsible for. And that’s when the hard questions, you know, come. And I think when people first start working on that environment, it’s scary, right? But it’s okay, if it’s a little scary. You know, when I was in law school, if they asked us a question, we had to stand up and answer it. Do you know how scary it is to stand up. Like there was like 10 Women in my whole law school class. And plus, and you know, I’m the odd bird because I got three kids, one crying with me crying, couldn’t go to school, because the runny nose, whatever. But you have to stand up right and answer the question and take accountability for what your answers to the question and how you went about examining that and understanding the fact pattern? And this was the answer that you came out with. And if it’s not the right answer, how did you get to the wrong conclusion. And I guess I’m just really trained in that sort of Socratic method of questioning. And I bring that into our team meetings. And by that are all of the directors bring that into their staff meetings. That tenant just kind of goes along that along. And there’s this closeness and there’s this, you know, family feel, but there’s also this deadly earnestness about what we’re doing. And I always tell people, you know, if I’m ever interviewing someone, and they start talking to me about work life balance within the first 30 minutes, like we’re done, you know. Listen, I said, we’re running emergency rooms. I don’t care what they call them. These are 24/7 numbers. My phone has not been off since 2009. Right? And so if you want to talk about work, life balance, look down the road, there’s a Chase Bank, their hours are nine to five. I bet you can get a job there. I’ll write your letter of recommendation. I’ve kind of being silly and sarcastic right now. But I’m serious. 


Mark Divine  27:51  

No, no, I agree with you. There is a place for people who need that. And bureaucrats need that. And certain type of people need that.


Marsha Stone 27:58



Mark Divine 27:58

I go to work and then I go home and I don’t never the  twain shall meet. 


Marsha Stone 28:02



Mark Divine 28:02

Entrepreneurs are not like that. There is no work life balance. We’re not sure, work is life, life is work. 


Marsha Stone 28:07



Mark Divine  28:07  

And family is all part and parcel of that. 


Marsha Stone 28:10

Yeah, you gotta get him to come work for us to see em, right.


Mark Divine  28:12  

Exactly. My family all works for me.For better or for worse


Marsha Stone  28:16  

There you go, so people say nepotism is bad. Explain why. Tell me why. Today. Haley, my Vice President said, I think we should put Bailey on the bank accounts because you keep missing like things you’re supposed to sign. Bailey’s my daughter in law, I said, put Bailey on the bank accounts. That’s great idea, you know what I mean. That’s fine. I think that there’s just for me, what I love about what we’re doing is to have that family feel, to laugh and have that gentle sort of, you know, spirit of levity, but also that deadly earnestness about what we’re doing and that accountability, it just kind of brings in, you know, all the different facets of the sort of life that I crave. And the life that I crave is based on connectedness, but it’s also based on like hitting homeruns. I think that if more people could be more sincere about the life that they crave and more willing to create that life, then I think we would have a lot more successful businesses and happy people.


Mark Divine  29:13  

Right. And people haven’t been taught how to take the time to really envision a life that they could crave.


Marsha Stone 29:20



Mark Divine 29:21

Because they’re so distracted with social media and comparison analysis, right? So everyone’s comparing themselves against everyone else. And none of that matters. I mean, that the first step to destruction is to worry about what other people think about you.


Marsha Stone 29:33

That’s true.


Mark Divine 29:34

And everyone’s out there worrying about what other people think and pointing fingers and comparing and judging. Two part question. Do you have like a selection process like a Navy SEALs like it takes years to become a Navy SEAL. How do you like make sure that the wrong people don’t get in the front door? And too are you finding challenges like with Gen Z people who are like…


Marsha Stone  29:52  

They want a six figure salary with a high school education? 


Mark Divine  29:55  

Yeah, they want a big salary and they’re not they’re not going to answer their email after six o’clock or five o’clock at night in, they’re not gonna work weekends and they want every, all the perks and benefits.


Marsha Stone  30:04  

It’s a big problem, I totally agree with you, I don’t have much interaction with people like that. Because I mean, if you get into behavioral health, you usually start at sort of either if you don’t have your education yet, you’re going to start as a tech, right. And that’s like, the lowest man on the totem pole, with the most responsibility with absolutely no authority, right. And so that’s a grind, and people that are, you know, not really interested in working, they’re gonna weed themselves out pretty quickly, right? Or then you have the people that, you know, became counselors and got their license and stuff like that. And honestly, I think what’s happened is kind of like, you know, your reputation precedes you. So we don’t have a whole lot of people that are applying to work with us that don’t know, like, how we kind of run things. 


Mark Divine 30:51



Marsha Stone 30:51

tt does happen sometimes…


Mark Divine  30:53  

Law of attraction, it’s kind of like the SEALs is the law of attraction instead of recruiting.


Marsha Stone  30:56  

It is, and if they’re there, and they’re not like team minded and collaborative, it just doesn’t last long.


Mark Divine 31:03



Marsha Stone 31:03

Because it’s sort of a red herring, I guess.


Mark Divine  31:05  

You know, as a female, entrepreneur, and CEO, what are some of the biggest challenges that you face that you think like, I wouldn’t necessarily have had to face or don’t face?


Marsha Stone  31:15  

I don’t know if you’re familiar with that Taylor Swift song about, I think it’s called If I Were the Man?


Mark Divine  31:20  

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Taylor Swift song, but you can sing it for me, missy, if I recognize it.


Marsha Stone  31:25  

I can’t sing it, but I can tell you what it says. It says basically, like, if I’m aggressive, I’m a bitch. If I’m, you know, smart, or if I’m, you know, like, you know, way ahead of the game and some kind of, you know, business model or whatever, then, you know, too big for my britches, or, I don’t know how to say this, I never really paid that much attention to being a woman, because I was just always kind of worried about, you know, raising kids and putting food on the table. So I knew that there weren’t women in my law school, but it didn’t really start to sort of negatively impact my reputation until I got successful in behavioral health. 

What happens is actually did a talk on this and Aspen earlier this year, in this industry, for whatever reason, there’s this sort of underlying current that you need to be a nonprofit, or you need to be a martyr, or you need to, you know, stay small, just stay small, stay humble, all those things. And I kind of came out of the gate and said, I’m calling BS on this, there’s plenty of people that are in this industry that don’t care about patient outcomes that are making boatloads of money that you guys know nothing about. 

So why is it that the players that are actually developing, like really effective programs, why are we being shunned or talked about are called unethical, because we have good outcomes, and we have good financials. And I sort of, you know, stepped in and said, these are not mutually exclusive, we can have excellent programs we can have, you know, every single month, one of my employees has all their health insurance, all their, you know, everything’s paid for by the company. We, you know, agree to reimburse for further education. All these things are good, and all these things are happening, and we’re also profitable, but sort of all the buzz was, you know, what’s she doing down there in Texas to make all this money, you know.

And then back in five or six years ago, everybody was like, you know, doing all these drug screens, and you know, charging insurance 1000s of dollars for drug screens and all this stuff. And I had just opened my fourth program, and I started hearing the rumor that this one guy was saying, you know, oh, Marsha has got a drug lab. She’s got a drug lab at the back of that 70 acres. And that’s how she’s making all this money off urine tests and drug tests and blood tests and all this stuff. It was total crap. I ran into this guy at a conference and I was like, hey, I heard that there’s a lab on my big property down in Austin, can you help me find it? Like, where is this lab? I don’t know anything about this lab, ya know? And everybody’s like, what do you say? And I was like, he got really interested in his shoe strings, right? I mean, he was like that. But um, I don’t know. 

Yes, it’s harder. Yes. It’s harder to be taken seriously, as a woman in this industry. I’ll own that. But at the same time, if you are true, if you’re brave, if you’re willing to speak out if you have courage, and you’re honest, you can step into that and you can make it different because now it’s kind of like I’ve changed my whole sort of Persona and reputation I guess it’s kind of evolved over the years to like she’s not a bullshitter I’m Marsha’s a truth teller she’ll tell you like it is and I own that right I’ll own that I will not own Marsha’s unethical. I will not own Marsha’s got to pee lab. I will not own Marsha’s, you know, running scams with insurance, because that’s not true. I will. Marsha pushes, her employees, Marsha demands, you know, excellence, Marsha requires that people, you know, work certain hours, whatever. And so I just kind of have gotten to the point also, I turned 50. And I think when you turn 50 and just don’t care as much, so I’m just kind of like you know what I mean? It’s like…


Mark Divine 34:59



Marsha Stone 34:59

Listen All y’all are young enough to be my children, like, Have some respect, and that’s fine.


Mark Divine  35:06  

So if young woman’s listen to this and be like, I really want to be an entrepreneur, you were a JD and an attorney, I was an MBA and then a Navy SEAL. And then I became an entrepreneur. And I like, I found a lot of benefit from being a Navy SEAL, and maybe not so much the MBA and you find a lot of benefit from being an attorney. And…


Marsha Stone 35:24



Mark Divine 35:25

Finding your voice and, you know, learning how to argue and argument, would you say to the young woman, you know, hey, just start whatever it is you want to start? Or would you say, go cut your teeth somewhere? Before you start a venture?


Marsha Stone  35:38  

That’s a good question. I think the biggest thing for me that there were times in my life, when, before I became you know, more comfortable in calling myself an entrepreneur and a successful business person, there were plenty of times where I was like, God, why did I have to go to law school, if I’m not even going to practice law, like that was a lot.


Mark Divine  35:57  

It’s training your mind a certain way , that’s how I look at it. 


Marsha Stone  36:00  

It is, it’s training your mind. And it gave me discipline, and it gave me the ability to, you know, think analytically, and most of all, to answer to get back to what you asked, it gave me confidence. And I think that sometimes when you’re sort of like staring down the barrel of the shotgun, so to speak, you know, the the banker’s calling you or the you know, whatever, like, you know, the licensure person is calling you, and you’re gonna stare down the barrel, sometimes in business, and it’s like, at the end of the day, you know, you’re the one that’s on the hook. And I think whatever training you had before, whatever life you had before, gives you confidence, and also gives you perspective. And so whatever your product is that you’re creating, or buying, or selling, or whatever you’re doing, the product is important. But for me, if I’m honest, at the, like, the confidence and the sort of hoopspa and the, in the know how and the drive, those are the things that I think makes any business successful, much less than the product.


Mark Divine  36:56  

It’s not the technical skills, or the product itself is the character of the leader and the team. 


Marsha Stone  37:02  

Yeah. So I would say, take a little time, get your knees skin, get up, brush them off, go to bed, sad, wake up happy, do it all again. There’s lessons there, you know.


Mark Divine 37:13

Without the two bottles of wine a night.


Marsha Stone 37:14

Oh, my God, I don’t even know like looking back now. How did I even, I did I even function. I mean, I remember some days like taking a couple of shots before I went and like tried a murder case. I mean, it’s on believable, but at the fact that grit is grit is grit. And also, when you’re 29, you don’t need as much sleep as you do when you’re 50, that’s for sure.


Mark Divine  37:35  

It’s true. I am blown away when I look back at the things that I used to do in my 20s. I’m like, I don’t have any idea like how I survived.


Marsha Stone  37:43  

I don’t have any energy anymore to do all those, like, wow.


Mark Divine 37:46

No, you can’t.


Marsha Stone 37:47

No, I can’t. 


Mark Divine  37:48  

We gotta wrap up pretty soon. But so you kind of got out of your other thing. But that was BRC healthcare. 


Marsha Stone 37:50



Mark Divine 37:50

Now you’re free. Tell us about your foundation program.


Marsha Stone  37:58  

So I started a new platform called Foundation Stone Family of Programs. My last name is Stone. But I chose Foundation Stone because there’s lines in our recovery literature that talk about helping others being the foundation stone of mission, life journey recovery. And that really resonated with me, because that’s like, that’s the first thing I think about in the morning. And the last thing I think about at night, right. And helping other people and creating ways and vessels and programs to help other people. That’s the deal, right? That’s the whole deal. So we started that and I’m doing more mental health friendly and encompassing programs these days up at one in Austin and one in Pensacola.


Mark Divine  38:37  

Not addiction related?


Marsha Stone 38:38

Addiction is well.


Mark Divine

Addiction, but mental health can be separate from that, yeah. 


Marsha Stone  38:41  

Well, yeah. And to look at it as more holistic, right and me because most people that come in, there’s mental health components, there’s addiction, there’s alcoholism, there’s genetics.


Mark Divine  38:48  

There’s a huge issue in our country right now, with mental health post COVID. I mean, people are really suffering. So that’s…


Marsha Stone 38:55



Mark Divine 38:55

That’s really necessary. 


Marsha Stone  38:56  

For sure. I mean, it was bad, right? It was bad before COVID, and all that isolation and all that social media. I mean, it’s a pandemic. And you know, that’s what we’re really focusing on now. And I think we’re going to do a program next in Nashville, which I’m excited about, it’s just fun to be back in it, you know.


Mark Divine  39:14  

Are these all in person? Like, you have to be there in person type programs. Do you have anything virtual?


Marsha Stone  39:18  

Yes, these three are residential programs, we are creating a virtual aftercare model, which I’m really excited about, and it will probably be launched next year. You know, really the deal Mark is just like, I’m just always striving to create new and better and more inclusive programs to help more people, when I blew it all the way down. That’s what drives me. That’s one of my purposes. That’s what sets my heart on fire. And ultimately, I just feel really, really very, very grateful to be able to sort of swim in that pond every day and it’s good.


Mark Divine  39:51  

It’s good. Life is good when you’re doing what you love and what you’re what needs to be done.


Marsha Stone  39:55  

It’s not for everybody, right, but it’s good for me.


Mark Divine  39:57  

No, no it’s good for you and like, everyone has this is my belief, everyone has a singular purpose that’s unique to them. 


Marsha Stone 40:04



Mark Divine 40:04

Like there’s something that only Marsha Stone can do. And you found it, and you’re doing it in a big way. 


Marsha Stone 40:10



Mark Divine 40:10

And so it’s not work. It’s just pure joy. Right, yeah, you have your ups and downs. 


Marsha Stone  40:13 

Of course,I am at my house right now, you know, my French bulldogs, pawing on the door, I’m gonna go like, you know, play with him next. And then I’m gonna get on the phone with a client. And I’m grateful life is really good. And I’m grateful for every drink I ever drank every other drug I ever did. I’m grateful that the Bar Association, you know, kicked my butt to go to treatment, you know, again, and again and again. And I’m grateful for all those hard lessons to come out on the other side and say to people, like I was just like, you. Come on, we’ve got we’ve got a solution here. Like there’s lots of life for you to live in the future. And that’s what I do.


Mark Divine  40:47  

I love that. And I love no regrets is a big theme of ours. Like, you can’t hang on. And yeah, we all have fuck ups and disasters in our lives. It’s just part of being human. 


Marsha Stone 40:54

That’s life.


Mark Divine 40:55

Let it go and forgive yourself and forgive whoever you think hurt you. Forgive the alcohol, you know, just let it go… 


Marsha Stone 41:02

That’s right.


Mark Divine 41:03

… and move on, live life forward. No regrets.


Marsha Stone 41:04

It’s true.


Mark Divine 41:05

Well done.


Marsha Stone 41:05

It’s good.


Mark Divine 41:06

It’s such an honor to meet you Marsha. Appreciate your your time today and for doing the work and it’s a lot of a lot of people need your your help. So I’m really stoked you’re doing the mental health.


Marsha Stone 41:16

Thank you. 


Mark Divine

Foundation Stone Programs.com Check it out. Do you have social media?


Marsha Stone  41:20  

MarciaStone.com and all the all the links and icons and buttons are there. 


Mark Divine 41:28

Haha, all the buttons are there.


Marsha Stone 41:28

And my kids are like to get on Tik Tok. And I’m like, I can’t even set an alarm clock. What are you talking about, you know.


Mark Divine  41:34  

I totally know what you’re saying. I gotta tell you a quick, quick story. So I have an 11 year old granddaughter. And this is like two years ago, I got a call from someone on the East Coast. And simultaneously, I got like an In Mail, LinkedIn, from someone in the Pentagon and the call on the East Coast came from Washington, DC. They said, Mark Divine is this Commander Divine. Yeah, so your granddaughter has hacked into your Instagram account, and is doing his life. He’s doing an Instagram Live.


Marsha Stone 41:11

That’s amazing.


Mark Divine 41:12

I’m like what, I figured out how to log on because I don’t even log on to my own accounts. I mean, have a team that does that stuff. Right, like you probably.


Marsha Stone 41:17



Mark Divine 41:17

And then there she is. And she’s like, your thumbs. Hashtag grandpa’s account. I actually gained some followers and I lost a few I’m sure but it was just hilarious.


Marsha Stone  42:29  

Omg, that’s hilarious. I love it that the Pentagon is like watching over your Instagram account. 


Mark Divine 42:34

I know that made me a little bit nervous. 


Marsha Stone 42:35

You’re a big deal, now ok, you have just risen to the top of the big deal status.


Mark Divine  42:41  

If obviously, I’ve done something really awful, or they’re kind of like what I’m doing. Anyways, Marsha, thanks so much for your time. And good luck with everything. 


Marsha Stone  42:49  

Thank you. It’s been really fun. Yeah, I look forward to staying in touch. 


Mark Divine 42:52

Likewise. Take care.


Mark Divine  42:57  

Great interview with Marcia Stone. Thank you so much for your time, very humbled by the work that you’re doing. You’ve got some great ideas on how to build culture, and how to lead in a world that is slightly bonkers. So good job there. And the work you’re doing with mental health and addiction recovery is very, very important. So thank you, Marsha. Shownotes are up on our website at Mark Divine.com. And YouTube will be up on our YouTube channel. You can find me on X at Mark Divine and on Instagram or Facebook at real Mark Divine or through my LinkedIn profile. If you’re not on the Divine Inspiration newsletter, consider going to Mark Divine.com to subscribe that comes out every Tuesday, where I share a blog show notes for the week’s podcast, a book I’m reading, other interesting and inspirational things that come across my desk can also learn about some of the programs and offerings at SEAL Fit or unbeatable mind our company’s. Shout out to my incredible team of Geoff Haskell and Catherine Divine and Jason Sanderson, who helped bring great guests like Marsha to you every week and put out the newsletter. 

If you haven’t done so please consider reviewing the show or rating it and reviewing it wherever you listen, helps other people find it and keeps us at the top of the ranks. Hooyah, and I appreciate you thank you for being part of the change you want to see in the world. That change has to happen one person at a time. But we can do that at scale through technologies like this podcast, so appreciate you being part of it. Until next time, be unbeatable. Hooyah!



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