As part of our ongoing Client Spotlight series, we are pleased to have spoken with MJ about his work. Good Counsel Services has had the absolute pleasure of working with MJ Gottlieb, co-founder of the Loosid app. Loosid was created for individuals struggling with addiction to support them in living a sober lifestyle. Good Counsel is the fiscal sponsor of Loosid’s nonprofit initiative, the Loosid Scholarship Program, to offer members access to the new premium feature who do not have the financial means to afford it.
What led to the creation of Loosid?
MJ is a recovered survivor of addiction. When he was originally trying to get sober, he had perceived sobriety to be a restricted life spent in diners and coffee shops, and thought taking this step would be the end of all fun. Once his eyes were opened to the fact that one can have infinitely more fun sober, while actually remembering past events, he wanted to create a platform to show the amazing experiences that can be had and shared while living a sober lifestyle. As MJ was putting in the work to recover, he set a goal to break the stigma that there’s no fun in being sober, and show the hundreds of millions of people suffering with alcohol and substance abuse that it is actually cool to be sober. On November 15, 2018, MJ reached that goal and the Loosid app was launched.
Were there initial challenges in getting Loosid started? How were they overcome?
The greatest challenge thus far has been keeping the platform free for its users, while also self-funded. By keeping Loosid self-funded, it has restricted the growth of the platform, but instilled its integrity. Taking in any outside investors could sacrifice all the honorable, hard work that has been put into Loosid, and could alter their ability to make the correct decisions in terms of what is truly best for users of the app.
Another challenge Loosid faced was getting it up and running. MJ had the vision, but no developer or coding experience to bring it to life himself. He hired a team in the early stages to develop the platform, but there was a great deal of trial and error which cost Loosid an immense amount of money to achieve the perfect technology.
When Covid hit, this was yet another setback for Loosid. While user growth did spike tremendously at this time, many in-person events and launches were halted, and efforts that were in place to launch with the Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP) were also put on hold. Additionally, keeping Loosid free for the community during Covid cost several million dollars, further limiting their resources.
What have the greatest impacts been?
The platform, along with the community of members that has grown together, saves lives everyday. By creating an interactive platform, the members are able to connect and engage to help each other with matters they first-handedly understand. The turnaround stories shared have made it all worthwhile and very rewarding. Some members that met through the dating feature of the app have even gotten married. Ultimately, the app has led to much celebration, people coming together in sobriety, and has truly shown that anyone can turn their lives around.
What is envisioned for the future of Loosid?
Loosid currently has about 140,000 members. This growth is a great accomplishment, but with hundreds of millions of people suffering, there is still a long way to go. In the coming months, Loosid plans to launch in Canada, followed by London and the surrounding territories, Australia, Central and South America, and will not stop there. As previously mentioned, growth and vetting the appropriate potential investors is a challenge, but MJ has found that if people lead with their hearts as opposed to their wallets, everything will fall into place.
What is the meaning behind the name?
“Loosid” comes from a combination of two ideas. Lucid, or clarity of thoughts, combined with the saying “wear sobriety like a loose garment.” Ultimately, the idea of the name is to relax; sobriety is not the end of the world, but the beginning of an infinitely better life.
Do you have any advice for someone trying to get sober, or sober-curious?
A gentleman named Tim Ryan stated “if you have a heartbeat, you have hope.” If one has a desire and willingness to get sober, they will. Anyone and everyone has the ability to get sober, but it does require work, which is beyond worth the reward.
Interested in joining the Loosid community? Click here for more information on becoming a member.