Scott Harrison describes himself as the quintessential prodigal son.
At 18, he left his conservative Christian home in New Jersey for New York City, where he became a nightclub promoter. There, he led a life of excessive drinking and drugs, model girlfriends and Rolex watches.
“It led to a life that looked good on the outside, but was rotting on the inside,” Harrison tells CNN’s Poppy Harlow in a recent episode of Boss Files. “There had been a betrayal, a departure from any sort of spirituality or morality or virtue that I had held onto as a child. And I thankfully had this moment, at 28 years old, where I came to my senses and said ‘Oh my gosh, I’m the worst person that I know.’”
Harrison – who is now 43 and the founder and CEO of charity: water which has raised more than $360 million for clean water projects – says it made him think about his legacy.
“If I continued down this path, there was a good chance that I would die before 40. I mean, if I had just partied like this, I may not make another 12 years. My tombstone might actually read: ‘Here lies a club rat that got a million people wasted.’”
That’s when he had an epiphany: What if he sold everything and just started over?