Sober No Matter What – THE SHARE – Ruben Zambrano

TheShare_0916_RubenZambranoSOBER NO MATTER WHAT

By Paulo Murillo

Ruben Zambrano has been sober since August 18, 1993. At 17-years sober, he was let go from his job of 10 years. After working various odd jobs, he decided to go into business for himself at J.Hilburn Men’s Clothier. We asked him how being sober helped him face the challenges of unemployment and finding a new career.

“One of the promises in recovery is that we will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. I learned this to be true when at 17-years sober, I was fired from my job that I had been working at for 10 years. I have been in the garment business for well over 25 years in one way or another. The rug was pulled from under me and I had to turn inwardly and turn to my sponsor and friends for council. I had to trust that my Higher Power—God, was directing the show. I spent a year in a half trying to find employment in my field. I had the willingness to humble myself, because I was this guy who was making this 6 figure salary and all of a sudden, I was doing side jobs to make ends meet.

If I had not been sober and something like this had happened to me, I would have reacted very poorly and played the victim. But I know the reality that nobody is responsible for financial wellbeing. If I do a job, the only responsibility they have is to pay me. If I wasn’t clean and sober, I wouldn’t have that perspective.


Instead I got into action. I started looking for work. I stayed willing and I remained open, and that’s when I found the opportunity to start my own business with J.Hilburn Men’s Clothier. I concluded that I needed to do something on my own. I quickly found out that I love what I do. I’m in front of people, still being creative and representing a custom clothing line for guys. My job is about service. Period. What can I do for you? What is it that you need, and how may I help you?


I’ve had my own business for four years. It has grown to a point where I need people. I’m not not only helping guys dress, but I’m also here to help others like myself build their own businesses and that’s another way that I get to be of service. There is a lot of footwork, a lot of calls, and a lot of follow-through and a lot of showing up–not just for my clients, but also for people looking to grow their businesses. Luckily I found something that I love to do. Am I making as much money, not in the least. Am I making a good living, absolutely.

I’m grateful for what happened to me, because I spent so many years avoiding pain by using opiates and alcohol, so I reveled in the pain I was experiencing. This is how God would have it be, and I knew that I would survive it and that the promises would come true for me.

For more on Ruben Zambrano visit, or Find him on Instagram at iloveruben, or on Pinterest and Twitter under the handle iloverubenz.