Being an Entrepreneur is a Life Sentence

Today is Monday, August 28, 2017 and probably will be all day

Today we’re trying out a new segment called “Ask the experts” The topic? Being an entrepreneur.

 Being an Entrepreneur is a Life Sentence.

Question: What advice would you give to new business owners or those thinking about getting into the cannabis business?

Answer: First, the most important piece of advice is… never chase money.

In our experience looking at those around us as we at CannaLocations built our company since the beginning of cannabis legalization in Washington, is that those who are only seeking profits  tend to fizzle out.

And so the next logical question is: Why do you really want to be in the cannabis business? Why do you want to be an entrepreneur at all?

For those who understand… being an entrepreneur is a life sentence. 

And it can be a hard time for sure, especially in this industry.

By starting a company, you are making the decision to become the CEO of your business. 

That sounds really cool until it’s Sunday night and you have to run to the store to deal with a break-in.  Or respond to the department of revenue because they have questions about your account or missed a quarterly filing.  Or when you get to hear the stories from employees about  why they can’t come in on the day before a holiday weekend to staff the store.  Or, when you  have an insect infestation in the warehouse. Or, when the computers shut down unexpectedly  because the system “updated” while you weren’t looking.  Or… the list goes on and on.

As the CEO, you get to oversee accounting, tech support, code enforcement, human resources, research & development, media, advertising, property management, sales, hiring, firing, etc… to name a few.  In a small business, you get to start out as the expert in everything… even when you have no idea what that everything entails.  Because, that’s how small business works.

This may be obvious to many of our more experience readers, but the thing is that many people  who are starting, and have been starting cannabis businesses, have little or no experience in  running an “actual” business. I say actual in quotation marks because of something even Washington  and other states acknowledged at the beginning of legalization, which is that many people who  were first willing to dip their feet have a black market background. And don’t take me the wrong  way, this is excellent because it gives these people a leg up on those who are who are strictly  investors.

If you’re clever, you may see where I’m going with this, which is that these two groups of people  make excellent teams, and if you’re looking for a partnership, we have the resources you’re  looking for, which you can read more about below.

But to come back to entrepreneurship - In order to pull it off successfully… that takes real game.  It takes consistency.  It takes planning.  It takes preparation.  It takes a system.  It takes a team.  But, it takes you to steer the ship and get it all going in the first place and that is something you  get to design from the ground up.

 This small business owner game is not a sprint.  You can try to race your way to the finish line,  but if you want to truly succeed, you need to prepare for the marathon that lies ahead. 

 We have found many people start out by telling you they want to be in business because it’s  about helping people or because they really support the plant.  We believe in many cases that  they start out because of those things.  However, it can very easily turns to the fact that they  think they can make a quick buck. 

This happened in what we like to call the “green gold” phase of the industry where everyone thought that things like keeping administrative, production, and marketing costs low because the  product would just fly off the shelves. We’re coming out of this phase now and into more strict  regulations as a result of pressure from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which is something we  cover in more detail in previous issues of theDailyBlunt.

And right about now, at this point, we’re seeing people start to really chase dollars, because the  way they had been chasing their dream is no longer profitable.  And, I’ll tell you that chasing  dollars won’t be enough of a reason to keep you coming back day after day to see it through.

Find your reason.  Find your why. And potentially, just maybe, team up with someone who has good financial experience. 

And then repeat daily to yourself.

Where will you be in 5 years?  10 years?  20 years? 

Over 87% of businesses fail in the first 10 years.  It’s probably higher in this industry, but we haven’t had a true 10 years yet to test.  Either way, you need to make the decision.  Are you going to be in club 13?  You know… the 13% of businesses that make it past the 10 year mark? 

At the end of the day, business is about economics.  But, it takes a lot more than just dollars to get you across the finish line.

If you’re looking to take the plunge, we have deals waiting.  And, when you’re ready to free yourself from the business, we can help you with that too.  Give us a call at (206) 466-4020 or to get your opportunity in front of who you’re missing.


Jennifer Hudson