In this episode, Billy will share his inspiring rags to riches story, how he strived to accomplish his childhood dream, why he transitioned to the CBD space, the struggles that he had to overcome when he was starting the business and the exciting milestones.
This story proves that if you are strong-willed, anything is possible. Stay tuned!
Just the fact that we started at the bottom and was able to see this organic growth is very motivational to me and lets me know what is possible, and what we can accomplish going forward. – Billy Giron
Some Topics We Discussed Include
3:59 – His transition from freestyle motocross to the cannabis space
11:05 – What keeps him on the grind
19:34 – The challenges and milestones of starting his own CBD business
24:44 – Advice to budding entrepreneurs who wants to enter the space
25:54 – He shares his personal learning curves
27:40 – How he continues to stay relevant as the leader of the team
34:11 – How they select their products
36:18 – Key challenges that they have faced and still facing in their business
41:04 – Some golden nuggets for aspiring CBD entrepreneurs
47:32 – Final Words
48:18 – Where to find them
People Mentioned / Resources
Connect with Billy Giron
Connect with Sonia Gomez
Sonia Gomez: What’s up guys, this is Sonia Gomez coming to you from Denver, Colorado. This is another badass, rock your socks episode of The Hemp Revolution. And if you don’t know about us, you better ask somebody. This is the fastest-growing cash-rich industry in the world right now next to sports gambling and cryptocurrency. No one talks about that, everyone is focused on what’s happening with cannabis and hemp right now.
And in The Hemp Revolution we are hyper-focused on exposing the stories telling and sharing the journeys of the entrepreneurs who are pushing this incredible movement forward with a mission to bring the best high performing products that you can trust to deliver the results you are looking for to the marketplace and ensuring that you feel safe and confident when selecting natural alternatives to your otherwise harmful medications.
If you are a consumer or somebody interested in products and you’re not sure which one to pick, check us out at medicalsecrets.com and if you are a budding entrepreneur or existing business who are hitting a glass ceiling right now check us out at theemeraldcircle.com for resources, relationships, tips and tricks on how you can navigate through the inevitable and extremely challenging roadblocks that can come along with this incredible industry. This is an incredibly exciting time right now. So we are excited to have you guys with us.
In today’s episode, we are going to be talking to the co-founder of The CBD Boutique and Canvas Organics Inc, specializing in brick and mortar CBD retail in New Mexico and in Colorado, super excited to hear the perspective of somebody who has quite literally been a part of this from purely a passion space.
This is the story you’re going to hear today really humanizes the way that the industry is evolving and the people who are willing to put it all on the line and get to where they want to go. Help me welcome, Mr. Billy Giron. Is that I say last name, Billy?
Billy Giron: Well, you pronounce the G like it’s an H. So it’s Hiron.
Sonia Gomez: Hiron. Oh, it was. It was gringa pronunciation.
Billy Giron: That’s all good. It happens.
Sonia Gomez: Even though I’m not a gringa, I’m fully like, Argentinian. So I should have known that but I didn’t.
Billy Giron: It’s all good, no worries.
Sonia Gomez: Happy to have you on.
Billy Giron: Thank you. That was a great intro, too. I couldn’t do that.
Sonia Gomez: While you’re doing plenty as I understand it, my minions have been stalking you for some time. we’ve watched your growth, heard a little bit about your story, although you’re not that outward on social, so it’s was a little bit tough to track you down. I want to hear from the horse’s mouth though because in my opinion, you’re extremely interesting and you represent a body of people who want and need to be a part of this movement, but maybe don’t necessarily know how to get in here and don’t have the confidence to do so.
So, Why don’t you give us a little grassroots background on who you are and how you ended up in this space?
His Transition from Freestyle Motocross to the Cannabis Space
Billy Giron: Definitely. Okay, so I guess the best place to start would be kind of my background that really led me to this. Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not necessarily known for the best public schools and whatnot, but my whole passion in life was actually motocross. So from three years old, I was on a dirt bike and from, therefore, that was my passion in life. My goal, I was very strongly pulled towards making that happen.
And the odds were already against me, you know, as wanting to be a professional motocross racer. Most of these kids that become professional they are, you know, homeschooled, they got a compound or somewhere really close by where they could train every day. I didn’t have that if I was lucky, my dad would take me riding on a weekend when you didn’t have work. That’s pretty much where I was at, but I push towards it. Put all my time. effort into this.
And around the age of 18, I kind of got a realization of how strict of a lifestyle and how hard of you know deal it would be to actually continue into that career path successfully. Sorry. So what I did was I, I pivoted into what’s called freestyle motocross. Now you go from racing to freestyle motocross is more, it tricks, it’s a lot more laid back lifestyle at the time is a pretty new sport.
So I got very, very lucky I got into it, and just kind of my career took off. I signed a three-month contract to Tour America with six dudes in a truck. And that’s kind of how it started. I started getting paid to ride my dirt bike and I’m, you know, started accomplishing my childhood dream. So, because of that, I decided in my head that priority was that over school, and I naturally, you know, I was making more money than any of my friends. One night and I wanted to continue that path and continue–
Sonia Gomez: You wanted to continue to ball out.
Billy Giron: dropped out of high school, it wasn’t for me and I continued and I got, you know, no regrets whatsoever, I would not have changed a single thing. I’ve been very blessed. It led me to, you know, travelling the world, making great money. You know, I lived in Southeast Asia for a couple of years, I’ve done stuff in Europe, a lot of different opportunities, met a lot of people and had a great time along the way. So that’s where I’m at.
Around 2014 while I was in Southeast Asia, I started having trouble with my back, right. So, um, it’s a pretty big deal. So I’ve spoken to three specialists out there in Hong Kong, right. And pretty much everyone I spoke to you said, Yeah, spinal fusion is the way to go. You need this surgery. Blah, blah, blah. My employers say you should do it and you know we’ll pay for your PT afterwards but it was actually a really good setup so I was really really considering doing it.
Now you got to remember being an avid cannabis user beforehand um you know through my whole life pretty much since middle school. Coming up to this point I’m now near China where it’s not the same right? So I’m going about two years off cannabis, not around cannabis or you know, any type of cannabinoid therapy, any of that so you know, my back’s really really getting to me right around the same time CBD is coming out or not coming out but more well known to the public so I start researching it.
I decided to go against the surgery for now and I end my contract and come back to the States. I immediately look into CBD find some start using it and it was a game-changer for me. Absolute game-changer for me and I was still considering the surgery here in the States, but two weeks into using an Oral tincture, I noticed how great it was for pain management and I no longer consider that surgery.
And it was a pretty big deal considering what I was doing for you know, to help my back. So yeah, kind of a game-changer for me for pain management. So that leads me into well what do I do now? I’m in a very young sport where I can’t do this for too much longer. I’ve suffered a lot of injuries and what’s my next step? Well, I’m passionate about cannabis. I’m going to try to go into that and that you know, long story short that leads us to today but with Knodel there was a tonne of hurdles and trials and tribulations along the way.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, I do you know, because I was in cannabis. Well, I you know, I hate to say that I’d even like in head because I don’t have my own product that I have an online publishing company and we really cover the full gamut cannabis and hemp but there’s been this hyper-focus on hemp recently because it’s just, it’s accelerating so quickly it’s becoming a global market.
You know, the United States is the largest marketplace in the world for CBD sales right now. And so we’re covering the hot we’re Wendy Williams doing it right now we’re covering the hot topics.
Billy Giron: No, I think that’s great, because what you’re doing, I don’t know the numbers, but I could almost guarantee that it’s way less saturated than the actual CBD products itself. You know, every day someone’s coming out everyone in their mom is selling CBD at this point. So–
Sonia Gomez: Quite really.
Billy Giron: Yes. I think you found a good niche within the industry. So that’s great.
Sonia Gomez: Well, it’s good. And you know, we have a certification program, all different types of things that catered to helping sort of level the playing field. There’s such a significant learning curve, no matter how educated you are, and in my opinion, the more degrees you hold, the harder it is for you. You to succeed in this space because there is no rule book set here and the things that feel most normal that you would learn in a formal education environment about marketing or building a business or any one of those things don’t apply here.
I mean, in theory, they could but the number of roadblocks and sort of circle jerking that you have to go through in order to succeed in this space is, I mean, it’s just remarkable. simple things like banking or advertising, things that feel second nature for the business, and it’s just like should be a part of a daily checklist are proving to be significant roadblocks.
Definitely, before you even get into product selection or efficacy, or stable supply chain or any of those things. So, I commend the entrepreneurs who are actively working with the product on a daily basis. I consult a lot of them. It’s not easy, but it’s totally worth it.
So let me ask you this, with your own transformational sort of experience what other stories since you’ve opened your store what other stories have just like kept you on the grind? Is there someone or something in particular, that on the days that you’re tired and fed up, get you out of bed and coming back to work?
What Keeps Him on the Grind
Billy Giron: Well, here’s the thing is, I think in my mind, it’s almost like a do or die situation for me to where I understand the importance of succeeding and I’ve put so much time and effort into my writing career, that’s now done. Now, I’m coming fresh into business right to where, regardless of the roadblocks that we face, we need to push forward.
And I think getting back into how our business for started it’s a true kind of like rags to riches story, so far on the It’s kind of really motivational to think of what can be possible, right? So kind of to go into that we, when we started our store, I kind of like to claim we’re the first brick and mortar CBD retail at least in the state of New Mexico that I know of based on other research, I couldn’t really find anything when we were starting out. So we were lucky enough to be the first to market and it was just natural market penetration because no one else was doing it.
Sonia Gomez: When did you open/
Billy Giron: 2015, mid-2015? You know, at this point, CBD wasn’t nearly as trendy or popular as it is now. The majority of products were coming from overseas. And what really helped us was we, right away created a vision and a model where we’re only offering domestic products.
That was a big one, right? Because people that didn’t know about CBD kind of appreciated that and people that didn’t know about it, it was an easy way– I guess you know to make a sale. It’s like you could buy stuff from overseas or you could come to our store and, you know, get a good education and get quality products. So–
Sonia Gomez: yeah, so that was your unique selling American made.
Billy Giron: Yeah, yes. And it’s really humorous on how we started. We originally created a group and, you know, completed an application for a medical licence here in New Mexico. And we worked our butts off for that, it was insane. When I say application, it’s not like a form. We’re talking a dolly of a six-inch binder.
Yeah, but it’s a big deal on and we hired consultants from Oregon, we, we worked with attorneys, I was really, really optimistic that we would get a licence. Unfortunately, I was unaware of the politics that played at hand, especially out here in New Mexico. It’s just pretty insane. So that didn’t go through and we’re like, all right, well, let’s try CBD. It’s low risk, right. Let’s go for it.
What we did was we Somehow hooked up with these two guys that own a phone repair store here in Albuquerque. There’s a street called central. I guess it would be comparable to Colfax in the more seedier days because I know they’re, you know, it’s getting a little better now.
Sonia Gomez: [inaudible] down there and that cannabis cash doesn’t come in and fix that place up.
Billy Giron: Exactly. So our central is kind of like Colfax, more in the olden days, I guess you could say, not, you know, more of a seedy area. And you know, we hook up with this phone repair guys, and we say, we’ll pay half your rent to give us half the store. So that’s hilarious. He walked into this phone repair store, if you look to the right, it’s a scratched up glass display case with $500 worth of CBD products in there. You know you look to the left, it’s a phone repair place.
And you can imagine the type of characters we get walking into that place with their phones, right. So that’s how we started but nevertheless, we were first to the market, at least in our area, so we kind of immediately grabbed up my market share and just grew really fast from there.
Sonia Gomez: Had the pimps given CBD to their–
Billy Giron: As long as they were of age, it was all good.
Billy Giron: So yeah, I think going back to your question, I kind of got off subject, but just the fact that we started at the bottom and was able to see this organic growth is very motivational to me and lets me know what is possible, and what we can accomplish going forward. But also one of the coolest things that really, really inspires me is the nature of this business truly is helping people.
One of the coolest things that really, really inspires me is like, the nature of this business truly is helping people. - Billy Giron Click To Tweet
We have seen thousands of testimonies that you won’t even believe you know what I mean, when it comes to like, epilepsy and opioid use and just stuff like that, that we’ve seen, like, in real life, people are coming to us just absolutely thanking us for what we’re doing. And it’s not even really us. We’re just selling a product, we’re not pharmacists or doctors or anything but it’s just really cool it makes you feel good you know?
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. I get to hear message after message after message from people who are sharing these just exponential results from using both cannabis and hemp and for a long time being from Northern California and just like really heavily immersed into the cannabis culture up there I used to believe that hemp was for fibres and industrial purposes I never really believed that it was called diet weed, I still joke sometimes and call it diet weed. I have like, I’ve been bitten by the bug, I prefer high CBD and low THC cannabis now like strains like Harlequin for instance, who are just like my go-to, I way rather smoke that than this alien weed that’s out on the market now.
And I don’t care what anybody says. Both are just genetically modified. The cannabis growers who are trying to be a part of the boom right now have bred out the THC and are scooping up the CBD. And then vice versa on the cannabis side people are just like, pour it on like they’re just trying to like blow out the THC content and the extractions and the flower and all of it. And it’s like an alien weed. So it’s pretty insane for sure. Yeah, it’s not like that home ground like humbled cush that used to get from Northern California like it’s a far cry. So I’m all about that diet weed life right now.
Billy Giron: Yeah, it’s funny because I seem to meet more and more people that are leaning that way in the industry, right because I have some good relationships with vendors. A lot of them, you know, 98% of the products we carry are from Denver, Colorado, and a lot of people I talked to you seem to be leaning towards that. It’s like I’m using less THC nowadays more towards the CBD, whatever works is fine but I feel [inaudible] I used to be like the definition of a pothead and now I prefer CBD, that’s my daily regimen. I don’t necessarily partake much in the high THC stuff anymore. But it’s not it’s just not, CBD is better for me.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, I’m all about life either way. I’m like, I’m good. And at the same time, like my responsibilities and I call it my caseload is much different now. I can’t kick back and like smoke a blunt and go get a burrito. I got kids coming home at two I got hungry ass teenagers coming home at– It’s like I got it. I gotta keep myself in peak performance and I just noticed that the hemp products make it a lot easier for me to maintain that level of relaxation.
I gotta keep myself in peak performance and I just noticed that the hemp products make it a lot easier for me to maintain that level of relaxation. - Sonia Gomez Click To Tweet
And even keel, whereas if I use cannabis, it’s late at night when I’m trying to go to bed and like, I just need an immediate night night. And you know, it’s really awesome. So you opened up your store, talk to me a little bit about your, I want to understand the growth from like sharing a space with the telephone repair all the way to acquiring your own store. And now you’re just like, pretty quickly expanding into different parts of Denver running multi-state locations.
That’s a significant growth to have to go through. So walk me through the journey a little bit. I want to know about the challenges. I want to know about the milestones where you were like, Yeah, we did it. Tell me a little take me through. Take me I’ll walk through your forest.
The Challenges and Milestones of Starting His Own CBD Business
Billy Giron: Okay. So shortly after opening our store in the phone repair place– first of all, I gotta kind of set the premises of how this was so it was kind of like a shared space building. So you walk through one main entrance, and you got multiple retail spaces within like a hallway that we do two different places. One of them was more like a massage, you got like a salon type thing, the phone repair, whatever.
So I would say just months after we first opened our doors, we’re now contacting the landlord to move to a bigger space within that same building. So that was cool. It was more legit in a sense. And I would say, with that one year mark, we hire a contractor to break the wall where we’re at to open it up to two units. So now we actually have, you know, like, I’d say maybe like a 700 square foot small store, but it’s an actual store.
So the natural progression from there is the back of this building had an– for some weird reason, there’s an actual house built into this building, like a full-size four-bedroom home. We’re now renting that. So that’s our headquarters. So we go from being a small retail store. We’re dabbling in manufacturing, distribution, phone orders and online, right. We’re doing e-commerce, and our headquarters are all based out of that house.
So one store plus the headquarters where all our offices are and all that other stuff is going down. And yeah, I mean, that was a point where I was like, wow, this is fully organic growth. And it’s happening really fast. So we have something here that was kind of the like, aha moment where I knew, you know, we really had something and we should continue to scale.
Sonia Gomez: It took you breaking down a wall expanding into two spaces renting out the back of a house and figure out that you had something, you’re so sweet.
Billy Giron: You weren’t we weren’t done there. I think when I look back about everything, literally the entire journey that I’ve been on with my teammates and partners and employees, it literally has been 80% struggle. Like it’s honestly kind of disheartening. So at one point, or you know, and one side of the story, it’s kind of showing that anyone could do this. But on the other side, it’s like you got to be prepared for some real struggle.
Sonia Gomez: Let’s talk about that. I want to talk about that here in just a second because there’s the inevitable challenges, but I love this sort of hero’s journey that you’re taking on right now. Because truthfully, from a conservative perspective, you are winning against all odds, you’re a high school dropout who pursued a semi-professional athletic career, ended up with some sort of life-altering injury that could have very quickly turned you into another statistic of an opioid-addicted minority and quite literally, you’re escaping with your life and then breathing life into your communities. So this is a pretty remarkable, you know, against all odds type story.
And for those of you guys who are listening to this and trying to figure out, you know why you haven’t made the move into the space yet or how you can participate, or if you’re feeling the lack of confidence, like you don’t have what it takes to contribute value to what’s happening here, I want you to listen closely to the things that are being shared because everyone has something of value to contribute.
This is a grassroots movement. Still big business has not come into here you have unique skill sets, passion, purpose, and that will help you become profitable, whether you’re working a job, educating your community, even working with your family and friends to holistically address some of the points of discomfort and being a purchaser of the products that an advocate for holistic health. in general. This is there’s plenty of ways for you to be involved.
And I want you to really feel like a deep breath of confidence right now that no matter where you are in your life or what has been a challenge for you before, this is an embrace. This is an industry that embraces you with a whole heart. And there’s a way for you to play if you’re willing to try. So I just like to speak to them. Because we have budding entrepreneurs, we have people from all different walks of life who are like, Oh, fuck, I’m on disability or Oh, shit, I didn’t graduate high school, or I only have my GED, or I lost my job, or I only have one leg and I’m like, who cares? We love all of the toothless one-legged freaks. Have a great story?
Advice to Budding Entrepreneurs Who Wants to Enter the Space
If I could do it anyone could do it, you just got to be strong-willed and kind of lucky and smart - Billy Giron Click To Tweet
Billy Giron: Yeah. And it’s kind of like the cliche, like if I could do it, you could do it or anyone could do it. And that is true. However, things have changed, right. Like I mentioned before, we got really lucky to kind of be the first to the market and where we are seeing that now operating in Denver, scaling a little bit differently because we’re not the first to the market there. So but it is possible. I mean, like I said if I could do it anyone could do it, you just got to be strong-willed and kind of lucky and smart. In some cases, it could work out.
Sonia Gomez: Totally. Yeah. And I want to get to that here in just a second because cardinal rule number one with any business is location, location, location, and really understanding and understanding the demographic that you’re serving in that location.
A lot of the McDonald’s model is investing in the real estate and the looky-loos like the Burger Kings and Carl’s juniors and all that stuff are like McDonald’s is going there. Let’s follow suit so, you see these clusters are concentrated business types all in the same location because like attracts like. location, location, location, but I’m still stuck on this thing in New Mexico, you guys got that big, built out your team that much, how did you have to– what are the significant learning curves for yourself that you have had to go through in order to grow with your business? because the mentality that you have in 2015 when you’re starting out and the understanding of what you can do and how you can do it is significantly different than somebody who is managing three locations and acquiring new real estate and new square footage and managing teams that are taking care of all of these different facets of your business?
Share with me a little bit about your own personal evolution in this process and how you continue to up level with the rise of your company.
His Personal Learning Curves
Billy Giron: Yeah, so man, that’s a hard one to answer. Well, actually, it’s easy to answer but I guess to be blunt, no pun intended would be I came into this with pretty much my only other than doing a couple semesters of business admin and a community college, my only real-life experience would be, without going too deep into it would be maybe on the grey market, right? before cannabis was a little what it is today as far as the legality goes, That’s some good experience that’s some good learning and you can really apply that to everyday life.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, you’re a one-man distribution company.
Billy Giron: Exactly. So um that’s what I came into this, that was my mindset and it actually seemed to work it’s very simple ABC elementary type of way of doing business so everything other than that has been kind of thrown at me everything has been a learning curve up until you know, it’s still happening right now there’s so much I don’t know so much I need to learn through are there are businesses and thrive and to grow more, you know, so
Sonia Gomez: So how do you continue to stay relevant as the leader of your team than are you like reading books? Are you hiring mentors? Are you building out the team like what Mark Cuban said hire your weaknesses? So how are you investing in yourself and sort of padding [inaudible] yourself so that you’re you know, remaining In that sharp leadership role?
Staying Relevant as the Leader of the Team
Billy Giron: Yeah, so that’s a good point to bring up right now because that’s something we’re dealing with as we speak right now today. we went from a partnership LLC and I think we should get back into kind of how that, that all unfurled, but we’re now a corporation. So technically, I’m the CEO and I think being a CEO of a different Corporation, I would not be able to cut it right. But that’s my title, and I’m trying to make it work. However, you know, I don’t have this experience in schooling that I think really heavy hitter should have, so I’ve kind of been faced with the realization that I think it’s about time to really hire my weaknesses.
So that’s what we’re working on now, I think to bring our business to the next level that’s absolutely needed. So my business partner and I, have recently made a big sacrifice and cut our salary and that’s not where expected Be Here in 2019. But I think it’s absolutely necessary to bring our business to the next level.
Yeah, so we’re to the point where we are looking into maybe some educated or highly experienced executives, you know, and will remain directors or shareholders, and we kind of let them do their thing and bring us to the next level. So I kind of feel like, to be totally honest, we got it here but to get here, I need not necessarily step down but hand it over to someone in a sense.
You know, because other than that, I was thinking what may be the business could pay for my tuition and I could, what I’m learning every day, I could bring it back and use it in real life for the business. The other option is to get someone that already knows what they’re doing and let them have at it, you know, so that’s what we’re being faced with.
Sonia Gomez: I love this. I absolutely love this. And it’s not an easy thing to say, you know, in public that like we’re at that stage that like, it could be looked at it two ways. Well, on one hand, you could be like, Oh shit, I’m being really vulnerable and sharing that I don’t know everything, and it’s not all going the exact way that I want it to go. But on the other hand, like, there’s something to be said for the fact that you know that it’s time to level up and bring in people who play those really important roles.
Because, you know, I’ve learned this entire thing in my own process of building and growing my companies and I’ve done it multiple times over. I’ve peaks and valleys of entrepreneurship are so fun. Like, when you don’t know what you don’t know and when you don’t know you have to hire people who do know. And that actually makes you look better as a leader because you are willing to take that opportunity for growth and feedback and giving the reins over to somebody and what it actually ends up doing is positioning you as the visionary in the company and you get to remain in that visionary position, rather than the monotony of like the daily task.
And really what it comes down to is like how do we expand operations so that I can remain in that position of envisioning? How I want this to look? How I want this to feel? What I want this brand to become? And you are dead on with what you’re doing and how you’re doing it and how you know you integrate those things into your team.
And the culture of your company is such a valuable time right now. And I’m so excited to watch this whole process go. I want to offer you a resource and I swear I’ve talked about this book so much and maybe it’s just because I’m getting hot and heavy on it myself.
The Millionaire master plan and Roger James Hamilton talks about how to leverage the power of the universe and how to leverage the unique strengths and talents of each person in your team to bring your company into the flow. He says this thing– he’s taken 5000 years of Eastern philosophy with like the E Ching and paired it with modern-day business. And he says a leaf when you drop dropped in the river doesn’t need to be told where to go, it just goes there, it just follows the flow of the river. Whereas if you throw a human into the river that has Big Rapids, it’s the humans going to immediately grab onto the rock. And it will have such a hard time letting go to be into the flow because they have to feel like they’re in control. And they’re going to know what happens next.
The same thing happens when while we’re building our team. As a business owner, we get like, what roles do we have to fill in our company? Okay, let’s get someone who has those skills to put it in there. But perhaps it’s not there. And likewise, from the employees’ perspective, they just need a job. So they’re willing to do what it takes to get the position, right. But when you put people in their flow in their position of power, leveraging their unique talents, strengths and passions, the growth that happens in your business is exponential.
It’s incredible to see that contrast when you know, literally you’ll experience hockey stick growth in your business, so check out the Millionaire Master Plan, and his whole philosophy around building your team, hiring up, investing in, instead of like saving money to get the job done investing into somebody who knows how to get the project complete. It’s just like, such powerful mentality for a business owner and it has completely changed the way that I build and grow my own organization.
So I’ll just share that little nugget with you.
Billy Giron: Cool. Yeah, no, I wrote that down. I’ll look into it. And the cool thing is, I view it as a positive because my background and just my being, I’m not necessarily– I’m not the type of person to be sitting in an office, you know what I mean? Yeah, so I went from riding my dirt bike and making good money to sitting in an office and doing emails and stuff. So I think I’ve done my fair share, you know, earning it to be able to kind of pass on the position and really I hope hopefully watch the business flourish more than it currently is and reap the benefits from it. That’s the master plan.
Sonia Gomez: I love that great master plan. How are you guys selecting the products that are going into your store right now?
Criteria for Selecting Products
Billy Giron: Okay, so like I mentioned, we’ve always been very, very strict on quality and the fact that it has to be domestic. Well as the markets kind of grown, the domestic thing isn’t really that big of an issue anymore. I mean, I don’t really see any products that come from overseas that are questionable, and you know, Colorado’s the mecca of these products, as far as I know.
So, really, what determines what we carry now is and I’ve been kind of a big proponent of regulation and I was kind of pleasantly surprised to see when we got into the Denver market that the CTPAT is doing the regulations on consumable products. So as far as consumables go, regardless of where we’re located We hold true to that.
And our products have to be C-TPAT approved and shelf-life stable. And that’s kind of just a basis for our products be on our shelf that’s regardless like we do that even with our stores here in Albuquerque, and that kind of makes me feel good, right? Because you get people all day everyday contact and you try to get their products in your store. And it’s almost like well if you’re not C-TPAT he approved, I can’t even pursue it. Right. So we’re doing that I would I think I said 98% of what we carry is grown manufacturer, you know, created in Colorado and on our shelves.
Other than that, I think I have a knack for products that I can stand behind. Right. So one of the big issues we face with products is a lot of them seem to come off as kind of like gimmicky, right? You see that a lot with certain products like bait products or edibles and I think I have a good talent for being able to avoid stuff like that. So when you walk into our store, it just has a good vibe as far as the products you’re surrounded by. And a customer could be confident knowing that whatever they pick, they’re walking out with high quality, safe and consistent product.
Sonia Gomez: Three key challenges that you have faced and that you are facing right now in your business.
Billy Giron: Okay, so one I would like to bring up that’s really important for anyone listening is I will be the first to admit, scaling is an art. So that means growing the business and in life, I tend to be maybe a little over-optimistic, right? So I have this plan and I just hammer towards it until it’s accomplished. So scaling has been a big one, I would say sometimes we are premature scaling can have negative effects on the business. So let’s get back into history. We have this store. We do another location in Albuquerque, so now we’re doing two stores.
And we’re absolutely killing it. Anyone that would see the numbers that we’re producing would be astonished, right? So, we do that. But the problem is when you’re seeing that you got to be very careful of, Okay, I want to do more and more and more, because if that happens, you could kind of deter the main– So the best way to say you could slow yourself down by scaling too much. So that’s something we face.
Sonia Gomez: That’s a major Achilles heel in any industry, but especially this one.
Billy Giron: Yeah. So and there are some things that happened that are important that I think we should touch on that let us where we are today. But in February of 2019, we went from having, you know, just two stores in Albuquerque back to one and now we’re operating in mid-November will have five stores now. So in less than a year from one to five, and possibly a six, but we got to be very careful. Right? So So we put a lot of resources in trying to expand. And then if things don’t go exactly as planned, it can be detrimental to the business and to funds and budgeting and stuff like that.
So premature scaling is something that we’re dealing with, or we have dealt with, and we’re trying to get a grasp back on now. I think now that we understand it, we got a better hold on it. Another huge one that you already mentioned is banking and credit card processing. We’ve been the victims of this time and time before and it seriously halts revenue and just really, really hurts the business when that happens.
Sonia Gomez: Are you guys selling online as well? Or is that primarily in your–
Billy Giron: We are. Unfortunately, I think we’ve lost our credit card processor, you know, obviously, through different sources, but we’ve gone through this four times since we’ve started. So at one point, our website was actually good where we wanted it. even though that’s our main focus, but we had e-commerce and go into four bouts of not being able to operate online has really, really hurt us. It’s really hurt us. So we’re back online, we got a small selection on the website of our house brand products and whatnot. And it’s chugging along, but it’s nowhere where it used to be.
I kind of base that off of not being able to cater to the customers so often with losing credit card processing. Banking is a whole nother thing. At one point, we were stacking up bank accounts, just knowing that we’d lose them because we’ve done it to where we’re doing great and our bank cuts us off, and now we can no longer do business, right? So we got to the point where we’re stacking up bank accounts and going in there and really trying to water down what we’re doing, you know, we’re health supplement store, blah, blah, blah, just so we could get this bank account so we could use it for a couple of months before they cut us off. Wow, that’s no way to do business. You know, it’s very, very frustrating and stressful. So those are definitely some huge factors that have heard us you know,
Sonia Gomez: With all of the stuff and all of the challenges and all the things that make you shudder at the thought there’s still so many different things to celebrate being a part of this industry right now. And where you have been able to get against all odds as will say, I’m positive that there are some key pieces of wisdom that you can share too. And I love to call this section the golden nuggets of our show and always wanting to just give as much value as we can to our listeners, because there are customers who are looking to figure out products there’s, there are budding entrepreneurs who have no idea how to enter into the space and there are existing brands are probably sitting on the other line right now saying like, Oh, shit, I totally get that.
You know, and but Either way, like, I would love to hear from you, from your perspective, what are some key pieces of advice that you would offer somebody who is considering getting into the industry and trying to figure out what their best entry point is here? What are some pieces of wisdom or advice you could share?
Golden Nuggets for Aspiring CBD Entrepreneurs
Billy Giron: Well, if someone was trying to get into the industry right now, I would say maybe finding a niche would be important. And because of the markets extremely saturated, you know, pretty much everyone is selling CBD or has their own CBD line. So I personally, I think trying to find something outside that box would be a smart way to go because, all day long, we get emails and calls about getting products on our shelves and sometimes I’m just like, how do these people survive? You know what I mean? Like there’s 100 emails, of different products, like they’re really really relying on getting these cold calls and getting their products on the shelf.
None of what I've done in my life would be possible unless I absolutely believe that it could be possible. So I'd really say try to stay confident and believe that what you want to do in life could be possible. - Billy Giron Click To Tweet
And I don’t know just, I think finding a niche outside of an actual product may be my advice, but that just from my experience. Another thing kind of goes back to just knowing your self-worth, like your value, kind of the against all odds type deal that we’re the theme we’re on. Really none of what I’ve done in my life would be possible unless I absolutely believe that it could be possible. So I’d really say try to stay confident and believe that what you want to do in life could be possible.
It gets kind of scary when you’re faced with paying the mortgage and needing a nine to five but I think if you’re passionate about something you could really push kind of one day at a time to make something happen and just stay optimistic about what you’re doing.
Sonia Gomez: Right here the mindset of a millionaire. I love it. I love it, mindset is such a huge piece of this. Okay, so some golden nuggets. Some golden nuggets. I never prepare these and somebody the other day was like I was if you didn’t prepare, I’m like, I never prepared. I just started to do this in the podcast, but a lot of people enjoyed it. So I think I’ll piggyback off of the mindset piece because I don’t tend to brush on it so much because people think it’s woo woo. But there’s got to be just a hair of crazy for somebody to be [inaudible], but to actually be successful in this industry.
So I say nourish your mindset, start with your mindset and really challenge yourself to identify the pieces of yourself that don’t necessarily feel confident or competent. And fortify yourself with knowledge or people who can who have the knowledge to support you get to that place where you feel like you can make the corporate to cannabis jump.
If you already have an existing business– I’ll second that with if you already have an existing business or an existing skillset, something that you’ve been at exercising for a long time, figure out where that fits in with the current industry. I love what you said about finding an ancillary niche, maybe something that’s not directly related to having your own product but perhaps playing the role of the distributor or playing the role of a marketer, an accountant, a lawyer, any one of these professional roles that are quite honestly making more money because of the industry that they’re serving, especially in the cannabis space. If you’re an HVAC or contractor or anything like that, and you have specialized knowledge and to have an event a room for an indoor grow like you’re going to make more money doing that than you would air rating a– getting a house online.
And then the final piece I would say is I’m all about the message. So for me, there has to be passion behind your purpose. It can’t be profit-driven. Money is an automatic response from the universe to show that you are bringing the most amount of value into the marketplace. And when it comes down to its value for value is awesome. But when you can figure out the leverage that allows you to bring the most value into the marketplace with the least amount of team time and effort, that’s when you start to see automated returns in profitability for your company.
So figuring out how to bring your value to the marketplace with the most amount of leverage is going to be a superpower for you. Whether you choose to work directly with the plant, or in an ancillary fashion, just be cognizant of that and always think about like, what is my passion? What do I feel my purpose is and start to build your value around that and always considering the leverage that you have to impact the most people because the impact that you’re making is a direct reflection of the income that you’ll have the potential to make.
Billy Giron: Yeah, and that’s a good one to bring up for sure. And I feel like right now, the industry that we’re we are in is a gold rush. So I personally feel like, I would say the majority of new startups or companies on the market are specifically for that. The bottom line, which is the money what I mean? So it lacks the message that you’re talking about.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, absolutely. I want to continue to follow your story. I’d love to go into your Denver shops and check them out, let me know. I called you from my cell phone earlier. So you can just let me know when you’re coming back into town and I’ll pop in over there and do a live there. You know, there are so many things that we have figured out.
Being an online business and media, we have figured out marketing with social media, we figured out online sales processes, we figured out the merchant processing side of things. Expanding relationships and partnerships with people who have complementary skill sets. These are things that I’m most passionate about because I get to talk to you guys who are working in the industry every single day and I’m like, oh, I just talked to somebody who did this or I know somebody who did that.
So I’m really super excited to bring that value and act as a resource for you. This is my passion around this comes from my own transformational story were like cannabis and hemp truthfully saved my life, I too would be a Hispanic statistic, an addict on medications, if I wouldn’t have found cannabis and hemp been understood how to properly use them. So I’m really excited to follow your journey and to be a part of your growth. Any last words of wisdom that you’d like to share with our community before we end today’s interview?
Billy Giron: Yeah, I guess back to like, really believing yourself is probably my biggest one. I mean, that’s the only way I’ve done this. If I look back on how everything’s happened. So I’m a big proponent of the law of attraction. So maybe look into The Secret. I read that book when I was a teenager and it really hit me. Another book, The Alchemist, it has a really good message behind it kind of just showing like, what goals you’re working for and what they actually mean. And yeah, I would say just stay positive and pretty much [inaudible]
Billy Giron: Keep on keeping it on and can I do a shout out for source?
Sonia Gomez: Oh yeah, I was just gonna that was my next question was where can people find you or your stores if they’re interested in coming to check you out?
Where to Find Them
Billy Giron: Okay so in New Mexico we operate under the name CBD Boutique. We currently have two stores here in Albuquerque. You could also find our house brand products which people swear by we kind of have like a cult following of some of our products on the CBDboutique.com so you can check it out there. And in Denver, our newest kind of operation. It’s called Canvas Organics, and we really try for like a high-end atmosphere.
And we are located on Tennyson street that’s in the Berkeley neighbourhood of Denver and in Lakewood, Colorado, and the Belmarsh shopping centre right next to Dick’s Sporting Goods. So I’d really love it if you guys checked out the stores and if you mentioned you saw this podcast will set up a 10% off for your first time in and can also view that website at Canvasorganics.com
Sonia Gomez: Amazing all of the social channels and websites will be posted inside of the blog that is around this video right now. Make sure that you check them out. We do not bring slouches onto the show. So there is definitely something to see if you are in the area or give them a call. I’m sure that they can serve you virtually as well. If you check out products and see something there that you are liking. Thank you so much for being a part of our community. Thanks for being on my show today. It was really fun to get to know you. Yeah, and I’ll definitely be following your journey. I live in Greenwood Village. So I’ll come in and check out your Lakewood store and I just think what you’re doing so amazing. Congratulations for all your incredible growth.
Billy Giron: I appreciate it.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, you’re welcome. For those of you guys who are tuning in, thanks so much for being a part of this incredible movement. This is The Hemp Revolution podcast and I’m your hostess with the mostess. Sonia Gomez. If you are an amazing person and you’re looking for products that can give you the results that you are looking for, check us out at medicalsecrets.com for the best brands that you can trust to deliver those results. And if you are a budding entrepreneur or existing brand who is hitting that glass ceiling and you aren’t tired of being in Willy Wonka’s factory, hit us up at theemeraldcircle.com, happy to help however we can. We will see you guys on our next episode. Bye-bye for now.
Subscribe & Review The Hemp Revolution Podcast
Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast! If the information in our weekly conversations and interviews have helped you in your journey, please head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more amazing folks just like you!