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How to Find Your Niche in the Hemp and Cannabis Space with Shelby Isaacson

Episode 89 Shelby Isaacson

Shelby Isaacson co-owns Second and Seed, the most award-winning CBD shop in Florida; Synkron BioSciences, a boutique-style private and white-label manufacturing company; and Bogart Labs, an international concierge-style equipment manufacturing company for the hemp and cannabis industries. 

Shelby is a multi-passionate entrepreneur with a background in public relations and marketing. She has been the keynote speaker for a national CBD expo with over 13,000 attendees and also a 2019 Women in Business nominee on SRQ magazine.

In the previous year alone, she has conceived more than a dozen CBD brands and deployed over 50 products from sublingual tinctures to more complicated pharmaceutical-grade facial creams and CBD-infused nitro cold brew coffee and tea.

If you would have asked her five years ago, Shelby would have said no to getting involved in anything cannabis and hemp as she had never smoked a cigarette in her life but an earth-shattering circumstance has brought her into consciousness and awareness that changed her life forever.

In today’s episode, Shelby shares her story and how she is striving to impact other people’s lives with her unique approach to the industry and her deep knowledge of brand and product development.

If I went and did it again, I definitely wouldn’t be as honestly diversified as I am because I really feel like the riches are in the niches and really probably focusing on one or two main things I think that’s important. – Shelby Isaacson

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

4:17 – Shelby Isaacson’s major turning point in her career
11:28 – Shelby describes their business model and her key roles in their companies
15:09 – What they are doing differently that sets them apart from the competition
19:38 – The challenges in starting and growing their businesses
28:14 – Choosing the demographic that you should focus on
30:34 – Retail vs. online distribution design
36:41 – Words of wisdom
44:12 – Where to find them

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Shelby Isaacson

Connect with Sonia Gomez


Sonia Gomez: What’s up, guys? Sonia Gomez coming to you from Denver, Colorado. Super excited to be here on another rock your socks episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast where we are sharing and telling the real story of cannabis from the canna babes and gentlemen who are pushing this incredible industry forward. Not without its challenges this industry is the fastest-growing cash-rich industry in the world right now. And I’ll tell you what, there are some things to watch out for. But if you are a person looking for products that you can depend on to deliver the results you’re looking for, check us out at And if you’re an entrepreneur looking for merchant processing or banking, perhaps you need to stabilize supply chain or a trusted source for distribution, maybe you are just looking to get on the other side of this compliance nightmare. We can help. Check us out at for all of the tools, tips, tricks, resources, and relationships that you need to blow through the glass ceilings and brick walls of this industry. 

In today’s episode, we are going to be sharing another boss babe story, a woman who brings a unique approach to the industry due to her deep knowledge of the brand and product development. In the last time year alone she has conceived more than a dozen CBD brands and deployed over 50 products from basic sublingual tinctures to more complicated pharmaceutical grade facial creams and CBD-infused Nitro cold brew coffee and tea, Isaacson has a knack for not only understanding what her clients want, but what their customers desire. 

In recent months, she was the keynote speaker for a national CBD Expo which had over 13,000 in attendance and is a 2019 women and business nominee of the Year for SRQ Magazine. Isaacson co-owns Second and Seed, the most award-winning CBD shop in Sarasota Florida. Synkron, is that how you say that?

Shelby Isaacson: Yep, Synkron.

Sonia Gomez: Okay, Synkron BioSciences, a boutique-style private and white-label manufacturing company and Bogart Labs, and international concierge-style equipment manufacturing company for the hemp and marijuana industries. Isaacson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Ellis College located in New York City. And she got into the industry due to her own health conditions (chronic migraine syndrome). And her story is pretty intense on how the syndrome started and how it affected her life and ultimately led her into this incredible space to help more lives transform through the brands and products that she was in support of developing. Super excited to introduce you to our guest for today. Put your hands together and literally welcome our good friend, Shelby Isaacson. How’s it gone, Shelby?

Shelby Isaacson: Great. You even sound so fancy. Wow. Could you do that every morning for me?

Sonia Gomez: Yes, I’m your local pep talker. Don’t worry about–

Shelby Isaacson: Yes, I’m super excited to be here. I love to talk shop. So anytime I get a chance to be able to chat with like-minded individuals, literally, I’m a kid in the candy store.

Sonia Gomez: Well, when I was doing my research on you and I started to read through some of the things that you had accomplished and things that you were up to, I was like, Okay, well way to put the rest of us to shame have your hands and everything I see. So why don’t you quick and dirty, tell everybody who you are, what your background is, and how you ended up in this crazy industry.

Shelby Isaacson’s Major Turning Point in Her Career

Shelby Isaacson: Well, basically, I am a multi-passionate entrepreneur. I really have a background in public relations and marketing. That’s kind of what I did prior to getting into the industry. About four years ago, I was actually– because I’m type A, for doing a practice run on how long it was going to take me to get to this new job that I had at the largest agency here in Southwest Florida. 

On the way, I dropped my son off at school and was driving down the road. I drove down all the time and I got a sharp pain and my head and I ended up passing out while driving and I drove two whole blocks. The worst part about it was that I ended up having my four-year-old daughter in the car at the same time and I was almost went through an intersection and for whatever reason, I went and I hit the curb and I put my foot on the brake before I hit a powerful and probably the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me my whole life because I had never been a headache person before that. I was an athlete all through school. Always just the very outdoor style lifestyle. I’m from the Pacific Northwest originally so, pick your poison as to what type of water you’re playing in. 

And from that day, I kind of think about how to explain it because it’s shocking every time I think about it. And I didn’t know my daughter was in the backseat until she said hi. And I truly tried hard to not lose my cool because I didn’t know what had happened. I went to the emergency room that day. And from that day forward for about six months, they were thinking that I had MS, or lupus, or something really significantly a big issue. 

After a few months of testing, my neurologist gave me anti-epileptics and muscle relaxers, and he [00:06:23-00:06:26 inaudible]. So I live that way, this new job as the public relations and social media manager of the company I was working for, I was a fricking zombie. And every few months I’d go in, they’d increase my doses, to the point where I felt like I was not myself. I was a shell of a person. I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to go to the soccer game on Saturday because I might still have a migraine. And it was scary, needless to say. 

So after a few, a little over a year of doing that and dealing with that, I started looking for alternative and I saw that hemp was helping people with epilepsy and being that I was taking an anti-epileptic and muscle relaxers, I figured I might as well try it. And within six weeks, I got off all medications and finally fell it myself again. It was, honestly a miracle in my eyes. 

Because I had that marketing background, I really started thinking about how I could share not only my story, but be able to impact other lives as positively as mine has been impacted. So I started different CBD products. I found one that I felt really made a big impact. And then I track down the owner of that company. Needless to say, he’s now my business partner. And we’re rocking and rolling in almost every aspect of this. We’re going to move slowly into extraction at some point, but I always joke it’s easier to say what I don’t do rather than what I do do, because of the fact that there’s so much opportunity. There’s so much there that we could be doing as entrepreneurs. But also being able to [00:08:03] a story is something that’s always been really important to me being able to control the heritage of the products that I produce and why I am one busy mama.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, to say the least. First of all, thank you for sharing your story, how intense. Being a mom myself, I’ve had blackout moments where you’re just like, what the fuck just happened right now? I’m almost certain that I don’t remember the last six blocks. And about for me, that’s ever only ever been induced by stress and certainly not that type of blinding pain. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. And at the same time isn’t it strange that some sort of like earth-shattering circumstance has to bring us into our consciousness and awareness and somehow put us on a path that we never expect to be on. I mean, if you would have been asked five, six years ago, if you would have been pioneering or be as heavily involved in the cannabis and hemp movement as you are right now, what would have been your answer?

Shelby Isaacson: I probably would have left. I’ve always been pretty straight head, so to speak. So like I’ve never even smoked a cigarette in my life. I did going into the cannabis industry definitely wasn’t what I thought it would be. But I can tell you that I’m so incredibly empowered and I’m so glad that I took the risks I did and took the chances. I really followed my heart because I’ve seen incredible things happen. 

I'm so incredibly empowered and I'm so glad that I took the risks I did and took the chances. I really followed my heart because I've seen incredible things happen. - Shelby Isaacson Click To Tweet

We have this one product that we’ve created that the CBD CBG blend and there’s this little girl whose level two autistic, considered to be non-verbal, she’s a twin and she actually had a stroke while in utero. Through within like less than 90 days of taking this product, she started talking. And being that I’m in public relations, of course, I wanted to get an interview with somebody with this amazing story and this mom, and this little girl, Clara was watching herself on TV and her mom was recording her reaction to it. And Claira looks right into the video and says, “way to go, guys, way to go.” And this girl didn’t even babble before. And now she talks on a regular basis. And I constantly almost like low days of entrepreneurship thinking like, I’m helping a lot more Clara’s than I realized. And initially, I started out in a very selfish way of like wanting to know where my products were coming and what I was taking, but now knowing that I’m positively impacting children and the elderly and my peers is incredibly exciting.

Sonia Gomez: I’m just over here with my mouth hanging open. I usually ask a question specifically around like when the times get tough, what keeps you getting up in the morning and going after it. And so they got to Clara, that that’s a very sweet story. Why don’t you take a couple of minutes because you have your hand in multiple areas of this business, you’re certainly not just handling one piece of this? Why don’t you describe a little bit about your business model? What are the facets of this industry that you are serving right now? And what are your key roles in those companies? 

Shelby Describes Their Business Model and Her Key Roles in Their Companies

Shelby Isaacson: Well, see my business partner we started out importing machinery from China. That’s really been the basis of our industry or our business in general. And the fact that we can produce a concierge-style opportunity of filling lines and product packaging, that kind of thing. It’s been really interesting because I don’t really have a machinery type background, but being able to better understand how these products are produced, I think it’s really important. Because there’s a lot of misconception in education, not just from entrepreneur to entrepreneur, but to the general public too. 

So with that, I really help the poor and keep the marketing aspect of that going. And we also have Synkron BioSciences, which we launched not too long ago, because of the fact that I had been taking a product that was not ours that I saw the certificate of analysis and saw that there was a bunch of carcinogenic in it and it freaked me out so bad that I was like, nope, we’re going to produce all of our own products. 

And so when we did that, we have hired a chief scientist. We have several different techs in there. And it’s really supporting the day to day process, design, and collaborating. We have people that will come to us and say, “Oh, I really want to get into pet industry but I don’t really know how the hemp can potentially help that or what a brand would like or I just know that I want it to be treat” or whatever it ends up being. And then I come in and I’ll develop a whole brand from nothing for them when it comes to that identity, the brand story which is just as important as the product itself, but understanding that we can collaborate with the lab that we own, I think is really important. 

One thing that I felt like was really a confirmation when I was at MJBizCon last week, was that they were saying, we got to start thinking beyond hemp and beyond CBD when we’re creating these high-end products, and adding other types of botanicals, whether that’s melatonin in the sleep product or [00:13:50 unintelligible] for something joint pain, but understanding that there needs to be a strong story in order for you to stand out on the market. So that’s really my jam, what I love to do. 

We’ve developed multiple brands for national companies, and then we have several of our own brands that we sell wholesale. And then we also sell them in our brick and mortar location here in Sarasota called Second and Seed. Part of why I love having a brick and mortar is that I can do a lot of R&D when I’m thinking about new products and seeing how the market will accept them as a whole. Because this area is very– there’s a level of Echelon, I go to Sarasota. So if it does well here, I can know that it can definitely do well, on a national level.

Sonia Gomez: Yes, Absolutely.

Shelby Isaacson: feels like a lot.

Sonia Gomez: No, no, it’s really good and it helps us understand why you chose to do the things that you’re doing right now. Share with me a little bit about your story. You guys are award-winning. I’d love to find out what you guys are doing differently than you think. Then what is happening with your competitors? Why are you getting the recognition there CBD stores all over the place more popping up every single day similar to the brand situation more popping up every single day? But there’s only a few who are being recognized as the top you guys are one of those folks, what do you think you’re doing differently that sets you apart from your competition?

What Sets Them Apart From the Competition

Shelby Isaacson: Well, I think there’s a couple of things that really sets us apart from our competition. One is that the store itself has a whole brand identity. It’s Second and Seed. It looks like a vintage apothecary. It’s in a 1925 Spanish colonial building. So the vibe is very trendy but classic. It’s not something that’s put in a strip mall. It’s a standalone type building and like a little quad building, but it’s not your regular run of the mill. You slap some feed board up on the back wall and a logo and put some shelves up. Like it’s really supposed to be a high-end comfortable place for people to come in. 

We’re also education first, sales second, where a lot of people want to push different sales and specials and things like that. Well, we’re more about come in, chat with one of our team members. Learn about what this is doing for other people. We’re really big on pushing people to do their own research. So we’ll share with them a few different locations as to where to look and what to look for when they’re doing their own googling. Dr. Google’s very busy. But being able to kind of shift people in the right direction and tell them what trusted websites look at things like that. 

I think also the today that we’re really [00:16:42 inaudible] in our community, as a community service. We try to find those like-minded nonprofits in our area, and whether it’s sponsoring an event for them or donating an auction item, I think those things really show that we’re an institution here to say that we’re not another popup. And because they, like you said, a lot of them are popping up everywhere. But being able to show that we want to be a pillar in this community is significant. 

I also think that it comes down to finding out who your local media is not just like what publications are, but the individuals that actually write about your beats, the health and wellness beat fitness. We have somebody here that writes a lot about fitness, and food, those types of things and being able to be of service to them without them having to ask. So introducing yourself, whether that’s over coffee or a quick email, and then looking months ahead and being able to say like, “Oh, look, it’s national guacamole day. Oh, I actually have a really cool recipe that uses my hemp cooking oil. Would you like me to send you a sample?” that kind of thing. So constantly being ahead of their deadlines is really huge. But if they are on a deadline, calling them back instantly, has really allowed us to rise above our competitor. I think 100%.

Sonia Gomez: I’d love to hear the things that you’re doing with social equity, how you’re giving back to your community beyond raising awareness and that it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. And one of the things I recognize in the industry as the whole is that people are really stuck on the question like, what are you giving back to your community? And they’re like, “What do you mean? Like, what is that? We have a 20% discount, but we offer…” I’m like, Man. 

We have such incredible potential to show how generous this industry can be. And the people who are a part of this industry where a lot of I think other industries are lacking, or only lining each other’s pockets. This industry tends to be a lot more generous, and not everybody thinks about– actually, I’m gonna say this but don’t get mad. Actually, you can get mad if you want to. I recognize that the women-owned businesses or the companies that have C-level executives and or decision-makers, who are women always have some sort of social equity built into their company. And I’m not trying to be sexist or anything but I am making an observation after talking to hundreds of business owners that this is certainly a theme. I’m starting to recognize the theme here. So why don’t you share a little bit about how you guys are giving back to your community? What are the special things that you do that show your community were successful and we want our community to be successful with us?

Giving Back to the Community

Shelby Isaacson: Well really comes back to my roots of marketing and PR I had to have had an amazing female entrepreneur mentor. In one of the things that she had discovered in her industry, her dollars go a lot farther in marketing if she targets it closer to nonprofit. So for us, one of the biggest things is that rather than spending a bunch of money on ads and billboards and those types of things, we’re taking those dollars and we are donating it in lieu of a print ad, or we’ll go and somebody– like we were really artsy town. We have a lot of theaters here. So when theater season shows up, I make sure that we are in the program, because that money goes directly to funding all of those different plays. But also we’re getting a lot of impressions of people that have that level of liquidity that could afford our types of products. 

We also sponsor a lot of little [00:20:52 unintelligible] school event, try to just really be available whenever it’s needed. We donate a lot of products to local charities because I find that’s also a nice passive way. And we are part of the local festival scene too. So if there’s a cool festival that we feel like our target markets that will go put up a booth and do like infused snow cones, we’ve done that a couple of times and then keep that money and we give it back to a local nonprofit. And that’s kind of part of how we’re trying to keep our dollars. And because we still have a lot of startup lifestyle, I would say like we’re the complete teenager like we’re not quite a startup, but we’re also not as mature adults. But being able to kind of be there in it and acknowledge that we’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be a part of all of this.

Sonia Gomez: Love, love, love. I’m just– I love that it’s being thought about now and not later and I wish there are more communities, more ways– I mean, I see a lot of people at farmer’s markets and festivals and those are things sort of low hanging fruit. But the cut above is like when you give back to a charity after the fact and you’re not like, yeah, we crashed at this event. You actually give back to some of the charities because it’s a struggle. 

And you know, in the spirit of that, especially over the holiday season, I’ve been doing a lot of research on like, what are the organizations that we should be volunteering at, right? I have been obsessing about this human trafficking epidemic that’s happening right now. We are literally– that in itself is the most absurd thing you would– once you start to research and check out this whole thing about human trafficking, sex slaves, the child– I mean, the whole thing is just insane. 

Shelby Isaacson: [00:22:53 unintelligible]

Sonia Gomez: It renders me speechless, literally. So watching these documentaries and reading these papers and things and finding out where the hubs are. And I was like, man, I just got to give back. I want to go and volunteer. My girls are old enough now. I want to take them to go and volunteer and there are really very few places when you’re searching around that show you like, yeah, you can pop in volunteer here. Like, it’s just generic opportunities. And so I was talking with one of my friends who also owns a manufacturing company. And I said it’d be really great if we could sponsor women, or people because both men and women are fall victim to this terrible global challenge right now. And we talked about sponsoring people who had been rescued and more rehabilitating and the PTSD and the stress and the anxiety and insomnia that they’re experiencing, because of what they’ve just come through Is treacherous, and it’s such a long road to recovery. 

But I’m getting really super involved with the anti-human trafficking movement. And so I think in 2020, I shared with you that a lot of my goal is going to be more oriented around empowering the women, bringing us together towards bigger causes, finding out how these– knowing what we know about these incredible products and the accessibility that we have found real causes and charities and organizations that we can start to put our time and our energy but also products to know that we can make such a big difference for people who would otherwise not have the education, let alone the access to these types of products.

Shelby, all of the things that are incredible about companies don’t come without blood, sweat, and tears. I think a lot of the folks that listen to us on our show are always looking for relatability in the sense that if they’re already a business owner, they’re like, Ah, yes, me too, somebody else is having that same struggle. Whereas in the budding entrepreneurs who are listening, they’re looking to avoid many of the pitfalls and challenges that come along with being in this new and exciting industry. Can you share a little bit about what the challenges have been for you in starting and growing your business?

The Challenges in Starting and Growing Their Businesses

Shelby Isaacson: I think the biggest thing is getting drowned, like drowning yourself in the opportunity. If I went and did it again, I definitely wouldn’t be as honestly diversified as I am because I really feel like the riches are in the niches and really probably focusing on one or two main things, I think that’s important. Just because we can do it all means we need to do it all at once. And I think finding that balance– I think one of the things, too, that I’ve really learned is, authenticity is everything. Just because your buddy’s doing it in the industry, if you don’t really, genuinely believe in it, people aren’t going to believe you. And that’s going to impact your bottom line.

And so really just like finding what your genius is, and collaborating with those and what their geniuses are, I think that’s really something that we could all do better. And that’s kind of how I’ve been able to get as far as I’ve gotten in such a short amount of time is that I am never afraid to say, I don’t know, I’m never afraid to cry about it. And then move on and find that person that does know and that person but you know, I light them up because of the fact that I’m honest and being like hey, this is not my talent, but this is what I need. Are you interested? And a lot of times when they see that they have an opportunity to grow and do what they love. It just reverberates out in all aspects of the business.

Sonia Gomez: What I hear you saying is simplicity is key and I use the term all the time the riches are in the niches. I think a lot of people miss the boat feeling like I’ve been cannabis for everybody which it is. But if you’re not talking to somebody, then you’re not really reaching anybody and it’s really hard to craft a brand to meet a marketplace and create messaging that communicates effectively with a demographic. If you’re not really clear about those things upfront. You’re also in brand development, right? 

Shelby Isaacson: Yes. [00:27:44 unintelligible] I can do that all day long. I would. [00:27:46 unintelligible]

Sonia Gomez: Oh, I love it. So let’s talk about it for a second because I think a lot of people are getting ready to go through– the industry is going through somewhat of a cleanse right now and a lot of people are getting ready to clean house with it, right? Whether that means creating a new image for their brand or really starting to laser in on whom they’re actually targeting or whatever adjustments need to be made. How do you advise people when they’re putting their brands together or how do you direct them to get focused? Like, what are some of the key things somebody needs to know when they’re selecting a demographic to go after? How do you advise them on that?

Choosing the Demographic That You Should Focus On

Shelby Isaacson: I make them name the person they’re going after, first and foremost, because I think being able to personify, a thought really changes a lot of the perspective and how you react. And I really focus a lot on the EQ over IQ and the sense of emotional intelligence over the intellect. So, giving people the opportunity to really think about what’s the why behind it. Simon Sinek is definitely somebody that inspires me a lot in his concept of understanding the why behind any sort of by and being able to get to that. 

And then on top of it also acknowledging the fact that because emotions are so key, what are you trying to tap into, what emotions are you trying to evoke in your ideal client for this product? And then really focusing around that. I typically say you can’t have more than three. And just keeping circle back to those. Danielle Laporte has a whole program called The Desire Map. It’s all about like, the fact that we don’t run a race because we want to run 13.1 or whatever miles, we run it because we want to feel a sense of completion and self-honor and really focusing on whatever that word is for you. 

The same thing with a brand. So what are you really trying to say here with this product? Not just what’s in the bottle or in the jar, but what are you trying to say with the outside? I mean, social media has evolved– helped our whole world evolve so much. But even more in marketing because we visually look at something and decide whether or not we’re going to commit the time to read it. So it’s gotta be able to hit a lot of different senses very quickly. Does it look good? Does it feel good? Does it feel like how I want to feel? And then at that point, people will pick it up into potentially read your product, whether it’s on the shelf or through some sort of online advertising, it’s got to look good.

Sonia Gomez: So true. Do you design differently for retail versus online distribution? I think that I’m seeing quite a bit of contrast and the brands that are designed specifically for offline distribution or a retail setting versus the people who are just going t blast it through e-commerce. Is there a difference? 

Retail vs. Online Distribution Design

Shelby Isaacson: There definitely is a difference. I think a lot of it has to do with exterior packaging. You’re not going to want to put something in an awkward round container, and then put it in like a paper cube and something and then send it in the mail. But if it’s something that’s going to sit on a shelf, it definitely needs to be more eye-catching knowing that you’re going to be up against a bunch of different cues, whether they’re your own cues or somebody else’s cue. 

I also just find that a lot of things when it’s online, they’re more likely to put it into like a PET plastic rather than glass because glass is so much more expensive to ship. But it also goes back to what your brand’s story is and what the emotions are that you’re trying to evoke. Glamour is supposed to be one of the big things this next year so glam is also going to be in packaging. So we might find that we’ll be increasing some of our shipping costs in order to make that bottom line. 

Sonia Gomez:  I’m so excited about glam and beauty. My background is, I went to Paul Mitchell organization for so long. Like, if I could be your Barbie dream girl like, I would sit around in my Malibu castle all day doing makeup, and like, I’m not kidding. Makeup and hair is like my thing. I love dress ups if that’s all I had to do all day, that would be me. In my mind, I’m like, non-skinny Instagram model but like a voluptuous, hot to trot on the Instagram model with fabulous CBD makeup.

Shelby Isaacson: And if you need help branding that let me know.

Sonia Gomez: You guys heard it here first. There’s a collaboration in the works. I’m so into that and I’m so excited to see it breaking through the mainstream. Like I really think it’s going to change what we’re seeing. A lot of the things that we’re seeing on YouTube right now has everything to do with this huge makeup movement and it’s all about freedom, right? We’re seeing men in makeup. We’re seeing women in makeup. I myself, I got a bunch of melanin spots on my face when I got pregnant. And I’ve been using these CBD serums and they’re virtually gone. And my face is back to normal. I’m not quite a porcelain doll, but I’m also not 17 anymore, so that’s okay. But like these skincare products coming up with CBD, I am so excited about them. And I’m not going to say much more because all of you guys who are listening are probably going to want to steal my ideas. So let’s move right along.

Shelby Isaacson: I’m definitely curious. So, going into the beauty glam industry is that we’re not going to just be competing with ourselves so to speak of hemp. We’re going to have to somehow come up with a compelling enough message to be able to get that extra $20 $30 compared to the fact that like, oh, I’ve always used Mac or whatever. Now then you want me to spend how much more just so he gets CBD in it like what is that really going to do? Is it something that viable? Can demand withhold all these products that are going to show up?

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, well, I mean, that’s true across the board, right, we’re not going to just be [00:34:09 inaudible] ourselves in glam or like feminine products or whatever. But like, big businesses coming in here really soon. And they’re already starting to flex their muscles through FDA and FTC through Disha, all agencies, which are about 80% funded through Big Pharma. So, to say they don’t have an ulterior motive would be stupid. But at the same time, I think that there’s simultaneously this movement of independence and freedom happening where a lot of folks are looking more towards the brands and products that are independently owned and operated separately from the conglomerates. 

And there’s this idea of serving and feeding local is I think resurrecting with our new generation. So I mean, I’m 35 right now so I’m kind of on the cusp. And the generation ahead of me was totally bought into a big industry and what the government had to say. We sort of broke the mold and started to integrate and get become more educated. And now this generation coming up behind us or the next two generations coming up behind us, I think, are a lot more economically and sustainability aware. They are certainly breaking chains. And they’re the Khaleesi from Game of Thrones like this next generation is the 17 to 24-year-olds right now are the breaker of chains if you will, of our era. And I think we’ll see a lot more commitment and demand for locally-owned and operated formulated products. That’s my projection but there’s always going to be that big business battle that we’re up against. 

Shelby Isaacson: Yes. 

Sonia Gomez: Shelby, knowing what we know now, having owned and operated and you know, bled and sweat and cried through this industry and also had a few fun times too. Obviously, we’re not crazy enough to be gluttons for punishment. There’s a lot of rewards that come along with this incredible industry. Knowing what we know now, in our segment of words of wisdom today, what would be some of the key pieces of advice that you would offer a budding entrepreneur or fellow business owner to help them make these quantum leaps in this industry to stay relevant to get a foothold if they’re just getting started. And more importantly, to avoid the pitfalls that come through?

Words of Wisdom

Shelby Isaacson: Collaboration is 100% I think what excites me about this industry is that we’re all arm and arm together, really trying to lift up the whole thing. So I think finding people that are at least a step or two ahead of you that are willing to share their knowledge or at least tell you that’s a really stupid idea when you need somebody to be your voice of reason, I think it’s super important. I think, having podcasts like this one, and some of the other weekly and daily publications that are out there, they’re trusted for the industry are really important. I think that’s a huge part of everybody’s education right now. 

Really understanding what a certificate of analysis is, I think is huge. - Shelby Isaacson Click To Tweet

Really understanding what a certificate of analysis is, I think is huge. There are still so many people out there that don’t quite understand what they’re looking at or how the formulations work or the math work on those. Finding trusted sources if you’re creating a new product, and you are trying to find somebody to one manufacturer for you make sure that they’re GMP certified that they’re FDA inspected that they’re trying to self-regulate, because there are so many people out there that are still making stuff in their kitchen, so to speak. And that’s all fine for RMD when you’re trying to figure out your own personal gain on it if you’re a small guy. But knowing that when you go to the masses, that people are taking your product instead of high-grade pharmaceuticals and things like that, to really understanding that you have to have a high level of integrity in everything you do. And if you don’t know the answer, find the answer. Ask the answer. You don’t have the solution. [unintelligible] another solution because they’re out there, but just doing this, to get out there and make money. I think you’re going to find a lot of frustration in this industry. It’s far more rewarding and If you’re looking at it from a multifaceted payment,

Sonia Gomez: I could not agree more. I look at this industry as an opportunity for collaboration instead of competition and all there. Although there is a healthy amount of competition. There is also a healthy opportunity for us to collaborate so that as an industry, especially while we are a self-governing industry, we are raising the bar on how we conduct ourselves and our businesses in order to create the conditions for success as an industry, I think. So I’ll just piggyback off of what you said to add to the words of wisdom here. 

How you do one thing is how you do everything, and I was reading this book, The Four Agreements recently, and there is the first of the Four Agreements is being impeccable with your word. I think that there is quite a bit of hope that is driving how we sell our services and products. And I’ve even been guilty of this myself, hoping that I could figure out how to duplicate my own results on behalf of somebody else and tapping into the “service-based” aspect of the industry, which at first go did not go the way that I thought it was gonna go. And I really had to reach out to– I had to first humble myself and reach out to my collaborative partners and friends, people who are a little bit further ahead of me, in order to find out what I did not know. And to really get the direction and guidance and support that I needed to not only fix things on behalf of the client but empower me as I moved forward into the things that I’m doing. since then, I’ve become one of the top referral partners for specific aspects of this industry and I’m a trusted voice when it comes to directing traffic. But that takes a lot of bits, a lot of work. And it takes humility, to be impeccable with your word, and to be in integrity with the things that we say we can do. 

And actually following through with those things so that we become an asset instead of a hindrance in this network through and through, no matter how big weekend This is a relationship business. So you have to know a guy who knows the guy knows the guy to get access just like you did. When you were buying your weed on the street corner. You got to know a guy, and if you look like a cop, they’re not going to talk to you. So similar energy here. If the if that you build a reputation as a fraud or somebody who’s overselling and under-delivering it’s not going to work out well. And everybody’s been guilty of it. But the real challenge is to find the humility to admit when we’re wrong, to find the answers when we don’t know them, to not try and sound smart but to be intelligent about how we are advising and supporting one another. 

The real challenge is to find the humility to admit when we're wrong, to find the answers when we don't know them, to not try and sound smart but to be intelligent about how we are advising and supporting one another. Sonia Gomez Click To Tweet

And again, finding ways to collaborate instead of competing. There’s going to be– even if somebody is offering the same things, there’s going to be unique differentiators about you and your services that make you the desired person to go with and you can’t be operating from fear. You have to be operating from a place of wanting to solve problems and stead of wanting to make the money because the revenue is a direct result of the value that you’re bringing into a marketplace and how much your scalability depends on your ability to use leverage, and build trust into your customer base. 

So much Words of wisdom for you guys is to read The Four Agreements. Again, it’s a very quick potty read, while you’re on the pot, you can literally read the entire book. And it’s just an incredible basis to grow from when it comes to how you engage and interact first from a human relation point and then second from a business relationship point of view. So I love the spirit of collaboration really appreciate you using that as you know the basis of things because the rest of it- I love Marie Forleo to just wrote a book called Everything is Figureoutable, and it’s so true, but if you are by yourself, trying to figure it out, not only is it lonely, but you’re probably going to continue to be a product of your own best thinking which, forgive me for saying so is not always a good thing.

Those are my words of wisdom. Shelby, I hope you had an amazing time with us today. I really enjoyed listening to you. And I’m really excited to celebrate a lot of the success that you guys have coming down the pipeline. Where can folks find you if they are interested in working with you or any of any one of your businesses?

Where to Find Them

Shelby Isaacson: Probably the easiest way is to go to and my email is directly linked to that. Honestly, I look for people that just want to do better and be better. So if that’s something you’re looking for, or wanting to talk to collaborate with, definitely reach out to me. And thank you so much for having me on the show. It was super fun.

Sonia Gomez: Yes, You’re so welcome. I’m super excited to be collaborating with more boss babes in the industry. And I’m sure that this is the first of many points of collaboration that we will have. So thank you again for sharing your time with me. And for those of you guys who are tuning in with us, thank you so much for being a part of this incredible community. And when you like and share content just like this one with your friends and your family or your community, you are a part of helping us move the needle. We have impacted hundreds of millions of people’s lives with this kind of information, and literally are moving the needle for legalization because you like and share content just like this. So I just want to express my gratitude to you guys for being a part of our community. Wherever you are in the world right now. We love you. We appreciate you and everything that we do is to help empower you with the truth about cannabis and hemp so that you can make educated decisions about how you want to care for yourself, the people that you love, conditions you may be suffering from or otherwise care for this beautiful gift of life that we get to enjoy. 

If you’re someone looking for products you can trust check us out at for our favorite picks. And if you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established business, looking for solutions like merchant processing, manufacturing stable supply chain compliance or distribution, check us out at we are happy to help get you connected to the resources and relationships you need to blow past the brick walls and glass ceilings that are everywhere in this fun, challenging and very exciting industry. I’m your hostess with the mostess, Sonia Gomez and this is The Hemp Revolution. We’ll see you on our next show, guys.

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