Podcast The Hemp Revolution

How to Use Cannabis Consumer Data to Build Your CBD-Hemp Brand with Mike Luce

Mike Luce is a long time market research professional. He spent nearly 20 years developing market insights for some of the world’s leading consumer brands including Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, and General Mills, and retailers, such as Walmart and Kroger.

In 2018, he co-founded High Yield Insights. Bringing decades of expertise to this fast-growing industry, High Yield Insights provides its clients with customized, actionable intelligence sourced from their expansive data sets and unique fact-based point of view.

In this episode, Mike shares how he ended up in the hemp and cannabis industry, his biggest takeaways from attending MJBizCon, and how the company is helping brands make an educated decision in creating products.

Lots of golden nuggets that you’d surely wouldn’t want to miss. Stay tuned!


If you aren’t adding something that’s of genuine value, interest, usefulness to those that are in the industry or thinking about it, you’ve got a rough road ahead of you. Mike Luce


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

2:47 – Who is Mike Luce and how he ended up in the hemp and cannabis space
6:43 – Key things that he was looking to accomplish and his biggest takeaways from attending MJBizCon
12:45 – How High Yield Insights is helping brands make educated and functional decisions about building and creating products
23:37 – Key challenges they’ve faced on their way to success
28:40 – Advice to fellow entrepreneurs and business owners trying to figure out their way through
42:05 – Where to find them

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Mike Luce

Connect with Sonia Gomez

Transcript

Sonia Gomez: What’s up, guys? Sonia Gomez, coming to you from Denver, Colorado for another rock your socks episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast where we are sharing and telling the real story of the cannabis and hemp industry from the perspective of the business owners, pioneers, and patients who are pushing this incredible space forward. As always, if you’re a person looking for products you can depend on check us out at medicalsecrets.com, and if you are a business owner looking for manufacturing, merchant processing, stabilized supply chain or just need some good old fashioned advice on how to break through the glass ceilings and brick walls of this industry, check us out at theemeraldcircle.com We are happy to help.

In today’s episode, we are going to be sharing another incredible story from an entrepreneur who prior to starting High Yield Insights spent nearly 20 years developing market insights for some of the world’s leading consumer brands including Procter and Gamble, PepsiCo and General Mills, and retailers such as Walmart and Kroger. 

In 2018, Mike co-founded High Yield Insights to bring a better fact-based approach to understanding current and potential cannabis consumers. High Yield aims to inform the perspective of these both within and outside the industry is seeking to be better informed about the cannabis consumer ensuring that all of us who love and need this incredible plant medicine can be accessed by the right brands and businesses here to share and tell his incredible story and how he is paving the way in the industry. Help me welcome our good friend, Mike Luce How’s it going?

Mike Luce:  It’s going great. Thanks for having me.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, absolutely honored to have you on happy to have seen you also at MJBizCon. Why don’t you quick, share a little bit with our audience a quick and dirty on who you are, what your background is, and how you ended up in the Canna boom?

Who Is Mike Luce and How He Ended up in the Hemp and Cannabis Space

Mike Luce: The cannaboom. Yes, certainly happy to. So I am a long time– Let’s call it market research professional that I somewhat got into by accident putting myself through school with a market research firm in the late 90s, early 2000s. And come to find out no one was handing out high paying jobs to [inaudible] arts majors. So I stuck with the firm. It was just with and have proceeded from there and have really had the pleasure of working with some great people in the industry. 

I’ve been able to witness how to let’s just say broadly speaking, what used to be there a whole home market research has emerged into analytics and really deep dives and consumer understanding. And that led me to my most recent engagement prior to starting High Yield Insights. and when that came to a close, I was poised at a point in my life for a new challenge, right? I think for a lot of us, it just happens. 

It comes together at the right time, you’re looking to see where are some really dynamic, interesting things happening from a business perspective that also speaks to you personally. And that really came about for me towards the end of 2017, really the first part of 2018. And I realized there’s a great need in our industry, right from a business perspective in dispelling some of the myths and really getting some better information than just some of the anecdotal or gut feeling that a lot of people were going on from a product development perspective from a marketing perspective. 

And everyone’s better served when there’s solid information, right? companies can make better decisions, consumers stand the benefit because they see that companies are talking to them about what they care about. And what we try to do is just bring that point of view to the conversation about the industry within the industry. And it’s been a tremendous ride. We’re only you know, whatever it is now two and a half years. 

Everyone's better served when there's solid information. - Mike Luce Click To Tweet

And I feel like every day we’re learning more and more and engaging more and more with this industry. You and I had the pleasure of watching MJBizCon unfold in Vegas last week, and that was tremendous. And I’m just looking forward to launching into 2020 with even more momentum.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, you know, it was a pretty interesting contrast to get because I went from MJ biz con directly into The Emerald Cup. And there was a pretty significant contrast between the Pacific Northwest sort of, you know, hanging on by a thread cannabis culture, and the innovations and excitement and like the scientific explosion that’s happening with cannabis and how it was representative MJBizCon. 

On one hand, I’m super nostalgic, and I’m like, Oh, my Pacific Northwest. You know, like, I love the old world cannabis, culture, and community and at the same time, like I’m not 17 anymore. And so while I was walking around even from a media perspective, I was extremely excited to see it Emerald’s Cup the representation of innovative farming and sustainable farming practices. 

And you know, all of that is progressing to bring us a higher quality cannabis product that can, in turn, be turned into higher quality derivatives and end-user products. And at the same time, I was disappointed to see that there’s still very much that counter-culture that could or may contribute to this continuous negative stigma. 

For you, what was your biggest takeaway as a business owner at the MJBizCon event every year? It’s been bigger and bigger, and all businesses go there for a specific reason. So I’d love to hear from you like why did you go to MJBizCon, what were some of the key things that you were looking to accomplish there. And what was your biggest takeaway from attending the event?

Key Things That He Was Looking to Accomplish and His Biggest Takeaways from Attending MJBizCon

Mike Luce: Yeah, that’s a great question. I mean, I look at it from a couple of different perspectives. First and foremost, you really can’t get a better sense of what’s happening at least all in one place, all at one time, unless you walk the floor at an event like that, right? It’s immersive, it’s overwhelming, you’ve got the proverbial fire hose happening. But to really get a sense of the industry, I think you have to see all segments, at least to some degree, right? 

You’d have to see what’s happening in equipment manufacturers and lighting and operations and these other areas that we don’t touch, right. So we’re not a “plant-touching business”, we’re lumped into that vague category of ancillary service providers, you know, whatever that means. So, I don’t know that we belong alongside lawyers and finance people, but you know, that’s where we are and from a broad perspective, and for me, it’s also really intriguing to watch tech start to emerge and play a better role. 

It’s been there now for some time. And as we all know, and there’s been this sort of, you know, two paths that tech providers seem to be taking one, entrepreneurs that are building from the ground up and then to these bigger players, Microsoft there, [inaudible] vendors there that are looking at cannabis and determining if there’s a way in which they can extend their model to cover our business too. So I think that’s part of it is really just immersing yourself in it. 

And the other is just a great way to get together with people meet people, form those connections, whether they’re deliberate or accidental. I had a great conversation with two people on the plane home, I mean, talk about like, I’m exhausted. So last thing that I usually want to do is have a three-hour conversation in the middle seat between two people that but it was awesome. 

One was In the industry, who was a lawyer who really wanted to know more about it. Another was in the industry, he was a cultivator and just had a great conversation, that type of environment in space like MJBizCon. And in most of the places where we go right over the course of the year, generally, I say very positive, very open nature to the interactions that you have. 

I will say I sympathize with you. Right, that does seem to be a little bit of this, I don’t know, like, rip currents that happens where, understandably so I think some of those people that have really pioneered the industry in different places at different times, look at what’s happening now. And they hear terms like, “green rush”, right. And there’s a little bit of just say nostalgia, I don’t know, maybe reluctance or second-guessing as to whether or not everyone that’s getting in is really, you know, taking the best interests in mind. 

And that’s something that speaks to me powerfully too because I really looked at this opportunity as more than just taking what I know and applying it but thinking too about so what’s my social contribution? Right? And that’s really encouraging and empowering to hear from speakers and all different perspectives talk about their personal experience and their message. I think that’s an intangible too, right? You can’t really get bad unless you’re there in person. So those are my, I mean, maybe broadly speaking, those are some of the big takeaways I had.

Sonia Gomez: I had a really similar takeaways. I was like, you know, there’s always going to be the old heads who are like, Yeah, right, green rush, blah, blah. I’ve been here a hundred years, you know, so bah humbug on them. But as far as like the future industry and what we’re looking at right now, I’m was really excited to see so much diversity represented and certainly more honored to like, be able to tell your guys’ stories. 

This is I think, something that the industry has a stigma like that we are this incredibly cash-rich industry and although there might be piles of money around, every dime is allocated towards the change that we are working to create on a daily basis. And it’s not always easy, especially for folks who are directly working with the plant. You know, it’s like seems really sexy and glamorous, but like, literally it’s one of the hardest things you could ever take on. So it’s so crazy. 

Now, what I’m also recognizing is that our industry is becoming more and more noisy. There’s dozen brands popping up every single day. There are more and more business owners who are working to tailor their existing businesses to fit the cannabis and CBD space. And one of the biggest challenges that I’m recognizing whether they know it or not, is having a brand is not enough. really understanding the person that you want to serve and the problem that you want to solve with the product that you want to create or sell is the number one most important thing and the riches are in the niches. 

We’ve said it multiple times in our words of wisdom, segments of other interviews that the riches and niches that I don’t think that a lot of business owners take the time to focus on the keys that make a demographic what it actually is what makes a baby boomer a baby boomer besides his age, what makes a millennial a millennial besides the age group, and there are key things that really define us as a type of consumer and can help pigeonhole the way that a brand approaches message to market match or our marketing and advertising of any type. 

Talk to me a little bit about how High Yield Insights is helping brands make more educated and functional decisions when it comes to building and creating products all the way through to the logistics of marketing and advertising?

How High Yield Insights Is Helping Brands Make Educated and Functional Decisions about Building and Creating Products

Mike Luce: Yeah, great question. And thank you for teeing that up for me. I couldn’t be happier than to speak to that such a thing. And also I love the riches are in the niches. I’m gonna steal that. I heard you say that before, shame on me, but I’m gonna outright steal that. They’ll put a little time after it and credit you whenever I say it, but–

Sonia Gomez: I’ll take 10%. No, I’m just kidding.

Mike Luce: there you go, right. Yeah, right. I’ll speak to a couple of things in no particular order. But I’ll say, from an entrance perspective, we were a little bit early in the sense that there were not that many firms in our space conducting real research and working with consumer data in any fashion. 

There were a few and I don’t want to steal their thunder. I won’t name names. They’re well-known names and they’re great peers of ours and I’m happy to be rubbing shoulders with them. What I’ve seen as well though, is I think it disconnected and this doesn’t serve your question around brands looking to develop what I call it one step further, what you just described is product-market fit, I go one step further and think of product market consumer fit. 

When that happens, you really have to think carefully about the type of resources you’re using. So I am data-centered, and I’m biased in that way. However, it’s not the only way in which we go about consumer understanding. We also do consumer interviews, we do intercepts, you know, variety of things, right. But one of the ways in which people see announcements or papers from us, etc, is oftentimes because of the survey work that we’ve done. 

I am data-centered, and I'm biased in that way. However, it's not the only way in which we go about consumer understanding. We also do consumer interviews, we do intercepts, you know, variety of things - Mike Luce Click To Tweet

And we’ve tried really, really hard to develop approaches and methodologies that aren’t just picked up from one segment like food and beverage and dropped into cannabis because I don’t think you can do that. We crashed around, frankly, a little bit of 2018 just trying to figure out how to best go about it. I don’t think we’ve cracked it yet by any means, but I think, pretty good. Come on let it is now between our ears. 

So when I see others that are new to the space or they’re maybe taking a different approach, classify cannabis consumers, as anyone who’s consumed it in the past 12 months, and try to draw conclusions and recommendations from that type of information. I really think that contributes to the noise, because brands, all of us see press releases and articles and data cited. And if you don’t think carefully about where that’s coming from, and the type of methodology that was used, generated, I think can really be led down the wrong direction. 

I mean, I won’t pick on any particular publishers, but that one example of anyone responding to a survey saying yeah, you know, I just put an edible when I was in Las Vegas six months ago. Is that Someone that we can draw real reliable information about, they’ll guide our businesses, maybe in part because, in fact, we do look at people who are just sporadic or former or potential consumers, right. 

But if you really think about the patients are those that enjoy the product in any fashion? I think it’s important to think carefully about, you know, what distinguishes not only demographics but also issues like frequency, What’s the need status, right? Like what’s bringing you to this planet, as you said, that we all love and cherish. And if that’s not done, I do think you have a risk of really working in some cloudy waters. 

And I’ve even been tempted to just sort of call up some of our frankly, people with whom we– my favorite new term is coaptation and say, Look, we should all align on some standards here so that everyone that sees data from any of us in any fashion, knows that it’s really well-grounded. And I think that’s already happened, but maybe not as deliberately as it could be. And it’s a critical issue, frankly, I mean, it’s a little bit of a sore spot for me, as you can tell, it’s because I’m so passionate about the type of work that we do. 

But I think that the noise issue is I think it’s important. And I honestly, I think it’s a little bit overlooked. And maybe it’s like a pain point that people are feeling unconsciously. It’s really interesting to me that you voiced it. even go so far as to relate a story. I was speaking to a client, and they said, you know, Mike, this is useful data. I’m looking at this information. It’s telling me 14% of consumers prefer this. But I saw something the other day that kind of said the same thing. And it was only 9%. And their words were, I wish you guys could figure this out because there’s just a lot of noise. 

And I talk at length and frankly, some of my best conversations over the past two years have just been educational right around if you’re really seeking to understand the consumer, as you said, dig deep Under just the demographics and product preferences and really think about psychographics, right, what are the occasions and need states? What’s driving people? What do they think about? what do they worry about? But that’s, you know, that’s hard data to get easier said than done. And if you’re minding every penny, and we are just, you know, and yeah, there’s piles of cash sitting around, we’re not sitting on one. That’s what, fortunately, it can be tough, you know, you can only do so many things at once. So I’m sympathetic but at the same time critical as to, you know, what’s happening out there from a noise perspective.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, I mean, I think the conversation ends up being, you know, separate from any of the logistics and sales and like, you gotta have this and you know, blah, blah, blah. If you just look at business for what it is, it is the ability to use the most amount of leverage to bring the most amount of value into a specific marketplace. And that’s the only job of the business now the consumer responds or reacts to that offer by financial or energetic compensation right there either in your content or offer or they’re not. And if they’re engaged, they’re either going to buy or they’re not. 

And so there’s key points where you have to look at the data, you know, theory and feeling and this whole theory approach to business is fine. You know, and I measure success in two ways. impact and income, your impact is measured by how much leverage you can use to get the most amount of value into the marketplace. You need time and a team to be able to do that. At the same time, your income will be a direct reflection of what your impact is in the marketplace. 

Now, if you’re a 501, c three, you’re going to be making an incredible impact and maybe not a ton of money around that but you’re going to show a huge amount of you know, a huge influxes of revenue coming in through donations, and you’re going to see a ton of positive feedback. If you have a for-profit business, you’re going to show an incredible community being built and great numbers in your back office. 

If there’s a deficiency in either one of those spaces, you have to refer back to the data to find out where the cracks in the foundation are, so that you can repair it and then continue to build those layers. There’s a lot of entrepreneurs, I think, who have approached this industry and the idea of cannabis companies or hemp companies like it’s fucking weed. It sells itself. Everybody wants, you know, everybody, right?

Mike Luce: They can’t possibly be your business plan.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, that’s not the business plan.

Mike Luce: Write that on a piece of paper and hand it out. Yeah.

Sonia Gomez: And that’s not even like a plan B business plan. Like you really have to I say spend 80% of your time on the planning 20% on the execution. But the plan has to include A through Z. Because in this industry compliance changes, you know, one day to the next, and you have to switch everything up. And the only way to do that effectively is understanding the data points that are behind it. Now what kind of data do you need? 

Well, it starts off by understanding who you want to serve and what problem you want to solve with what products or services from there you don’t really niche down and understand, like, where are you going to be pulling data from? How are you going to leverage this data inside of your company and it’s not a one time or one size fits all? It really has to be a part of your plan to understand again, who you’re serving and what problem you’re solving. Because if you’re guessing it’s like a man trying to guess what a woman is thinking just fucking forget it. There’s no way.

Mike Luce: no, that’s not a recipe for success that [inaudible]

Sonia Gomez: No, that’s a recipe for disaster, what you have to do is ask more questions. And I think that a lot of in a lot of instances we’re operating in life in general, but I’ll just use, you know, intimate relationships as an example because what more of an intimate relationship could you possibly have from somebody who is coming to you at a seizing child or cancer recovery and you have to like, divulge your insane symptoms that are associated with this syndrome of pain that’s, you know, completely altering your life. 

You have to level up with somebody real quick when you’re looking for advice and direction on the product. So it’s the same thing with a relationship if you’re looking to get married and you want to have kids and you know, this happy go lucky frickin life, like you have to ask more questions and collect more data and find out whether or not your values you know, do the metrics line up. That’s what you’re looking for. Are the planets lining in our favor, here? Are we going to carry this one to the finish line? Or? Or is this just as a stepping stone to get to the real deal? You know, so it’s the same thing. 

And so I’m a huge fan of Insights. I’m a huge fan of getting data. Everything that I do is based off of the data and feedback of our community and following and I’m so grateful to them for being so open and receptive. I’d love to hear from your perspective, what has been, you know, we have a lot of entrepreneurs who have specific skill sets and backgrounds that they would like to apply to this new industry or, and I would love to hear from your perspective, what have been some of the challenges and starting and building and scaling a business that perhaps may not be directly related to the plant but is providing a necessary service for the industry. 

What has been some of the key challenges for you in getting this ship off the ground to the point where you would find yourself someplace like MJBizCon where the best of the best are coming together to showcase their businesses?

Key Challenges They’ve Faced on Their Way to Success

Mike Luce: Yeah, well, I think part of it is we had to look at this venture and say, we know that we have to just like you said, provide value. We can’t expect people are going to be beating down our doors from day one, no matter how much value we put as business people in data, there’re always competing priorities. And in fact, there’s a mission statement on our website on highyieldinsight.com that says, data without action is just overhead, right? 

Cannabis Consumer

I’m not here to say you have to have data to do everything. I do think you have to have data to do things well, right. But there is art and science. That realization, I think, for us was one that was really critical and it shaped how we thought about our first 6 12 18 months and how we can continue to think about it today that if we are producing and you can think about this is true for anyone if you’re not producing something, offering a service that is contributing in some fashion, right? set aside the financial compensation, if you aren’t adding something that’s of genuine value, interest, usefulness to those that are in the industry or thinking about it, you’ve got a rough road ahead of you. 

Cannabis Consumer

We know that there are a couple of things that that does for us and of course, gets our name out there, gets people interested, tracks of conversations, all of those things you think about and you know, you think about tactics like content marketing, etc, as to what you might want to do if you’re a company like ours in regards to getting the message out about the data you’ve collected or the new findings that you have, but I think that’s true for everyone. If you have a new equipment solution, you really have to show– there’s an upside to your piece of equipment in a variety of ways, I think you’re exactly right. I think a lot of people, whether they’re going to be touching the plant or not, you know, they hear the headlines, they see things at the checkout counter at the grocery store that like, this is just a no brainer, right. And I don’t think that’s true. I think it’s a tremendous opportunity. And it’s just one of the best places for entrepreneurs to be today. 

But the other consideration you have to make is that even as much as you know, any businesses, and in any sector, there’s some things that are out of your hands. You have to be comfortable with a lot of risks because we have less than knowledgeable, let’s put it, right people, in seats of power in Washington and statehouses that are making decisions that impact all of us, and much less. Let’s not forget the people that rely on this planet and all of its derivatives as medicine. And if you’re not prepared for that, that’s very hard. 

You have to be comfortable with a lot of risks. - Mike Luce Click To Tweet

There aren’t many sectors where overnight, you know, an orange hair buffoon could tweet something that would stand to derail your entire business. But that’s the reality we live in today. So I think you really have to bear those things in mind, too. There’s both a real demand and desire to see people add value upfront, show why you exist, contribute and at the same time, in addition to all of the risks that you encounter as a small business owner, as an entrepreneur, think too about how much of a linear going out on to me that is incredibly exciting. 

But it is also something that maybe not everyone considers, as they think about the assumptions they make, as you said, the plan they put together, and those would be those are my words of wisdom, anyway, and it certainly you know, those have been issues that I have thought about and struggled with since we started up.

Sonia Gomez: I can’t help but agree with this, this is like an ongoing theme. I think for a lot of folks in the industry and so I’ll flip it on its back and say, knowing what you know now, and knowing that there’s a lot of people in this space, who are struggling a lot of people who are succeeding but even more folks who are watching and listening and trying to figure out their way. 

And so what would be some key pieces of advice that you could offer in our segment here the words of wisdom here specifically from you like knowing what you know now, what would you advise our fellow entrepreneurs and business owners to do as they’re coming into this space or trying to figure navigate their way through?

Advice to Fellow Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Trying to Figure out Their Way Through

Mike Luce: Sure. I think there’s an exercise that I absolutely hate. But if you’ve been in any kind of business development Crash Course for you’ve sat through any like a full-day seminar on being a, you know, a startup owner or looking at a new venture, you will inevitably see something like this. 

The presenter takes out a paper plate and a banana and says, I need three volunteers to come forward and role plays a scenario where you pitch me on this banana. It is just, I mean, honestly, it’s the worst. Like I see things like this happening. I just want to tear my eyeballs out. But, but the advice is good. And the lesson inevitably unfolds that the three people that go out of the room come in one by one, they try to sell the business person, right, the presenters planning on buying the banana because it’s tasty, all the reasons that we might think of enjoying a banana. 

Whereas at the end, in an unfair twist, the presenter says I don’t care about any of that. I wanted the banana peel because I’m an industrial chemical manufacturer and there’s something in banana peels that’s incredibly valuable. Now, I think that’s a cheap trick. But the takeaway and what we did frankly, did not do As much as we should have was going out and talking to people, which was more or less the point of that whole exercise, don’t enter in, regardless of how cool you think your idea is, how new or different or maybe just it’s making it widget somewhat better than anybody today, don’t enter in without really getting out there and talking to people that you think you might do business with. 

And I know that sounds stupid, and it’s not unique. But I really think there’s just so much to be absorbed and learn that, for instance, we really could have spent months like way more time getting out there and talking to the MSOs brand owners, marketers, and you know, and others that really been hungering for the kind of data that we provide and have been using data in other ways. But set aside our business, I think we’d have drawn so much from those conversations. 

It’s not to say that we didn’t, I mean, we’re good enough business people that we did a firm out of that But I think part of frankly, what you may have to do is just really get out there in person. And impart, you’re getting back to my earlier point, you’re paying your dues by being there showing up talking to people, asking them here I have this idea. What do you think? 

Because in this industry, and this goes back if you remember the keynote speaker at MJBizCon had a great slogan, no one knows anything, right? This is just too new for anyone to know absolutely everything about our industry. And for sure, they don’t know anything or as much as you do about whatever your ideas is. So if you’re out there, you’re listening to this, reading a lot trying to think about what to do that would be a surefire way in which your needs going to marginally improve your chances for success, I’d say dramatically improve your chances for success. 

And if you have to pivot, what better way and what better time to learn that upfront as you’re getting your venture off the ground? And, and that’s a painful admission for me. I mean, I see some of the things that we put out in early 2018. And I’m like, that’s okay. It’s not what I would do today. But that’s all right. Okay. Yeah, man, some level that the flip side is you said to flip it on its back, is you really can’t just hem and haw forever, right? Time kills all deals. And time eventually kills all ideas too. 

And the other point that the presenter at MJBizCon made too is you just have to try a lot of things. So as you said earlier, in terms of what I took away, Mark Randolph, former CEO and co-founder of Netflix, that tear point, no one knows anything, and you got to just try new ideas all the time, are great things, but always be sure you’re out there and tapping into the community. That would be my number one takeaway, and frankly, you know, I mean, find to be brutally honest, I think my number one regret as we look to get this thing off the ground.

Always be sure you're out there and tapping into the community. That would be my number one takeaway. - Mike Luce Click To Tweet

Sonia Gomez: You know, I had an incredible mentor talk to me once and he was just like, imperfect action is better than not taking action every time. And you have to be willing to fail forward at any cost. And most often, even though you have $1 million ideas, this is statistically proven that every human being has $1 million ideas every single day. But only 1% of the 1% will take any action whatsoever towards trying to develop that idea. And they find themselves consistently confronted with seeing something that they once ideated you know, even if it was just in passing, all of a sudden they see it come to fruition. 

And a really great example of this, I think is is my mom, she is probably one of the most genius people that I know, and quite literally within three sentences into anybody’s explanation of their woes. has the exact solution that can come up with the exact strategy knows exactly what to do. And then from that problem solving, which is like super nourishing for her from that problem solving, she comes back and she’s like, you know, I should really create A, B, C and D. and not kidding you like three months later, six months later or a year later, we’ll be scrolling on Facebook and she’ll be like, son of a bitch.

Mike Luce: [inaudible] guys I had that idea first.

Sonia Gomez: Who the fuck are these guys? It’s so great. And I mean, it’s so great to see that my mom is one of those people that if she cashed in on half of the good ideas that she had like we would be Rockefeller, right. It’s quite possible that the best ideas are all in the hands of moms, whether they take action [inaudible]

Sonia Gomez: I concur, I concur. I still make excuses for my mom to come over and find solutions for my life? But um, that’s a really good example of like, when you’re sitting on a great idea and you incubate and incubate and incubate like you can only keep a baby in the womb for so long before it can’t grow anymore there.

Mike Luce: And you might find out that it doesn’t work right or Yeah, the right time or whatever, whatever it is, right? Yeah.

Sonia Gomez: Yes. You have to be willing, to stay in motion. My husband says this term, he says this to me all the time, because I’m not like a born entrepreneur. I am certainly like, a tailored entrepreneur. And my husband’s been a huge part of pushing me to be and do and have more because he just sees he sees something in me that I can’t see in myself. Thanks, honey. I love you.

Mike Luce: That’s a great partner.

Sonia Gomez: I know, a really great partner and I want to fucking kill him sometimes because you’re just like, I can only grow as fast as I can grow. But he’s like, listen good and well to me, you do not drink stagnant water. And I’m like, What the hell does that mean? And he’s like, if the water is not moving, it’s not pure anymore. Like you have to keep money, energy time resources, team, your ideas, everything always has to be in motion or it’s going to die. 

You don’t want something that’s sedentary, you want something that is, you know, moving it, that’s, that’s a sign of life. And so you have to continue breed life and you have to have the courage to forge new paths and find– water is going to find a way to escape, right? It’s very, very difficult to contain. And so you have to live ideas and your courage and your wisdom and your flow be fluid. You have to let these things be fluid. So my words of wisdom is let it go. Let it go. Like you gotta just let it go. And you got to rock it out 100%.

Mike Luce: Frozen fans are losing their minds right now.

Sonia Gomez: Frozen fans are losing minds all across America, but I’m serious. Let go of the edge and let the current carry you pick your feet up off the floor and let the wave carry you. There’s no such thing as perfection. Everything is imperfect. And it’s in those imperfections that you can find the perfect way for you to do it. The second thing I will say is that truth is in the eye of the beholder. So no matter how much data you get, you consistently have to update and refresh what you think. 

You know, there’s two different types of leaders in this industry, the leading learner and the teaching teacher. The teaching teachers are the preachers, the ones that are always wanting you to know what they know, and hardly spend any time nourishing what they know. 

The second is the leading learner and they take data and wisdom and philosophy and fact and story and they pair and wrap this whole thing together to create a perfect synergistic harmony on how they’re going to use fact to build the future, how they’re going to build a story, to create the commitment from their community, all of these different things worked really well together. 

And that’s why you have to be careful with number three, which is how you build your team will afford you the time to get the wisdom that you need to be able to conduct yourself effectively in this business.

Mike Luce: Yeah, you absolutely need the right people, the right people, and right partners to write me I love that leading learner I think you also find that those people are the quickest to embrace opposing points of view and get into lively discussions. And most willing, however uncomfortable to get a little bit out of the bubble. And to do that you know, I see them really and I try to do this. I mean, I think somewhat like you I have to kick myself in the ass every once In a while right to really get out there, but I think I’m more in that scenario as you described on the front and your camp than your husband’s. 

And I may ask for his number so I can get some free consulting from him. But to really find yourself in a good situation, it’s just as much the team internally as it is your external partners, however formal or informal. So I think that’s, I think that’s key. I don’t want to steal your thunder in regard to the team. But that’s part of it. Your team doesn’t stop at your four walls, right?

Sonia Gomez: Hell no. Your team starts inside the four walls and you could be sleeping with the enemy. I’m not even kidding. You could be sleeping with the enemy. If you are an entrepreneur and you’re dating somebody who’s only ever had a job and doesn’t necessarily believe in entrepreneurship that’s sleeping with the enemy. They’re not nourishing your mindset to take you know, a specific mindset. vice versa, If you’re a person who’s only ever had a job and you are you know hooked up to an entrepreneur, you’re sleeping with the enemy. It’s a completely different mindset. And you guys have to figure out how to find common ground to support one another in the things that make you feel the most fulfilled. 

And for one of you, that’s going to be a creation and for another one of you, it’s going to be a being a support system to the one who is the most creative. Mark Cuban said, hire your weaknesses. So to do that, effectively, you have to understand what your strengths are and what your natural tendencies are, as a business owner. 

Check out the book for those of you who are listening, The Millionaire Master Plan by Roger James Hamilton, Rockstar, genius and futuristic entrepreneur who helps you to identify like what your natural tendencies and flows are as an entrepreneur and how to leverage them in a team environment so that you can make these quantum leaps into success in really short condensed periods of time. Huge, huge resource for me when I was building my business team and how I continue to build my team or even work with my family. 

It’s been an amazing resource for us. But I really want to encourage you guys, you know, to just continue to have the courage there is no cookie-cutter way. And of course, engage yourself into controversial conflicting conversations where multiple viewpoints are represented. And you can really find– you’re not the smartest person in the room. That’s the biggest challenge. Right? courage for you can’t be the smartest person in the room. The minute that you’re the smartest person in the room is the minute that you have to find yourself a new group to hang out with because you’ll start to be the teaching teacher instead of the leading learner. And the ones that are accumulating wisdom are the ones that are going to be able to move into the future. 

So those are my words of wisdom and pieces of advice for those of you who are tuning in. Can you please, please please Mike, tell us where we can find you. If we wanted business or find out more about what we’re doing in High Yield Insights.

Where to Find Them

Mike Luce: Yeah, absolutely. Of course, I am on all of the usual platforms. I will say right now I am as we call in our latest round of research on CBD consumers, I fall into somewhat sheepishly quote dosing dads. So I’m not cool enough to be on Instagram. You can find me there but you can find me on LinkedIn, Mike Luce. You can find me on Twitter at chi_luce that’s CHI underscore Luce because I’m a longtime Chicago and you can see all manner of stuff from either cannabis-related and not always happy to take emails, phone calls, text messages, you name it. I’m at [email protected] it’s spelled exactly like it’s that sounds highyieldinsights.com and of course, that’s our website as well. 

Maybe one last comment. Don’t be afraid of the dumb ideas. Don’t be afraid of the dumb ideas. Don’t be afraid of the idea that’s like number nine on your list and you look at it, you’re like, that’s so dumb, that’ll never work. You won’t know right? We go through 128 if you want, right, but don’t leave number nine neglected. That’s what I found is don’t assume even to your point, you’re the smartest person in the room because unless you go out and ask and test and try things, maybe number nine is the best idea, but you won’t know. 

And I found that to be the case with myself looking at projects for 2020 I’ve been shocked this idea i thought was totally dumb would never work. People are saying that’s great. Tell me more, Well, I don’t know anymore because I just thought about it and they can absolutely try new things. I love to talk about you know anything regarding the industry. Of course, I’m a nerd for data. I love pulling stories out of data talking about what data means. 

And to your point you know, I tried to be any way that leading murder take about The broader context that we all live in and the stories that we like to exchange. So by any means anybody that’s out there listening, whether it’s some of the things we talked about, or you want to learn about some of the things that I’ve experienced. my professional and personal background, I would welcome to reach out so please don’t hesitate.

Sonia Gomez: Love, love, love. Okay, well, you inspired one more, just one more. One more little thing, you know, something that came across my desk while I was at MJBizCon was this woman who was really, really overwhelmed and she was super struggling with like, what to do next and what I call opportunity, overwhelm. And this and she wants to do that, and this person, she met that person and she just had like, I’m like, Listen, girl, every pigeon wants a seed. You only have so many in the bag, right? 

You’re gonna have to figure out how to distribute them in the best possible way. So when you are in opportunity overload. When you’re finding out that there’s so much that you want to do and be and have and all the things, I created what I call an idea bank. And if you think about it, like the checks and balances of your checking and savings account, they’re in your idea bank. And every day you’re going–

Mike Luce: I like where you’re going with this.

Sonia Gomez: Every day, you’re going to come up with an idea. And every day it’s going to either cause a distraction or bring value to your current state of business, often a creator, somebody who’s always like, looking for the what is next, you know, what can we do to solve this particular problem? There’s also people who ask the question, Who do we know or who can solve this particular problem? You know, there’s folks who are asking how the fuck are we going to fix this? There’s also folks who asked the question, when is this all going to be fixed? Right? 

And so there’s different ways that people approach problem-solving, but one of those things is creating. so my suggestion to those of you who might find yourself an opportunity overwhelm, or you’re having an influx of ideas while you’re in the area of problem-solving, start to write them down on a sticky note or make yourself some cards or whatever, however creative you want to get with it. Like could be a shred off of a newspaper, but you write down the idea. And you fold it up and you deposit it into your bank into your idea bank. And you have no idea any one of these ideas could be, you know, the next seven-figure business for you. It could be there’s two things that will make any one of these ideas, successful. resources, that’s Time, Team, money.

And the second is timing. You might have the best idea in the world. But if the timing isn’t exactly right, it’s going to be the worst idea in the world. Warren Buffett built his entire fortune watching the timing of the market. He knows what he invests in, but when is a highly calculated formula for him. 

So I encourage those of you who are looking at this and find yourself with new ideas all the time and your team, looking at you slightly frustrated and like fuck another thing, write the idea down and put it into your idea bank once a month, once a week, once a year, once a quarter whenever it is, go through your idea bank and you’re going to go back and read these ideas and before you spend a ton of time and money on it. Give it the time to incubate in the idea bank and collect interest right you may go back and say like Oh shit, that was an awful idea. I’m so glad I didn’t spend 10 grand on that. Or you may go back and say like, wow, that was a really great idea. When can we put this into effect? and then your team starts to put resources towards it. 

Just implementing this idea alone saved me easy six figures this year because my husband is a creator. And sometimes creates us more problems than he does solutions for challenges because he’s always trying to find the solution, but in that, in turn, creating more work. So now we can throttle that creation and go deep instead of wide on the things that we’re focused on. 

So I hope that that’s helpful for you guys. Create your idea banks make deposits daily, you’ll be rich beyond all of your years. And more importantly, wise is because you wouldn’t have wasted time and money on something that you’re maybe not so passionate about. Maybe you just got stoned and thought it was a good idea. Maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, whatever it is, you just make sure that you give things their proper timing and find the right time to release the right products and the right team to do it. And you’ll have yourself a successful formula. I swear that’s it. No more words of wisdom.

Mike Luce: Well, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve taken away a lot from this conversation. Those has been tremendous. Thanks so much.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, you’re saying Welcome. I’m really, really honored to have you here, Mike and I appreciate it. We’re looking forward to celebrating continued success inside of your company. All of the social media handles and websites mentioned in today’s episode will be listed around the blog and around this video and when you guys share content like this, you are a part of making the needle move when it comes to legalization and global awareness and education for cannabis and hemp. 

If you’re a person looking for products that you can depend on, check us out at medicalsecrets.com for some of our favorite picks. And if you are an entrepreneur at any level looking for merchant processing, distribution, marketing and advertising, or a stabilized supply chain, check us out at theemeraldcircle.com We are happy to help with the key resources and relationships you need to succeed in this incredible, exciting and very challenging industry. I’m your hostess with the mostess Sonia Gomez, and this is The Hemp Revolution. We’ll see you on the next show. Guys

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