Stu Meyer is a brain cancer survivor. Fortunately, his tumour was operable and after months or brain radiation and chemotherapy, they’ve successfully treated his cancer but the side effects were troublesome.
He suffered excruciating pain throughout his body due to nerve damage and got addicted to different pain medications which didn’t help at all.
In this episode, Stu shares how the years and years of pain and sleeplessness affected the quality of his life significantly and how he overcame his drug addiction.
I didn’t even realize that the number one transformation that I experienced that allowed the other things to take place was my confidence. My confidence and comfortability knowing that whatever I was going to do was actually going to work. – Stu Meyer
Some Topics We Discussed Include
3:00 – Being diagnosed with brain cancer
7:29 – After surgery recovery and treatment
9:37 – The detrimental side effects of brain surgery
11:58 – Overcoming drug addiction and discovering CBD
18:44 – From a consumer to a business owner
31:04 – The biggest challenges that they went through to get to where they are now
35:26 – Why he didn’t end up building his own brand
36:35 – What he is anticipating in the company’s growth in their first year
42:23 – Key pieces of advice to budding entrepreneurs considering getting into the space
46:07 – Where to find their products
People Mentioned / Resources
Connect with Stu Meyer
Connect with Sonia Gomez
Sonia Gomez: What’s up everybody? This is Sonia, coming to you from Denver, Colorado. This is another badass rock star episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in today. If you are excited, let me know and if you’re a consumer looking for products that you can trust to deliver the results you’re looking for, check us out at medicalsecrets.com. If you’re a budding entrepreneur or existing business owner and you’re hitting bottlenecks or glass ceilings in your business or just not sure how to get started. Check us out at theemeraldcircle.com we are happy to help. In today’s episode and as you guys know, we are super passionate about telling the stories of the people who are behind the products and brands that you love. Nothing like a good story to kick off the day.
And in today’s episode, we are going to be visiting with our guest who is a brain cancer survivor who discovered CBD as a solution for his full recovery. This is such an incredible story you guys are going to just die with bad nerve damage throughout the body. This condition leads to horrible pain and sleeplessness for years and years. He was able to solve the challenges around pain, anxiety, sleep challenges, all with CBD. And I know a lot of you guys who are using CBD right now or even creating products have heard incredible stories like this. Nothing like a good testimony to kick off your passion and purpose for starting your very own CBD retail store and web store to bring in the highest quality affordable CBD products so that other people just like this could benefit from this incredible movement and medicine. Ladies and gentlemen, help me welcome Mr. Stu Meyer. Hi Stu.
Stu Meyer: Hi.
Sonia Gomez: I can’t even believe I’m talking to you right now. Like, I cannot believe that you beat cancer of the brain of all places. Tell me a little bit about your story.
Being Diagnosed With Brain Cancer
Stu Meyer: Well, you can see the scar.
Sonia Gomez: Oh my, I mean, you can hardly see it but yeah, I can now that you pointed it out.
Stu Meyer: The doctor was really great. Well, it all started– I had my surgery, Cinco de Mayo 2015. So the whole story actually started January of 2015. I was just in a normal sales call. I used to be in the software business, I’m sure we’ll talk more about that. And I was in a normal presentation and all of a sudden, I just experienced like stroke-like symptoms, you know, in other words, I got caught on a letter, I I I like that in front of about five people I didn’t know and I just blanked out and went into a deep sweat and repeated this letter.
And fortunately for me, I was actually at that meeting because I think if this happened at my normal home office, I probably would have passed it on on something I ate or something like that because it only lasted for 45 seconds. But the folks there were very insistent on, you know, they saw something in there like you have two choices where they’re calling the ambulance, we’re going to drive you to the hospital of your choice. And they drove me, people I didn’t know they drove me and they followed me in my own car and they caravan me to the emergency room. And the emergency room, we discovered that there was a little grey spot in my brain and then the next day, I went in for a couple more MRIs. So I met with the neurologists and the neuro analysis people, and they determined right there that there was a tumour on my brain.
Sonia Gomez: Wow.
Stu Meyer: And, and that was really shocking news, you know, and they didn’t know it’s cancer yet because they just couldn’t tell and they were you know, then what happens immediately as you go through a number of MRIs and they try to figure out if it’s a Cancer that was started in your brain like called a glioma, or cancer that somewhere else because a lot of really deadly cancer shows up in your brain. And by the time that happens, you’re one step in the grave. And so after about 12, MRIs and couple functional MRIs at UCLA, they determined that I was operable, right, and that’s a very rare kind of thing in brain cancer. That’s why there’s only a 3% survival rate because most of the brain is really inoperable. And in fact, by the time I got the surgery, my doctor had said that the head cancer had gone to stage three and that it was two millimetres away from the main vein in your head. And so that’s how close I was to not be able to have this operation.
Sonia Gomez: Wow.
Stu Meyer: Yeah. So Cinco de Mayo comes up. And it was like I planned it around my third son’s Bar Mitzvah. So he was his Bar Mitzvah was a week earlier. You know, there were crazy times and it was a nine-hour surgery in which you know, I was awake for about six hours of it. .
Sonia Gomez: No stop it.
Stu Meyer: Yeah, that’s how they do brain surgery because the brain is like hard to tell good brain from the bad brain and in other words, and a brain tumour is not a well-defined tumour it’s part of the brain, grey matter. And so they have to keep you awake, and they ask you questions over and over the same questions. And they map your brain so they know like, Oh, we’ve taken too much out, you know, they don’t want [inaudible], right. So it’s a nine-person crew in the room. And there’s a lab right there. So they take a little brain out there, like bad or good, you know? Yeah. And so and you know, I don’t remember any of it except for about you know, what I think is a couple of minutes but I’m sure it wasn’t play like a movie in my head full colour. I actually got awake you know, enough to they were like, Hey, I understood what they were saying. And you know, I heard the music in the background and I talked to the doctor and I started, I’m a sales guy by trade, I started asking them like, Hey, where’d you go to college and stuff like that?
Sonia Gomez: Hey, you qualify for this job.
Stu Meyer: Only two minutes of the surgery. I really remember. I just, you know, it’s, it seems weird, but–
Sonia Gomez: Oh my god right now that just like completely freaks me. I’m sorry. It freaks me out totally and completely. Okay, I’ll tell you more about that why that freaks me out later.
Recovery and Treatment After Surgery
Stu Meyer: Yeah. So, but then the recovery starts. I was 48 at the time, and I was in good shape. I do CrossFit all the time. And, and I think a lot of that helped me in my recovery just being in good shape. So just if your audience, don’t get out of shape, you never know. And then what happens is you recover from that and then I had 31 radiation hits to the head, which was really bad. That’s the worst thing. I had to go through some speech therapy after that. Each and then I did a 50-week cycle of chemo. And this is the traditional way of beating this cancer down. It’s kind of like my sledgehammer, it’s been, this has been their method for 15 or so years, I guess, probably 20 by now. And it’s a proven system and if you go through these three pieces, and you then you survive it, and you have a pretty good chance of survival.
So, what they think they did was they bought me maybe 10 to 15 years, right. It’s not a permanent solution. And but it could be there’s an 11% chance that the tumour will not come back, but that leaves 89% chance of it coming back right. And then the doctors are like, well, we hope that there’s new medicine and so they’re working on a lot of good medicine as far as being able to control the tumours in your brain. Yeah, hopefully, and hopefully they won’t have to go back in. But today, I have to go every four months I do an MRI, that’s the only way they can keep testing my brain is I do MRI, and then they read the results and then they send me on my merry way. So, every four months, I have to gotta go through this, it’s a routine. I mean, I’m not worried about it too much. But so far so good, right? But at one point, we’ll cross that bridge when we have to.
Sonia Gomez: Wow. That’s an incredible story.
The Detrimental Side Effects of Brain Surgery
Stu Meyer: Thank you and then Okay, so what happened was, obviously when you have your brain kind of messed with, you have a lot of nerve damage, right. The worst part is that I developed really horrible neuropathy throughout my whole body. I mean, I was in so much pain, nerve pain, which is a deadening type of pain, and it’s also Like they would be shooting pain so the middle of the night I would be screaming, you know, in the middle of the night or during the day while I’m trying to drive I’d have these nerve pains and mostly in my lower, my feet and legs and what the doctors do is what the doctors do they you know, they’ve tried to cure your pain, right?
So they put me on Gabapentin. They put me on Tramadoland I really got hooked on Tramadol, right because Tramadol is like one of those drugs where if you Google it, they’ll tell you, doctors think it’s like a strong Tylenol, they kind of it’s not, old blown opioid and I had to take it every four hours and it didn’t help it was not helpful with the pain at all. And so I was I self-medicated with a lot of pot and Tramadol and Advil and Tylenol and anything I could do to get the pain to like, subside enough I can go to sleep.
I didn’t sleep for more than an hour for like three years. And that compounding my problems and now I can’t really function at work. I’m addicted to Tramadol, every five, four hours, I’ve got to take a Tramadol or I just get super cranky. I mean, I ended up yelling at customers a couple of times. I was this is me, I was a corporate sales guy at the time, and I was, it was horrible, right?
Sonia Gomez: Like, I’m so sorry. When you said that I just got this image of Seth Rogen like he’s just losing his noodle in some sort of bad rom-com. I went through my own incredible pain syndrome where a similar situation just totally overprescribed to try and eliminate my pain. But in fact, we were just layering symptoms on top of the syndrome and I think I just yelled at my mom a lot.
Overcoming Drug Addiction and Discovering CBD
Stu Meyer: I was in a very, very situation where I was in a group sales meeting. And I don’t know, they were not doing what I asked him to do. Anyways, I got a little bit triggered in that meeting. You don’t want to see me but so I needed a strategy. I mean, I couldn’t live like this, it’s like, Yeah, well, so I’ve started with a drug addiction specialist to get off the Tramadol. Well, that was like a five-month process. I just eliminated a quarter pill every week. I went through this. I went I tried the cold turkey a couple of times, but that was very unsuccessful. And so once I got that down, then I’m totally in pain, right? And then I knew that– I’m a pot smoker pretty much my whole life with that out here. But that wasn’t really helping at all, but I knew that there was a solution out there and I knew it was going to be around CBD. I just couldn’t find any good CBD back then. And so this was like, when was this I would say two years ago I started.
Sonia Gomez: Really. I mean, the landscape is unstable now I two years, two and a half years ago. That’s right when I started to get familiar with the compound, myself, and I was just like a company that sold for $90 million today was one of my first clients. And I was like, this is a terrible product.
Stu Meyer: Well, I had been going to a dispensary and the guy who owned it, we called Chief, I think, he had given me a bag of 100 doobies. He was really nice to me. And he had given me some CBD oil. He’s like, try this. I paid 150 bucks for it. It’s like 100 milligrammes 30-millilitre bottle. And I got, Okay, this tastes horrible. But man, this may be the thing and then I spent hundreds of dollars on the internet buying stuff, buying creams and I finally discovered a cream that was CBD cream right? They had [inaudible] in it. And it actually did a good job.
It was like I tried a bunch of cream bunch of full-spectrum solids type creams and stuff on my feet. And they just were like smelly and didn’t do very well but the EMU one did a good job of penetrating in and I got some relief often I’m like, Oh, this is great. I’m gonna rub this on my feet four or five times a day. And that’s how I started with CBD. And then I finally found– I went through all the different kinds of creams on the market. I did a bunch of like buying and not rejecting and I found, I was like, thinking that CBD capsules were the way to go. I didn’t think about tincture, and then I found some tincture that would work but then I was like, not strong enough because I’m a big dude. I’m a 230-pound guy, you know, so you have to have a strong tincture and back then there was like 300-milligramme tincture was $99 you know?
And so what happened was, I figured it out. It was like, I figured it out. It was like the creams, and the tincture combination was fantastic, right? And it worked. And I totally got off all my other drugs. I sleep now like a baby. And I kind of tell people all the time I live a pain-free existence, like I don’t have horrible foot pain. I mean, they earn and stuff but it’s totally reasonable. And I know I have a good strategy. And that’s it. So that’s what you want and pain, I think is a good strategy that you could apply as often as you want to get out of pain. And that’s really what CBD allowed me to do.
Sonia Gomez: And what an incredible story. I can’t believe it. As I mentioned, I’ve personally gone through some pretty tumultuous times with the traditional medical system over-prescribing me as a teenager, and I was by the hair of my chinny chin escaped becoming a statistic. Like we need another Hispanic addict in life and what I noticed after going through dozens and dozens of doctors and dozens and dozens of experimental testing and so on and so forth, still undiagnosed.
I finally came in contact with the holistic neurologist who introduced me to my endocannabinoid system, taught me about my nerve network, taught me about strain selection, micro-dosing, phytonutrient, all of these different things, and I experienced incredible transformation. Three months off of all of my prescription meds, six months out off of all of my over the counters, within nine months, I had lost 100 pounds.
And the one thing that I recognized though, and actually, it’s what you’re saying and how you’re saying it, do you have to have a strategy to address your pain. I didn’t even realize that the number one transformation that I experienced that allowed the other things to take place was my confidence. My confidence and comfortability knowing that whatever I was going to do was actually going to work. And I think before that I was just like, so concerned with getting out of the pain that I wasn’t worried about whether or not I was going to experience long term side effects from that it was just a matter of like, just get out of pain. You put your hand on the stove, you want to get it away as fast as humanly possible. But we’re working from this other perspective where I had to look at my whole body to be well and feel well, or even just normal. It was really about building the confidence in myself and my ability to get past that point of the insanity that the pain can cause and just get into a rhythm and a routine that built my confidence in the results that I was experiencing.
And from there, I was able to eliminate the other things but it wasn’t until you just said what you said, the way that you said it you have to have a strategy you can depend on that, you know what’s going to work that. The pain becomes manageable at that point and it’s not such a severe situation and the panic subsides. I used to panic knowing that I was getting into my pain syndrome and oh my god, it was awful.
Stu Meyer: Pain is not fun.
Sonia Gomez: No, it’s not. It’s crazy-making, absolutely. So you went through this whole crazy process and trying to figure out how to manage the side effects of your surgery and cancer diagnosis and recovery and so on and so forth. Then through the challenges of finding a product that would work is that how you entered into the CBD space? Where did that sort of where did you turn consumer to business owner?
From a Consumer to a Business Owner
Stu Meyer: Well, okay. So, I’ve been in the software business for 30 years, kind of the same software. I did ERP systems which are like business financial packages, I did customer relationship management packages and document management. Takes a lot of brainpower, you know, you have to get in the mind of the customer, you got to understand the processes, got to be able to come up with a good project plan, figure out all the bits and pieces to the new software connecting to their old software. There’s a lot that goes on in software development for you know, the kind of stuff work I was doing. And really, my brain wasn’t there anymore. I didn’t do that well like I was the top sales guy for years, and I just couldn’t pull it together anymore.
I don’t want to say I totally failed, but I wasn’t nearly as successful as I once was. It was like a thing where I had always worked for myself or business but my partner and most of my businesses, and but after my surgery, I didn’t have that kind of confidence. I was still recovering. I had to get out of work for two years. And so I was getting pretty close to being out of money, let’s say. That’s right. I was already out of money.
Sonia Gomez: People let’s be honest.
Stu Meyer: I didn’t do the job, right. So I had to go back into my old world. And I didn’t fit in there anymore. My brain just didn’t work the same. I put deals together, but I was never really happy, and I was miserable. And so that all added to my problems so here, I had a great career for 30 years, and I couldn’t really do it anymore. And even though I had some success, and people were like, how you can do Stu and you’re, you’re this, you’re that it just wasn’t there for me. And if you don’t have passion about what you do, or if you don’t like what you do, it’s like work. I don’t want to work for a living. I want to have a nice career and do what I like to do.
And so I was in a situation where I’m like, I need a job change and what am I going to do? I’m not gonna start a software company. I couldn’t put my mind around that I tried to go out to the job world, but I don’t know if people kind of read it that way. It’s like, I was very unemployable and even though I have a real good track record, and so I’m like, so yeah, you’re right. Okay, so I kept looking into and then I’m hooked in on LinkedIn, I was looking at all these guys from my business that were moving into CBD. And I’m like, and I’m cannabis-friendly my whole life. I mean, why shouldn’t I make money on cannabis?
Sonia Gomez: Start recovering some of my investment.
Stu Meyer: About the beginning of this year, I decided to Hey, man, I gotta do something else. Right. And I went on a tour. I went to Denver a couple of times. I went to Oregon, I went to Utah, I went to Kentucky, I went to Florida, and I started visiting all these places because I didn’t want to– I come from a side of the business where you deal right with the manufacturer. So I didn’t really want to deal with distribution and trying to sell the big products out there like the top brands. And here’s the other part. Okay, this is what made me really start the store. I have like a $200 a month CBD habit. And I’m like, this is crazy. And the insurance doesn’t cover it, right? And so I was buying two ounces of cream for $70-$80 bucks. The only thing I could afford was 1000 milligramme tincture, and it was like I found it for $99 in certain places. And so I was going through that in a month.
And I’m like, this is crazy. And so I really felt like the Epipen victim, it was like I found something that worked but now I gotta refinance my house every month. So it drove me to figure out a better way and that’s what drove me to go right to the manufacturers and I’m pretty good at that kind of stuff. I made friends with people. I went to the extraction facilities. I learned it all, I went to labs. I went to the farms. I’ve been growing my backyard for 20 something years. So I’m very familiar with how–
Sonia Gomez: Where do you live?
Stu Meyer: I live up in, I don’t want to tell you. I live in Los Angeles but I live up in the hills. I live in a suburb and I’ve got a very private backyard and so it works out. And I just knew there was a better way and that’s really what drove me to find all these great things. And I found some great products. I found great people out there and I found people that really cared and I found people that didn’t care. I found the good, the bad and the ugly. I went to trade shows and I basically just put together a really good affordable product line that works.
I’m the main tester, I have two bad feet every night. I have chronic pain in both my feet. I’m the perfect comparison. Like I have this you know secret sauce that I like, cream. And anybody who sends me another cream, I put it on my other foot. You know, it’s like I have I’m the perfect test site. I like tinctures. I like everything about– so I built a little crew of my friends and family to test products with me. And we really got down and tested stuff. And we figured out what worked and then I figured out what kind of bargains I can make at my store. And I just kind of approached it from that I didn’t approach it from Oh, let me I’m going to be the biggest brand in the world. I’m going to franchise I want to be a millionaire or anything like that. I just kind of built the company around my own personal experience and my desire to kind of like spread the word.
Stu Meyer: And, yeah, that’s–
Sonia Gomez: Do you have a store in LA?
Stu Meyer: Yes, right here. It’s two miles from my house. So I built the great commute out of the deal. It’s right in Glendale in a little town called Montrose. So two and a half miles from my house. And it’s a very it’s a nice little suburb, that way within three miles of my office, there’s 30,000 or so residents within five miles or even bigger. So it’s a nice neighbourhood, and I got myself, you know, a nice location eventually worked out. That was the biggest challenge anything was trying to find a landlord that would rent to me. Most of you know most strip centres or anything with like a big anchor store, like a CVS or a Starbucks in it are all corporate-owned or trust-owned, and they’re like, what do you want to open? And I’m like, Oh, it’s a natural health place. What is it called? CBD Comfort Zone? Oh, no cannabis. Sorry.
So, I finally found a landlord that in a realtor that was really on my side that talked his landlord into like, hey, this will be great. And then I had a battle with the city to get a permit because they mixed it in because they’re like, oh, no marijuana stores. I’m like, No, I don’t sell marijuana. I sell hemp. And so we went through that little routine and I paid and we’re still kind of I mean, that they’re not hassling me, and I’m paying my taxes. So everything’s cool on that side. And yeah, I’m doing a ribbon-cutting Thursday for a grand opening.
Sonia Gomez: Stop, so exciting.
Stu Meyer: Yes, so we’ve been open since September 1. And yeah, people have been coming in, and it’s working out pretty good.
Sonia Gomez: Amazing, are you filling it with all of your own products? Or do you vet out different products to be able to put in there?
Why He Didn’t End up Building His Own Brand
Stu Meyer: At this point? Yeah, I’m doing it that way, where I’m just bringing in products and telling the story of the research I’ve done, it’s the most affordable way to really go when you get started, I could spend thousands upon thousands of branding my own stuff. And also, you know, I was kind of like, I don’t want the, you know, I’m not a scientist on that side. I’m just a real educated end-user, has a lot of knowledge about it. And so I really want to leave the– it’s like, I always left the programming to the programmers and lead me too. solutions.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, no, no, your lane.
If you have your own brand, it feels kind of fake. You're going to push your own brand, right or wrong for the customer, you're gonna push your own brand because that's what you got all your money into. - Stu Meyer Click To Tweet
Stu Meyer: Yeah, know your lane. And then if you have your own brand, it feels kind of fake. You’re going to push your own brand, right or wrong for the customer, you’re gonna push your own brand because that’s what you got all your money into. And I just didn’t want to get in that situation. And now there’s some creams and stuff that I’ve modified with the manufacturer because they’ve liked my input, I guess I’m always willing to talk about stuff, you know. So there might be a potential where I could put my name on a certain product that I really believe in and I’ve modified a bit but that’s in the future would say, I like my approach because now I’m wide open. People call me all the time. Send it over. I’ll test it. Don’t worry. I got two bad feet. I get the same story.
Sonia Gomez: Awesome. A lot of why I love talking with First of all, congratulations. So exciting. Happy to come out and cut a ribbon with you by the way. Oh, fun.
Stu Meyer: Makes me a little nervous.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. Do you have a big show coming up? Is there a bunch of folks coming out for it?
Stu Meyer: Well, let’s hope.
Sonia Gomez: Did you call some news folks?
Stu Meyer: Yes. I joined both the chambers. My neighbourhood is an old school neighbourhood, Montrose and they have two chambers there. So they do it all. So it’s all good. And actually, the local paper wrote a really nice article about me, it’s the Glendale news-press, which is part of the LA Times local section. Yeah, really nice article about me kind of telling the same story. So look it up.
Sonia Gomez: I will link it out. So we run a business mentorship group, and I have a handful of brands. We’re super selective about who we’re working with, but I have a handful of brands who are just fantastic as far as quality is concerned and the efficacy goes and really taking their time to develop the formulations to be functional and diverse. So I will get you guys connected so you can get some samples from them.
I have a cream that is like my daughter has food allergies, but I can’t keep her out of gluten or dairy like somehow at school, she’s always ended up with somebody else’s snack. So she always gets this like eczema on her arms and No kidding. In the end, she comes home with a little rash. I put this lotion on it at the end of the day, no rash. I’ve been using it on my skin too. And when I got pregnant I got this like melanin sort of dark spot here on my face. It’s completely eliminated now and I was like, what are these? Because I’m a canna sore, right? Like I come from Humboldt, it was hard to convince me that diet weed is going to be a big yeah like a big thing right?
Stu Meyer: Now I love hemp.
Sonia Gomez: Now I love hemp and I’m obsessed with it I think it’s awesome for almost everything and but I was seeing these novelty products sort of pop up like you know a skincare thing or facial toner whatever and I was like bullshit right here like what is this? And it works, now I don’t use anything but my CBD face cream or whatever it is. I’m 100% believer and all of the different novelty products like don’t knock it till you try it. Even at the deepest part of my core where I’m like cannabis is probably a more powerful medicine. I think for daily use hemp is on the rise like it is absolutely a contender and becoming one of my faves. What an exciting time for you just starting your store just getting ready to open up. What for you was the biggest challenge for you or the biggest learning curve that you went through to get to where you’re at right now?
The Biggest Challenges That They Went Through to Get to Where They Are Now
Stu Meyer: Oh, okay. Yeah. So I mean, I mentioned the challenge of finding a place. Yeah. And the city challenges and all that, really the biggest challenge in anything like this I think is your own personal self-doubt. It’s like, can I do this? I haven’t been in retail since my college days when I was selling shoes at the mall. I mean, is this something I can do? And is this something that people would want to come to visit?
And it’s a whole new marketing for me because of the marketing software to businesses a lot different than marketing CBD to consumers, right. Yeah. And so I kind of dealt with a lot of that, you know, like, how should I really invest all this money but I just kind of approached it, like I approach everything in business and I brought a lot of new technology to the world, right.
And so when I started my, my graduated college in 1989, the first job I had was with the Eastman Kodak company bringing big duplicators and digital copiers to the marketplace and then I got into colour copiers in the early 90s. So I brought the whole revolution of colour printing and copying the world and then I got into network so I was brought the whole networking to the world and then I got into off the shelf software in which I took the software and I brought that to the world so, I kind of been using that and like I’ve been an observer of technology and if you think like how many new technologies have gone on in just my lifetime and your lifetime. We went from pagers to cell phones, smartphones, we went from nothing to internet building. board system to social media. So you kind of have to like, look at all past technology revolutions and try to apply it as much as you can, and kind of learn from your–
I made a lot of mistakes in business. I’ve lost plenty of money. I’ve taken bad turns but I’ve taken good turns still. so you kind of have to, I think that’s the challenge is like, trying to equate, like, oh, what do I want my store to be? Do I want it to be Walmart, where we go direct to manufacturers or affordable, or I want to be Sephora, where I have my name on everything, and I sell just my brand and things like that? I don’t that’s correct. So you gotta have to look at all that. So I think all of those were the challenges and then you know, you just, I mean, you think you’re doing something right. Who knows, I’m always like, thinking oh, this shoe will drop you know, the FDA will come out and tell me that CBD causes cancer or something like that, you know?
Stu Meyer: It’s, you gotta think like that.
Sonia Gomez: I don’t know if [inaudible] even if they did say that.
Stu Meyer: yeah, so you gotta hope that they don’t reverse the laws or there’s all sorts of challenges, but that’s really what I did. I constantly every day, I think, like, is this a good decision? How can I equate it to my past 30 years of making business decisions and observing different businesses? And hopefully, I get some things right. All you have to do is get a couple of things right. And you’ll be successful. You don’t have to be right all the time. You just have to be right once in a while.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, yeah, I agree. You have to have the cojones to try in the first place and then figure it out as you continue on. I love this conversation because most often I get to talk to a lot of CBD brands not too often that I come across a CBD retailers and I have tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of inquiries from across the country, Canada and Mexico, I mean, all over the place of people who are saying like, what are the ways to get into the industry, I have this asset or I have that asset. And I have been telling a lot of the folks who have existing commercial real estate buildings and a pretty good location and things like that, and like really consider opening up a retail store. But I want to hear from a perspective from the business owner yourself, why door instead of a brand, first of all, that, like, I want to know why you selected that path first. And then I have a follow-up question.
I just wanted to talk to people and help people out. I felt like I wasn't equipped to do brand. That's not that was not part of my DNA. - Stu Meyer Click To Tweet
Stu Meyer: Well, I’m more of like a guy who likes to deal with the end-user? And that’s really my driving force for opening a store. I just wanted to talk to people and help people out. I felt like I wasn’t equipped to do brand. That’s not that was not part of my DNA. That’s not what I do at all. I deal with people. I asked them current questions about what’s going on today, what brought him in here? What hurts? What are your current strategies for solving your sleeplessness? And then I come up with these new solutions. And that’s kind of in I’m a problem solver, I’m an untangler, I call myself. And so it was very attractive to me to be able to talk to people on a regular basis. I thought that the branding idea was just really beyond me, I didn’t even consider it. It’s not who I am. So, I figured I would just find some good brands. Yeah. And what was your what was the other question on that?
Sonia Gomez: My follow up question would be my follow up question to that is, what are you anticipating and because I’m certain that you did your research and so on and so forth. So what are you anticipating in your growth and first year, like where do you think you’ll be as a business owner?
What He Is Anticipating in the Company’s Growth in Their First Year
Stu Meyer: Well, hopefully still in business, but let’s go if I was going to bring it crystal ball out, the very first thing you have to do, I think is figuring out how to duplicate yourself, right? The reason when somebody comes into my shop, there’s a 90% chance they’re going to buy. If I’m working on you, right, because I’m very convincing and I’m passionate, right, and one thing I have to do is make sure I could duplicate myself. And that was a challenge for me in the software business because there were so many variables, but here it’s, it’s pretty, you know, there’s definitely a path.
And so I’ve been able to train like two different people so far, and they’re doing okay, and so one I gotta figure out how to duplicate myself and you know, so that when customers come in, they get the same experience if I’m they’re not right, and yeah, my Yelp reviews and all my reviews, everybody loves, right, then get this store going and get my online store kind of matched up going. You can’t prioritize everything right. So I’ve kind of simultaneously opened my brick and mortar store and I kind of, two weeks later open my online store, on my online stores not too successful, we still [inaudible].
Sonia Gomez: Different set of challenges online
Stu Meyer: Well, much different. And so I’m already you know, working on it with another person I’ve already fired the first person and hired somebody else to redo the whole website so there’s that challenge. And, and I’m hoping to kind of open more stores in the local area, but I think I could duplicate myself. So I need to find somebody that I trust that’s fully trained. I think we’re on the path to handle my store.
Because I’m working seven days a week right now. In my old life, I sold software, mostly via the phone and the internet like this. I worked out of my house and for 20 years and yeah, had my own time. Now, I always joke with my wife. I’m sitting in my little prison cell down there. I love it, though. It’s one It’s my favourite job ever but it’s a whole different ballgame for me.
So then I gotta figure out where my next store is and I’m telling you that’s the biggest that’s the bigger challenge is trying to find a landlord located a few times. Build a couple of stores. I guess that’s the future. I don’t know. I think by this time next year, I’m hoping to have three stores and a successful website that would make me happy.
Sonia Gomez: Awesome.
Stu Meyer: But we’ll see if I have the energy I mean, I’m having a great time be honest with you. I love it when people walk in and they come right to the counter. They come right to me, they’re like, I’ve seen you in the paper. Here’s my problems. And yes, so stuff like that. I don’t even want to get away from it, I thought so I don’t mind working seven days a week.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, that’s amazing. Yeah, we when we opened up one of the first dispensaries here in Colorado, it was a similar feeling where I was like, holy shit, this is so exciting. My husband didn’t have a similar sentiment because He was coming from like, finding real estate, developing it out putting in the SOPs to be able to cultivate. He had incredible distribution channels with most of the dispensaries down in your area. Most of what we were cultivating was coming from Northern California. And it was such an exciting time, but he was dealing with bulk and I was like shelling out eigh orders or whatever at this dispensary.
And he was just like, this is the motion. Like it wasn’t moving fast enough for him. But I loved working with the end-user and I think it’s important to know your own strengths, like the pieces of the business that you’re most passionate about that it was such an exciting time. And similar to what I’m seeing happen now in the offline landscape is like more and more of these retail centres that are popping up but for me, it’s like a real community is being built around these retail centres, important conversations and important development of consciousness is happening.
And I think with the movement that we’re seeing is people taking back their freedom and taking it upon themselves to unearth the truth and test and try new things. We’re not just taking the advice of doctors at face value anymore, not to diminish the medical system, but I think that they are also in their monotony, they’re also in their rhythm and in their routine where they– I do not believe that they actively pursue information or education outside of what they’ve already done. And wherever their expertise is, wherever their specialized knowledge is like, that’s where they stay.
And it’s a very far and few in between that I find a medical professional who is willing to a) spend longer than seven minutes on average with you in their office, but b) give you supporting information of like alternative things that you can do before they start to pull out their prescription pad. So for me, that system is broken and I’m really, really encouraged by the pop-ups of these stories and the people like yourself who are passionate, who are educated, who are experiencing their own transformation and therefore can allow that to be a ripple into their community. I think it’s such a powerful thing and I’m really excited to watch the growth. Real quick three key pieces of advice that you might be able to offer a budding entrepreneur who might consider having their own store.
Key Pieces of Advice to Budding Entrepreneurs Considering Getting Into the Space
Stu Meyer: know what you’re good at. If you are really good at making a brand and go that route if you want to sell the end users go my route. So really understand what you’re good at. Keep it simple, like a lot of people that come to my stores, my store, I should say, but they’ve obviously some of them are like, CBD curious newbies. A lot of them are. but I think A good portion of the people that come to my shop have been somewhere else before and we’re not satisfied.
So they, like everybody, a lot of people are jumping in, right, all the bait stores are trying to jump in. And they’re not, you know, the people walk in there and they can’t get any advice, you know, everything is packaged up. So, you know, my other advice would be to use your own stuff, you know, have a personal experience with everything. When I did my research, I went to a lot of different shops where they didn’t have samples out or somebody who can talk about it or mean it’s expensive stuff. So a lot of shops like you know, don’t really want to open up a bottle of tincture and try it, but you got to make the investment.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, absolutely.
Stu Meyer: Watch your credit.
Sonia Gomez: Don’t fuck it up. That’s my advice for the day.
Stu Meyer: Don’t fuck up your credit, man. A lot of people in this industry don’t have credit or money. So if you have a little bit of each either then you’re going to be ahead of everybody and a lot of people so I find that like if you could pay cash for stuff you got a better price.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. Back to the old school guys
Stu Meyer: What if I instead of credit card I want you to have half the money now and allow you the other half. You got to be able to negotiate all.
Sonia Gomez: Alright 10% off for you. I’m always negotiating on behalf of myself by my customers I pass on the savings. Nice, nice well I’m so excited to follow what you’re doing over there I think okay it’s really, really cool. I would definitely love to come and do a feature on you in the store so super fun. A lot of the film storytellers that I work with are out in LA and we love to come out and do like more extensive branding stuff for different– all the way from soil to sale like every aspect of this we love to capture and sort of talent share the story to humanize what’s happening because I think it’s just like there’s so much hype around it. It’s difficult to really digest what’s happening and how fast it’s happening. So we would love to come and check you out. I think it’d be a really good time. Thank you so much for the value and your incredible story.
I’m so happy that it brought you to to our side of the batting cage. I think it’s going to be a fun year for you for sure. I can always hear the ones who are most nonchalant. You’re kind of nonchalant, you’re like, Hey, I’m just doing what I love. At this point. I want to make a difference. Like it’s just such a cool, nonchalant sort of vibe. I think I think you’re going to do very, very well. I’m excited to watch your journey. And thanks so much for spending time with us today.
Stu Meyer: My pleasure. I had fun. It’s been great.
Sonia Gomez: I’m glad you enjoyed. Hey guys, for those of you who are tuning in and you enjoyed today’s episode go ahead and share it around let us know what you thought all of the links which by the way where can they find your products in your store?
Where to Find Their Products
Stu Meyer: Okay, well it’s called CBD comfort zone right? spelled just like you would think it would be and it’s .com so you can find me on the internet. And if you’re anywhere in Los Angeles look me up and come to my store and let me know where you came from. And we’ll talk.
Sonia Gomez: All right. Yeah, that’s, that’s perfect, you guys all of the links that you will need for any of the social handlings or where you can find Stu will be located right here in the show notes and in the blog along with all of the highlights from today’s show. If you are looking for products that you can trust, check us out at medicalsecrets.com and if you are a budding or budding entrepreneur, or an existing brand owner hitting glass ceilings or bottlenecks in your business. Go ahead and check us out at theemeraldcircle.com for some tips and tricks on how you can accelerate past the inevitable challenges that come along with this incredible industry. I’m your host Sonia and this is The Hemp Revolution. We’ll see you on our next show, guys.
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