I can look back on my life and see how the greatest difficulties I’ve experienced were also my greatest gifts.
I realize that may sound a little woo-woo and cliché.
Doesn’t matter because… it’s true as steel.
Those “bad” experiences were necessary to ascend me to the next step toward my goals and/or help me redirect course to destinations I wasn’t yet consciously aware of.
Many were tests I needed to pass so that I could grow as both a person, grower, and cannabis entrepreneur.
Now, there’s no denying, it can seem impossible to find the good when we’re trudging through deep valleys on the darkest of rainy nights.
But once we gain some hindsight, and can look down from the mountainside in the light of day, it often becomes clear that the challenges were essential to our journey.
By and large, the heaviest shit I’ve been through has turned out to be among the best things that ever happened to me.
Our challenges can either destroy us or help us evolve into the person our goals and/or our higher self needs us to be.
They can teach us lessons we need to learn about ourselves and the world, push us through those fears we’d been avoiding at all costs, prod us to drop something or someone from our lives that needs to go, help us make the right connections, enable us to better serve others — like our customers — and can help us enjoy more meaningful lives.
They can forge us into the person we need to be to live the life we want to live.
Here are a few examples from my life that seemed real damn “bad” when I was going through them.
In 1993 — after ten years of growing commercially in the dark ages of our industry — a cultivation and distribution warrant was issued for my arrest which spawned a DEA and US Marshals federal manhunt.
Living under a web of fake identities, I fled to British Columbia, and not only continued growing and selling cannabis, but increased production by over 1000%.
I built a crew on both sides of the border with hundreds of workers (between upper management, crew bosses, middle managers, builders, electricians, air conditioning technicians, plumbers, planters, growers, harvesters, trimmers, packagers, drivers, pilots, purchasers, security guards, spotters, etc).
I made connections and leveled up my knowledge and career (as a grower, distributor, and eventually cannabis nutrient creator) in ways I wouldn’t have had I not been in BC.
And I never would’ve gone to BC had that warrant not been issued.
I also wouldn’t have my daughter Veida had I not made it to BC.
But then, in 2001, I got busted for cultivation, distribution, and personation.
Two dozen plus agencies and departments were involved in the investigation targeting my operation, including the DEA, FBI, and RMCP.
I was exiled from Canada, where my daughter and most of my friends lived; and where I ran Advanced Nutrients at the time.
I was actually kidnapped and illegally forced into the hands of US agents so I could face charges in America.
It was no fun, I’ll tell you that.
But the bust forced me to shift focus from black market cannabis sales to building Advanced Nutrients.
And the fact is, the company wouldn’t be a fraction of the size it is today had I not been arrested and banished from Canada.
That incident awakened a desire in me to contribute more to humanity.
And I can’t express just how profound of a positive impact contribution has since made on my life.
And then, after two decades building Advanced Nutrients, millions and millions of dollars were stolen by C-suite team members who, with the help of a seasoned corporate raider, sabotaged the company in an attempted hostile takeover.
It was so bad that the company — which was breaking sales records as the #1-selling cannabis fertilizer in the world — was within 60 days of going under.
I was about to lose the company I’d given my life to.
However, I soon realized that I had actually created the situation. More specifically, my subconscious mind did when I’d set a whopper of a goal for the company.
There were parts of myself that weren’t ready to take Advanced Nutrients to the goal I’d set. Parts of myself that weren’t yet congruent with the kind of CEO that Advanced Nutrients needed me to be to achieve the goal.
A business is a reflection of its owner or CEO. And I had to evolve so the company could evolve.
It was evolve or die.
By overcoming what seemed impossible at the time, I evolved into a stronger, wiser, savvier CEO.
What SEEMED like the worst thing at the time turned out to be the best thing that could’ve happened to both me and the company.
I learned so much from each of these experiences.
Every one of them brought scores of good into my life.
The good is there if we look for it.
Our challenges can destroy us or help us evolve into the person our goals and/or our higher self needs us to be.
It’s up to us.
As Charles R. Swindoll famously said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
*Featured image at top of post was cultivated by Ryan Zuccaro (see Ryan’s story HERE).