I’m often asked what my beliefs are regarding cannabis, money, success, and life.
And in this post, I’m going to share them with you.
The fact of the matter is…
Our beliefs shape our destiny.
I love to read autobiographies about interesting people, especially those who are impacting the world in positive ways.
I want to know where they come from, what obstacles they’ve overcome, and HOW they overcame them.
And I especially want to know about their beliefs. I want to understand how they see the world.
Tell me what a person believes (what they TRULY believe in their heart) and I can tell you what their life looks like with a fair degree of accuracy.
And what’s great about beliefs is …
… we can change them.
Now, doing so isn’t always easy.
Especially when it comes to beliefs with deep root structures in our subconscious mind stretching back to our childhood.
Our little selves were like sponges, absorbing everything around us — what our parents, neighbors, friends, and teachers said and did.
And the beliefs with the deepest roots are those that stem from our childhood wounds. Those painful experiences that form our frame of the world. That cause us to erect barriers designed to protect us from being hurt again..
Those beliefs, which are formed below your conscious awareness, are the hardest to root out. The process can be scary and painful.
But we CAN do it IF we choose to. And truly choosing to requires the willingness to be vulnerable.
To look at the ugly places inside. To be 100% honest with ourselves about who we are, who we want to be, and what we’re willing to do to evolve.
In my experience, while the task isn’t easy, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives.
I agree with Socrates’ famous quote, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
And I’ve seen first hand the power of belief.
I’ve seen it in my own life.
As well as in the lives of men and women who’ve risen from the ashes like a phoenix.
People who’ve gone from broke and broken to thriving and happy.
Who were once homeless and are now successful entrepreneurs.
I’ve seen guys who couldn’t get a date to save their lives become the kind of men women find irresistible.
And the foundation for these incredible transformations is BELIEF.
Now, yes, true transformation requires effort.
You can’t just manifest an epic life visualizing it on the sofa. (Unless hanging out on the sofa all day is your idea of an epic life—nothing wrong with that if it is).
A life of financial freedom, vibrant health, and thriving relationships requires work.
On the other hand, you can work your ass off to try and manifest material results, but if you don’t have your “head stuff” right, you’ll remain shackled to limiting beliefs.
And you probably won’t get nearly as far in life as you’d like to.
I’ve seen many hard-working entrepreneurs (in and out of cannabis) needlessly struggle and fail because they focused only on the outside, not the inside.
Real transformation (and real success, IMO) is, in large part, an inside job.
It starts INSIDE of you.
As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
Having the right attitude is essential.
It carries far more weight than smarts or talent.
The late Zig Ziglar said “It’s your attitude, not your aptitude that will determine your altitude.”
EQ (emotional intelligence) is more important than IQ.
We all heard about the power of belief when we were five years old and the Little Engine told us it could get up that hill.
Though most of us weren’t ready for the message.
I wasn’t ready until my late teens.
For some people it’s not until their forties, fifties, or even sixties (or even later).
Regardless of when we’re ready, once we consciously replace our limiting beliefs with beliefs that empower us, we become an unstoppable force racing in the direction of our desires.
Now, life will test us. It will try to drag us back to the cage of our small-minded thinking.
Whenever you’re trying to form a new habit, your old habits will try to smash it (which is why it can take an average of 66 days to form new habits, according to a recent study published by the European Journal of Social Psychology.)
But if our commitment to elevating our beliefs is undying, those new and improved beliefs can lead us to increased net worth, better relationships, improved health, and a richer, happier, and more fulfilling life.
I had severe learning disabilities as a child and grew up in a chaotic home where we barely scraped by. My parents fought constantly about money. They had scarcity mindsets that would condition any child to believe that there’s never enough money.
My father’s nickname for me was “El Stupido.”
Translation — The Stupid.
So, from an early age, I had some screwy mental programming.
And I’ve since spent many years reprogramming myself.
- Worked intensively with world-renowned psychologist and hypnotherapist George J. Pratt, Ph.D. — who I first learned about when Rob Dydrek credited much of his success to Dr. Pratt in an episode of Fantasy Factory.
- Gone DEEP inside myself on the wings of the South American psychoactive brew Ayahuasca (with the assistance of a master shaman).
- Practiced a TON of mindfulness (I’ve visualized, meditated, and contemplated—often in my float tank after enjoying a few rips of high-grade cannabis).
- Developed daily habits that empower me. Small changes in behavior—whether positive or negative—stack and snowball and can yield massive results. A fantastic book about this is Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear.
- Invested tens of thousands of hours (and a literal fortune) into researching personal development, psychology, and NLP and applying the principles and strategies that resonate with me.
I’m constantly observing my thoughts and actions (self-reflection) with a commitment to evolving into the best version of myself I can become on a daily basis.
I like who I am and am extremely grateful for everything I have, but I thoroughly enjoy the hunt.
I relish the journey up the mountain to new and exciting destinations.
Like in the classic Michael Mann movie Heat, when the heist crew is discussing whether or not to pull one last score, and Michael Cheritto tells Neil McCauley, “For me, the action is the juice.”
The. Action. Is. The. Juice.
The journey IS the destination.
And what fuels much of my journey is a hunger to make cannabis an acceptable and everyday part of healing humanity and bringing the plant to its true genetic potential.
And the shot of nitrous in the intake manifold that makes great things possible are my BELIEFS.
Because of the belief system I’ve instilled in myself over the years—which I’m about to share with you—I’ve been able to:
- Oversee the cultivation of millions of cannabis plants (since 1983, when I accidentally killed my first crop within 24 hours of planting it).
- Bring cannabis closer to its true genetic potential than anyone on the planet.
- Introduce 53 innovations that have revolutionized cannabis cultivation and the industry that’s grown around it.
- Build a cannabis company (Advanced Nutrients) that’s on pace to do over a quarter billion dollars this year. (We’re in mass expansion mode right now. Just over the past few months we’ve increased production capacity by over 10X and have hired hundreds of new team members.)
- Feed over a hundred thousand hungry people and, through Advanced Nutrients’ non-profit Humanity Heroes, provide life-giving essentials to over ten thousand unsheltered people and give back directly to the cannabis community.
- Get into the best shape of my life.
Now, I don’t say any of this to impress you.
I say it to impress upon you just how powerful beliefs can be.
They can take us to the moon or leave us in the gutter.
So why not choose empowering ones?
Ones that will propel us toward the life we want.
Here Are Some of My Big Beliefs…
- The way to be truly happy is to help others. When you lift up other people, especially those in need, you lift yourself up.
- You must always champion yourself despite self-doubt.
- Who wins the battle doesn’t matter NEARLY as much as who wins the war.
- There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback—life lessons that can make you stronger, wiser, better.
- Achieving your goals necessitates expanding your comfort zone—what you truly want most lies just on the other side of what you fear, and there is no way around that fear, only through. So feel the fear and do it anyway — it’s ALWAYS worth it
- Your network is one of your most valuable assets.
- Staying happy, healthy, and sharp requires regularly exercising both your body and mind.
- A stronger body equals a stronger mind.
- We are what we eat (this includes not only food but also what we put in our mind).
- There is ALWAYS a way—ALWAYS.
- What you do to others you do to yourself.
- Be authentic with yourself and others. (This is why, unlike other hydroponic companies, Advanced Nutrients has never hidden behind a tomato. We’re for cannabis and we’re loud and proud about it.)
- Have a voice and speak your mind.
- Truth, passion, and helping others trumps everything.
- You are who you surround yourself with. Cut ties with toxic people immediately.
- Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol, and Big Pharma are toxic to humanity.
- Question the status quo — the majority is almost always wrong.
- Keep an open mind and stay curious.
- Walk the middle ground between accomplishing goals and living in the present moment.
- Gratitude is one of the biggest keys to happiness.
- Always be kind and treat people with respect. (Everyone is facing a personal battle you know nothing about. You never know what someone else is going through.)
- Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
- ABL—Always Be Learning
About money, business, and success…
- Money won’t make you happy—but it can fix A LOT of problems that not having money can cause.
- Money expands our freedom because it expands what we’re able to experience.
- Money goes where energy flows.
- Money and success are attracted to speed (of implementation).
- You can make a lot of money if you take action toward clear and worthy goals. Success (whatever that means to you) is ABSOLUTELY attainable if you set goals, believe you can achieve them, and cultivate adaptability and persistence along the way.
- To succeed in business, you MUST provide value. If you help enough other people get what they want, you’ll get what you want. Focus first on helping people and the money will follow.
- If a company has the financial resources, then it has a social responsibility to give back directly to the community it gets its money from and society as a whole.
- Provide the best product or service possible and your clients will come back.
- Take calculated risks and learn from your experiences.
- A business is a direct reflection of what’s going on inside the business owner’s head. In fact, you won’t be able to make it to the next level of your business unless you change the psychology of how you interact with people and how you look at the world.
- Reaching your goals requires evolving into a person worthy and capable of reaching them. For example, if you want to earn a million dollars a year, you must evolve into the kind of person who makes a million dollars a year. The action, habits, and beliefs of someone who makes ten thousand dollars a year will bring in just that—ten thousand a year. It’s all about personal growth.
- Tim Ferriss was right — “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
- Think ten steps ahead — that’s how you win big.
- Don’t cut corners or look for the easy button.
- As a successful self-made cannabis entrepreneur, it’s my personal responsibility to support small business owners in cannabis.
- Cannabis will become legal globally.
- It’s the responsibility of our community to support cannabis-friendly legislation.
- Cannabis legislation that doesn’t support small farms and small businesses must be stopped.
- There are still many mysteries about cannabis to decipher and it’s my responsibility to help my team of scientists decode these mysteries.
- We must fight against the monopolization of cannabis — the future of our industry depends on it.
- Current pesticides have no business in cannabis.
- Cutting corners with your cannabis is a MASSIVE mistake — to cultivate safe, high-quality cannabis, growers need to avoid using pesticides, radiation to kill mold, and some PGRs.
- Cannabis has the power to heal humanity.
- It’s the responsibility of my entire team to make cannabis an acceptable and everyday part of healing humanity.
It’s funny … The people I know who lead the most exciting, fulfilling, successful lives , are those most interested in upgrading their beliefs.
Take one glance at what’s on their bookshelves and you’ll see what I mean.
And almost every self-made success I know will tell you that their beliefs have played a major role in getting to where they are today.
It’s definitely a never-ending process. And life has a way (often through pain) of peeling back the layers of the onion and revealing more of what’s inside. More of what should be rotted out and replaced.
And it’s a process that fascinates me.
There’s a TON of great information available on how to replace lousy beliefs with empowering ones.
A few books that have helped me in this area that I often refer people to are…
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
- As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
- Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
And here are some useful articles on upgrading beliefs…
- Medium — How to change your core beliefs in the subconscious mind
- James Clear – How to change your beliefs and stick to your goals for good
- Inc. — How to change limiting beliefs you still have about yourself
- Psychology Today — How to change your false beliefs
P.S. I’m putting the finishing touches on Marijuana Don, my autobiography. It’s the first of three books I’ll be releasing.
Here’s an unofficial synopsis…
Marijuana Don is the true story of how Michael Straumietis—known simply as “BigMike” to his millions of social media followers—went from small-time outlaw to cannabis kingpin to founder and CEO of the most profitable company in legal marijuana today.
It’s an all-out roller coaster ride involving millions of pot plants, hundreds of millions of dollars, harrowing smuggling missions through what helicopter pilots call the “dead man’s curve,” a fatal ultralight crash, a psychotic pornstar girlfriend hell-bent on revenge, a feud with a violent biker gang determined to bull their way into his operation, a federal manhunt, eight years on the lam playing a high-stakes game of cat and mouse with law enforcement, chases, heists, a kidnapping, an unpredictable self-mutilating Green Beret grow partner, and a bizarre near-death experience that changed everything.
Statistically, BigMike should be dead or in prison. But he defied the odds and—after losing everything except his know-how and resolve to succeed—built a nine-figure-a-year legal marijuana empire with customers in 107 countries and 53 innovations under its belt that has forever changed the world of cannabis.
I’ll keep you posted about its launch.