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Buds, Brutality, and Peaches

BigMike
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Commercial cannabis growPeople often ask how it is I’ve been able to build the most profitable company in cannabis.

I tell ’em, “Well, Peaches was a big part of it.”

You see, two men helped mold me into the man I am today. My father and Peaches.

Now, Dad was a MASTER salesman.

When I was a boy, he would take me with him to carnivals to help gather leads for his film processing business. I learned so much from him about persuasion and what motivates people to buy.

He definitely helped shape me into the salesman, marketer, and persuasive businessman I now am.

However, Dad was lazy.

And because of it, my parents drove old junkers and our TV was fuzzy. Our clothes, toys, and appliances were all secondhand. Utilities would often get shut off. And when the phone was on, it rang day and night with calls from collectors.

I loved my father. But it annoyed me that he could sell Bibles to atheists but couldn’t do better by his family.

Lack of money held us back from SO much and caused us an extraordinary amount of stress.

I resented it. And so did my mother, a BRILLIANT but bitter woman who was a heavy-duty alcoholic and opioid addict.

Needless to say, my home life was chaotic.

My dad used to tell me I was stupid. In fact, his nickname for me was “El Stupido.”

And Mom would scream at him about our lack of money. They’d break dishes, hurl food at each other, and paint the walls and floor with condiments. She was like Jackson Pollock with those condiments.

I wanted better for myself.

Now, I was really into basketball. It was an escape from the chaos at home and I was good at it. And being the tallest kid in my class didn’t hurt.

My sophomore year coach, Rich Reynolds—I called him Peaches—was as kick-ass-of-a-coach as a kid could hope to have.

We won a number of championships because of Peaches. Let me re-phrase that: We won a number of championships because of Peaches’ unrelenting brutality.

That man damn near ran us to death—until we couldn’t take another step.

And then he’d go, “You guys gotta do 20 more sprints down the end of this hallway and I’m timing you, you get ten seconds to do it, and if any of ya don’t make it, the rest of ya have to do the whole thing over again.”

Brutal.

Dazed and Confused (1993)Reynolds knew all about pressure. Already exhausted from running and working our asses off, he’d make us keep going. And going. And going.

Now, I gotta be honest with ya here, it flat-out SUCKED. Absolute living hell. But on the other side of that hell was freedom. Freedom in knowing that I could do anything I set my mind to, as long as I was willing to do the work.

As grueling as it may have been, I discovered gold in those workouts—that when I think I can’t go any further, there’s always a helluva lot more left in me than I think.

There’s extra strength that can always be called upon when needed. You just gotta dig deep and yank it to the surface.

I wouldn’t trade the lessons Peaches taught me for anything.

He instilled in me this instinct to keep going when I thought all the chips were stacked against me—to just suck it up and keep going. Just. Keep. Going.

I can’t tell you how many times in life I should have quit growing, gotten out of business, and just packed up and called it a day. But because of what Peaches taught me, I kept going. And it’s in that extra mile that victory is found.

Coach Kenny Reeves in "The White Shadow"He called it intestinal fortitude.

And sure, he drove us into the wall, but when we played other teams, they didn’t have a chance in hell.

We’d seize the court with a vengeance, running half- and full-court presses the entire game, pushing just as hard on offense, as our opponents struggled to keep up. And we were a small school of just 900, taking down schools of 4,000 like they were nothing. We’d smoke ’em every time.

We won big tournaments, and these things were hard to win. You’re playing against the sixteen best teams in your region.

Unfortunately, at conference, one of our best players—a sophomore point guard—got moved up to varsity, and we took second. I have no doubt we would’ve taken first that year had he not been moved.

Coach Reynolds did far more for us and for society, by the lessons he taught us, than just wins on the basketball court.

At home, I was being called El Stupido.

On the court, Peaches was turning us into men. A lot of the kids on the team went on to do some great things and have become very successful.

No matter what you’re up against, no matter how big of a mountain stands before you…

You can prevail if you just get it in your gut that nothing is going to stop you and then give it everything you fucking have.

Sounds cliché, but it’s as true as steel.

We’re far more capable than we believe ourselves to be.

And whether it’s in your garden, business, or personal life, if your eye’s on the ball and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done—not letting the negative comments of others, your own self-limiting beliefs, and obstacles and set-backs get you down—you WILL prevail.

It may not always be the way you pictured it, because we don’t control outcomes, but we can control ourselves and our actions, and we can go a helluva lot further than we think we can.

The key is to just put one foot in front of the other, trudge through your fears and self-doubt, and do the work.

Thanks Peaches!

Now, recently, I visited my high school. Even visited the court I played on as a teenager. Check it out…

Talk soon,
Big Mike

“Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work…” — Albert Einstein

“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” —Sir Winston Churchill,

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BigMike Straumietis

BigMike Straumietis

BigMike is known as The Godfather of Good Cannabis. Since his first crop in 1983, he has consistently pushed cannabis nutrition and cultivation to higher levels. In 1999, he launched Advanced Nutrients, which is now the No. 1-selling cannabis-specific nutrient line in the world. With annual sales in the nine-figure range — from 107 countries and counting — Advanced Nutrients is recognized by cannabis growers everywhere as the gold standard. With the help of his team, which includes dozens of Ph.D. plant scientists, BigMike is responsible for 53 innovations in the world of cannabis and has driven the plant closer to its true genetic potential than anyone. In fact, if you grow or consume cannabis, you’ve benefited from something BigMike has done.

BigMike Straumietis

BigMike Straumietis

BigMike is known as The Godfather of Good Cannabis. Since his first crop in 1983, he has consistently pushed cannabis nutrition and cultivation to higher levels. In 1999, he launched Advanced Nutrients, which is now the No. 1-selling cannabis-specific nutrient line in the world. With annual sales in the nine-figure range — from 107 countries and counting — Advanced Nutrients is recognized by cannabis growers everywhere as the gold standard. With the help of his team, which includes dozens of Ph.D. plant scientists, BigMike is responsible for 53 innovations in the world of cannabis and has driven the plant closer to its true genetic potential than anyone. In fact, if you grow or consume cannabis, you’ve benefited from something BigMike has done.