Hey! I hope life is great.
In just a moment I’m going to tell you about a special gift I’ve spent months putting together for you. It’s an accumulation of knowledge from nearly four decades as a cannabis entrepreneur and is going to help you succeed, despite what Big Marijuana is about to do to our beloved industry.
But, first, let’s talk about why I’m giving you this gift.
People often ask me how I’ve been able to accomplish so much in the marijuana industry.
They witness firsthand the sweeter, heavier and more potent crops my nutrients enable them to achieve.
Because of all this, growers want to know the secrets of my success.
Of course, there are others who resent my success. As I’m sure you know, that’s what people do when they haven’t been able to create the kind of life they want. They throw stones at those who have. I guess it makes them feel better about themselves.
That’s fine. I realized long ago that I’d never get anywhere in life if tried to please everyone.
When trolls and haters surface, I’m often reminded of the words of Theodore Roosevelt…
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
True words, in my experience.
Now, while people see the success, what they don’t see is the ADHD and dyslexia and limiting beliefs I contend with on a daily basis that are always trying to hold me back.
They don’t see the lifetime of blood, sweat, and tears I’ve dedicated to discovering new ways to bring marijuana to its true genetic potential.
They’re unaware of the sacrifices I’ve made so people can enjoy better weed. The long hours. The sleepless nights. The stress of feeling responsible for putting food on the tables of hundreds of team members and their families.
As far back as I can remember, people have called me a dreamer. They told me I expected too much out of life; that there was no way I could achieve the goals I set out for myself; that the risks were too big, my ambitions too great, my vision for the future too… impossible.
In a recent blog post, I shared the story of a date I was on back when I was in my early 20s. Enjoying dinner at a steak restaurant I could barely afford, I told my date about my goals and dreams, about how I was going to launch businesses and make millions of dollars.
And what did she do?
She laughed at me and said I had “delusions of grandeur.”
Maybe she was right. But what she called “delusions of grandeur” I call knowing what I want out of life, being determined to get it, and going after it with everything in me.
And since 1983, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.
Not only have I been growing all the weed I possibly can, I’ve been writing my goals, sharing them with others, and then doing whatever needs to be done to hit those goals.
Back when growing and selling marijuana was illegal across all of America, I studied police scanners, counter-surveillance techniques, radar technology, and counterterrorism driving strategies. I learned to race cars and fly planes, ultralights and helicopters. Anything to help me grow and move more weed, and get away with it.
I’ve consumed thousands of books and studies on botany, cannabis, business, leadership, sales, marketing, mindset and philosophy.
I’ve applied, failed, succeeded, failed, succeeded, failed and succeeded.
And I’m sure I’ll fail again.
I became fascinated with the science of success and have dedicated myself to mastering it. Every day I’m making progress.
But the ride hasn’t been easy.
I’ve had to dig deep into my mind to tear out the limiting beliefs that have plagued me since I was a child. Beliefs about how I’m not good enough, not smart enough, not worthy of success. Many of these beliefs have extensive root systems that I’m still working to claw out.
I’ve faced countless obstacles, brutal opposition, and have made massive mistakes.
I’ve been chased by law enforcement through swamps, arrested for growing and trafficking marijuana, and have even been kidnapped.
My best friend and grow partner crashed my ultralight in front of me and died in my arms. RIP, brother. Miss you, always.
Again and again and again I told a violent gang that I wasn’t going to pay the $4,000 a month they were trying to extort from me. They’d show up at my business at all hours, armed to teeth and donning body armor and cold stares. I stood up to their threats for months before they finally walked away empty-handed.
And because I was the first nutrient manufacturer in the industry to openly admit and advertise that my nutrients and fertilizers were for growing cannabis, a half-dozen of the largest distributors in the industry banned together to get my products blacklisted from stores.
These distributors, with a combined annual revenue of $1.1 billion, did everything in their power to put my company out of business.
They couldn’t stand the fact that:
- I was honest about the intended use of my product line.
- I knew a helluva lot more about the fertilizers and nutrient ratios that marijuana thrives on than all of them combined.
It irked the shit out of them that I didn’t fall in line with the status quo and bullshit my way around the truth by saying my company’s nutrients were for orchids, roses and tomatoes, like they did.
Instead, I hollered from the highest mountaintop I could find, at the top of my lungs, that my nutrients were for growing the big, tasty, potent buds.
And because of that honesty, along with superior products and customer service, I was able to grab a fat piece of the pie these distributors had been sharing among themselves for years. They attempted to force me out of the industry by playing dirty.
They threatened store owners, claiming they wouldn’t do business with them if they carried my products. They spread rumors that I was a biker, murderer, a DEA agent. They even had their lawyers send out an opinion letter that warned: If you buy from Advanced Nutrients, you could be arrested by the federal government.
But no matter how hard they tried, I was able to turn the tables and use their attacks to my advantage.
I shared videos with our community, explaining how I was being persecuted for telling the truth about who I was and what my products were designed for.
What grower wants to purchase from a company who won’t stand up for them, won’t admit its products are used for cannabis, and doesn’t want to be associated with our community beyond leaching millions of dollars from us?
Growers don’t want that.
They want to buy from a fellow grower who understands their problems, has their back, designs products specifically to meet their needs, and not only isn’t ashamed to do business with them, but is proud to do business with them.
They want nutrients for pot, not tomatoes. And they want the business to be all in, not pretending their products are one thing when they’re really another.
While these distributors threw stones from their glass castles, I focused on improving the quality of marijuana for us all. And in doing so, I’ve been able to bring more than 50 firsts to the world of cannabis cultivation.
I can say with confidence that, if you grow or consume marijuana, you’ve benefited from something I’ve done. That makes me proud. Especially when I remember all the punches I’ve had to take along the way.
If you’re like me, no matter how hard the jabs and left hooks, no matter how bad the beating, you keep getting back up.
And because I keep springing back to my feet, I’ve been able to build my company Advanced Nutrients to nine figures in annual revenue, with growers using our nutrients in 107+ countries. And we’ve only just begun.
Along the way, I realized that, while money is fun, it would never make me happy—not completely. And while helping other growers cultivate better buds makes me happy, I still found my life was somehow lacking.
My heart began to hurt over the fact that — while like many members of our community, I’m doing well financially — there are people all over the world who have to worry about where their next meal will be coming from.
I wanted to make a difference.
So I started a charity organization called Holiday Heroes that feeds tens of thousands of families each festive season. We just opened a chapter in Los Angeles, where we provide basic necessities for the homeless population of Skid Row, and have recently opened shelters for men, women and families.
Nothing has ever made me feel more fulfilled.
Especially when you consider where I come from.
Just because I’m wealthy today doesn’t mean I don’t know about hard times. I’ve been poor before. There have been times where I’ve had nothing but a few trash bags full of my worldly possessions.
I’ve had my share of ups and downs and have taken plenty of hits — no pun intended.
Over the decades, I’ve lost and loved and lost and loved and lost — like we all have. Fortunately, I’m able to love again.
With a heavy heart I’ve seen family members of mine ruined by painkiller addiction. I’ve also seen people raise the quality of their life by switching out their opioids for the cannabis I’ve fought so hard to legalize and improve. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. It’s beyond what words could express.
The cannabis industry has been so good to me.
Every day I wake up filled with awe and gratitude at how amazing our community is and how fortunate I am to be part of it. How awesome it is to ride the tsunami of success cannabis has enabled me to achieve.
Part of the reason I enjoy so many gifts today is because, when people told me I couldn’t do something, that I’d set my sights too high, that my dreams were impossible to achieve, I turned that negative energy into fuel.
You see, I’m one of those people who gets fired up when others tell me I can’t accomplish something. Their negative remarks make me want to charge harder so I can prove to myself what I’m capable of. Maybe that mindset is a character flaw, rooted in ego. Still, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I consider it an asset.
Why not thrive on the words of haters and naysayers? Anytime you try to achieve anything worthy in life, plenty of people are going to try to knock you down, so it only makes sense to transmute their negative energy into positive energy you can then use as a power source to do good in your life.
However, I don’t want to give the haters too much credit here. After all, they want nothing more than to see growers like you and me fail.
The main reason I’ve hit so many of my goals and am able to keep storming toward larger and more challenging ones isn’t because of the haters. It’s because of the undying support of our community and the incredible people in my life. Without you, I would not be where I am today.
It’s people like you who listen to me and encourage me as I share my goals for the future — a future where marijuana is legal across the world. A future where not one person who could benefit from it medicinally has to go without, simply because they can’t afford it.
Some people still call me a dreamer. When they do, I can’t help but chuckle. Maybe that’s what I am. A dreamer.
Fortunately, we live in a time when growers like you and me can go after our goals, achieve them, and have a helluva lotta fun along the way.
A world where dreamers can seize their greatest fantasies from the ether and forge them into reality.
I wonder what my date from that steak restaurant is doing these days. I hope she isn’t still trying to tear down the dreams of others like she tried to tear down mine.
Who knows? Maybe she’s one of us now, growing the medicine that helps rid the world of pain and stress and so many ailments. How cool would that be?
The purpose of this post is twofold…
First, I want to remind you that, no matter how overwhelming the odds against you may seem, no matter how many people tell you that you can’t do something, if you make up your mind to do it, and then put one foot in front of the other and get after it with every cell of your being — determined that nothing can stop you — you can accomplish almost anything in life and in our industry. It’s cliché, but it’s true. I’m living proof.
So never let anyone tell you your dreams are too big.
If I can do it, so can you — I have no doubt.
Like my friend Chris McCombs says: “Your default reply to haters should be your undying commitment to your path.”
THANK YOU for being you and for being a member of our community.