Well hello there! Long time no see! Welcome back. This is a special episode for a few reasons. Those of you who have been tuning in for a while know that it's my first time behind the mic after a long hiatus. I actually took all of 2020 off because of some major shifts in my personal and professional life.
My husband and I welcomed our first baby ~ a little boy we named Atlas because he's our moon, our stars, and our direction in life. And, I may be biased but he is the sweetest baby I ever did see. We majorly lucked out too because I didn't know it was possible for a baby to be easy. He is such a so chill little sidekick. And because we had a baby and we also moved from Oregon to the Olympic peninsula where we're starting our own little micro homestead way out in the woods which has been a long-time dream for our family. So lots of exciting new changes at home.
And while all of that was happening in my personal world, I was planning some big shifts with my online business as well.
If you're a long-time follower, the first major shift you may have noticed is that I've rebranded from Sativa Science Club to The Elevated Advocate. I'll tell you all about why in a future episode but, the short version is that I felt like the name The Elevated Advocate really encompasses the hard work we're all trying to do to turn our love for cannabis into a full-time business. For me, the name The Elevated Advocate really captures what being a cannabis entrepreneur and advocate is all about. I hope you agree.
And the second big shift I made was to rethink this podcast. When I first launched back in 2019 I just wanted to test the waters a little bit to see what you all needed and after looking over the numbers the answer was immediately clear.
First, my most downloaded and talked about episode, by far, was Is It Possible To Start A Cannabis Business With No Money. In fact, so many of you reached out to me asking for advice about how to start a cannabis service business after uploading that episode that it changed the trajectory of my whole business. So I'm going to be putting all of my energy and focus into this content topic moving forward.
I also know that you are very busy and I wanted to get the information to you as fast as possible. So starting now, instead of longer-form podcast episodes delivered weekly, I'm going to be making shorter episodes delivered daily. You can expect a new series from me every month with a new 10-minute episode every morning.
And because so many of you are interested in starting a low maintenance low overhead business quickly, that's what we're starting.
This episode marks the beginning of a brand new season all about taking that initial leap from cannabis enthusiast to entrepreneur and I've got some super actionable tips to help you get there.
So, if you fall into one of the two following categories, you're definitely going to want to follow along:
Category one: You want to find a way into the industry by being your own boss or scoring your dream job. but the right opportunity has been super hard to find. You don't want to be a minimum wage budtender but higher-paying positions are extremely competitive and they are rarely hiring.
Category Two: You live in a gray area state so there is nowhere to work because there are no businesses. But you want to set yourself up to be a well-known expert by the time things open.
Sound familiar? If so, you're in the right place because I have a surefire solution for you. And that solution is to bypass being someone else's employee altogether by creating a low stress/high-profit cannabis touching businesses. One with a very low overhead that you can easily operate online.
What do I mean by "cannabis touching"? Cannabis touching businesses are businesses that support the cannabis industry without having to deal with the high buy-in and all of the complicated red tape. Cannabis is a huge part of the business's subject matter, but they don't directly work with or sell any actual cannabis products. Instead, they deal in services or content.
Advocate educators are people who are very knowledgeable about cannabis consumption either from their own personal experience or from helping someone successfully use cannabis to solve a problem in their life. Maybe you're close to a cancer patient and you've done loads of your own research. Or maybe you're just an enthusiastic stoner who really knows your stuff. Either way, you know something that a newbie to the cannabis world does not. And you want to leverage that knowledge to help newcomers feel more comfortable and make better-informed decisions about consumption.
The great thing about this path is that there is so much room for creative freedom. Because your target audience are people who do not already know about cannabis, you're going to take what you know about the inside of the industry and share it with people outside of the industry. Right? Because you are meeting people where they are at.
Take the canna-sexual for example. What a cool niche right? She wanted to teach people about how cannabis can enhance sexuality. While her content definitely appeals to people who already consume cannabis, her target audience are people outside of the cannabis bubble who are interested in improving their romantic life. She then offers cannabis as a solution or a tool to make that happen.
And you can apply this model to any niche; cooking, crafting, health care there are bound to be people interested in whatever your area of expertise is who also want to know more about cannabis. And we all know that cannabis makes everything more fun anyway so it's easy enough to find a creative way to unite the two and meet your audience somewhere in the middle.
This type of business is ripe for content creators. Think influencers, affiliates, brand ambassadors, or even courses and membership sites.
So an advocate educator is the first path. Then there is the path of the Industry service provider. While the Advocate educator teaches people about cannabis as a sort of guide, the Industry service provider directly helps cannabis business owners as a freelancer, coach, or consultant.
Another way to think about it is that while the advocate educator takes what they know about the inside of the industry and shares it outside, the Industry service provider takes what they learned outside of the industry and applies it inside.
So think accountants, bookkeepers, writers, editors, anyone with a professional skill set that can operate in a support role to help businesses help themselves with your knowledge.
All of these models are easy to start, low effort to maintain, and they will turn a high profit if you do it right.
This season, my one and only goal is to help you figure out what path to take to turn your skills and expertise into a successful cannabis touching business. One that will bring you both income and accolades as a cannabis industry entrepreneur. You’ll learn how to figure out what your most marketable skills are, turn those skills into online services or products, and find the right audience to buy them.
Even if you don't currently consider yourself an expert. If you've been doubting yourself, I want you to know that literally, anyone with drive and passion for cannabis can do this regardless of how qualified you think you are. We're going to talk a lot more about that in future episodes.
But right now, I wanted to start things off with an exercise. This will help you find a marketable skill that you already have and figure out how to build a cannabis touching business around that.
The first thing I want you to do is to grab a journal, a pen, and your cellphone timer. Set the timer for ten minutes and just start writing down your skills. What have you done in the past at work, as a volunteer, or anywhere else in your life that you really enjoyed doing, that you're are good at doing, and that other people might want to know how to do themselves?
And this doesn't have to be cannabis-related at all. If you're looking to be an advocate educator It can be something totally off the wall. Let's say you're super skilled at knitting or macramé. Maybe you are a vegan grill master or you know everything there is to know about decorating cakes with fondant. Whatever it is, write it down. And don't worry about how you're going to relate this back to cannabis just yet, it will work out ~ and here's why: whatever your skill set is there is almost guaranteed to be someone (actually a large group of someone's) who enjoy consuming cannabis while doing that activity or who enjoy that activity and also want to learn about cannabis. The internet is HUE so this is just one way to niche down and find your people.
And if you're going the service provider route this can truly be any skill that a business might be looking for. Accounting, bookkeeping, writing, editing, marketing, photography, graphic design. Cannabis businesses are always looking to hire freelancers to do these tasks for them or they are looking for someone who can teach them how to do it themselves.
So write down any and all skills, expertise, and know-how. Just let it all out.
• Know Your Strengths & Weaknesses – While you're doing this, promise me that you won’t be too hard on yourself. If you're just sitting there starring at a blank piece of paper thinking "I'm not good enough" I can tell you right now that you are wrong. If you are lacking confidence or you have a problem with imposter syndrome, you may want to get help with that from a life coach, watch some videos, or read a few self-help books about it. It’s okay to be good at something and admit it. You absolutely positively know how to do something that someone else does not. So what is it?
• Ask the Right Questions – On the flip side, even if you are good at something, you might actually hate doing it. Therefore, it’s imperative that you ask yourself the right questions so that you know you really want to do that thing. For example, if you are currently a bookkeeper, but you dislike it, don’t try to be a cannabis industry bookkeeper or teach bookkeeping to someone else. Instead, you might want to teach how to find the perfect bookkeeper, or you can show other bookkeepers how to start a bookkeeping business for cannapreneurs even if you don’t want one yourself.
I know this can be hard to do so...
• Ask Your Friends & Family – If you’re not sure what you are good at, ask friends and family what they think about it. Be sure to ask supportive family and friends and not someone you struggle with, even if that happens to be your mom. You want positive feedback. But it doesn't hurt to reach out.
• Take a Personality Test – While many people don’t believe personality tests are really accurate anymore, the truth is, they can still help give you ideas about what you might like to do. Mindtools.com has many personality tests that might provide you with some insight. If you have a spare hour to take a few tests you should check it out. You might even have fun if you let yourself.
• Hire a Life Coach – Finally, if you have the means, one way to get crystal clear about your expertise is to find a life coach that specializes in helping someone figure out what to do with their life. This is likely one of the fastest ways to break through mental blocks, but it can be more expensive.
Once you have a working list, start marking off things you don’t like or don’t want to do on a daily basis. Try to think about a typical day in the life. Is this something you could talk about for 8 hours a day and be happy? Is this something you want to continue learning about? Sometimes it can help narrow down the list to take the topic and quickly write down a few money-making ideas associated with it that you can envision it all before making a decision.
This exercise will get you to where you need to be as this series comes out and you get more invested. When you understand the truth about yourself; what you can do, what you don’t want to do, and what you need help with, you’ll do much better at serving your audience with honesty and transparency.
I'm going to end this episode here because we've covered a lot of ground so let's recap. Whether you want to be an advocate educator or an industry service provider there are hundreds, if not thousands, of creative ways to make a name for yourself as a cannabis industry entrepreneur. The very first step is to consider the skills that you currently have and agree that you have what it takes to help someone who may be a few steps behind you. And if you're struggling to think of yourself as an expert, I want you to tune in tomorrow.
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