“The legal and regulated marijuana industry in relation to entrepreneurs is gaining some real notoriety.”
In today’s market, the entrepreneurial spirit is finally “cool.” We are seeing more and more people come from all over the country to test their timber in America’s newest and fastest growing industry. That makes sense, doesn’t it? As entrepreneurs, aren’t we supposed to find emerging markets and grow with them?
Think about it, the documentaries have been filmed and produced, the keynote speakers have stayed the same, and the brands hold their titles with little, if any, disturbance from new entrepreneurs. Why?
If we are championing this industry as the fastest growing industry in the country, then why are the stories the same? Why are the faces the same? Why are the established brands here to stay? This is relatively obvious to me, opinionated yes, but obvious none the less.
The problem? GRIT. I meet with at least 10 new businesses or entrepreneurs a week, it generally takes 30-45 meetings to find the key ingredient. GRIT.
This space is challenging. The rules are ever changing, it lacks institutionalized money, there is no apparent standard to speak of, and everything is driven by decision makers in direct marijuana businesses that are sick of your sales calls. Trust me, I get it, it’s hard, but why stray?
Why not have the fortitude to push yourself into a relationship driven sales mode?
9 out of 10 people will run into a single barrier and find a way to get past it. A much more telling view of the real problem is: 1 out of 100 people will run into 10 barriers and find a way to get passed all of them.
Unfortunately, business is about the opportunity disguised as barriers, and those barriers will be there everyday, so strap in. It’s not that people can’t get through the barriers. It’s not that anything in this space is TOO complex to overcome. It is simply that the GRIT isn’t there to accomplish the goals that companies have set for themselves. Some call that a “business plan”.
If you are coming into this game, understand this: Wars are won in the trenches, not in the board room. For example, every time I meet a new entrepreneur at a networking event, I ask, “How many doors did you knock on today?” It is my way of hedging my average of 1 out of 45 meetings looking for the secret sauce. Why would you ever come to a networking event in hopes of selling something when you haven’t pounded on doors? Why would you run to the newest, arguably the lamest and least productive form of sales, when you haven’t exhausted the tried and true approach of direct sales, door to door, begging decision makers to give you two minutes to show your value?
Don’t get me wrong, networking works and it serves its purpose, but it isn’t GRIT and it certainly isn’t sales. Here is the worst part:Everyone you’re networking with has the same strategy that you do. They’re all sellers selling to sellers, and you will find out very quickly that that isn’t how economics work. But it is easy, it doesn’t require hearing “No” and it is disguised as sales and opportunity.
Like I said, wars are won in the trenches, not at the next networking event. Businesses that fundamentally understand this do two very different things: they utilize sales in its truest form, and they utilize networking in its truest form. Only mixing the two when conditions allow and they have mastered both.
My advice? Write down the top 10 companies and people you admire in our space, sit down with them, don’t try to sell them anything, and ask them how they utilize both sales, and networking. Listen closely, they WILL describe this theory, they will describe the barriers that they have navigated, and they will possess GRIT. Get out and sell. Get out and test your timber the right way. Recognize the barriers, push yourself to develop the plan to get passed them, and then simply have enough will power to execute. Sounds elementary, but if you audit yourself and your approach, I think you’ll find that this is a very important part of being an entrepreneur in our space.
The one’s that practice this theory have already proved it.