Cannabis Entrepreneurs Share The Best Advice They Ever Received From Their Fathers
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Giving good advice can be one of the most important roles of a dad. As long as it's not in the form of a really terrible joke. This Father's Day, we reached out to a number of entrepreneurs in the cannabis space to share the wisdom that their father's passed down to them.
Let dad pay for it
“My dad AJ was a colorful character. He never told me he loved me, but he wouldn’t hesitate to let everyone know I was his favorite. Of course, I was — I’m his only child! When he found out I was interested in cannabis, he told me to promise that I was never to purchase any on the street. If I was going to smoke, he would provide it for me, and I had to smoke at home. That’s love! Rest In Paradise, Arthur Jackson, and thanks for loving me!” — Liz Jackson-Simpson, Chief Executive Officer at Success Centers
My father Steve’s advice: “When you have the chance to play Pink Floyd on electric guitar in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, take it.” — Mike Glazer, Comedian & Host at GLAZED and Weed+Grub
Stick with your brother
Read the room
"You can do anything, Geeks (that was my family nickname pronounced Gg Eeks). You are tough enough. You are good enough. Always pay attention to your surroundings. Pay close attention to what's going on. Always read the room."
—Gia Morón, President, Women Grow
Change what you can
Take care of each other
“My dad, who was a blue-collar worker, always said, “If we all take care of each other, then everybody’s taken care of.” And he walked that walk. He would pick up any stray animal, and bring it home. Any friend could eat at our house, or get a ride somewhere. Once, to my mom’s dismay, dad went to the store and returned home with two young men from Switzerland. Their car had broken down during a road trip they were taking across the US. For whatever reason, my dad said they could stay with us until their car was fixed. They were there for two days and for a decade every Christmas after, they sent us Swiss chocolate.” — Stormy Simon
Find true joy
“As a kid, I saw my dad make thousands of decisions. He compared his ability of running successful businesses to a batting average. Look at the facts, take the emotion out...add it up."
--Michael Cammarata ,CEO Neptune Wellness
You don’t know, what you don’t know
“One of my favorite quotes my father always said to me was, 'You don’t know, what you don’t know.' He was a philosopher and always wanted me to be growing and learning. Or to him, I was simply not living. As an educator, he always pushed me to be my best and question the world presented to me as much as possible. His advice always led me to think much deeper than the surface. He wanted me to control my thoughts and my life and he always admired that I had the entrepreneurial spirit to do so...especially, in a way he never imagined.” — Marie Montmarquet, Co-founder of MD Numbers Inc.
“The most memorable advice from my dad is “don’t take any wooden nickels,” meaning be cautious in one's dealings. Although, he was referring specifically to the boys who came into my life.” — Angela White, Equity for Industry Program Manager at Success Centers
Two pieces of advice come to mind for the indelible influence they’ve had on my journey through the last decade. Item number one: Education is a critical, endless pursuit. In other words, there is always more to learn and space for growth. Item number two relies on item number one for proper execution – don’t be afraid to take risks. Often times our most significant personal growth results from periods of discomfort, so don’t fear opportunities that exist outside your comfort zone. Instead, learn and absorb all that you can, put yourself in a position to succeed and take the leap."
-Sammy Dorf, Co-Founder & President, Verano Holdings
Do the best you can
"My father, Norman, was orphaned as a young boy but never became bitter or angry. He was known to all as joyful, kind, and generous. Whenever I would get down, he would say, 'You can’t worry about things you can’t control. Just go out and do the best you can.' He passed away on October 1st at 84. I’m sad that he won’t be here to see The Pass launch this Summer, but I feel him with me every day, especially the hard ones."
--Michael Cohen, President & Co-Founder of The Pass
"He advised me that to be a winner in business one must develop a solid business plan and then stay grounded and focused to execute that plan to success. There are many distractions in the emerging cannabis industry as it expands across the globe. My dad’s advice has helped me keep MariMed focused on limited, great state-legal cannabis markets.”
—Bob Fireman, CEO of MariMed
Stop and smell the roses
“My dad's mantra is "stop and smell the roses." He's spent his whole life working hard, but he's also spent his whole life going on meditative runs, bird watching, playing trombone, and gardening, among many many other hobbies. Life is short, every day is precious—and he's always reminding me to appreciate the little things.” — Shelby Hartman, Editor-in-Chief / Co-founder of DoubleBlind
You're just as capable as the boys
"From a young age, my father always taught me that I was just as capable, if not more capable, than the boys. As a child, this translated to his encouragement of healthy competition in the classroom and on the sports field. In adulthood, my dad's been my biggest champion and motivated me to become a business leader well before I co-founded Space Coyote, saying there aren't enough female CEOs in the world and that I could make an incredible impact on any industry I entered." — Libby Cooper, CEO of Space Coyote
There is no substitute for hard work
“The best advice my father gave me at a young age was, "There is no substitute for hard work." Seeing him put these words into action was what solidified my drive to succeed at a young age. As my career evolved and I made the decision to transition from musician to lawyer, I received a ton of flak from my extended family, friends, and colleagues — if I was successful as a musician (I was), why would I change my career paths so dramatically? In their eyes, I must have been making a huge mistake. I never doubted that decision because of what my father told me: "Life is too short to worry about what others say or think about you. The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think." — Jeffrey Welsh, Vicente Sederberg Partner & Composite Agency Co-Founder
Have fun, stay out of trouble
“The best advice my father has given me is to never quit. My dad has always stressed the importance of commitment! Once I start a project, I have to see it through. While this has sometimes been a difficult lesson to learn, I am so grateful for the perseverance it has taught me.” — Jay Jackson aka Laganja Estranja , TV Personality, Female Illusionist, Choreographer
There's enough work for everyone
"One of the best things my dad said to me was, 'No matter what business you're in, there is always room for everyone.' Meaning that there is and always will be an abundance of work or supply for everyone. This is why it’s important to never look at your competitors as enemies but more so as friends in the same industry."
—George Sadler, President Platinum Vape
Learn from your mistakes
"Learn from your mistakes, don’t make them twice, and treat everyone with respect.“
—Shavo Odadjian, Founder of 22Red
Do what you gotta do
"I grew up in New York and my dad was the third generation in our family to work in the garment industry, which was a real hustle back in the day. My dad is a throwback to a different time and different world, real old school, they don't make them like that anymore. With that, everything you need to know about my dad is summed up in this quote: "Do me a favor.. don't break my balls. Do what you gotta do." This taught me a lifelong lesson, just get out there and figure it out."
—David Elias, founder and CEO of Lowell Herb Co.
Attack it before it attacks you
"Attack it before it attacks you!' Whenever a difficult project was in front of me, my dad would always tell me this. In my high school and college years, I learned this lesson the hard way multiple times, letting work attack me because of procrastination and distraction. Today, I've taken this lesson to heart; I like to start each day with work on the most challenging, complex, important project I have in my queue. It's the only way to move work forward in the fast-paced and dynamic cannabis industry."
—Marcus Naramore, Full Spec Director of Business Development & Marketing
Actions speak louder than words
"Growing up, I had a number of important father figures who guided me in my journey to adulthood. I’d say one of the important was also among the simplest, “Actions speak louder than words.”. This concept has served me well personally and in my entrepreneurial journal throughout life. In business and in life, it means to me working hard and producing results is much more important than talking about."
—Smoke Wallin, CEO, Vertical Wellness