Stormy Simon 05:19
No. I, you know, as a little girl, I would play like, secretary, because that’s what, you know, girls were, you know, so I’d be like, I’m gonna be a secretary, and I’m going to tie up and read carry a briefcase. And, you know, I always hoped I could wear a business suit for some reason, like in, in like grade school. And then I was a young mom, at 17. So after that, there really wasn’t like, oh, I have this big dreams of something, it was more like, Oh, my God, I have to raise these kids. You know, I was divorced at 21. After raise these two boys, and that’s the mission, the mission is to raise the kids and keep them fed and loved and all of the things so that became the mission. And then, you know, the steps within the mission of making that happen. I just made some good moves.
Joshua Chin 06:20
That’s super interesting, that really good moves. And it’s really unusual, because you mentioned that you’re growing up your dream of becoming secretary and that that was kind of a that was a mindset of, I guess, most people…
Stormy Simon 06:36
Well tell you one thing, I have to tell you one thing when I was in like sixth grade, that in sixth grade, I would watch the commercials on television, and then rewrite them better. So I did always have a marketing mind, but like, you know what they are doing this, and I would always have a different take on what they’ve done.
Joshua Chin 06:55
Okay, interesting. Now, I’m not sure about the landscape in 2021. And in early 2000s, but obviously, it was the early eight, early stages of the.com boom, and ecommerce. But what about the whole… Well, I’m sure there is a glass ceiling at the point in time. And to some degree, I guess, some difficulties in in females rising up the ranks versus their male counterparts. Have you ever experienced anything of that nature?
Stormy Simon 07:33
Well, let’s just say as a female, you experience it everywhere. You know, my children are grown, I have grandchildren I’ve lived through. You know, the thing about it is, you know, and I’m in Utah, it’s a very conservative state, there’s not a lot of women that have, you know, the opportunity or whatever it is, the timing, talked about timing, to achieve or getting to those positions in the years past, you know, pre 2016 #metoo movement those years past. So absolutely, 100% throughout, I mean, there’s a whole story about the glass ceiling that, you know, where I was actually told by a boss at Overstock in the early days that there was a glass ceiling, and that’s what there would always be. So you know, yes. And then you kind of have to ignore it, or, you know, my younger years, you would have to accept it, because it was just the way the world worked. Like, that was just the way the world works, you know, you would be marginalized or it was definitely a boys club, like all of that is real. Now, you know, as a female you had to navigate through that time you you know, for me, I couldn’t can’t speak of anyone else, but you have to navigate it. You have to, you know, you can’t the world wasn’t ready to be changed. So you have to join it be a walk up, be aware of it be wise to it. My mom made me wise to it made me wise that there would be men that put my looks first, and that would be the lead every time I spoke with them. Well, she turned it turned out she was right. And so I’d have to take that lead and still be able to prove my value and smarts and ability to work harder than because of that, you know, so never been a victim many many stories of where, you know, that was an issue or inappropriate things. You know, and not always sexual either. You know, #me too isn’t all about a sexual movement. It’s about a, you know, the verbs that we use are the adjectives that we use to describe males. versus females, you know, I was referred to as hard headed, most stubborn, tenacious, you know, where my male counterparts wherever we’re, you know, viewed as well spoken, outspoken, confident, you know, and a real aggressive guy in the in the, you know, boardroom or whatever, but they were very, very different. And it was always evident when men spoke of women versus men in the workplace. Even when I was part of the club, because yeah, eventually you get in the club, but you’re not really in the club. Because, you know, I could tell you stories about, you know, why, you know, you’re not in the club. But things that are said, where you just think, oh, geez, I am a sexual object. And that’s it. So why am I going to fight, you know, this person on anything else? And not really been fight them, but try to prove yourself on anything else.
Joshua Chin 10:58
And a lot of times, I’m assuming it’s not. It’s not an explicit aggression of any kind. It’s, it’s kind of like an implicit thing, where you’re sure you’re a part of the board. Now you’re part of the club, but know your place in some shape, or form.
Stormy Simon 11:17
100% That’s 100 100%. That’s my dogs knowing him and make him stop. Yeah, it’s 100%. You do you know when to laugh, you know, when to you know? Yeah, before, you know, I trained myself that way. I mean, as silly as it sounds, and people would say, but I would never say I’m a victim, I was fully aware of what I was doing and what was happening. I had to play my part in order to fit their parts
Joshua Chin 11:43
Stormy it sounds like you didn’t exactly go like straight on against the grain and, like fight, fight toxic masculinity or fight the norm. You understood the the way things were. And you played to the beat, and you played,
Stormy Simon 12:05
too, and I fought it from there. I fought it from there. It’s not that I didn’t fight it. I got female executive leadership from seven to 33, we had a 25% female development in tech workforce, which was huge, and like 2000, whatever it was, I hate to quote a year, but I remember, I think it was actually 2014 where I did the analysis and like 25% was huge, especially, you know, in a company in Utah. So I found it from a different I didn’t find it out loud. I thought it from behind the seeds, like little by little tiny bite by tiny bite by tiny bite.
Joshua Chin 12:50
I’m curious how how did you do that? Kind of given given the decision going from 7% to 33%? That’s, that’s incredible in America, let alone let alone Utah in like pre 2016, pre 2017? What What were some of the things that you’ve done that helped as a leader in such a massive company?
Stormy Simon 13:16
Well, that’s a broad, you know, I also turned into like a hard ass executive that, you know, that you read about, right? Like, a Devil Wears Prada person. There were those days too. Absolutely. Who was it? Was it Meryl Streep in that movie? Yeah, that was me. I was like, you know, the pressure of that takes its toll too. But how so I feel like I did it through performance. I would go in and I would perform. And I would, you know, have an idea, discover the secret of the big campaign. And I would write it and do it for a budget almost in circumstances that were impossible to succeed. Like the answer was, yes, you can do that. But your budgets this big. So can you really do it, and then I would do it. And then you know, I would reach success. So it was through performance, and just hard work and ethics and showing up every day and then always raising my hand for those moments of, you know, whatever they were in a in a, you know, whiteboard of nothing. You know, you’re all of a sudden selling things online. Like, I don’t know, we’re figuring out what to do. So, just being there showing up being excited, having ideas, sharing them. And then I think most importantly, it really wasn’t about me. It was about the win, right? My original reason for doing what I did and how I did it was I couldn’t get fired. I had these boys at home like I had to when I took a chance That’s our changed a job or did something I had to make it work. You know, failure was not an option at any point.
Joshua Chin 15:08
Do you remember the moment when that that reason that your purpose or your y changed from survival to now creating a better world for females?
Stormy Simon 15:24
Yeah, it’s some money. You know, and it’s really interesting that so I was on welfare. As you know, a young mom, I got divorced, I was on welfare. Thank goodness, you know that that system helped me get my feet together, my ex lived in another state, he did pay child support, but I needed that system. I needed child care, and I needed housing and that whole system that is supplied, and then he paid back the system, because I needed it that way. I needed more than just his child support or whatever. And that was such a savior for me, like, it was great, you know, I got to get on my feet, I got to figure out my life. And it was a foundation of what for me to step on. When I got through Overstock and got through, you know, to where it was like, Oh, wow, you could take a pause in your life. And you know, are the CEO of overstock was by no means overgenerous, with his executives at any, you know, it was a struggle for any of us to actually get a lot put away, however, generous enough for me to take a minute and take a break. Now we all you know, you say the whole world, all of us, everyone wants to do better. And everyone wants to be able to come from a place where they are able to advocate for a day advocate for a person, advocate for a minute. But you know what? We can’t because we are bound by society. And society says, you kind of can’t do that. Unless you’re working really hard. And you have a minute and you have your family and you have, you know, so when I think of people that want to do that, like advocate, just stay home, have your own moment, like, there was a grind out there. And I ran it to when it was exhausting, and scary and terrifying. And upon stopping it was like, Okay, I need to start helping people that are still running a grind are still caught up in an unjust system. And that’s how you get there. You know, you don’t that’s where people get and it’s not a fair system, because I think our hearts are all the same. But it is the way our world works.
Joshua Chin 17:49
Is that how you ended up in the cannabis industry? After overstock?
Stormy Simon 17:55
Yeah, you know, the cannabis industry coincided with my leaving Overstock, it was you know, I, I jumped in the cannabis industry on September 9, and leftover stock on September 30, from the board. So it was super like those 21 days of open overlaps were super cool for me, because I was like, you know what, I just bridge these two worlds. Cannabis for me has always been something I’m uncomfortable with. Having been afraid of the plant, I’ve left the plant. Within my own life. It’s been a medicine. And I’m not ashamed to say that it’s unfortunate the stigma that, you know, our society wants to put on plants as a medicine and promote pharmaceuticals and billions of dollars of research as corporations. So jumping into cannabis, I actually jumped in out of curiosity, I just thought ok ecommerce happened right before my eyes like nobody could have told me in 1990, that we’d be shopping online and all this stuff, all of it would have come from, you know, online delivered to my doorstep, I never would have believed it. So here we are with cannabis and teenager who liked it, and was put in a box because of it and called, you know, a stoner and whatever, because of it. And in a very conservative state. Where, you know, it was like the devil’s lettuce. And I educated myself at that time through information that there was which was High Times magazine that was about it. When when the states got ahead of the federal government, when Denver and Washington were like, you know what, we’re gonna legalize it for our states. I just thought that’s a magical moment. Like that doesn’t happen the prohibition with alcohol, we have to think of things in our history and how it was handled. Things weren’t handled well in America and some of these moves, like many of our moves in the 30s and the way that we did things so there’s just not handled well. And then we can go on and on on that. However, I jumped into cannabis because I wanted to be a part of something that was changing the world literally going to change the way we looked at things. And it has, it really has and it’s giving the banks a run for their money because we’re going to be so you know, I did, I went down the rabbit hole on all of the reasons why cannabis was prohibited and all of the reasons. You know what happened for this plant to be used for 10,000 years and multi facets like it’s amazing what this one plant can do. In 1992, our endocannabinoid system is named. Why is it named an endocannabinoid system? Because it’s named after the cannabis plant which produces cannabinoids. So there’s something in the, you know, the basic answer is this and science is power. And we will have power the more we research this plant, but basically, you know, just to get your head around having a safety about it, your endocannabinoid system, and this cannabinoid plant has some sort of matrix that works the same. So when we talk about CBDs, they jump in your body and they like, go to your inflammation and say, I’m gonna go help your CB one, CB two receptors, I’m going to help your belly balance, I’m gonna help your headache. Our body is functioning the way that plant is, that’s a beautiful thing to discover. Yet, we still didn’t want to talk about in science in 1992. So the thought that, you know, we hear these anecdotal stories, which I can promise you are true, because I have met the people firsthand, these are true stories, they add cannabis into their world. And miracles happen. Why? I don’t know. But we should have all been curious in our government should have to years and years ago. But instead, they made decisions based on, you know, American corporations, the color of people’s skins, prison for profits. And that’s what their decisions were. And that’s all attached to this plant in some form or another. So, you know, to be a part of something so disruptive, that our government still to this moment, can’t decide what to do. Ya is pretty disturbing. As a citizen that pays your taxes every single year, it’s disturbing to me. But you know, I did expect in my world, the state’s run faster, we can do better than the banking system as it is today. Yeah, we can do better than the medicine that is out there today. You know, they’ve claimed an opioid crisis. And they’re not using cannabis to help it. So they’re still they’re looking for pharmaceutical drugs to help people off of pharmaceutical addictions they created. So my whole world, you know, I jumped into cannabis curious what happened next was life changing. And cannabis is absolutely the gateway to change. Not to drugs and addiction and all the things that scare us, but to change, and you don’t have to get hired to do it. So that was my mission is to begin talking about it, normalizing it bringing it into conversations, talking about children and cannabis with THC, in 2016, and 17 was early on. And yet, you know, there’s there’s been a lot of changes, but still, our federal government in regards to pediatric cancer and cannabis has not approved a single thing for these children.
Joshua Chin 23:49
Why do you think it’s so hard for the Federal federal government to to recognize its potential? Why is it lacking behind what the states are doing?
Stormy Simon 24:04
Bureaucracy, like, there’s a lot of paperwork that’s just added upon paperwork in order for us to, you know, make sure every single thing about us is crossed, and nobody’s getting sued. And everybody’s within the right. You know, they’re looking so much. They’re trying to be so precisely right. That they’re absolutely wrong. You know, there’s so precisely right, like, throw a dart, if you hit you know, if you’re near the bullseye, let’s, let’s call it a start, but it’s like, oh, no, everybody’s got to be perfect. Everything’s got to be perfect. We have to think of every single person and all the things that’s just how our government is. The other thing is, personal interests, or however the lobbying world works, right. There’s personal interests everywhere. So why are the Rockefellers you can go back in time, you know, the Hearst family, why was hemp not allowed to be used for paper? Because the Hearst family owned And 28 newspapers, that also they owned lumber that created paper. So when those 28 newspapers, they wrote all about how bad hemp and marijuana was and how the Mexicans were bringing it, and oh my god, it’s mayhem and all of the things, they use those 28 papers as propaganda against a bunch of stuff. And then you had you know, there’s the medical association was fighting to keep cannabis as a medicine. You had other families connected with Pfizer and whatnot, all in the Senate floor in the 30s, fighting for their own interests, all of those things, you know, laws were built around those things. Protecting, creating how pharmaceuticals are made, you think you’re gonna break in the pharmaceutical industry, it’s not gonna happen. You know, they’ve heard about liquor, you know what I mean? Like, the distribution of liquor is pretty tough to get into water, you want to try to sell water. That’s a captured industry. So like, you know, all these industries were captured before we were born. And then since then there’s just bureaucracy upon bureaucracy upon bureaucracy added on to it. So who knows, who know, nobody wants to read it all. Nobody wants to figure it out. Nobody wants to rock the applecart to where it could affect their million dollar check their child’s college, or whatever, whatever.
Joshua Chin 26:25
Is there reason why you ended up in politics where you ran for candidacy?
Stormy Simon 26:35
Yeah, like, in Utah 2020, we’re going into a pandemic, I was pretty sure we were heading into it signed up to run and got the state for the Democratic Party in the small county that I live in, in Utah, which is quite a red state. Very, very red. And I grew up here, I decided I was changing myself from a libertarian to a Democrat, and ran for office and started having conversations, kind of similar to this one. But in Utah, you know, there’s, there’s such a supermajority that there’s really no way out, it would be horrible to have one. Because I don’t really feel like I could initiate change here, which is okay. You know, if the majority of your zip code is voting one way, that’s why they live here. But yeah, that is what inspired me to do it.
Joshua Chin 27:31
And you’ve lived in Tula your whole life, do you have any plans in moving out of the county or the state?
Stormy Simon 27:42
Well, it’s, I’ve moved around my whole life, too. We moved we I was born outside of Chicago, we moved to Utah when I was little girl, raised my boys in Salt Lake, moved back here and to very rural, peaceful, very quiet vacation type, place to live. And, you know, I do love Salt Lake, my network is here, my people are here. I spent the last five years living in other states as well. And that’s my dog. Living in other states, you know, like that sometimes in Denver, I’ve been in San Diego LA, running around. And back in Utah, and then I spent some time in Arizona muskie area.
Joshua Chin 28:27
what’s what, what what is one thing that you would change? If you could go back in time, at any point in your career?
Stormy Simon 28:39
Um, it would really, you know, I’m such the type of person that really lives in the moment, and I never like rethink, try to really get stuck on regret or whatever. Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, what’s, there was one thing I could read you. I don’t know. Like, I think about things. You know, when Overstock started, and we were all hardwired, everything was hardwired, it was all hard coded. And, you know, we made decisions on top of that, and then all of a sudden clouds came out and software as a service, it was like ding, ding, ding. I don’t know that either done or, you know, a lot of different decisions early on. But as far as like skipping and running and bumping into things and falling down and making mistakes, I think they are all worth it.
Joshua Chin 29:38
You if you asked me the same question, I wouldn’t be able to tell you a good answer as well. And I think that’s, that’s the same thing with a lot of entrepreneurs. And but ironically, we have this. Most people would have the system and especially you know, when you’re built building a career and in business or building a business, you often have a self feedback mechanism that’s running constantly. I’ve had Kara Goldin from Hint Water on. And she spoke about the process of learning from the past in order to create the future. And it was a really interesting process to kind of uncover everyone’s process of learning. Because a lot of times we’re not really aware of what’s happening. And so with your, with your career, what has one, what has been your superpower throughout that? Your journey, and you spoke a little bit about your experience when you were in grade five, and six, and kind of looking at commercials and coming up with better ideas? Is that what you superpower is?
Stormy Simon 30:59
No, I would think my superpower is literally raising my hand. And I mean, in the literal sense of like, being in a room full of people and having someone say something, and me say, I don’t know what that word is. And some people chuckling. But being like, I don’t know what the word is. That’s not easy to do. But rather than get lost, I’d have to know what the word is or saying. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know the answer. I don’t know. I know what you’re talking about. Love for saying there was a very key point in my career where I was at the office, but the CEO was the newest person in the room. So there was this, you know, I joined the b2b department, which is, you know, I also dissolve that department in like, 2004. But you know, we were in the room, I’m the newest person there. There’s two females and a guy, and then our CEO. And he’s asking all these questions. And he says, I think it was like, the department was going to do you know, $12 million, or something I can’t remember. But he goes, who’s head can I put on the chopping block for this, like, who’s head his on the chopping block for this? And now I’m looking at these three people. Like, whose head is on it? I don’t know who you know, like, who is in charge here. And I just looked at him and nobody did anything. So I just went, I’ll do it. The mind, put my head on the chopping block. So I thought I can do what he’s saying. It’s not like, I don’t think I can do it. Like, okay, let’s get out of this meeting. I’ll do it. And that was a key moment, because I jumped ahead. I had not, I always felt like, Oh, that would be stepping on their toes. That would be like, you don’t want to raise your hand, don’t raise your hand. That’s what came out of it. And from that, I kind of got the department. You know, and that was it wasn’t just my, it wasn’t just my ability to grow it because I grew it to 20 million, but it was also the idea that I could put my head on the chopping block like I could, you know, I never gotten so much trouble when I was younger, that I felt unloved. Yeah, you know, or that I made suck, and I mess stuff up. But you know, like, such a big mistake that it was unrecoverable. So maybe that was part of it. But you know, there were tons of time where I’d be looking at a group of people and just being like, seriously, I’ll do it. I’ll do it. You know, give it to me, I’ll do it. And raising your hand when you’re sitting in a classroom, when you are anywhere is a big deal, who wants to volunteer to go on stage at the Comedy Club? Everybody’s pointing at their friend, nobody who wants to answer the question at the standard with the CEO, even if you know the answer, nobody, not one person. And that’s why, you know, it’s important, it’s important to note, you know, talks about being a woman and in the workroom and working amongst, you know, pre #metoo era, that type of knowing when and where is super important matter who you are and what room you’re in. There’s a hierarchy that exists the minute you walk in it, and you gotta get your space to know those moments when it’s appropriate to raise your hand. That’s your time. You know, and I think that was the difference.
Joshua Chin 34:40
That’s incredible. And I think given the context of, of, of where you started your career, and that’s even more impressive. What’s your advice for people going through it? Well, interestingly, in a similar similar context today where the future is kind of uncharted and unclear and where anything goes, especially today, where you’re in the pandemic, what’s your biggest advice?
Stormy Simon 35:11
Well, first of all, I just want to say to the millennials and Gen Z, that, you know, those are my sons, they’re millennials, Gen Z are my grandchildren, which, you know, they can’t call me the G word like it. However, they are teaching me so much. And I realize it’s from the way that, you know, the Gen X taught them. Yeah, you know, the way we were raised by boomers and a silent generation of always, like putting on rose colored glasses and hiding behind it and not sharing and being vulnerable. And, you know, now we’re at the place, you know, for my generation, it was like, we’re gonna dance, we’re just gonna start, you know, we are hard workers, but we’re gonna push it like we were a little bit of rebels, but kind of within a box, like it was a really interesting generation. But what we did with our kids, which was teach them no, you don’t have to think that way. Oh, no, you don’t you get to question that. And what the millennials have done with that. And what Gen Z is doing with it is in sanely, inspiring. You know, they’re the reason I can think in the spot of like, having five different jobs. And doing what I want to do is because that’s what this generation is teaching me as, as an executive that manage them. Well. You know, there was a skill set for me on how to work with millennials and keep them inspired and keep them engaged, because we’d lose them, we would lose them. You want to go in, run a few more reports and grind, grind, grind, grind, you know, which, you know, a company like Overstock, it’s hard to not do once you get to a certain size, you know, millennials? Like, I’m out. I don’t even work on Fridays, why am I here? You know, and without, like, hardcore, the, the majority of them were hardcore against I’m sorry, it’s five o’clock, and I ski. Yeah, you know, and that was a good lesson, because my mom’s generation. And what she taught me was no, you work till your heart, your hands are bloody, you sleep there, you get the job done. You’d be the best employee hard work pride in what you do. You know, that led to 15 hour days for 15 years, worth every second worth every second, however, there is a different world, and I think it’s, it’s beautiful. So my advice would be, honestly, to those entering the workforce, don’t lose that. But this old school way of thinking, there’s some value in it that should not be lost in translation. So every generation, you know, if you go to Peru, and they bequeath all their Peruvian history, to their, you know, to the next generations, and they make sure that their stories are told Native Americans do the same thing. The old stories of business, the idea that we had to, you know, I remember being working in an office when the fax machine came out, I was like, I can fax you something instead of like, put a stamp on an envelope. Yeah, thought process there that manage that mattered. You know, and I think that that world is a dying, breed dying habits, but not all of them were bad. And so listen to your elders
Joshua Chin 38:47
Distance yield. What is or who are your greatest greatest mentors? Or sources of inspiration throughout your career?
Stormy Simon 39:02
Well, you know, the founder and CEO of overstock absolutely did a lot for my career by giving me the opportunities in which that I could really perform and succeed. Through him, I was able to meet some amazing people like General Jack Bessie, who was Joint Chiefs of Staff to Ronald Reagan, or Warren Buffett, who was, you know, fortunate, I was fortunate enough to spend a few days with, you know, over the years. There were Gordon Macklin, who was on our board and was one of the like, founders of NASDAQ. And so as I was just saying, Jack Byrne who was Patrick Burns dad that was CEO of GEICO and you know the world call them the Babe Ruth of insurance, like when do you get to meet people like that? So those people when I just said How ironic this would come out, you know, listen to your elders, those are the people that were in my mind these little moments, these little pieces of advice, these little things that gave me competence, you know, having not gone to college, and having to sit in the room, but the best of the best. I met General Colin Powell, once through another way that he, you know, his warmth and demeanor and generosity and humility, you know, brought out some was another lesson because of who I thought he was. And, you know, so there’s just these moments, but they were all with elders, where I just took the time to listen, and maybe, you know, be present versus, you know, be greedy with their time or ask a lot of questions. They were amazing to me all on their own way. And, you know, many others. Colonel Jack Jacobs, who is out in New York, I think he’s one to Purple Heart recipients, but Google him, Google Colonel Jack Jacobs, oh my gosh, what a man, what a guy. What a hero. And he’s, you know, round a day doing amazing things. And he’s continued to be that guy. To even have him on my rolodex is incredible. The Wounded Warriors, I love the military, I love you know, there’s just so many people and my mom, my mom’s a big one, my dad. You know, the way they just taught me, you know, they never said you have to be a doctor, they never said you had to be, you know, they never said I had to be a doctor that I had to be a lawyer that I had to be anything they never said, what, you know, societal construct I had to live amongst. They only said work hard and be happy. And that was
Joshua Chin 42:00
Interesting that my parents had the exact same thing for me. They were. In fact, I rightly, that was what drove me. They were because I was in scholarship. And I’m based in Singapore now. But I was born and raised in Malaysia, where my parents are. And I came to the country when I was 12 years old, on a scholarship. It’s a very pretty young age to be alone, Singapore. Yep, that’s right. And at 12 years old, yeah. And I was living in a boarding school. And I was at some point, I was struggling. And I was talking to my mum about it, I was just facing some difficulties. And she was like, if you are ever too stressed out. If you’re ever in trouble, it’s totally okay to say, this is not for me. I want to come home. I welcome you with open arms. That’s what she said. And I took that as a challenge. Like, you think I can do it? I’m gonna do it, I’m going to show you that I can. And that kind of sent me on a path of just staying the course.
Stormy Simon 43:16
Idea that, you know, you never had to let that stress build up. That was the beauty of her words is like it didn’t get that stressful, because you were like, You know what, I can go home. So I can take it. Because I know that I can leave at any time and that safety net and acceptance from parents is
Joshua Chin 43:35
huge. Acceptance. That’s the word. Yeah.
Stormy Simon 43:39
It’s huge to have that from your parents where it’s like, you know what, go ahead and fail.
Joshua Chin 43:45
Yeah, and it’s okay. That this can happen. That’s huge. And I never thought about it that much until until I started having conversations like this recently. So yeah, very, very grateful. Stormy, talking about cannabis. In the ecommerce world in the DTC world, cannabis is a growing industry. What are some of the opportunities that you see that ecommerce entrepreneurs listening could embark on?
Stormy Simon 44:17
Yeah, it was super fascinating. So when I jumped in 2016 I’m like my digital skills are going to do amazing. No, there were so many rules, still their advertising rules, you know, state by state of the union literally different state laws and all the things that surround it. What I would say is, you know, depends like if you are it depends on where you’re going to be like, if you know ecommerce, you know how small it makes the world. Yeah. And that is a very unique thing. We also know that’s not an easy thing to do. You know, you look at Amazon, you look at Overstock, and I can’t wait very like it. You know, eBay is different because they were the consumer. But it’s like, That’s not easy. That that’s easy. You know, even though the barrier to entry is now easy, like, you can go on Shopify and go in, you can make your stuff and you’re there. Last stock, the rest is hard. You want to go global, you want a big brand, you want to handle customer service. Don’t fool yourself. That’s real work. But I would say to ecommerce, and cannabis is exactly that. Like where, you know, some of these companies are going to be in the state of California. I don’t know if they ever get licensed in Michigan or go after grows there. Then there’s those large companies that are already in multi states. They’re operating within a multi states, and then there’s bureaucracy of like, once we start going, you know, internationally? Who’s going to really own it then? And is, who knows, goes under Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, or is it agriculture? Like what is it? Is it a medicine? Where does go, da, farmers? Alcohol, you know, it’s a really interesting thing. So as an ecommerce play, you can spend a lot of money building your site, and you can do all kinds of fancy things that we all know about. Maybe not all of us, but we can all figure out. Or we’re all interested in. In this particular industry, I think it’s important to know why that would be important. Yeah, like why? Why are you digitally doing what you’re doing? Are you doing it because you’re a cannabis brand. And you’re, you’re informing your zip code about your flour and your joints and your edibles? And, you know, are you a informational brand, where you, you know, it does make more sense to punch through, you know, different barriers, or maybe you’re like Snoop Dogg and you just want to sell your papers and your, you know, pens and your paraphernalia. So there’s all of these worlds, you know, where these cannabis entrepreneurs, Canna printers are coming out, you know, some of them are really just social influencers? And how do they, you know, so it’s pretty interesting until that we strip the borders, you know, our state borders down and see, you know, what does that digital presence reach an investment bring you, you can be the best of the best, but it doesn’t mean you will be the best of the best digitally on your platform, but it doesn’t mean you win anything.
Joshua Chin 48:02
Interesting. So what I’m hearing is you got to think beyond just the channel alone, just, you know, just ecommerce alone is not enough that keep an eye on legislation. Keep an eye on
Stormy Simon 48:15
Right, yeah, competitors, you’re, you know, it’s super interesting. I mean, it’s a moving target on so many different verticals. And there’s so many new people entering the space every day add new states.
Joshua Chin 48:31
Stormy, what’s one advice that you can give to an entrepreneur that’s on their journey right now struggling in the middle of the, in the weeds, if you will. And, you know, they may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, or they may just be so swamped with work that nothing else seems to matter. What’s your advice for that person?
Stormy Simon 48:55
My advice would be be flexible with your program. Like, don’t get so fixated. Because once you’re that deep end, and you’re in the weeds, and you are fighting for the success, make sure that end goal is still the right success, because you go a couple of years, you know, with I want this. You get in there a couple years with what you want. And this might be a little different. Don’t forget the gears before the cloud. Some of the decisions that I met, you know, that were made. Yeah, you know, so, always be flexible with your pivots. There may be a stepping stone in between you and what you want. That takes you a little off course but there’s enough relativity that maybe it’s not look at those moments quite seriously. You know, don’t get so far in the weeds that you forget to see, you know, the swamp which is connected to a beautiful river which is connected, you know, so I don’t Don’t get let your idea change what your fail fast, fail fast for some stuff and, you know, but don’t forget the excitement. Don’t forget, when you’re starting something, you’re starting something. So I’ve seen folks, and I haven’t started something, right. I’ve been going around six years, five years starting little things something I’m like, I’m not ready, because I know what it means. So you gotta be ready. And then don’t be afraid to adjust like, nobody wins. Your first idea is never your best. Oh, always a little bit of improvement. Yeah, always a little bit of adjustment. Nobody, you know, look at overstock today, it did not start out as overstock that was, I mean, it did not start out as inline products. It started out as overstock literally flips. We didn’t even know what the inventory was, today a brand new product. There’s an overstock section. You know, but that’s very different from the day that it started. If the idea was oh, no, that’s the idea. That’s why it’s called oversight. That’s it. There would have been if Amazon had stayed a bookstore. Yeah. You know, some of those decisions are happening in the weeds in the beginning, in the earliest stages. And so, you know, don’t spend all your money on that one thing, you know, like, be smart. With, yeah, but yeah, there’s always tomorrow, you can get there, shoot, A, B, C, D, E, F, or A, B, F, G, C, D, E, F, like, you get to take your path, you can put as many steps in between as you want.
Joshua Chin 51:45
That’s really good advice. And a good reminder for from here. So I often get caught up with wanting to achieve that. Point be that I just forget about the progress that we’ve made along the way. And we may have, you know, opportunities along the way that we could have jumped on. And Stormy, thank you so much for being on the show, guys listening. Lunch With Stormy is available. It’s a podcast, dedicated to amazing conversations, and I believe you had Tommy Chong on the show as well.
Stormy Simon 52:19
I did. Yes, I had. Tommy Chong on. It was one of my moments. You know, that was a he’s an icon, just an icon and one of my favorite people. What an amazing gentleman who has really hit society made an impact in many places, including a cannabis.
Joshua Chin 52:41
Definitely go check that episode out. Watch my favorite. Thank you. And Stormy, what is the best way to get in touch with you connect with you? Do you have social?
Stormy Simon 52:53
I’m Stormy Simon on everything. So I’m really easy to find. I do coaching I do. You know, little executive. I like startups over big stuff. You know, so you can find me on all the channels and super easy accessible and I’m always happy and willing and hopeful to help out. Folks that need the up when they’re learning to pivot from the weeds.
Joshua Chin 53:23
And if you’re a female lead on entrepreneur, if you have a female lead business, definitely connected Stormy. She’ll definitely have definitely have an advice or two for you, Stormy, thank you so much for being on the show. Appreciate it, Josh.
Stormy Simon 53:40
I appreciate it too. Thank you.
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