Adriaan Zimmerman/Ret Taylor – Hello Cannabis, Hello Ned
2 years ago · 1:02:19
It’s 2018 and unless you’re living under a rock, you must be curious about what’s happening in the cannabis industry. In our world today, no other industry is more ever-changing. This isn’t about smoking joints with your friends. Our guests are Adriaan Zimmerman and Ret Taylor. They’re the founders of Ned. A health and wellness company centered around hemp infused products. Launched earlier this year, Ned sells all natural full spectrum hemp in the form of oils, body butter, and lip balms online to customers around the country. Listen as we clear up TONS of common misconceptions about CBD, hemp and what this is all about.
had worked so hard to be this work self and this was all all of a sudden not really doing it for me.
This episode of The opt out Live podcast from the opt out media network was recorded here in San Diego is the opt out life story Adrian Zimmerman and Ret Taylor
Welcome to the opt out life podcast. The no BS guide to living the modern good life hosted by subversive millionaires Dana Robertson and Nate Broughton the opt out life podcast explains exactly how creative apostles are turning side gigs to real income and taking back control of their time from their studio in sunny San Diego, the opt out life welcomes guests who are solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, travelers, and creatives who are proof that you can choose a lifestyle over money but still make money too if you feel like you’ve been chasing your tail running the rat race for stuck in a system that’s rigged against you. We’d like to offer you an alternative here on the opt out Life podcast.
This time we’ll get right to the point it’s 2018. And unless you’re living under a rock, you must be curious about what’s happening in the cannabis industry, Cannabis, marijuana, weed, CBD, medicinal recreational facilities vapes, even smoothies and oils and our world today no other industry is more ever changing we’re living in the wild west of weed we don’t want to mislead you our story today is not about smoking joints with your friends or some opinion piece about what should or should not be happening with laws or individually use the fact is a lot is happening and there’s a lot to learn.
Our guests are Adrian Zimmerman and red tailor their the founders of Ned a health and wellness company centered around hemp infused products with an emphasis on doing right five people and by nature launched earlier this year, and that sells all natural full spectrum hemp in the form of oils, body butter and lip balms on line customers around the country
Adrian and Ret aren’t potheads or hippies. their backgrounds are a successful entrepreneurs and salespeople. Adrian founded and sold a media company right lived in cities all over the world is he built a career in sales and marketing and their 20s they both live their own version of the proverbial fast life chasing success. But that life has its way of bringing you down to earth and they both came to encounter new challenges.
Adrian gotten burned out and spent nearly two years traveling
Ret started a family and in 2015 Ret’s mother was diagnosed with cancer she chose an alternative path for treatment and helped her discover the benefits of CBD. Like many people she was skeptical of what CBD was and even quit
I’ve never smoked a joint in my life Am I going to get arrested for this it’s misconceptions
like that so many of us have right now and we went to clear up with this episode listen along as Adrian and Ret explained how their own journeys as people and businessmen lead them to the world of hemp and the modern wild west
alright opt out life is back today it is just me it is just me but I have a partner here in the form of a ballast point even keel so I’ve replaced Dana with this beer and I have two guests so I’m not too lonely I have read and Adrian from Hello Ned and from Boulder Colorado today to hang out what’s up guys how are you I’m good I’m good you got your even kills ready to we get to Friday here in the studio. And we’re going to talk about CBD which I’m excited about. Because I think it’s very appropriate for the opt out life for a lot of different reasons. And I mean, because people want to talk about weed and how it’s not necessarily what we’re going to talk about entirely. But it’s the talk of the town in the world of entrepreneurship. From the legalization of medical to the legalization of recreational to the prevalence of CBD products for healing and supplements. I mean, this stuff is all around us. It feels kind of weird that we’ve done so many episodes and not talked about it yet. So I was very excited to hear you guys are going to be in town and to have that be kind of the basis for what we’re going to talk about. But you’re also both very opt out life in general. I think as we’ve been chatting here about travel, entrepreneurship starting and selling companies. It sounds like we could talk for quite some time. But to kick it off Tell me about Hello Ned This is a new venture This is tell me what it is where you guys are let’s introduce it to to our listeners and into the world
cool so yes, Ned is a wellness brand that we launched just back in the middle of March really true the last five months are soft launch but it’s it’s a wellness brand and that you know really on a mission to help people feel better and live better through much simpler means in a deeper connection to the natural world. So while we launched with our full spectrum, hemp products, or CBD, which were right in our backyard, you know, we think of ourselves as a broader wellness brand. And as we’re, you know, launching now we’re also searching the world for other natural remedies and restorative traditions. And really working to bring the best of the best back home under the Ned label. And again, just all falling into that idea of just simple and natural living what’s behind the name because I was I was calling it Hello Ned. Because that’s just the website which is not the name Yeah,
people knowing how Ned is just as valuable as people knowing that. So Ned was really we approach that brand with, with the goal of making not just the cannabinoid space not just wellness, not just beauty, but just this, this whole scope a little more approachable, we found that a lot of brands in the space fall into one of three camps. It’s either very scientific in nature, perhaps somewhat medicinal or falling into the kind of granola crunchy category that just honestly doesn’t speak to me, or, you know, the audience tell us to market and this should be an approachable product. It’s from the earth. But at the end of the day, it’s really about just simplicity, approachability and something that we can really tie back to just simple natural life. Okay, well, tell me about the products themselves. Like, what’s out today? Why did you choose what’s out there? What are they accomplishing? How are you selling? This is a cool stage, because you’re very early, although you’re experienced business people to kind of get a part of this story. Because a lot of people that listen to our podcast, I think, want to do what you’re doing right now. And I think it’s exciting to be like,
Yeah, right, right. Exactly. Yeah, I mean, they need to hear that for one. But they also I think, as we kind of walked through, like, all right, what’s out now what’s coming? And how do we kind of get from this the ideation stage of this brand to some of these products?
Yeah, well, you know, we launched very simply with for products. We’ve seen other companies launch with quite a few more, which we believe to be a mistake and in most cases has proven to be I mean, one of our tag lines is keep it simple and others keep it natural. Yeah, so three tinctures
a 307, 50
and a 1500 milligram and we stopped at 1500 milligrams, even though throughout the space oftentimes the two or 3000 or 3600 even his company’s best seller why is that
yeah, people want more but it’s also a value proposition so if you’re buying ice or you’re buying in bulk so and we offer that same value proposition but we stopped at 1500 because once you start going above 1500 you have to start including synthetic Iceland in your product in order to keep the THC levels below where they need to be I say and we just refused to use anything synthetic and everything that goes into net is completely natural from our farm and just straight into the bottle so we know exactly what’s happening from seed bottle.
How’d you find the farm?
Yeah, last summer starting in June, I started visiting hemp farmers all over Colorado wasn’t exactly sure why I was doing this. But you know, in the back of my mind, I wanted to create a full spectrum hemp oil product and that’s CBD. And that was either going to be just for for my family and friends or more. And I started heading out meeting farmers checking out hemp farms. And I was all over Colorado, you know, northeast, west and south and I was meeting farmers that were growing have very much like industrial crops like soy beans and corn. And it just wasn’t resonating with me. I wasn’t feeling it. I was looking for somebody who is growing it in a very organic way with love. And I kept hearing about this one mythical farmer in Paonia, Colorado, which if you know, farming, you know, pay on it is a mecca for farming between the 330 days. His Son, the water, the soil, the incredible farming knowledge base, that’s their pain is just an amazing farming hotbed. And so I heard about perhaps the best farmer in Paonia which is the best farming place and I had to find this guy and I was just searching high low for his contact info. And finally, my sister ended up being able to connect me and yeah, he was very gracious, invited my wife and daughter up, and I, of course, and we went to the farm. And as soon as we drove on that land, I knew he was our guy. I mean, you know, he had the prayer flags up, he comes out and he’s got this long hair. And he just, he’s completely the opposite from the, you know, industrial hemp farmers. I had a meeting and then it turned out his crops were amazing, and his hemp is the very best I had seen. And I would put it high up there in terms of quality.
Okay, Dana, you missed out on this one. I know that you’re here now. So we’re going to talk through it. And also I’m going to reiterate some points as we do in our patented fashion here on the breaking well, you know why I was excited to have these guys in and I brought them in right away when I had the chance before you even back from Bali, because I wanted to have someone on this podcast who’s in and around the industry of weed and is this is not a weed company, as we’ve already established, but the talk of the town is very often these days about marijuana around entrepreneurs, not around people be like, oh, let’s get high. It’s awesome. I mean, that parts, you know, fun sometimes too. But as a pure blooded entrepreneurs, people who have invested in things and our friends are that way this comes up a lot. They’re like, I’ve got guys that are starting a thing do you want to invest in it? You know, I don’t know what the laws are. And it’s been fun to kind of have those conversations I never really know what to say. I try to listen a lot that’s really why I wanted to have this because I hope people are learning some things about one angle in the industry with Hello net and Adrian and read these guys are doing kind of the all natural health product route to this which is being opened up pretty much by this like top of the industry. You know, medical marijuana being legalized in most states, if I’m not mistaken recreational being legalized in a dozen states or so. And now we’ve got CBD and hemp oil sitting in the grocery store 500 feet from here, and people putting it in smoothies. And people are really curious about this stuff. And a lot of people don’t know what’s going on with it and where it’s coming from. So we’re getting some of that here. And that’s why they’re on the podcast.
Yeah, I think it’s really cool from a subject matter standpoint, because entrepreneurs gravitate toward the Wild West, right, I think of all the entrepreneurs we’ve known in the last year that have been trying to enter into weed market, CBD market, and say cryptocurrencies. The reason is, because where there’s a lot of risk and a lot of unknowns, there’s a lot of profit opportunity, but those risks are pretty massive. And so you have to have people with risk tolerance, the wherewithal to weather that and this kind of, like, curiosity and tenacity to stick through it while they figure all that shit out.
Right. And, and not just entrepreneurs, I think side gigs to like, if you want to launch a side gig, choosing to do something in and around hemp oil might be one of your best shots at having a take off quickly. And I’m kind of just thinking about this as we’re talking here. But, but we give all these examples that are, you know, past tense, when we talk about side gigs, and our side gig course on the Facebook group, and the blueprint and, and in our, from our guests, you know, our side gigs, yours and eyes. And it’s like, that’s cool that they did that. But now that that industry is either past or that one’s taken, nothing’s really taken in hemp oil. And that’s another cool thing about this, as you listen to this podcast, you’re going to pick up some things that a lot of people don’t know about CBD about hemp, and if you apply, apply that to a side gig model you’ve heard in the past that might be fertile, fertile ground for anyone who’s just trying to do something for make a couple hundred bucks extra month. And that’s also a great place to start. Because as you as you’ve heard these stories on the opt out life, a lot of things start a side gigs. And if you do that, in an industry that there’s a lot of unknowns in a year, you might realize you have something that could be flipped into a business and really go for a run
and you’re using the the, we talked a lot about how side gigs are low risk, if they fail, you haven’t lost a lot of money, a lot of time, if they succeed, then you’re not only make time and money, but you’ll have garnered some expertise, right, which puts you ahead of the curve. And you’re right. Think of all of our guests, some of them that have really early successes in the side, gig space is very often something that has become commodity based. I mean, I wouldn’t say it, you know, it’s passe to be an affiliate marketer sure, but you’re not going to be wearing the Rolex that those guys were 10 years ago. Same without arbitrage. I mean, these, you know, info product marketing, there are a lot of these spaces that had an era where it was the Wild West and so, Saiga years they got in there early, did get a lot of profit from it. And they created sustaining businesses because they became experts pretty early on,
so now’s the time to do that and CBD keep listening along. We’ve heard a little bit about the launch of Ned, some of the products that they’re creating, what rules they need to follow in creating those products, and, and where they’re headed Ratan Adrian are smart entrepreneurs who are in their mid to late 30s who have had big successes in the past. But this is a brand new business for them that was launched in March of 2018, as we’ve heard, and we’re gonna hear more about where they’re taking it and how they’re navigating the Wild West that industry so keep listening. You know,
actually last year when we met Kurt or Ret met Kurt, he had already sold his crop from the previous year, which actually was a blessing because that led us to finding the best extraction facility we think there is in Colorado, and they expect that extraction method that’s really backed by science. And to just give a little more color on that there are a number of ways to extract any sort of oil from a hemp flower. Some of the most common are using butane and supercritical co2. But at the end of the day, what that’s doing is using high he fossil fuels high pressure to basically just like force this extract out of the flower and that is not something that would agree with us It certainly didn’t agree with Kurt our farmer. So the extraction process we’ve been using is this very gentle ambient room temperature ethanol based extraction and only using the hemp flower so we’re not using the whole plant with stocks and seeds and stand and all that stuff included. So it’s very Turpin or rich aromatic oil that comes out of the hemp flowers. And by doing that at ambient room temperature, you very much pulling that out of the fire and into an oil form. So we’ve really seen that to be the best way to maintain the profile of the hemp flower into an oil. And with that, you know, we don’t need to mask our oil with flavoring, which you see a lot of which is just such a shame. The flavonoids and the kind of aromatic Europeans and try columns that are in the oil are straight from the flower I think this will be a good exercise because I’m a relatively lay person consumer of CBD. You know it’s for sale and lazy acres which is like 500 feet from here which is right by my house and all around California it’s it’s available in smoothie shops now. And in natural grocers like that which is pretty new. I think like I was like, you can get CBD and like this isn’t like the last eight months I’ve been like oh my god, you can get it and I’ve purchase pills that I guess we’re just kind of like ground up like capsule style and I’ve also got some like oil which is in like a can that you like
Rub on I think and I’ve also had a vapor pen that’s a CBD and I don’t know much about it beyond that other than there’s not a lot of THC in it. It provides pain relief and it’s kind of been pretty varied for me from when I’ve like taking it in any of those forms being able to feel it or notice it or whatever What do you say to that as far as what would you say to someone like me one of the best things for me to know about the products I’ve probably been purchasing how I’ve been using it and how can I educate myself sure so well yeah you’re right and you’re like many many people who you know start getting curious about the space and are just overwhelmed it’s like
the whole Paradox of Choice situation happening so the way we look at it you know the fastest way to get CBD into your system is through smoking or vaping back comes with its drawbacks as well you know it’s still fairly it’s it’s murky waters with with you know compliance and regulation so you know and also doing vape will would require some mechanical pieces that just don’t really vibe with our brand the second best way to ingest cannabinoids is sublingual e so under your tongue in a tincture so we have three tinctures you know that was our I would say still is our bread and butter you know and it’s something that you would start with about 10 milligrams start slow and low drops under your tongue hold it there for a few breaths and then just swallow it down and that sublingual ingestion will hit your bloodstream lot faster capsules are certainly an option the problem with capsule is is it goes to your digestive tract and your digestive tract will burn off a good portion of the active cannabinoids that you’re paying quite a bit for. So you’re not getting much you know effect from from taking the capsules.
Yeah. And it seemed very varied i think i think that can just that adds variance when it goes through to justice system right we don’t even that day when was last time you’re here What are you doing cx lot of factors. Feel it, I don’t feel it and like what the fuck
total? Absolutely. Yeah. And then, you know, there are so many others, you know, we do have a body butter because, you know, we think as you’re working from the inside out, you should also be working from the outside in if you have muscle aches or cramps or, you know, without making claims. There’s a number of uses for topical CBD. And then we also just launched a line of lip balms, which really are just a great way to regenerate and hydrate your lips while you’re dealing with the elements whether it’s the sun in the summer, the wind and cold in the winter. So we’ve taken just kind of a multi approach. But you know, we’re not all that interested in a lot of this stuff you’d see in these shops and the variance and quality is really just astounding also. And one thing we should touch on is what is CBD and what is full spectrum hemp and that’s a question we get a lot because CBD is the better known term it’s what it’s good it’s the buzz term call it that’s what everybody’s looking for. When in fact CBD is actually one cannabinoid within full spectrum hemp it’s an amazing cannabinoid and it’s the majority of it but when we say full spectrum hemp we say for two reasons because first that’s actually what it is because it’s not just CBD its CBD it CBC its CBD CBDB THC so there’s there’s a lot to it but you know we we really look at CB Canada dial as an incredible activator to everyone’s native endocannabinoid system which is the way you receive cannabinoids picture it as as the bus driving into your system and opening the doors and then all of the other cannabinoids are riding in the back of the bus at each have their own credible healing benefits. And then once his doors are open, they can do their thing. CBD on its own also is not something we’re allowed to put on a label because the FDA is now recognizing it as an ingredient in a pharmaceutical. So the FDA just granted approval to GW Pharmaceuticals for an epilepsy drug for children which speaks to the credibility of this compound but it also create some complications for us because we’re not allowed to but CBD on our label. And all those companies that you see with CBD on their labels are actually out of compliance with the FDA really and you know, it’s last October that doesn’t have the biggest CBD companies or hemp companies are received letters from the FDA threatening action and pulling all that inventory off shelves and hitting them with penalties and just making them hurt.
Interesting. So I think there’s still some over there that says CBD on and there will be
and there there’s many I mean it it doesn’t take much. If you can get your hands on some shitty isolate from China. You could go mix it with some coconut oil stamp CBD on a
bottle and try to go sell it for 40 bucks or whatever.
Yeah, exactly. And it’s a double edged sword of this wild west of the industry is that it’s call it
it’s easy to enter. It’s not easy to succeed. And that’s what we’ve learned. And you know, we have not taken any shortcuts with this product. We have, you know, made a product that is expensive to us. And we’ve pegged it with the market so it’s still approachable. But yeah, as I mentioned before we started recording like it’s been you know, it’s been hard. We’ve had to really work to reclaim margin and kind of work backwards rather than just storming in and being able to spend 90% of the product costs on marketing. It’s definitely not that kind of game.
Okay, I want to talk more about the business side and that game and financing and all that stuff. But someone along this path and we’re talking about consumer perception and the products and the industry itself How can I buy your product right now? Can I buy it online? Can I buy it in the stores and can I buy it no matter where I live
yeah you can buy it on HelloNed.com that’s our website and yeah, you can we shipped to all 50 states were able to do so because the THC levels are beneath point 3%, which is the legal limit.
So people don’t understand that right. Like, and I don’t totally understand it either. Like I feel like well, first of all, when they were CBD in the smoothie shop over there. I was like is this chill out? And then now it’s everywhere. And then then I’ve got these capsules and my wife’s like, Can we fly with these? I’m like, I don’t know. But you’re saying the hard and fast rule is the point three THC. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, that’s where that’s where the line is drawn.
Yeah, and that’s and that’s based on the farm bill which is a piece of us legislation that allows for industrial hemp to be distributed around the country Okay, assuming any products that come out of it are below point 3% THC, okay which is well below any sort of psychoactive level right, which we should highlight for any any listeners who are, you know, not into marijuana like this does not get you high,
right. That’s a big road to hoe for you guys. And everyone in the industry, right is the preconceptions about what CBD is. If it’s weed, if it’s not what it does to you. That’s got to be a little intimidating, frustrating, but it’s also nice, like, sometimes hilarious to really funny.
Yeah, you know, we get a lot of people who really want their mom or dad or uncle or grandma to start using it. And there, you know, I’ve never smoked a joint in my life. And I’m not going to start now. And, you know, in this, that kind of generation gap frustration that happens,
and then, yeah, they use it and they’re immediately Okay, this is good. Okay, Dana, I told you that we would be clearing up some misconceptions that people have about CBD. As we’ve heard more from Ret and Adrian. I asked some lay person questions for my own benefit. And I think they gave us some good answers. So some good meat in the story over the last 15 minutes or so. And a couple things that I want to key in on and then you know, bring up so first of all, they clarified that CBD, the label CBD, the word CBD have been declared a pharmaceutical and their treatment and in the use of for treatment of epilepsy. So there’s some new regulation about labeling. You’ll notice as you go look at Ned’s products, and you can actually do that as we’ve established, you can go to Hello net calm no matter where you live in the US not quite sure about international I’m trying to keep up with these laws. So just give me the benefit here.
If you have 50 state anywhere in the state us you can go on their website by the product and they can ship it to you. So that’s kind of cool to know. But if you go there, you will notice that they’re labeling they use the word hemp are full spectrum hemp, they do not use CBD because of those rules from the FDA. This is pretty new, I think CBD is the term that a lot of people know and identify with and still says, you know, throw CBD in your smoothie smoothie joint but you were just telling me you were right over at the the natural foods market that is near here and I’ve purchased product there that has said CBD oil on it. I bought CBD capsules. But you’ve said they’ve cleared the shells and so today has one over there for lunch and grabbed my wife some what I thought would be CBD oil off the CBD shelf. And everything on that shelf is now labeled hemp oil or some version of hemp. No CBD. So yeah, that was regulations have begun to impact the retailers and obviously the wholesalers that are making the product, packaging them and sending them and I guess ultimately, this is still a win for the industry in the sense that we, you know, we went from the government trying to add CBD to you know, as a schedule one control narcotic to now being approved by the FDA for certain treatments, which means it continue to be added for other therapies. The downside of course, then is that you can’t just smack it on a label and and say that you’re selling this thing that’s approved from certain medicinal uses by the FDA.
Right? Right. Right. And let’s touch on that a little bit like Ret and Adrian have also said that it’s not too hard to start a CBD brand. And now we’ll just call it a hemp brand. These days. We’ve talked about the attraction to this industry because of its wild west nature by our friends and friends of friends and investors and entrepreneurs. And they’re certainly going to be bad actors or actors with the intention of making a quick buck and they know that there’s a lot of eyeballs and interest and curiosity about the industry. That’s what why it’s so ripe with opportunity. But it’s interesting to hear Ned’s approach Hello Ned’s approach to building a brand in this space by not taking the easy route by focusing on quality over ease and cheapness as you could say, and that’s interesting to think about to that, you know, there’s gonna be a lot of people selling this stuff, whether it’s called CBD or hemp here, you see ads on Facebook? Well, actually, you might not see ads on Facebook, but you might see ads for HEMP. I don’t know man, this is the Wild West nature of it. Where can you advertise? What can you say. But when you’re buying it, be careful and be curious about, you know, where it’s being sourced from, who the brand is, there are brands like, like, net out there that you can kind of trace back to that have a story around them that will talk about the farm where they’re sourcing it, it’s just like buying other shit at the grocery store, I suppose. And we’re in a space and time where you should have access to that information. So as a consumer, hopefully, we’ve answered a few of the common questions and getting answers from them. And also instructed you to maybe take a little harder look at where the stuffs coming from, how it’s been sourced, how it’s been extracted. I mean, all this stuff seems to matter. And this is all stuff that we’re all still kind of figuring out
cool story about their business. Actually, if you step back and think these guys were good marketers, right. So they have a history and it’s a cool pivot because they’re moving from something that they were just good at, sort of like the prime market anything. And that gives them the tools to choose maybe what the next life is like, right. And a lot of people have this, hey, I want to do what I love or you know, do something in this space because I’m really passionate about it but then really have any tools and how many skills I’ve gotten sort of know chip at the table cool story here you’ve got some guys that got their chip at the table doing the bro Bible and kind of like becoming good marketers. And then when it comes to realizing through his mom’s story you know that there’s something he’s passionate about with this product he gets to apply all those tools he spent years gathering to do something that combines something he’s become passionate about what’s something he’s good at
Yes. very intuitive interpretation. My friend has you’ve gotten more of their story Ret and Adrian strong sales backgrounds, great entrepreneurs, great salespeople, Adrian with bro Bible, a very cool entrepreneurial, fast pace, New York City success story of the last decade on the media side. And both of these guys, I think, you know, figuring out through through family or through changes and perception of, you know, what they want out of life being drawn back to the outdoors and Colorado and moving back there. And then we’re going to hear about wrath story with his mom, how he came on to this industry and learned about CBD. There’s some great stuff here where we could, you know, probably sit down with these guys for several hours and get some cool story. But there’s some cool background to all this that I want you guys to understand. And as our listeners and hear the story behind Ned and Dana’s point about, you know, you can pick up technical skills from anything, you can pick them up from your job that you hate, which we kind of harp on a bit too, and later, apply those at a point in time where you’ve got the opportunity to pursue something you’re a little more interested in and apply them in a way that Ret Adrian are just now doing, you know, a decade and a half into their careers.
This all started because of my mom. She came down with breast cancer in 2015 and didn’t want to do chemo instead wanted to approach it from a very healthy perspective of nutrition and movements and positive thinking. And, and she really didn’t know what all that meant. And you know, I had a slightly better idea than her. But in order to battle cancer, you need to know what antioxidant is at least you know, and more. And so I really went out and I did a deep dive into the world of superfoods and supplements and everything. And CBD was the one thing that kept coming up over and over and I was buying CBD from the various companies that were around at that time, which feels like a long time ago, which was only three years ago, and I just couldn’t relate to any of those brands. I I didn’t know where their hemp was coming from, how they’re extracting what kind of people they were an all all the way down blood. And last summer, as I mentioned, decided I would look into creating my own for my mom, she just turned 65 was given a completely clean bill of health cancer free and she’s run a couple marathons in the last year. So now that I should say emphatically is not entirely because of the CBD. And CBD does not cure cancer, it can help along with many other things. And my mom has a very strict, incredibly thoughtful nutrition plan that has led to her complete remission from cancer in the morning, I use our body butter, and I just lather up my knees, my hips and whatever else is is aching. If I’ve done a CrossFit lot, or something, you know, on the shoulders, or whatever it is, but the body butter goes on in the morning. And then at night, I usually do but anywhere from 20 to 30 milligrams before bed.
Yeah. And for me my real entry point to this whole space. And this whole thought of natural remedies was going through pretty consequential and series burnout back in 2015, which I can elaborate on here in a minute. But that kind of kicked off a lot of anxiety and made just general living pretty difficult for a little while. So I lean into nature and exercise and you know, or CBD has come in as is with consistent use, it’s really helped manage my anxiety levels. I typically use it before bed just because I sleep so well. And with better sleep anxiety comes down anyway. But you know, in general, it’s a sustained us that there’s kind of a, an effect there. So I take about 25 milligrams before bed. Occasionally, if I’m feeling like I had too much coffee and a little jittery, then I’ll take some during the day. But for the most part, I prefer taking it in the evening to elaborate on my experience, I was for several years living the fast pace New York lifestyle. I had started a digital media publication with a few guys that ended up getting pretty big and getting pretty recognized. And fast forward to when I’m about 30, and I’m I’ve checked off all those boxes that I set out for myself in my 20s, I was living in a sweet little bachelor pad, I was dating a bunch of girls and I was, you know, going on weekend getaways and just like kind of like, had it all and out the back end of it. I was just filled with this, like deep emptiness and I couldn’t figure it out. These questions were total threat to my existential being, you know, like I worked so hard to be this work self. And this was all all of a sudden, not really doing it for me. So I ended up moving on to the UK, I had been advising a company out there that one of the biggest publishers in the UK and thought definitely, it’s the place it’s not the person. So let’s make a change, and it’ll be good. And I got out there and it was great for about a month and then just continued waking up with the same feeling of like, what is my life, this can’t be my life, you know, I felt such emptiness. And, you know, anxiety started to come, which I really really truly felt for. And about six months into that gig. It all culminated where I was presenting in front of our entire company. During our quarterly review, we had about 75 employees at the time. And halfway through, had this full blown panic attack, my voice went out, my hand started to shake. And you know, there’s just this dullness this white and this, there’s just zero connection with my life. And these people around me. And two days later, I broke out and shingles and, you know, this whole world just crashed. It was this house of cards that in that moment just collapsed. So within two weeks of that moment, I was out the door I gotten bought out pretty much fired, you know, they had brought in this hot shot from New York to take them to the next level. And then here I am having a panic attack in front of the entire company. So I for the first time in 10 years, had nothing to do no email to answer to no presentation and do no numbers to hit
and finally had this opportunity to just opt out step away and the only thing I knew how to do is just get on a plane and go somewhere. So I ended up jumping on a plane to Katmandu and that kicked off what I thought might be three months but ended up being about 20 months of solo traveling around the world, and just leaning into writing and taking photos and in nature, most importantly, starting to explore spirituality. Like what does that mean in my life, all these parts of my life that I had left unexplored because I was so consumed in this race, in that New York lifestyle that really revolved around work women and partying for me, and there’s just no escape from that little triangle, you know, so upon landing back in the US Ret and I had been in touch and, you know, Colorado is on my radar, and it all just kind of started to align where I knew that whatever came next would need to be driven with purpose and, you know, be meaningful so that my life could be sustainable. And yeah, you know, after read Matt, Kurt, as he was pulling out of the farm, me, I got a call from Ret, and he was just out of breath, and excited. And, you know, he told me, he said, I found it, buddy,
yeah, and that’s a long soliloquy of life and business and challenges, challenges, overcome finding yourself and very a long lies the opt out life to as you look back at it, and maybe in the frame of what I’ve even told you about what we’re doing here and highlighting stories of people who are who found themselves in that point, or who are trying to do it along the way, so they don’t end up at that point, as you reflect on what you’ve learned, I mean, what are the one of the lessons to pass back
to those who may? Well, if I, you know, if I would need to condense into three things, it would probably be first just be this connection to the natural world, and how important it is for humans, you know, a lot of my most grounded and healing moment came in nature by myself, whether it was in the redwoods, or the Himalayas or the Andes, just that connection to being outside and in the elements is, it’s in our DNA, it’s, it’s like the where we’re supposed to be living. Second point actually relates to relish talking about in this idea of like feeling capable, engaging and practical skills that I had completely either let go or never engaged in because my life was in front of a computer, or at a bar or running around New York City. So things like chopping wood, or gutting a fish or sailing and tying boat knots engaging in these types of active activities, honestly, just made me feel more capable, made me feel like a better human. So that was, that was another thing that was just super awesome to do. And I still do because it creates a really good balance. And then third was honestly just understanding deeper human connection. And that starts with vulnerability. It starts with self honesty, which leads to honesty with other people. And
the more honest you are, the more people will gravitate towards you and connect with you. And the more vulnerable you are, the more comfortable people feel with you. Because you’re not trying to posture you’re not trying to position you’re not an trying to save
face or whatever it is, like, you know, three years ago, I never would be on a public podcast talking about a panic attack. But you know, as I had gone through that, and started sharing this, what I thought was humiliating, experience
it connected with so many people. And as I started writing about it, you know, and still to this day, I’ll get messages from people who are experiencing some level burnout or some level of anxiety and they’ll come to me for advice. And it’s such a gift to be able to share what little wisdom I’ve gathered on the way and I do my best. But at the end of the day, none of that would have ever happened if I didn’t become vulnerable. And Ned would have never happened because, you know, Ret and I really connected on this mission that I was on, you know,
Dana, as I sat here with these two, dreaming about dumping some other hemp oil in my mouth, and relaxing for the evening, I wanted to incorporate both of their personal stories as much as I could as much as time would permit, because these are two like life journeys that are really interesting. And they do lead back to the opt out life and how they’ve partnered together now and this industry on the cutting edge. And they both experienced points in time where they’ve had to make a decision where they’ve, you know, they’ve moved abroad to pursue financial gain. They focused on money, they’ve ignored their health, they’ve had a young age gone after what they thought was what they wanted. And then they figured out at the age of 30, that it wasn’t an Adrian’s case, he was living the fast life in New York City with a media company that got acquired and he found out that all the stuff he was doing, you know, in the office and outside of the office was was not, you know, sustainable. Not what do you want a long term and rats case, he ends up starting a family and having the situation with his mom lead him to have a whole new perspective on life. So both of them kind of come back home in a way eventually to Colorado where they both went to school and the whole hemp oil thing really applies to both of them in some ways, both as a remedy for Ret as an athlete. For Adriaan. Someone who’s has anxiety on the product fits and the story fits with where they want to be, they’re going to grow business that focuses on all natural products, on health, on wellness on on focusing on things that they’ve come to realize are the more important things in life. And I think that’s cool. I think there’s some opt out to all that.
Yeah, for sure. I mean, you’ve got burnout, I would encourage people to consider what people do when they burn out and try to do that before you burn out. Right. Which is sort of what it what I think I was lucky because when I went to Bali, I was on the cusp of that but I had already kind of built an opt out life but then you know, through circumstances that kind of let that get out of control and I scaled it back and it took a lot of work but you can kind of build your opt out life much more intentionally if you step back hear these stories see where you know the fast lane leads and start thinking very intentionally like what what do people do when they want the opt out life well they get out of that fast lane right they know they realize it’s pretty fruitless just making a bunch of money and working harder and longer and and you know I don’t know bang more chicks or whatever you know whatever their passion at the moment is step back and and we’re always talking about travel and people sometimes you’re like well why is that such you know opt out life Why is travel a piece of the opt out life look man once you’ve actually touched everything you want and done what you wanted and you know and burned out for example what do they do? Go to Katmandu
Yeah. Go to Katmandu you go to Bali,
right? So yeah, for those of you out there on the cusp of burnout step back. You know, think about what you’re doing. Take a break, maybe do that opt out very intentionally before life forces it on you.
Yeah, I mean, what can people they can take a day off find some silence. I think some of the stuff that threaten Adrian talk about I feel like, I don’t want to hear I say that a few times on this podcast where it’s hard for me to even be like, Oh, yeah, I’ll go out and chop wood, like, oh, fucking awesome. Like, yeah, but if I were actually went out into the woods and chop some wood, I probably would have an awesome day. And it would be more about the peace of mind and the break from, you know, whatever path I’m on. And I think sometimes it’s hard to, it’s easy to dismiss that stuff as, like, oh, they’re just being a little hippie or something like that. And the reality is, I think back to some of my happier times, even in the last few months. And almost all of them have been out and around nature in some way. I was thinking about that, as I was reflecting on before we do this inner this voiceover I was kind of surprised to be like, man, yeah, when I was in Montana, on the water, or when I was in Sweden, in the park, I can think about all these times, and I was outside. And there’s something about that that’s like,
natural and makes sense. But there’s also I think it’s the peace of mind. And we’re all searching for that peace of mind in some way, if we’re headed towards burnout, or if we’re just working a job and thinking we want to opt out a lot of its up in our head. And I think what they found is that when they got out of that fast lane and got into those environments, they were able to kind of figure shit out. And hopefully you can do that before, as you’re saying, You fall off the cliff. And, and about there, then empty pockets, got a call from another friend’s father, and asked if I would become a sales representative for their mirror manufacturing business in New York City. And I’m not a city guy, even though I’ve spent a lot of time in cities, and ended up there in 2007. And, you know, I did it for the money. Also, I did it for the desire to continue to connect with people from all over the world. And New York City is one of the best places to do that. Or you’re in, I’m rocking and rolling, everything’s going great. I’m way ahead of the curve. And then 2008 happens October and hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit during the recession. And, you know, until that point, money was not really, you know, front and center for me, then going through the recession, as a business owner in New York City, you know, that was tough. And that changed me, I grew up with very little money, you know, same story, a lot of people have, you know, we didn’t have money, but we had what we needed. That wasn’t always the case. But, you know,
we had what we needed. But money after 2008 became a big issue for me. And
yeah, I wanted to chase it. And I’ve done a lot of things since then, to chase money. And in the in the name of money for money, I moved back to Saudi Arabia with big dollar signs. In my eyes, I was on that path. And we were doing quite well, business was great. But just before moving there, I had gotten married. And we had our daughter on the way and
it took a little while a year and change to realize that that wasn’t going to be the right situation for them. And I had to choose between amazing business opportunities, and really a dream that I had set for myself, which was to be very successful in the Middle East, and choose my family and, you know, chose the family. And it’s been the best thing I’ve done, because it’s choice that comes from the heart. And it has also led me home to Colorado and Colorado, moving there in 2014, it has given me the space to become who I really am. And it’s led to genetics led to eventually being in a position and a place to want to create a company that will help people reconnect with nature through our products. Let’s talk
about how you two met actually don’t even know where along the store you guys meet and why this partnership is happening. You know, we’ve gotten some great Back stories, I could probably do podcast just on each of your back stories. I want to hear more. They’re cool. It’s led to you both, I think being very experienced people who have a deliberate idea about who they want to be, what kind of business situation they want to be, and what kind of life they want to lead. And how is it led to net? Why does your partnership work? How did this coalesce all those things? Yeah,
so Ret and I are long term buddies from our New York days, we actually both went to University of Colorado at Boulder, but didn’t know each other at school route was a few years ahead of me. And then as things do, you run in the same circles in New York City, from your alumni, your alma mater. So who knows where and when that exactly happened. But, you know, running fast times in New York City, we were, you know, fast friends, and, you know, never really probably dug into what we did, per se, but I think there was just like, Oh, is this a level of respect there that I knew that red had his own business,
he had a fair bit of success there. And once I took off on my little spirit quest, I would get check ins from read and he really took an interest in what I was going through. And then, you know, I pass through boulder is after I come home from India, and swung through the mountains. And we, we went on a little winter hike, and, you know, I had some, like, definitely not like winter hiking boots, and we just, like climbed up a snowy hill, that wasn’t a trail, and we’re just, we’re just in it. And, you know, now is the first time that we kind of acknowledge, like, chill, we should do something together. That was not the right time, because I was still traveling. And, you know, ideas were still in infancy. But, you know, that relationship continued. And then post travels as trying to launch this retreat concept, and Ret came out and ran the nature portion. And we just realized, like, we’re good at working together. What do you guys both bring to the table? Like, how do you divide and conquer? How do you balance each other? How do we shake and bake? Exactly?
How does it work? Because we’ve had people on there, like, you know, I’ve struggled with deciding to have a partner, we get asked, like, should I have a partner, and let’s talk about some of the reasons why you should and why you guys are doing it.
Ya know, we, we shake and bake quite well, we complement each other every day. And
I know Adrian is incredibly good at the marketing branding creation side of the business. So he’s the, the brand behind the brand, Ned, the graphic design the website all the forward facing collateral literature. That’s all Adrian’s brain trust, you know, I’ll let Adrian, speak to what I bring to the table after I compliment him a little bit more.
Yeah. So. And, you know, Adrian also brings a great technical aptitude to the partnership, which is not exactly my strong suit. I’m more like, from the heart and big picture and Amadou lob and gotta thinking as opposed to prefrontal cortex. I, I struggle with that. So, you know, Adrian’s very good at at filling in those of my gaps
and read brings the toe shoes,
ski, you know, what I always knew about red is like, he is a relationships guy, it was frustrating, like, going out to a bar with red, because all of a sudden, every girl in the borrowed be around them, yeah, then he just captivate people. And it was always very charismatic. And so from the relationship and kind of relationship building front mean, there’s no one better, you know, he has a background as a sales guy, he doesn’t mind rolling up sleeves and getting into the boring stuff in my eyes, which is the legal and the numbers and, you know, the stuff that I just, you know, my eyes glaze over when we have to do that stuff. So, from top to bottom, it’s been a good partnership, and, you know, read, he took initiative on this stuff. And I think I just, I needed that kind of partner in that point in my life where I was coming out of this massive transition and transformation. And yeah, it was just it, honestly, it just aligned. And that’s and that’s the thing like is, we all get older, we start to realize, like, no matter what, no matter how high the peaks are, how the low the valleys are, like, it’ll all be okay, how will you get the get the attention how you get the story out there, I mean, you’ve got a background in this stuff. So I’m curious to hear. I mean, as we’re launching a relatively nascent business itself that’s heavy on content story mean, doing things like this, I think help but a bigger plans to, you know, get eyeballs. And we’re going to be perfectly honest, I’m learning because as I was saying, in our last meeting, is it’s kind of like taking a runner crow barring his knees and throwing them into the race. Because being in a hemp business, Google won’t allow you to advertise it, Facebook won’t allow you to advertise it. So all of a sudden, I’m left without these, you know, the two devices that I really knew in my last business.
So so we’re learning and when we launched back in March, we buy in taking the soft launch approach. We literally set our site live and started telling friends and family and we thought that our first batch would last us three months and it lasted us three weeks. And the long term goal for us what would make it a success would be as if Ned becomes the first line of defense for those who are looking for wellness those who are looking to break from of the prisons that they’re in whether their pain anxiety, insomnia depression long term we want people to look to Ned for those natural remedies and net is not just a CBD brand, we just so happen to have started with CBD or full spectrum hemp oil, it’s in our backyard. And it’s by far the most difficult because of all the regulations. So I kind of look at it as a baseball player, you know, getting in the on deck circle, you got the donuts on your bat and you’re swinging it, it’s heavy, man, once we’re past CBD, I feel like we’re going to just take those donuts off and we’re going to be so much further, you know, our knowledge base will be that much further along and muscles flexed in order to successfully launch our next several product lines outside of the cannabis space.
Okay, let’s bring this back to the opt out life. I think as we get a little bit closer, finishing up here. I mean, my first question with that is you’ve you’ve launched a business with the relatively big ambitions in a in an industry will say that has a lot of minds that you have to navigate, as you’ve just described, with a good a good metaphor. You’ve also done a lot of things in your life, like moving to Saudi Arabia, as a recent college grad bailing is in so many words, on a, you know a great situation in New York and London to travel to Katmandu and go on a spiritual journey. Do people ever call you crazy now we’re in the past,
surprisingly not be friends, then people are honestly more curious, like how to do this. And that’s really where, you know, there’s just like, a level of interest. You know, how much he do you mean, you like, left everything you like, sold stuff, and you put it in storage. And you don’t have a place to live in here.
How, you know,
so I think it was less less. I mean, I’m sure maybe people were calling me crazy. Just show my face. True. But you know, who’s perhaps also the way I was receiving the world is, I wasn’t, I just didn’t hear criticism, probably for the first time in my life.
And what’s the answer to how you pull that off for you? You just decided to do it. And when step by step Are you let go?
Yeah, well, I mean, it wasn’t really a choice for me that burnout, awesome. And just breaking. You know, I, the next time I was in the boardroom, after that panic attack, I had another one. And I realized that
something had shifted, and there was no coming back from it. So I was very fortunate that, you know, I was bought out and I had put some money away. And, you know, I had some runway, which I realize, you know, and telling my story, you know, could come across this insensitive to those who don’t have those opportunities. But at the same time, when I was in India, I was living on less than $15 a day for everything for how to for transport for food. And, you know, by the end of it, you know, when I was in New Zealand, I’ve spent 25 out of 30 nights in a tent and I hitchhiked the entire island. And, you know, I was not living a lavish lifestyle. It’s all about living, living with as few means as possible. What I do tell people and then call me is, you know,
just go book a ticket, you know, as long as you’re not already, like in $100,000, a dad or something like,
Yeah, what’s another fine, yeah, you know,
it is it is doable. And the first step is really just booking a flight. And once you book your flight, you’re on, you’re going
well, and the other thing I wanted to ask it in your case to is a, you have a family and your start, and you’ve gotta, you gotta start up basically, right? How does that play into, you know what you guys are building here, because there’s a different set of pressures that are they’re playing on you.
Yeah, there are definitely pressures.
My wife is incredibly supportive. She’s incredibly supportive. And in fact, she’s literally supportive, not just figuratively, she helps us out she and I were up until 2am, the other night packaging and bottling and labeling nice she’s doing our shipping right now. Thank you, baby, then we’re getting quite a lot of orders right now. So she’s busy, my daughter, you know, there’s a lot of responsibility there I have held on to and I still actively, very actively work on my my other business which is in the sales industry. And so I have very good income coming from there. And in fact, I’m among the top of my field in that industry. And I imagine at the time when Ned becomes full time, there will be quite a bit of talk that he’s crazy
areas. Yeah, he’s crazy. He’s, he’s worked so hard, and he’s going to give this up. But but that’s the goal. That’s the goal. I want to pursue what I’m most passionate about life is really fucking short. So and my wife, she said to me, once, when she saw how unhappy I was in my my other business, she said, You have to pursue what you’re passionate about. Because our daughter sees you. And I don’t want her to see her father working day in, day out. It’s something he’s not happy about.
so that’s my kind of wife.
Absolutely. So often, I hear that it’s very much a family affair. When there’s things are in there. They’re staying up till 2am and helping shift and not only the emotional support and the advice and all that too well, cool, guys. Let’s end it on something fun. Sometimes we do this thing where we, my partner and I and our guest we decided to like if we could go somewhere tonight to the airport right now and fly somewhere where everyone gets to pick a spot but I actually just want to ask you to and we’ll see if you can agree on one if the three of us went down to San Diego airport very close to here right now. We could fly anywhere time doesn’t matter Spence doesn’t matter where we go. Where would you want to take me
I’m kind of feeling Patagonia again.
Nice. All right. There’s a reason that
it’s okay to say that Yeah, you know, I spent six amazing weeks in Patagonia 2016 and there’s just this itch I have right now yeah just talking about it with Brittany my my girlfriend and we might have mentioned it here and there in passing but that place it’s just as pristine as it gets so we’d go down there we go on a hike yeah I think we we’d fly into one service and you know have a have a good steak dinner and make our way down south you know we’d have to jump on another flight so you know start all the way down south and work away up in one country now a good time to go
Yeah. Summer summer
where Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re at the shoulder now so okay. Yeah, it’s it’s warming up
well, let’s Let’s all make a bunch of money with our ventures. And let’s make this happen. Let’s go put here so we can get jet but cool, guys. Thanks for stopping by. You know, it’s cool to work in both your stories here. I’m excited to see what happens with Ned and given a where you’re at with the business. I think we should have you back at some point.
So let’s do it. We love it. Absolutely. Thanks so much. Thank you. If you like what Dana and I are doing these stories of cool people sprinkled with our insights are valuable to you. Do me a favor. Wherever you get your podcasts, go and click the subscribe button right now. Our goal is to spread these stories to as many people as possible and change lives. Let’s do that. We need subscribers. Hopefully, we’ve helped you to start to see things differently. And there’s more to come after you subscribe to the podcast. Go over to opt out live. com, get on our email list and join the opt out life movement. Being on that list will get you early access to our course which is called the opt out life blueprint as well as our tribe membership and upcoming events. Hope
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