Ep. 42 The Finances of Cannabis

Andrew Gordon is a dedicated technologist leading the charge to build and connect Montana’s next-generation, high growth economy to the rest of the world. He specializes in working with small and medium-sized businesses on strategic marketing, digital media, branding, and new technologies to streamline their operations and refine their growth strategies. Andrew is a graduate of the University of Montana and has a deep background in geospatial technologies (GIS). He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Montana Ambassadors and mentoring transitioning military veterans from active duty to successful civilian careers. When he’s not evangelizing Montana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, he can be found exploring the trails around Helena, MT with his wife and two children.

In this episode, we talked about:

  • Andy’s success as a Business Finance Advisor
  • Entrepreneurial journey
  • Specialties in entrepreneurship
  • Do some mentorship for entrepreneurs
  • Specialty in cannabis sales
  • How to market the sales 
  • And Much More!

Connect with Andy:

Https://www.facebook.com/AndrewRGordon
Twitter: @montrepreneurs
Insta: @montrepreneur
Https://www.linkedin.com/agordon-ventures
Transcription:
Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.


Eric Malzone
We're live. Andy Gordon, welcome to the Black Diamond podcast. Thanks, Eric. Glad. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it. Yeah, yeah, it's great to have you, I appreciate you taking the time out as we were discussing, you know, before the call you got

Eric Malzone
you're in the startup phase in a business you got two kids homeschooling yet stuff going on, man, this is, uh, this is COVID 2020. Welcome to the party. Yeah, it's a new dance for all of us. And it's been a, it's been an interesting learning curve for the kids and the parents alike. But we're, we're making do so. Yeah. So give every making do that's like the theme of the year and for people, you know, just to referencing today's recording date is December 1 2020. So I always I've been doing that a lot lately on these podcasts. Because who knows what December 2 is going to bring this year? It seems like we're just used to a lot of crazy stuff going on. But yeah, man, it's, it's great to connect with you. I think, you know, initially we we chatted, you know, via LinkedIn and just being business people in the great state of Montana and having very, you know, I guess similar values when it comes to business and entrepreneurship and all that good stuff. I'm excited for this conversation. So, you know, gentlemen, we're where we kick things off. Andy is just give us your background, man, how'd you how'd you get to where you are now? Sure. So Montana native,

Andy Gordon
actually, from Holland originally, which is where the internet finds me today, at my house here, but sort of did some traveling around and spent the better part of a decade down in Colorado, right in Denver, from about 2000 till the end of 2007 or 2008, I guess early and, and then circled back to Montana, and the typical Montana Boomerang kid, I guess.

Andy Gordon
And, and wanted to, you know, after you grow up here, and you, you try to try mightily to move away and go out and have fun in the world. And, and then you realize just how good you had it. And you know, sometimes we we have kiddos along the way, and you want to give them the upbringing that you had in the wilds of Montana, so you try like hell to get back. And so that's what we did. Professionally, you know, I've I sort of have a tale of two careers a little bit.

Andy Gordon
I, for the first 14 years of my professional career, I worked for a global consulting engineering firm called CDM. Smith, not an engineer, but I was a specialized in geospatial information systems GIS guy. So lots of cartography, lots of database manipulation, all that fun stuff in a typical corporate cubicle environment, and cut really, really tired of that, by by your 14 and had really kind of been trying to stretch my legs on the typical nights and weekends path with some side hustles and working with other people on their startups, a fitness startup and doing more marketing and sales work, client facing stuff and really found that I enjoyed that. And so made the definitive switch in late 2014. And started my first sort of real, real startup, if you will kind of burn the boats, quit the day job and went full time and with a group of other guys and started a mergers and acquisitions advisory firm, which was kind of funny, because I had zero background in that. But it was it was really, really fun help learning curve got me out in front of clients and customers and prospective customers and, and scratching that itch. And then found also that, you know, I had a sort of newfound love of finance, finance and financial services in general and sort of the economic infrastructure of the world, if you will, and so have been stayed in the sales and marketing gig gigs, sort of Ever since then, if not with my companies with other folks small, generally small business businesses and other startups. And so spent the last well last certainly last six years, but I always say the the majority of this decade honing that sort of skill set and starting up and building teams and effective leadership and sort of being a student of that game, which is continues now. Actually, just as I told you, within the last two weeks, with a new role in a relative startup, as a sales director for quantum Business Solutions, a financial services firm out of Missoula, Montana. And we're actually right in the process of rebranding. So we're going to be called endeavor financial insights from now on, but excited for this role. And, you know, even though we don't necessarily advertise it, we do have a sort of definitive specialty in the cannabis space, which I know is kind of a hot topic, given the the slew of ballot initiatives that just passed with the 2020 election cycle around the country more and more states are are having sort of legalization statutes on the books and it's it's fun to be in a wild west type space like that now.

Eric Malzone
Yeah, yeah, Wild West is right. It's, you know, I look at that I'm, how do I put this I am not naive to cannabis. And, you know, it's been in my life since, you know, really teenage years. And, you know, I've seen it evolve from this, like, you know, hush hush thing right. Now to it's wide in the open, and I remember in, I think it was probably circa 2010, when I was in Santa Barbara, California, when the first medical dispensary opened. And I walked in, and I was just blown away, like, I couldn't believe it was happening, right? Like, what, like, you can just walk in and it was, it was we joked It was kind of like everyone had like, their hat down low. And, you know, no one wants to see each other because you're afraid you'd see someone you know, and, and now, how different it is, right? I mean, it's, it's talked about all the time, it's like, people who I know who would have, I don't know, I'm not gonna say against cannabis, but maybe misunderstood it or, like, I take an edible every night with my wife, right? Like, that's just, that's just the way things are. And it's, it's crazy how fast it seemed to go from underground to mainstream. And now, you know, and education. And now, of course, as you mentioned, what you guys are doing, you're tackling some of the bigger growing pains that the industry is seeing. So I definitely want to tackle that. And one of the things I want to ask you, because I think we're both you know, at heart, you know, just business development guys, right? Like I, you know, I do coaching, and I do some sales work, and I do a lot of things, podcasting is obviously a great hobby of mine. But business development is really what I enjoy doing. It's where my mind goes, whenever I look at a business, what do you think, you know, when you look at it, you've been doing this for a long time to what do you think are the qualities that make for a good business development salesperson?

Andy Gordon
Well, you know, I think it might sound it's probably going to sound cliche, but you know, I think first and foremost, you got to be you got to be curious, eternally curious. And coupled with that, you have to be a great listener, you know, you got to have a, if you got those first two qualities, you're, you're more than half the way there, I think of being an excellent sales marketing person, business development person, I think that, you know, part of it too, obviously, the end of the day, you got to have a nose for the nose for the football is a they used to say, right, and you got to know, know how to get after it, find the pain points, and, you know, within a reasonable with reasonable timing, understand whether or not you can help help folks. And, you know, I think that the other, the other huge thing that I've had to learn over and still, you know, I'm a student every day, you know, 1% better every day, and there's no no such thing as perfect in my world. But I think that, you know, the other thing that you have to have a certain humility to understand if you can't help folks, and you got to be okay with that, you got to be you know, and I think leading with that sort of authenticity in a sales cycle, and understanding and putting it right out there and with a potential client or a prospect and saying, you know, it might, if it's not a good fit, that's fine, you know, if I can help you, and even if we don't consummate some sort of deal, and I will, but you walk away, you know, better for the interaction. Fantastic. I still when I feel good about it, and hopefully the other person does, too. So I think coming with that sort of mentality lens lens to the authenticity of the sale, which is a lot different than, you know, some of the the divisions that folks conjure up of used car salesman's or, you know, hard sell tactics and other sort of things to give the, the give the game a bad name,

Eric Malzone
I guess. Yeah. Yeah, I agree. It's, it's interesting thing. So, you know, my first 10 years of my, I guess, career out of college was all different kinds of sales, right? And you get this education on, you know, closing tactics, and, you know, all these things that you know, just sound very aggressive, right, like, Hunter killer type things, and I found that over the years, that's all it's like, if I really push to get a yes, like I was really just like, well, I gotta close and we gotta get that signature, right? That what happens is you get a false yes many times and then and then you Get ghosted, right? So people are maybe you know, and here's the other thing, if you're a business owner, and you can't look around at your staff and point out who the salesperson is, you are the salesperson, right? So get used to. And everybody's got to do sales and business development, especially if you're in business for yourself or, you know, part of an entrepreneurial team. Everybody sells, right. So that's, that's been a huge, I think you pointed out something is really valuable is if you, you know, I've learned if I just focus on being someone of value, and not being worried about necessarily closing the sale today or even next week, but just educating, listening, asking more questions, seeing if it's the right thing, and having almost like, you're almost trying to talk someone out of a sale, right? in a weird way, that you become much more effective. It's, I can't explain why the psychology that is we call it the buyers mindset, when I work with mentoring business owners is you got to go in there as if you're buying that client, like you're investing in them. And when you start asking questions like that, it shifts the whole, I guess, mindset of the conversation, and it's, it's far more effective, because as you both and I, we both know, is, you know, someone may say, you know, now's not a good time, or this is a no right now. But you never know, when that person moves to a different company, or maybe the circumstance changes or budgets flow a different way. You always want to be on the radar. And yeah, I think that's just sounds like a sign of maturity. And,

Andy Gordon
yeah, absolutely, well, you want to be memorable, right? Because you can say, you know, which, which, you know, when the next rocks gonna get turned over. And, and all of a sudden, you know, opportunities do flow your way, and you got to be ready to catch up. And part of that is tending to your network. And the part of that, which is amazing, an amazing sort of benefit of sales marketing, in general, is that you, you develop authentic relationships, or and even if they're one or two, two time, you know, interactions with folks, if you are authentic, you're more memorable. And, you know, I'm likely to my signals likely to get through that noise with somebody. And yeah, I've had folks, two, three years down the road, call me up out of the blue only ever met them, like remotely say, like online, sort of like our situation, and be like, hey, I've been following you ever since our last conversation. And you know, I've recently changed careers, or I've got a client that needs exactly what you're doing right now. It actually just happened to me, I'll tell you what, it just happened with this job, um, two weeks into this role, sort of trying to build on our internal sales, infrastructure and everything else. And I had randomly had a friend in network friend, so a little more than, you know, just a friendly acquaintance. But still, I haven't spoken to him in a while. And, you know, right off the bat, I kind of tell them, what I'm doing is like, Okay, well, I you know, I have a client right now in the cannabis space, and we're actually sell side representation on their deal. They're selling their company right now. And they need exactly the kind of services that you guys are providing. So why don't you get in touch with the CEO? Right. And it's it, I don't know if, you know, it's not a done deal. There's no income page or anything like that. But I will say it's a fantastic lead. And the fact that our mutual friend was able to connect us like that, I mean, that's the warmest intro you'll ever get. And it was because we have an authentic relationship, and it's not transactional, so,

Eric Malzone
yeah, yeah, it's powerful. Do you have you read the book? The go giver?

Andy Gordon
Yes. Yes, I have.

Eric Malzone
It's, it's my Yes. Yeah, it's, it's my favorite. It's the most, it's my most gifted book, which means I've given it to the most people. I give it to a lot of my new clients I give it used to give it to people in my gym, I just really believe in and I guess, if I was gonna sum up, one of the most simple tenants is you always want to be providing more value than you take in return. In any interaction you had, if you kind of strive for that ideal, you'd be shocked at how many good things happen, but it takes faith. That's the thing is, you gotta like just be out there doing the right thing for a long time and have faith that it's going to come back your way. You know, I don't believe in like doing things with zero expectations, because then you just don't feed yourself. But there is there is a certain amount of like, mysticism about it, which which I really like and I think that's, you know, people like yourself who you know, have been effective in sales and business about their own roles, get that and usually, they're not salesy at all, like, you know, I don't push anything. In fact, I oftentimes try to push people away from the deal. You one of my favorite ones, I'll just tell people, hey, well, you know, why don't you sleep on it? And, you know, let's touch base and they're like, No, no, no, no, I want to send them out. Like, you know, I prefer I prefer that you sleep on it, you know, and, and we'll touch base tomorrow, and they're like, okay, and it always works and it just reaffirms, you're not gonna have to worry about that sale. Six months from now or two. Two months from now, because they've they're in, you know. So anyway, I could talk about that for days. But I want to talk about the financial aspects of the cannabis industry. What is unique about that and an issue? Because they we talked, we alluded to it earlier, there's there's certainly some unique challenges that they're facing at this early stage. What are you seeing as the the big challenges?

Andy Gordon
Yeah, in sort of a understanding completely, that this is a fairly short timer here, but but read up, and, you know, that wasn't an overnight decision joining this team here. So I'm researching and, and real world sort of case studies from from our client base. That means the obvious one that every Well, I won't say everybody knows about, but most people tend to think about is the fact that all of the majority, not all, but the majority of businesses in or related to the cannabis space are largely unbanked. And that's because of the federal statutes, you know, still still criminalizing marijuana. And, and so and only having the legalization initiatives passed that that set of state by state level, you know, commercial, commercial banks are notoriously risk averse. Anyhow, like anybody that's spent some time trying to finance anything traditionally in the startup world, and those that unless you're like opening a restaurant strange, because those have a super high failure rate. And I never understand why they, I guess, because there's always a good collateral that they can lend against, but whatever, anyway. So So these folks are largely unbanked. And that's everybody, what we've, what I've noticed is everybody from the light manufacturing company, to the that, that supplies exclusively, machine products, you know, for cannabis processing, to the local dispensary on a corner. And those are generally who people think over the pot shops or whatnot, but the dispensaries have a hell of a time. Even just opening bank accounts. And so now they're faced with this, you know, running around with all this cash, having to conduct transactions exclusively in cash in most cases. And it's just it raises, it raises their risk profile, as business owners just just by having to operate like that. And so we work with our clients to try to help them help them navigate. navigate those banking relationships, we're not magic workers. So you know, aside from the occasional Community Credit Union, or non FDIC insured entity that's willing to go out on a limb and do that for these folks, you got to kind of get creative with some of their business structures, and provide every opportunity for them to diversify, it's not unlike, it's really not unlike building out a portfolio of invest investment assets, right? different classes in this case would be you know, businesses properties, you know, other things that are that you can collateralize that can establish relationships that make it easier for you as an operator within the cannabis space to do that. So that's, that's the obvious one. And then but what I will also say is, I've noticed which is kind of our wheelhouse is even, it goes so far as the professional services. There are a handful, and God bless him of CPA firms and law firms out there that specialized specialized in cannabis clients, but it's still got just enough of a stigma that those folks want to kind of keep away from it to a certain extent to, and that makes it doubly tough. So you're already facing a tough banking environment now and you need professional services to help you navigate that those are those guys are still kind of shy about providing those services to you as well for the same type of reasons. So it's, it is the Wild West, as I said at the opening it that's the fun part for me and for us in this business, it's, you know, if you're willing to if you're willing to go there, and you're willing to sort of create the future, as we all you know, continue to grow into this new normal of legalized cannabis. There's some really good opportunities to be found, and some really great support that you can land in business owners and great awkward entrepreneurs that deserve that kind of support. That that I feel good about every night going to bed that we're helping so

Eric Malzone
that's crazy, man. It's it's, you know, you can find roles in business that align with your values. It's just everything goes well. It's just like, you know, this grease in the wheel 100 times you know, you get excited about what you're doing. That rolls into the conversations. You have And near the amount of energy that you bring to it, it's it's a really, it's a really powerful thing. I know, you're just getting into it, but what about like, you know, taxes for, let's say dispensaries and things like that? I mean, it seems like I don't know where that is, but it sounds like it's deferring a lot per state. What does that overall scenario look like? Yeah,

Andy Gordon
I mean, that's when you talk about account accounting, specifically, it really is a struggle, and especially if folks are, if the clients you're dealing with are either like big msos, multi state operations, in terms of sort of franchise, the dispensaries and grow operations and that kind of thing. Or they just, you know, like I said, if there's sort of ancillary providers of goods and services to the industry, but but operate across jurisdictions, they had a heck of a time trying to navigate the ins and outs of each of these state level statutes. You know, and you can even just look at how the, how these ballot initiatives are being passed, and many places where there's often that's not just one initiative, you know, this, these ones that just passed here, this fall. You know, Montana is the obvious one that is near and dear to my heart, because that's where I live and watched it. But I think South Dakota two had their essentially two initiatives on the ballot on the ballot that had to be twinned, in order to create the legal structure for, for, for people to consume it legally. And for it to be taxed, and regulated. So it's there's just, if it takes me two initiatives at the same time, and each one's a failed point, just to get like medical, across the ballot and, and approved, it kind of it speaks volumes about exactly how the state legislators are setting everything up for businesses and proprietors, those businesses with the loops, the hoops they gotta jump through. And so each state is going to be different. And each one of those laws is going to require a different finagling to make sure you're meeting meeting all the requirements for that jurisdiction. And so a lot of the accounting firms that do this kind of work and certainly our firm are going to be Yeah, I mean, it takes a I wish it worked is cut and dried as as, you know, one fell swoop federal legalization. Law, but that's just not the case right now. And, and frankly, I mean, that's, I guess, that's part of the reason people need us. So I shouldn't complain too much about it. We help them navigate all those ins and outs.

Eric Malzone
Yeah, I mean, the bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity, right. I mean, it's, it sounds like you're gonna be getting a crash course in local politics, as well.

Andy Gordon
Yeah, I know, we got the session coming up, too. We're about to head into the the biennial session here in Montana. And you can bet that there's going to be a heck of a lot of lobbying going on right in my backyard. And they'll probably be I don't know, with COVID. But I guarantee I'll be wrapped up in some part of that effort as we seek to create positive outcomes and work with our legislature legislators around the state, especially conservative state like Montana, to ensure the success of the the voters will, so

Eric Malzone
yeah, and and the state did take a massive conservative swing, basically, in all fronts in this in this past November two is really interesting to see. So I got more questions about cannabis. So what just to kind of simplify it down for people? I mean, right now, if a dispensary owner I know a different state by state or even county by county. But they can't put money in the bank. Right? Are they can like what what's what's that specific? Why is it so unique? Well, nationally, I should say,

Andy Gordon
Yeah, well, I mean, that's just it. It's it's the risk profile with straight cash transactions and handling that get what do you do with that cash? Where do you keep it? We've got, we've got clients that, you know, are struggling to establish just the bare minimum bank banking, so they can have ATMs in the shop. And those ATMs are so over utilized. That, you know, they fill up with cash, I mean, essentially, and and so now they've got to figure out how Okay, so how do I transfer that and where do we get it, you know, into other accounts, or how do I you know, it It's very, I'll say this, um, logistics of that seem to have created an entire cottage industry in like armored transport. It's not something people usually think about, but it's absolutely a piece of the puzzle because it has to be by necessity. So it's just it's hard. To deal with that much that amount of cash, and given given the the volume of transactions at these places, and that's the thing, I think that's been most surprising for me as I've come on board here with the team is I'm trying to wrap my head around, just how frequented these establishments are, how big their client bases are, you know, and we're just talking right now in Montana, as of today, still just medical card holders, they are allowed to go to dispensaries. And if the demand is incredible, you know, you've probably the same in your neck of the woods up there. In the Flathead, it seems like there's a new dispensary opening every other day, you know, around town. And I always before I got into it was like, you know, talk to my wife and son question. I mean, do you feel like we were big enough city to need another one? Like, across the street from that one? And what I'm discovering is that answer apparently is yes. So

Eric Malzone
yeah, I mean, there's, it's only going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. And, you know, there's there's a lot of challenges. And I it is such a young industry and some things I hope for I hope there is more regulation on it, I hope it's done the right way. And one of the things that does scare me a little bit is the potency of edible cannabis. The lack of education around it, and the inconsistency from dose to dose, you know, like a lot of these friend was asking, he's like, so let's, you know, what's the measurement? Is it 10? You know, 10 milligram like, well, I believe that, you know, these, the standard is kind of 10 milligram, but you have to understand that each batch differs greatly. And there's, you know, there's nobody testing each individual one consistently enough to know. So there's, there's a lot around that,

Andy Gordon
right. It's a it's a huge point. And that really is I mean, I'm not against, I'm not against all regulation, I'm for the most needed and positive. From a from a legitimization standpoint, for the National industry, that kind of regulation is just we're talking about, you know, who is certifying The, the the quality of products going out on the market. When I hear from other, you know, I'll hear from grower dispensers. In mechanics, that's how Currently, the laws are written, what you sell, you have to grow yourself, so, but I hear about, you know, there, there are certain folks that that will, that complain, because they feel, they feel as if, you know, they they focus on, they focus heavily on their own QA QC processes internally, to guarantee the product to track it from seed to sale to, to do all this, you know, very, very specific supply chain management and inventory control. And there are other folks out there that are sort of making money hand over fist, some of their competitors, that that definitely do not have that level of sophistication, nor do they really feel like they need to. And that's the that's that gray area where I think, you know, legislators and the lawmakers consider whether lawmakers can step in and and put some guardrails up and create the certifying bodies to ensure public safety. And that there is adequate quality control. And a lot of that will speak to, to me when people that vote against stuff like that, and they're worried about kids getting a hold of it. And, you know, the normalization of drug use for underage folks like legitimate concerns, and so much of that actually does stem from the fact that, you know, there's there's a lot of markets a lack of standardized quality control measures and certification of this kind of stuff to ensure that, you know, that it's that it's safe and controllable, I guess. And it's not so wild west, I mean, there's, there's two sides to that coin. It's not it's fun to be in the space and sort of build the future, as I said earlier, but there's also the, you're always going to have people that take things a little too far a little too much leeway with how they are building their own operations and getting getting as much out of it perhaps in in the window when they can without enough regard, I think for for the issues that you just mentioned that we just touched on. So

Eric Malzone
yeah, it'll be interesting to see how it evolves. And I'm really interesting. Yeah, I think, like I said, You know, I think it was, you know, bout 10 years ago and I walked into the first dispensary and I was like, well, this is gonna be crazy. Ese, you know, cuz he's just generationally, you know, my parents were, you know, kind of products of the 50s. And, you know, even now my mom in her 80s is like, well, maybe I'll, you know, try some CBD and then I'll try. And my dad before he passed, he had tremors in his hand. And the only thing that would really help was CBD. And here's a guy who, you know, you know, grounded me for two months for a joint that he found when I was like, 17 right now, it's like, this is an interesting role reversal. My dad's asking me for you know, we derivative. So it's just it's really interesting time. Um, you know, one of things I want to touch on, because I think it's something that we both agree on, and we're pretty excited about is, you know, why for you? You know, do you see 2020 is such a great time to throw in your hat into the entrepreneurial ring.

Andy Gordon
Yeah, I felt like this ever since the, ever since the current the pandemic curtain kind of dropped on us last spring. I, you know, maybe wishful thinking. But I like to, you know, I like to think I, well, I try No, I try to be an optimist and see the silver linings in these things. And adversity is a growth opportunity. And if if the whole world is getting shaken to its core, whether you agree with any of the measures or anything about it, or any of the politics surrounding it, or or not, we can all I think agree that there's this massive shake up, that we're still living through, is happening, and it's the paradigm shift. And it's uncomfortable, at least for now. It's not getting any better. If you're if you're shaking the edges sketch, like, Well, why not then what start that business out of the kitchen, you're going anywhere anyway, depending on where you live, you know, take take the leap of faith, I thought was always the hardest part for me leaving the corporate job back in, in the in, I guess, in the early teens. But was really that taking that final step, and everybody talks about it. So it is it's again, it's a little cliched, but having having the the fortitude to take that burn the boat step and actually just go for it, there really isn't a better time in my opinion than right now, when everything is so chaotic and in flux. There are the next titans of the economy. private sector companies are being created and already among us walking among us right now. And I'm super stoked to see how that shakes out and how the incumbents are going to deal with them. Because this crazy level of adversity not only provides you opportunities as entrepreneurs to do that, but it really fuels you, it provides the fire to go out and look at things in a completely orthogonal type way. You know, to borrow a popular sort of Silicon Valley ism, they're like, come at it from an unexpected angle and see things that no one's seen before, and certainly are easier for you to see now because of because of the light that we're all sort of being shown in. So I'm stoked. And I'm happy that I get to sort of get back into the startup game, in the midst of all this chaos. It's just, it's a hell of a growth opportunity. And even if you don't succeed like that, you and I talked about it originally connected. Just the fact that you get to try and and even if you don't hit homeruns, you're going to take so much away and so much learning and enjoyment and wisdom, and, and despair. But life, you're going to take so much life away from your own unique entrepreneurial journey, that I couldn't encourage anybody strong, more strongly to just make the leap because it's got to be rewarding. You don't have to be Elan musk for to realize amazing gains in your personal and professional life by throwing in as an entrepreneur, and especially in this climate.

Eric Malzone
Yeah, yeah, I totally agree, man. And, you know, kind of distill what you're seeing in from my point of view today is that we're seeing a huge forced and accelerated shift in consumer behavior and needs. And anytime you get that when entrepreneurs don't thrive on his status quo, hey, I hate it. And you know, I've been involved in the fitness industry for a very long time and I was honestly I'm on my way out, you know, as making steps to just you know, start working with other types of businesses out of the fitness industry and then in 2020 in the COVID time, that industry got shipped to its core and it still is, you know, it's it's gonna be way different. And once again, I got really excited I was like, this is it this is finally this old model is cracking and I mean that with utmost sympathy. I used to be a gym owner. I just got lucky with the timing in which I sold. But that's a tough industry being in the one on one in person training and then all of a sudden you're seeing these companies like, you know, obviously peloton and tonal and mirror and you're, you know, tons of money. Well, they got Lulu Lulu. Lulu lemon invest in them. And so for me it was like, Well, now this is the point I've been waiting for. And you know, finding opportunities align myself with where I think the consumer needs are shifting is really exciting. And you're right. I mean, it doesn't have to be some big tech play either. You know, I was a shout out to SPG jujitsu here in the Flathead Valley and kisa I was, you know, going through an intro with one of their instructors there. And, you know, he's like, to talk about what I do. I'm like, Well, you know, I do some mentorship for entrepreneurs. And he's like, oh, man, he's like, I've been told I make the best chocolate chip cookies. And then I shouldn't. I was like, Yeah, man, you should go for it. Like if your cookies are that good, you know? Sure. There's a lot of people, you know right now and you know, the lockdowns who are honing their baking skills, but why not? Like go for it? You know, if it's, if you believe in it, try it. Because you know what, here's and today 10 years from now, if you regret not having tried, then you're not doing yourself any justice, you might as well try?

Andy Gordon
Absolutely well. And it always do build on everything that you're saying. I'm reminded of the, the 100 true fans, you know, a quote from Kevin Kelly, which I won't butcher off, you know, from memory here. But essentially, like, it's never been easier to find your 100 true fans. And, you know, use your your highest and best self and most creative self to create something for the market, maybe it's a knowledge product on it on the internet, maybe it's cookies, maybe it's you know, I don't know, I don't know, but everything is so disaggregated now that, like it, we can, you can just move in just about any direction, probably find an audience. And if you, if you just game out the numbers, if you look at your model, and you figure and you work backwards from what you need, and then you know and build a goal. A lot of times you end up finding out that it's super achievable. And it's not some pie in the sky, you know, crazy wing and a prayer vision. It's totally a doable lifestyle design type choice, you just but you got to, you got to just put the building blocks in place and make it approachable, you know, eat the elephant, one bite at a time to continue mixing metaphors here. But I don't know I this craziness coupled with the ultimate maturation of the internet. Having watched it from its real consumer Inception when I helped my mother in 92 set up her home office and our AOL accounts like watching it, watching it grow and become this crazy beast. It is today some good some bad, of course. But that just the reach is astounding. And so yeah, if you can find that tribe, find your audience find your your 100 true fans. You could probably make it work and you'll probably be a hell of a lot happier. Just for you. Yeah. Yeah.

Eric Malzone
It's awesome, man. Yeah, it's funny. I'm just, it just went back into a memory of my first experience with prodigy. And my first pen pal from like, somewhere far across the globe. I was like, I can't believe this is happening. Yeah, well, great topics beyond great, great insight. I really appreciate you coming on and giving me some education or audience education on, you know, what the cannabis industry is doing from the financial side? I think it's, you know, it's huge opportunity to help a lot of people who help a lot more people. So it sounds like it's a pretty exciting space for you. Yeah, man, I really appreciate you coming on and giving us all the info. Where do where do people find you? Where do you send people, man, give us the gifts?

Andy Gordon
Sure, um, they said we're in the middle of a rebranding. But for the immediate sort of future you can find our company and services that Q b solutions. dotnet is our website. And, you know, personally, you can I'm pretty I'm pretty social guy. I'm not quite as out there as I used to be as far as just, you know, providing unsolicited opinions to the world. But I always love interacting with folks. So go, go look me up on Facebook, if you want to come Andrew Gordon on there. Well, at any rate, if you want to hit me on twitter do that. My it's sort of a it's sort of corny, but I love it. It's an old school little handle. I'm at my entrepreneurs, so like entrepreneur except for Montana. So and then it's Perl somebody else beat me to the singular but Kinda like it because I get to sort of rip all of us up here in Big Sky Country with with the with the plural entrepreneurs. So you can always hit me up there. Oh and LinkedIn, go find me on LinkedIn, I spend so much of my day on there and some people hate it. I happen to love it. It's got its pros and its cons. But I love connecting with folks on LinkedIn. That's how you and I connected up so obviously we're fans.

Eric Malzone
Yeah, yeah, I'm a huge fan of LinkedIn. And when I don't, and I did this, don't use automation on LinkedIn people, please stop. And then we can be friends. So

Andy Gordon
please stop trying to sell me on. I just want authentic relationship. I don't want to be pitched. Yeah. Like your fav instead, like your first message to me should be like, What? What are you super excited about this week? What's the greatest news you've heard lately? You know, if it's chocolate chip cookies, if it's astronomy, like Tell me something cool like that, and we'll be friends and I might end up buying from you. So

Eric Malzone
Exactly. Well said. Well, Andy, thank you so much for coming on. It's been an absolute pleasure. And ladies and gentlemen, Andy Gordon.

Andy Gordon
You better Thanks so much, man. My pleasure pleasures, all mine.

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