Post Interview Summary for Amari, a food/consummables startup

Opportunity

  • Build trusted, active lifestyle food/comsummables brand for outdoorsy adults who value plant based approaches to everyday aches and pains;
  • Play longer, Recover faster.

Pros

  • Founder has done significant consumer testing;
  • Significant growth in natural, plant-based products, especially ones with CBD.

Cons

  • Unresolved regulatory issues in CBD, still emerging standardization for quality, consumers may not be sure on which brands to trust.
  • Category is crowded with many existing choices.

Basecamp InQb8r Suggestions For Growth Plan

  • Use the inventory from the first manufacturing run to test as many marketing strategies and channels as possible, and not just the usual distribution strategies with existing platforms (Amazon, Thrive Markets, etc.), distributors (UNIF, KeHe, etc) and retailers (natural/specialty channel). These channels are crowded and may be extra challenging to break into.
  • Test direct to consumer as much as possible to refine your message and target market. Use a funnel in your ecommerce cart to play with pricing and volume sales. The ecommerce platform and and sales funnel we developed and profiled in Section 2: Systems is very cost-effective to setup and run and will scale with a good hosting provider.  Take the code base we developed for our funnel and have your own developer install and modify as you see fit (or we can refer you to our developer).  Use the supplement funnel approach to help test your offers/pricing, outlined here. Try to build your offering such that your average order value is north of $75, which would make your direct to consumer ecommerce operation more likely to be profitable. HOWEVER: there have been and still may be issues with getting a payment processor to accept processing transactions on CBD products. If that is still the case, then selling direct may be not be an option at present.
  • Do some research on records in our Company Database to see if you find any analogs with creative marketing that you can model.
  • Test uncommon reseller channels such as hotels/travel retail locations, events/festivals, hospital retail locations, office park retail shops, fitness clubs.  Check our Distribution Categories Database to see if they spark any other ideas for you.
  • We think you will get more traction and respect from investors with fundraising if you try 100 strategies and find 1 that works with high ROAS (return on ad spend), than if you stick with the usual growth distribution strategies (mentioned above) that show slow growth (or worse, negative breakeven ROAS). You can always fall back to the usual growth distribution strategies, but use the first inventory run to test, test, test. Be creative and think outside the box.

Video Interview

Audio Interview

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Interview Transcript

Ed Soehnel 15:36
Hi, this is Ed Soehnel. I am your host. My guest today is Eric Greek is Eric’s company is a mark in the food and consumable space. Eric, you ready to go? Sure. All right. Okay. Eric, tell us about Amari and your products and what you do?

Unknown Speaker 16:07
Sure. So Mari is a company that’s developing a plant based approach to everyday aches and pains in the simplest way to envision Our product is we are better for you emergency package. So we take things like different adapted herbs, water soluble CBD, blend it together and put it in a convenient packet format that then you can add to the beverage of your choice. And our main goal is to help people recover from the activities they love. So that go out have a fun day in the mountains. If you’re like me, you probably sore after some of that. And what we’ve done is developed a product that will help alleviate some of those aches and pains as they relate to exercise so you don’t this in a glass of water. Drink it after your day of fun, and I’ll help you get up, get up and get out and get after it the next day.

Ed Soehnel 16:54
Excellent and so so looks like you’re selling stick packs. How many stick packs prepackaged would you sell them individually?

Unknown Speaker 17:02
It would be more similar to an actual emergency packets, I think like the square packet chair dumping water. Um, right now what we plan on doing is selling a box of 10. And we’ll also sell depending on where we’re at and how we’re merchandise You can also buy single package to make your trial easier.

Ed Soehnel 17:22
Okay, Okay, excellent. And so have you got any patents or intellectual property you can file with your formula

Unknown Speaker 17:28
right now around the formulation? No, and there’s some reasons for that one, um, I don’t believe our formulations are set in stone. And what I mean by that is one of the ingredients we use, and we just we view it more as an enabling ingredient than say the reason to believe is CBD. And as you’re probably familiar with Ed, some of the research around CBD, the different cannabinoids, the blend of cannabinoids that actually have the effect that you want in the body. There’s more unknown the unknown right now. So is that research matures and our formulation gets better. Um, at a certain point in time, we would actually look at developing some IP around our formulations and specially at different points in our supply chain when it comes to the processing because some of those aspects actually have a material effect on the product efficacy of the bio availability of botanical ingredients. Yeah, some of the table sticky kind of stuff like copyrights. So some of your more traditional like CPG copyright stuff.

Unknown Speaker 18:29
Okay. And but you’ve,

Ed Soehnel 18:30
it sounds like you’ve done quite a bit of customer testing and feedback with your target market. So tell me a little bit about that.

Unknown Speaker 18:38
Sure. So I I’ll tell you a little bit about my background to begin with, because I think this will provide some context for why we did some of this. So I spent over a decade working at a nonprofit in Boulder, and there’s two aspects of the organization one, we commercialize technologies for universities in the state and the second aspect of the organization, we actually work with a lot of natural products company. So I worked either directly or in kind of an oversight role for with over 50 different natural product startups. So we got to see a lot of these other companies. And one of the things that I really wanted to take an intentional approach about for when I was building a Mari was who really was our customer, and really trying to understand that customer need from day one and design a product for it, where we saw a lot of people kind of building a product, getting a little bit of sales traction and trying to figure out who is really going to buy it afterwards. Yeah. And so what we did was use some tools that were available to us as entrepreneurs. One was something called New Hope media who’s here in Boulder, there’s something called their concept lab. And that’s a little bit it was very helpful but it’s kind of like a wet finger in the air where to see if your concept is actually going to resonate with your target consumer group and they provide a report for you super helpful. Then we use tools like Survey Monkey, um, I was really impressed that something like sir Monkey will build an audience for you and what that means they can find respondents. And you can kind of set some parameters for who they are by location, age. And then there’s all kinds of psycho graphics you can pick from as well. So it was really helpful for us because we tested the concept through New Hope than we brought it to survey monkey, a larger audience. And our initial concept was would you be open to a plant based approach to everyday aches and pains scored really well, which was encouraging. And then the next round is Survey Monkey serving we did we got more into the feature and benefit set to get a deeper understanding of, Okay, well, what are people really interested in? What are those key aspects? And what that did and what was great for us was we took that and then formed our product and from formulation, so we’re really making sure that the features that we’re putting in to the product match that benefit that our consumers were looking for.

Ed Soehnel 20:54
Excellent. Yeah, that’s really great. So you, you took what you’ve learned. elsewhere and studied a lot of companies over the years, which is fabulous. And really brought that into play. So that’s really good. You got a great methodology there.

Unknown Speaker 21:11
Yeah. Okay, so,

Ed Soehnel 21:12
so distribution channels, obviously, you’re going to go, you’re going to sell direct first one application. But then you’re looking at some online resellers like Amazon, some of the traditional platforms, and then retail, and then probably especially, I would guess you probably on the retail side want to go into specialty jazz, is that correct? Okay. Okay. And then your, your marketing strategies here. So you’re focusing on your target customer, so you’ve really kind of dialed that in. That’s great. You’ve got your survey data to back that up. And you mentioned here leverage technology to understand core customer. You got a back end database. I love databases. Tell me more what’s going on there.

Eric Gricus 21:53
Well, one of the things that

Unknown Speaker 21:57
I one of the other learnings that we’ve had and I’ve watched over the Yours is a lot of times what a lot of our clients tried to do was try to expand before they really understood their marketing model. And this is something that I feel is incredibly important because you need to spend that time and go through that learning curve, really understanding who’s buying the product, why are they buying it? Why do they love it? What could you improve, and then kind of the fundamental cost structure to acquire that client to retain it, and what are really the what’s really the return on investment on your different marketing tactics. And once you have a handle on that, that’s when you’re positioned well to scale because you understand the cost of that upscaling acquiring new customers, as well as supporting the product and the channel that you happen to be in. What I love to do is be able to use technology to do that. And I think our product is really well suited for some specialization when it comes to your when it comes to our marketing. And what I mean by some of that is not only tracking some of the effectiveness of our campaigns But I think we have a chance to really customize some of our marketing and some of the tactical moves that we make. If I know Ed loves, mountain biking, right, the imagery and some of the newsletters that you’ll get, or from some of the Instagram posts that we send your way, will cater to that. Right? If somebody else is really into skiing, of course, then then we can cater some of the information to that. But what I think is out there, and what I, what I’m excited to learn more from you, Ed, is how to leverage some of those technology pieces, because it’s, it’s hard to kind of understand what the whole universe of tools looks like. But if we can, you know, together and with some of the other help in your incubator from some of the other folks, I mean, we can kind of distill down What are really those tools that do help us not only measure what the impact of our tactics are, but then what’s really the point where you want to build out that database, one of the tools that we used to use as a nonprofit that was incredibly helpful was a CRM system. So we had everybody in there and I know knew if I needed somebody that was an expert in a particular field. Well, we had them categorized by that I want to take some of those same learnings and apply it to our CPG brand, where we can kind of understand our consumer better, and really be able to target that marketing to maximize our effectiveness and also provide them with a better experience because we’re ideally going to be presenting them with content that they are going to find more appealing and actually enjoy as opposed to just unsubscribe from our newsletter, or ignoring whatever it is.

Ed Soehnel 24:34
Yeah, no, I hear ya everything you’re telling me Eric is just, I love what you hear. And you’re, you’re obviously looking at this very methodically, on a ground level. You’re really trying to build your systems in place. You know, most startups don’t do that. And then it’s after the fact and they don’t know, you know, what’s performing where So, so that’s great. I know, I definitely think you’re on the right track. And

Unknown Speaker 24:56
it’s a balancing act that I won’t know it’s kind of funny. It depends on who I talked to I know I’m kind of preaching to the choir with some of this stuff. But, you know, the reality is we’re still pre revenue. So we got to get into market and actually sell some of this stuff. But this is the kind of what’s good and the advice I give other startups. So one of the things, it’s just me full time, we’ve kind of established this ecosystem of consultants around us. So you have the ability to kind of set the expectations with those people you’re working with. That’s one of the things that I’ve tried to do when I talked to our marketing and our social media people, like it has to be measurable. I want to be able to do a B testing, I want to be able to measure it, I need to know what’s the most effective, because the reality is I’ve got limited marketing dollars. And so I need to max out that ROI. Especially if I’m going to start to build a story to go to a retailer and articulate. I understand the sales. But if I need to go to an investor and say, Hey, listen, here’s what we did with this much money. Here’s what we can do with your investment and here’s how that is going to increase the value of your investment in company. So it’s it’s kind of it gives you the raw material. And I had this interesting conversation just the other day with somebody who was telling me a lot of companies won’t share that data with some of their retail partners. So again, there’s a potential opportunity to differentiate yourself when you’re actually helping those retailers get smarter, and other people are not. So it doesn’t, you know, and again, it’s a balancing act. I could spend all day trying to set up a database or I could get out there and get product built.

Ed Soehnel 26:30
Yeah, no, I agree. You’re right. At the end of the day, you kind of want to get it done and start doing some sales reps to see where you land and then you kind of build as you go. Yeah. Excellent. Okay. Okay, so let’s kind of move on here. You listed out a number of retention strategies. One I want to point out is you got a subscription service. So is that something you want to do direct is, you know, try and get customers on a subscription basis.

Unknown Speaker 26:54
I would and it’s something where we’ve thought about it, you know, the reality is, it’s going to be Kind of a test. As you know, it’s gotten more and more case where you need transparency and authenticity with your brand. I would, I would, I don’t want to subscribe. I know what I don’t want the subscription service to become. I don’t want it a way to like kind of trick people into doing it where we offer him some free. And then in exchange for doing this, you’re committed to something. I’ve also heard horror stories about where people do give away something free and then everybody cancels before the first order even shifts, what I look at the subscription services more as a way to improve the consumer experience. Sure, where if there are people out there that kind of want to set it and forget it. Of course, as a company, we want to make that easier, especially when it comes to something where we get to repeat sales. We get that stickiness with that customer. But it has to it. It has to be something that’s well thought out. So and that’s something we’re still internally discussing and trying to figure out what is going to be there. We will offer it because I love the idea of it. We just need to figure out some of the details about how we approach it. Okay.

Ed Soehnel 28:06
Okay, so let’s keep moving on, you list a bunch of risks. To in particular, I want you to discuss a little bit you said you’ve got, you’ve got uncertain regulatory environments, and your supply chain risks. So tell me more about your thoughts on that area.

Unknown Speaker 28:20
Sure. So to start with the supply chain,

Unknown Speaker 28:24
what we’ve got now, our ingredients where I think, you know, part of what we’re doing from a marketing perspective, and one of the reasons why I started this company is I do think he can impact change through a business. And as I like to say, you can use capitalism for good. We’re that’s definitely like one of our higher level goals here. And what I love to do is push some of our standards down our supply chain, and as a small company, we can’t yet but what I’d like to be able to do is is make kind of a handshake deal with our consumers is that we will start to implement regenerative agricultural practices throughout our supply chain. We can’t do that right now, we certainly can’t dictate that. But as we start to push that down our supply chain, there could be some risk in that. Um, in terms of whether or not we can really get suppliers to adopt that even though we’re making promises on the front end to our consumers. There’s other risks in terms of product availability, we are sourcing ingredients from India, from Russia, just places where things like Ashoka were rodeo grows. It’s not domestic, they’re not. There’s no domestic sources that I know of right now. So there is risk in terms of what happens with the craziness with trade wars and other tariffs on these are agricultural products. So there’s risk around whether or not the availability will be there in certain growing seasons. And then there’s risk for one of our core ingredients and that CBD. The price for the product we use is pretty volatile right now. It’s incredibly high. Our hope is that it will come down but there’s no guarantees that it will. And then there are and that kind of segues Right and regulatory risk, we’re there from an FDA perspective. And on in certain states, there’s an uncertain regulatory environment and we have kind of thought through and when I look at my crystal ball for CBD, I kind of see there being hopefully, FDA will come out with regulations that kind of provide three lanes for it. One is hemp as a food, and our all of our CV, all of our CBD is hemp derived, so there’s no THC in any of our products. But CBD below a certain level will be considered a food like it is today. You can buy have nut powder, and milk, those sorts of things. The middle lane is what will play in and that’s more like a supplement category where you’re above a certain amount below a certain amount. And then above a certain threshold, your pharmaceutical. Other people think CBD is going to be regulated like a drug and it’s going to wipe out all these companies. And if that’s the case, we’ve got a plan in place one basic one of you to take out the CBD We’re using a CBD isolate. I’m getting down in the weeds a little bit here. But that’s the thing that might be regulated as a drug where if you use a more full spectrum hemp extract that would not be regulated as a drug. So we can kind of switch ingredients as well. But right now, it’s kind of what made the most sense to us when we’re going through this even eight months ago, which tells you how fast some of this industry is moving or slow the industry’s moving from a regulatory standpoint, CBD isolate was actually a lot of talk about that having being considered generally regarded as safe, because it is a single compound that do understand the molecule, so it can be repeated. And so you don’t need a new ingredient testing on it every time you bring something in to know that it’s safe.

Unknown Speaker 31:42
Interesting.

Eric Gricus 31:43
Yeah. Okay.

Ed Soehnel 31:44
No, you’re right. That’s changing really fast there. So, and I just learned a couple things myself. Very interesting. Okay. Okay, so let’s keep moving on. Let’s kind of dive a little bit into your revenue and expenses, and some numbers in your company. So you listed your average yesterday. ps3 99 s units per stick.

Eric Gricus 32:02
That’s per packet. Yes.

Ed Soehnel 32:04
Okay. So if you got 10, so 4999 or 3995 per packet of 10. That’s, that’s kind of what you’re probably a little bit of a discount. Okay. Okay, that’s good. And then your cost of goods looks like it’s around 60%. Is that now? Or is that let’s say if you’re doing five or 10 million in revenue, or do you think that might come down to

Unknown Speaker 32:25
a that’s now the X the margins in this business scale beautifully? Right now we’re specifically intentionally doing smaller runs. Because the formulation may change the packaging will probably change. So we’re doing the minimum runs that are co Packer will allow us to do but so what that means from an ingredient standpoint is we’re paying like more per unit than we would at scale. Yep. Yep. What I mean by that is we’re trying to be in compostable packaging, and it’s pretty incredible Ed where right now the price quote i have is for roughly 35 cents per unit. We’re kind of brutal. Now at 200,000 units that goes down to four cents. Sure. And same with things like our cartons. I the way the price drops for across the board on our ingredients are pretty amazing. So in three to five years, we’re projecting our gross margins to be a much closer like the 60% where they need to be 50 to 60 to maintain a healthy company. And what’s your minimum production run that your co Packer requires right now in terms of sticks, sticks, 10,000 sticks, so 1000 boxes, okay. Okay.

Ed Soehnel 33:35
All right. Okay. And yes, you listed some stuff in marketing, sales trade span, that’s probably not not that important at this stage. When you get going later, I understand that.

Eric Gricus 33:49
Okay, so then

Ed Soehnel 33:50
let’s us. Let’s move on your balance sheet. So, so you say you raised about 75 k? That’s combination equity and convertible notes. Is that correct? That’s correct. Okay. And are these coming from private angel investors, friends and family combination?

Unknown Speaker 34:06
It’s all friends and family right now. Okay, good. convertible. That’s, that’s myself putting in a sizable chunk of cash. Yep. To run the business, get everything off the ground and kind of get it over my personal risk hurdles before I was okay with introducing my friends and family to it. Yeah, um, but right now we’ve got a convertible note open, which I hope to close while we’re still pre revenue, because I know it’s kind of subjective. But I feel I’m this obligation to the people that believed in us when we were still pre revenue when this was just kind of concept and idea. I think the risk profile changes significantly when we’re in market. I very confident that we’re going to be able to sell this that I looked at so many companies over the years and I’m looking for those counterfactual is with this one. We are people telling us they want to buy it. They want to buy the samples and the condition there now, interesting. Wow, like, wow, they’re they’re kind of I don’t think they look very good, but people are willing to pay us for now. So that’s exciting. And a lot of I’ve seen enough other situations where that’s not the case. Yeah, this is kinda you’re kind of given those, we’re getting those signals that all systems are go here. And that’s from us not sampling just our friends and family around those kinds of questions. But it’s putting it out to a much larger group where we did over 300 samples to people, we got back over 80 survey responses, and these are people that we kind of know, I wouldn’t call them they certainly wouldn’t have any shame or be opposed to telling me the truth about what they really thought of the product and about we’ve already got some super fans for it. So it’s, it’s fantastic. It’s really exciting. But ideally, we’ll get a few other ambassadors closed. I mean, the, the reality that we’re facing is to build the product we want to build on. It’s expensive. It’s very expensive to get a physical product to market these days. With Testing, insurance, packaging, co Packers minimum order quantities, trying to figure out the sales and marketing the design. So there’s a lot of lot of stuff that goes into this.

Ed Soehnel 36:11
Are you able to get to market with you know, an additional small production run that you can start selling with what you’ve raised?

Unknown Speaker 36:18
Yes, we won’t be tight. The challenge there is twofold I see one, it would be just one skew, which is not my first choice, I’d rather have three. So you get kind of that, that brand billboard on shelf there. And the other thing is your marketing, your plug number for your budget becomes your marketing, where you kind of get to market right and there’s a lot of fixed costs associated with getting that physical product on the shelf or into inventory. And then it’s kind of you know, I know this isn’t the most scientific approach but whatever you have leftovers use for marketing. And I would like to, depending on where we commit at, you know, at the end of the day, it’s up So what wins the day is distribution and marketing. And if we’re kind of, we don’t really have sufficient funds. I’m okay, being undercapitalized. But I know it’s going to be that much more challenging if we don’t have the money to get the word out. Yep. Yep. Agreed. Agreed.

Ed Soehnel 37:14
Okay. And last question on the application is roughly what range or what’s your valuation that you’re looking at raising?

Unknown Speaker 37:21
You mean in terms of how much capital are we looking to raise right now? What do I think the valuation on the company? Yeah, what what

Ed Soehnel 37:27
valuation number you pegging based on raising your money?

Unknown Speaker 37:31
I was actually gonna make me do math. I didn’t know that.

Unknown Speaker 37:34
What I would look at doing is something probably, oh, gosh, so typical rule of thumb selling about 20% of the equity in the company around. So if I was looking at giving up 20% of the equity, or note that’s open right now is 250 K. What is that Ed?

Ed Soehnel 37:56
around a million million,

Unknown Speaker 37:57
your employment quarter Okay, that might SQ five post.

Unknown Speaker 38:02
com. So that’s that’s kind of where we’re at. I mean, we’re pre revenue company, we’ve got, you know, we’re trying to validate all that we can our assumptions about our consumer and going through, we also have to we survey people, we’ve been interviewing 3045 minutes at a time some of our consumers. So we’ve learned a lot through that. And it’s also validated a lot of our assumptions. So it’s really, it’s kind of like we’ve kind of done I feel like we’re kind of at this point where we’re done a lot of what we can do prior to having an actual product in the market.

Ed Soehnel 38:36
So So it sounds like you’re kind of at the point now where you’re getting real close, actually launching, I mean, sometime in like in the next quarter, first quarter of next year.

Unknown Speaker 38:45
Um, well, it’s, it’s kind of, we’re doing all we can. It’s our first manufacturing run with their manufacturing partner has been terrific, but no surprises here. They want all the ingredients to be there before they schedule us on their line. Yeah, and once everything shows up it’s 46 weeks out we got a two weeks auction process. Um, so you know I’m hoping for product January February. Okay, we have all our ingredients here by November the x factor’s the CBD because there’s just a longer lead time with that. Yep. All of our other ingredients come from the big supply houses that are supplying the supplement brands that are on the shelf today the bigger issue with those guys getting them to ship you just a small quantity as opposed to a pallet or truck. Sure.

Ed Soehnel 39:28
Okay, understand that. Okay, so let’s go ahead and wrap things up with a few more questions here is your particular news or intelligence service or source that you follow or get the most out of that other listeners might be interested in?

Unknown Speaker 39:42
I’m looking at industry specific stuff right now. In the natural products world naturally, Boulder, their newsletter and their events are the things that I pay attention to. There’s so much noise around CBD right now. I’ve kind of like absorbed all that I can sell unless it comes from like a trusted source. You kind of get to this point where right or wrong, I kind of ignore some of it, because it is so noisy and I’ve kind of made up my mind on what I think is right and what we need to be doing. And taking, and I don’t want to get too sidetracked from that by the latest press release or news article or anything like that. Um, and then you know, where I where I looked to learn from is what I’ve tried to do is really build out an ecosystem around me not only of consultants, but also of advisors. So Case in point is that I need to get smarter about our retail channels and what they really care about and how you form an effective partnership. So that’s what I’ve been spending a lot of my time doing is trying to have conversations with people. And I love having those conversations, because you find like those one or two people that will tell you about 80% of what you need to know. And those are just awesome opportunities. And that’s that’s actually I know it sounds corny, but that’s one of my favorite parts of being an entrepreneur is not only the challenge, but the opportunity to Learn. And I learned I had some conversations about specialty retail just the other day. And it was it was phenomenal. It was really it was really insightful and you kind of see those awkward coming at it with a new perspective, you kind of see those opportunities where you as a small company can do something different than the big guys are, that might actually make you attractive and and in cars, that retailer take a risk on you.

Ed Soehnel 41:22
Yep. Okay. Okay. Next question is, is there a favorite tool you’re using to grow your business could be software, spreadsheet model, you created a process you learned?

Unknown Speaker 41:32
Gosh, you know what, I saw this question on your FAQs. And I was thinking about it. And I think one of the things and it’s probably going to give you an answer that you’re not expecting, um, the thing you know, I’ve been kind of trained and had a lot of experience working through different companies, different problems. I think a lot of this stuff is that you need to do you and whatever you’re comfortable with. So I don’t think there’s a particular tool that would have been more focused on recently is the mental aspects of entrepreneur. worship and how challenging it really is. It’s lonely, high risk involved, and what’s really been helpful and someone else had recommended me this book and I here I want to just pull it up for you to make sure I get the name right. But it’s more of a it’s not a business book. It’s more of an operating system on life. And it’s called, somebody should have told us. So, I’ll send you a link. Somebody should have told us by this guy, jack Prensky, and it’s like the seminal book in psychology circles that I’d never heard of, and what it’s about and what I really find helpful is that the premise is you can’t control the thoughts that you’re having, right? You’re going to have bad days, you’re going to have good days. The trick is to understand your thoughts about your thoughts and how much to them and how they’re impacting you. And by no means am I it’s like it no means by like batting 1000 on that now I still get pissed off. I still get stressed out I still have the highs and lows. But what’s really helped me is is to be more aware when those moments are happening. Because ultimately everybody thinks, you know, you’re going to hit the home run ball really quick, but this is a marathon. So you need to be in it for the next seven, seven to 12 years, last that long and go through the ups and downs and the stress and the impact that it can have on your friends, your family, other people around you, including yourself, I really think it’s this. It’s an area that’s not talked about very often. But that’s a tool that I’ve really found to be incredibly helpful right now is focusing a little bit more and making sure like I have kind of that personal support infrastructure. And it’s not just from a business perspective. It’s like it’s, it’s personally and emotionally as well. Yeah.

Ed Soehnel 43:46
Yeah, you’re right about the loneliness aspect. So, you know, it’s pretty important, at least from my perspective, having done this is to also surround yourself with people that might be there doing are going through it, you know, but just so you could talk and bad things off of is very helpful. I found any advice for someone, you know, that’s, you know, going through this or that thinking about doing this?

Unknown Speaker 44:11
Yeah. So the the advice that I follow and I do follow my own advice. Um, you know, I try not to over simplify it, but you have to do you, right, where we used to have companies come in all the time, they thought I had a magic wand or cookbook for all this stuff. And I could give them like a set of 10 steps. And if they just follow those 10 steps a letter to be awesome. The reality is like, whenever you hear from somebody that’s been successful, whether it’s a book you read or listen to somebody speak, that’s always a look in the rearview mirror. And that was their specific situation with a given set of resources at a particular point in time. What you need to do with that is learn from it and then apply it to your situation. But don’t be afraid to do you. I mean, a lot of people kind of have their hammer and that’s what you get out of them. Because they think you’ve got the same nail that they do. And the reality is you don’t I mean, I get pressure to get a co founder all the time. And like, that’s the advice I get. And I’m like, I haven’t met that person. Yeah, no, I’m not opposed to it. But you know, and other startups have been involved with before. That was the reason why it didn’t work out. Because when push came to shove, you know, we had different objectives. Yeah. Yeah, it didn’t work. So I’m, I’m, you know, I’m Jay, that that influenced me, and how I have approached this company differently, where I don’t have a problem with that. And I know who that I kind of have the vision of that person in mind. But I haven’t met them yet. From keeping doing what I’m doing now, but you know, so that’s just one example of some of the advice you get, which it’s well meaning and it sounds really good or other people to you know, the other advice you get a lot of people that don’t really understand your industry if you’re in CPG Yeah, right. people telling me all supplements, all bullshit. Make it up in your bathtub. All that stuff cricket anyways, none of it works. And I take the fact that someone’s going to eat this ingest it very seriously. It has created it has slowed us down getting to market, it has increased the cost. But we’re serious about the safety, about purity about potency, because that’s, that’s authenticity does. I want to take this I want to give it to I’m giving it to my friends. So it’s one of these things where you’ll get advice even though it’s well meaning but it’s from outside of like something of a space that that particular person understands. Even though it’s one meeting, you get to kind of get your filter on and kind of understand like, what, how not only how to implement what you heard based on your situation, but also what to implement.

Ed Soehnel 46:45
So I understand that now. I love I love it. So that’s all sounds good. Eric, you pop through this. A lot of thought into this and it shows So last question is your rage. Married kids which relationship status

Eric Gricus 46:59
Oh, just 46 last week married no kids just a really spoiled dog. Which has allowed me to take on some of the risk that an entrepreneur has, you know what I think? Looking back Personally, I was kind of a neighborhood kid and mowed lawns at involved in a small time painting contractor did a clean tech startup right out of undergrad back in 98. And, you know, it wasn’t until about five years ago, that actually felt like I had them emotional, mental maturity to really be like an impactful leader of a company. And that took me a while to get there. And I used to think that I had that. But it took kind of I don’t know what the trigger point was Ed, but it kind of got to a certain level where it actually felt like yeah, this was something I can really handle. And I felt like the toolkit was built out enough. And at the same time, not letting like things like ego get in the way of asking for help. Being willing to learn being curious about stuff So it’s, it’s, you know, it’s just fine balancing act of being like she Yeah, I got this we can do this. I don’t know everything but we’ll figure it out. And kind of having that self confidence but also be open in asking for the help and asking the questions and not being afraid. Be like what the hell does that acronym me mean? I don’t I don’t know like that per thousand right

Ed Soehnel 48:23
now that’s awesome. That’s awesome. Okay Eric will go ahead we’ll have to get this wrapped up anyway so don’t be afraid to do you and capitalism for good So Eric rica’s with Omari Thank you very much. We appreciate your time.

Eric Gricus 48:37
Thanks, Ed. Appreciate it. Okay, awesome, Eric. All right. I was really really well done. Yeah.