One of the best things you can do for your cannabis career is to build your network, learn how on this cannabis business social network podcast.
Building your cannabis social network is an investment in yourself, your business, and your future. The key to social networking is to put others’ needs above your own. As they say, “the currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.”
Lucky for you, there are many online cannabis business platforms sprouting up all the time. By building your personal brand online and moving your conversations and relationships offline you can create relationships that will last you a lifetime and guide you towards career success. Are you ready to become the level of cannabis professional you were always meant to be?
Announcer [00:00:02] You’re listening to the Greenhouse and Indoor Cultivation podcast presented by GroAdvisor. Tune in to learn strategies to grow your business, get the most out of your cultivations systems and advance your horticulture career.
Brandon [00:00:17] Hello, growers and business owners. It’s Brandon and Will, your favorite podcast hosts for the controlled environment agriculture industry. I just wanted to tell you, if you haven’t heard yet, that we’ll also be launching guides, blogs, and videos at groadvisorworldwide.com. I’m really excited about it because we’re going to be giving people practical, tactical guidance and instruction all filled with expert advice, not just from us here at GroAdvisor, but from other greenhouse and indoor farming experts. Each episode will show a new expert from traditional horticulture, cannabis, vertical farming, vegetable farming, system design. It’s going to be amazing. So if you want to learn how to scale your horticulture business and career from start to cultivation success, you’re going to want to tune in. Go to our website, like us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and we already have a wait list so join our newsletter so you can be the first to know when we release new guidance and strategies to realize your true growth potential. All right. I’m going back to doing podcasts and stuff. I’ll talk to you guys later. Thanks.
Brandon [00:01:15] All right, so let’s get into it. Today on the line we have Kurt Kaufman, Director of Strategic Accounts at Seed Talent, the premiere company for talent and jobs in the ever evolving cannabis industry. He comes to us with a really diverse background in the cannabis industry, working with Green Thumb industries also doing recruiting over Altria, among other things. He has a deep experience networking and building a cannabis social business network. And we look forward to speaking with him today. And then along with me, as usual, we have William Goodin our V.P. of Business Development at GrowAdvisor.
Will [00:01:52] Thank you, Brandon. Pleasure to meet you, Kurt. Yeah, so as Brandon indicated, I’m the V.P. of Business Development here at GroAdvisor. I’ve been in the industry for about six years, having helped start a couple of grows locally here in Denver, Colorado. And outside of that, I’ve started a several different cannabis companies, mostly in the controlled environment agricultural space.
Will [00:02:18] Really excited to be here, really excited to to speak with you and Kurt. And, yeah, let’s let’s do it.
Kurt [00:02:26] Yeah, absolutely. So happy to be here. Again, my name is Kurt Koffman, working over at Seed Talent, where we focus on an end-to-end solution, providing education and staffing throughout the cannabis business for seed touching, excuse me, for plant touching businesses all the way through ancillary. I got my start in cannabis working with Green Thumb Industries where I helped manage sales here in the state of Illinois and kind of helped shepherd us from medical only to adult use. In that time, I kind of took up a jack of all trades mentality working throughout the business, helped lead and launch their internship program, helped do all the corporate staff training on cannabis and just tried to, you know, figure out anywhere that I could add value to the organization. But really excited to be here today and talk about networking and the cannabis landscape as a whole.
Brandon [00:03:18] Right. It’s great to have you on. Well, thanks, guys.
Brandon [00:03:20] Today we’re talking about growing your cannabis business social network. And for those lessoning, obviously we’re all familiar with the term networking, interacting with others to exchange information, to develop professional or social contacts. And I really think today’s call is going to take a little more the route of online social networking amidst 2020’s COVID-19. More people are going to dedicated websites and applications to interact with users and find digital ways to connect. And I would really love to hear your thoughts, Kurt, on how people can connect with others in today’s digital world. You know, trade shows are no longer such a thing. Everyone’s moving virtual. And it’s it’s really a change of pace for a lot of those out there.
Kurt [00:04:06] Yeah, absolutely. And I think it’s, you know, obviously a timely topic. You know, I think the biggest thing on networking through social media and through the different digital landscapes is about kind of approaching it with with no fear, but a good plan. I think a lot of the folks that we talk to and work with are hesitant to reach out to that potential hiring manager or that leader of the business that they’d really like to be a part of. But, you know, I think the biggest thing and it’s no different than being in person and working up the courage to, you know, go up and talk with somebody. But, you know, it becomes kind of an awkward entrance, I think, in the digital landscape. But it’s become all that more important to put yourself out there. So I think the biggest piece of advice that I can give for folks is if you if you know where you want to work, and by that I mean you’ve you spent the time doing the research, you know the corporate values that you’re looking for, and you found an organization that aligns with that, then figure out who the hiring managers are and the decision makers. And don’t be nervous to be rejected. You know, I think if you if you want to get into this space, you’ve got to put yourself out there and so think LinkedIn is a great way to connect. I think there’s, you know, an emerging class of kind of cannabis focused, you know, digital networks out there. Utilize whatever means that that you feel comfortable with, but then when you kind of get to that point of uncomfortability, you know, take that brave leap and put yourself out there. And, you know, I was talking with Brandon before we got started. You know, when I got my start in the cannabis space, I applied to several different jobs, including to being the assistant for a CEO of a major MSO, because I wanted to be in the space. And it kind of you know, it took that networking and it took the connections in that building. But the biggest piece of advice I can give folks is, you know, put yourself out there. Don’t be scared, but be thoughtful. You know, make sure when you reach out that it’s not just a shotgun approach that you put some thought to the messaging that you have in your LinkedIn message or in your email, and that you give a personal anecdote that shows that, you know, you’re interested in the company, you’ve done your research. And if there’s an opportunity to add value, and I’m sure that’s something we can kind of talk about, you know, throughout the show today, networking is about adding value and connecting, you know, the folks within your network with people that can add value to their business or their operation. So if you see an opportunity to constructively add value or to take your skill set and potentially offer it up to somebody within your network, that’s really where you’re going to start to build those long lasting relationships. And that’s where the stuff that’s really exciting can come from.
Brandon [00:06:46] Absolutely, you have. Let’s unpack a little bit of that there, you said a lot, a lot of good stuff. You know, someone once told me the currency of real networking is not greed, but generosity.
Brandon [00:06:57] And, you know, I think that speaks to providing value, whether you’re networking to get a job, whether networking among other businesses to promote your business. You certainly want to provide value.
Brandon [00:07:09] You know, I think that folds back to planning to network, identifying your potential opportunities, potential contacts, and then to finding ways to add value to their lives professionally and otherwise. So in today’s world, you know, how would you go about doing that? You know, it’s not as simple as going walk around a trade show floor and handing out business cards, which in an industry that may not be as accessible, like the cannabis industry, for some folks that are outside of the industry or for new businesses. What would you recommend? How would you go about that?
Kurt [00:07:44] Yeah, and I think, you know, you’re hitting on a couple of big points. I think trade shows and, you know, I know folks in the trade show industry and I hate to say it, but trade shows were networker were losing popularity and a lot of industries because of kind of some of the stuff that we’ve already talked about, where most of the networking that was happening was not happening from nine to five during the trade show hours, but was really happening from five to who knows when after the event. And so, you know, I think that that trend has already been kind of going in that direction. And obviously, COVID and the different things that are going on have accelerated that. But I think, you know, the number one thing is, is to do your research and to understand kind of what you’re hoping for and what you’re, you know, you’re going for. And I think networking for the sake of networking is it is fine. But, you know, particularly if you’re interested in getting into a job or selling a service or doing these things, understand, you know, who’s out there, who’s in that target list. I know it kind of sounds, you know, a little sales-ey to have like a target list and whatnot. But, you know, I think coming organized and coming prepared is the best way to do it. And then again, you know, I start on LinkedIn because I found that, you know, there’s a lot of the folks that, you know, I’m looking for are already on LinkedIn. Again, you know, I know there’s kind of cannabis-focused networking groups like Leafwire and things like that. But, yeah, I think the biggest thing is preparation and knowing to the value that you have.
Kurt [00:09:11] And so I think, you know, understanding, again, who you’re speaking to, how you may be able to help them, whether that’s yourself or through a connection that you may have. But again, you know, no different than a lot of parts of our lives. You know, the key to success is preparation in those communications.
Brandon [00:09:27] Absolutely. Yes. So let’s go back to some of the social networks. You know, I think for many of those in this industry coming from, whether it be infrastructure related backgrounds or cultivation backgrounds, the digital landscape may seem quite different. And in the cannabis space, it’s certainly diverse. You know, I know there’s plenty of social networks out there. As you mentioned, Leafwire, GrowDiaries, Growers Network, and then all the traditional social networks like Reddit and LinkedIn. You mentioned that LinkedIn is your favorite. Personally, it’s my favorite as well for connecting professionally. I think it still works in this industry just on a one to one level. But what about some of these upcoming social networking platforms for cannabis? You know, how do you feel about those? Do you have any favorites? And you know, how would you go about trying to get started in a new landscape like that?
Kurt [00:10:21] Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, to be honest with you, my experience on some of the emerging platforms is is limited. You know, I’ve heard good things about, you know, things like Leafwire and Grow Diaries and whatnot. But, you know, I hate to say, I’m a traditionalist. I think, you know, a lot of the stuff that we’re looking for, I’m just kind of the surface level stuff is achievable in kind of our traditional methods, whether that be LinkedIn or Instagram or Reddit for certain things. Again, I think you have to go where you’re your target audience is. So, you know, I think sometimes if you’re looking more on the grow side, you get some really phenomenal content networking within some of the blogs and whatnot. If you’re looking more professional services and what not, LinkedIn is still a great approach. I would just say that, you know, the biggest thing that I have found, you know, particularly on the recruiting side, you know, it’s just making sure that whatever social media that you have out there is setup for your success and demonstrates kind of who you are through and through. We always used to say, you know, anything that’s customer facing, we need to be proud of. And I think, you know, when you think about it, your personal brand is essentially what you’re building within your social network. And anything that is, again, customer facing and customers might be future customers or just people that you hope to meet. You want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile picture is professional, doesn’t need to be suit and tie. But it definitely needs to, I think, be representative of who you are. So if if you’re somebody that prefers a more casual look, go with that. But it still should look, you know, professional. If you’re on Instagram and what not. Making sure that the posts and the messages and those type of things are all in line with the values that you want people to associate with you. You know, a good anecdote is I had another recruiter connect with me and, you know, I connected with him, you know, always looking to network. And when I went through some of the LinkedIn posts that I had seen him recently post, or like, I just it did not align with my values at all. And so that was something I think that to just be conscious of is, you know, your social media should be representative of you and your personal brand and your personal story, but also make sure that you understand that, you know, it’s not just personal, that people do look at it. And, you know, the things that we post in the way that we represent ourselves, they do have, you know, either benefits or consequences on the flip side. But, yeah, I would just definitely say, you know, regardless of what the platform is, keep your information up to date, make sure that your information in there is actionable. So if it’s on LinkedIn, people are probably looking at your profile to see what you’ve done. So make sure that you’ve got bullet points under each of your job titles and your roles. Just make sure again that that kind of through and through professionalism and representation of who you are can be really experienced, kind of, you know, within that social media platform.
Brandon [00:13:19] Yeah, I agree, I think there’s really a lack of many people engaging in some of these platforms because they also don’t think it’s for them. You know, I think a suit and tie is required and say you’re a horticulturalist in a greenhouse and you’re looking for a new greenhouse position, they may not directly go to LinkedIn. You know, I think in my perspective, they probably should be. You know, I think that that’s a great place to connect still. But that kind of brings me to does a lot of niches in the cannabis industry that are very different than other more traditional businesses. So I think because of that, people find a lot of confusion in how to network, how to build a network and how to plan for networking. When they say, well, my potential manager lives in a greenhouse all day, you know, why would he want to hear from me on social media? But the reality is that everybody’s on social media these days. And the world’s only gone more digital in 2020. So for those that are working in a niche, how would you suggest to them to build out their profile? And have you seen anyone do that? Well.
Kurt [00:14:26] Yeah, absolutely. And I think, again, you know, that’s an all time great question, particularly, you know, if you’re listening to the podcast and you’re somebody who’s a grower or an extraction technician or somebody who’s back of the house, I think all the more reason that you need to put yourself out there and make sure that you are well represented on things like LinkedIn, you know, especially because, again, you’ve got to go to where your desires are at. And so if, you know, if you’re hoping to advance your career, you’re hoping to get that next big opportunity. You know, the folks that know you and know how amazing you are are already in your greenhouse. So what we need to do is set you up for success on a broader scale. And I can tell you, we recruit, you know, for extraction technicians, for grow folks all the way from, you know, entry level, all the way up to master growers. And I can tell you, it’s a challenge to find those people outside of kind of the networks and the circles that you have. And so most of those niche roles we’re finding through our network. And that becomes a challenge because your network, you know, as much as we’re here to talk about network, everyone’s network is only so big. And so if you’re listening to podcasts and you’re thinking, you know, hey, I’m ready for that next step in my career or you’re on the outside of the industry looking in in some way, I would really encourage you to take a look and do kind of a self brand evaluation. And I’m not somebody I mean, as you can see, relatively casual guy. You know, I’m not somebody who always, you know, is up on my social media and whatnot. But again, you have to prepare not for the job you have, but for the job that you want or the career that you want. And so, you know, I would really encourage folks, if they’re listening to this and they don’t have a LinkedIn setup or they haven’t logged in in three or four years to change that. And, you know, there are growers, you know, I’m connected with on LinkedIn that do a hell of a job. And, you know, there’s a grower in Michigan at, and I don’t know if a name dropping here is a good idea, but Flourish in Michigan, one of their head growers and her name is escaping me at the moment, she posts pictures of their grow regularly. And I can tell you, not only do I like it, but I’ve seen MSO CEOs and different people outside of the state of Michigan who have now started to see her images and follow her. And I can tell you, when we get our next big grow job, it’s the people that are top of mind who have demonstrated that they a) have professionalism, b) have the skill set, but c) we know that they’re out there through their efforts online and through different, you know, events and whatnot. Those are the folks that are getting the first call. So, again, if you’re ready for that next step in your career or just kind of looking to make some adjustments or whatnot, just make sure your web presence is there and then don’t be bashful about your work. Take good pictures, make sure that there are pictures you’re going to be proud of. But show us what you’re working with, literally.
Brandon [00:17:28] Yeah, I think it really comes back to showing your success, right? Yeah. You really want to build a personal brand and you want people to know what it is that you can do. And, you know, success comes in many factors, whether it be managing multiple cannabis facilities or simply improving the workflow at your last job. People want to align themselves with others that have been successful or at least can take that initiative. So I think those platforms are a really great place to do that. Yeah.
Brandon [00:17:58] Well, I appreciate the insight on on all of that.
Brandon [00:18:03] You know, I think when we’re talking about, you know, online media, where a lot of the confusion kind of breaks down for those that maybe are in a niche position. Back of house, as you said, is they think that it’s all self promotion. Right. So in some regards, you want to show your success, you’re planning to network, but you’re also starting a community, right? And I think being part of a community means you’re an individual contributor and you’re also becoming a matchmaker in the industry. And in doing so, you know, I found that when you’re a matchmaker, it really opens a lot of doors for you both immediately and in the future. And, you know, I think a lot of people are hesitant to reach out to recruiters thinking that maybe they’re not part of their network. Maybe there needs to be a specific focus. And, you know, I mean, correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t want everybody to start calling you right after this suggests to just to chat and, you know, get to know you better and, you know, maybe, waste your time. But you know, it to me, it seems that in your position, that’s exactly what you want. You want expand your network and you want to learn what what people are doing out there and that that’s actually OK. What do you think might be a right assumption?
Kurt [00:19:19] Yeah, absolutely. And I you know, again, I’m curious, William, you know, your take on on some of this stuff, as well. But, you know, one of the reasons that I love the cannabis industry and I guess to it to a certain extent, you know, maybe I’m old school on this, but one of the things that I love about cannabis that brought me into the cannabis industry is the community. And so, you know, one of the things that I have concerns around, you know, legalization and kind of the efforts and the push is that loss of community that is there. Because, you know, when it was maybe in a less than legal market, you know, you were networking and you knew your people and that’s how you found different products and different things that were out there. And as we transition to the much needed, normalized and legalized market, I think there is a little bit of the loss of the community that has made cannabis so special. You know, as a recruiter, you know, I think the biggest thing that I work with folks on it is no different than a real estate agent or a lawyer or where you buy your cannabis. You have to be judicious in how you pick those people and make sure that your recruiter gives you the good vibe. Feels like they are can represent who you are. And yeah. So I would definitely say if, you know, if there’s folks listening that are looking to move to their next, you know, the next level in their career, you know, get different connections and networks. Please reach out to me, you know, shoot me an e-mail, email@example.com, and I’d be happy to connect with you. But yeah, well, ultimately, it is about fostering a community. And I’m happy to kind of touch a little bit more on kind of the process of recruiting and what that looks like. But I’d be curious. You know, William, I know you’ve been in the cannabis space for a while. Have you seen kind of a maintaining of community kind of in the different worlds that you’re playing in?
Will [00:21:05] Yeah, Kurt, it’s actually very interesting you say that, you know, I can remember trade shows from back in 2015, 2016. You know, it definitely felt, you know, and specifically in cannabis, it’s definitely felt like community was a lot more tight knit. Definitely less suits and ties back in that day. And no, I’d say it’s definitely evolved. And it’s you know, I don’t think the word diluted is appropriate, but it’s definitely evolved. And, you know, I think there has been a little bit of a loss a little bit in the sense of community. You know, lately I’ve really enjoyed going, and not lately I guess because of COVID, but as of even last year, I really enjoyed actually going to a lot of the hemp trade shows.
Will [00:21:53] And I thought they were a lot more…you know, it felt like a lot more like there was a better sense of community if those hemp trade shows. And it’s definitely evolving and you know, and I know it’ll continue to evolve.
Will [00:22:06] And it certainly has this year with everything kind of going online. You know, I would have just a quick question for you, Kurt. You know, leveraging LinkedIn as as your networking platform. Do you have any other tips on reaching out? I know a lot of folks don’t necessarily read LinkedIn messages, but, you know, do you have any advice for any of the folks out there, specifically what they can do to reach out?
Kurt [00:22:35] Yeah, and I think that’s a great point. So, I mean, I think, you know, you start with just the basics, which is make a connection, you know, try to connect with them. You know, I know LinkedIn only allows a certain amount of characters in that message, but, you know, I think most people are open to adding, you know, to their network. I think really where that work comes in is after they’ve accepted that connection. So, again, I think that’s where you put some thought to what you’re trying to get out of that relationship and what you can add to that relationship and then be short and concise. Your goal is to get, you know, a phone call setup or a coffee or a meeting. It’s not to give your entire life story. And I think that’s where a lot of folks that I’ve spoken with kind of fall short is they think, you know, this is my one shot at communicating and I’m going to get everything I need to down in this one note. And that’s where it comes off a little bit like *noise indicating wobbly* so, you know, your goal is to get on the phone call because most people, you know, when you get them on a phone call, are you can you know, if if it’s responsible with everything going on, meet them for coffee. Your goal is to, you know, dangle a carrot. It’s to say, hey, you know, I I’m so happy to make your connection. You know, I’d love the opportunity to…
Kurt [00:23:48] And then say what you’re you know, what your goal is. And if they’re into a great. And if they’re not, it happens. The other thing that I think sometimes, you know, people are nervous to – and I think there’s some people out there that, you know, that maybe already get a lot of calls and I’ll cringe when I say this – but if you really think you’ve got some value to add, whether it’s from a product standpoint or are you as a potential candidate, call them! And people say, well, how do you do that? There’s so many different you know, this is 2020, you can Google people’s names. You can do those type of things. And in the most respectful and responsible and appropriate manner, if you find their number out there and you give somebody a call and you say, hey, you know, I’m I’m sorry to bother you, but, you know, I sent you a LinkedIn message a couple of days ago and I just want to follow up, is now an OK time? And if they say no and they never call you back, it wasn’t meant to be. And, you know, that’s sometimes I think the thing that we struggle with a little bit is that rejection or that risk. But Tom Segura is one of my favorite comedians and he has a bit that ends talking about the best customer service quote he ever got was some people suck.
[00:24:56] I think that’s like the most apt thing where if you send, and your intentions are good, you know, maybe they don’t suck. Maybe they’re just really busy. But if somebody doesn’t get back to you, it’s OK. So that’s what I would say is, you know, just send him a message. Make sure your profile is set up for success.
[00:25:11] Because if I get a message from somebody and their profile picture looks like, you know, it was taken in 1997 on a flip phone and, you know, it just looks like it wasn’t meant to be. I may not respond, but if they’re, if they have a really professional and engaging LinkedIn because my first thing when I get a message is to click their profile. And then just the last thing on that is, you know, your point on the on the hemp events. I think what we’re going to see post-COVID is it’s gonna be the people that are creative in how they they set events and how they network beyond the traditional, you know, cocktails after a trade show. It’s the people that are going to put on engaging events. You know, I worked in the motorcycle industry for quite some time, and it was it was a challenge to get people sometimes to go to trade shows. But where did you find people? You found people at events like Daytona Bike Week and Sturgis and those kind of things. And I think as we start to get, you know, some of the kind of, you know, the laws get more in line with where we’re hoping it’s going to be the people that put on creative events that draw people in regardless of the networking, because it’s such an engaging event. And “oh, by the way, you can network while you’re here,” that are really going to see the success.
Will [00:26:24] Right. I love that. I love that.
Brandon [00:26:27] Yeah. I think more exciting events, you know, in my mind, virtual conferences are not very user friendly. It’s not providing a lot of value. You know, it’s like kind of bloated zoom call in some ways. But exciting events are definitely needed. You know, for both of you guys, Kurt and William, you know, you touched on, okay, so we’ve “dangled the carrot.” We’ve potentially met for coffee. We’ve done all those things. Right. And then I think a lot of people get caught up with the follow up. You know, how do you follow up afterwards? People get nervous. Fear of rejection starts to set in potentially. What are your best suggestions for keeping that relationship alive? Maybe there’s not an immediate position available for you, you know?
Brandon [00:27:12] But that’s not to say there won’t be one in a few months. So, as a recruiter, how do you see the best way to address that?
Kurt [00:27:20] Yeah, and, you know, I think, you know, Will’s going to have an interesting perspective on this because, again, it’s no different than selling. And that’s, you know, my background is in sales. And I happened to stumble into staffing because I saw a need while I was working in the space. And, you know, our goal at Seed Talent is to ultimately, you know, raise the level of the bar of the candidates that are coming in. And so, again, I’m a sales guy coming into the recruiting sphere. So you’ll have to excuse it if it sounds too sales-ey. But the reality is you’ve got to close the deal. And so, you know, when you when you have those events, you meet for that coffee, it should end with some follow up steps. Hey, it was great speaking to you today. You know, I know we discussed, you know, X, Y or Z. Would it be all right if I followed up with you on Tuesday just to see where we’re at on this set the precedent that you’re gonna follow up, and follow up.
Kurt [00:28:10] And again, you know, it’s it’s a series of things that happen. And I think what happens is people build narratives in their head for why, and again it happens to salespeople and it happens to candidates, where it’s, you know, they didn’t seem like they really like me or they weren’t that interested.
Kurt [00:28:27] You don’t know until you get a no. And so what I encourage folks to do is be respectful and to follow up. But I also do, and you know, I don’t want to give a shameless plug here. I also think that’s the advantage of working. If you are looking for, you know, position or what not, working with a recruiter, because we have those relationships with our clients where we’re kind of working on both ends. We work in the best interest of our client, no doubt.
Kurt [00:28:53] But we also understand, you know, the value that great candidates bring to us as a recruiting and staffing agency. And if that one position isn’t the right opportunity for the candidate, the next company or the next client may be. And so we try to do a great job of making sure that we’re communicating well on the candidates side as well as on the client side. So if that is something you’re a little bit nervous on, I again, you know, I encourage you to reach out to us, you know, or if there’s a recruiter that you’re more comfortable with. But reach out to us and we’re happy to talk to you through the process. But the biggest thing is to follow up to to wait for that no. And when you get a no, don’t hesitate to ask for constructive feedback, you know, “hey, I totally understand it’s not the right time. You know, just for moving forward, was there certain things that the other candidate had that I can maybe work to to solidify in my background?” Or if you’re selling a service and trying to get, “you know, hey, I absolutely, totally understand. Was there anything particularly in the pitch that, you know, where I may have lost your interest or whatnot?” And some people might say no, but other people may give you that key to the next customer to say absolutely, you did everything perfect. But this last little feature that you touched on, it’s actually not what we need and that I’ll even give you the opportunity to say, oh, shoot, I didn’t even let you know that that’s actually not a necessary thing. But Will, you know, I’d be curious, you know, on the sales side, because it’s it’s kind of no different. You’re really just selling yourself.
Will [00:30:15] Yeah, no, you’re you’re absolutely right, and I think that follow up is absolutely critical. And, you know, it’s it’s a numbers game like anything else. And I heard a pretty interesting phrase recently, but rejection is the universe’s protection.
[00:30:32] So just because you get rejected, just because it’s not a good fit, you know, it doesn’t mean that you… Just move on to the next the next one. Again, it’s a numbers game, but, you know, being very high level with with your follow up and really sticking to your commitments as well. If I promise that I’m going to send you this information on Tuesday, you know, I’m definitely going to stick to my commitment, that’s absolutely critical as well in your follow ups. You always want to stick to those commitments. And, you know, that seems a little maybe sophomoric, but it’s definitely something that I find, you know, especially in this industry. Unfortunately, there’s a little bit of a lack of following up and sticking to those commitments.
Will [00:31:21] So I think you raise some great points there, Kurt.
Kurt [00:31:24] Yeah, big time. And I guess, you know, I’d just add just a personal anecdote for for if somebody is listening and they’re a little bit discouraged. So at GTI, I applied for three different jobs. I mentioned, assistant to the CEO, another sales position, and then finally, the job that I ended up getting. And when I applied to the first job, I sent probably too long of a note to the senior vice president of sales. And on the note, straight up said, you know, I understand that there may be candidates out there that have more experience, but I believe my grit and determination will be a greater factor in my success. And I’d love to take you to breakfast, lunch or dinner at your convenience to walk you through that. I didn’t get a response on the note, but, you know, six months later, another position opened up and I got a call back and ended up, you know, having just a wonderful time working there and, you know, a great opportunity and ended up working with the person that I sent the note to. And he got it. And we ended up joking about it. You know, throughout my my time there. But that’s the kind of stuff that, you know, you don’t always know, you know, where the seed that you planted will sprout, not to use a canibus pun here, but when you’re planting seeds and you’re getting that network built, you never know where things can go. And so, you know, to the point of the conversation, follow up. But just make sure, you know, if it’s not the right fit, that you end on a good note because it might not be the right fit for that job or that company. But this net, you know, the network you’re building, you’d be surprised at how connected it can be. Just make sure that you’re always putting your best foot forward. You’re thankful for people’s time. And you just you never know when you’re going to say the right thing or get the right chance to capitalize on the opportunity.
Will [00:33:08] Yeah, it sounds like your experience with GTI has been, you know, was very valuable for you. You know, did you, initially, did you have GTI kind of on the top of your list when you were when you were searching for different companies and, you know, were you…
Will [00:33:26] It sounds like you were pretty persistent with your following up them and, you know, playing the numbers game?
Kurt [00:33:32] Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, I’m so thankful for my time there. They gave me a great opportunity to start my career in cannabis with, you know, what I think is one of the best organizations in the business. But yeah, when I started that process, I kind of knew what was important to me. And I had some different folks in my network that, you know, worked at some other companies and GTI. You know, I’ll namedrop a good friend of mine, David Bleicher, was the brand manager for Dogwalkers over there. And he was the one kind of throughout the process encouraging me to stay committed and whatnot. But, yeah, I think that goes back to the point that we touched on earlier, which is if you’re going to go fully at something, do the research. You know, I had done the research and narrowed down the companies that I was gonna be applying to to a smaller list. And when I sent a note or did a follow up, you know, it had specifics about the company and the reason that I wanted to work there. And once I got the opportunity to do the interviews, I was able to communicate with it, you know, within those interviews that this wasn’t just some passé thing that I was hoping to do, but was something that I felt was part of my life calling. And I know that sounds a little extreme for some people, but I know that there’s a lot of folks listening that have dedicated their life to the craft of indoor agriculture or cannabis or hemp or whatever it may be. And you’re sitting there hoping for that next opportunity. And it’s OK to be honest with people again and be professional in how you communicate it. But, you know, one of the things that I think so many employers and so many clients that we’re looking for are looking for in a candidate that is hard to get on, a resumé is passion. And so if you’re able to get on the phone with somebody, meet somebody for coffee, you know, see somebody at an event, you know, God willing, and you’re able to exude that passion for this space. That’s the thing that is so difficult to communicate, I think, in a digital landscape in itself or, you know, on a resumé. And so that’s the thing. You know, if if this is your lifeblood of cannabis and, you know, indoor ag or hemp or whatnot is your lifeblood, communicate that in a professional way. And that’s the type of stuff that people love to be inspired by.
Brandon [00:35:39] I love that. I love that. Well, we’re coming up to about 30 minutes here, and I’ve got to say, I really appreciate you coming on.
Brandon [00:35:46] And you heard it straight from Kurt. I’ll get out there, plan to network. Know what you’re looking for. Get on LinkedIn and start promoting your personal brand and hopefully bring some honesty and passion to the industry at the same time, which you clearly do, my friend. So thank you again. Nice to have you on.
[00:36:03] Yeah, it’s absolute pleasure. You know, eyes always to work with you guys. And, you know, for anybody listening, if anything, you know, sparked your interest. Please visit us at seedtalent.com. We’d love to work with you and help place you at great companies like AgTech.