“Profit for a company is like oxygen for a person. If you don’t have enough of it, you’re out of the game. But if you think your life is about breathing, you’re really missing something.”
– Peter Drucker
Ok, story time. When I first started this project, I was pretty excited. The idea of running my own business was exciting. The idea of running my own marijuana business, even more so. However, after the first few months of monotonous research and grunt work, I began to run out of steam. I didn’t have that “fire in the belly” drive that so many entrepreneurs talk about, and that frightened me. I was a (relatively) smart kid, I had a great idea, and I had the means to make it happen. Everything was perfect! So what was wrong? Where was the drive?
After a few days spent marinating on this subject I came to better understand my problem. While owning a business is great, and marijuana candies are great, I found that what I was lacking was a “Why?”. Why am I starting this business? To make money? Sure, that would be nice, but that wasn’t my primary motivation. To help people get stoned? I guess, but that’s more of the effect rather than the cause.
Then I realized what was really bugging me was, when it came down to it, I was just going to be another guy selling another product to another bunch of consumers. I didn’t want to be that guy. I wanted to do more than that. Be more than that. Like so many of my millennial peers, I craved purpose. A tie-in to something greater than myself, my product, or even my company.
So, I sat down one night and made a list of all the things I felt important for Sierra High to embody. Trust, Quality, Integrity, Transparency, Honest, Fair, Consumer and Employee centric… From this list, I made the first draft of the Sierra High Infusions mission statement.
Here’s what I realized while writing our mission statement. Yes, I am manufacturing a product to sell to consumers for a profit, but that does not need to define our company. So on that day I decided that Sierra High would center its entire marketing and branding campaign around cannabis awareness and education, seeking to be a role model for honest and transparent business practices in the cannabis industry. The current draft of the mission statement reads like this:
“Using reliable, quality confections, and an emphasis on education and awareness, Sierra High aims to demystify and destigmatize the world of cannabis and cannabis-related products.
In a world where misinformation is widespread and opinions are polarized, our goal is to provide reliable and dependable products accompanied by an unbiased educational experience to expand the cannabis consumer base in a responsible and honest way.
We seek to create unprecedented value by cultivating a relationship of trust and transparency with our employees, retail partners, and customers that will allow us to pursue this mission to the best of our ability while never sacrificing our commitment to quality and integrity.”
Once I connected with this greater purpose and the potential impact of my proposed company, the spark came back and the fire in my belly was resuscitated. I was going to make the best damn marijuana candies in the industry, and would use that business to help people better understand and accept this highly misunderstood industry.
At the risk of sounding cliché, I will say that I believe that responsible implementation of cannabis and its related products can profoundly change our country for the better. From job creation to medical advances to education, cannabis can be a positive force, and one to be reckoned with at that.