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If I Could Talk to Myself in 2018 Before Starting a Cannabis Business, This is What I Would Say:

I wrote this in my reflection journal yesterday evening and I think it is worth sharing.

Starting a business feels like it was written into universal law for me. I always knew that I wanted to create, I always knew that I was a leader and I have had ideas spilling out all of every seam of my being since I was a very young kid. From lemonade stands to videography I always knew that I wanted my life to be determined by me, and only me. Until choosing to take on this industry in 2018, I thought I had a grasp on what it took to run a business from watching my parents be entrepreneurs throughout my life. "Oh yeah, I can do that, easy peasy...." right?

Little did I know that this would be one of the most challenging and exciting things that I have ever faced. I love it. I love the grind. I love ideating. I love the late hours. I love it ALL. Moon Flower has exploded to be everything that I dreamed that it would be and more, and we are continuing to grow and spread our mission. I'm lucky, but luck is hard work residue. If I could talk to myself 6 years ago before making this leap, this is what I would say:

-Hard work is and always will be rewarded, you might just have to be a little patient. If you plant the seed, a flower will grow --it is fact. It is the way this world and human experience works. If you raise that flower with love, and time, and grit you will end up with something you are proud of and something that others can and WILL appreciate. If you give up, or walk away or choose not to water your plant you might end up with something smaller or less impressive. Ultimately it is up to you.

-Complaining that owning a small business is hard will get you absolutely nowhere, in fact, you're only manifesting it to get even harder. Your growth is built by your mindset. The public reads your energy with ease. Let them know that this is what you were made for and they will believe it. They will join you.

-Your network is everything. Start the conversation. Shoot your freakin shot.

-Any publicity is good publicity. Not everyone is going to like what you're selling, not everyone is going to believe in this industry. Negative opinions are simply inevitable, don't take it personally. Let them leave that comment. That comment will generate more engagement and will also allow your community to join in-- this creates a bigger conversation surrounding your business. It only creates more exposure.

-Things will happen out of your control, especially in this industry. Flow with it. Do what you can and move on, there is always an answer it just might not be the one you planned for.

-Do not say yes to everything (except in the beginning). Your time is valuable and your most important asset. That being said, know how to recognize a good opportunity.

If I could talk to my younger self, I'd tell her how proud I was of her. I would tell her about the impact that her business has had on people's lives. I would tell her to never doubt the power of this plant.

Life is good Riley. Better than good. I would say the sky is the limit, but we both know that your limit is much higher than that.

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