b&b73 Founder of Stemless, Koushi King, on where the marijuana Industry is headed #deaddayjobarmy
What’s it like to run a start up all by yourself? Or better yet, what’s it like to run a startup in an industry where you main product is only legal in a handful of states? We talk to Koushi King, founder of Stemless.co, a weed delivery service that’s hoping to make a dent in the medical marijuana industry in California.
She talks to us about the obstacles she’s overcome to be a solo start up founder, the ways she’s navigating through a very new, yet very profitable industry, and how she stays focused to keep moving forward every day.
This is the 3rd week in our October Entrepreneur Month series! #deaddayjobarmy
Koushi King: I had this job and it paid well, and you know the first time in your life after graduating college where you have money and you get to decide what you want to do with it, and so that was addicting for a while but honestly it was never very fulfilling.
Koushi King: Marijuana falls under this category of basically anyone in this industry cannot claim expenses against their revenue…so a lot of dispensaries are really struggling.
Koushi King: Running a startup and trying to get it from 0 to 100 is all about figuring out how to get around obstacles in ways that you wouldn’t’ve normally thought of in the past.
Koushi King: It’s a huge market so it’s totally fine to have competitors. It’s actually a good thing I think because, like you said, it shows that there’s definitely a market to be had here, but the market is so big that you can afford to branch out, do different things, focus on different groups of people.
Koushi King: I love that it’s a huge opportunity to do something different. And [marijuana] is just this once in a generational type opportunity. I don’t think you’re gonna see anything like this again.
Koushi King: Cannabis is gonna be the first industry, multi-billion dollar industry, that women ran…it’s a new industry and so there aren’t any old rules to play by. You’re making the rules as you go along.
Koushi King: We’re already seeing growth rates of 40% year over year. New states are being on-boarded constantly, and each new state, it’s not that the money wasn’t there before, but it was all black market. So now you’re gonna see it come to light.
Koushi King: Anytime you have black market activity, it’s just ripe for criminal activity, which ultimately affects all of us. Bringing something to light, yeah it’s 30%+ tax rates are not ideal–I don’t like that any more than anyone else–but it does bring the activity to light. Make everything legal, everything’s nice and clean. There’s not the opportunity for illicit activity that there was, and every day that opportunity shrinks a little bit more.
Koushi King: It really leads to a criminal cycle, where you have this stupid conviction, now it’s legal but your state isn’t going to retroactively pardon you, and you cant’ get a job, which just leads to more poverty, and just more desperate ways to get money: criminal activity.
Koushi King: Once you have a target market, every decision that you make revolves around that target market. Once you have a target market, every decision that you make, fail strategy, your marketing, every feature you add, should be dedicated towards that target market.
Koushi King: from the very beginning there’s just a really long list of things to do, and there are days where I don’t even make it to that list I have. Just responding to other emails or something else comes up, and, you don’t even touch the list. So, as long as you can always be moving forward. The hardest thing I think is to motivate yourself, because nobody cares if you stop working on this.
Koushi King: People seem to think that you’re gonna have this full time job and you’ll work on this thing on the side and then you’ll get funded and you’ll seamlessly transition into that new lifestyle and a slightly smaller paycheck but everything will be great. Or they think I have to quit my job and get paid nothing. That’s not true. There’s a million ways to make money while you’re startup is in pre-launch stage and if you can’t figure it out then it’s really hard to sell the fact that you should be an entrepreneur.