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My Five-Part Marijuana Success Formula

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 3.33.15 PMThis post is about succeeding in the marijuana industry. And, in just a moment, I’m going to give you my Five-Part Marijuana Success Formula.

You probably know that my company, Advanced Nutrients, does over $100 million per year designing, producing, and selling the most popular line of marijuana-specific nutrients in the world.

And, because of this, people often ask me some variation of: “BigMike, how did you become so successful?”

Now, I wasn’t always the Marijuana Don. And I wasn’t born into success, that’s for sure. On top of having severe dyslexia, ADHD, and OCD, I’m from a lower-middle class home.

My father was a great salesman but was too lackadaisical to make anything of himself. And because of his unwillingness to work hard, our family scraped by, living week to week and often day to day, having only enough for the necessities.

My mother would scream and yell at him about our money problems. They’d break dishes and hurl food at each other, painting the walls and floor with condiments.

PrintTo deal with it, I’d retreat to my bedroom and escape into the pages of the luxury-lifestyle magazine the Robb Report, ogling the mansions, luxury cars, and private jets as passionately as I eyeballed the naked ladies in the issues of Penthouse and Playboy my dad kept under his bed. Night after night I’d lose myself in a fantasy world where money was no object.

One day, I told myself, I would be rich.

At age seventeen I began studying personal development books like Psycho-Cybernetics and How to Win Friends and Influence People. At age 21 I read Think and Grow Rich.

These books completely rewired my brain and changed my beliefs about myself, money, the world, and what’s possible.

On a date with a cute blonde at age twenty, I shared my plans for the future. Dining at a steak restaurant I could barely afford, I told her how I was going to expand the lawn fertilizing company I owned, launch other businesses, make millions of dollars, and live large.

Woman laughing

The girl chuckled and said I had “delusions of grandeur.”

At that moment, I knew I never wanted to see her again. I refused to have anything to do with someone who could so easily project their negative, limiting beliefs onto others like that.

Regardless of what anyone else thought, I knew, with every cell of my being, that I would one day become wealthy. Nothing in the pages of the Robb Report—no vehicle, toy, property, or experience—would be off limits.

I first got into the marijuana biz in 1983. It was the year McDonald’s introduced the McNugget. Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Beat It,” “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics, and “We’ve Got Tonight” by Kenny Rogers were at the top of the pop charts. Trading Places, Valley Girl, Scarface, Flashdance, and Terms of Endearment were in the movie theaters.

flashdance1983It was 34 years ago.

Two of my employees convinced me to construct my first 500-square-foot grow room in the back of my lawn fertilizing business.

After busting my ass on the buildout, and filling the room with plants, I sat back in a chair, victorious, admiring what I’d built. I was in a state of wonder. It was like seeing the stars in the sky for the first time. Silly, I know. But to me, it was a huge deal.

Staring at my plants, I contemplated how much bud they would yield, what it was going to smell like and taste like, and how much money I was going to make.

I pictured giant grows—in houses, warehouses, fields, and swamps.

And I saw piles of money—stacks of cash in duffel bags, safes, and safe-deposit boxes.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 3.36.40 PMAt 23 years old, leaning back in an old office chair, the course of my life was forever changed.

I was now a pot grower.

I cracked the door to the room the next morning with excitement and anticipation—I was SO pumped to see how my little green beauties had flourished overnight.

My heart sank…

Every plant was dead—fried damn near to a crisp. I hadn’t properly ventilated the room, and the heat took the lives of my young plants—D’oh!

I’d killed my first crop.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 3.37.04 PMAfter better ventilating the room, my second attempt was only slightly better. The crop pulled through, but I only made what averaged out to minimum wage at the time, which I believe was $2.30 (in Illinois, which was where I lived).

The average grower who killed their first crop like I did and earned minimum wage on the second would probably wait until they had a better handle on the growing process before expanding into more locations.

Not me, though.

After two failed attempts, I made up my mind: I would jump headfirst into running multiple grow operations, even if I had no idea what the hell I was doing yet.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 3.35.07 PMMost of the books I read about success advised setting goals and then writing them down. So, on a pad of lined yellow paper, I wrote: I will make millions of dollars per year growing marijuana.

However, achieving that goal felt at least a few years away. So I created a smaller, more attainable goal I believed I could hit within two years. I wrote that goal down as well: Within two years I will be netting three hundred thousand dollars per year growing marijuana. (Remember, this was in 1983. I believe that same $300K works out to just south of $750K in 2017 dollars.)

I then added one more: I will become the best marijuana grower in the world.

Next, as the books suggested, I visualized myself achieving my goals. I envisioned fields of football-sized buds. I pictured customers eagerly handing me stacks of cash. I saw myself grinning from ear to ear as I stuffed the cash into safe-deposit boxes.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 3.33.58 PMAnd then I got busy.

Since then, I’ve grown, and overseen the growing of, over a million marijuana plants.

I’ve made more money in a month growing and selling weed than most people will see in their lifetime. I’ve taken my company, Advanced Nutrients, from nothing to over $100 million in annual sales, with customers in 100+ countries across the globe.

And the charity I founded, Holiday Heroes, feeds tens of thousands of hungry people each Christmas and Easter in Bulgaria. And last Christmas, I launched the Los Angeles Chapter of Holiday Heroes, which helps meet the basic daily living essentials of the homeless community in Los Angeles. Between December 2016 and Easter 2017, Holiday Heroes in L.A. donated more than $200,000 of backpacks full of daily essentials to the men, women, and children in L.A. who need it most.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 3.35.50 PMAnd it all started with goals.

Over the past 34 years, I’ve far surpassed the targets I’ve set for myself.

I wouldn’t be where I am if it were not for the practice of setting goals.

Goals laid the groundwork and were, and still are, a major driving force behind all my good fortune.

But goals on their own are useless.

They’re a start. A target. Necessary but only part of the equation.

Which is why I recommend…

If you want to succeed in growing, business, or anything else in life, consider my Five-Part Marijuana Success Formula…

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 3.34.16 PM1. Take 100% responsibility for your successes and failures from here on out.

If you’re not responsible for your success, who is?

Too many people blame their parents, the government, their boss, their spouse, their children, society, laws. the economy, or some other outside force for their circumstances. Doing so will only lead to powerlessness, failure, and misery.

Your success, or lack thereof, is up to one person and one person ONLY: YOU.

m-meditation2. Get clear on what you want.

You have to know where you want to go if you plan to get there.

Success author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar often told the story of the famous archer Howard Hill.

Howard won every archery contest he entered—267 in all. He was so good he could hit a bullseye from 50 feet away with one arrow, and then split that arrow with a second arrow.

Now, if Howard were alive and well and in his prime today, do you think you could beat him in an archery competition?

The answer YES, you could—IF Howard were blindfolded! Because you can’t hit a target you can’t see. Nor can you hit a target you don’t even have.

hhYour goals are your targets. And it’s important to see them as clearly as you can.

Now there are plenty of ways to get clear. Personally, I like to smoke some bud, close my eyes, and picture the life I want. As an alternative—or in addition to—smoking weed, you could perform five to twenty minutes of breathing meditation before you begin. That should rake away some of the clutter of the racing mind.

Once I’m in an open state, I’ll ask myself…

What do I want? What do I want my business to look like? How many people do I want to help? In what ways do I want to help them? How can I best serve our community? How much revenue do I want coming in? How about net profits? How do I want my company perceived? How can I improve my business? How can we continue to be the best at what we do?

I’ll also ask…

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 3.34.28 PMWhat do I want out of life? What do I want to add to the lives of others? Who needs my help the most? Where do I want to live? What kind of house do I want? What kind of car do I want to drive? What kind of people do I want in my life? What would my perfect day look like?

You get the point.

I’ve also used journaling and mind mapping to get clear.

The key is to find what works for YOU.

Over time, what you’ll want, or elements of what you want, will change. That’s why I recommend performing this type of activity on an ongoing basis. Once a week, once a month, once a year—again, whatever works for YOU.

When you know what you want, create specific goals with time frames in which to complete them. Write these goals down and review them daily. Five minutes a day is all it takes.

Example: By January 1st 2019 I will be making at least $1.5 million per year in net profits helping people enjoy the tastiest, most potent marijuana products in the world.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 3.34.43 PM3. Once you have clarity on that vision, create a strategy for achieving your vision.

It’s time to design your plan of execution: how you’re going to get from where you are to where you want to go.

Keep in mind: your plan is not going to be perfect. It’s going to change and evolve. But it gives you a series of actions to move you closer to your desired destination.

It points you in the general direction.

Write down each step you need to take to reach your goals. Proiritize those steps and then break them down into micro-steps. Lay out not only the WHAT but also the HOW. If you don’t know the HOW, make a plan to find out, or to hire someone who does.

A great way to get develop plans (the what) and strategies (the how) is by mind mapping. There’s plenty of info online on how to do this.

shuttle4. Execute on your plan every day.

Action is key. Even if it isn’t always the “right” action (which I’ll get into a bit more in number five down below.) The important thing is to get moving. Follow your plan.

You may be filled self-doubt and fear. This is good.

Self-doubt is a sign that you’re stretching yourself, stepping outside of the confines of your comfort zone and expanding it, and working toward something great.

Anytime you’re about to expand your comfort zone, you’re going to face resistance. And the most common weapon resistance will try to use against you is fear.

It’s been my experience that there’s no way around the fear, only through. But as you move through it, you’ll gain strength, wisdom, and courage and you will adapt—you’ll no longer fear things that once scared the shit out of you. Or, at least they won’t frighten you nearly as much as they used to.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.30.56 PMRemember these three words: Action alleviates anxiety.

Now, in some circles, taking action doesn’t get nearly the credit it should.

There’s no shortage of New Age self-help gurus who claim that seeing your desires in your mind and then tuning into the warm, fuzzy “vibrational frequency” of those desires is enough to “manifest” them from the ethers.

To that I say bullshit.

While positive thinking and manifestation practices can be powerful tools, they’re only part of the equation.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 5.04.55 PMSuccess entails more than just clarity and belief. It requires more than thoughts and feelings.

Look, you can sit on your sofa and try to “manifest” a Maybach and Hollywood mansions all you want but chances are all you’ll achieve is a headache from thinking too much. It’s not until you turn your desires into massive action that your dreams become possible.

Success requires action and speed, the momentum created by hard work.

So once you’re clear on what you want, and have a plan to accomplish it…

Charge at it like a bull charges at the red cape of a matador.

And yes, when you move with that sort of velocity, you’ll inevitably end up with a few swords in your ass.

Which brings me to…

bull25. Track your progress and re-adjust your course.

As you put one foot in front of the other, doors will open, more actions will become clear, and you’ll gain the momentum needed to hit your target.

But not everything will work out the way you thought it would.

You’ll need to track your progress, see what’s working and what isn’t, identify what needs to be changed, improved, or dropped altogether, and adjust accordingly.

A space shuttle or a plane doesn’t move along a straight line from Point A to Point B. In fact, most of the time it’s heading in the wrong direction—it’s off course, zigging to the left and zagging to the right. But it continues moving back to TRUE direction, constantly readjusting its trajectory until it gets to where it’s going.

You, too, will veer off course.

You’re going to make mistakes, blow things up, and get blood on the floor.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 4.35.52 PMYou’re going to get punched in the face from time to time.

That’s okay. Fail forward.

Each failure is an opportunity to learn and hone your craft.

Each failure moves you toward your vision.

Learning from your failures gives you wisdom.

So be willing to fail fast, fail hard, and fail often.

You have nothing to fear.

Failing isn’t bad. In fact, it’s nothing more than a test result. Feedback.

Take that feedback, learn from it what you can, and use this new data to tweak your course and make improvements—to become smarter, stronger, and better at what you do.

When you get kicked down or stumble and fall, get your ass back up and keep moving forward—cliché, I know, but true as a bullet.

Babe Ruth New York Yankees

Babe Ruth New York Yankees

The most successful people I know are also the ones who’ve failed the most. Why? Because they go after what they want. They take chances.

In 1923, Babe Ruth broke the Major League Baseball record for most home runs in a single season, as well as the record for highest batting average. He also struck out more times than any other player.

The people who are the best at what they do are often the ones who’ve failed the most. They walk the edge the vast majority of people are too scared to even approach. They make mistakes and fall flat—a lot. But their willingness to do so is part of what makes them so great.

So there you have it, my Five-Part Marijuana Success Formula.

Implement it, and you will succeed. Period.


Now own your shit, get clear, create a plan, take action charging at your goals like a fucking bull, and track and readjust your course as you go.

Be relentless.

Talk soon,

P.S. If you liked this post, you’ll also enjoy this one

It’s a story that involves millions of pot plants, hundreds of millions of dollars, ingenious counter surveillance techniques, a shakedown by a violent biker gang, a plane crash, a crazy and vengeful ex-girlfriend, giant busts, a manhunt by the DEA and U.S. Marshals, a kidnapping, life on the lam under seven different identities, over 50 firsts in the world of marijuana growing, and a bizarre near death experience that forever changed my life.

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>>> Read the Story HERE <<<

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