If I Knew Then: Our Biggest Startup Mistake

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“If I Knew Then” is an ongoing series from Crane’s Phoenix, in which they ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

In this article, Giving Tree Wellness Center co-founder Lilach Power discusses mistakes and lessons learned from starting a cannabis business.

The Mistake:

I was completely wrong on the funding portion of this industry.

I was in charge of getting our business plan together and was tasked with organizing how we would start this business. In our business, there is not a lot of data you can use because it’s a new industry. So, I did my best, but we realized that my best was not great at all. I was completely wrong on the funding portion of this industry and pretty much missed one zero in how much we needed.

We ended up having to do everything ourselves because we didn’t have the budget. My business partner and I worked very hard because we didn’t have the funding; it was just the two of us. So, we split the tasks. I oversaw the construction and did the hiring. She did zoning and planning and protocols. We had to do everything ourselves because we were broke. We had to borrow more and more money by knocking on doors.

I remember when [my business partner] wanted to order some office supplies, like a stapler and some sticky notes. I told her, “You are not buying anything. We are broke.” It was that bad here. It was very stressful. I didn’t know if we were going to make it. I’m the financial person and I definitely loaded way too much work on both of us. We didn’t see our kids and we had no social life. We had to work 12-hour days, seven days a week, for about two years.

The Lesson:

It ended up being the best thing we could have done because we learned every aspect of this business. We wrote every single pitch together. I know how to build a cultivation facility.

It was very beneficial in the long run and resulted in happiness in the end. When we’re doing consulting, we now know everything due to our experiences.

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