The Platform That Brings Budtenders, Brands, and Dispensaries Together

andrew duffy best in grow

Andrew Duffy attended Harvard then went on to work for the most successful hedge fund manager in the world (Ray Dalio). Ready to start his own business Andrew and his co-founder ditched the cold New England winters and moved to Colorado to start Best in Grow, a platform that brings budtenders, brands, and dispensaries together in one place online.

Learn more at:
https://bestingrow.io/

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Getting the word out about your cannabis product to the most important people in the cannabis industry can be a big challenge. Today's guest is working on a platform that brings budtenders, brands, and others together in one place online. I'm pleased to welcome Andrew Duffy from Best in Grow on the show today. Andrew, welcome to "CannaInsider."

Andrew: Matt, it's an absolute pleasure to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Matthew: Give us a sense of geography, where are you in the world today?

Andrew: I'm coming to you live from beautiful Boulder, Colorado.

Matthew: Great. And I'm in Lisbon, Portugal today. So, tell me, what is Best in Grow, at a high level?

Andrew: At a high level, Best in Grow is one part slack built for dispensaries and employee management tool that helps teams communicate. It's one part Facebook built for cannabis professionals, allowing all those teams to communicate even across businesses, between dispensaries, between brands. And it's one part powerful data analytics engine. We take in data from all the interactions that we see on the platform and the information that users of the platform provide to us, and use it to help brands create better products, sell them more effectively, and market them more efficiently. And it's all rolled into a single web, Android and iOS application, to help all of these businesses succeed.

Matthew: Can you share a bit about your background and journey and what prompted you to start Best in Grow?

Andrew: Absolutely. So I grew up in Washington, D.C. I went to Harvard for undergrad, where I studied behavioral economics, decision science, psychology, and vowed never to spend another winter in the northeast. So after graduating...

Matthew: [inaudible 00:01:52].

Andrew: Yeah, exactly. After graduating, I went on to Bridgewater Associates, which is the world's largest hedge fund, where I was a risk analyst, did some machine learning projects, had a number of roles there. And it was a really unique, awesome, challenging environment, learned a lot. But ultimately, one of my closest friends from Harvard, who was also working in finance and private equity, decided that this was not the life for us. We didn't feel like we were making an impact, and we didn't feel like we were in the right industry to make the type of impact that we wanted to. So we packed up a car, moved to Colorado, and decided we're gonna dive headfirst into cannabis, we're going to figure out exactly what's going on in this industry firsthand from the people who know it the best.

So as you can imagine, that conversation with my parents was a tense one, telling them that I was leaving my job at the world's largest hedge fund to go sell pot. But ultimately, they were really supportive. And I came out to Colorado, and have been so, so happy about that decision.

Matthew: Well, you kind of just glossed over there, but Bridgewater and Associates, you know, arguably the most successful hedge fund in history based in, I think, Westport, Connecticut now, right there on the Long Island Sound, a cute, little town. And Ray Dalio, the founder, is kind of going and making his way around the press right now about his book, "Principles." And he has a very unusual way of conducting businesses. People who have heard of him probably know, like, he wants to flush out the truth or the best idea regardless of how uncomfortable it is or where it comes from. Can you just talk a little bit about that methodology? Because it's a little bit unorthodox but obviously effective.

Andrew: Absolutely. Yeah. So I worked actually directly for Ray on his research team for part of my time there, so I have a very hands-on, in-person experience with how he operates, as well as how the whole company operates. But broadly, what I would say is the defining phrase of that whole methodology is just rip off the band aid. A lot of times in a business environment, a lack of open communication or transparency or willingness to tell people how things really are will result in problems down the road that will make things even worse. Someone who has been stuck at the company for six months who should have left six months prior because no one was willing to tell them they weren't doing a good job. And ultimately, I really, really liked that system of management. I really enjoyed my time there because it taught me to be much more open, it taught me to be much more willing to discuss my own flaws and the flaws of others. And ultimately, that supported everyone around me and it supported me to a significant degree as well.

So, while people from the outside have a lot of fear of that system, once you get used to it, and once you put aside your ego a little bit and get away from the idea that being criticized is a bad thing, you can really make some big strides with yourself and the people around you if you can effectively embrace that. And part of that is what informed what we're doing with Best in Grow, creating a platform that allows people to communicate, give feedback, and effectively make sure that their teams are operating as efficiently as possible all in one place.

Matthew: So, how does this contrast to the, you know, snowflake trigger warning, the right to not be offended group that you had probably at the social-justice-rich Harvard, to coming into Bridgewater where you don't have a right not to be offended and people are gonna talk to you frankly and directly? How did that contrast feel, and did all of your colleagues, were they able to survive that?

Andrew: Absolutely, yes. So survival at Bridgewater really depends on whether you fit at Bridgewater. If you don't fit at Bridgewater, people will tell you, and ultimately you'll know it. So you'll either leave or be fired before it becomes too much of a problem.

In terms of the sort of snowflake mentality and the right to be offended, there are a lot of really intelligent people at Bridgewater and very reasonable people at Bridgewater, and I think that's the key. If you're operating with people who are intelligent and reasonable, and with whom you can have a great discussion, there is really no need to be offended at any time. Anything that someone says, you can always counter with a logical argument. If you give them a good argument for why you believe the thing that you believe, then they'll be willing to believe it too. That's the whole idea of the idea of meritocracy, is that the best ideas rise to the top, but you are required to tell people why your idea is the best. And so I think how it really differs from that mentality of, "I have the right to be offended and believe whatever I want," is that you have to justify every belief that you hold. And that's a way of being that I like to espouse in my life, and I think everyone should espouse in their lives because taking a real hard, solid look at what you believe and why is the only way to make sure that you believe the things that you truly believe. It's very easy to get caught up in ideas that you don't necessarily feel to your core if you can't even explain them to yourself. So Bridgewater really brings that out in people.

Matthew: Yeah. And there's a famous quote around the man that has or a woman that has principles doesn't need tactics, because principles are adaptive where tactics can, you know, be destroyed and overturned. So Ray's founding idea of having principles is pretty interesting and one that I've been attracted to and kind of heard him on a few different podcasts and watched his 30-minute [inaudible 00:07:28]. But we'll jump off this idea. I'll include in the show notes like a 30-minute YouTube overview of his ideology and methodology. And he has such incredible results that speak for themselves. It's worth looking at.

Andrew: Absolutely. Yeah, I'd recommend to anybody listening to give "Principles" a read. It's a really interesting book and can help you, even if you don't agree with all the things that Ray has to say, find what your principles are and determine how you wanna live your life as a result.

Matthew: So tell us a little bit about the problems that you're trying to solve for each group of people, budtenders, influencers, dispensaries, and brands with your platform.

Andrew: Absolutely. So with budtenders, our goal is just to make their lives easier. They work hectic jobs, they work long hours, they get paid low wages, and they need a massive amount of information at their fingertips daily to be effective. They need to know how to be compliant with the regulatory restrictions that they operate under. They need to know a huge swath of products and all the information about those products so they can recommend them effectively. And they need to have great customer service skills. They need to be able to help people find the products that they want, even if those people don't understand cannabis or haven't tried cannabis before. So our platform is designed to do just that. It gets them all that information right at their fingertips, both by aggregating information that the dispensary has about any of those products or any of those techniques, or allowing them to communicate directly with brands at the point of sale. They can just type in a question to a brand if a consumer has a question for them that they don't have the answer to.

And we really see budtenders as the biggest influencers in the industry. Ninety-two percent of consumers take the exact recommendation of the budtender when they walk into a dispensary and make a purchase. Ninety-two percent, that is a massive, massive number.

Matthew: Yeah, it's your trusted friend. It's your cannabis Sherpa.

Andrew: Exactly. It's your spirit guide. It's telling you exactly what you need to do to have this highly, highly experiential product be the right one for you. So managing that whole process and helping budtenders solve the problem of their very difficult job is a huge part of what our platform does.

And then taking that up a level to the dispensary, we solve the problem of workforce managing. Managing budtenders, given how difficult their jobs are, is a difficult task in and of itself. Dispensaries have to train new budtenders all the time, turnover is very high, they need to make sure that budtenders at different dispensaries are on the same page and able to provide the same customer experiences. And right now, they need to use 10 different software platforms to do that, be that Slack, email, text, or any number of other cannabis ancillary software platforms that they're using in their dispensary at any given time. So what we do is help the tip of the spear, the manager of multiple dispensaries or even just one dispensary, manage their entire workforce in a totally effective way while also allowing them to integrate multiple software platforms into Best in Grow. So we have a very, very open and easy API to allow other software platforms to integrate and display right in our platform, making a single sign-in for dispensaries that are tired of using 10 different products every single day.

Matthew: Okay. So consolidating different communications channels, influencers. What about the data you collect? What kind of data is gonna be collected?

Andrew: Absolutely.

Matthew: And why is it important?

Andrew: Yup. So that data is really how we solve the problem for the brand. The brand's problem is the budtender. Brands see budtenders as obstacles, as people who are potentially misrepresenting their brand or not necessarily pushing their product when they think it would be perfect for a particular consumer. But we see budtenders as potential advocates, people who can provide information to brands to improve their products and make those products the things that budtenders want to sell and want to recommend. So a big piece of the data that we gather is feedback from budtenders about the products that they are or aren't recommending, giving brands information about why they aren't recommending them or are recommending them, meaning that brands can improve their ability to make products, can improve their ability to communicate with budtenders, and any number of other things that are important to their operations.

But more broadly, we really care about collecting data that makes products more understandable. We want to know all of the attributes of a given product and whether those attributes are positive or negative. Right now, the only data sets in the cannabis industry are ones telling you how much this brand has sold or how much this particular skew has sold, but what we wanna know is why. We don't want to have just a trailing indicator of what sales were. We want to have a leading indicator of what sales will be, based on what attributes you build into these products. So by gathering information from the point of sale and from budtenders and from the internal operations of dispensaries, we're not only able to improve the efficiencies that happen in the retail environment itself but we're also able to make sure that brands have total visibility into that process so that the differentiation that's enforced by the regulatory barrier between brands and dispensaries is limited, and can be a much, much lower fence to allow everyone in the industry to communicate and everyone to kind of raise all boats with a rising tide.

Matthew: Okay, and who pays for the platform, and how much do they pay?

Andrew: Yup. So dispensaries pay a nominal monthly fee, works out to probably two or three dollars a day. We know that dispensaries are cash-strapped, they have tiny margins, so we don't really wanna put any more financial burden on them. Brands are primarily our monetization stream. They pay $300 a month and up, depending on the feature set they want and the swath of data that they're looking for. But right now, we're actually offering the platform as a free trial for the rest of the year through December, to help brands and dispensaries get a little bit of a look at it without too much risk to them.

Matthew: Okay. And so, you're right, budtenders are huge influencers, and they can be like your sales team if they understand your product and speak about it intelligently and recommend it. So how do you get samples in front of budtenders so they can play with it and give you feedback and let you know what they like and how they're gonna position it?

Andrew: Absolutely. So, an effective sample process is all about the method of intake of the information, creating accountability after that intake, and then creating habits after you've created that accountability. So, first is intake. You want to minimize the barrier to entry for a budtender to give you feedback on any given product, be it a sample that has been sent to the dispensary by a brand managed by us or any product that they consume at any time. We wanna make sure that. And they can, through our application, upload their feedback as easily and quickly as possible, be that through a standard survey or uploading a short video review or simply typing in their thoughts as they consume it. So we make it as easy as possible for them to provide feedback and give the information that brands really wanna hear and need to hear to understand why budtenders do or don't like their products.

And then beyond that, we create accountability. So right now, there is no accountability in the sampling processes that we see in brands and dispensaries. So brands will send out 10 units of product to a particular dispensary and then they have no visibility into what happens after that. It could be diverted by the manager to have a little bit of a treat for their friends. It could be distributed to the budtender and get no feedback, or it could just go straight into the trash. They have no idea what happens. So we create a tiered system where at every step in the process of the sample being distributed to the dispensary, distributed to the budtender and consumed by the budtender, there are points at which they have to confirm that they have received that product or consumed that product. And if they don't do that, then they aren't allowed to receive samples into the future. So creating that sort of accountability loop, where the brands can see ROI on the products that they push out and can push out more products to the people who are actually trying and reviewing them, allows them to know that their sample process is actually working.

And then once you can effectively lower that barrier to entry for intaking information, increase the accountability of the whole system, then you're creating a habit. Then budtenders are constantly in the habit of every time they consume a product thinking about, why did I like this product? Why would I recommend this to someone? Would I recommend this to someone? And then putting in that information. And so, once you've created that behavioral habit, you have a really strong system of feedback where the people at one end of the spectrum are receiving all the information they need from the people at the other end of the spectrum with as little effort as possible for everybody involved.

Matthew: And how do budtenders get rewarded here? Is there like a gamification or something going on inside the platform?

Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. So they can get rewarded in a number of ways. The most obvious one is through free and reduced-price products. So budtenders who consistently provide reviews on our platform will have more samples routed to them by dispensaries and brands, and they can also redeem codes that we provide them based on the number of points or rewards that they aggregate through our system for free products at dispensaries. And of course, we're building out a number of other reward functionalities, VIP events for our most consistent and high-quality reviewers, features on our social media, any number of ways to provide value to these budtenders and help them get what it is that they want.

And every budtender wants something a little bit different, obviously. They're all different people, they're not a monolith. So we are constantly testing and adding new ways to reward budtenders. And we're asking them how they want to be rewarded because they are, by and large, the best people to tell us how to get them engaged in our platform.

Matthew: And how has your background in behavioral science helped you to shape your company?

Andrew: Absolutely. Well, I mean, first off, my background in behavioral science informs pretty much everything I do on a daily basis, particularly as it pertains to people. It helps immensely in understanding, with the platform in particular, how to get budtenders engaged, like we just said. They're a complex and interesting group, they're underpaid, overworked, but incredibly dedicated to cannabis and the industry that they're operating in. And a lot of them have moved to states that legalized cannabis specifically to work in cannabis. So they're very devoted to the process. But that form of value that they're receiving is often limited. So, what we wanna do, as sort of behavioral scientists, people trying to influence behavior, is to provide value.

Fundamentally, people are driven by a desire to receive value. That can be monetary value, it can be in kind value via products, it can be relationships, it could be affirmation. It can be any number of things. But as a species, our ability to forecast what will bring us value is extremely underdeveloped. There are a ton of biases associated with the human ability to predict what will happen or what will make them happy, and that contrasts significantly from the totally rational unthinking automaton that classic economics paint us as.

So understanding how I can give a person what they want or reduce the barrier to them getting what they want, means that I will understand exactly how I can enforce behaviors that I wanna see in that person, be that an individual or a group at large. So ultimately, it's all about creating win-wins by using our understanding of how humans perceive and chase value to ensure that we're reinforcing the right behaviors.

Matthew: So getting your product out or your prototype out early can get you some great feedback and shorten the product development cycle. But is there a sense on how much it might change or shorten the product development cycle and what kind of impact that has for brands?

Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. It's a game changer. The product development life cycle, particularly for cannabis, which is complicated not only chemically as something that you need to actually get to work and you need to fit into the style of product that you're creating, be it an infused beverage, an infused, you know, edible, a topical, any number of different forms of product that you could be developing, there's almost a pharmaceutical level of development that goes into that, which is expensive and takes a very long time. But in addition to that, unlike pharmaceuticals, you need to make it taste good and be attractive. You need to make your product something that people want to consume rather than other products. And that is an extremely complicated process, which is not only very expensive, but it takes a long time, and it is very difficult to receive feedback on right now. There is very little optionality for brands to sample out their products and get feedback from budtenders or consumers because they're restricted from a regulatory perspective in a very significant way.

So what we want to do is make their go-to-market much more quick. We wanna make their products much better. We want to make it cheaper for them to develop those products, and we want to make sure that the products that they create are of a much higher likelihood of being successful. That's the real thing here. We wanna reduce the risk of any given product that they produce at high cost. And at high time cost, we wanna make sure that that's not a failure, that it works.

And we can reveal problems through our process that they may have no idea existed. So, for example, we were working with an infused beverage company that was having a lot of trouble selling one of their new products that was a low-sugar product that was aimed at women and athletes, people who would wanna have kind of a healthier option. But it really wasn't performing well with women. And they thought it was because of the taste or they thought it was because of the marketing or they thought it was because of the budtenders not wanting to recommend it. So we went in, received some feedback from a couple of dispensaries in our network. And we found that the biggest problem amongst female budtenders and the reason why they weren't recommending it to other female consumer is that they couldn't get the top of the bottle open. It was really hard to open. It was like locked up. It was this crazy kind of childproofing thing that just took a huge amount of wrist strength to get open. So they could have gone back to the drawing board and created a whole new product with a whole new taste, a whole new ingredient profile, an entirely different marketing or branding swap, but ultimately, all they had to do was change one little thing about their manufacturing process. So we saved them a ton of money, and we allowed them to launch their product to much greater success in their other markets in addition to Colorado. So broadly, what we wanna do there with our product is get that feedback quickly so they don't make expensive decisions that they can't take back.

Matthew: Now, you're a graduate of the CanopyBoulder Accelerator Program, where I'm a mentor, and also you pitched at the Arcview Group, which is an angel-investing group for the cannabis industry. Can you tell us a little about those experiences?

Andrew: Absolutely. So CanopyBoulder is a place to which we owe a lot of our success as a company. We came into CanopyBoulder with just an idea, pretty much, you know, a spreadsheet with some thoughts about how we would maybe execute on this. And Patrick Rea and Micah Tapman, who are the two managing directors there, were incredible mentors. They provided us a massive amount of information, a plug into an incredibly professional network of industry insiders in cannabis and all of the tools and knowledge that we needed to effectively build a business. And that process, I don't think I can oversell. It was incredibly valuable for us, and I think it'd be valuable for any entrepreneur to at least think about it. It depends on the stage of your business and what it is that you really need as an entrepreneur, be that, you know, a gap in financial knowledge or a gap in go-to-market knowledge or a gap in cannabis knowledge. Any number of those things could be beneficial to you, but I could not recommend Canopy more highly.

And Arcview is very tied to Canopy for me. Our whole Arcview experience was defined by the fact that we spent the four months of CanopyBoulder preparing to pitch at Arcview. And really thinking about the pitch hard and working on it and showing it to people and having them criticize you into the ground and then showing it to them again, having them criticize that into the ground, and then having them show it to you a third time and saying, "Okay, this is kind of good, maybe now you can pitch at Arcview." Like, having that feedback process, honestly, felt a lot like my time at Bridgewater, where I was being constantly criticized but had the understanding that what I needed to do is take this criticism and turn it into something more valuable, helped us to hone our business even more than it helped us hone our pitch. We understood what our message was, we understood what our value prop was, and ultimately, our time at Arcview was very successful. We were able to close our funding round very quickly. We raised almost double what we had set out to raise and a pretty big oversubscription. And that funding process went really well, in large part due to the preparation that CanopyBoulder helped us do.

Matthew: Oh, that's great. So you're oversubscribed now. If there's accredited investors that are listening that are interested in investing, is it worth reaching out to you? And if so, how do they do that?

Andrew: Absolutely. Please reach out. I'm always interested in talking to investors, be that as advisors or actual sources of capital. I've found that investors are some of the smartest people that I talk to. They can reach out to me at andrew@bestingrow.io, or by our website, bestingrow.io. And, you know, I'm always trying to up my LinkedIn cloud, so feel free to give me a shout on LinkedIn and I would love to connect with you.

Matthew: I'd like to pivot to a few personal development questions to help listeners get a better sense of who you are, personally. Is there a book that's had a big impact on your life or way of thinking that you'd like to share?

Andrew: Absolutely. This is tough because I have so many books that I think I could point to here. I think that reading is probably one of the most important things I do as an entrepreneur, constantly trying to gather new information and see new points of view. So I think I'll say two books. The first one is a book called "Influence" by Robert Cialdini. That was something that I read at Harvard as part of one of my behavioral science classes. It is probably the best book about understanding what influences people, why they make decisions, and how you can use that to more effectively create either a business or, you know, a government program or a nonprofit. Any number of ways that you need to involve people in something that you care about and you want to influence their behavior, this will teach you exactly how to do that. And it's informed pretty much every single interaction that I've had since I read that book.

And then on a more personal note, I'd say a book called "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt." It's a biography by Edmund Morris. It's actually the first in a three-part biography. The whole trilogy is like, you know, 3,000 pages. So if you don't have time for that, I'd say just go for the first one. But Theodore Roosevelt is probably the most interesting person I've ever read anything about. He was a polyglot, he was a genius, and an athlete, was an incredibly successful person. And just being able to observe in a really close way based on his correspondence and the way he was constantly journaling, how he was thinking and why he did the things he did, has informed a lot about how I make decisions and how I think about what it is that I want to accomplish in my life, because it's very easy as an entrepreneur to go into a really big world and feel dwarfed by everyone else around you when you're first starting out.

But Theodore Roosevelt started as an asthmatic, unhealthy child who people thought was gonna die before the age of 10. But he started lifting weights and became an absolute behemoth, and ultimately, one of the greatest statesmen in the history of the world. So it's a great story about believing in yourself and understanding that you have the power to change your reality no matter what.

Matthew: Yeah. You know, I read about these figures throughout history sometimes and I just feel like a total wuss because they were so mentally disciplined and strong and always looking to be stronger, and challenge themselves, and getting up early and doing all this stuff. And I'm just like, "Wow, I am so soft compared to these guys."

Andrew: And it was a time where...and I'll bring it back again to principles. It was a time where everyone had principles. Everyone believed in something that was at the core of their being and they drove towards that with all of their might. And I think that's something that we've lost nowadays in sort of a postmodern world of Instagram and Facebook and constantly comparing yourself to others. But kind of calling back to that time, and thinking a lot harder about what it is that makes you you and why you do the things that you do is incredibly important, and it's the best way to be a successful entrepreneur.

Matthew: How about a tool? Is there a tool, web-based or otherwise, that you consider vital to your productivity?

Andrew: Absolutely. I use probably three tools...besides the basic slate of, you know, email, cell phone, all that kind of stuff, I use probably three tools that are really important to me that I wouldn't want to go without. The first is a project management tool. It's called Asana. My team uses that every single day. We use it for tracking all of our tasks, all of our KPIs, everything that we're shooting towards. It's a great place to track all that information, and have discussions, and create sort of a good project map for a team that has to do a lot of things all at once.

From a market development perspective, business development, sales, we use a CRM called HubSpot, which I'm sure a lot of people have heard of. We think it's really, really valuable. It not only can automate your sales process and turn one salesperson into the equivalent of 10 sales people but can also give you a lot of analytics about how your sales process is working. Are you losing people at this stage in the process or that stage in the process? Where is it that you need to tweak things to make sure you can close more deals?

And then, probably the best one that I've started using recently is called Timely. It integrates with your calendar, and it tracks everything that you do throughout the day and allows you to make sure that you're using your time productively. The first time that I used it during a day, I was honestly horrified. I had no idea that I was spending, you know, 45 minutes on Facebook or 30 minutes on Instagram, just because I would flip it open and, you know, look at it and then turn it back off again. So you really get an idea of how much time you're wasting, as well as how much time you're using effectively, and being able to see your progress from, I'm doing 30 different things a day and half of them are productive, to I'm doing 15 things a day, all of them are productive and I accomplished all the things I wanted is such a great feeling, and it's really, really a great way to get yourself into better habits and a better pattern.

Matthew: Yeah. You know, I find, like, going to a new site or social media or something is kind of like a mental break after doing something intensive. You know, when you transition from, you know, being somewhat unproductive with that filler time of social media, news or research that's not productive, and then you transition to full-beast mode of always productive, do you feel, like, more tired at the end of the day? I mean, do you feel like you had two days in one? I mean, what does it feel like after that?

Andrew: So the way I think about that, sort of jump off what you're doing and look at the news, it's kinda like a Millennial smoke break. Like, cigarettes aren't cool anymore, but Instagram's cool and the news is cool and, you know, the internet is really cool. But it ultimately is something just like a smoke break that you really don't need. It's just a habit. It's just an addiction to the dopamine surge that you get when you look at this piece of news or you look at this picture that your friend posted. So when you're able to remove those things from your life, I actually feel like I have more energy because I am not constantly fighting the urge to be on social media sites or fighting the urge to be doing something entertaining online. I've just created a habit where I'm now addicted to the hard work that I do and all of the things that are associated with that. And I feel more closely tied to the rewards after doing that work rather than feeling like I just sort of begrudgingly did it and had to do it.

So I'd say it has made me feel a lot better. It's made me feel way more productive, as well as just less beholden to the internet and my phone and all these different distractions that I feel like can really take you out of the present moment.

Matthew: That's great. You know, one thing I just like to point out is that, it was kind of a thread throughout this interview, is that, you know, what do you do with feedback? I mean, I noticed one trend and one trait among entrepreneurs that are successful, is that they don't take feedback as they themselves...or I say, constructive feedback from the market or individuals as they themselves are personally a failure. They say, "That what I did wasn't successful, it's feedback and now I have to do this, try something else." And I notice when people give up, it's they say, "I am a failure. They attacked me." And you almost externalize it as if it's outside of you and it's something you're looking at and you're just like, "I'm just gonna take that and now I'm gonna move it over here and try that." And that is, I think, a really important thing. You know, if you just make a distinction and understanding, like, "Hey, it's not me. Failures are events, they're not people."

Andrew: Exactly. That's a great phrase. I loved to hear that, failures are events, not people. And oftentimes, even beyond that, failures are habits, not people. And the habits that you have that create failure are the things that you need to address and change. And they're not things that you immediately need to change about yourself today. It's just like quitting smoking. Like quitting smoking takes people months or years because you have to slowly change the habits in yourself that produce that behavior.

In the same way, you have to slowly change the habits in yourself that produced a bad outcome when you try to start your own business. And the more you can read about other entrepreneurs and people throughout history who have failed massively and embarrassingly and in ways that feel like they're so central to who they are and their being, the more you realize, "I'm just a person, and ultimately, the things that I do can either get better or they can get worse." And there's no stasis. There's no world in which I'm just gonna stay exactly the same, because change is the only constant. So I should constantly be driving myself towards getting better.

And the first habit that you have to change is the habit of being offended when people tell you that you're bad at something. That's a gift. They've given you a gift. They've done something difficult for them. It's hard to tell people that they're bad at something. But when they did that, they did it because they want you to know that you're bad at something so that you can then change that thing. You'd much rather know that you're bad at something and become good at that thing than just blissfully be bad at it forever. So the more you can, just like you said, externalize it from yourself, step away from it and imagine that you are just a third person observing the scenario, the more you'll be able to create effective patterns, effective habits, effective strategies and ways to move forward and be more successful at whatever you're doing. It doesn't have to be entrepreneurship. It could be literally anything. But that mindset of constant self-improvement and willingness to accept yourself as you are, but driving yourself a little bit harder every single day to be better, that's just a much more healthy mental state to exist in and is a much more successful lifestyle to lead.

Matthew: Well said, Andrew. As we close, how can listeners find you again? Can you give out your website so they can reach out and any of your social media channels that we don't waste time on?

Andrew: Absolutely. So you can find out a bit more about Best in Grow at our website, bestingrow.io. You can reach me via email directly at andrew@bestingrow.io. I love hearing from people, love answering questions, love talking. And obviously, like I mentioned earlier, love networking. Hit me up on LinkedIn, Andrew Duffy. And yeah, I would love to hear from any potential customers, any budtenders who have suggestions or wanna try out the platform, anybody who just has a cool idea about what they think we could do. I'm happy to hear from anyone, really would love to have your feedback and input.

Matthew: Andrew, thanks so much. Good luck to you, and keep us updated.

Andrew: Yeah, absolutely will do. Thank you so much, Matt. I really appreciate your time today.