Cannabis Economy - Ep. 443: Whitespace, Ben Larson, Nanogen

Ben Larson joins us and shares the importance of creating white space in your everyday environment: “What I like to think of white space is this: doing my best to clear out all the thoughts in my head. As an entrepreneur with so much stuff going on, especially in the cannabis industry where you have many things pulling at you, even beyond the course of normal business, sometimes you need to find a way to just separate yourself and create that white space so that you can actually think and be strategic and prioritize as you see fit."

Transcript:

Seth Adler: Ben Larson returns. Welcome to Cannabis Economy, I'm your host, Seth Adler. Download episodes on CannEconomy.com. That's two Ns in the word economy. A ton of direct insight up on the site these days, including from Ben Larson. This is also a video. Check it out on CannEconomy.com if you'd like. In the meantime, first a word from MedMen and then Ben Larson.
MedMen continues to expand its footprint on the cannabis landscape, opening new stores in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and the iconic 5th Avenue in Manhattan. They've also opened a 45,000-foot high-tech cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facility in Nevada. The company has reached a $1 billion valuation, making it the country's first cannabis unicorn, and it's just the beginning. Learn how MedMen is building the future of cannabis today at MedMen.com.

Seth Adler: Okay, so it's Ben Larson. It's startup land. This time, we're talking about white space, Ben.

Ben Larson: [inaudible 00:01:01].

Seth Adler: What do we mean by white space, for folks who are wary of any use of color in language?

Ben Larson: Sure. What I like to think of white space is this: doing my best to clear out all the thoughts in my head. As an entrepreneur with so much stuff going on, especially in the cannabis industry where you have many things pulling at you, even beyond the course of normal business, sometimes you need to find a way to just separate yourself and create that white space so that you can actually think and be strategic and prioritize as you see fit.

Seth Adler: Okay. This is obviously something that is valuable, of value. I guess, what is the danger, if I am a founder who says, "Hey, I just don't have time for that. I've also got investors that have told me, 'Listen, if you take the weekend or an extra day, we're not going to be too pleased. [crosstalk 00:02:04] to be making our money, more money'"?

Ben Larson: Yeah, yeah. You know, it's funny. I think it's all ... pertaining to that, especially, it's a lot on setting expectations in the very beginning and just being totally open and honest on what is a healthy relationship, what is a healthy company, et cetera, et cetera. But really, I mean, what it comes down to is we spend so much time being reactive to things in our schedule. We're getting emails or answering emails. People are pulling us into meetings. When you're leading a company, you very much oftentimes feel you're at the whim of everyone around you, your employees, your investors, your customers. You're supposed to be the one that's guiding the ship, right? You're the one steering. All eyes are on you.
But yet, if you let it get out of hand, a lot of times you're feeling that people are drawing you on your day to day. The only way to make sure that what you're executing on is taking you to where you want to be is to take that time and really just clear your mind and center yourself and realize that what I'm going to be executing on today, the things that I'm get be saying yes to, the things that I might even say no to, is all, in an essence, getting me to where I need to be.