Do it right the first time — People over profit is an important focus. If you hire qualified, disciplined, ethical people who believe in your mission and treat them well, they become a key factor in making a business successful. Don’t hire the cheapest out there to save money, and don’t let egomaniacs enter your workplace.
As part of my interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing David Levitt. He is one of the co-founders of bioMD+, a family-owned and operated business. David believes in natural healing methods, the power of plants as an alternative to traditional synthetic compounds. David is also passionate about educating others about CBD and promoting scientific research in the industry.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thank you for the opportunity! It is a pleasure to share the bioMD+ story with you.
My journey began several years ago. I had a family member living with painful muscle aches, headaches, and other aggravating health conditions. After many rounds of testing and visiting different doctors, we discovered that the source of the problem was fibromyalgia.
Most doctors tried tackling the issues by prescribing various medications to help with the condition and its symptoms. Still, many times the side effects of the medication made living day-to-day even more difficult.
After much research to find another treatment that could help her, I located a study that linked Fibromyalgia to a deficiency in the endocannabinoid system. Knowing CBD will not cause addiction or adverse side effects, I asked her to try it consistently while slowly eliminating some medicines.
The most incredible thing was that over time she began to improve dramatically! She began supplementing CBD to cut down on her daily medications. Most importantly, she has been able to enjoy life again.
This personal story of how much CBD improved her life led me down the path to learning all I could. I researched the most credible studies, hemp, production process, banking, and all that entailed bringing effective and safe CBD to consumers.
My family and I came together and decided to invest in creating our own products. It took some trial and error, but we eventually found the right farmers and production team to work together to bring safe, quality CBD products to the market.
In 2015, bioMD+ finally came to fruition, and since its inception, we have helped bring a natural relief to thousands of bioMD+ CBD consumers across our country.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The most interesting story would be when my sons introduced me to a Rapper known as RiFF RAFF. I was confused and speechless at first; they then said he would be our brand ambassador which was a hard pill to swallow. My sons wanted a man who goes by riff-raff to be our new brand ambassador, and I figured they lost it.
They told me it would be a significant step in creating awareness. At first, I was hesitant, but I trusted their judgment. There’s only so much you can do as an older individual living in the new technology age.
So when we reached out to RiFF RAFF, I found out he’s a remarkable man. He left such an impression on us that changed the game to expand our marketing and demographic.
With the help of RiFF RAFF, we found another demographic — -the younger side, who uses CBD for their ailments.
We learned that CBD helps older individuals like myself and everyone who suffers from inflammation, pain, and other aggravating health conditions.
The only lesson I can tell you is that don’t be afraid to have people help promote your ideas and goals. If you want to use a celebrity, go for it; don’t give up, keep pushing. Celebrities may seem unapproachable but remember they are human beings like us. And what’s the worst thing they can say, No? Just keep knocking down on every door because eventually, one door will open, and opportunities will flood.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest mistake I made when starting bioMDplus was preparing solely for success and completely ignoring the business’s rocky road.
Early on, my co-founder and I spent over 20,000 dollars building our web presence, making bioMD+ a reputable brand. In return, we were guaranteed to appear on the first page of Google within 30days. It sounded promising and made us believe running a business is much easier than people claim, especially in the digital marketing world.
In my mind, we practically did the hard part, which is getting bioMD+ publicly known through this deal. We wanted to grow our business and be on the Forbes magazine’s front page, so the investment seemed like the answer. Without validating the possibility of this 30-day proposal that we were guaranteed to be on the first page, we were nowhere to be found. We weren’t even on the search’s last page; you needed the link to find us. It was then, and there we realized we hit a dead-end and so did our investment.
Eventually, we learned that the CBD industry was fast-growing, yet so many people knew little about it. Instead of worrying about our place in line, we redirected our focus to educate our customers and learn how to provide quality products to them. It was a hard lesson, but it was worth establishing a connection to our bioMDplus family in retrospect.
Are you working on any exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Without sharing too many specific things we are currently working on, our young, agile company has quickly moved into new and exciting projects. We are currently researching new product development, celebrity partnerships, and social media campaigns where our customers can engage side by side with us.
Additionally, we are researching other products being developed from “newly-discovered” material from the cannabinoid plant, which is very exciting to me personally. If these new components are proven to be safe and effective for people, we hope to be able to offer these to our customers as well.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Arnold Schwarzenegger once stated, “The self-made man is a myth.”
I owe our success to many individuals’ collaborative effort: from the farmers who work tirelessly to cultivate quality hemp to our manufacturing team, operation, and marketing team who come to work every day to pursue our goals and mission.
bioMD+ would not be where it is today without the support of our customers, the “bioMD+ Family,” to whom we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude. Their well-being and safety is always top of mind with all we do, and we are very grateful for all who have and continue to take advantage of our products.
As to sharing a story about our success, without going into personal details, I would share an old business principle I try to follow, which is, “Don’t be afraid to say no.” Saying yes to everything will hold you back.
This industry is young, dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?
I think companies that are not actively engaged in social media will be left behind. Social media is a tremendous force, and companies should use this to further their success. You can use social media to inform, educate, and have fun with your customers; Wendy’s social media team is well known for this. That kind of recognition goes a long way in building brand loyalty with today’s consumers. To see more of what we are talking about, follow the @bioMDplus social media channels!
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the CBD industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?
The ongoing discovery of how CBD continues to help people with such a wide range of ailments is something that always excites me. Knowing that more people may be able to reduce their reliance on prescription medications is very exciting.
What also excites me is the ongoing research and developments with the cannabis plant. I am always learning about the discoveries about the minor cannabinoids and how they interact with terpenes.
Just how viable CBD has proven to be across many markets! CBD products are regularly used in the wellness market (chiropractors, massage therapists, alternative care), the food & beverage market, and the beauty & skincare market, just to name a few. It is exciting to see these developments come to the market.
There are a few pressing concerns I have as well;
When the 2018 Farm Bill passed, so many merchants jumped into the CBD market, with the only focus being making a quick dollar. Some have since folded, but many remain open. The saturation of merchants means consumers have far too many choices to buy what are often inferior products. This leads to my second concern which is…
Merchants who are selling mislabeled CBD products are a problem. There have been numerous exposés of companies that sold CBD products with significantly less CBD than what was printed on their labels. Consumers who use substandard CBD leads to skepticism as to any real benefit to using CBD products. That is bad for the reputation of our industry!
The last thing that keeps me up at night is the potential future over-regulation within the CBD industry. I am always talking to people about CBD, how it is all-natural, non-addictive, and non-habit forming. There is no good reason for CBD to be banned from general consumer use, given all the potential benefits.
Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a CBD Business”? Please share a story or example for each.
- Do it right the first time — People over profit is an important focus. If you hire qualified, disciplined, ethical people who believe in your mission and treat them well, they become a key factor in making a business successful. Don’t hire the cheapest out there to save money, and don’t let egomaniacs enter your workplace.
- Never assume you have all answers — this mentality closes you off to what could otherwise be great solutions from someone you may have discounted.
- Admit your mistakes — As mistakes will happen to everyone. As a leader, not owning your mistakes will ruin your credibility with your staff. Admit your mistake, learn from it, and grow.
- Continually learn — this means not only your industry but outside your field as well. If you stay laser-focused on just your industry, you can miss other things in the world that can potentially impact your business.
- Delegate — As a perfectionist, this is much easier to say than do. However, as a leader and CEO, you need to find a way to focus on the highest level things you can do to grow your business; partnerships, raising capital, budgeting. If you are spending time answering customer’s emails, you will not maximize your value and contributions to the company. Hire good people, then get out of their way so they can do their job and you can do yours.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
My advice to CEOs is that hearing their voices is often less important than hearing your employees’ voices. Employees who talk to your customers and work with your products often have wonderful suggestions for your business every day. Allowing them to feel comfortable with making creative suggestions will keep them engaged in your company and feel like they have a voice in your success. As leaders, we do not have all the answers; it is crucial to have the humility to recognize this.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I appreciate the statement, I make it my mission to inspire everyone in my life from my family to my employees.
One movement I’d encourage is for states to expunge prior cannabis convictions because it is legal on a federal level, yet some states still put heavy convictions on first-time offenders. This movement will help first-time cannabis offenders restore themselves into society.
With individuals trying to readjust themselves, it’s hard for them to fight the stigma of being labeled a felon. I want to create a charity to help break that stigma by providing housing options, employment opportunities, and rehabilitation. This movement will provide information to show that such stigma makes it extremely hard for ex-convicts to rebuild their life without being labeled. In other words, I want to be able to change the narrative on incarceration and those that were previously incarcerated. This movement will educate the public on interacting with ex-convicts without having a preconceived notion pertaining to their past.
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