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“Do what you love.” with Beau Henderson & Griff Conti

Do what you love. Retirement does not mean retiring your mind and body and self-care regime. In fact, it should be the total opposite. When it comes to retirement and working hard for so many years and planning to be able to finally take that break, that time should be relished. Take it easy, plan […]

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Do what you love. Retirement does not mean retiring your mind and body and self-care regime. In fact, it should be the total opposite. When it comes to retirement and working hard for so many years and planning to be able to finally take that break, that time should be relished. Take it easy, plan what is next, but stay the course even after you may have retired from your profession. Optimizing mental wellness is a daily practice and like anything good it comes and goes and what you put in you are sure to get out. Retry. Reinspire. Strive for progress and be aware that we are all always under construction. Keep it simple.


As a part of my series about the “5 Things Anyone Can Do To Optimize Their Mental Wellness” I had the pleasure of interviewing Griff Conti

Griff Conti is the Owner/Managing Partner in the parent Franny’s Franchise, Inc. company and Owner/Operator of Franny’s Farmacy — Westport, Connecticut location. In 2018, Conti was named Recruiter of the Year by Bradsby Group, a nationally recognized, employee-owned, boutique recruiting firm based in Denver, where Conti developed and launched their Cannabis division and lead a team of eight to become the fastest growing division of the company. Conti is well-versed in the science behind the cannabis plant and is on a mission to educate consumers about the life-changing potential of cannabis that has been wrongly stigmatized and misunderstood for the last generation.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

The path I took with my career derives from my passion for connecting people. I always stayed close to spheres of influencers and wanted to be in the center and have that vantage point. Fortunately, I naturally fell into recruiting where I was able to have access to all of these things. On top of that, I like to stay on the cutting edge and see what is most forward thinking and innovative, and where there is real potential to make impact. Recruiting in finance and having regulated industry experience lead me to recurring in oil and gas.

With that said, I got to a place in my life where self-care was most important. Understanding the skills and rules of mediation lead me to cannabis which lead me to being as grounded as I could be. Since then, I’ve immersed myself into becoming a connector for the industry by bringing in the right professionals into the right positions to help create as big an impact as possible.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

As a delegate for the World Cannabis Congress in 2019, in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, I was joined by more than 600 of the world’s leading scientists, researchers, policy makers and industry experts for an exclusive invite only education and discovery conference. Being surrounded by some of the most knowledgeable researchers and scientists in this space made an incredible impression on me, and from that moment I knew this was an industry I wanted to be a part of and contribute to.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Expect the unexpected. The cannabis industry is much broader than what may appear from a social media and celebrity point of view. There’s so much more industry emerging from different areas than what social media makes it look like.

When I first got started in cannabis, my team and I were at MJBizCon, where I was scheduled to be meeting with an executive. Of course, we ended up being late and this was our first entrance to MJBizCon, one of the most respected industry expos. The funny part about this is that I got locked inside of a parking deck, and couldn’t get out. We were literally stuck. Fortunately, throughout all of this, the gentleman I was scheduled to meet with was such a good sport about it, and was such a down-to-earth person about it. It’s humorous to look back on. This served as a good indication of the cannabis industry. It also showed me the type of people that make up the industry. To add more context, this was when we had zero clients, and he ended up being our first client. Funny how things work out.

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 about that?

My first mentor and boss who against his better judgement let me move out to Colorado. I was recruiting in-house at the time. After I moved out and saw there was another side of recruitment it led me to working with Bradsby group. In a nutshell, that move changed my life. To this day, I’m super grateful for my first boss, mentor, and good friend that I keep in close contact with.

What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

Look at the long play. I always share this with my team. This industry isn’t going away. Any company that doesn’t see that their people are its greatest asset will lose at the end of the day. Take care of your people. It’s important to stay the course and it’s a long journey. Today is just another day in that. Make one connection each day that will hopefully change someone’s life in a positive way.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

Culture is a word that is easily misinterpreted and misrepresented. For me, I always see this in whether it’s in recruiting or running the Franny’s Farmacy — Westport hemp-wellness destination, what matters most is transparency and thought leadership that is being transferred to its team, and companies that are willing to take some risk around IP in order to promote transparency.

Trust in your leadership, management, and staff. It’s critical to have a safe culture during a time where things are so unconventional, especially in cannabis. Having a strong culture can act as a saving grace for a company and its people. It leaves a positive impact on people and an entire industry.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Mental health is often looked at in binary terms; those who are healthy and those who have mental illness. The truth, however, is that mental wellness is a huge spectrum. Even those who are “mentally healthy” can still improve their mental wellness. From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to improve or optimize our mental wellness. Can you please share a story or example for each.

Mental Health is ever changing and none of us have arrived, completely. I continue to struggle with daily anxiety and the pressure to produce and succeed. We are all in control of ourselves, our peace, and it all begins with awareness. I have come to know all of the tools to create a life of peace and harmony, and while we can know as much as we can, some things are easier said than done. Mental Health is one of those things.

Mindfulness and meditation are two things that changed my life. I was introduced to meditation and the concept of Eckhart Tolle’s, ‘The Thinker’ in Summer 2017 and my life has forever changed. To be mindful and aware of every thought and emotion is a skilled practice that we all have the power to obtain. It’s just a matter of putting in the time and effort to develop that skill

Food and nutrition are also critical when it comes to achieving optimal wellness. Right around the same time when I was introduced to mindfulness and meditation was when I decided to dive deeper into food and nutrition and be more conscious of what I was putting into my body.

For me, exercise and wellness are where cannabis comes in. I abstain from consuming any alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs, and I believe Cannabis is the way to go. I struggle most with the discipline around exercise and I am mindful of my challenges but recognize that I feel best on the outside of a workout. For years I struggled with substance abuse, leading me through several rehabilitation programs upon finishing college. I have been part of endless hours of education around mental health and I have come to the conclusion that we are in our best state and have our best equilibrium when we are free of any obsession while having a mindful balance between a healthy life that could and should include all of the above.

Much of my expertise focuses on helping people to plan for after retirement. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact one’s health. In addition to the ideas you mentioned earlier, are there things that one should do to optimize mental wellness after retirement? Please share a story or an example for each.

Do what you love. Retirement does not mean retiring your mind and body and self-care regime. In fact, it should be the total opposite. When it comes to retirement and working hard for so many years and planning to be able to finally take that break, that time should be relished. Take it easy, plan what is next, but stay the course even after you may have retired from your profession. Optimizing mental wellness is a daily practice and like anything good it comes and goes and what you put in you are sure to get out. Retry. Reinspire. Strive for progress and be aware that we are all always under construction. Keep it simple.

How about teens and pre teens. Are there any specific new ideas you would suggest for teens and pre teens to optimize their mental wellness?

Stay mindful of the years you are living. Trust the guidance of those that have been in your same shoes before. Pre-teen and teen years are stressful and full of lots of change. Change within and change around you. Change of schools and friends and familiar places among other things. Create your community of friends and trusted peers and mentors. Being accountable is a great practice at this age as well. Abstain from any type of mind-altering substances and find joy in sports and healthy activities that create confidence and stronger relationships with those around you. Be kind and spread love and the rest will fall in place.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

Constantly living in the future and projecting worry led me to a period of angst and burn out. This ultimately led me to Cannabis and the desire to develop a new recruiting division if I was going to remain all in on my career. In the summer of 2017, I was introduced to a book titled The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

The book emphasizes that to make the journey into the now, we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. At the time, I hired a life guru to help me with an overachiever issue I was dealing with. To keep it simple, I had reached the peak in my career and was more unhappy than I had been while climbing for the preceding few years. The life guru I hired recommended that I read the book and it ended up being one of the best books I’ve ever read. I came to realize that I had a sense of insecurity that was formed around the fear of losing everything I had and the pressure to maintain while working professionally as a commission recruiter where everything resets.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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. 🙂

Always be bringing more value than you seek in payment in this life. This is something you need to understand, believe in, and practice if you want to love what you do and do what you love.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” Denis Waitley

My life has been full of risk, and it is an oddly comfortable place for me to be in. This is a necessary concept to understand when you love what you do and do what you love. Always be bringing more value than you seek in payment in this life.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

I encourage readers to connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/griffconti/

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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