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“I look forward to failing and learning while growing the business.” with Danny Keith and Phil Laboon

I look forward to failing and learning while growing the business. I get up every day with the passion alive and well to drive the business forward and to challenge myself and my team along the way. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing. I had the pleasure of interviewing Danny Keith, CEO of […]


I look forward to failing and learning while growing the business. I get up every day with the passion alive and well to drive the business forward and to challenge myself and my team along the way. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Danny Keith, CEO of Cannabis Club TV. Danny has built, operated, and sold numerous businesses and has also raised over $20M in nonprofit and corporate fundraising. He’s worked in social media, Internet development, nonprofits, surf and action sports and professional sports with the Golden State Warriors minor league affiliate Santa Cruz Warriors before founding Cannabis Club TV. He lives in Santa Cruz Ca. with his wife Tanya, and their two sons.


Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

When we first started Cannabis Club TV it was the wild west and neither brands or dispensaries understood or even wanted to hear about our offering. It took some time for the idea to catch on. We went through 4 software and 5 hardware iterations to get to the platform we use today that is stable and monetizable.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

As an entrepreneur, I always say no risk no reward. If you are not ready to bleed don’t draw your sword. In other words, if it was easy everyone would be doing it. Tenacity and understanding the difference between a hobby and a business is key.

So how did Grit lead to your eventual success?

You cannot be impatient in a startup, and you have to be realistic. It is a constant evaluation of those two. Once you realize you have a business it is important to have the courage to run it. Be patient, watch the climate and opportunities unfold, and then be realistic about the steps necessary to take things to the next level.

How did Grit turn things around?

Grit really allowed us to persevere. We never gave up. We just kept pushing. We knew we had a solution the industry needed, the industry just didn’t know it yet. Watch the “Founder” great movie.

So, how are things going today? 🙂

The business is growing rapidly and keeping us all on our toes. Every day is a blessing, and a lot of hard work. I look forward to failing and learning while growing the business. I get up every day with the passion alive and well to drive the business forward and to challenge myself and my team along the way. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting?

Not such a funny story but on our 4th hardware and 3rd software iteration we over-programmed a 24 hour day by 12 hours, subsequently crashing our media server and the delivery network.

Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Do your math lol!!!

Our technology is unparalleled, but we rely on our 11 star service 100% to secure our customers trust. Can you share a story?

We had a client that was having networking issues so we flew down there and helped correct their issues and we are not even in that business!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I would say pace and priority. You cannot do everything all the time. Make lists and allow yourself the time to prioritize and be realistic about the time needed to complete specific tasks, so you don’t set unattainable benchmarks for yourself.

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?

Along the way you meet people that are an inspiration or provide support. More or less though, I’m a self made man. I wish I would have had more mentors early on, so now I work on being that mentor to kids in our community.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?

When I realized that children in Santa Cruz County were going hungry, I figured it was time to go to them and ask them for help. I started going into schools and asking the kids to help and if they knew their friend was going hungry would they help them? Overwhelmingly they said yes they would. That was when I was able to engage the youth to make a difference and I used my action sports and radio connections to make kids helping kids cool. This was how the nonprofit Grind Out Hunger began.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

(1) Pay attention to the market size and the competition. Just because you are on top does not mean you will stay there. We see multiple companies get comfortable because they are leading the pack.

(2) Run your business with harmony, do not allow someone to disrupt that. We had hired an individual to work in post edit and the relationship just did not work. It was disrupting our other departments and we decided it just was not a fit.

(3) Be willing to look at the downsides as well as the upsides. Anytime I am working on financial forecasts I always make sure to pay attention to market pressures or any other situation that may impact the end result.

(4) Define your client/customer base and then focus on maximizing that. Do not try to be everything to everyone. It is so important to make sure you stay in your lane. When we first started brand partners needed marketing support and development, instead of absorbing that business we found partners that could activate and that we could work with.

(5) Do the hard work yourself before you automate or hire. We always go through every step when we are expanding. Step by step we document and determine the best practices for installations and deployments of our television networks.

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