There are health benefits for both humans and pets. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years and we are just scratching the surface of its benefits. I love waking up to a new and exciting cannabis study every day.
As part of my series about “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business” I had the pleasure of interviewing Elate Founder Jake Meyers.
Prior to Founding Elate, Jake spent a decade in sales and business development for Fortune 500 companies. Jake holds a B.A. in Business Administration, Marketing, and Professional Sales from Ohio University. Currently, Jake resides in Chicago, Illinois.
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?
First, thanks for having us. We appreciate the opportunity to share our brand and ideas with the world.
After spending several years in the corporate world, I took a second to reevaluate what I actually wanted to do with the rest of my life. I’m an extrovert. I love people, I love meeting new people, I love making people laugh, I love making people feel good about themselves…I genuinely love to make people happy. So that’s when I decided from here on out, I’m going to help as many people as possible live happy lifestyles. I firmly believe every person deserves this opportunity.
Cannabis has always been a part of my life and it has improved both my mental and physical wellbeing and overall quality of life. It’s a health and wellness tool that can help people do exactly what I’ve set out to do and the industry is just getting started. So I entered the cannabis world with a mission.
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?
When I began leading Elate, learning how to adapt to an ever-changing industry was crucial. There is still a huge stigma around cannabis, so you have to find ways to get around things.
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?
Oh boy, I have so many from the first couple of months when I was first starting, I’m laughing just thinking back… I was all on my own with no experience creating content, building websites, etc. I was too stubborn to reach out to anyone for help or opinions, so I created the first homepage layout that I thought was just absolutely groundbreaking. With a lot of confidence, I sent it to one of my best friends who is a successful entrepreneur himself, and said, “check this out man, this is it.” His exact response was, “you know you can pay someone to do this for you right?” a subtle and nice way to let me down I guess!
From there on out I started using my network of friends to bounce layouts and ideas off of and to this day, we are still modifying the website daily based on feedback. Feedback is important, don’t be stubborn and use your network.
Are you working on any exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?
As a newer brand on the market, we are currently working on several new marketing and advertising projects that are exciting to us. These initiatives will help make Elate products more accessible to consumers so they can elevate their lifestyle and live a happier life.
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?
As I mentioned earlier, I started Elate on my own at first. After a few years, I reached a point where I needed help with content creation and social media. I knew one of my best friends, Pat VanAuker, had plenty of experience in this area and was always looking for freelance opportunities. I called and asked if he would be interested in helping out, and he went above and beyond. He became more interested and ingrained in the business to a point where I thought, “it would be fun and cool to build this with one of my best friends.” So I brought him on as co-owner and the things we have done and accomplished together is more than anything I could have ever expected (Pat, I love you buddy!).
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 can tell you we absolutely do, and as much as I would love to share this with you… we can’t give away all of our secrets 🙂
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?
The 3 things that most excite me about the cannabis industry include:
- There are health benefits for both humans and pets. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years and we are just scratching the surface of its benefits. I love waking up to a new and exciting cannabis study every day.
- Growing interest, popularity and desire for education. We have new consumers daily asking for information about our brand, products, and cannabis in general.
- New and innovative products. The industry is getting so creative when it comes to product offerings and we will definitely be taking advantage of this as well.
The 3 things that most concern me about the cannabis industry include:
- The lack of federal government support. While states are gradually showing support for cannabis, the federal government continues to put it on the back burner.
- Potential for large corporations to change the industry. As the industry continues to boom, I fear that large corporations will start their entry with dollar signs in mind instead of accomplishing goals of helping people that small cannabis companies like Elate set out to do.
- False information. Unfortunately there is still a lot of negative and false information regarding cannabis that is easily spread via social media.
Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”? Please share a story or example for each.
- Advertising isn’t easy. During my first months I thought, “this won’t be hard at all.” I’ll just run some ads on social media and the business will come pouring in. That’s not the case; make sure to research cannabis advertising policies.
- Use your network. Building a cannabis brand isn’t easy; you need people from all different backgrounds.
- The stigma still exists. Again, when I was first starting I thought everyone was on board with cannabis and knew all about it (this idea probably stemmed from living in Southern California for eight years). Turns out the negative stigma still exists and the more education we as cannabis entrepreneurs can offer, the better.
- Shipping isn’t free. This one always makes me laugh. When first crunching numbers during initial research I completely forgot to factor in shipping. I blame Amazon Prime for that mindset haha.
- Different areas of the country view cannabis very differently. I started the company in California and moved to Chicago. While it’s becoming more accepted, I found out the Midwest culture may think differently when it comes to open cannabis use and discussions.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Listen and collaborate. Trust the passion of the people that work for you and allow them to do what you
brought them on to do. You can steer the ship in the right direction, but ultimately the team is going to make the business successful.
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. 🙂
Live life elated. That’s what we’re all about!
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!