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Len Giancola: “Don’t just limit yourself to hired guns for a fee”

Make sure they have a vested interest in helping the company succeed and grow. Don’t just limit yourself to hired guns for a fee. Provide opportunities for your team members to share in the success of the company through creative and incentivized methods of performance goals. As part of my entrepreneurial interview series, today, we […]

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Make sure they have a vested interest in helping the company succeed and grow. Don’t just limit yourself to hired guns for a fee. Provide opportunities for your team members to share in the success of the company through creative and incentivized methods of performance goals.


As part of my entrepreneurial interview series, today, we had the pleasure of interviewing Len Giancola.

Len is a founding partner of MJ.com along with a portfolio of online technology assets in the Cannabis Industry.


Thank you so much for doing this with us Len! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Wow, there have been so many incredible stories so far — many of which I cannot share — but one combo stands out to me. Before we even launched any of our platforms, we had two institutional investors, one who was a minority owner of a professional sports franchise and another who ran a multi-billion private equity fund, both offer us an absurd amount of pre-launch money for our portfolio. And in hindsight in both cases, we made the right decision by declining their generous offers as we have built upon those numbers quite substantially. Who knows what the future holds, but I’ve enjoyed the experience thoroughly to this point.

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?

Funny is a tough description, but I do enjoy every part of building a company or platform, even the choices that lead to stressful moments. When our team first had the opportunity to jump into this industry a few years back, we trusted some of the wrong people as partners or board members or managers. Some of those decisions have led to stressful and frustrating delays on launch timelines, but have provided an incredible amount of humor and lighthearted discussions about how naïve we were when we first started. Conversely, we also are extremely grateful for those experiences as they allowed us to rid ourselves of the bad apples at an early stage and create something special and positive going forward.

Since those awkward baby steps and pitfalls upon entering this arena, we have created and amassed what we believe is the most unique portfolio of assets in the industry. And that couldn’t have happened if we didn’t experience and grow from those early choices.

Are you working on any exciting projects now?

Yes! Our team is super excited to have launched various platforms in the past few months with several more on the way. With MJ.com, we have signed exclusive partnerships to become the national authority in the medical and professional end of the industry with doctors and dispensaries in the medically legal states. We have the largest social media reach in the industry with well over 30 million impressions per week across our network. We own several social media assets, with @hitsblunt on Instagram being one of the largest. Our national cannabis delivery platform launch is imminent and will be one of a kind experience for our customer base. We also have our recreational site in ThePot.com and a digital media destination in our Pot.Live Podcast, along with our VIP Membership Platform at CultureClubUSA.com.

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?

Oddly, I never had a mentor or coach per se, as I’ve always been a self-starter and am motivated by building a legacy for my family. That being said, everyone needs help along the way and access to certain opportunities. The trick is in your ability to capitalize and execute on those opportunities. We have created an amazing team of connectors and executors across the nation that take our entire portfolio to another level and we would not be successful without each of their talents.

As far as a story, one of my best friends provided access to a premium domain acquisition and that snowballed into the creation of a multitude of amazing partners, platforms and opportunities for which I am truly grateful.

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?

Indeed. We are molded to take advantage of the new generation of technology while still appealing to the old school attraction of value-based customer acquisition. What I mean by that is we have figured out a way to utilize the holy grail of eyeballs, which is social media, and combine organic growth and influencers with a premium domain, website, and original content to satisfy all of our customer wishes.

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

Make sure they have a vested interest in helping the company succeed and grow. Don’t just limit yourself to hired guns for a fee. Provide opportunities for your team members to share in the success of the company through creative and incentivized methods of performance goals.

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 would love to be a trailblazer in providing a blueprint for success by combining education and access to creating wealth-building opportunities that just aren’t taught in traditional schooling or corporate environments. In this new world of speed and agility of the business, there are endless opportunities to create success and I want to share those with as many people as I can.

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