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The Weedsmith Series

Buzzkill: The Weedsmith with Mike Clemmons

This week on The Weedsmith, Mike Clemmons talks to us about his buzzkill. As president of Guild Extracts, Mike tells us what he learned from doing everything right, but still failing.


Ricardo Baca:

You are listening to The Weedsmith, a show about modern cannabis leadership. And I am here with our guest this week, Mike Clemmons of Guild Extracts.
Mike, it is the time in the program we like to call Buzzkill. And when you think about it, this section of the show is really a case study of the fail. Startup founders and executives tell us how they failed,  how they fell on their face, how they almost didn't go through with it, how they almost called it quits. But they didn't. And they got up and dust the dirt off their shoulder, like Jay-Z said, and moved forward and learned from that moment.
So, Mike, let’s hear about your Buzzkill.

Mike Clemmons:

It's funny. There are so many. So many. Before I came into this space,  I was in technology and, you know, we had spectacular fails and in technology, spectacular fails were incredibly expensive.
My biggest fail was probably a mid-eight-figure fail. At the same time, I'm actually going to spare the entire story and the reason is that it’s really not that interesting.
I'll share with you the lesson that came out of it, which was that sometimes you can do everything right and still have failure.
And so it's like, how to best articulate it?


I'm still stuck on the eight-figure-dollar fail.


It was $55,386,000 dollars, gone.
But at the end of the day, the most important lesson that that particular thing taught me was that, you can do everything right and still fail.
And the deeper lesson that came out of it that I apply to all areas of my life is that, as a human, you know, you got to kind of get right with the fact that you control nothing. You know, our actions may have so much influence over something that we mistake it for control, and then, when we think we have control of something, then all of a sudden it’s out of control, there's a spiritual reconciliation that has to happen.
I think it was Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, who said that failure is the key to success. And a lot of people may have a hard time reconciling that because they see these as polar opposites. 
And God bless my mom for kind of raising me to see how to kind of reframe things in my mind, you know, like, confusion is simply the feeling that I feel right before I learn something. And so when I feel myself being confused, I can either get frustrated or I can, you know, get excited that, okay, I'm about to learn something cool and I love learning things cool.


That's a great perspective.


Frustration is the feeling that I have typically, right before breakthrough. 
So when I sense myself getting frustrated, I can get excited that I'm just at the verge of a breakthrough. And failure is not necessarily a polar opposite. It's a stepping stone to your success. 
And at the end of the day, just because you failed doesn't mean you won't succeed and because you succeed doesn't mean you're not going to fail. You’re not gonna, you know, kind of push the limits of your own ability and not fail.
You know, if you're not failing, you're just you're really not trying. And it's hard to do when you're like neck deep in the shit,
But then you just have to have faith that, you know, you'll find your way out. You'll overcome, you know? What's the option?" If you're not failing, you're not doing. You're not trying.
That's the way that we grow. It’s just the way that it is.