All photos courtesy of Advanced Nutrients
A dab rig worked its way around a red, padded room full of hipsters and hot girls. Cigar smoke billowed from an ashtray on the poker table as BigMike, Chris Collins (Syndicate X founder and the "best business fixer" BigMike knows), and Jayme Foxx (their witty soundboard who also hosts CMT's hit show Tattoo Titans) offered no-nonsense advice to millenials looking to succeed. As the rest of downtown LA trudged through the latter half of a midweek workday, everyone at "Business Outlaws" was smiling, refreshments in hand. But despite the session's laidback nature, bullshit was not to be tolerated.
Expecting anything less from BigMike, arguably the most successful cannabis entrepreneur in the game, was my mistake. Known for his raucous mansion parties and a Hefner-esque style that involves a constant barrage of beautiful women, beautiful bud, private jets, and a weed-print Ferrari with his face on the hood, few are more qualified to make a business advice talk show this fun and informative.
Advice ranged from overarching truths like the seemingly-obvious (though, if you're me, pathologically repeatable) "don't support deadbeat guys," to more specific knowledge, like how to get a commercial real estate career off the ground. And believe it or not, there was an absence of empty buzzwords and cryptic instructions: this was legit education from legit insiders.
"Everybody has this prerogative of I know the secret but I'm not going to share it, I'm just going to pretend like I'm going to share it," said Collins after the podcast taping. "Let's just tell people what we really know. We don't know everything, but we've learned a lot of stuff. So, let's just be authentic."
In a world of Instagram flexes, big data, and Trump, authenticity is becoming a lost art. But with BigMike and Collins, intentions are pure. They started this podcast to give back and spread the wealth, hoping to inspire a young generation to get into the entrepreneurial world without pandering to listeners. As BigMike said, "It's about sending the elevator back down to the young millenials out there so they can understand how to do business successfully." Plus, the weekly podcast is free — all you have to do is subscribe.
MERRY JANE sat down with BigMike and Collins after last week's podcast session (and a few giant bong rips) to talk navigating the path to success, the importance of being real on-mic and off, and why Tony Robbins sucks.
MERRY JANE: How did you two meet?
BigMike: We met at a mastermind group about eleven years ago.
What's a mastermind group?
BigMike: A mastermind is a group of like-minded business people who get together and help each other out.
Was this in the cannabis space?
BigMike: No, regular business space.
Chris Collins: I'm not in the cannabis space. My business has been fixing other businesses.
Have you ever worked on BigMike's business, Advanced Nutrients?
BigMike: We help each other out all the time. A lot of the great advice he's given me I put into Advanced Nutrients, and it's doing extremely well.
Chris Collins: It's gone both ways. That's what a mastermind is.
How did the idea for this podcast come about?
BigMike: So we were sitting in the backyard of the mansion, talking. We were saying, you know what? The stuff that we've learned in these mastermind groups and though all the years of experience has really made us quite successful.
Honestly, it's not the normal stuff that most CEOs or business people are talking about on TV. This is the kind of shit that really works. I just want to give back. Before I leave this planet, I want to give this knowledge to these kids. Most of them aren't going to listen to me because they're not motivated to, but the few that are are going to do extremely well with it. We're going to unlock a lot of mysteries of business that a lot of folks just don't talk about. That's what this is about. It's about sending the elevator back down to the young millenials out there so they can understand how to do business successfully.
I think something a lot of millenials face is an onslaught of advertisements disguised as advice, which makes us wary of all advice. Then, even if the advice is genuine, it's difficult to figure out how to apply it to today's ever-changing markets. What do you think is important to tell millennials?
BigMike: First of all, there are formulas for everything. What we do is teach the formulas of being successful in business. The first thing I would say to millennials is there's no freaking easy button. You're not going to get rich fast. You're going to have to pay your dues. Advanced Nutrients is an eighteen year old company. And I didn't start making a shit ton of money until probably year thirteen, really. So, be prepared for the long haul.
The information we give you is going to put you on the straightest path to get from A to B. You're not going to have to make the gyrations that I had to make, or Chris had to make. We don't want you to deviate at all. So, there is a quick path to success, and that's not by making the mistakes that we made. We know what works and what doesn't. What works is very counterintuitive to what people actually think.
How are you picking the guests?
Chris Collins: We're trying to pick guests that we feel are self-made instead of focusing on people who are the popular ones on this kind of circuit. We want guests who can truly contribute to the success of the audience. Actually, we've struggled with guests being inauthentic.
BigMike: We did one show and just threw it in the trash. The person just wasn't being authentic. It simply didn't serve what we're trying to do.
What do you mean by not being authentic?
BigMike: They were talking bullshit, that corporate doublespeak. You know what I'm talking about? Where it sounds like they're saying something but they're actually saying nothing.
Chris Collins: For example, one time Mike and I were having a dinner with Tony Robbins. He's a master manipulator. He understands NLP [Neuro-linguistic programming], he understands how to get people to change behavior, he understands hypnosis. He's been studying this stuff his whole life, and is a master of studying behavior and knowing how to change it. So, we were really excited to meet him.
Bottom line: Tony Robbins can lick my balls. Mike asked him a really good question and he did not answer it authentically. Mike and I were debriefing it about a week later in his backyard and we were just talking about how you go to things and people don't tell you the truth. Like, can't you just tell us the recipe of how we get there? We'll buy your thing. We'll buy your product. That's fine, we'll give you our money. But then, tell us the truth. It's like we buy their thing and then they won't tell us the truth. Nobody tells the younger kids the truth. So we wanted to do a podcast where we're not trying to sell them on any big thing, we're just trying to build a community of people who want to be successful.
BigMike: You can listen to the podcast absolutely for free, and it's all there.
Chris Collins: Everybody has this prerogative of I know the secret but I'm not going to share it, I'm just going to pretend like I'm going to share it. Let's just tell people what we really know. We don't know everything, but we've learned a lot of stuff. So, let's just be authentic.
BigMike: The quickest way to get money out of millenials is tell them there's a magic pill. But in reality, there simply is not.
What do you hope to accomplish with this project?
Chris Collins: I hope at the end of the day that Mike and I are proud. I want us to feel like if we had this podcast when we were young, we would be ahead of where we are now.
BigMike: We've spent a shit-ton of money on a lot of those [entrepreneurial] courses, and a lot of those courses sucked. We want to clear all that out for them. We've sifted through the information, spent the money, and made the mistakes. We want to give back to the younger generation, passing the kind of knowledge that can only be gained by experience.
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