Drayten Howell: Driving The Base Line From Hoops To Hemp
Drayten Howell: How a 23-Year-Old Student Athlete Found Success in the Cannabis Industry
Today’s guest is currently undergoing a journey that is nothing short of amazing. Only in his 20s and coming from a modest background, he was able to carve out a new path for himself in the incredibly competitive cannabis industry—in California, no less. Find out how he navigated the countless challenges involved in starting his business and the decision-making framework he uses to keep himself on course.
How can I discover the decision-making constructs that uniquely work for me?
What do I need to keep in mind when starting a business in an incredibly competitive industry?
Why does “being a consumer of my own business” lead to brand loyalty?
Jon welcomes Drayten Howell, the young CEO of Indacut, the first cannabis delivery service licensed through the city of Santa Barbara. He has a fascinating story to share. At the age of 23, Drayten quit college with a full-ride basketball scholarship to start a cannabis business. Needless to say, he has made a number of major life-changing decisions.
3 MAJOR POINTS DISCUSSED
- Have a decision-making framework and set of non-negotiable standards unique to you. There is no one-size-fits-all decision-making framework. Know what works for you, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. Drayten abides by three constructs that he goes through before making any big decision: Firstly, Drayten always seeks wise counsel, whether from his mom or grandma, coaches, and other close friends and acquaintances that he trusts. Secondly, as a believer in God, Drayten always prays before making a major decision. Finally, alongside prayer, Drayten meditates on every life-changing decision that comes his way.
- To build brand loyalty in your business, provide a product at a great price. Many new entrepreneurs tend to forget that they’re making a product for other people, not for themselves. You have to know what you’re providing, and you have to be providing what your target market wants right now. In the cannabis industry at least, Drayten recommends not following trends because “trends are saturated”. If you don’t provide your customers what they want now for the price they’re willing to pay now, they can go right down the street to your competitor.
- Be a consumer of your own business. Always put yourself in the shoes of your customers (and potential customers). Gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of your business processes by asking yourself whether you would be happy with the products you’re offering and the service that went into it.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE
- Drayten’s decision-making framework [02:35]
- How Drayten turned his life around created this incredibly unique path for himself [09:19]
- Applying Drayten’s early, mostly self-taught lessons on business in the real world [12:21]
- Getting the business underway while going blind [16:00]
- How Drayten went about attacking his deliverables in the early days of business [20:11]
- Drayten’s biggest obstacles to getting Indacut up and running [24:12]
- Building brand loyalty [26:49]
- The two biggest surprises Drayten has encountered so far and how he addressed them [28:50]
- Drayten’s plans for the growth of Indacut [30:42]
- Considering a franchise model in the future [33:28]
- How Drayten keeps up as the primary decision-maker in his business [34:48]
- Decisions that Drayten regrets since starting his business[36:50]
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Drayten began thinking about entering the cannabis industry in 2018 during his summer classes at SBCC. He knew the industry would be growing as the market opened for recreational use. Shortly after summer classes ended, Drayten was on his way north to attend NCAA Division 2 Holy Names University on a basketball scholarship.
While Drayten was attending Holy Names University as a full-time student athlete, he started doing all of the backend work for Indacut. He began drafting business plans, Googling how-to guides, and working with his accounting tutor on pro formas.
In November of 2018, Drayten found his cannabis-zoned facility from his dorm room. A few weeks later, Drayten decided it was best to leave Holy Names University.
He moved back home and got started right away on the licensing process in January of 2019. Since then, Drayten has successfully made Indacut the first cannabis delivery service licensed through Santa Barbara County. God, hard work, and a killer team made all of this possible.
Drayten is back to serve the place he calls home. Providing legal, quality, lab-tested products to help clients lead a healthy and active lifestyle. He plans on expanding his cannabis ventures around the state/worldwide, and is currently working to become fully vertically integrated in Santa Barbara County.
ABOUT OUR HOSTS
Jon Kramer, Managing Director JMK Solutions www.jmk-solutions.com is a marketing services veteran with 35+ years of experience working with leading agencies, and major consumer packaged goods brands.
Most recently, Jon was the Enterprise Sales Marketing lead at WestRock, a $16B packaging and display company, responsible for interfacing with their largest clients. Earlier, he was CMO of the RockTenn Merchandising Division where he created a shopper-marketing team, and go-to-market strategies for the Henkel company. He was also responsible for providing the selling organization with insights into the evolving US retail environment.
Previously, Kramer served for 10 years as CEO of J. Brown, the Shopper Marketing agency of Grey Worldwide. He was responsible for creating the organizational positioning and strategy, and led all new-business efforts. During his tenure, J. Brown became the leading U.S. shopper marketing Agency, virtually defining the discipline.
Paul Kramer’s distinguished marketing career is characterized by a long track record of building high performance communication organizations. His expertise is a unique blend of creativity, technical marketing analysis, and a keen business sense for strategic positioning. Paul’s earlier career included being the CEO of Catapult Marketing, President and COO of Hyper Marketing Inc and President and COO of D.L. Ryan Companies and has sat on Epsilon’s Strategic Management Team.
Paul is skilled in all areas of marketing. He is especially strong in strategic planning, national brand management, marketing communications, and business development. In addition, he has a solid management foundation with accomplishments in P&L management, intellectual property, forming and maintaining strategic alliances and building business.
Today, Paul is the General Partner of Riverside Consulting, a strategic consulting company working with senior leadership to help guide their business’ success.
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