9 Unconventional Entrepreneurs and their Productive Habits

Here at IdeaMensch, we are hearing from cryptocurrency and cannabis entrepreneurs more and more frequently. These unconventional entrepreneurs are teaching us a lot about their growing industries, which are fascinating to watch. We decided to put together a small compilation post so you can meet and learn from these entrepreneurs in two fast growing industries.

Learn more about their businesses and what habits make them more productive!

Nydia Zhang, Co-Founder and Chairman of Social Alpha Foundation

What is Social Alpha Foundation?

The Social Alpha Foundation is a not-for-profit, grant-making platform supporting blockchain technology for social good. In order to reshape the world’s understanding of this emergent technology and cultivate a sustainable ecosystem, the blockchain community must take responsibility and come together to help the world realize the full capabilities of blockchain technology. This is why Nydia created Social Alpha Foundation: to recognize the full potential this technology has to offer which may benefit society.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I’m very disciplined with time management, prioritizing tasks and allocating strict time frames when completing tasks. If I allocate two hours to writing up an SAF proposal, then two hours is exactly the amount of time I will spend on the task. Regardless of whether I have completed the task, once the time is up I will move on to the next task. By being disciplined and having self-control, it helps to focus my concentration and get me in the zone. Avoiding distractions for a designated timeframe helps me stay organized.

Kerrigan Behrens and Kaley Nichol, Founders of Sagely Naturals

What is Sagely Naturals?

Sagely Naturals is a product line that has the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant, without needing to get high in order to experience those benefits. From a branding standpoint, Sagely Naturals also wanted products that we could proudly carry around with us to the yoga studio or display in our bathrooms. Sagely was born out of the idea that we wanted to create an inviting brand that feels therapeutic, familiar, and safe. One that you would see at Target or Whole Foods.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Working out. It allows me to get outside of my head and brings clarity so when I am working I’m able to focus and get more done.

Daniel Scott, Co-Founder and CEO of CoinCorner

What is CoinCorner?

CoinCorner is an online platform where people can buy and sell Bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. While running TheBugNet, Daniel had an idea for a different business which looked at Bitcoin as a method of payment. This sparked his interest in Bitcoin and he decided to buy a few. However, back in 2013 buying Bitcoin proved quite difficult to do, so he decided to mine it instead. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) as interest in Bitcoin grew, mining became unrealistic without lots of ASICS and cheap power, but he recognised that there was a gap in the UK market for a safe and simple place to purchase Bitcoins.

What is one habit that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Wearing my headphones for sure. As a software developer running a business it’s easy to be distracted by the general day-to-day tasks. I will quite often have “headphone days” where I tell the team not distract me for the day so I can get some code written! These days are certainly the most productive.

Will McDonough, Founder of iCash.io

What is iCash.io?

iCash introduces the Proof of Trust (PoT) protocol as a multi-platform blockchain application that enables real-world inputs to be validated by decentralized participants in settling Smart Contracts at scale.While Proof of Work and Proof of Stake provide distributed trust for data storage, the introduction of PoT provides distributed trust for data input. By adding a trustworthy application protocol layer, real world interaction and events can be verified before being entered into the blockchain.
What is one habit that makes you productive as an entrepreneur?

I treat my inbox as a to do list, and am constantly taking things off that list, either filing them for future reference, or answering those emails and clearing my plate. My best thinking can happen when my inbox is its lowest.

Kat Thomas, Co-Creator of The Green Light District

What is The Green Light District?

The Green Light District is a speakeasy cannabis cabaret show that has toured through the recreational states of this country including Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada. Sometimes you just want to get high, relax, and listen to something more in the vein of Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, or Bobby Darin. The largest growing market of cannabis users is fifty and above. Kat felt there was a lack of cannabis entertainment catering to this demographic. The GLD is the bridge between these two worlds: Ella Fitzgerald styles covering Snoop like songs.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Being willing to try new things. “Failure” is AWESOME because it gets you closer to hacking the system and figuring out how something works. Edison said he didn’t fail 10,000 times, he showed 10,000 ways not to make a lightbulb. And let’s be serious, there’s really no failure when you play the game for the long term, it’s only when you play the game short term you think you failed.

Ty Smith, Co-Founder of Crypico

What is Crypico?

Crypico is the cryptocurrency industry’s top freelance platform. The co-founders identified a need in the space. The current number of ways to earn cryptocurrency is really lacking. Unless viable earning options exist, the growth of cryptocurrency will be incredibly stunted. In the past, people without a certain level of disposable income were barred from entering the community in a substantial way. They simply didn’t have the money to risk. By enabling anyone to earn cryptocurrency, Crypico can vastly grow the number of market participants and further the reach of this groundbreaking technology.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Background music is vital to me being productive. We have a really great coding playlist on Spotify that makes my whole team way more effective. When it comes time to brainstorm new features I find it better to turn it off though. Silence for thought, sound for productivity.

Olga Duka, CEO at Zeus.Exchange

What is Zeus.Exchange?

Zeus.Exchange merges the traditional investments with the power of the blockchain, to allow their clientele to trade between conventional financial instruments and digital assets, using a single platform, and in a legal and fully transparent fashion.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

The ability to change habits.

Nate Flanders, Co-Founder and CEO of Mandala

What is Mandala?

Mandala is a second generation digital asset exchange within the cryptocurrency industry. It aims to disrupt the current crypto exchange market, as well as aiming to become one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to become fully compliant with the SEC. Mandala is a revolutionary platform, designed for everyone, where the focus is breaking down the barrier to entry, driving accessibility and fostering adoption.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I like to learn and I find simply talking to people is one of the best ways I can fully leverage my curiosity. People specialize in what fascinates them most and I think being able to engage in real and meaningful discussions regarding various subjects has helped me greatly through my journey as an entrepreneur. Part of this comes from recognizing my own strengths and weaknesses. I certainly am not superhuman and so finding people who are both talented and passionate about what they know and do, and then engaging with them for their expertise is possibly one of the most important habits I’ve learned over time. It comes down to building your network, in the past it was a rolodex and today it’s about the people you know across various online platforms – the key is to never be afraid to pick up the phone.

Filip Mroz