Be patient and keep your ears and eyes open.
Johnny Chan aka Ganja John is the founder of Firefly 420, a medical cannabis company, and creator of Sherry Balm, a pain relief topical. With over 42 years’ experience in the cannabis field he brings explosive innovative ideas to this emerging industry. Starting at the young age of 14 he studied under Grandmaster Ark Y. Wong (Bruce Lee’s Sifu) known for Shaolin Temple’s The Five Family Styles Kung fu and Master Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. John was one of the very privileged students to be handed down an ancient formula “Dit Da Jow” an arthritis relief ointment. From that interaction between Master and student John began an appreciation of all living things and an understanding of synergy in plants. In 2009 John founded ALightofSonShine.org along with his family to provide relief for the homeless, elderly and families in need. Dedicated to breaking the cycles of hunger, homelessness and devoted to restoring and empowering the stricken and disenfranchised. In his spare time John enjoys the company of his grandchildren to teach them about the many wonderful things that life has to offer.
Firefly 420 was founded on the idea of helping those in need and the belief of providing safe affordable medicine. Since our organization was established, we have endeavored to provide the most help to those where the need is greatest. We create and bring you the highest quality of products for optimum health and a better way of life. We aim to provide the most discreet and professional Service. Our advisors are thoroughly trained to advise you on our medications. They will recommend appropriate products and provide patient service support. It is our goal to help make sure you feel at your best always. You can count on our many years of experience and our highly trained team of wellness professionals.
Where did the idea for Firefly 420 come from?
When I was a child, I would catch fireflies to see why they light up. Only to discover it’s when releasing them they illuminated again. Like an idea, it needs room to grow and be excited. Five years ago, Sherry Coopee aka Sherry Balm and I started searching for an efficient way to relieve pain. Medical Cannabis became the solution. It has been a great staple of pain management for us, and we wanted to share this pain solution with everyone. Sherry Balm was created from a personal loss. My dear friend Kimberly A. Moore passed away 7.5.2015. Her sweet smile, kind eyes, and her honesty became my inspiration. Her heart had been weighed down by stress and depression due to pain from a multitude of health issues. For her, Medical Cannabis gave relief, but was extremely unpleasant to inhale. That’s where the idea for a Balm was conceived. I question myself how do I get the benefits of Medical Cannabis to relieve the stress emanating from physical pain that can lead to personal anxiety. This need to correct this problem became consuming. I felt the lack of this solution was leading to addiction of pills to nullify the pain. Many of those temporary solutions can wreak havoc on a person’s physical body, health and mind. Our goal was to open an avenue for those of us with a need to find an alternative for relief from pain and stress without the need to overwork our lungs or damage our livers. Sherry Balm is a full spectrum topical with THC (Terpenes) and CBD that allows for direct contact of the treatment to the source of discomfort. Heartbreakingly, my friend is no longer here with us to share in this relief. We have no doubt that she is excited for us to share our findings with everyone who suffered as she did.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Staying aware and keeping my sovereignty as well, as knowing what I need to accomplish throughout the day. Things change rapidly in a startup you need to be flexible and willing to handle any concerns as they arise while still maintaining a normal level of operation.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Whenever I see issues and the need for a solution, it really excites me to come up with ideas to fix these problems. The solutions often materialize doing something common in everyday life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Very excited to finally see the cannabis industry standardizing with grading, accountability and third party testing.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
A regular day starts early at 6am. As a firm believer in time management. Entrepreneurs often wear many hats throughout the day which is often the case in any start up. Getting an early start everyday builds the discipline needed to run a successful business. Plus being mentally prepared for the unexpected.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be patient and keep your ears and eyes open. Never go against yourself and always follow your heart. Tomorrow will present another opportunity.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
I often tell people around me to relax and feel the moment, try to be in the zone, your frequency has to open in the right energy range. Everything has energy!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I purposely place myself in the company of people smarter than myself, I recognize what I lack and recognize their potential and what could be brought to the table. A strong company is only made of great people.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Finding the right people with the same goals. I believe in having someone who believes in the product and in the company. You can train someone over and over again to no end if they are not convinced of the product it will not sell. Selecting the right people to associate with your product is most important. They have to believe in what the company promotes to get the best out of them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Promoting a product without qualifying it. Ciao olive oil did not sell well; our mistake was in the marketing. We failed first time out, sales were dismal. We recognized patients had no clue how to use the olive oil. Our marketing team had to give it a purpose so they attached a recipe to the bottle and the sales started to climb. The creative team came up with the idea of advertising the benefits of having a ready to use cannabis oil. We sold the concept of saving time and how to administer the medicine.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I once had an idea and to make tooth picks that attached in the middle with floss. It is a onetime use item so you don’t have to put your fingers into your mouth.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Recently we spent $100 to send Sherry Coopee, Ky Trang Ho and Rose Himmelberger to a Women’s Cannabis Empowerment seminar. They expected just to find information for the women on our staff. What they gained was a better understanding all around of cannabis industry in regards to equal opportunities for everyone associated within the industry. It was also a great place to meet fellow business people and to connect together and form alliances.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Google, for research and up to date information. It has served the company well in regards to cannabis cancer research and cannabis laws.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Two come to mind “The Art of War” and “The Outsiders“, I would recommend the later. The book gives a glimpse into life as a teenager who has his lost parents, leaving him only with his brothers. The struggle to belong and the constant fighting to stay relevant. It shows how a bad momentary decision influenced by friends could affect the outcome for the rest of your life. The book shows us we all are those kids some more alike and some less, but we all come from somewhere and we all share those same feelings. We need to remind ourselves in business that we are all people with the same inner feelings.
What is your favorite quote?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams“. By Eleanor Roosevelt
* Sherry Balm is a full spectrum topical with THC (Terpenes) and CBD that allows for direct contact of the treatment to the source of discomfort
* A strong company is only made of great people.
* The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
Johnny Chan on Linkedin:
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.