Stephen Ryan is the Chief Marketing Officer at Infinite CBD, where he is responsible for researching, planning, outlining and implementing all of the business marketing ideas and campaigns.
Before Infinite CBD, Stephen finished getting his college education about graphic and web design from the Art Institute of California, and began working as a graphic designer within the cannabis industry. While working as a designer he worked with many high profile brands within the industry such as: Cheeba Chews, Green Dot, Head of Honey, Kind Love and many more.
Stephen had no aspirations to become an entrepreneur himself, but when he saw Infinite CBD being created and the incredible potential it has, he was quick to make sure he secured his position as a founder of the company; contributing all branding, web and marketing experience to the company. He contributes this decision to many of the positive changes in his life that have happened since the beginning of Infinite CBD.
“Nothing really gave me the drive and motivation to make such massive changes in my life both personally and professionally like being a business owner does. The potential is literally unlimited. Everything from building out fully functional systems to learning how to better communicate with team members has all been quite the rewarding challenge.”
Outside of work, Stephen likes to play with his French Bulldog, Charlie, stay active with running, trade stocks and, of course, lay around doing nothing but binging 6 hours of Netflix in a single sitting.
Where did the idea for Infinite CBD come from?
Infinite CBD, the original idea, actually came from our CEO John Ramsay. We had come across CBD through researching the cannabis market and John decided to see if he could help out his friend who cannot use Cannabis, due to his job, to test the effects of CBD without THC. That friend came back the next day saying it was the most pain free he had felt in 20 years. This is when we knew we had something on our hands and when we turned around we had built Infinite CBD.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Momentarily, Infinite CBD work keeps my days quite structured. I wake up at the exact same time every morning, go for a run first thing (typically with an educational audiobook), then get straight into my workday around 7:30am. Typically my work, as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), consists of planning upcoming projects, reviewing current project milestones and overseeing our marketing department to ensure everyone stays happy, healthy and consistent.
Throughout the day I use multiple resources to keep me on track. My main resource is my notebook. I prefer handwritten notes and lists to keep track of my tasks. I also keep a whiteboard as well as our company intranet to help me keep all of our projects and marketing channels organized.
After completing work for the day I will typically continue to work on all things personal development: reading, watching lectures, researching articles, etc. Typically my day will end around 8pm.
I also do my best to fit in some day trading. I like Forex trading because the open markets fit better into my schedule as this can be done nearly anytime of the day. Ideally I get this done right after my morning run as the NYSE opens at 7:30 in Colorado, which creates the potential for real profits. Sometimes if I can’t fit it in then I will work on this at night. Nothing is better than starting out your day with exercise and $500+ profit before the rest of the world gets out of bed.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Infinite CBD brings their ideas to life in many different ways. It depends on the idea.
Typically the process would be: Concept out the idea, whether that be a product or marketing campaign or other. We would get the necessary team all together and we would brainstorm ideas on direction. After the initial concepting we would then create our first drafts. If that is a product then we would develop the samples and do testing. If it was a marketing campaign, we would outline the campaign and create assets to go with it. From here we just continuously revise the product or campaign until it is perfect/acceptable. This will sometimes take one round of revisions, and sometimes five plus.
Many of our ideas come from market research and/or that random idea that pops up in somebody’s head that we build from.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am really excited for the shift to environmentally friendly packaging and practices. I have a goal, within the next 5 years, to have Infinite CBD be as close to carbon neutral as possible. Everything from our packaging being made from recycled materials, less single-use plastic, or plastic at all if possible, down to our manufacturing facility operating solely off our own resources and energy.
I am excited about this for 2 reasons:
The challenge that comes from developing this environmentally friendly packaging, especially with over 100 unique SKUs and growing.
Infinite CBD becoming a completely self-sustaining and environmentally conscious company.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Structuring my daily life.
I do my best to set the same routine for myself everyday to create the best environment for the most success daily. I make sure that my entire day is scheduled out at least a full 24 hours ahead of time. I execute the same routine every morning which perfects my mood and mindset to tackle my day from top priority tasks down to the not-quite-as-top-priority tasks.
I also educate myself daily. I listen to audiobooks, research and read articles, watch lectures and training videos, etc. Every single day I block off a minimum of 1.5 hours specifically to learn something new. Topics range from, but are not limited to personal development, physcology and of course, marketing.
What advice would you give your younger self?
1. Just get started. The hardest part of climbing the highest mountain is taking the first step.
2. Never stop learning. If you’re not constantly improving, you’re constantly stagnant or getting worse.
3. Don’t let short term pleasures get in the way of long term goals. The time is going to pass no matter what I do, so I could spend that time on superficial rewards that require little to no effort (not sustainable for true happiness and fulfillment), or I could suffer through it and put in the work now to have greater rewards later and find what truly makes me happy and fulfilled in life.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
1. Coffee is disgusting.
2. You don’t always say “X(person) and I” sometimes the proper way would be “X(person) and ME.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Invest in yourself. Learn everything you can, but not everything there is. Constantly search for knowledge on topics relevant to you. I don’t read books about engineering because it’s not relevant to my professional progression, even though I find it highly interesting.
Find what you do well and enjoy doing and then never stop learning more about that topic. Even learning about adjacent topics is beneficial, for example I read a lot about psychology because I can use that information about how the brain works and how people think to my advantage as a marketing expert. Work on your discipline. Learn how to tell yourself “no”. Prioritize personal health and progression. Investing in yourself will return 50x the invested cost, over time.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Always having a hardworking and consistent work ethic.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There have been so many failures! I have failed in every way that an entrepreneur could fail.
I’ve mismanaged employees, I’ve overlooked critical data.
I’ve pushed out promotions with typos.
I’ve overspent hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I’ve made decisions that ended up costing us millions of dollars, citing research articles that made health claims.
The list of failures is literally never ending and ever growing. How did I get through it, determination maybe? I got through each failure just by never quitting. The people in the highest levels of wealth are not necessarily the smartest people, or the strongest people, they are simply the ones who never quit. I have had MANY nights where I thought it was all over, I thought I would lose everything that I had been working on. In those moments, I simply just never gave into those thoughts and feelings. The next day would come and I would wake up and face it head on.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Can someone please make something that gives me all my daily nutrients at once so I never had to eat again?! What a chore…chewing, hate it! …. You probably think i’m joking, I hate having to stop what I am doing to make and eat food. Just give me the nutrients in a single morning shot or something.
Also, can someone please start a consistent internet company so I can get rid of comcast?!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Audiobooks, running shoes, stock trading.
1. Audiobooks – As stated before I am a learning junkie. Audiobooks are my go to. I’ve purchased 25 books in the last two months. 100% worth it and will return 500x the cost of the book.
2. Running shoes – As someone who has picked up running every morning, (yes even in the rain you slacker) running shoes are critical to making sure that my feet dont get ripped up and I am able to continue throughout my entire day without issues. Have you ever run ten miles straight with regular shoes? Don’t.
3. Stock trading – This is a new one for me, but I love it. I’ve spent more than $100, but you can start with only $100 if you want! It’s very challenging, but once you get it and it clicks, it can be extremely profitable. $1,000 per day is not uncommon among high-level traders.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Samepage! This is what we use at Infinite CBD for all internal communication and project management. This software allows the entire company to communicate seamlessly and manage projects all in one platform.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
By now you must know that I have a grip of recommendations on books. If I had to recommend ONLY one book it would be “No Excuses” by Brian Tracy. A VERY close second would be “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy
What is your favorite quote?
Strength can only be born from weakness.
- No matter how old you are, always keep learning!
- Wake up early & get things done
- Never quit. Learn from your failures and keep pushing forward
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.