An Interview with Quiet Monk Founder Steven Gregoire
- Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/cities.
We are Quiet Monk CBD, one of Southern California’s premier providers of CBD products. At our facility, which sits on 5 acres of farmland, we consolidate everything in one location. We have always believed in using the richest hemp extract sourced from our local farmers to make our products. Hence, we make all our products using raw hemp extract that is thick and special, and rich in terpenes. A lot of other companies filter out the terpenes for isolates, but at Quiet Monk, we keep it. Although it’s more work and messy using the terpenes, our products deliver the desired entourage effect.
- Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
At Quiet Monk, we have a high repeat customer rate, receive a ton of referrals, and our customer satisfaction is extremely high. Our goal is not to be a Charlotte’s Web. Me and my son talk to our customers directly and believe in helping people by offering them quality products at a fair price. Thanks to the personal relationships we’ve formed over the years and our friends who are suppliers, partners, etc., we have been able to focus on quality instead of quantity. We’re not like Tasty Drops that caters to younger yuppies who don’t deal with chronic pain. Most of our clientele is made up of people dealing with real pain.
- What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
In the past, I have been a serial entrepreneur. I used to be in a website ownership business with a focus on e-commerce, and I lost that business to Google’s Panda update. I then moved my focus to marketing while looking for new avenues to explore. I have only ever wanted to start businesses that helped people. I like to feel good about myself and my work when I go to bed at night. While I was training for Martial Arts, I came across people who were looking for a more natural recovery option that they could use without getting high. While pain patches may work for some people, CBD products proved to be more helpful for those dealing with chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathy, and other such issues. These products were especially helpful in my father’s case. However, setting up a CBD business is tough, and there are considerable roadblocks along the way. We had to deal with several banking issues and high competition. Also, there are a lot of regulations to deal with, and getting banned by e-commerce companies is always a possibility.
- What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
My advice to future entrepreneurs would be to learn as much as you can. Always be the white belt student for life. Be tough because you’ve got to endure your share of tough times. You have to be able to put a positive spin on things. Just like the fighter Santos, who was a fighter for life and always learning, you also must always be receptive to education and observation is key!
- What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Although I didn’t go to college, I sort of inherited the business traits, and you always have to be open to learning. Another thing every entrepreneur needs to succeed is courage. You have to be willing to lose and take the hits. I didn’t know much about CBD when I started out. But I have always been focused on the formulation of our products. Our cream was great but it stained people’s clothes. So, we needed to learn in order to work out the kinks in our products. By asking questions to find the best chemical formulation that works, we turned this problem into a benefit. The new version of the cream works even better and doesn’t stain. Our 3000mg or 4000mg cream can fix niche men’s health issues, even for older people.
- How many hours do you work a day on average?
There is no saying really! It can vary day by day. Some days it’ll be 6 hours, others it’s 12 or 14 hours. I’ve had to put in 12-hour days for 8 months straight. All I can say is that I make better decisions when I’m healthy and in better physical shape.
- To what do you most attribute your success?
Being able to adapt to different business environments and changes. It’s important to stay flexible. Not everything will always go to plan!
- How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Besides having our website, we haven’t marketed in any real sense. We attribute most of our business to word of mouth and referrals.
- Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Bootstrap! I don’t believe in taking loans and like to avoid debts whenever possible. I used up most of my savings and lived somewhat cheap, slept out of my gym, and had a very stripped-down life. I even lived and worked out of an RV for years. I didn’t have to worry about any big expenses, and I’m not at all materialistic. I was focused on my goals and all that I wanted to achieve. I had a simple motto – if it’s not broken, don’t fix it and get the job done.
- What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Financial discipline, and a ‘stick to it’ attitude. Don’t rush things when you start a new entrepreneurial business. There will be times when you won’t be able to get all the specific details vetted out at once. Packaging, shipping, marketing, etc. It’s important to be financially prudent and create relationships to create a good product.
- Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
For the next few years, we will be focusing on formulating products induced with arnica to target the top layer of the skin and MCT oil (fractured coconut oil and olive oil) to help penetrate the skin. We hope to target people who don’t want to resort to needles for chronic pain.
- Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I admire the industries that help people. I’m extremely interested in the psychology of buying and the marketing and packaging subconscious. I also find the terminology used in marketing campaigns, social trends, and shopping trends fascinating. Some people are early adopters; they can roll with the punches and are able to adapt rather quickly. Also, any company that wants to mentor other young business leaders.