6 Questions with Ryan Smith, Co-Founder of LeafLink

Ryan Smith is the Co-Founder and CEO of Leaflink, a platform featuring an intuitive toolset that manages all elements of wholesale activity in the legal cannabis industry.

1. First of all, can you tell us a little about your role and what you do at LeafLink?

Along with Zach Silverman, I am a co-founder at LeafLink serving as the CEO, Head of Biz Dev, Chief Recruiter, Capital Raiser, and whatever else the company needs.

We’re fresh off our angel round and very focused on building a great team with deep connections in the cannabis industry.

2. Can you tell us a little about your go to market strategy, current growth/marketing channels are working for you right now?

Our go to market strategy is focused on creating tools for this budding industry that are taken for granted in many other multi-billion dollar industries. At the end of the day, we only know so much about what cannabis professionals need.

So, through pain-point discovery, we are prioritizing solutions that align well with LeafLink’s ultimate goal of a fluid and efficient supply chain process.

3. What is the biggest mistake you have made with LeafLink so far that other founders can learn from?

Zach and I have founded and sold companies in the past, but the best part is there is always so much to learn. This is especially the case in the cannabis and cannabis tech industries that are currently flooded with people only interested in getting a piece of the “green rush.”

We were approached by a number of people offering to raise money for us, or set up a meeting for us in exchange for equity. Steering clear of deals that would never be considered in more established markets is key.

I’m sure these characters will always exist, but they are a dime-a-dozen right now because everyone is so excited about the potential for this space.

4. Let’s talk you… what apps, blogs, and tools can’t you live without?

Every morning, I check two apps immediately, Inbox by Google and NYTNow. Inbox is the best; it not only displays new emails, but also those I’ve snoozed on who to catch up with and open items to check in on.

Aside from apps, my virtual assistant is another tool I couldn’t live without.

5. What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?

My best life hack in maintaining so many relationships is setting reminders immediately after I meet with someone to do so again a few months out. That and calling people, something no one seems to do anymore, has become an advantage for LeafLink.

6. What resource have you watched/read/listened to that’s had the biggest impact on your business/life so far this year, and why?

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. Reading how everything Elon does, from his background to his motivations and goals, is so deeply rooted in his desire to save humanity from extinction was fascinating.

For Space X and Tesla, there was a time when he was using personal funds in the high seven-figures monthly just to keep the companies going.

That personal re-investment in your own company and the decision to put a founder’s money on the line repeatedly is something I wish was more common among startups. Being your first investor is common, but being your biggest investor says so much more.

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