Each week we highlight entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry for our viewers to learn more about the leading cannabis executives of our time.
This week, we highlight Susan Chicovsky, founder of Green Mountain Harvest. Susan has been an entrepreneur since 1972.
This includes five restaurants, an international and private alternative healing practice, which includes being a minister and performing sacred ceremonies including weddings, christenings, and memorials, a health and wellness center and a natural insecticide company for the cannabis industry. Susan has achieved top national leadership status in an international healthcare company, business consultant for small businesses, performed public speaking on the radio, TV and national seminars and workshops. Susan is committed to helping people heal in a way that works for them as well as helping business owners be successful.
Currently, Susan operates the oldest and the first cleared and compliant marijuana harvest and trim company, Green Mountain Harvest, in Denver, Colorado since 2010 and serving marijuana businesses nationally. Susan is a national expert on harvesting and the trimming industry.
In our interview with Susan, we asked a variety of questions to gain further insight into Green Mountain Harvest, building a business in the cannabis industry and much more!
First off Susan, congratulations on being featured as this week’s entrepreneur of the week! Can you please share with our readers about Green Mountain Harvest?
Susan Chicovsky: Thank you, it is indeed an honor! Green Mountain Harvest is Colorado’s oldest and most compliant harvest and trim company since 2010. Green Mountain Harvest trims to your needs and frees you and your team up to do the things you love. GMH trimmers are passionate about their work. GMH has set up better business practices with their grows to provide non-contaminated cannabis to the public.
What ignited the spark in you to start to launch your business? Or how did your idea evolve?
Susan Chicovsky: I am an organic gardener and bonsai lady. I wanted to see the industry succeed so providing a quality service company mirrored my passion for helping others.
How are you positively helping the cannabis industry?
Susan Chicovsky: I work with the Governor’s office, the Health Department and Division of AG set up better business practices for the cultivations centers.
Who is your role model, and why?
Susan Chicovsky: My mother has been my role model. She was diagnosed with a debilitating spinal disease when I was very young. The Drs. told her she would be in a wheelchair within 5 years of the diagnosis and dead shortly after that. She lived till she was 84.
She taught me to be strong, what the essence of willpower is about and healing is a personal journey. Also never give up
and the power of prayer.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Susan Chicovsky: Passion, dedication, and flexibility.
Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it?
Susan Chicovsky: A friend lent me the money to start up.
If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Susan Chicovsky: Joan of Arc. Her passion for her mission spoke loudly.
How do you stay balanced?
Susan Chicovsky: Staying balanced is constant learning. Listening to what I need really helps and having the tools to stay balanced is necessary. Breathwork, meditation, eating well, keeping the vision in the front so as not getting caught in the mundane. When I get caught in the mundane, I step back and find my compassion for others and myself.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to others looking to launch a company in the cannabis industry?
Susan Chicovsky: Create a supportive and strong management team. Learn every aspect of your business but allow others who are experts in the different roles, perform them.
What’s the hardest part of founding and running a startup?
Susan Chicovsky: Believing that no matter what, you can do this, if this is your heart’s desire.
Is there anything that surprised you about being an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry?
Susan Chicovsky: In the early years I was shocked at the lack of professionalism and business knowledge within the industry. This has definitely changed through the years, and I am seeing real entrepreneurs and business people come through. I am still surprised at the employee issues that show up when they don’t take this business seriously.
Being a founder, we are bound to make a mistake or two, what is one mistake you made that turned up being one of your biggest learning lessons?
Susan Chicovsky: I trusted my managers. In 2016 my field manager stole all GMH’s IT information, client list and trimmers information and joined one of my employees who had received some inheritance and started an illegal trim company. It shook the company to the bone. I recommitted to keeping the business going, and we are doing well. My information is more protected now and can only be accessed in the office where my office manager and I keep our eyes open to any and all access to info.
What book has inspired you the most?
Susan Chicovsky: The Path of Least Resistance. It taught me to be here now and let go more.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Susan Chicovsky: I admire any company that has a proactive owner.
How can we as an industry continue to make a positive difference in society?
Susan Chicovsky: By operating within the legality of the business requirements. I am an advocate for legal business practices, so we can take this industry further.
Thank you, Susan, for sharing your story and offering such real and insightful advice! It was so great being able to feature you as this week’s entrepreneur of the week. Do you have any final insights for our readers that you would like to share?
Susan Chicovsky: The path that we choose is always about learning including both sides of any duality. Stay true to yourself, and this will get you through the ups and downs.
For those looking to learn more about Green Mountain Harvest, click here. Find them on Instagram: @greenmountainharvest