Each week we highlight entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry for our viewers to learn more about the leading cannabis executives of our time.
Meet Zac Smith
This week, we highlight Zac Smith of Traveling Hands.
With almost 20 years in the spa business, Zac has worked at virtually every level of the industry. Ranging from locker room attendant all the way to General Manager of two multi-million dollar establishments, and now a business owner. Zac has always been aware of the importance of high-end customer service as well as having a quality product.
In our interview with Zac, we asked a variety of questions to learn more about Traveling Hands, what it takes to build a business in the cannabis industry and much more!
DCN: First off Zac, congratulations on being featured as this week’s entrepreneur of the week! Can you please share with our readers your elevator pitch for Traveling Hands?
Zac Smith: We are a team of highly skilled massage therapists that travel all over San Diego and Southern California. We travel to your location (home, hotel, office, or vacation rental) and bring all the equipment needed to perform a professional massage. This includes bringing cannabis infused oil which, while there are no high or stoned effects, it does wonders for pain and inflammation.
DCN: What ignited the spark in you to start to launch your business?
Zac Smith: After 20 years in the spa industry with 15 of them being hands on, I decided it was time to start my own company. A car accident had left me unable to perform my massage work and a friend suggested cannabis topicals. I immediately had great success with my own pain and had the idea to do a full massage with cannabis-infused oil.
DCN: When you finally decided that you wanted to launch a business in the cannabis industry, what was your experience like when telling your family and friends? Were they supportive?
Zac Smith: I have still had nothing but positive feedback from friends and family. Everyone loves this idea.
DCN: How are you helping the cannabis industry in a positive way?
Zac Smith: I feel that by us using these oils to actually provide people pain relief and not getting anyone high, helps to validate the medical applications of this plant instead of focusing on the recreational side of things.
DCN: As we go into 2018, what is one huge accomplishment that you or your team achieved last year that you would like to share with our readers?
Zac Smith: We were the first company of its kind in San Diego. Very proud of that fact.
DCN: What are some challenges you faced early on and how’d you beat them?
Zac Smith: We are still facing the challenge of bringing awareness about cannabis-infused massage. We have been going to as many events as possible and providing free chair massage to attendees, and doing everything possible to get articles or posts written about us and what we are doing.
DCN: How did you get funded or what creative strategies did you use to execute on minimal cash flow?
Zac Smith: A small investment from a friend in exchange for a portion of the company.
DCN: What did you give up to get where you are today? What did you have to sacrifice?
Zac Smith: I tried to start this business for about a year while still managing a facility with over 30 staff members. I realized about 6 months ago I needed to focus on this company, or someone else was going to beat me to it. Quitting my steady job with a decent salary with no clients to speak of was a terrifying experience, but incredibly happy I took the plunge.
DCN: is the best piece of advice you can give to others looking to launch a company in the cannabis industry?
Zac Smith: Just trust yourself. If it feels right, go for it!
DCN: What’s the hardest part of founding and running a startup?
Zac Smith: Doing everything yourself. Hard to pay others to help when you are just starting out. This means you are responsible for ALL positions within the company.
DCN: Is there anything that surprised you about being an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry?
Zac Smith: Not really, I was happy to find that nearly everyone I have interacted with so far has been extremely friendly and interested in helping however possible. Great community.
DCN: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Zac Smith: Ability to dream, then execute, then find a balance between work and life. Entrepreneurship can become all-consuming.
DCN: Who is your role model, and why?
Zac Smith: I have a client who has been clean and sober for over 13 years, during which time, he created a food distribution company that now supplies companies like Walmart and Sams club. He is very driven and at times hard on his team, but he is also one of the most compassionate, understanding and communicative people I have ever met.
DCN: How do you stay balanced?
Zac Smith: My family. I have a lovely wife and 3 1/2-year-old daughter. We just found out we are expecting #2!
DCN: What book has inspired you the most?
DCN: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Zac Smith: Tesla. I am always impressed by Elon Musk’s foresight and bigger plan for the future of our world.
DCN: How can we as an industry continue to make a positive difference in society?
Zac Smith: By educating people that have been misinformed by various agencies and propaganda.
DCN: Thank you, Zac, 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! Is there anything you would like to share with our readers before we let you go?
Zac Smith: While the oil separates us from other mobile massage companies, I am truly most proud of my team. Everyone that works with Traveling Hands is a consummate professional with many years of hands-on experience. They have all massaged me as a part of the interview process, so I know exactly which therapist is a perfect match for each client.
For those looking to learn more about Traveling Hands, click here. Find them on Instagram:@travelinghandzsd