I use self-doubt to motivate myself and conquer whatever I set out to do because by doubting myself, I have something to prove to myself more than others.
How do you manage your mental health while running Blakk Smoke?
As a CEO, I wear many hats, constantly have to be present for many roles, and provide different parts of me to many others. Therefore, I start every day asking myself what I need today to get through the day. What do I need to allow myself to give to me today, which will fill up my cup enough not to be empty once I pour it into others.
What is Blakk Smoke?
Blakk Smoke is a hookah brand created to give hookah smokers a more effective way to enjoy smoking without the harshness of nicotine/tobacco.
How has Blakk Smoke differentiated itself from its competitors?
Respectfully, Blakk Smoke doesn’t compare to other brands because we’re in a league of our own. That was my goal, to provide something that nobody else is now. We’re something that the hookah market was missing.
Nine hours and million later, Blakk Smoke mooned on the news that the FDA banned JUUL. How do you plan to use this success as a springboard to build a business with long-term potential, and why?
Hearing the news that JUUL was banned helped further solidify the message Blakk Smoke has been sending from day one. If you’re going to vape, use Blakk Smoke as a healthier alternative. Maybe more people will look to Blakk Smoke now and realize that we are truly for the people. When we created this no nicotine and no tobacco fruit-based alternative, it was clear that the people and their health is what we had in mind. If that wasn’t the goal, we would’ve created a product just like everyone else’s.
What three things do you think most entrepreneurs miss, and why?
1. Lack of Marketing
You have to get your name out there and tell people what your business represents. You can have a fantastic product, but it won’t be successful if nobody knows about it.
2. Not Knowing Your Market
When starting a business, you must know your competition, your target customers, and what they’re willing to pay for your product if you want to be successful.
3. Constructive Criticism
When it comes to reviews and comments from unsatisfied customers, as a company, you must use what they’re saying as an opportunity to find a solution.
What three questions should would-be entrepreneurs ask themselves before starting a new venture, and why?
1. Am I mentally prepared to start and run a business?
Because you will be working long days and nights to achieve success.
2. Am I doing this because I love it or for the money?
Now don’t get me wrong, both factors are essential, but if you’re only in it for the money and you’re not genuinely passionate about what you’re doing, you can quickly become frustrated, overwhelmed, and feel like it’s not for you when you don’t get the results right away.
3. What’s my ultimate goal for starting this venture?
You must know where you’re ultimately trying to go to know if you’re making appropriate progress to get there eventually. Winging it with no destination in mind can ultimately lead you to a dead end.
How do you market your products, which tactics have been most successful, and why do you think this is the case?
I market my products based on observations from social media.
My most successful tactic is genuinely connecting with my audience.
You have to build solid online relationships. It’s less stressful than feeling, “I have to do this, I have to post this, talk about this, and intrigue them with this.” When you’re just bonding with your customers, their love for you and your business grows. Everything else falls in line.
Do you believe there is some pattern or formula to becoming a successful leader?
Yes, most definitely! A successful leader is built upon consistency, determination, drive, and hard work. No matter who you are, nothing is given. You have to put in the work!