Starting a Microgreens Business as a Retirement Plan (FSFS261)

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Episode Summary

In this special episode of Farm Small Farm Smart, educator and longtime microgreens grower Chris Thoreau welcomes guest Pierre Marlow of Alberta, Canada to share his experience discovering microgreens and starting a microgreens business as a retirement plan.

Today’s Guest: Pierre Marlow

Pierre Marlow is an entrepreneur running a lighting company in Alberta, Canada. After losing some business because of the pandemic, he looked into other worthwhile ventures until he chanced upon microgreens and decided to pursue a business as a retirement plan.


In this episode of Farm Small, Farm Smart

  • Chris Thoreau introduces the episode’s guest Pierre Marlow (01:24)
  • How Pierre initially got into growing microgreens (01:49)
  • Pierre’s first production space setup (03:18)
  • What a microgreens growing business looks like at scale (05:54)
  • The importance of flexibility and balance in building out the business (09:30)
  • What’s holding Pierre Marlow back from ramping up his business (14:22)
  • The gaps in the financial conversation (18:48)
  • Microgreens as a business and as a side hustle (20:31)
  • The life you want to have as a microgreens grower (23:05)
  • Envisioning life growing microgreens as a retirement plan (28:13)
  • Bringing self-awareness into the business (32:25)
  • Shifting and maturing with the business (36:24)
  • Bringing on a team and leveraging individual strengths (40:05)
  • Running a business from your home (42:30)
  • Asking the question, what do you want at this point in life? (48:30)
  • The most profitable aspect is course-selling (51:24)
  • People are driven by hopes and dreams (56:06)
  • Sustainability of the business (57:38)

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FSFS261 - Pierre

[00:00:00] Diego Footer: Welcome to farm small farm smart. I'm your host Diego, DIEGO. Today's a special episode. It's a different type of episode because I'm not hosting the episode. What you're gonna hear for this episode in the next few episodes are episodes guest hosted by grower Chris Thoreau. The name may sound familiar because Chris has been on a lot of podcasts in the past, at least 10, where we talked about micro greens while I'm currently focusing on my carrot cash flow podcast, which you can listen to by just searching for carrot cash flow on Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

[00:00:41] That's a business focused podcast. I'm looking for people to guest host the farm, small farm smart podcast and talk growing. Chris is one of those people who's reached out and has agreed to guest host some episodes. If you'd be interested in guest hosting a future episode of farm, small farm smart and talk, growing production, harvesting, whatever you want on the field side of farming.

[00:01:04] Let me know by sending me an email. I would love to hear your thoughts. But for this episode, it's Chris throw, talking to different micro green growers about their micro green experience, both the successes and the failures. I hope you enjoy it.

[00:01:24] Chris Thoreau: In this episode, I speak with Pierre Marlow based in Alberta, Canada, and Pierre is producing at home for friends and neighbors and is building his business nice and slow looking at microgreens as a great business for his retirement years.

[00:01:38] He also talks about the challenges of finding good training and reliable information and starting up a microgreens business. Okay. So PI thanks so much for joining me. And what I'd like to start off with is just getting a sense of how you got into microgreens production in the first.

[00:01:55] Pierre: Well, it was about, uh, two years ago when the pandemic hit, like I, I owned the business, a lighting design company in Calgary, Alberta, and, um, I used to do tours and rock concerts, and we did lots of corporate events and all that kind of stuff.

[00:02:09] And then our whole world shut down. So we went from having a dozen employees and being extremely busy to, um, landing in a place where we were sitting in the office and just kind of waiting like, you know, a month, another, another, and, and after about six months of the pandemic, I started going, I need to find a way.

[00:02:27] Like there needs to be something else. Like, I, I never thought I would be so quiet. So, um, I started looking online about growing garlic and bees and micro greens and all those different things. And then I landed on a bunch of YouTube channels about, you know, micro green. And then I thought it was fascinating.

[00:02:45] Like people were growing stuff in their living room and in their kitchen and basement. And so I was like, well, that seems like an easy way to get started. Um, so that's kind of, you know, it piqued my interest and I always loved playing in the dirt and connecting to, you know, mother earth and all that. So that was so much appealing to me.

[00:03:04] Um, and then started doing some research and that's kind of how I got started, but yeah, I spent probably like two months online, every night going to bed watching, like everybody that was out there, you know, so much content. It's crazy.

[00:03:16] Chris Thoreau: Yeah. There is a lot out there. Uh, so can you, can you tell me about your first, uh, setup then in terms of your production space?

[00:03:23] Pierre: Yeah, so, um, we have a room in the basement that has a fireplace, so it was a kind of a great way to be able to control the heat. Um, so I set up, just went to Costco and buy one of those, uh, you know, racks. And I'd seen a guy in the states doing a set up with some fluorescent that he zip ties and little computer fans and all that kind of stuff.

[00:03:44] So set up one sort of shelving unit and was able to do, or I was able to do about 20 16, 20 trays on that one. Um, and just bought some seeds at, you know, like a local market here and started, you know, kind of slow and figuring things out. And, and I could grow stuff really nicely and very quick, and I was blown away by it.

[00:04:09] So, and then my wife and I started eating really good, cuz we hate winter salad. They could go to the store and it just tastes like plastic. Um, so suddenly we're eating all these different. You know, vegetables fresh from the basement, which is weird, but worked out super awesome for us. So, um, and I was like, this is fun.

[00:04:28] I can, I can do that. And it's pretty great. So that, that was kind of my first setup. And to be honest, I haven't grown much beyond that at this point, because for me, I'm a little bit of a science head in lots of ways. And I need a little bit of time to figure this out. So I'm like, I need to do more than one crop.

[00:04:46] Like I need to do dozens of consistent crop. I've run a business for a long time. So I, I know what it is to own a business. And I'm like, before I jump into this, like I need research. So I'm still in R and D to be honest, after eight months of growing, I'm still like doing no more than think. The most I've ever done was 30 trays.

[00:05:04] Although I do have a box of a hundred trays ready to go, um, you know, I bought the supplies, but, um, but yeah, I'm just. I don't know. I wanna make sure I do this right. You know, we're, we're creating food for people. People are gonna eat this, so it has to be done, right. It has to be sanitary and it's gotta be done.

[00:05:22] Right. You need to have your right procedure. And I don't want it to take all my time either. So I need to come up with like slick ways of doing this and finding sweet spots and all that. Sorry, I talked my

[00:05:33] Chris Thoreau: head off. No, this, this is good. Uh, this is why they have editing software, but you know, basically what you've done there is cover a whole list of questions.

[00:05:41] And in essence, really giving a sense of your setup or your perspective, and that's really useful. So we talked a little bit before we started recording here about scale and sweet spot. And, uh, so can you talk about, you know, what do you imagine your scale being, and maybe on top of that, what your life might look like as a microgreens grower, as a.

[00:06:04] Pierre: Sure. Well, when we talk about scale, like for me, that's why I've been experimenting so much and taking such a long time to get to market. Like, so, and I'm hoping that I'm gonna be, I'm hoping that by Christmas, I'm actually in a few stores or that I start maybe like, you know, like a delivery service, like start to have maybe like 20, 30 clients that I can consistently like a subscription program or something like that.

[00:06:29] I think that I would really love because there's a connection, there's a human connection too, at that point. Right? Like you get somebody reaching out to you, they like your product, they comment on it. Like you get them to try different things. So I'm excited about that. But in terms of scale, it it's really funny actually.

[00:06:44] Like I took your course, like that's the only course I bought. Like, and I got your course because I just love the honesty that was behind it in terms of, you know, like nobody else. Like, this is hard. Like this is not for everybody. Like, and you're the only guy I think that put a video on there talking about why you shouldn't do this.

[00:07:04] So, and I think for me, all those things really resonated and I walked away and that helped me sort of figure out the scale. So the spreadsheet you created was so helpful, cuz you can actually like put numbers in there and just see like how profitable is it? And you know, the more trays I do, do I make more money or, and are I, am I doing this for money or am I doing this?

[00:07:26] Has I enjoy it? And it's a little bit of everything. I think I need to make a living. And for me, like, so I'm at a place in my life or I'm not 20 anymore. So, you know, I'm in my early, early fifties and don't tell anybody um, but, um, but yeah, I just, I think about it as a retirement plan. Wouldn't it be great to be doing this well into my eighties or nineties where, you know, I have these little clients and I'm the old guy that shows up in his pickup truck and delivers.

[00:07:54] You know, or in his Prius, whatever it is at that time, but, you know, and delivers products to people. So, so from a scale perspective, sorry, I'm all over the map. But from a scale's perspective, I think for me right now, I find that it, whatever I can do by myself, like I don't want to start having employees and having the stress and the pressure of all that.

[00:08:15] So I think it seems like there's a sweet spot around the a hundred to maybe 150 trays a week. And I haven't quite dialed that in yet, but depending on what age I'm gonna be when I get there and, and how much energy I've got, I wanna be at that place where there's enough work for me to get it done, but I don't have to rely on a bunch of people and bring that stress cuz that's the stress I'm trying to walk away from is not having to deal with tons of employees and the pressure and all that.

[00:08:43] And of course that means not gonna make as much money, but how much money does one need? Like I just, I want to feel proud of the product I put out there and I wanted to be. Me creating something, which is exciting. Yeah.

[00:08:58] Chris Thoreau: I'm kind of contrasting your experience in my head with, with other folks I've talked to over the years and just recently, and you're in a position where you can take your time, you know, uh, like I know COVID affected your business, but it's sounds like you still had the financial, uh, security to take this slowly and not rush into it.

[00:09:19] And it also sounds like you have some flexibility, so you're not on the road. You're not being the, the, you know, the designated adult on, on rock tours. Uh, and so how important is that flexibility and balance with your current work and your financial situation that makes your trajectory viable? Because it seems like there's a very specific way or fairly specific way that you envision building this business with integrity.

[00:09:46] Pierre: Well, and that's the thing. So I don't know, even in, so of course, like I, I'm in a position where I'm not hand to mouth and, and I've been able to, you know, like I I'm in a comfortable place in my life and a lot of people would be looking at that, just going like, okay, well just retire and go sit on an island somewhere, but it's not me.

[00:10:04] Like I, and I don't have that kind of money. Um, but ultimately for me, like I think the slow trajectory is not even if I was very tight on money. It would've probably accelerated things a little bit more. But for me, it's very much about the best way to lose all the money you've got is to actually jump into something like an idiot and not think about like the consequences and how to do this.

[00:10:27] So imagine you're in your basement in a room that's only so big and now I'm doing a hundred trays in my little room downstairs because I can squeeze it in. And next thing you know, you start having mold and fungus and you start having diseases and all that kind of stuff, cuz it's too tight and you can't bring enough air to make it work and all that.

[00:10:46] So now you're putting that product out there and you get some complaint and then next thing you know, like I've gotta deal with health, Alberta about like issues and all kind of stuff. And next thing you know, your business is shut down and I bought all these lights and all these racks and all this stuff.

[00:11:00] So for me, the slow process has not been about. It's about scalability. Like you don't start big, you gotta learn your craft. So I need to learn how to do this with one rack and then with two racks, then with three racks, and then you can jump to five racks if you want. But I don't think you wanna jump in all in and spend $20,000 on equipment without knowing what's gonna come out the other side.

[00:11:25] That's just my process. Like other people might be way braver than me, this reason, you know, like I'm not made outta money, cuz I've always been very conservative along the way in how I do things. So

[00:11:37] Chris Thoreau: well, what's interesting for me to hear is this awareness of who you are and right. We have different levels of self-awareness.

[00:11:46] And so you, you seem to really know, you seem to have fairly low risk tolerance. You know, you seem to wanna do things at a high standard, more than a big scale. So that seems to be playing a very important role in how your business is coming into being.

[00:12:03] Pierre: Absolutely for sure. And that's not for everybody, like, that's my journey.

[00:12:07] You're totally right. Cuz I mean, for me to wanna do this, I, I do wanna do it. Right. I do wanna have, like, my goal is not to sell the most product is to have the best product in my region. I want people to pick up my product because it tastes better than others. And I do believe that there's a difference, like cuz I have been buying different products on the shelf just to see like what's out there and there is a difference.

[00:12:31] Chris Thoreau: Yeah. Yeah. There certainly is. Yeah. And we've talked about this, uh, you know, growing, uh, in sunlight versus growing in lights, you know, we know the quality of our product can change in different seasons. You know, where you're living. Uh, just south of uh, Calgary, you know, you're in central, you know, west central Canada, like you have very massive seasonal changes, whereas somebody maybe producing microgreens in San Diego, you.

[00:12:57] Uh, it's, you know, it changes a little bit throughout the year, but there's this consistency that, that you certainly don't have in Alberta,

[00:13:03] Pierre: for sure. For sure. And for us, that's the big thing is that the cost of energy is really high. So you gotta keep that in mind. And, and we do have very long summers, like beautiful summers with lots of light and all that, but the winters are very short and they can be very cold.

[00:13:18] And so just trying, like right now, it's funny this week I'm actually taking 10 days off from my normal job, cuz I want to build a grow room and I wanna, I want to try to see like get the next step, like off scalability up. So I do have a, so we're, we're living on 80 acres and I do have a building outside that has a 20 by 30 room that I could turn into.

[00:13:43] Sort of a grow room and I need to figure out the heat in there and how I'm gonna do all that. But yeah, I'm hoping to start sort of ramping things up. And then this is the scary part is this is where the stress is now kicking in. Cuz I'm not just growing and having fun. Now I gotta find clients and I gotta talk to grocery stores and, and try to give them a reason to put me on their shelf next to the other people that are on their shelf and all that kinda stuff.

[00:14:07] So, so that's gonna be the next step and that step I'm a little green at and a little scared of, but that's gonna be the next step. Right.

[00:14:16] Chris Thoreau: Okay. So it's really interesting to hear that perspective. And then, you know, like I'm curious what you've done the courses and you've seen all these YouTube videos, like how come you don't know how to just do this stuff.

[00:14:27] I mean, it's, it's all laid out for you there, Pierre, what's the problem. Uh, you know, how much money you can make, you know, what to do, you know, like it's there or is it.

[00:14:38] Pierre: Well, that's the thing, right? So yes, it is there. And like anything else, this is a slippery road. So just put me back in my lane. If I drift a little too far here, but what I find challenging is that there's lots and lots of people selling courses out there.

[00:14:56] They're all about the same price, spend $500 us. You get this bundle and we'll tell you where to buy stuff, where to do this, where to do that. There's a bunch of different things about this one is that I think that growing micrograde is actually regional. So you need somebody from your region to maybe teach you the rope a little bit, or you need to do like I did, which is take some time to learn your region, because if you haven't done a full season and you don't know what, like it's amazing when it's minus 25 Celsius outside, it's a very different growing, like the moisture change, everything.

[00:15:29] And how do you do your air exchange and all this stuff? And people don't talk about that. Like, so all the courses talk about the same thing. It's very simple pay $500, make a hundred grand a year by yourself. You're gonna grow in three weeks. You're gonna be up to speed. You can do everything. Here's where you buy the lights.

[00:15:45] This is where you buy the trays. Oh, but I forgot I'm in the us. You're in Canada. So all those places where you can buy stuff, actually, you can't buy that stuff. It's not, you know, cuz there's duty or the American company doesn't ship to Canada. So now you're left finding your own supplies. Like I still haven't found packaging for my product because I've tried a bunch of stuff and I got a bunch of cardboard box full of plastic things that don't work.

[00:16:11] And again, nobody told me call one 800 micro green trays and you'll get a great deal. And so I think that's a big part of the problem. And the biggest problem of them all is this one, a tray of micro green is worth $20. And you plant a hundred trays and you make a hundred time, $20, and you're a millionaire and life is great, but that's not true because yes, maybe you can sell it for $20.

[00:16:39] Maybe you can sell it for $40 in your market. I have no idea, but nobody talks about the cost of dirt and the cost of heating and the cost of the trays and the cost of the seeds. And that, you know, the first couple times I was buying seeds, I was calling like seed suppliers that were recommended to me, but I never thought of asking them, Hey, do you have a grower price?

[00:17:02] So I spent hundreds of dollars before I had the smarts to go, Hey, is there a special deal for growers? And like, oh yeah, here's the list. And next thing you know, like I'm paying, you know, like half the price of what I used to pay for seeds. So I think all those things are missing from all those course.

[00:17:18] And of course haven't taken all those course. I've just watched their promotional videos. That go on for an hour. Like it's, they're pretty epic. And every single time, I don't hear people talk about safety and scalability and like all those things that grower will encounter along the way. Like, what do you do the first day that, you know, you go and you got 20 trays that are covered in mold and you're just

[00:17:40] Chris Thoreau: like, well, well you, panic is what you do, you panic and you freak out

[00:17:44] Pierre: yeah.

[00:17:45] You're like, what the heck happened? So what do you do with if like all those things and that's, what's missing, I find is, you know, the mentorship, the boots on the ground that like, you know, like let's stop with the snake oil. This is not a magical formula. Not for me anyway. And maybe I'm just not smart enough, but that's okay.

[00:18:04] Like I just, but I haven't found like, to me the most useful, and again, it's not cuz you're the host of this podcast, but the most useful. Product I found out there was yours because of its honesty. And this spreadsheet you put together it's golden and it's difficult cuz you gotta spend time putting the data in and you gotta go through it.

[00:18:24] But the best recommendation I could give anybody that wants to do this for real is go through the spreadsheet and put the numbers in and start looking at how much you make an hour, because you'll see that, you know, 15, 16, 12 bucks, nine bucks an hour, like there's lots of scenario. That's the number that it spits out.

[00:18:42] You know, it's not $70 an hour. Like most of those YouTubers are saying out there, you know?

[00:18:47] Chris Thoreau: Yeah. There's a lot to consider. And, and one of the gaps that I see in, in the conversation on, on finances is the overhead insurance, your website, your hosting, your phone bill, your, and these are like the administrative parts of the thing.

[00:19:02] And, and they double or triple your costs going into a tray. And so a comprehensive look at that is really, really important. And it's, uh, it's what I call a reality check. You know, what is the reality of running this as. What we'll call a bonafide business that takes into accountability. As you alluded to the high level of liability and accountability you need to have when you're selling food to the public.

[00:19:28] Totally.

[00:19:29] Pierre: I think for lots of people, like, you know, if you're looking to do a little bit of extra income, which I think a lot of those videos, that's what they're sort of catering to, right? Like if you are at home and you've got a room and you've got a little bit of space and you could do 20 trays a week and you could sell them for $20 a trade to your neighbors or all of that, and you don't need a website that you don't need a dedicated phone and you don't need any of that.

[00:19:54] Well, yeah, you can make like, you know, like, so gross money, $400 a week. And then by the time you, you know, remove your seeds and all that stuff, well, maybe you made 3 25 a week and that could be a great little additional income. That is awesome for lots of families. And you do that without having too much of a capital investment and.

[00:20:15] and at that scale, yeah, it could be pretty profitable cuz you're not really counting your hour and it's kind of a hobby that brings a little bit of money and you know, you make $300 a week, like 52 weeks a year. That's guy of 20 grand. Like that's, that's good. Extra little income. Yeah. I've,

[00:20:31] Chris Thoreau: I've really thought about this a lot as, you know, there's the microgreens as a business and then there's micro greens as, as what I call the side hustle and yeah.

[00:20:41] And it's a misleading because again, you're growing food and selling it to the public. And so there's a lot of attention to detail that needs to happen there. But because you can get started with very little capital. And you can keep your markets really local and in many cases, as it is in your case, and for a lot of people, your workspace is in your house.

[00:21:04] So you're not commuting, right. Uh, you know, you're not dealing with, you know, schedules and, and other people, it makes it a lot more viable. So that's a good point. That $325 a week becomes fairly valuable. It sure

[00:21:18] Pierre: is. And I think I can see for lots of people that have a green to, and, and wanna do that, um, where I struggle is all of this, you know, marketing, you see online where it's like people are making 10 grand a month, or, you know, 20 grand a month doing micro green.

[00:21:34] Like if you're making $20,000 a month as a micro green in my book, in, in my experience of running a business that comes with a lot of stress that comes with people, it comes with a dedicated space, a dedicated phone line, a dedicated email, like. All that stuff. And, and that's a lot, so suddenly you're not a grower anymore.

[00:21:53] You're a business owner. And that's a big question. Nobody asks you the question. Do you want to be a business owner or do you want to be a grower? Cause if your love is have your finger into dirt and grow those trays, very different conversation. Then if you wanna be an empire builder, it's gonna make 200 grand selling micro greens a year that you're gonna be hustling with grocery stores.

[00:22:13] Way more than being in the grow room. You'll have people in the grow room, but you're gonna be on the road, grow on the road, trying to sell your product and trying to do all that then that like you gotta ask yourself, is that what I want? Like which one of those two do I want? And that's where for me the scalability, when I was talking about how many trays I wanna do, I don't want to be the LA.

[00:22:33] So I wanna have my finger in the dirt. I wanna enjoy the process. So how many trays can I make to make that work? And as a retirement plan, and I'm probably still 10 years from retiring, but I wanna ramp this up so that I'm, you know, like doing boat jobs and cuz there's ways with, again, your spreadsheet to schedule this, like I can schedule it so that my crops are coming off when I've got time that I'm not at work, like it's, you can plan all that.

[00:23:01] So I don't know. That's just where my head is at, but you bring

[00:23:05] Chris Thoreau: up a very good point there about what is the life you want to have as a microgreens grower, because when you're doing a business like this and whether it's you're growing microgreens or you're, maybe you're doing some craft from your home, these aren't just jobs, they become your lifestyle and they determine what's your day, what's your week.

[00:23:26] What's your year looks like, and it becomes this question of, you know, do you live to work or do you work to live and finding that balance there? Um, I had a question and now it's gone and it's it's but the

[00:23:41] re

[00:23:41] Pierre: go ahead. The reality, I, I, I've got a business coach that helps me with my real business. I'll call it in bracket.

[00:23:48] Um, and you know, the question that comes up all the time is what is it you want as an owner? Like, what are you looking? And I have the hardest time answering that question most of the time, because you know, we're successful and things happen and you just get caught in this machine. You become this hamster in a wheel where this is not the trajectory.

[00:24:06] I necessarily want it to be on, but this is where I am. So you just, so I think it's important early in the, the process to ask yourself those questions, like, why am I doing this? And, and I feel like this interview, I've just feel like I've brought a very negative energy to the conversation. And I hope it's not being, I hope it's not being seen that way.

[00:24:25] Like, I, I just, for me, like, I, I would hate to see people invest a whole pile of money. In trying to start a business without really testing it. When I was a young kid, we had this thing at school where they made us, um, do stock market investing. So we played like fake stock market. So we, you know, like you had a portfolio and you did all this stuff.

[00:24:47] And the idea of it, I think, was to teach you to do a fake portfolio. So you could see how successful or figure out how this works. And most people invest in the market by just like they write a check for 20 grand and they hear of a tip and they buy some stuff and they lose their money. And for me, I see micro green, similar, where I think it's important to do like the imaginary mockup.

[00:25:10] Like this is where the spreadsheet, like, I mean, it's boring. Like hell to spend time on a spreadsheet, don't get me wrong. You're not growing. And, but you've done the bulk of the work. And if you can go in there and you go, okay, well, what does it look like when I do 20 trays and I, and my dirt is tossing me $2 a tray, and my seeds are 75 cents a trays.

[00:25:29] And. How much time does it take me to harvest that, to plant that? Because I gotta tell you, like, the biggest surprise for me was harvesting. I had no idea how much work like harvesting sunflowers when you're not set up. Right? Like how much work that is. So it's one of the most profitable crop, but the amount of time it takes for me on my kitchen island, like cutting these trays and then trying to have like a, a cold water bath to put everything in, to remove these husk that just won't go anywhere.

[00:25:58] And. It took me probably five months to figure out like how, like, what was the exact timing to soak them so that the hosp would come out better. Cuz that was my biggest challenge with sunflower. And then by the time I figured that out, that batch of seed was gone and I had to start over again. Yeah.

[00:26:15] Chris Thoreau: As you know, sunflower changes very much with each lot of seed and I

[00:26:19] Pierre: was blown away by that.

[00:26:20] I didn't know that, but it's one of those things where one batch of seed might take you just, I don't know, like five minutes to harvest and another batch, like you may spend 15 minutes trying to remove those costs. And that's the huge change in your profitability too, because if you have an employee doing that, suddenly you go from doing six or seven trays an hour to doing three trays, four trays an hour.

[00:26:41] Yeah. That's a big difference. Like when you pay somebody 16 or 17 or 18 or $20 an hour, like that adds up pretty. It

[00:26:49] Chris Thoreau: does. And it is a matter, uh, I, I have this rule that I use and it's when you really think about it, it's a really bad rule or perspective. But the saying I have to myself is if you're doing one thing, you're not doing something else.

[00:27:04] And of course, it's a reminder to me that, you know, sometimes you're doing a task and it's taking you way too long and you start getting this very frustrated feeling. And it's the thing I've learned from that is whenever I get that feeling, it means I'm not doing that task properly. I remember early days of, of watering sunflower or harvesting sunflower, and trying to find the method to do it quickly.

[00:27:25] And that's important because it's not all just that if I'm not, you know, if I'm spending all this time, harvesting, sunflower or washing trays, then I'm not, uh, doing my marketing or, you know, getting back to emails. It also means I'm not skiing. I'm not watching, going to a game with my friends. I'm not making big elaborate dinners.

[00:27:49] So there, there is this, this idea as well of, of still having a life outside of, of what you do for work. Now, this gets into maybe the, the point in, in your life perspective. Now in my mid to early twenties, I could work 70 hours a week and, and just do microgreens all the time and maybe make some good money and have the energy to do that, and still find some time probably to party.

[00:28:13] So how do you envision the, sort of the flow of your life? And you've talked about this a bit growing microgreens in retirement, or as you approach retirement, what does the typical week maybe look like for you in that scenario?

[00:28:25] Pierre: Well, for me, it's really funny my whole life. Like I had my first business at 16 years of age and I I've been sort of always, you know, running a hustle or another along the way.

[00:28:35] So I cannot imagine a life where I'm sitting on an island or sitting on my porch in a rocking chair, reading the paper. Like it's just not. I will die working. Like that's just who I am. So it, I, and I love it. It's not a punishment. Like I I'm a beaver. I like to get things done. I just, I roll my sleeve and I build stuff.

[00:28:53] I'm a builder. I just, you know, like I like to do carpentry and I like to do this and that. And I, I don't get bored with things, but there's so much to learn out there. Like, I'm, I'm a busy soul. I like to do things. So I don't see my retirement as a way for me to, you know, like this is not a way to like quietly walk into the sunset and things may change along the way.

[00:29:16] I may find that this is actually really awesome. And I wanna have kind employees again, working in micro green business. But at this particular moment, I'm looking at a way for me to, you know, like, I think in retirement, it's important. I think to still have a purpose and still feel like you're contributing.

[00:29:34] I find like have a neighbor across the street from you 72 years old. And. He does 800 acres of hay with him and his wife every year by themself. Like they pull out the tractor and they go and they're working crazy hours and they get it done. And I find it so inspiring because he looks young and he moves and he is, he's an inspiration to me.

[00:29:55] Like I find that amazing. And that's what I see micro green as being like there's things, there's realities where maybe my back becomes not as strong as it used to be. Or maybe my, the amount of hours I can do in a day is not as much as it used to be. But what I love about micro green is I can sculpt it to fit my lifestyle.

[00:30:14] So you can decide to do three crops a week. You could decide to do two crops a week. You can do one. So there's lots of different ways to make this work for me, depending on how my felt and mood and you know, whatever it is. So, um, so that's what I love about it. There seems to be such a freedom. And for me, there's a connection, like putting your finger in the dirt.

[00:30:38] There seems to be this connection that happens for me. That's very important. So ultimately this is very selfish. It's about me and me growing things. And me feeling like I'm a part of something. And the byproduct of that is some people get to eat some really good products on their table, but I don't know that that's my prime.

[00:30:57] I don't think that my prime focus is either the money or the end product. I think it's about me and my journey. And I find if I do that well, and I've done that with my previous business as well, or my current business, if I do that very well, the money comes and everything else falls in place. So, if you do work with integrity and you enjoy what you're doing, and you're passionate about it, like passion is contagious when you're talking to people and you're passionate about what you're doing, you could be talking about the most boring thing in the world, but people connect with you cause they could see that it there's a fire inside of you.

[00:31:33] And, and I just find for me, like that's what microgreen is, is there's a, I think there's a fire there for me a little bit. I just so fascinating. It's amazing that in 10 days you grow from seeds, something this big that you harvest and this tact full of nutrients and is good for you and good for others.

[00:31:53] And I don't know bit of a lifestyle, I guess.

[00:31:56] Chris Thoreau: Yeah. I, it is very satisfying for me in that regard as well, but like yourself, one of my driving factors is I like to keep busy. I like to do creative projects. I like to do multiple things at once. So I'm not just working one job and I've always felt that to be a little selfish, but not selfish in the sense that it benefits me at the expense of others.

[00:32:20] Just that it's really focused on myself now. And you've mentioned this idea like a few times, like just, you've got this self awareness about what works for you. Which might contrast with what you're learning in a course or what you, you hear on the internet. And so I wonder how much do you spend some time thinking about this aspect of yourself or bringing that self-awareness into what you do, because you mentioned you've got a business coach, like does your business coach, you know, every once in a while say, okay, pier stop.

[00:32:53] We need to do the self checkin meditation. Or like, is that, is that something you just naturally do? Is it a skill you've learned? Is it something you've picked up from others? Yeah. That just that sense of what's going to work for you and your character. Well, I think, I think

[00:33:09] Pierre: it's a self check with yourself, right?

[00:33:11] Like you've gotta take a minute once in a while and go, like, why am I happy? Or why am I unhappy or this working for me? Or, you know, I mean, the joys of being the age I'm at is that I've tried a lot of stuff over the years. And you know, like there was years where, you know, there's periods of 10 or 15 years where I was totally numb to everything.

[00:33:32] And all I did was the phone would ring, I'd grab my go bag and I'd go do what I needed to do. And I'd come back and I'd be home for a day and I'd phone would ring and I'd go do something else. Like, I was lucky enough to work with companies like certain de sole or, you know, like be on, uh, like I, I was part of this Steve win casino, you know, in 2003, 2004, when they were building that big aquatic show that's in, in the hotel there, like I was one of the designers on that show.

[00:33:59] And, but those are huge commitment where you disappear for two years and you. You just, there's no time to think. And now that I'm a little bit later in life and I've lost parents and I've, you know, like I, you just true loss in my life. It's given me times to reflect and go, oh my God. While I was so busy in my twenties and thirties doing all this stuff while I wasn't around to, you know, how many birthdays did I miss or how many?

[00:34:28] So those things I think are what ENS me sometime. And that's what makes me be a little bit more self-aware now going there is less years forward than there used to be. So how do I make this the best for me? So, you know, I've got an awesome little niece that I love, like crazy. She calls us all the time and we watch Disney movies with her on like remotely, like, so we're on zoom calls and we're seeing each other watching movies and, and those are important things.

[00:34:56] So yes, my business coach always tells me like, where are we at? And what are we doing? But I don't know that I have a process. I think it's just one of those things where I'm probably one of those people that's still too self-aware and that drives people around me crazy sometimes. But that's, that's just, I think it comes with living.

[00:35:12] Like you tried a bunch of stuff. Like somebody who's probably 20 year old listening to this right now is going like, oh my God, like, will he ever end? Um, because you're at a different phase in your life, right? Where guys the limit and you don't think about the end, you just think about the future is three days from now.

[00:35:28] It's not 10 years from now. So, but as you get older, like that perspective change, right?

[00:35:33] Chris Thoreau: Yeah. And I really like I've, I've got written down here, like this is sort of. Retirement or later in life theme around micro greens, because, you know, when I see what's happening on the internet, it's a lot of, you know, this course are young white men and they are, it's a very, very, and I'm, you know, I'm, I'm not as young white men doing that.

[00:35:53] And so I'm, I'm part of that, but it's also, it's a certain perspective. And so even as, as an older quote, unquote older, yeah. Hey, Hey, be nice. well, but, but your perspective is going to be like, how do I integrate this into my life? Where yeah. Lifting could be a problem very soon. Like me in my mid thirties, I was thinking about like, I don't wanna bend over anymore after, you know, seven years of intensive farming.

[00:36:17] You know, what kind of lifestyle do you want to live, you know, at that age, in your life. And so I, I think the perspectives from a lot of different demographics are really important for people to understand, you know, what would micro greens look like for you and for, yeah. When you're in your early twenties, just do, it is maybe the right thing to do.

[00:36:38] And as you age and your business matures, hopefully you mature with it. Right. And, and that's, that's what I went through. And it's what I see a lot of growers going through is kind of going, growing through it and seeing one how they shift. And, and one of the shifts that often takes place is, oh, I do not like doing this.

[00:36:56] Like it's right. People love the product. You know, it's really fulfilling in some ways, but I hate, I hate routine. I hate having to get up and at seven o'clock every Monday morning having to soak. Crop. So that self-awareness comes in real important in either finding your success or knowing when to move on.

[00:37:14] Pierre: Right. For sure. And I think you're right. But the great thing about all this is that, you know, you don't have to do that at 7:00 AM. Like if you are a night house, you can do that whenever. Like you just schedule it that way. Right. You wanna harvest at three in the morning. Cause that's when you're up. Well then that's possible.

[00:37:30] Like, it's you just set it up that way, like, you know, start it at the right place. And it ends at the right place. Like you can figure all that out. That's what I love about it. It's the, like for me, I'm not a morning person just because of my previous life. Like I, you know, it used to be on a show until three in the morning.

[00:37:47] So it's hard for me to get up at five to go soak some. But I can change my schedule to make this work any way I want. So I love the flexibility of that for sure. And there's no doubt that when you're 20, you can go skiing, do the biggest white out, hit the tree, be blue and purple. You have a glass of milk.

[00:38:06] You go to bed, you wake up the next day, all the bruise are gone. You're ready to go. And it's like, nothing ever happens. But you know, you get to be a little older in life and you get out of bed and you go, oh, I twisted my back sleeping. Like, what's that about? But it's insane. Like , you know what I mean? Um, and I talk like I'm two feet away from dying and I'm not like I'm, I'm again, just in my early fifties.

[00:38:29] So it's a lot of life ahead. But as I'm building my new grow room, there's some things I'm thinking about. So I'm not thinking about maximizing spaces for my rack. I'm thinking about how do I set up stations? So they're tall enough and I don't have to bend all the time. So for me, putting a tray like that's, you know, a foot away from the ground, I'm not gonna do that for a couple reasons, cuz I don't want to bend and because of sanitary reasons as well.

[00:38:55] So, but again, if I was in my twenties and was more focused on making as much money as I could, that'd probably be a tray six inch from the ground. Like, you know what I mean? It's just different choices. So yeah, absolutely. But, but there's no right or wrong choice. That's the beauty of it is that that's what I love about this is this is not like something that is exclusively to an age range or to, for me, the scariest part right now is the marketing and the selling.

[00:39:22] Like this is why to be honest, Part of the reason why I'm not bigger right now, and I'm not selling more is because that part scares the pants off of me. And I, I just going to a grocery store and talking to a grocery manager and trying to convince them to put my product next to other products they already have there.

[00:39:41] And the fear of rejection that to me is a little tough, cuz I know my product is good, but you know, the marketing of it and having the confidence to know that people are gonna go, yeah, I watch your product like that. That, that, yeah. That's been my biggest block to be honest.

[00:39:58] Chris Thoreau: It's interesting. Cuz my, my next question here was like, what do you see your biggest challenge moving forward and, and challenge for growth and it's intriguing to hear that because you've spoken very confidently about your systems and your process.

[00:40:13] It seems to me like marketing, it should just be like, you take that confidence and you bring it with you. But it's not. So this starts to speak to a team, right. You know, and, and you've talked a little bit about this, you know, you don't wanna have a whole bunch of staff, but as you move forward, do you envision more of a team?

[00:40:33] So you can take your strengths of having that scientific mind and the attention to detail and somebody else who loves going to the grocery store and talking about how good their product is, can go and do that. What do you envision for that in the future?

[00:40:49] Pierre: To be honest, I haven't. Thought about it that far.

[00:40:52] Like I, I mean, obviously I'm talking to you here on a podcast and I'm comfortable talking to people. Um, I think, I don't know. I, I haven't figured that part out and I think that's fundamentally where I'm stuck. I can grow consistent crop. I can grow good products. The people I give it to love it, like everybody.

[00:41:10] But I find I have a really hard time converting that into a sale, into, you know, people go like, oh, I'll buy micro greens from you. And I'm very quick to go. No, no, I'll just give you some, like, just, just, you know, try it. And, and, and I just, I'm having a hard time owning that and something that's been in me my entire life.

[00:41:27] So, um, but yeah, I think, I think you're right, having a little bit of a team and having, you know, like, cuz it will get to a point where, especially if I want to do like, like a little CSA, like doing deliveries and all that stuff. It becomes a little bit challenging cause you've gotta reach out to those people.

[00:41:43] And I know right now with COVID like I was looking at a few markets this summer thinking, you know, maybe I should go to farmer's market. Cuz that seems to be like a good avenue for most people. Um, just to get the ball rolling and stuff, but with COVID and restrictions and all that, I was like, it doesn't feel like the right time to do that.

[00:42:00] Hopefully by next year I can do that and pick a few farmer's market where I go sit there in afternoon and you know, like even the ones that are short in just four hours or whatever and, and hopefully start the ball rolling that way, but it's really, it's like, how do you not get intimidated by all these other people?

[00:42:16] But yeah, if I'm talking too much again, I just, when I'm passionate about something I can go on forever. So no, no,

[00:42:22] Chris Thoreau: this is really great. So the other thing I'm thinking is it's kind of related to business growth and having potentially having a team. Running a business from your home. Right. And, and I've done a few consults where people are like, okay, we're gonna do this greenhouse in the backyard.

[00:42:39] We're gonna do this pro production. Uh, we're gonna need about this many staff. And then at, at some point in the consult, I'll say something like, so which washroom will the staff use? Or, you know, are, are you gonna limit when staff can be there because they don't think about this idea that now their house, their home, you know, their refuge is now a place of employment.

[00:43:01] It's a workplace. And I never hear from those people again, because they think, oh, I'm gonna run this business from home and that's gonna be great. And then they're like, oh yeah. And then where is my home? If this is now my business. So I, I wonder if that's something you've thought about as you grow and in many ways, this is what attracts people to it.

[00:43:20] It's because they can do it from their home and they're at a scale that they can manage it in a way that makes sense. Is that something cons that concerns you, that your home just becomes this workplace?

[00:43:31] Pierre: I think for me, I have no interest in that. And that's one of the things is that, you know, my home is private and it's my home and I'm not even sure that I'd wanna have it.

[00:43:40] Advertise where people can stop by. And, you know, I don't want to be spending my Saturdays and Sundays or whatever days, like just having dozens of people come up and down the street to pick up, you know, like one tray of micro green. Like I, I think my house is private and my, my world is private at this moment.

[00:43:58] And I think my business needs to, you know, if it grows to that point, it will need to either again, because we have a little bit of land, it it's either, I'm gonna have to build a building that's dedicated to that. That's got its own washroom and its own sort of area. And that's on a corner of the property.

[00:44:14] That's far away from the house and, and it just becomes its own thing. And I think then it's a brand new, like that's a problem. Cause it's about zoning and do the neighbor want a business around here or cause that's gonna increase traffic on the road and all that kind of stuff. So, but yeah, at this point in time for me, like I said, in the, in the beginning of this interview, This is very much about like, how far can I take this on my own?

[00:44:36] And I know that that ties your hand cuz then you can't go on holidays and you can't. So eventually there will need to be other people, even if it's just to fill those gap, like to be able to harvest if you're taking 10 days off or whatever, or you plan, I guess you're no, you can't even do that. So yeah, it's just, again, lots to figure out.

[00:44:56] But yeah, for me, for sure, like when I never took time to think about that, but you're right. Which washrooms are the employees like using and which kitchen are they using? And you know, like when they need a break, like where are they? And you're right. There's a whole. Really I'm a hobbyist at this point.

[00:45:13] Like to be honest, cuz I'm trying to figure this out. So I am in the early stage of that, although I've been doing it for a while, but yeah, I have a hard time seeing this growing to that point. Like I see some of the growers online, some of the YouTubers, like I was saying just a gentleman, not far away from me here, that move things from the basement of his house.

[00:45:31] And he was one of these people, you know, online, uh, selling these packages where, you know, you make $10,000 a month and you grow all this in your basement and, and now he's pushed into a warehouse and he's got a whole pile of employees and it seems to be a big operation. I don't know that I have the appetite for that.

[00:45:49] Cuz then might as well just keep doing what I'm doing right now. Cause I already have employees. We are successful. Life is good. All of that. So I'm really looking for a way to just kind of scale back down and just bring enough income to be able to, you know, not have to worry about money cuz I'm not in a place where I can just quit everything and walk away.

[00:46:09] So. You know, if I could do something that brings me $60,000 a year, by the time I retire, like what a great side hustle that, you know, I can do on my own and not have to worry about too many things and have a bunch of happy customers. And, and that's the fulfilling part, right? Like when you go to a door and a mom opens the door and she goes, oh my God and my kids.

[00:46:29] So I have a graphic story. I'm gonna go on a side road here. But, um, so I hired a graphic designer to, um, help me put together the graphics for the micro greens. And she's, uh, she's actually an artist that teaches at ACAP, which is the Alberta college of art. And, uh, she's got a couple kids and stuff. And I said, well, Hey, it's the early days and stuff.

[00:46:48] So, you know, I don't have tons of money to throw at this. And she's like, well, just bringing micro greens. Like that would be great. So I brought her and this was during the winter. So she did all my labels and I brought her some, maybe a couple pounds of peas and sunflowers and her daughter, like she made food for her daughter.

[00:47:04] Who's maybe like nine or 10 years old. And then she sent me this photo of her daughter and she says, my daughter said, this tastes like summer. And she's like, usually she doesn't like peas and stuff, but she can you bring me more if she wants more . And to me, like, that was so fulfilling, like that filled my tank that day, because.

[00:47:22] There was a child that actually said, this tastes like summer. And then I ate some and I was like, she's bright. It does taste like summer. There was something really cool about being part of that being part of something that was bigger than me. So I don't know why I went there, but all of that to say that's more, what it's all about than growing the mega business, where I don't have that connection to the client where I don't, I don't hear the feedback, but it just becomes about, there are more trades you grow.

[00:47:51] Eventually you get to that point, you're business owner. You're not a grower anymore business owner. Is that what you want? Cause if you're a business owner, you're dealing with HR and you're dealing with you're right. Washrooms and you're dealing with clients showing up and you're dealing with all of that.

[00:48:06] And then the internet and the website and the phone and receptionist and a building and taxes and all those things. That's what I'm trying to walk away from. Like, that's the reason that I wanna do something different. I love being a business owner, but I'd love for this to be more about that soulful connection people and that kinda

[00:48:26] Chris Thoreau: stuff.

[00:48:26] That's good. It really begs the question. What questions do you need to ask yourself about what you want at this point in your life? And yeah, for some people it's like, I wanna build this massive microgreens business and that would be absolutely career. Yeah, of course. Yeah. And you've really given this idea.

[00:48:42] Okay, well, that's not what I want to do. So how do I shape this to work for me? And, and you've brought up yeah, a lot of really great points there that I think for other people. And I've talked to many people who have looked at this as a retirement. That might make them go. Yeah. Like I hadn't thought about that or I hadn't thought about this.

[00:48:57] And so this is one of the reasons we do podcasts, like this is to bring in these perspectives. Right. So people can really get a sense of, you know, oh yeah. Okay. Here's some things that were, were brought up that I hadn't thought about. And now that I have that information, I'm better informed in terms of how I want to integrate this business opportunity into my life.

[00:49:17] For sure.

[00:49:18] Pierre: It's really funny. I, um, I got into. This year, like I got some bees I've always wanted some, and this relates to micro green, which is, you know, once you harvest some honey and you wanna sell it, it's really interesting. There's all these rules that kicks in place. If you suddenly sell it outta market, instead of selling it from your place.

[00:49:35] And this is where again, it's very interesting to see with micro greens, it's the same thing, right? Like if you are a small operator and all that kind of stuff, you can sell in Ziploc bags, you know what I mean? Nobody really cares. But when you show up at a grocery store, I would assume with Ziploc bag, like, it might be a little bit more difficult of a sale.

[00:49:55] So that's the kind of thing as well. Like part of all of this as you grow it. And I sound like such a chicken, I listen to me and I go like, oh my God, like, what are you scared of? But it's just to me, it's, it's again, having run a business for a long time. I just see, like the next step is scary, cuz suddenly it is finding the right container and it is everything has to be perfect cuz you are selling to the public and there is consequences of doing it wrong.

[00:50:22] I think. So there's this whole world that opens up that you gotta think about as well. Right? So, so that's why like my biggest recommendation people are suggestion is start small and see what part of this you like if you go, I really hate growing micro greens, but I love selling. Well, then that answers a bunch of questions.

[00:50:41] You're gonna need to find yourself somebody who loves to grow micro brains. So give me a call and maybe we're a good team, right? So ,

[00:50:48] Chris Thoreau: yeah. I think identifying your strengths and what gaps you need to fill is crucial. And I know that was a process that I went through for a while. I was everything, the grower, the marketer, the person went to the farmer's market and that gets boring pretty quick, because you're just always overwhelmed.

[00:51:05] And so, yeah, I think finding your niche and finding people to work with when it's possible is maybe a way a way into this. So yeah, there is lot consider and that's for,

[00:51:16] Pierre: for sure. I find, I find, I wish that was more of these conversation out there because, and of course it's not good for business if you're selling courses because you're gonna scare people away.

[00:51:26] Like you want that $500 us and you want that person to do it for six months and. You want the next crop of people to come in. And I don't think that these courses are not focused on people being successful, but I think they are fundamentally focused on people being able to make a really good income off of courses.

[00:51:44] I would say the most profitable vector in the micro green business is the selling course portion of micro green business. I think that's where you make your money. You wanna be a millionaire, like be Johnny, be good greens, and just have your YouTube channel and have millions of follower and sell courses for $500 and tell people like you can make tons of money doing this.

[00:52:07] And you'll do very, very well. I don't know how you sleep at night, but that's me. Like, I just, I think there's reality checks that need to be theirs.

[00:52:15] Chris Thoreau: It's very true. And I am both like, I've done a lot of commercial production. I currently do home production and I do sell courses. And I always wonder if I could be just selling courses and making a lot more money.

[00:52:29] But it is a struggle because, uh, there's an arch to selling courses and there's a lot of, uh, recycled information out there. And business becomes not about being a microgreens mentor. It becomes about selling courses. And not to say that there's not good content out there. We live in an age. You know, we live in this gig age.

[00:52:48] We live in this time where individuals can become celebrities and successful business people because of the technology we have. But it is the question of, and you've talked about this earlier is when we do this, are we presenting a realistic picture? To our clients or are we presenting the picture that creates an idea in their head about what they could be that is very, very difficult to achieve because we're leaving out information for sure.

[00:53:16] And

[00:53:16] Pierre: I think, I think you're right. I think I'm being extremely harsh. And again, I have no agenda against anybody. I think you're right. There is some very, very solid and very good content out there. And I think the bulk of the information is there. I think what's missing is these conversation of people that go, you know what, like there's a little bit more to it than that, because for me, like I find again, it's always the same thing.

[00:53:39] Like. I find some of the course are very focused towards the desperate, the person that is going, like, just like the multi-level marketing world. Like, and again, this is opening a $10 box. So, but just where you're focusing on people like you two can do this and be so successful and all of that. And you're selling and dream that that is not necessarily realistic for everybody.

[00:54:01] I don't want to get deeper in the weeds with all this cuz again, I don't want to offend anybody and you know, I think it's great that there's great content out there. It's just that I'm not sure that people fully, you know, it's easy to become greedy and just see that as you are, get me outta jail card or an easy solution to make a pile of money.

[00:54:19] And that's what worries me a little bit. I think the information that's there is really good, but I think that people are their own worst enemy. It's what people do with the information that's unfortunate. And if right now you're having a hard time paying rent, maybe spending $500 on a course that is gonna make you a millionaire might not be the best E.

[00:54:40] Yeah, it's challenging. And I, I really mean this Chris, like your, your course, the reason I did like spend the money is because out of all of the courses and one day, if ever you wanna dive in one, on one, on your course, I could give you some input on stuff. Cuz I, part of the life I live with the AV world that I'm in and all that.

[00:54:58] But your course had a lot of honesty to it. That's what I loved about it. Like there was a true honesty about it that made it worth it. And then the amount. Mentorship you do with all the calls we had last year. And you know, like you're really invested above and beyond, and I'm being very harshed towards other course, and I should buy them so that I could speak better to them.

[00:55:20] So I might do that actually, I might buy, you know, like Curtis Stone's course and, uh, Donny Green's course and, you know, like I like maybe I'll spend a thousand bucks or $1,500 and just see what they have to say and, and just get a better take on them for sure. Cuz I'm being unfair. I haven't taken their course, so I shouldn't be so

[00:55:40] Chris Thoreau: rushed.

[00:55:40] Yeah. I think like you could take all the courses and some of them might be like, ah, but you're gonna learn something new in each course because people are gonna talk about things in a different way. Of course they're like, oh yeah. Like that. Now that you've said, like Chris has explained this seven times and I still don't get it, but that this one sentence from Donny has just nailed it for me.

[00:56:00] And so for sure. But, but the, the question is like, is that money worth those things? And sometimes it is. I think the thing with honesty is, and I, and I struggle with this all the time. It's like people are driven by hope. People are driven by a sense of what's possible by these dreams and my goal. And it's probably contrary to what any marketing person would tell you is like, I want people to really understand what they're getting into, because my goal is to make you a successful microgreens grower not to sell the courses.

[00:56:31] Right. And obviously I need to sell the courses, but I don't wanna sell it on a fall stream. So,

[00:56:36] Pierre: but you, but have to say, like, there's an honesty about everything. Your brand is very honest. And I I'm around brands all the time. Like your brand is very honest. Like you come across as a, not like a, I don't give a crap guy, but just, you don't seem to have an agenda.

[00:56:53] You just seem to be a guy that like, I've done this for a bunch of years. I don't do it anymore at the level I used to. But, and you have also the credentials behind, right? Like with the UBC behind you and all that. That brings a level that others don't have mm-hmm . And when I looked at all the other stuff, it's always the same thing, right?

[00:57:11] It's a guy in front of a bunch of racks growing. Like this is $10,000 a week and blah, blah, blah. And that's what the conversation is about. Not one of your stuff is about $10,000 a week. Everything you talk about is about growing micro greens and lifestyle, and you talk about skiing and you talk about all that, and that makes your brand very unique because it appeals to people like me that are not doing this for the money I need the money don't get me wrong.

[00:57:38] Yes. But that will come. Yeah. Well, the

[00:57:40] Chris Thoreau: other thing with business, and, and I've only talked about this a little bit is you've got your model. You've got your revenue per week. You've got your pricing. The question I don't think that gets answered is how long can you continue to sell your product at that price?

[00:57:55] You know, right. A lot of these, the growers that are bigger, I've only been around for a few years, two, three, maybe even up to, you know, I was in production commercially for five years before I even considered doing a course because it wasn't until then that I really, really started to get to know the business.

[00:58:13] And it wasn't until after seven years, I really started working on the spreadsheets to make that public because that's how long it took me to build. Not just the knowledge, but the wisdom behind the knowledge. Right. And knowledge of the thing and, and the wisdom around it is another. Now in fairness, In 2006, when I started looking at this as a business, there was a few people online doing this, but a lot of it was from scratch.

[00:58:38] And so now I think if you do wanna start a microgreens business, the plethora of material you have to choose from is, is amazing. The trick is being able to filter through it, to see which stuff you think is the most legitimate. And the other thing is just like, who speaks the language that speaks to you?

[00:58:54] The most, some people love the way I teach and other people are like, oh, I just, sorry, I can't stand the sound of your voice. You know? So I, I think finding the person who speaks in a way and in the language that connects with you is important as well. And it might not be the most experienced grower, but they, they speak to you in a way that makes things viable and understandable.

[00:59:15] Pierre: I think most of everything that's online right now is about marketing and. It's not about growing. So the reality is if you look at Donny green and if you look at Curtis and if you look at, I dunno, there's a bunch of other ones that, um, and I've stopped looking at them lately, but although I still get all their emails, but yeah, it's always about the marketing, the selling, like how to make quick buck.

[00:59:36] And that's where I struggle. Like, cuz I, I just feel like there's, there's a component missing. It's like we're creating a product, let's talk about the product. And then once we master the product, then let's talk about how we bring that to market. But this is all about bringing something to market. And while it's easy throw seeds in the tray, like, you know, But there's more to it

[00:59:57] Chris Thoreau: than that.

[00:59:58] Interestingly, this might be the time for you to be focusing on one of those courses, because it sounds like totally, you have dialed the growing and now it's time to focus on the marketing and I'm similar. Like there's a bit of resistance to that. There's a bit of fear of rejection and, and all this stuff, but it never really manifests.

[01:00:17] Even when I go and I get rejected, I actually don't feel the rejection. I feel it before it happens, but I don't feel it when it happens interestingly. Right. So there might be a case for like now is the time for those courses, cuz that's the gap in information that you need to fill. So we've covered a lot of great material today.

[01:00:34] Is there anything you wanna add as we, as we finish things up here? No,

[01:00:38] Pierre: just to thank you for having me a part of. Yeah, it was awesome today, Chris, to connect with you and, and I really appreciate your mentorship throughout my journey as well. Cuz it's one of those things, you know, I bought your course and then you did all these YouTube videos that were very small group and we're able to connect and talk and all that.

[01:00:56] And after a year of meeting you, being on this podcast with you, it feels very special to me and yeah, it's a journey that's gonna be going for a while. And um, yeah, I really appreciate you having me on this podcast and being a part of my and your journey.

[01:01:11] Chris Thoreau: Yeah. And I thank you as well. One for taking the time and two, just know that every time we have these conversations, it's really educational for me as well.

[01:01:20] And hearing your experience and others' experience, uh, allows me to, to better understand what we do. So, uh, thank you for your time as well, Pierre.

[01:01:28] Pierre: Oh, it was my pleasure. Anytime.

[01:01:32] Chris Thoreau: That was a great interview with PR and I look forward to seeing how things work out in his retirement. There you have

[01:01:38] Diego Footer: it. That was grower educator and entrepreneur.

[01:01:41] Chris throw guest hosting an episode of farm, small farm smart. I hope you enjoyed this one. If you wanna learn more about the great work that Chris is doing, check him seedle is crop planning software for micro green growers optimized to help you save time, money, and make things easier.

[01:02:09] Learn more about the or use the link below. After hearing this, if you are interested in hosting an episode of farm, small farm smart, reach out to me via email at hello paper, And let me know what you'd like to do for an episode. I'm looking for some guest hosts to create new episodes in the future.

[01:02:31] And I would love to hear from you if you're interested in taking this opportunity and running with it. Thanks for listening until next time. Be nice. Be thankful and do the work.


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