Seibo is the CEO of 3 companies: BRNR Lab, Hanu Labs, Vapexhale. He has reinvented himself multiple times from being a stuntman and background dancer for various artists, such as Bone Thugs N Harmony, Mortal Kombat, Bush and The Grinch. To top revenue-generating roles in Silicon Valley that led to 4 successful exits (Data.com, Successfactors, E2open, Yammer). To be a cannabis entrepreneur and evangelist. We talked candidly about his other responsibilities as dad, husband, entrepreneur, and mindset coach.
Topics we discussed:
- How I Sparked My Passion in Cannabis
- How I Turned My Curiosity to a Major Passion
- How Cannabis Increased My Creative Flow
- How I Help Athletes Tap Into Group Flow With Cannabis
- Tapping Into Deeper Levels of Flow State
- Don’t Just Save Your Business And Life. Reinvent It
- How I Reinvented My Life And Career 4 Times
- Seibo Dreams of Psychedelic Group Retreats
- What Psychedelic Research Can Learn From the Cannabis Industry
- Psychedelic Medicine And Better Investment Opportunities
- How I became a digital evangelist of cannabis
How I Sparked My Passion in Cannabis – Seibo Shen
Show us the world of cannabis. Cause whenever you talk about cannabis, your eyes is lit up energy shift.
Yeah. So I’m, I’ll try to keep it short, but very early on. I discovered I was allergic to alcohol, so yeah. when we were 13, 14, 15 year olds sneaking beers from our parents’ house or refrigerators and drinking beers, like my friends would always get drunk and.
I would always throw up. And as you can imagine, when you start college and you don’t drink, fitting in, socially is very difficult. I started consuming cannabis about, I would say halfway through the year, I went through the first half just going, yeah. Okay. Like I don’t drink no big deal.
I don’t. Do any other intoxicants, no big deal either. But about halfway through the year, I was thinking, man, this college experience really isn’t like everyone seems to be having a different experience than me because on the weekends, just partying all out and getting drunk and having fun.
And finally. I decided to try cannabis. And once I consumed it, I had tried it many times in high school, but usually through the joint format. But, I tried it through a bong and I was able to bring all of the medicine deep into my lungs.
And when I exhaled, I had this relaxing feeling, one that I really didn’t have previously in my life. And, slowly like the. Everything just seems to melt away in that. I was very protective about my image. I was the smallest kid growing up in virtually every class.
And I knew that, I was a pretty smart kid, so I would always kind of use, my mental acumen to try to put myself into some sort of advantageous position, whether it was trying to be the smartest guy in the room or trying to mansplain all these things to people in my dorm room.
And it was funny, after I consumed cannabis and I started, I was able to actually hear myself from the third person for the very first time and observed myself. so my, at least what seemed objectively to my, to me at the time. And I was like, wow, this guy is really annoying. He thinks he’s really smart.
He thinks he’s super charming, but he’s really just turning everyone off. And, for the first time, instead of just being in my head, talking. I started looking at everyone’s like reactions to what I was saying, and I could see the girls is like eyes just glaze over. Like they weren’t interested in hearing what I was saying.
And what made me really self conscious and much more self aware. And even though it was like a negative feeling at the time that level of self awareness. I found to be, very intoxicating, and I wanted to explore more of Hey, like that happened the first time.
Yeah. It wasn’t like the best experience in that. I started seeing different areas where I was lacking like kind of emotional growth, but, I still wanted to see all those things and that’s actually what started my Relationship with cannabis. And ultimately, I knew that the smoke wasn’t good for your lungs, but this was back in 1994.
And the initial research was starting to show like this was indeed a medicine and, so my curiosity was piqued in that, Hey, I tried something that really expanded my mind. There is quantitative data that is supporting this now, but smoking it really, there was no other medicine that I’ve ever taken in my life where I had to smoke it.
that started just turning the wheels in my head. Hey, if there was a healthier delivery methodology, then maybe we could take two steps forward without taking one step back.
How I Turned My Curiosity to a Major Passion – Seibo Shen
so you had a hyper reality experience of your hgiher awareness. you can actually see your acts of expressing yourself in, but at the same time, you’re also aware enough where you could say, watch yourself as a third person. What sustained this curiosity, this, and then that I gradually grows into this huge passion that you have for it.
I had. in high school, one of my uncles, juice me to a T like Tony Robins, his first book. So I read Tony Robbins’s his first book as a junior in high school.
And to be quite honest, like I didn’t have enough life experience at the time to really understand like the principles that he was talking about. it’s like when you’re out of your. you’re feeling like, Oh, what career should I have? like all those things, it didn’t make sense to me, but it did start are my own kind of curiosity about personal development and, just asking myself questions like.
Okay. You want 12 inch speakers in the trunk of your car, why do you really want that? Okay. you think it’s cool, is it because you really like playing music that loud or is it because you think people will pay attention to you when you’re driving like a car that has a lot of bass coming out of them that, and there was a certain level of depth that I could get to, when I consumed cannabis, I noticed like I was instead of going one or two layers deep.
I was thinking like three, four, five, six layers deep, and many times, I would have the inverse of, I would want to take it for insomnia, but I would find myself like, thinking about so many things, but it wasn’t like unpleasurable, it was very pleasurable to really dive into like my psyche and really learn more about myself.
And that was what kind of sustained my interest in cannabis was that it was allowing myself to dive deeper into my consciousness and really learn more about myself. Like why did I have to always try to be the smartest person in the room? I never made the connection. It was because I was a smallest person and I was using that as a way to make myself appear bigger in front of other people.
How Cannabis Increased My Creative Flow – Seibo Shen
this is internet personality his name is Jason Silva. I’m a big fan. he’s a poet and just allows things to flow through him. The words, the concepts, the idea that he brings up is just so beautiful.
a lot of times when I watch shots of awe and I’m thinking like, wow, he does this in one shot when with no edit and just beautiful words come out of his mouth. Like, how does it do that?
two years ago, I was actually at our burning man camp. And I had a, at an in depth conversation with him about it.
as you know me, I’m very curious and the, Hey, finally, I get to actually have a conversation with him. What is his creative process? so he’s very ritualistic, very intentional about how he creates his art, the way he does that he would drink coffee to just stimulate his brain and that you use cannabis as a way to also helping, to let go cognitively as well. And he’s very scientific about it. there’s there’s a pen. I can’t remember the name of it. Essentially only give you a fixed dose per breath. I do that two times, and then he would get into that flow state.
That’s how he is able to scientifically for him control and how much stimula and how much relaxing and so forth as a way to tap into his flow.
Yeah, that’s very interesting cause I have another group, it’s not a company, but we call it Canada athlete where we initially were helping athletes get off of opioids and onto cannabinoids as a way to manage their pain.
But, A lot of the athletes that we spoke to were actually utilizing cannabis before practice, or even during games. we have several that have retired from the NFL that I’ve talked about playing their best games, while activated on cannabis. And we actually came up with different nomenclature for medication and toxification and for getting into a flow state, we call it activation.
And Jason Silva’s routine is very similar to ours. We actually, we utilize cannabis. We also utilize, Caveman coffee or whatever that coffee has, like MCT oil in it, whatever you want to call it. And then we also do a Kundalini breathing and we do that for about, we do breath of fire for anywhere for a two and a half to five minutes.
And we really. utilize that ritual before we train to get everyone not into just flow, but into group flow as well. And it’s pretty interesting that Jason Silva’s formula is similar to ours. And what’s interesting actually, CK is, the more and more that I show this to athletes, I’m starting to see some athletes want like a full cup of coffee, some just want one puff, some want to take a few huge bong rip.
Like it’s quite different in like the ratios of like coffee to cannabis, to breathing. But what I’m starting to see is that. Having the ritual and having everyone do it at the same time, it really does help. it doesn’t matter that we’re taking different amounts each, but I do believe that, getting yourself into the right mindset and having others, helping create that container for flows state, we see it in the, Friday for, flow masters as well.
the. Collective flow is like a really wonderful place to be. And when you’re doing jujitsu together or training together, it just adds like a second layer on top of just, like I always find training with people fun already, but when you could be doing it in active flow together, it’s even more enjoyable.
How I Help Athletes Tap Into Group Flow With Cannabis – Seibo Shen
let’s actually talk about group flow a little bit more. Can you dive deeper into, from your perspective, what is group flow? What is, how did you explain this phenomenon to others who may not be as familiar as you are, or we are to this idea of group flow.
A very good question and I’ll do my best to answer it. flow state for the individual is when you’re fully present with what you’re doing, you’re not thinking about. Past activities. You’re not thinking about future things that you have do on your checklist. And you’re just very present with, either you’re writing, you’re talking whatever activity that you’re doing.
And many times when you’re in individual flow, you might not notice, thpeople around you. You might be like singing and dancing and not knowing that, Hey, there’s. Five other people studying around you and you’re singing and dancing is like really ruining their ability to study. Now in group flow is Hey, like maybe you get like the four or five other people that are studying to take a 15 minute break with you to sing and dance like you.
And, while you guys are singing and dancing, everyone’s having a great time. And that’s actually not the best analogy. Here’s a better analogy, which is in a couple of data, for those that don’t know a cup of water, it looks like break dance fighting and. And those are completely unrehearsed.
So if you’re just in your own flow and just listening to the music and just, doing whatever movements you want, it might look beautiful, but there’s also a very good chance that you get kicked in the face or you kick the other person face because you’re just in your own flow, but it’s
because you’re not listening to your partner.
Yes. Yes. Yeah. Yup. Yup. So once you’re in group flow with your partner, then you’re watching him, he’s watching you and it’s like this back and forth dance that you guys are doing together. And, even in jujitsu or wrestling, like we have something called a flow rolling. And in flow rolling instead of just going and 100% at each other, you guys are doing techniques to each other and the person is trying to counter the technique and you’re just flowing on the mat, like very like firm offense to defense or offense to defense.
And if you aren’t in group flow, which many times we aren’t and most people like to be on offense more than on defense. So if you have two guys trying to do on offense at the same time, then. You will have a bar, like when someone watching it’ll look like they’re both straight, whereas when they’re in group flow, it just look like they’re doing like somersaults and backwards summers together on the ground.
And it’s like really beautiful to watch. So that’s what we’re going for with group flow is just making sure everyone’s pin paying attention to everyone else and also holding a container to keep everyone that flow state meaning like, Hey, like when we’re all in flow together, Don’t be looking down at your smartphone and answering text messages.
We’re all here to freestyle. We’re all here to do jujitsu. We’re all here to do calisthenics together and really being present with each other. Does that explain it?
Yeah, it does. Actually. It brings up a few images in my mind, as you were sharing, if you watch championship teams, the balls back in the late nineties. It’s beautiful to watch. It’s almost like a synchronized swimming, how did Scottie Pippen or Michael Jordan pass this thing without even looking? how did they do that? So beautiful. And I’m reflecting back on, my experience with startups.
Or with, just beautiful design teams or engineering teams working together, or even sales teams it’s as seamless as that, Hey, I’m passing your, this there’s no egoic conflict and friction, you just kinda passing each other at the ball and everything’s seamless. Yeah, of course. Yes. And this type of like flow principle is just naturally happen really when you are in that environment, it’s really fun things get done super fast, super efficiently, super effectively that in my mind, as a whole is the embodied experience of flow. so I love that this is the very conversation that you’re bringing into different people’s life organizations lives as a way to, to help them activate that.
Yeah. Oh man.
I love that you brought it up the sports context and back into the business context. Cause I think most people that think about flow, when I was growing up, they called it being in the zone and it was always in context to sports like Michael Jordan would say, yeah, time slows down. The hoop looks like it. enlarged by three times. And I just had all the time in the world to shoot that shot or tiger woods would say, yeah, like the whole just looks so big. And when I put it, I just, there was no way I could miss. And I would always think, man, whenever I played sports, I don’t remember like the hoop getting bigger or time slowing down.
But I did remember like one time I was giving a speech and after the presentation was over, like I didn’t even remember anything, but I just remember people telling me like how good the presentation was. And that’s when I started going, Oh, wait, I think I tapped into flow state during then, and just didn’t realize like you could tap into flow not playing sports.
And the interesting thing is to bring it back to the work environment is, like in freestyling we know that We become judgmental of ourselves. Like it really breaks our ability to flow. And, I’ve been part of, five startups that had successful exits and a couple that didn’t and the group flow was definitely present in the five companies and not in the two that failed in that, when we were brainstorming ideas or solutions No one would take like any personal offense.
We were like, okay, that’s a great idea. Why don’t we augment it with this? And it was like really a sharing of information versus a defending of ideas, if that makes any sense. And just having that, it was just the energy levels were higher. people came into the office like, like they had just drank caveman coffee, even though it didn’t exist at that time.
And just, there was so much more fun to work when everyone was in flow with each other versus. Trying to be the smartest guy in the room.
Yeah, it’s really interesting. the visual that I have in my mind is. I imagine, Atoms coming together, there’s, outer layers of, electrons, and then you have a proton in the middle and so forth.
So in my mind, that’s the ego coming together. So in my mind group flow occurs more seamlessly when you’re able to dissolve the outer shells and just come together based on ideas and be able to emerge or diffuse based on, what the situation needs. So that’s what you share conjure up in my mind.
Yeah, I would agree. that visual is, I didn’t think about how I would visualize it, but the way you described it is a good representation. If anyone thinking of, what is he talking about and how does it work?
Yeah. Any applies for the individual. Like how do I articulate what’s in my mind to the external, as well as two people coming together, working together, as well as a group.
Now, group of people coming together, the more shells we have, it’s more difficult to get to the core of what we are trying to communicate because now it becomes this egoic defense of let me prove my importance to the rest of the group. And let me, focus on that or let me defend my idea to the rest of the group.
Now, all of a sudden there’s a lot more layers to penetrate to really get to the core of what we’re trying to communicate with each other. So then we can really heighten the creativity, Having idea sex. to really think about what’s creative, what’s new versus wasting energy on defending ourselves or prove ourselves to others. that’s the way I think about it.
Yeah, that’s really interesting because, I had noticed that, I was usually employee, I purposely tried to be like one of the first 10 employees at the startups that I worked at. And I did notice about 125 people. Once we got to about 125 people, people didn’t know everyone’s names anymore.
And there was like a shift in the culture and. Later on, I learned about Dunbar’s number, which is 150, which I believe is how many people you could have in your circle of, in your network where you’re somewhat close to. And it started making sense to me. It’s man, after 125 people, you have a variety of these egoic shells there, That need to be removed in order to get back to group flow. And I think once you have like that, Number in that variety, maybe you start getting to a place where there’s people that are so far apart that it’s harder for them to break down the shells. And ultimately, the startup vibe goes from, Hey, we’re like a family working on a project to change the world, to, like you said, people trying to defend their position to show their value and to make sure that when there’s promotions, that they’re first in line for them. And that’s ultimately like why I discovered I like being in a startup, like in a startup, you have to work much more closely together.
You can’t just use politicking to, make up for your lack of work, like when there’s just 10 people, it’s if you’re not pulling your weight, it shows like very easily. And yeah, it’s very interesting. And ultimately, maybe organizations aren’t meant to be above 125, 150 people because of that can’t work in group flow together.
Tapping Into Deeper Levels of Flow State – Seibo Shen
like you, I was like, I’ve been in search for that for so long.
I feel like I’m doing that. And then when I showed up at flow masters, And I found myself hesitating. Yeah. Then I started becoming hyper aware of when I don’t speak my truth and yeah. the concept of group flow there where everyone is setting a container to allow everyone to be vulnerable. And to experiment with expressing their truth and becoming aware of when they’re not doing that, it’s a beautiful thing, and that’s why I think the people that are brave enough to show up, really are the ones that really benefit from that.
And for someone like myself who thought I was already hyper aware to have even more granularity to find that there’s like levels of flow. It’s like now I have. I know I’m not a great rapper, but I have like full comfort of just whether I’m on beat or offbeat, I’ll just keep going. And last week, I found myself not just doing that, but experimenting with like my tone and my pitch of like excited or like a little bit more mad during like my flow. So now I’m starting to see, Oh, okay. I’m already comfortable expressing the words, but the next level for me is expressing more emotion with those words. And then I just see this as like a, like an infinite game that we could just keep getting better at and allowing ourselves to really, we express ourselves more authentically really, and more truthfully.
And I believe when you do that, Your soul just feels like nourish, okay. I express myself, people heard me, I’m not frustrated, angry anymore. I could just, spend the rest of the day and like this blissful state.
Yeah. Thank you for that for sure. I, as we were speaking a quote, from out of the tip of my tongue now I forgot, the guy who wrote that man’s search for meaning.
between stimulus and response, there’s a space and in that space lies our growth and meaning so effectively. In flow master, we’re able to essentially stretch out time to actually be hyper aware of all the in between spaces between stimulus and response, and then pick and choose which attribute, which emotions, which words we want to use as a way to articulate how we are experiencing ourself in this very moment.
So making the unconscious conscious and in that hyper awareness we’ll train ourselves to let go of things that don’t serve us as well as honing in on precision and the nuance and the subtleties of what we intend to communicate first and foremost for ourselves, then second to others.
And that’s the beauty of, in my mind of. things like that flow masters or psychedelics or, or even podcasting, cause it, this, whatever we’re seeing is created in the moment, and that’s why I love, everything that we’ve been doing so far for the last, two hours.
Don’t Just Save Your Business And Life. Reinvent It – Seibo Shen
So that’s talk about the concept of reinvention. If you look back on your life trajectory, can you share with us what it, when you were in reinventing yourself, did it seem, jarring. was it clear black and white moment, like for you to say I’m reinventing myself newly? Or is it just more gradual, like the roller coaster ride?
Yeah. going through it. Definitely. It seemed more kind of gradual, but when I think back to it, that I could always think to like pivotal moments, like you said, like a, the first time I used a bond versus a joint, like I just knew cannabis was going to be in my life for a very long time.
And, for my different sales careers or my different careers in general, I knew being a stunt man, wasn’t going to be my longterm thing. I just knew that it was a great way to meet like attractive girls and, be on Hollywood sets. that was my main thing.
leaving law school to go to high tech. I had to make that decision in three days because, I would still get 90% of my tuition back. And if I made it in a week after, I would only get 50% of my tuition back. So that was a lot of money and so I have to think about that very quickly.
but yeah, what’s interesting is with each transition, there definitely was. While it was exciting. I did, it also did a company with some sadness, of leaving this other version of myself behind, and many times the other version. I didn’t like as much as the newer version, but it was like, all right.
Seibo the would be attorney. That guy’s not going to exist anymore or sevo, the, I very much, I saw myself as like the golden child at these tech startups, because, obviously I’m in charge of revenue and these startups are all going public. It probably because of me, So like I very much was like, Oh dude, I think by the fourth, like after the third exit, the fourth company. Yeah. That was like, the reason you should hire me is that I will allow you guys to exit successfully, I was like getting that confident in my ability. When I was going to end that and via CEO, that was definitely like, I needed like the support of my wife. I needed the support of my family. I needed like a bunch of people telling me like, Asian American studies major could run a company. I had just thought I’ve never taken a business class.
Okay. I could sell stuff, I was selling stuff that I didn’t fully understand. Security things. I just knew the words to say, and I was good at listening and, like regurgitating back to the person. But yeah, it was such a tough decision. especially the, I’m becoming a CEO because my daughter was also born that year.
So I was like very worried about the financial security of my family on top of that. And I really needed a really good support system to. To reinforce to me, what was it then me already, which was the ability to lead the ability to be strategic, the ability to put together a roadmap. Yeah. And I had been through that process five times already, which you know, through osmosis should have made me feel confident. But I think because I knew I was an Asian American studies major, never took a business class. I just thought, Oh, I’m just like a smooth talking guy that could sell stuff. But when it comes to running a company, that’s where someone with an MBA.
So at some point you had to let your old identity die and then you had know go through that grieving process in, and also birthing a new identity. And that is a step into being a founder CEO.
yes. And I was also the youngest, not just the youngest sibling in my family, but the youngest cousin on my father’s side and the youngest cousin on my mother’s side.
And they have six siblings each. So there’s roughly a hundred cousins. I was always used to being the baby. Like I never told anybody to do anything. Everyone always told me what to do. So I think going from the guy that, basically any responsibility that none of my other cousins wanted to do, it would eventually be me to a guy that would be disseminating the orders or dictating the orders was very different.
And even as a sales guy, or even as a sales manager, I think I was very good at. Worrying about myself and just making sure I was good versus everyone else was good. And as a sales manager, I would always pick one or two, Really good sales guys and really focus on them to try to make our number versus, spending time with the whole team and making sure the whole team was good.
So I had tons of doubt when it came to running a company new, like if I had to sell it myself, like worst case scenario is if I had to sell the vapes individually, like I could do that. But yeah, my ability to lead and to be organized, to do all those things, I had no confidence at all.
How I Reinvented My Life And Career 4 Times – Seibo Shen
what did it actually take for you to reinvent yourself from sales guy? I know confidence to actually be a leader, two shots as a CEO, founder
yeah. I’m as silly as it sounds, I would just. ask myself, what would Bruce Lee do in this circumstance?
and really just channel my inner Bruce Lee and, draw confidence from that area, And like sometimes, like thinking of what would Bruce Lee deal? he would kick these people’s asses, obviously that’s not a good response, so I’d have to imagine.
Okay. Bruce Lee is not the right archetype. Okay. What would Steve jobs do? in this instance? And a lot of it was. I guess fake it till you make it as maybe like a good description in that, I would try a bunch of things that would make me uncomfortable. I would see a little bit of success that would, reaffirm like, Hey, I could do this.
And then the next this time I would push it a little bit further and then see if I got positive results and do that repeatedly, which is a continually push myself out of my comfort zone, whether it was the way I spoke to employees, whether it was the way I pitched, whether it was the way I put together our roadmap.
just really try and keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone so that I would grow, like I would find myself like always wanting to do like sales calls instead of like accounting or customer support or any of these other things. And I realized like that was my way of distracting myself from learning all the other things that would actually make me a good CEO.
So yeah, I guess to answer your question, it was just doing a few uncomfortable things every week to prove to myself that I could still keep learning new things. And then building that confidence to really start stepping into the role as a leader, with, or without, the fact that I’m, paying someone’s paycheck, which was also a little bit of a, area that I got into, which was, I was like, Oh, I think these people only listen to me because I pay their paycheck. they don’t really actually respect me. they only respect me cause I pay their paycheck. So there was a bunch of these different things and things that I had to push myself through. before I got comfortable, running the companies.
Yeah. Being an entrepreneur in my mind is one of the, it’s one of the most transformative path.
If you’re interested in self actualization and transformation, I think being an entrepreneur is a really great path because as you said, you need to really confront your own capabilities and your own resolve, as well as your relationship with others, relationship with money, your relationship in creating value, all these things where it’s all wrapped up into one.
So hence why I’m a huge fan of entrepreneur as a transformational path.
Same as in marriage, right? These are all beautiful path because the truth reveals itself when you’re face these different types of adversities along the way.
yeah, I agree with you. I didn’t look at it that way, but once you vocalized it, that really resonated with me about entrepreneurship as a kind of like rites of passage of like really learning about yourself and your limitations.
Seibo Dreams of Psychedelic Group Retreats – Seibo Shen
So yeah, I applaud you for honing in on that and. the retreat center, great idea. actually a lot of smart entrepreneurs that I know their dreams are all along similar path are building their own retreat center to bring people to do this type of work. So it’s awesome.
What Psychedelic Research Can Learn From the Cannabis Industry – Seibo Shen
so in terms of what transpired in the cannabis space, what do you see as the trajectory of the demands and the different use of psychedelics.
Yes. So unlike cannabis where there’s recreational use, I do not see recreational psychedelic use ever being legalized.
I think that in the context of the way we want people to benefit from it, utilizing them in a More process driven setting, I think is essential to people getting the most out of it, versus just going into the woods with your friends and eating a couple of grams.
one of the other things that I think we should be very careful about is everyone was so excited about the green rush, about making money, that when we looked at all the legislation and all the things that were being written, we had an idea that only those that had. Like eight figure or nine figure backing would be the winners of the cannabis space, but we didn’t care.
We just said F it, at least people aren’t going to jail. And now we’re seeing the cannabis industry starting to organize just like every other industry, which is there’s going to be four or five main players and all the really great boutique shops that were run by passion driven, compassion driven. entrepreneurs no longer exists.
They all work for the big five, the big six. And we’re starting to see the products become more generic. and I don’t want to see that happen. In the psychedelic realm. I don’t want to see only those that could raise the most money, become the people, have the brands that people recognize.
I want to see the people that have been doing like the work with maps, all of this time, the people that have been helping Johns Hopkins university for the last 15, 20 years. I want to see these people at the top. I don’t want to see the professional fundraisers dominate the industry like they’ve done in the cannabis industry, and I’m not afraid to say that.
I mean the people, yeah. Listening, if you’re getting bothered by it, like I’m talking about you guys, you guys are the problem, the cannabis industry, why it’s so much more expensive now that it’s legal, that it’s not affordable by your patients anymore. And if that happens in the psychedelic, realm, that’ll be like just the saddest thing, because just think about this cannabis is more accessible now, but it’s more expensive.
when it was illegal, it was cheaper. That makes absolutely zero sense. And this is what happens when greedy people get into businesses without the right intention and with cannabis, even though it kills me, like I could live with that. But man, if this happens to the psychedelic space, that would really crush me because I do feel like entheogens and psychedelics are the one thing that could really change people’s minds and really open them up to different possibilities. But if that’s controlled by people that don’t want people to have these possibilities, then you know, that kind of makes me a little fearful.
But if you look at the natural cycle, we’re now getting super heady. So just so I want to give back to the heart center in a moment that just human, my intellectual curiosity for a moment. But if you look at a natural business cycle, you have essentially, artisans that people follow our passion and mission and core values because they believe in it. and then outside money, Investment comes in. And then isn’t consolidation right now you have bigger and bigger conglomerates because they have the gravitas of the building infrastructure hiring the right talent, Having the right people and all these other things. So then he can scale the kind of, products and service and quote unquote impact that they want to make.
So in my mind, naturally, this is the business cycle. that happens. and you can see that from my point of view, in different industries all over, one may say, Hey, this is making the business or the industry worse, but one may also say the long tail effect, right? So yes, there some blockbusters that everyone knows at the same time, you can find music, movie books that has that long tail effect.
Does that make sense?
Yeah. Yeah. And, I think, in a more kind of. I think balanced view you’re absolutely right. a lot of the laws that were passed it more or less set it up so that if you were an artisan, you had no chance to succeed,
So the threshold to entry is way too high.
No one you need tons of capital to get in there is basically blocks everyone else for coming in.
Yeah. Yeah. So basically what happened was, the larger companies. low bald or introduced pricing that was never before seen in the industry, bled money caused all the artisans to not be able to compete.
And some of these larger guys bled themselves out to, and could never recover from that strategy. Yeah.
So like predatory pricing is essentially what you’re saying.
Exactly predatory pricing. And, they were the only ones that could do it because they had raised so much capital.
And that was actually what people had predicted was like, Hey, given prop 64 and the way that it’s written only those that raise eight or nine figures will be able to play this game. And those that don’t. are going to have a really tough time. And on top of that, they brought in, some techniques that work really good in other industries, which is, Hey, if you could bring a price point that the others can’t compete with, that’s a great way to buy market share.
And ultimately they shot themselves in the foot because they couldn’t run a sustainable business. So it ended up actually hurting the entire industry. I don’t know if you looked at any of the papers, but the largest brands, the men’s the crest, CO’s the canopies of the world. Like their earnings are all super down and because they trained the public to be used to these prices, when they try to bring the prices back up, there was a lot of pushback.
And then on top of that, taxes are 30%, which is why the black market is now six times bigger than it was prior to legalization.
That’s interesting. Okay. So these are some of the things that what not to do when it comes to the development of psychedelics, but I didn’t quite understand why the concerns that people have of, companies like compass but they raised a lot of venture capital and people are really critical of that. Now I see it because I can see the mirror side of, in the cannabis industry.
Psychedelic Medicine And Better Investment Opportunities – Seibo Shen
with their experience in cannabis, with your hope and aspiration in the world, psychedelics, where do you see as the sort of the area of opportunities?
I think that the area opportunity for myself is bridging those two worlds together. that’s what I did in the cannabis industry was especially like in the Asian American communities was to, educate and really informed the people in those communities about the possibilities with the sacred plant.
And, when I look at the psychedelic space, the people or raising capital can’t really talk as deeply about how the medicine really helps. And then we have the, shamans that are very deep in their expertise of the medicine, but might be so deep that when they communicate to your standard person, it may sound like way too intense for them. Or I can’t drink a whole cup of ayahuasca. This sounds crazy. so potentially the education area, I’ve mentioned to you, I want to get into coaching myself and in that coaching, I do see plant medicines as part of my toolkit, like I would love to help people in as many ways as I can, that don’t have access to it. But if you’re a closer to me in proximity, or you have access to it, I would love to utilize that as one of the modalities to help people with whatever issues that they want me to help them with.
Ultimately like if I had it my way, C K. And I believe I could have it my way is I’m building out a small little compound on a farm where I would love to be able to have a large, I don’t know, four to 5,000 square foot area with individual living rooms, but a big community room where we can do all sorts of different things.
Sound bath, rich shamonic rituals. Mobility classes, yoga classes. And yeah, I have like my own little retreat center, Yeah. is, yeah. Yeah. If I had my dream, that’s where I would want to be is have like a retreat center and then have different. Yeah. sharmans with different expertise, come in and educate, inform, and build community.
I love that. I think the education portion giving your super power of communication and in sales and enrollment and listening, actually, we didn’t talk about listening, but, and then your awareness of this energetic resonance, right? I think that is a, that’s a really important part, especially, being Asian American myself. I see, one of the biggest problem of our times is, whatever you call it, neurotic thoughts, stress, PTSD, or, anxiousness or overwhelmed, right? This is the disease of our time in my mind. not disease, maybe, troubling symptoms of our time. so how do we actually do that? And then the.
The traditional way of going about it added, talk therapy or, pharmaceuticals or meditation. These are all beautiful tools. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not debating any of them, but at the same time, yeah. I feel like the world of psychedelic. Cause it’s such a powerful and effective tool that, we’re now have just begun to explore, scientifically and research wise the proper usage of it or the proper possibilities of it.
So I think communicating, the benefits it’s as well as the methods is a very important thing. as you said earlier, the researchers, the shamans, the doctors, the PhDs, they can’t communicate in ways that is relatable to regular people, And then regular users, they can communicate that the scientific rigor that you are able to communicate. So I think being that bridge between the layman, as well as the experts is a very important role. So yeah, I applaud you for honing in on that and. the retreat center, great idea. actually a lot of smart entrepreneurs that I know their dreams are all along similar path are building their own retreat center to bring people to do this type of work. So it’s awesome.
It’s funny. It’s the PTSD of being an entrepreneur and wanting to have a retreat center for other entrepreneurs?
There is a phrase in the coaching world or, we teach what we need most, So we started companies because we wanted it, Not necessarily because of the opportunity, at least the way that’s the way I have seen that’s, people who are successful because they wanted something, they want to solve their own pain.
So they built their own widget to do that.
How I became a digital evangelist of cannabis – Seibo Shen
especially being Asian American, actually. so I’m curious to know your journey from, of your experience and being someone who’s just experienced for the first time to now being an evangelist.
Yeah. the being Asian part that really kinda messed with my mind, because I knew that, for my parents, no matter how much I explained to them that it was helpful, they were very disappointed that I would consume cannabis and, they were very embarrassed by it.
that was one of the things that, my parents, when they would get mad, like it just kinda it was like water off my back. Yeah. To be honest. But when they were disappointed in me that with like really crush me and really make me rethink what I was doing. And, but, I had this belief that it was like really good for you, when I was working, I definitely wasn’t an evangelist, but, I went out on a sales call with my first sales manager and we had, we had just closed the deal with Oracle and it was a data deal and it was a huge deal. And at that time, Oracle did have their campus in Redwood city. but they ha they still had a campus in San Francisco, which was where we were. And my boss was like, Hey, sevo this is huge.
this is the biggest deal we’ve ever done. congratulations. Like, why don’t we stop off at a dispensary?
And I was like, really. And he goes, yeah. And then I was like, was the first time that, someone other than like a peer was, asking me to do cannabis. And he was my sales manager and he was like my idol at the time, because he was like super smooth with all like the lady employees.
And I was like, Aw, man, if he wants to smoke a joint, maybe there are others. And since that time, I would slowly say different things like. I would make, cannabis references. Yeah. using nomenclature that only another cannabis user would understand. Yeah. And I started noticing literally, like everyone in senior management was at least open to cannabis or use cannabis. And I started like understanding like, Hey, based on the commercials I saw, I thought cannabis was the choice of drugs for the derelicts and lazy people.
But based on my experience, working in tech, like the smartest product managers, the most creative CMOs, the hardest working CFOs, we’re all utilizing cannabis and, essentially. I went to the executives, a few of them at our company and was I told them that, I wanted to start a high end vaporizer for white collar cannabis consumers. And I ended up raising $350,000 just through word of mouth through their network. And that’s when I realized, like at least in California, where I live and in Silicon Valley.
if I’m an evangelist for this, I’m actually just a person that’s allowing people to really come up out and tell the world how much they are. I love cannabis. And now, I can’t believe like after seven years in the industry. It’s, talk to me talking about this stuff. It’s no longer taboo because of, if someone has any issues with it, I could show them all the double-blind research papers that have been done that have shown that the efficacy of this plant in all these different, healing instances and virtually backs up all the, stoner stories that we used to tell.
And that’s when I started realizing, Oh, wow, all these anecdotal stories, while they are anecdotal. if you hear them enough, there must be something to them. And that’s when I started realizing like, Hey, by not being an evangelist, I’m actually, in my opinion, doing a disservice to the world.
I have the ability to talk about it in an intelligent way where I can allow, even, very data focused people to look at like the information and maybe they won’t start utilizing cannabis, but at least in their minds, they’ll no longer demonize it.
Thank you for saying that.
I really appreciate it. So let me do a quick recap and then we can dive into some of the more curious questions about facing, the stigma in the earlier days, per se. yeah, chair, You had an interesting encounter with a salesman manager that who you respect and that he said, Hey, let’s go to a dispensary as if it was nothing, because for him was normal.
And then you started to realize there’s this underground thing that a lot of people that you actually respect between the different companies that you work in are also using cannabis for whatever reason, as a flow activator, as a relaxing, whatever may be. And that makes it okay to say. To come out of the quote unquote closet more and more, and then really realizing that this is something that is backed up by research is backed up by data. It’s backed up by anecdotal evidence. And then now you’re this walking database of, different stories, different evidence and data that you can share with others, about the power of cannabis.
How I Found Founder-Product-Market Fit – Seibo Shen
that’s what you call that a founder market product fit. without much effort. but would you say that’s more of, what’s the word I’m looking for a rare event or was it. Just through serendipity or through, intentional design that does this 350, this ease, this flow happen.
Yeah. it’s interesting that when I think about it, it all happened.
By chance or serendipitously, but when I think a little bit more deeply about it, I do think that it was very deliberate. at that time in my head, I didn’t say I’m going to do a, B and C, and this is what’s going to happen. But in my head, I was thinking, man, if I could get like these rich dudes to invest in me, that would be great.
And I think I was just started subtly doing different things like, during. Like during that, like during company events, instead of leaving, I would always just stay longer til it was just the executives. And then I would bring out like the best weed that they’ve never seen in their life, and just kinda start cozying up to them.
So I definitely. Was doing things to make sure, like I was in their sphere of influence and, just getting them to really believe and trust in me that I wasn’t just a sales guy, but I had knowledge in other areas and that, if they gave me money, they could trust that I would do the right things with it.
And ultimately, we ended up utilizing engineers that everyone right also knew. So I think that, there were also other mechanisms that would allow them to feel more secure because I was working with other people that they had also worked with in the past too, that were a bit more senior than I was that would, give them the confidence that I wouldn’t just go Dan Bilzerian on them and spend all this money on, girls and, extravagant parties and stuff like that.
But yeah, in. Many ways. I think of it as like luck, like the stars just aligned. And then in other ways I’m like, wait a second. I was actually whether I was conscious or subconscious of it, like there was some like direction I was trying to lead them towards. Cause yeah, prior to that, the company events, like the second week of leave, I would always leave, And then after I smoked a joint with my sales manager, I was like, you know what? if I spend a little bit more time with senior management, Instead of them just looking at my numbers and going, Oh, Seibo is awesome. Although maybe get to know me and, put some more trust in me to do things outside of just sales.
How I Came Out of the Cannabis Closet – Seibo Shen
can you share with us a little bit about the internal journey of the courage that it requires for you to actually come out of the closet and actually share this plant?
Yeah. right now, especially very recently, I’ve been really talking about listening to my calling and following it and.
when I think back and when you ask this question, it really did make me think, Oh wow. this actually, I’m not just starting to listen to my calling. Now I was listening back then because there, my tech career was like taking off, I was the number one second sales rep at every company that I worked at.
And yeah, for those that don’t know if you’re the number one sales rep at an early stage startup. You have more power than the CEO? In most cases, I was bringing in at least 50% of the revenue in the company. So when the CEO was like, did you get high at lunch? I’d be like, yeah, fire me. He couldn’t, he’d be like, dude, if I fire this guy, 50% of the revenue’s gone, So like I had a lot of Confidence in myself that if I just stayed the course, I would be working, I would probably be running sales organizations that top tier startups, and then eventually running my own software startup. But, there was something about every day I came home from work, I would turn on my vaporizer right away.
I would use the vaporizer. Okay. And, After the fourth exit, like I started feeling like, Hey, I don’t know if tech is the thing for me long term, and I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do with my career. And my wife had seen that I bought over 150 vaporizers. That was like my hobby.
It was just buying vaporizers and taking them apart. And I started realizing like, Hey, like all of these things are built with off the shelf parts.
I’m a really good sales guy. If I could combine my knowledge of. Buying all these vaporizers. What’s good.
What’s bad with my knowledge of cannabis, with my ability to articulate what I like and help people understand it, we could potentially start like the best vaporizer company this world has ever seen. And. it was very tough early on. there was no industry. we would have to sell these things on the black market, or we would have to advertise them for like tobacco only, and hope people could read between the lines.
But because cannabis had made such an impact in my life from helping me sleep from helping me deal with anxiety. From helping me get present from helping me be more empathetic with other people’s problems. I did feel like man, I’ve benefited so much from this. If I could help other people see how they could utilize this plant in a positive way. Not only could I put food on the table, but I would also feel fulfilled as well.
And in parallel there was actually a guy in my hometown that was selling vaporizers and I was helping him sell them on the side on a commission only basis. So I would make cold calls after work. And I was helping them move anywhere from 15 to 20 grand a month. So there was already some idea that if.
I put more time into this. There would be success, but the biggest hurdle was just going, man, what would my family think? if I did this full time, now it just goes from okay. Every once in a while Seibo comes home and he smells funny to, Oh, Whoa, this is what actually said was going to be doing for a living.
And how Asian parents are. They talk with other Asian parents and they love to brag about their kids. And I knew that, that would be an issue for them, but at the same time, it was just like, after my wife was saying, dude, you obviously love cannabis. go into cannabis.
Once she said that, it just stuck in like my body. And like I just had feelings of. I would call it anxiety right now. I just always think of it. Yeah. It’s like when you’re doing something, if your head’s telling you to do something, but your heart’s telling you, that’s the wrong thing.
Like you feel this like discomfort. So I would always have this discomfort until I thought about. The cannabis space. And then when I would think about cannabis, like all of that would melt away. Then I was like, all right, dude, this is what I gotta do. Cause every time I think about doing something else, I get this weird feeling.
And when I think about cannabis, it goes away. And that’s when I started listening more to my body versus trying to override everything with my mind.
There’s so much there. For any entrepreneurs that’s listening to this. I want to underlie a few things. It’s not. Seibo then just like how I feel great about it.
And let me just jump into this thing. as in trusting your gut, trusting your intuition. Yes, you did that, but you also gathered a lot of data points along the way. One, you had 150 vaporizers, you took them apart. you actually look at quote unquote, the market, right? You get extensive research and you look at the different engineering parts.
You look at the pricing. And it intuitively you didn’t maybe perhaps consciously wanted to do that in a scientific way, but intuitively that’s what you did, You also, listen to your wife, right? Hey, you pointed out something, you also have enough self awareness to just trust, Hey, these are the benefits that I’ve gotten personally.
what’s possible if I pursue this to help others experience what I have experienced, you also have gone out and actually, without building your own product, pitch someone else’s product and say, Hey, I generated 15, 20 grand a month pitching someone else’s product. I can probably have a higher margin if I pitched my own product.
So these are all data points that you’re collecting along the way. And the final threshold was. around the family part. I want to dive into that a little bit more. Cause I think culturally, I think that’s a worthwhile topic then you decided to say, let me do this full time. So you didn’t just jump from, Hey, I enjoy those two boom, let me invest my nest egg into building a, in a high end vaporizer.
yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I’m glad that you retold and re summarized because I realize it did seem like I just woke up one day with an epiphany, like I’m going to do this. And it was definitely over like a, eight to 10 month period of, as you said, doing informal research, gathering enough data points, and then finally feeling like confident enough, especially with the support of my wife that this is something that I should absolutely pursue.
Yeah, that’s such a blessing. Cause oftentimes I would say even, especially entrepreneurs with a significant others or kids, this is a huge concern for them. Cause you’re taking additional risks. But in your case you have not only very blessed to have a supportive wife, but also you’re already well equipped with the sales skills, with the communication skills.
So that is not something that you need to augment or amplify or bring somebody else in. You already have that. So now you just need to do the research to focus on the data, make the widget, and then you already have connections with different people, right? Cause since you’ve been selling already, so effectively you just, customer results mechanism, you already have customers, you already know the results they want and you just need to build a new mechanism, correct?
Yeah. the way you describe it sounds like I almost deliberately did all of these steps, but yeah, they just happened by accident. And to be honest, it’s once I got inspired by it, I just started doing the readings, started doing the selling, started, just informally collecting information until, there was like that moment in my head where it’s okay, that’s enough information. I’m competent enough. let’s go for this. Let’s try to figure out how to raise money.
Oh, so you actually raised money right away.
we started off with seed capital from, I’m not going to mention them, but one of the companies that I worked for the senior year, the management team was like all about high end vaporizers for like white collar executives, they were like my first funders, for this company. I actually, w I didn’t even have to raise a formal round, I just told them what I wanted to do. And they all plugged down like 50 K each. And, we had a 350 K to play with right away.
How I Earned the Trust of My Investors – Seibo Shen
that’s actually a worthy topic to talk about too. what is trust, how to cultivate trust and how do you engineered trust in engineering in a way such that is natural. And not from a inauthentic point of view, but just intentional. How do you intentionally cultivate trust?
Can you share with us a little bit more about that? Because in my mind, trust is the currency ultimately, entrepreneurship, ultimately it comes down to is the people business. Yeah. so you need to trust me enough to hand me your hard earned cash as well as I need to trust you enough to know that when you sharing with me the problem that you have, the solutions that you want is what you’re looking for.
That way actually, there’s an energetic fit, energetic resonance. and that is the flow of currency going back and forth. So share with us a little bit about trust from your perspective, because you share something that you did, but just going one layer deeper if you don’t mind.
Yeah. and yeah, I would say trust, even beyond just the route of entrepreneurship, the root of every relationship, and being a man of your word, I know it sounds a bit cliche, I was someone growing up, through college, through my early work career, like I could just tell like little harmless lies, without even second guessing, if someone said, how close are you? I’d be like, Oh one freeway, exit away when I’m five freeway exits away, and these types of lies, like. they seem harmless.
It’s Oh, Like one, one exit or five exits. what does that matter? I’ll be at your house and like within 10 minutes anyways. But ultimately it’s if someone catches you in one of those, they don’t trust you as much. I can’t remember which book I read. It might’ve been like the four agreements or something like that by Don Miguel Ruiz.
But they really talked about being a person of your word and really sticking to it, When it came to like forecasting, I would have other sales reps, like forecasts larger numbers than me. And then I’d be like, Oh shit, I’m not going to be the number one sales rep any more. Should I just boost up my, like my numbers for the review, but, I just felt like, If this stuff doesn’t come in, I’m going to have like egg on my face.
like I was always like very transparent and, the flip side is part of it. Part of my transparency also had to do with some of my insecurity, which was like, there was like, I started working in the corporate world at the age of 27 after dropping out of law school. So I felt like I had a lot of time to make up and, I also knew, like I looked young for my age, so maybe people didn’t think I was like 27 years old working at an entry level job.
But, like I was so insecure that I would always ask people or double check, am I doing this right? Or, or if someone was like, like how big is this deal going to be? Is it going to be, how well did that call go? And I would notice, I would be on calls with my other reps that didn’t go well, but they would be like, Oh, it was great.
the prospect and wants to invite us back for another meeting and I’d be like, that’s weird. So like when they would ask me if it went well, I’d be like, I don’t think so. like he, when I asked him about if you want them to know, did you know, he was making a bunch of excuses and, part of it, like I said, like I was trying to be very transparent.
And the other times I think I was like really nervous of. saying something and giving someone the wrong expectations that would bite me in the back. And ultimately, to answer your question, it’s just being honest, being a man of your word or being a person of your word. And, really, I think for me the thing that as a people pleaser, like I always want to say yes, I could do it to people.
And what I found was, telling people no. And just letting them know it’s not that I don’t want to do it. And it’s nothing personal against you. It’s just that honestly I can’t or for whatever reason, has allowed me to build that trust with people that like, if you give me money, I’m not just going to be selling you on the idea that I’m going to turn it into all of this stuff.
Or if you’re asking me like, say, Bo, do you know how to do this? I’m not going to tell you, I know how to do something if I don’t. And I think when they see consistent behavior like that over time, there’ll be like, okay, like maybe he doesn’t have all of the pieces in place to start a company.
But if we give seibo these two resources, I trust them enough where, what these two resources leading him. Like he can start a startup. sorry, that was a very long answer. But. Hopefully it answered what you were asking.
No, this is exactly what I’m trying to get deeper as well. Cause trust is such a intangible, right?
we’re getting really matter here, really conceptual. and trust is one of those things that you can feel it. It’s data driven as well as energetically driven. So a huge part of this component, what I’m hearing you say is being someone, a person of your word that honors your own word, right?
Do what you say you’re going to do by the time that you see you do it. And a second component of it is you it consistently, because if you just do it once in a while, you have that up and down, then you don’t, people can’t count on you. So I also love the fact that you emphasize on not only your capability, but also your limitations as well, what it takes to actually have your spine, your sovereignty and say, no, I can’t do it because blah, blah, blah, whatever.
What is Flowmasters – Seibo Shen
you and I, we met through this group called flow masters. Can you maybe share a little bit about what it is ?
Yeah. Yeah. we still were going through the mission statement, but flow masters is a weekly group of people that come together to express themselves authentically over typically hip hop or low fi beats.
And it’s a great way to practice your ability to rhyme, but it’s. Not about rhyming. It’s not about being a dope rapper. It’s about tapping into your inner self and being able to express your authentic truth. And that is something that really resonates with me and something that I discovered maybe four months ago and I’ve done on a weekly basis.
And I just feel very alive. It’s the same feelings that I get when I’m really present on. And really happy and just, it’s the way I describe it is Toastmasters taught me to be a more polished speaker flow masters taught me to be a more honest speaker.
We Need to Speak Honestly About Our Truths – Seibo Shen
I love that. Thank you. the same level of passion you have for cannabis. I see. In flow masters for you. Yeah. so why is being an honest speaker important for you?
Yes. okay. For me, especially Especially, we talked about, honestly see and trust or trust at the basis is being honest.
And if you’re not aware when you’re fooling yourself, then. it’s you could be dishonest without even knowing, because you’re not aware of what you’re going through. And with flow masters, I never thought of myself as someone that held back when I communicated. Cause usually when I communicate, you could see me get emotional and I’m like really into it and stuff.
what I noticed with flow masters is Especially early on, there would be like things that I wanted to say. And then I would have a little voice. That’d be like, you’re a CEO. You can’t say that. Or a voice that would be like, you’re a dad. You can’t say that. Or another voice would be like, you’re a husband. You shouldn’t say that. And these weren’t things that were like really bad to say, but. I think in the context of I’m a dad. So I probably shouldn’t say these juvenile things or I’m a busband. And so I shouldn’t rap about like girls, I used to date or I’m an entrepreneur, I shouldn’t, I should keep my topics at a certain level versus, sometimes I like to talk about farting and stuff like that, So these were all things that I became very aware of and I wasn’t so aware of them in my normal life, Like how I would speak when I was interviewed versus how I would speak with my wife versus how I would speak with my kids versus how I would speak to them. My friends, I always felt like I was the same person and I am like 98%, the same person, but that 2%, that was different.
I wasn’t really aware of them until I started doing flow masters. Then with low masters, I started realizing, Oh shit, the reason why I can’t flow is because I’m switching behind to all these personalities, like almost. Automatically in my normal life, but when I have to freestyle and I have to be 100% loose and even like 1% hesitation prevents you from doing that, like it gave me hyper-awareness of when I’m switching from, Seibo the entrepreneur to Seibo the dad to Seibo the husband to Seibo the friend.
Okay. And having that awareness, like you said, if you don’t have the awareness and you can’t work on it, And then now that I’m aware of that, it’s like my ability to be free, my ability to talk about things in a way that instead of expecting someone to be like, Oh, Seibo, like a smart cannabis guy, that’s just no, I just want to express myself authentically.
And that what makes me feel good. And ironically, that’s when my messaging seemed to connect with more people and that’s when I started going, Oh, Being a preparer speaker and having all these topics that could expand people’s mind is great. But when you tell your own personal story, honestly, authentically just like what Bruce Lee said, like doing fancy kicks, doing all these fancy movement.
That’s easy. Speaking, honestly, that’s tough. And that’s when I started realizing what Bruce actually meant in that interview and why I’ve been so attached with this concept of honest expression.
Thank you for that. I stepped into, my public speaking effort when I was in graduate school because I just had such a restraint on myself. So even if I have to say something simple, like happy birthday, I so nice to meet you. I have to actually literally write the exact script out before I feel actually comfortable. I’ll be like shaking or right. So luckily for me, Toastmaster was a tremendous training and then it was landmark.
It was, the path that I took to develop myself personally and professionally. so I’ve been on this path of seeking my truth, what it is, and then able to speak it. And one thing that I hear from people to say, they just speak more authentically. And yes, I get it.
I want that. But after you actually do that, it’s know thyself is this simplistic message, to say to people speak honestly, and then truthfully and authentically at the same time, the work that I actually take for us go from here to here is a, is one of the most challenging things that I’ve come across.
I’m very thankful for me to come across blow masters, because as you said, it is me that hyper awareness to make the unconscious, to the conscious you actually speak and speak freely that’s as being tremendous.
Self Care Ideas When You Need to Reboot During Quarantine – Seibo Shen
can you talk a little bit about the renewal, or the recovery as a way to really help you stay grounded and harmonious within yourself.
And talk about that more. Yeah, absolutely. and this is one of those things that I would always tell people are like, you need to rest, you need to rest to be the best version of yourself. Yet I was always, the guy that would take pride in only sleeping, three to four hours a night and burning the midnight oil. And when it started really catching up to me was when my second daughter was born. I started noticing like when I would get sick, I would be sick for Two to three weeks at a time, like bedridden and really needing like recovery.
And I started noticing, I was very disconnected from my body, I didn’t have any granularity in my awareness if I was just tired, if I was exhausted, if I was injured and I would always just keep pushing through like all those different feelings, and this kind of coincided five years ago when my wife started Experimenting with psychedelics herself, and she pulled me back into it for self discovery.
And during one of our psilocybin journeys, there was, I just had, communication with the entity that really was like, Hey, Seibo you used to be so connected with your body. You used to do martial arts all the time. Like you really were aware of what was going on now. You’re just this check box driven guy. You’re just driving this vehicle and red lining it. you’re not putting oil changes into it when it needs oil changes. You’re just, shifting at like 8,000 RPMs. And this car is like gonna break down like sooner than later, if you keep driving it that way you did, and that’s when I started like really thinking, wow, am I getting sick for this long because I’m just not taking care of my body.
And somehow my body is like holding it together until it just can’t hold it together. And that’s when I started being much more proactive about my health. And, I think that was about the time I was like in my late thirties. So I was really noticing during jujitsu, Even when I wasn’t training hard, like I was like sore for three days.
I had thought, Oh, only when I train hard, I’m sore for three days. And even on the light days, I was like, wait, my body’s not recovering as quickly. And just, And also in parallel, my cohost for my podcast, he did, Somatica training. And so he was talking about recognizing the feelings of your body.
So it was a perfect storm of all of these things happening that really got me to start telling people to be healthy and start telling other people to practice self care. and I’m doing it myself, and now Every once in a while, I’ll just take it like a 90 minute to two hour nap in the middle of it.
Def my body’s telling me to, and really trying to, and, I think with COVID, it’s really afforded me this option of working when I, when my body’s ready to work and resting when my body needs to rest. And I know that doesn’t. Not everyone has that opportunity, but if you do, I do believe that’s something that you’ll really benefit from.
And I just find myself with way less stress. And when I’m able to do the things with high energy it’s instead of working eight hours, I could usually get that stuff done. And half the time and the quality of work is higher also.
Yeah. everything you said a hundred percent agree. I think that, The core for those of you listening. The core of aware, leading here is developing that, awareness of what’s happening in your mind, your body, your heart and spirit, right? Because for me, the highest creativity, the highest flow, the highest innovative ideas comes in when I’m deeply integrated. When I’m deeply aware of what’s happening and when I’m off physically, mentally, emotionally, that is drawing my free energy towards those things, whether or not I’m aware or not.
So the more I’m aware, the more I can actually align all these things, such that I can just be my highest self and channel, whatever the creative energy towards what this problem is solving this solution I’m building. so everything that you said is really beautiful.
How I Set My Intentions Before Cannabis – Seibo Shen
do you have a specific way to set an intention ? Is ceremonial type thing that you do as a way to just ground yourself very quick before you consciously consume cannabis.
Yeah, it’s interesting, like cannabis consumption, I believe, has always been ritualistic stick. whether it’s like friends gathering around a table and rolling a joint and talking and getting ready or even, passing it to the left hand side in a circle and, having a nice ritual and for myself, usually what I do is my vaporizer takes about five minutes to heat up.
So I’ll turn on the vaporizer. I’ll do a quick meditation, really try to ground and center myself before and really think about what I want to get out of it. And with each inhalation, I’ll really think about that intention at the top of my, top of mind skull. And then as I exhale, really try to sink into that intention.
And I do that for as many hits that the machine will give me, and, I find that to be both relaxing and allows me to really target in on the outcome that I want. And like I said, sometimes the outcome is I just want to have fun and relax. So like I said, it doesn’t have to always be like this deep thing that I’m going after.
How I Introduced Cannabis to My Parents – Seibo Shen
so how the relationship with the parents now?
Oh, it’s, I’ve always had a very good reason relationship with my parents and, despite that kind of hiccup, now my parents consume cannabis.
My inlaws consume cannabis. we actually like that Thanksgiving there’s actually no more alcohol. and as you can imagine, there’s less, family conflict when there’s less alcohol and yeah. Everyone enjoys cannabis. I was completely normalized in our families and, sometimes we have teenagers or, older tween type kids and, because we don’t overly glorify what cannabis does and we don’t demonize it in the house. It’s just another thing in the house. No one pays attention to it. and that’s the way I want to that’s the way I like it, where we’re not like trying to overly glorify, like this is the end all be all to fix any problem that you have, nor is it this thing that you drink once and all of a sudden, you’re shooting heroin.
It’s just something, if you use it correctly, it’s fine. And yeah. So now there’s absolutely no friction. And, as a matter of fact, it’s the, preference of choice of my inlaws and parents.
Yeah. No, that’s really great. but you go, you went from. ham, I’m really embarrassed. My son is doing this too.
This is not normal. So what happened the middle what’s the arc enrolled them to take that journey with you? Shall we say
it’s interesting because, when they saw Sanjay Gupta on CNN, my father in law is a pretty. well-renowned chemist. my father who passed away a few months ago, he did traditional Chinese medicine.
So when he saw Sanjay Gupta talking about it, that definitely started changing their views on cannabis. I’ve been in business insider Fox business, Forbes I’ve been in a ton of publications. So once they start seeing the work that we were doing is actually being picked up by, not just high times magazine or, these other trade magazines and actually mainstream publications that, they read their friends read, they started going, wow.
so once they saw Sanjay Gupta talk about it, they’re like, Oh wow. another Asian doctor, the chief medical advisor at CNN is saying positive things and he’s going around to all these houses. So they saw people that had seizures. They saw people with fibromyalgia, they saw all of these really strong medical benefits.
And, when it came to them trying it out, I just said, Hey, you saw the CNN special. Why don’t you give it a try? And the first time, like my dad tried it, he sat in the massage chair, I turned it on for him and then he goes, Seibo, I feel. And then I go, you feel what?
And then he just kept going. Seibo I feel. And he had trouble expressing his actual feeling, but he just kept on saying, I feel, and I think that’s the first time I ever heard my dad. Yeah. I’d say I feel versus I think. Yeah, no. And I think that really Yeah, there was something about that experience that was different for him.
he’s not someone that consumed or consumed cannabis every day. none of them are, but when they come over and they’re having a meal, or it’s the weekend, they will use a vape pen to relax. And it’s interesting. with alcohol, one of the things that I heard them say was alcohol is really great at helping them tune out.
like if there’s problems just drink alcohol, I don’t have to think about it. Have a good time
Yeah. And then with cannabis helps them tune in and sometimes tuning in isn’t pleasurable, but it is what they need to tune in on. And yeah, and that was like the way they went from.
Okay. I’m okay with Seibo doing this. Okay. Wait, there’s a. Person. I really respect on CNN saying this is okay. And then they had the real world experience themselves and felt the relaxation and the calmness that comes with utilizing cannabis. And then, yeah. And then I think seeing their son in publications that they could brag to.
Their peer group about all of a sudden it was like, okay, like you said, it’s like pioneers, get arrows shot in their back. they also, I also know that given that I was an Asian in cannabis, I was also getting. Press that would normally be reserved for people that maybe had longer track records than myself, but because I was a minority in a controversial polarizing industry, I got a lot of press focused on me for being outspoken as well.