Ojai Energetics CEO and Founder Will Kleidon is an award-winning pioneer and futurist of the Cannabis and hemp industry. He is best known for cracking the CBD code, creating the most effective and clean CBD hemp products on the planet. He is not only a believer in the cannabis industry and an investor as well, but he has also collected one of the most interesting executive boards in the world, including famous athletes, doctors, best selling authors, scientists and well-connected members of the entertainment industry. Featured in Cheddar, Forbes, Money, Entrepreneur, LA Times and a regular keynote of the Cannabis Forum and Bevnet, Kleidon is a subject matter expert when it comes to the finance, art, science, and technology sides of the Cannabis business, history of hemp, and what it means to our future. Kleidon believes Hemp is a catalyst for things getting better. He created Ojai Energetics to be a catalyst of good to the world. https://www.ojaienergetics.com/
Thank you for joining us! Can you share with us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Wow, there are quite a few, I’ll give the overarching story.
Ever since preschool, I was passionate about biology and life and also wanted to be an astronaut.
I also loved puzzles, patterns, and logic as well as the abstract. I am a systems thinker. I went through a fair amount of trauma early on, and also had a near-death experience in high school.
After that, I had a profound deepening of appreciation and compassion of life, and I became enlivened to help build regenerative systems for humans to interact symbiotically with other life including the planet. That led me to study permaculture and holistic health in college.
The hemp plant is profound, as it has an unrivaled diversity of uses and has been utilized by practically every culture for millennia. Ojai Energetics has built IP ranging from instant acting cannabinoid formulas for food and beverage, to bio and medtech, to energy storage systems that will power cars, the grid, and even rockets for space travel.
I am living my dream.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Wow, again there are many that are top ranking. To me, the most rewarding is every day we get stories of lives that are permanently changed for the better or have even been saved.
We have people calling to tell us their loved ones have left hospice.
We call it the ripple report, sharing internally how we have changed lives for the better.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
First year of this business ever and it was trusting a guy named Porkchop with the checks in the mail. It’s too long a story for this format, but ultimately the lesson is to always trust your gut.
There is always some bait to catch things, and people can be good. Your gut is always going to tell you, and learning to listen was the best thing for the business I have found.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
Yes! We are working with the national laboratories to accelerate our supercapacitor technology. This will change a lot of things for the better.
We are working with the biggest beverage companies on the planet to power their beverages with effective and safe full-spectrum CBD complexes.
Also, I am working with my good friend Steven Kotler and his amazing team at Flow Research Collective, Rian and Conor, to study the relationships with Flow states and Cannabinoids. This is a first for science to our knowledge.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. Again, too many people to bring to one. My team are superheroes. We are helping the cannabis plant help humans get and stay healthy while providing solutions to live symbiotically on this planet that is scalable, from helping sequester CO2 by building topsoil to transitioning to hemp materials for energy storage to buildings that are fireproof, waterproof, air filtering, and bulletproof.
This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?
Hiring Gen Z. Also, the market will demand authenticity from quality of product to the intention of the organization. Truly doing good for more than the bottom line is the best marketing you can get. Authentic B-corps are the future.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry?
- It is again changing the operating system of human culture and for the better.
- It helps people’s quality of life.
- It helps our greater living family, including the planet, and quality of life.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you?
- Misinformation from people just trying to make money in the green rush.
- Poor quality and ineffective products in the market.
- Bureaucratic slowdowns
Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”? Please share a story or example for each.
- Celebrate your wins while keeping moving. It’s a long marathon to launch a business. It’s critical to celebrate and acknowledge the wins whilst re-calibrating to next goal set. Burnout is real.
- Hire slow and fire fast. People are getting really good at interviews and saying the right thing. By the time you’ve realized they oversold, you have lost time and energy. Don’t wait, the longer you wait more the toxicity can spread.
- The word “No” is a wonderful ally. Especially in this arena, there are so many shiny fruit opportunities. People will pull you off your critical path. Guard your time and energy.
- Your creative vision is vital. Founders often create failure for the business by not knowing when to get out of the way. Managerial miscalibration on steroids. That being said, no one is going to see the map like the Founder does, and those insights are vital and necessary for the success.
- Build a system of self-care into the fabric at the beginning. After the initial crazy build-stage, if you don’t have recovery habits, you will burnout. It sucks. Systems for recovery will keep you in the game and winning.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Have a core vision and mission that is clearly communicated with the team. People will align themselves to a mission they believe in and egos will subjugate to the mission.
Group flow is the best.
Also lead with love, which includes setting clear boundaries, expectations, and correction, but not punishment. Most issues arise from miscommunication so creating effective communication culture is critical.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
For people to live and lead with Love.
Love is the answer to any question.
Love can take many forms, from the first breath we take on the planet outside of the womb, to a mother bear fiercely defending her cubs.
There is always an option based on love.
In fact, it enables the most amount of options, whereas fear offers very limited amounts that tend to engender more fear. I believe the more we learn to love ourselves, the more we have to love others.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Ojai Energetics is on:
Thank you for all of these great insights!