Sally Vander Veer is the CEO and Co-owner of Medicine Man, a company started by her family that cultivates and sells marijuana and marijuana products. They have five dispensaries in Colorado and are considered one of Colorado’s leading cannabis companies.
We asked Sally for her Words of Wisdom for other brave women seeking success.
What advice would you give to your 25-year-old self?
I would tell myself that I was enough.
In spite of working since I was 12, putting myself through college while working full time, and early career success, I never felt confident that my work or my ideas were good enough. I felt that at any moment the floor would drop out from underneath me and I would be exposed as someone who didn’t know what she was doing. I don’t know where this negative self-talk originated because I have always been surrounded by others who were believed in me, but it has taken a lot of years to believe in myself. Even now, moments of self-doubt creep in but I have learned to listen to what I am doubting about myself and figure out a way to adjust either my attitude or my path.
What is one of your habit, disciplines, or regular practices that you think has contributed to your success?
Success isn’t something that has just happened to me. I have worked hard my whole life and I have hustled. Always working just 10% harder than those around me has allowed me to stand out. I really believe in this equation and think it’s applicable to everyone in every type of work. Small things like showing up on time, doing what you say will you do, and looking for opportunities to make improvements in processes or ideas and then implementing them go a long way to becoming an indispensable part of a team. If I ever call you a hustler, consider it the highest form of praise.
Do you have any advice for a young woman starting out in your industry?
The marijuana industry is not for the faint of heart. Success in this arena involves focusing on doing things the right way and never taking short cuts, especially related to compliance. My advice would be to first familiarize yourself with the myriad of regulations which define how and what can be done and then seek out a company or brand that resonates with you on some level and then prove your worth. You will need to be nimble and willing to put in the work to stay ahead of everyone else. Cannabis is the next great American industry and I’m seeing more and more candidates from traditional roles in mainstream companies migrate to our space to hopefully become a part of the green rush. The new marijuana industry is full of very professional and driven individuals. And the good news is that in my experience, women have a better chance of advancing their careers and don’t face as much of the glass ceiling as they do in other traditional businesses.
What is your favorite inspirational or humorous quotation?
“Hustle in silence and let your success make the noise.”
Sally and her brothers, Andy and Pete Williams