The Build Cycle Podcast #029 – Floyd’s of Leadville founder Floyd Landis

Quick background: In 2006, Floyd Landis won the Tour de France. Seventy two hours later, he was stripped of that title, then spent years fighting doping allegations in the courts at a huge emotional and financial cost. Fast forward 10 years and he’s shrugged it all off to launch Floyd’s of Leadville, a hemp-product brand of capsules, tinctures and other products that eschew THC for the legal ingredient CBD oil. It’s a far more expensive ingredient, but it’s legal in all 50 states, and believers say it provides all of the pain relief benefits of smoking marijuana (or more, even) without getting you high. As the medical establishment creeps all-too-slowly toward this natural alternative to addictive opioids, entrepreneurs like Floyd are pushing forward with their own products.

Besides being a cyclist, my interest here is how he bounced back from a very dark time, something any entrepreneur might experience after failing at a first business attempt. And how he’s moving forward in a progressive if not questionable industry that’s heavy on regulation. What made him want to launch a “marijuana” business? It’s all here in this amazing interview with former pro cyclist Floyd Landis!

DISCUSSION TIMELINE

  • 01:45 – Why launch a business around marijuana?
  • 06:00 – What are his products & where can he sell them?
  • 08:14 – How do you source the CBD oil?
  • 11:00 – It’s a fast moving industry w/ rapidly changing regulations
  • 16:15 – Marketing claims
  • 17:50 – Restricted access to financial institutions
  • 21:15 – Startup capital and growth plans
  • 26:48 – Retail strategy and sales efforts
  • 31:42 – Marketing efforts & target audience
  • 39:48 – Who’s the competition?
  • 43:10 – Bouncing back from hardship
  • 47:40 – Parting advice for entrepreneurs

interview with floyds of leadville founder floyd landis on how he launched his business selling hemp CBD oil for pain management

POST GAME ANALYSIS

“You’re gonna spend a lot of time losing, and you gotta just get used to that and see that as a step to what’s next.”

That’s easily my favorite quote from this interview. Floyd’s example of how pro cyclists…the very best ones at the pinnacle of the sport…only win a handful of major races in their career is excellent encouragement for all of us. Some days we have small wins, most days we’re just plugging along doing the hard work that keeps our business going and growing. Not every day is a big win, but without all the in-between days, those wins will never come.

Floyd’s business is maybe not in the category you’re looking at. He even admits it’s not for everyone, which gives him a distinct advantage. Not everyone’s willing to do the extra work to enter a highly regulated industry. Or one with arbitrary limitations placed on their marketing and access to financial vehicles most businesses take for granted these days.

And in that, you can find opportunity. Which industries have these barriers to entry that would limit your competition? Or, what product or service could you provide that others aren’t willing to do because it’s too hard? In Floyd’s case, it’s really just a little extra paperwork and staying on top of a changing regulatory environment. And as things relax and the market grows, who do you think will come out on top – Floyd’s of Leadville, or a newcomer that’s just getting their toes wet because now it’s “easy”?

interview with entrepreneur floyd landis about launching floyds of leadville to sell hemp-based recovery products
Floyd (left) sits at a bike shop with fellow ex-racer Dave Zabriskie, who now serves as creative director for Floyds of Leadville (photo from their Instagram feed, used with permission).

LINKS & RESOURCES

Thanks for checking out my show notes…I produce them for every episode to provide a little more analysis than I have time for in the podcast. If you like this (and the podcast), could you forward this to a friend? And subscribe and leave a comment and rating on iTunes or Stitcher? That really helps me grow this with more amazing guests like Floyd. Until next time, keep building!

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