Q – Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business.
Nibbana is a lifestyle brand built around people enjoying our products, doing what they love and sharing great memories with others. Our product catalog consists of great tasting THC infused seltzers and THC gummies. We are based in Minneapolis and sell our products locally to our retail partners and on our website.
Q – Kindly give us a brief description about yourself.
Chad started with Target corporation in design and branding. He was awarded the innovation award for outstanding contributions to the company. Following his time at Target, Chad was involved in several startup companies including a social media agency, fin-tech mobile payments app, and is now the CEO of a regional restaurant chain.
Q – What inspired you to start a new business venture? How did the idea for your business come about?
We started Nibbana in 2019 as a CBD company and created a line of full spectrum CBD products. It was a great learning experience for us because there were so many challenges to overcome right away as we were a young company trying to survive in a competitive market. As we saw people using our product and enjoying it, we had a vision for someday expanding our company into THC. In July of 2022, MN passed a bill legalizing hemp-based THC in food and beverage, so we felt it was our opportunity to expand the company into what it is today.
Q – What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Start small, find good mentors, and always dream big. When we started our company, we were bootstrapped with very little capital investment up front, this helped us stay lean, avoid debt, and work through some of the initial challenges of starting a business without the pressure to make debt payments every month. We feel that this is critical to our success. We are also very fortunate to have a network of amazing friends and mentors to help give us advice and support us on this journey. Finally, dream big! We still have a long way to go as a company to reach our true potential, but our dream of seeing people enjoy our products, live their passions, and enjoy great times with others is what drives us and is incredibly gratifying.
Q – What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
I think its about hard work, perseverance, and truly living your company’s mission. If you can do these things consistently for a long period of time, you will be in a great position to succeed.
Q – How many hours do you work a day on average?
We work a lot but when you love the company and the people you work with, it doesn’t feel like work. The long hours are worth it.
Q – To what do you most attribute your success?
We worked hard on the flavor profile of our products to make them taste great without a ton of sugar or calories. Many people who taste our seltzers are blown away by how light and refreshing they are. Another key to our success has been our branding. Our vision for Nibbana is bigger than just the products, we want to create a platform that unites people in a world that can be so deeply divided.
Q – How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
We reach customers on our website and through our retail partners. So far, our best form of marketing has been offering samples. Once people try our products and understand the work we put into the quality and taste, we get so many positive comments and referrals. It has been truly humbling to feel the love and appreciation for Nibbana and our team.
Q – Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
We are currently self-funded but would be open to future discussions with investors.
Q – What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Consistently delivering outstanding customer experience. If people love your products and you take care of them, you can be very successful.
Q – Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Our vision for Nibbana is to become a national brand. We are starting locally in our home state of Minnesota and continue to build distribution throughout the United States as we see opportunities to grow.
Q – Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I admire strong innovators like Tesla. As we have found at Nibbana, it’s not easy being a pioneer in a new market and doing it well. Elon Musk continues to amaze us with his ability to innovate and bring new products to market.
Q – How important have good employees been to your success?
Our team is everything and absolutely critical to Nibbana’s success as a company. Surround yourself with good people and be amazed at the success you can have.
Q – How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Starting a business can be one of the hardest endeavors you can have in life but also the most rewarding. As an entrepreneur, I think its important to have thick skin, a strong work ethic, and some grit, but you also need to be thoughtful and unbiased about your company. Sometimes people start a company and then fall in love with it to a point where they can’t make good business decisions. This is dangerous and can lead people in the wrong direction.
Q – What motivates you?
I love to build things! Watching a company evolve from a small idea to a viable business that people know and love is truly rewarding.
Q – What are your ideals?
I believe in always speaking the truth, treat others how you would like to be treated, and work like your life depends on it. These three things are what I admire most in other people and I strive to live by them in my own life.
Q – How do you generate new ideas?
At Nibbana, we are very open to feedback which often leads to brainstorming and then testing. Many of our ideas don’t work but by doing this consistently, we have enough right answers to be successful.
Q – How do you define success?
I define success as reaching one’s true potential. That can mean a lot of different things, but I believe that each of us were born with a unique set of skills and traits to make our mark on the world. The key is to take what you have and develop it to its full potential.
Q – How do you build a successful customer base?
We put our customers at the center of everything we do. If you create products that people love and take care of them, they will buy in to your mission.
Q – What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
For me, it’s about meeting new people. I’ve had so many amazing opportunities to connect with great people and have built friendships that will last a lifetime.
Q – What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most satisfying moment in business has been seeing our products in stores. There is something about seeing your product on a store shelf and watching people buy it or enjoy it.
Q – What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
I think the big difference is a person’s ability to handle pressure. As an entrepreneur, there isn’t a boss to come in and help fix an issue or CEO to go to for advice. The buck stops at you as the owner and you need to be comfortable with that.
Q – What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
At Nibbana, we have the best culture! We all work hard but also find time to have fun and celebrate our successes. When the team loves what they do and stays united around the mission of the company, everything seems to flow.
Q – In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q – If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I would take more risks in my 20’s. It gets more challenging to take a risk or try something new if you have people counting on you for an income. Don’t be afraid to try new things before life gets complicated.
Q – How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
It takes a lot of sacrifice but can also be very rewarding. It takes a lot of time to run a business and in some cases you have to make tough decisions about how to prioritize work vs family.
Q – What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
My biggest fear is regret. I don’t want to be retired an wish I would have tried something. I always try to focus on living in a way that will minimize any regrets I have in the long run.
Q – How did you decide on the location for your business?
Our team is from Minnesota and we love it here. It made sense to focus on our local community first before branching out anywhere else.
Q – Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
No, everyone’s path is different. In some cases, I think people get too focused on what other people are doing or trying to copy the steps another person used to be successful. I believe that we are all on our own path to success.