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17 Jun

Ep. 146 – Joseph Caruso – CEO & Founder of Green Helix

“Are entrepreneurs made or are they born? I think that we all have that, as an entrepreneur, a very overused work these days, everyone kind of wants the title. I think very few truly understand just how hard it really is and how not glamorous it really is.”

Joseph Caruso – Serial Entrepreneur & Founder of Green Helix; going into the family business; wall street to entrepreneurship; entrepreneurs are born;being honest with yourself; it’s okay to reinvent yourself; having a high emotional quotient; the bombardment of information; starting Green Helix; going into a new industry.

Segment 1: (Length :04:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Joseph Caruso; going into the family business; wall street to entrepreneurship; entrepreneurs are born

Joseph’s finer points:

“Very good gentlemen and it’s certainly my pleasure, I’m a huge fan Matt of HDFMagazine and Case I’m a huge fan of PRSUIT. You guys have known me personally, from my own personal Instagram page where I have very obsessively followed you both, been a tremendous fan.”

“You guys have been a great source of inspiration for me, because as we all know the journey of entrepreneurship and just the journey of life has its incredible ups and down. You guys have been at times a great shoulder to cry on and get that needed inspiration when we all have those dark moments. Thank you for being you.”

“What led up to that was a huge bet that I took on another venture that I felt very passionate about in the software arena. And it didn’t end so well, I went all in and not every bet or every story ends with a Hollywood ending and sometimes there’s heartbreak and sometimes there’s failure.”

So, when I was exiting something that did not happen the way I thought it was going to I had to decide yet again, what am I going to do when I grow up? I had to re-invent myself and I felt this undeniable pull to the green ocean industry of cannabis and everything that encompassed that and how it was really helping people and helping animals.

“And, I just felt like there was that pull inside of me that wouldn’t go away and with some people whispering in my ear I decided to go all in, like I have with many other things.'”

“Are entrepreneurs made or are they born? I think that we all have that, as an entrepreneur, a very overused work these days, everyone kind of wants the title. I think very few truly understand just how hard it really is and how not glamorous it really is.”

“But, I think entrepreneurs are born and I think you’re born with that undeniable pull inside of yourself to create and to find a higher version of oneself and to always be pushing the envelope.”

“I grew up in a finance family and my dad was a career Wall Street-er, my sister was a hedge family, extended family in finance, it was kind of where I was headed.”

“When I went into university and I was on my way and I was in this finance internship with another legendary long standing bank on the street, and I was not happy. And I felt like there was something so much more and there was a whole bucket list so to speak of dreams I really wanted to pursue.”

Something came up in film and I just could not say no and I just said I'm going to do this but I have to walk away from college and walk away from this internship and I have to just do it.

“To every would be entrepreneur, I would say that you have to drown out the voices and sometimes those voices come from your inner most circle and they’re telling you to do one thing with a good heart but they don’t realize that they’re stamping on someone’s dream. You have to have that courage, I give people credit that are able to do that I think it’s very important that people know that they can do it if they really want to.”

“So I went on that road and went for a few year, followed my dream, had a little success, had a little failure. I wanted to go back to the family business of finance because I discovered very early that part of being an entrepreneur is knowing how to raise money and knowing how to manage money.”

“There’s a great responsibility and moral responsibility when you’re in a venture and you’re having investors, is it better to go back to college and then get a degree or get real life experience? And that’s what I did, I felt the latter was more important for me. I wasn’t really learning much in my college experience except how to drink. So start off on Wall Street but I realized that while I was going down that road and learning all these very valuable lessons in an intense shark infested waters, made some money, it was a great experience.”

But I was always in the back of my mind, visualizing and manifesting creating these companies and being a founder and being a CEO and I just didn't want to be a cog in the wheel.

“Along the way I invested in some other things, myself I started a film production company, I was able to raise some financing and get these two films released in a festival circuit.”

“Met an incredible young lady that I have the honor and privilege of calling her my wife and at that time we were two young people dating and she was a tremendous inspiration for me and she kept saying that; I know you have a great career and you’re in the family business but there’s a much deeper calling in your heart and soul to create.”

“So I got the opportunity to leave Wall Street and I moved to the middle east and I started an investment company and I got to do a lot of international business. And got a lot of exposure as an investor investing into companies, it’s an interesting dichotomy to be an investor and invest in people, entrepreneurs, and then after that actually become a full time entrepreneur asking people to invest in me. So I got a very interesting and I think invaluable perspective that I was able to sit on both sides of the table. And there’s a little background for you.”

Segment 2: (Length :08:00) – Talking with Joseph Caruso; being honest with yourself; it’s okay to reinvent yourself; having a high emotional quotient.

Joseph’s finer points:

“The truth is the only thing that will really unlock your potential. I have the privilege today of having people on my team who are younger and have the privilege and responsibility to help them curate their own thoughts and their own emotions and their own desires and dreams.”

“And I tell this incredible team that, yes be true to yourself. You have to be willing to go into the deep recesses of your mind, sometimes it’s like being in the sewer and it stinks and it’s loaded with fear and self loathing and ‘what did I do wrong’ and ‘why me’ and victimization. You have to be willing to rise above all of that.”

Throughout my career I have found the same thing, whether it was being an executive at a bank wearing a suit everyday or wearing my vintage Air Jordans and tees and creating a company, you have the same guiding principals, you have to ask yourself questions every single day. And it all begins with just savage, flesh ripping honesty, starting with the man in the mirror.

“I say to every single young person, young lady or young gentleman, that don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to try different things.”

“There are a lot of opinions today that are on podcasts from very successful people with a lot of following, and I hear this … I do my homework, and I like to listen to a lot of different opinions whether podcasts or Ted Talks or reading Fast Company, and there seems to be a little bit of creating this villainization of trying out different things, and if you’re jumping all around, and you’re not committing to something, you’re on the tunnel vision, and if you don’t put in the time, and sometimes it’s okay to pivot.”

Sometimes it's okay to go down a road and say, you know what? This just isn't making my heart sing. It's just the thing keeping me up in the middle of the night. I'm not excited. And if that happens, it's okay.

“No matter what anyone says or no matter the advice, I tell young people, follow your dream, man. Follow your dream, young lady. And if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. Pick yourself up, reinvent yourself, and try something new.”

“But when you have that feeling, and you start to see that, okay, this is undeniable to me. It’s like the air in my lungs I need to breathe. Then you have to make the commitment, and then you have to just be absolutely relentless 24/7, and there’s … It’s not about when this happens; it’s only … It’s not if, it’s when. There’s no time table. I’m in this. I’m on the mountain. I’m climbing to the summit, and no matter what, I’m not getting off this mountain until I either get to the summit or I die. Because that’s the type of commitment it takes.”

This goes far beyond making money, far beyond entrepreneurship. We're talking about the game of life, which is really the first and biggest guiding force in this all because one day I tell people that work for me: you're 25 today, and tomorrow you're gonna wake up, and you're gonna be 40, and that's how quickly it goes.

“And make sure that you are, again, to thine own self be true. And you are making that commitment, and you’re keeping honest with yourself, and you’re not afraid to stand alone.”

“The path to success is a very, very lonely one. And if you need the entourage, and you need the people looking at you and giving you that pat on the back, and you need to be … You know, I need to be heard, and I need that sense of that green light. You have to … I’ve said this ’til I’m blue in the face: You have to be willing to walk the road alone because the path to top is just filled with those lonely dark nights, and you gotta work it out. You gotta work it out with yourself, by yourself, on yourself, with yourself.”

Of course, you have your team, and I have ... I'm lucky enough to have married my best friend, who has been along with me in those two o'clock or three o'clock in the morning high points of serious self-doubt, but you cannot be seeking approval. You absolutely cannot be seeking that approval.

“And I need someone, whether it be for young people, it’s very, very difficult. They want their parents to be proud of them. And I’m here to tell them: I’ll look anyone in their face and say to them that if people are doubting you, and they’re telling you that your crazy, go harder because you’re on the right road. Go against the grain. Be counter-intuitive. Get away from the masses. Get away from the crowds. Do things that you think is absolutely insane and wild, and it looks crazy, and it looks wrong, and it feels uncomfortable.”

“Go harder down that road because you’re on the right path. If it’s easy, and it feel comfortable, and you’re not sweating, and you don’t have anxiety, and you don’t have choking fear, then either you’re on the wrong road, or you’re missing out on one of the greatest treasures that life has to offer that can put you in a very uncomfortable position because that leads to growth. That leads to self-reinvention, and that leads to living a very, very, very full life.”

So, let me encapsulate with one sentence, and then we can go on from there. The one sentence is, leave nothing on the table. We don't, any of us, don't know when our time is up.

“I can tell you that … Is it great to have the Lambo or the Rolls, or it’s great to have a beautiful watch on your wrist? Is it great to take great vacations and post them online, doing all these things? Absolutely. No one, I think, if someone measured my level of dyed in the wool capitalism, I would say that I rank up there just high like every other hot-blooded male who wants a Gulfstream and fly private, and have all the trappings of success.”

“But as I’m now into my 40s, I can tell you that the accumulation of materialistic wealth has turned into the accumulation of emotional wealth. Am I checking all the boxes, and am I leaving nothing on the table?”

“There’s no money left on the table, and I mean no emotional money left on the table. When I have a dream, or I wanna take a risk, or I wanna inspire someone, or I wanna go against the grain; it could be against the masses.”

Have I built up enough self-worth? Have I built up enough love of oneself? Have I built up enough respect in myself? Have I built up enough compassion for the people that are on the journey with me? And appreciation and most importantly, above everything else: have I build up enough gratitude in my vault, so to speak, that if God happens to point at me and that's it, at my last moment, when I have a passing of a real moment of clarity before I move on to the next chapter of my soul, is I went after every last thing that my heart wanted? If you're able to achieve that, you leave nothing on the table.

Segment 3: (Length :10:00) – The bombardment of information; starting Green Helix; Going into a new industry.

Joseph’s finer points: 

“The forces of nature in the world are quite strong, and in today’s informational age, the age of the phone and the age of Instagram, and the age of the internet and all this absolute informational overload. People are being bombarded every single day with all of this in addition to the daily responsibilities and grinds.”

“I would equate that to being in a constant hurricane. And the only way you can fight fire is with fire, and if you’re going to stand out, and you’re going to … To quote one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs, the people that are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, and they actually do it … That’s not exactly his words, but you get the idea. You have to be the storm, and you have to be a warrior.”

“And you have to, when the hurricane comes … I tell people, get into the boat and drive right into the eye of the storm.”

When you want to find peace, and you wanna look in a mirror and get a measure of yourself, run onto the battle field. Where all the bullets are whizzing and the bombs are going off, that's where I've always found the most clarity, the most peace, the most gratitude. Everything that an entrepreneur, a CEO, whether it's the CEO of your life, you're CEO of a company.

“I tell people this and it garners a chuckle, either you’re chasing every opportunity, or you are constantly enduring obstacles. And I like to be the later. Because if you’re doing that, both personally, and in your life. Then you really do, you look at the storm, and the storm is saying, you cannot withstand the storm, to me, is society.”

“The doubting, the nay saying, the haters, the throwing the shade, you can’t withstand this, and you say, no, you know, I am the storm. Let me remind you of that. So, and it takes a storm to know a storm.”

“When I decided to start Green Helix, I told people, first of all, Joe, aside from smoking a joint here and there. What the hell do you know about cannabis? What the hell do you know about CBDs? What do you know about beauty?”

I know nothing. I know absolutely nothing. But guess what, you know what I do know? I know a few things. I know that I'm going to surround myself with a lot of people that are smarter than I am. And I know that I'm going to leap out of the plane, I'm going to build a parachute on the way down, and by the way, if it doesn't happen, I'm going to hit the ground, and I'm going to dust myself off and keep going until this becomes the most diverse, quality, global, wellness CBD company that anyone has ever seen.

“Because I know I can, and I don’t know, I’m going to figure it out while I’m doing it. That’s the hallmark of every, every titan, every maverick that has ever lived.”

“And we have a pet line called fur baby fix, and this is a very comprehensive brand because, again, I feel as if the diversification needs to be there. Because in this day and age, with all the information and all of this, just all this stuff coming at people, especially consumers, how can I discern between one brand and the other?”

And I think it was, one of the hallmark things that my team and I, my partners and I were after, and what I feel we have accomplished so far in our long journey. Is, there's something in the line there for everybody, anti inflammatory, beauty, something to help you sleep, something to help combat stress, something to help combat pain.

“Something to make your skin look beautiful and young, something to help our fur babies, our dogs and our cats, and other animals fight aggression and fight anxiety and fight old age. And, all of the arthritis, there’s something in the line for everybody, and I’m really excited about the kind of value that we’re offering, we’re also opening the Helix Sanctuary, which is going to be in the heart of the Melrose shopping district in LA.”

“And the power of the universe is everything. And while it’s certainly hard to have that blind faith, when you believe in something, and you pray on it, and you visualize it, and you see it coming to fruition, and you just don’t ever stop, and it’s a constant, relentless thing, your dreams come true.”

“Segment 4(Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the storm’. The warrior whispered back‘I AM the storm’

GENERAL NOTES:

Joseph Caruso – CEO & Founder of Green Helix

Joseph Caruso is the Founder & CEO of Green Helix, a plant based health & wellness company that has launched with a unique and diversified product line-up: supplements, beauty and pets.

Prior to Green Helix Mr. Caruso has been directly involved with over 10 startups both domestically and internationally.

Joseph is a seasoned executive with 25 years of entrepreneurial experience; he has consistently portrayed a relentless vision in creating software and business platforms with a focus in finance, media and ecommerce, in addition to creating and managing specialized teams, raising venture capital and scaling businesses both domestically and internationally.

Prior to making the full time commitment to entrepreneurship, Joseph was a former Wall Streeter, holding various positions at the institutions of United Bank Of Switzerland and Lehman Brothers

Mr. Caruso attended Hofstra University and is a member of the National Eagle Scout Association

Check out Joseph HERE |  Social for Green Helix Instagram

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Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.