Member Blog: The Autumn of Our Years

Member Blog: The Autumn of Our Years

By Pam Donner, COO of High Point Jewelry

It’s autumn, and that means where I live, the temperatures have dropped from an insufferable 110 to a pleasant 85 degrees. In other parts of the country, leaves are turning color, the nights have turned chilly, and change is in the air. And all of this has me wondering, what happened to the summer?

This was the summer that wasn’t. With the pandemic, activities were curtailed, vacations were canceled, and nothing seemed normal. Like many companies, we adjusted our workflow to morph into a combination of virtual and in-person, and we implemented new sanitary and social distancing protocols. Cannabis was deemed essential, so with a few adjustments, we were able to carry on business as usual. And this got me thinking about how much we have to be able to adapt in order to survive and thrive.  

One of the things I most enjoy in life is giving back to others. I’ve had a fair amount of success in my career and have learned a thing or two, and now I love passing along that knowledge and helping the younger generation get a foothold and better navigate their own pathway through the world of business.  

And of all the things I’ve learned throughout my career, the one that has helped the most, especially through this complex and challenging time, is the ability to be flexible. 

No, I’m not taking up yoga, although that’s probably a good idea. I am referring to being flexible in business. 

When we are young and the whole world is in front of us, we think that all things are possible. The road ahead is uncluttered with roadblocks and there are no speed limits. 

As we mature, we realize that life will throw a few obstacles at you, and a key component to success is how well you are able to overcome these challenges and keep moving forward. 

The one thing that is constant in business is change, and without flexibility, failure is almost certain. 

Think of the American companies that could not adapt to changing circumstances: Retailers like Kmart, Sears, and many others, have not been able to compete in the new world of online commerce and are all but gone. But Walmart continues to refine its online strategy and recently reported that e-commerce sales are up 74%. Target, another retailer that understands how to change with a changing world, reports online sales revenue will jump 24 percent this quarter. These two companies have embraced flexibility.

Borders Books is another giant that couldn’t adapt to a changing marketplace. While consumers were switching to e-books, Borders kept building new brick and mortar stores and focused on growing its CD and DVD department – clearly out of step with the changing times. 

Not so long ago, Blockbuster was the place to go to rent movies. The company could have become a leader in digital entertainment but only made a last-minute and unsuccessful attempt to transition to the new platform. Today, they are gone. 

The fact is, there are countless examples of companies that have shuttered because they could not adapt to changing times. 

In the cannabis industry, change comes at a rapid pace. Laws and regulations are in almost constant flux, and if you are not prepared to quickly pivot and change directions, you will be left behind. 

From overly aggressive expansion to stockpiling potentially unsellable inventory to not keeping enough capital on hand to handle those “rainy days,” there is a myriad of problems that can seemingly come out of the blue and dramatically impact a cannabis company’s ability to function. 

I’ve seen this with my own eyes, far too many times. 

In today’s world, and especially in the cannabis industry, it is vital to look ahead and maintain flexibility. Because before you know it, it will be spring and the world will be different… once again. 

Pamela Donner is COO of High Point Jewelry, and is an experienced C-level corporate executive, with an impressive history of growing companies, navigating successful business turnarounds, launching new products, and implementing structural organization changes to reduce costs and maximize profits.

She is currently COO of multiple companies in the legal cannabis and CBD industries, including 

Gel Cap Concepts, LLC – a manufacturer of cannabinoid-infused products; the Uncle Herbs, Naked Vape, and Desert Azee brands; and High Point Jewelry – the world’s first luxury cannabis-inspired jewelry company. She is also a partner in a CBD retail store and is COO of a popular dispensary. 

Donner was named the 12th Most Powerful Woman in the Cannabis Industry by Cannabis Business Executive Magazine, and was listed as one of America’s Finest Entrepreneurs by Business Management News.

Pam resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, Glenn Murray.


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