January 25, 2023

Episode #62: Karen Klaus & Ryan Staniszeski – Green Balance Hemp & Wellness

In many ways, the CBD/hemp industry chose us! We were first introduced to CBD about 4 years ago while living in San Diego. Because there was so much information available from varied sources, we decided to conduct our own in-depth research. Once we began researching hemp, we realized we could balance our wellness regime with a simple and sustainable solution. Soon after, we began using CBD oil daily. Within days of feeling its positive effects, we became advocates. In the simplest of terms, CBD balanced our bodies.

Green Balance became an LLC in July 2018. Trust and transparency are crucial to us and help to set Green Balance apart from others. Our mission became to educate others, dispel the myths of hemp, encourage others to protect the environment, and partner with other like-minded businesses to help keep our communities strong. CBD is about living healthy, not high.

Join us at Green Balance CBD in the quest for living pain free and find your balance by using the world’s oldest natural medicine. Stay Green. Stay Balanced.

Ryan and Karen


hello this is coach Tim campsall and I’m your host for the self-made as a myth make a difference together show where we are talking with successful business owners to hear their stories of building their business and the journey of getting to that business success and because we know that achieving success in business is not something that we can do on our own we’re taking some time out to recognize and appreciate the folks who have helped us along our journey today I’m excited to have a couple fellow business owners from Indiana with us today one of my guests lived in Australia for two months under an exchange program and the other is a self-taught musician we’re going to figure out who who each of those are in a minute and in their downtime they both enjoy reading it’s my pleasure to welcome Karen and Ryan to the show today hello folks hello hi thanks for having us thank you for having us absolutely well hey let’s start we’ll have you both introduce yourself tell us a little bit of your your background personal story like where you were born and where you live and about your family and then we’ll go from there so Karen we’ll start with you okay um hi everybody I’m Karen Klaus I was born in South Bend Indiana and I currently reside in Valparaiso so I am Indiana um born and bred that’s for sure um I have two boys um they live in Seattle been out there for about eight years and missed them daily and Karen you’re the one that was in Australia correct so tell us about that oh it was so exciting seems like a lifetime ago actually um I turned 19 over there and had an opportunity through the Lions Club Exchange program and um went with a friend and stayed yeah about two and a half months and I adored it and I would love to go back I’m still in contact with the families that I stayed with so cool it’s always right here in my heart yeah so about five years ago when you were 19 yes yeah say that but I think it was obvious all right Ryan how about you tell us a little bit about yourself all right my name is Ryan stanazeski never mispronounced by anybody I wouldn’t imagine I needed help spelling my name um in into about half of kindergarten I still needed help spelling that last name but uh I’m also an Indiana native I was born in Hammond Indiana and I currently reside in Crown Point Indiana um no family for me a single guy um but you know I I enjoy that and uh I make use of my time I exercise I uh I like to read and I’m the one I’m a self-taught musician so I play guitar and uh right I write a little bit so that that keeps me very busy along with the business very cool so um I’ll have you both tell us about a funny story that your family likes to share about you that that you’d be so kind to to share with us today um Karen will again we’ll start with you um I I laugh at this myself actually um I had about 24 years in customer service slash business analyst through Bethlehem Steel and arcelorm middle which is a big stillmill here in the area in Northwest Indiana uh so I started in customer service and um my boys every now and again would call the office and have to talk to Mom throughout the day when they got home from school they would check in and such and when I would answer the phone you know I’d be like you know hi you’ve reached Karen Klaus you know how my help you and um they initially said that my customer service voice was much different than my mom voice nice and still to this day um especially my older son Taylor still reminds me of that quite often wonderful yeah that’s awesome so do do you go in and out of it uh just randomly and they catch you on it or is only when you’re talking I don’t even realize I’m doing it but they they will catch me if if I I guess go into it too much awesome Ryan how about you I uh you know I’m I’m known in my family and I don’t I don’t I was trying to think you know what what when it started but I’m always the guy that that brings uh shrimp fried rice to our family dinners no matter what Christmas Thanksgiving anyway um I’m bringing fried rice I I don’t know I like it it’s different um to me it just kind of shakes up the the the the Christmas ham or the turkey you know uh so that’s just me being being a little bit odd and different but but I do enjoy it and and oddly enough people have started not to come to kind of rely on me bringing that so yes so if you don’t show up with it you’d be disappointing everyone probably yeah where’s Ryan in this fried rice years and now they’re like oh okay it’s not bad they’re coming out awesome well um I’d like you guys to tell us how the business came about and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business well we uh Karen and I uh moved to California um in 2016 just a life change just picked up literally picked up no jobs left um no apartment nothing anyway

um but while we were out there you know CBD and and even you know cannabis is is Big out in California it has been for a while and uh some friends tried to talk us into the CBD and at first we’re like you know what CBD uh that’s you know that’s what what the heck’s that yeah at some point we started to try it I’ve had some back issues a little bit you know Karen uh wanted maybe some Focus some sleep help us sleep so we started to try some CBD and um started you know finding some benefits from it and um we ended up moving back to Indiana uh in 2018 and it it just so happened that shortly after we moved back uh hemp became legal in Indiana and we were hanging out one day trying to figure out what the heck we’re gonna do with our with our future now that we’re back in Indiana and I I don’t know which one of us but a lot of somebody’s somebody said well you know maybe we should uh look at opening a CBD company and spread the word uh CBD at that point was pretty new here in Indiana so we had found some personal benefits from it so it just kind of you know I wish we had like some great fantastic worry about how it came about but but I mean I guess that in itself is because we were getting the benefits from CBD and we thought what a great idea to to help um some of the folks in our area we you know we both Indiana natives grew up here and and we know a lot of folks in the community and um so that that’s how it started just it just uh uh you know what the heck are we gonna do next and thing wonderful off and running tell us a little bit more about the company um what’s the name and and more specifically what do you guys offer how do you help people okay uh the name’s interesting we we came up with uh probably a list of I don’t know 10 10 names um initially which we thought were fairly good and ran those um with family friends and stuff and had them pick out I think the top three maybe and narrowed it down from there so green of course because the plant is green the plant is green um balance um that is one of the biggest benefits of cannabis and hemp in general is that homeostasis so balancing yourself so green balance um initially hemp and wellness um we’ve sort of shortened it a little bit to Green balance CBD but um yeah we felt we felt good and friends and family liked it so we thought okay and we reject we looked a couple months ago I was cleaning some files in the computer we saw the original list of the the names that we came up originally and they looked so foreign

logo which has the hemp flower on the top of it is officially trademarked um so we went through that process early on and um yeah so we’re we’re happy with it we’re definitely happy with it um we are a very small business I mean small as in um uh we do we’re online business we do not have a brick and mortar and that was by choice um as Ryan mentioned in 2018 when we first started um hemp was so new around the area and we were concerned if we had a brick and mortar dedicated to just CBD sure people might be a bit apprehensive to to go there so we started our online business we do a lot of events and Expos trade shows across the country the trade shows and Expos but a lot of events around the area and wholesale to a number of local businesses in the area as well so that helps us since we don’t have the brick and mortar we do have had we have had some part-time employees for some of the events that we’ve worked with but um right now it’s it’s these two fantastic awesome so tell us a story um of where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you thought that you couldn’t and the impact that person had on you well that’s uh that’s that happened early on with us because when we first had this idea of doing the CBD business we didn’t know where the heck to start um you know we both Karen mentioned she had 23 24 years at uh steel mill as a business analyst um my background is management sales I mean so we had the the tools we just weren’t sure what to do so we we have a a couple of good friends um in the area who own a coffee shop and they they just they are killing it really I mean they’re just they do everything very well it’s it’s thought out it’s um they do everything with intent and we like that about them and we’re very like-minded and we’re friends with them so we went to them for some guidance when we first started um and they really they just they they even just the way they spoke to us um given us the confidence and a little bit of direction on you know hey you know you really want to start here you would make sure you do this if you don’t do anything else you know do this and this and we took notes and we we you know we had our own meetings with Karen and I and it just it that was one of the things that really helped springboard us in into saying you know what yes we we can do this you know um just bringing it bringing it from from the idea sitting at the coffee shop you know um to to actually making it happen that’s wonderful what’s their names they are a Chuck and Allison they own uh Fluid Coffee and they’re in Valparaiso Basin Valparaiso they now have uh five locations yeah matter of fact their uh fifth location Grand Opening is tonight actually wonderful yeah and and they’ve been in business about the same little little longer a little longer five to six years they might be going on six now but Tim we had a few other folks too you know when we first started we have some friends in the CBD business the industry that that helped us with more of the uh the industry side of stuff uh the folks from Fluid Coffee kind of helped us with the business aspect of things um but cbd’s got a lot of rules regulations things are always changing and we’ve got a few friends uh in in the industry who have helped uh tremendously with some of that type of stuff and so so um business can have its ups and downs so what’s been your biggest learning as business owners oh boy

that’s a great question um I’ll be tough to put one thing

you know just again with all the laws and the things with CBD I guess our biggest thing is just you know always being ready for change and you can’t get complacent no you know you you may have times where you feel like you are but you’re still always dealing a little something you know a business a small businesses generally are 24 7. um so you know the learning experience is just is keeping on keeping on top of things as best you can uh you know not letting things slip too much and and um we do rely on a lot of resources around the area as well for that um we participate in Small Business Association in the area through um Purdue in the area here um some of the chambers that we belong to we participate in some of their networking events and and small business um I don’t say classes but we’ve had some one-on-one sessions with some of their small business coaches right that were able to direct us in certain ways um we select Brian’s some of the laws are just um simple things when we first started what is the difference between an LLC a sole proprietorship

a corporation in general it’s not so Elementary now but when you’re first starting um those things are so overwhelming and that’s where the Chuck and Allison’s come in and some of our other friends they’re small business owners that you know this is what we did this is who we talked to and that networking has been invaluable absolutely invaluable I often um speak about the fact that the education system teaches us how to be employees it doesn’t prepare us to be business owners so then you’re drinking from the fire hose trying to figure out all those little nuances and and uh like I said you know we were the backgrounds we come from you know we think we’re pretty prepared intelligent individuals and you start looking through some of these things and and you know we always joke well it’s not a joke you don’t know what you don’t know yeah um so um you have to put to answer your question in one you know one one quick answers it’s hard yeah um we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation so tell us about one of the biggest challenges you had uh over the years um since launching and maybe a fellow business owner that came alongside you and helped you through that Well I this probably goes back to um our our friend our different set of friends who are in the CBD industry because because that’s where most of our challenges probably lie is is we got help from our our Fluid Coffee folks with some of the business type of stuff but uh the CBD part of it uh we have three friends um Ralph Russell and Jesse and they’re all in the business and they’ve been in the business for probably a combined years uh 50 plus years combined um so some of the some of the again to lump it into one specific challenge is is is difficult but they have been there and have been just kind of a constant resource for us for anything that’s come up um yeah I’ll tell you a huge challenge right off the bat was getting a payment processor Banks don’t like we didn’t know that our payment processor we had them for about a week a week and a half and we got an email that says your account has been deleted and we were at an event yeah we were at an event working so no like wow this year just we’re just cut off um and the banks don’t don’t look so friendly upon you if you just show up with a bucket of cash right oh you know one of one of the first things we did is we called our friend Ralph uh who’s he’s been in the business a long time and he said oh guys you gotta you gotta do this so we we did everything legally and you know um but uh we were able to get our payment processor which is huge I mean we need that yeah but that was big right away that was one of our first like all of a sudden challenges yeah wow we’d only been in business a couple of weeks and we everything was going pretty smooth and and we’re like okay this is this is you know this isn’t too bad right what are all those other people talking about business being hard then all of a sudden we can’t take payments can’t take payments you know so um having having some friends in the industry has been just valuable um you know both sides of it with the business aspect and this the CBD aspect because they are CBD doesn’t in hemp in cannabis they don’t tend to fall under the same general guidelines as most businesses sure so uh we’re thankful to have those guys and then we still talk to them you know not as often um you know I’m hoping because we’ve got some good experience under our belt we still talk to him when we talk to him now it’s mostly just friendly hey how you doing how’s it going and um they’ve really helped us a lot with things like that yeah wonderful thank you for sharing so if I ask you to pick three people in your business Journey um as owners that you’re most grateful for them being there to help with your business’s growth who are those three people and how they help you

well it might be the three that Ryan does I mean locally you know I one of the challenges we face too with with our business um is just um exposure and exposure meaning um there’s a lot of roadblocks with CBD as far as social media and Google and advertising and things like that so we have relied quite heavily locally with collaborators or business partners that would that we wholesale to to help get our name out there and we reciprocate um we are very strong with support local and you know those folks in the area the fluid folks you know Scott and Allison would definitely be you know right up there we have another gentleman who owns um his name is Scott Milligan he owns Island nutrition in Valparaiso so he does non-GMO smoothies and green juices and um it’s a little bit of a health store but it has that capability too and he’s been priceless with getting our name out there selling our products um and doing some things with it just to let people know it’s versatile you don’t necessarily always have to just take some CBD oil and put it under your tongue there’s different ways to take it and the versatility of it it would be number three you know our friend I mentioned earlier too our friend Jesse who’s in the industry uh he invited us up to his uh his hemp Farm um just outside of Denver so we went there a few years ago I guess and he gave us a tour of the facility and we were we had maybe about a year under our belt uh in business so we were pretty familiar with most things but some of the stuff he showed us was pretty eye-opening as far as just being able to tour a an actual hemp facility where they they grow they they process everything and and it just it was really cool and he took us kind of behind the scenes to some of that stuff and we got to put the the white lab coats on and go into the lab and you know real quick side note we when we first started this we thought all these guys making this hemp were all these hippie guys and uh I can tell you it turns out that these people are like they are like physicists chemists I mean they are they are on top of what’s going on and talking over our heads about a lot of stuff um it’s and it’s a it’s a it’s a it’s just a very interesting uh it was an eye-opening trip for us and it just it gave us it boosted our confidence we’ve been in business a little while prior to that but it then it kind of boosted our confidence and it just it just helps to you know have that resource like like Jesse so um hats off to him too fantastic so as you think about the next three to five years what are the biggest challenges you see that you’re going to face in reaching your goals and who are the types of people that you’re going to need to help you solve those challenges that um we talk about that a lot I’ll tell you um in the almost five years we have been in business so far CBD and hemp has just grown exponentially uh and we’re speaking around our Northwest Indiana area but we are surrounded by States who are um recreational Illinois Michigan I think Ohio might be medicinal but um probably one of the biggest challenges we face is how how does green balance CBD stand out in in this huge conglomerate of CBD companies that are out there and there’s some really good ones out there um they you know some of them are the Pioneers in the industry they’ve got some pretty deep pockets and they’re the big of of the industry so how does um little lowering balance here yeah how do we compete and we’re always searching and looking for resources to help us um figure those things out we I think our you know our goal and our plan is just to keep kind of doing what we’re doing it but but try to get better at it we’re constantly educating um and just trying to promote like Karen so there’s a lot of there’s a lot of companies out there making some really good CBD but there’s a lot of them that aren’t um so we’re trying to help the consumers and you know we you know

Catch-22 if you don’t if you don’t buy green balance CBD at least you know educate yourself um we’d love for you to buy green balance CBD to educate yourself there are some companies out there that are that are cutting corners and it gives companies like us and some of the bigger better companies a bad name so we’re our our goal is to just really kind of amp up the education and we’re transparent we’re very yeah we’re very transparent about everything with nothing to hide we always say if you go on our website you should be able to find everything you need if you don’t call us or email us you know we’ll be there for you and if you go to a website or you look at a bottle and it doesn’t quite have some of the the you know information I saw we saw a bottle CBD a few years back that didn’t have any contact information on it for the company um no ingredients so you know like that it’s like okay um so that that’s our goal is to just like I said amp that up you know we can never get complacent doing what we’re doing um and just to try to keep that going yeah yeah I like um Karen what you were saying about standing out so um something that uh that I work on with our clients is having a unique selling proposition so right like what is it that makes you guys unique and different from your competitors that allows you to charge the price that you need to have a sustainable business model and um and and oftentimes it’s not something that comes to mind right away so for folks listening if you have a similar challenge right you want to spend some time you know brainstorming what is what makes us different what makes us special what makes us unique versus you know others in your industry so that when you’re talking to people you can use that as your your marketing and you’re selling right of why work with us well work with us because of these reasons and and and you know it’s it differentiates the product from the overall experience by sharing some of those things that are unique and different and and for everybody listening you don’t want to compete on race you know the the biggest mistake that a lot of businesses make is that they just want to be the best price and all that really does is is you know creates this death spiral to the bottom of who can who can charge the less right or who’s willing to take the next price cut and so by having that unique selling proposition it allows you to to charge the price that you need to to keep uh you know having profits to invest back into the business growth yeah absolutely we have a perfect example of that um when we first started we had a banner that we would take to our trade shows or Expos and at stand up vertical Banner so it’s you know quite tall and it said um what is CBD it had sort of a definition of what CBD was again when we started in 2018 many people in the area just didn’t even I could have said what is XYZ up there right so we did a lot of that now in the last couple of years our banners say why choose green balance nice and then we have some bullet points as to why and then if they still want to have some conversation we’re you know at the events ourselves yes um we do them either together or you know two events on you know one day we’ll each you know take those events so we’re there to answer the questions and that helps tremendously yeah that’s going to gain value and Trust From the customers and you can share the story of the white lab coats and and yeah Alliance right

we’ve done a lot of events and we’ve had a lot of folks more than we can count um tell us that they appreciate you know the owners of the business being there and then we can talk about things and and people love stories you know and we’re not making these stories up you know they’re they’re true um but but they do people can relate to stories um um I’ve always been taught that and you know sales background and I try so hard we talked about that very beginning if I can touch on this you know not not to have a a sales pitch or a certain technique you know what gimmicks we’re gonna we have a good product we have a great product um and we believe in it so all we can do is tell you the benefits and tell you some stories and if and if you decide that it’s for you fantastic we’re there for you if you decide maybe it’s not for you that’s okay um you know we’re not gonna We’re Not Gonna push anybody yeah so uh that’s where we again going back to our transparency our you know we’re genuine we’re honest and we’re not trying to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes and um so that’s where we come back it reminds me we have a principle we call it um so our definition of sales is professionally helping people make a decision that’s right for them okay so you get away from that you know the the negative connotation of you know the the sleazy car salesman or the door to door set right it’s like no you know what if if this isn’t right for you it’s not right for you right it’s right it’s not good or bad it just is and right we’ll move on to the next person yes we’ve always nobody wants an infomercial have a great show at a farmer’s market nobody wants to you know um hey if you order now you know get the second bottle for you know they’ll sew it you know Ryan said it very well it’s um it’s very simple and and basic philosophy that has carried us through uh our business and still does to this day yeah that’s fantastic so Jim Rohn uh says that we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with so as you think about that quote what advice would you have for business owners who are trying to do it on their own who think that they they don’t need anybody else’s help you know they think that they can they can just figure it out by themselves what would you tell those folks I would tell them good luck no

that’s that’s a I I am somebody who likes to do things on my own sometimes um and I’ll I’ll dig and I’ll try to find answers but you know starting a business gosh like I touched on it earlier I mean we’re think we’re too pretty intelligent you know human beings and and but you just don’t you just if you’ve not run a business before you just you can’t know everything it’s it’s it’s nearly impossible you don’t need to recreate the wheel it’s out there that wheel is there um you know I ask for don’t you know be afraid to ask for some help like you said you surround yourself with these people and you become them the folks that we turn to at the beginning yeah we we hope we’re like them you know and I think we have probably become to some degree a little bit of each of them maybe is in us um because we’ve used them for recess so you know a new business owner or starting a new business use the resources use your friends your family if you know any any business owners if you don’t have anybody there there are local organizations yes we have a local you know a small Business Association you can go to the office you can get online uh the reuse the resources because that that’s you know that it’s going to help you on your road to success um even though learning by failure can can you know you can learn a lot from that too but we’ve learned a lot that way so as well amen but I feel like you know I feel like too if you if you do too much on your own and you and you’ve failed big time then maybe your whole business May Fail and if it’s something that you’re really a dream not that it still couldn’t happen but to to to make the you know give you the best chance I I think use use any resource you can and don’t and don’t be afraid or too proud um and I I was like that a little bit at the beginning you know we don’t you know we don’t need to ask them and then all of a sudden get into some of these things and you’re like oh wait a second okay maybe we do neither right yes no we didn’t want to fail and we wanted to give ourselves the best chance to succeed so yeah I appreciate um that insight and that that’s the whole premise of this show is is recognizing that we don’t have to do it on our own so Karen and and Ryan you’ve been blessed with some incredible people that have helped you along the journey if they were all on the show here today what would you want to say to them well of course a a hearty and heartfelt thank you um for everything because you know we we wouldn’t be I where we’re at without those folks honestly um they all have played their role um from our cannabis and CBD friends to our again small business owners around the area um you know thank you and we continue to lean on them and lean on us and we appreciate that I mean that um you know reciprocal benefits um never ends and um maybe we’ll we’ll grab a few more people and throw them in that bucket as well thank you doesn’t you know that’s great enough yeah um so if they you know we’d uh uh you know a virtual toast you know to them if they were oh get my wasn’t the Oscars just the nominations [Laughter] I’ve got 20 000 people here I’d like to think like Karen said if if those you know the the the Fluid Coffee Roaster folks and our and our three friends in the business if we didn’t have them you know I don’t know if we’d be sitting here with talking with you today you know I don’t I don’t I kind of think probably not so yeah they’re invaluable we’re super grateful that they’ve allowed us uh to continue this business and and be successful as we have been and to continue to to do what we love doing so thank you well we will make sure that they get to see this video so that they can hear you uh you thanking them uh Karen and Ryan it’s uh been a pleasure having you on the show today uh really enjoyed speaking with you so thank you so much for your time thank you Tim thank you so much Tim we appreciate it we had fun yeah thank you for the opportunity to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made is a myth show with your host coach Tim cancel be sure to help us spread this Movement by liking the show and posting about it on your social media and to join our movement go to bemadtogether.com all right folks that’s a wrap make sure to pay it forward and I’ll see you all next time take care bye bye-bye