The Value of Values

This weekend I was speaking to Stef, my girlfriend, about the depths of relationships.


Both of us are empathic meaning we can take on the energy of others, which allows us to empathize with others energies (calm to excitement) and feelings (happy to sad).


It's a pretty cool mystery to have this superpowers. I love it because I can connect with nearly anyone.


We discussed layers of cognition.

By cognition, I mean the recognition of connection. How deeply we resonate with each other is based on the level of connection. Have you ever connected with someone meeting them for the first time? It's magic. There's an instant recognition.


Stef and I acknowledge our levels of connection, and we discover how much connection is created by living our lives with each other. It’s key to why we gel so well. We both value the insight and level of understanding of each other. In a healthy relationship, this is the basis of how loved ones can help you be more of yourself, more often.


Understanding through realization leads to acknowledgement. Seeing someone and having depth of connection allows us to connect on other levels too. We can be silly (Stef’s specialty), sarcastic (my specialty), goofy, sad, frustrated, any kind of emotion.


This explanation of my relationship with Stef is great for me because it teaches me how to insert myself within professional relationships. After all, we are a reflection of our closest people.


Now that we've framed empathy, connection, understanding through realizations, acknowledgement, this is how I applied this past week.

I was working on SAAS applications for an ecommerce website for Woah Flow.


Some background for context.

Woah Flow is a medical cannabis dispensary in NJ. We received our license to dispense on Dec. 7, 2021. This is important to note because cannabis is not federally legal in USA. However, states are allowed to have their own markets. For the most part the Federal government won’t punish state licensed cannabis businesses. At least not directly — another story for another day.


The SAAS application I was engaging with is for a custom app, SMS outreach, and deploying a loyalty program. Dispensary is the word for cannabis retail.

In the culture of cannabis, in a broad stroke, we have two segments: adult-use (stoner vibes) and medical cannabis (pharmaceutical or apothecary vibes).

As I was engaging in the initial overview of the SAAS application, it was clear that I was coming from cannabis as medicine, and the SAAS expert was coming from stoner town. Nothing against it, it’s not who Woah Flow is, nor me.


Our conversation started a little slippery. The talk of conversion and making money was key in the SAAS expert’s mindset. My mindset is cannabis is medicine. The first 10 minutes of the conversation felt like a sussing out by the SAAS expert on whether I knew my “stuff.”


This expert wanted to know

1. I had adequate knowledge of cannabis

2. I wanted to leverage their technology

3. Share what was special about their business


Once the SAAS expert understood I wasn’t there to shame or look down upon his choice of cannabis use and recognized I was interested

1. Creating an effective patient journey

2. Receptive to ideas from SAAS experts

3. Receptive to the SAAS expert’s own experience


We began to gel.


It was like a design nerd (me) and a jock nerd (SAAS expert) can hang and have fun because we believe in the power of cannabis. We’re both advocates.


Note: cannabis causes a lot of reactions from people who aren’t used to being around the plant and those who are used to being around it. Also, because of the said federal legal standing on cannabis, cannabis is not allowed advertising and promotional rights, like those of alcohol or pharmaceuticals in the states.

This makes no sense, bonkers.


Part of this interaction, I believe, was the SAAS expert’s ability to, and rightfully, judge whether or not he can help me. Also, as the industry grows, we both found support for the plant in different ways.


At the end of the day, we both use cannabis and we believe it needs to be available to people, and that’s why we were having the engagement — how does my business connect with patients and how can the SAAS expert help me connect with future patients.


This interaction was finished favorable for the both of us. We’ve started a mutually beneficial relationship.


The key here is values.


Going back to how Stef and I engage each other, I had the foresight to recognize although we are two different people, I focused on what I want and what I value and so did the SAAS expert. The result was two people who under non-professional circumstances, who most likely won’t engage each other, found an appreciation for the other.


The value of values tears down barriers when they come from the heart.


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