Executive Director of ClarigenZ Mick Emandi.
He has revolutionized the personal injury space by developing a new business model that was a win-win for everyone, a high 10-figure revenue business that stills exists today.
Since then he has had many businesses in the healthcare space, including the largest medical marijuana practice in the estate of Florida, integrating cannabis treatment with insurance reimbursement.
Now he is all-in on a new project called ClarigenZ, an alternative to Adderall and was discovered by accident.
Gabriel Flores 0:00
Hello, everyone and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I am here with MC, how are we doing?
Mick Emandi 0:10
Gabriel Flores 0:12
All right. So we're gonna be talking about ClarigenZ, shortly. But first, I want to get a little background MC, go ahead and introduce yourself.
Mick Emandi 0:21
Yeah, so I've been in healthcare for over 30 years, I practically done everything in healthcare, from owning medical clinics to owning a hospital, outpatient imaging centers, like MRI centers, laboratories, cancer centers. I've even started some pharmacy benefit management companies, I've owned pharmacies. And currently I have the very large clinic, clinical practice in Florida, I cover the entire state, I have 43 clinic locations covering the whole state of Florida.
Gabriel Flores 1:02
And what is your primary focus in those locations, those clinic services,
Mick Emandi 1:07
primarily, we try to provide alternative treatment for people with mental health issues such as PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and ADHD. And also we help patients who are dealing with various kinds of pain, providing alternative treatment methods for patients who have like cancer pain, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, you know, the whole range of pain issues, and oftentimes those same patients, obviously dealing with a lot of anxiety and post traumatic stress disorders and depression. So a fair number of them also have ADHD. So yeah, so it's fairly varied. And we have pain management doctors in my practice psychiatrists, and also mental health counselors, too.
Gabriel Flores 2:03
Nice. So got it. Let's take a step back. How did we get from owning up? How did we get to owning the hospital? How did Yeah, is that for us? It was,
Mick Emandi 2:14
it was a it was essentially a community hospital that they needed my expertise in reimbursement. So I basically, they didn't have money to pay me. So I ended up taking an equity interest in the hospital. So that's kind of how it worked out that
Gabriel Flores 2:30
nice. And then that progressed into other ventures?
Mick Emandi 2:35
Yeah, yeah. Basically, you know, you basically, you've never, you've done a lot of shiny objects when you're in anything, right? So healthcare is no different. And I started some accountable care organizations. My father started one of the largest insurance companies actually in the United States. He's a cancer specialist. My father, my father and brother are both chemo radiation oncologists. And my father started a company called WellCare HMO. It's one of the largest insurance companies in the United States.
Gabriel Flores 3:10
Nice. And so you kind of have that entrepreneurial gene already kind of embedded in Yeah,
Mick Emandi 3:15
yeah, for the most part. Yeah. It's always it's fun going through the process. It's, once you get to wherever you want to go, you got to move on and have a new, new objective. Yep.
Gabriel Flores 3:30
So let's talk about the new business Claritin Gen Z. Tell me what it is, and what does it do.
Mick Emandi 3:36
So let's clarify Gen Z, I've kind of made it up clarity for Generation Z in older. So Clara, Gen Z is the actual name of the of the brand. We actually, we have, you know, 1000s of patients that suffer from anxiety, and PTSD and depression and ADHD 10s of 1000s of patients actually. And we really, were looking for a good alternative to the SSRIs and benzos that these patients have been on for years and getting them off of all the side effects that they're suffering from because of those drugs. And we were looking for a compound that could fit that need that was not necessarily readily available, because nothing that's all natural, that's readily available, does, what it's what we wanted to do, like medications do so we've found a unique compound that was reportedly able to have some very unique benefits for people with anxiety. And we were able to send I mean, basically procure some of it and have it extracted in pure procure some of some of it. And we were able to test it in our patients, patient volunteers and we found that it had a dramatic effect on patients with anxiety, it really helped them greatly as we thought it would. And but at higher doses, it really, for lack of better comparison at work just like Adderall, it worked just like Adderall to give patients within 30 to 45 minutes, a very high degree of focus, clarity, motivation, and energy. And so we actually were able to because we have a large practice, I was able to test it out in about almost 2500 of our patients. And we found that almost 90% of our patients were reported positive results, which is kind of amazing in itself. And then he kind of studied, but obviously, it was with it with our own patients. But we found that at higher doses, this compound work just like Adderall. And did, you know, did some dramatic things for our patients, even with the depression, patients with PTSD, obviously, patients with ADHD, were able to really focus on one task be really energetic. And as a result, we came up with the idea that we need to kind of make this available to the rest of the world. And that's the reason for clergy NZ.
Gabriel Flores 6:19
Now, why did you kind of permanently focus you've mentioned, you know, individuals with like PTSD pretty frequently, why was it important to kind of focus on that kind of demographic?
Mick Emandi 6:29
Well, I mean, it's a fairly large subset of patients with mental health issues in the United States, you know, we primarily focus on them as it relates to anxiety. You know, anxiety was the primary motivator for us our primary target condition that we were trying to find a alternative alternative solution for. And obviously, that's fairly anxiety at different levels, is fairly frequent across all the disease states are the conditions that I just mentioned, ADHD, PTSD, and depression.
Gabriel Flores 7:12
Yeah. And then now, how would you say, you know, you're kind of coming from operations around, right? Owning, owning brick and mortar to now producing, you know, all natural supplement what's been difficult about pivoting into this new market.
Mick Emandi 7:32
So in my 12 hour days, I still spend about 10, out of 10 of my hours go on the medical practice. So that's hasn't changed much. About a year ago, I actually embarked on a journey to learn everything there is to learn about e commerce, because obviously, having a medical practice is totally different from selling things to the public, you know, or making the public aware of a product. So I actually researched it quite heavily. And, and I found an organization that had like all the top people in the world that were focused on E commerce, it was called power house. And it actually was a you know, it's about 3000 a month to just become a member of it. And they share information, they provide education, they provide support, the, you know, work as a camaraderie with everybody else to share information. And so I joined this organization, and for about six or seven months, I basically dove into everything e comm and learned everything about it, and got the help from several people. And it was a great journey.
Gabriel Flores 8:59
Now, how did you fund this venture? Did you go through the venture capital route? Or did you kind of go angel investment and just continuing through build from what you have established?
Mick Emandi 9:09
Yeah, it's just me and my family, that's those, that's the, that's the total of all the investors really, we've just basically re reinvested our profits into this venture. And we've put in a little over a million so far into it. So in the last six, seven months and stuff, so it's, it's been fun, it's been fun learning about it and making it grow, see something grow.
Gabriel Flores 9:39
Now, what would you say? Have you noticed any similarities from owning brick and mortar, you know, operational clinics to now producing Are there any similarities and what are some of the differences?
Mick Emandi 9:55
Um, there's nothing really similar about it because you know, in typical practice, you're having a one on one relationship with patients as they come into your facilities. And, obviously, an E commerce, you don't really meet any of your customers, except for when they post reviews. And you're really trying to target an audience across the entire country that can benefit from your product, and that it read, the messaging resonates with them. So, you know, it's it was in learning everything that I did about e commerce, and with what I do in the, in the brick and mortar space, I, one thing that was common, I guess, the most common thread between the two is that you really need to create a sound foundation or a sound workflow, and have that workflow be able to scale. And that's what I did initially was, you know, putting together like, a team of the best people in each particular area, whether it be customer service, customer service, organization, or a IT company, or a media agency, or graphic design, whatever the case, may be I, you know, had to really put all the pieces together. And obviously, there's substantial investment in the beginning, because you don't have much revenue coming in. And over time, you know, that pays off when you scale, of course, because you want to be able to scale and know that you're not have you don't have headaches in the background.
Gabriel Flores 11:39
Yeah, what would you say has been difficult about starting this new venture, the most difficult piece
Mick Emandi 11:51
I guess, you know, the product that we have, the raw ingredient is super expensive. And so, you know, people are used to paying, you know, you know, 2030 $40, for supplements. And when you have something that you're trying to call a supplement when it written when, in fact, it kind of replaces medication. But you could only compete in the supplement space, you're kind of at a little bit of a challenge, you know, the raw ingredient biosimilar that makes up the Claire Gen Z costs us about $53,000 a pound. Now compare that with any other supplement that you would find that you know, GNC or vitamin store, you're talking about maybe 50 to maybe $500 a kilo, you know, so it's, you know, exponentially more expensive to make the raw ingredient here. But we want to be able to price it so that it's affordable, affordable for most people. And that's been, that's been really the biggest challenge.
Gabriel Flores 13:05
What would you say has been relatively easy about the transition? Um, has there been anything easy?
Mick Emandi 13:15
It's rewarding. I mean, when you're able to get the feedback from people about how it's changed their life, they've never had anything else that worked. That, you know, they've been on the search for something to be able to take this as good as their medication, but with without the side effects. And without the crash without the jitters, all these things that they have side effects for insomnia, as it relates to the most common medication is Adderall that a lot of patients are seek. There's several millions of people across the country, especially college students, and transitions into their adulthood, that they use the Adderall off label, or they get it from their friends or family and whatnot. And they use it for as a study aid, to stay up all day to crush their work, projects or whatever they need to do at work. So we do have a lot of people abusing Adderall across the country and to be able to have love these people will be able to have an alternative that provides them a lot of the same benefits that they're looking for, you know, focus, clarity, motivation, and the ability to have some burst of energy to be able to last four or five hours and not have to rely on the crash of say even caffeine, or energy drinks and the sugar associated with some of those things, is really rewarding.
Gabriel Flores 14:50
You know, one of the things you talked about being rewarded in that kind of work and you also talked about working with your family. How rewarding has working with your family been You know,
Mick Emandi 15:01
it's always great to be able to not only socialize with the family, but also to interact in, you know, during the weekday work days with your family. And, you know, it brings you closer together, when you work with your family, I mean, you only have x number of hours in the day, right? You can spend it with strangers, you can spend it with your family, too, you know, so, if you can marry the two, and it doesn't cause any kind of strains that some families deal with, they say sometimes they say, never lend money to your family, and never would they could work with your family. But, you know, in our culture, maybe it's a little bit different than some other cultures. But you know, we've always worked together, you know, since I, you know, since I was in high school.
Gabriel Flores 15:49
Now, what, what some one of those things that kind of, what are you constantly thinking about, as you're scaling your business now that you need to get done, or maybe just one of those concerning things that kind of keeps you up at night?
Mick Emandi 16:04
How we can, how can we better target the people that we need to target within the confines of the restrictions of social media? Because, you know, there's a lot of restrictions on social media to be able to advertise to people directly, that need it most that have certain medical conditions. And, you know, social media, also, Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, especially those have very tight restrictions on what you can say and how you can say it. So navigating through that there's always a challenge never knowing when, you know, they're gonna say up well, you know, this is this doesn't meet the guidelines, we're taking it down, you know. So that was a good part of the first three, four months. Because even though you're part of an econ group with the best of the best, they a lot of them have never dealt with your particular product. I mean, none of them, I've dealt with your particular product. So we kind of had to invent some new pathways that never existed before. And even the the best of the best that were selling widgets, if you will, and making millions selling widgets, they they're scratching their heads on why something is happening with our product, because they've never encountered those kinds of limitations with social media.
Gabriel Flores 17:31
Yeah, in fact, you know, you mentioned, you know, target marketing, right, and get out to the right people. One, who is the right people for your brand, and then to how do you market to them?
Mick Emandi 17:43
So we started off really trying to reach out to younger people, college students, if you will, because we thought that, you know, they're the ones abusing the Adderall the most. But we realized very quickly, they didn't have the money to buy the medication. I mean, the supplements that we have, right, the Claritin, z, because the price point, you know, is right now at around $3 A capsule, and you know, when you think of, say, taking a vitamin, you know, you take a vitamin and you say, well, it's cost me say 20 cents, or 30 cents to take a vitamin pill, but you really don't feel anything from it, you know, how often does somebody take a vitamin, say 30 minutes later? Oh, my God, I feel amazing right now, you know, so that just doesn't happen. So, you know, putting it in the class of, okay, if I take my Adderall and my take, and I get a response, I mean, I feel a certain way in 30 minutes. And it costs me say, five or $10 to buy this pill from somebody else, versus a prescription would $3 be more cost effective for me, you know, so that's part of the equation there with college students. So college students didn't really have the money to buy quantity, you know, buying a few pills in here and there doesn't support a business, you know. So then we moved over to people that were, you know, professionals. And so the professionals, you know, buy things when they need it. And they use it very well. They don't use it on habitual level. But people such as working moms, and people with medical conditions, such as ADHD would need something on a daily basis and would benefit and feel value in being able to get, say, a 30 day supply of something, right. So we, we started targeting that particular subset, in the last, say 60 days and, and we've started using influencers in those areas. People who first and foremost, try the product and love the product, and then work with them on their journey of how it's changing their life on social media.
Gabriel Flores 20:00
Nice. And so how do we, you mentioned kind of like some of the restrictions you have on social media, what are the some of those restrictions?
Mick Emandi 20:09
Well, you know, essentially supplements are not allowed to be sold on advertised on social media, technically. And so for that reason, you have to dance around some of the ways that you position, the advertising and the creative in order to get around their restrictions and their algorithms.
Gabriel Flores 20:31
Yeah, that's very true. That's very true. Now, you've been doing this for several years, what advice would you give an entrepreneur?
Mick Emandi 20:40
Well, you know, I've been doing healthcare for for several decades. The E commerce space is something new, that I just dove into because of the Clara Gen Z. Endeavor. As far as as far as the medical practice, I mean, you got to do what you love. I mean, and the money will come obviously, after right, you've heard that millions of times, you really have to do what you're passionate about. And if if you're able to help people, and you know, you with your passion, and able to make money with it, then you're able to scale it, then you have a winning formula.
Gabriel Flores 21:24
Yes, very true. Now, what if the folks at home are interested to learn more about you are more interested in lower about your supplement? Where can they find you online? Where can you find this information on the website?
Mick Emandi 21:37
Yeah, absolutely. So we have a very unique go to market strategy, we actually allow everybody to buy get a free sample. And that way, you can try it first. And if you like it, you can buy more, if you don't, if it doesn't work for you the way you expect it to work, then you don't have to buy anymore. So we keep it really simple. This way everybody can try a free sample, the free sample is just two capsules, that's all it takes, we have a one hour guarantee, if you if it doesn't work within one hour, then you can even email us back and we'll leave in return refund $4.99 shipping and handling that we asked you to pay for the free sample. And so the the currency free sample website is try smart pill.com Try sh M AR t p i ll.com.
Gabriel Flores 22:30
Perfect. And I'll get this information also on the website as well. Now, what can individuals expect to kind of fill what sensations might they feel or any possible side effects that might they feel once they do take this pill?
Mick Emandi 22:44
What's great is, so far we haven't had any reported side effects among 10s of 1000s of patients, I mean, sorry, customers so far. And, and as far as the the feeling about 30 to 45 minutes, you start feeling usually we ask paid customers to take it before they're about to engage in any kind of tasks, or if they have a, you know, long to do list, take it and then start thinking they can start they'll start feeling motivated. What happens is the this particular compound, it passes through the blood brain barrier, which very few supplements can do. And it goes directly into your prefrontal cortex of your brain. And it triggers a an immediate cascade of and you've heard of how much dopamine is is your work is your reward hormone, right? And it's really your motivator. So it triggers a cascade of dopamine, norepinephrine, which gives you energy it's converted into adrenaline, epinephrine, and acetylcholine and serotonin. So those five intelligence hormones are what it actually secretes, and you get an immediate impulse to start getting jumping on things, getting things done. You don't know why you're just getting things done. I've had you know, people just say, I cleaned out my entire house, I cleaned up my car, you know, got all my to do list done, and I still had plenty of energy to make dinner, you know. So it's, it really just creeps up on you, and it doesn't give you a high, like Adderall and other like an energy drink does. It basically kicks in and makes you get makes you do what you need to do.
Gabriel Flores 24:36
And as you mentioned, this is a supplement. So it's all natural, correct? Yes.
Mick Emandi 24:40
So I didn't even mention, I should have mentioned first and foremost that the compound is actually derived from a special strain of orange fruit, blood orange from Southeast Asia. So it's actually extracted from the outer skin of this orange. And so that natural it is So it's a terpene that's extracted from the outer skin of a blood red orange from Southeast Asia.
Gabriel Flores 25:09
Interesting, interesting. So again folks if you're interested, Mick, thank you first and foremost thank you so much, Clara Jin z i will have information on the newsletter again if you're interested please subscribe to the newsletter at the shades of e.com You can also follow me on all the social sites at the shades of E mc where can they find you if they're interested in connecting with you maybe learning more about you?
Mick Emandi 25:33
I'm on LinkedIn make making Mandy M IC K m&e, e m a n di
Gabriel Flores 25:40
perfect Mick thank you again so much for taking the time to be on the show. Very interested my might actually get some myself to test it out because I feel like everybody, especially this day and age one myself with with having a kid energy seems to energy seems to Slack sometimes.
Mick Emandi 26:00
All the time. Yeah, it is. I've had I have two girls of my own. They're teenagers now but I know exactly what you mean.
Gabriel Flores 26:09
Well, Mick, thank you again so much. And again for those listening. Please follow me at the shades of E or visit the website to subscribe to the newsletter at the shades of e.com Thank you and have a great night.