Lisa Harun has been an entrepreneur for more than 15 years. She entered the cannibus industry in 2013 by cofounding Vapium, a Canadian vaporizer company focused on providing durable, portable high-tech devices designed for outdoor use.
“Being a Canadian, we have always taken a compassionate view on cannabis. Growing up, I saw how many people were able to use this as a healthier means of medicating that improved quality of life,” Harun said. “Furthermore, in my career I have been fortunate to see two ground breaking waves of innovation. First was when I started my career, during the dot com boom and now with the green rush — which I see as having lasting, more profound effects.”
We catch up with her to learn more about Vapium, where she acts as the chief marketing officer, and how she gets by as an entrepreneur:
Lioness: What makes product unique?
Harun: We approached the industry with two goals in mind. 1. To provide the best quality, patient centric products and 2. Compassionate pricing. We designed our flagship product with a UX and UI that considers the conditions for which people need medical cannabis – Glaucoma (macular degeneration), arthritius, cancer, etc and how technology can and will seemlessly fit into their lives.
Lioness: You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur?
Harun: To build my own dream, on my own terms.
Lioness: What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment?
Harun: I took a consulting role at a small investment firm years ago. The portfolio was diverse and I learned so much from a set of very successful people. There was a come to Jesus moment when I saw the true colors of one of the principles and then I decided that I would severely vet anyone I worked with. Anyone you partner with or employ is a direct reflection of you — people are inherently flawed but you must chose people who you are proud to work with.
Lioness: Every female professional should have __________.
Harun: A mentor. A solid network. A vision
Lioness: If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why?
Harun: There are so many amazing women in business today. The women I most admire are the ones who have come from obscuity, taken huge risks and don’t necessarily fit the norm. I would take a page from the playbooks of Sara Blakely, Rosalia Mera, JK Rowling and Oprah Winfrey. The common thread is that no matter where you come from, how much (or little) education you have, with a clear vision and determination, you can build your own Queendom.
Lioness: What is your business motto?
Harun: Patience, perserverence, breathe and take risk.
Lioness: If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be?
- Work like someone is going to steal it from you.
- Become an expert.
- It’s the process, not the product. Innovation is king or queen.
Lioness: Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you?
Harun: iphone and laptop. My fitbit that shocks me into action. I love that it reminds me to keep to my wellness goals.
Lioness: What is your goal for the next year?
Harun: To launch three new products, to scale our business to include a new vertical, to engage in policy in Canada, to write more, to speak more, to stick to my daily yoga goals as well as at least one dive trip and to visit my family in Italy for pizza.
Lioness: When someone is telling their friend about your business, what do you hope they say?
Harun: They care and they engineer awesome products.