We had the good fortune of connecting with Ian Monat and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ian, the decisions we make often shape our story in profound ways. What was one of the most difficult decisions you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make was letting someone go from my company. This person wasn’t just anyone, he was a company co-founder and partner from the onset. But entrepreneurship is not for everyone. To say it’s a grind is an understatement and not everyone in the right place in their lives where they can offer up and maintain the level of commitment required to grow and scale a national brand. This individual had the drive but not the time required to commit to the company. He was a friend for more than a decade, a groomsman at my wedding, and was a terrific partner during the early stage of the company. But as the company scaled and took outside capital, this person’s level of effort hit a ceiling and it began to cause friction amongst the rest of the team. Eventually, the best option for all parties involved was for me to let him go by means of a buyout. It’s been a few months since he parted from the company and we haven’t spoken since. I hope one day we’ll speak again.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was 13 years old and a freshman in high school when I started playing electric bass guitar. I really applied myself, first taking private lessons and playing in garage bands and then later after college, enrolling in a music vocational school. I moved to L.A. and did the bartender by day and musician by night thing. I auditioned to play bass for bands that were signed to record labels. My band opened up for popular artists like Jason Mraz. Fast forward 15 years I’m no longer seeking worldwide music fame but I’m still playing live shows with bands on the weekends occasionally. It was using CBD while playing live music that gave me the inspiration to create Rhythm CBD Seltzers. Using CBD when playing music helped me perform in a way that coffee, alcohol or marijuana never did. That was my ‘aha’ moment. That’s when I knew I wanted to share the benefits of CBD with others, and that was the starting point to creating Rhythm. This musical origin was also the inspiration for the name, Rhythm.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a huge fan of Sedona, I like hiking and the vibe up there. I’m also into wine so I’d plan a day of wine tasting.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to give a shout out to my wife. Although she’s not directly involved with the company, Rhythm CBD Seltzers would not exist without her. Rhythm formed in January 2020 and in February 2020 she told me she was pregnant with our first child. Our daughter is now 10 months old and my wife does much more than her share of the childcare, which frees up my time to run Rhythm. Of course I contribute when I can as there’s nothing I love more than to see that little baby smile, but if my wife didn’t take the lead, I can tell you with 100% certainty that Rhythm would not exist in it’s current form today.