You Won’t Get Ahead Professionally If You Start Burning Bridges, According to Mary Pryor

Below, she shares her morning routine, her thoughts on the future of the cannabis industry, and the career advice she’s planning to pass on as a mentor to Kennedy Orr, a 2022 Glamour College Woman of the Year, who also hopes to make the cannabis space more inclusive.

Glamour: What is your typical morning routine?

Mary Pryor: Meditation, prayer. Stretching. A workout. Shower. Podcasts. I only listen to podcasts for news. I don’t watch TV for news, because it’s really triggering.

Does your current job align with your college major?

Not at all. My college major was in communications. I initially went to school to be an engineer, but I took organic chemistry, which was so hard, and I was like, I can’t pass this class. It made me go wild, and I thought that that meant I couldn’t be an engineer.

What was the moment you realized, “Okay, I might actually be successful….”

Twenty twenty turned me into a little bit of a workaholic. So I’m working myself back. But I’ve always wanted to be successful, which, to me, means financially free and respected, but that you’re not an asshole. I actually don’t know if that exists. But I feel like that would be great. 

Is there a piece of career advice you wish you’d learned in college?

I wish I had learned more about setting up my financial future in college so that I would have less to worry about now. I wish those kinds of lessons were mandatory. College students really don’t learn the things that they all need to exist as adults after the collegiate system. 

What’s the most valuable career lesson you’ve learned through experience?

The world is smaller than you think. You will see people again, no matter how far you’re trying to get away from them. Relationships are very important. 

What’s the best life advice you’ve been given, not related to your career?

Your health: If you don’t make your first choice, you’re going to regret it as you get older.

What personal quality is nonnegotiable for success in your field?

The ability to adapt. No company remains the same three years, five years, 10 years later. You have to be willing to adapt and shift. You have to know how to be sustainable in business in the midst of good years and bad years.

How do you navigate the ups and downs? 

You have to fight for balance, and if those boundaries are tested in unhealthy ways, then you have every right to move on to the next thing. You have to be able to make time to work out or meditate, and have access to the kind of food that makes you happy and sustains you.

If someone is just starting out in your field, how can she position herself for success?

Network enough, but don’t network all the time. There are only so many conferences you need to go to in order to figure out what you need to do in your life. If all you’re doing is going to conferences instead of putting to work what you’ve learned, then I don’t know if that’s successful. 

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