Kuda Biza is the Co-Founder of Nunbelievable & author of the SPEAR Method. Kuda went from washing windows as a young kid in economically deteriorating Zimbabwe to building 6 businesses & a non profit to solve two of the world’s biggest problems: education and hunger. With only $150 in start-up capital, he launched a profitable clothing line from a college dorm room, resulting in the education of more than 100 children in Africa. He then launched a global buy-one-give-one social enterprise which has donated over 10,000 school supply kits to underprivileged students in Africa. His most recent venture, Nunbelievable, is a mission-based baked goods company that donates a meal for every cookie sold. Within just one year they have donated more than 100,000 meals and even had one person committed to buying close to six figures’ worth of these socially conscious cookies.
Pretty extraordinary for someone who once lived through a drought that left millions without food and killed several of his friends and neighbors. Yet this gritty and determined entrepreneur wanted to change that. So staying up all night in internet cafes for scholarships and coming to the U.S. with only $40 in his pocket, he sharpened his spear studying business in college, launching startups, and spending over a decade in various roles at a Fortune 500 company where he helped take a new meal delivery business venture from ZERO to $20M in 3 years and managed a $75M ecommerce business across major outlets like Amazon, Retail.com and direct-to-consumer sites.
Additionally, he is a renowned public speaker delivering keynote addresses at more than 40 institutions in 4 countries including Harvard, the United Nations, and TEDx, inspiring audiences to take action, achieve dreams and impact social change through purposeful entrepreneurship.
I think it starts with you, the individual, because at the end of the day, you can really control your actions. So if you evolve and you become the best version of yourself, you become a shining example to other people which might lead them to evolve as well. But more importantly, you're able to contribute the most that you can to the world. If everybody does that. the world changes. It evolves.
This article is sourced from the Evolve Podcast, a top social entrepreneur startup podcast. Listen or subscribe below.
Scroll below for important resource links & transcripts mentioned in this episode.
Want to hear another founder using a for profit for good? — Listen to my conversation with Madison Campbell, a young sexual assault advocate and technological innovator hoping to revolutionize sexual assault care on a holistic scale.
Kuda Biza Interview
Kuda Biza: [00:00:00] When I was growing up in Zimbabwe, I used to walk two miles to school. There was this house. Oh no, it's passed by when I'd be going to the school. And I would see a group of kids playing and their pajamas. one day I went over, and just hung out with them. Sarah was the eldest and she was my age. She was also 10. I asked her a question and the question I asked her was, what do you want to be when you grow up? And she looked at me and she was like, Kuda. My parents are dead. I don't go to school. I'm just waiting to die.
hey everyone. Welcome to evolve.
Brandon Stover: [00:00:55] Today's guests went from washing windows as a young kid in economically deteriorating, Zimbabwe to building six businesses and a nonprofit to solve two of the world's biggest problems, education and hunger, but the only 150 and startup capital, he launched a profitable clothing line from a college dorm room resulting in the education of more than a hundred children in Africa. He then launched a global buy one give one social enterprise, which has donated over 10,000 school supply kits to underprivileged students in Africa. His most recent venture numb believable as a mission-based baked goods company that donates a meal for every cookie sold within just one year. They have donated more than a hundred thousand meals and even had one person committed to buying close to six figures with these socially conscious cookies.
Pretty extraordinary for someone who wants to live through a drought, the left millions without food and killed several of his friends and neighbors yet this gritty and determined entrepreneur wanted to change that to staying up all night and internet cafes, looking for scholarships and coming to the U S with only $40 in his pocket, he sharpened his spear studying business in college, launching startups and spending over a decade in various roles at a fortune 500 company where he helped take a new meal delivery business venture from zero to 20 million in just three years and manage the 75 million e-commerce business across the major outlets like Amazon retail.com and directed consumer sites.
Additionally, he is a renowned public speaker. Delivering keynote addresses to more than 40 institutions in four countries, including Harvard, the United nations and TEDx inspiring audiences to take action, achieve dreams and impact social change through purposeful entrepreneurship. I'm honored to welcome the co-founder of an unbelievable author of the spear method and an entrepreneur who believes in being a force for good Kuda Bisa
Kuda Biza: [00:02:44] Hey, that is probably the best introduction. I've had. So, thank you so much, Brandon for the wonderful introduction. I'm so happy to be here and I hope I can add tremendous value, not just to you, but your audience as well.
The Girl From Zimbabwe That Unlocked His Purpose
Brandon Stover: [00:03:00] Absolutely. where I'd like to start is if you could go back and tell me who Sarah was, you know, the girl that you met at 10 and why she was so impactful for your life.
Kuda Biza: [00:03:09] When I was growing up in Zimbabwe, I used to walk two miles to school. There was this house. Oh no, it's passed by when I'd be going to the school. And I would see a group of kids playing and their pajamas. So in my mind, I always just the window, how come they don't go to school? In fact, I used to envy them because in the winter, right.
You're shivering, you know, you're going to school, it's cold. And you see these kids that are having fun. They're not getting ready. So I thought they were homeschooled. one day I decided to just stop by and just learn more about them because, you know, obviously I didn't know who they were. I would just see them playing.
So I went over, and just hung out with them. And then Sarah was the eldest and she was my age. She was also 10. I asked her a question and the question I asked her was, what do you want to be when you grow up? And she looked at me and she was like, Kuda. My parents are dead. I don't go to school. I'm just waiting to die.
So it was in that moment that I realized that they actually don't go to school. they're not homeschooled. They're not receiving any education. So you have this ten-year-old who has lost the ability to dream, mainly because she doesn't have an education. So for me, it's kind of like hit me hard, right?
It's like, you're not expecting to hear an answer like that. Right. You're expecting someone to tell you, Hey, I want to be a doctor. I want to be a pilot. I don't want to be a lawyer. I want to be an accountant, but she tells me she is just waiting to die. So I remember walking home and I was pissed off like all of a sudden, like I was like pissed off.
And I was pissed off because number one, how come the government is not doing anything about right. In developing countries like Zimbabwe public school is not free. I'm like in the U S or other, you know, other countries. So if you, if you cannot afford it, you're not getting an education. Number two. Why was society not doing anything? The local neighborhoods, other, the parents, seeing that these kids aren't going to school, why couldn't they maybe chip in to do something. So I then develop this huge desire to actually want to leave Zimbabwe, to make something of myself so that I could then make a difference and educate, people like Sarah.
So that was the day. I believe I found my purpose when I was 10, because of that, I need to be like a successful entrepreneur. I need to be a successful entrepreneur and then use those, profits to make a difference. And I didn't know anything about social entrepreneurship. I didn't know anything about that.
I just had this huge urge of like making a difference, because I also realized in that moment that the only thing that made Sarah and myself different was really just the fact that I was born in a different family. I could have been in her shoes if I was born in their family, in their family. So when you really think about it, we're all the same and the poor, but sometimes they're given a hand that's a little bit better than the other, in some unfortunate cases, you're, you're given a bad hand. So, so that's the story about Sarah, but it was really that spark that lit the fire within me to, to make a difference.
Brandon Stover: [00:06:21] When you got to the U S and you went to college, you actually started your first social enterprise inside a college dorm room, AFR clothing. Can you talk to me a little bit about what sparked you to want to start that, because as you said, you didn't know anything about entrepreneurship or social entrepreneurship?
Kuda Biza: [00:06:36] I had this huge desire to come to America when I finished high school. I became obsessed with it because I was like, I I'm going to have to figure it out because I came from a low middle class family in Zimbabwe.
There was no way that my parents could have afforded to pay for an American education. Right. So it was either I get a scholarship or that's it, my kids, the American dream away. when I finally was able to get to America, which is a miracle in itself, I had experienced a period of time where I knew what it felt like not to have access to education.
So what do I mean by that? So when I graduated high school, I didn't have access to internet or whatever. So I started working at an internet cafe so that I could study for my SATs and apply. But what was interesting is that during that same period, when I'd sent all my applications to all these U S schools, I got an offer to a school in Zimbabwe to go study engineering.
So this was kind of like the day I became a man, because I had this awful way. I could just go and become an engineer. Forget about my American dream. And everybody, my parents included were looking at me and saying like, dude, go for it. Like people pray for this opportunity and you have it. But then I knew that this wasn't my calling, this wasn't my dream.
It's other people's dreams. Right. They want me to go study engineering. They want me to take this opportunity, but that's not what I want. So I turned it down people thought I was crazy people that I was on drugs. but it took me two years from that moment to when I finally actually was able to come to America.
during that two year period, my high school classmates. The one in college, right? They were going to school. They were progressing with their life. They were calling me telling me, Hey dude, we told you, so you should have joined us. Look now we just finished our freshman year. Now we just finished your sophomore year and you're still stuck in the same place, So I felt what it was like not to have access to an education during that two year period. But eventually miracles happened and I came to America and when I was on campus in sunny, Florida, I then started remembering the drive that I had, to want to come to America, suddenly thinking about Sarah and how I could make a difference.
it wasn't until when I, when I was a senior. When I had mustered the courage overcome all the self doubt. You be telling yourself like, Hey, who are you to do this? You know, buddy, blah, blah, blah. And to overcome all of that, you know, because you start thinking like, Oh, I'm a poor college student. I, you know, at the time I was working at a Starbucks as a barista, so I wasn't really making much.
I had to overcome that and with $150, I decided to start a t-shirt company with me and my business partner, Kingston. and we'd launched AFR coding, but the premise was we would donate 20% to a scholarship fund, educate kids in Africa. we launched the business and before, you know, it in a very short period of time was sending hundreds of kids to school in Africa, which, which was amazing.
We, we had one student who actually graduated, college this past may. And when we got the picture of it, we're just like, wow. Look at the impact of made. We've broken the cycle of generation within a family. We've set her up, on, on a new path and she studied biology and now she's going to use that, education to help save lives in Zimbabwe.
So now when you think about, the gift that keeps on giving. Education is that gift that keeps on giving because now, you know, she can do so much more with the little that we gave her, that, that transformed her life.
From Corporate America To A Cookie Company With Tony Robbins
Brandon Stover: [00:10:23] That's amazing. I want to talk about. the next kind of drive that you had. The other problem that you've been tackling, which is hunger. And after college, you were very successfully working in fortune 500 companies, you know, tons of resources. You built very successful brands. Why leave all that behind in order to join your most recent social enterprise, nunbelievable.
Kuda Biza: [00:10:46] I came to America with $40 in my pocket, that's all like my parents would give me, to have achieved what I achieved when I was in corporate America. It was as if you've achieved the American dream. Right. my last role, I was running about an $80 million e-commerce division, an entire division.
You know, six figure salary, all of that. I was on a really good path in terms of, success within the corporate world, but a couple of things happened along the way. the first thing was that in 2015, my, my sister, one of my sisters suddenly passed away. she was just walking outside, taking a walk with a 16 month year old daughter and a dog just came over and bitter.
And it turned out that the dog had rabies and the owner of the dog bribed a vet, a veterinarian to lie that the dog was okay. So when the vet and the owner of the dog came to my sister's house and they were like, Hey, the dog is okay, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Because he didn't want to be charged with a criminal offense.
My sister took it easy. She just kind of like treated the wound. She didn't know what to, it was reburied. and before you know it, if you don't treat rabies in 24 hours, that's it. And so my sister suddenly passed away.
So now I'm in Zimbabwe. and I'm just thinking about my sister to say, was she happy? was she fulfilled? You know, did she achieve all the things that she wanted to achieve? And then it's kind of like flips to me to say like, okay, Am I fulfilled my happy am I doing things that, I'm going to be proud of when I'm sitting on a rocking chair, you know, in the Twilight years of my life.
And it dawned to me that although was super successful in corporate America, there was something that I was missing, which would give me fulfillment and it was the impact. Right? So remember I started that social mission when I was in college, but then I go into a corporate environment. Where there's no social mission.
So to say, yes, we would go like do this here and there. But there wasn't like that one for one direct transaction, transactional relations with the impact. So I started thinking about how could I, you know, really marry up success and fulfillment. So if you actually, I see the title of my book, it's called the spear method. Five simple steps. To balance success and fulfillment because in life you kind of have to balance the two, right? Because you want to be successful, but you also want to be fulfilled. If you just chase success, you can be a miserable billionaire, but we know what does that help? Right? You want to be happy and, wealthy, you know, and while does not just measured in monetary terms, right?
Health, your relationships and things like that. So you want all of those areas of life to be fulfilled. So I wonder what this journey to come to, like really figure this out. And ironically, when I was on this quest of figuring out success and fulfillment, I get a call and, they go like, Hey Kuda, there's a meeting in, the city.
You should be there. this is an interesting opportunity. So at first I was like, ah, you know, I don't really want to go. I'm busy right now, the things that I'm working on, but I'm always for staying open to possibilities. So those, like what's there to lose. I go there and spend an hour. I meet cool people.
And if this opportunity works for me, great. If not, I now have new connections that may be down the road will turn into something. So I go to the meeting and they start telling me a story and they go like, Hey, there was a guy who was flying to San Francisco. He reads about a group of nuns that were being evicted in San Francisco.
He goes to the mission to find out why they're being evicted. And, he decides to help them. So he pays for the Iran. He calls a couple of his friends. They come up with some money and they figure out the housing situation for the nuns. And then they learned that the nuns were baking cookies and selling these cookies at farmer's markets and using the money to support a soup kitchen. So that, that's why they're being kicked out because all the money that they were making, they were just feeding the hungry and homeless. So the guy who came, comes up with an idea like, Hey, why don't we create a mission-based cookie company taking inspiration from the nuns? And he put in capital for the business.
He looked for other business partners to capitalize the business. And, after that, They had the vision, they had the money and they needed an entrepreneur. So now they, that's why I was sitting there because they're not Kuda. You started a meal delivery business while you were in the fortune 500 company, that became super successful and that a successful exit.
Yes. you also started the mission-based company when you were in college. So, you know, food, you know, e-commerce and, you know, social impact, why don't you join us and become a co-founder and take this idea that's on a napkin and make it reality. And for me, it was kind of like a no brainer because I was like, wow, I can apply the things that I've learned in corporate America for the last 11 years.
Plus. I also get fulfillment because I get to impact people. Cause I got to experience harder while living in Zimbabwe. So for me it was a no brainer. And then I go like, okay, so who's this gentleman who, found out about the nuns and they go like, it's Tony Robbins. So I'm sitting down. I'm like, I'm the kid from Zimbabwe who came to America with $40 in his pocket.
And now I'm about to be business partners with Tony Robbins. And then the other gentlemen, I'm like, so who are the other people involved? And they go like, Michael Lowe, Michael Loeb is one of the guys who started priceline.com. So, I'm just like sitting at the table. I'm like, this is it. Like, I, you know, this is the perfect opportunity.
That'd be waiting for it. So I leave and I go, I quit. And we started unbelievable. So, so that's how I got involved.
How To Find Your Purpose
Brandon Stover: [00:16:57] One of the things I want to touch in from your stories, you going out and seeking your purpose, trying to find out what that is for you. And that's part of your spear method. That's the S seeking your purpose. I think in today's day and age, there's a lot of people feeling like they're missing a purpose, especially around their work, around the impact that they want to have. How do you go through the process of seeking your purpose?
Kuda Biza: [00:17:21] What I'll tell you is that, we live in a world where people can easily get distracted and you can be consumed and live other people's lives. The thing about us as individuals, we are all born with a unique gift. You hear people saying, Oh, this person is one in a million. No, It's one in 7.4 billion, right? Because everybody's different. There's no other person like you, Brandon in the whole world, there's certain things that are unique that you give to the world, a unique calling, a unique purpose that you, and only you can deliver to the world. And it is your responsibility. Number one, find out what it is. And then once you find out what it is, come up with a plan on how to do it. And then act on that plan. So that's why I like to say that the three most important days in life are the day you're born. The day you find out why, and each day you act on your why. So your question was, how does one find out what their purpose and their calling is?
For some people it's easy, right. Because, you know, you might kind of like, see if I go, I'm super talented at basketball. So it's kind of like my path to really pursue this, but it is just not it. Right. Remember success and fulfillment. So you take a guy like LeBron, James he's successful at his craft, but he gets fulfilled with the impact.
He's, you know, here's the, I promise school and all these other things that he's doing. So he's leveraging his success. through his purpose to, to give him fulfillment. For people, you know, let's say like you or me, there's certain ways that you can do it. I went on that curiosity quest, right? They say curiosity.
kills the cat, but in my case, it's awakened the lion. Right. I became curious about a certain thing that I saw. I pursued it and then an experience led me to my purpose. Right. I think you should always be curious and you should always ask questions because the things that make you curious usually are the things that lead you to your purpose.
There's a process I talk about in the book that I went through with a guy called, rich Keller. he asked me to send an email to five people that know me really well. I sent it to about seven. I over-delivered on that metric. But you ask them one question. And the question you ask is what makes me unique.
So you want to send it to people who know you really well, because then they'll, they'll send you a reply, which really articulate unique gifts and unique qualities that you have. So I did that exercise and all seven people replied with common threads. So I was able to actually see like, yes, you know, this is my purpose, right. Is to make a difference. So if you are a young entrepreneur and you're trying to figure out what your calling and your purposes, that's a really good starting point. Start to the people that know you really well. That can be honest with you, and really can share a perspective of what they see the gold they see in you.
and then take that and run with it sometimes, you know, it might take. You know, sometimes we need to really figure it out, but at least they'll set you in a direction where you can find it. So, so that would be the way I would do it. If I wanted to find out what my purpose is,
Brandon Stover: [00:20:49] Well, with an unbelievable, you guys have a goal to give 1 million meals to the hungry in the next two years and in your spear method, the P stands for plan. So what is your guys's plan in order to accomplish that goal?
Kuda Biza: [00:21:02] the plan is to sell a million cookies. Because it's one for one, we sell a million cookies, we feed a million people, how we're going to do it. number one, obviously continue to scale the business online. We launched as an online business on unbelievable.com. We've gained a lot of success. We became a six figure monthly run rate business in less than six months.
So what thankful for the support that customers have given us? So that has really given us the fuel that we need to know that for us to, to get to our goal. Number two is to expand into other categories. So right now we have four cookies, a chocolate chip peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, as well as a double chocolate. That's gluten free.
in January and 2021. We're going to launch a line of keto cookies. So, what that does is that it opens up a whole new demographic of customers that we can't really engage with right now, because you know, they're looking for, you know, sugar free, you know, keto friendly cookies. So that's our plan to expand our, you know, consumer, target, is by adding products in, in, in other categories.
The third one is by expanding our channels. So right now, like I said, we're sitting on our website, we're selling on Amazon with digitally native, right? So the idea is we go to retail, you know, so the idea would be for you Brandon, to walk into your favorite retailer. I don't know if it's a whole foods or whomever it is.
And as you're walking in the cookie aisle, you find an unbelievable cookies. So, so that is really, the idea is to scale the business by adding new products. And by adding new channels, if we're able to do that successfully, you know, I think the 1 million, goal by 2022, we can surpass it even sooner, but we want to be realistic.
You look into the times with COVID and everything that's going on. It's not normal, marketplace conditions, but sometimes in this period of uncertainty, that's where the opportunities come about. we remain optimistic, our, goal won't change. We'll continue chasing it, but we have the desire that we would want to actually get to that goal sooner rather than later, so that we can set that next goalpost that energizes us.
How To Balance Being A For Profit With Having A Social Mission
Brandon Stover: [00:23:25] How do you guys balance being a for-profit company with a responsibility to shareholders with the responsibility of a social mission?
Kuda Biza: [00:23:33] Number one is the shareholders that you bring in, you want to make sure that they are aligned with the mission from day one, we were fortunate enough that the people who came up with a vision I E Tony Robbins. they're already aligned in that regard, right.
They saw the need to create a mission-based, cookie company. so from the onset, there was alignment there. And as we bring in other investors, the idea is to make sure that, they know that this is the business, this is how, building it and they need to be aligned with that. We're not the first ones to do this.
Tom's shoes is probably, you know, the pioneer or one of the pioneers to really popularize this concept. but other players have been in the marketplace before, like Greystone bakery. Bumba socks has seen tremendous success in about six years. They've gone from zero to, you know, two, $300 million in revenue, profitably with a buy one, give one model, same thing with we'll.
Be pocket will be polka as a $3 billion valuation, from their latest round. they've been able to grow the business significantly with a buy one, give one model. So I think what's even more encouraging is the fact that consumers, right? Like you are willing to pay a premium for brands that have a purpose, meaning that you can position your product in the marketplace, in a profitable manner where you're not competing against price.
But you're positioning it in a way that the margins work because consumers get it, that when they buy an unbelievable cookie, it's more than just a cookie. They're also feeding someone. So when they're eating, someone else is being fed. So if our cookies cost a little bit more than the next competitor who doesn't have a mission, consumers are fine with that. I think consumers have really made it easy for us because they understand the concept. They believe in the mission and they're willing to support the mission. even if it means that they pay slightly more.
Brandon Stover: [00:25:40] Can you give an example maybe with Nunbelievable or one of your past businesses where you've had to make a decision that necessarily wasn't the most profitable, but it pushed the social mission forward more?
Kuda Biza: [00:25:53] with AFR Clothing my, my first social mission. We launched with a 20%, donation of our profits now full for a startup that didn't have external investors. We didn't raise capital and you're donating 20% of your profits. You slow down your growth, right? Because a lot of the money that you're supposed to reinvest into growth is going into impact.
it was a hard decision, but it, you know, for, for us, it, we felt it was the right decision and it taught us to be scrappy. Now, what do I mean by that? we didn't have a marketing budget because we couldn't afford to have a marketing budget because we were donating 20%. So we find ways to market for free.
So I'll give you an example. One of the things that we did is we started reaching out to a lot of the clubs and organizations at other colleges. So who would call, let's say the African students club at university of Miami and would say like, Hey, we're a holding company. Why don't we plan a fashion show together?
We'll bring the apparel. You find the models you promote on your campus. And can you give us a table where we can sell our t-shirts? So what that would do is this, you have a group of your, the little army on campus, promoting your event, bringing people over, you know, and doing all that stuff. And all we'll just do is we'll show up, give t-shirts to the models, the models get on the runway.
Everybody sees, you know, the models rocking the stuff. Now they want to buy the t-shirt. And at the end of the event, you have, an army of people at the table because they've, they saw the models up there. Usually I would go and speak and talk about the mission and how we're giving back. We show a video of some of the students in Africa.
So by the time like the event is done, you know, everybody wants to buy a t-shirt because you had their undivided attention. You're able to clearly articulate your message. They were able to see the models rocking their peril. And then by the time you're done, you sell out. So it's taught us to be savvy without having to, you know, make decisions that would have compromised our mission, but it was a challenge to, to, to be honest,
Brandon Stover: [00:28:10] Yeah, I think, being able to push you into the ingenuity and, you know, be able to set yourself apart by doing that. I think that's huge.
Kuda Biza: [00:28:18] Blake MCOs say the guy who started Tom shoes, he was in a similar situation when he started off, you know, he, he didn't have. Much money in terms of capital. And because of that, he was able to figure things out in a more full go away. And do you know the saying necessity is the mother of invention.
So sometimes if you're bootstrapping, it's actually an advantage because you think things through you're more critical, you're more prudent in your decision-making when you have too much money. You're just doing stuff and you know, you're not really analyzing and seeing like, does this really make sense to do because you, you, you have too much to work with.
So I actually, would, would love for, people who are starting startups to embrace, that situation of bootstrapping, because it is in that moment where you you're you're you, you cut your teeth in becoming an entrepreneur.
Brandon Stover: [00:29:13] you've started both a for-profit and a nonprofit. which do you believe has more impact or what are the hurdles of starting one over the other?
Kuda Biza: [00:29:21] The thing with the non-profits is that you're always asking for money. So when we started, Miami hope foundation, the five Oh one C three nonprofit. and we started really learning how a lot of the nonprofits, you know, generate funds. You know, you do this gala, you're doing this, you're doing this, you know, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I'm an entrepreneur at heart.
Right. And for me, it was kind of like, Oh, it's like, well, why don't we just create something? And we become self-sustainable because if your donors have a bad year, like, look at Corona this year, and they can't give what happens to your programs, but when you have a social enterprise, because it's a for-profit business, it's only that you're deciding to use the profits to address a social issue. you have a sustainable business that can really make a change. But nonprofits are also important, you know, just because of the nature and the things that they're able to do, their tax exempt and so on and so forth.
So now in our eyes, we saw a benefit in having both. So when we had FFR clothing, the AFR probing company was focused on selling as many t-shirts as possible. And then they would donate the 20%, which they still do. Armani hope foundation. Which was focused on changing as many lives as possible. So now what that does, it really drives focus because you have a group of people we're really focused on driving sales and you have a group of people who are focused on driving impact, but because they are all one in the same.
Right because the funds are flowing, the non-profit doesn't have to become super dependent on donations. If people come in and donate great, because with airmail clothing, what we, what would happen was would go to like an event and someone would come over and say like, Hey, I want to teach it, but I also want to donate a hundred bucks, but we, because we're not a fund for one C3, we couldn't really take the money. Right.
Brandon Stover: [00:31:32] Got it.
Kuda Biza: [00:31:32] But now with the five Oh one C3 setup, we were now able to do things that the business couldn't do. So now we actually have more. So the business became that vehicle that would showcase the impact that we're doing while also providing a steady stream of resources to the nonprofit, and then others that will then learn about the world will then come in and jump in.
And we're not having to worry about having a marketing budget or doing all of these stuff. And more importantly, We could really leverage the money coming from AFL clothing to cover the administrative costs so that when people donate a hundred percent of that impact goes directly to the recipient. So now you actually become more efficient as a nonprofit. Nonprofit, that's don't really have a business to support them, they find themselves challenged because of the overhead, the marketing and all these other things. only X plus X cents out of each dollar can actually go to impact. So, so I think that's the real benefit, for, for having that and also the pros and cons for having a non-profit and social enterprise.
Brandon Stover: [00:32:40] Yeah I mean That's a great solution. Being able to take the strengths of both and basically use them to empower one another. with a nonprofit, you still have, like you said, the overhead, the marketing, all of that, but you have to take care of. So being able to have a steady income. Come from something else coming in, I think is just great.
How To Overcome Self Doubt
So building a startup is really hard and building one to solve global issues is even harder. What conflicts have you faced in trying to solve these problems?
Kuda Biza: [00:33:07] So let's start with the internal ones, right? So you always will be questioning, am I the guy? Am I able to do it right? am I good enough? Am I smart enough and whatnot? you always have to overcome that barrier because most of the day time with entrepreneurship, you're doing things that are outside of your comfort zone.
I've never fed a million people before. with none believable, when you're looking at what you're trying to do, it's going to require you to step outside of your comfort zone. So as an entrepreneur, you need to have habits. You need to have systems. You need to have, have mentors that can really help you on the mental side.
Because at the end of the day, it's 80% mindset and then 20% mechanics, The people who tell themselves they can do it. The people who have the confidence and whatnot, they're the ones who actually then go out and do it. If you really think about it, you, you have high school dropouts. Creating multi-billion dollar companies and you have people who graduated from Ivy league schools working for them. it's not a question of like, Oh, he's smarter than they are. They just have the, the mental strength. and, and they were willing to do things that were outside of their comfort zone. So I think that's the first and foremost conflict as an entrepreneur, you will have to overcome because an entrepreneur is a problem solver.
So, what you're basically doing is you're looking at a problem and you say, I'm going to solve this problem out. And for, for a lot of people challenging mentally, because you'd rather just go work for someone, get a pay paycheck and not have to worry about all the problems that come with being an entrepreneur.
the, the second thing obviously is that like, when you're launching a new brand, you have to build brand awareness. You know, you have to drive sales, all these other, day-to-day things that any business in the marketplace now already has, we don't have the brand equity per se, that like an Oreo has, right.
So we have to be educating customers and all that stuff. So sometimes that could be a challenge as well, but that's also the beauty, because if you're able to, Tell your story in a different way and engage customers in a way that others don't, it becomes a differentiator for you. and it can help you.
the beauty or maybe the fortune for me is that, you know, this is like my seventh startup. I've started others, both bootstrapping, and also being in a big fortune 500 company. So I can't claim to say I've seen everything, but I've seen quite a few things. And by being thrown into the fire and you, you have to figure out how to survive.
It has enabled me to develop a thick skin, to be able to attack problems. stay calm in situations. And you know, when you, no, no something you admit, you don't know, you either go get a mentor or someone to advise you. and then you figure things out.
Brandon Stover: [00:36:00] So I want to touch on the very first one, because a lot of people, when they have a big dream to solve one of these problems, that is exactly what they run up against is, you know, who am I to solve this? And they start having that negative. Self-talk bringing themselves down and diminishing their dream.
how have you overcome this? What habits routines do you use to, get over that self negative? Self-talk.
Kuda Biza: [00:36:21] That's a really good question. for me, I'd have to say it's my morning routine. I'm a firm believer that when the morning you win the day. as the day throws things at you, if you start off the day, the right way, you can tackle anything. part of my morning routine is I wake up early. I went to boarding school for high school.
So what would boarding school? We kind of like have to wake up early anyway. So it's really now built into me. So I usually wake up around four in the morning, 4:00 AM and the first hour is kind of like time for me to, meditate, to pray. I'm a Christian. I read the Bible and to really just connect, you know, with my soul and my spirit and whatnot, where it's quiet, there's nobody awake. I'm the only one awake I can really kind of like center myself.
And then after that, the next thing I do is I work out. You have to wake up the body, have to, you know, get the energy, going, get the blood pumping. it's, it's super important because, there are chemical reactions that happen as you're working out, different hormones that really help your, your mental state.
And then after that, I take, a hot cold shower. So for the first three minutes, it's a hot shower, but then I ended on cold. there's so many benefits about taking a cold shower. it wakes up your limbic system. It gets your heart pumping blood into like all your extremities and whatnot, and just creates this calming sensation. So you get out there with mental clarity. So it's part of my morning routine that I do. And I actually, got it from a guy called Wim Hoff.
I don't know if you've ever heard of the Wim Hof method. so I do like, you know, the cold shower was called plunging and all that stuff. That's a podcast in itself. And then I do the breathing method that he, he talks about. and that's what that also does. It, helps with your physiology.
And then, one of the business that I started is called, this is my era and it's a 90 day planner. And in the 90 day planner, we have a daily review section where we talk about, how to plan your day. So the first section of the, this is my era planner is around gratitude. So before I even turn on my phone or do all of that stuff, get onto a computer, I started really just going through, what am I thankful for?
Right. because you really want to take that moment, you know, don't think about the problems yet. Just think about the things that you're thankful for studying the day off with gratitude. Then the next part of the section that talks about what are your priorities today. So you really want to be clear as to, Hey, these are the three things.
These are the five things that are priority. Everything else is noise. I want to focus on getting these things done before I get anything else done. And then there's a section where we talk about, an affirmation statement. So you were talking about, that self-talk that's negative or positive affirmations.
It's a positive self-talk. So now think of your mind as a bank account, right? If you're depositing negative things, right? Negative things. When you're now ready to go to the ATM and take out some money, what are you going to with the draw? You're going to withdraw the negative things. So you want to make sure that each morning you have a deposit thing into your mental bank account, positive things.
I am successful. I am a winner. I can accomplish anything. And you're what you're basically doing is you're reprogramming your subconscious mind. To really align with those positive statements. So when that's the small thought comes about you attack it with what you deposited. Now you can go to the ATM and withdraw that positive statements.
Like no, no, no, no, no. I can do anything. I set my mind to change your thoughts. You change your world. You could have two clones, Brandon a and Brendan B. One has positive self talk. One is negative. Self-talk their ability, their capability everything's the same, but their thoughts are different. Their worlds, their realities, their accomplishments, the things that they're gonna achieve in life is going to be night and day just because what you think you end up becoming.
So it's super important that at the beginning of each day, you take captive the thoughts that you want into your mind, and then you deposit them. And then after I do that, I going to planning my day and then my day begins.
So it's really the first two hours of the day where I set myself up to win. So if anything comes at me, I'm already strengthened in, my spirit and in my inner core and mental capacity to then, you know, take.
Why You Have To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Brandon Stover: [00:41:15] One of the practices that you talked about in there is taking the cold shower. And I know you talk a lot about getting outside of your comfort zone, winning that game of self domination. why is it so important to consistently be pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and how has this helped you succeed as an entrepreneur?
Kuda Biza: [00:41:32] I'll give you an example. Let's say you set a goal to say like, Hey, I want to work out every single day in 2020, but you do the same workout every single day. You don't change anything. You run two miles. You lift 20 pounds for the dumbbells. You do a hundred pounds chest press every single day. Now my question to you, do you think you're going to grow?
Brandon Stover: [00:41:57] Nope,
Kuda Biza: [00:41:58] Why not? You're working out every
Brandon Stover: [00:41:59] this is the same thing. You never push it. The muscles don't
Exactly. So, so growth only happens outside your comfort zone Kuda Biza: [00:42:08] when you're supposed to run two miles and you say like F it, let me do three. When you go back to, to the gym, you did a hundred pounds, last night you do one 20, you build that resilience muscle, where you're you now start to building that grit.
by constantly stepping outside of your comfort zone, that's how you're going to grow. let's take a business for example. If we were just to do the same thing, we send the same ad, the same ad, spend the same email to the same people. We're never going to grow. What we're going to need to do as a business is we need to get out of that.
Outside of our comfort zone, we started online with an unbelievable, we started with four products, but when I step outside of our comfort zone to add new products, we're going to get into Quito. We're going to learn how to talk to this keto customer, right? We'll step outside of our comfort and mobile start talking to retailers, Hey, whole foods, Kroger, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And then through that, you grow as a brand, you reach more people and hopefully you achieve success. the very smart, Albert Einstein said, the eighth wonder of the world is compound interest. A lot of people think of it from a financial perspective, right?
You put money, and then it's earning interest on interest, you know, over and over again. And then the money compounds, the same call concept applies to action. If you consistently take small actions every single day, the key is consistency. Remember the thing with compound interest is the consistent. compounding of the interest of interest and your principal over time, it's consistently happening.
So if you consistently do it every single day, what will end up happening is that it'll start off really, really small. And then at some point you'll see exponential growth and that's the compounding effect that you see.
Bruce Lee once said, I am not afraid of the man who knows how to do 10,000 kicks. But I am afraid of the man who knows how to do one kick 10,000 times, right? The person who's practiced one kick 10,000 times, because he's consistent. That one move is lethal. Visit someone who knows how to do 10,000 things. So I think by being able to drive, focus on what you want to achieve on your purpose, and then with that focus now taking action compounded over time, you'll be able to achieve
Brandon Stover: [00:44:40] What advice would you give a smart driven founder who wants to start a social enterprise in 2020? And what advice do you think they should ignore?
Kuda Biza: [00:44:48] I think for me, it's two things. So number one, dream big. I could have easily just said, you know what? This American dream, this is too big of a dream for me. Because a lot of my classmates did exactly that. And I wasn't the only one who wanted to come to America, but I was the only one who was crazy enough to continue to dream that this dream can come true.
Others will be like, Oh wow, this is an amazing dream, but it won't happen to me. They would negotiate their dreams down to a realistic level. And they've achieved realistic results. Their reality now is real. What they deemed, or this is realistic. Impossible is nothing. You can achieve anything you want in life, but it takes you believing number one, that it can be done.
It might take you 50 years to do it, but it will happen. So the advice I'd give to a social entrepreneur who starting out, who's smart, who's hungry is dream big, but don't end there because dreams on their own are just dreams. What you now want to do is you want to marry the dreaming and action, because the thing that drives results is execution.
execute show up a hundred percent every single day. by doing that with your big dream magic will happen. You don't attract people to come and join you. you will see that over time that consistent action will result into compounded growth. And that thing that seemed impossible really is possible.
Brandon Stover: [00:46:40] Well Kuda before I get to my last question, where can everybody find you in the book and everything that you're about?
Kuda Biza: [00:46:46] you can go to spear method.com and there you'll be able to get the book. you also be able to connect with me. It's my personal website. So spear method. and then, if you want to follow me on Instagram, it's Kuda Baeza. So K U D a B I Z a. And, yeah, you can, you can reach out to me on, on Instagram or you can go to the website for the book.
And if you just want to have a delicious cookie while feeding people at the same time, you can go to a none believable.com. So N U N like a nun believable.com. And, if you type in evolve 20, you be able to get a 20% off discount, on, on your order.
How Kuda Believes We Can Push The World To Evolve
Brandon Stover: [00:47:34] Wonderful. Well, my last question is how can we push the world to evolve?
Kuda Biza: [00:47:39] How can we push the world to evolve? I think it starts with you, the individual, because at the end of the day, you can really control your actions. So if you evolve and you become the best version of yourself, you become a shining example to other people which might lead them to evolve as well. But more importantly, you're able to contribute.
the most that you can to the world. So that's why, when you're on a plane, you always have to first put the mask on yourself before you put a mask on someone else. So the way we can change the world will evolve the world to, the best possible scenario is if each and every one of us first focus on evolving ourselves to the best version of ourselves.
If everybody does that. the world changes. It evolves.
Brandon Stover: [00:48:30] I can't think of any better answer Kuda to thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing everything that you're doing.
Kuda Biza: [00:48:35] Thank you so much.
The Evolve Podcast is focused on evolving the world through evolution of the individual. Brandon Stover unpacks the stories and mindsets of extraordinary social impact founders, visionary leaders, and social enterprise experts as they share how they built startups that are solving the worlds greatest problems. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.Leave A Review