My guest for this episode is Charles Arday. He is a mindset and wellbeing coach, as well as an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning hobbyist. Charles is also the current co-founder and CEO of Winie, a startup that provides support for entrepreneurs and merchants selling products based in Africa.
In this episode, Charles shares how he actively learns about tech and data science online, and the impact that Winie will make in the e-commerce space.
His Background When He Got into Engineering and Technology [01:29]
How He Got into Coursera [03:06]
His Favorite Courses on Coursera [04:24]
What Keeps Him Interested in Tech And Business [08:18]
What Motivates Him to Learn [09:14]
Resources He Used or Still Uses to Learn About Different Skills and Topics [12:28]
How Practice Has Helped Him Transition into a Speaker and a Mindset Coach [15:28]
Charles’ Preferred Title [19:50]
What Sparked Change in His Career Path [20:55]
What Motivates Him to Handle Multiple Gigs [28:39]
Winie and What Inspired the Idea [31:51]
How He Manages Operations in Ghana, While Being in the U.S [36:16]
How Winie Has Been Able to Solve the Issues with Traditional E-Commerce Methods in Africa [37:20]
Did Charles Ever See Himself Being A Founder [40:44]
Where to Find Charles for His Mentorship Services [43:56]
Twitter: @ Charles Arday (@Mr_Arday)
Note: Black Enterprise Network transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and human transcription. They may contain errors, although we do our best to avoid them. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting a transcript in print. Questions? Errors found in a transcript? Email us!
Kimmiko James 0:00
I feel as though a lot of people fall into the trap of starting something because of the outcomes that might come with it. For example, jumping into a specific field because of the pay that comes with it, we're starting a company in hopes of being acquired for millions of dollars someday. These are great aspirations to have. But it's very important to enjoy what you're doing without a specific end goal or outcome in mind. Otherwise, you might hate what you're doing and be very disappointed at the outcomes you might not have expected earlier, Charles our days a big believer in this concept of falling in love with the process, and he manages to keep up with many of his obligations. Because of this mindset. Charles is a mindset and wellbeing coach, as well as an artificial intelligence and machine learning hobbyist. He is also the current co founder and CEO of weenie, a startup that provides support for entrepreneurs and merchants selling products based in Africa. And this episode, he shares how he actively learns about tech and data science online. And the impact that we will make in the e commerce space. Let's get into it. small percentage of black people are currently represented in the tech industry and entrepreneurial spaces. This includes engineers, startup founders, investors, especially those that hold leadership, I want to share their story on your LinkedIn profile that you said you were like, into artificial intelligence and machine learning, and you were like an engineer. But that changed recently. We'll get into that later, though. So I just wanted to know, like, what was your starting background when you got into this type of work, and in terms of like engineering and technology,
Charles Arday 1:37
defense, my Mac could recall when it comes to like, you know, entering into the field was like, when I was in high school, every time I like I close from school, or run home, and then go and play video games on my laptop, you know, my desktop, you know, and normally when a computer breaks down and after, like five parts, and they replace it, like the memory card enhances the game performance, and in the VGA, and all those, you know, technical terms. So I feel that that is where like my, my whole tech technology journey started form. And right after high school, senior high school, I was like, You know what, I just want to come to the states because, I mean, there's no other country that I could think of that, like, you know, has everything you need in terms of technology, like, you know, to be able to, like explore it, and then also like, work with it, and then a succeed, like doing something you know, yeah. So I came to the States, and basically, you know, net net stat, like heavily networking on what is called LinkedIn, getting to know people and then also like, learning on my own to Coursera building projects, and meeting amazing people. Yeah, that has been my journey. so far. Basically,
Kimmiko James 2:46
I also played a lot of video games, which contributed to me getting into tech without me even knowing it to the point where like, I would even add more memory storage to my ps4 by like taking it apart, and then putting it back together. But at the time, I didn't know that was like, related to tech or engineering whatsoever. So for you, how did you figure out how to get into Coursera? Because it's not something that's like, inherently thrown at you unless you go and find it. So
Charles Arday 3:16
yeah. So we're closer I think, when I was in Ghana, right, I, I took like, I started learning by then I didn't really follow through on it. Right. But then when I came to the States, I started, you know, just playing around, like, you know, other means of learning. I mean, I was using Khan Academy, because you know, Khan Academy is like everything everyone uses. I knew of EDS and all the other ones, but I didn't know of course, sir. Right. So I was using LinkedIn, and I met this guy, man, we're like, That's like my time. Yeah, no, I'm sure he has been. He has been on this podcast. And yeah, this dude is actually killing it with Coursera courses or not. And I'm like, yo, let me hit this guy, because he's from your motherland, Dino. So I hit him up. And he's like, you know what? Coursera like, you know, you can be able to apply for financial aid, get a dev amazing course. But you know, there was my best professors and like universities and all that. So I'm like, just he said, just give it a shot. So I did it. I applied for financial aid. I got it. And I took a course or two and I was like, Oh, this is fun. And I just started picking up from there. So I just scheduled a time and then boom, whenever it's time, and I just do what I need to do.
Kimmiko James 4:23
Yeah, what were some of your favorite courses? Oh, my favorite courses.
Charles Arday 4:28
So there is this course I'm showing one literally a scenario is one of those popular courses on Coursera is am learning how to learn by Barbara Oakley Yoda course is Oh my God, I don't know how to like the course is amazing. explores different avenues of like learning like the way we are just accustomed to like, you know, just you know, grabbing everything in and they just like go into like, you know, point out they are like, studying for a longer period of time should I know break in order, but then this lady breaks it down. And how she started like, you know, the whole hair journey of Transitioning from I don't know what I studied just languages to becoming like a math professor or something and then have models and stuff that you use. It's one of my amazing courses. And then there's this capsule by IBM data science specialization. The IBM did a good job with like dockworkers the way they give you a back end to like their system to be able to build projects, and then do the thing and all that that sort of fun. And then there's a course to with monitor code, Google it, is this Google IT support certification or something? So Google has like two or three courses, like certifications on Coursera that like, I feel like everybody should, like take the opportunity to. So like Dr. Oz literally takes you through the whole, like computer science journey, not like everything, but from networking to operating systems to like, you know, basic programming and all that stuff. And when you're done with that, right, you can be able to like to get a job. So one thing I love about our courses, after I finish taking the whole certifications, right, they sent a survey and they're like, okay, would you like your, your profile or your portfolio to be sent to, you know, companies, XYZ companies? And I'm like, Yeah, sure. I mean, no brainer, right? And you think maybe it's just one of those things that they're trying to like, trying to advertise this to, like, put it out there, our connecting people, but like, within a month, I got an What is it got an email from Walmart acting it out? He said, I completed this course by Coursera. A by Google on Coursera. Would you be interested in applying for this role at Walmart and north and I'm like, Oh, this people are really serious now, you know. So that that is like, you know, that is really helpful in a space where like, when everybody's trying to like, get a job, build up your skill set and all that. Yeah.
Kimmiko James 6:42
Yeah, yeah, I have two points for that. So the first point is definitely agree with the learning how to learn course, for anybody that's listening, I highly recommend it. Like, it's not even just related to tech in engineering, it's related to anything of like, I don't know, always cramming and procrastinating really does not help your learning in any way. But but like Charles said, you take this course, your whole perspective on learning how to learn the right way really just changes. So highly recommend that it's, I think it's free, actually, whether you're a student or not. And secondly, I didn't know that Coursera had that kind of feature of like, if you take a course they send your results to companies for recruiting.
Charles Arday 7:25
So I think is with a Google ones that Google certification, you know, so I don't know, if you like, you've been watching the trends in the news lately, like, Google's trying to build a whole like uni universe, literally, Google is like one of those people with education, they're trying to build like specializations that, like, if able to complete them, you can be able to even apply to Google for jobs. So like, it gives you that like, you know, top notch like levels with someone who completed a four year degree, you know, so I thought that is what they're trying to do. And India, I think maybe they're beta testing with Coursera. And it's working, because the courses are amazing, and they are regal. And then they are like, you know, that they make you think and then they also give you the opportunity to like, you know, build projects, and they're like, you know, have fun with it. So, yeah, I would recommend those courses to you.
Kimmiko James 8:10
Yeah, yeah, definitely. anybody listening again, check out Coursera whether you're a student or not, there's always a bunch of free stuff you can check out Yeah. But yeah, I just wanted to know like, What kept you or actually what keeps you interested in tech in business? Because like, you're You sound so when you're talking about these courses, you sound so excited about them, you're happy you took them. So what what keeps that interest for you,
Charles Arday 8:33
I feel is it boils down to like, you know, like continuous linear continuous growth. Because one thing I've realized and I like you never you're never able to like learn everything and once you learn everything and we're all gonna die and live our brains and go you know, so like that that journey of like, you know, mastery, which you know that you're never going to become a master because like there's no level of like, you know, attending that but the continual process of like developing yourself and then building yourself you know, that that is what keeps me going and I'm always excited to like read a book take a course that will help me in the skill set to be able to apply and do something or that so I think that is one that is what motivates me to learn not like you know, I'm trying to get X amount of money or maybe get this job or that that it is not my motivation my interesting motivation comes from like the opportunity to like you know, learn in order because if you look like we are blessed to like, be in this generation to like just google something and boom we can learn it like one of those days where like sisters or like our grandfathers or not I didn't get opportunity like this so like when I get I hear people complain and cry about like Oh your face or no going on word and all that understand Yes, true. But Gone are the days where like, you know, this thing is happening now. There's no bodyguard or anyone to the kingdom now. We all got the keys to the kingdom now. Like everybody can literally just pick up the phone, learn anything. You YouTube is there, like everything is there, you don't have any excuse not to, like develop your skills or like, build something for your own anymore, you know?
Kimmiko James 10:08
Yeah, I would say it's both a blessing and a curse. Yeah, like, Shrek truly is a blessing to like have like you said all these resources like 1000s of websites and videos for free keywords for free like you don't need to pay this expensive amount of money to learn what you what you're trying to learn. And I guess like the curse part comes from just like I guess especially if you're in the tech space. There's so many resources.
Charles Arday 10:35
That is the thing
Kimmiko James 10:36
that is Yeah, yeah, like it's really easy to go into a rabbit hole of like, I don't know, for example, I want to learn about data science, like Oh God, hundreds of websites of how to learn about data science. And data science in itself isn't just like one subject. There's like many sub subjects within and you know, I'm going it's like, totally a blessing. So no excuses to not learn something you want to learn. But also, definitely a curse. If you don't know how to Google the right way.
Charles Arday 11:05
Yeah, yeah, that is that the boils down to like, do your research. Because if you look at the code, let's say data science and AI alone, between like, two years ago, I mean, this was where I mean, they were there. But now we just companies just trying little stuff that everybody's interested in. So like, if you just Google machine learning, there's so many articles, so many stuff in order. So I understand it gets to that rabbit hole. But I think now people are they're like trying to create solutions and all that. So shout outs to Emmanuel again for like, creating what is called Robo bootcamp for like, helping students or like, millennials, or whoever wants to, like, you know, deep dive into like, a program where cause they're like, the system lets you take like a little test, and then it spits out like a specialization or parts to follow on what you take in order. So you don't have to do all those nitty gritty research through Google search in order. So are encourage everyone to go check. What is the code? The robot bootcamp by Mr. champon? Yeah,
Kimmiko James 12:03
yep, it is Robo boot camp. I also recommend checking it out. I used it for a little bit. I think I just typed in API. And I wasn't like recommended 100 resources. I think I was recommended, like five to 10, which I think is a good start. Yes. So yeah. Hope you enjoy the shadow of manual. So before we like get into like our kind of next mini segment, I just wanted to know what resources did you use or still use to learn about these different skills topics? Because like we just said, you could start anywhere, but it might not be the best place to start. So
Charles Arday 12:39
yeah. As you said, like, there's so much like noise in terms of like resources out there. And it's just sometimes you just need less, it's more like just a few courses to like, you know, actually start and one thing I've realized in, like, the whole space is like, there's always like that new tech, this new trend, like, you know, that everybody's trying to jump on different stuff. Like, there's TensorFlow, and a boom, they see other people jump, oh, there's pytorch let me do this and energy, you know, so people are just all over the space and other industries in tech to take. Right. So with me, I have just a couple of books that like I stick to, right. So there's this book, they actually about, you know, it's a podcast, so I don't know, you're gonna see, I guess I'm going to read it off. Yeah. So Python for data science by O'Reilly the one with a, I don't know what I say monster rabbit. Yeah, I think it's a mouse. Yeah, that that is really good. Because like, you know, if you're jumping into the MMO space, or the data science space, you need to like be fluent one of this programming language, R or Python. So like, you know, I prefer Python. So, you know, this book jumps in with detail, explanation and point of what is called projects and worldwide stuff to like, you can try your hands on. And then the best book out there, like every ml engineer that you can actually have like, is this book, hands on machine learning with scikit learn and Karis and TensorFlow yearby grain or something yet, the one with the lizard, the yellow and black lizard, yeah, that book is Oh my god, it's amazing. And I encourage everyone to get it. So like just just these two books alone can get you started on like, a lot like to be able to, like, you know, understand the whole concept and know that and you can use Khan Academy to learn your math, everything you need about math is on Khan Academy, you can learn kind of a linear math today. And just more practice, because I realized with stuff like with the whole journey, like with ml, data science and all that is, it boils down to more of like, practicing dentists, like you know, just reading it out and I just move in, you know, like, hidden and then you know, no pressure, no diamonds so like, the more you you narrow down and then you know, the nitty gritty stuff, the more you become better at it, right, the more you expose yourself to like, projects and work and solve, like small stuff, it doesn't have to be a big project, like something small, you know? Yeah.
Kimmiko James 14:51
Yeah, me and Emmanuel talked about a bit about that in our episode, Episode Two for anybody that wants to listen. And we were kind of just talking about if you want to get better at something, you have to make it a part of your daily life, I guess whether that's like 30 minutes a day or an hour a day, and eventually that can build up because like, I know he manual codes for why like for six hours a day, that's crazy. I'm not there yet. But I've like eased my way from going to 10 minutes a day to 30 minutes. And now I can do at least an hour of code a day, or it doesn't, again, doesn't have to be code, whatever you're trying to get better at. You have to practice. And, yeah, practice doesn't make perfect, but it makes improvements, transition into you becoming a speaker and a mindset coach, even though I feel like you've been that before.
Charles Arday 15:45
So if and let me piggyback to what you said about like, building a routine and a system like the way like you made an example of like, him, I know coding three hours a day and being what is it God, I don't want to I think as you go change it out, because no coach, it's more of like, just helping or equipping, like, you know, my my main goal with, with what you saw today is to like equip ambitious, enterpreneurs. Right, to be able to cultivate an act of self disciplines, and self discipline, build what is called mental models and system to be able to help them execute efficiently in their businesses or site so that they're trying to start right, because, as you say, like to build a What is it called career capital to build a business or anything, you have to like, be constantly like, you know, be doing or like, you have like, a routine with it, right? Or a mental model with it, right? And that is what I realized, like, is lacking in that space, like, people start something, and then they stop, or they do it for like, 30 days, and then they stop by, but they don't have the right mental models and systems to like, you know, do it. Right. So I was I was on a call the other day with LED and she's in UK, and she's around her 30s. And she wants to transition to like, another rule or career, right? And she talks about like, oh, how she is like, she's not getting any younger, she's not getting any time to like, you know, take what is God read learn in order, right? And I'm like, Whoa, you can you can watch Netflix, right? You can binge watch, like, you know, every evening, right? So how about we studies, you build a model, like you look through your day, every day or like your your calendar for the week, and you pick out? What a specific day where you can dedicate just one hour every day, right? Or maybe a certain number of days. So maybe Friday, Thursday, a Thursday, Friday, just one hour, right? And you stick to it, no matter what happens, you stick to it. So you build our model that hey, you know what? Thursdays and Fridays are my days for like, you know, just learning this course or this reading this book on order, right? And then you put in a trigger, because it's one thing to put it on your to do list or whatever they're like, oh, when is 5pm? I'm gonna learn, right? So wait, let me give an example. Right. So where my trigger is, like, I have that model that every What is it good 830 to 1230 I do deep web with projects and stuff that I am passionate about, or stuff that I want to build, right? And my trigger is at eight, I have to go take a shower, quick shower, and then I do a 15 minutes meditation, like, you know, just get my mind like you focus that, hey, you know, we're about to get into this, what I'm what I aim to accomplish. So like, even when I start and then my body's like, Oh, well, we we want to sleep or something. I've programmed my mind that like, you know, this is what we want to accomplish in a long span. So it's going to take this little steps every day of doing this three hour stretch to actually achieve that, right? So that triggered I like the moment a shower, I'm in the mood, my phone is off. I meditate for 515 minutes, boom, I'm ready to like 1230 and then do I pray, you know, from 1230 to one sleep, and then wake up like maybe six or seven, you know, so like that routine. So now is like, part and parcel of me. So like, every time like it's a no like yo I gotta go shower, I gotta go do this. Right. And this was specific days, you know? So I feel that is what a lot of people out there are lacking especially ambitious enterpreneurs or ambitious, like people that want to start side hustles right, they don't have dedication to their craft to like build what they want to build, right majority of people are just following the hype train Oh, because they see someone running this business want to go try it right but they don't understand that it takes time. It takes like you know, a long period of time to develop and penetrate the market and be able to get your products your services to the wider audience out there. So like that is where the inspiration came from to like you know, just share stuff that I've learned and accumulated over like a long period of time like you know, just exploded my startup exploded talking to friends in the space exploring with what is it good advice, NPS and all that and building you know, all those systems and meta mental models.
Kimmiko James 19:49
What would your specific title then be if you don't want to be called a coach by the way.
Charles Arday 19:55
I prefer I for now, I don't want to use any title. I just Feel like, you know, this is what I know you want it Lizard Lizard talk, you know, so it's out there, you know, in a warden space where everyone is trying to be a coach or that, yeah, I'm just sharing what I know, you know, and hopefully I know that at the end of the day, you will leave with something valuable. If it doesn't, if you know, like, at the end of the day, you don't live with that expectancy of what you came in from Arizona, maybe I can give you money back. Or maybe we could talk it out another way, you know. So that is the whole mindset around it. And then the end goal is like to provide value, you know, so providing value is the top priority right now. So that is why I don't put like a name like I'm a coach or this and influence all blah, blah, blah. Too many titles. When you go on LinkedIn, everybody got titles, man, you know, I'm trying to abstain from the title. So I think I'm going to change that thing out there.
Kimmiko James 20:46
Yeah, that's very, that's a very fair point. Everybody, everyone has titles. I mean, I guess I kind of have to, but I kind of just like really wanted to know, kind of what what sparked this change in your career? Maybe maybe it isn't a career path change. But I guess what made you want to change from, you know, the data science engineering stuff into being kind of like this mentor figure, because that's what it sounds like to
Charles Arday 21:12
hear more like a mentor, you can use that time. Yeah, so my, my journey with data science and ml, and cloud computing has not changed. I'm still doing that by day, I'm still doing that by day. And then I'm still doing this thing in the night, you know, like, building this thing at night. And the end goal is basically to like, see everyone when you know, so picking but like when I go to the States, and then I started like linking up with people on LinkedIn and and building that brand of students of LinkedIn, I don't know, if you saw that student of LinkedIn or like, I got opportunity to be like in a foreign language talking to students, and you know, a couple of people in like the, what is it called the career space, and you realize that like you, this is something that a lot of people are going through, like building doses. I don't want to call it simple, but building just systems and models to be able to be effective at whatever they do. Right. But I know with the career space is very What is it called saturated now, and I know, tons of people who are they're killing it. So I'm just leaving them to, like, actually handle that. But then the axes of like, what about those people that want to start side hustles and then like they have like small businesses that are running or like or do stuff, and then they need just that spark or like they need to just push or like someone to hold them accountable to so they can be able to like, you know, move from point A to B in their business or achieve this X amount of finger right? So that is where I come in that is where like, I bring my expertise and like my wealth of like, what is your experience or knowledge? Because when we I mean, I may be most I talk to people on the back end, but I don't post it. So to someone who just go on my LinkedIn profile like okay, well, there's nothing that shows that you do this, right. But I do it on the back end where like, I know, I talked to students or talk to folks in a career space and order, right. And it's Loki right, but now I'm starting to like, you know, bring in mainstream to upscale it to like people and that is where like that What is it called transition is, so I'm still doing what I'm doing. So currently right now, I have four things running now. So So the first one is, I'm working with a friend. It's an agency where we help entrepreneurs build their brand, and help them everything related to tech, whether they want to start a website and upon order. And it's black leaders shout out to my boy, my league, that is what we are doing. That is my you know, my one of my main gigs. My second one is running a startup in Ghana, right, so that is weenie, which we'll dive in later. So that is my startup in Ghana with a couple of friends. And the third one is my mo Jenny and Adi, right. And then the last one is the speaking gig. So I have all these things running. And you know, I get to be in the middle of like the action and what occurs when Mulligan, I'm seeing intrapreneurs. And I'm talking to them and seeing their problems, right? With the startup space. I'm also understanding how their customers relate to production. So bringing all this experience and then all that and tying it into like a whole package and then giving that experience to like, the wannabes or ambitious intrapreneurs and what is it called people want to build our side? hustles I know that is the main you know, push and force behind.
Kimmiko James 24:22
Yeah, I want to kind of know how you make time for all of these things. Or rather, maybe it's not how like, I know how people can make time for things if they want to. That's not what I'm trying to ask. Yeah, it'd be like what motivates you that's probably the better way to ask it. What motivates you to do all these things? Because it sounds like a lot.
Charles Arday 24:44
I always always tell my friends that like my mindset is Kenyan is in in for a long run. It's Do you get a Kenyans run long, grand mindset, Kenyan, it's no longer so the goal is not to like you know, do this and all that. It's it's it comes a bit boils down from like, where I want to be in this X amount of time our disk space or like, within this decade in order, right? So that continual like learning continue, like, I'm getting an opportunity to, like serve help people build and when that is like what motivates me, you know, like you, I will come like you I'm going to talk this to this client that is going to be able to like scale out from this X amount of display dollars to that it is going to be able to provide this revenue to their customers in order, I get opportunity to build what is called a startup or like an ecosystem in Ghana, where like, we're seven, what is it called? local entrepreneurs, right? So I get to do all these things. And I'm like, I get excited. I buzz when I'm talking to like, what is it called intrapreneurs. In Ghana, because when I'm talking to clients, in the States, I'm happy when I'm like, Yo, I'm reading about like, the whole how ml like, you know, we are using ml, we are using data science, like how people are like, using it to like, you know, make impact in order, you know, so it's just like the excitement that keeps me going like, it's an it's an, it's a high that I like I always write on. So it's not like I attach myself to like, Oh, this or that and all that. Because I've tried that. And it didn't amount to anything, I just felt right. Because if I'm like, Oh, I realized that maybe I wasn't doing it for the money. Because if I was doing it for the money, it's gonna take some time if I get to the money, and
Kimmiko James 26:20
Hey, guys, Pardon the Interruption, but I just wanted to take a minute to talk about the book I'm releasing in the coming months. If you're a student looking for an internship or new grad job offer, you're definitely going to want to read this book, I walk you through how to create the perfect resume, how to build side projects, both technical and non technical, how to get leadership skills, and just generally speaking, how to stand out amongst 1000s of applicants. The base ebook will be available January 2021. But if you're looking for paperback or Kindle versions, that will be released sometime in Fall 2021. So be sure to check out the link at bi T dot L y slash GTO underscore book. Okay, now back to the episode.
Charles Arday 27:07
Once you get to the money, realize that Oh, you're on the right way. But then you came, you came a long way only to realize that you're in the wrong way. You know, so I just, I just want to touch my journey, or like, Whatever I do to replace anybody or anything, I just do it for the fun of it. Right? So at the end of the day, it's me. No, like, on anybody, you know. So yeah.
Kimmiko James 27:28
Basically, just an emphasis on enjoying the process, which I feel like a lot of people here, but they kind of take it for granted.
Charles Arday 27:35
Yeah. It's that process of building a startup is the process of like, convincing the clients, making sure that they get what they want, and then seeing them when, you know, an order that that is the high, you know, that that is the process they're going through of order, the sleepless nights, the brainstorming, the iteration, the building, and all that. That is the fun part of it. Yeah,
Kimmiko James 27:58
yeah, yeah, definitely. echo that point, like focusing on the process instead of the outcome. Well, potential outcome, because nothing's really guaranteed. Really just makes your life a whole lot a whole lot easier.
Charles Arday 28:12
One thing I realized is like, as humans, right, we we we are optimized to like put our happiness or like, whatever we want our happiness basically, at the end of the goal, right? Yeah. Okay. So I want to be an ml engineer. So we are thinking of, okay, the end goal, I'm going to be an emoji now I'm going to get six figures in order, right? And we we suck out the whole happiness or like the whole, what is it called? The whole love for the game during the process to the end. So when you're not at the end, you're not enjoying it, right? But then it's basically bad. Because now if you don't hit it a certain day, or like, maybe you don't hit a certain number of hours to study or you don't program a certain number of lines of code, why? Why did I do this? You know, so like, you get depressed you get sad for no reason, right? Because your motivation, your your happiness is tied to the end goal, not the process, right? So what does one thing I realized that we are all accustomed to, right? fixation on does the end goal and not the process, right? And that is where like, a lot of people are depressed, they do something for 30 days, and then they stop, they trying to lose weight, they've not lost the weight yet, boom, and then they stop because they fixated on the end goal. Right? And let's let's use weight loss as an example. They want to lose 40 pounds, so they put in their happiness, or like their enjoyment on their high on their last, like, you know, after losing the 30 days, right? So in the 30 days, they lose the 40 pounds, right? Oh, hey, we are excited, right? And then they go they stop. Right? Because you've got into that high, you've got into that ecstasy. Oh, I lost 40 pounds, who Ray says to me, I post a couple of selfies, who I got six bucks, right? And then that's it. You know, because like now I've achieved that happiness. I've achieved that end goal. So then they stop. And then next month, they own cookies and what is it called Ben and Jerry's ice cream and boom, they're back again. You know, so then then Now, Oh, now I have another go, I'm being vegan, I'm going to do this and all that, what they don't understand is like, it's a long grind. So spacing your happiness over a long stretch of time, and not just fixating it on does that end goal is, is what changes the whole dynamics of like building habits, achieving goals and audits, right. And a lot of people know that, you know, so that is why I'm trying to like, you know, go mainstream with this thing. And then just like, make more people aware, and then try and shift that mindset of like, you know, all those, like, you know, business folks out there like that are just trying to hit X number of figures of like, you know, revenue or that and that and then just focus on like, you know, the continuing duration of their projects or their business or whatever.
Kimmiko James 30:43
Yeah, it's, it's definitely not an easy mindset to have. So, definitely happy that you're, you're doing that for people because like, I guess even for me, I get stubborn myself. Like, take it, take a step back, slow down, enjoy the process, but it's not easy. You know, the outcomes are always sexier than the work you have to put in to get there. So you have you can help a lot of people with that. It's not easy. But yeah, I want to get into I believe it's pronounced Winnie. weenie. weenie. Okay, cool. Yeah. Cool. So So yeah, I've said it in a lot of previous episodes. And I'll say it and this one, too. Like, I just admire anyone or any team that's just able to start a business or startup during this crazy year, that's 2020. And continue to stick with it and not just do it after 30 days. Because it's not easy. It's like it's been a mentally draining year for a lot of people. And I just can't imagine starting a business during that. So that's, that's just awesome. So yeah, just getting into it. What is weenie and what inspired the idea?
Charles Arday 31:51
So I can remember it after my birthday. My friend DM me, his name is some appear could be we call him shadow because it's dark. Yeah. And he was like, Yo, this is like the perfect time to actually go do something at home because he just graduated from Duke. And he's like, yo, like, let's do something at home. And then, you know, we started brainstorming on so many stuff, like drones, like, starting like a whole Robin Hood, kind of like for Africa, like so many ideas, right? And then we after doing our research back and forth and all that and we're like, the best space to enter would be e commerce. Right? So okay, now we identify, okay, now we need to like jump into the e commerce space of the whole business, right? In Africa, right? And I'm like, Okay, cool. Now we need to like get ourselves a team. So then we got folks like, you know, FedEx, we go first like Jaffa, right? So it was like, you know, a whole 14, you know, by now like, basically, now we are running a team, three team model. So some more japhet. And I, you know, so finally, this thing to like, augmented, what is it called the market space for local enterpreneurs? Right. So this is how the what is the god ecosystem is in Ghana or like, in some other parts of Africa, right, or countries in Africa, a lot of what is called the merchants or a lot of like, the people that sell his products are fixated in different spots of the country, or like in the city, right. So they are physical stores, but they don't have an online presence, right. And most of them build their products, they put it on Instagram, so that they have their whole page with all their products. They're hoping for someone to find them and buy. But here's the sad news. social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, if I don't know your handle, I won't be able to come and find you to be able to purchase from you. Right? So we're like, okay, now this is a big problem, right? Because here's the case where like, there's so many intrapreneurs that like, in Canada, they're like, they're selling stuff, amazing stuff, right? And then people can find them. Right? So we're like, Okay, what can we do to like, make this thing more better for them like order. So like, what we what we then jump to like, do is build an app right on ecosystem where we bring all this intrapreneurs in or this local merchants in and decrease? What is it called a virtual store, more like the way Shopify is. But then what we do is like, we provide them the opportunity to get loans we cause getting loans in Ghana and Africa a lot is difficult. It's really difficult to get someone to find your business or not. Right. So we've partnered with a couple of financial corporations to like provide loans for this. merchants. We've also what is the goal? What we do is what is good, we are building a whole logistics at the back end Saturday, it will be feasible and what is it called flexible for them to deliver products, right in real time. And then what is the court another feature that we have in app that like it's something I'm always buzzing about this. So when you post from the upright, you automatically post to all your other social media handles. So a typical merchant in Ghana who is trying to sell something is let's say I want to sell this butter right? So if I want to sell this bottle, if I want to get it out to my clients, I'll take a picture of it, I'll put it on WhatsApp, I will go to Snapchat, I'll post it on Snapchat, I'll go to Twitter. Alright, I'll write a caption and put it on Twitter, I'll go to Instagram, I'll write a caption, I'll put it on Instagram, I'll go to Facebook, I'll write that in and do the same thing. I don't know if people sell on LinkedIn to and do the same thing. So this is a tedious process, like just one product, you have to do this to like all your social media platforms. And this is effective for like someone who has like, large skulls of like, you know, what I've been closed juries, accessories or shoes to sell. Because taking a picture and person listening is a is a long run. So what we did, or like, the feature that we brought up, is when you posted up a diary post to all your other social media platforms, specific ones, you know, or you're like, you know, your top notch social media platform that you used to drive in sales, right. So this and many other stuff that like we are putting in place, we are like, what, six months old? So we are still iterating we are still building, you know, and that is the end goal of it to like be able to provide access to like, methods to be able to like reach out to customers all over, you know, Ghana and Africa. Yeah. But we are studying with Ghana now.
Kimmiko James 36:15
Yeah, actually sounds pretty cool. It sounds difficult to run, you know, a business in two different countries. Have that make sense? Yes. times? You're based in the US, right? Yeah. But your main operations are in Ghana? Ghana? Yeah. How's that working?
Charles Arday 36:33
So I see you somewhere, right? He, he's gonna go to Ghana in December. So basically, he's going to set up the office or not. So he's going to make sure like, you know, everything is running on the ground. And since I'm like, the CEO, or like more of the operations, I get to, like, get opportunity to look at a form like a bed view to be able to, like help him run things on, like, you know, the backline. So that is like that flexibility system that we've put in place. And COVID alone just shows us now everybody can work at home where they can work from home. So, you know, it's working so far. So I mean, we are still tweaking it, but it's working so far. Yeah, that's what I'm seeing.
Kimmiko James 37:12
Yeah, so have you guys like talked to merchants to see because I'm not sure how, like selling things in Africa would work? Exactly. I'm just like, so used to like having, I don't know, Amazon, Facebook shops, whatever. Like you said, Instagram, you can sell stuff on Instagram now, like, all these different things, but I'm gonna you were saying it's not as easy to like, sell your merge. So how does a How does it traditionally work? And then has, we need been able to solve that problem for people.
Charles Arday 37:44
So in Ghana, in Ghana, specifically, like selling stuff is like, you know, the way the whole exchange, like, you know, I have this, you come look for me, you buy for me, I give you what I will give you what you want, right? So that is something that we are in that text, like that technology era, where like, everything is being really reinvented. And literally, a lot of even look at the matrix with number of folks in Africa, like using smartphones, and like the trend of like technology, building the, like, majority now a majority of people in Ghana, especially or like Africa, so like are now adopting, like, you know, using smartphones, and like, you know, using latest technology gadgets, right? So like, since everybody has a smartphone, why don't you just provide that space, or that ecosystem where they can, like, wherever they are, take a picture of something, put it out there, and then be able to drive traffic to their store, and then also drive traffic to their pages or their social media. And then what is it called provide them with the money a provide them with finance, and then give them the opportunity to be able to sell, you know, and have fun while doing it? Right? And kindly says, like, you know, we are six months old, we are still What is it called iterating to, like, meet their needs, right? Because solving problem in Ghana or Africa. So it's a whole different thing, you know, here that you can, you know, add one in two together to bring on something like in a, in a, in a snap of a finger. Africa has his own problems, that you know, there's so many problems that is different to like, you know, the whole the European problems are like mindset is so trying to like lift something from here, and then just going to dump it on Ghana or Africa. It doesn't work that way. You have to be in this system to understand how the whole system works before you can be able to reinvent the wheel, you know, so that is where we are now. We are still tweaking we are still reinventing the wheel and yeah, hopefully a week now we have a couple of mentors on the platform that are making social order and what is it good today he my CEO just text him like we just shipped out a new feature. We're like an update. So here we are. We are we are making progress, and I'm excited about it. Yeah,
Kimmiko James 39:50
yeah, yeah, I'm excited for you. It sounds like a really unique idea. Like I definitely agree with like, you can't just take something from the US and expect Did to work in Africa? Yep. Cuz I remember doing this podcast session with I think it was policy Brunson. And he was kind of just saying a similar thing of like, podcasts for the black community have not been a thing for the last 10 years. And now that's kind of like picking up the pace for us in the US Africa's like, they're still taking the time to catch up. Yep. Yep. So So I definitely agree with that statement. I obviously don't know the nitty gritty details, but I can definitely see that being a thing in terms of like technology, social media, like literally all the things we have at the snap of the finger here just snapped like that over there. So thanks for sharing that perspective.
Charles Arday 40:41
Yeah, you You're welcome.
Kimmiko James 40:44
But yeah, the the last question I had was just like, be for weenie, did you ever see yourself becoming a founder, because a lot of founders I've met will often say that they never, they never could envision themselves being a startup founder being stressed out working late night, but they fell in love with their venture. And it just happens that way. I guess. So did you ever see yourself being a founder?
Charles Arday 41:11
Like, I mean, it's not to brag when it's actually it's
Kimmiko James 41:16
not right. I
Charles Arday 41:17
have a notebook somewhere, I have a notebook somewhere that we're like, Yo, I'm gonna use technology to like, you know, ship Africa, like, what is it good, good Africa, something, you know, there was like, way after I finished high school. And I'm like, Yo, I'm actually here, like doing something also, like, everyday when I'm here, right? When I'm in the States, and I go out, and I see how like, synced your train system is I see how synced your bus system is? Like, if the bus is gonna arrive here on time, it's gonna come, you know, so you better show up, right? And how old is like, you know, this little stuff that evolves around his work? And I'm like, how can we be able to, like, solve our unique problem at home, you know, so like, every day, I'm trying to, like, you know, what's the environment what is going on here, they're like, not implementing Ghana, but like, we can be able to look at him, as he as a case study, and then re model or solve that problem uniquely, to fit what is going on in Ghana, or Africa as a whole. And I always say that, like, Africa has so many unique problems, like so many, so many unique problem that is, like just crying out to be solved. Right. So like, waking up every day to see that, like you there's something out there to be solved in Ghana or Africa, like, just buzzes me, I'm like, yo, we can do this or like, yo, we are in the right space and right time to actually do something, right. And now, like, with a free medium of technology, and all that, like, you can sit here and then be able to write bunch of lines of code that will be able to, like, provide leverage for like tons of people back at home. So like, this is actually the right time to start something. And I'm not into like, you know, get quick money or like making money right now, we are looking at doing this thing and building is over a decade, to be able to like, provide our perfect market fit, right to be able to, like, give that local merchants the opportunity, like wherever he or she is, can be able to sell and then have fun while doing it. You know, so that that is like what keeps me you know, going, what keeps my team going, that is what like, you know, what keeps us iterating and staying up at night. So, did I dream of becoming like a founder or anything? I'll say, Oh, yes. And now seem and what is it called? The inputs that I need to like, you know, put into like, you know, make this thing work. It should Okay, now, you said you wanted to do this now. So like, Here you go, let's go, you know, show me what you got. So like, I'm just like, you know, enjoying the whole process of it. Yeah, that those days that like, you're like, fuck it. I don't want to do this anymore. Like, yeah, okay, like, you hit rock bottom in order. But I've found ways to like, you know, relax and breathe and all that through like meditation to taking long walks through journaling, and all that kind of stuff. Yeah, so yeah, basically, I'm enjoying the process. So far.
Kimmiko James 43:56
Spoken like a true entrepreneur at heart. Well, Charles, it's been a pleasure talking with you. And especially you sharing lots of advice, sharing your story a bit sharing about weenie, just really appreciate it. So, yeah. Lastly, where can people follow you your journey or find your services if you offer your mentorship services?
Charles Arday 44:20
Yeah, so I mean, everybody should be on LinkedIn right now. I don't know how you are living but like at least LinkedIn. My name is Charles ad on LinkedIn, ar D. A, Why are they here on LinkedIn, and then Instagram, Twitter is Mr. rd m, underscore er d y. And yeah, like, let's link up and then let's jump on a discovery call. Let's talk and let's help you you know, solve some of your problems. You know, yeah, and one thing I just want to put it out there is like, you know, we we are so fixated on like, what is going on in social media, we are looking at what other people are doing and then it's making us undermined Our own journey, man, like you see 22 year old people, and then they are crying or like they are worried that you don't have their life figured out. But you're 23 like, you don't need to have your life figured out, you know, just iterate, explore, right? And one thing that I've learned over this month is there are no failures is just feedbacks. Right? So everything that happens is a feedback that, oh, hey, this is gonna plan you don't do this. Change it, oh, maybe you try data science? Oh, maybe this is no use this feedback, I've taken it, I'm moving to this space, I'm gonna do this. Right. So you know, so like, Dan, understanding that, like, Hey, you know, what, there are no failures, it's just feedback. That is what like, people need to understand and then stop trying to, like, what is it called become another person or like, trying to, like, copy what other people are doing and being, like, you know, just order stuff, right. And when even when I Another thing I did want to throw out is like, you're gonna be authentic by like, being up or going to be authentic by like, building stuff for you, or like, just doing what is good. So you're gonna escape competition by being authentic. That's what I want to put out. Because in a space where everybody's trying to, like, put out like, different titles to their name and order, right? The only way you're gonna be able to stand out there and then be, like, recognized for your contributions and your services. And all that is like being authentic. And there's no other replica of you in this world. Not that I know, you know. So like, people should become authentic people should just do what they want to do. And stop listening to the noise out there. Yeah, that is.
Kimmiko James 46:30
Very well said, again, quite a bit of noise on social media. But like Charles said, I feel like most people in their 20s just freak out way too much. Just do your thing as your most authentic self, and you're going to be the happiest person ever. So yeah. But yeah, Charles, thanks for thanks for coming on. Really appreciate it.
Charles Arday 46:48
Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate your time today.
Kimmiko James 46:52
If you want to keep up with Charles reach out to him, be sure to connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, or his Instagram. Also, be sure to check out his company. Join me in the next episode, which I'll be joined by Tanaka will talk about VP of Engineering at names and faces. Can't wait for you to join me. Thank you again for listening to the black enterprise networks podcast. It would be greatly appreciated if you could leave a review on Apple podcasts or any other platform that has reviews.
Charles is a voracious reader who loves to learn, analyze and understand WHY things happen. He is willing to make anything happen, no excuse is acceptable. He believes that if anyone has ever achieved greatness at any point of time in history then what’s possible for one is possible for Him.
He is a well ground Tech and Business savvy who has keen interest Robotics, Modern trends, Entrepreneurs, investments, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data. He is obsessed about educating, motivating and exposing Millennials/Gen Z to the world of STEM and opportunities.