KUCI 88.9 FM: Entrepreneur Nation
[Ash Kumra]: Okay. We are back here on Entrepreneur Nation, here on KUCI 88.9 FM in Irvine. I'm your host with the most, Ash Kumra. I have two amazing people. By the way, how do I say your last name?
[Aaron Hinde]: Hinde. Everyone screws it up.
[Ash Kumra]: Hinde. Okay, it's not--
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah, like behind.
[Ash Kumra]: Behind. Okay [laughter]. You won't forget.
[Aaron Hinde]: There you go. I got Aaron Hinde with-- as you can see, this company-- people are checking in. FITAID, a dope product. I had mentioned this earlier, that I actually have had his product for almost a year now. A former guest introduced me. Bedros introduced me to your product.
[Aaron Hinde]: Oh, right on.
[Ash Kumra]: And then I went to F45, and they had your product. And so I was like-- and then I looked you guys up, and I saw what you're doing. And I'm like, "Dude, I got to talk to you," and there it is. You're here, so.
[Aaron Hinde]: Good to be here.
[Ash Kumra]: Super happy to have you. Berké Brown. Cape. He is the mindset coaches of mindset coaches. He is a performance coach. He's a behavior researcher. He's done some stuff. I mean a lot of people say they do behavior research and they do this stuff, but this cat got stuff from Berkeley. You know what I just realized? You know what's kind of funny? Your name is Berké, and you went to Berkeley [laughter]. I don't know if they named the school--
[Berké Brown]: [Wow?]. It was planned. It was the only reason I went there, actually.
[Ash Kumra]: I mean do they just say, "Hey, your name--"
[Berké Brown]: We're going to let him in [laughter].
[Aaron Hinde]: It's like a dentist named Dennis [laughter]. There's another [crosstalk], typically.
[Berké Brown]: Yeah, I'm going to go to Brown after this too. So that's the next university, right? To satisfy [inaudible].
[Aaron Hinde]: Dude, that'd be [crosstalk]. That would be intense.
[Ash Kumra]: So I have you both on here, but before we talk about the topic, mindset, is there anything I missed about your bios? Because I want to be respectful for all the great stuff you're doing. So why don't we start with you?
[Aaron Hinde]: I think you got it-- I don't know what you said, but I'm sure you got it covered.
[Ash Kumra]: I just said you've got a dope product. I mean FITAID has been around for a few years now, right?
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah, since 2011.
[Ash Kumra]: And you guys are national, right?
[Aaron Hinde]: We're national. We are.
[Ash Kumra]: I went to Whole Foods yesterday, and I mean-- when did you get into Whole Foods?
[Aaron Hinde]: Probably four years back. Yeah? Yeah. Yeah, we're in all Whole Foods.
[Ash Kumra]: Okay. Cool. Cool. And it's been a journey, right? Was this like you grew it in your lab or your well and farm in Santa Cruz, like you were saying? Or was it like-- how did the story start? I'm curious.
[Aaron Hinde]: Well, we visualized it. It's all about mindset, right? That's what we were talking about today.
[Aaron Hinde]: I mean it really-- as I was telling my man here, it's all about ignorance in passion for us. We didn't come from the beverage industry, but we're very passionate about health and wellness and what we put in our bodies as a direct reflection how we show up in the world and want to create better-for-you products, vitamins you'll actually enjoy drinking. That's what we're all about.
[Ash Kumra]: Okay. And how about you, man? What's your story, man?
[Berké Brown]: Yeah. Well, it's funny. I started off as a personal trainer back in the day. I was always into Think and Grow Rich. The Magic of Thinking Big. Reading all the books. I was a personal trainer. A quick story is, I had a client who was extremely weak. Small. Quiet. Right? And I'm like, "I want to help this guy." So as I started training him, he started getting more confident. His personality started shifting. He started making more jokes. He's like, "Hey I got a girlfriend." I'm like, "That's awesome. I'm glad to hear that."
[Ash Kumra]: You're like, "Pitch."
[Berké Brown]: "Get back to the weights, bro." In a big way, it really was like that because he would start to feel more confident, and then he got a girlfriend, and then he got engaged. And there was a point when we were at the wedding rehearsal. He was looking at me, and it was amazing because I was sitting down. He was standing up looking at me with tears in his eyes, and he goes, "If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have believed that I could get a girl like this." So for me, what became the most powerful thing was, "I wouldn't have believed." So I actually became more interested in the belief part than just the physical part. And so how do you empower people to believe that they're capable of getting a girl like that? A guy like that. A business like that. A family like that. A mindset like that. And so that's what kind of set me on the journey, and so I created a program that tied to the mindset and the physical. Then I just went to Berkeley, and I was like, "I got to research this mindset. How do you get people to change their behaviors?"
[Ash Kumra]: Hey, what did you find in your research? Because that's such a fascinating topic.
[Berké Brown]: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, it's funny. People are always saying, "What's the answer? What's the answer?" And it's not about an answer; it's about an environment. How do you create an environment where it lessens the likelihood of you giving up? See, when people start things, they have certain things that stop them when they're excited, too, as they make the first mistake. And then they self-sabotage. So if you provide yourself with the right thinking and the right environment and the right behaviors, then it kind of increases your likelihood to be successful. So it's actually pulling from social cognitive theory, but it's an amazing process to watch somebody begin to believe and then surround themselves with other people that believe and then, from there, change their behavior.
[Ash Kumra]: What is social cognitive theory?
[Berké Brown]: So Albert Bandura talks about what causes people to to act. How do you move? So if I believe something about myself, like, "I'm not capable," then I won't try. I'll either avoid or I'll fail early. Right? So that's the mindset. If I believe I am capable, like what you said. You said, "Ignorance of passion." He was ignoring the fact that it wasn't an industry that he's in, but he was passionate about that industry. Therefore, he created it. So he only focused on what was capable and didn't focus on what wasn't. So that's the cognitive portion. The behavior is you just acting out on it and then kind of getting a feedback loop of seeing yourself succeed and then believing in yourself more. And the final thing is having a team. That's your environment.
[Ash Kumra]: One thing I find fascinating is what experiences lead you to work on what you're meant to do. So I'm curious here. What led you to decide to create FITAID?
[Aaron Hinde]: Well, how I was raised was very supportive. I mean talk about the environment. And I was thinking about the topic today on the plane and thinking about the type of reinforcement I got from my father. Specifically, he would say things like, "Your attitude is your altitude," or "The sky's the limit." I mean those became mantras around my house, so I always came from a can-do attitude, "We're gonna do something big." And like we were talking about before the interview here, it's like every challenge that we have in life, every entrepreneurial venture, every "failure," is actually just an obstacle that was meant to be there, meant to put us on a certain trajectory, meant to give us a certain skill set to get us to that next level. And so this is a culmination of years of those "failures" and successes and learning experiences and then meeting the right business partner that really had a certain skill set that I was lacking in. Having the support structure from our significant others, our wives. I mean I couldn't imagine trying to be an entrepreneur and not having support from your significant other. Talk about sabotaging. If you came home and every day when you weren't making any money [laughter]-- the sky is falling, and all you heard was, "You piece of crap," and "I told you we shouldn't have done this." Imagine being in that environment. Instead it's like, "No, this is going to work. We're going to get through that." Having that and then building out our team, that's just such [inaudible] your players to be able to execute. I mean it's that combination of all of these ingredients have to come together mixed with the right timing and the right products and the right vision. And fortunately, it's been working out for us.
[Ash Kumra]: Okay. How about you, man?
[Berké Brown]: It's amazing. Amazing.
[Ash Kumra]: Tell us about your background, your upbringing. Specifically what helped you make this foundation you have now?
[Berké Brown]: Yeah! Absolutely. No, it's such a great question, man, because it really doesn't matter. It's the environment. And how you move through the environment is what really makes a difference. My father, he was about the books: Think and Grow Rich, The Magic of Thinking Big, Og Mandino, these books. What he would always say is-- he goes, "Whatever the mind of man can conceive, he can achieve." And it's just kind of harking back, hearing these stories. It's like, "Wow, how important the upbringing is in a lot of ways," or surrounding yourself or finding that. But that's just the way my father was. He was always into-- he did Amway. He was reading those books, and everybody was talking about those things, and so that mindset really just-- it bled onto me. And I always knew that I was capable of doing more. Right?
[Berké Brown]: And I also knew that I had this ability, as random as it was. I could see two people speak, and I don't know if it was hyper empathy, but I could understand where a person was coming and when they said something, how it negatively affect the other person, how their ego would kind of rise up, and how an argument would come out of nothing. And so at first, I thought that it was just, "Why can't anybody see what I'm seeing?" I realized that I had a skill set, and there's this ability to have compassion for understanding what people are going through, and that they're really-- no bad guy thinks he's the bad guy. You know what I mean? In your mind, you think that this person cuts me off because he hates me or he doesn't like me, but the truth is, when you cut somebody off, you're like, "I didn't mean to. I was late. I forgot." You know what I mean? So when you have the ability to stand in the shoes of another person, it gives you compassion, and it gives you that kind of perspective from a higher level. And so my work is, when I look at people, I'm looking at them from a higher level. There's a great quote. I heard it from Les Brown. He goes, "Look at a man the way he is, he only becomes worse. Look at a man as if he were who he could be, then he'll become who we should be." Right?
[Aaron Hinde]: Powerful. Yeah.
[Ash Kumra]: Wow. That's deep.
[Berké Brown]: And I live by that. You see the greatness that's already there. And Abraham Lincoln, he says, "I am the person I am today because I had a friend who believed me, and I didn't have the gall to let him down." [laughter] Right?
[Ash Kumra]: Wow. That's true.
[Berké Brown]: So when you set that up, when you set people up, and you say, "Hey, you are great," and not in a cliché way-- I kind of see myself as the guy who breaks open clichés and holds the pearl. But when you realize that greatness is actually a right, like you were born into it, and when you take off that veil of doubt, then you become empowered to make change that's real. That's real. You know what I mean? So--
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah. We all have our own unique ability, right?
[Berké Brown]: Absolutely.
[Aaron Hinde]: And it's negative programming between 0 and 7 years old that--
[Berké Brown]: To 10.
[Aaron Hinde]: --gives us the doubt and the fear and the anxiety. And when you're a kid, you're the best salesman there is. I mean a kid wants something, and they're like, "No. Yeah, I'm getting that. I'm getting that." They can be persistent as heck. Right? And they can wear you down as a parent. So they don't learn-- they're programmed from us, parents, and from teachers, especially. Teachers notoriously come from scarcity mode, unfortunately. The system. Their friends. There's so many forces. Television, the big one, right? I mean that's why cut out cable when we got pregnant with our oldest. It's just I saw that negative programming. I'm like, "We've got to get away from this."
[Ash Kumra]: That's a smart move. So you have no cable in your house?
[Aaron Hinde]: No. Haven't for 17 years.
[Ash Kumra]: God. That's so good.
[Berké Brown]: When I was a kid, my dad actually-- my mom and dad didn't let us watch TV on the weekdays.
[Ash Kumra]: Smart.
[Berké Brown]: But at the time, you're like, "What devils." [laughter] All my friends are just like-- and I'm like, "Can I please, a little bit? Can I just watch a little bit?" So Friday and Saturday, you're making up for all the lost time, but you don't realize that you don't become attached to television. It's like kids who were raised eating healthy. They don't understand why people eat unhealthy. Because your body has adapted to it. So that was a huge benefit, too, so I loved that. That's awesome.
[Ash Kumra]: Going back to both your businesses, and then we're gonna dive into the main topic mindset. Where in your life did you realize you needed to make this product? Were you in a health situation yourself? Did you have someone, and you're like, "I can't believe that happened to them"?
[Aaron Hinde]: No. Great question. I had always been a little bit of a chemist in my own kitchen, making up my own shakes with turmeric and ginger powder and Creatine and peanut butter and protein powder and doing-- I used to make, always, all my own stuff. But I was a sports chiropractor for 10 years in Santa Cruz and seeing a lot of high-level athletes come into the office drinking not-so-healthy beverages and really encouraging them to get off of those because I felt it would negatively affect their performance in the long run. And they would say, "Okay, I'd get off it, but what else? What should I drink?" basically asking for advice on what should they turn to outside of water. And there wasn't anything to point them to. There wasn't anything to point them to. And Orion and I, my business partner, we both have young kids, and it was like we knew. We wanted to create something that we have full authenticity in offering to our own children.
[Ash Kumra]: So dope.
[Aaron Hinde]: So I mean I couldn't put something out where, if I knew it had 300 milligrams of caffeine, it's going to give my kid an arrhythmia. Or it's jacked full of artificial sweeteners or colors and all that garbage. Right?
[Ash Kumra]: Yeah, your FOCUSAID has 100mg, right? I had your Focus in the past. 100 milligrams, right?
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah. 100 milligrams green tea and Nootropics as well.
[Ash Kumra]: Yeah. I love that. And I mean you're in phenomenal shape. You told me last time we met, a week or two ago, that you'd been into bodybuilding again. What role did fitness and working out play with what you're about?
[Berké Brown]: Such a great question. Well, I'll say this. The Internal Gym is the name of my business. The internal gym is your mind. I came from the gym, the external gym, and realized that the exercises of the brain are the most important. What I say is, "Before you go to the body first, you first must water the mind." When you are physically training, certain things happen. When I face resistance, I'm doing resistance training. I grow; my muscles grow. Resistance equals growth. But in the real world, when people experience resistance, they're like, "Oh, it's a bad day," right? It's Mercury retrograde. I mean whatever it is. These are the things, but we don't realize it. If I saw resistance in the gym as growth, why don't I see resistance in my life as growth? And so my ability to kind of correlate the physical experience with the mental experience is what's so powerful. Like we were talking outside is, if you say you can't run a distance, and you run it, you're out of breath and excited. And I say, "What else in your life do you believe that you can't do?" Right? When you lift something you said you can't-- our brain, when we're-- if put yourself in an exercise situation without hurting yourself and go to where your brain tells you to stop, your body can continue to go. But your brain is actually verbally saying something. And if you can start to hear those sentences, then you realize that it's just truly self talk. Talk, it's all talk. Then there's a physical place that you can get to. And so really, what I wanted to do is create a program that ties around those experiences where it's physical and mental. And as time went by, I started focusing more and more on the mental because the mental will then enact the physical. Right? So all clients, they have to go through some type of health, whether it's meditation or anything like that, in order to increase their their cognition so that they can make the changes. So I was like, "Okay, I'm going full board in this. I want to do The Internal Gym. I want to create this program that helps people exercise their minds so they can change their lives."
[Ash Kumra]: So one thing I admire about both of you, it sounds like you both have good work ethics and habits. What are some daily rituals that both of you do? And I'll start with you. What do you do? And it could be anything. There's no right or wrong.
[Aaron Hinde]: I have a very detailed daily ritual.
[Ash Kumra]: Oh, okay. I thought you were about to say, "I don't do anything. I just wake up--"
[Berké Brown]: "I just woke up like this."
[Ash Kumra]: "I drink focus, and I'm like, 'Ah, ready to be fit.'"
[Aaron Hinde]: "I'm ready to go. Shower and FITAID [laughter]."
[Ash Kumra]: You're doing it well. I'm telling you. I have this idea that you had [laughter].
[Aaron Hinde]: No, I'll make it as quick as I can, but basically, I get up at 6 o'clock every morning. I'll fill out the five-minute journal. If you're not familiar with it, it's three things that you're grateful for, three things that'll make today great in one's self-affirmation. I'll hop in the shower. I'll do one round of Wim Hof breathing. I'll slam the hot water off and do about a minute cold plunge. I'll do a Keto coffee with, usually, some eggs from our chickens, and I'll take some supplements. I take my son to school. We'll do a morning prayer together, and then I'll ask him, verbally, the five-minute journal. What is he grateful for? What'll help make his day great? And then one self-affirmation. And I go down to Natural Bridges beach. I do a short walk, about a quarter mile. Get to the beach. Let the sun hit me. Do another deeper round of Wim Hof breathing. I ground myself, so I'll take my hands and just put them into the sand [inaudible] and just kind of feel that and what that's all about and then do some box breathing, a little bit of meditation, walk back, and then I'm ready to rock and roll. Get in right around 8:00, 8:15.
[Ash Kumra]: Okay. Any certain foods you eat consistently when you're in your peak time of work, or?
[Aaron Hinde]: I do pretty good on a heavier keto, higher protein diet. I have such a sweet tooth. I love carbs, but it really throws me off. So I do better in my much higher protein and healthy fat content, yeah.
[Ash Kumra]: Okay. Cool. How about you? What's your rituals?
[Berké Brown]: I love it. Yeah, my ritual starts at night. I have a night ritual, and so what it is is real basic. I separate it into kind of grand vision, then small things to do. Did you fight the urge to-- the sleep urge?Because sometimes when you're working so hard, you're like, "Okay, I just got to keep going." So if I fight the sleep-- and I actually give them points, so there's a higher point system. If I fought the sleep urge, it's a higher point system. Right? So I have this on this-- I created it on Survey Monkey. And so it asks, "Did you fight the urge? Did you go to bed on time?" And it says, "What are the top three tasks that you have for tomorrow? Were you successful achieving your top three tasks today?" And then the little area from notes, lessons learned-- because I'm trying to, every time, fix myself a little bit more. Why is my ratio-- is it either that I'm putting too much on my plate-- I just need to know how long it takes me to do what I need to do so I can go to be good at that. And then I have a little space for kudos, where I get myself kudos on any successes in the day, even if I didn't do well. And then I get a percentage grade, which sets me up for the morning.
[Berké Brown]: When I wake up, I have a morning ritual. The morning ritual is the first three things that you're grateful for. It says, "What do you want to create in the world? What do you want to create in the world for others? What you want to create in the world for yourself?" Some type of affirmation. Three topics, three main things that you want to get done. Oh, ''What is the theme?" because I have my weeks separated by themes, so--
[Ash Kumra]: What do you mean by that?
[Berké Brown]: So Monday would be client day. That's when I have a major focus time for clients. So anything that, if I'm putting-- because the thing is, when you're just throwing all of your tasks out, randomly, throughout the week, there's no story. And the narrative is everything to be internally motivated. I have to have a reason why I'm doing this as opposed to just checking off the list. If my highest motivation is to check off a list, then I'm not motivated by my purpose. Right? So clients day, I set my clients, and during the focus hours that I have, then I have shotgun tasks. Those shotgun tasks are just any tasks that randomly need to get done that day. Right? And then I have a day where it's focusing on the finance or focusing on the marketing or focusing on-- so each day has its theme and its power. Right. So then I make sure that everything is put into the proper bucket, and then, from that space, I can allow myself to not have to think, "What day am I going to do that?" I'm going to do that on marketing day. It's as simple as that. Oh, personal self-motivation day? Sunday. That's when I connect to God. That's when I connect myself, to my spirit, and my social life. Who are the people around me that I need to connect with? Reach out to people.
[Berké Brown]: So then I have-- so I finish off. I do my meditation, and I do different types of meditation depending on how I feel. I used to be very strict on what type of-- I was trying to do transcendental meditation, but what happened was, because I felt like if I didn't do it, I was bad, it worked against me. So now, what happens is, I have flexible meditation. So what I do is, either I can do something as simple as [headspace?] or calm, where certain breaths that I do-- or if I decide to do transcendental, but I do it for a kind of period of time. And then I'm off into my day. And it ends with simple, "Did you do your stretches? Did you make your bed?" Because it's these small wins that give you the motivation to push on forward from there.
[Aaron Hinde]: I love it.
[Berké Brown]: Yeah. So those are kind of like-- I say the night and the morning is actually one time. But it's your sandwich. From there, you're either controlled by what pops into your phone or by who talks to you or by what intention you want to set. You know what I mean?
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah.
[Berké Brown]: So that's extremely important to me.
[Aaron Hinde]: I love that, setting the intention for the day. Having a client day as the focus of this day or this week. That's powerful. Because I'm one of those multitask type of guys, where I know there's no such thing, but I like to have organized chaos going off, and I feel like I can hop from one thing or another. But because I get distracted so easy, having a theme-- it's like, "Okay, I'm going to crush New Business Day, and that's all I'm going focus on, and just kind of clear it out." That would helpful for someone like myself.
[Ash Kumra]: That's rad. It's funny. One little hack I use-- I keep my phone on silent the whole time. Because do you really need to hear the ring? I mean you will look at your phone. If someone's ringing, you will see a little light. You know what I mean? I think it's very easy for us to get distracted by our own distractions, like the phone. What are some distractions that you have learned to get out of your life? You mentioned TV. Is there anything else either you have gotten out? For me, it's not having the ringer on.
[Berké Brown]: Right. I'm thinking about my distractions. I think the distraction-- I'm not trying to go meta, okay?
[Ash Kumra]: Go meta.
[Berké Brown]: Because I'm not trying to-- it's not a philosophy class.
[Ash Kumra]: Remember, I said you can do anything...
[Berké Brown]: Yeah. Okay. Because the thing is, at the end of the day, meta comes down to what are you doing. I don't care what you can speak about. What do you end up doing? But I think, for me, one of the things is, even recently, you can have bad days or bad hours. You can have a little pity party sometimes. What happens is, when you're in a space that you're not feeling strong, you acknowledge it. So before, what I could do is, I could find myself being like, "I'm supposed to be strong now." Right? But the reality is, this is just that time that will pass. And when you allow that, you don't allow the self-sabotaging thoughts to get a grip on it. And when the grip is there, then you start to pull in narratives. You ever had that, where you're having a bad day, and you're like, "Oh, of course that would happen." Somebody smiles at you; you don't acknowledge it, but some somebody frowns, "Of course that would happen." And you pull the narrative to say how guilty or how bad the day was.
[Aaron Hinde]: Well, you're manifesting it.
[Berké Brown]: Absolutely. And manifestation is an interesting thing because I think it works both ways. You can actually create from nothing, a thing, or you can put up the station. 88.9 is going to only pick up 88.9 Right? So your antenna is the manifestation or whatever it is you're creating from nothing. Right, so but are you-- but the thing is, for me, one of the greatest things is that, when I'm with my clients, whether it's with an organization or with an individual, it's how quickly can we get you to bounce back. You're going to fall. It's not about how high can I get you. It's how fast can I get you to bounce back because that'll determine how high you get.
[Aaron Hinde]: Love it.
[Berké Brown]: So that's why, for me, if I have a bad day, it was just that moment, and I accept it; I honor it. I gave it its voice, but I'm not going to let it continue to talk to me because it's past. So that's something for me that's been very, very helpful. And so I'm going to try to have my clients engage in--
[Aaron Hinde]: What do they say, "All anxiety--" you look at a lot of psychological issues that we're dealing with that are heavily medicated today: depression, anxiety, right? It's focusing on things that have happened in the past that we cannot change or focusing on a future that has not happened yet. They're both symptoms of the exact same disease which is lack of being present right now. So for me, I find, when I get in the funk, or I get the demon on my shoulder whispering into my ear a little too frequently, or I get in that negative mindset, I will go for a little walk, take some deep breaths, and then be hyper vigilant, hyper present about everything, the way the sun is hitting the leaves and the wind is blowing and what the birds are doing. And just be so engaged because when you're hyper-present, you get very appreciative. It's so amazing. I mean that's why I live out in the mountains. It's so beautiful. We're so blessed to be alive right now and live in this ...
[Ash Kumra]: The greatest time to ever live.
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah, in this state. I mean--
[Ash Kumra]: I know. You're so right.
[Berké Brown]: Especially where you live.
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah. It's just so amazing. And just to "stop and smell the roses" once in a while and appreciate that. Then guess what? All that negative self-talk goes away because they can't coexist. You can't exist in presence and appreciation and through negativity, depression, and anxiety at the same time.
[Ash Kumra]: You have an interesting energy about the Santa Cruz area because CrossFit was started down there, right?
[Aaron Hinde]: Greg, yeah. Started in Santa Cruz.
[Ash Kumra]: So did you guys know each other when you guys were building your business? I'm just curious because he launched around 2011. Maybe not right at that time, but he launched around the time when you launched FITAID.
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah, I never knew Greg. I saw him because I had memberships at World Gym, Gold's Gym, and Nautilus, mainly because the memberships were like 10 bucks a month each, and there were different sets of ladies at each gym [laughter]. And so I would hop around training at all three, and I'd see him running small groups of people in a gym and taking up three or four pieces of equipment at Gold's. And then two weeks later, he was gone because he got kicked out of that gym [laughter]. Then I'd see the 24 hour, doing the same thing--
[Berké Brown]: It's just beautiful.
[Aaron Hinde]: --and get kicked out of there. Then I'd see him at World's and get kicked out of there, and then, I think, out of frustration, is why he finally started his own gym. He's like, "I'm getting kicked out everywhere--"
[Ash Kumra]: I love that.
[Aaron Hinde]: --so I only knew Greg through that. And then very early in CrossFit, when I was a chiro, I was treating a lot of people from CrossFit headquarters and some of the athletes coming into town. My office was in Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County, and that's where CrossFit headquarters is as well.
[Ash Kumra]: It's a small world. Yeah. So Berké, I love that you talked about bad days, and that's actually the one part I wanted to ask you both about is, how have you used mindset to overcome something that's been hard with your business? And obviously, I'd rather talk about the earlier days when you've got nothing to lose, and you have no sources. And why don't we start with you? And if you can be specific, that'd be great for our audience. You don't have to use actual names or numbers, but a specific situation where things were tough, but because of your mindset, you were able to get through it.
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah, and I would not just call it mindset. I would call it, say, intentional mindset or mindful mindset. Because we all have a mindset, regardless of whether we're intentional about it or not. And the less intentional we are, the more negative it can spiral. And then we're either tuning into that station or we're manifesting those negative things in our life. So being intentionable about mindset-- I think some of that early programming was helpful. And now I think about it, I almost got some of the opposite programming from my mother around money, "Money doesn't grow on trees," and that type of programming. But for me, there's so many challenges in the early days. I mean there's still so many today. I mean being an entrepreneur and putting it all out on the line. Burning your ships at the shore. There's so many challenges. It's daily that you could easily say, "Screw this. It's not worth it," and "I'm done." And the financial realities, too, and the financial pressures. So being aware that I am creating; I'm manifesting this reality.
[Aaron Hinde]: And that awareness started happening, I think, when I was a chiropractor, and there'd be somebody that I hadn't seen in the office for a couple of years. I'd wake up in the morning. Their image, their name was in my head. I'd walk in. Guess who would show up that day? "Oh, I hurt myself playing tennis," or whatever, "I got a rotary--" And I used to be like, "Oh, my gosh. I was just thinking about you this morning," and then it happened so frequently that I expected it. I knew it. I knew I was manifesting, and therefore, I wouldn't even mention it to the person anymore. It was just part of that reality. So bringing that into our business, and when things were going really bad and going, "Hey. This is temporary. This obstacle is the way. This little challenge is exactly what we need at this moment to deepen our relationship." If you're talking about my business partner and I or figure a marketing piece out that wasn't working or turn an investor pitch that we were getting a no on into yes's. If everything's a yes, and everything is hunky dory, then you don't change anything that you're doing, and therefore, you become stagnant, and you die off. Right? So looking at those challenges and those obstacles in a positive light and really challenging and taking those head on and knowing that that is exactly what you need.
[Aaron Hinde]: Tony Robbins says, "Life is not happening to us. It's happening for us." Right? It's happening for us. So when you buy into that, and I totally buy into that - in my deepest parts of my soul, I buy into that - then how you're approaching things and being conscious about your mindset is step one. Observing your thought process.
[Ash Kumra]: Okay. How about you, man?
[Berké Brown]: Yeah. I think, really, there's something big about knowing the story. When you look at a magician, right, and you see them do magic, you're like "Wow." But as soon as you see what the magic trick is, it's no longer magic. Right? All of the mysteriousness just dissipates because you know what's happening. One of the things-- I had a tanning business back in the day called Mocha Express Tanning [laughter].
[Ash Kumra]: Are you joking?
[Berké Brown]: I swear to you. And I literally--
[Ash Kumra]: Like '93 [laughter]?
[Berké Brown]: Right. Yeah, exactly. Mocha Express Tanning. This was back in the day, and it was a perfect thing because--
[Ash Kumra]: It worked.
[Berké Brown]: Yeah, right? That's what I did [laughter]. That's exactly what I did. I was the after--
[Aaron Hinde]: We're both brown, for those that can't see.
[Berké Brown]: Yeah, exactly. Right? So what happens is, I had this business idea where $7 per spray tan, and I was charging it for $9. I'm like, "Hey, this is business. Let's make this happen," right? Before I started, before I jumped in, I wanted to-- there's a book that I was reading that says, "Worst-case scenario, what would happen?" Right? The worst case scenario, barring death.
[Aaron Hinde]: Barring death.
[Berké Brown]: Right? Or sickness or some randomness. For me, it was closing because at the time, it was at the gym. I was with my mentor. He was helping me out and stuff like that. So it was like, "For it to be unsuccessful, and my mentor would be mad." Right? I was a young guy. One of my first businesses. I'm like, "Okay. Let me let me try it out." So I wrote down what would happen, and it says, "Now that you know, what would it require for you to get back to the black?" So I wrote that entire narrative, that entire story, of what would happen to get back to the black. And guess what happened? One of my employees didn't show up for my mentor's client. And he's like, "Mocha Express is done." And I remember the moment where I was, living at... I remember what happened, what I felt, and it wasn't grey depression. It was déjà vu. I've been here before. And since I'm not dead, I know how to get out of this. So what I did was, I was able to not overwhelm myself with this feeling of failure and realize that there is a escape. There's a way out. Most people are afraid to do anything because they think they will die.
[Berké Brown]: It was an awesome story. I think it was Steve McQueen and Bruce Lee. They were running, and Steve McQueen's just like, "Bruce. Bruce, I'm out. I'm going to die." So Bruce Lee turns around, and he's just jogging in place, and he goes, "Then die [laughter]." Right?
[Aaron Hinde]: "Then die."
[Berké Brown]: "Then die." If you're going to die, then die, but the truth is, we fear we're going to die; we're not going to die. We fear we're going to die, and that fear is what kills us, not death. Right?
[Ash Kumra]: Dude, I love that story because remember, offline, we were talking about my near-death experiences?
[Berké Brown]: Right.
[Ash Kumra]: With mavericks. With skiing. It's because I didn't think I was going to die, in a way, which is why I got over it quickly. It was like it sucks; I was hurt; move on because I knew wasn't my time to leave this world. Not from a spiritual-- I was just like, "I'm just not ready to die."
[Berké Brown]: Dude, your thinking has so much to do with how you physically act, how you manifest, whether it's a real manifestation or just focus. But what happened was, I wasn't dead. And I was able to rebuild the business, have a re-grand opening with a partner, and then sell it off to them. So what happens? The narrative is, I literally made money to a massive lesson and tell a story that I'm sharing with the audience right now. And it's from my own experiences, and it's by me understanding that failure is not failure unless you stop. Right? It's that existence of understanding that that really sets the tone. So even with my clients, just a real quick aside is that when my clients start, I say, "You're going to have a down period." I'm waiting for that moment that you fail because that's when we can really get to work. I'm preparing you, and I'm letting you know what's going to happen. Then when you have that down moment-- what do you call-- it's like a valley of despair because you start off optimistic and excited, all the hype. And as time goes by, you realize it's not as easy as you thought it was. Then you're like, "Am I even capable of this?" At that moment, is where all the tools truly come out to empower people to push past that. So the downs are part of the tools and the data that you can pull out on how to bring yourself back up. That's the bounce back. So understanding the story is what makes it easier to live through it.
[Ash Kumra]: I love that you talked about mentors. And actually, that's actually my final question before we adjourn. Because I don't know if you realize, but it's already 5:46. We've been talking for over 30 minutes straight. That's how fast and inspiring this is. So it's been fun. Tell us. I'm curious. Who is someone you admire? You just think, "God, they have that intentional mindset, and they're learning and growing. They're just crushing it," and this can be-- I want to hear about someone besides family, someone you know. I want to hear for someone that you've read or you look up to and why. And then we'll talk about personal mentors.
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah. I would say aspirational mentor that I've heard speak live but never met personally would be Richard Branson, for me. Because no, he's not a brilliant engineer, like an Elon Musk, and he's not a Steve Jobs, but he can take existing things and just make them so much better. And just the way he shows up in the world and how he holds space is so incredible. The guy is just like the ultimate entrepreneurial rock star, so he would be my pick.
[Ash Kumra]: How about you, man?
[Berké Brown]: You know what? It's interesting. There's, gosh, so many. It's such a difficult thing. What came to mind first, and it's not literally his leadership style, but Steve Jobs. And the reason I say that is only for the ability to see something so hard. I can't even say strong. He saw it so hard that other people believed in it and believed it and created it. There's something. I forgot what it was called. Do you know? He said that people said there was an aura, like the job aura or something like that.
[Aaron Hinde]: Reality distortion.
[Berké Brown]: Reality distortion field. Oh! That is all I'm talking about. That, right there. The ability to believe in something so clearly that other people get vision, and you distort reality, and all reality is what the rest of the world has accepted. To where what you accept and don't accept, others accept and don't accept. And because I accept that all people are great in their own unique way, then they accept that. You know what I mean?
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah.
[Berké Brown]: I've got to just say that my-- I'm going to share my vision statement real quick because I got to get out. It says, "I envision a world where boundless imagination and creativity is applied to life itself. Where the very art of living is mastered and evolved as each individual is empowered to express their unique greatness in the world." That's all I'm here to do. And anybody that has the ability to help bring that to reality is a mentor of mine. And when I see that reality distortion field, I want that vision to be the distortion field that people walk into when they come by me. And then when I come by the people that work with me. Because it's no longer just about me. It's an idea that's bigger. Right? So when I hear that phrase that you said, there's something powerful in it.
[Ash Kumra]: I love it.
[Aaron Hinde]: It's great.
[Ash Kumra]: How about personal mentors, someone whom you're around that's been in your life?
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah, my father would be the first mentor of mine. And my mom has very late stage Alzheimer's right now and just watching him be so congruent with how he raised us and taking care of her. Ben Altadonna, a good friend of mine. I told a story before. When we were broke, just getting started, he wrote $25,000 check for us to be part of a big mastermind marketing group, which really made a difference for our business, with no paperwork, nothing. "Just pay me back when you can." And he's also opened my mind up to the possibilities with marketing and behavioral psychology, human psychology. He's been really big. Also, Michael Watkins, ex superintendent in Santa Cruz County, whose-- I was twice elected on the county board of education. He's the superintendent, and just made a major impression on me at that point in my life. I just wanted to acknowledge him as well.
[Ash Kumra]: How about you, man?
[Berké Brown]: Yeah. I would say my mom. She's Ethiopian-American, and she is the embodiment of love and compassion. And no matter how alpha or weight-lifting and all that stuff that I can be, there's this heart of compassion that I really got from her. And her ability to love and her ability to connect with her higher power, I think that's one most beautiful things. So no matter how much knowledge you have, no matter how much strength you have, no matter how much charisma you have, if you don't have that center, then you're using it wrong. Right? So I think that my mom is somebody that is a mentor to me. My father, when I was younger, provided me these books and this pathway. You know what I mean? So I have to absolutely acknowledge that. One of my mentors when I was at Berkeley, Dan Mulhern, just took me under his wing. And he talked about everyday leadership, and that's leading up. You are a leader no matter where you are. It is not to do with anything about what your title is or what your role is. Leading is something that a human does. And then Travis Mayfield. He's one of my first mentors. He had me read books and write essays about it. And one of the greatest things I got from him-- the guy, still to this day, he calls or texts and leaves a message on my phone. He does it for like 40 people. The guy was in Vietnam. He's amazing. He has three fingers. They call him The Claw. He's a beast, but he calls with a motivational quote every morning. He's been doing that for me for about four or five years. Right? But also, one of the things that he said that was the most powerful-- he goes, "Whenever somebody gives you a compliment, you give it away as quick as possible. Just give it away."
[Ash Kumra]: Give me an example of that. That's really cool.
[Berké Brown]: He said it. I just did right now. If I said, "Give it away," as soon as you said, "That's really cool," he did it. Because I don't need to own that. Because whatever I keep, my ego keeps. Whatever my ego keeps, my present self doesn't keep, and the world loses.
[Ash Kumra]: No doubt. Yeah. Okay.
[Berké Brown]: Right? So that's something that...
[Ash Kumra]: Well, I want to thank you both for being on the show. We're going to get you on for a-- [laughter]. We can talk about it. We could talk about life. And I'd actually love to talk about having a good parent because, by the way, I don't have kids yet. But when I'm near having kids, I'm going to call you because you seem like the best father ever.
[Berké Brown]: Right?
[Ash Kumra]: I am serious, man. I'm tearing up inside. Dude, your ritual with your son?
[Berké Brown]: I know!
[Ash Kumra]: And the way you--
[Berké Brown]: 00:37:25.747 It's awesome, man.
[Ash Kumra]: You're a very inspiring father.
[Aaron Hinde]: Any parent out there will tell you we're all doing the best that we know how. Our parents did the best. As much as they could've screwed us up or did screw us up, they did the best that they thought they could, and I mean we'll find out in the future [laughter] how it turns out.
[Berké Brown]: Manifest. Manifest. Manifest.
[Aaron Hinde]: Yeah, exactly [laughter].
[Ash Kumra]: My last question for both of you is just, what is a quote or phrase that you live by? We'll end on that note.
[Aaron Hinde]: Do you want to start? I'll jump in if you're still thinking, so.
[Berké Brown]: Yeah.
[Aaron Hinde]: So I mentioned Ben Altadonna, my mentor. I was at a marketing conference that he was putting on. There was a hypnotist there, Marshall Sylver. He's been on David Letterman. He's a big hypnotist. He has a show in Vegas. Flashy Rolex watch full of diamonds. He brought a bunch of people up, hypnotized them, and I tried to go up to get hypnotized. I'm not hypnotizable, apparently, so I got kicked out of the group. But he had people doing all kinds of crazy stuff. Long story short, he's at the bar after the day ended. I go up and sit next to him. I'm like, "Hey Marshall. I'm just starting out. Is there anything you can give me, anything I can put into practice that'll subconsciously train myself to be successful in life?" He said, "Aaron, yes there is." He said, "Every day, when you wake up, say, 'Today is a fabulous day filled with opportunity and potential.' And if you do that every morning for five years, you'll be a million dollars richer." That's how specific he was. So when I'm dropping my son off, and he opens the door to go to school, he always looks at me, and we both say, "Today is a fabulous day full of opportunity and potential."
[Ash Kumra]: Love it. How about you, man?
[Berké Brown]: That's beautiful, man.
[Ash Kumra]: That's awesome.
[Berké Brown]: I think it's the, "Wash your bowl." You know what I mean? Right?
[Aaron Hinde]: I love it. It's the greatest.
[Berké Brown]: It's got to be. Because literally, with my clients, and just with myself-- so I'll just tell-- the quick story is, there's a new monk. He comes to the monastery, and he sees the chief monk, the head monk, and he's like, "I'm going to go talk to him. I want to ask him a question." So he finished eating, and he walks up to the monk, and he goes, "Hey, I'm new here, and is there any advice that you can give me that can help me evolve in my time here?" And the monk just kind of smiled at him, and he looked at him. He goes, "Wash your bowl." And so he's like, "Wait, what?" So he grabs his bowl, and he's washing it, and as he's washing it, he's noticing the water. He's feeling the food cleaning off. He's understanding that he's cleaning off this bowl, and it's going to be repurposed and reused by somebody else, and he kind of becomes present to the moment. He realizes that there's a deep truth in it. And I think, for most people, everybody's spending most of their lives trying to get somewhere else, myself included. But when I think about, "Wash your bowl," it just means, "Be present." And so one of the things that is the most important thing is that of all the things that can happen the world, the only thing that ever does happen is what's happening right now. And to be present in that and to find joy in that because then the rest is just the cherry on top. You know what I mean?
[Aaron Hinde]: Amen, brother.
[Ash Kumra]: Well, thank you both for being on the show. Sincerely. This was a great interview.
[Berké Brown]: It was awesome.
[Aaron Hinde]: Thanks for having us. It was fun.
[Berké Brown]: Yeah, this was great.
[Ash Kumra]: All right, everyone, you are tuned in to Entrepreneur Nation on KUCI 88.9 FM. If you are interested in connecting with me, A-S-H K-U-M-R-A@KUCI.org. Or just find me on Instagram or LinkedIn. A-S-H K-U-M-R-A. We'll definitely make sure to promote all the projects that these two individuals are working on. And yeah, I'd love your support, and I'd love to hear your feedback on upcoming guests. We got a great show next week. We're actually going to talk about how to crush it in investing. We actually have Accelerate OC's Carey Ransom joining us. He's one of the top Angel Ventures investors in Orange County. He was actually one of the founding investors of Veggie Grill, so I'm curious to talk to him about that as well. But yeah, keep supporting the station. It's a 24 by 7 endeavor. One thing I love about this station is that there's always something on. Even on Christmas Day, there's something on. Even if it's recorded or prerecorded, it doesn't matter. You've got to support media, and you get to hear amazing stories and music and guests like the two that we just had. And yeah, have a great day, and I'm going to play you some music before our next show comes on. Thanks. [music]
[Ash Kumra]: All right. We done.
[Aaron Hinde]: All right [laughter].
- Click here to check out other episodes of Entrepreneur Nation with Ash Kumar on KUCI.
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