How To Make A Positive Social Impact And Bring Others Along For The Ride, Muyambi Muyambi, Founder of Cycle Connect and Author of The Magical Wooden Bicycle, Episode 51

Ever wanted to make a difference yet you were unsure about how to begin or what it would require? Well, this week’s guest lays out your first step and he talks about how not looking for approval is key to making an impact in any space. Muyambi Muyambi is the Founder of Cycle Connect, a non-profit that began as a lease-to-own bicycle organization that saw how bicycles were used to create access to critical resources, increase income, and improve rural livelihoods. An organization that now also applies the same model to more productive assets to give its clients more opportunities to invest in their futures.

Muyambi is a native of Uganda and holds a dual degree in Civil Engineering (B.S.E.) and Economics (B.A.) from Bucknell University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Muyambi successfully secured seed funding for Cycle Connect from Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) and presented the organization on stage at CGI in 2008.  He did this during his college years! Makes me think what the heck was I doing during my college years? Muyambi is such a practical and inspiring change maker and he continues to share his passion for development on numerous stages. And most recently, Muyambi wrote a children’s book entitled, The Magical Wooden Bicycle; this story is a somewhat of his memoir.  Muyambi wrote of his days as a child in Uganda when having a bicycle would have meant the world to him and actually saved his life during one fateful day when he was diagnosed with malaria and needed to be ridden to the nearest hospital.

In this episode, Muyambi shares stories about his persistence despite challenges, where his sense of urgency comes from, and how he sold his vision of Cycle Connect to his college peers who had a very different perspective of what having a bicycle meant. Enjoy our conversation, this is perfect for anyone who wants to make an impact. Please leave a review in iTunes if you get value out of this episode and most importantly share it with your favorite aspiring changemakers.

Highlights:

Name The story behind Muyambi’s first and same last name.

Stories Muyambi shares his unplanned cycling adventure across the US.

Gutsy Muyambi talks about how he rarely needs approval for anything from anyone.

Character Where did Muyambi’s work ethic come from?

Leveraging Others Muyambi inspired help from his peers who were predominantly American to build a non-profit for farmers in Uganda because of his “make it happen” character.

Alone vs. Team On starting a journey alone vs. with help.

Challenges A neighbor with a bicycle saved Muyambi’s life as a child with malaria in Uganda.

Realities Buying a bicycle in rural Uganda is often not an easy decision vs. for those in the middle class in the U.S.

Recognition Getting a grant from the Clinton Global Initiative and how selling a vision is possible.

Impact What happened after Cycle Connect earned that grant? Impact is now at 30K people!

Urgency Why having a deep-seated sense of urgency matters?; each second counts

Children’s Book Self-publishing a children’s book that is semi-autobiographical

Meaning At Work How even in a day job you can make an impact on the social challenges you’d like to solve.

Case Study How has Cycle Connect made a deep impact? The story of one farmer who is out of the cycle of poverty.

Support We are a part of a global economy and everyone doesn’t need to have first-hand experiences with constraints to be able to help and feel the urgency of global challenges.

How To Start A Non-Profit or Support A Cause? Start doing whatever it is that is on your heart! Start yesterday. Tip: maybe ask for Christmas donations rather than gifts this season?

Quotes:

“I’m always willing to give advice because sometimes ignorance is bliss. Just begin with what’s in your heart. Don’t stand still, whatever it is that’s what in your heart, start doing.” – Muyambi

“Just be ready to walk alone. You know, if that’s what it takes to make it happen, you do it until someone joins you.” – Muyambi

“Bad experiences in life can teach you a lot of things and so if I have the opportunity to help I value it, and try to make it better for people.” – Muyambi

Links to quench your curiosity: 

Learn about Cycle Connect

Buy the book The Magical Wooden Bicycle

Follow Kwezi’s Journey on Instagram

Leesa McGregor An Alphabet For Humanity

David Roberts Iggy Peck Series

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Melissa Llarena

Melissa helps movers and shakers up to those in the corner office rediscover what makes them unique so that they can land their dream job in a forward-thinking company where their ideas are listened to, valued, and supported.

She brings insights from having worked in 16-business units (including Human Resources) in NY, Paris, and London. Additionally, in her former corporate career, she worked on billion-dollar brands for P&G and on IBM for Ogilvy & Mather. Later, as the founder and CEO of Career Outcomes Matter, Melissa created a 3-step “sellable strengths” process which has been the centerpiece of her clients' results.

Melissa applies this method consistently to support mid-level professionals up to the c-suite to get into Fortune Global 500 organizations and agencies. She studied Psychology at NYU and earned her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

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