Hamoda Mohamad is the owner of Casa Verde Farmland. From his father’s small farm, he managed to expand and make the farm sustainable. Hamoda is a leader that shares his success with those people who helped him cultivate the farm. With the success of his business, he was awarded the Farmer of the Year in 1998.
Casa Verde Farmland was established in 1995 by Hamoda and his father. They started with easy-to-grow vegetables to fruit-bearing trees. Though Hamoda and his father didn’t have an agricultural background, local farmers helped them learn and grow their crops. Since Hamoda was very eager to make the business succeed, he bought a bigger land and started a bigger goal. He employed some farmers as laborers on his farm while he enrolled in agricultural schools to widen his knowledge. His effort and hard work paid off when Casa Verde Farmland had a successful harvest in their first year. His younger brother, Hamani, worked as hard as him. Hamani closed partnerships with restaurants, fast food chains, and even market vendors for their fresh produce to be supplied, and in 1998, Casa Verde became the major supplier of fruits and vegetables in Texas.
Hamoda wanted to take Casa Verde Farmland to the next level, so he and his brother set up a packaging factory for their produce. From Texas, their harvests reached Australia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and other Asian countries. Hamoda was even admired for employing people with learning disabilities in their farm. He said it was not easy but the Learning Disabilities Foundation was co-managing employees with disabilities in the farm.
In addition to his good works, Hamoda served as a forest ranger in Sabine National Forest. He took turns in patrolling the area once or twice a month. Unfortunately, he had to withdraw from his duties because of the injury he got during a forest fire in 2011. Since he can’t do much physical work in Casa Verde Farmland, he allotted some of his time educating primary school children about the importance of farming.
At present, Hamoda continues to support the Learning Disabilities Foundation. Casa Verde remains the top supplier of fruits and vegetables in Texas. And since the issue of global warming is becoming serious, Hamoda continuously learns and come up with environment-friendly farming methods.
Where did the idea for Casa Verde Farmland come from?
I’ve been dreaming of becoming a successful businessman since I was young. I started my own business right after my graduation. I felt ecstatic and optimistic seeing my business soar in a short time. But I had to let go of my business when I saw the great potential of my father’s land in the agriculture business and shortly after that, my father and I started working together. We then called the farm Casa Verde Farmland, which means greenhouse in Spanish. While we provided jobs to the farmers around us, they gave us their loyalty and hard work in return. It helped us have a successful harvest year after year.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I usually begin by reviewing previous documents to ensure the status of pending work, if there is. I would check my emails, voice mails, and calendar and jot down things that need to be completed according to urgency and importance. This way, I can set up my priorities. These help me increase my pace in accomplishing task-at-hand and therefore finish the day productively.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Well, I always listen to my employees. Although I studied agriculture later in my career, the farmers have a lot more experiences than I do. There are things that you can’t learn from school, and these farmers have learned from real-life experiences. So when I have an idea, I consult with them first. If they agree, we try to make it happen. We also do trial and error in agriculture business. We have to discover what’s the best condition for each specific plant to thrive.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Anything related to connectivity would usually catch my attention. Faster connectivity means faster communication. Communication is the driving force of businesses. Effective communications help foster good working relationships that lead to efficiency and productivity. Efficiency and productivity lead to customer satisfaction. Thus, faster connectivity keeps me on the edge of my seat!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Take one step at a time. Multitasking may be helpful to many, but is sure not for everyone. As an entrepreneur, there are tons of things I would want to accomplish each day. However, multitasking doesn’t help me get anything done to its fullest extent. I instead focus on identifying what needs to get done first to avoid the overflowing thoughts of doing many things concomitantly. Setting mental goals and creating deadlines helps me to progress every day. I make sure to enjoy the productivity that includes relaxation to keep everything running smoothly.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Go out and explore new things. Never be afraid of failing. Failure will help you be the better version of yourself. It’s often said that failure doesn’t stop people; it’s how people handle failure that stops them. So, when you encounter failure, come to grips with it and learn from it. Be humble and admit your mistakes. When you do, failure is easier to accept when there are genuine people around to support you.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I can’t think of anything now, but as I have said, it is important for me to make the farmers agree with my idea or at least consider my idea. If they don’t, I scrap the idea. That’s how big my trust is to them.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
That would be profit-sharing. It’s common for big companies, but not in agriculture. Since I started to share every fruitful harvest, I’ve observed that the farmers and other employees are more enthusiastic in working in the farm because there is something that they look forward to aside from their daily pay. In our case, they either get cash from our sales or excess harvest. Make your employees happy, and they’ll make you happy with your business as well.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I call it RUIN.
Receive all feedback positively. Understand my customers’ needs and develop products to meet those needs. New Ideas and opportunities are always welcome. Nurture existing customers by staying in contact with them especially with new promotional products ahead of time.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Failure, as you see, is never easy for anyone. It was the same for me. When I struggled to meet the overflowing demand for our products, I couldn’t help but give up. However, I didn’t stop there. I worked on improving myself and gaining more knowledge to make sure I will not repeat the same mistake. I came back in business not just for myself but for every person relying on me with only one thing in mind, and that is to succeed.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Start setup from small money eventually it will grow ..
Never risk large amount
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Many people associate fishing with health and happiness. With that, I spent $100 to buy two fishing rods and a tent for my dad and me recently. I want to relieve my stress and feel free. They told me that when you go fishing, you respect your outdoor environment, you learn skills, you learn to be patient, and above all, you set a goal for yourself. I want to try to achieve that goal to give me a sense of fulfillment.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I started using Monday.com early this year. It’s so easy to use, and it helps me manage my tasks. I could easily see which tasks need to be prioritized and set a deadline for them. If we are doing mass production for a company, other staff can also see how the process is going through Monday.com.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
It is not about the power or the title you have but seeing the potential in every person and idea. We shouldn’t pretend that we know all the correct answers but instead be curious and ask questions. We shouldn’t avoid complicated subjects and paths even if it means facing the fear, scarce culture, and uncertainty of the future. Read and learn more from Brene Brown’s Book – Dare to Lead.
What is your favorite quote?
A quote from Antonio Brown feels as if he was talking to me. He said, “If you want to be the best, you can’t take the path of least resistance. Every morning, you wake up, and your mind tells you it’s too early, and your body tells you you’re a little too sore, but you’ve got to look deep within yourself and know what you want and what you’re striving for.”
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.