David Nilssen | Magic Johnson, Outsourcing Versus Offshoring, and Advocating for Education Worldwide

David Nilssen 11:19

We don’t we actually believe that that’s their decision to make. We support them in that process. But more times than not the clients that we’re working with are either engaging with their CPA and or their attorney and likely a business broker or a franchise coach. So they have the people helping them to think about the investment, we’re helping them carry it over the finish line, and then we support them to the lifecycle of that business

John Corcoran 11:40

got it got. Now in the second business, Doxa7, actually, kind of was an outgrowth of the pandemic because the epidemic pandemic hit, and you kind of came to a realization that there a lot of other companies that really needed this help with staffing overseas. So talk about how that came about, and how you ended up teaming up with your business partners.

David Nilssen 12:04

Right? Yeah. So as I shared, we had gone, you know, around 2015, we started leveraging talent outside the US. And the two primary places were Vietnam, primarily engineering talent, and then the Philippines. And every time I’d go back to the Philippines, I would meet up with a friend of mine who I’d known for a long time through the Entrepreneurs Organization. And we would sit down for lunch or dinner, and we talk about all things happening. And then I’d share sort of the things that we were learning and how we were instead of thinking about offshoring as administrative only, that we could actually start to develop real teams and leadership and sort of scale that up in a unique and meaningful way. And then we were using robotic process automation for process mapping and toss, task costing. And we’re using romant, remote management tools to be a more flexible employer. And he just kept saying, Man, you got to start, you got to turn this into a business and do this for other people, because you’re doing it so differently than I’ve ever seen. And, you know, he constantly saw people coming in. And so the pandemic hit, and when it hit, we realized, one, there was a significant labor shortage, everyone I talked to today, that’s the number one pain point that small businesses are, are feeling costs are rising dramatically all over the place. And this was an opportunity for us to take something that we thought we were doing that we could, we could add unique value to business owners. And so we decided to launch it, we packaged it up, we launched it. And now we’re making it available small business stuff and build high performing global teams in a borderless way.

John Corcoran 13:35

Hmm. And it’s almost like this. I’m interested your take on this. But it’s almost like this labor shortage that we have right now was something that was building and building a building and then just like burst out of the scene. A lot of people think maybe it happened overnight, but it kind of seemed like it was something that was a long time and coming it. What’s your take on that?

David Nilssen 13:57

Yeah, remember a long time ago that Pascal phonetic gentleman from Singularity University said, Everything happens gradually and then suddenly. So I think you’re right. I think it’s been sort of boiling or simmering there for a while and it’s just now getting the attention but it’s been harder and harder to find good talent for quite some time. I can’t really tell you the underlying reasons that it’s so acute today. But it is definitely a real thing. Like I said the number one pain point that we hear both from our small business customers in Guidant and also the companies that we serve today. In Doxa7, helping them to fine tune.

John Corcoran 14:34

Yeah. Talk about your involvement with EO and YPO. And what drew you to that and I know you’ve been heavily involved, you know, you actually congratulations just joined the global board. But you served as global learning chair for a bunch of years. What does that do for you?

David Nilssen 14:52

Yeah, I joined the EU in 2005. I’m, I’m a new should say new member of YPO. So I’m still sort of learning about that. But I joined EO in 2005. And for the first two or three years, I was a forum only member, which meant I, you know, once a month, I would go meet with the 10 people that were part of my peer to peer learning group, and I got great value out of that. So I didn’t feel like I need to do more. And at some point, one of our incoming chapter president said, Hey, you should join our board. And once I did, I realized, I just created another form another 10. People that were lifelong friends and trusted associates and people I could learn and grow with. year later, they asked me if I would be the learning chair. And I did it was apprehensive to do it. But I decided to just jump in with two feet and take it on. And what I found is that I really loved the learning. I loved curating the content, I loved, creating these unique and interesting and fun experiences for the members. That was actually a gift I was giving them, but it was really giving me a lot of energy along the way, then I got a chance to interact and meet with world class speakers on a regular basis. And that just kind of pushed me to learn and grow even faster. You know, for background, I actually never went to college, I went for one hour and realized that, you know, coming out of high school, I got a sales job. And I worked all summer, I was making good money, decided to go back to college. And I literally sat in for one hour and went, there’s no way I have four more years in this left me. So I am that entrepreneur that never went to college, and has had to look at other ways to invest in their development in order for me to gain some of the insights I would have through college or business school. And so learning has just been a great outlet for me to continue to grow and develop.

John Corcoran 16:38

Yeah. Now, I can’t remember who it was it said it but someone said to me, whatever you do, don’t ever be learning chair. Because apparently it’s a ton of work. And I can’t I can only imagine what it is on the global level organizing a lot of global events. So it has it been just a massive tigerman for you.

David Nilssen 16:56

He said a lot of work. Yes. But again, there are benefits that come from all of that, right. Like, I’ve had a chance to interview some amazing people learn from people I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. And the reality is AEO has a professional team. So it is harder at the chapter level. Because oftentimes you don’t have the same chapter support and your chief cook and bottle washer. But when you’re working with the global team, I mean, that is a real professional organization with with people who are best in class at their role. So it’s a lot of time I wouldn’t say it’s a lot of work.

John Corcoran 17:30

Yeah, yeah. So Malala, Trevor Noah, you’ve had some me so proud, some amazing speakers. And you personally interviewed Magic Johnson. And as a child of Los Angeles grew up in Laker country. I have to know what that was like and how that came about. Oh, man.

David Nilssen 17:47

Well, so I’m six foot five, I was a basketball player my whole life. And as a kid, my nickname was Magic Dave, because I was you know, as a point guard. So I was I was that tall, tall point guard, just like Magic Johnson. So he’s always been my sports idol. So it was a real thrill. Even at my age today. It was so fun to get a chance to meet him. And I actually met him in 2012 at a at a regional event for EO. And I remember standing next to him. And it was the first time in a long time I felt petite because I’m a pretty, pretty tall guy.

John Corcoran 18:18

But I’ll tell you, I forgot Otalia 610 Six 996 99. Okay,

David Nilssen 18:23

yeah, but I jumped on the call the prep call with him for this event you were talking about with yo. And he got on. He says, Hey, Dave, I just want to thank you for all the work you’re doing for small business with going to blah, blah. And I realized at that moment, somebody had given him a sheet on me so that he knew he was talking to you. And I saw I laughed. I said, So you’re still getting scouting reports, are you and he said, totally. He was great, though. Yeah, Magic was. That was a lot of fun. And he was just an outstanding person interview. I also got to work with Marcus Lemonis. earlier last year, from the profit on CNBC. He was just fascinating in such a good person interview. So yeah, it’s been it’s been a great experience. I certainly don’t regret it.

John Corcoran 19:10

Yeah. What are you most excited for? We’re recording this very end of 2021. Actually, you’re probably my last interview of the year. But what are you most excited for in 2022? You’ve got a lot of different events that you’re overseeing that you’re involved in. On that side. Were you most excited about?

David Nilssen 19:27

Do you mean related to EO? Yeah,

John Corcoran 19:29

we’ll start there. And then we can broaden it. Yeah. You know,

David Nilssen 19:33

one of the programs that I just think are fascinating EO has a program called Explorations. And those are rather than business learning opportunities. They are cultural learning opportunities. And so we’ve got one coming up in Iceland, and then another Italy. Those are by far my favorite programs, because they’re there for up to 100 members. And so you’re going in these more small and intimate gatherings to unique places across the world getting to learn about that, but meet so many great entrepreneurs and to hear their stories and learn from their experiences. So I’d say getting to Iceland and Italy will be top of list for sure. That’s really cool.

John Corcoran 20:09

And then on the professional side with Doxa7 and Gaiden, what are you most excited about?

David Nilssen 20:15

Well, you know, I’m really excited about the things that we’re doing a Doxa7, I always like to say we’re teaching people how to leverage borderless talent as a conscious capitalist. So the things I think that, you know, I talked a little bit about, like the RPA, and some of the remote management capabilities that we’ve created. But I think just the stuff that we’re doing in terms of finding great labor, paying them a fair wage, working with employers and them to, to develop these professional so they continue to learn and grow and have more impact. I’m just really excited about sharing that with more people. That’s great.

John Corcoran 20:48

David, it’s been such a pleasure having you let me wrap up with the question I was asked a big fan of gratitude. So if you look around at your peers and contemporaries, so others in your industry, it could be yours. It could be business partners, it could be anyone. Who do you respect, who you admire, who’s someone that you would want to just publicly acknowledge and thank them for what they’ve done along your journey.

David Nilssen 21:13

That’s a cool question. Lex Sisney comes to mind for me. Lex, the founder of Commission Junction, he’s now a professional coach. He’s someone worked with me, actually, right during the time 2015, where we started this podcast, he was my coach at the time. And I think, you know, I’m an intuitive individual. I’m somebody that uses my heart a lot more than my head in terms of how I make decisions. And I’ve always sort of pushed back on using frameworks. Because I always found them as a constraint. And actually, what I think he taught me is that discipline and frameworks are actually freeing not restrictive. And I think I’ve become a much better entrepreneur as a result of my interactions with him. So if I was giving gratitude that’s that’s who comes top of mind. Yeah,

John Corcoran 21:55

That’s a massive company. He’s built I know them from I went to college in Santa Barbara, and they’re a big employer there. So that’s really cool. David, this has been great. Where can people go to learn more about you and about Guidant and about Doxa7?

David Nilssen 22:09

Yeah, so Guidant Financial, guidantfinancial.com. And then Doxa7 is just doxa7.com, and depending on interest, easily, easily reachable through there. 

John Corcoran 22:19

Excellent. David. Thanks so much. 

David Nilssen 22:21

Thanks for having me.

Outro 22:25

Thank you for listening to the Smart Business Revolution Podcast with John Corcoran. Find out more at smartbusinessrevolution.com. And while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast.