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Shawn Parikh - An Entrepreneur in Two Countries
Episode 827th April 2022 • Empowering Entrepreneurs • Glenn Harper
00:00:00 00:41:56

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Shawn Parikh is the Founder-Chairman of Entigrity Offshore Staffing. A Chartered Accountant by qualification, he has over 15 years of experience of being a problem solver for small to mid-size firms and over time he has given consultation to thousands of CPAs, accountants and tax pros.

What does he feel is his role is in the entrepreneurs' journey?

What I've realized is accountants are big enablers in the journey of entrepreneurs. I am a big, big believer in small businesses and entrepreneurship. And accountants play a very big role there. And I'm happy that in some small way I'm helping that community, although I'm not an accountant myself. But I consider myself fortunate that I have been an accountant where I have enabled those entrepreneurs who have been either starting the business or wanted to grow the business.

What are the challenges in being an entrepreneur with businesses in two countries?

I think it's tough to leave sometimes family back and travel for months together. I used to stay in the US. I stayed there for about 5 to 6 years. But, you know, leaving family behind and traveling without them is the tough part personally.

When did it become evident you had the entrepreneurial spirit?

So my journey is a little reverse. So it's not coming from corporates and Big Four and getting into public accounting. It was first public accounting and then I thought that I would, I imagine myself building a corporate going forward. So that let me get the big exposure of how large teams are managed. So being in entrepreneurship was never something from the very beginning.

How quickly were you able to figure out that it wasn't about you? It was about your team and what you were able to build and aspire around you.

About two years. I went to a housewarming party for one of our team members. And I saw the happiness on the face of the parents of that child. And I realized that in some small way we are trying to contribute to the social upliftment of people around us. So that's where I realized that this is not this journey, is now not just economic prosperity. It's about making a larger impact we are making.

What impact did your mentor have on you?

He had a tremendous amount of impact on my life. My professional learnings and the way I approach and the way I deal with people. Let me tell you, I never had the vision of building this kind of company. You know, my thinking was small. My exposure was small. I would have not built this company unless I would have gotten that exposure that I had.

After losing 50% of his savings after one of his early businesses didn't work out, you couldn't look at it as a "failure." You had to come back stronger, right? Was there a choice?

I think a lot of things have happened to me because of destiny. I mean, I went to another country, started all over again. All of this is took some good decisions, got some great people by my side. I met some great people in the U.S. who supported me through all of this. So people often ask would you like to live life the same way that has come to you? Well, I always think that it has to I made a lot of mistakes, but if I wouldn't have made that, this wouldn't have come through. But I was not the guy who took that pressure that much. I live in a joint family in India. So the culture is a little different there and I would have been easily tagged as a failure.


As we like to ask all of our guests, "If I just knew that, that would have been key, what would that have been?"

So I thought initially when we started working with and started Entegrity, I needed to have to visit every accounting firm and close them. So I used to travel a lot, go to all conferences for year. But then I met Michael Dell, another CPA. He proposed that I let him sell for me for x% commission. I said why not? It was a big mindset shift. So if I would have known that three or four years back, probably we would have been probably 2x what we are right now.


Just another example of getting out of your own way.


Shawn's Website

MyCPE

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Stop letting your business run you. At Harper & Co CPA Plus, we know that you want to be empowered to build the lifestyle you envision. In order to do that you need a clear path to follow for success

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Copyright 2024 Glenn Harper

Transcripts

Glenn Harper:

:

Hello everybody. Welcome to another podcast of Empowering

Glenn Harper:

:

Entrepreneurs, The Harper Company Way.

Glenn Harper:

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I'm Glenn Harper.

Julie Smith:

:

And Julie Smith.

Glenn Harper:

:

Well, welcome. And we've got a special guest today.

Glenn Harper:

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We've got Shawn Parikh, a fellow entrepreneur, of course,

Glenn Harper:

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has multiple companies.

Glenn Harper:

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One is Entigrity, an accounting staffing company

Glenn Harper:

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headquartered in Texas that has multiple offices across

Glenn Harper:

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India. And in his spare time has MyCPE, which is a global

Glenn Harper:

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content education platform.

Glenn Harper:

:

Thanks, Shawn, for being part of the show today.

Shawn Parikh:

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Hey, thank you. Thank you, Julie, for inviting me to this

Shawn Parikh:

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program. I'm really looking forward to this interaction.

Glenn Harper:

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Well, I think the listeners their first question is, when

Glenn Harper:

:

you're in India, what's your favorite food to eat?

Shawn Parikh:

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Well, I have I mean, I have been friends with a lot of U.S.

Shawn Parikh:

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People and they are really fond of Indian food.

Shawn Parikh:

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Food, and they like that spicy taste.

Shawn Parikh:

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So my favorite food in India, I mean, you can say Bhaji,

Shawn Parikh:

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which is basically a curry and and bread that we typically

Shawn Parikh:

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make. So that's that's my favorite food.

Shawn Parikh:

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We often make it in our home.

Glenn Harper:

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That sounds fantastic.

Glenn Harper:

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When you're back in the US, what's your what's your

Glenn Harper:

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favorite food that you're jonesing for?

Glenn Harper:

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You're like a Taco Bell guy, a KFC, White Castle barbecue.

Glenn Harper:

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What do you go for?

Shawn Parikh:

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Well, I'm a vegetarian, so.

Shawn Parikh:

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Oh, wow. I'm a vegetarian.

Shawn Parikh:

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So. Taco Bell and Subway's and Chipotle is these are the

Shawn Parikh:

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places I typically have to go where I find meat free meal.

Shawn Parikh:

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So I.

Shawn Parikh:

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I'm very fond of chipotle bowl.

Shawn Parikh:

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Oh yeah. That when I used to travel in the initial days of

Shawn Parikh:

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my career in U.S., probably early 2012, 2013, that used to

Shawn Parikh:

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be my staple meal.

Shawn Parikh:

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I used to take a stop at Chipotle and make some calls and

Shawn Parikh:

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it's the best one and then get going, you know, so and so

Shawn Parikh:

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yeah.

Julie Smith:

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We should preface with Glenn is talking all about food

Julie Smith:

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because he's done a time difference and he realizes that

Julie Smith:

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it's dinner time for Shawn right now.

Julie Smith:

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So he's very curious about his dinner.

Glenn Harper:

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All right. Now, the other question we have to know is, are

Glenn Harper:

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you a cricket like traditional soccer or an American

Glenn Harper:

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football fan?

Shawn Parikh:

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Well, in India, you should not be asking this question.

Glenn Harper:

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I know it's all cricket.

Glenn Harper:

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That's why I said.

Shawn Parikh:

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Cricket is the religion in India.

Shawn Parikh:

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So, you know, with 1.5 billion people, I'm sure there would

Shawn Parikh:

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be no child or no kid in India who would not be an expert

Shawn Parikh:

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in analyzing cricket.

Shawn Parikh:

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So everybody, you know, has an opinion on cricket, whether

Shawn Parikh:

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they play or they do not play, you know, physically.

Shawn Parikh:

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But yeah, cricket is perhaps the most followed sport in

Shawn Parikh:

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India and I am a cricket buff as well.

Shawn Parikh:

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I still play cricket a lot.

Shawn Parikh:

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Oh really? I mean, yeah, every week, at least twice I play

Shawn Parikh:

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cricket. I'm not a gamer.

Shawn Parikh:

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I'm a little lazy that way.

Shawn Parikh:

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So I play sport. So I play tennis and cricket almost

Shawn Parikh:

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weekly, like twice and thrice.

Glenn Harper:

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How about that? I caught some kabaddi tournaments on ESPN

Glenn Harper:

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the show last night.

Glenn Harper:

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I didn't know if you if that's a sport that you play at

Glenn Harper:

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all. I know that's picking up steam.

Glenn Harper:

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I just didn't know if that's something you're into.

Shawn Parikh:

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When you have done your research.

Shawn Parikh:

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Yes, that's picking up steam in India.

Glenn Harper:

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That's the new one.

Shawn Parikh:

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Yes. I've been following Cup of Tea Sport and of late it has

Shawn Parikh:

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got kind of commercial attraction as well.

Shawn Parikh:

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So PE sponsors are coming in, franchisees are coming in to

Shawn Parikh:

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sponsor players and then it is picking up.

Shawn Parikh:

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So any new ecosystem building around sport is good for the

Shawn Parikh:

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nation as a whole.

Shawn Parikh:

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So yeah, I mean, I follow Kabaddi as well, but I'm not a

Shawn Parikh:

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company player or I don't play that.

Glenn Harper:

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Gotcha. Well, you know, it's always fun to have people rally

Glenn Harper:

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towards something versus being worried about everything

Glenn Harper:

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else. So that's always exciting.

Glenn Harper:

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I noticed on, you know, I guess you're a chartered

Glenn Harper:

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accountant and as a fellow accountant, we can make fun of

Glenn Harper:

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each other a little bit. And I suspect that means you

Glenn Harper:

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probably have a green visor and a ten key somewhere in your

Glenn Harper:

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office. Right close by, I would suspect.

Glenn Harper:

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Is that true?

Shawn Parikh:

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Sorry. What you said.

Glenn Harper:

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A ten key adding machine and a green visor that the

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accountants usually. Where do you have any of those laying

Glenn Harper:

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around.

Shawn Parikh:

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You can say I'm an odd one out of that accounting community

Shawn Parikh:

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that reminds me of one of the incidents I have studied in a

Shawn Parikh:

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college called Indian Institute of Management course.

Shawn Parikh:

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I did my post-graduation there and my specialization was

Shawn Parikh:

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marketing management instead of financial management.

Shawn Parikh:

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If you are a chartered accountant, typically you end up

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doing that specialization.

Shawn Parikh:

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That goes without saying, it's obvious that you'll be

Shawn Parikh:

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specializing in financial management in your MBA.

Shawn Parikh:

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Well, when you when I started college, I went there.

Shawn Parikh:

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It was an inaugural speech you need to give there.

Shawn Parikh:

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So I went upstairs from the podium and then my words were

Shawn Parikh:

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like, you know, I am a chartered accountant.

Shawn Parikh:

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My friends are chartered accountants, my brother is

Shawn Parikh:

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chartered accountant, my wife is chartered accountant, my

Shawn Parikh:

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brother wife is chartered accountant and I'm fed up of

Shawn Parikh:

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chartered accountants. So this is the place I am where I

Shawn Parikh:

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have no accountants around me.

Shawn Parikh:

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So, you know, and people started laughing and there were a

Shawn Parikh:

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couple of accountants there who kind of felt offended a

Shawn Parikh:

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little bit. But yeah.

Julie Smith:

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So, Shawn, I have to tell you a story that I don't think

Julie Smith:

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I've shared with you in our conversations last year.

Julie Smith:

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Glenn was so excited that he remembered my birthday.

Julie Smith:

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We've only been working together for, you know, a little

Julie Smith:

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over seven years.

Julie Smith:

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And for my birthday, as you know, I'm not an accountant and

Julie Smith:

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I don't even understand numbers.

Julie Smith:

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Right. He gave me a ten key and it's been almost a year and

Julie Smith:

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it's still in the box.

Glenn Harper:

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Very disappointing. Very disappointing.

Shawn Parikh:

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Uh. So, yeah.

Glenn Harper:

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There's nothing we can say about that.

Glenn Harper:

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It's exactly right. Well, Shawn, I just heard some news on

Glenn Harper:

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your LinkedIn that you guys just hit your 1,000th employee.

Glenn Harper:

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I didn't tell you. That is kind of a big deal.

Glenn Harper:

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That is awesome.

Shawn Parikh:

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Fortunately, the number is bigger than that.

Shawn Parikh:

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Actually, that number is just for the Gujarat region.

Shawn Parikh:

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So it is just one state that we are talking about.

Shawn Parikh:

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We have offices beyond that state as well.

Shawn Parikh:

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So we have that was a post actually shared by one of our

Shawn Parikh:

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employees in that state.

Shawn Parikh:

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So yeah, but yeah, a pretty big feed for all of us.

Shawn Parikh:

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And congratulations to the team as well.

Julie Smith:

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So about.

Shawn Parikh:

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How.

Julie Smith:

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About how many employees do you have then?

Shawn Parikh:

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About 1500 plus in total.

Julie Smith:

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Okay. Wow. Good for you.

Glenn Harper:

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You want to share a little bit about what you do and what

Glenn Harper:

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your business.

Shawn Parikh:

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Sorry, we are interrupting just to kind of come and come on

Shawn Parikh:

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that question of ten key.

Shawn Parikh:

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Well, I never had a ten K in my in my on my table even when

Shawn Parikh:

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I was practicing.

Shawn Parikh:

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But, you know, what I've realized is accountants are big

Shawn Parikh:

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enablers of, you know, in journey of entrepreneurs.

Shawn Parikh:

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So and globally, you know, I am a big, big believer of

Shawn Parikh:

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small businesses and entrepreneurship, if you want, you

Shawn Parikh:

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know, real big, stable world, so to say.

Shawn Parikh:

:

And accountants play a very big role there.

Shawn Parikh:

:

And I'm happy that in some small way I'm helping that

Shawn Parikh:

:

community, although I'm not an accountant myself.

Shawn Parikh:

:

But I consider myself fortunate that I have been an

Shawn Parikh:

:

accountant where I have enabled those entrepreneurs who

Shawn Parikh:

:

have been either starting the business or wanted to grow

Shawn Parikh:

:

the business. So that role is key where you use you act as

Shawn Parikh:

:

a as a booster.

Shawn Parikh:

:

Yeah.

Glenn Harper:

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I agree. I think the accounting industry is getting more and

Glenn Harper:

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more people that are not accountants that are augmenting

Glenn Harper:

:

and helping the accounting industry, which is fantastic

Glenn Harper:

:

because accountants, you know, we think just one way and

Glenn Harper:

:

it's really hard to get out of your own way.

Glenn Harper:

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So it's nice to have other perspectives come in and give us

Glenn Harper:

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all of these little aha moments.

Shawn Parikh:

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Yep. Yep, absolutely.

Glenn Harper:

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Do you want to share a little bit about what your businesses

Glenn Harper:

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do just as a little introduction?

Glenn Harper:

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You just take a couple of seconds to talk about that and

Glenn Harper:

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then we'll get into the meat of the matter.

Shawn Parikh:

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Yep, sure. So the first business we talked about was the

Shawn Parikh:

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degree of short staffing we help with.

Shawn Parikh:

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The challenges of staffing were so high and it has just

Shawn Parikh:

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aggravated post pandemic.

Shawn Parikh:

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So we started way back probably seven, eight years back and

Shawn Parikh:

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we started to address this challenge for midsize and

Shawn Parikh:

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regional accounting firms, small midsize and regional

Shawn Parikh:

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accounting firms, and help them building their offshore

Shawn Parikh:

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team to mitigate this, number one challenge of staffing.

Shawn Parikh:

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So that's the simple thing that we do, and we have been

Shawn Parikh:

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successfully doing that so far and helping firms.

Shawn Parikh:

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Our objective was to empower the firms with by providing

Shawn Parikh:

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them the right access to global staffing and then and

Shawn Parikh:

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trying to help them.

Shawn Parikh:

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The second business kind of came through while we were

Shawn Parikh:

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doing this, which was continuing education.

Shawn Parikh:

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What we are trying to do there is there are already a lot

Shawn Parikh:

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of continuing education platform.

Shawn Parikh:

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What we are trying to do is we are trying to truly become

Shawn Parikh:

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one place continuing education platform for all, kind of

Shawn Parikh:

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continuing education.

Shawn Parikh:

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You know, with all all avenues of learning.

Shawn Parikh:

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That's what we are trying to do.

Shawn Parikh:

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Hopefully we will do it one day.

Shawn Parikh:

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So so that's the second business we are at.

Glenn Harper:

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Nice. Which one do you do?

Glenn Harper:

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Which one runs better on its own right now versus which one

Glenn Harper:

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do you have to spend more time on?

Shawn Parikh:

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Well, both, you know, you have to be actively involved.

Shawn Parikh:

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And honestly.

Glenn Harper:

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That's a trick.

Shawn Parikh:

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Question. I would like to have somebody who can run it on an

Shawn Parikh:

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autopilot mode, but I think I think I'm not able to find

Shawn Parikh:

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the right guy or still it is not ready.

Shawn Parikh:

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I don't know. I'm still confused.

Shawn Parikh:

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We can say that a little bit, but yeah, both of them are

Shawn Parikh:

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very growing businesses.

Shawn Parikh:

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Both businesses, fortunately, are on the right side of the

Shawn Parikh:

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post-pandemic world.

Shawn Parikh:

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Offshoring just kind of skyrocketed because of staffing

Shawn Parikh:

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challenges and remote working become so normal that

Shawn Parikh:

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offshoring became a buzzword in accounting world.

Shawn Parikh:

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So so that's that's kind of where integrity remains on the

Shawn Parikh:

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right side of the business and and right side of the

Shawn Parikh:

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post-pandemic world.

Shawn Parikh:

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And all those in-person webinars, in-person seminars and

Shawn Parikh:

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chapter meetings and events kind of vanished overnight

Shawn Parikh:

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because of the COVID. And that's where people migrated

Shawn Parikh:

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online more and more.

Shawn Parikh:

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And we kind of where on the where in that space before

Shawn Parikh:

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pandemic. So fortunately that was also something that that

Shawn Parikh:

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went in our our favor.

Shawn Parikh:

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However, one thing which I would like to highlight is CPA

Shawn Parikh:

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certified public accountancy is truly becoming a global

Shawn Parikh:

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designation. Yep.

Shawn Parikh:

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Let me tell you something. Post-pandemic.

Shawn Parikh:

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There are more than a couple of dozen institute teaching

Shawn Parikh:

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CPAs, CMS and CIOs that have started in India.

Shawn Parikh:

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So this is really building a big ecosystem for this

Shawn Parikh:

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designation. And and a lot I mean, just to give you a

Shawn Parikh:

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number, probably two years before, there would be 1000 to

Shawn Parikh:

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1500 people every year in India becoming certified public

Shawn Parikh:

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accountant and enrolled agents.

Shawn Parikh:

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That number is going to grow ten times in 2022.

Speaker1:

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Oh, my.

Speaker3:

:

Wow. Yeah.

Speaker3:

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So that's the kind of change we are seeing in India and

Speaker3:

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that's the kind of demand we are seeing in India for, you

Speaker3:

:

know, those global accounting firms, large accounting

Speaker3:

:

firms. So yeah, this is a big game changing transition.

Speaker3:

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You can say transformation time for for for us.

Speaker1:

:

Do you as an entrepreneur, you know, you obviously didn't

Speaker1:

:

start off as an entrepreneur, but we'll kind of just skip

Speaker1:

:

ahead to being an entrepreneur in India and also being in

Speaker1:

:

the United States.

Speaker1:

:

Is there challenges one way or the other that makes it a

Speaker1:

:

little easier or harder in one country or the other?

Speaker1:

:

Or is it pretty much a universal thing?

Speaker3:

:

Well, one thing.

Speaker3:

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One, let me tell you one good thing about it.

Speaker3:

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I can take vacation in the name of work if I want to try

Speaker3:

:

it. So that's a good thing about being in both countries.

Speaker3:

:

Yeah, yeah. That's all jokes apart.

Speaker3:

:

I think it's tough to leave sometimes family back and

Speaker3:

:

travel for months together.

Speaker3:

:

I used to stay in the US.

Speaker3:

:

I stayed there for about 5 to 6 years.

Speaker3:

:

But, you know, leaving family behind and traveling without

Speaker3:

:

them is the tough part personally.

Speaker3:

:

Otherwise, I don't see any challenge.

Speaker3:

:

For me. It's learning both ways.

Speaker3:

:

I have traveled to, let's say between 2014 to 2019.

Speaker3:

:

I have traveled in 28 states in the US with about 150 plus

Speaker3:

:

voting cards and staying in probably 250 plus Airbnb

Speaker3:

:

apartments or homes.

Speaker3:

:

So that's what my memory is with us.

Speaker1:

:

Right in the heartland.

Speaker1:

:

Do you go as far as your how did you decide what was your

Speaker1:

:

journey before you became an entrepreneur?

Speaker1:

:

Did you already know you wanted to be one when you were

Speaker1:

:

just a kid, or is it something you kind of just graduated

Speaker1:

:

into? How did how did that trigger you get a real job and

Speaker1:

:

then decide to be an entrepreneur?

Speaker1:

:

Or did you just use a real job as a stepping stone because

Speaker1:

:

you knew you wanted to be one?

Speaker1:

:

How did that happen?

Speaker3:

:

So I when I started my career, I used to work as a retailer

Speaker3:

:

in a couple of mid-sized companies.

Speaker3:

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So that gave me an opportunity to fight on the side, start

Speaker3:

:

my entrepreneurial journey as well.

Speaker3:

:

So while I had a fixed income who I call them as my anchor

Speaker3:

:

clients who gave me like a fixed income every month and

Speaker3:

:

kind of consume me every week as well my time.

Speaker3:

:

But at the same time I had a certain time on my plate where

Speaker3:

:

I used to kind of invest it into an entrepreneur

Speaker3:

:

entrepreneurial venture as well to build my own public

Speaker3:

:

practice in India.

Speaker3:

:

So I have built and operated a public practice for about 3

Speaker3:

:

to 4 years in India and eventually I felt that I want to

Speaker3:

:

get jump into corporate.

Speaker3:

:

So my journey is a little reverse.

Speaker3:

:

So it's not coming from corporates and Big Four and getting

Speaker3:

:

into public accounting.

Speaker3:

:

It was first public accounting and then I thought that I

Speaker3:

:

would, I imagine myself building a corporate going forward.

Speaker3:

:

So let me get the big exposure of how large teams are

Speaker3:

:

managed. And fortunately, at that point of time, I get an

Speaker3:

:

opportunity with I get an opportunity to work with one of

Speaker3:

:

the CEOs closely wherein we built a company from for I

Speaker3:

:

mean, I would not say we built it.

Speaker3:

:

He built an I was kind of an enabler there from a for people

Speaker3:

:

you know to about 4000 people that gave me an exposure of

Speaker3:

:

all kind right from man team challenges strategy so so that

Speaker3:

:

kind of mentored me a lot.

Speaker3:

:

I was fortunate enough to be part of that four or five year

Speaker3:

:

journey and, and that kind of gave me kind of courage

Speaker3:

:

strategy to build integrity as well.

Speaker3:

:

So, so before integrity and after, after that, that, that

Speaker3:

:

went to where I was a CFO, by the way, that company I'm

Speaker3:

:

talking about, I actually started as an accountant and I

Speaker3:

:

eventually became a CFO of that company.

Speaker3:

:

And then I left.

Speaker3:

:

I started another venture into pharma space, which failed.

Speaker3:

:

I lost almost 50% of my wealth there before starting

Speaker3:

:

Entegrity. So while I started a degree, it was under

Speaker3:

:

tremendous social pressure because almost 50% of your

Speaker3:

:

saving is gone. And when you come out of a middle class

Speaker3:

:

family, that is a kind of a big shock that you are doing

Speaker3:

:

well. Why you want to take an entrepreneurial journey and

Speaker3:

:

take those risks. So being in entrepreneurship was never

Speaker3:

:

something from the very beginning.

Speaker3:

:

It just came through it.

Speaker3:

:

You can say your dream changes while you be on your

Speaker3:

:

journey. It was like to have a home and to have a car

Speaker3:

:

before and now it's something else.

Speaker3:

:

And it was then to build wealth.

Speaker3:

:

And now it's like today I'm doing this because I have a

Speaker3:

:

team around me which is aspiring to grow and now I am that

Speaker3:

:

medium. You know, just, just want to add one more thing.

Speaker3:

:

Sorry, I'm extending this answer, but today, you know, we

Speaker3:

:

were surveying this and how much this is impacting, how

Speaker3:

:

much our actions are impacting, you know, these people who

Speaker3:

:

are working in integrity or these accounting firms or let

Speaker3:

:

me give you a couple of data points.

Speaker3:

:

About 30% of our people, our team member, bought their

Speaker3:

:

first car with integrity.

Speaker3:

:

About more than 40% of the people bought their first home,

Speaker3:

:

first family home after joining in dignity.

Speaker3:

:

So this is the amount of socioeconomic social impact we are

Speaker3:

:

trying to make collectively as a team.

Speaker3:

:

So that is more satisfying after you have taken care of

Speaker3:

:

your own and family well-being.

Speaker3:

:

Yeah.

Speaker2:

:

That gave me goosebumps.

Speaker2:

:

Like what an impact you've made so quickly.

Speaker2:

:

But one of the words that you use that we believe in and we

Speaker2:

:

believe that entrepreneurs believe in that is that team

Speaker2:

:

concept. How quickly were you able to figure out that it

Speaker2:

:

wasn't about you?

Speaker2:

:

It was about your team and what you were able to build and

Speaker2:

:

aspire around you.

Speaker3:

:

Probably, I would say about two years before I realized.

Speaker3:

:

I mean, it's like you can say that you talked about that

Speaker3:

:

aha moment. Mm hmm.

Speaker3:

:

I went actually into I went into a house of one of our team

Speaker3:

:

members. It was a housewarming party.

Speaker3:

:

And I saw the happiness on the face of the parents of that

Speaker3:

:

child. And I realized that that in some small way we are

Speaker3:

:

trying we are contributing to the social the social

Speaker3:

:

upliftment of people around us.

Speaker3:

:

So that's where I realize that, you know, this is not this

Speaker3:

:

journey is now not just economic prosperity.

Speaker3:

:

It's about making a larger impact that we are making.

Speaker3:

:

And it is going to those people who are economically

Speaker3:

:

deprived. So that is more fulfilling that we are trying to.

Speaker3:

:

Trying to I mean, we are trying to be contributing in a

Speaker3:

:

small way to bring that balance.

Speaker3:

:

So that's that's that's where probably it happened.

Speaker2:

:

Yeah. What what an incredible story.

Speaker2:

:

And then I have one more question to kind of follow up that

Speaker2:

:

you had mentioned before.

Speaker2:

:

So the person that kind of took you under their wing and

Speaker2:

:

you build it from four employees to 4000.

Speaker2:

:

Do you think that that person just had a huge impact in

Speaker2:

:

regards to mentorship as you kind of changed your journey

Speaker2:

:

into, you know, that entrepreneurial?

Speaker3:

:

Julie, you speak my mind.

Speaker3:

:

He has tremendous influence on me today also.

Speaker3:

:

I used to fight with him, but he never used to kind of take

Speaker3:

:

it negatively because he thought that my fight with him was

Speaker3:

:

in the interest of the business, even though I was wrong.

Speaker3:

:

Most of the time you can say always so.

Speaker3:

:

Yeah. So still, probably we may not be in that much connect

Speaker3:

:

with each other right now because of the business

Speaker3:

:

commitments and personal commitments, but that that CEO of

Speaker3:

:

that company had a tremendous amount of impact on my life

Speaker3:

:

as well. My professional learnings and the way I approach

Speaker3:

:

and the way I deal with people.

Speaker3:

:

I never had the vision.

Speaker3:

:

Let me tell you, I never had the vision of building this

Speaker3:

:

kind of company if I would not have been with that company.

Speaker3:

:

You know, my thinking was small.

Speaker3:

:

My exposure was small.

Speaker3:

:

I would have been into this.

Speaker3:

:

I mean, I would have not built this company unless I would

Speaker3:

:

have got that exposure that I had.

Speaker1:

:

Which is definitely one of the things we try to encourage.

Speaker1:

:

All the entrepreneurs out there listening to this is quest

Speaker1:

:

for knowledge.

Speaker1:

:

Quest for knowledge.

Speaker1:

:

You don't know what you might want to do.

Speaker1:

:

You don't know your potential until you go and break those

Speaker1:

:

chains and go out and see what's out there.

Speaker1:

:

And and you'll be surprised and amazed at what you can

Speaker1:

:

accomplish. Do you know this?

Speaker1:

:

This story that you have is absolutely going to ruin the

Speaker1:

:

stereotypes of entrepreneurs who are successful because

Speaker1:

:

you're not supposed to be caring about your teammates.

Speaker1:

:

You're not supposed to be caring about families, caring

Speaker1:

:

about social stuff. You're supposed to be out there just

Speaker1:

:

making money and just, you know, raping and pillaging

Speaker1:

:

everything. You know, how how does that, you know, that

Speaker1:

:

mindset change? I don't think most of us ever want to do

Speaker1:

:

that. I think we always have a greater good in our in our

Speaker1:

:

hearts of what we want to accomplish.

Speaker1:

:

I don't think you ever did it probably for the money.

Speaker1:

:

You probably did it for the challenge because you did it

Speaker1:

:

for the money. You probably wouldn't have started that

Speaker1:

:

started again the second time after you lost the second

Speaker1:

:

piece. Right. So is it just a unbridled just belief in

Speaker1:

:

yourself and your character and who you are?

Speaker1:

:

What what kept you going and saying, no way, nobody's going

Speaker1:

:

to stop me. I'm going to keep going.

Speaker1:

:

How did you decide that?

Speaker1:

:

What was that in you that made that happen?

Speaker3:

:

So most of the entrepreneurial journey are never for I mean,

Speaker3:

:

not just for the money.

Speaker3:

:

It is it is it is something more than that.

Speaker3:

:

In my case, when I mentioned about a business failed.

Speaker3:

:

And and so let me give you a little bit of anecdote.

Speaker3:

:

I start I started a practice.

Speaker3:

:

Then I left the practice and went into corporate.

Speaker3:

:

So it was a good practice.

Speaker3:

:

But I decided, you know, I'm not liking it.

Speaker3:

:

We are making good money.

Speaker3:

:

So understand, you come from a very middle class family.

Speaker3:

:

You started getting economically, you started getting

Speaker3:

:

stronger, you started building up savings.

Speaker3:

:

And suddenly you tell that, you know, I'm not liking it.

Speaker3:

:

Let me just leave. Let me jump onto something else.

Speaker3:

:

So my mother used to scold me.

Speaker3:

:

Like what? What? What are you up to?

Speaker3:

:

Why are you doing this?

Speaker3:

:

That's your career. It has been a difficult time that we we

Speaker3:

:

have come out of. And now you want to play with your

Speaker3:

:

career. Now, I went into corporate stage to spend about

Speaker3:

:

four or five years there and then started from a normal

Speaker3:

:

accountant, the CFO.

Speaker3:

:

Great journey. Well, you started drawing handsome, handsome

Speaker3:

:

salary, position, salary.

Speaker3:

:

All. All perks, everything.

Speaker3:

:

And all of a sudden, in your mind, you started decide to

Speaker3:

:

get into some kind of a venture.

Speaker3:

:

So, again, you know, and and, you know, failures are not

Speaker3:

:

very, very.

Speaker3:

:

Failure is a little taboo here where we stay.

Speaker3:

:

So it's a social pressure that creates.

Speaker3:

:

If you fail, people will start saying something.

Speaker3:

:

Well, I have no problem with it.

Speaker3:

:

But when you live in a joint family, what happens to your

Speaker3:

:

mother and then people around you matter.

Speaker3:

:

So. So I left the job.

Speaker3:

:

And then it was a good job, well-paying job.

Speaker3:

:

You leave that, and then you go and venture into something

Speaker3:

:

and it fails and it does not fail.

Speaker3:

:

It takes away the job from you.

Speaker3:

:

It takes over 50% of your savings that you have built.

Speaker3:

:

And it gives you all kind of disappointment and frustration

Speaker3:

:

and lack of confidence that when are you really good

Speaker3:

:

enough? You know, you start doubting yourself.

Speaker3:

:

So that was a stage when that venture failed.

Speaker3:

:

Thankfully, my wife and my brother kind of still kept that

Speaker3:

:

confidence in me that, you know, this is just one, one and

Speaker3:

:

one half year. Don't worry about it.

Speaker3:

:

You know, you have, you know, seven, seven, eight years.

Speaker3:

:

There have been great success.

Speaker3:

:

Well, you know, this is just one piece of the failure.

Speaker3:

:

Now where Entegrity happened.

Speaker3:

:

Previous motivations to grow.

Speaker3:

:

Where all organic.

Speaker3:

:

Where you you know you are growing from you continuously

Speaker3:

:

growing from your base every year, every month.

Speaker3:

:

Now, this is a dip that that has come to you.

Speaker3:

:

So now it's different.

Speaker3:

:

So now the thing is the journey starts is you have to come

Speaker3:

:

back to place where you were.

Speaker3:

:

So. So that was a little difficult journey.

Speaker3:

:

And the motivation was now that if I don't build this up, I

Speaker3:

:

would be permanently tagged as a failure.

Speaker3:

:

In my community.

Speaker1:

:

That is amazing.

Speaker1:

:

I mean, we we never use the term failure as an

Speaker1:

:

entrepreneur. We always use a setback and a retool and come

Speaker1:

:

back stronger in a different way and pivot.

Speaker1:

:

But I guess the social pressure, you know, back in India,

Speaker1:

:

that is probably a big deal.

Speaker1:

:

Right. And that has that added pressure.

Speaker1:

:

We just I don't know if we feel that here or not in the US.

Speaker1:

:

I mean, people still judge us, but when it's the whole

Speaker1:

:

family coming at you, that has to be pretty hard.

Speaker1:

:

So is the I guess the motivation is that, hey, this was

Speaker1:

:

just has to be a setback.

Speaker1:

:

You can't look at it as a failure.

Speaker1:

:

You have to come back stronger, right?

Speaker1:

:

I mean, you had to do that.

Speaker1:

:

Was there a choice? Did you ever think that you're going to

Speaker1:

:

stop or do you feel like I got to keep going?

Speaker3:

:

Well, Glenn, honestly speaking, we are talking this in

Speaker3:

:

retrospect, in hindsight.

Speaker3:

:

It's it's okay.

Speaker3:

:

It was very agonizing for me and my wife, everyone, you

Speaker3:

:

know, losing 50% of your and then then, you know, starting

Speaker3:

:

all over again. So good that we have made a comeback and we

Speaker3:

:

have done it. Well, when you look in hindsight, I think a

Speaker3:

:

lot of things have happened to me because of destiny.

Speaker3:

:

I mean, I went to another country, started all over again.

Speaker3:

:

All of this is took some good decisions, got some great

Speaker3:

:

people by my side. Everything is okay.

Speaker3:

:

I met some great people in the U.S.

Speaker3:

:

who kind of supported me all of this, you know.

Speaker3:

:

But if I see that, you know, building this company, there

Speaker3:

:

were probably in hindsight, I always reflect and

Speaker3:

:

introspect. And I see there are 250 things that have

Speaker3:

:

happened to me which were beyond my control and there was

Speaker3:

:

no contribution in my in that.

Speaker3:

:

So, you know, this has it was meant to be this way.

Speaker3:

:

So if people often ask that, you know, you know, would you

Speaker3:

:

like to live the life the same way that has come to you?

Speaker3:

:

Well, I always think that it has to I made a lot of

Speaker3:

:

mistakes, but if I wouldn't have made that, this wouldn't

Speaker3:

:

have come through. So in hindsight, I would think that I

Speaker3:

:

would have avoided those mistakes and probably tried to be

Speaker3:

:

more prudent and more sane and more conservative on things.

Speaker3:

:

But it has to be that way.

Speaker3:

:

Coming back to social pressure thing.

Speaker3:

:

But I was not the guy who took that pressure that much.

Speaker3:

:

But my family around, you know, you live in a joint family

Speaker3:

:

in India. So the culture is a little different there here

Speaker3:

:

and. As I said, I would have been easily tagged as a

Speaker3:

:

failure. And, you know, one more thing I would like to

Speaker3:

:

highlight here, and you will see this article coming very

Speaker3:

:

soon in Indian media that we built.

Speaker3:

:

I was a chartered accountant.

Speaker3:

:

But today we have built a company out of out of.

Speaker3:

:

You can see it, dropouts and failed professionals.

Speaker3:

:

80% of the people that we have hired are not chartered

Speaker3:

:

accountants. Because in India.

Speaker3:

:

You know, if 100 people join chartered accountancy, only

Speaker3:

:

five or ten people can actually become chartered

Speaker3:

:

accountant. What?

Speaker3:

:

So in America, the result is about 40 to 50%.

Speaker3:

:

That is in India, it's very competitive.

Speaker3:

:

So although the internship, they have to undergo three

Speaker3:

:

years of internship with the accounting firm and they have

Speaker3:

:

to prep for it.

Speaker3:

:

Those are really quality talent, but they have missed by

Speaker3:

:

five or ten marks and could not become chartered

Speaker3:

:

accountant. So I had a special place in empathy for that

Speaker3:

:

because a lot of my friends could not clear and I have seen

Speaker3:

:

them very working very hard.

Speaker3:

:

And I sometimes thought that they were more deserving than

Speaker3:

:

me. And I was fortunate enough that I could clear that exam

Speaker3:

:

and they could not. In an order of five years, the

Speaker3:

:

compensation gap in that career becomes very high if you

Speaker3:

:

are making like $100.

Speaker3:

:

Being a chartered accountant in five years, that guy who is

Speaker3:

:

C internal C, a dropout with same amount of knowledge, same

Speaker3:

:

amount of internship experience, same amount of prep that

Speaker3:

:

he has done for c final examination would be drawing like

Speaker3:

:

$20. Oh my God.

Speaker3:

:

This is the kind of compensation gap happens.

Speaker3:

:

Yeah.

Speaker1:

:

Well, we always like to say that, you know, you fail forward

Speaker1:

:

and it's not what happens to you, it's how you react to it.

Speaker1:

:

And, you know, entrepreneurs are just, you know, we try to

Speaker1:

:

inspire as many people that listen to this podcast as

Speaker1:

:

possible that, you know, if it was easy, everybody would do

Speaker1:

:

it. And yeah, because it's hard, you really get to get down

Speaker1:

:

and just decide what kind of character do you have?

Speaker1:

:

How hard are you willing to work to do it?

Speaker1:

:

And sometimes you got to you get lucky and you get a

Speaker1:

:

mentor. Sometimes something happens that makes you look at

Speaker1:

:

things in different perspective, and sometimes the hard

Speaker1:

:

work and the planets align and things work out.

Speaker1:

:

And it seems like that's probably what's happened with you,

Speaker1:

:

which is an amazing. But you didn't do it by just sitting

Speaker1:

:

on your laurels. You went out there and made it happen.

Speaker1:

:

Do you think what is your like?

Speaker1:

:

I know that's a trick question, so I'm just going to tell

Speaker1:

:

you so you don't get to feel like you're being tricked,

Speaker1:

:

but, you know, what's the end game for you is you want to

Speaker1:

:

grow your company to 5000 employees, 20,000 employees.

Speaker1:

:

You want to turn around and sell this thing.

Speaker1:

:

You want to buy, do some more businesses.

Speaker1:

:

Once you make $100 Billion, what is what is the end game?

Speaker1:

:

Which I know the answer, but go ahead and try to tell me.

Speaker3:

:

Oh, I actually, you know, I mean, I've tried to ask that

Speaker3:

:

question to myself and actually never gotten that kind of

Speaker3:

:

clear answer that I wanted.

Speaker3:

:

But I have kind of realized what I don't want to do.

Speaker3:

:

I don't want to kind of just pursue any opportunity for the

Speaker3:

:

sake of, you know, let's say I want to continue making

Speaker3:

:

social impact while doing what we are doing.

Speaker3:

:

So definitely we want to do that.

Speaker3:

:

So I just don't want to do something for the sake of

Speaker3:

:

business opportunity and only with my CP, what we are doing

Speaker3:

:

is for every credit you take, we are donating one meal, one

Speaker3:

:

under-served person.

Speaker3:

:

So that's the social objective.

Speaker3:

:

And so far we have distributed more than a million meals in

Speaker3:

:

our short journey of two years, and that has been a

Speaker3:

:

wonderful program that we have.

Speaker3:

:

And in India, you have that problem, which is genuine.

Speaker3:

:

Plus, we are working with a food bank of New York food bank

Speaker3:

:

of South Jersey, and then we are taking help from there as

Speaker3:

:

well. And continuously, month on month, we are donating

Speaker3:

:

funds there. So my objective or my way of looking at I, if

Speaker3:

:

I if I grow my ICP, my object total objective will continue

Speaker3:

:

to grow with it. With with Entegrity what we are doing.

Speaker3:

:

And you know, just it would be great for you as well to

Speaker3:

:

listen with integrity.

Speaker3:

:

What we have we are starting we were planning to start this

Speaker3:

:

two years before school closed and pandemic.

Speaker3:

:

All schools were closed, kind of went online.

Speaker3:

:

So. With every employee or every staff that a firm hire.

Speaker3:

:

We will be taking care of entire education of an

Speaker3:

:

underserved person.

Speaker3:

:

One person. So as we grow a number of staff, let's say we

Speaker3:

:

have 5000 people, we would be supporting 5000 children's.

Speaker3:

:

So this would be part of our objective and it grows as the

Speaker3:

:

business grows. So if you if you if I can highlight this is

Speaker3:

:

what I would like to do with whatever I do from here.

Speaker3:

:

Not really know what I'm doing.

Speaker3:

:

I think whatever I'm doing, if I'm able to justify that

Speaker3:

:

itself, it's great.

Speaker3:

:

But this is a little bit of thought process in executing

Speaker3:

:

what we are doing.

Speaker1:

:

I think the the stereotype, again, of entrepreneurs and

Speaker1:

:

people that run businesses is just so not fair in the media

Speaker1:

:

because I have yet to find entrepreneurs that don't truly

Speaker1:

:

care about their teammates, their employees, employees,

Speaker1:

:

families. It really is about trusting and empowering and

Speaker1:

:

having everybody rise up with you.

Speaker1:

:

Right. I mean, what fun is it doing it by yourself?

Speaker1:

:

And it's great to hear that you believe in the same

Speaker1:

:

concept. And again, a lot of trainers may be their own sole

Speaker1:

:

proprietor, maybe a couple employees.

Speaker1:

:

You've got, you know, quite a few employees.

Speaker1:

:

And you guys basically have grabbed them all in and said,

Speaker1:

:

hey, these are my extended family and you're taking care of

Speaker1:

:

them. But but they're getting rewarded.

Speaker1:

:

They're getting smarter.

Speaker1:

:

They're making an impact.

Speaker1:

:

They're helping their clients out.

Speaker1:

:

They're helping the company out.

Speaker1:

:

I mean, what a great success story to have that happen,

Speaker1:

:

because I would imagine anybody that's a part of your team,

Speaker1:

:

I'd imagine they're not going to want to leave your team

Speaker1:

:

very time soon.

Speaker1:

:

I think I think you probably treat them pretty well.

Speaker3:

:

Well, I'd like to believe that.

Speaker3:

:

But if staffing is a challenge even in India now and but

Speaker3:

:

yes, team is going to be the cornerstone or the backbone of

Speaker3:

:

any businesses that you're building.

Speaker3:

:

And I have realized it hard hard base know sometimes in

Speaker3:

:

your journey growth comes with little bit of you can say

Speaker3:

:

loneliness fast growth in fact.

Speaker3:

:

And if you ask me what are the biggest regrets that

Speaker3:

:

probably I would have is during this journey of this

Speaker3:

:

entrepreneurial journey, probably lost a few colleagues on

Speaker3:

:

its way. And and I would say that if they would have been

Speaker3:

:

by my side, I would be you know, they would be happy as

Speaker3:

:

well and then I would be happier as well.

Speaker3:

:

So those were hard working colleagues of mine.

Speaker3:

:

And then yeah, it's it's unfortunate that, yeah, they are

Speaker3:

:

not together in the success, but yeah, their contribution

Speaker3:

:

to this business have been invaluable.

Speaker1:

:

Yes. Sometimes it just doesn't fit and you can't force it.

Speaker1:

:

One thing we always like to ask our entrepreneurs on the

Speaker1:

:

guests on the show is, you know, is there any you mentioned

Speaker1:

:

regrets about bringing some colleagues along, but is there

Speaker1:

:

anything that you would think back and go, wow, if I knew

Speaker1:

:

what I know today back then, or if somebody would told me

Speaker1:

:

the shortcut I'd have got here a lot quicker is and again,

Speaker1:

:

there's nothing to replace a school of hard knocks, of

Speaker1:

:

course. But is there something that you could point to

Speaker1:

:

sometime in the past that said, Man, if I just knew that

Speaker1:

:

that would have been the key, what would that have been?

Speaker3:

:

Well, one thing that happened operationally on the back and

Speaker3:

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side of what we are doing is.

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Well, one thing let me tell you which probably would be

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more relatable to this conversation.

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So I thought initially when we started working with and

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started integrating, I have to visit every accounting firm

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and close them. So I cannot because I my accent is heavy

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and I cannot lose accounting firm without meeting them in

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person and giving them the trust.

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So I used to travel a lot, go to all conferences, etc.,

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etc.. But but in the year 2015 or 6 to 10, 16 or 17, a guy

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named Michael Dell, who is also a CPA, is also in New York.

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And then and happened to be he came to my booth.

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And he's an entrepreneur, too, apart from being an

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accountant and and a great brain.

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And I'll tell him he was my guide in America.

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I learned a lot from him.

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So he told me that I'll be closing clients for you without

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visiting them. And just for you, you have to pay me as much

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commission. I said, Why not?

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If I am not required to pay anything to you without

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clients, well, go for it.

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And that break the mindset that I was open to that.

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But it was a big mindset shift.

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So if I would have known that three or four years back,

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probably we would have been probably two of what we are in

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that crazy.

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We we call that getting out of your own way, right?

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Recognizing the strengths and and we'll call them

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weaknesses that all of us have.

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But it's really hard.

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It's not true. We're bullheaded, we're stubborn.

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We believe we know it all and we want to do it.

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And the second we step back and augment that with some

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other people on our team, magic can just happen.

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Yeah, I was so wrong.

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But you know what? If you got it earlier, maybe it wouldn't

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have meant as much because you didn't have to work so hard.

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You never know, right? You don't know who you're going to

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be. But boy, it would be neat to go back and and fix that.

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Well, I you know, I think the the end game question is an

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open ended question, because I don't think there is one.

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I think if you love what you do, it's really not work.

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You're probably going to just keep going.

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Why would you stop?

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Again, the money at this point really doesn't matter

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because you have your lifestyle you want.

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You're helping people you enjoy, getting up every day,

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going to work. That literally to me is the entrepreneurial

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dream to have that it's not about you anymore.

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It's about everybody you impact.

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And I think you've probably achieved it.

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So congratulations.

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But I feel like you've got so much more to do.

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Yeah, well, I mean, we have we are continuing to do what we

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are doing right every day.

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So that's what the motivation is to get up every day and

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then do what you're doing like a job, but with a lot of the

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light fun and then results.

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So yeah.

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There's nothing better. Well, it's, we're going to enjoy

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sitting back and, and helping you participate and watching

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you participate and watching you build this empire.

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And I can't wait to imagine how high it's going to go.

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So we're excited for you and appreciate you coming on our

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show today. And I hope an entrepreneur is are listening to

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this realize that it ain't easy.

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And but if you stay with it and you and you keep working,

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you acquire that knowledge, it'll happen for you.

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So just believe in yourself.

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Surround yourself with people that believe in you and who

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knows what you can accomplish.

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And I'm really thankful to you, Glenn and Julie, first for

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inviting me for this wonderful, wonderful interaction.

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And second, you are helping small businesses.

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You are celebrating entrepreneurship, which is most

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important. It's it's very is very, very important.

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You guys are doing that.

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And I would like to applaud you for that.

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So please continue your search efforts.

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And and that that really is bringing good, positive results

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as a whole.

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Well, thank you, Shawn, for those kind words.

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We appreciate you. Again, there's nothing better than

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watching somebody have that dream in their eye and it makes

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it happen. It's it's the best it's the best feeling ever.

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Well, get back. Hopefully you have your midnight snack here

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back home at your time zone and we're getting ready to

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start the day. So again, Sean, thanks for coming in and

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we'll have this podcast out there for everybody to listen

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to directly.

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This is Glenn Harper signing off.

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Speaker2: And Julie Smith.