Entrepreneurship Podcast post

Making an Impact with David Longhini

George Grombacher May 14, 2022

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Making an Impact with David Longhini

LifeBlood: We talked about making an impact through our work, a framework for narrowing down a great career fit, how to best serve your clients, and the power of engagement, with David Longhini, CEO of Empodio, a SalesForce implementer.  

Listen to learn why you should consider a meditation practice!

You can learn more about David at Empodio.IO and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher


David Longhini

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Come on

let’s go. This is George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong and powerful David Lumbini. David, how you ready to do this? I’m ready. All right, let’s go. David is the CEO of in Podio, their organization helping home and business services companies scale on the Salesforce platform, David excited to have you on. Tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do. So, personal life, I live in an RV in Austin, Texas after learning to escape buffalo winter during the pandemic, and enjoying the absolute heck out of that never thought I would live in an RV. But 110 square feet is actually kind of fun, because you can make it a real mess in five minutes. But you can also clean it up in five minutes.

David Longhini 0:59
And then minimalism life has been really great for me. I’m currently at our company retreat in Orlando, Florida, and a little self contained unit with the team, and really excited to spend the time there. But what we do is we implement Salesforce and help people organize and streamline and structure their business so that they can grow, focusing on home and business services. So anybody who visited your home, your office landscaping pool service, the people who bring snacks to your office, if you’re unfortunate enough to have returned office happened to you.

But why I do it is pretty important. In that there’s a couple of things that I looked at, in order to decide what to do with my life. One is leveraged impact. If you are thinking purely about money, one of the things that you can think about is to say the amount of money that somebody can offer you and any sort of money they society is how many people can you help? How quickly can you help them them? And how large of a problem can you solve them have solved for them? With what I do called the inequality factor? Inequality factors? How much money do they have to give you for that. That’s why if you go help a bunch of people buy $50,000 homes, you don’t earn as much as if you go help, the same amount of people buy $1.5 million homes. So that’s an important factor in anything that you do. Because if you look for things that you can do to support many people, then the more that you can earn while still providing that impact and leverage what you do. That’s a difference making point in between saying, I’m a social worker that has a caseload of 50 people versus I can provide a self improvement program for the same people at a reasonable price that can go out to 1000s. That kind of leverage point in anything do is an important point. Because if you can find something that you love to do something that you enjoy doing something that you’re good at, but find a way to hit as many people as possible, and then ratchet up the value. That’s the full equation of what you can do. So I found myself at a point in college, actually, where I had heard many stories about technology in a class that I was like, I was in finance, economics, Chinese, I was studying everything. And I made that switch because I said, Wow, I can make small changes and impact 1000s of people in my day to day. And that has come true over the last years after I worked at small companies, large companies corporate than started my own company is just a simple fact that right now, things that I’ve designed and built are being used by hundreds of people saving them 30 minutes an hour a day, in continuity Forever is a way for me to take something I’m good at and have the largest possible impact I can think of

george grombacher 3:55
nice. That’s a that is an exceptional answer to a simple question. Right. Thank you. I appreciate that. So David, I’ve I on social media, specifically Instagram, I follow like tiny houses and like people live in advance. I’m like that is there’s something very romantic and appealing about it to me, but I did not actually do it. Yeah.

David Longhini 4:23
I learned that there are upsides and downsides. The predominant downside is internet in the United States is not great. We try to travel around the Northeast for a bit and found out that there is a near 100% correlation in between places. You want to be in an RV in places that do not have good enough internet for a zoom call, no matter what you do and no matter what you buy. So I am in the unfortunate position of waiting on Elon Musk for struggling. Until then I am holed up in Austin, Texas at a wonderful RV park that probably shouldn’t exist the way that that place has gotten more expensive and I

george grombacher 5:01
Awesome. Well, I think that that’s great. There’s probably a whole second podcast there. So we’ll circle back. All right. So I appreciate I appreciate the thoughtfulness on the leveraged impact on determining, figuring out why it is you’re doing what you’re doing. In terms of your actual work within Podio, what, what do people need to know about that?

David Longhini 5:23
To be honest, unless you’re within a pretty narrow niche, which is also something that’s vital. When we look at our core values, which we define as being wholehearted, which is truly accepting who you are, where you are, without self judgment and being present, which we consider the cornerstone of doing anything incredible in your life, as you have to start there. Moving into mindfulness, which is our centered piece of saying, You need to be present of others emotions, others thoughts, others behavior, which is vitally important to try to bridge the divide in between, I have my team work with people who are in trucks all day diving in and out. And we have to be the kind of person who can get ahead in our space and say, like, when you’re building it, someone’s like, oh, this sounds good to me, I just have to be like, that person’s wearing gloves may not speak English. And those gloves may be dirt. Like you have to think about every one of those components in what you do, then moving into mission based, which this is why I wanted to be critical of and once you run a home and business services firm, may might not be a fit for you. But that’s one of the things that ties into both mission based and impact focus that’s next is you have to choose, often you have people who are like I want to make a difference in the world, I want to do this. And if you just want to make a difference, you’re not really going to get very far, you have to try to find a narrow down and narrowed down and narrowed down. Because if you’re too broad, you can’t build something incredible and outstanding. And if you’re only going to be able to build something moderately mediocre, because you’re trying to accommodate too many people, then you won’t make an impact no matter where you are. So we actually started with a broader like, even we’re gonna focus on field service, then it narrowed down in there down there, and now narrowed down and we’re like, okay, Home Services of sizes, like 30 to 150 people within North America, that fit allows us to say we know what these people want, we know what they’re doing. We know what they care about, we know what’s going to help them. And every single time we’ve narrowed down that niche, we’ve been able to up our value proposition, spend a little more time and hit really our last core value is strive to be outstanding. We did that. And I look at this a lot, where one thing that I’d like to get across is you can come to the same conclusion by being selfish and not being selfish. For being selfish. You can say Where can I make the most money? Where can I do the best? Where can I do this? And you might narrow down and learn by paying attention to other people, but you’re always following behind by following money. Or you can say, Were with my talents and my skill sets, can I make the most impact? And if you do that, you will logically follow the path of who’s not being served? How are they not being served? They haven’t begun a problem. Is that problem solvable? Is it solvable? With my skill sets and talents? Is it solvable with current technology? And if so you can narrow down and narrow down your efforts until you can have an outstanding impact.

george grombacher 8:25
Nice. How did you develop this, this this framework or become aware of it that you’ve just been describing?

David Longhini 8:32
So I came up with probably the combinations of a grandfather who was an economics professor and a mother who’s a social worker, you put those two things together, and synergies happen, which they do tend to say that the vast amount of innovations are people taking the idea from one field and moving it to the other. So when you have one person your entire life teaching you about compound interest, and the other person teaching you about really understanding and empathizing and perspective taking for the kid in the class it was, I have a clear example of when a kid was acting out in third grade, and I got in the car and I’m like that kid socks. And she walked me through because she knew that that kid’s parents were having a divorce, and he’s probably having an awful time. So having that kind of perspective together led me to say, How can I help? Who can I help? How much can I help them because I saw my mother being able to take only a certain caseload, and I saw it and I’m just trying to tie those things together. And then the person who found it way before me because we’re all standing on the shoulders of giants that finally clicked that people can look up is the AKI the EK guy is Japanese concept of finding what you’re what you’re going to do in the world by having a combination or a triangle. Not quite a Venn diagram because that’s two I think, but all three of what I like, what I’m good at, and what people are the market need and are willing to pay for. Once I saw that I was like that’s what I like technology, I’m good at processes. I like talking to people, I can enjoy these things. And I want to help in these areas. And I think it’s worthwhile to change the way we work in America and help people only do things that are worthwhile for humans to do. And if technology can do it, so they can spend more time doing things uniquely human want to, and then I found areas where it was underserved, so that I could support.

george grombacher 10:25
Nice, that don’t make sense. It’s iki. Guy, is that how you pronounce that?

David Longhini 10:31
Yep, I K I Gai.

george grombacher 10:36
That’s, that’s awesome, I wouldn’t have been able to, because I’ve seen the word. And I’ve seen the diagram. And I think it’s incredible. I just wasn’t aware of how was pronounced and then you went and just even spelled it for me. So I appreciate that. Alright, so in terms of, if I am if I’m an organization, and I’m thinking, Okay, I’m a home service business. And I’m, I, I think that I could benefit from this, but I don’t know. How, how do you counsel them.

David Longhini 11:09
So I like to tell anybody who gets in the room with me, and they get in the room with me by talking to Salesforce and kind of reaching out or they can reach out to me directly. I will not allow somebody to work with me, unless I’m the best possible person. We work. And we combine and we work with things on Salesforce, Salesforce is the most flexible system on the planet is capable of anything. But that means that you have to have somebody who’s really trying to take the reins of their business and design something great. Because we can design something simple, we can do this. But the point of Salesforce is it’s kind of like a captain of your own ship designer of your own destiny, being able to continually build and continually work there and continually do that. I come up with people who are just saying I just don’t want to deal with this anymore. And I’m like, I have seven solutions on the market that aren’t as good, that aren’t as capable, that aren’t as flexible, that you can just kind of get on. And you can do that. So if you’re kind of fed up, and you just want something to work for you, I’m still not perfect. But if you’re saying, hey, I want to work within a framework, I want to take best practices. But I also want to be able to say, Hey, that’s a cool idea. Can we do that Salesforce is the only place in the world where that’s 99.8% of the time going to be yes. And they can reach out to me directly if you do happen to be listening.

george grombacher 12:29
That’s a cool idea. Can we do that? Yeah, probably Salesforce is this absolute spaceship that that allows you to do that. Or it is a black box of complexity that there’s 0% chance you’re going to get what you want out of it.

David Longhini 12:44
And that depends, because if you don’t know what you want, it’s kind of like, oh, who are saying, I’ve met friends. So it’s like, oh, I’m trying to be in a relationship. It’s like, well, what do you want, and they’re just like, vague out there this, like, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, and what matters to you, you’re gonna have a bad time, because it’s a choose your own adventure. And somebody may be able to recommend some things to you. But if you don’t know what you want, you’re not going to get great things back. And I see that all the time with Salesforce and with other competitors. Because Salesforce can do anything that just about anything else can do. But if you’re like, I just want it to do things for me, then you really, it’s almost if you’ve ever heard the game like Kerbal Space Program where you’re learning half of like astrophysics and building rockets, that’s that you’re gonna build a better rocket. But if you just wanted a rocket, go to the store and pick up something for 50 bucks that you can launch in the air. Those are kind of the comparisons and you got to be willing to say it and still do just about your business and what you’re doing, and how you want to design it and how you think you could tweak things to be better. Because otherwise take something that somebody else built that 70% of where you’re at. And those are real price comparisons. Because if you walk into, like, getting a Lego thing that you asked to put together, that you can make it look the way you want, but you just wanted the thing pre built on time.

george grombacher 14:06
Yeah, that’s a great metaphor. So when somebody says, Okay, I, I’ve got this already or trying to evaluate what is what is an engagement typically look like with with with you? What does that first conversation look like?

David Longhini 14:22
So the, all of our clients come in through Salesforce. At this point, we work directly with them. Somebody could reach out and I’d find them the A and B sit through because someone works with Salesforce to help them figure out the right mix of what they need. Because Salesforce has 20 different licenses and different components at different levels to help you find that and negotiate with them. But then we come in and ask you what it is you’re looking for what matters to you, what are the phases piece that together so that we would then say, hey, we think it’s going to take us three, four or five months this amount of money. to work together to do a full discovery and design in which we take what we know push a recommended back to you, but to say, how are the unique things that you’ve done in your business? Are there any of them that you want to change, have a map of how you want things to work, know that out, test it, train it go live, and then often clients forget. But when you’re buying Salesforce, it’s configurable forever. So we are always recommending and pushing them. But sometimes they end up working with us still, because they don’t want to it’s a distraction for them, you’re going to four years down the road, if you have Salesforce and you’re doing it right, you’re going to be on, hey, that’s a really cool idea. When a tech goes into the job, we should send a text with this like three minutes beforehand to remind them that they’re there and send a text to the customer so that they know that they’re about to get a knock on the door before they do it. And Salesforce, you can do that, that’s a simple thing that you can set up. And, or you can be like, hey, every time we get an invoice paid, we should send an email that says this. Or if it’s a large deal, like a gift card or this, each of those things are ideas that in Salesforce you can do and that you should be doing an innovating in order to work on. Because you’ve got the tool that’s the most configurable thing on the planet. It’s like a modular home that you’re choosing not to add modular attachments to.

george grombacher 16:24
It’s amazing, right? Like, literally, if you can conceive it or dream it, then you can you can make that a reality.

David Longhini 16:32
Yeah, but if you wanted somebody else to dream for you, you might have a hard time.

george grombacher 16:35
Yeah, no, that definitely makes sense. I mean, that that. I don’t know the demands or requires it, but it demands that you have somebody who is process oriented and driven and and wanting to continually evolve and make everybody’s experience better.

David Longhini 16:54
Yep. 100%.

george grombacher 16:56
And certainly, I appreciate that once somebody has it that they can let Keep Good Going or and or continually innovate. How do you recommend that? Did it just recommend people build this into maybe an existing planning structure, if you’re meeting on a weekly basis, or quarterly or semi annually, kind of a thing? Take make an agenda item, streamlining, Salesforce?

David Longhini 17:26
I think anytime somebody does that, they’re looking at it the wrong way. And I feel like everybody on my team would joke about being at a bar and somebody saying, what do you do and trying for the life of them to explain Salesforce in a way that doesn’t sound like corporate speak. But it enables people to have their business processes work and creates a structure around it. So you should never start with how do we streamline Salesforce, unless it was done wrong to start, we should, you should start the same way you should, in any business by following the process to say what part of the business really needs help today, because each part of a business is like the piece of the pump. Like if you’re not getting enough leads, if your leads have a low response rate, if the sale if people are not happy, if you’re not delivering effectively, each of those are things that every business should be measuring, at the very least on a weekly basis and have that information up to date. And if they have that information, then on that monthly quarterly basis, they can be looking and saying, where’s the business need help? Find out your ideas for what help it needs. And if you’re like, we really shouldn’t be doing next. That’s where Salesforce comes in. Salesforce is the facilitated solution to solving your business problem. Salesforce in itself is not a solution. Where for my business, if I was like, wow, we’ve got enough sales right now, but we’re improving operations, I would then go to my delivery team and say, Okay, what would actually help? Are we losing our communication? Are we losing our mess every losing their find the solution, then build it into Salesforce from that perspective?

george grombacher 19:06
Love it. That makes sense. Well, David, people are ready for that difference making tip do you have for them?

David Longhini 19:14
I honestly just think and you’ve probably heard this before that everyone should meditate. And the reason I say this is simple. I actually had a friend who’s or a cousin who’s a major addict, and he was going back to rehab and she looked at me and she’s like, oh, and I was making meditate. And she’s like, David, I know you meditate. It’s to relieve stress, right? And like No, meditation is the ability to be present with yourself so that you can watch thoughts go by and realize that you are not your thoughts. And in the process of this, start to identify the stories that you are telling yourself and the beliefs that you have, and be present with them and start to let them go so that you can have a greater Facing of reality and a greater presence of the incredible world around you. And that, to me is the universal meta skill that facilitates wholeheartedness mindfulness, that starts to get to the point of saying, What am I doing with my life and having another crisis so that you can choose a mission. Remind yourself as you’re getting scared, be able to focus on impact so that you don’t start to read emails again, and allow yourself to strive to be outstanding. Without that being a dangerous thing. It’s a thing of saying, I’m on this planet, I’m doing this, I’m in this body, I want to do something great. And I think meditation is the universal kick to be able to do that.

george grombacher 20:37
One thing that that is great stuff that definitely gets come up. That is an excellent advocacy for meditation right there. Thank you. David, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you?

David Longhini 20:51
You can usually find me on LinkedIn. David Lumbini. That’s where most things, if you have a question, if you reach out, you can find me at David at in podio.io just mentioned the show in the show notes and have a question there as well. And I’d be glad to support.

george grombacher 21:06
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed this as much as I did. So David, your appreciation and share today’s show the friend who also appreciate good ideas, find David on LinkedIn, where he was posting his thoughts and shoot him a message. I’ll list everything in the notes of the show. Thanks again, David. Thanks so much. And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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