Success Podcast Post

Mastering the Basics with Dean Quiambao

George Grombacher July 7, 2023

share close

Mastering the Basics with Dean Quiambao

LifeBlood: We talked about mastering the basics in life, why focusing on getting 1% better can help you to find sustainable success, how to honor all of life’s commitments, and how to make sacrifices and do hard things, with Dean Quiambao, CPA, Partner and Chief Relationship Builder with Armanino.      

Listen to learn how to position yourself for success in whatever you’re doing!

You can learn more about Dean at, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review here:


You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook or you’d like to be a guest on the show, contact us at contact@LifeBlood.Live. 

Stay up to date by getting our monthly updates.

Want to say “Thanks!” You can buy us a cup of coffee.

Invest in yourself. Bring it All Together.

Work with a coach to unlock personal and professional potential.

Our Guests

George Grombacher

Dean Quiambao

Dean Quiambao CPA

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
Well, blood for this is George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong, powerful Dean keyamo. Dean, how you ready to do this?

Dean Quiambao 0:08
Let’s do this.

george grombacher 0:10
All right, let’s go. Dean is a CPA. He is a partner and chief relationship builder, the Norco and the NorCal, market leader with Armanino. It’s a top 25 CPA consulting firm in the United States, who cracked the code on moving from entry level to executive and leading a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Dean, I’m excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work, and why you do what you do.

Dean Quiambao 0:36
I love it. Let’s roll baby.

george grombacher 0:40
So you want let us know man, tell us about your personal lives more about your work?

Dean Quiambao 0:44
Yeah, sure, sure. So CPA by trade, I tell everybody you know, I am 22 years at Armanino. I started here as a staff auditor way back in the day. And I just could tell that there was this unbridled energy, energy in a bottle that I just couldn’t capture and, and it just attracted me to the firm. And I knew that the people here were good, the culture was good. And I just had to find where I could give my biggest contribution. And it turned out that my biggest contribution was coming in the auditor learning the business doing that, well, CPA, but I tell everybody on the CPA, you want to date George, I’m not the CPA you want to marry, I actually have 3000 CPAs that I can hook you up with. And that’s what we do very blessed. To do that. Today. I’m our Northern California market leader. So we have close to 600 people in three offices in the Bay Area. I lead that group. I also lead our accounting services, Sales Team relationship team, so that’s another 20 people across the country. And I sit on our board of partners very, very lucky to be in my position.

george grombacher 2:07
How did you get into auditing you seem like this is gonna sound terrible to all the auditors out there, but you seem like a super super personable, personable guy, Dean.

Dean Quiambao 2:17
A lot of auditors are personable George, I promise you. The I promise you, more personable than most accountants. But the reality was this. I wanted to be a CPA because I wanted to be a trusted adviser. I wanted to be a trusted partner. And I actually wanted to be a stockbroker first back in the day, right? I loved all those movies. And I interned in college and I was going to be a financial planner or stockbroker. And then I started talking to some of my mentors. And I asked one question, I said, hey, what if I became a CPA first before I became a financial planner, or stockbroker, and they said, Dean, you’d be unstoppable. And so I said, All right, I’m in. And then I stumbled upon this firm called Armanino. And I was like, No, I’m not leaving this place. This place is amazing.

george grombacher 3:11
So always wanted to be a professional wanted to be somebody who’s respected wanted to help have an impact, and just happened to which is a beautiful happenstance. Find a great firm and, you know, a gig, that’s, that’s been your primary gig, she started, for lack of a better term, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re in the mailroom. And you’re working.

Dean Quiambao 3:36
Totally, like, you know, when you’re looking at, and let’s just be real here, you’re, you’re looking at documents going on went to school. I don’t know why. I don’t know what I’m doing. What is happening here, and you find the right people, you find people who care you people who will invest in you, you find the right culture, and all of a sudden things start clicking, and you can see yourself in management roles. You can see yourself as a partner, you can see yourself and all of a sudden things start clicking. So, you know, I really loved the environment. I love the environment of learning of continuous improvement. It didn’t feel like Yeah, our product or what we delivered was accounting. And you know, that’s boring, but really the relationships that we had with our clients and the journeys that they were going on and connecting with people, for me to be able to do that at a young age was something that really connected with me, right? Especially, hey, let’s face it, I was 2425 26 years old, and I was talking to CFOs and controllers. They were in my rolodex, they were calling me on my cell phone, they’re texting me and I was like, Hey, I’m a young person, and I get to have this kind of experience flying around the country with the CFO and going to their different locations. That’s when like I was learning.

george grombacher 4:54
Yeah, I think that that’s amazing. When I was 25 I was doing As doing lots of stuff, but I don’t know that I would have seen myself in that leadership position. Is that something you’ve always had?

Dean Quiambao 5:08
Yeah, I always wanted to aspire to do that. But let’s just be real George, when I was 25, like, yeah, it’s easy to have dreams, it’s easy to say, oh, I want to be the person towards the top of the organization. That’s the easy part. I don’t, what happens after that is the work part. And that’s where it gets hard, right? The ability to sit and learn and invest in yourself and invest in the organization and understand where the organization’s going and what our biggest goals are. That’s a challenge for a lot of young people, right? We could say, oh, I want to go do something. Yeah, a lot of people want to go lose 50 pounds, or a lot of people want to go run a marathon or they want to start eating healthier, whatever you want to do. But then it becomes the habits that will actually get you there.

george grombacher 6:00
Talk about sustainability. And that’s a word that I don’t know if it’s been co opted, but it’s it’s a heavier word, maybe healthy lifestyle. I know a lot of attorneys that don’t like being attorneys. I don’t know if that’s true, of of, of the accounting profession, it probably is. And here you are a healthy person. I don’t know if you feel like you have a balanced lifestyle, but habits, what has helped you to be sustainable.

Dean Quiambao 6:34
Georgia actually just talked about this the other day, it didn’t start off that way. I had to learn that. I went to a school called De La Salle High School in the San Francisco Bay area. That was my high school. And everybody knows that school because they made a movie about their football team. They didn’t lose for 151 straight games when I go around the country today, or my business travels and they say, Dean, where are you from? And I say, oh, San Francisco Bay Area. Oh, tell us about yourself. So I went to the school Cadell. So the next thing they asked me, George is Dean, what sport did you play? And my answer is always classroom. In high school, I was 225 pounds, not healthy. I’d rode the wave my whole life. And then one day, George, my family, my young family, my young wife, our 10 month old daughter at the time happened to be on the cover of Yahoo, our picture, and I looked at myself, and at that time, I was 235 pounds. And I said, I’m not going to be around long enough for my family. So I made a choice. And that choice for me happened to be CrossFit. Now, I’m a active crossfitter. And it’s just part of my habit. It’s part of my everyday routine. But I need to invest in my health, I need to be around for the long term of my family and for my organization, if I’m not right, mentally, and physically, how can I possibly give to so now I do give myself that hour a day, no matter what is going on? Right? To do that. And you know what, it makes me better. It makes me sharper. And it gives me really good habits. George, if you meet people look at yourself as well, that are successful in their career. If they’re successful in their family, and they can take care of themselves. From a health and fitness perspective, it says a lot. It says more than anything. It means that you have discipline, it means you have consistency, right? It means you can stick to something that all matters, it all translates right. And I just say from a health and and fitness perspective, I’m all about just 1% better,

right? I’m all about just the littlest thing that I could do the other day, and

this is a brag but you know what, it just happened on Sunday. On Sunday, I did a legless rope climb to 20 feet. And I think that was possible at 45 years old. Right? But you know what it was is six weeks ago, my coach said, Oh, today we’re going to try legless rope climb, and I’m like, heat out, right? Dude, I’m 45 years old, but I’m not doing that. And we’re like, well, I’ll just try. And I just did it a couple times. And I was like, Why do I actually got five pools? I didn’t think I could do that. And then the next time we did it, a couple of weeks later, I got eight pools. And then my friend saw me on Sunday, and he goes, Dean, you know, like, three, three quarters of the way there. George, I was scared to death. You’re up there holding on to the rope one hand at a time, and you’re moving up. And so finally I said, You know what, just try it. And I got over the mental block. held on to that. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I just so it all it all connects my opinion.

george grombacher 9:51
Nice work, man. Yeah, I imagine it’d be a little bit unnerving when your arms give out and you’re 20 feet in the air. So credit for doing that.

Dean Quiambao 10:00
I was scared more than you could imagine.

george grombacher 10:03
I guess you could put your legs on the rope if need be, or two or 235 pounds. And it’s that you could be at 235 pounds today and just rip muscle. Like how?

Speaker 2 10:16
Like, not today. I’m right around 185 190.

george grombacher 10:20
Okay, so you were very heavy. Yeah. And you were how old when you saw that picture? 33. Okay. And that’s kind of what snapped you out of it.

Dean Quiambao 10:32
Yeah, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Sick and tired of just trying different fad diets trying different fad workouts. And I found a community, I found people that were just trying to get 1% better every day was young people, older people, working professionals. And we were just about trying to put in the work to get better, right, hard work pays off. And it started off with trying to exercise more. And then it said, Okay, well, you know, I’m exercising, how come I’m not getting more and more results, I learned how to eat better, and how to eat when I travel and how to eat, and exercise and de stress when you have a long work day. Because all of that is real. That’s all real right stresses of the job and stresses the family and there’s gonna be times where you don’t work out for four days in a row. Well, what do you do next? And those were the habits that got me through.

george grombacher 11:28
I think it’s such an important thing. Because modern living is crashing most of us look at the statistics, if it’s our personal finances are a mess, or diets are a mess. We’re on too many pills, we’re distracted, we’re wasting our most valuable resources. And what is it that’s actually going to get me or you or others who are listening to make that shift into trying to get 1% Better not doing the yo yo fad diet over and over again. I’m mildly surprised that you found CrossFit and that you stuck with it? Because that seems like it’s a fairly and you can correct me and tell me I’m wrong. Seems like it’s extreme. I think I’m I think it’s awesome that it worked for you. Do you think people just need to figure out what’s going to work for them?

Dean Quiambao 12:20
George, I love that. I swear we didn’t prep this. But I tell everybody all the time. The best workout is the workout you do. If you’re a walker could walk if you’re a runner, Ron, my wife happens to be a Bar Method instructor. She loves it. Great. I tried to get her into CrossFit. She’s like, Yeah, I’m not a burpee on the ground, kind of a person. Right? Like things are dusty and dirty. They’re like, I don’t know, my gym is clean. But you know what I mean? Like, that’s not her thing. I tell everybody do your thing, but do it. Right. And I would also say this in this crazy world that we live in. The reality is, less is more. There’s a million experts out there, George, you can go find an expert on anything, right? There’s social media influencers, they’ll tell you all that stuff. There’s actually almost over information, I would just start on doing basics, and do basic things really well. And I know this sounds boring, but you know, you want to be a good professional, you want to have a good family life. You want to be healthy, like you know, are you getting enough sleep? Are you drinking enough water? Right? Are you taking care of yourself? Like Less is more, right? And I just believe that protect your mindset. And really let yourself focus on what you want.

george grombacher 13:41
Do you think that you make sacrifices?

Dean Quiambao 13:45
Yeah, absolutely. George. I didn’t have an alcoholic drink this year till 100 days in. I’ll go long stretches without having any alcoholic beverages. Why? Because I don’t like the way that I feel when I drink. And when I drink, I actually eat a lot more food. I get munchies. And I think that’s funny, but it’s real. So I was able to notice that I was able to name it. So now I tried to create little systems or processes around me that put myself in a positive position. What does that mean? If you go to parties for 100 straight days, and don’t have a drink? Your friends will give you a hard time. It’s just reality. It’s just a sacrifice. And I just say hey guys, that’s great. You guys like to do that? I don’t. But it doesn’t change me from being who I am around you. I’m here to have fun and enjoy our time.

george grombacher 14:44
That’s a really interesting thing that in your professional role, you probably you are going to tons of mixers parties.

Dean Quiambao 14:54
GEORGE You will make me divulge a secret right here.

Yes. All right. I, so I always have something in my hand because yes, that is my job I do hang out. And I tell the waitress at the very beginning or the waiter, I say, Hey, here’s a $20 tip. And every one of my drinks is a club soda with

george grombacher 15:19
I think that that’s order

Dean Quiambao 15:21
and order. Everybody thinks I’m drinking vodka soda, but it’s a club. It’s a club soda with with sparkling water and a lot.

george grombacher 15:30
I’ve got, I’ve got I’ve got friends all over the place, as we all do. But I grew up in the Midwest, I’ve got friends that live in in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that’s who I’m thinking of right now. And they tell me, you know, cheese, I could never stop drinking, just because it’s part of the culture. What do you think about that?

Dean Quiambao 15:49
Yeah, that’s fine. But I think that your culture really is going to create who you want to be. And then you just have to ask, Who do you want to be even more? Right? Do I need to be down Main Street? Is that Is that a fair way that I need to be in the middle? And George? Or do I mind being an outlier there? It’s your choice.

george grombacher 16:12
And that’s what it comes down to? is, you have choice. We’re faced with choices every day. Yeah. And if we’re trying to get 1%, better.

Dean Quiambao 16:21
That’s right, we get to choose what we want to do, George, and like, you know, I can, you know, there’s lots of hard, there’s a hard that can be choosing that, hey, what comes with drinking every day, and if you’re able to be fit, and have a healthy lifestyle, and be successful, and do all of that, because that’s all aligns, then great, good for you. That doesn’t align for me. So I had to make a choice of what do I want most.

george grombacher 16:47
There’s a couple of things. I’m, I’m I’m big into affirmations. And I need to remind myself pretty consistently, that, that, for example, I tell myself that I owe and I owe so much to the people that came before me. So stuff like that. Is that something you do?

Dean Quiambao 17:08
George, this conversation was meant to be? You know, what I’m what I’m a big believer in right is is I come from an immigrant family. And this is hard. My you know, things are hard. Life is hard. My parents gave up everything they knew to move all around the world. So my sister and I could have a better life. That’s hard. Right? If someone told me today, hey, Dean, you need to pack up your bags and move halfway around the world where you don’t know the language, you don’t know the culture. That’s hard. Right? So I really have a attitude of gratitude for every position that I’m in. And yeah, that’s exactly right, is like, I get to do this. I’m so grateful for everyone people would kill to have the opportunities that I have. I’m gonna make the most of it.

george grombacher 18:02
So as you are talked about, it’s important to to be active every day. And there’s just different things. I like to think about it as these are daily, non negotiables are table stakes, things that I just have to do. So how do you do you think about that in look in advance and try to calendar things?

Dean Quiambao 18:22
Ah, of course I do. Of course, right? Like, part of the reason they call me the mayor at the gym is because I know everybody, well, why do I know everybody? It’s because I go at all the most random different times. Right? And so sometimes, yeah, I might have to wake up at 4:30am to be in the 5am class. But other times, yeah, my workday started early. And guess what I’m taking the 7:30pm class, or sometimes it’s like, oh, my gosh, here’s my lunch break. And I have a little hour and a half window. I’m gonna sneak it in. But it’s just something that is important to me. It’s why I prioritize it. I squeeze it in. That’s exactly right. I look at my week on Sunday, and I go, Okay, where do I think I’m going to squeeze in all these items? I create all these systems and tassets systems and habits George to cheat. I make a lot of vegetables on Sunday. I make meat on Sunday night, right so that I have quick food that’s ready. So that I don’t have to end up somewhere I don’t want to be

george grombacher 19:29
in a position ourselves for success.

Dean Quiambao 19:31
Let’s give ourselves the best chance possible. It’s already hard.

george grombacher 19:37
Life is hard enough as it is do

Unknown Speaker 19:39
we want to make? Yeah, that’s right.

george grombacher 19:43
Why am I making this harder than it needs to be? Oh, I love it. Well, Dean, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn and fantastic, sir, where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you?

Dean Quiambao 19:55
Yeah, that’s right. So first off, I would just say A LinkedIn connect with me on LinkedIn or and that’s tiene que Jambo CPA, my Twitter and my Instagram is at Dean underscore CPA, let’s follow along. I’m all about community. I’m all about helping other people, whether it’s in their financial life, or in their personal life, let’s connect and help each other.

george grombacher 20:25
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did, showing your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, find Dean on LinkedIn, it’s da NQU. I am Bao CPA and then find them on Twitter and Instagram as well. And it’s give us the handle again, Dean.

Dean Quiambao 20:45
At Dean underscore, CPA. It’s easy. It’s the meanest Dean you’ll ever meet.

george grombacher 20:53
I love it. Well, thank you again, Dave.

Dean Quiambao 20:55
Thank you, George has been fantastic.

george grombacher 20:57
And until next time, remember, do your part doing your best

Transcribed by

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and we’d be grateful if you’d subscribe as well.

You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook.

Our Manifesto

We’re here to help others get better so they can live freely without regret
Believing we’ve each got one life, it’s better to live it well and the time to start is now If you’re someone who believes change begins with you, you’re one of us We’re working to inspire action, enable completion, knowing that, as Thoreau so perfectly put it “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Let us help you invest in yourself and bring it all together.

Feed your life-long learner by enrolling in one of our courses.

Invest in yourself and bring it all together by working with one of our coaches.

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, or you’d like to become a Certified LifeBlood Coach or Course provider, contact us at Contact@LifeBlood.Live.

Please note- The Money Savage podcast is now the LifeBlood Podcast. Curious why? Check out this episode and read this blog post!

We have numerous formats to welcome a diverse range of potential guests!

  • Be Well- for guests focused on overall wellness
  • Book Club-for authors
  • Brand-for guests focused on marketing
  • Complete-for guests focused on spirituality
  • Compete-for competitors, sports, gaming, betting, fantasy football
  • Create-for entrepreneurs
  • DeFi-for guests focused on crypto, blockchain and other emerging technologies
  • Engage-for guests focused on personal development/success and leadership
  • Express-for journalists/writers/bloggers
  • General-for guests focused on finance/money topics
  • Lifestyle-for guests focused on improving lifestyle
  • Maximize-for guests focused on the workplace
  • Numbers-for accounting and tax professionals
  • Nurture-for guests focused on parenting
  • REI-for guests focused on real estate

Feed your Life-Long Learner

Get what you need to get where you want to go

Rate it
Previous post