David Mansilla – Breaking Out Of Corporate Jail

 

About DAVID MANSIllA

David Mansilla is passionate about inspiring others. After a long and tough journey, David is pulled towards sharing his experiences in hopes of making just one more person’s journey a little easier. This is why David chose to pursue a podcast show, where he can invite a diverse set of guests to bring audiences valuable knowledge on living life on your own terms, whether it’s financially, mentally, physically or spiritually. Mr. Mansilla is the founder and CEO of multiple businesses, most prominent among them is his longest-running company, ISU Corp. ISU is a custom software solutions company with clients ranging from startups to multi-million-dollar conglomerates like General Electric and Heinz. David Mansilla started out as a young teenage father in Guatemala City. The ambition and drive of both him and his wife, Shelly, led them to seek out a brighter future in Canada. With only $20 dollars in his pocket, the pressure of surviving in a new country with a family to feed would turn David’s coals into diamonds. Along the way, David excelled in computer science and entrepreneurship. He found solace from the stress of owning a business through exercise, healthy living, meditation and mindfulness, while always leaning into his faith for support. He has found a multitude of ways to make the most of life. One of the greatest factors of this is contribution; David has several avenues in which he gives back. He and his company support over 70 kids in Guatemala with education and meals every day. Tracking their growth and learning has been a great adventure, and David strives to add as many children as possible as time goes on. David is also excited to release his new book, Breaking Out of Corporate Jail. The book follows his story as an entrepreneur and how he overcame the many obstacles that life threw his way, while discovering what it really means to live life on your own terms. Find the book in print, e-book or audiobook format at www.davidmansilla.com. David and his companies are proud to present an extensive list of award achievements, including the Canadian Business Excellence award (2020, 2019, and 2018) and the AI award of the Most Innovative High-Tech Enterprise Software Company 2020

 

Transcript:

 

Alan

David, for the listeners, you’re true entrepreneur, but could you outline your background and history of what brought you up to where you are today? And then we’ll talk about what you’re working on?

 

David

For sure, yes. So I came from a family of entrepreneurs. My dad had seven businesses before he passed away, and were five siblings. And at the beginning was the top three siblings had businesses and I am the second youngest. And I was still working in a corporate job. And my younger sister too, and but you know, the example and the that drive for, for looking for freedom, eventually took me to take the leap of faith and start my own business.

 

Alan

And where did you start that business David?

 

David

everywhere it. So I started in Canada. So I was born in Guatemala, in 1972. And I moved to Canada in 1991.

 

Alan

So tell me about how many countries you’re in and a little bit about your business model about what you’re what you’re doing?

 

David

Yeah, for sure. So I started starting to give a bit of background when I finished college in Canada in 1985. And back then they were having the the federal government realized that the internet was going to be the next economical, a focus point for the country. So they created a condensed MBA type program for for tech entrepreneurs, for people that wanted to be committed winners. So I applied and I took a year of, of this program with, you know, business marketing, human resources, accounting, everything that you needed to start your own business. And the idea was that at the end of that term, a you will get a $10,000, back by the Canadian government. So it was a bank loan backed by the Canadian government. So I want the I went went through the whole program, I got my $10,000 about $40,000 of today’s money. And I almost failed, I was even miserably. I spent half the money in equipment the first month. And then I struggled for three years. But I was lucky enough that I actually I could sell the business for the amount of money that I owed. So at the end of the two years, I might that was about 20,000. So the 10,000 from the gorun plus 10,000 from my own pocket, right? So I decided to get a corporate job because I had no idea what I was doing. But like I said, I was blessed enough that, you know, the I ended up selling computers. So I wanted to I mean, the computer world. So I, I am a software engineer, I have everything go for a while. But that’s, that’s my core software architect. And then my passion was to what I wanted to do when I got out of this course is to go and offer my services as a consultant, but nobody will hire me because I was a junior developer, right? So I ended up selling computers to pay the rent and pay the staff and in you know, at the end of the two years, I was telling me about, you know, 1000s of computers a month and, and one of my interns, he really fell in love with the business and out of the blue. He just came with his dad and asked to buy the business and I said they you know, they just told me how much do you want for your business and I had the number it was the dead. And when I gave them the number the guy you know, the guy just took his checkbook and wrote a check right away. So that are you sure right? Then I realized I could have sold it for that five times more right but I didn’t have any business acumen back then.

 

Alan

What inspired you to start the business that you’re currently running,

 

David

I got a corporate job I so I started quickly to move up the corporate ladder. I always had side gig so I was telling my you know, my employers that I will keep trying to get consulting at night so they were always okay with that because it wasn’t competing. But as I moved up the corporate ladder, I realized that I now I had the business acumen I now I knew how corporate works. And I also noticed a lot of deficiencies in the way companies hire developers and the way that companies three developers a lot better now but back in 2000 to 2010. A. Companies will treat it developers like they are accountants or you know Normal Office people and software developers, especially the very best ones, they work on their own time. And they have their own cycles. And if you don’t respect that, you get a less quality of work and you and they’re also their morale goes down. So everywhere I went actually, as a as a, as a corporate leader, I was spending about two to three years per company, because I will go in, I will fix the entire IT department, I will set the new rules, I will fight with a VP of HR to make sure that nobody will touch my department. And then once they were completely optimized, I worked myself out of a job. So I will jump into another job. So then I thought, maybe I can, I can do this for a business and actually created a software company that knows how to treat people, right how to set up a good culture. So I can add massive value not only to one business, but to many businesses at the same time. So I took I took that leap of faith again in 2005. And I never looked back.

 

Alan

An your business today is called?

 

David

ISU Corp, it’s a high end software consulting firm, we build platforms for companies to grow their profits. in the cloud, we’re using blockchain, using mobile technologies, we’re always leading edge, figuring out how to leverage technologies to raise the net profits for our clients.

 

Alan

So David, we live in a world where the technology changes so quickly, how do you keep ahead of what is occurring and so that you can deliver the service to clients

 

David

You have to have passion, I was just talking about that to a client of mine yesterday, because, you know, everybody’s Amazon services now. And they know what the actual cloud is, and how cloud computing works. And now with the new blockchain technology systems, they are bringing something called internet computers. And this is actually completely centralized computing power across across the internet. And it’s completely different. And this just came out a couple of months ago, and I know about it, because I’m passionate about technology. So I’m always mingling with people with innovators looking at startups. I’m also startup investor. So I get you know, I get the news faster than anybody else. But it’s, it’s like being a doctor, right? If if you don’t have the passion, you will not do it. Because force for some people is like, Oh, my God, it’s so tiring. I just finally conquered this technology. I know how to do this. And now you’re telling me that there’s something new coming, that is going to replace it? So it’s a constant learning cycle, right?

 

Alan

Yeah, so so your ideal client, what does that look like, you know, who is your ideal clients, so

 

David

We tend to focus on the mid markets. So companies that you know, they’re, you know, between 100 and 1000 employees, a companies that can leverage technology in order to exponentiated their growth, and bless their entire employees and their clients. So we’re going strategically we find processes that need to be automated or automated processes that are not doing the job they’re supposed to do. And we form partnerships with the CEO and the CIO of the company, they have one. And we, we tend to become the development arm. So they have in stuff, people but you know, our company goes in and says the the vision and the direction of the technology not only in the present, but especially in the future, like what’s the roadmap? And how do we build that so that we’re ahead of the competition all the time?

 

Alan

So David, there’s a lot of variety in terms of different software products that can be used out there for HR building processes. Do you have a proprietary software? Or do you use third party?

 

David

Yeah, we’re both. So what we we actually consult with companies on what software’s to use or if there’s something that needs to be replaced. But we build custom platforms that are attached to those CRP packages to the HR packages to the financial packages, but we have a platform called the core. Basically, what we do is we automate it, about 50% of any anybody’s have custom software platform. So we realized that about, you know, 20 to 30%. Cody is exactly the same regardless of what you want to build. So it’s almost like buying a prefabricated house, where you can get to design all the internal parts to your liking and to your will do what you want to accomplish. But you don’t have to repay for it near the architecture. You don’t have to repay for the security for the UI UX control for the user management. Everything that is common is already in this package, and is built with 20 years of engineering excellence.

 

Alan

Training must be a big part of your solutions. Also when you do a deliverable,

 

David

for sure. So training or guidance. It can do funny that you mentioned a What’s your idea? Part of the filter that we take before we work with anybody is, if our clients think they have the solution, we don’t work with them, because they are not willing to learn more, right or don’t know where to get take advice. So for us, the best client is the client, I know that they don’t know enough to do it themselves, if that makes sense, is a big training is a big part of our job for sure.

 

Alan

What is the average size of your advisory team coming in and helping with implementations that

 

David

we just start with four or five people on the on the architectural level on the on the VP level. So working with the CIO or the CTO, and then we set up the teams, depending on what the project size is. So to give you an idea, we can we have clients as small as having three or four developers on, you know, working with them. And as big as you know, 3040 people, it really depends on how big the project is or how fast they wanted delivered. So imagine that you’re you’re making a building, right? If the building is 100 stories, you’re gonna need more people than if the building is five stories, right?

 

Alan

Yeah, imagine that. They’d say it’s quite a task. And then at any given time, you’re in Canada, but you’re now in Atlanta, you, you do a lot of travel. So in terms of size, what was the largest client you’ve been able to take off?

 

David

Yeah, General energy. So we were hired at Duke for new UI UX for all their systems. So when the new technologies American report went to web 2.0, they hire us to set the standards for their entire team so that so we can take on very large corporate clients in a very strategic level.

 

Alan

Excellent, excellent. So how is AI? With the artificial intelligence? How has that effect of what you do? Do you build that into your new processes and technology

 

David

You can actually start putting AI into any system that you want, we actually have a sister company in the states called ISUAI. And they only focus is to build neural networks that have the capability of having a predictability in every platform that we built. So AI is here, and it’s in its infancy, still, but it’s exponential. So 510 years from now, most machines most, most humans daily lives will be will be guided by AI. Well, you can see it now. Right, you can say good morning, Alexa. And you can ask the weather and you can ask for directions. You don’t have to type in your computer anymore, right? Yeah.

 

Alan

So what’s the greatest thing that you’ve learned since starting a company

 

David

culture is everything? And giving his first giving his first culture is everything. And if you don’t take care of your employees, you could never take care of your clients.

 

Alan

That’s very, very good advice. Yeah. Work on the inside as much as the outside. Okay, so your company motto was gratitude, growth and contribution? Can you tell us how you came up with that model.

 

David

So if, if you remember, I told you that I wanted to achieve a state of freedom. That was one of the primary reasons why I wanted to go my own. But the very first five years was was not really was even more jail. That’s why I wrote this book called breaking out of corporate jail, because even as an enterpreneur, you set up your own your own cage, and you don’t even realize but you make your own deal. And sometimes that guilt is stronger than the whatever it is that you go get in a corporate environment. So you know, you’re going with fear, after having you know, a corporate job with the corner office and all the benefits that you get from senior leadership into that you don’t know where you’re going to get your next paycheck from. That’s how we started right. I had no contracts, I just resigned, I said, this is it. Let’s go get my first client. And thankfully enough, it only took me about a month to get my first client, but it was very scary. So when you act from scarcity, and you act from lack, a doodoo progress a lot. And you know, I didn’t spend any penny for two, three years to build a base, which was very healthy, but I never changed. So I get a garden to abundance, but my mind and my heart was so focused on scarcity and lack, so that I wasn’t good to my employers, so that I wanted to get the most out of my clients. And that kept growing and create a monster because the problem is when when you don’t remove scarcity from your life. You build something called anger and then from anger to build something called pride. So the levels of vibration on your in your heart. They grow to a level but if you get stuck in pride is the worst place to be. You can become a billionaire with pride, but you will never be happy and fulfilled. So I write so I did nine years on Till 2011, my, my pride was so bad that I actually I had a heart attack. And yeah, I was I almost died. There wasn’t like I could still drive to the hospital. But turns out, my doctor said 5%, more stronger, and I would have, I would have been in serious trouble, right. So overstressed over work, traveling too much. So I still I kept people in eight countries. That’s why I travel so much. My clients are in US and Canada, but I’m beginning to open Latin America just came from Mexico City, we’re doing great things there. And, and everything is happening, especially because of the corkers. We’re automating so much that our costs are very affordable now. So I was traveling every three, four weeks, I was working 15 hours a day, like basically, I was doing the same thing that I was doing at the beginning of the business. But now it was seven years into the business. And it was all based based on pride and look at me how much I can accomplish and look at all the material possessions that are accumulating. Boom, one day, my buddy said no more. I was abusing it. And I almost lost my family to it. I didn’t see my kids for years. And you know, I will go home at midnight, and I will get up at four in the morning to go back and do it again. And that’s that’s when I was at home. But most of the time I was away from the country or away from from my neighborhood. Right.

 

Alan

So David, who are some of your greatest mentors and role models? And yeah, so

 

David

the first one that I can get that I can tell that the first person that I started following is Tim Ferriss. So basically, he explains the for the the the 8020 rule, the editorial law very, very well. So I had written, I have I have read many books before in AD 20, like the 8020 manager and stuff like that at 20 sales. But it wasn’t until I read the four hour workweek that my life still is really started changing. In fact, when I had that heart attack, I went off for I took I told my wife take the kids off school, let’s go somewhere further away from here. I told my my VP of operations that I the company was going to go bankrupt I didn’t get I needed to fix myself. So we went to Thailand and Indonesia without any tickets back and in that during that healing process. I started reading and I read this book first Tim Ferriss, for sure. Then I started following a lot of Richard Branson, in how he manages his culture I learned so much and I apply so much of of what the way he does business in my business and also the way he lives his life. Another person is Tony Shea from from Zappos. He Delivering Happiness that book changed my company’s culture. So you were talking about my my motor write gratitude, growth and contribution. And what I came to realize it took me about five years to completely transform myself. I went from 120 employees down to five. Now we’re 50 people again, but it took a while and is and I didn’t want to grow anymore. After I you know, went down to five people. I’m like, I’m done like, the privates over. So now it’s how do I make myself happy, my family happy, and the employees that I have happy, and but I didn’t know that’s why I started growing and learning. Tony Robbins, another amazing person in my life. Lately, Dan Sullivan, he’s you know, he’s our business coach and, and the way he teaches and the simplicity and the, and how profound The lessons are, and how easy they are to implement. This is just unbelievable, right?

 

Alan

So David, someone wanting to reach out to you to engage you for services, how to reach

 

David

you, is your contact ca website has a login form there like you can leave your email address, you can contact me directly. My email address is DavidM@ISUCORP.ca . And I’m here to help and serve.

 

Alan

But David, I appreciate you being with us today. It’s far and few between define great computer consultants to guide people to move up into the cloud, but AI and the companies and it’s good to know excellent resource like you so that get the transformation the companies into the next generation technology. pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for being with us.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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