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IAM1292- CEO Improves Efficiency by Leveraging on the Right Technology

Podcast Interview with Victor Calabrese

Proven Problem Solver – Uncanny Ability to Connect with People – I Execute and Get Results

Through continuous learning, health and fitness, and an emotionally balanced life, Victor strives to be the best version of himself in order to provide leadership and long-term improvements for his employees, clients, family, and friends.

He is an agile, quality-focused operational driver, critical thinker, and primary technology leader credited with automating hundreds of business processes.

Being a strategically focused executive that values security, Victor has helped companies mitigate risk while improving efficiencies by leveraging the right technology. Most companies don't even know how vulnerable they are, or that they can improve many of their processes by leveraging the right tech.

  • CEO Story: Victor started his passion for tech while working in his dad’s construction. IT Trailers were installed on-site and there goes the young kid full of curiosity. He pursued his passion, got his degree, cemented it with a Master's and MBA.
  • Business Service: Solving the business needs of a company. Bringing in the tech automation
  • Secret Sauce: Vendor agnostic – looking at the business need and coming up with a solution. Technology success partner – tech solutions that will make the business more efficient. Tech security.
  • CEO Hack: Being ahead of everything that’s happening – preparation.
  • CEO Nugget: Take care of yourself. Working out and continuous learning. Access your true potential.
  • CEO Defined: Being the number educator in the organization. Teaching everyone else.

Website: deskside.com

Linkedin: vcalabrese , deskside

Instagram: vxcalabrese , desksidetsp

Facebook: vxcalabrese , desksidetsp

Twitter: vkase , desksidetsp


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Transcription

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Victor Calabrese 00:00

The technology itself shouldn't be the thing that we're pushing. I want you to tell me why you want that specific software. So once you understand the business needs and how the business works, that's when the MSP or the technology service provider will go in and say, you know what for your particular case, you should be using this.

Intro 00:19

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, start ups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:46

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today, Victor Calabrese of Deskside. Victor, it's great to have you on the show.

Victor Calabrese 00:54

Awesome to be here.

Gresham Harkless 00:56

Yeah, super excited to have you on, and before we jump to the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Victor so you can hear about some of the awesome things that he's working. In Proven Problem Solver – Uncanny Ability to Connect with People, he executes and gets results through continuous learning, health and fitness, and emotionally balanced life.

Victor strives to be the best version of himself in order to provide leadership and long term improvements for his employees, clients, family, and friends. He is an agile, quality-focused operational driver, critical thinker, and primary tech leader credited with automating hundreds of business processes.

Being a strategically focused executive that values security, Victor has helped companies mitigate risk while improving efficiencies by leveraging the right technology. Most companies don't even know how vulnerable they are, or they can improve many of their processes by leveraging the right tech. So that's why Victor's here. So, Victor super excited to have you on. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Victor Calabrese 01:49

Yeah, absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 01:50

All right, well let's make it happen then. So, to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you guys started what I call your CEO Story.

Victor Calabrese 01:58

Yeah, man. So I started back, every time somebody asks me this, like, it keeps getting one year more, right? So it's been 26 years  that I've been in the IT game. I started back on believe it or not, a construction trailer. That's how I got started back before servers were a thing in an office suite. I was working for my dad. My dad's always been in construction and back when I started, I got out of school, so I was a little more tech savvy than most of the people that are out there and they just started getting servers on at offices.

So being in construction, offices are trailers. You put them on-site, you have a trailer, and they got the server, and nobody knew what to do with it, right? So they would set it up. It would break. It would come online. It would be offline. So me being the young kid was kind of a little bit into the technology stuff. I started playing with it and I fell in love with it, and that's how my entire technology career started.

I just started learning more and more and more. I became a tech, at that point, I started doing a lot more technology oriented stuff. But I was also always enamored with the business world, right? So I love business. I love business operations. I love the financial aspect. So after I finished my Master's in Information Systems Management, I went back and got my MBA and with the merge of those two degrees, I was able to start my executive leadership career in the IT industry.

Gresham Harkless 03:28

Nice. I absolutely love that and definitely to hear you're beginning the 26 years, so sounds like you're just getting started, just scratching the surface, so to speak and it reminded me a lot. I don't know if you ever heard of Mark Cuban's story of how he started, but I think he worked in electronics store and he always said people will come in and ask questions.

No one knew the questions, the answers to the questions, but he would always read the manual. So because he read the manual, it put him so much farther ahead than everybody else, and he ended up being that go to person largely because he he fell in love with it, and he did those extra things that helped him to be that go to person.

Victor Calabrese 04:01

Yeah, absolutely. And it's he's not the only one that has that same story. So, continuous learning is a huge thing for me. That's one of my my pillars. I'm writing a book, and one of the things that's in that book is continuous learning, right? We should never stop learning. On multiple for multiple reasons. One's for what you're talking about, right?

Being able to grab that knowledge and be able to access it as things come up. But the other side of it is all of that neuroplasticity that happens in the brain. So as long as you're learning, you're not aging as quickly. So one of the things that I keep telling people is, you don't wanna die early. Just keep learning.

Gresham Harkless 04:37

Yeah, there you go, that's the key to the Benjamin Button, right? You'd be able to kind of lean into that, but I think it's so huge, because I almost feel like, and I don't know if you feel the same way that there's a art to learning how to learn as well too.

So it's almost as if once you start to continuously learn new things, continue to scratch the surface and get better, it helps you to kind of learn how to do other things sometimes that we aren't really as natural in doing because you kind of learn the art of learning, if that makes sense.

Victor Calabrese 05:03

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely and there's different ways. People are there's different types of learners, right? There's auditory, there's visual, there's people that have to experientially learn. So you have to learn what type of learner you are, and then you're absolutely right. You go and you learn something new, something that you may not like. And how many books I've started that I just never finished and that's okay. You just start. You go through it and maybe something that you love, there's other stuff that I just fell into that I love that I'm like, wow.

I wanna learn more about this kind of, this topic. So, you're absolutely right. Just keep learning whatever it is. You'll find the stuff that excites you and the stuff that just turns you off, and you just walk away or just keep going.

Gresham Harkless 05:39

Yeah, absolutely. It's something that we didn't learn from school, that you can actually take a book, read it, and realize it's not for you, and put it down, and actually try to find ultimately what is your thing. So absolutely love that you've been able to do that, and you mentioned know, being able to get your MBA, get your Masters in Technology as well too.

I almost feel like those two worlds are starting to merge together where you always hear that you're the business that does technology, you're this business that does technology. It's not that these are two separate worlds. So I imagine that's a lot of what you help out clients with. So I wanted to drill down more here a little bit more about what you're doing at Deskside, how you're making that impact to the clients you work with.

Victor Calabrese 06:19

Yeah, yeah. And it's actually that's a really great point. So one of the reasons why we started Deskside, because we had another company, another MSP back in the day that we ended up selling in 2016. It was more of a traditional MSP where they focus more on the technology. They actually separate the need of business with technology as you had pointed out. Because one of the biggest things that they used to say there is, let us concentrate on the technology so that you could concentrate on what you do best, your business. Well, you're absolutely right. I saw it after we exited that business. I saw that technology, scheme has changed.

You can't separate business from technology anymore. It's actually one of the reasons why we built Deskside. Deskside has a very big focus on business needs, procedural needs, and the technology that would best fit or best serve that need. So we bring those two together. So I can talk business with a CEO or COO, an executive leader, and actually say, tell me about the business points. Don't worry about technology. Technology, we'll talk about later. But talk to me about the operational needs, the efficiencies, your P & L, your financial needs. Talk to me about those things and then from there, those are the business needs that we can then plug in technology.

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Maybe there is a better accounting package. Maybe there is a better system that will automate a process or make your employees more efficient, but that's more of a discovery kind of thing. Once you got all the foundational technology in place, which every single MSP can do these days, what they can't do is then look at the business seeds and bring in the right technology to serve those needs.

Gresham Harkless 07:55

Yeah. That’s so powerful and I almost feel like, it's meeting people or organizations where there are. And it almost feels like, the way that you approach it, technology becomes a tool, we don't get ruled by technology, which we sometimes feel like we have to do this piece of software because this is the only software that there is. When you have that kind of, it sounds like business foundation focused, you start to realize and figure out what things fit in to ultimately reach your business goals. Am I right in saying that?

Victor Calabrese 08:25

Yeah, absolutely. And you hit on another important point that really it's a pet peeve that I have with many of my competitors out there is I don't care what technology solves the problem, right? I don't care if it's in Microsoft or Google or if it's Zoho. The technology itself shouldn't be the thing that we're pushing. I want you to tell me why you want that specific software.

So once you understand the business needs and how the business works, that's when the MSP or the technology service provider will go in and say, you know what, for your particular case, you should be using this, and that's where we should be doing better as a technology industry, not so much serving our margin, but serving the business needs and bringing the right technology to the table to serve those ends.

Gresham Harkless 09:18

Yeah, that makes so much sense and I appreciate you enlighten me and breaking it down because I think so many times you want people to walk the walk instead of just talk the talk, or do a combination of both. And I think so few people actually walk the walk, so I love that, you've been able to do that.

So, would you consider that to be what I like to call your Secret Sauce? And this could be for yourself, individually, the business, or a combination of both, but it's essentially what you feel sets you apart and makes you unique. Do you think it's your ability to for lack of a better term, it sounds like empower your clients and customers so that they can ultimately reach their business goals and their aspirations.

Victor Calabrese 09:48

Yeah, absolutely. So there's 3 pieces to our secret sauce. The thing that made us change from the traditional, managed services model to what we call TSP or Technology Success Partner, the one is that Vendor agnostic piece, where we are truly vendor agnostic. We're gonna look for the vendors that best suit the need of the business, not the vendor that's gonna make us the most money because we're increasing our margin.

The other one is all-around the technology success partner where we come in, understand business, and can actually bring solutions that will make the business more efficient or solve a business problem. The third one that is really big these days and that a lot of my competitors out there are really not able to solve this the technology security piece. There is a split within the MSP market where there's now an MSP, which is a Managed Service Provider, and there is an MSSP, a Managed Security Service Provider.

Those two are actually two separate companies, and they'll con actually work with each other. So one will contract the other to work as the security arm, where now the client has to deal with two separate vendors. Deskside solves that problem by doing both. So we are both an MSP and an MSSP, and we understand security, and we not only understand security where we're pitching all these things to the client, but we're actually doing that stuff ourselves.

So we are a hundred percent. It's one of our core values. Security is actually something that is one of our core values. We talk to our employees about it, we live it. I have a Yubico key that accesses every single thing that I have. MFA is foundational for everything we do, so we understand security. We understand how it's a layered approach and making sure that we have these different layers within the organization ourselves as well as our clients. It's really important to making sure that they're secure.

Gresham Harkless 11:44

Yeah. That makes so much sense and I don't know if you know, I appreciate you sharing each of those aspects of your secret sauce. And so I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO Hack. This might be an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Victor Calabrese 12:00

So with with me, it's all about preparation. So, the traditional Monday to Friday, that doesn't work for me. I like to be at least a day before, so I end up starting my week on a Sunday. I prepare on that Sunday where you don't have all the emails. You don't have all the employees bothering you. You're kind of and then this is not something that other CEOs aren't doing. I know a lot of CEOs are doing this stuff, so you start on a Monday and I end up ending on a Saturday. So I'm working seven days a week, but it's not truly work because I do enjoy it.

But my hack is actually being ahead and after the fact of everything that's happening. I'm always trying to get some sort of list, some sort of thing going, making sure that my emails are all done, my checklists are all done. So start early, plan. I like starting my day at least two hours before anybody else does, and I end up ending my day an hour after everybody else does. But that's my little hack.

Gresham Harkless 12:59

Appreciate you for sharing that and so I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO Nugget. So this is a little bit more of a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something that you might be packing away in your book, or something you might tell your younger business self if you were to hop into a time machine.

Victor Calabrese 13:14

Yeah, that's awesome. It is absolutely in my book, but the one piece of nugget is take care of yourself. That is one of the things that is so overlooked because I see so many very successful people dead at 55, dead at 60 years old, or not happy, right? So one of the things that I tell everybody is you have to take care of yourself with nutrition, with working out, with continuous learning, with there's so many different facets, but all those things do such a great service to you being able to access what I coined your true potential.

Being able to access your true potential will actually get you to where you wanna be faster than if you're trying to just grind all the time and just get all that work done by just working, working, working, working, right? So take care of yourself first and then from there, you can start accessing your true potential. True potential will allow you to do so much more with less time, and then you'll see everything else just start falling into place.

Gresham Harkless 14:16

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So, wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote unquote CEOs on their show. So, Victor, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Victor Calabrese 14:26

To me, it's being the number one educator in the organization. The one the leader is the one that is able to teach, and I spend a lot of time just teaching everyone else. Because the reality of it is, if you're doing all the work, you're never gonna get anywhere, right? And trying to give work to other people that don't really understand it is not gonna get you far either.

So what you wanna do is be there, teach them, get them to a point where they're doing more than you can ever do, and then you just start replicating that, and replicating that, and replicating that, and before you know it, you have a crew of people that are doing way more than you are able to do by yourself, and that's when you start being successful.

Gresham Harkless 15:08

Absolutely appreciate that, Victor. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So, what I want to do now is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best people can get a hold of you, find out about your upcoming book and all the awesome things that you're working on.

Victor Calabrese 15:24

Yeah, absolutely. So best place to find about the company is deskside.com. We're on every single, social media platform as Deskside TSP. Again, I wanna be a resource for those people even if it's just to have a conversation, my MSP told me x, y, and z. Well, that sounds right. I'd love to be there for that. But, again, deskside.com or LinkedIn is another platform that we use as Deskside TSPs is where you can find this. Please reach out. Be awesome for me to help.

Gresham Harkless 15:56

Yeah, absolutely. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes as well too, so that everybody can follow-up with you. Thank you so much for empowering so many organizations us today as well, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest day.

Victor Calabrese 16:08

Yeah, absolutely. And thank you for having me on the show. Love the show and listening to, a bunch of episodes. Thank you so much.

Outro 16:14

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by CBNation and Blue16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at ceohacks.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Junior. Thank you for listening.

Title: Transcript - Tue, 19 Mar 2024 03:37:45 GMT

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Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2024 03:37:45 GMT, Duration: [00:16:50.10]

[00:00:00.10] - Victor Calabrese

The the technology itself shouldn't be the thing that we're pushing. I want you to tell me why you want that specific software. So once you understand the business needs and how the business works, that's when the MSP or the technology service provider will go in and say, you know what? For your particular case, you should be using this.

[00:00:19.10] - Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, start ups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkness values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

[00:00:46.39] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today, Victor Calabrese of Deskside. Victor, it's great to have have you on the show.

[00:00:54.79] - Victor Calabrese

have have you on the show. Awesome to be here.

[00:00:56.60] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, super excited to have you on, and before we jump to the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Victor so you can hear about some of the awesome things that he's working Improven problem solver, uncanny ability to connect with people. He executes and gets results through continuous learning, health and fitness, and emotionally balanced life. Victor strives to be the best version of himself in order to provide leadership and long term improvements for his employees, clients, family, and friends. He is an agile, quality focused operational driver, critical thinker, and primary tech leader credited with automating hundreds of business processes. And being a strategically focused executive that values security, Victor has helped companies mitigate risk while improving efficiencies by leveraging the right technology. Most companies don't even know how vulnerable they are, or they can improve many of their processes by leveraging the right tech. So that's why Victor's here. So, Victor is super excited to have you on. Are you ready to speak to the IMCO community?

[00:01:49.50] - Victor Calabrese

Yeah, absolutely.

[00:01:50.50] - Gresham Harkless

All right, well let's make it happen then. So, to kinda kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you guys started what I call your CEO story.

[00:01:58.29] - Victor Calabrese

Yeah, man. So I started back, every time somebody asks me this, like, it keeps getting one year more. Right? So it's it's it's been twenty six years, that I've been in the IT game. I started back, on on believe it or not, a construction trailer. That's how I got started back before servers were a thing in an office suite. I was working for my dad. My dad's always been in construction. And back when I started, I got out of school, so I was a little more tech savvy than most of the people that are out there. And they just started getting servers on at at offices. So being in construction, offices are trailers. You know, you put them on-site, you have a trailer, and they got the server, and nobody knew what to do with it. Right? So they would set it up. It would break. It would come online. It would be offline. So me being the young kid was kind of a little bit into the technology stuff. I started playing with it, and I kinda fell in love with it. And that's how my entire technology career started, and I just started learning more and more and more. I became a tech. At that point, I started doing a lot more technology oriented, stuff. But I was also always enamored with the business world. Right? So I love business. I love business operations. I love the financial aspect. So after I finished my master's in information systems management, I went back and got my MBA. And with the marriage of those two degrees, I was able to start my executive leadership, career in the IT industry.

[00:03:28.30] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. And and definitely to hear, you know, you're beginning the twenty six years, so sounds like you're just getting started, just scratching the surface, so to speak. And, it kinda reminded me a lot. I don't know if you ever heard of, Mark Cuban's, story of how he started, but he I think he worked in electronics store and he always said people will come in and ask questions. No one knew the questions, the answers to the questions, but he would always read the manual. So because he read the manual, it put him so much farther ahead than everybody else, and he ended up being that go to person largely because he he fell in love with it, and he did those extra things that helped him to be that kinda go to person.

[00:04:01.50] - Victor Calabrese

Yeah. Absolutely. And and it's he's not the only one that has that same story. So, like, continuous learning is a huge thing for me. That's one of my my pillars. You know? I'm I'm I'm writing a book, and one of the things that that's in that book is continuous learning. Right? We should never stop learning. On multiple for multiple reasons. One's for for for what you're talking about. Right? Being able to grab that knowledge and be able to access it as as things come up. But the other side of it is all of that that neuroplasticity that happens in the brain. Right? So as long as you're learning, you're not aging as quickly. So one of the things that I keep telling people is, like, you don't wanna die early. Just keep learning.

[00:04:37.80] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, there you go, that's the that's the key to the Benjamin Button, right? You'd be able to kind of lean into that, but I I think it's so huge, because I almost feel like, and I don't know if you feel the same way, that, there's a art to learning how to learn as well too. So it's almost as if once you start to continuously learn new things, continue to kinda scratch the surface and get better, it helps you to kind of learn how to do other things sometimes that we aren't really as natural in doing because you kind of learn the art of learning, if that makes sense.

[00:05:03.89] - Victor Calabrese

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And there's different ways. People are there's different types of learners. Right? There's auditory. There's visual. There's people that have to experientially learn. So you have to learn what type of learner you are, and then you're absolutely right. You go and you learn something new, something that you may not like. And and you know how many books I've started that I just never finished. Right? And that's okay. You just start. You go through it. And maybe something that you love, there's other stuff that I just fell into that I love, that I'm like, wow. I wanna learn more about this kind of, this topic. So, yeah, you're absolutely right. Just keep learning whatever it is. You'll find the stuff that excites you and the stuff that just turns you off, and you just kinda walk away or just keep going.

[00:05:39.10] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. It's something that we didn't we didn't learn from school, that you can actually take a book, read it, and realize it's not for you, and put it down, and actually try to find ultimately, like, what is your thing. So absolutely love that you've been able to do that, and you mentioned know, being able to kinda, you know, get your MBA, get your, your, your, your masters in, in technology as well too. And I almost feel like those two worlds are starting to, to kind of, merge together where, you always hear that you're the business that does technology, you're this business that does technology. It's not that these are two separate worlds. So I imagine that's a lot of what you kinda help out clients with. So I wanted to drill down more here a little bit more about what you're doing at Deskside, how you're making that impact to the clients you work with.

[00:06:19.39] - Victor Calabrese

Yeah. Yeah. And it's actually that's a that's a really great point. So so one of the reasons why we started DeskSight, because we had another company, another MSP, back in the day that we ended up selling in twenty sixteen. It was more of a traditional MSP where they focus more on the technology. They actually separate the need of business with technology as as you had pointed out. Because one of the biggest things that they used to say there is, let us concentrate on the technology so that you could concentrate on what you do best, your business. Right? Well, you're absolutely right. I saw it after we exited that business. I saw that that technology, scheme has changed. You can't separate business from technology anymore. It's actually one of the reasons why we built Desai. Desai has a very big focus on business needs, procedural needs, and the technology that would best fit or best serve that need. So we bring those two together. So I can talk business with a, a CEO or COO, an executive leader, and actually say, tell me about the business points. Don't worry about technology. Technology, we'll talk about later. But talk to me about the operational needs, the efficiencies, your p and l, your financial needs. Talk to me about those things. And then from there, those are the business needs that we can then plug in technology. Maybe there is a better accounting package. Maybe there is a better, system that will automate a a process or make your employees more efficient. But that's more of a discovery kind of thing. Right? Once you got all the foundational technology in place, which every single MSP can kinda do these days, what they can't do is then look at the business seeds and bring in the right technology to serve those needs.

[00:07:55.60] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That that's so powerful, and and I almost feel like, it's meeting people or organizations where there are. And it almost feels like, the way that you approach it, technology becomes a tool, we don't get ruled by technology, which we sometimes feel like we have to do this piece of software because this is the only software that there is. When you have that kind of, it sounds like business foundation focused, you start to realize and and figure out what things kinda fit in to ultimately reach your business goals. Am I am I right in saying that?

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[00:08:25.89] - Victor Calabrese

Yeah. Absolutely. And you hit on another important point that that that really it's it's a pet peeve that I have with many of my, competitors out there is I don't care what technology solves the problem. Right? I don't care if it's in Microsoft or Google or if it's Zoho. The the technology itself shouldn't be the thing that we're pushing. I want you to tell me why you want that specific software. So once you understand the business needs and how the business works, that's when the MSP or the technology service provider will go in and say, you know what? For your particular case, you should be using this. And that's where we should be doing better as a technology industry, not so much serving our margin, but serving the business needs and bringing the right

[00:09:18.00] - Gresham Harkless

so many times, you you want people to to kinda walk the walk instead of just talk the talk, or do a combination of both. And I think so few people actually walk the walk, so I love that, you've been able to do that. So, would you consider that to be what I like to call your secret sauce? And this could be for yourself, individually, the business, or a combination of both, but it's essentially what you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique. Do you think it's your ability to to to, for lack of a better term, it sounds like empower your clients and customers so that they can ultimately reach their their business goals and their their their aspirations.

[00:09:48.10] - Victor Calabrese

Yeah. Absolutely. So so the the there's three pieces to our secret sauce. The thing that that made us change from the traditional, managed services model to what we call TSP or technology success partner, the one is that vendor agnostic piece, where we are truly vendor agnostic. We're gonna look for the vendors that best suit the need of the business, not the vendor that's gonna make us the most money because we're increasing our margin. The other one is all around, the other one's all around the technology success partner where we come in, understand business, and can actually bring solutions that will make the business more efficient or solve a business problem. The third one that that is is really big these days and that a lot of my competitors out there are really not, able to solve this the technology security piece. Right? There is a split within the MSP market where there's now an MSP, which is a managed service provider, and there is an MSSP, a managed security service provider. And those two are actually two separate companies, and they'll con actually work with each other. So one will contract the other to work as the security arm, where now the client has to deal with two separate vendors. Desk side solves that problem by doing both. So we are both an MSP and an MSSP, and we understand security. And we not only understand security where we're pitching all these things to the client, but we're actually doing that stuff ourselves. So we are a hundred percent. It's one of our core values. Security is actually something that is one of our core values. We talk to our, employees about it. We live it. I have a Yubico key that that accesses every single thing that I have. MFA is foundational for everything we do. So we understand security. We understand how it's a layered approach and making sure that we have these different layers within the organization ourselves as well as our clients. It's really important to making sure that they're secure.

[00:11:44.10] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That that makes so much sense. And and I don't know if you, you know, I appreciate you sharing, you know, each of those aspects of your secret sauce. And so I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This might be an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:12:00.29] - Victor Calabrese

So with with me, it it it's all about preparation. So, the traditional Monday to Friday, that doesn't work for me. I I like to be at least a day before. So I end up starting my week on a Sunday. I prepare on that Sunday where you don't have all the emails. You don't have all the employees bothering you. You're kind of and then this is not something that, that other CEOs aren't doing. I know a lot of CEOs are doing this stuff. So you start on a Monday, and I end up ending on a Saturday. So I'm working seven days a week, but it's not truly work because I do enjoy it. But my hack is actually being ahead and after the fact of everything that's happening. I'm always, trying to get some sort of list, some sort of thing going, making sure that, my my emails are all done, my checklists are all done. So start early, plan. I like starting my day at least two hours before anybody else does, and I end up ending my day an hour after everybody else does. But that's my little hack.

[00:12:59.00] - Gresham Harkless

Appreciate you for, sharing that. And so I I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this is a little bit more of a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something that you might be packing away in your book, or something you might tell your younger business self if you were to hop into a time machine.

[00:13:14.89] - Victor Calabrese

Yeah. It it that's that's awesome. It is absolutely in my book, but the one piece of nugget is take care of yourself. That that that is one of the things that is so overlooked because I see so many very successful people dead at fifty five, dead at sixty years old, or not happy. Right? So one of the things that I tell everybody is you have to take care of yourself with nutrition, with working out, with continuous learning, with there's so many different facets, but all those things do such a great service to you being able to access what I coined your true potential. And being able to access your true potential will actually get you to where you wanna be faster than if you're trying to just grind all the time and just get all that work done, by just working, working, working, working. Right? So take care of yourself first. And then from there, you can start accessing your true potential. True potential will allow you to do so much more with less time, and then you'll see everything else just kinda start falling into place.

[00:14:16.39] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So, wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote unquote CEOs on their show. So, Victor, what does being a CEO mean to you? To To

[00:14:26.79] - Victor Calabrese

To To me, it's being the number one educator in the in the organization. The one the the leader is the one that is able to teach. And I spend a lot of time just teaching everyone else. Because the the the reality of it is, if you're doing all the work, you're never gonna get anywhere. Right? And trying to give work to other people that don't really understand it is not gonna get you far either. So what you wanna do is be there, teach them, get them to a point where they're doing more than you can ever do, and then you just start replicating that and replicating that and replicating that. And before you know it, you have a crew of people that are doing way more than you are able to do by yourself, and that's when you start being successful.

[00:15:08.00] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely appreciate that, Victor. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So, what I want to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best people can get a hold of you, find out about your upcoming book and all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:15:24.29] - Victor Calabrese

Yeah. Absolutely. So best place to to to find the about the company is deskside dot com. We're on every single, social media platform as Deskside TSP. And, again, I wanna be a resource for those people even if it's just to to kinda have a conversation. My MSP told me x, y, and z. Well, that sounds right. That does sound right. I'd love to be there for that. But, again, desk side dot com or LinkedIn is another platform that we use as Desk Side TSPs is where you can find this. Please reach out. Be awesome for for me to help.

[00:15:56.79] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information, in the show notes as well too, so that everybody can follow-up with you. Thank you so much for empowering, you know, so many organizations, us today as well, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest day.

[00:16:08.60] - Victor Calabrese

Yeah. Absolutely. And thank you for having me on the show. Love the show and listening to, a bunch of episodes. Thank you so much.

[00:16:14.50] - Intro

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I m c e o dot c o. I am CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at CEO hacks dot co. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless junior. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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