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Ep. 20 Quantum Leaping from Accountant to CAO with Darsh Dahya

Join us today as Darsh Dahya of shares with us all his Quantum Leaps, may we illuminate more people with a kind soul such as his-

  • How he and his team worked through the pandemic and mental health

  • About his surpassed all the rules such as not having a CPA license & MBA and still got his CAO role

  • Manifesting 40+ job offers

  • His life changing wakeup call

  • The way he keeps his mental health on the high vibing level

Learn more about Darsh at


Bethany Londyn 4:46

All right. I am so excited to have Darcy today. I was introduced to him through some technology app. And we connected and I'm like, I need an interview for my podcast. You're so inspiring. And I'm excited to have him we finally got him on. He was a little resistant at first, but it's all good. We got to conquer those fears. I feel like a lot of people I've interviewed actually, they're like, I don't know, if I want to do a podcast. I'm like, No, you have something to share. So some of the things that really got me excited about Darsh was how he supported the C suite level at different companies that he's been with, through mental wellness and like caring, literally just caring about people, versus only the numbers even though he's a CFO. So yeah, I would love to hear, let's say, let's start with your journey to CFO.

Darsh Dahya 5:58

Okay, well, so my journey started in, obviously, you know, started university and graduate and become a qualified accountant, then I studied and did postgraduate degrees. And then I started accounting firm learning about lots of different businesses, lots of different companies, industries. And then I ventured into kind of my own thing, where you kind of work with the company, because I felt like I wanted to work with people instead of different companies, different companies all the time. So then, you know, as a full time, I started as a Corporate Controller company in California, and the health industry. And then after that, I've been shifting to more of kind of director, SVP type roles at a public company, and started working in a new industry that was a new emerging industry. And then after that, I took an executive level and I was, I was taken there, I was taken there to take out the CFO and sort of replace him. And so it came on as this d A owner work there to kind of turn the company around, and kind of get them back on their feet. But my path was sort of, what do I want to do. And as I started learning more and learning more about companies and what they did, I just started wanting to work with him directly work, instead of just working sort of as an accounting firm and going client to client, I want to work with a company where I can make a difference and work with people that we're going to be there every single day. And we'd get to know each other and build a team.

Bethany Londyn 7:23

Because you were otherwise what you were just staring at computers, and numbers.

Darsh Dahya 7:30

Or like it's been, it's been three months for the company. And then you'd have to go away and go and start with a new company again. And I was like, Oh, we just had so much fun to get I want to know what they're doing the next day and the next month and keeping them in. So I wanted that. I wanted that a bit more the camaraderie that you get when you work directly with the company.

Bethany Londyn 7:48

Got it? Yes. Yes, total. So you're a people person, to people? Yeah, for sure. So some of the things that you've noticed, working at the C suite. And I say this also, because we have the corporate healing company, and we work with people. You don't have to be specific. But I also want to share that he's worked with people that we would call celebrity business people, like everybody knows about. So he has an experience with all walks of life. So yeah, I would love to hear about I think what first inspired me was like the meditation and stuff that you brought in.

Darsh Dahya 8:32

Yeah, I remember when we were going through, the pandemic had just started, right. And everybody's trying to work from home. And everybody's not quite sure what that first two weeks was like, like, why are we working from home, people started watching Netflix for the first two weeks and thinking it was big holiday. Then people started losing jobs after then everybody started realizing, Oh, maybe I should do my job. Well, maybe what does this new world look like, right? And so the economy started turning crazy. We started having things like riots and companies started going, restaurants started closing down, everybody started ordering food, the toilet paper was running out everywhere. And just a big crisis, right? So at that time, if you can imagine, like we're trying to make revenues go up, but they start going down. And we need our stores to be open, but we have to close them because the streets are getting rioted all across America. So you know, those things against us, put us into such a space where it's like it was already hard to do our jobs. Now it's almost impossible. So you know, I remember the leaders coming on the townhall and saying, bringing people together. And just being thankful for all the hard work that everyone had been doing so far to get us to the point where we are, but then just acknowledging mental health and saying, Hey, I know everybody's going through stuff. I know everybody's got issues. I know everybody's so Wait, so have I and sometimes it takes 20 minutes in the morning to maybe go to the gym Have meditate will get your mind clear and reset. And maybe you don't have time to take a break during the day. But maybe it's important right to go for a walk around the block and just mentally recharge, right? And so that might be meditation, or just deep breathing that I remember just knowing and feeling like, I felt inspired to be a part of our company, because they were acknowledging how we were all feeling, which was all sorts of things, all sorts of things.

Bethany Londyn 10:28

Well, I mean, I'm sure people also felt like they were not going to have a job also. And like, on top of like, where the world where's this world heading? Like, every single fear imaginable was popping in 2020. Yeah, yeah. So you brought in to this conversation, which I also think is really valuable is that you are vulnerable. It sounds like you're vulnerable with people. Like, I'm feeling this too. It's not just you, like we're all feeling this collectively. And honoring that with everybody. So yeah, so then, so then, so what, what happened? You got everyone doing the meditations or what? I mean, they can't

Darsh Dahya 11:14

remember? Yeah, no, exactly. Right. So we did. There's all sorts of things that companies do they give a corporate discount for like a gym membership. But I remember one of the things we did at the company I was there, we paid for a premium membership for everyone to have the mindfulness app, right. And so that's a form of an app that has meditation services and things that you can start doing. And I think it was a step in the direction to say, you know, Fitness is important. And an eating is important, but also mental health, right? So paying for a premium subscription to that I think goes a long way for the employees where it's like, hey, they're not just saying, Get a new laptop to do work better. They're saying look after yourself, at home, in general, because then you can be your best self at work, too. You know, right.

Bethany Londyn 11:59

Yeah. Okay, so good. So good. So what? Huh? Yeah, what would you say were your keys to success for jumping into these roles? And you've said that you like, currently right now Darsh is an in between phase of regrouping, let's say to what's next. And what is crazy amazing is you I mean, you've said you've had like 40 job offers 40. Like who out there has 40 job offers. And you may be exaggerating, I don't know. But there's so many people out there in the world that are really struggling, struggling to get one position, let alone have 40 opportunities. So what's also interesting to me is that you've risen to the top without a CPA license, because you're from New Zealand. So like you are literally quantum leaping all the time. And like that's what this is about. So what would you say? Like, how are How is this all happening?

Darsh Dahya 13:09

I remember, I remember early on in, when we were kind of going through our first like big wave or reductions in force, or making cuts at the company. And it was during the kind of pandemic stuff as well, I remember getting a call from a lady that will I was just speaking with this morning. And she works for a recruiting company. And so she puts kind of permanent people contract people. And so she called me one day and she's a biggest fan of me, she's she's got me, probably two or three other job offers herself. But I remember not even taking any of her job offers, I actually took another one. And she was still supportive, because she wanted me to go to their company so that I could get her and at that company, but I remember talking to me one day, and she decided that she can do five people's jobs. But she said, I just want to let you know that all of your team is currently looking for employment, and I have their resumes. And she said, you might be able to do five people's job, but you can't do an entire team's job. And when those people leave, you're in deep trouble. And she said, you know, you're an awesome person. You're amazing. And I think the world of you, but you need to start focusing on staff retention, and employees and the people around you. And I was like, Man, that's so true. You know, like, all these people have left and I've absorbed and absorb, absorb. But if my entire team goes. Yeah, can't really do anything. And so she just gave me this wake up call. And I just remember then immediately having a team call and just checking in on everyone's posts, where are they at that they want to be there that they want to go somewhere else? How are they feeling? Talk to them about the future talk to them about if we had holes on the team, I was going to fix it and we're gonna get the best people for the job. And so that was what led me to was putting the team first and then what got me to the top was you know, I was talking to someone about this today a little bit but people you know, What we can do, and I've always had this attitude that there's nothing I can't do, because I never say I can't do something, I just say, I just have some things to learn. So if you, if you approach it like that, then there's nothing really you can't do. So, you know, I say to people, I never talk about what I can do. And if I have the opportunity with a board or an audit committee meeting, I never talked about myself. And what I've done rather what I do is I talk about all the people on my team and what they've achieved and what they've accomplished and who they are. And what's interesting about that, is you then get seen as an amazing leader, you then get seen as somebody who has control of the company, whereas if you just turn up and you say, Oh, I've got this amazing team, and they do all these wonderful things. And look at me, I'm so shiny and fantastic. What are you what are the results, and I feel like that's what got me at the top is just by doing an action and supporting a team. And that's where, you know, I think you'll find that people that lead people don't lead them, they work. They walk alongside them, right? People always say I stand on the shoulders of giants. I don't. I walk around giants all the time, and I'm surrounded by amazing, great people. That's what makes me as long as maybe I'd do my job well.

Bethany Londyn 16:12

So you're you This is beautiful. So you took this woman's feedback. And it landed for you in a life changing way. Because other people would be like, Screw you, you know, but you totally absorbed it. You received it. And it I love I love the wake up call and then through building other people up. Of course they're gonna love you.

Darsh Dahya 16:39

Yeah, exactly. People like to work with people that where they feel like they're able to be themselves too. Right? So bring out the best in people, and then you're always around good people.

Bethany Londyn 16:51

I love it. I love it. Okay, so what about the CPA and thing that you somehow got around? That same? Oh, yeah.

Darsh Dahya 17:01

I remember coming to America, and it was all these rules, you must have a certain GPA to get your resume into the company to get looked at. And I you know, I'm not going to quote what those are. But it's got to be above 3.75 GPA or something like that. And you got to have your CPA license or getting your CPA license, What school did you go to? What college did you go to, and I went to none of them. I didn't have a GPA, I came from London, C's get degrees, or that was the mentality. And it was It wasn't about C's get degrees. But when you went for a job in New Zealand, it was like, Well, if you didn't get an A, why didn't you get an A and if the reason was that I had three other jobs while I was at university, and I was also playing to sports, and I was doing this, well then also because you're in kind of an seen as an all rounder, and that's the kind of people that they would hire the so I remember, you know, I didn't didn't have my CPA, but I had a I was a chartered accountant, which is the New Zealand Australian kind of UK Commonwealth equivalent of the CPA. So I did study, it just wasn't what America would have. And so I remember getting transferred as a senior and as a manager, to Canada and then to America. And so just by default, they had all these roles where you had to have a CPA license to be a manager, but I was already there. So they had this role and any promise they will dashes a manager and how come he can be a manager without a CPA? And so they said, Well, okay, you know, you have to have a CPA except for that. And so, you know, it did get to a point where I think, you know, maybe if it was a director or partner level job, I might not have been able to sign financial statements, because I didn't have my CPA license. However, that was because I wasn't able to sign financials as an auditor signing off on those financials. I then later joined two public companies. And I just signed the financial statements for a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange without a CPA license. So you know, these rules that we have, that these auditors say you must have a CPA license to be able to do this job. While those financial statements that we're trying to sign off on, I now sign them without a CPA license. So, you know, I think there are rules. And if you do go to school in America, it's there because there's certain things that you need to do to get expertise or knowledge. But at the same time, if you have other ways to prove that you're awesome and amazing, and you have experienced in different ways. Those limitations don't really exist. They're just things that that system had in place doesn't mean that they're hard and fast. And you kind of get around them if you just approach it in a different way and always be Yeah, I kind of feel like I did.

Bethany Londyn 19:36

Yeah, you didn't, you didn't let it deter you or block you. Because even I know people that won't apply to jobs, right? Because they're like, I don't have every single thing that they're asking for. And I've heard through the grapevine that studies show that men will still apply to them like very it's like normal for men to apply and then a lot of women in Not everyone, obviously, but a lot of women won't because they're like, oh, I don't have everything. And so there's something there too of like, not letting it block you and not letting it get you down. And just striving because you're like, I know, I'm great. I know that I'm still qualified. Like, yeah. You know, the

Darsh Dahya 20:19

other one is, is the NBA. Everybody always tells me that they must get the NBA. Yeah, to get a job like me, well, I've never done my NBA. And I think that if you do believe that you must get your NBA NBA to get their next job. But then maybe you will need to do it. But I also believe that while there's benefits and doing it, you don't need to get it. It's it's a mindset thing, right? Like, if we believe we need to get anything, go get it and do it. And I hope you have a good time. And I'm sure it'll serve you well. And you'll do really well. But also, if it also isn't the be all end all. And I think that, you know, people were so people not sure what the what the next opportunity is going to be. And maybe they think that's what they need to get it. But if you think you need to get it, then you're going to need to get it if you think you don't need it, then you probably won't.

Bethany Londyn 21:16

Yeah, yeah, totally agree. Okay. So curious, how about your childhood? How do you think that your childhood or your parents or the people around you kind of cultivated this individual that is so kind and supportive and ignores the rules?

Darsh Dahya 21:40

I have always known that if you just like I've always known that generosity comes back to you. I've always known that you've got to give to receive as well. And, you know, I remember, when you were when I started in university, it was actually, I would actually provide a lot of alcohol and party environment things for my friends. And so if you ever came around to one of my parties, you didn't have to bring anything because I had everything sorted. And I remember, my dad called me one day and he said, Hey, you don't have to do that. You don't have to spend all your money on big parties, people are still going to come. And I remember thinking, Yeah, but I love doing it. And I love the feeling of how much of a good time people had around me. And so I remember early on realizing that generosity comes back to you tenfold. You know, it might not come back and return on investment, like you would expect certain things. But you know, people do that all the time. Why don't we buy birthday presents for people not because we have to because we want to, and we want to see, see them receive it. And so it's that that feeling of being generous. So that's, I think that started off really young for me. And, you know, my dad was a doctor and my family. You know, we had everything we needed, because his patients did everything. They were mechanics, they were dentists, they were anybody you could ever imagine. So I remember knowing that if, you know, my dad's always help people, he's always seen people for free or subsidized the, the consultations and I remember that generosity led back to us, never worrying about anything we needed. And so you know, I think that that kind of ingrained in me like when you help other people, you'll always be able to get help from other people when you need it to love it.

Bethany Londyn 23:23

Beautiful. So good. And yeah, that makes perfect sense. And through connections and sounds like you're really good networker as well. So Oh, my goodness. Okay. So if you were to talk about three keys to quantum leaping from let's say for you school to the top, what would you how would you summarize those three steps?

Darsh Dahya 24:00

I'm thinking you have to have a can do attitude, not a can't do attitude, it's very important to think you can do something and I tell people all the time, when they are interviewing for a new role that maybe they haven't done before. Don't think about all the reasons why you can't do that. Because you haven't done it. Think about all the reasons and all the things that you've done. That mean, you'll know you'll be able to figure that out. And you know, there's always that steep learning curve where you are asked to sign off payroll for 1000s of people and you've never done it before. And you didn't know what you're doing. But you always have people around you to learn and figure it out. And so I think that's that can do attitude. Don't think you can't do something because and I tell people I always ask people I say Have you ever you know, have you ever been given something to do and not been able to do it? And they're like, Nah, usually I figure it out. Yeah, exactly. So when you go for that next role, don't think you can't do it, you'll be able to do it. You know, it's about getting that opportunity. Have you taken any and figuring it out?

Bethany Londyn 25:02

Any any other interview questions, though? On that tangent any other interview questions that you asked that would be valuable?

Speaker 2 25:13

That I would ask people if I was interviewing them? Yes. I like to ask people to explain how they would solve a problem. And too often I get people that say, I would send an email to my manager. And I was like, Okay, interesting. What I'm really looking for is somebody who's going to help their team, figure out the problem, who's gonna roll up their sleeves, who's gonna explain the team, make sure the team's got time to do it, make sure the team knows what they're doing and get it done, right. Whereas if I have someone that just wants to just delegate, delegate and ask and just move things around, sometimes that's person that maybe not creating a culture that I'd like, I like a culture where people work together and help each other.

Bethany Londyn 25:56

And it's creating more work.

Darsh Dahya 25:59

Exactly. Right. And then people also don't like to be on the other end of those emails, right? Like, oh, this manager just keeps asking me things every day.

Bethany Londyn 26:08

Right? So so get dirty, get dirty, roll up your sleeves and get dirty, okay? It's like the theme of my next email is going out and after this, okay. Okay, and then your other two, for quantum leaping.

Darsh Dahya 26:31

Oh, always think about your next move. Always think about your next position or your next role in be their position. You know, too often people say, I need to be promoted to manager, and they expect it or they feel entitled to it. If you perform like a manager already, if you already showing attributes of being a manager, you will become a manager and you will get hired as a manager. And you, you know, and then when you ask somebody, of course, because you're already doing that role. So I always say people say, what does it dress for the role you want about the row role you have? Yeah, you know, I remember it, the accounting firm I was at, you didn't have to wear a tie. And you didn't have to wear a suit. I wore a suit and a tie every day, because I wanted to be seen as the leader of that team, I want to be in the meetings with the executives, I want to be taken seriously. I didn't have to wear a suit and tie. But I knew that if I dress for that role, I wouldn't be seen as that person. Right. And so I thought that was really important to take that next leap be be the role that you want to be be the person you want to be, you know,

Bethany Londyn 27:39

so did you get that role? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Amazing. Okay,

Darsh Dahya 27:48

but it's because, um, you know, you want to people get rewarded. And get promoted when the company sees that they're doing a really good job. And they deserve that. And they often have those scales of one to for where you're not meeting expectations, we meet some expectations, you meet the expectations, or you're exceeding them. So if you, you know, if you're, if you're just the staff or, or something like that, and you want to be a manager, well, if you're always exceeding those expectations and performing above the level of a staff, well, whenever they go through your writing, you're already performing at that next level. So it's a no brainer, that you should be at that level. So that's why I think it's always so as important to not just do the role you have, but to think about where you're going.

Bethany Londyn 28:33

Love it, love it. And lastly,

Darsh Dahya 28:38

quantum like fineness, probably, you know, I, like I said, I left accounting, and I joined another public company that was trying to I was trying to relocate them from Denver, Colorado, to Burbank, California. And I remember there were some people that were not very nice. Not very kind. And I remember they had lots of money, and they lived in Beverly Hills, and I thought, Wow, maybe I should be like that. Maybe I should be less crime. Maybe I should be a bit of a you know, D bag. But I didn't. And it was very hard, because I remember seeing the nice cars, you know, every three months, they had new cars and fancy clothes and fancy restaurants and was going on holiday. But I always noticed that they weren't happy there was angry, there was upset, things didn't really go well. They didn't have good friends that they could you know, maybe on the outside, everything looked wonderful, but I always looked on what maybe what what in the inside they were going through. And so I stuck to kind of just being kind, being nice, and it's a long road and it's not overnight success and it's not overnight money, but you develop relationships with people and those relationships you do A lot of people will last you for ever. And you never know when you'll get a call, just like you said, when someone calls you out three years later, and an amazing opportunity, because they remembered how cool you are and how awesome you are. I remember leaving that public company. And I remember talking to the CEO, the CEO at the time and saying, don't talk badly to my team, they are the ones doing the work here at eight, they leave at a the work through the night. Don't yell at my team, if you have to yell at anyone yell at me. And I'll talk to my team. But don't yell at my team, you know, the people that aren't doing the work, come here in the morning and see who's not here. And I remember getting fired the next day. And it was hard because I was like, wow, I tried to be a nice guy. I tried to do the right thing. And then I got let go. And now all these people that are all sharks and all nasty people, they will still have they're always they're still getting money, they probably will stop talking about me that loser they got let go. While two months later, that company got done for a sec fraud. And all those people got let go. And I didn't even have any worries, because I was never a part of that vicious cycle that circle. And so it's you know, never serves you. And I've always known that just being kind, caring for people and being good person will go a long way.

Bethany Londyn 31:15

Love it. Okay. Well, before we wrap up, I just felt called to ask one more question. How do you maintain your mental health? Still, like, you know, on the daily? Do you have any practices?

Darsh Dahya 31:29

Yeah, I have this random saying I've had since I was younger, called it's all good. And, you know, I usually say it in a sarcastic way. Like if something happens, like imagine if you know, the stove boils over, and you've been cooking for two hours, and they'll have some sort of burn, I'll always kind of look at and say, Oh, it's all good. You know, isn't, don't worry about it. But if you think about that, it's all good. Kind of also says that it's all good. There's nothing bad. And I think if you focus on it so good. And actually look at what those words mean. Let's not take bad things as bad things. They just need to happen. And you know, sometimes people will say like I had a flat tire. Well, maybe they avoided an accident on the freeway, right? So we never know. And so I think it's all good has been my thing that's gotten me through so many things. And it just reminds me that, hey, don't worry about the next day is going to be better. And it wasn't.

Bethany Londyn 32:24

Oh my goodness, you're so great. I am so happy to shine a light on you and all your nuggets that you had no idea or I think super valuable and people will love and appreciate.

Darsh Dahya 32:39

Well, you inspire me. So I love that you do this and that you try and inspire other people. You're inspiring too. Thanks. Perfect.

Bethany Londyn 32:49

Yeah. And along that note, yeah, let's let me ask you something. So how did your life change when I asked you about being on a podcast, etc

Darsh Dahya 33:10

It made me realize, Well, you asked me to be on a podcast and I got all sorts of nervous because there's no way you can ask me where it was gonna go. But you said that your the whole purpose of your podcasts was to inspire people and you made me feel like I could inspire people. And so that led me to go down this route of sharing or maybe being a life coach or being a leadership mentor, or working in a different way where I could help other people and I felt like maybe I was inspiring because you're inspired me. So I think that's this this vicious circle of being inspiring creates inspiring people around you.

Bethany Londyn 33:48

Love it. So good. So good. You survived.

You can find the podcast on most channels from Apple to Amazon to Spotify.

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