David sweats his way to better work connections
David Leary is all about collecting splat points. If you go to an Orangetheory Fitness gym, you also collect splat points and now automatically have a connection with David. He also plays ice hockey and is an avid runner. Although he claims to run like a hockey player, his highlight was getting 2nd place in his age group in the Mt. Lemon Half Marathon.
In this episode, David and I talk about his exercise and running has allowed him to connect with others. Running is fairly common so when he’s at a conference, David likes to organize a group to run together, which allows them to connect in an informal way. He also says that running is similar to his work, where you put one foot in front of the other and do the best you can do. He’s always shared his passions at work, from ice hockey to exercising, and has never put up a boundary between his personal and professional lives. He believes being genuinely authentic is important and adds, “People are too worried they have to be somebody they aren’t so they fit the stereotype.”
David Leary is a Small Business Ecosystem Evangelist at Intuit, where he’s been for 20 years. His former QuickBooks related roles at Intuit have included tech support, quality assurance, engineering, product development, marketing, and product management. In 2014, he was named one of the “40 under 40” honorees by CPA Practice Advisor and in 2015 as a “One to Watch” in their Top 100 Most Influential People by Accounting Today.
He graduated from the University of Arizona.
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Welcome to Episode 102 of the Green Apple Podcast where each Wednesday, I interview a professional known for a hobby or a passion and just by being themselves, they stand out like a green apple in a stereotypically boring red apple world. And so many of us are taught a false hope by professionalism that to stand out, you need to get another certification or another degree or memorize all the tax codes or be the best technician in your field, whatever that is but this simply isn’t true because if you want to get ahead in business, it’s still a human to human interaction.
Professionalism preaches that people with passions outside of work are less dedicated to their job or maybe not as good as their jobs so they’re trying to distract themselves with these other things yet when people ask you so what do you do? Don’t forget to include the ‘And,’ as in I’m an accountant and I’m in a gospel choir or whatever it is that you do. They’re both important and make up who you are but it’s the ‘And’ that people are most interested in because trust me, no one is saying, “Oh, really? Tell me more about that accountant part.”
If you’re listening to this and think, “Hey! I’m in a gospel choir” or really, if you have any hobby or passion at all that you’re known for at work, please reach out to me because I’d love to have you on as a guest on the show or maybe you know someone else who’d be a good fit and they’d be willing to share their story. Just go to greenapplepodcast.com and send me a quick message or follow us on Twitter @GreenApplePod and message me there.
But today, it’s all about David Leary who describes himself as a QuickBooks ecosystem expert. He’s helping bookkeepers and accountants all across the country and I’m just going to jump right into it here, David. Thank you so much for taking time to be with me on the Green Apple Podcast.
David: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it, John. Looking forward to this for three or four weeks now. It’s been very exciting.
John: No, no. I’m just so excited that we were able to connect and we share a lot of the same philosophies and this is going to be so fun.
David: Yeah, I think we met informally just because of Twitter just because of the word niche, this big argument that was going on and then I was like, “Hey, I should just be on your podcast. We pronounce it the same.”
John: Right, that’s exactly it. Because it’s niche, because it rhymes with riches, niches for riches or whatever it is. I don’t even know.
John: That’s exactly what it is. I jumped in and got your back. I’m like I don’t even know this guy but he’s a cousin of mine because he says niche so we’re related. I’m all in and it’s all good but in the intro, I gave it a little bit of your you know, what you’re up to now but maybe in your own words, better to describe that and kind of how you got there.
David: Yeah. I think unlike a lot of your guests, I am not an accountant but I did like a lot of people who are in the space kind of fell into this space. I work for Intuit. I’ve been in Intuit, it’s going to be 21 years this November. So it’s been a very, very long time. Actually, I think just this week, somebody who’s in my original hiring class retired. That’s how long of amount of time. I’m like the survivor that won, like I’m the last one. There’s no million-dollar price but I won.
But yeah, kind of in school, like had you know, hey, this accounting team’s kind of interesting. I remember in high school, like a teacher’s showing me Excel. I said, this is kind of cool. I was doing tech support for QuickBooks so I did tech support for the DOS products so I come from that world, came from DOS, got into Windows, got into quality assurance, product development, I’ve built an app, I’ve kind of done everything small business related and QuickBooks related except for commission sales, I never have done actual commission sales before of QuickBooks but all the other parts of QuickBooks I’ve been involved with plus four or five years.
I’ve been really heavily involved with apps, add-ons, third party developers, the accountants, and it really evolved my title from being a “developer evangelist” into really an ecosystem evangelist because I spend most of my time talking to the entire ecosystem, small business owners, that’s where I really bounce around in. It’s a lot of one way I describe my job is I seduce developers, I sell dreams. I’m selling developers and their dreams of opportunity in small business, I sell small business on the idea of apps and QuickBooks, I sell accountants on the idea of apps that developers can help the accountants be more efficient so kind of about they’re selling dreams.
John: Yeah, man. Good for you. I know you work really hard and you’re really good at your job. I mean that’s pretty awesome though, man. I mean just think of all the differences that you’ve worked through technology-wise. I mean that’s pretty unbelievable. I mean you go from MS-DOS boot disks to people doing it on their phones now.
David: Yeah. It’s funny because sometimes, the use cases are still kind of the same. I look at time tracking, right? It used to be people would take that disk and stick it at everybody’s computer. They track their time the entire week, give the floppy diskette, walk it over to the person that’s going to do payroll, that person would process payroll with the time. They pulled of all the floppy diskettes. Basically, it’s the same use cases, it’s just been replaced with a phone. It’s really been, and then it’s sending it through an API but the use case of the actual tracking the in and out is still the same and getting into payroll, that hasn’t changed.
John: Right, yeah, you’re right. I mean it’s just a faster, in theory, a smoother way until it breaks. But yeah, that’s an excellent point is it’s all just doing the same thing when you boil it down. So yeah, I mean how did you get into I mean doing the tech support side, I mean you just saw some Excel when you were in high school and were like yeah, that’s what I want to do?
David: I was like, “Wow, this is amazing.” Because I think up to that point, you had Windows and you were touching Microsoft paint, and that was kind of it, right?
John: Right, the Oregon Trail
David: Yeah, you could take like 15 numbers, put them in a column and get a total? That was mind blowing. Obviously, you saw these possibilities, right? So I think I was just one of those people that was just like wow, this is crazy great and then thinking like getting Accounting 101 in college and there’s people that get an Accounting 101 and they’re like wait a minute, this is not for me. And I was okay, I kind of get this. I’m like I found myself actually studying.
So I kind of yeah, a little bit of accounting background, a little bit of computer science and then that’s the stuff but yeah, how I actually got to Intuit, I was actually working software sales before that like retail and that company was going bankrupt and kind of needed a job and that’s really what drove it, right? It wasn’t like a big decision. It was like, hey there’s this company, Intuit. I remember actually taking the job. I was like, it’s not going to hurt to have Intuit on the résumé 21 years later.
John: Right, 21 years later, yeah.
David: It’s the entire résumé.
John: Yeah, I was going to say you don’t even have a résumé anymore because it’s just Intuit. That’s fantastic, man. But I mean it’s so cool that you landed there and that you’ve made it work and really flourished so that’s fantastic, really awesome.
David: Been a great ride, for sure.
John: For sure. And so I know you’re busy and very busy but when you do have some free time in your nights and weekends, what’s sort of hobbies and passions occupy your time?
David: Yeah, obviously kids. Dance dad, kids take up your time, men’s soccer teams which don’t ever do that. Don’t volunteer to be team manager, ever. That coach, that type of stuff. But really for me, personally, I have to make sure I put in time. I like to run. I do a lot of Orangetheory Fitness. I’ve been tapering off of my hockey career a lot. It’s been slowly but surely tapering away, some of it’s time commitment but yeah, I have definitely a passion for staying healthy and working out and doing Orangetheory Fitness and that type of stuff.
John: Yeah, and what’s Orangetheory Fitness? I never even heard of that.
David: Never heard of Orangetheory Fitness? Okay. So Orangetheory Fitness —
John: Yeah, but I also don’t really do a lot.
David: So essentially, it’s a gym that’s based on high interval training. So the goal is to get your heart rate up to 86% or higher for 12 minutes during the approximately 55-minute workout. But the Orangetheory is, this is where the marketing comes in, right? Is that if you do that, you’ll still burn calories for the next 24 to 48 hours.
John: Oh, okay. All right.
David: It’s a workout that combines — there’s some weights, there’s rowing, there’s treadmill, so you’re getting a nice — what I like about it for me is I just show up and just do whatever they tell you to do that day and then leave. So the workout’s never the same, but you’re getting that nice balance of weights and cardio, all at the same time and then they have this — it’s game of five. They have these things called spot points, and that’s what you’re chasing so every time you hit that one minute in that zone of your heart rate, you’re clicking these spot points. You can’t use them for anything. It’s like you exchange them out of for money. It just exists.
John: Not even bitcoins which are also not even real. But that’s funny, man. But I guess the hockey is also fascinating to me because I mean you’re in the desert so how’s that happen?
David: The reason is I was born in Buffalo, New York so my parents, right? So from a hockey community, hockey part of the country, the hockey. They moved to Arizona really, really young. They had a mall there that had a nice rink in it in Phoenix. So I went to Phoenix and started playing so I only play hockey at Arizona which is actually even crazier.
John: Yeah, that is even crazier. But I mean that’s the hardest sport that I’ve ever tried to participate in for sure. I mean it’s unbelievable amount of coordination, you’re sweating profusely but you’re also freezing because you’re on ice. I mean just everything about it is so confusing to me. The fact that goals are scored at all is like Christmas miracle. I mean it’s unbelievable. I mean just when you think about it, but yeah.
I mean for just once, actually in college, we used to have we called it wuss hockey because it was for people that could kind of barely skate, but never really played hockey and so we would get the rink of the team late at night and go play and yeah, you’re on a breakaway and then you forget the pock or whatever. And it was just like man, there’s so much coordination to this. It’s amazing. So kudos to you, man, because I mean I guess when you grow up playing it it’s a lot easier but man, it’s pretty hilarious to watch just regular civilians try to pull it off.
David: Yeah, I think I remember as a kid, they would do like — the kids would play with the parents and the parents or you’re out there with like whatever they could find like motorcycle helmets, you know, they’ll get out there and play us, and we’re using those rental skates with the ankles that are flopping over.
John: Oh, man, yeah. Like figure skating almost.
David: The green figure skates, exactly, right?
John: That’s exactly it, right. Yeah, that’s pretty embarrassing, pretty embarrassing. But yeah, it seems like the big one is the running.
David: I think as of lately, yeah, the last four or five years, I’ve done a lot more running, a couple of marathons, enough half marathons where I don’t know how many I’ve done.
John: Wow, that’s impressive, man.
David: Any time I go to — I travel, right? I’ll try and figure out if there’s a run that overlaps, an accounting conference, or overlaps or I’ll just go running with whoever’s there. So I know we’ve done that at QuickBooks Connect because sometimes, the nights go long sometimes at these conferences and a little bit of alcohol so you got to kind of run that out the next morning so you know, you’ll go running with some people at the conference. “Hey, let’s meet in the lobby at 6:00 a.m., 5:30 a.m.” and go for a run.
John: Right. I mean that’s cool too because you’re developing those relationships with people that you’re not around all the time.
David: Yeah, and it’s become a bond, right? It’s easy that to me, anybody could do. They’re able to do it. Everybody kind of runs at their own pace and I mean you’re just meeting to run socially at your conference, that was just fun.
John: Yeah, there’s no time. You’re not trying to do a personal best or anything. Yeah, that’s pretty fantastic. So do you have like a most rewarding type of coolest run experience or are there several that you can think of or they’re all great?
David: I don’t know if they’re all great. Sometimes, I feel like to be honest, I run like a hockey player, right? I’m like I run really hard for 45 seconds and maybe I walk two or three steps and I run hard again. It’s not good.
John: That’s hilarious. That’s so funny.
David: But actually, I think most rewarding is I did — there’s a mountain down here at Tucson called Mount Lemmon and it’s straight up, and so I did the half marathon not the full but full is even more impressive. They said it’s because 7,000-foot straight up climb of a mountain. It’s paved but yeah, I did the half and that was I got second place for my age group and so it’s exciting but actually, the best thing about it is finally, you accomplished something. It was amazing, right? To run up this mountain which is truly and you ran. I mean your car cries when you’re driving up this road, right? So the fact that you ran up is really kind of insane. Yeah, that was probably most rewarding, running was.
John: That’s impressive, man. I’ve done one half marathon that’s how many, I can still count them. And then I retired shortly thereafter because I was like this is dumbest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
David: It gets easier, I swear.
John: They do get easier, yeah sure, so does jumping in the deep end of a freezing pool. But yeah, I mean I guess it was cool. It was Indianapolis, we ran around the Indy 500 track and over the bricks and all that, and yeah, but I mean did sub two hours so I was pretty excited about that I guess. I did find out actually that I’m not a very good runner. By the time I finish, the winner was actually back in Kenya. That’s how bad I was at the running. But no, it was pretty good, the sub two hours I was pretty excited about. But it is a cool thing that when you find other runners that are really in to it, there’s a common bond there that you find that I think is neat. So would you say that there’s a unique skill set you take from your running to your job?
David: I think running, I would think is a more metaphor, it’s just one step in front of the other, right? I think maybe yeah, sometimes with work, right? That you just which email do you take next? I don’t know, just take the next one, you just get stacked with work. It is hard to prioritize, right? If you’re going to run a half marathon, what do you do? You can’t just prioritize, you just have to start doing it, right? Just chip away, chip away, chip away, and then sometimes, it’s hard to prioritize and I think that’s a good philosophy is you just do one step in front of the other, and you do what you can do and eventually, you’ll finish the marathon.
John: Yeah, and then the training and all that stuff and whatever. I mean my little mantra was peak on race day. So I’m like I’m not going to over train which the people I was running with, they were not pleased with that. But how does it come up in conversation like when you’re at conferences, are you just like, “Hey, everybody, we’re going running tomorrow. Let’s do this.”
David: I think it comes up soon as before that. Social media is really I feel like has just — for all the knocks social media there are, right? That it’s ruining the planet, people only stare at their phones, et cetera, but I think it really brings people closer. I’m personal friends I feel like with these 400 accountants that are all QuickBooks related and I know all these apps, and app developers all over so it goes from like you kind of knowing them and it goes from that totally lame LinkedIn connection, right? To really genuine Facebook like they know about your kids, you know about their kids, you know about the hobbies, you know your hobbies, and so, “Oh, you run too. I didn’t know you were doing a run. Congratulations, you did your first half marathon.”
And I think it kind of — social media really I think bridges that to where then you see each other, you’re like oh, yeah, how did your last run go? And it kind of bridges those connections.
John: Yeah, no, that’s great, yeah.
David: Going back to Orangetheory though, I think that one’s definitely, what’s interesting about that is it’s franchised out so it’s everywhere but everybody has the same workout so it’s kind of cool you could connect with somebody, if you did that, you would have the same workout as me and we could talk about today’s workout.
John: Oh, wow. So it’s by the day then. Wow, okay.
David: Yeah. So we’d have the same workout and then tomorrow we’d have the same workout even though we’re different states away different you know. That’s easy a topic. Somebody else is this fellow Orangetheory person kind of always fun.
John: Yeah, I mean that’s the thing. You think your hobbies and passions are throwaways, it’s just like oh, well it’s something that I do on the side and whatever. It’s really fascinating when you find someone else that does the same thing that you like to do. There’s some real magic that happens there.
David: Definitely, like just I know my kids are in competitive dance for a little while and I was a dance dad and you meat somebody, so I’m at a conference and he was dance dad. We could just talk about the same you know only other dance dads we get like how do you even know how to talk about it unless you’ve done it?
John: Right, I have no clue what you guys are talking about. But even if like I mean yeah, if it’s the same thing then it’s like oh, man, like your best friends on accident right there but even if it’s not someone else that’s a dance dad, I would still sit there and listen and be like oh, wow, okay. I didn’t realize that because even if it’s not the same hobby, passion, it’s still something that you learn about the other person sort of a thing.
David: Yeah, I think you have stories, right? There’s crazy things that happen you go to these dance contests. It helps when there’s crazy TV shows about that stuff.
John: That’s true too, yeah, definitely.
David: Like dads, right? So that helps but yeah, I think everybody has something they’re passionate about or they’re involved in that you can bring that to the table, there’s always something more interesting than much is talked about debits and credits, right? There’s just always something more interesting to talk about.
John: Yeah, for sure. I just wish that universities and CPE classes encourage that a little bit more because then people wouldn’t look at me like I had a third eye when I told them what the green apple message is all about. But yeah, there always is more to somebody which I think is like the special part. That’s where the magic is. It’s kind of like you know, I’m an accountant and I do comedy. No one’s ever said, “Oh, really? Tell me more of that accountant part.” It’s, “Wait, what comedy? Where? What?” And no matter what the ‘And’ is, the ‘And’ is the most important part. So that’s the thing of encouraging it with everyone and so when you started your career, were you sharing you know the, “Hey, I love to play hockey” and all this other stuff or did it slowly come out over time?
David: Definitely, I think if I look back, I was playing hockey a lot. I was younger, I’ve started doing it much younger but I definitely like — there’s a bar at the hockey rink so it’s very easy to encourage, “Hey, come out. Let’s hang out at the bar. I’ll play hockey. It’ll be fun.” So I’ve never kept a good boundary between that work and personal when it comes to hobbies and things going on and socializing with co-workers. It’s always been that way. I remember I was at the LAX accounting show the one year and I had stitches from hockey and Stacy Kildal take my stitches out at the hotel bar because I was —
John: That’s so great.
David: It’s great, right? Like yeah, whatever happens, happens.
John: Yeah. I mean that’s certainly not the norm so what makes you just be like hey, take it or leave it, this is who I am?
David: I think it’s just being genuinely authentic, right? It’s just really important to me, right? Here’s who I am, some of it might be I grew up with red hair. You grow up with red hair, you’re already kind of the outcast in a weird strange way, right? You have to learn to adapt and so people are staring at me anyways, what’s it matter?
John: Right, yeah. No, that’s an excellent point, man. And now I’m thinking, like a red hair playing hockey, like now I’m even way more confused but no, I mean that’s exactly it. So you just kind of grew up in this environment so for you it’s like, that’s how I am, that’s how I’ve been all of my life.
David: Yeah, I don’t know whole life. Yeah, as I’ve grown for sure.
John: It’s something that not a lot of people do and what do you think it is that holds people back from you know, having that gray area between their personal and professional lives?
David: I think it’s some of them think especially if you think about social media, right? I think a lot of people think it’s going to be taking too much time or they’re going to worry about saying something that will offend somebody. There’s this constant tiptoeing and I think you just, if you don’t try to filter yourself, right? And just maybe your only filter, your only rule is like I’m going to leave everything wide open, right? So I don’t have any — if I post them in social media, it’s just out there for the entire world.
I don’t have filters like only my mom can see the post, and only my friends can see this post because I think that’s when you start changing your messaging and trying to target to certain people when you just — here’s who I am just put out there for the whole world and whoever’s out there, out there. I think a lot of people are always trying to worry about well, I can’t see this because I also know these people and I can’t say something about hockey because I know these people I’m friends on Facebook that are runners and well, I’m also friends in Facebook that are accountants so I can’t say this because they’re accountants. It’s just people will digest and take away from you what they want to take away.
John: Yeah, that’s exactly it.
David: A lot of people are too worried they have to be somebody or project themselves like fit that stereotype which is obviously we’re just constantly trying to fight.
John: That’s what I found is it seems like people sort of fall into line kind of like Lemmings of well, this is what I think I’m supposed to be like, and part of it I think is the people ahead of you are doing the same thing and so you just kind of model yourself after people that are ahead of you and I guess it takes a couple of brave souls to just kind of buck the trend and be like yeah, no we don’t have to act like that. That’s stupid. Just be you. It’s all good.
David: Some of it, I think it’s you have to be aware of when the universe is telling you to change or do something different, right? I was going to a lot of conferences for trying to get developers and I have the worse business card, the Intuit business card was the worst business card. I couldn’t even put a website on it, it looked like the 30-year old business card and I’m going to these conferences with like, I’m going to use the word kids.
But you know, it’s like the kids, it’s this kick-starter guys, the run-keeper guys, it’s like all these web 2.0s type startup companies, hot young developers and I’m going and I’m like oh, my god. I’m IBM. I’m giving out the 30-year old business card which is not good and so I went and bought my own business card, I know they’re not Intuit brand but it’s kind of where you have to pay attention to the universe is telling yourself and you kind of read into that and go from there so if you ever got my business card, it’s my twitter picture.
John: Yeah, which is awesome, which is totally awesome. The sombrero or what is it?
David: Yeah, I’m wearing a sombrero, it was ridiculous — and even that’s like topic of conversation, right? During that lines of personal life and work life. We were at a kid’s birthday party, the way I even took the picture but we had like soccer, tennis, and dance then we had to run to this birthday party and I had the kids in the car and we’re going to this party and it was a cowboy themed party and these parents go over the top, they got the ponies, they built a whole gold west town out of cardboard refrigerator boxes they were just over the top.
So we got to get cowboy hats, we go to the party store, there’s no cowboys hats, we’re wearing sombreros, so we bought sombreros and we go to this party and then they had fake mustaches and eyebrows, they stuck them on my face, my daughter took that picture, just happened to catch the rough lines and the colors just right. I was like, this is my business card and it’s yeah, it’s kind of stuck after that. It’s kind of almost become a brand within itself which is kind of a funny thing.
John: Yeah, but I mean it’s cool because it’s a little bit of personality and you know, that’s why our brain works in researching this and stuff with norepinephrine and oxytocin and mostly the norepinephrine interesting people you’re interested in. And it’s not the standard business card. It’s like wait, what? What is this? So people start to lean in and then they take note of that. So good for you for being like, “Hey, this is my new card.” I guess when it comes to creating a culture that is, hey everybody it’s cool to share. Do you think that’s on the organization or do you think that’s more on individuals to kind of just make that happen?
David: I think it’s mostly on individuals actually. I think I really subscribe to the Cluetrain Manifesto type thinking like markets are conversations. This thought that you as the corporation control the message, you control the PR, you control the papers and that the real conversations happening in spite of you Mr. Corporation so I kind of subscribed to that mindset but I actually have seen though as even I can only get into Intuit and Brad Smith, right? He’s kind of sort of opened up more and because of that, it created like the whole Kiss meme he has and everybody does the rock and roll signs when they take photos with them now. But that had to come naturally. I think it came naturally for him eventually, right? It wasn’t so much instituted.
People being more open to who they are personally but it happens more naturally and organically I think then you can’t just have a mission of like we’re going to be more social, we’re going to be software and if you think he was leader of a company or your firm, I think that could ripple down from that.
John: Yeah, for sure. I mean if somebody at the top is setting the tone then that helps but certainly, I agree. I mean I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and people are like, “Oh, what did you do this weekend?” I was like, “Well, I drove to Louisville and did comedy shows.” And they’re like, “Wait, you did what?” And 12 years later I had a partner who I never even worked with and didn’t even know his name remembered me at a conference as the guy who did comedy at night. I was like wow, that’s pretty crazy that I’m on your shortlist 12 years later of people that you remember and for nothing work related so that’s pretty fantastic, thank you very much. But that’s the thing is you know, it’s that outside of work stuff that you can create those connections whether the culture’s there or not.
Have you seen companies that are doing things that encourage people to share? I mean I guess like Brad is a good example with the Kiss rock and roll type of means is kind of neat but other examples?
David: I can’t say I see companies that are like specific around sharing per se but I definitely have seen you know, obviously I see a lot of startups and I see a lot of our companies in our space that are — there’s something special about the company and the company culture, and I can like obviously TSheets is one that’s going to come to mind to people at Hubdoc and a clear law firm software.
There’s just some companies that you meet them and the way their employees are and their culture and Expensify’s got their own culture thing going on and you start to meet these people and some of it maybe comes from leadership but it also comes from — it’s almost infectious, right? Because then other people with similar personalities are like, well, I want to go work there. Those guys are tool. There’s something enjoyable. I know that TSheets does a 5K for their employees but people want to seek that out, it’s almost like if you have a good culture, right? It’s almost like an investment in your recruiting process, right?
John: Totally, man. Yeah, not only that but the retention as well so you’re saving money by not having to recruit new people but then you have more applications than you can ever do anything with. Even when you’re not have a job opening you’re still getting resumes because everybody wants in. That’s an excellent point.
David: So to flip that back on you, are there any accounting firms that are like these?
John: There are, actually.
David: I can name app companies that are like this but I’m like who are they?
John: Yeah, in the text base, it’s easier because the .com sort of culture and that sort of a thing. Clearly, in an accounting world where there’s a billable hour, that does make it a little trickier. But there are some firms that are just really killing it like Horn is a firm out of Mississippi and then the south east, they have some really, really cool culture going on there. And there’s DOZ is another cool one out of Indianapolis, a little bit of a smaller firm but they have some cool things going on, there’s Armanino, WithumSmith+Brown, might be just Withum now, they’re pretty big on the east coast so there’s some firms of size that are doing pretty well but then there’s everybody else.
And it’s just a matter of leadership, being willing to bite the bullet a little bit on their income to treat their people the way that they should be treated. But yeah, there are some, it’s just the stereotype and the old guard and whatever. But there are some that are just like hey, this is dumb. Unfortunately, few and far between.
David: Yeah, I think you’re changing this, right? Everybody will have to one day buy your book and that’s tipping point, right?
John: Yeah, exactly. The book is going to be more the theory and just change your mind of how you look at hobbies and passions and don’t let professionalism suffocate your personality sort of message to kind of encourage, embolden everybody. I mean excited whenever that comes out. Still working on it. I’m trying to think, was there anything that you wanted to share that I skipped over?
David: Yeah, I mean like you have to listen to the universe, right? Let the universe drive these things. Before about a two-year period, unicorn libations was a thing. I had my own memes. It would just happen on accident, right? The universe just kind of threw this out there and I embraced it. And it got its own ways.
So if anybody’s listening, they could just go to Twitter search for #unicornlibations and there’s hundreds and hundreds of pictures of me holding a unicorn coffee mug with accountants. Like it just became ridiculous thing on its own, it wasn’t anything we set up to plan to do, it just got its own likes. And almost got too big because now all of the sudden Starbucks is making the unicorn drink and it kind of outgrew itself.
But you have to kind of just embrace these and be okay when these things happen. It’s not anything that consciously set out and arguably, I think things have consciously tried to do sometimes and like oh, I’m going to makes this great blog post or this YouTube video and then it gets three views. I did this great tweet I worked so hard on this tweet and then it gets you know, nobody retweets it or likes it. So I think when the universe gives you a gift like that, you just ride it and see where it goes.
John: Yeah, so David, I mean this has been super, super fantastic bur before I get on a plane and fly to the desert and you make me run or do this Orangetheory fitness and I’d have a heart attack, I do have my 17 rapid fire questions that I like to run you through.
David: 17, how is that — just random 17? Is this like a scientific number you figured out?
John: It’s a nice odd number. It’s just enough to where we get to know you but not enough to where it gets weird.
David: I paid attention to enough of your podcasts I’ve listened to like this is what would be your job interview if you had your accounting firm.
John: Oh, totally, absolutely, right? I mean you’re done in a minute and you actually know the person, yeah, this is somebody I should hang out with or not so much and yeah, I try to mix up the questions every once in a while. They’re a lot of fun. So let me fire up this machine here.
All right. Here we go. We’ll start you out, first one. Are you more oceans or mountains?
David: I’m probably more oceans.
John: Oceans, all right. When it comes to financials, are you more balance sheet or income statement?
David: Balance sheet.
John: Balance sheet, all right. Do you have a favorite animal?
David: favorite animal, no favorite animal.
John: No favorite animal. All right. Are you more cats or dogs?
John: Dogs, all right. How about do you have a favorite number?
David: Favorite number. Obviously, any good hockey player, 99.
John: Yeah, I was going to say. That one makes sense. I don’t even have to ask why. How about do you have a favorite color?
David: Favorite color, yellow.
John: Yellow. Least favorite color?
David: Least favorite color, maybe fuchsia?
John: Fuchsia, that’s a solid answer. Are you more pens or pencils?
John: Pens, there you go. How about Star Wars or Star Trek.
David: Star Wars.
John: Yeah, yeah. How about are you more of a PC guy or a Mac?
John: Yeah, yeah. Right, right. And how about when it comes to your mouse? Right-click or left-click?
David: Oh, I’m a right-click.
John: Right-click. That’s where all the options are, right? How about when you’re ordering a pizza? Favorite toppings? You can load it up.
David: Oh, load it up. A little bit classic, but pepperoni, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
John: Oh, yeah. How about more Sudoku or crossword puzzle?
David: I’m a Sudoku, for sure.
John: Yeah, there you go. How about more suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt?
David: More shorts and a button-down shirt. I call it formal, right?
John: Formal. That’s exactly it. That’s so good. How about more early bird or night owl?
David: I’ve changed. I’m early bird now for sure.
John: Okay. Three more, three more. Do you have a favorite comedian?
David: Jerry Seinfeld.
John: Jerry Seinfeld. How about do you have a favorite TV show of all time?
David: Actually, Breaking Bad.
John: Yeah, and then the last one. The favorite thing you own or the favorite thing you have?
David: Favorite thing I own or favorite thing I have? I get a pool but I got one of those vacuums. A pool vacuum is by far the best I own.
John: That’s awesome, man. That’s such a great answer, such a great answer. Well, this was so awesome, David. Thank you so much for being with me today on the Green Apple Podcast.
David: Oh, thanks for having me, John. This has been a lot of fun and looking forward to it.
John: That was really, really fun. I particularly loved how David said, “People are too worried they have to be somebody they aren’t so they fit in the stereotype.” I couldn’t agree more. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we all stopped believing this made up stereotype and could actually create more human interactions? That’d be so fantastic.
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