Kylie is an Accountant & Interior Designer
Kylie returns to the podcast from episode 203 to talk about her recent projects, turning her hobby into a business of its own, prospecting accounting clients from her interior design business, and much more!
• Getting interior design
• Recent projects
• Testing new accounting technologies with her side business
• Noticing more hobbies being shared
• Focusing on the interior design niche for accounting clients
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Welcome to Episode 414 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday edition. This is John Garrett, and each Friday I follow up with a guest who had been on the show a few years ago, to hear what’s new with their passions outside of work and also hear how this message might have impacted them since we last talked.
I’m so excited, my book is out. You can order it on Amazon, Indigo, barnesandnoble.com, a few other websites. Check it out at whatsyourand.com. If you want me to read the book to you, that’s right, this voice reading the book, look for What’s Your “And”? on Audible or wherever you get your audio books. Thank you so much to everyone who’s read it so far and been kind enough to leave those really nice Amazon reviews and, more importantly, for changing the cultures where you work because of it.
Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week, and this Follow-Up Friday is no different with my guest, Kylie Parker. She’s the director at Lotus Accountants, and now she’s with me here today. Kylie, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Kylie: Thanks, John, so much for having me. I’m really looking forward to having another chat.
John: From Australia, coming in live. No, but it’s just awesome to have you back on. It’s also been exciting to watch your “and” just flourish since we talked. We’ll get into that in a minute. I have some rapid-fire questions here that I probably should have asked you the first time, but I didn’t. Here we go. This is maybe a tricky one. If you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones.
Kylie: Game of Thrones definitely.
John: Game of Thrones. There you go.
Kylie: I actually haven’t read Harry Potter, but I have read and watched Game of Thrones.
John: Oh, okay. That’s next level. Yeah. How about more diamonds or pearls?
Kylie: Ooh, diamonds.
John: Diamonds, okay. You can just hear it in your voice.
Kylie: I’m showing my age.
John: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Right. Very nice. Very nice. How about a favorite TV show of all time?
Kylie: All-time favorite TV show. Oh, interesting. Sopranos is actually what came to mind, which I wouldn’t have thought, but that’s what popped up.
John: That’s a good show, though. That’s a really good show.
Kylie: I like the idea that his son’s now playing him in the movie?
John: Right? Yeah, coming up. Yeah. Yeah. No, that is interesting. How about when it comes to books, audio, real book or Kindle?
Kylie: I’m a real book person. Yeah. I’ve actually listened to my first audio book recently. It was that Kevin Hart one. That’s my first one.
John: Okay. All right. Yeah. Hopefully it was him reading.
Kylie: It was actually, so it was really interesting.
John: He’s got such a unique voice. Yeah, exactly. How about a favorite day of the week?
Kylie: Favorite day. I do like Saturday.
John: Yeah, that’s my favorite too, easily. Yeah, because there’s nothing and then maybe some sports and then, yeah, cartoons when you were a kid, always Saturday, always good. Two more. Since you got the home renovation, home remodeling, all that stuff; more nails or screws?
Kylie: I prefer nails. It’s easier. Just whack it in.
John: That’s one I’ve never asked anybody, and I was excited to bring it out for you.
Kylie: Yeah, I think most people would say that’s my personality too. Just hit it. I don’t actually have the time to do it properly.
John: Kylie, that was a screw. It doesn’t matter, hammer away. That’s funny. The last one, toilet paper roll, over or under.
Kylie: Over, definitely over.
John: Over. Yeah, definitely over.
Kylie: Yeah. In my boys’ bathroom, any would be good. They can do it any way. I don’t care, just put it in there. I talked to them this morning.
John: That’s hilarious. That’s so funny. So, Episode 203, we chatted, and the pictures that you had sent in then were amazing. The ones this time, also amazing. It’s just so cool what you’re doing. How did you get started with that, for people that are new to the show?
Kylie: Yeah. I originally got started through university. I just really did like antique furniture. I think when we spoke last time, I talked about my one artistic talent was painting pansies, which was that folk art back in the day, on bottle green. I’d get old furniture, strip it back, paint it bottle green and then put these pansies on it. My first husband was really tolerant of actually having a house full of bottle green pansies. It was everywhere. It was on dresses and in the lounge room, in the bedroom. I look back now and have a bit of a chuckle.
Kylie: Thankfully my taste has improved. I don’t paint anything anymore. Yeah, leave it to the professionals.
John: That’s awesome. Yeah, and it’s mostly remodeling homes type of thing, from the outside, more?
Kylie: Originally it started as taking something that, adding value. If it was a two-bedroom unit, adding a third bedroom. Then it was a two-bedroom house which we originally just did a basic renovation, new kitchen. I do tend to put laundries into bathrooms, taking your laundry space and converting it into something else. That was when we spoke, was middle of 2019. After our conversation, I had an apartment still in Bondi, and I made the decision to sell it just to release some cash. That enabled me to, I renovated. I moved office. I was in a shared space in a, I don’t know, 20-square-meter office. I’ve taken 180 square meters just around the corner. I fully worked with the builder and the landlord to renovate it.
John: Oh, nice.
Kylie: I also started an attic bedroom for my youngest son. He was in this little boxed area and so we did that. That was the first lockdown. Then I opened a shop. It’s called Lotus Home. That was based on, because I had moved and then I had, at the time, the intention was to have a shared office space downstairs. With COVID and the lockdown, it didn’t have anybody else in, so I turned my boardroom into a homeware shop.
Kylie: Now I’m renovating again. I’m doing the backyard at the moment. As we speak, I was.
John: That’s great.
Kylie: Chatting to the builder as to putting a spa, a fire pit and a barbecue, moving it.
John: That’s awesome. There at the office?
Kylie: No, that’s at home.
John: Oh, at home. Okay. All right.
Kylie: The office is fully done. All that I’m doing in the office is adding gym equipment. I’ve got both my son’s in here. It now has a gym crash mat and weights.
John: Right, keep them busy and do something.
John: Yeah. That’s so cool. It’s got a name now, Lotus Home.
Kylie: I know.
John: Which, when we first chatted, it was a twinkle in your eye, something you like to do a little bit on the side and whatever. Now, it’s got a name. Yeah, that’s really cool.
Kylie: I actually think, yeah, that conversation that we had and articulating in a way that I was like, well, it isn’t just a hobby, it is something that is a bit different. It is my “and”. It’s something that I’m passionate about. I don’t know. Sometimes when you verbalize those ideas and then when an opportunity comes up, you’re more likely to put it into practice because it’s, we talked about it. It was sort of promoted, what I was doing. You really kind of go, actually, yeah, I do have a skill set there that even though it might not be one that was through a traditional route of going to an interior design course, I’ve clearly got something that I like doing. Actually it’s been interesting in having the shop. I’ve got regular customers now. It’s doing things that I like to have, and they all think I’m an interior designer. I always find that funny. That still makes me laugh.
John: Right? That’s awesome. That’s great.
Kylie: Yeah. Then I tell them that I’m an accountant. They go, “Can you do my tax return?” No.
John: Now you’re getting two clients, two for one.
Kylie: I did take on one lady, did her tax return. She was a bit behind, and I thought I’d help her out. Yeah, but I won’t do it again. I’ll leave it to.
John: Yeah, yeah. That’s so encouraging to hear that I accidentally lit a fire that was like, no, wait, this is legit. This isn’t a crazy, weird little side thing. This is a real thing.
Kylie: I am probably the only accountant that can honestly say that they have fully started a new business to make sure they can test accounting technology integrations.
Kylie: It’s their biggest demo ever.
John: Right? Yeah, because it’d be, how do you know this? Well, because I did it myself.
Kylie: I can turn Xero to Cinder to Square. I wanted to, because I’m an accountant, it had to be the cheapest possible, the best payment services, and the ones that linked, and then also, what’s my criteria, yeah, just minimizing all the transaction, the data points as well so that that was cheaper.
John: It sounds like a lot of project you’ve been doing, which is great. Those aren’t quick and easy.
John: It that takes time.
Kylie: Sometimes, I’m a little bit crazy, but if I’m not busy, then.
John: Then trouble.
Kylie: Yeah, then I’m on Twitter way too much. It’s bad enough as it is.
John: Or you’ll start painting daisies again. No, we don’t want that. We don’t need that.
Kylie: There’s an idea. You know what? Next time, follow up in another couple of years, I’ll send you a big daisy.
John: Exactly. That works. All right. Do you feel like people are sharing their hobbies more now, or you’re noticing it more, since we chatted?
Kylie: It’s interesting. I think most people have a hobby lately. Well, there’s a whole lot of things that have come up, I suppose, cooking and baking. You know your friends that have really got into, if you’re going to be able to get into a craft or something different, it’s a really good opportunity to be able to do it over the last couple of years. Yeah, hobbies have changed really, haven’t they, people that like traveling or even outdoor sports or music.
John: Yeah, anything with other people.
Kylie: Yeah, anything with other people. I’m trying to think of some of the ones, I’ve got, it’s probably more school friends actually. Some of them like, say, macrame, people that are doing some really cool.
John: Oh, yeah. Macrame or macrame, yeah. That is cool just seeing people share that.
John: Yeah, I do feel like COVID had a silver lining to it in that it just blew the doors open on who you really are and what you really love to do and what art you have in your walls and just who you are.
Kylie: Yeah, definitely.
John: I feel like more people are sharing that. That’s encouraging to hear that it’s down there too, which is the same. Do you have any words of encouragement to others that are listening that maybe have a hobby they feel like has absolutely nothing to do with their job, like, I don’t know, design work and accounting, which you couldn’t have two more opposite sides of your brain really. Until you get to the math part, then it’s clearly.
Kylie: Yeah. Well, actually, I’ve said a few times that my accounting side is probably killing the creative side of the business because I have the most anal inventory system ever. Everything’s got a SKU code.
John: That’s so good. That’s so good.
Kylie: I think my words of advice would really be around, we’ve got a good opportunity, there’s a lot of things that we’re not doing or a bit of a chance to rethink how we want to live. If we are passionate about something, it doesn’t necessarily have to be something that we take into a business, but also incorporating that into your day-to-day life. I’ve always been quite passionate about niching and having a specialization. For me also, since our talk, I have focused more on attracting clients that are in the interior design business as well.
John: Oh, there you go.
Kylie: I have one of them who, she’s actually just about to release a book. It was interesting because, for her, this is her first book, and because I’ve published the book, Planning Plan B, I was able to help her in just, well, this is the way if you wanted to self-publish. She has a publisher, and this is going to be a really lovely book, but having some of that experience too, enables you to have conversations with your clients because you’ve got a similarity. You’re not just someone that they have to go to, to do a tax return or financial statement. So that has been has been quite interesting, too.
John: Yeah. Plus, the conversations don’t necessarily have to be all work all the time. There’s got to be something that creates that sticky relationship. Otherwise, they’ll go to the accountant down the street next time.
Kylie: Yeah. Well, the other thing that has been really, really interesting, so at Christmastime, Lotus Accountants does happen to be Lotus Home’s probably number one client or customer.
John: That’s awesome.
Kylie: Christmas, I send, you know how you talk to your clients, I send a lot of clients a Lotus Home gift pack, and that went down really, really, really well. A lot of it was around, it’s candles or different stone beads with a lotus charm.
John: Right, your logo.
Kylie: Yeah, yeah. Our year-end is 30th of June. When I had tax planning, I honestly, I’ve been in practice 26, 27 years, and this is the first time I’ve had so many wives, spouses come along to the meetings. They all wanted to come and see the shop.
John: That’s unbelievable.
Kylie: I had them buying candles at a tax planning meeting.
John: Right. That’s so good. That’s great. I mean, why not? That’s a passion of yours. It’s a peek into who Kylie is as a person, and they loved it. That’s what’s cool about it is in all of your years of doing accounting, never once have spouses really come along. This year, it’s a conversation. People are coming. I want to know who this is. I want to meet her. Yeah.
Kylie: Then it’s led to different conversations because they’re there. Some clients, some of the guys that I’ve been looking after their accounts for 14, 15 years, and a lot of younger options traders who, if you know any options traders, but their personalities, they’re high risk-takers, so talking to them about an estate plan.
John: Right, right.
Kylie: Yeah, they’re invincible.
John: I don’t need that one. I’m a gazillionaire.
Kylie: Yeah, it is, exactly. This was the first time, in having their wives come along too, and actually came about by talking about their parents, what’s happening with your parents’ estate plan, and then that sets up. We’ve actually a lot of people now that are going through, putting in place proper wills, power of attorney. It’s interesting how one thing leads to the other, and it’s unexpected as to, yeah, because if you just got the guy in there, your normal client, we don’t tend to have those kind of conversations. It was interesting, all because of candles basically.
John: Yeah, all because of sending a candle.
John: That’s great. I love it. It’s so awesome. Yeah, because at no point in your education or any training or accounting conference did they say, send something that you’re passionate about, to your clients or something, their whatever. It never comes up, and so that’s so cool to hear. I feel like, before we wrap this up, though, since I so rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning, it’s only fair that we turn the tables and make this the first episode of the, we’ll make it the Lotus podcast because we’ve got to keep it on brand. So, thanks for having me on. Whatever you want to ask, I’m all yours.
Kylie: Okay. Well, as you mentioned, so we’re all working from different environments, and for the audience listening, John has a very nicely decorated bookshelf that is very blue and white and has a gold, is that a football is it?
John: Football helmet.
Kylie: Oh, okay.
John: American football.
Kylie: American football. I didn’t know whether it was baseball or football. An antique typewriter and a painting that’s blue and white. Now did you do the painting?
John: My wife did the painting.
Kylie: Your wife, it’s beautiful. Is your wife a bit of an interior designer as well? Because it’s very coordinated behind you.
John: Actually, you know what? I did a lot of that, so thank you.
John: Yeah, I did a lot of that, but she picked up painting during 2020. She actually has had two pieces in gallery shows now, which is pretty awesome. I think she’s lobbying hard to be on the show. We’ll see. We’ll see. Maybe.
Kylie: We really should take a screenshot now to show that background.
John: Right? Go ahead, do it. It’s what Australians do. No, I’m just kidding. No, totally awesome.
Kylie: I do have a rapid, couple of, fire questions. Golf or tennis.
John: Oh, golf.
John: Yeah, because I grew up playing a lot of golf and stuff so, yeah, probably golf.
Kylie: Favorite golfer.
John: Favorite golfer. Wow, that’s a good one. Fuzzy Zoeller is hilarious. He is so funny. He’s just a funny, funny, funny, funny guy. He is a good golfer, but he doesn’t take it super seriously. He’s senior tour now, I think, but I don’t know. Of course. I’m Tiger Woods’ age. At the time, it’s always fun to watch somebody that’s really good just dominate because he was just amazing, as a golfer. As a person, jury’s still out. Fuzzy Zoeller, I think, yeah, he’s just hilarious. He’s just so funny.
Kylie: I used to have Greg Norman as a client.
John: Oh, yeah.
Kylie: We actually came over to Florida to meet him years ago.
John: At the Shark, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I hope he was a good person.
Kylie: Yeah, he was actually.
John: He seems like it. That’s awesome.
Kylie: One more? Do we have time for one more?
John: Yeah, yeah.
Kylie: Snow or sun.
John: Sun, yeah, sun, for sure. Although in Denver, we get both. That’s why it’s kind of magical. Yeah, I would probably say sun, not super-hot sun but like fall or spring sun because I’m sensitive. Exactly. It’s been so fun, Kylie, catching up with you. Congrats on all the success with Lotus Home and Lotus Accountants. Yeah, it’s just so cool to hear and encouraging to hear what’s going on.
Kylie: Thanks, and congrats on your book.
John: Oh, yeah. Thank you.
Kylie: That’s ok.
John: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. People are reading it, which is really cool.
Kylie: I was disappointed I didn’t make the cut but, oh, well. You’d have to another one now.
John: There’s another book. There’s another book.
Kylie: No pressure.
John: It’s probably because when we did the audio version, I didn’t want to try and do your voice because I cannot do accents at all. When I did the audio version, they kept trying to get me to do, and I’m like, I know these people. I’m not going to do a voice. I’m just going to do a different John Garrett voice. How does that sound? Because I’m not Australian.
Kylie: Good idea
John: It’s so cool to have you back on. Thanks so much for being a part of this.
Kylie: Thanks, John.
John: Yeah, absolutely. Everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Kylie’s projects, or maybe connect with her on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. While you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture.
Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.