Emily is a Director of Business Development & Singer
In this episode of “What’s Your “And”?”, host John Garrett sits down with the vibrant and multi-talented Emily Ackerman, the director of business development at LGT in Dallas, Texas. Emily’s journey takes us through her love for music and performing. She shares the importance of embracing our human side and discovering hobbies that bring joy and creativity to our lives.
• Getting into singing
• Living through an “alter ego”
• Finding business through hobbies and interests
• Why it’s important to have an “And”
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Welcome to Episode 579 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett. And each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby, or a passion, or an interest outside of work. And to put it another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “and,” those things above and beyond your technical skills, the things that actually differentiate you at work. It’s the answer to the question of who else are you besides the job title.
And if you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the award-winning book. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. It was so kind of the Independent Press Awards to name it a distinguished favorite. And it goes more in depth with the research behind why these outside of work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it, writing such nice reviews on Amazon, which if you haven’t done so, please do. It’s super important, and more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it.
And if you want me to read it to you, that’s right, this voice reading the book, look for What’s Your “And”? on Audible or wherever you get your audiobooks. And 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 week is no different with my guest, Emily Ackerman. She’s the director of business development at LGT in Dallas, Texas. And now, she’s with me here today. Emily, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Emily: Thanks for having me.
John: Oh, this is gonna be so much fun. It’s gonna be a blast. I’ve seen the posts on LinkedIn and everywhere. And I’m just like, yes, this is gonna be awesome. But I have 27 rapid fire questions though.
Emily: Let’s do it.
John: Get to know Emily. All right, you’re ready. You’re ready. Here we go. This is a fun one. I like this one. Socks or shoes?
Emily: Shoes. I collect shoes ’cause if you’re at a store, clothing might not always fit, but I’m always a size 6 in shoes.
John: Oh, there you go. All right. That’s a good point. I never thought about it that way, but you’re right. All right. How about a favorite actor or an actress?
Emily: Oh, God, that makes me so sad ’cause my favorite actor just based on talent has totally been canceled. I love Kevin Spacey.
John: Oh, yeah.
Emily: If you’re going based on attraction,—
John: Totally. Absolutely.
John: No, absolutely. No. As an actor, he absolutely— That’s totally fine. Like we can separate that. I mean, there’s plenty of comedians that I think are amazing comedians that we are supposed to not— No, no. As an actor, as a comedian, great.
Emily: Oh, he’s my favorite.
John: Yeah. No, for sure. For sure. How about a favorite color?
John: Orange. That’s been canceled. I just can’t. No, I’m just kidding.
Emily: All shades of it. So, even like hinting of red, if it’s burnt bright. I love orange. It makes me happy. It’s loud. I love it.
John: There we go. All right. That’s awesome. How about a least favorite?
Emily: I find, even though I’m wearing it, I don’t like very neon yellow.
John: Oh, okay.
Emily: It’s just not for me.
John: Yeah, yeah.
John: It’s like it’s trying to like be orange, but it’s not. It’s like, nah, nah, you’re not. Know your place.
Emily: Correct. Yeah.
John: How about chocolate or vanilla?
Emily: Vanilla. I’m actually the weirdo that if you say to me like what’s your least favorite food, I get so many looks that I don’t like chocolate or super sweet anything. And I’m known for picking the worst dessert. So if it’s not like a chocolate sundae, a brownie, like a caramel nut thing or anything, I’m getting the key lime pie. So I get the worst desserts compared to everyone else at the table. So I will always pick vanilla over chocolate.
John: That’s awesome. That’s so funny. That’s hilarious. Yeah. You’re like the fruit salad. No. Whatever.
John: Like I’ll just have— Yeah. It’s like, yeah.
Emily: A lemon bar.
John: Right? That’s hilarious. That’s awesome. How about puzzles? Sudoku, crossword, a jigsaw puzzle?
Emily: I’m down with all of them. I have to give it to my mom ’cause she’s a crossword puzzle whiz. She can do the ones for all the days of the week of the New York Times.
John: Oh, wow.
Emily: So I try. I’m better at just like the actual puzzles of like Paris like you do at the dining room table.
John: Yeah, exactly. The jigsaw. There you go. Like here’s the picture on the box. Make that with these pizzas. How about— this an important one— toilet paper roll over or under?
John: Over. Yeah. No, absolutely. How about Star Wars or Star Trek?
Emily: Star Wars all day every day. 4, 5, and 6. The classics.
John: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I haven’t seen anything since because I haven’t heard great things, and it makes me nervous, and I don’t wanna ruin it.
Emily: Same. I just like the classics. I don’t care. A New Hope is wonderful. Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, the good stuff.
John: Exactly. Yeah. No, same. Same. How about your computer? Are you PC or a Mac?
Emily: I have a Mac at home, but all of my jobs have PCs. And so, when I go to actually open up my Mac at home, I forgot how to do little things like copy and paste So I’m now a PC girl.
John: Oh, wow. We’ve converted you. Okay. All right.
Emily: I’ve been converted for sure.
John: All right. Ooh, this a fun one. Pens or pencils?
Emily: Pens, but it has to be a certain kind.
I’m left-handed. So if you’re a lefty like me, you understand the smear and the smudge that gets on your hand. So if it’s like a ballpoint pen, I’m usually fine. But pencil, forget it. I’ll have the gray smear all over my hand.
John: Yeah. I had a Calculus professor my freshman year of college that was left-handed. And it was back in the day when you would hand write. He had like the overhead projector with the scrolling. So with his right hand, he’d be scrolling as he is writing left-hand. And it’s like, dude, you’re just smearing everything you’re saying.
Emily: Everywhere. Oh, yeah.
John: It’s like this is worthless. The struggle is real, for sure. How about a favorite day of the week?
Emily: My mood always increases every day of the week. I love Fridays just because it’s wrapping up the week. Everyone’s in a pretty darn good mood. You got Saturday the next day. So Mondays, I’m usually like, ugh, dreading this. Tuesday, it’s like, all right, I’m a little better. Wednesdays are, all right, half point of the week. Thursdays, I love that we are almost done. And Fridays are we’re here. I actually can rest tomorrow. And it’s not like Sunday where it’s like, oh, I work tomorrow. No, Fridays are the best.
John: Yeah. Okay. No, I could I hear that for sure. How about oceans or mountains?
Emily: Ooh, I was just talking about this with someone today. I’m definitely a mountain girl personally. I love the beach too, don’t get me wrong. I have skin like a baby pig. So I just can’t be in the sun for that long. Now, if you’re giving me the best of both worlds, that’s where somewhere like a California comes into play where you got that mountain and the beach. But I was just a couple weeks ago in Salt Lake City. Yeah, I was there for a convention, but it’s like, oh, the mountains are so beautiful. Or whenever you go to Colorado or anywhere where there’s actually mountains, I love it.
John: No, for sure. Yeah. ‘Cause, I mean, I live in Colorado and then you see ’em. You just walk outside and they’re right there.
Emily: You’re spoiled.
John: Yeah. No, exactly. You do get spoiled.
Emily: It’s my screen saver on my laptop.
John: Okay. All right. There you go. Yeah. How about a favorite number?
John: Is there a reason?
Emily: I just like the symmetry of it. No real reason. I just like how it looks.
John: Okay. No, I love it. How about your first concert?
Emily: My first concert was actually Sting and the Police with my mother. I was very little for that. And then I was 10 years old. It was my first summer at Sleepaway Camp, so it’s not my first concert, but number two, I remember throwing an absolute fit because when you’re a kid at Sleepaway Camp, the last thing you wanna do is be pulled away, especially if you have a camp boyfriend.
Emily: So I was throwing a fit, losing my mind. And they go you’re gonna thank us later, just shut it. And they took me to Simon and Garfunkel’s last concert, which was—
John: Oh, my Lord.
Emily: …pretty cool. That was right after seeing The Police.
John: That’s wild. Those are legends. That’s awesome. Very cool. How about when it comes to books? Audio version, e-Book or a real book?
Emily: Ooh. I personally like being a little old school and holding and reading a book. I’m the underliner. I fold pages. But I’m not gonna lie, to kill time if I’m on a walk or exercising around, I’ve gotten more into the audio books just ’cause you can’t be that girl holding a book and walking for like 3 miles, but I still like actually holding a book.
John: Okay. Yeah, no, I can hear you on that. Do you have a favorite sports team?
Emily: Well, it’s been a great 20 years. I am a New England Patriots fan that lives in Dallas, Texas.
John: Oh, wow. Okay. Wow. Those are two very obnoxious fandoms that you’re in the middle of.
Emily: Well, mom’s side is all— We are the Jewish community of Birmingham, Alabama. So for college, roll tide.
John: Oh, my Lord.
Emily: And my college didn’t have football, so that was my team. And I’m not just saying I’m a fan girl. That’s where my family all goes.
Emily: And then my dad’s whole family’s from either Rhode Island or Massachusetts, Connecticut area. And so, my whole life with him, it was the Red Sox, the Bruins, the Celtics, and the Patriots. So the first 10 years of my life, we didn’t win anything all.
John: Oh, you did not.
Emily: And all of a sudden, the early 2000s— I mean, it’s been a great 20 years. And then the theme of COVID was confused Patriots fans still find themselves cheering on Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.
John: Right? Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s hilarious. That sounds like an onion headline.
Emily: So, that’s my favorite team. But when you live in Dallas, even if you root for them or not, you gotta give the Mavs credit for actually bringing this city a win in the last 30 years. And so, yeah.
John: Okay. All right. No, I’ll take it. And the last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own?
Emily: Oh, God, it’s gotta be my two St. Bernards.
John: Oh, wow. Okay.
Emily: I’m obsessed with them. No one messes with the little lady with big dogs. I love my dogs. Their names are Davy and Sully. But in terms of possessions that are not actual mammals, call me old school again, I just love having like those really old family photos from like the 1800s or early 1900s of your family. I treasure those. Those are my favorite just ’cause you see them every day. They’re on your wall.
John: That’s so cool that you have them. I mean, you know that they—
I mean, luckily in our family, on one side of my family anyway, we’ve gotten a lot passed down as well. And it’s crazy to look at them and just be like, what, this is amazing. I mean, before electricity or before whatever, you’re just like—
Emily: For sure.
John: Their first automobile and you’re like, what?
Emily: Oh, yeah, it’s all still preserved. I mean, yeah, I have favorite things like I like certain pillows or like vases in my house, and I like the dining room table and chairs that I have. But like, yeah, those are my favorite possessions just ’cause they’re timeless.
John: That’s awesome. And then one day, the pictures of you with the dogs will be part of that collection in the future.
Emily: They’re perfect. They’re delicious.
John: There you go. I love it. Well, let’s talk singing and how did this get started? Was it at camp or where did this happen?
Emily: You know, I think it all started from like a DNA standpoint. My grandma, my dad’s mom, she was a Broadway actress.
John: Oh, wow. Okay.
Emily: And so, she was the principal in Grease and the original Yenta in Fiddler on the Roof.
John: Holy cow.
Emily: So coming from like being in theater and being on a stage, it comes from her. My parents are both vocally challenged.
John: Me too.
Emily: I think it all just kind of started— You probably have this too where every now and then, a new song will come out on the radio and you hear the guy or the girl singer. And you think to yourself, I’m actually a lot better than these people. I was a competitive tennis player my whole life. So if you were thinking like, oh, I did vocal lessons and vocal training my whole life, no, I really didn’t. I wanted to do sports mostly, and I just knew I was really good at singing. And I went to public school up until 7th grade. 1st through 6th grade. I was always pushed into choir. And it’s more just I’d rather sing than have to learn how to play the guitar or the piano. I’m now kicking myself for that.
But the school I went to was an Orthodox Jewish high school. So in just the Jewish tradition for like the super religious where I was in school, they didn’t have choir or anything like that because women aren’t actually allowed to be singing in front of the men. So I didn’t have a lot of that at school, but I have a lot of friends of mine that are musicians. They play guitar, they would jam on the weekends or after school, and I just kind of hooked up with them in high school. And that’s when other people started telling me, oh, you’re actually really good.
And then I went to college. And when you go to college in the year 2008 when no one is hiring for pay, you have to get creative and find a legal way to make money because internships wouldn’t do it. And then I had a couple of college friends that just lived in my dorm room. One of them is now a big shot on Broadway too, and he does voiceover work for like Big Mouth and Sesame Street. But just linked up with them and I would play and sing with them. And when you’re in college making $700 on tip, you think you’re so rich.
John: Right? Right.
Emily: And then I don’t know. I never had a lot of vocal training, and I don’t think it’s really a trauma thing from growing up here. I didn’t really want it to be like a known thing. When you’re in BD, like me, when you’re in sales, you love the spotlight. I love attention, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t wanna be like dinner table talk.
John: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Emily: And so, growing up, I just kind of kept it with my friends and just my really close network, not even really even my parents or like my really core group. And then moving back to Dallas, all those people that I used to jam with in high school, they no longer lived here. And then getting into the business world, I remember hearing about a group in town called BYO, which stands for Bring Your Own. So, that’s musical instruments or your Voice. It’s a group of people in the business community, whether you’re a business owner, a CFO, whether you are a lawyer or CPA, a wealth advisor, it doesn’t matter. You network with the different members. And then once a month, if you’re available, you form miniature little jam bands with the members. And so, I got into that group right before COVID started. And my last performance was February 2020 until recently when I got back into it again.
But I just remember being a little kiddo like singing IN the shower or being 16 and driving in my car. And actually, you know you’re not cocky when you’re actually good. And it’s one of those where it’s like I actually don’t think I’m that bad. And then when you actually do sing in front of people and they have a response, like they’re actually not making this up, you’re actually pretty good, oh, you love it. I love theater. I love being on a stage. I’m the weirdo that actually likes giving presentations and speaking, but I understand why people wanna be famous musicians ’cause you get to do what you like to do all the time. And watching the crowd’s reaction, whether it’s their jaws dropping or whether they’re like throwing their hands in the air, oh, you crave for it.
John: There’s an energy. Yeah.
Emily: Oh, yeah.
John: I mean, I love going to concerts. I mean, that’s easily one of my “ands” for sure.
John: It’s an experience. There’s an energy like we’re all in. And to be the driver of that as the lead singer,—
Emily: Oh, yeah.
John: …you’re the puppet master now.
Emily: Oh, yeah. And I’m 4’11”. I’m a little in stature girl, and I’ve got a very big voice. And yeah, I also grew up listening to the stuff that my parents like, which is classic rock, whether it’s from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s today. I just remember being a little kid, and I’m the only girl of a bunch of guy cousins. So my generation, when all the girls were listening to Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, I was listening to like Nirvana, Audioslave, Pearl Jam.
John: There you go.
Emily: Yeah! I’ve always liked rock, and grunge, and metal. My favorite band is Tool.
John: Oh, wow.
Emily: Perfect Circle.
John: Okay. Stone Temple Pilots. So, like anything like that. I still live in that decade. I love the ’80s. I love the ’70s. Even tonight, speaking of concerts, I’m going to Blink 182.
Emily: Oh, yes, there you go. Yeah. And pre-sober STP. When they sobered up, it got weird. I don’t know why, which is sad. But man, they were so good too. But that’s interesting how you said like ’cause you joined pre-COVID and then obviously COVID happened. And do you feel that like the singing Emily, having singing as your “and’ is different than the Emily where singing had to be on the shelf for a couple of years?
Emily: No, I kind of get to live out an alter ego a little bit ’cause I guess if you were to ask me like if you could have any job in the world where money, time, degree, anything, none of that mattered, what would you do, I would love to be a rock and roll musician. I would love it. The reason I don’t want to actually do that is I am a grandma. I wake up really early and I go to bed really early. And so, this whole like why don’t you sing on the weekends doing like the weddings or the Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, it’s like I wanna be in bed when they’re getting started.
John: Yeah. I gotta take a nap for like 4 hours if you need to be up till 10. Like it’s like, what are you, crazy? Yeah, no, that’s for sure. Because it’s just a part of you that comes alive. And to ask you to never sing again is crazy. And so, that’s the thing that you nurture and you keep going, and that that matters.
Emily: Oh, yeah. And when you find people that like that same kind of music as you, it’s not every day that I find another 33-year-old female that likes this kind of music, so I collect these humans over the years that just like music and I think the what’s your and is I just love music, going to concerts. There’s a lost art ’cause back in the day I found it very romantic to make people playlists or CDs.
John: Oh, yeah, sure. Burn the CD. Yeah.
Emily: Oh, it was such a romantic gesture, but I still love it. So I get really jazzed on like a Monday when Spotify has that Discover Weekly. Oh, it’s like with friends in the business world. It’s like make new friends, but keep the old. I definitely still live in the grunge era. But every now and then, I’ll come across a new musician or a new song, and I love it. I’m ADD with music too, so it’s not just the rock and the grunge. It’s everything. And so, oh yeah, if I could be a famous rock and roll musician, if I could still maintain my privacy of life like getting groceries or going out to eat.
John: Right. Yeah. There’s a lot of that that goes with it as well. Yeah. I love it though ’cause, I mean, it’s a part of you that’s really who you are. Your job title is one thing, but there’s a human behind that. And that human loves music, and concerts, and singing. And that’s always there no matter what organization you’re working with, no matter what your job title is. That singing and music is always, always, always there as a part of you.
Emily: Oh, yeah. And that’s why I love what your show’s all about because no one cares about like the company you’re working at or in my case at a CPA firm. People aren’t gonna remember the tax attorney who did for them a couple years ago or the audit you just did. They’re gonna remember if you took them to an Our Lady Peace and Bush concert.
John: Now, we’re talking. Yeah.
Emily: That concert was a few weeks ago. It’s the best when you know every song and you’re—
John: I didn’t know Bush was touring again. That’s great.
Emily: They’re epic. Yeah, they’re still excellent.
John: Yeah. I saw them when they were brand new, like brand new. Maybe first concert they ever did after their album came out in St. Louis at a Point Fest. It was like a radio station, kind of all day festival thing. And they were at the end after Toad the Wet Sprocket went.
John: And then at the end, they were like, surprise! Bush just flew in. And we’re like, what? And like, yeah, it was crazy.
Emily: Oh, yeah.
Emily: Because even with networking, like sales is just like dating. And so, the way I look at it like dating is if I meet someone out in the community and they’re just as interested in music or talk music like I do, I mean, I’m getting to the point now where say there’s a prospective client or someone that I wanna treat, I mean, there’s one concert coming to Dallas in October. I’m sure I’ll find someone that wants to go with me. I tend to go alone if no one wants to go, but I saw that Depeche Mode is coming to town. I’m sure I can find someone to go with me. And if not family, then like definitely in the business community.
John: Yeah, I’m sure I could fly in. It sounds like a business expense.
Emily: I wanna see them.
And how is it when you’re able to marry that “and” with work? How magical is that?
Emily: Oh, it’s the best. That’s when it’s actually electric. Like a date, when you find out that people are just as into music as you are right away, the work talk, you get it out of the way really quickly, and then you get to know people. And then kind of like that second and third date after that first date, you’re like, wow, I wanna go out with this person again. And that could be as simple as they like Tool just as much as I do or anything that Maynard does or, oh my God, they’re going to Metallica too in a couple… Oh, my God. And you just wanna keep hanging out with them and talking with them. And that’s when the real authentic stuff comes out.
I tend to do business development very differently from a lot of my peers in the market. And just in general, I’ll talk religion, politics, sex, drugs, rock and roll with everyone ’cause I wanna just get to know you”’cause I don’t care if you’re at Haynes and Boone now or if you’re at Jackson Walker and Kirkland. You’re still an estate planning lawyer, but I wanna get to know you. People work with who they like. Again, it’s just like dating. I know a lot of people don’t have my music taste. But when I find people that do, it’s just collecting more friends and concert buddies.
John: I love that. And then business happens where if you go into it with business, business, business, eh, maybe not. But if you go into it with I wanna get to know you as a human and then we click, well, like this is gonna be awesome. Buckle up everybody.
Emily: Oh, yeah.
John: I love that. That’s so cool. And how important do you think it is that people have an “and,” whatever it is? I mean, provided it’s legal and not taboo of course. Like there’s that.
Emily: Everyone needs to have something that they’re passionate about. And the way that I look at it is Monday through Friday, canceling out people that work on the weekends. Monday through Friday, let’s say 8 to 5, you’re with your coworkers more than your own family and friends. And then that free time that you have left in the day, you wanna spend it with your family or friends. So when you do have free time, you need to do things that bring you joy that you like. You need to be constantly curious. So for me, I definitely have those old hobbies that I love to do, which is I like tennis, I love boxing.
John: Oh, wow.
Emily: So I’m the weirdo that likes actually working out, but I have to do that to just set the tone for my day. I love cooking, I love gardening, but I’m a curious person that likes different hobbies. I’ll try anything. And if I get into it, I get very into it. And it’s things that calm me down. It’s things that get me energized. A new thing that I wanna start doing, which is kind of a segue like boxing is, I would love to learn how to do like Krav Maga or like pinch someone’s wrist and make them fall. I don’t know. That sounds cool.
John: I had someone on the podcast who did Krav Maga and also a tiny, tiny woman and would just like grab my pinky and I’d be on the ground crying like a baby or whatever.
Emily: Exactly. So, stuff like that. I tend to be a very curious person and enjoy keeping myself busy. It’s better to be busy than bored. And so, I try telling my own team that when you are doing things that make you happy and the passion just oozes out, people are just drawn to you, whatever that is. If that means—
Emily: …volunteering for a not-for-profit, whether that means you’re a painter, whether that means you are into pickleball, which is all the rage, people need to find hobbies. And if it’s fitness related, if it’s creative related, whatever that is, you need to find something. I mean, there’s some people that enjoy just fostering dogs. Whatever that is, you need to find it. And there’s something for everyone. And if you can’t get creative on what that thing is, then start with things that you like to do in your home. Like for me, people find cooking to be a big chore and a big burden. It actually forces me to be really creative. I’m in a great profession for me. But deep down, I’m really into things that would utilize my hands and getting my hands dirty, so like gardening, cooking, pottery. I like that stuff ’cause it’s creative. You’re making something. And I’ll open up my fridge. I’m not a recipe girl. I’m gonna say, all right, I’ve got basil, rhubarb, ground beef, and chili sauce. What am I gonna make?
John: Yeah. Right? There you go. Let’s see what happens.
John: No, I love it. And then there’s also an end result there ’cause in BD, like maybe the business comes, but maybe it’s 2 years, 5 years from now, like I don’t know.
Emily: Oh, yeah.
John: Where when you’re making dinner, we’re having dinner in like a couple hours or less. So there’s that satisfaction from I just made something and I can see it right now today. Where at work, sometimes in your role, it’s gonna take some time possibly. And so, this way, you’re able to get satisfaction sooner than—
Emily: Oh, yeah.
John: …work-wise. And I love that though where everyone’s got something. I mean, there’s something that lights you up.
Emily: Everyone’s got something and no one should be embarrassed about what that thing is. If anything, if you have something obscure and strange, strange as in like—
Emily: Yeah. I haven’t met anyone that does fencing. I would love to, but like that stuff is really cool. Or if you do competitive horseback riding, cool. Like it’s those things that people remember. They could care less about like what you do with your ideal client. But if I meet someone that’s into fencing and I then connect a few weeks down the road with someone that also does fencing, that’s an easy commonality.
Emily: It’s an easy introduction.
John: Yeah. And even though you don’t do fencing, you remember that and then you ask them about it ’cause it’s like—
Emily: That’d be pretty cool.
John: …wow. Like that’s an—
John: Yeah. Yeah, right. Or you show up with like a foil and you just like— And they’re like, oh my gosh, or you get like the little sword from your drink and you’re like, is this what we do is this? And they’re like, get outta here, like we’re done talking.
Emily: Yeah. But no, I love it. I love it. That’s so awesome. So do you have any words of encouragement to anyone that maybe they have an “and,” but they’re like no one at work’s gonna care ’cause it has nothing to do with my job?
Emily: I think the older people get people just need to not care as much. I take that with my singing stuff because I had a very funky grade. A lot of really rude people. Mean, mean, mean. And I just didn’t wanna be talked about even though I knew I was good. And I think just as you get older, people don’t care. And if anything, I missed out because I think they would’ve said I was pretty good.
John: You’re judging in your own head for them. And it’s like, no, no, let them judge you, and you’re good. So, why not?
Emily: And everyone’s hobbies are all unique and that’s what makes people interesting. Again, I love learning about different things that make other people curious because I find the profession I’m in pretty darn boring, accounting.
Emily: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
John: Yeah, it’s not creative on purpose.
Emily: Correct. And so, when you meet other people that may be that they’re in the ranching space or one of my partners has family in Australia, they like to go to Australia, if one person is also into volunteering with animal rescue, that’s their things. That’s what I’ll remember about them more so the actual work.
John: Yeah. And that’s what I realized too, like from my work is, you know, I was public accounting and then industry. And I worked at so many clients and with so many different people. And I don’t remember almost any of them because I didn’t actually know their “and.” I didn’t know who they were as people. I knew their job titles, but that’s so forgettable. So forgettable. And the thing that makes you stand out is not your technical skills. It’s your human side. And it’s the first thing that we hide, and the first thing that we leave outside, and the first thing that we tell ourselves no one cares about. And it’s like, no, that’s the only thing.
Emily: That’s the cool part.
John: That’s the only thing.
Emily: And that’s why I’m pretty colorful when I’m meeting people offhand ’cause people are usually so stiff, so closed off, and I’d rather just be completely me. Take it or leave it. You either really like it or you don’t. And that’s fine. But I mean, I’m not shy about anything. I will push the barriers on what is probably considered okay to talk about. But if people don’t talk and learn about each other, the beauty is every single person is different whether I’m learning about a different hobby, musician, whether I’m learning about a place that I should be traveling to, a place that I should go try for dinner, things to do in Colorado when I’m up there in August and, hey, reading the news. I mean, the world’s a little crazy right now, but like you have to talk about it.
John: Yeah. No. What else are we doing here? You know, what are we here for? Create that connection. I love it. That’s so awesome. Well, this has been great, but I feel like since I rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning, it’s only fair that we turn the tables. We make this the Emily Ackerman podcast. Your dreams have come true. Thanks for having me on. So I’m all yours. Whatever questions you have for me, I’m on the hot seat.
Emily: I’m putting you on the spot. What’s your favorite “and” of the moment?
John: My personal favorite, I’m getting back into playing the piano more.
Emily: So I did growing up and then we moved, and the new music teacher wanted to be all classical music and all that. And I wanted to be— I was playing like the theme song of The Cheers, and Pink Panther, and stuff like that. And then now it’s classical. In junior high, like you don’t wanna be playing classical music. And so, I stopped and then picked it up here and there at the piano that I grew up playing here. And so, it’s great ’cause there’s the internet, so I can just go on and, you know, you wanna hear The Police song, great, let’s get the music, whatever you wanna play. And then they have different levels of the different kinds of music. So it’s been cool to get back into it for sure.
Emily: Now, since you’re also a music guy, if you were put on the spotlight now to do karaoke, what song would you sing?
John: Oh, man, I am not a good singer. I mean, even in church, like old ladies turn around, they’re like, you know, God still loves you if you lip synch. It’s bad. It’s bad. I can play musical instruments. I can hear music. I know music really well. Just for some reason that coming out of my voice is not my strong suit. So I would probably go with something that’s more entertaining and funny, like a Bust a Move from like the old school or just like something that’s a little more silly, funny, kind of rap-ish so you don’t have to really—
You can have rhythm.
Emily: So, Baby Come Back.
John: Yeah, yeah. Or something like that. Yeah. So then it’s just silly as opposed to an actual vocal like Michael Bublé or something like— No, we’re not— I can’t. I’m not gonna try and do that. That’s for sure.
Emily: So, another question I love asking people are— I’m asking you a question before the question. Have you heard of the book or seen the movie Eat, Pray, love?
Emily: So, you know the premise where—
Emily: …quits her job for a year. Again, money and all that does not matter for—
John: I choose eating. Is that the question? Which one of the three? No, no, I’m just teasing.
Emily: Well, if you had to live in three different places for 4 months, so a full year, and it’s more just country, like you’re not leaving that country, where would you live your three places for a year and you had all the money, so that’s not a factor?
John: Absolutely. I mean, they’re all places I’ve been.
Emily: Nothing new?
John: Well, I mean, that’s just what comes to mind. But you know, something new. Well, I mean, I’ve never been to Asia, so I don’t know. Maybe like in Indonesia or something like that. I guess Bali’s, maybe a little more Australia, New Zealand. But you know, something along those lines. That would be interesting. Yeah. Okay, let’s go new places. I like that. Maybe India just because—
John: …that’s so different and see what that’s like. Yeah, those are two like really out of my comfort zones, so then I’d probably come back to something a little more, I don’t know, like Italy or something like that where I can just like eat all the food. I would probably go to Italy last so then I could just eat all the food that I haven’t been eating for the last 8 months and then just like—
Emily: For sure.
John: …get back to body weight. But that’s a really good question. That’s really good. I like that because, of course, I went to like Costa Rica, or Dubai, or places I’ve been that are all great and fun, but it’s like, well, yeah, why not? Or the Azores. I used to live in the Azores growing up for a few years.
John: Yeah. My dad was in the military, so that’d be kind of a cool place to go back and visit for sure. But to live for 4 months would be kind of fun.
Emily: Oh, that’d be wild.
John: Just to go back and see what that is. Yeah. But yeah, you got me thinking. I might need to do two of these Eat, Pray, Love trips.
Emily: But that’s so good. So good. Well, thank you so much, Emily, for being a part of What’s You’re “And”? This has been really fun.
Emily: Well, thank you for having me. This has been fun.
John: Yeah. And everybody listening, if you wanna see some pictures of Emily in action or connect with her on social media, I’m telling you, she’s got videos of her singing and it’s amazing. Be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. Everything’s there. And while you’re on the page, please click that big button. Do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture. And don’t forget to check out the book. So, thanks again for subscribing to the podcast on Apple Podcasts 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.