Rachel is a Chief Global Development Officer & Music Lover
Rachel Fisch, Chief Global Development Officer at High Rock Accounting, and the former co-host of the Green Apple Slices podcast, returns to talk to John about the changes in people sharing their hobbies and passions more since the pandemic and much more!
• Having conversations in song lyrics
• How more people are sharing other aspects of their life since the pandemic
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Welcome to Episode 396 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 out whatsyourand.com for more. If you want to hear this voice read the book to you, that’s right, the audio version, it’s out on Audible. So wherever you get your audio books, it’s out now. So thank you so much to everyone who’s read it so far and been kind enough to leave those Amazon reviews and for just changing the cultures where you work because of it. It really means a lot.
So 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. This Follow-Up Friday is no different with my guest, Rachel Fisch. That’s right. She’s the Chief Global Development Officer at High Rock Accounting and the former host of the Green Apple Slices with me as her little co-host. And now she’s with me here today.
Rachel, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Rachel: Thanks so much, John. I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for reaching out.
John: Oh, absolutely. No, I’m excited to have you back. I’m sure that everyone’s like, “What? They had a friends reunion? Now John and Rachel doing a podcast? The pandemic is over.”
Rachel: Yeah. You know that or all your new listeners are like, “Rachel who? Who is this person that John is so excited to talk to you right now?”
John: Well, you got two years of episodes to go back and listen to.
Rachel: Oh, gosh, no kidding. Yeah.
John: Yeah. But I have some rapid-fire questions that I never asked you, and I probably should have.
Rachel: That’s right, because you weren’t really doing that way back then.
John: I didn’t do my due diligence at all.
Rachel: You did not.
John: Well, that’s clearly why I’m not a CPA anymore. But here we go. If you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?
Rachel: Harry Potter. I’ve never seen any Game of Thrones, so that makes it easy.
John: Yeah, I me neither. How about a hamburger or a pizza?
John: Pizza. Yeah, it’s so good, like really good pizza. Yeah, yeah.
Rachel: Yes. So like a good burger beats bad pizz. Don’t get me wrong. But generally speaking, pizza.
John: Totally. Books, audio version, Kindle, or real book?
Rachel: Real book where possible.
John: Okay. All right.
Rachel: I’ve got bookshelves. So we bought a bunch of bookshelves and now I’m like, but we just use Kindle. So now, I guess, we’re back to buying books.
John: Right. Make it look good. How about your first concert?
Rachel: I’m sure it was — oh, gosh! Like at Canada’s Wonderland and they would have summer concert series. I’ve probably — yeah, anyway, back then. But it was like when you’re a kid, but nothing really notable. Oh, that sounds terrible.
John: No, it’s all good. I mean, when you’re a kid, I mean, who knows who it was type of thing.
Rachel: Apparently not me. Yeah.
John: Maybe it’s Barenaked Ladies before they were Barenaked Ladies.
Rachel: Yes. So anyway, I mean, anybody from Southern Ontario knew Barenaked Ladies before anybody else knew Barenaked Ladies. I mean, if you ask anybody about the yellow tape, they know exactly what you’re talking about, because they basically handmade tapes.
John: Like a cassette tape?
Rachel: Yes, like a cassette tape with this construction paper yellow cover thing that you would fold. Oh, yeah, no, if you ask anybody my age-ish and kind of who grew up in that area, then, yeah, they know exactly what you’re talking about. And then, of course, their debut album was just redos of these songs that we already knew. So all the Toronto kids were like, “Boo!” for all these before. Everyone was discovering it for the first time.
Anyway, I actually saw them. The most recent was, I think, a year — sorry, it’s like the pandemic hasn’t happened, so a year ago is actually like three years ago. But it was like they were playing Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto for Canada Day. And so that was super fun to see them. So my kids got to see them too.
John: Very cool. Very cool. How about a favorite TV show, something you’d binge watch of all time?
Rachel: Favorite TV show of all time. See, here’s the challenge. Yes, my sister — sorry, my daughter is sitting right here because it’s also a show that I watched with my sisters and, of course, friends, child of the mid-’90s. However, when watching some of these shows with your children, you realized maybe how not well they’ve aged for various reasons.
John: And then you haven’t hit pause and explained things, like, oh, this is weird.
Rachel: Or try to quickly change the topic.
John: Right, exactly.
Rachel: Or have to have a conversation later. So that’s not acceptable now. That’s not how we talk about people. Yeah.
John: That’s interesting. How about — we got two more — more shower or bath?
Rachel: Shower. I’m too impatient for a bath.
John: Right. Just chill out, right?
Rachel: Yeah. Oh no, I do find that I get my best thinking time done in the shower. So I’ll have a shower like in the middle of the day, and like it’s a total break. It often kind of clears out a mind block, which, of course, you can do that now because you’re not at the office. Don’t try that at the office.
John: These are all “don’t try at the office” things.
John: And the last one, toilet paper, roll over or under?
Rachel: So over, but see, all of these rapid-fire questions are turning out to be not so rapid. She did a science experiment back in elementary school when she did a whole thing on toilet paper. And you use less toilet paper if you roll it under, scientifically speaking. So I feel like under is the ecological option, but yeah, no, it’s over.
John: It’s over. Weirdos.
Rachel: I just wanted to share the scientific fact of the toilet paper.
John: Right. That’s an interesting point. Sometimes people’s cats, they’re worried that the cats are going to spin it all out. That happens too.
Rachel: Yeah. We have two cats now. We got them last year. So yes, we are kind of victims of the pandemic pet. Anyway, and so we now have two cats. They have not yet figured out the toilet paper trick. So that’s awesome.
John: Well, don’t let them listen to this episode and then everything is safe.
Rachel: I will not. I will not. I will protect their ears.
John: Things that don’t age well, podcast with John Garrett. So you’re on Episode 59. That was like so early on. I mean, I still have no idea what I’m doing, but I really didn’t then.
Rachel: Really didn’t. Yeah. And then, of course, we probably gave props to Lisa at the time, but her crazy idea was to take these apple slices, and we did that for a couple of years. Years, literally years of my life, John, years.
John: Right, gone. But all the knowledge we dropped and articles that we would share and talk about. But before that, it was the singing, which was a big piece of your life.
Rachel: Oh, right, yeah.
John: So are you still walking around the house singing random songs or in the car singing along? You are clearly taking the kids to concerts, so it’s got to be a thing.
Rachel: Yes. I think my favorite thing is, because I have this really ridiculous memory that memorizes ridiculous things and not actually important thing, so I probably have whole conversations in song lyrics. So my kids have caught on to that. My 14-year-old, she’s now 14. I mean, I’m sure that she was like a baby when we started the podcast. Yes, so she sings a lot around the house. However, she does so with her headphones on. There is a special kind of ambience that creates when a person who is singing cannot at all hear themselves and what —
John: They think they sound like the actual singer, and they’re not even close.
Rachel: Not really. She’s now standing in front of me, and I’m getting some stink eye.
John: Right. But it’s all right. She should know. This is actually more of an intervention for her than it is an actual podcast episode. She has made an appearance on the podcast.
Rachel: She has. I mean, we’ve talked about her certainly. But, yeah, no, she definitely has — and, oh, I didn’t even tell you. She actually picked up your book this week and started reading through and was reading — but she read the cover, so I think that counts.
John: I think that counts.
Rachel: Yeah, she’s fond of reading it, and she read some words off the cover. So we’ll see how the rest of it goes.
John: I’ve seen it in college kids. I’ve talked to college students before, but I haven’t gone below that. So maybe this is an experimental, or maybe it’ll help her singing. I’m not sure. It can’t make it worse. It can’t make it worse. Well, that’s awesome. But do you find that people are sharing their ands more, whether it’s social media or at work or talking amongst co-workers even in the Zoom calls and what have you?
Rachel: So yes, and I think that that is kind of the silver lining of some of us working at home pandemic stuff because you see their kids running and you see their pets jumping up onto their desks, but also you see kind of their space, the space that they live in and what they’re surrounded by and what casual looks like to them. Anyway, various styles. But, yeah, I feel like there’s an authenticity, and I think you get to know people. So I get that they’re not in person and that you’re missing that piece of it, but I think that there are elements of that person that you actually don’t otherwise get to see.
John: Yeah. To me, it’s cooler. It’s richer.
Rachel: There’s an element of it. Yeah.
John: Or fascination, I guess, maybe. I mean, sure, on a few times, it backfires and you’re like, “Oh, I probably didn’t need to know that.” But 99% of the time, it’s awesome. It’s mostly awesome.
Rachel: It is mostly awesome. I agree.
John: Yeah. No, that’s awesome. So I know you’ve had a cool career where you had your own business, and you were with big companies, huge companies, and then now back with a smaller business. Do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that has an and and they feel like no one cares, or it has nothing to do with my job?
Rachel: Oh, man, see, don’t make me think. I wasn’t supposed to have to think on this.
John: It’s more of like words for yourself. Like really, you know, don’t forget how important the and is and why it matters.
Rachel: I think that if you are feeling disconnected, it’s a really great way to feel more connected because I think that that’s also been a bit of an issue is people don’t feel as connected. So yes, I get that there’s the technology part, and there’s the actual physical not being present part. But those are then the ways that we connect is with the human side of us.
So yeah, I really love Liz Mason, who, of course you had on the show. She is now my boss. She is the CEO of High Rock Accounting. And so we happen to get along famously and work really well together. But like one of the things that she said about High Rock Accounting itself is that we’re human centric, but we’re digital first. And so making sure to really consciously and intentionally ensure that people are still the backbone of the company regardless the technology that we’re adopting and the innovation and the things that we’re creating.
John: That’s awesome. Of course, I know when you say people, it’s not just their technical skills and the work that they’re doing. It’s all of who they are as people.
Rachel: Yes, for sure.
John: Yeah, just for the listeners that maybe are putting it together. That’s awesome. That’s just great words of advice, and I agree totally. The silver lining to all this is seeing the other dimensions to the people that we talk to all the time. It makes it better.
So before I wrap this up, though, I figured it’s only fair that I — I so rudely pepper you with questions at the beginning, so I can turn the tables and allow you. The first episode of the flat-out Rachel Fisch Podcast. Not any of this Green Apple Slices with a co-host thing. So whatever you got, I’m all yours. Rapid-fire questions. I’m also extremely nervous. So here we go. I know all the power.
Rachel: Right, because you usually do all the talking when we do a podcast. So this is my chance to get some questions in.
John: For reference, someone go listen to a Green Apple Slices episode and…
Rachel: I mean, sure, that would be great. So if your life was a movie, who would play you? Who would you want to play you?
John: That’s crazy. Wow. So Tom Cavanaugh is Canadian, actually.
Rachel: That’s right, he is.
John: He was on the show Ed. When I was younger, people thought I looked like him, sort of, and he’s not terrible-looking, so that’d be neat. I mean, we’d, of course, I felt like dye his hair white or something, but…
Rachel: Yeah. So he’s not terrible-looking. I used to have a complete crush on him. So now I feel like I need to kind of wipe those feelings.
John: All right, this got weird.
Rachel: Yeah, a little bit. However, it’s making it better is that he is on Flash. He’s in Flash. He’s probably like a CW, right? So he’s on Flash now, taped in Vancouver, of course. There’s just a quality about TV, you can kind of tell it’s Canadian. That’s definitely one of them. But I actually think he’s quite terrible. So also feeling like, I’m not really sure where to go with that. So what are we saying? Tom Cavanaugh, fresh off Ed. Is that what we’re saying?
John: Well, I mean, that’s if I had my druthers, but it would probably just end up being me playing myself, so it would just be me because that’s all we have for budget, really.
John: So it’s the Canadian version of not even CW.
Rachel: That’s like CBCE, like pre-Degrassi. And all of the Canadian people hopefully are the only ones who I know know what I’m talking about. Okay, who’s your favorite superhero and why?
John: So I’m not like huge on that stuff, but I just go old school classic. I think Spider-Man is my favorite because he’s very unassuming and no one would expect for Peter Parker to be this superhero person. He doesn’t really kill anybody. He just ties them up and then lets the cops come get them.
Rachel: Right. So again, my teenager who loves Tom Holland, totally agrees with you. Okay, cool.
John: All right.
Rachel: Last question. What is the worst haircut you’ve ever had? And then is there a story around the worst haircut you’ve ever had?
John: Well, it probably would have been, yeah, probably like the late ’80s, probably ’89-ish, like seventh grade, eighth grade. We lived overseas in the Azores. So you had to go to the base for the haircut. So it wasn’t quite a mullet, but it was definitely longer in the back than it should be. But it was also kind of a spiky, because I skateboarded some and whatever and moose coming out. And so it was bad. It was bad. And I wore glasses. So yeah, it was like sixth grade. That was definitely sixth grade because I broke my glasses probably four or five times a year. And then finally, we got contacts like early, early on. They were brand new experimental type of things almost. But I actually saved money to buy contacts.
Rachel: Instead of you breaking your glasses all the time.
John: Yeah. So yeah, it was pretty awesome. So that ruined all the Tom Cavanaugh parallels. Share that picture on a throwback Thursday.
Rachel: I was just going to say, here’s your challenge now, John. Find a picture of you with that haircut and post it somewhere.
John: All right. And then, I mean, it’s going to blow up. It’s going to be amazing. It’s going to —
Rachel: I mean, you will finally experience the joy of social media and with all that it was intended to be.
John: Oh, yeah, that’s true. That’s an excellent point. I guess I’ll have to log in then. Dang it! It’s been so much fun having you back, Rachel, and having you be a part of this. And so thank you so much for taking time to be a part of What’s Your “And”?
Rachel: For sure, anytime.
John: If you want to see some pictures of Rachel outside of work or connect with her on social media, she’s even on Clubhouse, go hang out there, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. While you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture.
So 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.
Tripp is a Wealth Manager & Dead Head
Tripp shares some stories from traveling the country seeing The Grateful Dead, making connections with other Deadheads, in the office, and why it is important to have something outside of work!
• Getting into The Grateful Dead
• How his experiences from touring applies to his work
• Why it is important to have something outside of work
Please take 2 minutes
to do John’s anonymous survey
about Corporate Culture!
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- Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close
Welcome to Episode 369 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. To put it in another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “And”, those things above and beyond your technical skills, the things that actually differentiate you when you’re at work.
If you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the book. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. The book goes into more depth in the research that I’ve done 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 and writing such great reviews on Amazon, and more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it. The audio version is coming out very, very soon. I’m excited about that.
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, Tripp Gebhard. He’s a partner with PWM Planning in the Denver office, and now I’m in his office with him. Tripp, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Tripp: John, thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here and talk about my favorite topic. My friends will get a real kick out of this. I guarantee it.
John: For sure, man. This is going to be so much fun. I have 17-rapid fire questions, get to know Tripp out of the gate here. We’ve hung out so many times here in Denver, and I’ve never asked any of these. Maybe I should have actually, now that I think about it. Here we go. First one, favorite color.
Tripp: Blue, definitely, navy blue.
John: Yeah, I’m a blue fan as well. How about a least favorite color?
Tripp: Least favorite color would be purple.
John: Oh, interesting, okay.
Tripp: Or maroon.
John: Yeah, they’re kind of close.
Tripp: Yeah. Tough sports teams here in Colorado, colors, Rockies and Avalanche.
John: Yeah, that’s true. It’s exactly right.
Tripp: Tough to root.
John: It’s tough to root for them. How about when you were a kid in gym class, favorite activity?
Tripp: Oh, I’m going to say street hockey.
Tripp: Yeah. I play forward with a goalie stick.
John: Oh, really?
Tripp: Yeah, real powerful.
John: Yeah, I was going to say, you have to have some guns for that. That’s impressive. How about Sudoku or crossword puzzles?
Tripp: Crossword, for sure.
John: Okay. All right. How about brownie or ice cream?
Tripp: Ice cream.
John: Ice cream. Okay, there you go. Nice. How about a favorite actor or actress?
Tripp: Favorite actor or actress, I’m going to go with Bill Murray.
John: Oh, that’s a great answer.
Tripp: First thing that came to mind, yeah.
John: He went to college in Denver.
Tripp: At Regis actually. I don’t think he graduated. I actually went there my freshman year before going to University of Denver, so, got to hear a lot of Bill Murray stories.
John: Okay, there you go. All right, all right. How about, would you say you’re more of an early bird or a night owl?
Tripp: Oh, early bird, for sure.
John: Early bird. Okay, all right. Star Wars or Star Trek.
John: Neither. Okay.
Tripp: Neither at all.
John: I’ll let it slide. I’ll let it slide. Fair enough. Fair enough. Your computer, more of a PC or a Mac.
Tripp: I am a PC, for sure, but I love my iPhone.
John: Okay. All right. There you go. Since you’re a PC, on your mouse, left click or right click.
John: Left. Making decisions. Boom, there it is. Okay, all right. Oh, this is a good one, summer, winter, spring or fall.
Tripp: Man, it is hard. How could you not pick summer in the mountains in Colorado, but I’m a huge skier, so there’s always the dilemma. I love all seasons, especially here when the sun shines, and you can do it —
John: Here in Colorado, they are because the mountains are great in the winter and the summer.
Tripp: I’ve learned to kind of take it with the seasons.
John: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Tripp: It’s better that way. That way, you’re not looking outside of what’s going on in the present. You just go do it.
John: I love it. I love it, man. Yeah. Just in case any other seasons are listening, he likes all of them. We don’t need to bang away on Twitter.
Tripp: Yes, yes, very neutral there.
John: Very neutral, very neutral. Chocolate or vanilla.
Tripp: Yeah, that’s a tough one because I love them both, but push comes to shove, I’ll take a vanilla shake.
John: Oh, okay. All right, all right. Okay, here we go. We’re going to go NASDAQ or Dow.
Tripp: Well, the darling of last year was NASDAQ with all the tech stocks, so let’s go with the Dow this year.
John: Okay, all right.
Tripp: Let’s change it up.
John: Okay, so you can move with the seasons on that, too. I see what’s up.
John: How about a favorite sports team?
Tripp: Oh, that would be a tie between the Denver Broncos and the St. Louis Cardinals baseball teams. It’s kind of neck and neck.
John: Yeah. No, I hear you. How about a favorite number?
Tripp: Well, the first thing that popped to my head was 16. I don’t know why. That just popped to my head, so we’ll go with that.
John: Yeah. No, that’s a good answer. Two more. When it comes to books, Kindle, real book or audio version.
Tripp: It’s interesting because the last two or three books that I bought, I actually bought the the hard copy version on Amazon so that I can pick it up, read it and make notes. I go back and forth and on all three. It just really depends. I don’t know why. It’s like, do I audio book it or what? It just happens.
John: Okay. All right. No, fair enough. The last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.
Tripp: Well, I already mentioned my iPhone. That would be just because I am just amazed that it literally can do everything. If I need to hang a picture, I can use a level. Driving anywhere, I could never imagine — every time I go somewhere, I’m like, I would never have found this the old way.
John: Right, right.
Tripp: I just am amazed. Plus, it’s my access to information and everything else, whether it be my meditation or whatever I’m going for. It just does about everything for me.
John: That’s awesome. I feel the same way. When I get somewhere, if my phone craps out right now, I will not be able to get home. I don’t know how I got — people are like, how did you come? How did you drive? When I go to a different city or traveling, I don’t know what the highway was. It’s the one that got here.
Tripp: It tells you, follow this little line.
John: It has made me maybe dumber, which I was already starting low. No, but let’s talk Grateful Dead. How did you get started with that? Was it from when you were younger?
Tripp: Yeah. So, my initial foray into the Grateful Dead was a buddy of mine, Kevin, and it was maybe eighth grade, ninth grade, a lot of studio stuff.
Tripp: I ended up getting into this, so, during that time, getting exposed to it. Then I went to boarding school, I guess it was my junior year, in Maine. Going up there is where I got exposed to this whole Grateful Dead society, whatever the hell Deadheads were. From that point forth, everywhere I went, it was like, half the people were Deadheads and half the people weren’t. That’s where I got into collecting a lot of tapes and started my tape collection of bootlegged concerts and so forth.
Tripp: Got exposed to some real hardcore East Coast Deadheads, New York deadheads, the real deal.
John: Like the Ben and Jerry’s founders guys.
Tripp: Yes, yes, the real deal. Then I brought that back to St. Louis. We just started going off and seeing concerts and trading tapes and stuff. How I actually got to my first show, which was cool, is I was working for my uncle. They had horses and so forth. I’m working in the stables, and my cousin had tickets to see the Grateful Dead in Wisconsin at Alpine Valley.
John: Oh, yeah.
Tripp: I had tickets that Saturday night to see America at Westport in St. Louis. Arden couldn’t get off work or something, so we switched. It was $13 a ticket. Can you imagine paying $13, which included parking?
John: That’s amazing.
Tripp: Included parking. My tickets were $19. It was like $40 for a weekend to go see the Grateful Dead, and we switched. I remember driving home and just this panic about, is my mom going to let me go? Is she going to let me go? I’m 16 years old or whatever.
Tripp: Her comment was, “I think it’s a great idea. You can go see the country. You can no longer be a hobo on a train, type thing. This will give you a chance to go out there and see the real world.” Growing up where I grew up, it was like, I heard 100 times, it seemed like a month, that you better eat that, there’s a starving kid in China. My mom used to always say, “This isn’t the real world. This isn’t how real people live.”
John: Oh, my goodness. Yeah, yeah.
Tripp: For me, it was this sense of, well, what else is out there? We have this cushy life, but there’s all this stuff out there. There’s all this adventure. She said, “I think it’s awesome. I think you should do it.” That was the entry to a whole another world.
John: Who did you go with?
Tripp: My first shows, I went with some friends from high school. The Boger family is a big name. They’ll probably listen to this at some point. Peter Boger is a good buddy of mine. He ended up having two older brothers, which was another thing that I got to go, was because we had chaperones.
John: Right, but older brothers are your friends. That doesn’t count.
Tripp: Older brothers who are not exactly — we got something different out of them than my parents thought we were getting.
John: Right, right.
Tripp: Anyway, yeah, that was the beginning. It was one of those things that I just — I remember going up to Wisconsin, and you met these people from all over the world, literally. It was just a really, really cool experience. The thing about The Dead which is so different than other bands, they put on a true show, not a concert, not repeating itself, very jazz, open-ended music and a lot of exploring. There’s just a lot of adventure in that and openness, so, a lot of fun.
John: It’s got to be cool too, because you know that you’re witnessing something that’s never going to happen again, because they’re going off on these solos or riffing. They’re jamming on something, and they’re probably never going to do this again, in this way, type of thing. It’s a one-and-done sort of moment and, like you said, it’s an experience.
Tripp: Yeah, and consciously, I think the band took that to the audience. Consciously, they said, we’re going to do everything in our power not to do this song in the same way, and put trips in at different parts, to change things and approach it a little differently, that kind of thing. You really did get a different concert every night. It was the thing. I felt it was like, hey, we go to a winning sports team event. You’re guaranteed to win tonight. I’d be doing it, so it was just a lot of fun.
John: No, that’s awesome, man. That’s super cool. Did you continue going to concerts then? Do you have a favorite one that comes to mind, beyond the first one?
Tripp: Well, like a lot of things in life, yeah, there was that very, very first one.
John: There’s quite a few, yeah,
Tripp: Yeah, the very first one was just, you can never get that one back. Everything was new. Everything was fresh. A lot of that stuff is still burned to my memory, just feelings or just images, if you will. I would say probably the second one was ‘87, ‘88, New Year’s at Oakland. The first time I saw The Dead was in June of ‘87. Then we went out to California, me and Peter, my buddy, and Kevin, who’s a dear friend of ours, who’s departed us, unfortunately, but he was in a lot of my first shows. That New Year’s and that whole experience and being out in California as a 17-year-old, it was just — every New Year’s, it’s like, there will be nothing ever again. I’m usually asleep at 10 now.
Tripp: It was such a special time. Those two kind of hang out, but then there was so many. The thing about when I go to Dead shows, you’d see people from a bunch of different — from boarding school, from grade school, from high school, from summer camps, all over the place. That kept that going. I went on, pretty much, four summer tours from ‘87 through, I guess it would have been ‘90.
Tripp: Then one of their band members died, Brent Mydland, who was a very, very important part of the band, had joined them in ‘79 and really changed the sound. Not just me saying this, but the time that I saw them, still to this day, a lot of the surviving members have said that was the best period, ‘87 through ‘90, when Brent died.
After that, I didn’t tour as much, but I still would see them maybe four times a year, for three or four shows, maybe a city or two, and do that. What I started to do is, at that point, I started listening to the Phish as well. They’ve been in my repertoire. That’s why I said they’re my band today, but The Dead is always my band.
John: Yeah, because Phish is the newer version.
Tripp: Yeah, and they’re totally different but don’t shy away from any of that because they thank the Grateful Dead for getting them there. They didn’t know that they could play exploratory music like that. They didn’t know — everything from the two-set system, they copied all that from — and they admit it, but their style, their music and everything is so different to us, I think to somebody who’s got the ear for it.
John: Yeah, exactly. They’re in the same family, but they’re definitely not the same.
Tripp: Yeah, and I would say, for sure, they’re the most popular jam band to come out of the Grateful Dead, but there are so many others. There are so many Dead-oriented-only bands.
John: That’s true, too. That’s true, too. That’s awesome, man. Four times a year, that’s dedication. This is clearly a passion that, if I were to tell you, you can’t go to another Dead concert, what?
Tripp: You feel like that now. We have definitely felt that way.
Tripp: Yeah. It’s just been that way. I don’t know when we’re going to get back. A few things, I’ve been to all 50 states. In 2016, the only state I had not been to was Oregon. My son and I, who was about 14 at the time, Penn, the two of us went out there and saw Dead and company, out in Portland. That was cool. From going to California, to upstate New York, New York City, Texas, Arizona, Southern California, Northern California, I’ve been, you name it, on a major highway, I’ve been on it, or through the state whatever.
John: That’s awesome. Yeah, because it’s driving to these concerts, that’s part of the experience as well. It starts days before the concert itself.
Tripp: It’s a circus. It’s a kind of a caravan. That was the fun thing.
John: I didn’t even think of that. Yeah.
Tripp: I think the last, probably five years, a big deal for us was Las Vegas.
John: Oh, okay.
Tripp: People would come from all over the country, from 1990 to ‘95. That was a great time.
John: That’s awesome, man. That’s cool, and it’s cool that you were able to tour with them, basically, for those summers, when they were at their peak.
John: Which is pretty awesome. That’s super cool. That’s super cool. Do you feel like any of this translates to work at all through your career?
Tripp: Well, it’s certainly, definitely who I am. I think it’s funny because when I was thinking about this, when I started getting into this, I had to talk some of my friends that are doing it or talking to them and talking to their parents into it. There was this adult. We’re doing this. We’re teens. We’re doing something wrong because we were doing stuff wrong.
John: Right. Yeah.
Tripp: Yeah, we were kids. So we were going out there and exploring, but we had to talk these parents into it. A couple of my parents’ friends didn’t let them go or whatever. They were angry that they — there’s all this negative connotation, but it was such an amazing time. So I think that, for years, even when I was getting in the professional world, I tried to hide some of that because I thought that that wouldn’t be worthy of people hearing or whatever.
As I’ve gotten older, you start to understand how you were made. You start leaning on experiences. For me, I think, the adventure, I would go on the road, and we’d sleep behind gas stations. Nobody would be there. You’d have to deal with the attendant in the morning. I’d go knock on doors at 11:00 on a Sunday night to ask a farmer if we could sleep in his field. Certain things like that take a lot of courage. So, I don’t know, after you do that for a while, you’re just automatically doing that stuff, and you’re on the road surviving. So, those skills have always served me very, very well.
John: No, that is interesting though because, yeah, when you get into the workplace, it’s the first time that you’re not around everyone your same age.
John: All of a sudden, there are people that are 20, 30 years older than you that are your parents’ age, that you’re also working with. It’s easy to think that, well, they’re going to frown upon it because all my parents’ friends frowned upon it and whatever. Therefore… Yeah, it’s the same thing there. That makes sense.
Tripp: Today, honestly, it’s just such a part of who I am, but I’m also — I get the younger generation. They’re amazed because that’s not available today. A lot of the guys I work with are just past people that I talk to that are younger. A lot of what I do is multi-generational wealth management and so forth, so we mentor a lot of kids and stuff. I don’t know. To me, now, it’s important for me, that experience.
John: I walked into your office. You have a Grateful Dead logo against the window. You have the magazine here on the table. You have posters on the wall. Yeah, absolutely.
Tripp: These are all gifts too. Everything I have in here that you’re looking at is gifts from people that know that I love it.
John: Know you.
John: That’s fantastic, man. It’s cool that it’s just out, and there it is. It’s not like you’re shouting it from the rooftops, but, hey, if somebody comes in here, they know that’s the Dead logo. They’re like, oh, you like the Grateful Dead. It just opens up a conversation there.
John: I love how you said that it’s important. Why do you think it’s so important that not only people have something outside of work, but to also share it?
Tripp: Well, I am one of those guys, and I do a lot of coaching, too. For me, I’ve just learned that sharing and being vulnerable is you’re giving permission to that other person.
Tripp: With the Dead and stuff, I think about my office, it’s kind of a joke, but it definitely gets people into their own areas, and so just talking to people and getting them to open up. I facilitated a lot of member presentations for CTLF, and the one thing I start out with is, hey, what do you not want the group to know about you? Let’s just get there. I’ve never had anybody in that container that doesn’t get right to the gut of it.
Tripp: I have them tell their story. When I get to the very end of the story, I always ask them, so what do you not want me to tell the group? I’ve never had anybody tell, or in my introduction, I’ve never had anybody not, say, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t tell everything, so let’s just go ahead and do that.
John: Yeah. Right.
Tripp: I think it’s very important to have outside activities. That’s who we are. It’s not like, I’m only a financial planner. I’m much more than that, and so are the people that work for PWM.
John: Yeah, and your clients.
Tripp: And clients.
John: It’s the same thing. Because that’s the thing when I talk to people, especially that are in the professional services world, it’s like, do you know who else has hobbies and passions? Your clients. So, if you’re able to create a connection, if you had a client who was also a Deadhead, you’re best friends for no reason. Good luck, anyone else trying to steal that from you because they’ll never leave you. It doesn’t matter. You just have a connection that’s above and beyond the work.
Tripp: Yeah. It’s like anything else. When you look at parts of society and stuff, I look at my CTLF group, Colorado Thought Leaders Forum group, there are two of us that are big Deadheads. Then there are three or four people that had seen them and are peripheral, know about them, had friends or spouses that were crazy like us.
John: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Tripp: It’s really everywhere I go. You’re going to be in a group of 10 people. There’s going to be a Deadhead or two in there. That’s just the way it always is. I don’t know why.
John: What’s cool is how you let that philosophy of the Grateful Dead permeate who you are and how you work and how you live and all of that, which I think is really cool.
Tripp: Yeah. No, definitely, just the sense of adventure, sense of community, sense of camaraderie. The Dead really did have a family. They were very much of a family type, very communicative to fans. You had constant communication, whether it be voicemails that you can call into, to listen to, for updates or —
John: That’s awesome.
Tripp: Yeah. They really — I don’t know. I felt like the adults, I don’t know, in my life before that, just all of them sort of had — they told you the way things were. Then you got out there in the real world, and it’s like, okay. It’s really open. They give you responsibilities, or here’s how they asked you to act as adults.
John: Right. Yeah, yeah.
Tripp: It’s like, well, nobody ever asked me to act like that. They told me how I had to act. It was just a whole different…
John: I love that, man, because that’s such a great parallel to a lot of professionals. We graduate college. They tell us how to act. They treat us like we’re five. It’s like, no, I’m highly educated. I’m intelligent. I know what I’m doing. Treat me like an adult, expect me to act like an adult, and then let’s go and make some damage. Let’s do some good stuff.
John: Instead, it’s, no, here’s your pacifier. What are you doing every six minutes? Put it on a time sheet. Where were you when I came by your cubicle and you weren’t sitting there?
Tripp: You loved being a CPA, didn’t you?
John: All of it. All of it. Golly, we’re adults here. I love how the Grateful Dead treated their fans that way, as family and as adults. Here’s our expectation, and then you rise to that.
John: I wish more corporate people listened to Grateful Dead now. That’s amazing. I didn’t even realize that. That’s super great. I guess when you were earlier in your career, when you weren’t sharing as much, understandably so, was there something else you were sharing? Or was it more just like put your head down and get the work done?
Tripp: Well, now that you asked me it that way, so, I worked for Invesco in 1995. That’s when Jerry died. I was actually in a training session in August at — we were getting trained on something. Jennifer was our trainer, who I’m still friends with today. She and her husband were big Deadheads. I worked at a floor of, probably, 80 people, and there was at least five or six of us that were on tour. We would go, not on tour, but we would go to California for the Cal Expo shows or go back to Chicago, whatever we did, active people. So, I don’t know if I really had to ever hide it.
John: Oh, okay.
Tripp: Would be the answer really.
John: Yeah, but you didn’t necessarily share it openly. It was more of like, oh, you like the Grateful Dead too? Okay, cool.
Tripp: Yeah. I think maybe it was that, now that I think about it, that 33-year-old getting in the financial services business, who had to, all of a sudden, button everything up, and that didn’t really fit in that buttoning up. After a while, you get tired of being all buttoned up.
John: Right. Well, that’s exhausting too. Who did I tell? Who didn’t I tell? What do they think? What don’t they think? In your own head, you’re building up these stories of this is what they’re going to say. None of it’s true, and none of it comes out that way.
Tripp: Yeah. The one thing I’ve done in the last, I’d say, three, four years is I really just — just say what you feel. Whatever is there, just get it out and then you don’t have to worry about it. I think that’s a maturation process that we go through too, of better understanding, hopefully —
John: Maybe in confidence as well.
Tripp: — some of us or something.
John: Yeah, right. Exactly. Exactly. It’s more mature than we were at 15. We’re 17.
Tripp: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
John: Exactly. That’s awesome, man. Before we wrap this up, do you have any words of encouragement for anyone listening? I know we touched on earlier of how important it is to have those outside-of-work.
Tripp: Yeah. Where we sit today, you and I were talking before we began this thing, we can’t do a lot of things we wanted to do or used to do. With anxiety, depression and all that stuff that’s really on the rise, I think the best thing we have is our relationships. So, the more we can talk to other people, that’s the best advice that I can give right now, is stay connected, stay open, stay open-minded and get after it.
John: That’s so perfect. I love how you said that, with the mental wellness, in the last year, has really become really crucial. It’s not just all work all the time.
Tripp: Yeah, so get out there and talk about your why with people. Have fun. There’s been a lot of that good connection with a lot of people, but a lot of people don’t know how to do that. It usually takes, if there are two people, it takes one of them to make that call. I’ve had so many conversations with people in the last two months that’s like, well, why don’t you be the one to call? You be the one to call because you’re just two people, right? Everybody’s sitting there saying, well, I don’t hear from people anymore.
John: Then pick up the phone and have a normal conversation, not a work conversation.
John: Yeah. No, I love that. That’s so great and so easy for people to do. Simple but not easy, I guess, is maybe the best way to say it, but, yeah, just do it. Pick up the phone. Call somebody. Call Tripp, everybody.
Tripp: There you go.
John: Call Tripp.
Tripp: Absolutely. Yeah.
John: Your iPhone’s blowing up. We’re all good, all good. Well, it’s only fair, since I so rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning, that we turn the tables now. We make this the first episode of the Tripp Gebhard podcast.
John: Thank you so much for having me on, Tripp. I’m all yours if you want to fire away with some questions.
Tripp: Well, the first thing is an obvious one, John, is what is your “and”?
John: Oh, my “and” is college football, for sure, and ice cream and going to concerts.
Tripp: So, ice cream has been your main event.
John: Oh, yeah, ice cream, for sure, all the time. When I worked in the corporate world, doing comedy was certainly my “and” but then that became my job, which is very hard. I don’t advocate that anyone makes their “and” their job. It’s crazy and hard and insane.
Tripp: Okay, I’ve got a really good one for you.
Tripp: Grateful Dead or Phish.
John: Oh, wow. Okay, well, yeah, I guess the number of songs that I have listened to, I’ll say Phish only because I’ve heard more Phish songs just because they were newer, I guess.
John: They’re both great bands. Musically, they’re so talented.
Tripp: That’s a good answer. They’re still around. You can see them.
John: Yeah, yeah. I mean, in college and stuff, that was more, then, like Dave Matthews was also kind of jam bandy when you see them live. They were the bands at the time, so, yeah.
Tripp: Phish was a little bit more edgy.
John: Oh, yeah. For sure. For sure.
Tripp: Little longer hair and some other things that went along with the crowd and that kind of stuff.
Tripp: Okay. Would you rather have more time or would you rather have more money?
John: Oh, man. Yeah, that’s a good one. I’m going to say more money just because I’m with you, but more money —
Tripp: You don’t want me to manufacture time for you?
John: I think if you have more money, a stupid amount of money, then time doesn’t necessarily matter because it’s not like you’re working 40 hours a week or, in my case, even more, and then you have to fit in those “ands” and life around that. If you have a stupid amount of money, then your whole life is your “and”. You just do whatever you want. If you die at 40, well, you know what, you had all free time. You had the same amount of free time as someone who died at 100. So, I’ll take more money, I think, now that I’m talking it out.
Tripp: Well, money can definitely bring more opportunities and more leisure time.
John: Yeah, yeah. Also more problems, I guess, like Mo Money Mo Problems. That’s wasn’t a Phish song.
Tripp: There you go.
John: That wasn’t a Phish song.
Tripp: No, it was not, and that’s another discussion.
John: Right, right.
Tripp: Yeah, there’s definitely, be careful what you wish for, at some point.
John: Secretly, more money. Secretly. Awesome, man. Well, thank you so much for being a part of What’s Your “And”? This was super, super fun.
Tripp: Yeah, I’m pumped. Thanks for having me.
John: Absolutely, and everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Tripp or maybe connect with him 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, and don’t forget to check out the book.
Thanks again for subscribing to the podcast 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.