Billy is an Accountant & Hunter
Billy Kelley tells us the story of his very first hunting trip that made him realize his passion for it! He also talks about how hunting has taught him patience, how he applies that to handling conflicts in the office, and why it is important to know your why!
• First hunting trip
• Teaching his son to hunt
• Developing patience through hunting and how he applies that in the office
• Talking about hunting at work
• What his job as a manager/supervisor is for his employees
• Knowing your why
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about Corporate Culture!
Pictures of Billy Hunting
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Welcome to Episode 245 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett. 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, encouraging people to find their “And,” those things above and beyond your technical skills and the things that actually differentiate you when you’re at work.
I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book is being published in just a couple of months. It’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites. Check out whatsyourand.com for all the details. I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s listening to the show and changing the cultures where they work because of it.
Please don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. This week is no different with my guest, Billy Kelley. He’s a partner at Dutton, Harris & Company at Midland, Texas. Now, he’s with me here today. Billy, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Billy: Yeah, appreciate it, man. Yeah, absolutely.
John: Yeah, man. It was so fun meeting you and hanging out when I did the Texas State Society and spoke at that annual meeting that you guys had about a year and a half ago. It’s just so cool to get you on.
Billy: I’m glad we’re able to do this. I really enjoy when you got up there and did your thing. Man, I think you got a great message. I really enjoyed it. I think what you’re doing and what you’re trying to bring in the forefront, man, and I really support it. I think it’s great stuff.
John: Well, that means so much, man. Yeah, to have you on, this is going to be cool. But you know the drill, 17 rapid fire questions right out of the gate. It’s stuff I wanted to ask you when we were at San Antonio but I didn’t.
John: How about a least favorite color?
Billy: Burnt orange.
John: Oh, man. All those Texas Longhorn listeners, just stop the episode.
Billy: Yeah. I love my UT, brother. It’s just not a pretty color. Let’s be honest.
John: No. It really isn’t a pretty color. You’re right. It’s not. How about when you fly on an airplane, window seat or aisle seat?
John: All right. How about pens or pencils?
John: Okay. Sudoku or crossword puzzles?
John: Nice, all right. How about a favorite actor or actress?
Billy: Denzel Washington. Love him.
John: Solid answer. Solid. Would you say you’re more of an early bird or a night owl?
Billy: Early bird. I go to bed like 8:30 or 9:00
John: Oh, boy.
Billy: Yeah, I’m out. I’m usually up around 4:00 or 5:00
John: Oh, my goodness. That is insane. How about Star Wars or Star Trek?
Billy: Star Wars all the way.
John: There you go, there you go. Your computer, more of a PC or a Mac guy?
John: PC, yeah. Me too. Me too. On your mouse, right-click or left-click?
John: Right, okay, where all the cool stuff is, all the hidden tricks. Would you say more suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt?
Billy: Oh, jeans and t-shirt.
John: Right. It’s hilarious. You’re like, you’ve met me.
Billy: Anybody that’s met me, if I said a tie, they’d be like, he was not being honest.
John: Yeah. This guy is lying through his teeth. This will be a good one then. Favorite sports team.
Billy: Baylor Bears.
John: Baylor Bears, there it is. It’s impossible to say Baylor Bears without smiling. It’s just, “Baylor Bears” plus you’re winning so that’s good too.
Billy: There you go.
John: How about a balance sheet or income statement when it comes to financials?
Billy: Balance sheet.
John: Balance sheet, yeah. We got four more. Prefer more hot or cold?
John: Hot, yeah. There in Texas for sure. Since you’re an accountant, I have to ask, do you have a favorite number?
Billy: Yes, 79.
John: Wow. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that in my entire life. Why 79?
Billy: I was born in ’79.
John: Oh, okay. Well, that makes sense. What is this? Seventy-nine. How about chocolate or vanilla?
John: It’s a tough one though. It is a tough one. The last one, the favorite thing you own or the favorite thing you have?
Billy: I was thinking about that. I would probably say something that I’ve probably had for a long, long time. I remember as a kid, like kind of a stuffed football My grandmother built me one. She stitched it by hand. She was a really good seamstress. I played with that as a kid and everything.
I just kept that all the way through college. I play with it with my son now. Yeah, it’s something that I’ve had for a really long time and a toy that my grandma made for me. So yeah, that’s probably had the longest memory I’ve ever owned anything.
John: That’s really cool. You had it when the Cowboys were good. That’s even better. It’s super nostalgic.
Billy: You really get worn out when they started going bad.
John: Yeah, no. That’s really cool though, man. It means a lot and you got something that you play with your son with as well now. That’s a cool thing, man. That’s really cool.
I know when we chatted in San Antonio and you said that you like hunting quite a bit, I mean you have quite a few other interests as well but I know you do a fair amount of that, getting out and going hunting.
Billy: Yeah. I really enjoy hunting, and how I got into it. I did not grow up hunting. My dad was not much of a hunter. But when I met my wife, her family, big hunters. I remember, actually the first time I went to my wife’s house to meet her mom and dad at their house in South Texas, her daddy gone hunting that day. When I got there, pulled up, he was on the backyard working with the buck that he got that day. He was making a very clear point I think to the college kid. You know, there’s a big desert out there in South Texas. If you screw up, they may not find you.
John: Right, that’s hilarious.
Billy: I got a great relationship with my father-in-law. Back then, I’ve never seen or experienced anything like that. Six-foot-two big cowboy, not somebody you want to be messing with.
John: Right, especially when he’s yeah, working on that and it comes out, it’s like did somebody get murdered? It’s like, no. Just that’s what I do. I think you know like oh, my goodness.
Billy: So yeah, I just start being part of her family. I started hunting, just kind of got into that. I provided a lot of laughs and jokes for her side of the family. I mean I grew up in the city. Some of the things I would say still to this day, I mean this has been ten years ago, they still just — somebody will say something and they just all smirk and laugh about it and everything. They get a good laugh. Ten years, I’m happy, I’m still making them laugh of things I did back then.
But my first hunting trip, and this is kind of a shock to a lot of people because they spend their whole lives trying to get there.
John: Oh, my goodness. Wow.
Billy: First time I ever hunted. It was up in Colorado, a brown rifle. I got up there with my father-in-law, my brother-in-law and my wife’s uncle lived up there, around Silt, Rifle area. We got up on the mountain and we stayed in literally a cow camp. It was a 1930s old shack basically is what it was. All it had was a wood burning stove, literally was the only thing that heated this place.
John: Oh, my goodness.
Billy: I kid you not. We walked up and they got Coke boxes duck taped to the windows. That was their fix for the broken windows. I got Coke boxes duck taped to windows, I’ve got a wood burning stove over here, and this is still in November up on this mountain. This is the ever first time I’ve hunted.
We were out there hunting. My wife rides horses but I don’t particularly like to ride horses. I’d rather have engine and four wheels. When we were going out, beautiful thing about it was on four-wheelers, right? Ended up on this mountain, just gorgeous, it’s beautiful, right? They asked you know, it was like do you want to take a horse? I was like, no.
John: For what?
Billy: I won’t tell you what I said about the horse because you’re from Texas, right? We’re out hunting, we got hit with really bad snowstorm. We barely made it back. Future wife is probably telling my father-in-law, don’t you lose him or don’t you let something happen to him.
We got hit with this bad snowstorm. We got on the four-wheelers. We couldn’t see anything because of the snow. Our visibility was like nothing.
John: Right, yeah. These storms come out of nowhere especially up there in the Rockies in the middle.
Billy: We were travelling again on the four-wheelers, trying to get back to what I call shack, and we’re trying to get back to the shack hoping we get back to this thing. You know what I mean? Otherwise, we would get blast by the snowstorm. Luckily, we found our way back to the shack. We get there and it snows and snows and snows. It’s like probably seven or eight hours of just straight snow. I’m not joking.
John: Yeah. It’s crazy. Yeah, man. That story sounds crazy. I’m just actually freezing thinking about it right now but do you ever hunt in warmer places?
Billy: Yeah. Don’t always hunt up in Colorado. In fact, I’m not even really a snow person to be quite honest with you. I want to track around in it for a couple of hours with three or four layers of clothes on. You can actually turn into a sauna during the snow. Most of the time, I hunt down here in Texas. A really good friend here that’s got a ranch and they just let family and friends hunt that.
We’ve been doing that for the last couple of years, and been really blessed and fortunate that he lets us do that. I usually get my son on that too. They’re just good friends, family friends. It’s a little warmer down here. Matter of fact, I think this last time, I was in blue jeans and a little windbreaker and everything when I was hunting. I don’t have to worry about getting too cold.
John: Right, there’s no outhouse.
Billy: Yeah, no outhouse. Nice place to stay, no outhouse, and enjoying and little more sense in what we’re doing and not roughing it nearly as hard.
John: Right, right. Now, your son grows up hunting so he doesn’t have to go through all the stories that you did or even better.
Billy: Yeah, exactly, right? I mean also, I can tell stories about me and learn from my experiences and not have to endure the ridicule and some of the weird looks that his dad did when he was learning to hunt.
John: Yeah, but at least you didn’t hurt yourself or more importantly, other people.
Billy: No, never did anything of that. It’s a great time, enjoyed it and everything and made some great friends within everything so it’s a good experience.
John: That’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. Would you say that hunting gives you a skill that you bring to the office?
Billy: One thing hunting will teach you is patience. There’s no doubt about that. I mean sometimes, you may be out there for three or four days. You’re just sitting and waiting because you never know when something might cross your path or maybe you do see something or it’s not necessarily one that needs to be harvested at that time or anything. Sometimes, you just sit out there and you just watch the animals. I just listen, take everything in, just being out there in nature, all the sounds and all the different scenery and everything.
You do learn a certain skill set, to be patient and to kind of not jump at every single little thing that comes your way or react to these littlest things. It does teach you some patience. It creates some really good stories.
I can talk to my team members, kind of telling some of my wacky stories about myself and pissed them a little at ease on times and everything. So it has created some good moments, created some good opportunity to share stories with everybody on the team and creating patience. I mean it really is a patient game. You’re out there for three, four hours and not see anything. Your only window maybe split seconds to do something, but the rest of the time, you may not even get a chance to do anything.
John: That definitely translates to work right away. Then you said you don’t overreact to every little thing. You just write it out and that’s pretty interesting because I’m sure at no point in business school did they ever tell you to go hunt because it’ll make you a better accountant type of thing.
Billy: In my university classes, they encouraged us to take a firearm and go hunting. I don’t remember that ever happened.
John: Right. Especially now, you as a partner, I mean when it comes to business development, yeah, sure maybe we don’t get the business this year but there’s next year and the year after and you look at it as a long game sort of a thing.
Billy: Yeah. I think so. Like I said, it does teach you patience, and teach you to kind of take your time and wait for thing to develop and wait for your opportunities when they present themselves. That’s the same thing in hunting. I mean you just kind of have to wait for opportunities, present themselves to take action and you just got to wait until that happens.
You kind of learn that you’ll say the same thing in business. Like you said, a lot of big piece of business development. It’s just establish relationships, taking the time. If it doesn’t happen this year, maybe it happens next year or just creating opportunities. Just trying to wait for the right opportunities. That could be a frustrating process. It’s not always our timing, right? We want them to happen but in life, that’s generally not the way it happens. In life, opportunities kind of hit us when they’re ready to hit us, not necessarily when we want them to. It’s kind of the same process I think.
John: That’s really fascinating. I never really thought about it that way, but yeah, it totally is. It’s just something you just mentioned that you share it with co-workers and is this something that you were maybe reluctant to at first or was it just that’s what I do and I’m going to talk about it?
Billy: Yeah. I think not necessarily reluctant at first, it’s just sometimes, you got to be — some people can have some adverse reactions. Not everybody’s a fan of hunting.
John: But they don’t understand what it really is because I mean sometimes, you’re just out there in nature.
Billy: Yeah. Sometimes, you’re just out there in nature. I mean a lot of times, when you’re hunting, you’re just out there. You don’t ever do anything. You’re just taking everything in. As I told somebody one time, I was like, you know what? My son and I go hunting all the time. A lot of times, we don’t ever do anything. We just sit and we just talk and we just look at sunrises and we look at sunsets and we take nature in. I mean I’ve spent way more time looking at sunsets and sunrises than I actually have hunted.
That’s not necessarily everybody’s first reaction to it. Really, kind of great times spent with my son and doing those types of things and so he can kind of be a little shy at times, trying to brings things like that up because you just never up. Put it in a context of spending time with your son or spending time with your kids and being in nature and it’s not just all about trying to pull a trigger. There’s a whole lot more to it.
Even if I don’t ever shoot anything for the rest of my life, I’ll still hunt. At the end of the day, I’m going to spend I don’t know how many hours looking at sunrises and looking at sunsets and taking in nature with my son. That’s all I get out of it, then it was worth it.
John: That’s awesome, man. Really great stories because everyone can relate to that. I don’t even have kids but I was a kid, obviously at one point. It’s definitely something that’s relatable for clients and it humanizes you especially now as a partner, it’s important that you’re a person as opposed to this all-knowing robot that has all the answers type of a thing that people are scared of. That’s really powerful, man. That’s great.
Billy: Especially as a partner, you try to always relate to our team. We all got jobs to do and sometimes, in the office when I’m focused on what I need to be doing, you got to remember to save time to talk to your team and see what’s going on in their lives and relate to them and see how their families are doing. Those things are important and it makes people realize hey, he does value me as an individual and not just somebody here that doing a job for him but as an individual, he does actually take an interest in who I am and things like that, and that’s important for people.
John: I mean it’s huge because I mean if you don’t, someone else will and they’ll find that place. You hired the whole person. I think it’s so easy in the corporate world for us to forget that. There’s a whole other side and multiple sides to this person that we should celebrate and shine a light on. So it’s cool that you’re doing that. Really fantastic. Is there anything in particular that you do besides setting the tone at the top?
Billy: Trying relate to my team or what?
John: Yeah. I mean I guess just the firm as a whole to encourage people to share their hobbies and passions and interests?
Billy: We just let people do their own thing. We’re pretty laid back, casual here. As long as people are getting their jobs done and things like that, I don’t believe in micromanaging and things like that. If I got to micromanage somebody, I’ve got the wrong person. As far as that goes, people need to have the flexibility to do what they need to do. I encourage our staff to go out and do things together in the community and things like that.
Then just spending time with them, learning who they are and about their family and their interest and what they want. I would always tell my staff, my job as manager/supervisor is to help you develop and help you grow as an individual, professionally and individually as a person, whatever we can do to give you the resources to do that. That’s what we’re here for.
In order to do those things, you kind of have to know something about the person, right? You got to take some time to figure those things out and that’s what I tell my staff most of the time. I’m like, I want you to not only develop professionally, but I want you to develop personally, to continue to develop and be the person that you can possibly be. That’s kind of how I see our role.
John: That’s huge. I think in my research, I found that if your outside-of-work life is chaos, it’s really hard for you to be a productive part of the company and actually do your role well. I think it’s really important that we focus on that and that we encourage, like you said, growth as a person in all aspects. That’s really fantastic that you have that mentality.
Well, I’d probably still be in accounting if my managers had that mentality back in the day. I guess we all went. But do you have any words of encouragement to people listening that maybe have a hobby or a passion that they think has nothing to do with their job?
Billy: Always got to go back, whenever I’m trying to figure things out. I work with some youth groups. My wife and I do and I always bring this up to them. One of the youth brought this up to their parents the other day. I thought we talked about it about a year ago and they brought it back up.
To me, it’s always about trying to figure out your, “Why?” You know what I mean? Why do you enjoy your hobbies that you enjoy? What is it that you enjoy about them? How does that relate to work? What can we learn from that from work because if you’re enjoying those things outside of work then there’s probably lessons to learn in life on them regardless of what that is whether it’s cooking or reading. I mean you can see how any skillset and those hobbies or enjoyment is going to teach you something about your work-life balance.
On the, “Why,” I’m always kind of reminded on this and trying to figure out your “Why?” which I think is a powerful thing is kind of given the context — there’s a video out there where a guy is asked to sing a song. He’s asked to sing the song Amazing Grace.
He’s not really given a context to sing the song. He just sings the song, and the guy’s a good singer. He does, he’s going through the words, he’s going through the emotions, there’s nothing really all that spectacular about the performance, but then a guy gives them a context for which he would now be singing that Amazing Grace and gives him a scene, gives him a reason to do, the “Why” he’s doing it this time, same words, same song. At the end of it, everybody’s standing up and applauding.
It shows the power of knowing your, “Why?” and why you’re doing something. That can drive us to do some pretty amazing things.
John: That’s so great. Especially that context can be taken to I mean a lot of things, but especially in work. Here’s why I’m asking you to do this and here’s your piece in the big picture. Even then, here’s why I’m asking you to have this role. It’s because I don’t know, you have this outside of work hobby, passion and it dovetails nicely with this client or it dovetails nicely with this skillset. It just lets them know that you actually put some thought behind it, is that it’s just making decisions and who cares type of a thing.
Do you have any questions for me? It’s only fair that I let you rapid fire question me back since I so rudely started out firing away at you. I’m sitting down and ready. If you got anything, I’m ready to go.
Billy: This was kind of the optional piece but I was like shoot, if he’s going to ask me questions, it’s only fair I get to shoot questions back. I didn’t really know any questions so I went to the ever dependable Google to get some questions.
John: Okay. Oh, gosh. Here we go.
Billy: Real fast. Use three words to describe yourself as a teenager.
John: Oh, my goodness. Three words as a teenager. Obnoxious, rule-breaker, I don’t know. Yeah, wow. Rule-breaker, that’s hyphenated I think. I was good at school. I don’t know if that counts but I was like the worst student because I would get good grades but then misbehave so it wasn’t matching up. Not all the teachers like me.
Billy: You were like a rebellious nerd.
John: Yes, exactly. I guess I could’ve summed it up in rebellious nerd. There we go. Rebellious nerd, but then played sports. So yeah, a little bit of everything.
Billy: All right. What is the top two on your playlist right now on your phone?
John: Top two songs on the playlist. There’s a song by the band COIN, I heard about. It’s called Talk Too Much. It’s an alternative song. I mean always a go-to is something Nirvana like Smells like Teen Spirit or something like that.
Billy: Let me think about that real fast. My son is 15. Their school listens to a lot of ‘80s and ‘90s, believe it or not. They’re really into ‘80s rock and ‘90s type music. We were travelling — it’s been a while ago and he goes, dad, I heard this classic the other day. I was like, really? What is that? He goes, by Nirvana. I’m like, a classic? Really?
John: That’s awesome.
Billy: Do you even know what grunge is or any of that type of stuff. He’s just kind of looking at me with a blaze so we then had to have conversation. This is nice, we could’ve called grunge. Anyways —
John: Yeah, that’s hilarious. We’re old, man. Just deal with us.
Billy: All right. Last one. Somebody if ever was making a movie about your life, who would play you?
John: Who would play me? There’s a guy named Tom Cavanagh.
Billy: Oh, yeah.
John: The TV show Ed, and a little bit of a doppelganger of sorts.
John: Yeah, a little bit. I mean that’s what other people say. He’s not bad looking. I’ll take it.
Billy: I mean I hear you taking about it. I can see that. You look alike.
John: Yeah. I mean he’s just got the dark hair still going. I don’t know. It’s LA, I guess. It’s what he does. It’s cool, man.
Well, thanks so much Billy for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”? This was so much fun.
Billy: Yeah. Appreciate the opportunity, man.
John: Yeah, and everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Billy in action or connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. While you’re on the page, please click that big button and 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.
Jose is an Accountant & Hunter
Jose Zavala talks about his passion for hunting and how it has given him the skills of being patient and taking a step back to breathe in stressful and fast-paced moments in the office! He also discusses how the idea of dressing for success does not always have to be a suit and tie!
• Getting into hunting
• Hunting and bonding with family
• Skills acquired from hunting that he applies in the office
• Closing deals with clients on hunting trips
• Dressing casual with clients
• If someone tells you it’s dumb, they’re dumb
Please take 2 minutes
to do John’s anonymous survey
about Corporate Culture!
(click to enlarge)
- Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close
Happy New Year and welcome to Episode 241 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett. 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 another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “And.” Those things that are above and beyond their technical skills, the things that actually differentiate them when they’re in the office.
I’m so excited to let everyone know, my book will be published in a couple of months. It will be available on Amazon and a few other websites, so check out whatsyourand.com for all the details. I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s listening to the show and changing the cultures of they work because of it and this book will allow you to be able to spread it to your co-workers and friends even better.
Please don’t forget to subscribe on the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes because I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. This week is no different with my guest, Jose Zavala. He’s a principal at ZTX Advisors in Houston, Texas. Now, he’s with me here today. Jose, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Jose: No, of course, John. Thank you for having me, man. I’ve been a big fan of your podcast. I love what you’re doing. We’re more than just number crunchers.
John: Appreciate it, man. Thank you so much. Yeah, but you know the drill right out of the gate, 17 rapid fire questions. Get to know Jose on another level here. Let’s do it. Now, everyone listening that knows Jose will be like, I had no idea. Yeah, favorite color?
John: Nice, okay. How about a least favorite color?
John: Interesting. All right. When you fly, window seat or aisle seat?
Jose: Aisle all day.
John: I’m the same. How about do you have a favorite actor or actress?
Jose: Actor, I would say it’s going to be probably Will Ferrell.
John: Oh, there you go. How about more pens or pencils?
Jose: Oh, pens.
John: There you go. No mistakes. I like that. That’s confidence. How about puzzles? Sudoku or crossword?
John: Sudoku’s exactly how I do my tax return.
Jose: I’ve never thought about it like that. John. I’m just letting you know.
John: Well, if you go to jail, it wasn’t my idea. Would you say you’re more of an early bird or a night owl?
Jose: Night owl.
John: Night owl. Okay, all right. How about more chocolate or vanilla?
John: All right. Since you’re an accountant, I have to ask, favorite number?
John: Oh, is there a reason?
Jose: It’s my birthday.
John: There you go. All right. How about prefer more hot or cold?
John: Yeah. That’s easy in Houston for sure. I don’t even think you have a choice. Even right now, it’s probably over a hundred on January 1st, like who knows?
Jose: I’ll tell you this. We spent probably the last six Christmases in shorts and tank tops. That’ll tell you something.
John: Oh, wow. I think everyone listening just wants to punch you right now. For financials, balance sheet or income statement?
Jose: Balance sheet.
John: Okay, all right. How about a favorite sports team? Any sport.
Jose: The US Men’s National Soccer Team although they’ve really made me upset lately but I’m a huge soccer fan.
John: Yeah. When they’re good, it’s fun. That’s for sure.
Jose: I’m a diehard fan. I’ve gotten in trouble for cancelling plans with family and friends because their game is on. During the World Cup, don’t even think about even calling me, don’t bother.
John: That works, man. That works. That’s awesome. Awesome. How about would you say more suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt?
Jose: Oh, jeans and a t-shirt.
John: My bad. Shorts and a t-shirt. All right. How about for your computer, more of a PC or a Mac?
Jose: Oh, PC all day. I tried a Mac and it slowed me down way too much.
John: Yeah. I don’t even know. I’m not even allowed in the stores. I’m not cool enough. On your mouse, are you right-click or left-click?
John: Right-click, fancy. All right. Two more. More Star Wars or Star Trek?
Jose: That’s a great question because I love both. Lately, I’ve been geeking out with Star Wars because of the new movie coming out.
John: Yeah, and the new show on Disney Plus or whatever.
Jose: Oh, yeah. Right now, it’s Star Wars, but I go back, I love them both.
John: Sure, 51, 49. It’s right on the fence. All right. Fair enough. The last one, favorite thing you own or the favorite thing you have.
Jose: Favorite thing I have is actually my freedom. The ability to do whatever I want to do it and how I want to do it.
John: There you go. That’s hard to argue that one, man. Hard to argue that one.
Jose: It’s a long time coming. Now, I can call the shots and that’s been the most amazing thing in the world.
John: Good for you, man. That’s awesome. Very cool, very cool. I know we talked a couple of weeks ago. You’re quite an avid hunter. Is this something that you grew up doing?
Jose: You know what? No. I got into it probably my teenage years. My uncle has a pretty big range down in south Texas. For those of you guys that know hunting in south Texas, that’s like prized deer. You’re talking big old bucks. We were lucky enough and blessed enough to be able to go down there with him. That’s where I got the edge.
Ever since then, we were going and then my dad saved up enough and now he has his own little property in east Texas. They’re not as big but it’s still nice to go out there and do that. So now, we have our own property. I’ve got a couple of different places I can go now.
John: Nice. That’s fantastic, man. That’s really great. Is it something that you mostly do with your dad?
Jose: It’s a whole family event. Opening Day, at least in Texas, is a holiday.
John: Right, right.
Jose: I actually changed the baby shower date for my daughter because they wanted to do an Opening Day and I told them no. I made everybody changed their plans for that because it is a holiday. I mean you see camos and trucks and four-wheelers and side-by-sides and for the small towns, that’s the majority of their economy, all of those “city slickers” coming in and spending our money.
John: Right, yeah. That’s funny. I went to high school in Southern Illinois outside of St. Louis and you could tell during school day what kids were hunting because that first day of hunting school, I mean they might as well just cancel school. I mean it’s half of us are there. Yeah, that’s awesome, man. That’s really funny.
Do you have any interesting stories or cool more rewarding story from your hunting experiences?
Jose: Yeah. For me, there are days where I’ll go and sit with my dad. We don’t talk. You have to be quiet but it’s just there’s still that bonding time because you’re together or whenever I shot my first buck, we decided to process it ourselves, doing that together with my brother and my dad and everything.
That’s been kind of to me, the best thing is it’s just that time I spend with them and then trying to get ready and then the arguments of no, your feeder needs to go here, no this needs to go here. It’s all part of the process but the most rewarding thing is something I can share with my family. It’s something that brought us a lot closer together.
I’ve got friends that have a couple of places so I go with them so it kind of really solidifies the relationship with those people.
John: Yeah. That’s awesome, man because I mean it’s a long day. I mean you’re out before the sun, I imagine. I don’t know. I’ve heard stories anyway. But you’re up super early and then it’s a long day. I mean especially if you’re able to shoot something, then there’s the cleaning and taking care of that and getting it all processed and all that side of it. So yeah, it makes for a long day together.
Jose: I’ve got a funny story. When I first started, my uncle and my dad still made fun of me for this. You have to be up at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. because you want to sit out there before the sun even comes up because you want to sit yourself and just stay because any little movement, you know, they’re going to hear you or smell you.
I remember we’re up late and we get up, we had two hours of sleep. I’m like man, who made that rule that you had to get up this early? They just started laughing at me. Ever since then, every morning, it never fails. Every Opening Day, we get up. It’s like, okay, I get it now.
John: Yeah. The deer did, Jose. That’s who. It wasn’t our idea either. That’s awesome. But now, it’s a tradition.
Jose: Oh, 100%.
John: That’s really funny. Do you feel like hunting has given you a skill that you’re able to bring to your accounting profession besides waking up early?
Jose: One hundred percent is patience. Having to seat there and wait because you can sit there and literally not move for four hours because any little movement, any little noise you make may scare something off. For me, it has been patience. I’m go, go, go, go, go non-stop. I mean I don’t stop. I’m always on the go.
Having to take a step back and really just relax has been helping me too because sometimes, I get into the thick of things and I start working, I’ve got a lot of client work and next thing I know, it’s six, seven hours in. I’m just okay, I need to take a step back and just kind of you know, decompress a little bit. That’s to me has been the big thing, has been the patience and that ability to be able to step back and slow down.
John: That’s huge, man. I mean especially in this day and age because I mean we get all caught up in looking side to side on what other people are doing or even just getting excited about what we’re doing. It’s easy to overheat, if you will. That’s great that you have that outlet.
Jose: I mean I’m horrible about it but this has really been able to show me just take a step back and essentially smell the roses and it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. With the whole instant gratification that people want stuff now, now, now, and I’m guilty of it too. This is kind of taught me like hey, if you wait — what was the movie? If you build it, they will come?
John: Yeah. Field of Dreams.
Jose: Yeah, Field of Dreams. That’s kind of what would stop me a little bit is that like okay, I can take that time off, I can take a step back, and the world isn’t going to end.
John: Right. The work still gets done. Really cool that you’re able to see that because not everybody can see that because they’re out there in the field and their brain is still doing work. That’s a good release for you. Is this something that you talk about with clients or co-workers?
Jose: There’s a few clients of mine that really enjoy it. We’re talking about finding a way to get them out there, you know, maybe one weekend to go out there and let them enjoy it too or kind of you know, get a taste because it’s really hard to find because you got to find a lease or you’re going to own some property. It gets hard. So that’s what they were looking. It’s kind of like a thank you to some of our clients especially the ones that are local. Hey, this is something that we can do for you as a thank you.
John: That’s a great idea because I mean I’m sure that they didn’t teach you that in business school but it’s just hey, you light on, so do I. You happen to be my client but so what? Let’s go do this.
Jose: My clients know that Opening Day, probably that whole week afterwards, getting to me is going to be very limited. They already know that. It was just kind of nice, unless something’s an emergency then of course, I’ll take care of it but if it’s not an emergency, we’ve been able to really distinguish what is an emergency and what isn’t.
John: Right, right.
Jose: Everybody thinks everything’s an emergency.
John: Exactly. Yeah, but I mean that’s great that you have that relationship with them and they have that relationship with you. They get it. I’m sure you get it on their side as well when they have hobbies and passions that are going to lock them out of something for a couple of days or whatever.
It doesn’t make you less professional or less good at your job at all. If anything, it makes you better because you’re able to focus at the time when you’re actually there. Before you had ZTX, was it something that would come up when you had colleagues?
Jose: Yes. One of my good friends now, we both worked at the same firm. That’s how we started bonding originally was just talking about our stories and what not and then —
John: How great is that?
Jose: Yeah, that was awesome. He had his own property which is about an hour from where our property is now. We started talking, he left the firm, I left the firm, we stayed in touch and now, we work closely together and we’re friends but we’re also work colleagues I guess because we work together a lot on some of these clients and so it’s actually been really, really good. It’s a good opening line if you’re trying to get to meet someone or something then hey, what do you like to do? What are your hobbies? If they say hunting, then it’s like oh, instantly, you’re like you have that connection with them.
John: Yeah, we’re best friends right now. I pull out the scent and start spraying you right now. Wait, whoa, whoa. Not that kind of — what? But that’s really powerful, man. Because you didn’t bond over financial statements or debits and credits, you bonded over the passion that you have outside of work, that’s carried on. I’m sure that you worked with a bunch of people when you’re at that firm. It’s much bigger. You had that somebody that you’ve stayed in touch with not because of the accounting side of it as much as the other which is really powerful I think.
Jose: It definitely has been amazing. We were trying to close a deal. We actually brought them as like hey, you guys want to come hunt ad we get to know them a little bit better and really kind of pitch them and ended up closing a deal with the clients.
John: That’s fantastic, and while you’re hunting.
Jose: You’re talking, you’re hanging out, you’re outside, loosen up. It’s no longer about you know, hey, here’s what I can — no. It’s just like hey, man. This is me. This is him. This is what we can do. This is what we’re about. If you want to work with us, great. If not, let’s just go have some fun. It was a very non-sales pitch, just kind of like a hey, let’s just have a good time. Then afterwards, it’s like all right, guys. I like you. Let’s do some work together.
John: I really honestly believe that, and there’s a lot of brain science behind it as well for my research is that that trust is actually developed from being interesting, from those passions and interests and if it’s a shared passion, wow. Anyone can probably do the work that they needed done or there’s quite a few people that could’ve but you’re the one who took them hunting and bonded over being just a real person.
Jose: I think sales talk was minimal if none. Just like hey, this is who I am. Just give me a chance to show you who I am or what I can do. It worked out.
John: That’s awesome, man. Yeah, because I have a thing that I call the trust rut where the more that we try to convince someone that we’re good at our job, the less that they actually trust you.
If you were to rent a car in the north in the snow and you get stuck and you just gun it, you just sink down into a rut. Because I mean now, when I need somebody, I assume you’re good at your job. You don’t have to keep telling me this. I think now, you’re trying to convince yourself you don’t suck at your work. It’s cool that you’re able to you know, that confidence comes through. That’s really awesome, man. That’s fantastic.
How much do you feel like in a larger organization, it’s on the leadership to set that tone or how much is it on the individual to just within their little department or their little circle to create that?
Jose: Personally, I think just going to start at the top, I mean you got to set that culture, you got to set that mentality of openness and welcoming because I’ve worked at firms where it was just very professional, very that old school, this is it and this is how it works, you’ve got to do your job because I told you so and I don’t care what you have to think. What we do is right and what you think is wrong.
John: Right. Oh, man.
Jose: It’s just like, okay. I have ideas too. You don’t have to implement them but at least listen. Hear what I have to say. I mean I’m implementing of this stuff now and I’m just like, and now you know I’ve got some of these people calling me hey, how do I do this? It’s just like now, you want to hear me. But I think honestly, it’s top down because yes, there is kind of with us, as an individual to go out and kind of get yourself out there and things like that which is the hardest thing to do, I mean you do your standup.
I do videos all day but setting up for the people, I still get deadly scared talking to people, top-down. It should start at the top. Set that precedence. Let people know, hey, it’s okay to be yourself. It’s okay if you’re quirky, be quirky. If you’re this or you’re that, but just creating that culture, that good culture.
John: Yeah, absolutely. I think it makes it a lot easier because then people can you know, just see it modelled in front of them. I mean that’s what I did when I got out of school and started at PricewaterhouseCoopers, I was modelling behavior of people in front of me because it’s like oh, well, they’re successful and that’s what you need to do in order to be successful and then you find out that their modelling behavior in front of them and no one’s actually being themselves totally. It’s that tone at the top can be set. You can show that and be a little bit vulnerable that definitely helps big time.
One thing I’d like to go back to is when you were saying that it was just really professional, and the definition of what’s professional is really vague. The work that you do now is just as professional as when you were in that office, whether you’re wearing a three-piece suit or not. I mean it’s still professional. So yeah, I think that that’s one thing that I think the listeners hopefully can start to think differently about what is considered professional really?
Jose: I agree with you 100% because what I thought was professional was the three-piece suite. You go in, you know, now is a lot of clients. I show up with sometimes shorts and my button-up and it’s all about you know what I can deliver and this is who I am and I work polos a lot. I don’t have to wear a three-piece suit every time. That shoes too? That’s great.
John: We’re talking about you, JJ, the CPA.
Jose: That’s exactly what I was thinking about. Don’t get me wrong.
John: No, that’s his brand though. Absolutely.
Jose: Yeah, depending who I talk to. I’m part of the NAHREP which is the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. Part of their mantra and what they talk about is you know, dressing up for success. When I hang out with them, I dress to the part. Okay, I want to look my best and everything but a lot of my clients, I go and visit them, I mean flip-flops, shorts.
John: Because they probably are too.
Jose: Yeah. They are too. That’s the kind of client I’m attracting and that’s who I like to work with. I think professional, it’s just the way I said it, you’re right. It all depends on you. I was always told you had to be it was that very strict just kind of like three-piece suit. But at the end of the day, just be yourself. Going back to that, being yourself and these people are going to like you. They’re not going to work with you. If not, then they’re not.
John: JJ’s personality comes through like whether he’s wearing that suit or not. Don’t let it hamper you and suffocate your personality. No matter what outfit is, it doesn’t matter.
Jose: I got a pick on JJ though because we did the Accounting and Social Media Symposium and he was rocking some pretty short shorts there. JJ, I love you my friend.
John: That’s hilarious.
Jose: But I got to hang out with him and I got to see him. JJ is one of the coolest, most down-to-earth guys. You see him with a suit. You think, oh, he’s a stuff. No, he’s not. He’s the complete opposite.
John: Right, exactly. He was on the show so people can look him up and listen to that. That’s a really great episode as well. I think it’s easier to define unprofessional. To me, unprofessional is when you’re inhibiting someone else’s ability to do their job. Everything’s pretty much fair game up until the point where you’re stopping others from doing their work.
That’s why I think it’s easiest to look at it. If you really like to play the electric guitar, you can’t bring it in with your amp and just start jamming away in the office. Talking about it and sharing those stories and all that within reason should be completely acceptable if not mandatory type of thing or the hunting stories.
I mean yeah, you can’t just walk in with your gun to the office and be like, hey, everybody look at this or drag a deer in like hey, look. It’s just that’s going to inhibit people’s ability to do their job. Talking about it and sharing stories obviously creates relationships that matter.
Jose: It’s a lot better than talking about hey, well, how did that last audit go?
John: Right? We’ll get to that eventually but let’s start with some cool stuff first.
John: Do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that might think hey, my hobby or passion has nothing to do with my job so I’ll just keep it to myself because no one cares?
Jose: Oh, no. Not at all. Your hobby and passion is what you love and that’s how people get to know you because when you talk about it, you’re passionate about it. Passion comes out and at least for me, it does. When I talk about something I’m passionate about, I really like it, it comes out and so people can see it and they get to know the real you.
I feel like that kind of — when you talk about that, it brings down your barriers, your walls that you have of okay, they get to see the real you. You and your prime. This is what I love to do. This is what I love to talk about. I think for sure do it. If somebody tells you it’s dumb, they’re dumb.
John: There you go. I love that. That’s at simple as it gets. That should be on a t-shirt right there. That’s it. If someone tells you it’s dumb, they’re dumb. That’s it in a nutshell. That should be the title of my book. I don’t know what What’s Your And is all about.
Jose: I mean it’s true because I mean if they’re going to hate on it, let them. I mean obviously, they live a miserable life. They’ve got whatever and then this is funny because I was watching some kind of podcast webinar thing and somebody was talking about being a Youpreneur where you can essentially make a business model out of what you love. I mean look at people that have podcasts that are huge based on Pokémon. It’s like okay, someone may think oh, that’s childish. Okay, but that’s what you like then that’s what you like.
I like hunting, I like soccer, people hate soccer, okay. Well, good for you. It’s what I like and that’s what I’m passionate about.
John: Right, yeah. That was Chris Ducker by the way, the Youpreneur, and he’s great, really good book as well. You have these passions and these hobbies and yeah, sure. You’re good at accounting or you’re good at whatever your job is. Law or engineering or IT or whatever, but you have these other dimensions to you as well. The longer I found that you let them go dormant, that they will eventually be instinct and then that’s when it gets really scary.
Jose: Yeah. Your job doesn’t define you. Your job is what you do to support yourself. It doesn’t define you. I feel like, and I was really bad about this where I defined who I was or I tried to label myself on who I was based on my job and what I did and my label and my title and once I kind of started to step away from that and really focus on let me just be the best me I can be, I mean I’ve started delivering a lot better to my clients, I started feeling a lot happier, started being a lot better, and it kind of opened up this whole world of possibility now.
That would be my biggest advice. Don’t focus too much on it’s a title, it’s a job, and everything. But that job does not define you. If you’re doing tax returns and you’re working at X company and they let you go, you can always go work at Y, you can always go work at Z, you can always open up your own shop. The sky’s the limit.
John: That hunting passion or soccer passion that you have is going to be with you no matter what firm you work for or what title you have at that firm. You get promoted. The technical skills change but your passion stays the same.
John: This has been awesome, Jose. Really, really great. Really powerful, man. That’s good stuff. But before I wrap it up, it’s only fair that I allow you to rapid fire question me back since I so rudely open the gates on that right at the beginning.
All right. I’m ready.
Jose: Hot or cold coffee?
John: You know what? I’m not a coffee guy, but hot chocolate.
Jose: Okay, hot chocolate. Tax or audit?
John: Oh, audit. I have no clue what tax people do. Do they leave the office? I don’t even know. They are always on a different floor. I don’t even know my own taxes. It’s audit all day if I had to choose between those two.
Jose: Amazon or Google? Smart Home devices.
John: Yeah, I mean I guess Amazon.
John: I just got a Smart Plug. It’s pretty cool. I don’t have the listening devices things because I don’t need them knowing how crazy I am at home. But it is pretty cool because on my phone, I could just open the app which is probably listening to me all the time anyway and just be like turn on the living room light and then click, it’s on. I’m like wow, we are in the future now. This is nuts.
Jose: I don’t know if this is relevant to you or not, I play video games. Xbox or PlayStation?
John: Nintendo. Old school. I have the original Nintendo from when I was a kid. You know the original Nintendo?
Jose: Oh, you still have it?
John: Yeah. I still have it. What’s really cool about that is that technology is advanced so far now that you can actually fit 100 games on one cartridge. I just have one cartridge that’s in my Nintendo now that has 100 games on it that I got out of Etsy for $30 or something. But I have the original Super Mario Brothers, Duck Hunt cartridge. Yeah, and several of the games that I used to play when I was in fifth grade when it came out. That’s how I old I am. But yeah. So yeah, I’m a Nintendo guy. Some of those controllers with too many buttons. I don’t know what they’ll do.
Jose: Funny you say that. I don’t have the Nintendo but I’ve got the Super Nintendo, the original one. It’s got a bunch of games and yeah, I still play that to this day. I mean nobody can beat me at Mario Kart. I’m just going to put that out there right now.
John: Challenge accepted, man. Next time I’m in Houston, it’s on, buddy. I missed the final exam because I was playing Mario Kart.
Jose: Oh, really?
John: Yeah. I’m pretty into it, man. I’m pretty into it.
This has been so fun, Jose. Thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Jose: Of course, man. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
John: Everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Jose in action or connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. While you’re on that page, please click that big button and do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture that I’m doing.
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.