The Green Apple Podcast: don't let professionalism suffocate your personality

“Recovering CPA” John Garrett talks with professionals who are shattering the stereotype by being known at work for a hobby or passion. Accountants, consultants, lawyers and other professionals are doing some really cool things after they leave the office. We discuss how these passions continue to impact their career in surprising ways.
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The Green Apple Podcast: don't let professionalism suffocate your personality



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Dec 7, 2016

Bailey Smith’s is best summed up by her twitter byline which reads, “Accounting is her trade, music is her passion.” Going to a Vertical Horizon concert in 2000 reignited her passion for live music, causing her to set a goal to attend more live concerts and to learn to play the bass guitar. Years later, she is now friends with the band, regularly attends live concerts (tracked in an Excel spreadsheet) and is taking lessons on her bass guitar. She’s even the Treasurer for Friends of Levitt Pavilion in Denver which is helping build a new music venue downtown.

In this episode, we talk about how she’s a naturally shy person, so it took her some time to open up to coworkers and clients. She soon learned the importance of sharing and, just as importantly, asking others to share as well. While most of us are very busy and just focused on getting the work done so we can go home, it’s important to take a few minutes to develop those connections.

Bailey Smith is the owner of Sopris Accounting Solutions, an accounting/bookkeeping/consulting firm. Prior to this, she worked in public accounting for EKS&H.

She attended the University of Denver where she received both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Accounting.

Nov 30, 2016

Several years ago, Jen Gardner saw a flyer for learning roller derby basic skills. She thought she might enjoy it because she grew up figure skating and tried her hand at hockey in college but couldn't quite master the puck handling. After a few roller derby lessons, it was clear she was a natural and now she's a regular player on Mob Squad in the Providence Roller Derby League.

In this episode, we talk about how letting professionalism win turns you into a stock photo. Like many of us, Jen was reluctant to share her roller derby passion with coworkers and clients because of the firm culture and how she felt others would judge her. A combination of moving to a different company and being more experienced with her work, she found that as she started talking about her hobbies more, people started to open up as well and stronger relationships were formed. So much so that the owner of her current firm has attended some of her roller derby bouts!

Jen Gardner is the Corporate Controller at The Copley Consulting Group. Prior to that, she worked in public accounting and then in a company’s Internal Audit Department.

She is a graduate of The University of Rhode Island with her M.S. in Accounting.

Nov 24, 2016

Ingrid Edstrom is definitely not your stereotypical bookkeeper. She breathes fire, plays Irish music in a band and makes videos with her sidekick, Penny, who was created as a prop for a Business Networking International (BNI) meeting. When the attendees commented on Penny, she realized that this was something that made her stand out, so Ingrid brings her along on all her business trips as well as appearances on the online education series.

In this episode, we talk about how if we act like we’re boring then how can we expect our clients not to think of us the same way? And forget about trying to attract and retain top talent if your firm thinks this way. Ingrid refers to it as “finding your inner unicorn”, your own set of passions that makes you unique. Weave these into your work conversations and you’ll soon realize that your relationships with both clients and coworkers will be on a much deeper level.

Ingrid Edstrom is a bookkeeping nerd and CEO of Polymath LLC. Polymath is an award winning Intuit Firm of the Future winner, Hubdoc Top 50 Cloud Accountant, and Corporate LiveWire Small Business Bookkeeping  Firm of the Year. In 2016 Polymath was featured in the book “The World’s Most Inspiring Accountants” and was recognized by the Woodard Network with both the Practice Innovation and Rising Star awards.

She has her BA in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter, MN. She was recently recognized as one of the accounting profession’s Top 40 Under 40 and as one of the Most Powerful Women in Accounting.

Nov 16, 2016

After a friend came back from a South African trip with some bottles of wine, Deja Sconiers knew she wanted to learn more. Now she's got her own blog and is educating others about wine.

In this episode, we talk about how studying wines has helped Deja be more patient at work and take time to understand and respect the process. While her office isn't super conducive to sharing, she has managed to develop strong relationships with a few coworkers -- some of which are actually helping her with her wine blog.

Deja Sconiers is an Accounts Receivable Specialist at Electrolux.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from North Carolina A&T State University. She is also a Future Business Leaders of America alum.

Nov 9, 2016

We did it! I can’t believe it’s been a year already since we started this journey of turning the definition of “stereotypical” professional upside down. Thank you so much to everyone for listening. Thank you so much to everyone for sharing this podcast with their friends. And thank you so much to everyone who has done the anonymous research survey that’s helping support the theory in my book.

In this episode, “Recovering CPA” John Garrett covers the last year of The Green Apple Podcast guests — from creatives, to athletes, to performers, to foodies, to world travelers, to a motorcycle racer, all of these individuals are examples of how your hobbies and passions enhance your career.

Every Wednesday, John interviews accountants, consultants, lawyers and engineers who are known in their respective office for having a hobby or passion. These are all examples of people who are shattering the stereotype and he’d love to have you (or someone you know) on as a guest as well. Just message him at the contact link above.

John also delivers his keynotes across the country and is writing a book to inspire others to see how valuable your hobbies and passions really are. Don’t let “professionalism” win by keeping your hobbies and passions dormant and then, over time, extinct altogether.

Nov 2, 2016

Seth David started hiking to the top of Griffith Park as a way to exercise because it was much more interesting than going to a gym. Then he realized that talking with clients and other small business owners while hiking was much more fun than just meeting in a restaurant, so every Saturday morning he would invite others to join him using the #AccountingHike hashtag.

In this episode, we talk about how his sharing his hiking and other hobbies with others gives him an added dimension that humanizes him, especially in the world of social media. It has also helped him continue to build a community and allow others to network as well. By being an open book, it makes it easy for others to see that he is approaching his work with the mindset of service to others. All of this has directly impacted his business in a very positive way.

Seth David is the founder of Nerd Enterprises, Inc. in Burbank, CA, where he teaches QuickBooks and general productivity applications to others. He’s very well-known in the small business accounting industry for his large library of YouTube videos.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting from Pace University – Lubin School of Business in 1996.

Oct 19, 2016

Eric Johnson didn’t get his first set of golf clubs until he was in college. He never really took golf seriously until several years later when some coworkers invited him to play a round at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Portland, OR. “Now this is fantastic… I want to do more of this!” was his immediate thought.

In this episode, we talk about how amazing golf has been for Eric’s relationship building, both with coworkers and clients. By developing these stronger connections, he’s able to have more open and honest work conversations. He also discusses how life is a broad concept that incorporates your work, your home life and your hobbies. If it was only work, Eric admits he would burn out and not be nearly as effective.

Eric Johnson is the CFO at Nintex, bringing more than 18 years of financial and operational experience at mid-size and large technology companies.

He graduated maxima cum laude from the University of Portland with a degree in finance.

Oct 12, 2016

Henry Lawson has always been fascinated with cars and anything with an engine, really. He’s built 3 cars and restored countless others, including a 1902 MMC and a 1969 Dodge Charger.

In this episode, we talk about how work can easily become all-consuming if we let it. Henry reminds us all that it is acually a marathon and not a sprint, so managers can’t expect everyone to run at sprinting speed all the time. There are times to get things done and there are times to back off an respect people’s space and freedom, especially when it comes to spending time with family. Therefore, a business should measure staff by outcomes instead of hours or face time.

Henry Lawson is co-founder and CEO of autoGraph.

He received a degree in mechanical engineering from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and then his MBA from Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar.

Oct 5, 2016

Julie (Jules) Carman has always been a runner, like good enough to earn a Track & Field scholarship to Cal for running 200’s kind of runner. There are things she learned running that carry over directly to her career, things that she feels you can’t get anywhere else: resilience, mental strength, proper mindset and discipline. Running also made Jules comfortable being uncomfortable, allowing her to easily mold to new situations and get to the next level.

In this episode, we talk about how things in life are much bigger than work, but it’s sometimes difficult to keep that perspective. And it’s a very slippery slope once you lose focus on the passions that truly drive you. Professionalism will tell you to work more and do those passions less, making them dormant and eventually extinct altogether.

Julie Carman works as the Senior Director, Global Accounting and Consulting Segment at Intapp in the San Francisco Bay Area.

She graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 1986 with a degree in Business and Communication

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