Episode 105 – Chris Brown

Chris sings his way to better coworker connections


Chris Brown grew up the son of a preacher and always knew that he would want to do some ministry when he grew up. In the 6th Grade, he learned to play the guitar and brings that talent to both the stage at church and at firm recruiting events. He regularly led worship through college and played his guitar during services. Rather than make that his career, he realized that he could do more by being a CPA and doing this as a passion on the side, acting as the part-time worship pastor at his church.

In this episode, Chris and I talk about how putting “Worship Pastor” on his resume helped him stand out from other candidates coming out of school. It’s also very encouraging to hear the leadership at Beall Barclay completely embrace that while Chris is working hard to be the best accountant he can be, his true passion is something different. He appreciates that and feels like it makes for a more positive work culture, “You can do accounting anywhere. If you find a place where you enjoy the people you’re with, that’s where you need to be.”

Chris Brown is an Audit Supervisor and leads recruiting for Beall Barclay & Company in Fort Smith, AR.

He graduated Cum Laude from Arkansas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accounting degree.

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Other pictures of Chris

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Playing for Chris’ firm Coffee House recruiting event

Playing for Christmas candle light service

Chris with his family

Playing & singing at weddings

Playing & singing at outdoor weddings!


Chris’s links



  • Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close

    Hi, this is Chris Brown. And when I’m not playing the guitar and leading worship, I am always listening to John Garrett and the Green Apple Podcast.

    John: Welcome to Episode 105 of the Green Apple Podcast where each Wednesday I interview a professional known for a hobby or a passion, making them stand out like a green apple in a stereotypical boring red apple world. And when I tell you to imagine an apple in your head, I’m sure for most of you, when you think of an apple, it’s red, right? Because in school, remember A is for apple, that picture, it’s always red because that’s the stereotype. But the interesting thing is that there are over 7,500 kinds of apples, and they all actually start out as green. And then over time, they turn red, turning into the stereotype. But deep down inside, all of us has this passion for something other than our jobs, and that’s when I loved to shine a light on each week here on the Green Apple Podcast. And thank you so much to everyone for subscribing and leaving ratings and comments on iTunes and all the other Android apps or whatever you’re listening on. It’s so encouraging to hear how much you enjoy what someone actually described as the least businessy podcast out there. So that’s what I’m going for.

    I’m also doing some research. It’s super short, one-minute anonymous survey about firm culture and how the Green Apple message might apply to you and your world. So if you’ve got just 60 seconds, please head to greenapplepodcast.com. There is a big green button there and answer just a few quick questions. Again, it’s totally anonymous. So I really, really appreciate the help.

    Okay. Now it’s time to introduce you to this week’s guest, Chris Brown. He’s with Beall Barclay in Fort Smith, Arkansas, as an audit supervisor. He’s also doing some really cool things as the lead recruiter there. I’m so excited to share his story with everyone.

    I know you’re a really guy, Chris. So thank you so much for taking time to be with me on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Chris: Hey, John. I appreciate it, man. Thanks for having me on.

    John: Oh, I’m excited. Joe Rugger connected us, another Green Apple himself, traveling the world. Who knows where he is right now, but check his Facebook page, right?

    Chris: Right, yeah. You could find pictures of where you would rather be.

    John: Right, exactly, exactly. I’m so excited to share your story with everyone. But before we get into that, I gave everyone a quick introduction but maybe in your own words kind of where you’re at now and a little bit of how you got there.

    Chris: Okay, yeah. I am just a good old boy from Arkansas, really.

    John: Right. I was born in Arkansas myself.

    Chris: Really? Where at?

    John: In Little Rock.

    Chris: Really. Wow.

    John: Yeah, I was stationed there in the Air Force. So yeah, I lived there for about a year and a half. I’m not quite the good old boy, but I guess I’m born there.

    Chris: Yeah. Hey, you can claim it. That’s find with me.

    John: Right, right.

    Chris: Yeah. Well, I grew up in South Arkansas right on the Arkansas-Louisiana border in El Dorado. And I just kind of grew up hunting and fishing. My dad was a pastor, and I feel like that’s kind of where a lot of what I do now and what I’ve learned over the years just come from, just watching him. He was kind of always on me about leadership and that kind of stuff. I remember my mom tells the story of when they were just getting in the ministry, my dad was real shy. And after lunch on Sundays, they would go out, mom would go get a table, and he would just stand at the front door for like 20 minutes just greeting people as they came in just to like get out of his shell.

    John: Wow.

    Chris: So it’s kind of something that always stuck with me as something of even if you’re not accountant, it’s something that you can learn. It’s good networking. That’s what he was doing. He was learning how to network, learning how to go up to people he didn’t know and introduce himself.

    John: Yeah, yeah. And just forcing himself out of his comfort zone.

    Chris: Yeah.

    John: Because he knew that that’s what was best.

    Chris: Right.

    John: Were you naturally introverted yourself or…?

    Chris: No. I would say it’s kind of a mixture and mainly because of the preacher’s kid thing, because you had people coming up to you all the time.

    John: Oh, I can imagine, yeah.

    Chris: And if you were just quiet or you didn’t say anything to those people, then you got in trouble later because you’re a reflection of your dad or your parent who’s the pastor. It was always like, hey, if somebody talks to you, you have to talk to him back. Be polite. Talk to him, carry on conversations. So that was something that was always put on me. I kind of learned pretty early on to not be introverted. But there are times where you might put me in that category, but most of the time I’m pretty outgoing.

    John: Sure, sure. No, that’s great, man. That’s great. So what made you want to get into accounting then?

    Chris: You know, being a preacher’s kid, I kind of always had a job in ministry, in the church, and that’s kind of where the guitar playing came from. Both my parents are very musical. My mom is a great sight-reader. In college, she’d always play for the music majors for their concerts and stuff. My dad plays by ears. He can play piano, guitar, really anything. He sits down, he can hear something, he can play it. So all I ever wanted to do is play guitar. Mom and dad said, “Oh, you have to play piano first. Mom is going to teach you piano.” I love my mom to death but her and I, like her trying to teach me things never went well.

    John: Okay. Right, right.

    Chris: So I just didn’t take that instruction very good. I only wanted to play guitar. I didn’t want to play the piano. So that never really went over well. So in sixth grade, dad bought me a guitar and it just kind of took off from there. Obviously, the church was where I was able to use that. I started playing and playing in worship bands in junior high. By high school, I started leading worship. So I knew I wanted to do that, like that’s my passion. I felt like that was my purpose was to play guitar and lead worship. But at the same, I didn’t feel like I wanted to do full-time ministry because that’s what I grew up in. It’s like I want to do something that makes a little bit of money. I don’t want to be in the ministry full time. I can still do ministry. So I was like, oh, I don’t know, I’ll do business, whatever that means.

    John: Right.

    Chris: Yes.

    John: I have seen it on TV, right?

    Chris: Yeah, yeah. Oh, those business, that must mean you make money. So freshman year, I started as econ finance major because I had a buddy who was doing econ finance. I got into Accounting 1 and Econ 1 and halfway through that I was like, yeah, I’m not so good at this econ stuff, but the accounting seems somewhat natural and I kind of enjoy it. Accounting 1, they’re really just tricking you anyway because —

    John: They totally trick you.

    Chris: Yeah, like, “Oh, you could do this.”

    John: Right.

    Chris: And I had a girl that was in that class that I knew as well. She was an accounting major and she was like, “Why did you change your major? We’ll be in all the same classes.” I was like, “Yeah, I can do that.” And then, obviously, you get to intermediate accounting and you’re like, “Oh, this was a terrible, terrible mistake.”

    John: Right. Right, yeah. Yeah, there is a cash flow statement all of a sudden.

    Chris: Yeah.

    John: He’s like whoa, whoa, whoa!

    Chris: Yeah, you walk in and they do that law school thing where they like look to your right or your left. Half these people are going to be gone after the first test and sure enough, that was it but just struggle through it. I knew that, hey, if you can do it, if you can just get through it and get that accounting degree, then you’re going to have a job when you get out of college, whereas all my marketing management major friends, half of them are still not using their degree. I do all the on-campus recruiting for our firm, and so that’s a big thing. We’d go talk to classes and stuff. I’m like, even if you don’t want to do accounting, just get an accounting degree. You’re going to be able to use it in so many different ways.

    John: Totally, yeah.

    Chris: So it’s something I like to push people towards even if they don’t want to necessarily do accounting. That’s something where everybody is looking for people with accounting degrees. Go get your couple of years’ experience and go do something else if you want but —

    John: Right, right, because I mean everybody wants to know the numbers. I mean even if you’re in marketing, if you’re an IT, whatever, I mean it all comes down to the bottom line. So having that accounting degree definitely — I mean, like for me, it prolonged my grow-up decision.

    Chris: Oh, yeah.

    John: It was like, oh, okay, so I can get an accounting degree but still not have decided.

    Chris: Right.

    John: Like, oh, perfect, let’s do that and I’m still not decided.

    Chris: Your past is inspiring, man, just to be able to — you know, most accountants are pretty risk averse. So to go into comedy, I’d say that’s less risk averse than most accountants want to go.

    John: Well, it’s pretty crazy. I guess I was following in your dad’s inspiration with just throw yourself out there and see what happens.

    Chris: Yeah.

    John: But I appreciate it, man. I appreciate it. I mean, clearly, you made it, man. I mean you’re doing it. I mean you’re killing it. So that’s great. I guess you alluded to it earlier with the guitar. Does that occupy a lot of the nights and the weekends when you have free time?

    Chris: Well, yeah, so like I said, I feel I’m always supposed to be doing some type of ministry. That’s my purpose, I feel like. So I’m actually on staff part time as a worship pastor.

    John: Oh, great.

    Chris: The firm I worked for, Beall Barclay & Company in Fort Smith where a regional firm is just an awesome place to work — -great culture, great environment. They understand that that’s where I feel like my purpose is. They support me. Wednesday nights, they know that you’re if you’re looking for Chris at 4:00 or 4:30, he’s probably not here. He’s at the church getting ready for Wednesday nights. He’s not going to be answering emails on Sunday because he’s at the church. I’m at the church by seven o’clock on Sunday morning, getting ready for service. I’ve got a band that is about five or six folks that would play for our services on Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, do the youth worship on Wednesday night. So yeah, there are several hours during the week that I devote to that. And then when I was in college, I led worship for the BCM there. We had a full band that we traveled and we did —

    John: Wow.

    Chris: — Discipline Nows and we did 5th Quarters and different things, but then we had a Tuesday night worship service there on campus every week. So we had 300 to 350 college students every Tuesday night.

    John: Wow. That’s huge.

    Chris: Yeah, and it was awesome — just college students gathering and singing and worshiping. It was pretty neat. So I still have contact with a lot of those guys, and we still do DNows and stuff. So usually two or three years, so I have got one coming up in September where those guys will come, and we’ll get together and play again. So that’s always fun.

    John: That’s cool, man. That’s very cool, yeah. You are able to use it, your passion — you have two passions really all at the same time, so it’s stacked on top of each other which is perfect.

    Chris: Oh, yeah, for sure. And those experiences of leading people in college, of putting services together and learning how to lead musicians which is kind of like hurting cats, man.

    John: Oh, totally.

    Chris: Those cats are just — they don’t really listen. You tell them to be here at this time and they may show up, they may not. Who knows?

    John: Right, right.

    Chris: I feel like those experiences have helped me so much even in accounting and firm leadership of how to deal with people, how to be a leader.

    John: Right, right. And just thinking ahead and, like you said, producing shows. So you’re thinking of all the different aspects that are involved?

    Chris: Yeah, the organization and the detail that goes into that stuff is crazy and people don’t realize it. So I think that has helped me on the accounting side of being that detail-oriented auditor, you know.

    John: Right, right, yeah. So is there a more cool or rewarding type of story from what you’re doing now?

    Chris: I think just I’m really blessed and excited that the things, that they work together. So doing the music at church and then also being able to do it here at the firm. So like I said, with the recruiting stuff, I have done the last — this will be the fourth year we’ve put it on. I have done a coffee house, open house coffee house night for recruiting here at the firm.

    John: Oh, that’s cool, yeah.

    Chris: Yeah, so I feel like it’s kind of like football recruiting. You want to get kids into your facilities and see what you have to offer.

    John: Right, right.

    Chris: Like college football coach or something. So we have a pretty neat office. Everybody has their own office. We don’t have any cubicles in the middle of doing a renovation on our attic space where I’m creating like a really cool industrial loft to fill open work space.

    John: Okay, yeah.

    Chris: So trying to find a way to get kids in and make them think that we’re cooler than we really are.

    John: Right. You’re cool, man. Don’t even tell yourself that.

    Chris: Yeah, so like trying to figure out what kids want, you know. Okay, what do these hipster kids want? Oh, they like coffee, right? College kids like coffee. So let’s do a coffee house in our training room. So we move all the desk and tables out and we bring in couches and bring in a barista, bring in high top tables.

    John: Wow, look at you, yeah.

    Chris: Yeah. And then in the corner of the training room, I set up a stage. I get up there and play acoustic music. Everybody just gets to hang out and will do office tours. So we have 15 or 20 of our staff here, and we’ll have 30 to 50 college students from the universities that we recruit come in. It’s really a neat opportunity just for those students to kind of pick the brains of accounting staff and see what a real accounting firm looks like even though it looks cooler on that night in most days.

    John: Right, right.

    Chris: You get the cool kids in accounting which is kind of like your joke about the fastest minivan. Cool kids in accounting is maybe not the exact —

    John: It’s all relative, right? It’s all relative. But I mean, there are plenty. That’s the thing is we believe that stereotype, but there is people like you, there is people like Joe, there’s people like me, the kids you’re recruiting.

    Chris: Yeah.

    John: I guess I generously lob myself in with you guys. There is a lot of us out there. That’s the thing is you want to find those ones because those are the ones that you want to be around every day.

    Chris: Oh, yeah. The thing with recruiting is I can go get a 4.0 student who just sits in their dorm room or in the library and studies all the time and has no social interaction, but I want to go after the kids that work and are juggling different things because public accounting, you got to juggle a lot of things. So if I can find a kid who is doing lots of stuff on campus and working and going to class and they have a 3.2 or 3.4, to me that person is more valuable if they can go in and talk to clients and juggle five or six different things and somebody who is going to come and just do the technical work and that’s it.

    John: Right, right. No, absolutely. I mean as one of those kids, I highly recommend it.

    Chris: Yeah. I feel like on the recruiting side is we’re always after the best kids and, like I said, everybody wants accounting majors and the recruiting grounds for accounting students is crazy.

    John: Right, right.

    Chris: So trying to just separate yourself is hard. So that’s kind of what I’m trying to do.

    John: Yeah. Well, I mean I love that idea because it’s something where it allows people to see that it’s okay to have passions outside of work and bring them to the office like you’re doing, not only just talking about it but straight up doing it there.

    Chris: Yeah.

    John: And then it also creates that casual atmosphere where people’s guards are down. I have spoken at many recruiting events on campuses for firms. They’ll bring me in as part of it, and the kids are just so nervous, I mean so nervous. And I’ll tell them, trust me, no one is going to remember you unless you throw up on somebody. No matter what you say, good or bad, no one is going to remember you unless it’s ridiculous. So just calm down, be yourself, and that’s what’ll matter most.

    Chris: Yeah.

    John: But, you know, they don’t believe me because I’m just some old guy that —

    Chris: The funny guy.

    John: Right, right, exactly. But I think that’s a great idea and what a cool thing.

    Chris: Yeah. And like you said to being nervous is that’s another good thing about the coffee house because we want it to really be laid back. We tell them, “Don’t bring your resumes. Wear jeans. Come and just relax.” Because you go to the Meet the Firm events, right? And there’s all the tables and all the firms and everybody has got their suits on, they’ve got their resumes.

    John: Right.

    Chris: It’s like this is not really how this kid is. This is just how he’s acting in this environment. So that’s another great thing about the coffee house is you can try to get those kids in a more laid- back environment and really start to pick up on their personalities.

    John: Yeah, no, that’s fantastic. So fantastic. I’m curious of how did your passions for playing guitar and leading worship come up in the office? Was it part of the interview process?

    Chris: Yeah, as far as, you know, a lot of times, why students, like I said, what do you like to do outside of studying your accounting books. I’m sure you do eight hours a day and just getting those answers of I was able to say, “Well, you know, I lead worship for the BCN. I do this and I do that.” So they kind of knew going into it, and then I think a lot of it is just — I’ve got to praise the firm I work for of allowing me, you know, giving me the opportunities to do these things that I enjoy whether it be playing music, whether it be the recruiting stuff or helping with marketing. They’ve just been open to, okay, this guy has a passion for these things, not just auditing. We need to let him do it. So I credit the firm a lot for giving me the opportunities to do those things and really put people forward. I mean we have a lot of our partners in upper management where the firm really trust to put those people forward. We’ve got a lot of people that have been on the Arkansas Business 40 in Their 40s type deal. The last couple of years, I actually received the Arkansas Business 20 in Their 20s and the Northwest Arkansas Business Fast 15.

    John: Congrats, man.

    Chris: Oh, yeah. It’s not anything that I have done. It’s just a firm saying, hey, here is the person that we want to represent us. Let’s stick them out there. It’s good marketing for us. You are not just a number. You’re an important piece of this firm. And that’s how we try to treat everybody.

    John: Yeah, no, that’s so cool, man. Was it something that you actually had on your resume?

    Chris: Oh, yeah.

    John: Great.

    Chris: My sophomore year college actually, that’s when I went on staff at a church there where our college was. So that was on my resume of, you know, that’s one of my jobs is I’m a worship pastor. A lot of the folks here at this firm are pretty — I feel like we’re a faith-based kind of firm and organization, so I mean that was very appealing to a lot of the partners and folks.

    John: Sure.

    Chris: And it’s very a family-friendly environment. It was neat to be able to marry those two things together. I told them, you know, this is my passion in the accounting. I want to be as good as I can at it, and I want to be a partner one day, and I want to leave a legacy on this firm, but at the same time my purpose is leading worship. It’s just a really good way to fund it.

    John: Right, right, right. That’s so cool that you’re able to open about it and that they’re receptive.

    Chris: Yeah.

    John: Because let’s be honest, very few of us are really that passionate about accounting or law or engineering. If you are a gazillionaire, would you still be a tax accountant?

    Chris: Yeah. Probably not.

    John: I’m going to say no, right.

    Chris: Yeah, that’s something I tell students, like when they ask, what is the difference in your firm? Why should I come there? I say, well, I could go do accounting anywhere but I really don’t like accounting that much. I enjoy it but it’s not what I would pick to do. But the difference in Beall Barclay and here is the people — the people that I get to work with, the clients I get to work for — that’s the differences. If you can find a place where you enjoy the people, where you enjoy what they allow you to do, where you can generally have friendships and real relationships with people, then that’s where you want to be. I feel like that’s the difference when people ask because, like I said, I can do accounting — like you said, we can go do accounting anywhere. The things in a place where you can enjoy it and enjoy the people you’re with, then that’s where you need to be.

    John: Yeah. No, that’s exactly — I mean that’s dead on right there because it is the people, it’s the culture. That’s what differentiates a firm. It’s each individual’s hobbies and passion is what differentiates your career within that.

    Chris: Oh, yeah. We’ve got folks that love to run and do marathons and that kind of stuff. We’ve got four or five folks that really like to do that. So we’ve got like a Beall Barclay running team.

    John: Nice.

    Chris: They’ll go do all the 5Ks and the half marathons and all that kind of stuff.

    John: Those people are crazy. I don’t know what the hell they’re doing.

    Chris: Yeah, for sure. I don’t know what they’re doing.

    John: Right. That’s so cool that right there on the resume because when I speak to firms and at conferences, I’ll put up my old resume and at the bottom is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Indiana and then professional standup comedian. Every interview I went on was about five minutes of accounting and my Notre Dame degree, and then the next 25 minutes was “So comedy, huh? What’s that all about?”

    Chris: Yeah, yeah.

    John: And then you walk out with a job offer.

    Chris: Great conversation.

    John: Yeah, totally, man. So I can just imagine — I mean your interviews were very little to do about accounting and a lot more of this “So worship pastor. What’s that all about? Tell me.”

    Chris: Yeah, no doubt. And those were the interviews I like. When I’m interviewing kids is we can teach you the accounting. I want our interview to be a conversation. If I’m just going down to your resume, asking random Internet resume questions, then it’s probably not a very good interview.

    John: Right.

    Chris: If we can just have a conversation, then it’s going to be a much better interview.

    John: That’s such an excellent point. What kind of tree would you — oh, I’m just going to go. I’m just going to leave.

    Chris: Yeah, yeah. I do all the on-campus interviews, and then we’ll bring them back to the office for office interviews. And we’ll kind of send them through a car wash where the interview was like groups of two, like three or four groups of two.

    John: Okay, yeah.

    Chris: And last year, I went in one where these other two people were doing the interview, and I just kind of sat in on it. They started asking questions like that and I was like, “I got to get out of here. I can’t take this.”

    John: Right, right. That’s funny. That’s so funny. It sounds like the culture there are Beall Barclay is really fantastic. So what are things that you guys do to make it so unique and specifically for people to be open to share and to celebrate these passions that people have outside of work?

    Chris: Like you said, I think just being open to know that a balanced life is important and that’s why a lot of the big four firms, they get those recruits and they just try to get as many chargeable hours as they can out of them in two or three years and then they expect them to leave.

    John: Right.

    Chris: Our environment doesn’t really work that way. If I want to move up to the next level, then I have to have somebody that pushes me up, somebody else that stays. So it’s like, okay, how do we get people to stay? We’ve got to make it enjoyable.

    John: Right.

    Chris: So doing things like the running club. And then we have been in Fort Smith for 50 years, so we do a lot of community service stuff to give back as well as just the fun stuff. We’ve got a lady in our word processing department. We love her to death, but she is crazy as a loon. She comes up with a theme for tax season.

    John: Okay, okay.

    Chris: So she’ll be like — I think my first tax season was like around the world in 80 days of tax season, and we’ve done all kinds of different ones. So every other week or so, we’ll have a tax season social down the training room because, like I say, we all have our own offices so it’s really just to go in your office for 10 hours a day and never come out and never talk to anybody.

    John: Right, right.

    Chris: So it gets everybody out of their office to have that time of fellowship, to have that time of just blowing off tax season steam. We’d go down to the training room, and she’ll have it decorated all crazy. And we’ll do games whether it be Minute to Win It games or old game show stuff, and we’ll eat because we forget to eat. So we’ll have an afternoon snack or lunch and just kind of hang out for 30 minutes to an hour, play games and laugh and just kind of get some of that tax season steam out of the way. I have brought in like a boxing ring with the huge boxing gloves. You could pay to go in there, fight a partner and stuff. So that’s fun.

    John: That’s funny. Why is this partner always in there?

    Chris: Yeah. No, you just stay in there.

    John: Yeah, yeah. You just stay. We’re all taking shots. That’s funny, man. That’s funny.

    Chris: We do quarterly family events. So we’ll have everybody take their family to the ball park to a baseball game. We’ve done bowling nights. We’ve done movie nights. So stuff like that, just to build those relationships. Like I said, it comes down to the relationships that you have with the people you work with. So anything we can do to increase those relationships, to increase the buy in, that’s what keeps people here, I think.

    John: Yeah, yeah. I mean that’s so fantastic, man. That’s really, really perfect. How much do you think it’s on the organization to kind of foster that culture, or how much is it on the individual to whether get the ball rolling or to jump in?

    Chris: I mean it’s got to be on both sides because if I was trying to do all the stuff but didn’t have the support of the organization, it will fall flat. We have those people at the top that see the need for it, that know that the next generation is coming. They want to keep people around because we’re going to fund their retirement, right?

    John: Right. There you go.

    Chris: But I think for them to have the vision and then allow people to act on that. But at the same time, if they had the vision and the staff didn’t have any buy-in and they didn’t really care, then it wouldn’t work either. So I think it definitely has to be on both sides, and that’s where it goes back to important for those kids to find the right place.

    John: Right.

    Chris: Football coaches are always talking about the fit. Is this the right fit for us? Are we the right fit for him? So I try to think in that mindset as well. If you got to find the people that are right fit, you may find somebody that you like but they may not be the right fit for your mix of people that you have.

    John: Right, right. No, absolutely, absolutely. You guys have several offices, so some of the offices might have a different culture than the others.

    Chris: Yeah. That is something that’s really hard. We’ve got three locations right now, and transferring that culture between locations is something that is difficult. How do we continue to grow? How do we get bigger? Protecting the culture is still number one in my mind because that’s what sets us apart. So how do we do that and still protect the culture and transfer that culture to other locations?

    John: Yeah, yeah. Well, they’re in good hands with you, man. That’s for sure. That’s for sure. I guess one last thing is just if there is somebody listening that maybe does play guitar or likes to lead worship or something like that and they think, no one cares, no one else does this in my firm or my office, do you have any words of encouragement no matter what somebody’s hobby or passions are to open up and share those?

    Chris: Yeah, I mean it goes back to that beginning introvert, extrovert question of you just got to get out there. If you’re passionate about something, make it known whether it’s running, whether it’s playing guitar, whether it’s brewing your own beer. We got like two or three people here that that’s their thing; they like to brew their own beer.

    John: Right, right. Do they know that it’s for sale at the store?

    Chris: Yeah. Don’t you have other things?

    John: Maybe not on Sundays down there but, you know, whatever.

    Chris: Yeah. Anything like that, like you said, it’s finding a place where you can use it whether it be for me who is recruiting or at church, just finding a place where you can interact whether it’s running community, whether it’s the biking community. We have a big biking community in Fort Smith. We’ve got people that use that opportunity as networking for the firm as well with their passion of, okay, I can meet people out here doing this. We’ve got one guy that’s really big into cars, and he actually has a business where he sets up these rallies where there will be like a hundred people and he guides them around. They’ll just drive to Colorado and then over to California and back. He’ll lit up all the stops along the way. He loves cars. He loves to do stuff with cars. So doing that and being able to network with those people and build relationships.

    John: Yeah, yeah. That’s exactly it. There might not be a charge code for some of the stuff that you do, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. That’s very cool that Beall Barclay’s leaderships sees that and encourages that and celebrates that. So that’s awesome, man. This has been so great, Chris. I mean really, really great. But before I make the trip down to Arkansas and hang out and I would really just watch; I’m terrible singer.

    Chris: No, we need to have you come down for the coffee house and do jokes, man. That’d be awesome.

    John: That would be so fun, actually. That would be really, really fun.

    Chris: Yeah. We’ll have to work on that.

    John: Yeah, yeah. But before I do that, I do have to run you through my rapid-fire 17 questions.

    Chris: Oh, shoot.

    John: It’s just a thing that I do. So I think you’re going to kill it just fine.

    Chris: Let’s do it.

    John: So let me see here. Just let me fire this thing up here. There we go. Here we go. If Joe Rugger could do it, you could do it.

    Chris: I don’t know.

    John: All right. Here we go. Here we go. All right, I’ll start you out easy. I’ll start you out super easy. All right, what’s your favorite color?

    Chris: Razorback red, man.

    John: Oh, there you go. How about a least favorite color?

    Chris: Texas burnt orange.

    John: I saw that coming from a mile away. It’s so perfect. Are you more jeans or khakis?

    Chris: Oh, I’ll go with jeans.

    John: Sure, sure. Do you have a favorite comedian?

    Chris: Oh, Brian Regan.

    John: Oh, Brian Regan, a solid answer, also my favorite. So you just redeemed yourself.

    Chris: Okay.

    John: How about when it comes to computers, more PC or a Mac?

    Chris: I’ll say Mac just because I grew up on Mac.

    John: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

    Chris: I’d go with cookie dough.

    John: Yeah, solid answer. There you go. Are you more Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Chris: Oh, Star Wars, definitely.

    John: Definitely. How about when it comes to financials, more balance sheet or income statement?

    Chris: I’d go balance sheet.

    John: Balance sheet? Going back to when you were a kid, what was your favorite activity in gym class?

    Chris: I would say just anything running because I was pretty fast. So I like just to race people in gym.

    John: Oh, there you go. Because you win, nice.

    Chris: For sure.

    John: All right. How about do you have a favorite number?

    Chris: I’d go with three. That was my number in high school and then all the sports and stuff is three.

    John: Yeah, yeah. No, solid. Do you have a favorite TV show maybe of all time?

    Chris: I really liked the White Collar.

    John: Oh, yeah. Yeah. That’s a good show. What’s a typical breakfast?

    Chris: If you ask people around here, it’d be strawberry pop tarts.

    John: There you go. There you go. Are you more oceans or mountains?

    Chris: Mountains, yeah.

    John: Mountains, yeah. Are you more cats or dogs?

    Chris: Dogs.

    John: Dogs, there you go. How about pens or pencils?

    Chris: I will go with pencil.

    John: Pencil, all right. And sudoku or crossword puzzle?

    Chris: Sudoku.

    John: There you go. And the last one, the favorite thing you own or the favorite thing you have?

    Chris: It’s got to be my guitar.

    John: Yeah, man, that’s awesome. Very cool. Well, thank you so much, Chris. This was so fantastic. Thanks for being with me on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Chris: Man, thank you, John. It was fun. I enjoy it.

    John: Wow. That was so great. I loved how Chris said, “It comes down to the relationships you have with the people you work with.” I mean that applies to both clients and co-workers. And then you went on to add, you can do accounting anywhere. If you find a place where you enjoy the people you’re with, that’s where you need to be. I mean that’s exactly it. There is a lot more to this job and this career than the technical skills, which is all we’re ever taught from the very beginning. So don’t forget to bring your personality to work or to be the best that you can be.

    If you’d like to see some pictures of Chris and connect with him on social media, be sure to go to greenapplepodcast.com. And while you’re on the page, please click that big green button and do the anonymous research survey about firm culture. Thanks again for the five-star ratings 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, which is to go out and be a green apple.

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