Episode 129 – Wade Becker

Wade gets his adrenaline pumping for better business connections


Wade Becker is always up for an adventure – whether it’s flying in his experimental class airplane or SCUBA diving in the Palau Islands in the South Pacific. As a kid, he would read the National Geographic magazines dreaming of being able to explore other parts of the world. Thanks to the flexibility of working in public accounting, he’s been able to do just that.

In this episode, Wade and I talk about how “business wasn’t meant to be boring.” Clients always reach out looking for technical expertise but by the end of that first conversation, he’s interested in creating a deeper connection with that person – usually by asking about their passions and interests outside of work. He finds it’s always good to have a plethora of things to talk about with a client, in the same way that “a painting that is one color is typically not as stimulating as something that you see many different colors on.”

Wade Becker is a Regional Managing Partner at RKL, overseeing the Capital Region Offices (Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg).

He graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance. He later attended the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program.

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Other pictures of Wade

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Wade with one of the airplanes

Motorcycling on Pacific Ocean beach whilst in Costa Rica

Snowboarding in Breckenridge

Catching air on a wakeboard

Taking a hang gliding lesson

Wade’s links



  • Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close

    Hello. This is John Garrett and welcome to Episode 129 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 red apple world. I’m always so fascinated how we usually try to stand out with our technical expertise. And I’m here to shine a light each week on someone who understands that expertise isn’t always earned in degrees and certifications. Sometimes its experiences from your passions and interests outside of work that actually make you better at your job. This week, you’ll hear how these passions have actually allowed my guest to create some remarkable relationships making it so much easier for him to be excited to do his job every single day.

    Really quickly, I’m doing some research. It’s super short, one-minute anonymous survey about firm culture and how maybe the Green Apple message might apply in your world. So if you’ve got just 60 seconds, please head to greenapplepodcast.com. You click the big green button there, answer a few quick questions. Again, it’s totally anonymous and I really, really appreciate the help as I’m in the process of writing a book that will be out later this year.

    Thank you so much to everyone for hitting subscribe so you don’t miss any of the show’s future episodes and all the cool guests that I have like this week’s Wade Becker. He’s a regional managing partner at RKL in Central Pennsylvania and have spoken at several RKL events that I could truly vouch for them being a really, really great firm. Wade, you’re definitely a part of that. So I’m so excited to have you with me today on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Wade: I’m happy to be here.

    John: I gave everybody a little bit of an introduction about you but maybe in your own words, what you’re doing there with RKL and a little bit of maybe how you got there.

    Wade: Yeah, sure. I’m the Area Regional Managing Partner for the capital region of RKL at this point in time. What that means is I oversee two offices in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and the Kennett Square, Pennsylvania which is right across the river. How I got here is somewhat interesting. I started my career with Ernst & Young and it said that I was going to spend two years in public accounting and then move on.

    John: Right.

    Wade: And here I am 27 years later still in public accounting. So I guess it means it’s been a good run.

    John: Yeah. They trapped you. They trapped you.

    Wade: They trapped me.

    John: Yeah. That’s fantastic man. Congratulations. That’s really cool, really cool, yeah. I guess one thing that begs the question is just how did you get into accounting? I mean what made you want to choose it?

    Wade: Well, it’s interesting. I was in college and I was actually a finance major and was set on a Wall Street to a certain extent thinking about Wall Street and talked with one of my finance professors. He actually have said to me, he goes, “I know I’m a finance professor but,” he said, “If you want to be good in this profession, you really need to understand what’s driving the numbers. So take a couple accounting classes and I think it will serve you well.” If I took up a couple of accounting classes, I realized things somewhat clicked in that world for me a little bit.

    John: Right.

    Wade: And I ended up taking enough credits to sit for the CPA exam. As I said, it was going to be two years and move on and I found a lot of neat things in the profession that I enjoyed.

    John: Right.

    Wade: I was out meeting a lot of interesting clients and seeing a lot of interesting companies on the audit side of the practice.

    John: Right, yeah. Because I mean that’s the thing is I think what people think we are and then once you get into it, you’re like, wow, this is totally different than the brochure. This is actually kind of cool. There’s normal people here. I guess just that stereotype frustrates me sometimes.

    Wade: I mean I think when I was in college, there was sort of a thought process that the accountants I think sat at a dark room. It’s somewhere in a building. Even if you were an auditor, you got put in a basement somewhere in —

    John: Right.

    Wade: In a building and didn’t see the light and day too much. Frankly, I found — when I was with Ernst & Young, I was traveling and got to see a good portion of the country.

    John: Sure.

    Wade: For lack of a better term, well, somebody else is dying and you know I’m coming out of college. I didn’t have a great deal of money. I put myself through school. So it created through that opportunity for me to see the country. I like to explore. You worked hard but if you planned your days right, you were able to get a couple hours of I’ll say adventure while you’re travelling.

    John: Right, yeah, exactly. I guess, I mean that leads right into the next question that I was going to ask is just the adventures in what have you is just what hobby or a passion. When you do have some free time there, what do you love to do?

    Wade: It’s interesting, I’ve got a lot of hobbies. In the last few years, I’ve decided I need to focus on some of those more and to enjoy those at a deeper level. But I was lucky enough when I was young, I have an opportunity to fly in a small aircraft. And so, one of the things I really enjoy outside of work is aviation. I do have my private pilot’s license in my instrument rating for aircraft. So I spent some of my free time doing that.

    John: Sweet.

    Wade: I enjoy doing that. You have to take your mind totally off for it to —

    John: Right. That’s right.

    Wade: Make that a successful venture especially on the landing.

    John: Right. The taking off, pretty easy. The landing part, focus. Right.

    Wade: Yeah, so I mean that’s one thing. I enjoy wakeboarding, water skiing. I shoot sporting clays on an occasional basis, do some target shooting and scuba diving. I dove a good portion of the Caribbean and some in the South Pacific.

    John: Wow.

    Wade: Other areas that I enjoy as well.

    John: Yeah.

    Wade: Any type of adventure, I can explore new arenas, I’ll say it that way.

    John: Right. No. That’s awesome. I mean, I guess how did you get into the flying? Clearly, when I was a little kid, I wanted to be a pilot. Actually when I was 16, I did Cessna like a one flight sort of a thing and it was really cool. But I mean what made you want to get into that and then even pursue that?

    Wade: When I was a kid, I always think as most kids do. You look up to the sky and see the plane fly and go “God, it would be so nice to be free and able to just do anything with no rules, no lines, no road, no stop signs.”

    John: Right.

    Wade: Although there are lots of rules once you actually start getting into it.

    John: Right.

    Wade: Unfortunately, I think relatively early in life, I had mentioned to someone about, you know I want to get my pilot’s license I think. It was a pretty impactful moment in my life and I’ve carried it forward with me and he said, “Do you know the only thing that will keep you from getting your license?” Then I said, “Well, what’s that?” And then he said, “You.”

    John: Wow, yeah.

    Wade: It was pretty impactful. I mean obviously there are some physical requirements from a site perspective and things of that nature. But a lot of people start training for their pilot’s license and they just never finish.

    John: Right.

    Wade: If you look at the number, it’s somewhat staggering to be honest for people go take a couple flying lessons and it is a commitment that you make the commitment and you got to demonstrate proficiency.

    John: Right.

    Wade: Obviously, if you don’t, not a good outcome.

    John: Right. Yeah. That has been going on here. Right?

    Wade: But it was a good impact early in my life because I really use that a lot of times now and even with in work or pursuits of business development or pursuits of developing people that I think have potential and essentially sort of keeping your nose to the grindstone for lack of a better term is a lot of times, if you want to do something, the only thing it’s going to prevent you from doing that is you.

    John: Right.

    Wade: In a lot of cases and a lot of times it’s about prioritization and essentially letting some of the noise go by for lack of a better term and focus on what’s really important.

    John: Right, yeah, or just getting out of your own head.

    Wade: Right.

    John: A lot of times, I mean I do it to myself where I build something up to be bigger than what it really is or I mean especially when it comes to this whole message of sharing hobbies and passions, I find from all the people that I have talked with, they’re kind of what are you to do with that first because it’s not part of the accounting curriculum. So why would anyone want to know about it? But then once you tell people, they’re like, “What, that’s awesome.” What are some of the cooler places you’ve flown or do you fly far or is it more of just around and then come back to the same airport or?

    Wade: No. I have done trips. I’m all up and down the East Coast. I have actually been out to — I reside in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

    John: Right.

    Wade: I have flown out as far west as Manhattan, Kansas is probably the furthest I’ve been.

    John: Wow.

    Wade: I have been down to Key West.

    John: Okay.

    Wade: I have some friends down South Carolina.

    John: Right.

    Wade: So I get down to South Carolina nonstop and then I do have a small lake house up in Upstate New York. I use it actually in summer to get up there instead of the five-hour drive from Central PA.

    John: Right. Yeah.

    Wade: And we’ll hop in a small plane and get there an hour-and-a-half.

    John: Yeah, that’s for sure. That’s way better than driving through Scranton, that’s for sure.

    Wade: The Wall Street has the office.

    John: Right, it does.

    Wade: But it does, it does.

    John: That’s awesome.

    Wade: It is one of those things that it’s a nice convenience to have and I’m lucky to have it.

    John: Right.

    Wade: One of the things that’s probably more interesting about the airplane I fly is it is what they call an experimental class airplane.

    John: Oh, okay.

    Wade: So it allows me to do some of the maintenance and upkeep on the aircraft myself meeting so many certain requirements to the things of that nature. But some people, when they see experimental which my aircraft has to be labeled in that manner.

    John: Right.

    Wade: It does create some interesting conversations especially — it’s the last half of the word, it says mental.

    John: Right, right.

    John: Is it like a big sticker on the side of it like just experimental?

    Wade: Yeah. Well, it’s interesting. That class of aircraft has to be labeled in that manner.

    John: Right.

    Wade: They’re a very safe aircraft. I mean obviously, the FAA will not allow them to fly.

    John: Right.

    Wade: If that was not the case but it is an interesting components to the commute every now and then when I take somebody with me.

    John: Yeah. That’s fantastic man. That’s really neat. That’s really neat. And then the scuba, I mean I have to ask being in Central PA, how do you get into scuba? Like you fall into a lake and you’re like oh, I guess I’ll stay down here. Really.

    Wade: That’s one of those things too where as a kid — obviously, I’m dating myself here but we didn’t have a lot of the cable networks when I was a young child as we have today. So I sort of got enthralled by looking at National Geographic.

    John: Okay.

    Wade: As a kid and I would spend hours paging through those and my grandparents and parents both subscribe to that magazine. That sort of drove that adventure spirit I think as well at seeing some of these bodies of water around the world.

    John: Right.

    Wade: And understanding — wanting to understand that little deeper. I took that up with a passion to a certain extent in the late ’90s to the early 2000s. I got myself the advanced certification and then the whole way through a rescue diver certification.

    John: Wow.

    Wade: Then I spent a number of years, I still do it on probably two or three times a year, try to get out in a small trip somewhere.

    John: Right.

    Wade: But in Central PA, yes, you dive in quarries.

    John: There you go. Okay. Sort of YMCA pool or no, I’m just kidding. I’m joking.

    Wade: You start there but —

    John: Right, right.

    Wade: Its good training in the deep, dark quarries of Central PA.

    John: Yeah.

    Wade: The water is cold. It does stresses you a little more. So when you get down to the Caribbean and the South Pacific, it really feels like a vacation.

    John: Right, right. Yeah. Do you have a favorite place you’ve scubaed or dove I guess?

    Wade: Scuba dove.

    John: Scuba dove.

    Wade: Yeah.

    John: Right.

    Wade: Yeah. I mean, the most sort of memorable place that I went is the Palau Islands in the South Pacific.

    John: Wow, yeah.

    Wade: I had an opportunity to go with some friends that had been there before, went on a sailboat that had compressor tanks on the back. And so we really didn’t even have to come to shore at all for ten days and just sailed the Palau Islands and did four to five dives a day.

    John: Wow.

    Wade: And just kind of pulled out the sailboat. That was pretty neat. It was one of the things that you talk about sort of time into work is the flexibility of this profession allowed me to do that. That’s a trip that honestly I didn’t think I would ever do until I probably retired.

    John: Right.

    Wade: But I took essentially 15 days to do that and working with a larger firm, I was able to coordinate with some of my colleagues to take care of some of my client’s situations while I was gone. Then halfway through the day, I was halfway through the trip I mean.

    John: Right.

    Wade: Checked into the Internet cafe and got myself up to speed on a few things, moved a couple of projects along and then hopped back on the boat for another seven days.

    John: Right. That’s fantastic man. That’s so fantastic. That’s really cool.

    Wade: Yes.

    John: That’s really cool. So clearly, being a pilot and all the other adventures, scuba things like that comes up at work. This is something that coworkers and clients know about you?

    Wade: Yeah. I mean it is something that you talk about. It’s obvious, you have to wait to the right context to the conversation.

    John: Yeah.

    Wade: As an opening components to a conversation probably doesn’t work well. But I think as people get to know you, they find it fascinating, find them interesting. It creates talking points that also I think opens up windows of what some of those people like to adventure and do.

    John: Right.

    Wade: In many cases, some of the people who are brought across want to learn a little bit more about some of my hobbies and vice versa. Many times I’ve, fascinated by some of the other hobbies that are out there in this world.

    John: Right.

    Wade: And what some of people do and I think it creates a much deeper connection at times versus connecting over the FASB Codification.

    John: Right, right, right. I mean come on. Really. That’s where it’s at right there.

    Wade: Right.

    John: No. I mean that’s sort of fascinating that you said like — when the time is right and we’ll get to that in a minute. Once you start to open up a little bit, then all of a sudden it’s like that reciprocity where they feel compelled to also share something. And then all of a sudden, you look at them in a different way, in a much stronger deeper way where it’s like wow. Now, I understand why you do what you do or why you’re never here on Fridays or why, whatever it is type of a thing. The deeper connection is really where it’s at.

    Unfortunately, no business school or CPE class is really teaching us that unfortunately and I’m not sure why. But yeah, so when do you — I guess a lot of people are like well, I don’t share because no one is going to care or no one has the same hobby I do and clearly you’re in that boat, not too many pilots flying to go scuba from the accounting world. But I guess, when do you look for that opportunity to bring that up? Do you look to do it early on or sometimes it just never comes up at all? I guess just looking for people listening how to help them along on this.

    Wade: Yeah, I think it’s one of those things that when I meet with an organization or an individual, many times I feel, obviously they’re reaching out to our organization because of our technical background and understanding of the accounting business finance world. But you know, a lot of times you go out. We have some of the small chat. One of the things I always like to do before I sort of walk out of that first interaction with someone is ask them what do you like to do?

    John: Right.

    Wade: Then you’re not essentially here at the business world.

    John: Right.

    Wade: What do you do when you get outside of work to sort of kick back? I always try to ask that question in my interaction and many times they end speaking more about their passions which I think is obviously more interesting to me.

    John: Right.

    Wade: This is learning about something new because I do thrive on learning new things.

    John: Right.

    Wade: But in many times they’ll reciprocate because you have shown an interest in what do they like to do outside of work. Sometimes its hobby, sometimes it’s family, sometimes it’s traveling, it’s a multitude of things.

    John: Right, sure.

    Wade: I think it creates that base level connection.

    John: Yeah.

    Wade: I think when they in turn reflect on you and say, “What do you like to do?” I think it’s good to have a cluster of things that you can talk about.

    John: Right.

    Wade: Some people are very one tracked and that’s not a bad thing. With that, it’s not a bad component to somebody. But just getting one nugget about what somebody enjoys doing outside of the day to day work because most of us at some point throughout the year, we want to break from our work and we want to —

    John: Yeah.

    Wade: Since you’d be able to talk with somebody, connect to somebody outside of our work, what defines us through work?

    John: Yeah. That’s really fascinating is how we always let our jobs define us and that’s all that we do. I mean it’s like that first question of so what do you do? And I would love it if you were like I fly to go do scuba and then they’re like, what for a living? No, not for a living but that’s what I do. I like to pay for that. I’m an accountant. It’s like oh, okay. It’s just always like — because no one has ever said, “Oh, tell me more of that accounting stuff.”

    Wade: Right.

    John: It’s always, what? Why? What kind of plane? What? You know, all those questions. There’s never a follow-up question on, oh, I’m an accountant. It’s always just so fascinating to me and I love it how you just throw it out there at the tail end of the conversation. It’s like look, I know what I’m doing but I also care about you as a person. I’m genuinely interested in you. So what do you like to do? Who are you for real? I love it. Obviously, having an answer for when they ask back is pretty crucial because if you’re like no, no, I just do more work and read FASBs.

    Wade: Yeah. Well, I think it’s an interesting point to bring up but I think you and I might have touched on this one other point of time is — another time that I tend to bring up my hobbies over my work is like business mixers and things to that nature.

    John: Right.

    Wade: So I had an interaction with a gentleman from Ireland who had spent some time in the US and he sort of mentioned to me that he found it very fascinating when you were out. Even if he was out for refreshments after work things to that nature, somebody would talk to him and within the first three questions, they would say, “Well, what do you do?” And he said, “I found it very unique about Americans that they really want to say the first three to five questions, what do you do?” He goes, “I feel like I’m almost getting typeset as to what my social economic class is based on that question.”

    John: Right.

    Wade: It sort of hit me a little bit. And so a lot of times now, I really try hard when somebody ask me especially if I’m out maybe a mix or function where it might be a number of professionals from different industries and things of that nature when somebody asked me, “Well, what do you do?” I try to respond with, “Well, I like the outdoors a lot. I like to be outside. I love scuba diving so on and so forth. It’s always interesting because typically, the person sort of pauses a second.

    John: Yeah.

    Wade: And you see him sort of like, it really engages them for a second like, hey, that’s not the typical answer right here.

    John: Totally, totally, yeah. That’s great because they were probably thinking, you know what, you look like an accountant. I’m teasing, man.

    Wade: Yeah.

    John: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right, right, right. But no, but it’s that pattern interrupt. It’s that standard answer and those people are going to remember you more. I mean it’s like you’re sticky now. It’s like, man, you were the guy that does all the adventure stuff. I don’t know what his job was but he does all this other cool stuff. Yeah. Well, that’s why we’re here, right? To make a difference. Yeah, I mean I love that man. That’s fascinating. So I guess why do you think that stereotype exists? The stereotypical accountant and is it a real thing or is it kind of just goes to that. We’re all acting, chasing whatever.

    Wade: Well, I do. I do think there is a stereotype to the people in the profession. I think it’s slowly changing but it still exists out there.

    John: Right.

    Wade: Because when I do get in some of these conversations where I start talking about some of my passions for some people doing the adventure sports, I start talking to somebody about he has an album, the lake today wakeboarding and essentially decided to grab the tanks out of the boat and to dive it at the end of the day. People are like, that just doesn’t sound like an accountant. And so what does an account supposed to do?

    John: Right, exactly.

    Wade: When they’re not accounting.

    John: I mean I’m a partner. I think I’m pretty good at this accounting thing. Maybe you’re wrong in your assessment of what — yeah, an accountant is. But yeah. .

    Wade: Yeah, so I think there still definitely a stereotype out there.

    John: Right.

    Wade: I think as time moves on and I think people communicate more and more and I think social media helps out a little bit. Some of the programs at some of the accounting associations, the AICPA, the PICPA, New York State Society have done to try to show that the accounting is a good profession that can provide you a good living and an income stream throughout your life that it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything besides that.

    John: Right.

    Wade: I think it’s helping to a certain extent but I still think some people talk to some of the college kids, I should say high school kids going to college. So I really enjoy talking to high school kids about the future and that the accounting finance world is not a bad avenue to take a look at if that interests you.

    John: Right.

    Wade: But I think there is still a thought process that is not quite as glamorous as maybe some of the media roles and sportscasting and things to that nature but there’s obviously a lot more I’ll say opportunity in jobs in the sector of finance business, accounting and things of that nature.

    John: Right. No. You’re exactly right. I guess one question that I do want to get to is just how much do you think it’s on the organization to create a culture where people can share and open up and talk about these hobbies and passions they like to do? Or how much is it on the individual to maybe within a small circle make that happen or to buy into what the firm culture is?

    Wade: Well, I think from a perspective of the organization, I think it’s a responsibility of the organization to drive the culture they want in their organization and it can’t just happen. You have to take ownership for it.

    John: Right.

    Wade: The profession I think inherently in the organization, you have people who are typically fiscally conscious.

    John: Right. That’s the both politically correct way to say it. Correct.

    Wade: I think some people, with that very fiscally consciously mind, I think people have to have their nose to the grindstone every minute they’re at work and really can’t sort of get away from work and take that mental break. And I think you’re starting to see shifts of change in the industry. But I think the history of it has been — you got to work hard, work counts, every minute counts, billable hours.

    John: Right. Chargeability, percentage, all that, yeah.

    Wade: There are some benefits to people taking sort of that breather for a couple minutes.

    John: Totally.

    Wade: Even from a perspective of people are to say organizations wanting their people in the accounting profession to actually take vacation. I mean I remember when I started 27 years ago in a profession and working for a Big 4 firm, you could bank all your overtime.

    John: Right.

    Wade: Things of that nature, get paid out for it, not take vacation and some people love that back then. At the higher levels, some of the people that advanced most quickly in the organization were people who took very little vacation in PTO but just kept their nose to the grindstone and worked as hard as they could. Well, there’s not anything wrong with that. I think for the masses at large, I think the balance of the organization can become a place where it becomes a grind.

    John: Right. No, it definitely does. I mean if you worked consistently more than 40 hours a week, your productivity levels decrease significantly. And I mean just like, if you’re always doing work all the time, I mean it’s just — it’s been proven that’s not effective. Not only that but if you actually are able to talk about things, then now you have people that you’re kind of friends with at work and you like going to work and turn overs less. What’s cheaper? Someone doing billable hours or someone quitting and you needing to recruit and train up a new person. That sounds pretty expensive. Somebody taking a little bit of a break here and there, yeah, well, the billable hours are necessarily being coded there. But it’s like well, it’s much better than a turnover and people hating where they work.

    Wade: Right.

    John: So it’s just a small difference there, that’s for sure. Are there things that you do there in the in your offices to try and get to know others and others to get to know each other? Is there anything specific? I mean you’re setting a great example, I mean tone at the top is clearly there.

    Wade: Yeah, I think myself and — we have a number of other people in our organization that I think have a pretty balanced life and I think creating the environment where we can share some of that information and we had a recent marketing also you drive but a marking channel with it or a firm that essentially a number of our individual shared some of their passions.

    John: Right.

    Wade: I was asked by somebody to share a little bit about my background and what I learned in the aviation world and if somebody else wanted to do it, what are some positives and negatives that I took away from the way that I have done it. We had somebody who believe it or not, we had a woman in our office who is into roller derby.

    John: Right. Yeah.

    Wade: She talked about what got her to where she is at and what she enjoys and what she doesn’t enjoy about it but if somebody else wanted to get into it, we have somebody who is heavily into horse riding and competes throughout the northeast here. Some of those people sharing some of their passions internally in — I’m actually putting together some marketing material surrounding that that went internally and externally.

    John: Right.

    Wade: To create some dialogue and it was received very well. I mean it was to that point earlier, people were like, “We’ve never seen this from an accounting firm.”

    John: Right. And Alison is like, “Heck, yeah.” Right. That’s exactly where it’s at. It’s amazing how, out of all the people in the firm, you can name those four people off the top of your head very easily and other people in the other offices that you don’t necessarily interact with, you don’t know them at all type of a thing. And it’s just really fascinating how that really stands out. And so I think it’s cool. I mean I I’m a big fan of RKL and what you guys are doing and add in the groups. I love it. It’s really great to be able to have you on and share your story and all that. So it’s been awesome. Do you have any words of encouragement to anyone that’s listening that might be on the fence or they’re like, I’m the only one that does my thing. No one’s going to care type of attitude.

    Wade: Well, I think what I would say is I sort of look at the business world. In the back of my mind, business wasn’t meant to be boring and I think any business owner will tell you that.

    John: Yeah.

    Wade: If you’re in an organization that you feel business is boring —

    John: Right.

    Wade: Maybe you need to start talking about more things with a business from the personal side and how those personal things are impacting the business.

    John: Yeah.

    Wade: I always find it interesting, there are some perspective sometimes I think people think business is boring. The business world or the accounting world. But if you go out and talk to the business owners many times and understand what’s going through their heads, there’s a passion there.

    John: Right.

    Wade: And that same passion can flow through to the accounting world too because at the end of the day, an accounting firm is a business that’s made up with a lot of people that have a lot of pretty neat interests.

    John: Yeah.

    Wade: And if you peel back the curtain a little bit or peel back the layers, there are some interesting things within any organization and the personalities. It’s just cultivating it and understanding and creating an environment where people can talk about it.

    John: Yeah.

    Wade: Some of it is not, not always tied directly to the spreadsheet in front of you but some of the challenges of those people working on that spreadsheet that is going to impact how they do their work and make them thrive in that environment that I think that’s what makes my opinion about business not boring.

    John: Yeah. No. I love it man and actually I would say even one step further is, it has nothing to do with the spreadsheet in front of them. That’s where the magic is at. It’s the questions that you ask the client that aren’t on the checklist. I mean I remember being out at a bakery and you know that big, it’s like just tons of loaves of bread. I’m like how does this thing work? What did you do? Where does this come from? This is not on the checklist but man, and you get them talking about that because they love that. We’ll talk about that all day long. And it just creates that connection of where they’re like wow, they actually care about me type of a thing.

    And I do, I’m fascinated by this. I love what you’re doing and keep up the good work, man. One day at a time, we’ll break down the stereotype and then and then somebody will meet someone and they’re like, what do you do? I’m an accountant and nothing else. It’ll be like, what a weirdo. That doesn’t sound like an accountant at all. And then I seek like tha wi’ll be my dream day. That will be like yes. But until then, I do have my 17 rapid fire questions that I like to run everyone through before I come to Central PA and we get on a plane and then fly to go scuba and wakeboard.

    Wade: All you have to do wakeboard and John all you have to do is just hang on the rope, let the boat do the work.

    John: There you go. Right, exactly. The rope is experimental. The parachute and the plane, also experimental. We’re all good man, just buckle up. No. I’m just getting out of control. But I’d love to just run people through this just a little bit and get to know Wade on another level. So let me fire this thing up here and all right, here we go. Yeah, I’ll start with an easy one. Favorite color.

    Wade: Favorite color, probably black.

    John: Black. Oh, wow. Okay. How about a least favorite color?

    Wade: Least favorite color, fluorescent orange probably.

    John: Oh, yeah. Wow. Yeah, that’s a good answer. When it comes to the toilet paper rolls, are you over or under?

    Wade: I’d probably say under.

    John: Under, okay. You’re like whatever it is, man, I don’t care.

    Wade: Yeah, whatever it is. I have don’t have a lot of problems with that.

    John: Right. Are you more pens or pencils?

    Wade: Keyboard.

    John: Keyboard, okay. There we go, there you go. Like you don’t even know how to write anymore. Right. How about more Sudoku or crossword puzzle?

    Wade: Crossword puzzle.

    John: Okay, all right. How about do you have a favorite comedian?

    Wade: Jeff Dunham.

    John: Oh, Jeff Dunham, yeah, absolutely. The ventriloquist, yeah, absolutely. Would you say you’re more of an early bird or a night owl?

    Wade: I know back and forth to be honest. If it’s a project, I have to be up early for I can be up super early. If it comes to weekend, I can sleep in. So yeah, flexibility on that one.

    John: Nice man. You’re like, I sleep all the time like it’s —

    Wade: Exactly.

    John: Right. Okay. Would you say you’re more Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Wade: Star Wars.

    John: Okay, all right. How about when it comes to computers more of a PC or a Mac?

    Wade: That’s a tough one.

    John: Oh.

    Wade: Because I use my iPad in aircraft but I use my PC for — so yeah, I’m going to say an iPad Mac world.

    John: Okay, all right. How about do you have a favorite ice cream flavor?

    Wade: Tin roof sundae.

    John: Oh, nice. Okay. How about when it comes to financials, more balanced sheet or income statement?

    Wade: Why does it have black lines at the bottom?

    John: Right. The ones that flick properly. There I really there we go. Okay. How about do you have favorite toppings on a pizza?

    Wade: Mushroom and bacon.

    John: Mushroom and bacon. Wow, that’s a combo you don’t hear every day. Yeah, How about are you more suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt?

    Wade: Jeans and a t-shirt.

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

    Wade: Least favorite. I love vegetables. I’m trying to think of the one I don’t like. Probably beets would probably be the one down there a little bit, yeah.

    John: Wow. Beets. Okay, all right. That’s a solid answer. Three more, three more. Do you have a favorite number?

    Wade: Not really. I can’t say I do. No, I can’t.

    John: Wow. As an accountant, I figured you’d be partial to one.

    Wade: That’s right. I don’t want to discriminate against any numbers.

    John: All of them. You don’t want to offend the numbers either. All right, how about do you have a favorite Disney character?

    Wade: Well right now, I have a two-and-a-half year old daughter. Currently, I think —

    John: Right.

    Wade: I think Moana is a Disney character. That is my favorite character as of late.

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

    Wade: Favorite thing I own is knowledge.

    John: Oh, good answer. Well, this has been awesome, Wade. Thank you so much for taking time to be with me on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Wade: Well, thank you, John. I appreciate the invitation. I have always enjoyed working with you and seeing what you’re going to come up with next on the internet.

    John: Cool. Thanks, dude. Wow, that was so great. I loved how Wade said, “Business wasn’t meant to be boring.” So true. And if you feel like that’s getting that way, then just take a step back and maybe talk about something other than work for just a few minutes and see how the energy in the room changes when everyone feels encouraged to actually share their passions and interests outside of work. I see it every time I speak at a conference or a firm event and it’s truly amazing.

    So if you’d like to see some pictures of Wade flying his plane or doing some scuba and connect with them on social media, please go to greenapplepodcast.com. And while you’re on the page, please click the big green button there and do the anonymous research survey about firm culture. Thanks again for subscribing to the show 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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