Episode 130 – Mark Wickersham

Mark hits a new gear for better client service


Mark Wickersham started cycling in his early 20’s after a friend lent him a bicycle. He had grown up orienteering but experienced some knee problems in his late teens, so cycling was a nice alternative to feed his addiction to exercise. He soon bought his own bicycle and joined a cycling club for accountability. Since then, he’s ridden across northern France, and done some of the Tour de France sections of the Alps and Pyrenees.

In this episode, Mark and I talk about how cycling is a “significant part of my business because that’s where I do my best thinking.” He’s able to switch off from work and allow thoughts to come to him. This wasn’t always the case but as Mark’s career progressed and he started his own firm, he began to realize how important cycling was to his business. So much so that he got more confident in sharing it with potential clients and even bringing his bike on stage with him when he speaks.

Mark Wickersham is a Chartered Accountant, public speaker, and author, known as the most sought-after profit improvement expert in the accounting community. His first book, “Effective Pricing for Accountants”, was a #1 Amazon bestseller.

He received his BSc in Economics from The University of Sheffield. In 2015, Mark was shortlisted for AccountingWeb’s “Outstanding Contribution to Accounting” award.

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Other pictures of Mark

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Big climb on the Raid Corsica – beautiful island with challenging mountains

Stage 2: The Alpine Challenge 3-day event near Lake Annecy, French Alps

Col d’Aubisque, Stage of the Tour de France in the Pyrenees

Top of Mount Teide, Tenerife, 24 miles of continuous climbing from sea level to 2,194m.

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  • Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close

    Welcome to Episode 130 of the Green Apple Podcast. This is John Garrett and each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion making them stand out like a green apple in a red apple world. To put it another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “and” as in my guest Mark Wickersham is an accountant “and” an avid road cyclist like in the Alps road cycling, it’s awesome.

    As you’ll hear, his passion for cycling has helped his career because he’s able to free himself to think of new ways to serve his clients better and I’ve got a quick favor to ask you, if you like the show and are listening on iTunes or your favorite Android app, don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any of the future episodes because I love sharing such interesting stories each week.

    This week is absolutely no different with my guest, Mark Wickersham. He’s a chartered accountant, public speaker and author of the Amazon best seller, Effective Pricing for Accountants. A few years ago, he was shortlisted for AccountingWeb’s Outstanding Contribution to Accounting award.

    So Mark, I know you’re a very busy man. Thanks so much for taking time to be with me today on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Mark: I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to it. Thank you for inviting me.

    John: I’m so excited after meeting you at Accountex in Boston several months ago and then bumping into you again at QuickBooks Connect. It’s so fun to finally have you on. I gave everyone a little bit of an introduction to you but maybe in your own words, a little bit of what you’re up to now and maybe a little bit of how you got there.

    Mark: Okay, yeah. Well, I teach accountants pricing, that’s kind of it really and that’s what I — before this, literally come off an online mentoring session teaching 70 accountants how they can help their clients through pricing and that’s pretty much what I do. I’m a homie. I work from home and I spend most of my life talking to a webcam, that’s how exciting my life is just talking to webcam. I just taught them pricing and that’s what I do.

    John: That’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. How did you get into that?

    Mark: Well, it was all accidental. Everything by last minute accident. I kind of got into accountancy by accident, set up my accounting firm, made a big mess of it, didn’t make any money for two and a half years and just made some mistakes, it was crazy and it was then that I realized, it was in 1999 when I first met Ron Baker’s a good friend of mine and my hero, he kind of mention this phrase value pricing. I thought what’s value pricing? Never heard of it. Because I was brought up in the profession believing you had to bill based on the hour and keep time sheets because that’s what it is and didn’t make any money doing that.

    And then I figured out, based on what I learned from Ron is that I figured out a system, a process, which is in ‘99 to 2000, as soon as I put price systems in place, my results changed very rapidly, so much so that I would sell my accounting firm a few years later in a management buyout. The managers bought it off me and I was also very fortunate and lucky because I’d had some very fast quick results in my own firm, I got asked to speak in the year 2000 to a room full of accountants which was an embarrassing experience but it was a start of a journey.

    John: Right. That’s awesome, man. I mean it is all accidental type of stuff where it’s like you’re bumping around Baker, he was a guest on the Green Apple Podcast as well. For people that want to listen to him, he’s hilarious. But it’s so cool how you were able to take that methodology and that process and apply it to your own firm and then see instant success so you’re actually able to teach people you know, here’s the journey that I took and you can follow me. You point people in the right direction which is really cool.

    What made you want to get into accounting in the first place?

    Mark: I didn’t.

    John: Me either. That’s two of us.

    Mark: I had no idea what I wanted to do. I went to university because that’s kind of the expectation of what you did next and I actually did. I did a joint degree. It was Accountancy and Economics and by the end of the first year, I hated Accountancy so much. I didn’t understand it. It didn’t make sense. It didn’t help that in this UK university, we’re using US textbooks, using terms like inventory and accounts receivable which we don’t use in the UK so I couldn’t understand. It was all gobbledygook to me.

    And so I dropped Accountancy and I did a pure Economics degree because I hated it so much. But then I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, no idea. Back in whenever it was, 1987 I think this was, start of my third year university, 70% of graduates went into accounting for some reason so the stats were, and so then the accountants came to university in autumn to do kind of an exhibition and sell themselves and then you could do some applications.

    One little firm offered me a job that wasn’t contingent on me getting a degree and I thought well, I’ll take that and then I could spend the rest of my third year just getting drunk and going to parties because I don’t have to get a degree.

    John: Right, because I have a job.

    Mark: I fell into it and was just saying for that reason.

    John: That’s so great. That’s the best story of all time. That’s easily the best, yeah. I started in engineering. I thought I was going to be an engineer and build things and all that and then I got a D in Physics, just barely, I almost failed and I was like wow, apparently, engineering is not for me. But yeah, so to get into the fun stuff, what hobby, passion do you love to do when you’re not talking to a webcam?

    Mark: I find that I’m addicted to exercise. I’ve always done exercise but the older I get, I get fidgety. I don’t get a chance to get out and exercise. For me, I used to be a runner when I was a kid at school, running was my thing, particular a sport called orienteering which is very popular in Northern Europe which is the way you navigate around a forest with a map and so it was a combination of navigation skills and running skills and that was my thing but unfortunately, in my late teens, I had knee problems and the doctor said, if you carry on running, you’ll have an abrasion and I’m a complete coward and the thought of having operation scared the life out of me.

    I tried to kind of take it steady but I got to my early 20s and got to a stage where my knee almost gave way and I couldn’t walk for a few days and I was absolutely guttered because that was kind of my life. I exercise, that’s what I did and I thought well, what else should I do? And then someone said — a mate of mine had a bike and said, “Why don’t you come on a bike ride with me?” So I borrowed a bike and we went to a bike ride and I thought I really enjoyed that. So six months later, I went and bought a bike and he said, “Let’s get on the back of the bike and let’s go and cycle around Northern France and we did that. That was really, really cool and I loved that.

    I got really, really hooked on cycling because a, it fulfilled my need to do exercise and I just found I loved it, I just found that it was a great way to go around and see the countryside and in a day, you could easily do 30, 40, 50, a hundred miles and get to see places. I started just doing a little bit of bike touring in the mid-20s but the more I’ve got older, the more I think I’ve got addicted to cycling.

    But also, was interesting, at 11 years where I didn’t run because I was so scared of having an operation so I didn’t run for 11 years and then 11 years later, I was about 35, 36, I thought do you know what? I really miss orienteering. I’m going to do an orienteering event and see what happens. And to my amazement, my knee was all right. And so I ran again, and then I ran again.

    Someone said to me, when you cycle a lot, what happens? Cycling builds up all the muscles around the top side of your knee because that’s the muscles that can strengthen your knee. What I found is that must be true because I’ve been running increasingly over the last few years and I’ve never ever had knee problems so I think cycling’s cured that.

    So now, I’m very fortunate now that I can really fulfill my addiction and if it’s rubbish weather like snow and ice we have now in the UK, I can go out for a run instead.

    John: Right, right. That’s amazing, man. I mean what an amazing story. I mean how you went from your mid-20s where you should be in your prime and you couldn’t walk for some times, a couple of days to cycling and then now you can run all you want and now that you’re older, it’s like this is crazy. That’s really awesome, man. That’s really awesome. Every time I run, I’m always thinking of all the things I should be doing instead of running. I just feel like my brain just goes crazy.

    Mark: My next addiction is Strava. I’ve got Strava and that kind of pushes me to — this year so far, I’ve been out more than for either a serious or a serious cycle, I’ve been out I think I’ve averaged more than six days out of the week. What I found, because we all know we need to exercise more, that’s what the doctors say, we need to exercise more and we all hate exercise and kind of what I learned over the years — I went through phases, you get lazy sometimes and the weather’s bad and you think, you know what? I can’t even bother. I’m just going to slump around the house and stuff and you do that.

    And you know you should do more and kind of what I found as I got older, I joined a cycling club and what I found was that — because I was a bit of fair-weather cyclist and weather’s rubbish in the UK so I would kind of stop around about October-November and I get to about February-March thinking start again. I’d look out the window and if it’s raining, I wouldn’t bother and the problem I then found was when I then got out with a club in March-April time, I was so unfit because they went through the year, these people did, I really spent the rest of the year working stupidly hard just trying to get to their level of fitness and by the time I did, it was time to then hang up the bike and put it back and it’s winter again.

    For years, I did that. But what I learned was that the more you exercise, if you can turn into a habit, into a way of life which is what I’ve done for the last probably five to ten years now, when you turn things into a habit, you just do them. It’s a bit like — I don’t think anybody, surely nobody enjoys cleaning their teeth or shaving in the morning but we do it. We do it every single morning and every single night. We don’t think about it. We don’t think do you know what? I kind of don’t want to clean my teeth today. I think I’ll give it a miss. We just do it because we’ve turned it into a habit. It’s just something we do.

    For me, it’s the same with exercise now that I need to get out every day. If I have more than a couple of days off in a row like in the moment, I just came back from QB Connect and about two days off and I’m desperate to get out again because it is my way of life and I miss it when I don’t go out and get that drug from the adrenalin and so on from running or cycling.

    John: Yeah. That’d be funny if it’s like oh, it’s raining outside. I’m not going to shave today. It’s bad weather, I’m not brushing my teeth. That’s hilarious. That’s so fascinating, man. I just love the thought of taking your bike and cycling all over Northern France and is there a really cool, one of the more cool rewarding stories that you can think of from cycling?

    Mark: There’s loads of things I’ve done that I’ve been really, really good and those early members are good as well when you have things on a tent on the back and you know that you could cycle anywhere, we just stick a tent up and you don’t have to plan advanced. But I think for me, the more — as I get older, I got more and more addicted to cycling. I love watching the professional cycling, the Tour de France and so on.

    For me I found I got, and this might sound strange, but I actually prefer going up hills, which I know might sound weird but I think is a mindset thing, just kind of in my head, I thought — most people think oh, cycling’s hard uphill, I like downhill. We’re free to kind of choose it. Our minds are really powerful things. We can choose what we like or what we don’t like. It’s a mindset thing and I thought do you know what? Going up mountains is a challenge and so I love cycling in the Alps and the Pyrenees, and the things that you see on the Tour de France riders do, there’s a real sense of achievement and the scenery’s absolutely amazing. France is an amazing country.

    A couple of things I’ve done is a big challenge where I was once called to raid Pyrenees where you go across all the mountains in the Pyrenees and you have to four and a half days, it’s 120 miles a day on average going across all these big mountains that you see in the Tour de France and it’s four and a half days to do it and it was great fun. Real challenge but saw some scenery on that week, some incredibly scenery.

    John: Yeah, that’s impressive. Was there another one?

    Mark: Yeah. I did a few later on. I did what’s called the Raid Alpine which does the same thing. It’s seven days and you’re across the whole of the French Alps and from the border with Switzerland right down to the south coast. That’s a cool one because you start off near Geneva on the French side, you go across all the mountains but you end up on the French coast and the last day, you drop down next to Cannes, French Riviera and it was just an amazing experience coming out of these mountains and then finally, you’re on the beach and it’s sunny and hot. That was really, really cool.

    And then later this year, I’m going to equivalent thing over in Italy, in the Italian Alps and the Dolomites and that’s particularly hard because they have some steep climbs over there. But that’s going to be fun.

    John: Right. That’s awesome, man. I mean that’s so cool. It’s not just riding your bike around where you live or even in the countryside, I mean it’s taking it with you to other countries and doing really, really challenging things. That’s fantastic. That’s really awesome, man. It’s no wonder that everybody knows you as having this cycling passion that you have because I mean you’re taking your bike with you. That’s so great.

    Now, would you say that — it seems like the mindset thing is huge when it comes to that, those kind of races especially, going up mountains. Would you say that that translates over into your work?

    Mark: I think in lots of ways that it translates into work. One of the things that, if I go back kind of 10-15 years, 15 years ago I was increasingly loving exercise and cycling, the challenge I had was that if you work in during the day and for a lot of the winter, it goes dark by 5:00. I was only going out at weekends and I find that frustrating and I wanted to get out more and more and so I kind of started to about 15 years ago, structured my life, my business to fit around what was important to me which is getting on the bike every day and so bit by bit over the years, I started doing that but what I also found — so 15-20 years ago, I started taking the odd day where I go work from home, just the odd day initially work from home and then go out on the bike and what I found was by accident really, I think I’m a bit weird but when I’m on the bike, I talk to myself a lot.

    When I got on the bike, I could go out and kind of my mind freeze up so I go out with no kind of expectations or thoughts in my head but I suddenly find myself scripting stuff in my head, come up with ideas, thinking in my head, and sometimes it’s quite scary because I could suddenly arrive back home and think I don’t remember anything about the last 15 miles, I was so developing these thoughts and so back then, I was in the business with other fellow-business owners and I come back from bike rides. All day on the bike, I say how about this idea? How about this idea? I come up with all these crazy ideas and they start to encourage me and say, “Look, Mark, go spend more time on the bike because that’s clearly the way you find your creativity.”

    And so my home business I started four years ago which is now just me and I work from home because I see cycling as being a very important part of my business because I go out almost every day, I get up in the morning early, I’m an early morning person, 7:00-7:30, I do two or three hours with a solid work and I go on the bike and I’ll go off for 20 miles nearly every day because a, it gives you a chance to switch off but even now, I don’t intend to go —

    It’s not me working but because I switch off, I then find for thought is coming to my head and as you know, I speak at all the events, I do a lot of stuff on webinars and stuff and sometimes, I’ll be cycling a lot and before I know it, I’m scripting my mind an idea on how I might teach that idea to somebody else and by the time I finished it, I scripted a whole keynote or something, I just have to get back and jot it down as quick as possible.

    I have a mate, a friend who I used to work with. His thing was he got his best ideas in the bath. And he sings along hitting the high notes and he’s always in the bath. I guess I think we all have that place, that space where we could do our best thinking. For me, I’m very fortunate that the place where I do my best thinking happens to be what I enjoy the most which is cycling, which is also flipping good for me from a health and exercise point of view as well.

    So I’m very, very lucky I can then build my life around cycling knowing it complements — and the reason I think it’s important to find that space, wherever that might be whether it’s on the bike, whether it’s in the bath, if you can find that place where you think the most, as a professional, we should be doing more of that because what worries me I think is we spend so much of our time just answering emails, sat at computers and yet we’re in the knowledge industry, and what people buy from us is our knowledge as a profession and yet, we don’t do enough thinking.

    One of my kind of odd stories is I once did a keynote about five years ago. I thought I can’t bring my bike into this. So when I was announced at the stage — when the person gave the introduction, I came in from the back of this conference, about 500 people in the audience and I kept running up the stage with my bike on the back and I put the bike onto the stage and I went into the presentation. I ignored the bike for a bit, went to the presentation and then came back to it to the end.

    The whole message and the reason I put my bike on stage was this message as a profession, we’re kind of paid by our clients to think and yet we don’t do enough time thinking, we’re just doing, doing, doing it which is put in the time on the time sheets, answering emails or whatever and actually, we miss opportunities to change our clients’ lives because we’re so sucked in to the compliance work. If we could just stop and think and spend some quality time thinking about clients, we could transform people’s lives but we’re too flipping busy.

    I think it’s important for every knowledge work or every accountant, every bookkeeper to find that thing, their equivalent to my cycling where that’s where they get their best ideas, that’s where they’re free to think, that’s when they answer emails and texts and phones and things, they can go away, whether that’s on the bike, whether that’s on the bath, whether that’s sat in Starbucks, doesn’t matter where it is but I think you need to find your space and just think about how we can change our clients’ lives in a different way, in a better way.

    John: That’s awesome, man. I mean that’s exactly it and that firm leaders need to encourage that and you could lead by example, that’s a great thing but to push people out and to find out what those things are and to encourage them to go do more of that and just like your peers and co-workers were you know, “Mark, get back out on the bike. You got these great ideas. Keep doing that type of thing.” Unfortunately, it seems like in this profession, people don’t always want to find that and they don’t always want to encourage people to do that for some reason.

    Mark: I think it’s part of it because it’s always the addiction to the billable hour and we have to put hours on the timesheet and we’re only adding value, we’re only contributing if we’re putting time on the timesheet and unfortunately and sadly that’s not the case because we’re in this knowledge industry. I think about it as I google whether to spend some time going away and thinking.

    I think in our profession, we would be so much for clients if actually we forced our whole team just take an hour out, a week, and you can’t do a timesheet, you can’t do a tax return. In that hour, you just go and think — if every person in an accounting firm or bookkeeping firm took an hour, just one hour a week where they went to a place with one client in mind and asked themselves a serious question, how could I possibly make this client’s life better? How can I help this client increase their profits? How can I help this client increase their revenue? How can I help this client save some tax? Improve their cash flow?

    Any accountant, bookkeeper, with all the knowledge that we have, if we took an hour out just to think about our clients and you did that for 52 weeks, help 52 clients, the difference we can make to people’s lives and then when we do that, they’re going to pay us more and it’s a win-win. We just have to think more.

    John: Absolutely, yeah. And then you go to your happy place to do that thinking so then you’re happier and you want to stay longer. You want to do the work more. It’s just such a huge benefit where yeah, like you said, with the billable hour, everybody’s you know, what’s the charge code for this? I have a research study that takes like 60 seconds for people to do a handful of questions and one of the questions is why don’t people share their hobbies and passions in the office with co-workers and clients?

    Some of the answers there are alarming. We don’t get paid to socialize or there isn’t a charge code to get to know each other. It’s crazy. If you don’t give people that hour a week, trust me, they’re mailing it in at least an hour a week so why not give them permission to do it and say hey, go do your happy thing. Go live your life and go do it and then while you’re doing it, think about how you can be better in your job and then come back and tell us about it. I mean it would be so fantastic. It would be amazing. Little kids would grow up saying, “When I grow up, I want to be an accountant” because those are the cool guys, cool ladies and stuff. So that’s what I want to have happen type of thing.

    Mark: And if you were me, if I was running an accounting firm again, which I won’t, and if I kept timesheets which I definitely wouldn’t, then I would have a code on there for exercise because we know from all the research is that a healthy mind comes with a healthy body and if you exercise more frequently, not only is it good for your health but it’s good for your brain. You got more energy and you could get more energy. You just get more stuff done. Sometimes people come and say to me, “Mark, how do you get so much stuff done?” Because I do things on my books in a day and stuff like that. Well, it’s because I’m addicted to this drug that comes in doing exercise and I do so much of it. I have the energy to do that stuff.

    John: That’s awesome, man. Yeah. I mean that’s so fantastic. Is cycling and exercise and the orienteering and stuff, is that something that you talked about early on in your career or did it come out later?

    Mark: No. I think it came out later because when I started my career, I was working in an accounting firm and very much the expectation in a large accounting firm is you just have to put your time on a timesheet so I was like a factory worker, just sat there, just doing it, doing it, doing it, doing it, and I wasn’t really thinking and then I started my own accounting firm, and because of the way I was brought up in the profession, just carried on doing the same stupid things and whilst I had this growing interest in cycling, it was already a weekend thing because I couldn’t figure out how I could fill that into my work-life balance.

    It was only when I started I think I was in my early 30s when I started coming across business books and reading about how to build great businesses and learning there’s more to it than just filling in a time sheet. I then start to realize that actually cycling has health benefits, it helps me keep energetic. I then found that I could then do my best thinking and then when I start to then talk to a co-worker at a time, when I had other employees and stuff, it kind of became yeah, we should do more of that. So anyway, it took time but certainly the last ten to 15 years because I’m 50 now. I’m getting old.

    John: Oh, yeah. It’s impressive, man.

    Mark: But yeah, since between kind of maybe 40 and 50, this has been a cool part. This is how my life has been. I work from home, I take time out almost every single day to go out on the bike or sometimes, go for a run.

    John: Yeah, no, that’s great. I mean that’s a thing that I’m always so fascinated by is just you know, why is it that our default mode when we step into work is to shut down everything else except for the work activities and maybe it is because there isn’t a charge code for that stuff so therefore, you feel like those things aren’t rewarded so then why would you do them? But I mean I don’t know.

    That’s what’s so crazy because you take that same group of people and you put them into their normal social lives and you would talk about cycling all day with your friends or people that you bump into at the grocery store or whatever but all of the sudden you step into work and it’s like I don’t know. I can’t talk about it. Why do you think that that’s the way that we think or that’s the way we’re wired?

    Mark: I think a lot of it is because work is kind of focused on the effort that you put into it and then we mentioned the billable hour a few hours and I think that’s a big problem and Ron Baker we mentioned says it much more eloquently than I do but I think we should be measuring people, we should be based on the outcomes, the results that they’re getting.

    There’s a great book called Work Sucks which is around results-only work environment which is around a results only work environment which is the whole idea is that you don’t actually pay people by the hour or to do things, you pay them for the results that they get. But unfortunately, that’s not the mindset of business generally. It’s about we want to control our employees, want them to work these hours.

    Actually, it’ll be much better if you said do you know what? You just work where you want, when you want, the hours you want as long as you get great results because great results don’t necessarily come from putting in hours. Great results come in our profession, great thinking. In other words, I could spend 40 hours in an accounting firm just turning out tax returns and not make much of a big difference but I could instead, go away for a day and just do some thinking and come up with a great idea that could help a client save a hundred thousand dollars in profit a year and then take the next four days off and I’ve actually contributed more because of that deep thinking and because I’ve gone to spaces where I could think deeper than just turning out hours.

    I think it’s a mindset thing I think not just in the profession but generally, I think that we have to focus on the end result not on making people just do things over and over again do the billable hour.

    John: Right, no. I mean that’s exactly it, man. That’s so perfect. What a great way to wrap it up. I mean and what a great example for everyone to see that your hobbies and passions do fuel your career and it’s an accelerant. You’ve become better and stronger and everything business-wise because of this and I love how you’ve incorporated it into your life, it’s a habit and you’re making it happen. That’s so cool, Mark. Really, really awesome.

    Mark: Thank you.

    John: Yeah, really awesome. Yeah, but before I get on my crazy click-y biking shoes and get on to a bike with you and fly to the UK and do some riding, because there’s no way I’m doing those mountains that’s for sure. I do have my 17 rapid fire questions that I like to run everybody through to make sure that you know, if we’re going to be out there riding together, make sure we can actually be compatible type of a thing.

    So let me fire this thing up here. We’re going to have a little bit of fun and yeah, so the first one. I’ll start you out really easy. What’s your favorite color?

    Mark: Green.

    John: Green, all right. How about a least favorite color?

    Mark: Pink.

    John: Okay, all right. Are you more pens or pencils?

    Mark: Oh, wow. Pens, they don’t go blunt.

    John: Okay. All right. How about more Sudoku or crossword puzzle?

    Mark: Crossword.

    John: Crossword, yeah. What’s a typical breakfast?

    Mark: I love English breakfast. That’s great. Bacon and eggs, yeah.

    John: Oh, yeah. Right. Absolutely, absolutely. When it comes to computers, are you more of a PC or a Mac?

    Mark: Oh, that’s an easy one. I’m allergic to PCs. They’re awful. I’m Mac. Life’s too short. Life’s too precious to have to deal with PCs I’m afraid.

    John: That’s awesome. Do you have a favorite ice cream flavor?

    Mark: I don’t know. Well, rum and raisin’s quite cool

    John: Okay, all right. Rum and raisin, yeah, you don’t get that often. Would you say you’re more Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Mark: Oh, definitely Star Wars, yeah.

    John: Star Wars, yeah. Absolutely. All right. When it comes to traveling, more planes, trains, automobiles or bicycles?

    Mark: Yeah, definitely bicycles. I’m not a big kid on planes but trains are quite cool. I like trains. They’re relaxing.

    John: Yeah. Trains are pretty cool too. Yeah. Are you more cats or dogs?

    Mark: Neither. I struggle to look after myself so looking after animals is too hard. But I love birds in the garden because they’re low maintenance.

    John: There you go. Birds in the garden. Yeah, right, exactly. When it comes to financials, more balance sheet or income statement?

    Mark: Oh, absolutely, income statement.

    John: Income statement, there you go. Are you more suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt?

    Mark: Jeans and t-shirt. Definitely.

    John: Definitely. As an accountant, do you have a favorite number?

    Mark: No.

    John: All right. I’ll take it. How about a favorite place you’ve been on vacation?

    Mark: That’s really hard because I’ve been to so many amazing places. Okay, well, I absolutely love California.

    John: That’s great. How about do you have a favorite actor or actress?

    Mark: Not really. I don’t watch telly much.

    John: Do you have a favorite sports team?

    Mark: Absolutely. Liverpool.

    John: Liverpool, nice. Two more, two more. Are you more of an early bird or a night owl?

    Mark: Oh, absolutely early bird. I fall asleep by 10:00.

    John: Oh, wow. That’s great. And the last one. The favorite thing you own or the favorite thing you have?

    Mark: Favorite thing. I love my bikes.

    John: What kind of bikes do you have?

    Mark: I got a Pinarello. My newest one’s got all the electric gears and stuff. It’s really impressive.

    John: Oh, wow. That’s awesome. Well, this was really, really fantastic, Mark. Thank you so much for taking time to be with me on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Mark: Thank you for inviting me. I’ve really enjoyed it.

    John: Oh, that was so great. I loved how Mark said, “I see cycling being a significant part of my business because that’s where I do my best thinking.” Even though it seems like it has nothing to do with his accounting career or his speaking career or being an author, it’s Mark’s “and” that cycling passion which is outside of work that actually affects everything in his career.

    If you like to see some absolutely stunning pictures of Mark cycling across the Alps and through Europe and also connect with him on social media and get a link to his book, Effective Pricing for Accountants, be sure to go to greenapplepodcast.com.

    While you’re on the page, please click that big green button and do the anonymous research survey about firm culture. It’s really going to help me out for the book I’m writing that will be out later this year.

    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 which is to go out and be a green apple.


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