Episode 132 – Blake Oliver


Blake turns to music to bring creativity to business

 

Blake Oliver started playing the cello when he was young and eventually became a member of the San Francisco Youth Symphony. As a music major at Northwestern University, he was chosen to attend the prestigious Meadowmount School of Music and participate in the Aspen Music Festival. Although he learned that he didn’t care for the life of a professional musician, he now attends concerts regularly and stays in contact with many of his musician friends.

In this episode, Blake and I talk about how he promised himself never to hide any part of himself when he made the decision to go into accounting. He believes that “People are crying out for authenticity in this world. They want to work with people who are who they seem to be.” It’s his music background that gives him the ability to look at a problem and approach it in a new way. As the accounting profession continues to become more automated, it’s the more creative people that are being attracted to make a difference.

Blake Oliver is the Senior Product Marketing Manager at FloQast and the author of Cloud Accounting Weekly, an online publication for controllers and accountants using cloud technology.

He received his Bachelor of Music, Cello Performance from Northwestern University. He later received his Certificate in Accounting from UCLA. In 2016, he was named “40 Under 40” by CPA Practice Advisor.

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Transcript

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    Hi. I’m Blake Oliver. When I’m not playing the cello, I’m listening to John Garrett on the Green Apple Podcast.

    John: Welcome to Episode 132 of the Green Apple Podcast. This is John Garrett. Each Wednesday, I interview a profession who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion outside of work, making them standout like a green apple in a boring red apple world. To put it another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “and.” As in my guest, Blake Oliver is an accountant “and” plays the cello. As you’ll hear, his passion for music has helped his career in ways that you can’t even learn if you took all the business school classes out there.

    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. I love sharing such interesting stories each week. This week is absolutely no different with my guest, Blake Oliver.

    He’s the Senior Product Marketing Manager at FloQast and the author of Cloud Accounting Weekly, an online publication for controllers and accountants using cloud technology. For each of the last two years, he was named for 40 Under 40 by CPA Practice Advisor. You’ve got a lot going on. Thanks so much for being with me today on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Blake: Thanks for having me, John.

    John: I’m so excited to share with everyone your hobbies and passions that you have. It’s such a unique story. But before we get into that, let’s cover where you’re at now and a little bit of how you got there.

    Blake: Sure. Right now, I am sitting in the FloQast headquarters in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California. I am a Senior Product Marketing Manager, that’s a mouthful, at FloQast. We are close management software for accountants. We manage all of those tasks, reconciliations, documents that controllers have to deal with when they’re closing the books every month.

    John: Oh, nice. Very cool. That’s fantastic. Prior to that, you had some public accounting background.

    Blake: Yeah. I was working in the west LA office at Armanino which is a top 25 firm, the largest California-based CPA and consulting firm. Before that, I had my own small bookkeeping firm. We were one of the first Xero bookkeeping firms in the U.S. I was actually the second guy to get certified on Xero as a bookkeeper.

    John: Wow. That’s awesome, man. That’s very cool. Who’s number 1?

    Blake: I think it might’ve been Nick Pasquarosa in New York but I’m not totally sure. But for a while, it was me and him and sort of divvied up the market since I was in LA.

    John: Yeah. That’s fantastic. It’s very cool, man. That’s fantastic.

    Blake: Yeah. It was really a wild ride because even though Xero is still very small compared to Intuit, it was a great early bird opportunity type situation. I was building a bookkeeping company in the cloud when a very few people were doing that. We just grew really rapidly. I mean tons of referrals. It was sort of a right place at the right time situation.

    John: Yeah. That’s awesome, man. That’s very cool. That’s great, man. One question I love to ask everyone just because everyone’s got such a different story, what made you want to go into accounting? How did you get into that?

    Blake: I was not an accounting major in school. I played the cello and I started when I was ten in Irvine Public Schools where they actually still have music programs. My family is a musical. They thought I would do it for like a year and drop it but it turned out that I was really good at this thing. I got lessons, I was in the Honor Orchestra.

    When we lived in Sacramento, I would drive every weekend to go to the San Francisco Youth Symphony which I played in which is just an amazing youth orchestra. It’s sponsored by the San Francisco Symphony. The assistant conductor of the San Francisco Symphony was our conductor of the orchestra and we practiced in Davies Hall. Many of my friends who were in that orchestra are professional musicians now. I thought I was going to do that.

    I went to Northwestern University. I was a Music major. Then I graduated and that was in 2007. I realized very quickly, I did not enjoy the life of a professional musician as much as I like studying it. It also happened to be the financial crisis so nobody wanted to hire a musician who had no actual skills other than playing an instrument.

    In addition to playing a ton of weddings for no money, I was doing SAT tutoring because I happen to be good at making tests. At the company I was working at, the bookkeeper just quit in the middle of our busy season which is like February, March. Sort of similar to public accounting. I talked my way into his job because I realized he had a sweet gig. Every week, he came in, he set his own hours, he did this thing. I saw him in front of the computer. I said, it cannot be that difficult to type stuff into QuickBooks and I don’t have to deal with these kids.

    I had never actually used QuickBooks other than in the context of writing texts for my fraternity in college. I had a steep learning curve. But I spent some long nights in reading the manual and figured it out. The really cool thing was that I was actually able to make a difference in this company because they were actually only using QuickBooks for their check register essentially. Maybe paying some bills, writing some checks.

    I figured out how to take the entire process of getting hours from the tutors and then entering those into the system and using that data to rebill the customers. It was my first experience of doing — I didn’t even know what I was doing. I was doing a consulting project basically. Helping improve a workflow. When I was done, I had taken this 20-hour a week process and cut it down to four or five hours. It was awesome but I was getting paid hourly.

    John: Except that you were paid hourly. Oh, no.

    Blake: I went to the owner. I said hey, why don’t you hire me on full-time because I did this and I can do a bunch of other stuff for you? That was really cool. That experience is what inspired me to go out and become a freelance consultant doing accounting technology and start up my own firm, went back to school for the CPA. It was quite an adventure. Took a few years but I eventually figured out what I wanted to do. Now, I’m doing something else. Go figure.

    John: I love it, man. I think that’s great. Creativity that you were able to bring to the table clearly helped out.

    Blake: Yeah. I would agree. I think that having been in a very liberal arts type environment really helps everything I do in the accounting world. My mind is blown at how uncreative we can be and how much opportunity there is for people who are willing to look outside the box or do things a different way.

    John: No, absolutely. I mean because it’s just well, that’s what was done last year. That’s what we always do. That’s what I did at my last firm or whatever it is. It’s like yeah, but it’s not always the best way. It’s one way but sometimes, with fresh eyes or a unique perspective. That’s really cool, man. That’s really cool. Do you still play the cello?

    Blake: I do. Not as much as I should. I love going to concerts. Actually, I like being a patron of the arts which is good because there aren’t too many of us these days.

    John: Right. That’s true too.

    Blake: Somebody has to go to the concerts and listen. I just went to Colburn Chamber Music Concert which is Colburn, it’s the elite music school here in Los Angeles. The musicians are just incredibly good. The future orchestra musicians and soloists. Their tickets are like 13 dollars for this concerts. It’s just because they’re students and they’re not professionals. It’s absurd.

    John: Right. That’s child labor.

    Blake: Exactly. When I feel like spending 150 dollars on tickets, I’ll go see the LA Phil. The problem is that I’m so immersed in classical music for all these years that if I’m going to go, I’m going to spend the money to get the good seats. It’s like being a wine snob. It becomes very expensive very quickly.

    John: Totally, right. Everyone’s like, can’t you hear the same music in the back? No, it’s different. You’re more in it. You’re a part of it when you’re closer. That’s for sure, man. That’s for sure. Going back to your playing days, do you have any cooler most rewarding type of moments that you had? I would imagine being part of the San Francisco Youth Symphony is pretty fantastic.

    Blake: Yeah. That was amazing. Just being on that stage. I had the opportunity when I was in Northwestern to attend the Meadowmount School of Music. That was really interesting. I can’t say it was fun because I don’t think it’s designed to be fun but it’s basically the summer camp. Let’s just call it band camp, that’s what it is. It’s the band camp where Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman went or Joshua Bell went. There’s all this history there. I also got to go to the Aspen Music Festival as a student a couple of years. I’ll never forget that we stayed in the ski lodge or the ski worker housing and we would ride our bikes down the mountain to go to town. It’s just idyllic sort of.

    John: Yeah. That’s awesome, man. That’s really cool.

    Blake: Of course that was before I was at the real world.

    John: But no. That’s fantastic, man. That’s really, really cool. I mean I would have to imagine that I mean like we touched on earlier a little bit is just that a little bit of that creativity comes from the music and the arts side of you. Do you feel like there’s a skillset that you have that maybe others don’t because of this passion?

    Blake: Yeah. Absolutely. I think the ability to look at a problem and throw away all your preconceived notions and approach it in a new way is hugely valuable especially in a conservative way that is changing rapidly like accounting. What’s happening right now in the accounting profession is a total re-writing of the rules. We are figuring out how to automate a ton of work that used to be part of the job. I think the crap — I call it the crap of the accounting profession is what kept a lot of creative people away from it. But as we automate that, it’s opening up the field to people like me who really would’ve been excluded.

    I’m all about trying to figure out ways to streamline, to modernize, to improve collaboration with technology, with better ways of working together. That’s why I’m excited to work at FloQast now because we’re building that collaboration software for accounting teams which is really very late coming to the accounting profession. This is sort of collaboration, project management software existed for 20 years or more in other areas of the business, like Salesforce has been around for 19 years now.

    I think of us is like the analogy is Salesforce is to sales teams while FloQast is to accounting teams. It should be where everything gets managed. It’s exciting to be on the cutting edge of that and helping to — I mean we have a real effect on our customers’ lives. Why is it that in accounting, you’re expected during the close at the beginning of the month to abandon everything else in your life? You don’t get to go home, you have to stay on the weekend. Why is this considered normal? It’s not normal in any other area of the business.

    John: We see it coming for weeks.

    Blake: Yeah. It just happens every month over and over and over again. A lot has happened in a very short amount of time. But if you have to write tools, you can manage it. You don’t hit these bottlenecks. The people I get to talk to who are customers, their minds are blown when they realize that they don’t ever have to stay late again.

    John: Yeah. I have to stay late.

    Blake: Yeah. That’s a little bit of a struggle sometimes. Actually, there was an article recently in Harvard Business Review, research about the type of people that are attracted to professional services firms. The researcher had a term. She called high performing — well, not just CPAs but lawyers and consultants. She called them, “Insecure Overachievers.” Work really, really, really hard by choice, really long hours because we do knowledge work. So we have a really hard time quantifying the results of our work. We all work really hard so we can seem like we’re valuable so we can feel like we’re accomplishing a lot. I think we have to change that mindset.

    John: Oh, definitely. I mean just showing people that it’s okay. It’s okay to be human. It’s okay to not know everything. You don’t have to know all the answers. You just have to know who does. It’s okay to be human and smile every once in a while because the people that are on the other side of this transaction are also other humans.

    Blake: We’re not robots.

    John: Right. The funny thing to me is just how sometimes, people double down on the technical skills and that’s where the robots are. You versus a robot, you’re going to lose every single time. Every time. But the robots aren’t in the human to human interactions. Relating to people or communicating the information that the computer spits out to another human.

    Blake: Exactly. That’s the job that’s going to be left when we’re finished automating most of the day to day work. It’s going to be human component. That makes a lot of accountant uncomfortable.

    John: I don’t know why that is because when they leave the office, there’s humans that they interact with. It’s like why is it that when you walk into the office, all of the sudden it’s different or it’s weird. I don’t understand.

    Blake: I mean you have a sort of a philosophy about that. I mean that people, they should bring themselves outside of work into work or at least something about themselves like their hobbies or their passions.

    John: Right. That is the simplest thing for me. I mean because it’s not controversial.

    Blake: Yeah. I totally agree with that. I think the lines between home and work are starting to blur. We’re not going to be able to have this façade anymore about this is who I am at work and it’s this guy in a suit or woman in a suit who’s very professional and I’m a CPA type situation. This person I am at home which is not all that person at work is making it very, very difficult to maintain that. I think a lot of the fallout that you see from all of these scandals, it’s because people have one way of being at work and one way of being outside of work.

    John: That’s a good point.

    Blake: You just can’t do it anymore.

    John: No. I mean it’s exhausting. I mean there’s people that I’ve talked to here on the Green Apple Podcast that they just talk about how exhausting it was because who did I tell? Who I haven’t I told? Who am I allowed to tell? I mean it’s exhausting. It’s physically and emotionally and mentally just draining and then you’re not good at your job. That’s just it. I mean imagine if you were never allowed to tell anyone of the arts side of you and you weren’t allowed to use any of those skills then that first bookkeeping job that you had would be the worst job on the planet.

    Blake: Yeah. Well, and I’m lucky because my main hobby is something that is considered to be I don’t know. It’s good. People like that. They’re like, “Oh, you play the cello. How exciting and interesting.” I also like to play video games which if I tell that to a partner at an accounting firm, they’re like — my 12-year-old son likes to play video games. I do not.

    There’s something strange that a 34-year-old man is playing video games and then I have to explain to them that video games are not just for kids anymore; that the biggest demographic consuming video games is 30-year-old men and 40-year-old men and I very happily go home and I turn off my brain and I turn on my PlayStation 4 and I can play Rocket League. I play with my brother who’s all the way in New York City and that’s how we hang out that we live in different sides of the country. That’s really cool.

    John: That’s very cool, man. I have the original Nintendo. The original NES and with eight games. I was at my parents. I found it in my closet in my old bedroom. I was like, “What?” That on a flat screen TV is amazing.

    Blake: I have to do that.

    John: it’s crazy. You can’t play Duck Hunt though because the gun isn’t calibrated for that.

    Blake: Oh, it doesn’t work.

    John: But it is awesome. It’s fantastic.

    Blake: I have to tell you my dirty secret or it’s like my guilty pleasure which is it’s watching Twitch. Are you familiar with Twitch?

    John: I’ve heard of it.

    Blake: It’s a live streaming network of professional video game players who just broadcast themselves playing video games. People watch them. Instead of playing the games themselves, they’ll watch these really, really good players. You can watch all different games, people get really into it. They have certain players that they follow. This is a billion-dollar company by the way. This is not like niche.

    One of the subcultures inside of Twitch that I like is the Speedrunning Community. It’s this people who just try to beat video games as fast as they can. They try to set world records. Like this guy who I don’t know, he can beat the original Super Mario Brothers game in five minutes or faster or something like that. I’m probably off but it’s like under ten minutes. People obsessively try to get it down. It’s like the Olympics. They’re trying to improve the run by like .5 seconds, .1 second. I just find it fascinating. To me, it’s just so cool that that even exists.

    John: That’s amazing, man. Because it’s like oh, you don’t want to play? Well, then watch. Tell that to the partner that’s like, yeah, that’s weird that a guy in his 30s plays video games. Well, I also just watch so which one’s more weird?

    Blake: Yeah. I like to tell them that play video games first and then if that’s okay, then I stretch a little further and say, by the way, I also just watch people play them.

    John: It’s online. It’s not like I’m peeking in somebody’s window while they’re playing.

    Blake: No. Not even hanging out with somebody. It’s somebody I don’t even know.

    John: No, man. Welcome to 2018.

    Blake: We live in a very strange world. I just keep asking myself, where are the flying cars? We can watch people play video games.

    John: We have everything else.

    Blake: But we don’t have the rocket packs or the flying cars.

    John: Yeah. The back to the future in the Simpsons between two of those things, they’ve covered almost everything that’s happened. I mean that is an interesting point though that you bring up of whether to bring something up during discussion with people while you’re at lunch or whatever. I mean how does it normally come up? I guess the playing the cello or the video games, either one.

    Blake: I don’t know. I guess I made a decision when I started being an accountant that I didn’t want to have to hide any aspect of my life. It’ll just come up in conversation like, “What did you do this weekend?” “Oh, I played Rocket League with my brother for two hours.” It’s not that weird. I mean maybe I’m just lucky. I didn’t work at the Big Four so I’ve never been inside that culture. I don’t know if you could be that upfront about your hobbies.

    John: It probably depends on the city but yeah.

    Blake: I think we should all resolve to just say screw it, I’m going to be myself at work. I don’t know. Ever since I started doing that, things have gone well. Here’s my philosophy. People are crying out for authenticity in this world. They want to hang out with people or know people or work with people who are who they seem to be. When you have to different lives, there’s no way you can do that. Nobody’s a good enough actor. This is the future. If you want to be successful and have connections with people, you need to just take a risk and be yourself and maybe people won’t like that but chances are, they will.

    John: Yeah. I mean I can’t believe — I’m curious. Have you had any really bad experiences? It’s something that I think is mostly in our own heads. That fear.

    Blake: Yeah. I really do think it is. I’m trying to think of any particularly — I haven’t had any — well, no. There are some people online. If you put yourself —

    John: Oh, online. Sure, okay. There’s always a troll that’s living in his parents’ basement and whatever.

    Blake: I’m a blogger. I have my own blog. I have my own podcast, blakeoliver.com.

    John: There you go, yeah. Absolutely. The Cloud Accounting Podcast for people that want to double-dip, definitely check that out for sure.

    Blake: You start saying things that are a little bit counter to what’s traditional and some people will come and treat you down for it. YouTube comments are the worst so don’t listen. Just keep being who you are and you’ll be rewarded for that.

    Because I mean for every one of those, there’s 500 that love it. So clearly, it’s not you. Most of those people who love it is like a silent majority. You get the most passionate people making comments and so you just got to realize that the people who are actually typing are not necessarily your audience or your co-workers. Like you’re at work and you wear something a little bit different to work because you like fashion. You decide hey, I’m not going to just wear the typical PWC suit to work every day. I’m going to do something different. Even though you’re within the dress code, somebody gets on your case about it. Well, maybe you should just be okay with that.

    John: Yeah. I mean own it. I mean I clearly was the only one that did comedy in my office. A guy remembered me 12 years after I left so who he doesn’t remember is the person that wore the same suit and all that. It’s okay to standout. It’s scary but it’s actually better. I’m living proof and so are you which is great. Really, really cool.

    How much do you believe that it’s on the organization itself to create a culture where it’s okay to share or how much is it on the individual just to be like hey, this is it. This is what I do?

    Blake: I think that it’s super important that it comes from the top. That attitude that it’s okay to have a different opinion or to disagree. One of the things I loved about Armanino is that Andy Armanino said at our orientation that they want to hear different ideas and different ways to doing things and that’s what attracted me to that firm.

    If you’re at a firm where it’s super hierarchical and nobody’s ever going to tell you like, we don’t want to hear what you want to say because that’s not cool to say anymore. But you can tell if they aren’t really interested. I would say if you’re not one of those firms, try to get in to one of those firms. It’s so much more rewarding when you can have input and it’s not just top-down.

    John: I completely agree. It makes it a whole lot easier. That’s awesome when he stands up there and says something like that. I mean were there other things that Armanino did as a firm that encouraged that?

    Blake: Yeah. A great example was the Innovation Committee. The Innovation Committee was a group of both staff and partners and execs from the steering committee that met every — I think they met every month. Anyone in the firm could submit an idea through it. It was like an electronic suggestion box. It was selected by the Innovation Committee as being innovated. You get a hundred bucks right there out of their meeting.

    All the ideas were submitted to a contest that was held annually for the best idea. That was like a 10,000 dollar prize. They’re actually putting their money where their mouth is which is saying give us the ideas. We want to hear them. They would also follow up. They would work to implement and follow up on the ideas that they selected. I thought that was neat.

    John: Were the ideas business development wise or how to run the firm better or just personnel wise or anything?

    Blake: It could be anything. I submitted an idea about implementing a team chat tool. Something I wanted to implement Microsoft teams. The Innovations Committee liked that idea. I’ve been having trouble with IT getting them to green light the project but the Innovation Committee said no, IT, you have to do this. This is innovative.

    Another idea was somebody suggested something small. Let’s so a yoga room in the LA west office and that was selected. It could be anything.

    John: That’s awesome, man. That’s very cool. I mean it’s so refreshing to hear. It’s not just on a brochure. But they’re actually living and breathing it every day which is fantastic which is what we all need. It’s very inspiring to hear that.

    Before I bring this in and then we do the 17 rapid fire questions to make sure we can hang out, do you have any words of encouragement to anyone that’s listening that some people are like well, I’m the only one that does this hobby or passion. No one else is going to care. Why should I share it?

    Blake: I would say that overall, there are a lot of people who are in the accounting profession that are frustrated. It’s because the model is starting to — it’s not designed for people to be happy at the beginning of their career. I would say that if you’re on your first or second year and you’re feeling you’re not going to make it, there are opportunities in accounting that are really fun and interesting and are not soul crushing. Keep at it and look for those opportunities. Big Four maybe outside but there’s a lot of innovative stuff going on especially with small firms and mid-size firms like Armanino.

    I would say that yeah, if you are that person who feels like the square peg in a round hole and you’re not fitting it, it’s better to go somewhere where you can be yourself than to try and stick around just because that’s the traditional career path. I think the whole, “Make it until manager” and then go to industry is not the set career path anymore. There’s a lot of ways to get there. I went completely backwards.

    John: You totally did.

    Blake: I had my own accounting firm, bookkeeping firm, consulting firm, sold that then went to mid-market firm. I’m sure that given my skillset if I wanted to, I probably could’ve try to get in to the Big Four backwards. Firms are willing to take talent. You just have to be different. I think I’m living proof.

    John: Yeah. Absolutely, man. I agree a hundred percent and then clearly successful so it’s not just be different and kind of waddle through your career. It’s no, be different. It’s gas on a fire for your career. I mean it’s an accelerant.

    Blake: Yeah. Be strategic about being different.

    John: Yeah, right. Well, definitely. Clearly. Let’s not be crazy. It’s still accounting that’s why it’s still be a green apple. I’m not asking you to be a kiwi or a grapefruit or something weird.

    Blake: Definitely. Don’t be a banana but the bananas are —

    John: Right, no, no, no. Because they only last for a couple of days and then they’re rotten. And then it’s a race against time when you buy a banana.

    Blake: And you have to make banana bread. Does anyone really like banana bread?

    John: Yeah. Because everyone that I know that makes banana bread gives it to someone. It’s like why aren’t you eating this?

    This has been really, really, fantastic, Blake. But before I get on a plane and fly down and we go to the Symphony together, I have my 17 rapid fire questions that I like to run people through. I’m going to start to fire this thing up here. It’s going to be good, it’s going to be good. I’ll start you out with an easy one. Easy one.

    Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Blake: Star Trek.

    John: Star Trek. Okay. Are you more of a PC or a Mac?

    Blake: Mac.

    John: Mac. All right. How about do you have a favorite ice cream flavor?

    Blake: I like chocolate chip cookie dough.

    John: Nice. That’s one of my favorite stuff for sure. How about a favorite color?

    Blake: Blue.

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

    Blake: I’m not a fan of that green from the ‘70s. That avocado green.

    John: Oh, okay. Yeah. Oh, wow. That’s kind of gross. Good answer. How about do you have a favorite TV show of all time?

    Blake: I love Frasier. I have the Frasier. My dog is a Jack Russell Terrier.

    John: Nice, man. That’s a solid answer that I have not had yet. So that’s a really good answer. Really good show. How about more pens or pencils?

    Blake: Pencils because I obsessively have to keep everything clean and erased.

    John: Okay. How about are you more of a Sudoku or a crossword puzzle?

    Blake: Definitely, Sudoku.

    John: Okay. All right. How about when it comes to toilet paper, are you over or under?

    Blake: Over. Under is weird. I don’t get it.

    John: I agree too. It’s against the law. I don’t understand. How about do you have a favorite actor or actress?

    Blake: I guess I’ve been watching The Crown a lot on Netflix. Who is the woman that plays Queen Elizabeth on The Crown? She’s fantastic.

    John: The lady that plays the queen in The Crown. That’s a good answer. I got it. How about what’s a typical breakfast?

    Blake: I am a huge pancake eater.

    John: Okay. When it comes to financials, do you prefer the balance sheet or the income statement?

    Blake: I like the balance sheet.

    John: Sure. All right. Would you say you’re more jeans or khakis?

    Blake: Jeans for every day. Jeans for life.

    John: Jeans for life. Right. Do you have a favorite number?

    Blake: 4.

    John: Why is that?

    Blake: Because I love string quartets.

    John: Okay, right. There you go. This is kind of a good LA question. Are you more oceans or mountains?

    Blake: Definitely mountains.

    John: Oh, yeah. Two more. Are you more of an early bird or a night owl?

    Blake: I’m a night owl.

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

    Blake: The favorite thing I own doesn’t belong to me really. It belongs to my son. My son was born deaf. He had cochlear implant surgery. I don’t know if you’ve seen these videos on YouTube. It’s deaf people hearing for the first time. Now, he wears these really cool processors. It allows him to hear.

    John: That’s awesome. You’re able to share the music that you’re so passionate about. That’s really cool, man. Wow. Well, this was such a great episode, Blake. Thanks so much for taking time to be with me on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Blake: Yup. My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

    John: Wow. That was so great. I loved how Blake said people are crying out for authenticity in this world. They want to work with people who are who they seem to be. This is absolutely true. It all starts with you not being afraid to be yourself at work. This authenticity leads to more trust which for you leads to a better career and for the firm, a better bottom-line.

    If you like to see some pictures of Blake and his cello and also connect with him on social media or sign up for his Cloud Accounting Weekly newsletter, be sure to go to greenapplepodcast.com. All the links are there. While you’re on the page, please click that big green button and do the anonymous research survey about firm culture.

    Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friend 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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