Episode 188 – Joshua Jenson (JJ)

JJ is a CPA and Gordon Gekko protege





Joshua Jenson (JJ the CPA) is a founding partner of Jenson & Company, CPA’s in Edmond, Oklahoma who became interested in becoming a CPA not just for the job itself, but for the flashy lifestyle it could provide him! JJ tells John about how his grandfather played a large part in his career choice and how he applies his lifestyle towards his clients and his children!




Episode Highlights

• Why JJ became a CPA
• How he influences his children
• JJ’s ‘eBay problem’
• How he became known for wearing three-piece suits
• How he reflects his lifestyle towards this clients
• How his lifestyle leads to sharing more within the company


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    Thanks so much to everyone for subscribing to the show so you don’t miss any of the cool guests, like this week’s Joshua Jenson. He’s the founding partner of Jenson & Company near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where everyone knows him as JJ THE CPA.

    JJ, thanks so much for taking time to be with me today on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Joshua: It is an absolute honor. That sounds corny to say but all the things that you’ve done, the things that you’re doing in the industry, not only for the CPAs but for all the different work sites that are bland and plain, you’re like a rock star to me, so I’m absolutely honored to be here on your podcast, my friend.

    John: Well, absolutely, man. I appreciate it. Thank you so much, man. I don’t have a name that rhymes with CPA though so I’ll get there one day.

    Joshua: Right. I looked out on that one.

    John: Yeah, yeah, totally. But before I get into the meat of this, you know my 17 rapid fire questions I got to run you through here just to make sure that if we’re hanging out some time, we can do this. So here we go.

    Joshua: This is the rapid dating questions. Ready.

    John: Here we go. Let’s start with an easy one. Favorite color.

    Joshua: Dodger blue.

    John: Dodger blue, nice. How about a least favorite color?

    Joshua: Oh, gosh. I would say burnt orange.

    John: Okay. The Oklahoma in you just came out. How about more oceans or mountains?

    Joshua: Oh, definitely on the mountains.

    John: Okay, all right. Now, when it comes to puzzles. Sudoku or crossword?

    Joshua: I’m going to say neither. I hate puzzles. But if I had to pick one, I’d say Sudoku.

    John: Okay. All right, all right. How about do you prefer more hot or cold?

    Joshua: Definitely cold because I don’t want to be sweaty in my clothes and in my suit.

    John: That’s true, man, especially all those layers you got going on. That’s for sure. How about a favorite actor or actress?

    Joshua: Absolutely. It’s going to be Michael Douglas because he is really the Gordon Gekko in my life so I would say Michael Douglas.

    John: Right, okay. How about more pens or pencils?

    Joshua: Oh, absolutely pens. If you’re going to write something down, it better just be meant to be written down.

    John: Nice. I like it. I like it. How about Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Joshua: Oh, for sure. Star Wars because I’m a Jedi Knight, FYI, by night.

    John: Well, good to know, good to know. When it comes to computers, more of a PC or a Mac?

    Joshua: PC, hate Macs.

    John: Yeah. I don’t know how they work either. On your mouse, right-click or left-click?

    Joshua: Right-click.

    John: Right-click. That’s where the magic is.

    Joshua: Yup. That’s right.

    John: How about a favorite animal? Any animal.

    Joshua: I’m going to go with a bear.

    John: A bear. Okay, okay.

    Joshua: No, I couldn’t say bear so I’m going to go will bull. Let me go with bull. It’s in Wall Street.

    John: Bull. Oh, that’s a good answer. That’s a good answer. I see what you were thinking there. All right. How about when it comes to financials? More balance sheet or income statement?

    Joshua: Income statement all the way, baby.

    John: Okay, all right. Would you say you’re more of an early bird or a night owl?

    Joshua: Both.

    John: Both. Oh, boy.

    Joshua: John, money never sleeps, okay?

    John: Right. That explains why I got eight hours last night.

    Joshua: There you go, there you go.

    John: How about do you have a favorite adult beverage?

    Joshua: Oh, absolutely. Johnnie Walker Blue.

    John: Nice.

    Joshua: And neat. Don’t ruin it with ice.

    John: Water it down, right.

    Joshua: Johnnie Walker Blue neat.

    John: Nice, okay. How about a favorite number?

    Joshua: Four.

    John: Why is that?

    Joshua: Well, I’m a leap year baby so it’s every four years and then that was my number just in everything I did growing up. I leapt out and had number four so that is the number.

    John: Sweet. Two more. Toilet paper roll. Over or under?

    Joshua: Well, people that do it under are evil so it’s definitely over. It’s definitely over.

    John: It’s reasonably referred to someone as a monster.

    Joshua: Yes. Seriously.

    John: Like a monster.

    Joshua: Yeah, exactly. I had a staff meeting and brought it out to the staff and I said this is how we do it here. No joke.

    John: That’s so great. This is how we dress casual Fridays, and this is how we do toilet paper rolls.

    Joshua: Yeah, exactly.

    John: That’s perfect. The last one, the favorite thing you own or the favorite thing you have.

    Joshua: Jaguar. My car. I actually have a tattoo on my arm of the leaper that’s on the Jaguar. I’ve had a red, maroon, a white, a silver, a black and a silver, and I love them. So Jaguar for life.

    John: That’s fantastic, man. Very cool, very cool, which I mean leads naturally into your hobby, passion, I guess interests. It’s a lifestyle really is what you’re at here.

    Joshua: Yeah, and it really stems from we’re going to start with some real nice music here in the podcast because I was a young boy and my grandfather would come and visit once a year and he had a gold watch, he had white shoes, a seersucker suit, and he just was generous and happy.

    When I went to go see him, he seemed to know everybody and he was a CPA. I didn’t know what that meant but what I did know is I wanted to be my grandad when I grew up and he drove a Mercedes and he had his own office, some assistants, and he lived on a lake and he had an ocean house, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    Now, he didn’t have a jet, right? But it was the lifestyle, but what went with that lifestyle was generosity and fun and golf and buying drinks and enjoying life and that’s what I wanted. Now, part of that might be speaking to and have a great childhood and so I was looking at well, what’s next?

    Anyways, when I got out of high school, I left high school a year early, got into college, Wall Street the movie of the year that was coming out. I mean Michael Douglas won an Academy Award for it. I just started studying that because the family I grew up with, I got a job when I was nine swinging papers for a paper route, but it was to buy my Nikes, it was to buy my bicycle and so I learned making money got you stuff beyond what you needed. It got you stuff beyond the basics.

    Anyways, when I got out of high school and was going into college, I kind of melted these things together. CPA and Gordon Gekko, right? Those were the lifestyles. It wasn’t to be Gordon. I didn’t want to be an evil villain doing insider trading but it was a lifestyle, it was the cellphone, it was the bravado, people wanting to do business with you.

    And then with my grandfather, it just seemed like there was a lot of similarities there in the sense of he was putting together a fun enjoyable lifestyle. So when I took my first Accounting class, literally raced to the house that I was staying in and called him and I said, “Okay, I’ve taken my Accounting class. Now, really tell me what a CPA is because I want to do that, because I want to have your lifestyle.”

    When you say, “John, what’s your hobby?” it’s creating a lifestyle — a lifestyle for my kids, a lifestyle for my family, a lifestyle hopefully that is benefiting those that are working with me and that’s led to other opportunities.

    Maybe if I were to exercise more, I mean I’m not fat or nothing but I’ve got a little bit of a belly. My tax professor in college, when you become a CPA, you become soft palmed and big bellied. Don’t get me wrong, I’m maybe about 15 pounds overweight but the point is that I hate exercising. It’s a waste of time.

    Now, what does that lead to? Well, like with my son, what do we do? I mean he’s a fabulous baseball player, he’s getting scouted by colleges, legit, he’s a 6’5” lefty playing varsity as a sophomore. He’s a superstar. I love being with him.

    But like last night, we had dinner and they’re like, “Well, what should we do?” It’s like, let’s go to the sport store and there might be a new shirt out or some batting gloves or when we go on vacation, a big part of picking the destination is like well, where’s the malls? Where’s the supermalls? Where are the high end places? Part of it is working hard to enjoy life and for me, that is spending money and having nice things. Most people don’t relate to that, John, especially CPAs, right?

    John: I know. Well, they buy nice things if they’re on sale. I assume that you’re using a coupon like a buy one get one type of a deal?

    Joshua: Not typically. But I will tell you this. I will never pass up a good sale on suits or Ralph Lauren or anything to that effect. I’m kind of a sucker for that. But usually then, it’s like well, it’s on sale, might as well get three of them.

    John: Right. I’m saving money. I’m saving money. Yeah. That’s so great though and I love that story with just the influence that your grandfather had on you. It’s so powerful and that’s really cool that you made it happen and really neat.

    Joshua: Yeah. I appreciate that and similar to you, John. I mean you’ve been doing this a long, long time too. I’m not at all saying I’m as successful as you are but you’ve worked very, very hard to get where you’re at and so I’ve been in the CPA industry 26 years, been a CPA 24, I’ve had my own practice coming up in May, I’ll have my own practice for 22 years.

    When I first opened my practice, my grandfather kind of laid out a path for me but part of that path was get out on your own soon after graduating, get maybe four years of experience under your belt at a large firm so you can get in their tax department right away but get out on your own and don’t take any clients from the firm you’re leaving, don’t create any bad blood.

    When I went on my own, I had zero clients and I had about six months of savings and I just started beating the pavement and have my three piece suit. I kind of was known for that for a while and went around and met bankers and financial advisers and drumming up business and doing tax planning and focused in on the practice that my grandfather had which it took about ten years for me really to get as specialized as he was.

    But really, what it came down to is once I really knew I wanted the lifestyle, then as I started to think about having kids — and here’s how far ahead I think. My sophomore year, I wasn’t even married but I said if I have a daughter, I’m going to name her Chloe. Probably about five, six years later, had a daughter, named her Chloe.

    But when I started to think through the lifestyle, it also came to for better or worse, I don’t want my kids to have to have a paper route to have nice things. I’d like them to go to private school. I’d like them to have the name brand stuff and new and I want to buy them a car and I want to be able to pay for their college because that was not done for me.

    When you’re in college, it’s all about you, right? I mean you’re never thinking of anybody else. You’re just thinking of yourself. But once I got out of college, and you start your adult life and then you start thinking well, someday, I’m going to have kids. Then when I started to have — I’ve got a daughter and a son, then the drive truly was well, I really, really want to provide this lifestyle for Chloe and Cooper. Cooper came along five years after Chloe.

    It was to also share the journey with them and what I mean by that is my daughter’s a dancer and so I never have missed a dance competition when we travel. A lot of times, those are during tax seasons, still not going to miss them. She ended up graduating from high school and went to New York to the number two dance school in the United States.

    There was about 5,000 kiddos that tried out. They only took 47. They had Joffrey into their dancing contemporary program. But I wanted to make sure early on, whatever her dreams were that I could help support that so that was a $40,000 a year experience for one year that I was able to fund and go up to New York. This year, we went to the Yankees and stuff.

    And then she came back luckily to Oklahoma and she’s now getting her degree but she’s able to just dive in to doing choreography and dance lessons and teaching dance and taking dance as a degree, dance management, but I’m able to pay for that and I take great pride in that.

    I know that there’s different schools of thought of well, kids need to learn how to get out on their own but I do feel like my kids have seen me work as hard as I do that they understand that doesn’t just come easy and there are different ways that I have expectations on the kids that okay, well, if you’re going to do dance and you’re not going to have time to take a job, well, then you need to be disciplined in it. But both my kids with dance and then my son with baseball, I don’t have to motivate them ever and providing the opportunity.

    With my son, his pitching coach, played Triple-A ball for four years with the Boston Red Sox, his golf coach in the summer used to be on PGA Tour so his coach on his baseball team in the summer played for 15 years Major League Baseball so that’s part of the opportunity that I’m able to provide because that stuff costs money.

    John: For sure, no, that’s really fantastic especially coming from your past and your upbringing, you just want to give them what you weren’t able to have which is really cool and really powerful. I love, too, how when we talked a little bit ago how you said that you also reward yourself at the end of busy season or you’ve been known to crank up the websites and just start buying stuff and have two pairs of the same shoes because you forgot that you bought them.

    Joshua: There’s a lot of individuals that listen to your podcast especially CPAs and they’re probably shaking their head, they probably already thought that I need to repent and all the materialistic things that I’m talking about here but yeah, to your point, it’s also to reward myself and to take care of myself and that having three Rolexes access and having 52 pairs of shoes and only driving a Jaguar and wanting it to be clean all the time. But my kids have nice things and I bought them a car.

    My son has one of the nicest cars at his high school and I take great pride in that and he does too but I think I’ve also taught my kids that we share that. We’re in a situation where we have a very nice house so most of my son’s friends come over to our place. But we love that. We love it that we can have the food and the chips and say yes and here’s the theatre room and here’s the swimming pool, and let’s have fun and it allows the kids to be around us.

    But to your point, probably starting — I’ve been doing this 22 years so it was probably starting about 20 years ago. I actually had a CPA friend, Shelly Hooker, quite the name, right? But she was older than me and she was trying to downsize and so she was sending me clients. Of course, she was now my best friend because she was sending me clients.

    She’s like, “Joshua –” I wasn’t JJ back then. She’s like, “Joshua, here’s what you need to do is you’re working so hard during tax season” and then those early years, it’s easily putting in 20-hour days during tax season but reward yourself with something and see the value in what you’re doing for yourself.

    The first year I did it, it was a $99 trip with a free stay at a hotel that was in Elk City which is nowhere Oklahoma but it was like a treat for me because I never really had money to go stay in a hotel before that.

    Then the next year, it was something and that I remember the first that it was like oh, I’m getting a PalmPilot. Remember the PalmPilot which was stylus. I was like, oh, my gosh. Then it grew into something a little more elaborate and then it turned into like okay, well, which one do I want of this? It helped distract me a little bit or have a little bit of personal time during tax season.

    But then I’ll tell you, John, there was a few years that you could chalk it up to having a problem. I didn’t drink but there was a four-year stint of eBay, of eBay. The eBay years. I would come home from just jamming all day with the kids or whatever. And then I get home, I mean 1:00, 2:00 in the morning, and what did I do? Flip open eBay. And you start looking through and you start bidding on stuff.

    One year, it was all about shoes. It was just buying shoes and buying shoes and I was like, I’m going to buy a pair of shoes every week. That’s what I’m going to do. Every week, I’m buying shoes, because it’s just like half hour of billable time.

    That season, I ended up with literally ten pairs of golf shoes but they’re sweet and then to your point, I had a pair of brown and white shoes, okay? Like the old school brown, like two-toned, right? I got them and I was like, oh, these are so sweet. I’ll wear them the next day. Then two days later, the same pair of shoes show up that I bought from another vendor.

    Here’s the worst year. Here is the worst year that literally my team, staff, whatever, thought I had a problem, John. They were like, there’s something not right with JJ because we’re seeing two to three to six packages showing up every day full of — are you ready for this? Full of Wall Street the movie memorabilia. If it was on a disk from Australia, Sweden, I have every kind of poster you could think of that has Wall Street. Gordon Gekko, Bud Fox, and then Wall Street 2, and I just got obsessed with it and more just like, it was just fun.

    People that would make fun of people that collect stamps or comic books but people thought it was kind of weird and then I started framing it all and then I had literally like a gallery. I even thought about registering it like it was some kind of museum of Wall Street stuff. I mean just think of this. It’s memorabilia, right? I probably have $10,000 that I spent in the tax season of Wall Street stuff.

    John: That’s fantastic. So Meta of you to spend a stupid amount of money on a movie that’s about spending a stupid amount of money.

    Joshua: Exactly. I know. I know. But you know what? A year after that or two years after that, kind of slowly took it all down. I bought a building last year and my building has a garage in it so I get to park my car in it so all my Wall Street stuff is in the garage now. This is how much it’s embedded, John. When clients want to reward me, they give me something from Wall Street.

    There is a letter-type opener that a client of mine found that was supposedly in Wall Street 2 and then I watched the whole movie and then I saw it. I took a picture and have people give me huge framed pictures autographed and what not, but it’s fun. It is fun.

    John: Yeah, it lights you up. It’s cool that you’re able to share this with your clients. How did that come up? I guess early on, you were saying that everyone knew you for the three piece suit, did it just sort of organically kind of grow from there?

    Joshua: I think it did. My grandfather instilled in me, because he was a very well-dressed man, that when I first started college he said, wear a suit and tie your first day, go up and introduce yourself to every single professor and then they’ll remember who you are. He talked to me about shining your shoes. You shine your shoes.

    Then when I got out, he was like okay, you need to make sure that you’re wearing these suits. Then when I went to go start my own practice, he’s like, well, now you need to stand out. No one wears three piece suits and no one wears braces. Everybody calls them suspenders but if they button in, they’re called braces.

    I wore the three piece. Well, three pieces are expensive, right? I had two of them and I switched over to the braces. For years, ten years, I was known for my braces. Clients would even dress up like I would go see and Steve would be like, “Well, I knew you were coming today so look at my cufflinks. I pulled out these cufflinks that I needed to wear in front of you.”

    So yeah, I would say organically but here’s where it came from though, John, was respect for the client that was paying me, so I needed and wanted to look my best and treat them best because if someone’s paying you by the hour, and you’re just providing air to them, you’re just speaking to them or you’re giving them six pieces of paper and it’s an end result. You had talked about that before as well. What are you charging? It’s about the end result.

    Well, I wanted them to feel good about who they were spending money on. But don’t get me wrong. When I first started, I mean I drove around without air conditioning in an old truck because it’s all I could afford, then I had a Volkswagen, a Jetta, but I was driving around and I would get out of the car, Oklahoma’s hot, and then I’d put my dress shirt on around the corner from my client so I wasn’t all sweaty.

    It came out of respect for that and then it just became part of it and clients are like, “Oh, that’s JJ’s style. That shirt’s a JJ style shirt.”

    John: It’s so great.

    Joshua: Once upon a time, it wasn’t a thing to dress up. It was not a thing to wear the suspenders or braces. By the way, the braces are because Gordon Gekko wore them. He iconic wore braces.

    John: Right. Totally.

    Joshua: But it used to be a thing.

    John: Right, yeah. I mean everyone did it.

    Joshua: Yeah. Anyways, just keeping that alive. The guys I ran with, John and Jason and another Jason and a Jerry, we all like latched on to each other. We all loved Wall Street. We all dressed up. Like look at this new tie I got. We kind of fed on each other and we’re still friends and referrals and clients after these 22 years. In fact at a 20-year celebration, we’re all upfront and gave them all cufflinks from the year I opened my practice in ‘97.

    When you say, “Well, what’s the hobby?” It’s providing a lifestyle. I think part of it too is I don’t want to live the lifestyle when I grew up so here’s why I want to have a new car every three years because when I grew up, to get serious for a minute, my stepdad doing the best that he could every year was like 500 bucks, he’d save up to go buy another junker because the one that we bought last summer was on its last wheel. It was the embarrassing car literally and whenever it broke down, it was one of the kids’ fault that the car broke down so it was a very negative abusive situation for a car.

    I remember when I was ten years old just going, I’m always going to have a new car when I grow up. I don’t even think I knew anybody that had a new car. But that’s where that drove from was I don’t want to experience that again.

    And then same thing when I was a senior in college, John, I went to Abilene Christian University, great university but it’s private and so there was a lot of people there that came from money, bless them.

    My senior year, I got up every single morning at 4:00 am and swung again like I did from age nine to 12. I swung newspapers every day. I didn’t want anybody to know that I swung newspapers every day to crank out about 600 bucks a month. I managed — no, I was an assistant manager at a fine Italian restaurant at Abilene, Texas if that will tell you anything.

    John: There you go.

    Joshua: Ended up working a third job at a state school where I worked overnight plus I maintained near straight A’s. I took two extra classes because I want to get out. I want to start making money. I mean what kept me motivated. No joke. My freshman year, I cut out pictures. I wanted a Rolex, I wanted a Jaguar, those are the things that motivated me.

    I don’t want anybody getting a violin out but I didn’t have anyone. I didn’t have a support system. I didn’t know what that lifestyle looked like, John. I didn’t grow up around it. I didn’t even know anyone that drove a Jaguar. I probably didn’t even know what it looked like live. I didn’t really know what a Rolex was but I had a GQ magazine. You have the magazines and The Wall Street Journal and those kind of things.

    I was just latching on. There’s kind of a story behind the story which we probably don’t have the time today but when I got into college, I had to figure out if I wanted to go back to my birth name or stick with my stepdad’s name. When I started college, I had to discover and decide if I wanted to be Joshua Jenson and then when I said that, it’s like well, who’s Joshua Jenson? And so it was then writing down and envisioning and targeting what I wanted to do and at what ages and how much money I wanted to make.

    Those are just the things that motivated me but it was to get out of a depressed lifestyle. It was to get out of an abusive lifestyle, it was to become self-sufficient and then provide the complete opposite to my kids while I’m enjoying it. For me, it’s how can I become more JJ THE CPA? How can I expand that? It’s fun for me, John.

    John: Everyone’s hobbies and passions are totally different. There are totally different reasons and one isn’t any better than another one. I love how your grandfather said to stand out. At any point, did you ever think that’s scary or I shouldn’t stand out or that’s not what everyone else is doing?

    Joshua: No, because when I was in high school, you take those aptitude tests. It said I should be a movie star or a minister.

    John: Oh, my gosh. That’s so great.

    Joshua: So you put the two together and what do you have? A CPA, right?

    John: There you go. You have JJ THE CPA. That’s what you have.

    Joshua: That’s right. My grandfather was just larger than life. He told me, he’s like, “Everybody I meet, they know I’m a CPA within 30 seconds.” He would just be in McDonald’s with him, but I saw him in line at McDonald’s, people were laughing and having a good time and when he was going up, and my mom also instilled in me, you could make somebody’s day by just saying hello. Just smiling at them. That kind of stuck with me and for whatever reason, she’s like, if you see someone in the corner, go out and talk to them.

    That’s kind of been part of it too is just being a little bit bold. For me, it seemed very logical and a lot of fun and so no, it’s almost the opposite, John. It’s like oh, no one’s doing that? Then I want to do it. I am different most people say and I’ve turned it into a saying. Amanda came up with it in my office but it’s, “You’ve never met a CPA quite like me.”

    I have to say it like that, John, because it’s at the end of every one of my videos. I release a video every day on YouTube. I got to plug it, #JJTHECPA. You’ll find me anywhere, jjthecpa.com. But bottom line is, is that I do want to stand out now, it’s become fun, and when I am dealing with clients, they love it because if we get it back to the CPA and the tax, I tell everybody I work with and sometimes, we’ve even seen it real life kind of comparisons but I tell my clients that —

    It’s like what my grandfather told me. When you’re calling someone about their taxes, it’s like delivering news whether or not they have cancer. I hate to use that comparison but it is so true, right? Death and taxes. The point of that is that if somebody can have a good time, like you and I, we had a great time visiting before your show and you kind of loosen up so having some relationship and friendship and making it fun.

    It’s also part of like okay, I’m going to be in good hands with JJ here. He’s obviously good. I’ve had clients say well, “I saw you had a red Jaguar out there, so you must be good, so I want to hire you.”

    Bottom line is that it’s also about making your clients feel comfortable. Maybe not all of us have this opportunity but there’s high-end doctors’ offices that you go in that are probably leaning towards plastic surgery. I have clients that are doing this or the cosmetic, dentists, and what not. It’s high-end and there’s nice music and then they get something nice to drink.

    Well, that’s the environment I’ve always wanted to have even when I had an office, no joke, John. But I ran down to a used furniture store and sanded everything down, tried to make it like what you’d see in a book and a magazine and had little leather chairs because I wanted my client to have an experience and I still have clients that we talk about that because they’ve been with me all these years.

    Part of that is just it’s part of the experience. It’s part of the show in some ways that making your client feel comfortable and when I’m asked to do some seminars and what not that are to non-CPAs, I always say here’s the difference. I want taxes to be fun. I want my clients to enjoy the experience as much as they possibly can because then they’ll listen, then they’ll hear you, then they’ll understand, and you release their angst related to that. Well, what does that include? Here’s a sharp looking guy with a tie and look at those shoes and oh, my gosh.

    And then part of it too, John, is I’m a member of one of the most elite country clubs in Oklahoma City and I say that very, very proudly because about five years before it opened, I was on one of the greens at a tournament and I was telling my brother who was with me at the time, “Man, if I could be successful enough to be a member here one day, that would be unbelievable.”

    I’ve been a member there for about 12 years but I love taking my clients and they don’t pay. I’m buying everything on the course, I’m buying lunch, everybody’s having a good time, it’s a way to give back. That’s what it’s for. Don’t get me wrong. You got to run fast to keep up with all that fast. That’s what makes it worth it for me.

    John: Yeah. I love how you said it’s creating that experience for your clients because I mean you could throw a football and hit 20 people that can do a tax return.

    Joshua: Right, right. It’s true.

    John: Yeah. So you’re differentiating yourself and creating that experience. Do you feel, at any moment, that someone thinks well, he must not be very good at this? I mean as you said, it’s quite the opposite. Clients are like wow, you must be amazing at this because of the car and because of the cufflinks and whatever.

    Joshua: Yeah. That and now, after 22 years, I really do have a reputation of man, full service, going to take care of you and so when the referrals come, it’s now to match that expectation that they have. It’s not that they’re coming in expecting the glamour, so to speak, but when you hear about good service and full service and those kind of things and then you walk into our offices which we overlook this beautiful smaller lake.

    But the thing is I don’t care, meaning if there’s somebody out there that’s like well, he must just spend a lot of money and what’s he got to prove? Well, get out of my life because I don’t even want to know you.

    John: Right, yeah. No, I hear you. I hear you. I’m just saying like because a lot of people think that passions and interests outside of work are distractions.

    Joshua: Yes, I hear what you’re saying.

    John: Or they make you not be as good at your job and so the people that are only talking about work all the time are very serious about their careers are the ones that are the most successful and it’s quite the opposite.

    Joshua: That’s what I love. Part of the Recovering CPA, you, is unearthing that and exposing that there’s other things, but here’s the thing. My top clients, I call it the 34 group. There’s probably 50 of them, so 34 group. We’re all so similar. We love talking about what we do and outside interests and our businesses because these clients are all entrepreneurs as well.

    It is the things that drive — maybe on the surface, we’ve just heard materialism and purchasing things and those kind of things but the drive that causes me to want to do all the things that I am and create an experience is so that I’m enjoying life and that’s how I’m enjoying the life.

    And then, don’t get me wrong, everybody in my office, they know everything about me. It’s almost like gosh, I did share too much. I’m doing this this weekend, I’m doing that, or I met this person.

    John: It’s so encouraging to hear your story and what you’re up to and I need to get out of my way and get to Oklahoma City just on accident just so we can hang out. This is great.

    Joshua: Hey, guess what? I got a great golf course we can play. I’ll take you to the finest restaurant. We’ll have cigars, you’re going to love it. I would be honored.

    John: Well, awesome, man. Well, thank you so much for taking time to do this. It’s only fair, if you want, I can turn the tables to rapid fire question me maybe one if you got one, you can fire away.

    Joshua: Who is the biggest star that you have met and interacted with?

    John: Okay. Well, Jerry Seinfeld or Jay Leno. Do those count?

    Joshua: Yeah. You say Jay Leno? I saw a couple of pictures that you were with Jay Leno.

    John: Yeah. Jay’s a great guy.

    Well, thanks so much, JJ, for taking time to be with me in the Green Apple Podcast.

    Joshua: It’s been a pleasure. I really appreciate it.

    John: If you want to see some pictures of JJ living the dream or maybe connect with him on social media and check out his videos, 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 corporate 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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