Episode 222 – Edie Gardner

Edie is an Accountant & Bucket List Achiever

Edie Gardner previously discussed travelling to all 50 states as a personal bucket list item. Now she’s back from episode 33 to talk about how that experience has affected her personally and professionally with helping others accomplish their bucket list items!

Episode Highlights

Feeling better equipped after the travelling experience
• Where we live plays a big role in your personality
• Bucket List University
• Rewards for healthy home life
• Completing her husband’s bucket list
• Going to Antarctica
• Expanding your comfort zone

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Edie’s Pictures

(click to enlarge)

Edie went kicking and screaming to Antarctica. Though she rarely take selfies, she had to capture her absolute fear of sleeping out in an ICE GRAVE on the peninsula of Antarctica. You can see her religious book in a waterproof case on top of her for added protection. She’s also wearing her Mt. Rushmore jacket, which commemorates her 50 state bucket list journey. Can you tell what her eyes are saying?

Even though Edie brought fancy lenses and equipment, this serenity of Christmas Day in Antarctica was captured merely with the camera on her phone.


Edie’s links


  • Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close

    Welcome to Episode 222 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday edition. This is John Garrett. Each Friday, I’m following up with a guest who had been on the show a few years ago to hear what’s new with their passions outside of work and also hear how maybe this message has impacted them since we last talked.

    I’m also so excited to let you guys know that my book is being published in just a few months. It’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites. So check out whatsyourand.com for all the details, or sign up for my exclusive list and you’ll be the first to know.

    Please don’t forget to hit Subscribe so you don’t miss any of the future episodes of the show because I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. This Follow-Up Friday is no different with my guest, Edie Gardner. She’s a CPA and Accounting Coach with the Bucketlist Learning Club while also an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University. And now she’s with me here today.

    Edie, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Edie: Oh, thanks so much, John. We had so much fun last time. I’m sure this will be a blast again.

    John: Oh, it was so great, Episode 33. I can’t even believe it.

    Edie: I know. Me either.

    John: I can’t wait to get into the bucket list stuff. But first, I do the rapid-fire questions up front now. I hope you’re ready right out of the gate here. If you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?

    Edie: Oh, totally, Harry Potter. I’ve never even seen a Game of Thrones episode.

    John: I haven’t either, to be honest, so we’re in that together.

    Yeah. Do you prefer more hot or cold?

    Edie: Hot although the older I get, the more I’m gravitating towards cold. And my sons are hockey players, so I’m used to the cold now.

    John: Oh, yeah, you got a little bit of both there in Southern California then at the ice rink and then outside. Yeah, yeah. Do you have a favorite cereal?

    Edie: Cocoa Krispies.

    John: Solid answer. Oh, the best part where you drink the milk at the end turns into like chocolate milk.

    Edie: People think that’s bringing me back to my childhood, but that’s really bringing me back to yesterday.

    John: I love it. How about more oceans or mountains?

    Edie: Oceans, definitely.

    John: Okay, how about a brownie or ice cream?

    Edie: Brownie.

    John: Oh, okay.

    Edie: Your question. Come on, John.

    John: I prefer the combo, to be honest.

    Edie: That’s fair. Okay, that’s good.

    John: I guess I threw a curveball in there. So when we talked, it was 50 states before turning 50, which you did, and you travel a lot. So do you prefer planes, trains, or automobiles?

    Edie: I’ve got to say automobiles because it’s all about the road trip.

    John: Okay, I like that. And the last one, toilet paper, roll over or under?

    Edie: Gosh, I didn’t even know this was a thing until my husband started saying, “No, put the toilet paper roll in this way.” I’m like, “What?” So whatever my husband prefers, I do the opposite. I think it’s so ridiculous. Oh, my gosh! I can’t worry about one more thing, like the toilet paper roll. Now, actually that he has taught me the ways of the wise, I do that toilet paper roll on the top.

    John: Okay, so over. Okay. All right, all right, fair enough, fair enough. That’s hilarious. When we talked on Episode 33, you’ve done the 50 states, which was awesome, and just hearing those stories from all the road trips that you have done, what’s new now? You’ve already done all the states.

    Edie: Yeah, and it still comes up all the time because — I don’t know. Travel in general comes up all the time where people are going and vacations, but I just am always talking about it. I just feel so much more equipped because I feel like I know what it’s like to live in different parts of the country because prior to this series of road trips and bucket lists, I really have been so spoiled just to live in Southern California. I don’t really know what it’s like to live anywhere else. And I really do believe that where we live is a huge component to our personality and some of the things that we focus on and how we life, right? I did prove that to myself that really it was true when I went to all 50. But it still comes up a lot. Now I try to work with people to help them with their own bucket list.

    John: Oh, that’s fantastic. And is it something that’s like a formal program, or is it more of just you’re talking with somebody and you’re like, “Hey, why don’t we just get out a piece of paper and let’s see what’s up”?

    Edie: Well, it really kind of is a formal program because since we’ve met last Episode 33, I started going back to some of my roots in my education where I was incorporating counseling and coaching a lot more in my accounting practice, which seems kind of weird, but now I’m doing both and. I used to think of it as like five or six different part-time jobs, but now I’ve kind of worked it all together. It’s all about learning people’s stories, just like that’s what you’re dedicated to as well. That’s how the Bucketlist has really formed is like what they’re doing in their everyday job. I work with small business owners and sometimes they’re all one-man, one-woman shows, right? So they’re doing everything. I’m always asking, is what you’re doing part of your purpose? And part of your purpose is kind of your bucket list. It’s meeting all your passions and all that.

    John: Obviously, accounting in the education world has absolutely nothing to do with any of that. They don’t teach you any of that. They don’t even tell you to do any of that. So that’s so cool that that’s just part of when you come to Edie Gardner doing your accounting, that’s what happens.

    Edie: Yeah, I kind of say, well, I’m your accountant, but I’m going to sneak in counseling in there. But really what I’ve learned is that when you’re a business owner, you’re not just wearing a lot of hats, but there’s an emotional component to everything that you do. So just like I meant in the other episode, I can teach you the basics of accounting or what you need to know about your books, but really 90% of it is your behavior, and your behavior is dictated by your story and your passions and what you want to do. If you’re unhappy at work, it’s probably an indication that you’re unhappy at home too. So let’s work on getting all that together.

    John: I love that and that applies to not just small business owners. That applies to someone that’s a part of a giant corporation.

    Edie: Yes, definitely.

    John: On a macro level, it applies to everyone and that’s awesome.

    Edie: Also, with the big companies, there’s a lot that comes from the top down. So the attitudes and people at the top while you might think it’s, oh, it’s just a big company, but it has a huge effect on it. And what I’m so encouraged to see now is companies are really rewarding you for making your home life healthy. My husband gets paid getting enough steps in every day and stuff like that. So you’re not just a robot at work. You bring unique things to your job. So let’s make sure the whole picture is a good story.

    John: Yeah, I love all of this. That’s so cool. I know you mentioned that your husband’s bucket list you have going, and so what’s that now? Because you did the 50 states, so he’s got his now that you’ve started.

    Edie: It was only fair. Every single vacation was dedicated to the 50 states. He’s like, “Okay, now it’s my turn.” And his bucket list is to experience 100 countries before he dies. We have one son about to go into college and another son in college. So right now we haven’t been traveling a whole lot because we’re paying for college, but we do have to get on the bandwagon for his bucket list, 100 countries. But then he started by saying, “Okay, well, we first should hit all seven continents. So as we’re on the younger side, let’s try to hit the hardest ones.”

    So we went for his 50th birthday, but he was almost 52 when we went because we went to Antarctica. I went kicking and screaming. I really did, kicking and screaming. Unfortunately, I can say it was one of the wildest experiences and the best experience of my life, so he was right. Yeah, so now we have to knock off a few more continents and then we’ll start doing the countries.

    John: That’s so cool, Antarctica. You said where you fly down to Chile?

    Edie: Yeah, so we went in an 11-day cruise. I can only say that it was great experience because they say it’s either one of two things. It’s either the Drake Lake or the Drake Shake. I think it’s three to four oceans are converging all at one point on the way down to Antarctica. So it’s the roughest waters in the world. So we got the calm waters going through, and you never know. The captains to the boat never know or anything. On Christmas Eve night, I slept out in they called it an ice grave because you have to be down in the ice in case the wind blows. There’s a windstorm so we are on the peninsula part of Antarctica, and we spent the Christmas night in this ice grave.

    John: That’s awesome.

    Edie: Well, it was awesome but also terrifying because you’re looking at your ship, and then you see your ship going away for a while. We’re like, “Wait, come back, come back!” A man had a heart attack on our boat, and we were redirected to get him. He’s totally fine now. He’s doing great. This whole ship was determined to get him back to an area where he could be flown. But because we had to course correct, we ended up seeing an emperor penguin which was like so rare because they’re usually much, much farther south. So we’re kind of rewarded for that. And by redirecting and going back to I think it was St. George, ended up missing this huge storm that would have really been difficult to experience. So it was a wild experience. I’m glad it’s over. But there’s no internet. There’s no connection to the world. That was one of the things that was so terrifying for me. But in the end, it was so exhilarating. You’re all there in this boat, and it’s incredible.

    John: That’s very cool. I’m glad that you did it because there are so many opportunities that people have that we don’t even notice, or we don’t even think about. I just love how you’re embracing all of these.

    Edie: Well, it took a while, John. It was pulling on every one of my insecurities going down there. I’m not a big believer in working outside your comfort zone. I’m a better believer of expanding your comfort zone because if you’re comfortable, then you’re able to do a lot more things than if you’re uncomfortable. I get why people say work outside your comfort zone, but for me, I prefer to expand it so that I’m still working within my wheelhouse.

    John: Right. Play to your strengths, exactly. What a great experience for you. And then helping other people with their bucket list as well and that’s got to be so rewarding.

    Edie: Really is. Oh, my gosh, it so is. When I first started the 50 states trips, I remember our first trip, what we would do, we would fly to one city and then we would rent a car and kind of do a big loop. The first road trip that we took was in the upper northwest. I remember in a small town in North Dakota, the kids were swimming and I came into the pool area. They’re like, “What are you doing in North Dakota? All the people swimming in the pool.” I told them I was going to all 50 states.

    Now, my husband had been to a ton of states before this because he did a lot of work travel. And a lot of people travel for work and can do it, right? Politicians get to go to all 50 states and everything. So I had these rules on how I would count the state and what it meant to knock it off my bucket list. But I didn’t really care what other people — because they would say, “Oh, wait, let me tell you how many states I’ve been to.” I’m like, “I don’t really care.” First, I was really mad that people would tell me how many states they’d been because I had so few. I don’t want to compare it to you. I already know I’m the underdog here. But then as I started getting more states under my belt, then I was interested. It’s very selfish of me, but then I was interested. Okay, now I have a few under my belt. But now that I can say I’ve done it, now I realize, okay, it really is about in life, I think, it’s learning your lessons, but it’s also paying it forward. So helping people to live out their bucket lists is so rewarding for me because I can see their joy, and that’s what gives me a ton of, okay, I’m doing the right thing.

    John: Yeah, I was hoping that your bucket list was going to be beyond What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday and then I’d be like, “We’re done. I did. I just made it through.” No, no, I’m just kidding.

    John: The reality is we’re never really done with our bucket list. Hopefully, you’re never really done with your bucket list because it just should be about the journey and not checking out the states. That’s something else I learned. It’s like, okay, I shouldn’t just check off the state. I really enjoyed the process of really experiencing that state. So it is about the journey. I think it was Emmitt Smith who said his lifelong goal was to win a Super Bowl. Once he did, he was like, “Oh my gosh! Now what?” But then he went on to win Dancing With the Stars and everything.

    So I just started my new classes teaching yesterday, and I asked people what their goals were for this semester. They were like, “I want to earn a 4.0.” I thought, okay, well, that’s a great goal. No doubt, right? But let’s make sure, because if you make a 3.94, are you going to feel like you failed? Let’s make sure it’s like small wins along the way instead of just that end result of a number, right?

    John: Yeah, or the experience or what you learn because the grade doesn’t always correlate to the experience.

    Edie: Definitely, yes.

    John: Just because you get all A’s doesn’t mean that you actually experienced it or learned it. You just memorized it and guessed well on the test.

    Edie: Exactly. Oh, my gosh, yes.

    John: So that’s awesome. What great advice for everyone to take away from this. That’s really fantastic. Before we wrap this up, it’s only fair that I allow you to rapid-fire question me if you’d like.

    Edie: Excellent.

    John: So two to three, whatever you want to ask me, I’m all yours. Fire away.

    Edie: All Right, great. So how many states have you experienced?

    John: Oh, okay. That’s a good question. Okay, I can start with ones I haven’t been to, so Alaska, Montana. I think it’s just those two.

    Edie: Really?

    John: Yeah. Because I did Oregon last year and done Washington. Yeah, I think Montana and Alaska are the only two. Yeah, look at me, 48. All right.

    Edie: It’s so good.

    John: Yeah. It helped that growing up, we moved a lot. My dad was in the Air Force. So we moved a lot and traveled a lot and have family everywhere. So yeah, look at me, 48.

    Edie: And what’s your favorite?

    John: Oh, favorite state? Colorado. That’s where I live now. So I have to say it or else everyone will kick me out. No, but Colorado is pretty awesome. I will tell you that. It’s got a little bit of everything. Colorado is great.

    Edie: Okay, well, you have a book coming out, so this might be your answer. But aside from your book, what is the top item on your bucket list?

    John: Okay, yeah, definitely the book. That’s weighing heavily on my brain. But bucket list item would be to go to the college football national championship when Notre Dame is playing. So that would be a huge bucket list item. If they ever go, it would be awesome to be there for that game. Last year, I got to experience the final four game, which was great. Yeah, I think that that would be a fun one, the next level type stuff.

    Edie: So I’m all about people’s secret sauce. So we don’t hire robots. So what you bring to a job is your unique, like McDonald’s, their secret sauce, right? So what would you say your secret sauce about comedy, or what are you known for with your comedy?

    John: More the keynote speaking and stuff like that? I think it’s customizing and relating to the audience immediately.

    Edie: So research before?

    John: Yeah. I take my time to do the homework and really get to know who they are and how is this message going to apply in their world? Because there’s so many times you hear speakers and you’re like, “Well, what am I supposed to do with this? I don’t even know.” Here’s how it applies in your world and go and effect change in that way and getting people to see that they’re more than who they thought they were. You’re more than your job title and so are the people around you. And it’s fun to see a room full of 200, 300 professionals go from regular people with job titles to no, these are 300 people I would want to genuinely hang out with. Doing the homework and customizing for the group is definitely something that I’m known, for sure.

    Edie: That’s so true. That video you have on your website about accountants versus IT people, it’s so funny.

    John: It was a conference a couple of years ago. Yeah, it was so funny. The IT professionals, a lot of them had receding hairlines or no hair at all. And then a lot of the accountants had a full head of hair. I was like, is it possible that the one group is causing the other group to lose all of their hair?

    Edie: It’s so good. And they were dying.

    John: So it’s always funny. Well, thanks so much, Edie, for taking time to be with me. This was really fantastic. I can’t wait to hear more in a Follow-Up, Follow-Up Friday what other continents you’ve been to and all that.

    Edie: Okay, there we go.

    John: So very cool. Thanks so much, Edie.

    Edie: Thank you, John.

    John: Yeah, absolutely. Everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Edie’s adventures or maybe connect with her on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. While you’re on the page, please click the big button and do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture.

    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, that who you are is so much more than what you do.


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