Episode 238 – Lauren Thiel

Lauren is an Accountant & Dancer

Lauren Thiel, founder of The Real Thiel, an accounting firm for creatives, returns to the podcast from episode 71 to update us on her new dance company and how dance continues to impact her business!

Episode Highlights

• Opening a new dance school
• How dance continues to impact her business
• Finding new hires with creative passions
• Increased awareness of sharing passions in the workplace

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Pictures of Lauren Dancing

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  • Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close

    Welcome to Episode 238 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday edition. This is John Garrett. This 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 this message might’ve impacted them since we last talked.

    I’m so excited to let everyone know my book’s coming out very soon. 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. You’ll be the first to know when it’s being published.

    Please, don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes because I love sharing such interesting stories each week. This Follow-Up Friday is going to be no different with my guest, Lauren Thiel. She’s an accountant for creatives at The Real Thiel in Adelaide, Australia. I love that name so much.

    Now, she’s with me here today. Lauren, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Lauren: You are most welcome.

    John: Oh, man. This is so awesome. I remember the first time we chatted and it’s been three years since then. You were Episode 71.

    Lauren: Wow.

    John: Yeah. I know. It was so awesome hearing your whole story in the dance. But before we get into that, I have my rapid fire questions that we have to run through just in case I’d come down and join your dance troupe. That’s going to be a lot of time trying to teach me how to do this. Here we go. First one. If you had to choose. Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?

    Lauren: Harry Potter only because of the last season.

    John: Oh, yeah. Okay, okay. More heels or flats?

    Lauren: Always heels. Oh, my gosh. I have my calf issues. It’s bad because of that.

    John: Okay. How about a favorite Disney character?

    Lauren: I don’t think I can pick one. Maybe Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. I get nicknamed Sleeping Beauty.

    John: That’s actually probably something more to brag about than anything to be honest.

    Lauren: Literally, I started measuring my sleep because you get KPIs and I love it and like yes, I got 90% sleep last night.

    John: That’s awesome. I’m very jealous of that, very jealous. More oceans or mountains?

    Lauren: Oceans.

    John: Oceans? Okay, all right. But it sounds like it’s down the middle.

    Lauren: Yeah. I’m not really a nature person. I’m city, bars, and dance floors person.

    John: Right. How about brownie or ice cream?

    Lauren: Ice cream.

    John: Ice cream, okay. Good answer. How about a favorite movie?

    Lauren: The one that always come to mind is Bring It On, but I don’t think it’s actually my favorite ever.

    John: Yeah, but it’s a good movie and it pops in your head. There you go. The last one. Toilet paper roll. Over or under?

    Lauren: Over always. Oh, my god.

    John: I feel like you’re shaking your head right now and I can’t even see you.

    Lauren: I’ll correct it if I find one. I will correct it.

    John: Do you correct it and tell the person or you just correct it like a ninja?

    Lauren: No, I just correct it. Let them find it later.

    John: All right. Yeah. They’ll figure it out. Exactly.

    When we chatted on Episode 71, it was so much fun talking about dance and that whole dance studio that you had created with some friends and the performances that you had done even at some corporate events and things like that. Is dance still a part of your life?

    Lauren: Absolutely. I think a lot has happened since then. We actually had to shut that particular company down because we were arguably a big fan club for a particular artist. But basically, she didn’t like that we focused on her work and learned her dances, not that anyone would’ve been confused. We clearly weren’t actually her dancers but she wasn’t a fun of us like we were of her.

    Anyway, we had to shut it down. We’re a phoenix from the ashes and we created a new dance school. We now just focus on all of the artists, all the top 40, big bangers that get you on the dance floor and still doing the same sort of like focus on feeling good about yourself, feeling good in your body, moving, fitness and empowering all people really like we tend to attract 25 to 40-year-old women but we’re totally open, diverse, inclusive, all that jazz.

    John: All right. I will be there next week and we will make it happen. No, I mean John, we have to shut down. I’m sorry. We just closed.

    Lauren: We clearly love dancing.

    John: That would be super fun. I love that how it’s feeling good about yourself and its movement and it’s not like you have to be the superstar looks or the superstar moves. It’s you’re just out there doing your best and making it happen.

    Lauren: Yeah, absolutely. Dancing is meant to be fun.

    John: Absolutely. What’s the name of the new dance studio?

    Lauren: That Dance Drop which is based on if a beat drops in a song or Drop it like it’s Hot. All those sorts of things. We patched some words together. There’s our new business. Done.

    John: I like that. I like that a lot. Are you guys performing as well like?

    Lauren: Probably like corporate gigs and stuff, we do our own showcases a year and Christmas party and every time we’re in town and there’s a song that we know, we will definitely take over the dance floor.

    John: Right. It’s like a flash mob sort of a thing, like on accident?

    Lauren: Yeah, free performance. You’re welcome.

    John: Yeah, exactly. That’s really cool. Is the dance something that’s still you feel impacts your career in some way?

    Lauren: A hundred percent. I mean my business is accounting for creatives. I think at the very least, it adds a bit of credibility to that and to me. I run a creative business. I’m in that space. I’m a performer myself. I understand the pressure and the exhilaration that’s around doing that. But also, I think it helps in terms of performance in sales, in pitching, in communication. Physical movement is one expression and there’s a lot of other things that we do in business that I think that has positive impact in.

    On the other side, there’s also it’s sort of like there’s people who, in a creative mindset, who need to be taught in a particular way. Maybe they need visuals so they need them broken down into pieces. That’s just like teaching someone how to dance. You’re going to break it down to pieces, into different weeks, into different sections.

    John: That’s really great. The teaching stuff, it’s really powerful because different people learn in different ways and you have to meet them where they’re at which is a similar thing to when you’re working with your clients. You have to meet them where they’re at.

    Lauren: Yeah. I think too many big businesses don’t do that. They don’t actually look at what their clients are and how they work, and how they learn and meet them where they’re at.

    John: Yeah, exactly. Even I mean because I know you have bigger firm experience prior to launching The Real Thiel. That happens so much in larger firms as well not just with clients but with their people. People have passions other than accounting or law or whatever your job is.

    Lauren: Unbelievable. How can it be your only passion?

    John: Right? I mean it’s crazy. Have you seen, since you were on the podcast, other people sharing their passions more?

    Lauren: Yeah. I think so. I think you become more aware of it as well. People just seem to be prouder of that. That’s makes you a whole person. I’ve had my first employee, and I had him for a bunch of reasons. But one of the key reasons is actually that in his interview when I asked him like, “What are you passionate about?” he’s like, “I really love singing.” I was like, yeah, go human. Be proud of that.

    Even like we talk on a Friday like what are you up to this weekend? He’s like, I’m singing at this wedding. It’s our first wedding. We actually share our passion. We’re lucky we’re working together and actually both being passionate about creative industry but I like that we can talk about those sorts of things and we can support each other if he’s got a big singing conference or excursion coming up or whatever.

    I, as his employer can actually support him in that and same back the other way. Hey, I need Friday off because we got showcase rehearsals. We get that. That’s a part of your life. Let’s integrate it.

    John: That’s really cool. Also, something that I’m sure that he really appreciates, you care about him as a whole person. You didn’t just hire the technical skills part. You hired all of him.

    Lauren: In fact, I’d rather hire somebody because they’re a good person with passion and drive and energy about them. I can teach you the technical stuff.

    John: Right, for sure. That’s really awesome and such a great example for people listening even though it’s a smaller firm. That doesn’t matter. You can extrapolate it out to thousands of people. It’s the same concept.

    Lauren: Yeah, and I plan to.

    John: Yeah, absolutely, when we do the next Follow-Up Friday.

    Lauren:I’m on the road. I’ve got a thousand employees. I’m really busy, John.

    John: Right. John Garrett who? I don’t even know. Delete. That’s awesome.

    Lauren: No, I would never. I’ll always make time for you.

    John: You’re too kind. Do you have any words of encouragement for everyone listening who thinks that their hobby or passion has nothing to do with their job?

    Lauren: I think you need to think creatively about it and actually look at your particularly soft skills that you get from living your passion. Maybe it’s sport and you’ve learned drive and teamwork or it’s dance and it’s performance sales, communication, movement, body movement, awareness like absolutely you are learning something through everything you do in your life actually that you can apply for your work.

    The other way is where like work is not your whole life. Have a passion that makes you a better person, makes you more interesting, gives you small talk. Clients love that.

    John: Yeah, because I mean you know who else have passions outside of work are clients and co-workers and other people. Sure, there’s the 2% or whatever that their work is their passion and that’s fine, but the other 98% of us shouldn’t be shamed into that.

    Lauren: Yeah, and share that, share that with your clients and your colleagues.

    John: Yeah, because I mean before you know it, they’re in your dance studio and then there you go.

    Lauren: Yeah. Eventually, you might be picking out clients at the dance studio and you might have accounting clients who want to come to your dance studio. You don’t know.

    John: Exactly. Then you have a stronger relationship and you’ve lived it. That’s really awesome, Lauren.

    Lauren: Yeah, thank you.

    John: Absolutely. Congrats on launching the Real Theil and it being like flying now. It’s a real thing. It’s going. That’s really awesome.

    Lauren: Oh, my gosh. Yes. Overwhelming, scary, exciting, awesome. I love it.

    John: It’s got a killer name. There’s that.

    Lauren: Thank you. That’s a great thing.

    John: Absolutely. Before I wrap this up, it’s only fair I allow you to ask me some questions if you’d like, two or three rapid fire or whatever you want to fire away on. I’m ready.

    Lauren: Okay. Favorite ice cream flavor?

    John: Oh, okay. Favorite ice cream flavor. Probably Moose Tracks or chocolate chip cookie dough or something with chunks in it. I’m definitely a sucker for that. All the calories. All of that sugar.

    Lauren: Go-to karaoke song?

    John: Go-to karaoke song. Oh, gosh. Probably Young MC Bust a Move which dates myself.

    Lauren: You could be getting on the dance floor.

    John: Yeah, and it’s a funny song. I don’t have to be that good at it. It’s so good. I don’t have to be a singer.

    Lauren: Not going for like Celine Dion or Mariah Carey song or something.

    John: No way. Not for a second.

    Lauren: When you go out, are you a dance floor moth or are you hanging at the bar?

    John: I guess a little bit of both. I’m not in the center of the dance floor by any means but I don’t have a problem dancing and not being great at it. But yeah, a little bit of both, I guess but still on the edge of the dance floor I guess. I’m out there but not in the light. I’m tall enough that everyone sees me. It’s like, oh, the lanky guy. There he is. Exactly. It’s like why is that guy eating ice cream on the dance floor? It’s so weird.

    Lauren: But it’s a chunky ice cream so it’s okay.

    John: Exactly. This was so much fun catching up, Lauren. Thanks so much for being with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Lauren: Thank you for having me again. I’ll see you in three years.

    John: Hopefully sooner.

    Everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Lauren in the action or maybe connect with her on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com and while you’re on the page, please click that 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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