Episode 244 – Randy Watkins

Randy is a CPA & Music Lover

Randy takes a special interest in getting to know each client and their desired outcomes, as this allows him to deliver the services that helps them accomplish their goals. A native Coloradan, he enjoys being outside with his family all year round – golfing, concerts, camping, snowboarding, and water skiing.

Randy returns from episode 16 to talk about his most recent favorite concert, how he is taking more of an interest in other people’s hobbies, and how ACM LLP is encouraging a culture of sharing passions outside of work!

Episode Highlights

Favorite recent concert
Being more aware of sharing hobbies
Making business discussions easier
Taking trips as a firm
Fun calendar

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Pictures of Randy Enjoying Music

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    Welcome to Episode of 244 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 this message might’ve impacted them since we last talked.

    I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book’s being published very, very soon. It’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites. Check out whatsyourand.com for all the details or sign up for my exclusive list and 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 and every Wednesday and now, Follow-up Fridays and this one’s no different with my guest, Randy Watkins. He’s the office managing partner for the Northern Colorado office at ACM. Now, he’s with me here today. Randy, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Randy: Thank you. I’m excited to be part of it.

    John: I can’t believe it’s been almost four years, dude. It doesn’t even feel like that long ago when we chatted, but I’ve mixed up the format a little bit here. We’re going to do rapid fire questions up front. Here we go. Get to know Randy on a new level. If you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?

    Randy: Game of Thrones.

    John: Okay. How about a favorite sports team?

    Randy: Well, the CU Buffs but it’s been a challenge.

    John: Right. It is up and down. Last year, they were so hot and then so not. If a season was only six games long and they would be in a bowl every year. Do you prefer more hot or cold?

    Randy: Cold.

    John: Cold, okay. How about a favorite place you’ve been on vacation?

    Randy: Hawaii.

    John: Yeah, yeah. Very nice. How about this? Brownie or ice cream?

    Randy: Ice cream.

    John: Ice cream, okay. I know you fly a lot, attending a lot of conferences and vacations and stuff too. Window seat or aisle seat?

    Randy: Aisle seat. Long legs. I can’ fit on the window.

    John: I agree, man especially when the fuselage curves a little bit. It’s like I’m getting cheated here. I don’t even get a full space. The last one, maybe the most important one. Toilet paper roll. Over or under?

    Randy: Under.

    John: Under, okay.

    Randy: At one point, there was a cat in the house and they enjoyed playing with toilet paper rolls. If you put it over, yeah, you end up with a lot on the ground.

    John: Yeah, then it’s all gone.

    Randy: It’s just out of habit.

    John: I hear you. I think that’s the only way that you just saved yourself from getting Twitter bombed by everyone.

    Randy: I’m going to be fitting a different Twitter bomb, but that’s all right.

    John: And the last time we talked, we talked about going to concerts a lot and especially Blues Traveler and hanging out with them. Is this still a passion? Do you guys still — I mean here in Colorado, there’s so many great concerts happening in so many cool venues. Still a thing?

    Randy: Sort of, yeah. I have two daughters. One’s almost ten, the other just turned seven and life changes quite a bit when their life start getting busy. Every year, we go to a fun concert out in Palm Springs area called Stagecoach. It’s a big huge country music festival that we enjoy, still a thing I enjoy going to concerts. Most favorite most recent one was the Paul McCartney concert down in Talking in Arizona. My oldest is named Lennon and my youngest is McCartney. You can guess that I’m a bit of a Beatle’s fan as well. They got to see Paul McCartney play which was kind of neat.

    John: Oh, and they got to come too?

    Randy: Yeah. They were with us.

    John: That’s fantastic. Did McCartney like it more?

    Randy: She actually slept through most of it which was probably because it wasn’t quiet and it was about a three-hour concert, but my oldest was standing the entire time and actually knew some of the words which I was super proud of.

    John: Yeah. So you are winning parenting. That’s for sure. You’re like, my work is done here. I don’t even know what else to do. We’re ten and we know words to Paul McCartney songs. That’s really cool, man. Is this something that you see people sharing their hobbies and passions more now or is it still kind of hit and miss?

    Randy: It’s probably a little bit hit and miss. I do probably find myself more aware now and taking a bigger interest in people’s hobbies, particularly if there’s any overlap. I got a lot of friends that also enjoy concerts and festivals. So we’ve got kind of a group that goes on that annual trip every year. I would say I’m probably noticing it more again especially if we share some of the same hobbies.

    John: Yeah, because then I mean it’s something to talk about right away.

    Randy: Yeah

    John: Right. It’s your job and you still try to avoid it. Imagine everyone else in the general public. I joke when I’m on stage that if someone asks me what I do, and I say I’m a speaker and a comedian, then we’re talking the whole flight. Not a big fan. But then if I say, I’m an accountant, then they put on their Bose noise-cancelling headphones immediately. There’s never a follow-up question or anything.

    Do you find that the conversations tend to go on longer and you have a little bit of a different relationship with those people? Not in a better way but just slightly different relationship?

    Randy: Yes. I mean obviously, you’re talking about shared passions is more interesting. I guess there’s even times where if it’s not something I’m necessarily personally passionate about and is more interesting than some of the other conversations I’ve had. So yeah, it’s been good.

    John: I find that, and I don’t know if this is the case, but where you start with those kind of conversations, and then it’s easier to transition into a business conversation rather than the other way around.

    I mean if you start a business and then ten minutes later, be like oh, yeah by the way, do you go to concerts? It’s creepy weird.

    Randy: It does lower people’s guard. I mean I think it creates more of a personal connection which makes it, like you said easier to transition into more serious conversations. Yeah, it definitely does help.

    John: That’s awesome to hear because we’re still humans. It’s a human to human connection there even though we work for businesses and corporations and firms and stuff like that. Sometimes, we forget that. I know ACM does some cool things that from your position as a leader in the firm that you encourage or I mean obviously you’re modelling it, but is there something above and beyond that that you do?

    Randy: Yeah. Since my last call, especially with the girls, whenever we can, one of the things that we as a family started doing more on is travelling. Something our firm did that I think is kind of cool a couple of years ago is we were having a hard time getting people to use their paid time off and getting them to really get away from work and do things they enjoy to do personally.

    We created a program where if they would come to us with a plan to spend a week on vacation, it can be a staycation doing things that they enjoy around Colorado, but if there was a plan in place, we would allow them to actually take a week of vacation and also, use a week of vacation converted to pay so cash out a week to help pay for their actual vacation.

    We found that that really encouraged a lot of people to get away, to get away from the office to go do the things they enjoy and yeah, it’s been good.

    John: That’s awesome, man. That’s really cool because so many times, people feel the pressure to meet those chargeability hours or I have to be in the office just in case Randy needs something or someone needs something. It’s like no, no. We want you to get away, we want you to do your passions, go on vacation, take a break because you come back refreshed and you’re just better at your job then. That’s pretty awesome. That’s such an easy way to encourage that.

    Do you have any words of encouragement for anyone listening that thinks that going to concerts has nothing to do with my job or whatever their passion is?

    Randy: Yeah, I mean kind of to your point earlier, what we do for a living and the jobs we have really don’t define who we are as much as I think the things that we do outside of the timeframe. Even finding groups within the organization where you do have some shared passions or shared hobbies and getting a group to go do those things as a team probably builds better relationships both in and out of the workplace.

    I think on the last call, I mentioned we had a fun calendar where people post things they’re doing and other people can see what’s going on. That’s been a great way to develop little almost cliques around hobbies within the firm, things that we’re doing outside of the office and that would just say find people with shared passions and spend time with them and continue to grow those things. Yeah, absolutely.

    John: Even if it’s not a shared thing, someone’s singing or they’re performing somewhere or whatever, go support them. Go watch it. Yeah, I’m a terrible singer, but I’ll go watch it. I think in one of the previous podcasts, somebody asked, what superpower would I have if I could have one? I was like singing. To me, that is a super power. Flying or looking through walls. Singing is up there with that to me. That is that level of a skill.

    Randy: Anybody can sing. It’s just not everybody wants to hear them.

    John: That’s an excellent point. Thank you for that. I’m going to use that next time blood’s coming out of someone’s ears when I’m near them at a concert while I’m singing along. I love how you said that the things outside of our job define us typically a lot more than our job itself. It’s a percentage of who we are as a person. A job is really a small percentage. It’s 100% of our income. But who you are as a person, it’s 20% maybe. It’s important to not let that slide into becoming 100% of us. That’s really great.

    Before I wrap this up, it’s only fair that I allow you to question me back since I so rudely came out of the gate coming at you, whenever you’re ready, fire away.

    Randy: All right. If you can travel back in time, what period would you go to?

    John: Oh, wow. Holy crap. That’s a great question. Wow. That’s hard. There’s so many layers to it. It’s like I’m probably going to be dead by now of the flu if I go back to anywhere before the 1850s.

    Randy: See, I don’t even think about things like that.

    John: It’s like well, like you know. Yeah, I don’t know. Let’s see here. I guess the ’50s, the ‘1950s, I don’t know why. It just seems like gone madmen. Everything’s cool.

    Randy: All right. Nickname your parents used to call you.

    John: John R. because my dad is also John. Middle initial is where that popped in. I never went by really anything else. That was pretty much it.

    Randy: Not JR?

    John: No. Never Johnny, period, to this day.

    Randy: I’ll remember that. Back to your super power question, I’m just going to give you choices. Invisibility or super strength?

    John: Nice. Yeah, I’m going to go invisibility which sounds like the creepier answer. You don’t need the super strength that they can’t see you but I guess that’s why I’m going to go with that, plus I’m a big fan of just being in the corner and just not the center of everything with sounds weird because it’s the opposite of my job.

    Randy: Oh, you’re a public figure. Right.

    John: Yeah, exactly. It’s like, I’ll just be over here. Invisible. Those were really good questions. Now my brain hurts, Randy. That was awesome though but thanks so much for taking tie to be with me in on What’s Your “And”? This is really fun.

    Absolutely. I drive.

    Randy: Cool. Everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Randy in action and at the concerts or maybe connect with him on social media, please be sure to go whatsyourand.com. While you’re on the page, please click that big button and do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture.

    Thanks again for subscribing in 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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