Episode 245 – Billy Kelley

Billy is an Accountant & Hunter

Billy Kelley tells us the story of his very first hunting trip that made him realize his passion for it! He also talks about how hunting has taught him patience, how he applies that to handling conflicts in the office, and why it is important to know your why!

Episode Highlights

First hunting trip
Teaching his son to hunt
Developing patience through hunting and how he applies that in the office
Talking about hunting at work
What his job as a manager/supervisor is for his employees
Knowing your why

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    Welcome to Episode 245 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett. Each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion or an interest outside of work. To put it in another way, encouraging people to find their “And,” those things above and beyond your technical skills and the things that actually differentiate you when you’re at work.

    I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book is being published in just a couple of months. It’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites. Check out whatsyourand.com for all the details. I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s listening to the show and changing the cultures where they work because of it.

    Please don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. This week is no different with my guest, Billy Kelley. He’s a partner at Dutton, Harris & Company at Midland, Texas. Now, he’s with me here today. Billy, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Billy: Yeah, appreciate it, man. Yeah, absolutely.

    John: Yeah, man. It was so fun meeting you and hanging out when I did the Texas State Society and spoke at that annual meeting that you guys had about a year and a half ago. It’s just so cool to get you on.

    Billy: I’m glad we’re able to do this. I really enjoy when you got up there and did your thing. Man, I think you got a great message. I really enjoyed it. I think what you’re doing and what you’re trying to bring in the forefront, man, and I really support it. I think it’s great stuff.

    John: Well, that means so much, man. Yeah, to have you on, this is going to be cool. But you know the drill, 17 rapid fire questions right out of the gate. It’s stuff I wanted to ask you when we were at San Antonio but I didn’t.

    Favorite color?

    Billy: Blue.

    John: How about a least favorite color?

    Billy: Burnt orange.

    John: Oh, man. All those Texas Longhorn listeners, just stop the episode.

    Billy: Yeah. I love my UT, brother. It’s just not a pretty color. Let’s be honest.

    John: No. It really isn’t a pretty color. You’re right. It’s not. How about when you fly on an airplane, window seat or aisle seat?

    Billy: Aisle.

    John: All right. How about pens or pencils?

    Billy: Pencils.

    John: Okay. Sudoku or crossword puzzles?

    Billy: Crossword.

    John: Nice, all right. How about a favorite actor or actress?

    Billy: Denzel Washington. Love him.

    John: Solid answer. Solid. Would you say you’re more of an early bird or a night owl?

    Billy: Early bird. I go to bed like 8:30 or 9:00

    John: Oh, boy.

    Billy: Yeah, I’m out. I’m usually up around 4:00 or 5:00

    John: Oh, my goodness. That is insane. How about Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Billy: Star Wars all the way.

    John: There you go, there you go. Your computer, more of a PC or a Mac guy?

    Billy: PC.

    John: PC, yeah. Me too. Me too. On your mouse, right-click or left-click?

    Billy: Right.

    John: Right, okay, where all the cool stuff is, all the hidden tricks. Would you say more suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt?

    Billy: Oh, jeans and t-shirt.

    John: Right. It’s hilarious. You’re like, you’ve met me.

    Billy: Anybody that’s met me, if I said a tie, they’d be like, he was not being honest.

    John: Yeah. This guy is lying through his teeth. This will be a good one then. Favorite sports team.

    Billy: Baylor Bears.

    John: Baylor Bears, there it is. It’s impossible to say Baylor Bears without smiling. It’s just, “Baylor Bears” plus you’re winning so that’s good too.

    Billy: There you go.

    John: How about a balance sheet or income statement when it comes to financials?

    Billy: Balance sheet.

    John: Balance sheet, yeah. We got four more. Prefer more hot or cold?

    Billy: Hot.

    John: Hot, yeah. There in Texas for sure. Since you’re an accountant, I have to ask, do you have a favorite number?

    Billy: Yes, 79.

    John: Wow. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that in my entire life. Why 79?

    Billy: I was born in ’79.

    John: Oh, okay. Well, that makes sense. What is this? Seventy-nine. How about chocolate or vanilla?

    Billy: Vanilla.

    John: It’s a tough one though. It is a tough one. The last one, the favorite thing you own or the favorite thing you have?

    Billy: I was thinking about that. I would probably say something that I’ve probably had for a long, long time. I remember as a kid, like kind of a stuffed football My grandmother built me one. She stitched it by hand. She was a really good seamstress. I played with that as a kid and everything.

    I just kept that all the way through college. I play with it with my son now. Yeah, it’s something that I’ve had for a really long time and a toy that my grandma made for me. So yeah, that’s probably had the longest memory I’ve ever owned anything.

    John: That’s really cool. You had it when the Cowboys were good. That’s even better. It’s super nostalgic.

    Billy: You really get worn out when they started going bad.

    John: Yeah, no. That’s really cool though, man. It means a lot and you got something that you play with your son with as well now. That’s a cool thing, man. That’s really cool.

    I know when we chatted in San Antonio and you said that you like hunting quite a bit, I mean you have quite a few other interests as well but I know you do a fair amount of that, getting out and going hunting.

    Billy: Yeah. I really enjoy hunting, and how I got into it. I did not grow up hunting. My dad was not much of a hunter. But when I met my wife, her family, big hunters. I remember, actually the first time I went to my wife’s house to meet her mom and dad at their house in South Texas, her daddy gone hunting that day. When I got there, pulled up, he was on the backyard working with the buck that he got that day. He was making a very clear point I think to the college kid. You know, there’s a big desert out there in South Texas. If you screw up, they may not find you.

    John: Right, that’s hilarious.

    Billy: I got a great relationship with my father-in-law. Back then, I’ve never seen or experienced anything like that. Six-foot-two big cowboy, not somebody you want to be messing with.

    John: Right, especially when he’s yeah, working on that and it comes out, it’s like did somebody get murdered? It’s like, no. Just that’s what I do. I think you know like oh, my goodness.

    Billy: So yeah, I just start being part of her family. I started hunting, just kind of got into that. I provided a lot of laughs and jokes for her side of the family. I mean I grew up in the city. Some of the things I would say still to this day, I mean this has been ten years ago, they still just — somebody will say something and they just all smirk and laugh about it and everything. They get a good laugh. Ten years, I’m happy, I’m still making them laugh of things I did back then.

    But my first hunting trip, and this is kind of a shock to a lot of people because they spend their whole lives trying to get there.

    John: Oh, my goodness. Wow.

    Billy: First time I ever hunted. It was up in Colorado, a brown rifle. I got up there with my father-in-law, my brother-in-law and my wife’s uncle lived up there, around Silt, Rifle area. We got up on the mountain and we stayed in literally a cow camp. It was a 1930s old shack basically is what it was. All it had was a wood burning stove, literally was the only thing that heated this place.

    John: Oh, my goodness.

    Billy: I kid you not. We walked up and they got Coke boxes duck taped to the windows. That was their fix for the broken windows. I got Coke boxes duck taped to windows, I’ve got a wood burning stove over here, and this is still in November up on this mountain. This is the ever first time I’ve hunted.

    We were out there hunting. My wife rides horses but I don’t particularly like to ride horses. I’d rather have engine and four wheels. When we were going out, beautiful thing about it was on four-wheelers, right? Ended up on this mountain, just gorgeous, it’s beautiful, right? They asked you know, it was like do you want to take a horse? I was like, no.

    John: For what?

    Billy: I won’t tell you what I said about the horse because you’re from Texas, right? We’re out hunting, we got hit with really bad snowstorm. We barely made it back. Future wife is probably telling my father-in-law, don’t you lose him or don’t you let something happen to him.

    We got hit with this bad snowstorm. We got on the four-wheelers. We couldn’t see anything because of the snow. Our visibility was like nothing.

    John: Right, yeah. These storms come out of nowhere especially up there in the Rockies in the middle.

    Billy: We were travelling again on the four-wheelers, trying to get back to what I call shack, and we’re trying to get back to the shack hoping we get back to this thing. You know what I mean? Otherwise, we would get blast by the snowstorm. Luckily, we found our way back to the shack. We get there and it snows and snows and snows. It’s like probably seven or eight hours of just straight snow. I’m not joking.

    John: Yeah. It’s crazy. Yeah, man. That story sounds crazy. I’m just actually freezing thinking about it right now but do you ever hunt in warmer places?

    Billy: Yeah. Don’t always hunt up in Colorado. In fact, I’m not even really a snow person to be quite honest with you. I want to track around in it for a couple of hours with three or four layers of clothes on. You can actually turn into a sauna during the snow. Most of the time, I hunt down here in Texas. A really good friend here that’s got a ranch and they just let family and friends hunt that.

    We’ve been doing that for the last couple of years, and been really blessed and fortunate that he lets us do that. I usually get my son on that too. They’re just good friends, family friends. It’s a little warmer down here. Matter of fact, I think this last time, I was in blue jeans and a little windbreaker and everything when I was hunting. I don’t have to worry about getting too cold.

    John: Right, there’s no outhouse.

    Billy: Yeah, no outhouse. Nice place to stay, no outhouse, and enjoying and little more sense in what we’re doing and not roughing it nearly as hard.

    John: Right, right. Now, your son grows up hunting so he doesn’t have to go through all the stories that you did or even better.

    Billy: Yeah, exactly, right? I mean also, I can tell stories about me and learn from my experiences and not have to endure the ridicule and some of the weird looks that his dad did when he was learning to hunt.

    John: Yeah, but at least you didn’t hurt yourself or more importantly, other people.

    Billy: No, never did anything of that. It’s a great time, enjoyed it and everything and made some great friends within everything so it’s a good experience.

    John: That’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. Would you say that hunting gives you a skill that you bring to the office?

    Billy: One thing hunting will teach you is patience. There’s no doubt about that. I mean sometimes, you may be out there for three or four days. You’re just sitting and waiting because you never know when something might cross your path or maybe you do see something or it’s not necessarily one that needs to be harvested at that time or anything. Sometimes, you just sit out there and you just watch the animals. I just listen, take everything in, just being out there in nature, all the sounds and all the different scenery and everything.

    You do learn a certain skill set, to be patient and to kind of not jump at every single little thing that comes your way or react to these littlest things. It does teach you some patience. It creates some really good stories.

    I can talk to my team members, kind of telling some of my wacky stories about myself and pissed them a little at ease on times and everything. So it has created some good moments, created some good opportunity to share stories with everybody on the team and creating patience. I mean it really is a patient game. You’re out there for three, four hours and not see anything. Your only window maybe split seconds to do something, but the rest of the time, you may not even get a chance to do anything.

    John: That definitely translates to work right away. Then you said you don’t overreact to every little thing. You just write it out and that’s pretty interesting because I’m sure at no point in business school did they ever tell you to go hunt because it’ll make you a better accountant type of thing.

    Billy: In my university classes, they encouraged us to take a firearm and go hunting. I don’t remember that ever happened.

    John: Right. Especially now, you as a partner, I mean when it comes to business development, yeah, sure maybe we don’t get the business this year but there’s next year and the year after and you look at it as a long game sort of a thing.

    Billy: Yeah. I think so. Like I said, it does teach you patience, and teach you to kind of take your time and wait for thing to develop and wait for your opportunities when they present themselves. That’s the same thing in hunting. I mean you just kind of have to wait for opportunities, present themselves to take action and you just got to wait until that happens.

    You kind of learn that you’ll say the same thing in business. Like you said, a lot of big piece of business development. It’s just establish relationships, taking the time. If it doesn’t happen this year, maybe it happens next year or just creating opportunities. Just trying to wait for the right opportunities. That could be a frustrating process. It’s not always our timing, right? We want them to happen but in life, that’s generally not the way it happens. In life, opportunities kind of hit us when they’re ready to hit us, not necessarily when we want them to. It’s kind of the same process I think.

    John: That’s really fascinating. I never really thought about it that way, but yeah, it totally is. It’s just something you just mentioned that you share it with co-workers and is this something that you were maybe reluctant to at first or was it just that’s what I do and I’m going to talk about it?

    Billy: Yeah. I think not necessarily reluctant at first, it’s just sometimes, you got to be — some people can have some adverse reactions. Not everybody’s a fan of hunting.

    John: But they don’t understand what it really is because I mean sometimes, you’re just out there in nature.

    Billy: Yeah. Sometimes, you’re just out there in nature. I mean a lot of times, when you’re hunting, you’re just out there. You don’t ever do anything. You’re just taking everything in. As I told somebody one time, I was like, you know what? My son and I go hunting all the time. A lot of times, we don’t ever do anything. We just sit and we just talk and we just look at sunrises and we look at sunsets and we take nature in. I mean I’ve spent way more time looking at sunsets and sunrises than I actually have hunted.

    That’s not necessarily everybody’s first reaction to it. Really, kind of great times spent with my son and doing those types of things and so he can kind of be a little shy at times, trying to brings things like that up because you just never up. Put it in a context of spending time with your son or spending time with your kids and being in nature and it’s not just all about trying to pull a trigger. There’s a whole lot more to it.

    Even if I don’t ever shoot anything for the rest of my life, I’ll still hunt. At the end of the day, I’m going to spend I don’t know how many hours looking at sunrises and looking at sunsets and taking in nature with my son. That’s all I get out of it, then it was worth it.

    John: That’s awesome, man. Really great stories because everyone can relate to that. I don’t even have kids but I was a kid, obviously at one point. It’s definitely something that’s relatable for clients and it humanizes you especially now as a partner, it’s important that you’re a person as opposed to this all-knowing robot that has all the answers type of a thing that people are scared of. That’s really powerful, man. That’s great.

    Billy: Especially as a partner, you try to always relate to our team. We all got jobs to do and sometimes, in the office when I’m focused on what I need to be doing, you got to remember to save time to talk to your team and see what’s going on in their lives and relate to them and see how their families are doing. Those things are important and it makes people realize hey, he does value me as an individual and not just somebody here that doing a job for him but as an individual, he does actually take an interest in who I am and things like that, and that’s important for people.

    John: I mean it’s huge because I mean if you don’t, someone else will and they’ll find that place. You hired the whole person. I think it’s so easy in the corporate world for us to forget that. There’s a whole other side and multiple sides to this person that we should celebrate and shine a light on. So it’s cool that you’re doing that. Really fantastic. Is there anything in particular that you do besides setting the tone at the top?

    Billy: Trying relate to my team or what?

    John: Yeah. I mean I guess just the firm as a whole to encourage people to share their hobbies and passions and interests?

    Billy: We just let people do their own thing. We’re pretty laid back, casual here. As long as people are getting their jobs done and things like that, I don’t believe in micromanaging and things like that. If I got to micromanage somebody, I’ve got the wrong person. As far as that goes, people need to have the flexibility to do what they need to do. I encourage our staff to go out and do things together in the community and things like that.

    Then just spending time with them, learning who they are and about their family and their interest and what they want. I would always tell my staff, my job as manager/supervisor is to help you develop and help you grow as an individual, professionally and individually as a person, whatever we can do to give you the resources to do that. That’s what we’re here for.

    In order to do those things, you kind of have to know something about the person, right? You got to take some time to figure those things out and that’s what I tell my staff most of the time. I’m like, I want you to not only develop professionally, but I want you to develop personally, to continue to develop and be the person that you can possibly be. That’s kind of how I see our role.

    John: That’s huge. I think in my research, I found that if your outside-of-work life is chaos, it’s really hard for you to be a productive part of the company and actually do your role well. I think it’s really important that we focus on that and that we encourage, like you said, growth as a person in all aspects. That’s really fantastic that you have that mentality.

    Well, I’d probably still be in accounting if my managers had that mentality back in the day. I guess we all went. But do you have any words of encouragement to people listening that maybe have a hobby or a passion that they think has nothing to do with their job?

    Billy: Always got to go back, whenever I’m trying to figure things out. I work with some youth groups. My wife and I do and I always bring this up to them. One of the youth brought this up to their parents the other day. I thought we talked about it about a year ago and they brought it back up.

    To me, it’s always about trying to figure out your, “Why?” You know what I mean? Why do you enjoy your hobbies that you enjoy? What is it that you enjoy about them? How does that relate to work? What can we learn from that from work because if you’re enjoying those things outside of work then there’s probably lessons to learn in life on them regardless of what that is whether it’s cooking or reading. I mean you can see how any skillset and those hobbies or enjoyment is going to teach you something about your work-life balance.

    On the, “Why,” I’m always kind of reminded on this and trying to figure out your “Why?” which I think is a powerful thing is kind of given the context — there’s a video out there where a guy is asked to sing a song. He’s asked to sing the song Amazing Grace.

    He’s not really given a context to sing the song. He just sings the song, and the guy’s a good singer. He does, he’s going through the words, he’s going through the emotions, there’s nothing really all that spectacular about the performance, but then a guy gives them a context for which he would now be singing that Amazing Grace and gives him a scene, gives him a reason to do, the “Why” he’s doing it this time, same words, same song. At the end of it, everybody’s standing up and applauding.

    It shows the power of knowing your, “Why?” and why you’re doing something. That can drive us to do some pretty amazing things.

    John: That’s so great. Especially that context can be taken to I mean a lot of things, but especially in work. Here’s why I’m asking you to do this and here’s your piece in the big picture. Even then, here’s why I’m asking you to have this role. It’s because I don’t know, you have this outside of work hobby, passion and it dovetails nicely with this client or it dovetails nicely with this skillset. It just lets them know that you actually put some thought behind it, is that it’s just making decisions and who cares type of a thing.

    Do you have any questions for me? It’s only fair that I let you rapid fire question me back since I so rudely started out firing away at you. I’m sitting down and ready. If you got anything, I’m ready to go.

    Billy: This was kind of the optional piece but I was like shoot, if he’s going to ask me questions, it’s only fair I get to shoot questions back. I didn’t really know any questions so I went to the ever dependable Google to get some questions.

    John: Okay. Oh, gosh. Here we go.

    Billy: Real fast. Use three words to describe yourself as a teenager.

    John: Oh, my goodness. Three words as a teenager. Obnoxious, rule-breaker, I don’t know. Yeah, wow. Rule-breaker, that’s hyphenated I think. I was good at school. I don’t know if that counts but I was like the worst student because I would get good grades but then misbehave so it wasn’t matching up. Not all the teachers like me.

    Billy: You were like a rebellious nerd.

    John: Yes, exactly. I guess I could’ve summed it up in rebellious nerd. There we go. Rebellious nerd, but then played sports. So yeah, a little bit of everything.

    Billy: All right. What is the top two on your playlist right now on your phone?

    John: Top two songs on the playlist. There’s a song by the band COIN, I heard about. It’s called Talk Too Much. It’s an alternative song. I mean always a go-to is something Nirvana like Smells like Teen Spirit or something like that.

    Billy: Let me think about that real fast. My son is 15. Their school listens to a lot of ‘80s and ‘90s, believe it or not. They’re really into ‘80s rock and ‘90s type music. We were travelling — it’s been a while ago and he goes, dad, I heard this classic the other day. I was like, really? What is that? He goes, by Nirvana. I’m like, a classic? Really?

    John: That’s awesome.

    Billy: Do you even know what grunge is or any of that type of stuff. He’s just kind of looking at me with a blaze so we then had to have conversation. This is nice, we could’ve called grunge. Anyways —

    John: Yeah, that’s hilarious. We’re old, man. Just deal with us.

    Billy: All right. Last one. Somebody if ever was making a movie about your life, who would play you?

    John: Who would play me? There’s a guy named Tom Cavanagh.

    Billy: Oh, yeah.

    John: The TV show Ed, and a little bit of a doppelganger of sorts.

    Billy: Yeah.

    John: Yeah, a little bit. I mean that’s what other people say. He’s not bad looking. I’ll take it.

    Billy: I mean I hear you taking about it. I can see that. You look alike.

    John: Yeah. I mean he’s just got the dark hair still going. I don’t know. It’s LA, I guess. It’s what he does. It’s cool, man.

    Well, thanks so much Billy for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”? This was so much fun.

    Billy: Yeah. Appreciate the opportunity, man.

    John: Yeah, and everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Billy in action or connect with him on social media, be sure to go to 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 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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