Episode 27 – Kristen Rampe


Kristen views client connections through a different lens

 

Kristen Rampe is a very busy woman. When she’s not running her own consulting firm, she’s shuttling her twin boys around and finding free time to pursue her creative side through art of all kinds: photography, painting, drawing, and improv. This provides some balance that she craves after many hours of accounting and consulting work.

We talk about how non-work conversations give depth to relationships, both in the office and with clients. She was reluctant to talk about her art because she didn’t feel confident enough to share it at work but turned to other shared experiences like the office co-ed softball team to create stronger connections.

Kristen Rampe is the founder of Kristen Rampe Consulting, where she shows CPA and professional services firms how to use soft skills to get higher profitability.

She graduated from Butler University with a BS in Accounting. While there, she studied abroad at the University of Tasmania.

 

Other pictures of Kristen

(click to enlarge)

Kristen puts her photography skills to work at Torch Lake.

When she’s not working, Kristen’s sons keep her very busy.

To relax, Kristen enjoys doing watercolor paintings.

Kristen’s links

 

Transcript

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    John: Welcome to the Green Apple Podcast where John talks to rock star professionals who standout at work by being unique like a green apple in a red apple world.

    Welcome to Episode of the Green Apple Podcast. Thank you so much for listening and sharing this with your friends and before I introduce this week’s guest, I just wanted to thank everyone who did my anonymous research survey. If you haven’t done so already please just go to greenapplepodcast.com you click the big green button there. It takes about 60 seconds to do the questions and it’s really going to help me out with this book I’m writing about the employee engagement message that this podcast is all about. And the more data points I have, the more legit my research is so thank you so much for doing it I really appreciate it.

    And now let me introduce you to this week’s guest Kristen Rampe. I’m so excited she’s on the show.

    She’s the founder of Kristen Rampe Consulting. Where she shows CPA and other professional services firms how to use their soft skills to get higher profitability. Little bit of background on Kristen, after graduating from Butler University with a degree in Accounting, she worked for several years in public accounting first at PWC and later at Frank Rimerman before starting out on her own. So Kristen, one question I’d love to ask everyone is just how did you get into accounting?

    Kristen: Well, let’s see. I was in high school and I had an open elective space at my senior year and I had to take something and our high school is pretty traditional. So they didn’t offer a lot of really interesting or exciting classes and as a senior, I wasn’t about to take freshman choir or something that I hadn’t done before so they had a few business classes and as the saying goes, I liked math. So I figured accounting because I have that word count in there. It would be good for me.

    So I took an accounting class and I found it to be pretty easy. It was basically a bookkeeping class, but it wasn’t too complicated so that would have been the first piece of it. And then when I went to college, I went to Butler University and decided to go into business. I wasn’t sure. O was thinking Accounting or Finance and I got pinned, I got assigned, I don’t know how they do it. You know, your advisor; academic advisor. I told them and, “I’m kind of thinking about Accounting or Finance, I don’t know.” And he said, “Well you should do accounting.” I said okay. That was it really. He made that decision for me and here I am.

    John: There you go! So somebody deserves a thank you note.

    Kristen: That’s right. We’ll give it to Jim Sanders at Butler University. He’s still there.

    John: Exactly, or a karate chop to the throat. To be like, “What the hell did you get me into?”

    Kristen: Right. Exactly.

    John: Well, that’s so fantastic. The old, “It’s a trap. I’m good at Math so I’m going to do accounting.” For me it was I’m really bad at Physics, so I guess Engineering isn’t my thing.

    Kristen: There you go.

    John: So then Accounting was the fallback. So at least you knew early on. So good for you. That’s awesome. That’s so fantastic. So obviously running your own firm takes up a lot of time and your own consulting practice. But what sort of hobbies and passions are you actively involved in when you have some free time?

    Kristen: So when I’ve carved out time from work and from my practice there — I will you know I’m going just have to say that the one thing that I do the most is I’m raising a couple of kids and they happen to take up so much time that I really don’t find any more for other hobbies. So really that’s the thing these days, and I know when another let’s see 12 years or so it will change a little as I hope that maybe they go off to college, I guess that’s not what kids always do these days but get them out of the house have a little more free time. But right now, it’s the child rearing scene and kind of taking care of that stuff. So that is what I do.

    John: How old are your kids?

    Kristen: I have twins and they are going to be seven years old in June and they’re identical boys. They keep me a little bit busy.

    John: Wow. There’s a special place in heaven for you.

    Kristen: Right. I think so too.

    John: Holly molly! The fact you haven’t lost your mind and you’re using proper verb tense right now is amazing to me.

    Kristen: Thank you. I would think that is a big compliment.

    John: No, that’s a huge compliment. I think kids are awesome but holly molly! I’ve seen the adults walking around with kids. They’re not blinking, their shoes are untied, the adults, they have food running down their shirt. “Oh, my goodness is that guy homeless?” It’s like, “Oh, is it bad?” Oh, boy.

    Kristen: I live through that and then when they kind of get to the five and six at least in my family, five and six years old, it definitely turns a bit of a corner but the young kids — I had that look. I had the look of serious sleep deprivation then insanity.

    John: Well, especially twins. I mean it’s just like oh, my goodness, you’re out numbered from the beginning. And you’re just like we’re drowning and I don’t know what to do right now.

    Kristen: Yeah. It sounds like you’ve been there but that’s a great description of it.

    John: Well, no I haven’t. I just have seen it and it’s like oh, my goodness. My brother has three kids so I’m living vicariously through that.

    Kristen: That’s a great way to do it by the way because then you can just dote on them and send them home.

    John: Right. And then my brother always calls after like, “What did you do to my kids? They are going crazy right now.” “Just a couple of candy bars and then drop them off.”

    Kristen: “Yeah, no big deal. Round them up.”

    John: You’re right. That’s so fantastic and it has to be really rewarding as well, just to see that, your influence on that and everything like that. So I guess maybe before you had kids, was there anything that you did, kind of as a hobby or passion?

    Kristen: I’ve always kind of dabbled, and I don’t know if we’re going to fully qualified as a deep heavier passion in sort of art classes of a variety of medium. So any different moment in time you might find me taking a drawing class or I think probably most recently even after I had kids that took a water color class and did some water color painting. I’ve done improv actually which was a ton of fun, done that a couple of times.

    So I’m always trying to take some sort of class or be involved in that side of my brain which sort of balances some of the accounting and deep hard work that’s going on. So visual arts and then the only sort of performing arts would be just that little bit of improv but a lot of visual arts and in fact really fun and interesting. So I used to do photography back in college. That would be my other passion, visual arts, that I kind of thing. I was even on the Board of the Art Center in Palo Alto, California for several years. That’s sort of quasi-work because you’re on the board but I certainly loved it because I get to go to all of these really fabulous events and art shows and galleries and things as a part of that, so that was great fun.

    John: Something that you said that I think is really interesting is just how you said that that helped balanced the other side of your brain from the accounting profession?

    Kristen: It does, it definitely does. Even when I was in college and had chosen — or my advisor I guess chose that major for me but I agreed to it. When I studied abroad my sophomore year and the school I went to didn’t have a visual arts program really at all they had some good performing arts but they did not have a visual arts department. When I studied abroad I actually chose the school I was going to, based on the fact that they offered a photography program that I could get into and then I studied another time specifically just for a whole summer of art classes. I was there and I find it very enjoyable and definitely balancing out that more sort of analytic problem solving technical set of the brain.

    John: Right. That’s great and whatever gets you out of Indianapolis, you’re like, “I’m going away as far away as possible.”

    Kristen: Yes. I was escaping Michigan to go to Indianapolis and I escaped there, many other places, of course there was that in Michigan.

    John: Your parents didn’t know that that was the gateway out.

    Kristen: That’s right but they did learn for many years I was gone.

    John: That’s so profound and then really great even in college, you realized that helped balance you and another side of you that you wanted to explore more. Obviously not to make it a profession but enough to where it can enhance what you’re doing now which is really cool. I think that that’s fantastic. So is there maybe from all of those different art classes in things, like a coolest most rewarding thing that you’ve gotten to do or a great shot that you have or something like that?

    Kristen: Probably the coolest, most rewarding was when I studied abroad in an art program. So I went to France and the program, it was sort of run through with the Rhode Island School of Design and it was in this little town called Pont-Aven which is where a famous French artist lived he’s life centuries ago and it was mostly people from the United States that were there, students studying.

    So I was there for six years living with a host family and doing my art that time it was photography during the day and I also remember a couple of guys were going to — because you’re in Europe you can just pop down to Italy to go to the Biennale in Venice and so we took a train and we went to this great installation art show for a couple of days over one of our weekends and so things like that were really memorable and some of the work that came out of it was great too.

    I have a couple of shots around my house that were from those times and I think because I was able to really devote myself to it for six weeks, that’s probably why that was more memorable than some of the things that I’ve dabbled and more recently have been just great to kind of get back to it but because I haven’t been so focused to actual, the process has been more beneficial than the outcome I will say, but still great to get into it all.

    John: Absolutely. That’s sounds really fantastic and just when you’re able to pour yourself into it and just everything is about that for six weeks and plus being in Europe and being able to hop around all these different countries that are so close to each other. Really cool. So would you say that some of these art work and maybe even raising kids I’m sure for sure it has to, but develop a unique skill set when in it comes to work?

    Kristen: Yeah. I think it’s part of my transition from being in practice to serving firms in the way that I do now because I recognized part of my departure and that’s a question I get a lot. “How did you decide public accounting?” I have about 25 different answers?

    John: You can use my answer if you want.

    Kristen: What’s your answer? I want to hear that.

    John: My answer is I was really bad at it.

    Kristen: Okay.

    John: No I’m just kidding.

    Kristen: Hey, the honest answer is always a good answer.

    John: When you’re funnier than the audit’s message supposed to be then probably not.

    Kristen: Little inconsistency there. I can see that, I can see that. So anyway, so I was in at the point in my career where I was sort of like do you want to go down to this partner pass or not? Really, it’s usually the other choice. I thought there are things that I really loved about it. I love working with a team. We had a fabulous team the last that I worked for that was just — we got great stuff done.

    I loved that and I love client service, like working with clients and helping them get to the goals that they wanted with the engagement that we had and I worked in a group but we had a lot of more creative engagements. Actually, I came up as an auditor and then I got into this consulting practice. So we were sort of, “What does the client need? How can we address that need and serve it well.” So I love those signs of it. But the technical really wasn’t my favorite place.

    I always call up the director that I worked for and asked her, “What’s the latest rule on this? What are we supposed to be doing?” She would have read it and digested it and given me the five-minute version that I can implement which was great but I didn’t really feel like that was the right level of interest in the topic if was going to down that partner path.

    So I said, “Well, how would I take all these things that I love and turn them into something that can be my strength?” I think that that creative background, not necessarily the ability to take a good picture but to view things differently and to have that creative side helps me make this transition into being a better professional all around then now serve my clients which are CPAs as individuals or firms so that they can better serve their clients so that’s kind of how it all came to help me have that creative background and of course to write that book. That was one of my creative outlets.

    John: Yeah. You were pretty much like, “You know what? I worked here long enough that I can write this book and then I’m done.”

    Kristen: Right.

    John: I think that that’s excellent how you pointed out that it’s not necessary that you can take a really good picture it’s that creative background as a whole that allows you to provide better service to your clients and that whole thing outside the box. Be creative, forward thinking type of things. Because I think that sometimes what happens is when people hear, “Oh, you do photography so you can take pictures?” It’s like no, there’s more to it than that. That’s just the top of the ice berg, there’s layers below this that definitely make it better and it can for sure help your career and I’m sure that raising kids is everyday you’re dealing with a skill set that you’ve learned from that.

    Kristen: That’s right. Yeah, that’s no joke. That’s the communication side where it’s like, “Oh, wait how come he didn’t just do what I said?” Because it doesn’t work like that. Shoot! Definitely learning a ton from that experience too that’s very applicable to my work.

    John: That’s funny too that when you’re calling the directors and the partners for all the technical things and you’re like, “Oh, shoot that’ll be me one day. Hold on. Let me Google this.”

    Kristen: Exactly.

    John: Right? Well, congratulations because that’s going to be a huge leap, I know for sure it is and a lot of work. So that’s very cool and that’s great that it’s so successful so that’s really cool. I think going back to the team that you were with, what is that that made such a fabulous team and maybe brought you guys closer together?

    Kristen: We just had a great level of trust and respect and high quality working relationships. Everybody got along well enough and mostly we got along really well and I won’t say it was perfect. There are a few people that came and went that maybe sort of had a different way of going about but generally, the four of us that worked together for many years on this group, you could call somebody up. tell him you needed something. They would say that they would do it. They would get it done on time and we just all had a really good communication and we believed in each other and trusted each other and then when something would go wrong, generally speaking we were good about bringing it up.

    It was a group of about 12 people which was sort of a nice size because we’re small enough that we all we knew each other well and had to work with, see each other often enough. But yet big enough that it wasn’t just — some people are kind of stuck on two to four person teams and you get no diversity of thought in those but the ability to just kind of get along and be willing to bring up problems that we had.

    I think we had maybe it was a meeting every two weeks where we got together in person. And you could call in if you had too, but it was sort of encouraged if you were around to show up to the end person meeting and there wasn’t generally a formal agenda and we’d set it at the beginning of each meeting. What do we want to talk about that’s going on and I would say, I know a lot of people have meetings. They’re such a pain and they just drain me and they’re useless.

    I never felt like a single one of those meetings was a waste because we were also well connected and willing to talk about what we needed to talk about and just say you know what? I think that topic deserves a different discussion of different time or we don’t need to talk about it and here’s why so it was great. All those good things came together and it was a great experience.

    John: That’s definitely a very lucky thing, to have all those stars align for sure. Did you find that you were in this group amongst each other sharing some of those hobbies and passions that other people did and that you did and things like that?

    Kristen: Yeah. We were definitely close on a personal level too. There were some people here and there that were friends outside of work I would say but not everybody was with everyone but you definitely knew what people were up too and we did have a healthy amount of, I would call like non-work conversations where we talk about what was going on in somebody’s life and I don’t know that was tons and tons about hobbies but you certainly knew what different folks are up to.

    I remember one gal was really interested in horses and horseback riding and she would leave work on Thursdays at 4:30 or something to go take the lesson that she had scheduled and things like that and we were usually pretty accommodating on those kinds of things when somebody had something they wanted to go do.

    John: Yeah, because you certainly don’t want to be talking about it nonstop. I mean that’s just the most obnoxious thing on the planet. But certainly to know a little bit about her, that she loves horses, that’s great. I mean at least you know something about her and you can at least have a conversation at lunch as opposed to be more about the client.

    Kristen: Absolutely and it gives depth to your relationships and the people that you’re working with because instead of just being someone who only shows up in work and does that work and then goes off and either lives no life or some sort of secret double life that you’re more connected because you know like, “Oh, she likes to go ride horses. What’s latest upcoming show or race that you’re going to?” And we didn’t talk about these things and it makes a great relationship within a team.

    John: I always find too that when people are talking about that, their eyes light up and they smile, they’re vibrant, they’re awake instead of just shoulders rounded and just kind of like, “Oh, here we go with more work stuff.” So even just a little bit here and there. That’s fantastic. That’s a great thing. I guess when it came to you opening up and sharing and maybe over your career because I know when I was early on when I was at Coopers, you’re kind of hesitant, you just want to be super accountant. Did you find that opening up helped these relationships or what were some of those obstacles that went through your brain to overcome when it came to that?

    Kristen: I found that hiding my pregnancy was actually really hard because I have a belly and that was growing and growing and then it rated twice the times that most peoples were because I had two children.

    John: “Kristen really likes ice cream and pizza. What’s going on here?”

    Kristen: That’s right and I had one of those pregnancies that presented itself like straight out the front. It wasn’t a questionable one of whether or not my shape was changing for other reasons. So on the kids, obviously there was that and people are generally — I mean I don’t really know many people that don’t want to hear about kids because you can’t, as a parent, help to talk about them.

    John: Right.

    Kristen: On the flip side of the sort of more not obvious, none physically obvious hobbies, I wouldn’t see that they really felt hesitancy about talking about it. I probably didn’t talk about it too much just because it was sort of kind of a sideline to what was going on and this was just my particular hobby a little bit personal that I didn’t want to necessarily tell people like, “Oh, I’m out here. Hey, I’m doing drawing class” because like I said the process was more important to me than the products and I probably didn’t want people to say, “Oh, show us what you’re working on” because I might feel like, “Nah, I don’t really want to show you what I’m working on.”

    John: I’d rather not.

    Kristen: Exactly because I’m very much enjoying pencil on paper, not necessarily thinking that —

    John: Just draw like a stick figure.

    Kristen: Yeah exactly. It could be or there’s like adult coloring books now and like, “Oh, yeah. I’m really into the adult coloring books.” You know, maybe less inclined.

    John: I can definitely appreciate that, because when I was doing comedy, yes, some people would come to the shows but when you’re new I mean you’re not good at anything and unfortunately when it comes to comedy you have to do it front of people in order to get better. So that’s tough where at least with drawing you can do it on your own and no one has to ever tell your —

    Kristen: I can keep it a secret and again I wasn’t trying to trying to keep it a secret and I would say on that on that subject of sharing things at work even thought I may not have really shared that much about my particular artistic hobby unlike the pregnancy and children hobby but I think just that message that you got here of connecting with people on a personal level, be a tutor, hobbies or other things that are going on that might be more intermittent than a hobby is great and really helps. In fact, I had short stint of time that I went to industry. I left my PWC career after that senior year burn out and I joined one of my clients.

    And actually me and another guy left right around the same time and both joined that client and there was a small group of us that had a great time at the software company and we decided one day that we should do a coed softball team, a corporate coed softball team, and the CFO was on board. Apparently, he used to play baseball or whatever. He’s like, “Oh, yeah let’s do what we got.” We got Jerseys and everything and signed up for a league —

    So that again it wasn’t any one person was such the softball player, but it was great to get together and have that fun and I learned through that that those leagues can be really competitive. We were going for the beer afterwards and kind of like have a laugh on the field. But there were some teams that I think we won one game that I don’t even know how and it wasn’t through the help of a great story here.

    So our CEO was a British guy. He was really fun too and he shows up in town on this side of the pond and hears that we’re doing this and he’s like, “Oh, can I come play?” Of course, I can’t say no to the CEO, he can play in our perfect coed team. He might not be on the roster. It might be against the rules of the people who really actually care about this. But we were just sure, “Come on out. Let’s play. We’ll put you up there.”

    So we put him up to a bat and he’s holding the bat like one would hold a cricket. I don’t even know what you call the device you play with in cricket, the bat thing, so he’s holding it straight out in front, like upright vertical in front of him and we’re just dying and somehow he manages to hit the ball and then he runs the first base holding the bat. Everyone was just — anyway so that kind of stuff a little bit different than a hobby but just that recreating together great stuff and add so much value to teams and work.

    John: Yeah, definitely. When you think about the CEO, I’m sure you don’t think about a lot of work related things. I mean that story comes to top of line immediately.

    Kristen: Exactly.

    John: And it’s creating those shared experiences even that are so fantastic and that’s what really helps create that extra connection with somebody and that’s so funny. The CEO, it’s like oh, my goodness.

    Kristen: Right. It was classic.

    John: Yeah and the next time you see him in the hallway you can bust his chops like, “Why aren’t you carrying a bat still? Oh, you decided to finally put it down?” People would be like, “Oh, no that’s our CEO.” “He’s on my soft ball team!” He’s not the CEO anymore, it’s Carl, it’s Jim, it’s somebody with a name.

    That’s an excellent point. Even if you don’t feel like sharing your own then create shared experiences with everyone that’s just the same. That’s so fantastic. I guess when it comes to things like this, I always think about, because I have time, is it more on the organization to create a culture where people can feel open to share or is it more on the individual to share when appropriate or create these experiences or somewhere in the middle with that spectrum?

    Kristen: That’s a great question. My gut wants to say, it’s in the middle. I think if you are leading an organization or leading a team, it can only beneficial to create that environment and help people feel open or honest and usually a great way to do that is to actually share yourself first. Share what you do, share your hobbies and ask question of other people, “What are you interested in? What do you do? What do you do outside of the office?”

    In fact, when we talk about disconnect between people at firms, it’s often because everyone focuses so hard on work since that they don’t have time just to go out to lunch and chit chat about not working but there’s been — I’ve read article after article about how valuable that is because it improves the connections between people on a human being kind of basis.

    So I think for leaders you know that are listening to this or looking for good ideas absolutely creating that culture should be on your list of things to do. I do believe also though you can lead from any rank, right? And as an individual, you can make improvements in your team by sharing and sort of those you mentioned earlier at the appropriate level of detail and quantity.

    John: Yeah, and that’s important to make.

    Kristen: Right, the hobbies that you are interested in. I once had a staff person who just was overwhelmed with personal dating drama that so many times like emailing and talking about her boyfriend in jail and I’m just like, “No. That is too much.”

    John: That is not a passion or a hobby.

    Kristen: Right.

    John: That is annoying.

    Kristen: Yes, exactly. So I think it can play in both spaces. I think leaders should make an effort to make that culture but I think if the culture doesn’t exist, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it yourself from whatever position you’re in.

    John: Right. I agree whole heartedly. I will keep going with this podcast. No I’m just joking. So is there anything in companies that you’ve seen whether it’s an accounting or an industry or what have you that they’re doing to encourage this environment of sharing?

    Kristen: That’s a good question too. I think the ones that are doing it are encouraging to just that kind of basic connection within people. They have a culture, we’re going out to lunch or eating in the kitchen or anything other than eating alone at your desk and not client meetings is encouraged where people say, “Hey, we want you to go out and talk with one another” and that aren’t always kiboshing the office play and things that people are doing to connect with each other because that’s where those conversations happen.

    I wouldn’t say that I’ve seen any programs where people are encouraging one another to sit down and talk about their hobbies per se but just encouraging connection. Certainly, another avenue for sharing those hobbies and personal sides would be new letter spotlights or things where you’re saying, “Oh.”

    It’s not usually employee of the month but something like that where people are kind of getting recognized for doing something well and including a bit of personal things in there that people might not have known about that individual, so that can could deserve more corporate tactic I would say that that could be used besides just encouraging and really making be known that it’s acceptable and encouraged like I keep saying for people to spend time together talking about things that aren’t necessarily client related.

    John: Right. I mean that’s the thing that I mean I was accidentally doing when I was working and corporate is okay we’re going to lunch and we’re not talking about work. I mean it doesn’t matter what we talk about, whatever it is, but I mean inherently then you get to know people and then whenever they need to stay late and they need some extra help, it’s like yes I will help you because we have a relationship as a person to person on the human level like you said as opposed to just, “Oh, well, you’re just another senior associate and I’m going home” type of thing. But those are two super easy examples is just eat together and don’t talk about work and then from a corporate perspective, the newsletter spotlights, there’s a lot of things that people are doing that you have no idea about that are really cool. “What? She does this? That’s awesome!”

    Kristen: “Who knew?”

    John: Right. I mean it’s amazing I mean I’ve done programs with firms where I’ll say, “So raise your hand. Who does art?” Three or four people raise their hand and three of them, they didn’t even know that they each did it. It’s like my goodness, what have you been talking about all this time? Its nuts. But now they have something to talk about other than more work which is only a good think like you said. So that’s fantastic. I guess to close it out, do you have any words of encouragement to others from your experiences?

    Kristen: Oh boy, words of encouragement. Why do you leave the hardest ones for last? I would say my favorite quote kind of thing which is I think it Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” And that’s kind of why, just go out there and give it a try whether it’s sharing something new about a hobby that you do or picking up the phone to call a client or someone that you’re working with. Generally, it’s going to worth taking a shot especially if you’re just sort of afraid but you know you need to work through it.

    John: Right and good things happens it’s amazing how we go out on that limb and as accountants, we’re so risk adverse. We’re like, I want to stay here in the middle and just not be scared. And then when you take a step out then good things happen it’s really cool. So that’s fantastic. So I feel like we’ve really gotten to know you, Kristen, but I have a rule where I don’t know if should really hang out until we do my 17 rapid fire questions.

    Kristen: Yeah. All right.

    John: So I’m pretty sure you’re going to knock this one out of the park based on your book, Accounting Dreams and Delusions which I recommend everyone check out and anyone that’s not in Accounting and you’re like, “What’s it like to be an Accounting?” You just take a look at this book and you’ll be like, “Oh, I get it now. That’s why everyone is crying. I know why.”

    So here we go, 17 rapid fire questions. First one, Start Wars or Star Trek?

    Kristen: Star Wars.

    John: Star Wars, there we go. PC or Mac?

    Kristen: PC.

    John: Right click or left click?

    Kristen: Left click.

    John: Interesting. Do you have a favorite band?

    Kristen: Oh, gosh, no. I’m just going to say no because you probably don’t get that answer very often.

    John: No, no. It’s probably some kids’ song, isn’t it?

    Kristen: Yeah, right. Barney. No, I’m just kidding.

    John: Barney, right? How about heels or flats?

    Kristen: Flats.

    John: There you go. A balance sheet or income statement?

    Kristen: Income statement.

    John: Do you have a movie that makes you cry?

    Kristen: I just watched one that made me cry. Bizarrely, it was My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 which I wasn’t expecting to cry during but I did yeah, so there it is.

    John: Wow. I forgot that that was out already.

    Kristen: It’s great, it’s funny but there were just lots of moments where like oh, my gosh. So there it is.

    John: No, that works. Do you have a favorite number?

    Kristen: 11.

    John: 11 and why is that?

    Kristen: It’s the month I was born in and I’ve used it in couple of other — it was on the corporate coed softball jersey I picked out as my number.

    John: There you go because being number one isn’t good enough. I’m twice as good as that.

    Kristen: That is exactly it.

    John: Do you have a least favorite vegetable? I won’t tell your kids.

    Kristen: A least favorite vegetable, let’s go with Okra.

    John: Okra. Yeah, that’s a good answer. You don’t get that one all the time. How about cats or dogs?

    Kristen: Cats.

    John: Sudoku or Crossword puzzle?

    Kristen: Sudoku.

    John: Favorite color?

    Kristen: Wait does any Accountant say crossword? Because I feel like —

    John: You know some do, because they’re like, you know what I’ve had enough with the numbers and I’m going to play with some words and I don’t think they do either to be honest.

    Kristen: Right I don’t do either but if I were given the choice I would definitely go with Sudoku.

    John: When I’m on an airplane, I do the Sudoku.

    Kristen: Right, exactly.

    John: Favorite color?

    Kristen: Orange.

    John: Oh, wow. How about a least favorite color?

    Kristen: Tan?

    John: Tan, nice! That’s such a great answer. Oh boy, that’s a great answer. How about favorite toppings on a pizza?

    Kristen: Everything. Pepperoni has to be on there.

    John: All the works just load it up. That’s very good. How about do you have a favorite actor or actress?

    Kristen: I would put a no on that one too.

    John: Oh, boy. All right.

    Kristen: Yeah. I don’t really follow anybody that I’m like obsessed with.

    John: No one specific. Pens or Pencils?

    Kristen: Pens.

    John: How about the favorite thing you own?

    Kristen: Oh, yeah, the favorite thing I own, I came up with it. I have a roll — this is so obscure. I have a roll of Frank Lloyd Wright wallpaper that I can’t wait to use in a house that I’m probably buying at some point. But I have been carving it around for like 15 years. I found it in a storage unit — well, a storage closet in a place that I was living that someone had abandoned and it’s this really cool orange and cream and red geometric pattern ancient stuff. So there’s the art too coming through for something like Frank Lloyd Wright wallpaper.

    John: That’s fantastic. Thank you so much Kristen. I really appreciate you being on podcast with me.

    Kristen: Yeah. Thanks for having me. It was great to be a part of the show.

    John: Wow! That was jam packed with some really great stuff especially how Kristen mentioned that if you don’t feel like sharing your own personal hobby, create shared experienced with others at work to give you more depth through your relationships. That’s really fantastic.

    You can see some links to Kristen including her book Accounting, Dreams and Delusions and some pictures at greenapplepodcast.com and while you’re there please click that big green button and do the survey, it takes 60 seconds. Thank you so much for listening and helping spread the words so others can go out and be a green apple.


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