Episode 322 – Josh Lance

Josh is an Accountant & Beer and Wine Enthusiast

Josh Lance returns to the podcast from episode 125 to talk about his continued passion for brewing beer and wine and how his passion applies to the type of clients he works for! He also talks about recently getting into cooking at home and how it is important to have something outside of work especially during the pandemic!

Episode Highlights

• Having an appreciation for how beer and wine are made
• Working with brewery clients
• How the pandemic has made the importance of hobbies more apparent
• Getting into cooking
• The culture at Lance CPA Group


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    Welcome to Episode 322 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday Edition. This is John Garrett. Each Friday, I follow-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 have impacted them since we last talked.

    I’m so excited to let you know my book is out. You can order it on Amazon, Indigo, barnesandnoble.com, a few other websites. Check out whatsyourand.com for more. Thank you so much to everyone who’s read it so far and been kind enough to leave those Amazon reviews. It’s just so overwhelming. Thank you so, so much for those.

    Please, don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. This Follow-Up Friday is no different with my guest, Josh Lance. He’s the managing director of Lance CPA Group out of Chicago, as well as the head of accounting at Practice Ignition and an adjunct faculty at Northwestern University. Now, he’s with me here today. Josh, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Josh: Thanks for having me.

    John: Oh, man, you’re a busy man, so thanks for squeezing me in.

    Josh: No worries. No worries.

    John: Yeah, so I have my seven rapid fire questions for you that I didn’t ask last time, to get to know Josh on a new level here. Here we go. If you had to choose one, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones,

    Josh: Probably Harry Potter.

    John: Harry Potter. All right. How about more cats or dogs?

    Josh: Dogs.

    John: Dogs, yeah, didn’t even think twice. Yeah, yeah. I’m the same way. This is a tricky one, brownie or ice cream.

    Josh: Brownie.

    John: Brownie. Okay. How about a least favorite vegetable?

    Josh: Oh, squash.

    John: Oh, yeah. Does it even have a flavor?

    Josh: No.

    John: Yeah, it’s just — it’s like water. I don’t know. It’s like celery tastes more than that. It’s weird. Since my book is out, and you are so awesome being a part of the launch team, thank you so much, do you prefer Kindle or real books on Kindle?

    Josh: Kindle.

    John: Kindle, yeah, there you go. How about chocolate or vanilla?

    Josh: Chocolate.

    John: Chocolate. Okay. The last one. This is an important one. Toilet paper roll. Over or under?

    Josh: Over.

    John: Over. Yeah, yeah. I guess the people with cats are the only ones with the under, or I don’t know, crazy people, I don’t know. But yeah, but Episode 125. We talked making wine at home, and then a little bit of beer as well. Is that still something you’re up to?

    Josh: It’s not as much as I would like anymore, but —

    John: Never is, right? Never is.

    Josh: I guess I probably do it maybe once or twice a year now versus the regular pattern I had before. I’m much more enjoying and appreciating of the beverages now versus making it.

    John: There you go. Got you. I hear what you’re saying. You found out they sell them at stores.

    Josh: Right. That’s amazing.

    John: Yeah, but I think that’s so important that you still make time for it even if it is once or twice a year. It still matters. Yeah?

    Josh: Yeah. It’s fun to do. It’s something that, again, it gives me that kind of appreciation for what goes into making those beverages, how that could work. We work with a lot of brewery clients in our firm. I’m just some average Joe making this and it comes out kind of average. If you taste really good beer and have a really good wine, how much effort and creativity and diligence it takes just to have that come out the way it comes out.

    John: Yeah, no. That’s so cool too, how you went after those kind of clients, because then it’s almost like, you’re not even going to work. You’re just hanging out with the coolest people you know every day.

    Josh: That’s right, yeah.

    John: They probably love you too because you know all the words. If I walked in, I’d be like, I have no idea what you’re saying to me right now. Yeah, did you get in on some of the behind the scenes stuff beyond the business side of it?

    Josh: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, it’s been fun to work with these brewery clients and see them in action, see them making a product or just kind of talking to them about the process and what’s going on, right? Not talking to them about numbers or things like that, but like, what they like doing what’s new, new things they’re trying out, and making beer, right? It’s just kind of cool to hear the inside story of how all that gets done. I think this leads to a greater appreciation of the work, the output that they have as a result of that.

    John: Yeah, yeah. I would imagine too then, you can probably serve them better as a consultant because you can help out on other parts that maybe they didn’t even think, “Oh, wow. He can help with that too, or he has got ideas on that,” or just maybe from inventory or supply channels and things like that.

    Josh: I mean, it definitely helps having almost that greater holistic understanding of the business and understanding like, hey, we’re getting these types of hops and this is why we’re getting these types of hops and the beer, and the wine’s important.

    You can look at it from the financial end of it all day long, and not get that and understand that, and a financial person will be like, okay, why did you pick that hop? That was really expensive. We should go for this cheaper hop.

    You can make that change or that view in doing it, but like when you understand it from the other side, you know why they chose those options or that type ingredient. That makes it all the more kind of special and knowing that, helps me make better recommendations and helps them out better in the business as well, because I’m not making these people recommendations like, hey, why don’t you go with the cheaper ingredients?

    John: Right, yeah, because you’re like, I actually want to drink this. I want to drink this. I want it to be good. Go with the more expensive stuff.

    Josh: Exactly.

    John: Yeah, because then you can sell it more. It’s a premium product. But yeah, the accountant brain is so like expenses down, expenses bad. It’s like how? Expenses are actually good when you’re investing in something better. That’s so cool to hear, man. That’s super awesome, because I would imagine at no point in your education or even CPE, did they tell you to go make your own beer or wine at home, because it will make you a better trusted adviser, I guess, if you will.

    Josh: Exactly.

    John: Which it clearly does. I mean, you’re a perfect example of that, which is just awesome to hear. Do you feel like people are sharing hobbies and outside of work interests more now, or you’re noticing it more now?

    Josh: I think for sure that’s definitely happening. I think especially during this pandemic time period, I think people have some more time for them for investing in hobbies and doing some of these things, where in the past, they’re busy with their normal lives, and they didn’t have that time.

    Now, it’s like I’m at home all the time. I got to do something with my time. I think even just talking with our team, some of the things they’ve done during this time period, they’ve never kind of done before. It’s like, I’m going to try out this new thing, whether it’s doing some art or going fishing or things like that. It’s like, things they would not have done had the pandemic not happened. But now, they’re doing it. It’s like, oh, this is actually really cool. I think it’s become an outlet that is kind of fun and creative and things like that.

    John: Yeah, because I mean, I saw a meme when this started. It was something like, apparently, my hobby was going to restaurants, because they have nothing to do now, because restaurants are closed, or they worth the time, and yeah, I think it’s really forced people to realize, you got to have something else, you have to have these other dimensions to who you are. It really, really hit us hard in that way, a dose of reality.

    Josh: I think like that restaurant example, me and my wife went out to restaurants all the time, because we love going to try nice food and things like that. Obviously, we can’t do that this time, so what ended up happening is we just started cooking a lot more like buying fancy ingredients and let’s try to make something cool, nice, and we’re doing more kind of cooking and having fun with that.

    That seems like an outlet for me. Hey, I’m going to go like take a bunch of ingredients and make some really nice, tasty, and somewhere across brewing beer, you take all this stuff, and it’s going to come out in this awesome way. That’s something we’ve done during this pandemic, just like, hey, let’s be creative and try new recipes at home, and cook new things and stuff like that. That’s not the same as going to the restaurant, but it’s given that kind of — so you mentioned like, hey, we really enjoy nice foods and seeing the creativity from chefs. Let’s try some of that stuff too.

    John: Yeah, no. I love that too, because it’s not just giving up. It’s like, no, no, we can do it here. We’ll do it in our own way. Rather than just sit there and veg out, it’s let’s actually do something different and do something new. That’s really cool. Also too, I mean, the Lance CPA Group is so great, because you actually recruit and hire a lot of people that have these other dimensions to who they are, which is why you hired them, a lot of these people that had to leave bigger firms because of the structure and what have you. I would imagine that you guys already had those close relationships anyway, because it was built on people having these other dimensions.

    Josh: Exactly, yeah. I mean, I think everyone who has joined our firm joined because they had other things they enjoyed doing in life, and they want to continue to do that, and not have to put them aside because working in a big firm requiring work 80 hours a week in seven days, and they’re at the office all the time, and they never saw their family, right. I think that’s been really cool to be a part of that and to see those things that people are doing, whether it’s enjoying time with their kids or sort of recreational activities they do or things like that.

    It’s that real kind of richness of all the things that you do in life make you kind of special on who you are. You get to see that kind of come out and in your work and do that. That’s really cool.

    John: Yeah, I love that word choice, richness. That’s awesome. Because I mean, there’s just depth of people now. They’re in 3D, as opposed to a lot of the surface level kind of relationships. I think that that’s what a lot of people had struggled with working remotely is I thought we had okay relationships, but no, you really didn’t, because you didn’t know each other. You didn’t actually — what’s these people’s “And”? What makes them, them? When you don’t know that, then when it comes over webcam, it gets weird in a hurry.

    Josh: Right. A lot of staring, and I don’t know what to say.

    John: Right, exactly, or holy crap, I’ve been in your house now. That’s the big thing is when we go back to working normally is let’s not act like we haven’t seen each other’s homes or offices or dogs barking or kids yelling or life happens. We’re regular people.

    Josh: It’s kind of find that we’ve always had this policy in our company that when we’re on video calls, it’s okay, if your kids come running and screaming, or the dogs are barking, or you have to step aside, right? We’ve always had that policy. That’s just who we are, right? We don’t need to hide our family in the corner while we’re talking. Shut up. Don’t talk. We’re having a call.

    But it’s been fun too because we’ve always had a policy, then we have clients that are now having to work remotely, right? They’re seeing that and they’re like, oh, I get why you have that, because I totally understand that kids are going to run in and scream and kids are going to do those types of things.

    I think understanding that people have all these things going on in their lives. It’s okay if it comes into your work life, it’s okay if your kids aren’t screaming on your Zoom call. That just happens, right? You’re not going to reprimand your team for doing that and say that’s unprofessional. It’s just who you are, right? Who you are is showing up in that call. It’s not just the business you. It’s everything else that’s happening.

    John: Yeah, I love that. I love that so much, because it’s almost more scary if people don’t have something happening. It’s like, did you live in a bubble? Where are you? How do you not have anything, like nothing, not a lawn mower, no one honking like nothing? It’s like, what’s wrong with you? Do you need help? Are you stuck?

    But I just love how you built your team, and it’s a perfect example. Yeah, and being part of the launch team, thank you so much for that. Hopefully, the book does a justice because you’re a living example of what this message is. It’s just cool to see it that yeah, it can happen and it should type of thing. So yeah, do you have any words of encouragement to people listening that they have a hobby outside of work, but they think, well, no one’s going to care, or it has nothing to do with my job, I have too much work to go do?

    Josh: Yeah, I think is part of what makes you, you, right? Like, and you need to bring that into your work. If you come to this like you just become this professional, static robot that just does work stuff all the time, talks about work, and doesn’t do anything else.

    That’s not good team player, and that’s not really someone that you want to interact with, or your clients want to interact with. They want to interact with people, not robots, and you need to be you and the fullest extent of you. That means bringing those outside things in, that means the messiness of your family jumping in on your Zoom call, it’s the taking time out during the day to do the things that are important to you, and that have work kind of just going to kill all that. I think that it’s key to have a sustaining enjoyable career, really, is that kind of fullness of life.

    John: That’s a huge point right there too is just, that being happy in life, and then in turn, that one hand feeds the other where then your work becomes better and sustained career, like you said. Yeah, sure. You can go all in on work for short periods of time. But for all the time I mean, yeah, because I mean, at some point, you’re you have to have normal conversations with people around you. That’s how business happens.

    Josh: No one wants to talk accounting 100% of the time, right?

    John: No, even accountants, right. No, especially accountants. Yes, that’s such a great point, man. That’s super awesome. It’s just been so cool to catch up and hear what you’ve been up to. But it’s only fair that since I started out the show, rapid fire questioning you that I turned the tables where now you can question me. Let’s make it the Josh Lance Show. First episode. Thank you so much for having me on, Josh. I appreciate it.

    Josh: So, John, you went to Notre Dame. Why did you choose Notre Dame?

    John: Well, you know, I grew up, my dad was in the Air Force, so we moved a lot. Notre Dame was just one of those universal teams. College football, watching that growing up watching college football every Saturday for sure. It was just one of those football teams that I gravitated towards.

    Then when it came time to look for schools, I wrote down what I was looking for in a school and it’s smaller, very good education, competitive but well-rounded people. It was just exactly what I was looking for. My dad didn’t go there. I never met anyone that went there until I went there. I’m not Catholic. I fit none of the boxes. I’m so grateful to have had that opportunity. I realized that it’s not a school for everyone, but who it’s for it’s definitely for them.

    Josh: I would assume that then you’re a college football fan or an NFL fan.

    John: Definitely. College all day. Whenever I watch NFL games, I just sit there and go, oh, he went to this school and he went to that. Oh, wow, this offense is going to be pretty good, or whatever. It’s just always going back to where they went to college.

    Josh: Maybe you could tell me a time when you had your worst comedy experience on stage where you just totally just bombed.

    John: Okay. I don’t know what you’re talking about, Josh. That never happened. That means you’re not a comedian if that never happened. That’s what that means. Yeah. Wow. Let’s see here. There are several that come to mind, actually. So one time, it was at a dinner. It was kind of a corporate sort of a thing. And this is when I first wrote an introduction to give to someone after this, because I told the guy a couple of bullet points, Bob & Tom Show, and SiriusXM, and stuff like this.

    Instead, he goes up and introduces me as who thinks accountants are funny? Yeah, nobody. Here’s John Garrett. Nobody even knew that I was going to do comedy. They thought it was going to give like FASB updates or something like I don’t even know. It was crazy. That was like the worst intro ever.

    But there was another time I was doing — it was a bar. They were always in bars, because my act is not for bars. It’s more comedy clubs. It was in a bar in Indianapolis. There was a pool table right in front of where the stage was. These two guys would not quit playing pool. The show’s starting, I’m first, and I’m up there. I like started making fun of them and like making fun of their shots.

    I get offstage, and I find out that they’re undercover cops. I’m like, oh, man. They were not happy. They were not happy. I was five miles below the speed limit home just to be sure that in case they call a friend or whatever, yeah. But it was like, come on, guys. Stop playing pool. What are you doing? Yeah, that’s brutal.

    Josh: Who’s the best person that you’ve opened for?

    John: Oh, well, I mean, probably the biggest show I did, well, the band, Train. That was pretty awesome. It was more people that lived in my hometown in Southern, Illinois. It was like 3,000 plus people. That’s crazy. Then Louie Anderson, opened for him several times at some casinos like the Borgata in Atlantic City. That was pretty awesome. But then a lot of comedians like Chad Daniels and Daniel Tosh and Tommy Johnagin, and Ryan Hamilton.

    I mean, all these guys that I worked with and hung out with all the time. It was a weird experience. But it was really cool to do and, and now it kind of works nicely with the speaking and consulting that I do now, because I’m not scared of anything. I’ve seen the worst audience ever. You got nothing pretty much. One more?

    Josh: Let’s do one more. What venue have you not played that you would love to play at?

    John: Oh, okay. I don’t do stand-up anymore, pure stand-up. It’s more of performing, but I think any of those classic vintage theaters are just awesome. I mean, whenever you do a theater — because people just expect something different and they’re bringing more. Something like I mean, Radio City Music Hall would be crazy. I mean, if you did like a TED Talk at Radio City, it would be like, what? This is amazing. It’s just super cool. I mean, if I had my pick, I mean, why not? Go big or go home, right? I guess I’d say that. Maybe next year after it all opens up again. That’s what we’re waiting for. Cool.

    This has been awesome, Josh. It’s been so fun catching up. Thanks so much for being a part of What’s Your “And”?

    Josh: No problem. Thanks for having me.

    John: Totally. Everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Josh in action, or maybe connect with them on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. Everything’s there. 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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