Episode 328 – Hannah Horton

Hannah is an Internal Auditor & DIY Crafter

Hannah returns to the podcast from episode 141 to talk about her latest hobbies in gardening and DIY crafting projects. She also talks about why she decided to step away from the fiddle and how she has been more aware of people sharing their passions in the office!

Episode Highlights

• Why she does not play the fiddle anymore
• Getting into crafting and gardening
• Some of her favorite DIY projects
• Being more aware of people sharing passions in the office
• Coffee chats at her office
• You do not need a work-self and authentic-self
• How sharing has improved her confidence and work performance


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Hannah’s Pictures

(click to enlarge)

The beginning stage of the garden

The garden at its peak this summer (with @miss_pit_bailey)

Working on building the kitchen table

The finished kitchen table

Hannah’s Links


  • Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close

    Welcome to Episode 328 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday edition. This is John Garrett, and 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 everyone know the book is out. You can order it on Amazon, Indigo, barnesandnoble.com, a few other websites, so 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. Thank you just so, so much for that. It’s really overwhelming.

    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, and this Follow-Up Friday is no different with my guest, Hannah Horton. She’s an internal auditor with Humana in Louisville, Kentucky, and now she’s with me here today. Hannah, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Hannah: Hey, thanks for having me. I’m glad to be here.

    John: This is gonna be awesome. It’s so much fun. First, I have my rapid-fire questions. We’re going to do seven here, get to know Hannah on a new level, if you’re ready.

    Hannah: I’m ready.

    John: All right, if you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones.

    Hannah: That’s hard because I love them both for different reasons. I’ll go with Harry Potter because that’s been in my life longer than Game of Thrones.

    John: Okay, okay, all right. How about a favorite band or musician?

    Hannah: Jason Isbell. I love Jason Isbell.

    John: There you go. This is a tough one, brownie or ice cream.

    Hannah: No, that’s easy for me, ice cream.

    John: Okay, all right. How about a favorite adult beverage?

    Hannah: Margaritas, for sure.

    John: Okay.

    Hannah: On the rocks with salt.

    John: Okay, all right, all right. Since my book’s out, and you were part of the launch team, which was awesome, thank you so much for that, Kindle or real books.

    Hannah: Real book, for sure. I’ll go audio book sometimes, but I just cannot get into an e-book format.

    John: Right. Yeah, it is a little different. That’s for sure. Two more. How about a favorite Disney character?

    Hannah: That’s hard. For some reason, my first instinct was to go with a villain, Maleficent.

    John: Okay. Yeah, there you go. That’s happened before. That’s awesome because they definitely stand out. The last one, toilet paper roll, over or under.

    Hannah: Over, for sure.

    John: Over. Yeah, there you go. All right. Episode 141, a little over two years ago, that was awesome. We were talking you and Abby had started taking fiddle lessons during busy season. That was just awesome. Are you still toying around with the fiddle?

    Hannah: So, my fiddle update is that you will not be seeing me at the Grand Ole Opry anytime soon. I have not been practicing. I would say, when I still lived in Nashville, a couple things have transpired to the demise of my fiddle career. Abby and I used to go to the lessons on Saturdays. I would say the peak of my fiddle career was I did teach myself how to play My Old Kentucky Home during Derby, so that was cool.

    John: Okay.

    Hannah: One thing I learned about myself, I don’t think we talked about this last time, I tried to play that in front of my family during our Derby party, and it was the most nerve-wracking. It was like 10 family members, but I was just like, oh my gosh, this is so terrifying. That kind of clued me in that I would not be doing this further.

    John: Maybe you need a bigger audience. Maybe ten is too small for you. Maybe that’s it.

    Hannah: I don’t think that was the — but I left public accounting, got into internal auditing, and I also moved from Nashville back to Kentucky. I think just not having the set time for lessons with an instructor just led to the downfall of the fiddle playing.

    John: Sure. No, it happens. I understand totally, but it was a cool example and one that I used in the book, where I had some quotes from you and Abby of just how people knew you for the fiddle playing even though you weren’t Grand Ole Opry level. It was just something that you guys enjoyed doing, which was really cool to see, for sure.

    Hannah: Yeah, for sure. I still have it. It’s in the corner of my office right now actually. I just don’t pick it up that often.

    John: No, no, it’s all good. I know that you’re busy with other things, so I’ll let you share what those are.

    Hannah: I have a couple of different things, especially since I’m out of public accounting. Now that I also bought a house, so I moved into a house, that has led to a lot of DIY house projects. I’ve always been kind of crafty, not artistic but crafty.

    John: Okay, and what would you say is the difference between that?

    Hannah: I can’t draw or paint something, but I’m crafty. I can make a Halloween wreath. I can paint something, but I can’t paint a picture.

    John: I gotcha. Okay, all right. I thought crafty was like shady. That’s why I was like, all right, because people call me crafty too. So you really enjoy that side of it. That’s cool.

    Hannah: Yeah, for sure. The DIY projects, especially just because we’re in the house. Obviously, when you’re renting, you can’t do as many projects. Also because we’re in a house now, I’ve also gotten into gardening, which is so fun. It was like a huge learning curve at first, to figure things out, but it’s so fun. Every morning, I would go out there and be like, what’s happened? What else has changed today? It’s so fun.

    John: Yeah, because my wife and I have a garden, and she’s way into it. I think they only grow at night. Is that what happens?

    Hannah: It’s insane.

    John: You see them during the day, and they’re just hanging out. Then at night, it’s like, you just doubled in size. How did that happen?

    Hannah: It’s seriously magic. I go out there, and I’m like, all of a sudden there’s a giant zucchini that was not here yesterday? This is amazing.

    John: Right? So, what kind of things are you growing?

    Hannah: My favorite thing is I did zucchinis, which had a very big learning curve for me. That was fun. My other favorite thing is cucumbers because I don’t love cucumbers, but I’ve been able to make pickles out of them. So I’m just so impressed with myself that I’ve been able to grow this and then make it into a pickle.

    John: That’s a next level step. That’s not just, here’s a cucumber. It’s, now we’ve got to take that and then go pickle it and then wait. That’s impressive.

    Hannah: Thank you. It’s actually easier than you would think it is, but it sounds very impressive.

    John: Yeah. Well, don’t tell anybody that. Man, it is exhausting.

    Hannah: Yeah, it’s hard work.

    John: I’d explain it to you, John, but it’s just too hard.

    Hannah: You wouldn’t get it.

    John: Yeah, exactly, exactly. It’s like fiddle playing. It’s just, don’t worry about it. That’s super cool, though. Then the crafting, do you have some of your projects that have been more of your favorites?

    Hannah: Oh, yeah definitely. Let’s see, the ones I’ve been most proud of, we built our kitchen table. That was a team effort. That was not just me, but I will take a lot of credit for it but not all the credit.

    John: Wow.

    Hannah: Well, because I’m very into yard sales and thrift shopping as well, so I would never just go to a store and buy a brand new table. I was trying to find used tables that I liked, and I was like, well, for the price these people are charging, I can just make one that I really like. So, I looked at the plans, I went and bought all the supplies, I took it to my dad’s house. He did the more of the physical sawing, piecing together. Then once we got it together — there were three of us, four of us working on it, my dad, my boyfriend, me, my sister’s boyfriend. My sister did not help at all. She will not get credit. Once we finished putting it all together, we brought it back home. I painted it and then I stained the top and clear-coated the top. Now, there’s my kitchen table.

    John: That’s fantastic. That’s super cool. Because there has to be a sense of pride and achievement in especially a kitchen table that you use daily, it’s got to be pretty awesome to be like, hey, we made this, sort of a thing. Where the zucchini, it’s like, well, it’s gone within one meal, but the table is — that’s really neat. Yeah, good for you. Because it’s not like, I’ll just go buy it; it’s, no, no, let’s make what I actually want and then taking the plans and tweaking them and then, yeah, making it your own. That’s cool.

    Hannah: Really fun.

    John: That’s super awesome, super awesome. Do you feel like people are sharing their hobbies and passions more now or that you’re more aware of it, in the last couple years?

    Hannah: I would say I’m definitely more aware of it. Also, just the switch of jobs and companies and cultures, that’s also different. I feel like at my current job, there is a lot of sharing. I have a specific example for you that I thought would be good. My team specifically has what we call coffee chats, twice a week, for 30 minutes. They used to be in-person. We’re all remote now, so it’s a little bit different, but we’re still having them. These are times set aside specifically to talk about anything besides work. We’re not supposed to talk about work during these 30-minute blocks.

    John: Nice. I love that.

    Hannah: Yeah, so that’s a really good example of how my team specifically carves time out to talk about things that are not work. Sometimes it can be a little slow to start, or some people won’t really have things to talk about, but then once we get warmed up, it’s just talking with everyone about whatever they want to talk about, not work.

    John: That’s super awesome. Do you do it as a group or are they one-on-ones?

    Hannah: It’s as a group. Our department’s broken out into teams. We used to have a smaller team. It’s a little bit bigger now. There’s usually, I would say, between like four to eight people on each call.

    John: That’s fantastic. It’s just not talk about work, which is cool. Yeah, and how often do you guys do this?

    Hannah: We do this twice a week, 30 minutes each times.

    John: Oh, wow. That’s incredible. Yeah, yeah. Because I’ve heard of other examples of one-on-ones, monthly or whatever, but twice a week, and it’s just for 30 minutes. Your work is still getting done. It’s not like, oh, well, we’re going to need you to come in on Saturdays to make up for that 30 minutes, twice a week.

    Hannah: No.

    John: Type of thing. If anything, I would imagine that work gets done better now.

    Hannah: Yeah. You definitely make connections with everyone on the team. Because especially working remotely, some of these people, I’m not on jobs with, so I wouldn’t even be talking to them at all. So then having them on the call, and then just saying, what did you do this weekend? The last coffee chat, we ended up talking about some fantasy football leagues, we were talking about Jurassic Park because that’s what I’m reading right now, so just all kinds of stuff.

    John: That’s cool. Do you feel like it makes a difference when it’s a dedicated time for that, in creating these relationships with people?

    Hannah: Yeah, definitely, especially being remote. Because in person, you would see them sitting next to you or when you’re walking in or going to get coffee, and just be like, hey, what did you do this weekend? Since you don’t have that, working remote, these specific two sessions a week carve that time out.

    John: Yeah. No, I love that. I love that so much. That’s awesome. I would imagine, because I feel like it’s one of those things where, even if you were in person, if you just let people decide, they probably won’t do it, type of thing. The fact that you have dedicated time, okay, everybody, show up to this. Is it something that you get excited for? Or is it something like a CPE training where you’re like, oh, God, got to go sit through this?

    Hannah: No, it’s fun. The first one we have is Monday morning at nine, so it eases you into your workweek where you don’t have to work at the beginning of the day.

    John: Right?

    Hannah: Just kind of ease into it.

    John: Yeah, plus, make sure you woke up, Monday morning. How crazy was your weekend? Somebody shows up. Their hair’s all messed. Oh, boy, you don’t even have to answer. We know. Margaritas, there it is. No, that’s really cool to hear. Do you have any words of encouragement for people listening that might think, I’ve got this hobby or this interest that has nothing to do with my job, so no one’s going to care?

    Hannah: Yeah, I would just say, don’t be afraid to show up to work with your authentic self. Don’t feel like you have to have a work self and a real life self. You only need to be one person, and your hobbies don’t have to be super adventurous or super glamorous. Mine is like, I’m in a book club, and I garden. It’s not that glamorous, but it’s what I do. People know that’s what I do.

    John: But you’re making pickles, and it’s interesting. It’s fascinating. There’s stuff to it.

    Hannah: Yeah, same thing for anyone else that has any kind of hobby that they want to share, especially people that are newer to the working world might feel like they need to not share that side of them. So, I would just say, share your authentic self, be real, be you.

    John: Yeah. It’s almost like, if you feel like you shouldn’t, then that’s twice the reason you should. Because when you’re brand new, you’re the same as everyone else. Especially when you’re at a bigger organization, what makes you different than everyone else is not how great you are at the technical skills because everyone else also has the same technical skills, type of thing. So, being a real person is something people gravitate towards. Like you said, even you feel like yours are not that exciting, but people still know and ask you about it. I feel like too, we’re critical of ourselves because it’s what we do. Like you’re telling me, you designed and built a table or tweaked plans to build that table and then painted and all. I’m like, what? That’s awesome. To you, you’re like, it’s a Tuesday, whatever. It is what I do.

    Hannah: Yeah, we’re definitely more over-critical of ourselves, but hearing something from someone else that they may not think is a big deal, you decide you would be like, wow, that’s so cool. I would never think to do that, or I would never do that.

    John: Right?

    Hannah: One of my friends that I work with, she plays pickleball. We played a couple of weekends ago, and I was like, this is so fun. I’ve never played this before.

    John: Right.

    Hannah: Just things like that, if you’re not sharing, people aren’t going to know that’s what you do.

    John: Yeah, or that it’s even a thing.

    Hannah: Yeah.

    John: You show up with your homemade pickles, and you’re like, I’m ready. It’s like, no, Hannah, different.

    Hannah: Different pickle.

    John: Different pickle. Different crafty. Come on now. That’s really cool to hear, really cool to hear. It’s not just like theory. It’s in the real world. That’s great.

    Hannah: Also, I feel like sharing your real self has made me, in my experience, feel a lot more comfortable, and it’s made me feel a lot more confident around people at work. That leads to just better work, in general, for being able to come forward and saying, hey, actually, I want to do this, or I’m interested in doing this, which I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing if I felt like I was strictly in work mode, professional mode.

    John: No, it totally makes sense because that’s the thing is, work is always changing. There’s new technology. You get a new job. You get promoted at the company. You’re using a different skill set. Things are always changing, changing, changing, changing, and that rock that never changes is those outside-of-work interests. The DIY craftiness, the gardening, that’s with you. Even if you get promoted or you go to a different job or whatever, that still comes with you. The logoed computer bag changes, or the fleece or whatever. Yeah, that is a source of confidence. Sadly, we let that go first. It’s like, no, no, that’s what you let go last. Let go of everything else first. That’s really cool to hear that that’s what you’re feeling. That’s awesome, very cool.

    Well, this has been so great, catching up, Hannah. This is so much fun. It’s only fair that before I close it out that I turn the tables and allow you to question me. This is the first episode of the Hannah Horton podcast, everybody. I’m glad to be a guest. Thank you so much.

    Hannah: Yes, welcome. I have a couple rapid-fire questions for you.

    John: Okay, all right.

    Hannah: All right, let’s see. Are you more puzzles or board games?

    John: Oh, that’s a good one. I’m going to go board games because that satisfaction of beating someone else is great. It’s just great. Puzzles, it’s like, well, you know.

    Hannah: That’s a little more relaxing.

    John: Yeah, yeah. I was supposed to win.

    Hanna: All right, more Airbnb or hotel.

    John: Oh, that’s actually a tough one. I might go Airbnb where it’s more of just dropping into the local. Especially in another country, that’s always fun because then you’re in a house of what it’s normally like there, sort of thing. Yeah, I’ll go Airbnb on that.

    Hannah: I agree with you on that one. I love searching Airbnb. It leads up to the anticipation of the trip, for me, of searching all the fun Airbnbs to stay in.

    John: Yeah, and plus, there are cool, little quirky places that it’s like, all right, when else are you going to stay in a, whatever, a tree house in the middle of the jungle in Australia or whatever. Well, there we go.

    Hannah: We went to San Francisco, one time, and we stayed on a boat, like a boathouse.

    John: There you go. Right? When’s that going to happen? Why not? Right? That’s awesome.

    Hannah: All right, one more. Since it’s fall, pumpkin spice or hot chocolate.

    John: Oh, hot chocolate all day. It doesn’t even have to be fall. I’ll do it in the middle of summer. Yeah, hot chocolate, I am definitely — I mean, the pumpkin people can go nuts. I like pumpkin pie, but drinking it, it’s not my — yeah, hot chocolate, and I’m definitely a hot chocolate snob.

    Hannah: What do you mean? You need fancy hot chocolate, or you need to prepare it a certain way?

    John: Starbucks chocolate is three thumbs down. It is not good. It’s funny because whenever people want to meet for coffee, I always put in the email, coffee/hot chocolate, because when we show up, I’m going to order hot chocolate. They giggle, like, I’m seven. I’m like, well, maybe I am, but it’s good. I’ve had several people be, well, if I knew you’re going to do that, I would have gotten hot chocolate. Well then why didn’t you just get hot chocolate? Who cares?

    Hannah: Okay, I agree with the stance.

    John: It’s not like a sippy cup. It’s an adult mug, and it’s hot chocolate and, yes, whipped cream and, yes, whole milk. Yes. If you’re going to make some hot chocolate, don’t try and skimp on the good stuff.

    Hannah: I support that.

    John: That was a little bit of a tangent there. Now we’re all learning about John. No, but it’s been so cool catching up with you, Hannah. Thanks so much for being a part of What’s Your “And”?

    Hannah: Thanks, and congrats on your book.

    John: Everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Hannah and some of her projects, or connect with her on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. While you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and don’t forget to buy the book.

    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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