Episode 36 – Joe Fleenor


Joe bikes, swims and runs his way to better connections

 

Joe Fleenor is crazy about triathlons. He only started participating in them seven years ago but all of his coworkers and clients know this is one of his passions. Running was boring, so he needed three sports rolled up into one so it could help keep his attention.

In this episode, we talk about how if he didn’t bring his personal life to the workspace, he’d be miserable. He’s seen too many people get disgruntled by letting professionalism consume them, so be proactive. Simply sharing his passion has lead to deeper relationships because getting to know each other better means a deeper level of trust.

Joe Fleenor is the Director of Events & Client Relations for The Rainmaker Companies. Prior to this, he planned tournaments for the United States Tennis Association. He’s also very active in planning triathlons, including the River Bluff Triathlon in a few weeks.

He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in Education and Sports Management.

I’m doing a research study about Corporate Culture!

Survey Button

It’s anonymous and  I promise it’ll take less than 2 minutes.

Other pictures of Joe

(click to enlarge)

Joe cycles the first portion of a recent triathlon.

Now that he’s certified as a USA Triathlon Race Director, Joe is busy planning a triathlon for early August.

Joe poses with a group of other triathletes after a recent event.

Joe’s links

 

Transcript

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    John: Welcome to Episode 36 of the Green Apple Podcast where each Wednesday, I interview a professional know for a hobby or passion. And I’m doing a little research for a book I’m writing about corporate cultures so it’d be super cool if you could just take 60 seconds, just one minute to do my anonymous survey by going to greenapplepodcast.com. Click on the big green button there. It’s only a few questions because I know you’re super busy. But the more data points I have, the more legit my research. So I really, really appreciate it.

    Okay. Now let me introduce you to this week’s guest, Joe Fleenor. A few weeks ago, I was the opening keynote for the Rainmaker Company’s Super Conference. So I was hanging out with Joe in Miami, brought it up and he was like, “Yeah, I’ll be a guest on the show.” And Joe was there because he is director of Events and Client Relations for Rainmaker companies, but he’s also heavily involved in sport event production having previously worked organizing tournaments for the United States Tennis Association, and he does a ton of stuff at triathlons, which we’ll get into here in this episode. So Joe, I’m so excited you’re here with me. Thanks so much for taking time to be with me on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Joe: Happy to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

    John: Yeah. Well, I’m so excited because we got to hang out at the Rainmaker Companies super-duper conference trademarked in Miami. I’m so excited and we had so much fun, and so I’m really forward to talking to you here today. And when I gave everyone a little bit of introduction to you, but maybe in your own words, what you do there at the Rainmaker Companies, and how you serve your clients in day-to-day type of stuff.

    Joe: Sure. The Rainmaker Companies, we’ve been around for about 25 years now and we are the premier provider of alliance, consulting and training services for the accounting industry. I am the director of Events and Client Relations for our various alliances we have. We have seven different accounting associations and so I put on all of their conferences and board retreats and strategic plannings and webinars, and pretty much anything and everything you can think about that would make our members connect with one another and gain some education. That’s my role within the company.

    John: Yeah. That’s what I think is so cool, because I came out of Big Four myself, so I didn’t even know that this kind of thing existed. But it makes complete sense where you have a lot of like-sized firms that can share best practices and link together and things like that, and connect. I think that’s awesome.

    Joe: Yeah. And even more so than just like-sized, it’s like-minded firms as well. So the firms that we work with, they are all growth-focused, and they want to engage in network with other firms that are kind of in that mode as well. So it’s a great opportunity for them to get connected with one another through our alliances.

    John: I think that that’s so fantastic. And so how did you get into event planning?

    Joe: Well my background, oddly enough, has nothing to do with accounting or professional services or anything like that. I really come from the sports background.

    John: Oh, and they weren’t cool enough, and you were like, “Accounting’s where it’s at?”

    Joe: Well, my professional career in sports really kind on handcuffed me to the nonprofit world, and eventually I needed to make a little bit of money. So, I went to the dark side.

    John: Yeah. That’s awesome. You sold out.

    Joe: But events has always been what I have always been passionate about. It’s just my migration to corporate and association event planning was just a by-product of me wanting to make a little bit more money and doing what I love doing. So prior to that, I just did a lot of sport event production, but it’s all relevant.

    John: Yeah. Absolutely. Whether they’re wearing ties or wicking running shirts, it’s the same event, right?

    Joe: Yeah. Now I’m really involved — we’ll get into with triathlons and see a lot of people in spandex, which is fun.

    John: Right. And you don’t want to see that at a Super conference. Not for a second. Not at all. I was on stage looking out there, and I was like, “Oh, buddy.” That’s why we have the Green Apple Podcast. I started these apples because they’re durable just like accountants. They have a long shelf life and they grow round over time. And that is not what spandex is for. Not at all. But you hinted at it, and I love the hobby and passion that you have, and it’s been a long-time thing. It’s triathlons. I think that’s so cool, man.

    Joe: Yeah. It’s something that I just got into maybe about seven years ago or so. And I get bored very easily with sports that I participate in. and so for many years I was a very active tennis player, and then I kind of phased out of that a little bit and got into running, and then got bored with running. And so I thought, “What could keep my attention longer than these single sports?” So I thought maybe if I do a multi-sports like triathlon, then I had no excuses. I did my first event seven years ago and caught the bug, and now I’m totally obsessed.

    John: That’s great. Because I mean running to me is really boring. I did a half marathon ten years ago and then I retired from running. That was actually the only run I ever did. One and done. Because the whole time I was running, I kept thinking of things I should be doing instead of running, which is not the way that you’re supposed to go about it, but I love that. So triathlon, for people that don’t know, it’s running, and then what are the other two sports?

    Joe: So it’s a swim, bike, run. That’s a traditional triathlon, but really the term triathlon can mean any three sports. So there are triathlons out there that are kind of crazy. I know a friend who runs a paddleboard, rappelling, trail-running triathlon.

    John: What? That’s awesome! That’s so great! I mean, on the rappelling, if you really wanted to speed up a lot, you could just jump. Although the trail run makes it a little awkward at the end.

    Joe: Yeah, it’s a really cool venue where there’s a huge waterfall, and literally they paddleboard down this big river, then they run up to top of this waterfall and they rappel down, and then hit a trail for a run. And that’s it.

    John: Wow. That’s nuts. Because I’ve always just heard the swim-bike-run, but that makes it a more fun I would imagine. That’s great. So what’s the most fun triathlon you’ve even done or the one that you remember the most?

    Joe: I think it was two years ago, I did my first half iron distance race. Most people when they hear triathlon, a lot of people who have never been exposed to it, think that a triathlon is just an ironman. And they don’t realize that there’s various distances to a triathlon. So just for education’s sake, an ironman is 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and then a full marathon at the end. So two years ago I did a half version of that. So essentially a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and a half marathon. So that was my kind of peak moment in my triathlon career.

    John: That’s impressive, man. I couldn’t do any one those by themselves. Good for you, man. That’s a lot. That’s great. And then you go to Danny’s and get a grand slam breakfast after.

    Joe: What’s good about these events is that they’ve usually got a good post-race meal for you. Most people just gorge themselves, and there’s usually beer and alcohol afterwards. That’s fun too.

    John: Right. Although they do say that beer is really great after you exercise a lot, right?

    Joe: Oh, yeah. There was a full marathon that I did in Las Vegas a few years, and part of the course you kind of run through downtown Las Vegas and there’s this really dilapidated bar that then set up like a little water station but instead of water they’re giving you little glasses of their beer as an aid station. And that was great.

    John: Nice. That’s great. That’s so fun. And then by the end, you’re like, “I don’t even know where I’m running anymore.” You’re dehydrated and delirious and drunk. I think that’s so cool, man. So have you ever shared this with clients or even co-workers?

    Joe: Oh, yeah, I am. I’m not afraid to talk about it. I bring it to work with me pretty much every day. My passion for the sport has taken me to — well I guess not taken me, I got suckered into serving on a triathlon club board of directors where they asked me to serve as their president, I guess because they couldn’t find anybody else to do it.

    John: No. You do good work, man.

    Joe: I got suckered into doing that. And so by doing that, I love the group and I love all the members that I’ve met through the club, and so now at my desk I’ve actually got paraphernalia of my triathlon club all over the place. So it’s impossible for people not to know what I’m into because that’s kind of how I decorate my little workspace. Yes. It’s fun.

    John: I think that that’s fantastic. I’m sure that those skills as being a board of directors or — and you’re planning your own triathlon, right?

    Joe: Yes. And that’s kind of a little side hustle that I have going on where I take my passion project and I love creating experiences and I know kind of what works with regard to putting on a sport event. And so I’ve taken my passion for the sport of triathlon and I’m not putting on my own event in August this year.

    John: That’s great. And I imagine that those skills translate over to work especially with what you do, that’s almost the exact same thing.

    Joe: Oh, absolutely, yeah. Whether you’re working with accountants or you’re working with engineers or you’re working with endurance athletes, it’s all the same in terms of — from an event perspective, you just got to super please your client and you put on a good event so they have a good experience.

    John: Even the Board of Directors thing, those are probably some skills that you don’t get at work that you’re able to strengthen so then when the time does come, you can have those ready to go. That’s a cool thing, man. I think that’s great. That’s very good.

    Joe: It teaches you leadership lessons as well. Being on the board of directors, everybody that’s a part of a board, there’s good boards and there’s bad boards but every board you’re a part of, depending on how seriously you take it really does teach some of those good business lessons especially from a leadership side of things. So I’ve taken a lot out of that, even though it’s a little sport club that I’m a member of a board of directors on, it still does take some of those leadership business lessons and implement it through that as well. So it’s good.

    John: I think that’s awesome because not everyone is getting that when it comes to your co-workers or things like that, and those are skills that you’re developing outside of work that definitely translate. So, have you ever gotten a client involved in your triathlon? Or even co-workers, suckered them in?

    Joe: Yes. I’ll start with co-workers. I —

    John: Star with? Good Lord, you got like a whole list of people that are victims?

    Joe: Last year I established a kids’ triathlon here in Nashville, and the first year we had about 300 kids participate, and I suckered in a lot of our staff to come and volunteer for that. So I’m slowly kind of pulling them into my world. They had a good time. But then from a client perspective, that’s where it’s really fun because I have the opportunity at all of our events to really get to know our members beyond just what they do from an accounting perspective in their firm. I really get to know them on a one-on-one personal level, which is great.

    And it’s amazing how many executives in accounting firms have similar types of hobbies that they do that you really have no idea that they would have done. One example is, and I’ll throw his name out there just because you know him and I don’t he would mind me saying. But Steve Mayer, the guy from the conference that you met —

    John: And if you don’t have his newsletter everybody, just send him an email, he’ll get it to you.

    Joe: He actually a year or two ago, completed a full Ironman, and he used to be the managing partner of one of the top 50 accounting firms in the world and now he started his own firm and so, he’s a very busy man but he still found time for his passion. And it’s fun sharing those war stories with him about the training —

    John: Right and he’s a great guy and really funny. So yeah, that’s so great that you can create that connection with members of Rainmaker Companies, and it’s more on a personal level like you said. And I imagine that that lends itself to a lot better relationships and you’re able to serve them maybe a little bit better because you know them a little bit more.

    Joe: Yeah. I think it also — when you have that closer personal relationship with somebody, you gain more credibility and you gain their trust. And I think that’s something that is part of your message but it’s also part of the Rainmaker message that we teach about as well, about creating that deep relationship with your clients beyond just transactional. And that’s really what we try and instill in our clients when they’re working with their prospects or their clients, is to kind of develop that deeper R with their clients. That’s what we try and do. We try to practice what we preach.

    John: That’s impressive, man. That’s exactly what you need to do. That’s cool. You should be running this podcast. Good Lord. It’s so perfect, something simple like triathlons — I mean you just started seven years ago. So it’s not like something that you were doing from junior high or whatever type of a thing, and look at all the relationships and the bonding that you’ve had in just such a short time. It’s such a great example of something where people are like, “Oh, I don’t really have anything.”

    John: You probably do, number one; but, number two, even if you don’t then start something now. And then seven years from now you’ll be like Joe and have all these great stories or list of victims that you got to do your crazy hobby to.

    Joe: Well it’s also part of — whatever your passion is about, you can keep that and internalize it and just kind of have it as your own thing, or you can actually — not to say that right or wrong, but I actually take my passions and I try and find other community of people that are like-minded with me. Because I like the social aspect of triathlon and I like the social aspect of tennis, and I like to communicate with people that have similar interests to learn what they do, what they don’t like, how they’re improving, things like that. That’s how I operate. And so it’s served me well, and I know other people, they kind of do it — some people just do yoga and they’re internalizing their own kind of Zen with yoga. And that’s fine, but I take my personal interest and kind of make it free for the world to see and hopefully people will gravitate towards me. That’s my hope.

    John: Right. And it’s not only on a personal level but even from a career standpoint. Your ability to do your job is significantly enhanced due to these relationships that you’ve built through sharing your passion. And I think that that’s so great because a lot of people don’t give that as much credit as what it deserves, I don’t think. It’s not just a, you do triathlons and whatever. No, Joe’s the triathlon guy. Everybody knows that type of thing. And then the people that do exercise whether it’s one of the three, bike, run or swim, then at least you have something to talk to them about. And you have these friendships that are deeper. Like you said, the deeper R. I like that. That’s great. That’s really cool. So since the triathlons were just seven years ago, was there something else that was a hobby or passion that you shared, or was triathlon’s a thing that kind of blew it open?

    Joe: I’ve been in the workforce since 2003. I guess I graduated college in ’03. So I’ve had about 12 years, 12 years in the workforce. Prior to being in triathlons, my career was kind of my passion. So I worked for — prior to coming to Rainmaker, I worked for the United States Tennis Association. So literally my work was my passion. Every day I talked about what it is I liked to do which is the sport of tennis. So I didn’t have to do as much of that in that job, deepening those R’s with kind of personal thing, already working with everybody was all about that already.

    John: Right. That’s like the ultimate right there is where it becomes that passion and then you just have to make sure it stays a passion instead of burning out.

    Joe: That’s part of what happened. When you’re in it every day all day, you kind of lose the passion for it for being a hobby. It just becomes a job at that point.

    John: Right. When you work for the Tennis Association, when you pick up folders and do any movement, do you have to grunt really hard like they o on the courts? “Here’s your report. Ugh!”

    Joe: Yeah. If you can envision how Maria Sharapova sounds when she hits a ball, that was me.

    John: Good Lord. Those meetings must be scary. I just had to ask. “John if I could touch you right now or punch you in the throat,” but I’m far away. One thing that I love to ask people is, when it comes to creating this culture to share that it sounds like you have there at the Rainmaker Companies, how much is it do you think on the organization or maybe on the accounting firm or the company versus on the individual to just bring your triathlon stuff to your office and decorate it, or to share openly? Or somewhere in the middle of that spectrum?

    Joe: It’s a really good question. Initially, I would have said it probably helps to have a great culture in place that would provide the opportunity for people to feel welcome to kind of let others in to their personal lives. But then on the other hand I think about how culture is made within a firm, and many actually in the best cases, it’s kind of from bottom up. Where the people that work inside the firm kind of create what the culture should be.

    Joe: And I think that those people need to get a little bit more proactive about maybe bringing their outside lives into the workspace to help develop that culture within a firm. And then ultimately you’ve got a culture in place where, for a long duration of time you’ve got everybody to feel comfortable doing it. I don’t know, I can see it both ways. But I think here at Rainmaker I think it is more of — not to say that it’s not a top-down mentality, but I think that we just have a staff here in place that has kind of helped forge what our culture is going to look like. And the leaders in our firm have totally adopted it, and we’ve now got a great working relationship with everybody in the office. That’s been our experience here.

    John: Yeah. That’s for sure. Out of everybody that I met there at the conference, it was really great and it certainly does help smaller organizations that leadership is really key. Because if you have somebody at the top that’s really not an open and fun type of person, then it’s going to be hard. But even within your small little circles you can find one of two people that you can connect with.

    Joe: Yup.

    John: I agree absolutely. So are there any things that you see other firms doing? Or maybe places where you’ve worked that do encourage sharing these hobbies or passions or some cool things that places are doing to create this?

    Joe: I think there’s a — at the conference, I think you had already left from the Super conference at this time, but on the last day we had a really interesting panel discussion where, in addition to having some accounting firm representatives on stage and somebody from the AICPA, where they were talking about some of their culture in the workplace, and there were tension in recruiting efforts they have, and kind of the generational issues and things like that, we also brought in somebody from Silicon Valley, a place called Gusto, which is a technology company that has won I believe two years in row Best Place to Work in San Francisco.

    So they’re competing against the likes of Google and Apple and all the others and they win every year. And so we had an opportunity to kind of see inside of what they do and how that compares or contrasts to the accounting space, but how it probably shouldn’t — most people when they think of the differences between an accounting firm and a Silicon Valley firm, you think, “Well there’s no way that an accounting firm can do what they do. There’s no way.” But then when she explained what they do, it really isn’t that different and outside the scope of reality for what an accounting firm should be thinking about.

    And I think it sparked a lot of good discussion about taking some of these things that you talk about and we’ve talked about today, and creating more of that open environment for people. Because that’s what the young people that are entering the workforce want. They want to have that kind of family type of atmosphere. They don’t want to feel like it’s a monotonous job. They want to come to work and they want to engage with their colleagues and have work-life balance and all that stuff. And if you don’t do what we’re talking about here then you’re going to lose those people. And accounting firms are slowly starting to realize that but it’s a slowed option rate. It’s just interesting to hear kind of what Silicon Valley is doing versus the accounting space.

    John: Right. And I know accounting firms are never early adopters on pretty much anything. But they were even slow to get the 10 Key. But I agree totally and it’s not just what the young people want, it’s what everybody’s always wanted. It’s just you now, just create that. It’s not hard. It’s almost like a Greek system hazing type of thing, it’s like, “Did you like getting hazed? No? Then stop.” This is dumb. Just because you had to work through garbage, busy season hours, you come in early, stay late all the time, wear the suit and tie every day, and whatever it is, just because you had to do that doesn’t mean that you wanted to that. You don’t have to do that. Now that those people are in charge, you can create the culture you want. You can make that happen.

    So it’s something that those people have also always wanted, it’s just they either never thought about it or it just got beat into them so much that they’re like, “Well I guess it is what it is.” And it’s not what it is. That’s what’s so frustrating to me. But, that’s a great example is you know, to look to other industries and see what they’re doing as well. That’s awesome. So what might be some barriers that people have to wanting to share in the office that you might think of?

    Joe: I think the biggest barrier would be if you’re a — especially if you’re new to a firm and you’re not experiencing anybody else doing that type of thing, that’s a natural barrier. Because you might feel that it’s just not a part of the company culture to do that type of thing. That’s clearly issue number one. So unless you have somebody that is — we do a lot here at Rainmaker on personality profiles and things like that, and if you have more of those conservative types of people who aren’t outwardly extroverted, they’re never really going to open up. They don’t feel the invitation to open up.

    However, if you are a little bit on the spectrum of sharing and engaging and bringing in some fun and liveliness to the office then maybe you need to kind of take it upon yourself to create that culture in the firm. And I think that, you know you mentioned earlier if you have a stuffy old leadership at the top who kind of did not provide a good environment to do that kind of thing, well I’m of the opinion that if that’s the case and you want, then you should probably consider looking elsewhere. I truly believe that. I don’t feel like you need to just stay just to stay.

    And firms need to realize that people have options, especially in the accounting space. They’re all struggling to find good talent, and that three- to seven-year person, that’s kind of the young person that wants this kind of thing. And if they’re not providing that for them then they’re going to be looking elsewhere and firms are going to jump all over them especially if they have a good work life. They’re going to steal them.

    John: Absolutely. That is a tricky decision to make but you definitely have options, and you want to create that environment that people want to be in. And then they’ll gravitate towards you like a magnet. But you brought up an excellent point. It’s to have others that make you feel invited to be there. It’s something that’s so easy to do and it’s not just come like a bowl in the china shop and just liven it up and, “This is what I do,” and just start going crazy. Do it appropriately but definitely don’t be shy to do that, because the dividends that you get are so great.

    Joe: Yeah and I think that there’s different companies that do different things, but having some sort of social type of activities within your office, and that can be as simple as Lunch and Learns or something as big as going to a baseball game as a team. Something along those lines really does offer opportunities for people to open up more with one another. So creating more of those outside the office social activities would be something that could help kind of break down those walls.

    John: Right. And even if it is like a Lunch and Learn, like a work-related thing you remove from the office and you go to a different place, so then that stigma and those walls aren’t till there. So you can kind of let down, let loose a little bit and create those bonds. That’s an excellent example. That’s perfect. So do you have any words of encouragement for others that might be on the fence or not quite sure if they should bring their passion to work?

    Joe: I think to me, and again it’s different personality styles, but to me I came into the workplace and I knew instantly that if I came in every single day and did my job and had no sort of — if I did not bring any sort of my personal life into the workplace, I would be absolutely miserable. So I decided to actually bring that in and talk with the other people in our office about what it is I do in my own personal time. And that’s deepened the relationship to people, that has opened up opportunities with potential clients, and it’s just something that to me is a no-brainer, otherwise you’re going to get beat down, you’re going to lose your passion for the job and you’re going to quit.

    John: And you’ll also probably forget what your passion was because you’ll b so busy with work that it will be like, “Oh yeah, what was it that I loved to do before I sold out to my job?” Which is very important, you still have your job but you know. But that’s an excellent example, like you said it was going to drive you crazy if you didn’t, and then look at what happened. Deeper relationships with co-workers and opportunities with clients, that’s cool.

    Joe: Yeah. I talked a lot about kind of personal responsibility with this and I am a big believer in that, there’s been situations in every company and every job you’ve ever been in where you hear disgruntled people talk, and once they get it in their mind their disgruntle, it’s very hard to get them out of that. And o to me, in the conversations I had with them, taking ownership of your career is vital. You can’t just wait for your manager, your boss or the company itself to necessarily change for you. You almost need to take and be proactive and kind of change it for yourself. What can make you happy or what can make you want to stay and grow with the company, and take ownership of that.

    John: That’s awesome, man. That’s fantastic. Really, really well put, and much more eloquent than I would’ve said, how I would have said it anyway. Which I just proved by saying that sentence incorrectly, so that’s even better. But that’s so great, man, and I think it’s so cool. And when is your next triathlon?

    Joe: I’m actually doing one in downtown Nashville at the end of July, called the Music City Triathlon.

    John: Great! Because the end of July in Nashville, that’s when you want to be outside. That sounds like a great idea.

    Joe: And then if you wanted to come down or any of your listeners wanted to come down to my event —

    John: I see what you’re doing right now. You’re going to sucker me in.

    Joe: It’s the Riverbluff Triathlon on August 7th.

    John: And where is that one?

    Joe: It’s here in Nashville as well. Just outside.

    John: Okay. And what’s the website for that?

    Joe: www.abovethefoldevents.com

    John: abovethefoldevents.com. There’s been a lot of marathon runners that had been on the podcast and people that’d like to do “exercise.” I don’t know this is, what these people do. But that’ll be great. abovethefoldevents.com, and people can check that one out as well. So that’s cool Joe. I know that we’ve hung out before but I still have this barometer to determine how fun it’ll be based on my 17 rapid fire questions. So if you’ve got a seatbelt ready we’re going to fire t his thing up. And here we go. Ready?

    Joe: Yup.

    John: Alright. First one. What’s your favorite color?

    Joe: Blue.

    John: Blue. Nice. How about least favorite color?

    Joe: Green.

    John: Green. Interesting. How about a favorite back or musician?

    Joe: It’s a tie between Dwight Yoakam and Rob Zombie.

    John: I don’t even know if that’s even possible. Do you just put both of those CD’s in and put them on mix? Like, “I don’t know which one is which.”

    Joe: That’s so good.

    John: That’s great. That’s awesome man. That’s a great one. How about Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Joe: Star Wars.

    John: Okay. How about a PC or a Mac?

    Joe: I’m a Mac guy.

    John: Oh, interesting. How about when it comes to a mouse, right click or left click?

    Joe: Left click.

    John: Yeah, that’s a silly one. How about what you have for breakfast?

    Joe: I had, with the place called Frothy Monkey, I had a pizza toast with an egg and avocado on it.

    John: Oh, fancy man. That’s nice. Very good. How about when it comes to financial statements; balance sheet or income statement?

    Joe: Income statement.

    John: Right. I figured you would have learned that stuff hanging out with all the cool kids. How about favorite place you’ve been on vacation?

    Joe: Sedona, Arizona.

    John: Oh, that’s great, man. Yeah, that is a cool place because it’s just a little bit south of the Grand Canyon.

    Joe: Yeah, beautiful.

    John: So not a lot of people get there. How about, are you an early bird or more of a night owl?

    Joe: Early bird.

    John: Early bird. What time did you get up this morning?

    Joe: 5:15.

    John: Holy smokes! I didn’t even know there was a 5:15 AM.

    Joe: Well when you’re a triathlete, you got to get up early to get your workout done.

    John: Oh, that’s what you’re doing. All right. How about a favorite number?

    Joe: 34.

    John: 34, why is that?

    Joe: My favorite all-time football player is Thurman Thomas.

    John: There you go. That’s a good answer. It’s a great answer. How about, do you have a movie that makes you cry?

    Joe: Probably Field of Dreams.

    John: Yeah, Field of Dreams definitely. How about cats or dogs?

    Joe: Dogs. I hate cats.

    John: That one’s a no-brainer.

    Joe: I own a cat. If anybody’s looking for a cat, I have one I can give away.

    John: I’m not sure if your wife had a vote in this, but hopefully she’s not listening. Yes. Sudoku or crossword puzzle.

    Joe: Both are terrible.

    John: Both are terrible, right? I’d rather run. How about, do you have a favorite actor or actress?

    Joe: Yeah. I would say — I’ll give you one of both. I like Leonardo DiCaprio, his movies are always good. And I like Charlize Theron.

    John: Oh, sure. Whether or not the movies are good it doesn’t even matter.

    Joe: Exactly.

    John: Two more. Pens or pencils?

    Joe: Pens.

    John: And last one. The favorite thing you have.

    Joe: I own the same bike that Tour de France winner Alberto Contador rides.

    John: Wow! That’s fancy. That’s awesome, man. Now he gets his for free, how about you?

    Joe: I feel embarrassed riding because I’m clearly nowhere near the level that should be on that bike. But it’s fun. I own it.

    John: That’s great man, that’s so cool. And it’s got to be fun to ride. So thank you so much, Joe, for taking time to be with me. This was really awesome.

    Joe: John, thank you. I appreciate it. It was fun.

    John: That was really interesting how Joe said that if he didn’t talk about his triathlon passion at work, he’d be miserable. Showing that if you simply bring some of your passion to work with you, work becomes more enjoyable. If you’d like to see some pictures of Joe in action, go to greenapplepodcast.com. And while you’re there please click on that big green button and do my anonymous research survey. Thank you so much for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, which is to go out and be a green apple.


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