Episode 379 – James Perry

James is a Success Coach & Egyptologist

James Perry talks about his fascination for Egyptian culture and landmarks, how his work experience affects his travels, the many things to come out of Ireland, and so much more!

Episode Highlights

• His trip down the Nile River
• Getting into Egypt
• His favorite Egyptian monument
• How his work experiences have enabled him to travel
• Why he brings up his passion when interviewing clients
• Human connection & achievement

 

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Transcript

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    Welcome to Episode 379 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett, and each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion or an interest outside of work. To put it another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “And”, those things above and beyond your technical skills, the things that actually differentiates you when you’re at work.

    If you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the book on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. If you want me to read it to you, look for What’s Your “And”? on Audible or wherever you get your audio books. It just came out.

    The book goes more in depth with the research behind why these outside-of-work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it and now listening to it and writing such great reviews on Amazon and, more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it. Thank you so much for that.

    Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes because I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week, and this week is no different with my guest, James Perry.

    After spending years in public accounting and then as a controller, he’s now the founder of Accounting Success Coach, helping both accounting students with study and exam techniques, and seasoned finance professionals with mindset and motivation. Based in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland and now he’s with me here today; James, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    James: Great to be with you, John. Absolute pleasure.

    John: This is going to be awesome and so much fun but first, 17 rapid fire questions, get to know James out of the gate. Here we go. First one, here’s an easy one, favorite color.

    James: Green.

    John: Green. Nice. Very Irish of you, I like that.

    James: Absolutely. Not stereotypical at all.

    John: Right. How about a least favorite color?

    James: White.

    John: White. I feel like there’s a soccer representation happening here.

    James: That was very quite coincidental.

    John: I see what’s happening. Here we go, favorite adult beverage.

    James: Oh, I’ll say whiskey.

    John: Okay. All right.

    James: Because that’s created in Ireland.

    John: Yeah, yeah. I was like, it’s either that or Guinness. It’s got to be one of —

    James: The Irish for whiskey is called uisce beatha, and it means the water of life.

    John: Oh, nice. Very good. That’s actually very true. That’s awesome. Andrew Van De Beek in Australia, who has also been on the podcast, would agree with you, 100%. How about a favorite actor or actress?

    James: I’ll say Liam Neeson.

    John: Oh, okay.

    James: There’s a theme here.

    John: There is a theme here. I love this. This is awesome. I’m trying to figure out my questions, if I can keep throwing you softballs here. Yeah, I can’t. How about puzzles, Sudoku or crossword?

    James: Crossword.

    John: Crossword, okay. Yeah, I thought they were invented in Ireland so then I was trying to — no, I’m just kidding.

    James: Sudoku that’s a very Irish word that.

    John: Right. Oh, here’s a good one, talk or text.

    James: Oh, talk, definitely.

    John: Yeah. I agree. I agree. There’s a time for texting, but talking is definitely a lot better. Would you say you’re more of an early bird or a night owl?

    James: Definitely night owl.

    John: There you go. How about Star Wars or Star Trek?

    James: Star Wars. I wouldn’t really be a fan of either, but Star Wars I know more of. Also it was filmed in Ireland.

    John: I didn’t know that. Really? That’s amazing.

    James: What it was, I don’t know which one, but Luke Skywalker walks out of this crazy rocky area.

    John: Yeah. Oh, wow. Okay, very cool. All right, your computer, more of a PC or a Mac.

    James: PC.

    John: PC. Yeah, me too. Me too. How about a favorite ice cream flavor? I love ice cream.

    James: Honeycomb ice cream.

    John: Oh, nice.

    James: Honeycomb is lovely, or mint, followed up by mint.

    John: Right. Sure. Okay. Yeah, honeycomb, that’s a good answer. That’s different. Don’t get that all the time. Oh, here’s one, summer, winter, spring or fall. You have four seasons in Ireland, right?

    James: They sort of merge into one but in general, spring because the flowers are starting to come up and the trees are starting to go into leaf. I love that. I love spring.

    John: Yeah, yeah, very pretty. Very pretty. How about balance sheet or income statement?

    James: Oh, God. Balance sheet because that’s where the cash reserves live.

    John: That’s where cash reserve — there you go. All right. That’s awesome. That’s funny. All right, we got five more, five more. Chocolate or vanilla.

    James: Oh, chocolate, without a doubt. I can give you another crazy, crazy Irish fact.

    John: Sure.

    James: The guy who invented, sort of invented chocolate and gave it to Cadbury in England was literally born about 10 miles away from where I come from.

    John: Oh, wow. That guy’s my hero.

    James: A guy called Hans Sloane, who also started the British Museum.

    John: Wow, I need to get to work. He’s an overachiever.

    James: Absolutely.

    John: My hero. How about socks or shoes?

    James: Socks because I don’t run about in my bare feet.

    John: Right? Yeah.

    James: I can wear socks around the house very, very easily with not even worrying about shoes. Or I could say slippers. That’s the best of both worlds.

    John: It is. They’re socks shoes. That’s fantastic. I love that. Favorite number.

    James: For some reason, I’d say eight.

    John: Okay. Is there a reason why or you just — because it’s very balanced? It looks pretty. It’s very symmetrical.

    James: Yeah, it’s like an hourglass shape. There you go. You can pick from that, whatever you want.

    John: There you go. Right, everyone’s breaking you down right now. Oh, you just said hourglass. Oh, man, not that again. When it comes to books, Kindle, real book or the audio version.

    James: Real book.

    John: Real book.

    James: Well, I’m going to caveat that. Sometimes I’d buy the Audible.

    John: Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of people saying that, which is why I went and recorded mine. Just more of my voice though, so here we go, everybody.

    James: I like my books as well. If it’s a reference book or a business book, I will highlight.

    John: Yeah, yeah. Then you can go back for the good parts. The last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.

    James: Oh, God, this is going to be controversial because I shouldn’t have that, a sliver of The Great Pyramid.

    John: Oh, wow. Okay. All right. Well, I mean, it’s in quotes, The Great Pyramid.

    James: It happened to be flaking off.

    John: Right. That’s amazing.

    James: I’m looking at it right now.

    John: That’s pretty awesome, and I don’t blame you one bit, which bleeds perfectly into your “and” of — so, when was this trip and have you been many times or…

    James: Oh, to Egypt?

    John: Yeah.

    James: Been twice.

    John: Okay.

    James: Once was primarily based around Cairo, which must have been about 10 years ago, and then I’ve done a full tour of the country in 2018.

    John: Oh, wow.

    James: Which was just absolutely incredible.

    John: That’s awesome.

    James: Yeah, so I’d done Cairo again for about two days. Then we took a nine-hour train ride down to the southern part of Egypt. Then we sailed back up the Nile.

    John: Oh, wow, that sounds awesome.

    James: It was incredible and visited all the, I think it was 12 sites, I want to say, John. 11 of them was on the itinerary, and I managed to get the tour guide to get me alone to the 12th one, which was way off the beaten track. So, I’d seen everything that I wanted to see, all based obviously, on Ancient Egypt, so it’s unbelievable.

    John: That is really awesome. We’ll get into that but first, how did you get so fascinated with Egypt? Is it since you were a kid? I remember when I was a kid, reading about Tutankhamen and the pharaoh masks. It was always cool to me, but I never went so I need to.

    James: Whenever I was young, I suppose, John, what happened was that most people wanted to go and play the Nintendo. I wanted to go and see the wonders of the world. How mad is that, whenever you’re young? Normal people wanted to play the computer. I didn’t.

    John: No, but I love it, man. I think that’s great.

    James: To be honest with you, the first time I’d seen The Great Pyramid on TV, I couldn’t believe it. I literally couldn’t believe it, yet it’s not my — I want to contradict myself. So, from seeing it, I believe it’s the greatest structure in the world, bar none.

    John: Yeah.

    James: But it’s not my favorite thing in Egypt.

    John: Oh, okay.

    James: Believe it or not. So, yes, it started very early on. I wanted to go and see the likes of Machu Picchu, Petra, the Taj Mahal, but then I got especially fascinated with Egypt.

    John: So what is your favorite thing in Egypt then if it’s not the Great Pyramid?

    James: Okay, so, over time, whenever I got really interested in Egypt, I got very interested in Ramesses II, the greatest Pharaoh of them all. If some dude can be a megalomaniac, if he can rule until he was 97, for 70 years, 4000 years ago, and have 120 children, he’s a bit of a hero in my eyes.

    John: Right. I don’t blame you, man. I don’t blame you.

    James: His temple where he’d actually declared himself divine, it basically went, I am God. It’s in a temple called Abu Simbel, which is in the southern part of Egypt, and these massive, mammoth statues carved in the side of a mountain. It’s literally breathtaking. The other reason why it was, it was on this stretch of the Nile that split Egypt at Nubia. The Nubians could basically sail up and see this massive thing. It was saying, right, lads, guess who’s the daddy here?

    John: Yeah, yeah, that’s well played.

    James: It’s absolutely phenomenal. I was able to look it squarely in the face and go inside. Also it’s lined up with the sunrise as well. Incredible building.

    John: Well, it is incredible how so far advanced they were, for being so long ago.

    James: Oh, it’s unbelievable, like The Great Pyramid, and I’m reading a book about some of the conspiracy theories around the Nile. The coordinates of The Great Pyramid, if you were to take away, I could be wrong here, but I’m going to say the general gist, if you were to take degrees north and degrees south, et cetera, out of it, and line up the numbers, that’s the exact number of the speed of light.

    John: Holy moly.

    James: Yep.

    John: That’s not an accident.

    James: I think it’s like a quarter of an inch off a perfect square. How the hell did they do that?

    John: Right. You can’t even do that today with computers.

    James: I think they would struggle.

    John: I’ve seen pictures, but is it just so big that —

    James: Well, the blocks at the bottom are up to my shoulder, and the lightest block is something like 15 tons.

    John: Yeah, that’s amazing.

    James: Up until the Eiffel Tower was built, it was the tallest building in the world for 4,000 years.

    John: Man, that is tall because I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower. It’s like, all right.

    James: Yeah, I’ve been to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

    John: Yeah, yeah.

    James: Unfortunately, it was February time, and the person I was with was probably under pressure.

    John: Oh, man. Yeah, that’s cold. No, but that’s impressive, man. That’s really cool. It just expands your horizon, your thinking, all that stuff.

    James: Oh, it’s incredible, John, incredible. In Luxor, there’s a temple called Karnak Temple, and it is still the biggest religious complex in the world, still.

    John: Man, that’s amazing.

    James: Its acreage is just huge. It’s much bigger than the Vatican.

    John: Wow, which is saying something. That’s nuts. So then that trip up the Nile, that’s just reliving thousands of years of history. That had to be pretty cool to witness and just be a part of.

    James: Another really cool fact as well was on one stretch of the Nile, we were passed actually by a steamboat, and the steamboat was King Nasser’s former boat.

    John: Holy cow. What?

    James: Yeah,

    John: That’s amazing.

    James: The trip was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal.

    John: That’s really cool. That’s really cool, just to see all that stuff, plus the food and the culture and just everything else about it.

    James: It’s craziness. It’s craziness. To put it into some context, the population of Cairo is, I think, about 23 to 24 million people, right? The population of Ireland, the entire island is 6 million people.

    John: Right. Yeah, for you, it’s like, wait, what?

    James: If you had the Irish quarter in Cairo, you can stick the whole country into it.

    John: Right, and four times. It’s like, what?

    James: Also the craziness as well, John, the craziness of Cairo. If you drive there, you’re kicking your life into your hands.

    John: Yeah. Right, right. It’s like, there are lines on the street, kind of, but just go. The roundabouts in Africa are hilarious, where it’s like, elbows up and just go. Just go because you can wait forever waiting for someone to let you in. It’s like, nope, you just got to go.

    James: One thing was, and I think I put it up on my social media a way back, was someone filmed me crossing the road, and I went, the hell with this, right? Typical mad Irish man fashion, I decided to cross the road by myself. Somebody filmed me. At the very end, I’d done a victory sign. Yeah, like this, at the very, very end. I was so proud of myself.

    John: That’s hilarious, almost like Frogger back in the days.

    James: Yeah, but this is Frogger on steroids.

    John: Yeah, and real life, there’s no try again, after. That’s so cool, man, so cool. Do you feel like being infatuated with that or some of the travel at all, gives you a skill set that you brought to work at all, or bring to work now?

    James: Believe it or not, I think it was all the way around, John. I think my experiences and work enabled me to go and travel. I’m very much about achievement. The Eight Wonders of the World, which is the Seven Modern and the original Ancient, of those eight, I’ve seen six.

    John: Oh, nice.

    James: If it wasn’t for COVID, I would have done that Eight. I will do the Eight whenever the time is right. I don’t know if anybody else that I know of, that has seen the Eight Wonders of the World.

    John: If they’ve seen one, it was kind of on accident. It was like, oh, I guess there’s the Taj Mahal. They probably didn’t even know it, that they were part of the Eight. It’s like, oh, there’s some pyramid.

    James: That’s what drives me. In terms of going through the profession of even exams, the discipline of doing that and taking personal responsibility and all these sort of other things that we don’t realize that the profession actually gives you, you can use it. Also obviously the financial aspect, you can go and do these trips. People laugh at me, where my average holiday costs £ 2,500.

    John: Yeah, right.

    James: No, I make absolutely no apology over that because travel, I think, is the most precious thing that I can spend money on.

    John: Yeah, that’s your priorities, which is awesome. I think that’s really cool how it’s almost the inverse of…

    James: Yeah, the discipline and that sort of thing, absolutely.

    John: No, totally. Also, you’re admiring the achievement of what they did as well, back in the day —

    James: Oh, yeah.

    John: — of building these things and the precision and the skills that it took to do that. It’s really no different than what you’re doing now.

    James: Just to top it off, in Cairo, you’ve got the greatest building in the world, my opinion, the greatest building ever built, The Great Pyramid. Literally two to 300 yards away is the greatest statue ever built or ever carved, which is the Sphinx. If you look at the Sphinx, it is mesmerizing. That is not a stereotype. It is mesmerizing. You can still see the paint on its forehead.

    John: That’s amazing.

    James: It’s unbelievable, and the size and the scale. I’ve got a photograph where you’ve got me, the Sphinx and The Great Pyramid all lined up. You’re going, that is just immense.

    John: Right? There’s now a Ninth Wonder of the World, James Perry.

    James: Absolutely. I’m doing my best in lockdown to match its size.

    John: Right. That’s hilarious.

    James: Believe it or not.

    John: You just lay down and then it’s like, hey, look at that mound.

    James: Absolutely. Do you know whenever Homer Simpson — Homer Simpson lay on the couch or something one day and people fed him doughnuts in this conveyor belt? Imagine me in lockdown.

    John: Yeah, that’s a dream right there. When you’re back for the Follow-Up Friday, it’ll be doughnuts we’ll talk about.

    James: Absolutely.

    John: It will be very good.

    James: It will be good, absolutely.

    John: Right? Yeah, so is this something that you’ve talked about with coworkers and clients, or something that you’ve shared, or it’s come up in conversation on occasion?

    James: I tell every single client about this.

    John: Oh, okay.

    James: The first session that I do, whether it’s exam coaching, John, or my career coaching program, it is… My first question whenever I have an exam coaching client is, why the hell are you doing this shit for?

    John: Right, right.

    James: They look at you and go, what? I go, well, this is a hard road, between the study and the pressure of work. Then we go through the reasons why they’re doing this shit. Then we get onto, what do you want to achieve in your life? Then I’ll talk about my travels and say, “This is what my exams, this is what the profession has helped me get to.” That’s what I talk about. The same with the career development client, whenever they want to go maybe into senior management or whatever, I’m never having those conversations. I’d say, what are you doing this for?

    You can get all this short-term motivational bullshit, but unless you know why you’re doing it or know those core drivers, which I understood for me, which I want to go and see the world, so I might as well get a good qualification and profession to help back that up, and that’s what happened. So, yes, every single client knows about my travels.

    John: That’s so cool because it tightens so many people. Sometimes we’re hesitant to share that just because in our heads, we think, well, it doesn’t have to do directly with the work, so no one’s going to care or all the things that we tell ourselves in our head. I’m sure a lot of things that you help people with in the career coaching, of just what we tell ourselves that aren’t these lies. It’s amazing how our own brain can be our worst enemy.

    James: Absolutely. I don’t do BS. I’m quite a straight talker. You very rarely — whenever I question people, they very rarely say money. Don’t get me wrong. Money is the byproduct to go and do the things, but 10 years ago, it could have been a different conversation, John, because I probably was very driven by money. I was determined to go for partnership within public accounting. There’s a couple of good old sayings here in Ireland. Of course, they’re always quite humorous. There’s no such thing as a tow bar on a hearse.

    John: Oh, wow. You can’t take it with you.

    James: The other one is, there’s no such thing as pockets in the shroud.

    John: Oh.

    James: So whenever we get down to brass tacks on what really means something to people, it’s human connection, or it’s achievement. Money facilitates things. You don’t want to hoard money in a bank. I have yet to know very many people who wants to go into a vault and count all their money.

    John: Right?

    James: It’s what that gets you, and I think that’s the important thing.

    John: And the freedom and the ability to go do those things because it’s rarely, I can’t wait to go do more work. The reasons are rarely ever, yeah, I want to go through this so I can do more work. It’s, no, no, you want to do it so you have money to go do the passions you have outside of work. The sooner we all recognize those passions and that we have them, the better it is for everybody.

    James: Absolutely.

    John: Yeah, because I feel like for so long we’ve been acting like no one does anything, and we all love work because of work. It’s like, no, no, we love work because we get stuff to go do the cool stuff, type of thing.

    James: Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to be naive and say that money is not a concern. It obviously is, but I have never met a person yet or someone who will be on their deathbed and said, “You know something, I’m dying here, but I wish to spend more hours in the office.”

    John: Yeah, right. Exactly. Exactly. Or I wish I’d saved more money. It’s like, no, you’re good. Yeah, yeah. No, that’s exactly true. Even when you worked in public accounting and stuff like that, did you find people — I know it was a little bit of a different time, but it wasn’t that long ago — that people shared outside-of-work hobbies and passions, or was it pretty much, get the work done?

    James: It was so much get the work done, man. The concerns were chargeable hours. The concerns were budgets. The concerns were work in progress. The concerns were deadlines and getting that audit report signed and getting enough on the file. That’s what the concerns were, and that’s the pressures, I suppose, of public accounting. It didn’t really come to the fore for me until, I suppose, five years ago, five or six years ago, whenever, I suppose, I changed my philosophy on life with that. So, no, it was very much the culture, it was very much the stereotypical culture of the accounting profession where it was work, work, work, work, work.

    John: Yeah, yeah.

    James: That’s fine, until you know the ropes. That is fine. You have to do your apprenticeship, and you have to serve your time.

    John: Sure, but I feel like the work’s going to happen, either way. You could, on occasion, share hobbies with each other or what actually lights you up, type of thing, because then it just makes work more enjoyable. You’re not talking about work all the time. There’s a little reprieve to light you up. Hey, so these pyramids, tell me about them. You’re just like…

    James: I think social media and media, in general, and your phones are maybe much easier now with people. I didn’t have a smartphone until five years ago. I was one of the very late adopters. That was probably a bit of peer pressure, as well, so much so I’m going to try and sign off a couple of the platforms now and actually delete a number of the platforms. I think showing the photographs and going on social media and other things that facilitate maybe a bit of a more social look within work. I remember I started in 2003, 2004, 2005. That wasn’t as prevalent, I suppose.

    John: Same for me except for I was about five years before that. Yeah, it was one of those where you didn’t even know if anybody had anything, so you just assume, well, I guess no one does because no one said it. I guess it doesn’t exist. It’s like, just because I haven’t seen the Pyramids with my own eyes, doesn’t mean they don’t exist, and the same with people’s hobbies and passions outside of work.

    James: Absolutely.

    John: Do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that maybe thinks, I’ve got this passion that no one’s going to care about or has nothing to do with my job?

    James: Simply go and do it. I know that’s very stereotypical, go and do it. We’re in very unusual circumstances here with COVID, et cetera, but in normal circumstances, we have mostly all got the means to go and do what we want to do. We’ve got access online to things we want to go and do. I don’t think there’s that many excuses anymore, so, definitely do it. You know what I mean? Life is too short. There’s a good old book written by Mark Manson, which is, if I can remember what you call it, The Subtle Art of Not Giving an F.

    John: Oh, right. Yeah, that just came out a couple of years ago.

    James: The last chapter is about death. I’m going to be honest, folks. Read that chapter because it puts it into perspective. If you’ve got something you want to do, go and do it. Now is the time to do it. It’s not to save and, John, like my father’s day where he would say, “I wish I’d done this, and I wish I’d done that.” My dad was one of the very stereotypical Irish family, one of 15 of a family, who had to leave school at 14 to go automatically into work to bring money back to the household. My dad didn’t have too much. It’s only now he’s got a lot. So, relatively speaking, way more opportunities than ever before, so go and take them.

    John: Yeah, I love that. That’s so awesome, man. Before we wrap this up, though, it’s only fair that I turn the tables, since I so rudely peppered you with questions. This is the first episode of the James Perry podcast. Thanks for having me on, James. I appreciate it.

    James: Believe it or not, I had a podcast called James Perry Presents.

    John: Oh, well, there we go. We’re rebooting it. Here it is. It’s a reboot.

    James: Okay, what’s your favorite word, John?

    John: Oh, my favorite word. That’s a good one. I think it’s related to this message, but there’s a word, eudaimonia.

    James: That sounds a wee bit like diarrhea.

    John: Right? It’s what happens when you read my book. You get eudaimonia. No, no. It’s actually an ancient Greek word. Aristotle wrote all about it. It’s the optimal state of human existence. It’s good soul or good self. It’s not happiness because happiness is fleeting, but it’s always being all of who you are to all of what you do.

    James: I wonder if that’s related to utopia.

    John: Well, the EU is good. I’m sure it’s cousins of, but it’s just that optimal state of who you are and what you do. I feel like, in a way, professionalism prevents us from achieving that. Professionalism’s whole goal is go to work with one arm tied behind your back.

    James: Conformity.

    John: Yeah, and as a shell of who you are, put on that veneer to protect yourself. Eudaimonia is like, no, no, let it shine all the time, obviously, in an appropriate way, depending on the time and place, but don’t be a shell of who you are. I’m going back old school too, maybe not quite as old school as you but close, relatively speaking.

    James: Yeah, if you look at the Egyptians and the Roman Stoics as well, they had it fairly well summed up as well. They knew what they were talking about.

    John: Exactly. That’s a good question.

    James: Can I hit you with another question?

    John: Oh, absolutely. I’m on your show. What are you talking about?

    James: Give me a chance to speak on my own show, please. What is your most used emoji?

    John: My most used emoji is the laughy face because I need people to know that I’m being sarcastic. There needs to be a sarcasm font so then people know that I’m joking. Or if I say something super sarcastic, that they know that I’m not being mean.

    James: We are probably some of the most sarcastic people in the world, Irish people. There’s a good old thing I say, point number four, right? The reason why I say that, John, is because on St. Patrick’s Day, I normally send to some of my friends, 15 points you know you’re Irish when.

    John: Okay, okay.

    James: Things like, whenever you want someone, you get your granny to light a candle to Jesus, that sort of Irishness, right?

    John: Right.

    James: Point number four is you show your affection for someone via insults.

    John: Right. Exactly. They can take it.

    James: Absolutely.

    John: Or even if it’s just sarcasm or it’s not even necessarily even full on insult, but it’s laughy face. Then it’s like, all right. That’s like my get out of jail free card. It’s almost like you can say whatever you want and then laughy face. It’s like, well, he didn’t mean it.

    James: What’s the first concert you attended?

    John: Oh, first concert, easy. It was Metallica, and it was in the Riverport Amphitheater in St. Louis. I was 15. It was the Black Album had just come out. There were like six or seven or eight of us piled into my dad’s minivan, and he drove us to the amphitheater. There were way too many of us in this minivan. We went to the amphitheater. We went to the show. My dad went to his office, did work, I guess, came back. This was way before cellphones even existed. We found the minivan and got — I mean, now we couldn’t do that without a smartphone of like, where are you? What’s your coordinates? It all worked.

    Man, it was unbelievable show. I’ll never forget it. Who was the opening band? Oh, there was an opening band. It was called Metal Church. We had never heard of them, but the four dudes sitting in front of us were the Metal Church super fans of the universe, I guess. I don’t know. Or they were on something. Yeah, they were way into it. Oh, man, I’ll never forget it. It was unbelievable.

    James: First concert I was ever at was Def Leppard.

    John: Oh, there you go. Okay.

    James: I am a Def Leppard super fun, by the way. I’m actually passionate about Def Leppard. Believe it or not, the best concert I was ever at was in the same night in Belfast, and I actually then went the next night to Dublin, was Tesla, Journey, Whitesnake and Def Leppard.

    John: Oh, my goodness. That’s amazing.

    James: I went two nights in a row, one in Belfast and the other in Dublin.

    James: I bet you couldn’t talk for two weeks from singing every song.

    James: Absolutely. Oh, God, absolutely.

    John: That’s one of those concerts where it’s like, they wrote that one too? What?

    James: I do know that Def Leppard is incredibly popular in America, but they’re actually not particularly popular here, which is incredible.

    John: Yeah, that’s sad.

    James: Given the fact that one of the guitarists is originally from the town 15 miles away from me.

    John: Oh, wow.

    James: They’ve even gambled from here.

    John: It would bring it all back to how we started, back to Ireland. There it is. There we go.

    James: Just a crazy story, I was in Heathrow Airport one day, and I was walking along with a friend of mine. I looked at the corner of my eye. This guy was sitting on a chair who looked like Rick Allen, the drummer from Def Leppard, and had only one arm. What does James the person ask him? Are you Rick Allen? Quite obviously it was Rick Allen. He said one of the most rock and roll things. He said, “I am some of time, mate.” I’m like, oh my god, you’re just so cool. You’re just simply a rock god, but a really nice guy, a really, really nice guy.

    John: I need to use that line now. If people, “Hey, are you John,” which no one has ever asked, for the record, but when they do, I’m going to go, “I am some of the time,” and then just walk away. I’ll also have one arm tucked into my jacket, so they’d be like, maybe that’s the Def Leppard guy.

    James: There’s a striking resemblance.

    John: Yeah, right? Not at all. Not at all. Well, James, this has been awesome and so much fun. We could go on for hours and hours, but I should probably wrap this up for everyone else. Thank you so much for taking time to be a part of What’s Your “And”? This was really fun.

    James: Pleasure. Really enjoyed it, John.

    John: Yeah, and everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of James’s travels or maybe connect with him 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. Don’t forget to check out the book. Audio version’s out now.

    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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