Episode 41 – Scott Gehman


Scott camps his way to better client relationships

 

Scott Gehman grew up camping in New Jersey but college and starting his career caused him to put that passion on hold for many years. He’s also always been obsessed with loud, fast cars. Now that his son is a Boy Scout, he’s able to combine the two as he loads up his Mustang GT to spend a weekend camping.

In this episode, we talk about how important it is to be willing to share, no matter how small — something on your desk, a picture on your office wall, or computer desktop wallpaper are simple ways to show your hobby or passion. We also discuss how he felt like an outsider since he really isn’t into sports but how he was able to approach co-workers and clients from another angle to create stronger relationships.

Scott Gehman is a Retirement Plan Consultant with Conrad Siegel Actuaries in Harrisburg, PA. He also handles some marketing and business development for the firm.

He graduated magna cum laude with a BS degree in Marketing from Messiah College.

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Other pictures of Scott

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Scott’s son and camping gear barely fit into his Mustang GT.

Scott and his son are all smiles as they head off on another camping trip.

Scott’s Mustang GT sits at the edge of the campsite.

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Transcript

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    John: Welcome to episode 41 of the Green Apple Podcast, where each Wednesday I interview a professional known for a hobby or a passion, which makes them stand out like a green apple in a red apple world. And don’t miss any future episodes by subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher at greenapplepodcast.com. And while you’re there, it’d be great if you’d please just take 60 seconds and do my anonymous survey by clicking on the big green button there. It’s only a few questions but it will help the research I’m doing for my new book so thank you so much.

    Okay now let me introduce you to this week’s guest, Scott Gehman, a Retirement Plan Consultant with Conrad Siegel Actuaries. It’s my first actuary so I’m super nervous. I met Scott when I spoke to Conrad Siegel clients at their employee benefits forum a couple of months ago and I’m so excited that he is able to take time to be with me today on the Green Apple Podcast.

    So, Scott, maybe you can tell everybody what it is you do there at Conrad Siegel?

    Scott: Okay. Well, I am a Senior Consultant with Conrad Siegel Actuaries where to explain a little bit about what I do, I work with plan sponsors, 401(k)-type plans, to help them keep their plans in compliance and help them run smoothly. I also do a fair bit or marketing and business development, and for that I enjoy getting out to do a lot of different networking events and actually like to do a lot of public speaking to CPA firms who want to get more educated so they can help their clients out and sometimes in those sessions I’m also speaking to their clients, talk about different fiduciary issues which probably sounds a little like watching paint dry but it’s actually very interesting once you dive in to some of the details. I enjoy that a great deal.

    John: Yeah, it’s way more interesting when you’re not following the rules and someone catches you.

    Scott: Yeah, absolutely. And we all have a few stories in the trenches to tell about plan sponsors that thought they were doing something clever and ended up it being a bit of a disaster. So I enjoy helping those groups understand better, how they can sleep at night by running their plan better and I do get pretty heavily into all that marketing, business development stuff. That’s where my degree is.

    But interestingly that’s how I ended up here doing this marketing was I kind of started off with a marketing degree but to take you way back, I first started out in engineering school. After a year of that, I was going to school in Manhattan, I was commuting from my parents’ house in Northern New Jersey and I just found I wasn’t really seeing where I sit in the future into that career. It was just some circumstances and I also wasn’t really crazy about that New York City lifestyle, it just wasn’t me. So I transferred and not really knowing what to do, I decided marketing might be a good compromise because I get into some of that math and statistics and such which I’m good at on the business side but then I can also dive in a little bit more on the creative side. And if I had to do it all over again, I don’t know if that’s what I’d pick because I found when I graduated, I didn’t have a real defined skillset but it really did broaden my horizons in many respects.

    But I actually took the job here at Conrad Siegel mainly to move out here. I went to a school here in Central Pennsylvania, really liked the area, I’ve always liked the outdoors, it’s a very nice place to be if you like outdoor recreation. It’s a little bit more of a calm lifestyle. I took the job mainly to come out here. In fact, my interview for the job and I recall one of the partners who interviewed me said, “Marketing degree with a concentration in art. What are you doing here again?” and it was kind of funny because… I went back and I said, well, I have this engineering background and I can do the math, I just kind of ended up there.

    John: Right, I just don’t like Physics. I’m in the same boat, like I can’t see where these particles floating around, like what are you talking about.

    Scott: Yeah, exactly! It’s all interesting to me but I didn’t know if I wanted to do a real deep understanding of that. But yes, so they hired me against all reason and I’ve been here now for almost 21 years.

    John: Holy wow, congrats, man!

    Scott: Yeah, thanks! It just kind of worked out, I really took the job more to get out in this area. And they’ve been very good to me, I pursued some additional professional education and here I am. I’m a consultant and I’m working with business development and marketing and really liking it a lot.

    John: Yeah, that’s great. I guess once you came in they took down the Exit signs and you were like “I don’t know how to leave.”

    Scott: Well, I don’t know, but I like to think that, yeah.

    John: Twenty-one years later, there you are. Well that’s awesome, Scott.

    Scott: It is out of there. I feel they’re stuck with me because I’ve entrenched myself enough into the office processes around here. I don’t know. But yeah, so that’s how I ended up here and I came full circle with the marketing, really enjoy what I’m doing in that respect, also enjoy working with my clients and as I said, enjoy educating other firms, CPA firms, and clients about certain issues.

    So I sort of made an interesting path but it’s all kind of happen… You know, you don’t sit there in kindergarten and all the other kids are coloring pictures of astronauts and NBA stars and say “I want to be a 401(k) plan consultant.”

    John: One day, man, one day.

    Scott: Yeah! And it’s just one of those things you sort of happen in to but it’s worked out quite well for the sort of haphazard way I found myself in it.

    John: Yeah, that’s so fantastic, man, and I know that that keeps you really busy definitely during the days and I’m sure, some weekends. But when you do have some free time, what sort of hobbies or passions do you like to get in to?

    Scott: Oh, goodness! Well, it’s definitely varied over the years. With me, as long as I can remember, I loved cars, I’m a car guy, and that’s how I sort of started out. If you’re a true car guy it’s kind of hard to hide because you’re invariably driving something a little bit whacked or interesting and I showed up here in 1995 driving a 1971 Triumph TR6 which pretty much has you branded as some kind of an eccentric if you know about old sports cars. But I kind of got this reputation and a few years later I bought my first Mustang GT and it was pretty permanently entrenched by then because they had this insane exhaust system on it that you could hear through the double-plate windows on the third floor in the other side of the building every time I left the parking lot.

    John: That’s what you get for hiring a marketing guy.

    Scott: Yeah, I guess. It definitely wasn’t an actuary-approved form or transportation.

    John: It wasn’t a Civic, what are you doing, man. Or Accord–

    Scott: Or a Lexus, or whatever, I definitely stood out a bit. But it’s sort of funny because I became the organization’s car whisperer which was kind of ridiculous because although I did like to think I could spin some wrenches on the weekends, it wasn’t like I really knew a lot about what I was doing, I just kind of had fun doing it. But people would come to me, I mean I find somebody in my office making tire noises with their mouths and gesturing “My car made this kind of a cloud of smoke” and they expect me to diagnose their problem better than their mechanic who actually drove the thing. I came back from lunch with one of my coworkers once and they saw a scratch on their door that they didn’t realize was there and so of course I went over to my car and pulled out my detailing kit, we bust it out right in the parking lot.

    John: That’s so great.

    Scott: I guess a little bit of a truth to that but it was kind of funny, I got a bit of a reputation. But more recently it’s been camping. And I guess my focus changed there for a few reasons but one is, as you probably know, they’ve engineered cars now to the point where the average guy can’t expect to work on them without special tools and you can’t come to Sunday night and have your car all apart and expect to get to work Monday morning. So I kind of set that to the wayside.

    And camping sort of emerged through my son. I’m married, I have two kids, and my ten-year old got into Scouts. Camping was always something I liked doing as a kid but I had sort of set it aside when I went into college. I had all this equipment and I’d been backpacking and canoe camping and car camping, what have you, just as a virtue of liking it, it wasn’t something my family really did. But had all the stuff, more or less set it aside, got married, had kids. And then my son gets into this, and the Scouts go camping at least twice a year and he really liked it. And my wife said to me, this was probably three years ago now, “You know, we got that tent from my parents”, her parents gave us a tent, they had a business where they accessed camping equipment. And she said, “You want to take that to the state park and see what you guys find, just the two of you.” And so I bought a couple other things and before I knew it we were hooked.

    John: That’s awesome, man.

    Scott: We’re absolutely hooked. Like I said, Pennsylvania is a great place to be for this kind of thing, we’ve got some beautiful state parks out here, lot of mountains and streams and stuff. And there is something to be said about packing it off and granted we pack the car absolutely to its gills, but we go off into the state park and sit there for a couple of days and disconnect from the internet and everything, and it’s just great so we’ve gotten very hooked on that.

    John: Yeah, that’s got to be so peaceful. A real nice change of pace especially from that hectic actuary world.

    Scott: Yes! Dog eat dog, yes.

    John: Yes, that’s the quite the opposite, quite the opposite. That’s awesome, man. So what’s the coolest place you guys have been camping?

    Scott: We keep it pretty local mostly because you get to the end of a two-day trip and you haven’t had a shower and you’re tired and maybe you had some weather you had to make it through that came up unexpectedly which we’ve had a couple stories there, to be sure. But you just kind of want to get home when you have a ten-year old. I envision maybe as he gets older and gets into Scouts we’ll go a little more far and wide for that. But we have a couple really beautiful state parks right near where we live so we kind of alternate between the two of them. You can go hiking and swimming and of course you make the requisite camp fire. We go out and hunt for critters at night, it’s just all kinds of stuff right here, I’d say both of them are within half-hour, 40 minutes of our house but it’s very nice.

    John: Yeah, that’s so great. And I love how we have a picture on greenapplepodcast.com of how you’ve combined your love of cars and camping.

    Scott: Yes, you did get a few strange looks, my current car being another Mustang GT. Everybody else in these state parks usually is driving around the loop pulling their trailer with an SUV or with a pick-up truck or at least a Subaru, if nothing else, and they kind of look at you funny, it’s like “You got all that stuff in that?”

    John: Big city Scott coming in on his Mustang.

    Scott: Exactly. And it’s kind of funny, despite appearances and despite this reputation that I may have from driving that sort of car, I do like to do things a little bit old school. So I actually chop our own firewood, I put two nights’ worth of firewood in the trunk which of course takes up about half the space. So we cram all this other stuff around my son. And if you’ve ever tried driving a standard transmission with two-stacked loaded coolers next to you in the passenger seat, it could be really interesting on these mountain roads.

    John: Oh, my goodness.

    Scott: It’s a bit funny and we do get some strange looks and sometimes some compliments. But it’s interesting how those two things have sort of merged even though it’s more out of necessity than anything.

    John: Right, right, but I just think that’s such a cool picture for people to check out, absolutely, on the website.

    Scott: Yeah, something interesting to start at.

    John: Yeah, most definitely, man. That’s so awesome. So I guess would you say that either working on cars from when you were younger or the camping which is a little newer, has that either one of those developed a skillset that you’re able to use at work?

    Scott: I think definitely I would say as far as the camping goes, just in more recent memory, you have to learn to be a little bit resourceful and you have to have a certain amount of peace with chaos which are both I think welcome things in the office once in a while. You like to think your office work is very neat and orderly and at times it is not. And with camping, it’s funny. I always take a picture of one of our meals where I’m cooking like say, pancakes, over a little camp stove. And there’s just stuff spread all over the picnic table you get in the state parks. And it’s just kind of funny because that would not happen in our kitchen at home especially if my wife had anything to do with it.

    But you have to have this certain amount of comfort with the chaos that goes with camping. You might be sitting there in your tent and all your gear is wet and it’s raining and you got to wait it out and figure out what to do and not worry too much that everything’s spread out and some things might be getting wet. There’s just a certain amount of that.

    John: Yeah, that’s an excellent point. I was in the Boy Scouts as well and we did a 50-mile canoe trip and it’s like five days or whatever, and we had tipped at one point. Luckily the second to last night so our gear was just drenched. But it certainly teaches you to be resourceful and adapt and get over it.

    Scott: Yeah, absolutely! We have some great stories from where some things have gone wrong. One of my favorites, and this is going to make me look stupid, but one of my favorites, I don’t know that this demonstrates resourcefulness or idiocy but–

    John: Probably both.

    Scott: Yeah, probably. We were camping in one of the state parks in August and when you’re camping around here in the summer time there’s always a 50-50 chance of thunderstorms and you just kind of ignore it because it’s just part of life, camping in Central Pennsylvania in the summer. There was one particular night, we’ve been hearing a couple rumbles here and there as we often do on our camping trips. We just got off the phone with my wife saying “Good night, things are looking fine here, no rain, you don’t expect any drama from this.”

    Well ten minutes later, no lie, it was like monsoon season opened up above the state park, it was like 30 mile-an hour, 40 mile-an hour winds. And I looked out the tent door and I suddenly realized that in our haste to set camp up and get down to the beach, I had rigged up the tarp incorrectly so all this gear I’d thrown under the tarp that goes over our tent and our eating area and stuff, all this gear was getting wet. And of course, there’s all this thunder crashing and lightning and there I am out, half-dressed, in the middle of a public camp ground with an eight-foot metal pole in the air, all this lightning crashing around us. I might die but our gear is not going to get wet, right.

    John: Right, you got priorities.

    Scott: And my son staying there holding the flashlight saying, “Daddy, is there anything I can do?” and I’m just like “Just don’t tell your mother all the details of this, that’s really the best you can do at this point.”

    John: Right. “We had a great time, everything was fine.”

    Scott: Unless I died then no risk there. But there’s always something unexpected and what was kind of interesting is that it totally torpedoed our schedule for the next day because we had planned to go to the beach, they had to close the beach for various reasons. But it actually had been one of our better trips, we found different things to do, we went hunting for frogs after dark, we just did all kinds of stuff we didn’t expect to do and it was neat how the unplanned disaster turned it into actually probably one of our most memorable camping trips. And one of the most rewarding things I have seen through this whole thing is just watching my son enjoy all this, we just had a great time.

    John: Yeah, that’s so cool, man, that’s so cool. And so do you talk about these experiences when you get back to work on Monday, how does that come up?

    Scott: Well, usually somebody will ask me what I did over the weekend and they’ll get more than they bargained for is kind of how it works. But like “Oh, really, I watched the game…” But yeah, it’s always good for a good story but even if we didn’t have something real dramatic like that it’s just fun to talk about and somebody else might say “Oh, man, I used to go camping when I was a kid and really enjoyed it” or maybe they even go camping with their family now and haven’t gone in a while and thought “Oh, that’s kind of neat.”

    So it does come up. With the car, it was more… like I said, I got a bit of a reputation for kind of marching to a different drummer there so people came to me with their car problems but that didn’t come up quite as naturally as the camping because you’re always doing something, you’re always doing something what your family. And I think that’s one of the reasons it worked for me is because right now mainly where I spend my time on is spend time with my wife and kids, this is just one thing that we do frequently on the weekends, my son and I. My wife and daughter help us get packed and so it’s kind of a family event even if they’re not along.

    John: Right. I think it’s so fantastic and so cool that you’re able to just talk about it at work and that other people gravitate towards that and share if they’re also camping or they used to camp, or things of that nature. Or making car noises, I think that’s my favorite one.

    Scott: Yeah. I’m sitting there thinking, “Man, if you only knew I haven’t spun a wrench in like ten years.”

    John: Just ask him to make that sound again, “Wait, can you make that sound again? I’m sure it was higher pitched than that, can you do it again?”

    Scott: I probably could have had more fun with that if I had thought about it at the time.

    John: There’s still time, man, there’s still time. I know there’s some jokers in your office that I’d like to see make car noises.

    Scott: I’ll tell you what, you’re just sitting there thinking “Oh, boy, if you only knew I really can’t help you that much.” But it was fun.

    John: Absolutely. If only Jeff was one of the guys with the car problems, then that would be so perfect.

    Scott: Yes. You met John Jeffrey as well, actually I think he was the one describing to me the cloud of smoke one time.

    John: Oh, that’s so good, perfect. And I guess would you say that these hobbies or passions have benefited your career then?

    Scott: Yeah. It’s one of those things that’s kind of hard to measure but I would say it has. It’s definitely enhanced my relationship with clients because it makes you more relatable. A lot of people had some experience with camping whether good or bad that they can relate to or at least enjoying the outdoors, a lot of people like that especially around here. So that’s something that I think just makes you a little more human, there’s a tendency to compartmentalize people based on their occupation. You know how when you were a kid you’re absolutely shocked to go out and find your elementary school teacher out shopping for groceries, that sort of thing.

    John: Yeah, that’s super weird.

    Scott: You think of things in terms of their role but not so much in terms of them as people. And so I think to that extent its really helped with my relationships with coworkers, it definitely added to the dimension of that. I have this killer car camping list that I’ve been keeping. We started when we began with Scouts and I just keep on adding to it which is probably why my car is packed out every time we go. But I’ve shared that with a couple of people who have said, “Oh, man, I would do that except I don’t know how to get organized” so I’ve shared that. I’ve actually invited a couple people from work or from other circles of life to pitch a tent at the same state park at the same time we’re there and we’ve done that a couple of times where we don’t necessarily camp together but it’s just kind of fun to know people who were also there at the same time and that stuff has definitely helped.

    John: Yeah. And I think it’s so profound what you said how we just naturally compartmentalize people by their role or by their profession and not as people. And I think that’s a really excellent point that you made because that’s the problem is I think that to because you compartmentalize it naturally you’re afraid to break that wall down, to let people see that you’re more than just your role or with your job.

    Scott: It’s interesting too how it’s helped me out with clients, not so much the camping but the whole car hobby, gives you a little bit of extra credibility. Interestingly enough, I went into a situation where I had to do a presentation to a group that was a little bit more of a gritty… I forget if it was a factory or what the exact situation was but it’s just something where you show up, you look a little bit like a city slicker in a shirt and tie and such, they might view you with a little bit of suspicion even though I’m there to help them.

    And it was interesting because one of the guys in the meeting saw me pull up in a Mustang and it was kind of funny because in the beginning he “Oh, you should have seen what this guy drove up in” and it gave me this instant rapport with these folks whereas if I had pulled up in something nondescript or what they probably expected, it wouldn’t have given me that level of rapport because if there’s one thing that’s wonderful about that car it’s a little bit more average. It’s distinctive but it’s not particularly expensive, it’s just kind of a fun car, a lot of people had one when they were young or knew somebody who had one. And so an instant relatability that I found with some situations. So that’s occasionally worked to my advantage. I had a lot of fun with it otherwise but it’s just one little side benefit.

    So I think all these hobbies, opening up to your clients and prospects and coworkers, I think it does definitely help those relationships. Hard to measure but it definitely adds a new dimension to your work life and your networking and such.

    John: Right, and like you said, it is certainly hard to measure but you can definitely realize it when it happens or if you look back on it. You don’t necessarily do it on purpose or whatever but then you look back and you’re like “Oh, wow”, like “I didn’t even realize that this small innocent thing, me pulling up in my car would make them more receptive to listening to me and my message.” And you don’t do it on purpose but then after the fact you’re able to be like “Oh, wow, yeah, okay, that did actually make an impact.” So that’s great that you’re able to at least see it that much because I think a lot of people skip over those things because they’re not looking for it or they don’t want to see it or don’t think it’s a factor. And yeah, it certainly is, man, it certainly is.

    And one thing that I like to think about, because I have a ton, is when it comes to like sharing and creating a culture where people are encouraged to share. How much do you think that that’s on the organization versus on the individual themselves?

    Scott: Well, I think it’s definitely a combination. I am fortunate to work for an organization where they’re not watching you over constantly to make sure you’re doing everything exactly in this order and exactly within these hours. So there’s a certain climate of you can take a little time to talk around the office, it makes your day go better. You can flex your schedule in a way you get the work done but also can relate to the people around you.

    So in that sense I think the organization is partly responsible for fostering that type of culture among the employees, giving them some leeway and just relating to each other and not have to always be worried about being chained to your desk. But there are too many companies that aren’t like that anymore but over the 20, 21 years I’ve been here we’ve always been like that going back to 1995 when I first started here. I think a lot of other organizations are just now realizing that, that they can’t have that autocratic style of leading their employees.

    And so that’s I think in a sense does help. We’re a bunch of actuaries and other benefit consultants, it’s not like we’re a marketing or advertising where everybody is just real outgoing and real to share everything, it’s just there’s a bunch of different personalities here. I happen to be a little bit more of a talker, I guess you’d say, more willing to share the details. Hopefully I don’t bore anybody by that but told that story about the lightning storm and the eight-foot metal pole a few times around here. I don’t have a problem sharing but I would say, in a sense, it is on the individual, you have to be willing to share that when somebody asks you how is your weekend you have to be willing to open up a little bit and maybe go into some more detail than you’re normally used to doing. So it’s definitely a shared responsibility on both the organization’s part and the individual’s part.

    And one thing I think for people that don’t open up a lot is wear it on your sleeve a little bit somehow. I walk around the office and I see people’s offices and cubicles have something in there, whether it be a picture or a token of whatever interest they have, just sitting there on the desk, that in and of itself can open up conversations. I’ve got a little computer mouse that looks like a Mustang, I’ve got pictures of my kids on my back credenza here, my family, there’s my son and I camping on my screensaver, such stuff all over the place.

    Actually, the décor around here on the average is probably a little excessive but if somebody walks in here they know a little bit about what I’m about and I’ve seen other people doing that. We have one guy who hangs, he runs in a lot of 5Ks and so he’ll have something having to do with that on his wall. I’ve seen another guy here who’s into cars who has a couple car models in his office. So just have your space even speak to you even if you’re not wanting to share with words, that sometimes in and of itself I think can start conversations.

    John: Yeah, man, those are excellent examples that people can do tomorrow, something that’s so simple. And one thing that you brought up was when someone asks you what did you this week or what have you been up to outside of the office or things like that, you have to be willing to share. But I think that also people have to be willing to ask others, what did you do this weekend, because that gives people license to open, it gives you the license to tell that 30-minute story of you standing in the lightning with the pole because it’s like “Well you asked me what I did so I’m just telling you the story.”

    Scott: Sometimes I think people want the boring answer, it’s like “Let me get my coffee and get out of here.”

    John: Right, I’m just teasing you. But I think that that’s so important that not only are people willing to open up, that what you brought but that example of what you said is that people also take the liberty of asking others and showing interest in each other because that’s really where it starts, I think, like you had brought up. So just kudos to you, man, good point.

    Scott: What you said can be very tricky too no matter who you are, if you’re the one who’s either not accustomed to asking or you’re one like me who’s more prone to share some details, one of my challenges is then making sure I can learn as much from that other person as I have shared about myself from somebody who might not be as willing to open up. So sometimes that’s a challenge is knowing what questions to ask and getting them to open up a little bit about themselves.

    John: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s true because especially if you’re a person that’s natural to sharing then yeah, being cognizant of oversharing, making sure that there’s a balance between what you’re giving and what you’re getting so that then it’s definitely a two-way street there. That’s an excellent point, very good point.

    Scott: Yeah. I’ve learned an awful lot about people just from some of those lunchroom conversations and it’s neat. It’s neat to hear what people are into.

    John: Oh, yeah, absolutely, man. It creates another dimension to your coworker relationship that you’re able to weather some storms a little better because you actually have a personal relationship as opposed to just coworker superficial type of stuff.

    Scott: Yeah.

    John: That’s great, man. Is there anything else that you’d like to share? I don’t want to cut you off, man, you have so much good stuff.

    Scott: I certainly appreciate that, I feel like I’m just kind of fumbling through this myself, learning things as I go along. But one thing that ran into, I didn’t necessarily share everything even though I’m kind that naturally do share some things. I didn’t always share right off the bat because I’m one of those guys who, at least for the past 20 years, I haven’t really followed sports. And so if you’re in the office where that’s the culture, sometimes that can be a little bit intimidating. Everybody’s talking about the game and I thought, man, I used to watch football back in the ’80s with my dad all the time but it’s been 25 years, I haven’t really kept up. College happened and then work happened, wife and kids came along, it’s like I just really haven’t gotten into. And when everybody in your office is talking about something else that can be something of a challenge is to be the one odd out if somebody asked you, oh, did you watch the game.

    John: You’re talking about Lawrence Taylor, you’re like “Man, did you see that Lawrence Taylor sac”, they’re like “Um, he’s been retired.”

    Scott: Exactly. So sometimes that can be a little bit intimidating. It was for me at first because I felt like I was the one who never knew and I was doing other stuff, I was doing other guy stuff but car guys and camping guys, it’s not as popular. So it was something I had to get comfortable with and not worry so much about.

    John: Right, and so how did you fight through that or how did you work through that?

    Scott: I think it was just natural. I’ve been here so long people know me pretty well that I don’t really get asked much about that anymore because they know I’m not keeping up with it. But getting to know my coworkers’ other interests, it was just a natural progression through those lunchroom conversations, through what did you do this weekend, what are your kids up to, that kind of thing.

    John: Yeah, just coming at them from a different angle rather than the sports angle.

    Scott: Yeah. And equally so, those of my coworkers that don’t have kids probably feel the same way about those of us that are always talking about what our kids are doing. Different things that sort of serve to squeeze other topics out, it’s kind of nice when you can bridge those gaps a little bit and learn a little bit more about other unique things people are doing.

    John: Yeah, and kudos to you for not just giving up because some people would just lock themselves in and just be super introverted and not whatever, and kudos for you for still trying to find a different path to create those connections. And it’s great, it’s so encouraging for others to hear, the people that are listening that were in a similar boat that you were, that it doesn’t have to be only one way that you connect with coworkers or clients, there’s other ways as well. So just be you and the people will gravitate towards you that like that stuff.

    Scott: Yeah, that’s exactly right. And I have the advantage, I don’t mind talking a little bit. Sure, there’s some people over the years that now think I’m crazy which is fine but I have that advantage, so I appreciate your thoughts on that. It was a little easier for me than it might be for some just I sometimes tend to almost say too much but I’ve never had a problem with that.

    John: No, I think it’s fantastic, man, I think it’s really great and I think you’ve been very encouraging to others that are listening that have been in a similar situation and I think it’s really cool and really simple things that people can do right away tomorrow whether it’s a small picture or a little trinket, or something like that that shows a little bit of your outside work life. That’s such a simple thing that you’re doing so I think that that’s a great tip for people that are listening, so very cool, man. That’s very cool.

    So I know that we’ve a little bit when I was at that healthcare benefits forum for Conrad Siegel and spoke there, but I always have my rule to see if we could hang out, maybe go camping, my 17 Rapid-Fire Questions. So I’m going to fire it up and hope you have your seatbelt on and right, you better sit down. Here we go. The first one, how about Sudoku or crossword puzzle?

    Scott: Man, I haven’t done puzzles on paper in years, I probably have to lean towards the crossword though.

    John: How about cats or dogs?

    Scott: I have to say dogs, I’ve always wanted a big Labrador Retriever, I’ve never had one. I’ve had cats, I had a turtle, I had multiple turtles much to my mom’s consternation over the years. But I’ve always wanted a big dog so I have to say dogs.

    John: All right. How about a PC or a Mac?

    Scott: Working on a PC right now so we’ll go with that.

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

    Scott: I like the right click, you never know quite what you’re going to get.

    John: That’s so true. How about a Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Scott: I’d have to say Star Wars.

    John: Okay. What did you have for breakfast?

    Scott: Oh, boy. A cup of coffee and a soft pretzel.

    John: Wow, that’s so like Central PA, that’s so good, man.

    Scott: Yeah. What’s even more Central PA, somebody brought a whole box of them and put them in the lunchroom.

    John: Oh, man! That’s how you win coworkers over right there.

    Scott: Yeah, it’s corporate culture there, yeah.

    John: That’s awesome. How about when it comes to financial statements, the balance sheet or income statement?

    Scott: Well, the government has a hard time taxing your balance sheet so I’d have to go with the balance sheet.

    John: That’s a good answer, that’s very good. How about jeans or khakis?

    Scott: I have to say jeans.

    John: How about do you have a favorite color?

    Scott: Blue.

    John: Nice, mine, too. And least favorite color?

    Scott: I’m not a big pink person.

    John: Right. Do you have a sports team?

    Scott: Well, I used to follow the East Rutherford New Jersey Giants.

    John: Ah, well, dig in New York, I get that. How about do you have a favorite actor or actress?

    Scott: My wife and I like watching Julia Roberts’ movies so I’d have to go with her. Although I tend to like movies where they blow up lots of stuff.

    John: Do you have a favorite cereal?

    Scott: Oh, man, pretty much anything my wife has in the cupboard for my kids that has more sugar than it should.

    John: How about do you have a favorite number?

    Scott: I’d say 5.0.

    John: 5.0, there you go, that’s the Mustang in you.

    Scott: Exactly, yeah.

    John: How about a movie that makes you cry?

    Scott: Oh, it’s a tough one, like I said, I don’t watch a lot of movies. I don’t know if this qualifies but when I saw Schindler’s List back in the early ’90s, I don’t know that I necessarily cried but everybody left that theater just stunned silent.

    John: Yeah, that’s definitely a moving movie, that’s for sure. How about when it comes to reading, do you prefer Kindle or real books?

    Scott: Real books all the way.

    John: The last one, how about the favorite thing you own or the favorite thing you have?

    Scott: I always have an interesting car so I’d have to say… Well, my favorite thing, I don’t own my family so let’s just take them out of the equation. I always have an interesting car but I would say I still have all my Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars going back to the mid-1970s when I was a kid.

    John: Wow, yes!

    Scott: Even to the extent that people will still, my nieces and nephews will actually buy one for me for Christmas, they know I collect these things. I probably have 400, 500 of them.

    John: Wow, that’s fantastic! Those are like the old-school metal ones, not like the plastic ones they have nowadays.

    Scott: Yeah, the ones that could actually hurt somebody if you threw it across the room. Yeah, I love just having them. I don’t really do anything with them but it’s just fun.

    John: Yeah, that’s so cool, man, that’s so cool. Well, thank you so much, Scott, for being with me today on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Scott: Thank you.

    John: Oh, wow, I really like how Scott said that you must be willing to share, even if it’s just a little bit, maybe something on your desk or a picture on your office wall, or your desktop wallpaper on your computer. This helps your coworkers and clients to not compartmentalize you by your role but rather by your passion. That’s so profound. Be sure to go to greenapplepodcast.com to see some pictures of Scott and his son and all their camping gear jammed into this Mustang. It’s absolutely hilarious. And you can also check out some links to his social media. And while you’re there please click the big green button and help me out with my research.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with your friends and coworkers so they get the message that we’re trying to spread which is to go out and be a green apple.


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