Episode 411 – Kaitlyn Kirkhart

Kaitlyn is an Executive & World Traveler

Kaitlyn Kirkhart, CCO of BaCo Tech, talks about discovering her passion for traveling, how she is known for her passion in the workplace, and how she realized why it is so important to have a hobby as a professional!

Episode Highlights

• Getting into traveling
• Her reputation in the office as the traveler
• Mandatory PTO
• Why college was tough without a hobby



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    Welcome to Episode 411 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 in another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “and”, those things above and beyond your technical skills, the things that actually differentiate you when you’re at work.

    If you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the book, also called What’s Your “And”?, 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, that’s right, this voice reading you the book, look for What’s Your “And”? on Audible or wherever you get your audio books. The book goes more in depth at the research on why these outside-of-work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture, and 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.

    Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week, and this week is no different with my guest, Kaitlyn Kirkhart. She’s the Chief Communications Officer at Baco Tech in Dallas, Texas, and now she’s with me here today. Kaitlyn, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Kaitlyn: Oh, my gosh, absolutely. I’m excited to be here.

    John: Yeah, this is going to be awesome. I have 17 rapid-fire questions, get to know Kaitlyn on a new level. They’re questions I probably should have asked when we met virtually at the BDO Alliance Conference, but I figured, why not wait for the podcast? I’ll start you out with probably an easy one. Favorite color.

    Kaitlyn: Gosh, I feel like I have to go back to what brings me joy. If you know me, you’ll find that my glasses, my cell phone case, my wallet, everything in my, not really in my room, but a lot of things in my room are this pastel pink. It’s funny because I’m not even really, I feel like I’m somewhat girly, but I’m not overly girly. There’s something about that color that really calms me down, so I guess it’s a pastel pink, if that’s my favorite color.

    John: Yeah, but it’s soft. It’s not —

    Kaitlyn: Yes. It’s not hot pink, and I’m blonde. I’m actually a lot darker now that I’m older, but I’ve always told myself I would never wear a hot pink dress. I still, this day, have not, but would you find me in a light pink? Yeah, I’d probably be caught in a light pink pastel power dress.

    John: I like it. On the flip side then, what’s your least favorite color?

    Kaitlyn: Least favorite color? Oh, gosh. Maybe orange. I’m not a big orange person, especially burnt orange, which is funny because some people think of University of Texas. I’m from, as you said, Dallas. I actually went to a school very close to there, Texas State University, but I hate that color. I love Austin. I love that school. I just cannot stand the color. I think it’s so ugly unfortunately.

    John: It’s a pretty nasty color, and that’s the only place you ever see that color, on purpose.

    Kaitlyn: I guess it’s very intentional. It’s on brand for them. It’s really not on brand because they’re a cool city and their color does not fit them very well, unfortunately.

    John: Exactly. How about, would you say more cats or dogs?

    Kaitlyn: Oh, my gosh, that was so easy, 100% dogs. Yeah. My favorite animal is a dog.

    John: Okay. All right. How about a favorite day of the week?

    Kaitlyn: Probably Friday because you’re super, it’s more Friday night. Friday during the day sucks because you’re just sitting there, and you’re twiddling your thumbs and tapping your finger, oh, my gosh. Or if you have a meeting on Friday, you’re like, this is the worst. I have so many other things I could be doing for tonight. I get super jazzed and energized on Friday nights. I have had to tell people recently. I’m like, I’m really sorry. I’m really hyper because I just know I’ve got two days to have so much fun, and I want to just hit the ground running. Definitely Fridays, but specifically Friday nights.

    John: Okay, all right. How about puzzles, Sudoku, crossword or jigsaw?

    Kaitlyn: Probably none. If I had to pick a puzzle, I like Solitaire. That’s not really a puzzle, but to me, it’s like puzzle pieces a little bit. I really like, I think it’s called mahjong. Do you know what I’m talking about?

    John: Yeah, yeah, online.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah, online. I don’t have the actual big pieces.

    John: Domino-type pieces.

    Kaitlyn: Yes, yes. As a kid, I was obsessed with that game, even as an adult. It’s on my phone. When I’m on an airplane or something and I need something to do with my mind so I don’t go insane, that’s usually my go-to game, that or Solitaire.

    John: That’s awesome. All right. How about a favorite actor or actress?

    Kaitlyn: Oh, my gosh, love Ryan Reynolds not only because I think he’s somewhat, I guess, pretty good-looking, that’s fine, but also his sense of humor is awesome. Ironically, he’s married to someone I really like as well, Blake Lively, but my favorite actress is probably either Julia Roberts or most likely Sandra Bullock. I fell in love with Ryan Reynolds with Sandra Bullock when they we’re in The Proposal. My favorite all-time movies, that or probably also, this is super lengthy, I’m sorry, not just one, but wait, there’s more. There’s so many.

    John: Right.

    Kaitlyn: I love Rachel McAdams. I can’t think of the actor off the top of my head right now, but she’s in a movie with him as well. I think it’s called About Time. Have you seen that movie?

    John: Absolutely.

    Kaitlyn: Donald Gleason, that’s his name.

    John: Donald Gleason.

    Kaitlyn: Yes.

    John: There you go. Oh, this one, somebody asked me, and I like to turn it around. Socks or shoes.

    Kaitlyn: I guess whatever is closest to being barefoot, so I guess socks but preferably being barefoot. I’m my father’s daughter, and I get yelled at by my mother, who also obviously yells at my father for walking outside, especially in the middle of the street, being barefoot. I don’t know if I will ever change. I am the worst. It’s funny because I’ll do it, and I can hear my mom yelling at me in my head every time I do it. I could hear her also yelling at my dad, and my dad will just be, well, gotten this far in life, and I’ve got my tetanus shot, so I guess forget the.

    John: Right. That’s awesome. So, neither. It’s like, you know what? I don’t have time for this.

    Kaitlyn: I love to be barefoot. That’s a hobby in and of itself. That’s my “and” actually.

    John: Right.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah.

    John: That’s awesome. How about books, audio version, e-book or real book?

    Kaitlyn: Real book, but unfortunately, I’m more of an audio book listener because I just like to go on walks and listen to them. For me, personally, who doesn’t like the touch of a book? It feels so good, especially when you’re on the beach or something, or you’re traveling. There’s something that’s so nice to actually look at and have tangible in your hands, or else I’m just wandering off and maybe dozing off.

    John: You can circle back and be like, wait a minute, that actually seemed important.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah, you can circle back and make notes in it. Yeah.

    John: Yeah. How about a favorite number?

    Kaitlyn: Probably the number six, and I don’t really know why. It has always been, I really just like writing it. Also I don’t like two sixes after the number six because that would be bad. Just one number six will be great.

    John: Just one.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah. I always feel hesitant saying that it’s number six because people might think of me a different way than I want them to think of me.

    John: Three sixes.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah, yeah. Hang on, buddy. That’s not what I was getting at. Exactly.

    John: Exactly. How about your first concert?

    Kaitlyn: Oh, my gosh. Someone asked me that the other day. That’s so funny you asked that. Okay, this is so cheesy, but here we go. I’m a millennial, and I watched a lot of Disney Channel growing up. I actually thought I was going to be one of the Disney Channel stars. Was I? Absolutely not, but I tried. I went to none other than a local concert here in Lewisville, Texas, which is in the Dallas area, and I saw Raven-Symone in concert, and I thought she was killer, which she was. She’s a very good singer. Also looking back, it’s very funny to think that we sat in the hot sun in, probably July in a parking lot for about six hours to be how far back we were. For me, I think that it was so bomb, and she did not bomb.

    John: And you had to wear shoes.

    Kaitlyn: And I had to wear shoes, what a bummer.

    John: How about a TV show you would binge-watch?

    Kaitlyn: Oh, my gosh. Okay, I’ve got two. I am such an Office girl, oh, my gosh. I love The Office. I have probably watched it through too many times to even be okay to say out loud. Obviously now it’s off Netflix, which is such a freaking bummer. Thankfully, I just re-watched it once it got taken off Netflix. Another one which has to, I have to watch The Office because I’ve to cleanse my palate a lot from the other one I binge a lot, which is Parenthood. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of it. They’re the same creators of This Is Us, which I love This Is Us. That one makes me cry way more than Parenthood, for some reason.

    John: It makes the actors cry too.

    Kaitlyn: Oh, my gosh, I know. I just watched This Is Us with my mom a couple nights ago, and I was like, this show is just too much compared to Parenthood. Parenthood is so good. I feel like I’m a part of their family, but, man, after three, you’re like, I’ve got to watch something to cleanse my palate. It’s like Parks and Rec, The Office, whatever, but me, my go to-comedy is The Office if it’s a little bit more dramatic and I want to feel something a little bit more, it’s Parenthood.

    John: No, fair enough. Those are all great shows. We can be friends.

    Kaitlyn: I’m so glad.

    John: Here we go. Star Wars or Star Trek.

    Kaitlyn: I love that. I think because I was raised on Star Wars and my brother would kick me if I didn’t say Star Wars, I’m going to say Star Wars.

    John: Okay.

    Kaitlyn: Plus, I’ve actually never watched Star Trek, but I know my aunt is a huge fan. I just haven’t gotten around to watching that show.

    John: How about your computer, more PC or Mac?

    Kaitlyn: Oh, my gosh, 100% Mac. I’m talking to you right now on a PC. I very much know how to use them. Man, when I work from home on my personal laptop and, boy, do I just think it’s the bee’s knees. My parents are both in advertising, so I literally was raised to use a Mac. I will go to elementary school not knowing how to use a Mac, which I’m sorry, looking back, who the heck is not proficient in PC when you’re that young? Looking back, it’s just hilarious that I grew up solely using something that’s so user-friendly and not having something that breaks all the time. Sorry, Dell, but you do. You break all the time.

    John: All right, diamonds or pearls.

    Kaitlyn: I want to say pearls because that sounds cooler, but I honestly do like diamonds more. I’m also indifferent. I’ll wear either and be happy with it, but probably diamonds.

    John: I’m not going to complain.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah, no, no.

    John: Three more. How about a favorite ice cream flavor?

    Kaitlyn: Oh, man, probably mint chocolate chip, but I feel like that’s such a common answer. I wouldn’t want to trick it up or something, which is funny because there’s already chocolate chips in it. I’m like a five-year-old when it comes to donuts or ice cream or candy. I love sprinkles. I literally love rainbow sprinkles. I’m not sure if it’s the visual appeal or if it’s the crunch that comes with it. It’s low-key embarrassing. My mom, anytime we go out or get donuts or whatever, she’s always like, did you get the sprinkle Kai? I’m like, oh, my gosh, I am so embarrassed. I am a young professional, and I still like what I liked when I was five.

    John: Yeah, but at least you’re consistent.

    Kaitlyn: Man, you’re so right. I’m authentically myself, right?

    John: That’s very funny, very funny. How about, ooh, do you have a favorite Disney character?

    Kaitlyn: Wow. Do I have a favorite Disney character? I probably do, but I can’t think of who that would be. Maybe, oh, man, probably Sleeping Beauty. Okay, I don’t know. I’m like, Disney is so freaking broad. Can we do an off brand and do King Bob from Minions 2. King Bob is so freaking cute, oh, my gosh. I’m not going to lie to you when I say that I watched that movie, and I literally got puppy fever. What? I’m sorry, how does that happen? It did, and guess what. Literally, literally, three minutes later, I got a dog, and she’s still mine to this day. I don’t know. I saw King Bob, and I was like, man, he’s freaking cute. Maybe I just got baby fever, but I also don’t want a kid. I’m not ready for that. Plus, I’m single so that would be really hard on me and financially really hard for me. Why not get a dog like a typical millennial? I got a dog because of King Bob. Isn’t that so funny?

    John: That’s funny. That’s hilarious.

    Kaitlyn: Sorry about Disney, but that’s my go-to guy.

    John: Counts for me. The last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.

    Kaitlyn: The favorite thing I have. Can they not be tangible things?

    John: Yeah, whatever.

    Kaitlyn: Can they be things in my life?

    John: Yeah, anything.

    Kaitlyn: I love that because, honestly, the favorite thing I have I want to say my phone, but that’s so terrible. I hate that. Isn’t that terrible?

    John: As long as it’s an Apple phone.

    Kaitlyn: Right? That one really got me. You’re actually not wrong, unfortunately. I’m so biased. My favorite thing I have is probably my family. I love my family. I think that I’ve come to find, and it really was when I was in college, family is tough to come by and to be close with. I’ve got a really solid family. We’re definitely, by no means, perfect. There are still things that we’re still working through. I think moving back Dallas to be closer to my family, when I decided to do that, I moved from San Antonio to Dallas, four or five years ago, it was one of the best decisions of my life. I’m not saying I would never move again, but I think that I become a stronger person because of them. The favorite thing I own is, circling back to King Bob, is definitely my dog. She’s freaking cool.

    John: A part of the family.

    Kaitlyn: She is 100% a part of the family. She loves the family. The family loves her. She’s a rescue I got while I lived in San Antonio. It was typical millennial, very lonely out of college and didn’t understand that there would be, oh, wait a huge learning curve out of college and not have your friends spoon-fed to you, so I got, like a typical millennial like I said, a dog. She’s so freaking fun. She’s a golden retriever, dachshund, chow and terrier mix, so she is literally a dog that you’ve never seen before. She looks like a baby, baby golden retriever. She’s got the face of a golden, but she’s the size of a Corgi. She’s got the coat of a red golden retriever and then a tail that swirls up. Her tail’s her personality, we’d like to say.

    John: Yeah, yeah, like Dr. Seuss’ tail.

    Kaitlyn: Like a Dr. Seuss tail, I love that. I’m going to use that. We usually say, from Bambi, Flower, the skunk that has its tail up. Because in my parents backyard, she’s obsessed with being out there and trying to find rats and stuff, which is weird but that’s my dog, but you’ll always see her tail. You always know where she is because of her tail. It’s really cute. I’m like, ah, found my girl. That’s my favorite thing I have and my favorite thing I own.

    John: Very cool. No, that’s great. That’s great. I knew it wasn’t going to be a pair of shoes.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah. Again, at least I’m consistent, my goodness.

    John: Right. Let’s talk travel. Did you grow up traveling? Or was it something that came later? How’d you get bit by the travel bug?

    Kaitlyn: I know. It is such a bug. Let me ask you, have you ever been bitten by it?

    John: Quite a bit.

    Kaitlyn: Okay, so you get it. Yeah, it’s so interesting because, did I grew up enjoying it? Yeah. To be honest, my family, we wouldn’t, we went on vacations, but vacations are, during a recession, pretty dang expensive. If anything, we went to just visit family in Chicago. We didn’t really go downtown. We just went to the suburbs. I always liked getting away though. I always liked airplanes. I liked the whole experience of it. Little did I know that I would eventually become just obsessed in trying to get out all the time. I leave Dallas about once a month at least, whether it’s going just an hour away to Fort Worth for the weekend, or three hours south to Austin is probably my go-to. I have a lot of friends out there because of school. Yeah, I just try to leave as much as possible. I got bit by the bug really when I was in college. I went on a mission trip to a very, very popular country that everyone goes to, called Macedonia. I’m sure you’ve heard of it because everyone talks about it all the time.

    John: Right? How did you pick Macedonia?

    Kaitlyn: I know. One of my friends, when I got back from my trip, she goes, “How was macadamia?” I was like thanks for donating to my mission trip. It was awesome.

    John: I thought we were going to get nuts. What’s going on?

    Kaitlyn: Why didn’t you go and have any presents for me?

    John: That’s hilarious.

    Kaitlyn: I know. I think just going overseas, I mean, I went to Mexico with my family when I was three years old. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much of that. When I was in college, we got this opportunity to go overseas on a mission trip to Macedonia. The reason we went was because not only did they have the biggest Gypsy camp in the entire world, in Skopje, which is actually where Mother Teresa grew up and did her missional stuff there, but also we wanted to help a local church there expand and really do a sports camp in order to help grow the church. Because there, you actually can’t publicly say or, I guess, “evangelize” as you would here in the States, which is not normalized here it, but it’s not abnormal to see that happen or against the law necessarily.

    We had to go under wraps and say, hey, we’re doing a sports camp, which if you know me, people did laugh at me when I told them what we were doing. I’m not athletic. My friends were like, hold on. You’re going to do what? I was like, listen, I was literally assigned to be the social butterfly with the moms because they knew I was not going to be coordinated enough to do well with kids. These eight-year-olds would be beating me so bad at dodgeball or whatever else they played, which is so true. I even try. I was like, you know what? I’m getting paid by someone else to be here. The last thing you want is my time spent on the court with a child, or I’m going to get my butt whooped, which I guess I could have used the Lord in that process. Oh, man, God is just so merciful that he would let you as an eight-year-old win. Isn’t that just His will? I don’t know. You could have been really funny about it.

    John: Yeah. That’s over, I mean, it’s Eastern Europe, sort of.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah.

    John: Greece, Bulgaria.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah. Okay, sorry. Let me tell you where it is. It’s a country literally right above Greece.

    John: Okay.

    Kaitlyn: Very much, they have this big, we’re not the same but whatever. It’s almost like Texas with Oklahoma. We think that we’re better than Oklahoma. We’re very much the same people. I’ve got so many friends in Oklahoma. It’s this rivalry thing and a lot of politics goes into it. I think just being in cobblestone ground, just seeing architecture that I know has been there, 1200 years, just something crazy like that where all of a sudden my eyes started to be opened up, and I thought, oh my gosh, these people and all these people around, they’re true Macedonians. Who am I? I’m a freaking mutt from Europe, probably. Right? I’m like English, German, Italian probably or whatever.

    John: So, Kaitlyn, let’s never forget it.

    Kaitlyn: You’re right. You’re right. Me, as a Texan, I’ve got all that pride, man. I just started thinking, and I was like, oh, my gosh. Also, Europeans got it right. They’re cool. I don’t know. I was just like, they’re just the coolest people. I have so much to learn from them. Their food is fresher than ours. Their food is better than ours anyways, or at least Macedonian food was. Although I do like Texas barbecue, don’t get me wrong, I just had it for lunch, but whatever, that’s beside the fact.

    John: Right.

    Kaitlyn: That’s really when it hit me. I was like, I got to get the freak out of Dallas and out of Texas and just expand my horizons while I can. I’ve got the health and really was, when I graduated from college, I was like, I have a disposable income now. I’ve got, literally, paid time off. I can just go and do this. It really wasn’t until I started working for Ford Baker, he’s owner of Baco Group, they literally do not compensate you if you don’t take PTO because they want you to take PTO.

    John: That’s great.

    Kaitlyn: They don’t roll it over intentionally because they want people, especially CPAs, to get away from their desks. Guess who started to mooch off that? Me. I, in summer of 2018, I went back overseas. I went to Barcelona for a week with a girlfriend of mine, and we had a freaking blast. Same thing, I fell in love with the culture. The people, they’re so nice, and all of them were from all over. Some of them were Germans. A girl we stayed with in our Airbnb was from Venezuela. We just learned so much about different cultures. Thankfully our common language is English, which, thank goodness. That’s another thing. I think Americans need to learn another language besides English. That’s also on me but whatever.

    John: They can also start actually learning English.

    Kaitlyn: That’s a whole another political debate. You’re right.

    John: Take all the classes I did.

    Kaitlyn: You’re right. You’re right.

    John: That does give you a different perspective to appreciate things. Is it something that you do talk about with colleagues or clients? Or is it something that comes to the office?

    Kaitlyn: Absolutely. Oh, my gosh, I’m known for that. They’re always like, so where are you going next? It’s funny because I really do light up when I talk about it. Before, when we had met, the BDO Alliance, we were talking about how you just have anyone on. I was like, wait, I want to be on your podcast. Can I be on it? I thought I’ll do yoga because I’m very into yoga. I do it at least three to five times a week. I’ve been doing it consistently for about three years, and it clears my head, whatever. Ford, my boss was like, “Kaitlyn, come on. You know it’s traveling.” I was like, gosh, he’s probably right, but he’s also the one that gets, I have to ask him directly for PTO, and it’s all the time.

    I’m also a planner. I like to plan out my, as much out in advance as I can, not only for the sake of my employer, but also for the sake of me. It really does help because I’ll crunch, I’ll grind for two months, a month, whatever, and take even a four-day weekend. I’ll come back, and I’m totally different than if I didn’t take it off. I do work harder at work, and I’ve told for that. He can say the same thing, is when you get away, especially because I get such tunnel vision in my Dallas life that is just so fleeting. It can dissolve in two seconds. Not only can, I hate to get super morbid, pass away, whatever, but also it could all crumble in two seconds because of whatever. I really think getting away, for me, is one of the healthiest things I’ve ever done in my life.

    When I travel, I’m always with someone I really care about, or I’m going to go see someone I really care about. My goal this next year is to go and do a solo trip and see how I like it, see if I like traveling as much. Even next week, I’m lined up to go see two of my best friends from college in LA, and I’ll spend just four or five days there. I’ve been there, I think, three or four times but, hey, why not go see friends that live in a really cool city and I can mooch off of to go to the beach and hang out with?

    John: Exactly.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah. Yeah.

    John: That’s very cool. Going back just really quickly on Baco Group, if you don’t take your PTO, then how does that work? Because I think people listening, that’s a simple thing that you can apply where they work.

    Kaitlyn: I love that that became implemented because the place I was at before, I didn’t get paid out when I left, and that rocked. I was like, oh, my gosh, it’s more than I expected. I was like, oh, that’s because I didn’t take any PTO, but then I was really tired. Obviously, I needed at least two weeks off before even looking for a job because I spent about nine months, taking one day of PTO. That’s crazy. Looking back, I’m like, man, I can only maybe go a couple of months without taking a one-day PTO now because I’m so, you grind so hard. It’s not healthy for your body and your mind.

    Yeah, so they made it a company standard for the sake of our firm really implementing work-life balance. They completely rebranded in 2014 or so. They literally went from being called Baker and Company, to being called Baco Group so that Baker, Ford Baker, who’s the CEO and now my direct boss, he didn’t get contacted as much as everyone else at the group side. So, if they don’t speak to Baker, they don’t feel like they’re being underserved. They rebranded a lot of other things, organizationally and operationally, and that’s one of them, is they said our whole industry is completely, and I know you understand this, being a CPA, is completely overworked and rundown. In order to help that and help also with recruiting expenses, my goodness, again, it’s a big four firms or whatever, we’re going to make it be you have to take PTO. You have to pay for your desk.

    I only started out with maybe ten days of PTO. Now I’m up to who knows how many days I have, because I actually had them all rollover from COVID from last year, which I know is against our policy, but no one could take them, which I’m glad I didn’t get paid. I want to use that PTO. I want to see the world now. I’m like, yes, it serves something. For me, it gave me the option to go and have my employer applaud me when I go and take off. How cool is that? That’s someone I want to work under and serve really well, is someone that applauds me for doing something that I really like to do.

    John: No, that’s such a great example of you have to take it. If you don’t, then you don’t get it. It’s not like you’re going to be able to cash it out. It doesn’t roll over. It’s just you have these days, and it’s strongly encouraged that you do this, which I think is awesome and such a great example where everyone’s doing it, the leadership and even the new person that just started. We’re all in this. That’s such a great example. Do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that maybe has a hobby or a passion but feels like no one cares because it has nothing to do with my job?

    Kaitlyn: Oh, my gosh. Yeah. Just very much from what we were talking about before we started recording this is just you have to have one. I would encourage anyone that’s currently in college, talk to someone that is a new grad or, I’m five years out of college now, and just ask them what was the first two years like. Because I don’t know about you, John, but for me, it was really hard. It was grueling. It was exhausting. It was much harder than I thought it was going to be, and a lot of it is because I didn’t have a hobby yet. Right?

    John: Yeah.

    Kaitlyn: In college, I was actually really active in a college ministry. I’m really grateful for the opportunity. I obviously still apply it very much to my life every single day, but you’re kind of in camp, all four years. Then you leave camp, then what? There are people that can’t be like you. You’re all of a sudden in the corporate world, and you feel like your joy is getting stolen. It’s like, oh, I guess I should probably do something to fix that. My hobby went from my college ministry and singing there, I sing in the worship team. That was a huge passion of mine. Then all of a sudden, I became really tired after work, and the last thing I wanted to do, unfortunately, was sing. I’ve never experienced that before. I’ve been singing my whole life. Then this passion came along.

    I would just recommend finding a network. Gosh, travel, that is literally the most trendy millennial thing you could probably do. I almost hate that it’s my thing that I like because it’s unoriginal to me, but also it’s what clears my head. There’s got to be a network. Heck, there are freaking Facebook groups for everything. I’m also the kind of person that if I meet someone, I like them, I will, two of my best friends I’ve met, and I was like, I like you. I think you’re funny. Can I get your number? Can we grab dinner? I’m just very direct like that. To me, it’s be bold and try to find those people because I think that it is so beyond worth your time and energy. What is one hour a week to devote to this potential passion and figuring it out? It really just fell on my lap, this thing of traveling was an accident.

    John: No, but it’s great, and maybe it’ll change over time. It doesn’t have to be the same thing forever, but it’s something.

    Kaitlyn: Right, because it used to be singing for me. It’s crazy. I feel almost bad that it’s not, but it really does drain me now. I hate to say that. It’s not that I don’t like music. Of course I like music. Oh, my gosh, I listen to music all day. It’s just not the same passion I have. I’m like, would I rather spend my Sunday mornings traveling or singing in a church? I’m like, ah, probably traveling. Not that I don’t go to church still, your girl definitely does, but you know what I mean. It’s just different now for me. It’s a different mindset, different season, and I think that the Lord blesses that. Just like you, you’ve got so many passions. One of them is ice cream.

    John: Totally, which is awesome.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah, that’s such a cool passion. I’m almost like, should I start dabbling in it? That sounds so fun.

    John: It’s a slippery slope though, watch out.

    Kaitlyn: I bet, yeah. I have to have dairy-free ice cream, so that might be a little bit easier for me to do that.

    John: Yeah. Elastic waistbands if ice cream is your “and”. I feel like, since we started out the episode, before I close it out, it’s only fair that I turn the tables.

    Kaitlyn: Yes.

    John: Make this the first episode of The Kaitlyn Kirkhart Podcast. Thanks so much for having me on.

    Kaitlyn: Oh, my gosh, thanks for having me, John. This has been so stinking fun.

    John: Yeah, so whatever you got, if you have any questions for me, I’m all yours.

    Kaitlyn: Are you ready? Get prepared.

    John: I don’t know if I’m ever going to be ready.

    Kaitlyn: They’re pretty crazy. Okay. Would you, John, rather have bug spray or sunscreen on you and you feel it and smell it for the rest of your life?

    John: Oh, wow.

    Kaitlyn: Speaking from experience. I’m just kidding.

    John: Well, since my cologne is coconut, actually probably sunscreen just because it smells tropical or whatever. Bug spray smells.

    Kaitlyn: Terrible.

    John: Yeah. Well, it does what it’s supposed to do, but it also repels humans.

    Kaitlyn: I need friends. Yeah. For the sake of my sanity and my friendship and not being lonely, I literally think the only option is, process of elimination, it has to be sunscreen. That’s so funny you thought of the smell too, because I thought the same thing. I was like, oh, I wonder if he’ll think of it. You did. You are a smart guy. There was a right answer to that. No, just kidding.

    John: All right.

    Kaitlyn: All right, next question. Which do you use on a daily basis, a brush or a comb?

    John: Toothbrush.

    Kaitlyn: You use a toothbrush?

    John: I just do the hands because.

    Kaitlyn: What?

    John: Yeah, I don’t. Yeah, I just get a little bit of goop, whatever it’s called, it’s like a paste sort of thing, and then just rub it in my hands and then just style. When you don’t have a lot of hair, you can get away with that.

    Kaitlyn: Pretty nice.

    John: Strategically placing it so that then it doesn’t look like you’re your age.

    John: Totally.

    Kaitlyn: I’m trying to like way younger because of the paste in my hair. You’re individually trying to place each hair to look younger.

    John: Just don’t get carried away. Yes. Tony Adams is a very funny comedian, and he has a joke. He said, when I was younger, I used to pluck my grays. Now I use them as filler, so it’s like they have to stay.

    Kaitlyn: I freaking love that. It’s so funny because I look really young for my age, and I’m very well aware of that. I have to actually style my hair trying to look older. Maybe you and I could come together after this and talk about how we can help each other out.

    John: I’m not sure if I can pretty much help.

    Kaitlyn: Well we can try.

    John: Totally. Totally.

    Kaitlyn: Oh, my gosh, that’s so fun. Okay, what color is your toothbrush? Okay, well, I’m glad you know. Actually I don’t know my color. I wrote that down, I was like, I should go home and look at mine.

    John: It’s an electric toothbrush. Technically, it’s a cream color, but there’s a little rubber band around where the bottom of the base of the head. I’ll switch out the color to go to blue, blue or green.

    Kaitlyn: Is that your favorite color?

    John: Yeah.

    Kaitlyn: Man. All right, I know a couple of things about blue.

    John: Red, I don’t want to put that in my mouth.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah, it’s angry. You need something happy, like a light blue.

    John: It tastes like bug spray.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah, weird parallel there. I don’t know how that full circle humor came around, but it did.

    John: Right. Also, why is he tasting bug spray? That’s gross. I don’t know either.

    Kaitlyn: You put it close to your toothpaste. It’s a normal thing. It’s a normal thing.

    John: Right.

    Kaitlyn: Okay, last question. I’m assuming the answer to this because of where you live, but you never know. Would you vacation at a beach or a mountain?

    John: Yeah, that’s a hard one. I would probably say beach only because I live in Colorado, and I can stand in my backyard and see the mountains.

    Kaitlyn: Absolutely.

    John: It’s not as exotic or as much of a vacation when it’s just right there. The beach involves me getting on an airplane. Of course I can get on an airplane and go to other mountains, but I’m lazy.

    Kaitlyn: Yes.

    John: Airplane to a beach.

    Kaitlyn: I feel you. I’m very much a beach gal. I can literally sit on the beach for hours and just act like five minutes has gone by. It’s ridiculous. Not that I don’t like the mountains. Mountains are great, but I’m more of a beach bum myself.

    John: Exactly.

    Kaitlyn: I feel you, and I do have to get on an airplane as well.

    John: That’s awesome. Very cool. Very cool. I appreciate you being a part of What’s Your “And”?, Kaitlyn. This has been a lot of fun.

    Kaitlyn: Yeah. Oh, my gosh, John, it’s been so fun as well and get to know you a little more too.

    John: There you go. Everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Kaitlyn from her travels or maybe connect with her on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. Everything’s 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.

    Thanks again for subscribing to the podcast 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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