Episode 422 – Mayur Vyas

Mayur is a CFO & Crossfitter

Mayur Vyas returns to the podcast from episode 221 to talk about his new passion in CrossFit! He also talks about why it is good to have a passion outside of work and why you should be encouraged to share it with others!

Episode Highlights

• Getting into CrossFit
• Talking about CrossFit at work
• Why you should be able to talk about your passion with others



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    Welcome to Episode 422 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday edition. This is John Garrett, and each Friday, I follow up with a guest who had been on the show a few years ago to hear what’s new with their passions outside of work and also hear how this message might have impacted them since we last talked.

    If you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the book. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. The book goes more in depth into the research behind why these outside-of-work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. If you want me to read it to you, that’s right, this voice reading the book, look for What’s Your “And”? on Audible or wherever you get your audio books. I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it and now listening to it and and writing such nice reviews on Amazon and, more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it.

    Don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week, and this Follow-Up Friday is no different with my guest, Mayur Vyas. He’s the CFO of Finconoso outside of Washington, DC, and now he’s with me here today. Mayur, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Mayur: Thank you, John. It’s been a long time coming. I remember the last time I was on, it was just a random blast. I think we probably went over, but it’s just, it’s always a blast. Thanks for having me back.

    John: Oh, so much fun, and we bounce back and forth on social media all the time. It’s just so cool to talk with you, so let people in on the magic of what we do over social media, which is not really magic, so, no one gets your hopes up. I do have some rapid-fire questions for the follow-up that I probably should’ve asked you the first time, get to know you on a new level here. If you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones.

    Mayur: Game of Thrones.

    John: Game of Thrones. Okay, all right. Favorite toppings on a pizza.

    Mayur: Yesterday was National Pepperoni Day, and I missed out because, apparently, everyone in my household is on a diet except for me. I don’t want to be that guy but.

    John: Oh, no. Well, can’t you just have a rain check and celebrate it?

    Mayur: Yeah. It’s Monday. Come on, man. Let’s do it on a weekend at least. I was like, I do what I want, but anyway.

    John: I’m a man. Hold on, honey, let me ask you if I can do this. All right. How about when it comes to books, audio, Kindle or real book?

    Mayur: I prefer real books, but these days, it usually ends up being a Kindle or e-reader.

    John: Sure. Yeah, yeah, the e-reader. Yeah, definitely. How about a favorite day of the week?

    Mayur: Oh, I’d say Thursday.

    John: Thursday.

    Mayur: Yeah.

    John: Okay. Is there a reason?

    Mayur: I think it’s because it’s not necessarily the weekend. It seems like there’s a vibe of people wanting to get stuff done. Also, because we want to enjoy the weekend, so I find people are more productive and more ready to get things done on Thursdays for some reason.

    John: Yeah. Okay. All right. I like it. I like it. Since it’s you, I’ve got to ask, ties or bow ties.

    Mayur: Regular neckties.

    John: Regular neckties. Yeah.

    Mayur: I’ve attempted the bow type thing, and I’ve got a few friends who are fellow fancy men, if you will, who attempted them. I’ve attempted a few times. I’m like, you know what? Maybe later, not now.

    John: Maybe later.

    Mayur: Yeah.

    John: When I’m retired.

    Mayur: Yeah. I’ll fit the look at that point.

    John: Yeah, yeah. How about a favorite TV show of all time?

    Mayur: Ooh, TV show of all time. I’m going to go with Seinfeld.

    John: Oh, yeah. There you go.

    Mayur: It was on the other day, and it was timeless. I was in high school when I used to watch it religiously with my friends. None of the jokes we got, but at the same time, we really lived them. Then having gone through, I’m not going to age myself too much here, but through the 30s and the age of those guys — I’m 40 — I’m like, I get that stuff now.

    John: Right? No, it’s so well-written, and it’s so relatable in everybody’s life. It’s pretty awesome. The last one, maybe the most important one, toilet paper roll, over or under?

    Mayur: Over for toilet paper, for sure.

    John: Yeah, over. It’s what the — the patent, I think, looks like that. It’s like, yeah, why would you not? I don’t know. Some people will go next level. If they’re visiting someone and they have it under, they’ll actually turn it around in someone else’s house.

    Mayur: Why do you want to rub it up against the little area back there? Then you have to use it and… Anyways.

    John: You’re going to scrape your knuckles? It’s like, ugh, just, ugh. I’ve got pretty hands. I don’t have time for this. Right?

    Mayur: Right. Exactly. You know?

    John: Yeah, there you go. All right, last time, we talked custom suits and all kinds of cool stuff, which I 100% appreciate. I love the story of how, when you went back and you were getting measured and they were smoking cigars and telling jokes and clowning around, and how you never once thought, I bet they’re not very good at this. Actually, you thought they’re probably amazing. Because so many professionals want to just be serious and talk work all the time. I thought that was a great story that you told that really hit home to me especially, which I thought was awesome.

    Mayur: Yeah, yeah. There’s so much associated with the wearing of formal attire with seriousness, but if anything, I think it’s opposite now. Now I think it’s almost like the hoodie-wearing clan are sometimes more type A than those who are looking to get a little dolled up here and there. Because, first of all, there’s never this, really, opportunity for anyone to dress up. Me being a new dad, there’s no point. Whenever there’s an opportunity, if you’re looking at the social media, I’m always trying to put on a suit in any of the technical videos and stuff I do these days.

    John: Totally, man. I love it. It’s awesome. Is that still, I mean, clearly a part of who you are, but I feel like there’s a new “and”, based on your Instagram Stories anyway. I feel like there’s there’s a next level here going on.

    Mayur: Oh, yeah, you’re probably alluding to my two things. One, being the dad, of course, with a four-month-old in the house. The second thing is, I’ve been trying to go to the gym a lot more, especially as they started opening up again, after the lockdowns. I’ll be honest, the main reason to do that is — of course the official answer is like, oh, I want to be in shape for my son, so I can run around with him and play with him. That’s the BS answer. The real answer is I want to be able to fit into my clothes again. I did spend a lot of money on those freaking suits, and this waistline is struggling, struggling.

    John: They don’t use stretchy suits in the custom order, the made-to-measure. The custom suits are not stretchy like my jeans are. I didn’t even know. I, 100%, appreciate that. But I don’t go, so I’m living vicariously through you, maybe, on the gym. Actually, I remember some of your Instagrams. I’m like, run. That door’s open, go. You can escape. I’m not the good friend at all in this. I feel like I’m bad influence.

    Mayur: It’s a little bit of a Stockholm syndrome where you’re in there.

    John: Right?

    Mayur: I get into like the people screaming at me. Do those squats, do 100 push-ups or whatever it is.

    John: Yeah. You just started going? Did you ever go to the gym before, or is this a new thing?

    Mayur: Well, I blame my wife for this. She got me into exercise, eight years ago or something. We used to go, and then I sucked at it. Finally found something that I enjoyed, and I found a little group of people.

    John: That’s great.

    Mayur: Yeah, I always had fun with it, but I think I’ve been going more now because there’s nowhere else to go. There’s no office really to go to. It’s really just home and there. Sometimes I go to an office just to get out of the house or work for the family to make sure we’ve got coverage for the baby. The gym is, it’s almost like a place to get out of the house now. Hence, I’m probably going more. Yeah, I guess me being bored or just having cabin fever is the reason I’m going to it more now.

    John: No, that’s great, man. That’s great. I love how you’re like, I blame my wife. It’s like, this is a bad thing, and it’s all her fault for getting me into this. No, I think that’s awesome. It’s cool that you found your tribe, your group of people that you like to be around, that support you and encourage you. That’s awesome. I feel like I’m the opposite of that, and I kind of feel bad. I should apologize for all the message I keep sending you, but I think it’s funny. Is this something that you talk about with, I mean, obviously people know about the baby, but with colleagues or clients? Do they know about the CrossFit side of you?

    Mayur: Not too much. You read it in a conversation. If people were joking around about like, we’re all getting fat at home and all that stuff, then I’ll probably just hold back because I don’t wanna be like, well…

    John: Not me.

    Mayur: Yeah, I know. Well, I’m so fat.

    John: I’m medium fat.

    Mayur: I’m just like, I have a little more definition underneath this blubber.

    John: Wait, you go to the gym, Mayur? Are you sure?

    Mayur: I just go there to take IG story and then leave.

    John: Now the truth comes out. There we go. As long as I pay my membership, they don’t care what I do.

    John: Exactly. If you didn’t do an Instagram story, did you even go to the gym? Did it even happen?

    Mayur: Oh, yeah, exactly. That’s the rule. That’s the rule.

    John: That’s the rule. Of course, the suits, everyone knew because you’re wearing it. It was also a lot more in-person and all that, so that’s something you can not talk about because it’s, bam, there it is, type of thing. That’s totally understandable. Yeah, I’m sure that there are a lot of people that are talking about trying to exercise or do something because a lot of people are… Yeah, it’s just enough is enough on being pent up.

    Mayur: It seems there’s an expectation that we’re supposed to complain about everything all the time. Sometimes when I find that when people are talking about something they’re proud of sometimes, it’s — this is something maybe that’s carried over from the old corporate — well, a lot of people I work with are former big firm or big corporation in some way. Sometimes, even though they work — I just work with pretty much all small businesses or startups now. Sometimes a little bit of that PTSD, I guess, when it comes to it. If someone is talking about how good things are going, sometimes people are like, oh, maybe you shouldn’t — there’s a talk after the call, like, hey, I can’t believe they’re talking about that. I’d be like, why? They’re proud of what they’re doing, and you should encourage that. Oh, I guess so.

    John: Right. Yeah, because there’s enough negativity in the world. So, why not positivity and laughter and things that bring joy? Why not, type of thing. I think it’s great, man, and you’re definitely a source of that, legit, for real. Because whenever I hop on the stories and I see you’ve got stuff, I’m like, oh, this is so good.

    Mayur: Well, it’s good to be like, I’m very much the Conan O’Brien type of thing. I like to be self-deprecating, but also, in a way, still be proud of your accomplishments. I think your podcast and the people you bring on, the movement you have with the What’s Your “And”?, that’s all about that. You know that these people are proud of something. It’s not necessarily what they do as part of their paycheck or employment or whatever. There’s something else that drives people, and that’s, honestly, I think, more important than what they’re being paid for, in some ways.

    John: No, thank you, man. Thank you for that. Yeah, because it really is. If an organization just thinks, are my people living their best life? If you don’t know, then the answer is probably no. Find out, and if you can help your people live their best life, then, man, only awesome things happen from that. They’re going to do their best work. You’re going to get the best clients. More talent is going to want to come work there. It’s just going to be a place that people are going to really be a part of.

    Mayur: That’s so true. Yeah, people are drawn to positivity.

    John: Yeah. No, I love it, man. Do you have any words of encouragement to others that maybe have an “and” that they feel like no one cares about, or no one’s going to even — it has nothing to do with my job, so why even talk about it?

    Mayur: You’ve probably had other people, and you’ve said it yourself, I think, you need to just not hide it. You don’t necessarily have to go blast out for the world, but don’t necessarily stifle it. People don’t realize that there’s more people who actually might be into what they’re into. If you don’t tell anyone, if you don’t show anyone, no one will ever know. Everyone else will feel lonely. No one likes my crazy obsession with ‘80s cartoons or whatever thing you’re into, right?

    John: Yes.

    Mayur: Just be yourself. I remember this one guy I used to work with, back when I was at the big firms. He would openly just talk about the most random factoids from some comics from the ‘70s or something. Literally, everyone will just sit there, not know what he was talking about. One time a client kind of picked up on what he was getting at, this is before the meeting starts. We’re all just chatting. The client was like, and they just started vibing back and forth. Everyone was just enjoying this interaction. Ultimately, that client was a decision-maker and kept renewing contracts, so, hey.

    John: What?! That’s what I’m talking about because that’s a differentiator. Especially when you’re at the big firms, the next big firm down the street can come in and do the exact same work, really. That’s the differentiator, a little bit of the personality, a little bit of the human side to you. All of a sudden, it’s like, boom, client. It’s like, wow, that’s fantastic. It’s somebody you remember. Think of all the people that you worked around at the big firms, and that’s one person that you remember. It’s kind of crazy. Because I think of all the people that I used to work with, I don’t remember a lot of them. I feel kind of bad, but it’s also like, well, you didn’t talk about random ‘70s comics. How would I know what’s your differentiator as a person? Yeah, man, I love it. I know everyone remembers you, so it’s even easier.

    Mayur: Usually in a bad way but, yeah.

    John: Not that guy. You mean Voldemort? We’re not allowed to even say his name anymore.

    Mayur: Yeah.

    John: That’s awesome. Well, before I wrap this up, this has been so much fun, but I feel like it’s only fair that we turn the tables and make it the first episode of The Mayur Podcast. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. Any questions you’ve got, I’m all yours.

    Mayur: Okay, have you ever borrowed something of value from someone but forgot to return it?

    John: That’s awesome. Oh, man. I don’t think so. It’s happened the other way around, for sure.

    Mayur: You can call them out here if you need to.

    John: Right. They’re not listening. They’re in prison. No, I’m just kidding.

    Mayur: You just got my stapler, Earl.

    John: That’s who I used to hang around with, back in the day in high school. Yeah, no. I wish there was now though. It’s either that or I don’t think it has any value. That’s probably the other part of it. I still have a bunch of stuff but just not anything worth anything.

    Mayur: You hardly miss it.

    John: Right.

    Mayur: Okay, well, sticking with the ‘80s theme I was mentioning, if you were forced to eliminate one of the following, which would it be: GI Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers or He-Man?

    John: Oh, man, that is a hard one. Wow. Okay, so you can’t do GI Joe because knowing is half the battle. I feel like maybe He-Man could be eliminated only because he makes me feel so insecure about myself.

    Mayur: Is it the haircut or the Speedo?

    John: All of it, and he’s riding a puma or a something. That’s a lot. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, hey have cool names. They’re all the artists from the Renaissance, so you’re learning accidentally. Transformers were just awesome.

    Mayur: Okay, last one. What would you do if you checked into a hotel room and there was a dead body in the bed?

    John: I would call the police and say Mayur did it. That’s what I would do.

    Mayur: Yes, yes.

    John: I would say. There was a dead body in the bed. I’m going to a hotel tomorrow, and I’m nervous now.

    Mayur: Wonderful.

    John: There’s going to be a body. That’s awesome. Yeah, no, I would definitely rat you out without even blinking, and I would be like, look at his Instagram stories. He’s clearly got the muscles to pull this off.

    Mayur: I probably bored them to death more likely. Bad joked them out.

    John: Oh, man, that would be great. How did he die? I bad joked him. That’s awesome, man. Well, it was so much fun catching up with you. Congrats on all your success in the family. Keep it up, and look forward to staying in touch. Thanks so much, man.

    Mayur: Of course, man. Thanks always, and keep up this amazing thing that you’re doing.

    John: Thanks, dude, I appreciate it. Everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Mayur at the gym or out in life, connect with him on social media, I promise you, his Instagram Stories are awesome and totally worth to listen. Be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. While you’re on the page, please click the big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and don’t forget to check out the book.

    Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.


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