Episode 471 – Bill Hershey

Bookkeeper/Business Consultant & Holistic Health Nut

Bill Hershey, owner of Life Stream Business Services, talks about his passion for a holistic lifestyle, how it has helped him physically, mentally, and in his business, and how the corporate culture is changing to a more holistic point of view!

Episode Highlights

• Getting into holistic health
• How his holistic lifestyle helps with his work
• Aligning with the principles of nature
• Corporate culture becoming more holistic-minded
• The Principle of Mutual Prosperity



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    Welcome to Episode 471 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. And to put 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.

    And if you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the book. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. And 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. And the book goes more in depth with the research behind 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 nice reviews on Amazon and, more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it.

    And 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, Bill Hershey. He’s the founder, bookkeeper, and business consultant with Life Stream Business Services out of Oregon. And now, he’s with me here today. Bill, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Bill: Right on. Thank you so much, John. Pleasure to be with you.

    John: Yeah. This is gonna be super, super fun. But before we get into it, I got my rapid-fire questions, get to know Bill on a new level here. So, bring it. Right?

    Bill: Bring it on. That’s right.

    John: All right. Seatbelts are buckled. We’re in. Here we go. This is a fun one. How about a least favorite vegetable?

    Bill: Ooh, wow. The slimy ones. Probably like— Oh, man. I just say slimy. I don’t even know how to answer that.

    John: Yeah, slimy ones.

    Bill: I like vegetables.

    John: Yeah. Slimy ones. That’s good. I hear you on that like yeah. Because there’s some when they come out- I’m trying to even think of some, but they’re just like “Ugh.” Yeah, the texture is just off.

    Bill: Overcooked vegetables would be my least favorite vegetables.

    John: Ah, there you go. Okay. I like that. I like to put in the air fryer. That’s where the magic happens. Right? Gets them a little crunchy. Even I’ll do Brussel sprouts then. How about favorite color?

    Bill: Ooh, my favorite color is clear.

    John: Oh, okay. All right. I have never had that answer. So, that is awesome. And then here we go, least favorite color.

    Bill: Ooh, wow.

    John: If you say opaque, I’m gonna lose my mind.

    Bill: Oh, man. That’s a great answer. I should rip that out. I’ll be like “Oh, yeah, I got that from John Garrett.”

    John: You can say opaque. It’s all good. It’s all good.

    Bill: Yeah. You know, I really have never thought about what my least favorite color— Oh, neon. Neon is definitely my least favorite.

    John: I’m with you on that, man. Yeah, that’s obnoxious. Totally. How about puzzles? Sudoku, crossword, or jigsaw puzzles?

    Bill: Ooh, it’s so long. I’m gonna say none of the above.

    John: Oh, man, fair enough. How about a favorite adult beverage?

    Bill: Ooh. So, there’s this brand of kombucha called June. It’s like the champagne of kombucha. I’m not hired. I’m not advertising for them, but it gets me excited to think about it.

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

    Bill: Ooh, I live in a cave, man. I don’t watch movies. I don’t even know what to say anymore. I’ve been like under a rock for the last 15 years.

    John: So, you’re like Tom Selleck. And it’s like “Wait a minute, what?”

    Bill: Yeah. Really.

    John: Michael Winslow from Police Academy. You know, it’s like—

    Bill: There you go. And he’s like the guy who did the sounds.

    John: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Totally.

    Bill: That was great. Okay. Well, let’s go with him because that guy was awesome.

    John: There you go. All right. How about chocolate or vanilla?

    Bill: Chocolate. Chocolate.

    John: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. For sure. How about Star Wars or Star Trek? This was pre-cave, so you gotta answer that one.

    Bill: You’re right. You got me on that, you know. Star Wars was like always better, but Star Trek somehow has found its way closer to my heart.

    John: Yeah. There’s a deepness to it too for sure. How about your computer, more of a PC or a Mac?

    Bill: Mac all the way. I’ve been with PC for too long. It’s like Mac has totally won me over over and above.

    John: Wow. Okay. All right. Impressive. How about when you’re in an airplane, window seat or aisle seat?

    Bill: Window seat.

    John: Window. There you go.

    Bill: Yeah. You know, people are walking by either like brushing up at your elbow.

    John: Their backpacks hitting your head. It’s like “Yo! Do you know you have that thing on your back?” Oh, God, all the time. All the time. It’s so “aaaah.” Yeah. Yeah. All right. Books, audio version, e-Book, or real book?

    Bill: You know, the audio just makes it so easy. I drive. I listen. I can actually like “read” by having the audiobooks.

    John: Okay. All right. There you go.

    How about a favorite number?

    Bill: 9.

    John: 9. Is there a reason?

    Bill: Yeah. And that doesn’t mean no. You know, that means no in German, but I mean the #9. My wife speaks Germans, so I gotta be careful to clarify. I’m talking English here.

    John: Your clear and opaque answers, you might as well say no. No, no, I’m teasing. It’s all good. How about early bird or night owl?

    Bill: Oh, man. I am such a night owl, but I’m trying to convert into an early bird. It’s so hard.

    John: Why? Those people are weird. No, I’m kidding. I’m kidding. It’s to each their own, man, but at least you’re one or the other and not both because, man, that would be a lot.

    Bill: It is. I’m kind of split. It’s like I’m a split personality there a little bit, but I’m trying to move in the direction of early bird.

    John: All right. And since you have the accounting background here, balance sheet or income statement?

    Bill: Ooh, I guess income statement even though the balance sheet is where I need to be. Income statement is kind of where I’m at right now.

    John: Yeah. Yeah. It was simple. There’s your number. Boom! Do you have a favorite day of the week?

    Bill: I like Fridays.

    John: Yeah. Okay. All right. There you go.

    Bill: Even though I work on the weekend, it’s like Friday is still special.

    John: Well, I mean, yeah. I mean, it’s TGIF. Right? I mean, it’s all that. And so, how about a favorite ice cream flavor?

    Bill: Ooh, praline pecan.

    John: Oh, okay. Nice. That’s a little fancy.

    Bill: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, man, hits the spot.

    John: Yeah. Very good. And the last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.

    Bill: Man, I have this really weird instrument from India called a veena and I almost feel ashamed to say this. My favorite thing that I own because I barely even play it.

    John: Yeah, but it’s a cool thing, man. Yeah. I mean, why not, you know?

    Bill: Yeah, why not? It’s almost like it’s in a museum or something, you know.

    John: Right.

    Bill: It may as well be.

    John: Right. That’s awesome, man. That’s so cool. Did you get it when you were in India?

    Bill: You know, it’s like I’ve been so immersed in sort of India philosophy and India culture for so long.

    John: Okay.

    Bill: I’ve never been to India.

    John: Oh, okay.

    Bill: So, it’s surprising to people sometimes that that’s the case.

    John: Yeah. Because, I mean, I just figured it was something you picked up while you’re there, but that’s cool that you have it. And when you go, then when people are playing it, you can just jump into the band and be like “I know that one! Here we go.”

    Bill: That’s hilarious. That’s hilarious. Though I’m sure they’ll laugh when I start playing that thing.

    John: No, no, no. I’m teasing, but that’s great that it’s something that you enjoy playing, and you don’t have to be some maestro at it, you know. Like it’s just something that you’re planning and that’s cool. That’s awesome, man. I love it. That actually dovetails perfectly in with your hand, I think, a little bit of just holistic health in general. And just how did you get started on that path?

    Bill: Yeah. Well, that’s a long story. So, I don’t know if I’ll make it necessarily a long story short, but I’ll try not to make it a long story too long.

    John: Okay. We’ll go medium. We’re good.

    Bill: Yeah. Medium. We’ll find that middle way. Yeah. So, you know, I grew up eating Pop-Tarts, and Twinkies, and a can of soda pop, and bags of chips. That was like my lunch every day going to school. And you know, when I look back, okay, at least it was vegetarian.

    John: Right.

    Bill: Right?

    John: Right.

    Bill: I don’t know how I survived to tell the story. I was playing sports. You know, I was doing wrestling and football. And so, interestingly, being an athlete, I was interested in my performance. I was like “Okay, I gotta make sure I’m staying hydrated, drink lots of water and, you know, get protein or whatever.” But gradually, I realized “Oh, you know, maybe these Twinkies, maybe these Pop-Tarts aren’t actually like the best thing for me to eat.” And you know, it was probably like college years that I started to wake up to that. So, I grew up in Buffalo, New York. And nothing against Buffalo, nothing against Upstate New York or the East Coast, but it’s almost as if— It’s like I just had no exposure—

    John: Sure.

    Bill: …growing up there to so many things that when I went to LA when I was 21 years old, it’s like reality opened its doors to me and I had so many other options. And I think part of this is because I grew up in a very like suburban setting. And so, it’s like very sheltered. I’m sure if I was in the right niches in Buffalo, I would have got to do some cool stuff.

    John: But you were in Buffalo like exotic as Canada. So, I mean, let’s be honest.

    Bill: Right.

    John: Like BeaverTails and like that’s not exotic. I feel like that’s just a funnel cake with some cinnamon on it, you know, but like Nutella, but yeah. So yeah, you go to LA. It’s like “Woah, this is way different than Canada.” So, yeah. So then, that’s when it started to really come together?

    Bill: Yeah. Like being in LA, it was like my first experience. I went to a Whole Foods. Part of the reason why I was in LA is because— There’s details in this story. My friend from high school invited me out to join a rock band with him. He had a record deal.

    John: Oh.


    Bill: They got signed to a record deal, the same record company that signed Michael Jackson.

    John: Okay.

    Bill: So, it was like Epic Records.

    John: Yeah.

    Bill: It was like “Oh my gosh, this is like a dream I never had that’s now coming true.”

    John: Yeah.

    Bill: And so, you know, he invited me to come out and play bass guitar. And he was vegetarian and I was a football player at that time. I’m still like, you know,—

    John: Eating everything.

    Bill: …down my face. Yeah. Exactly. Eating everything at all times of day, that kind of thing. But yeah, he took me to a Whole Foods. He’s vegetarian. And just kind of being around, I just got exposed to a lot of things. He took me to vegetarian restaurants. And after a few months, I was just like “You know what? It’s not such a bad idea.” You know, I have no judgment. I really think that eating food choices is such a personal choice. But you know, I had studied like Buddhism and a little bit of like ancient Hinduism in college that kind of opened my mind to alternative ways of thinking. And it’s just the concept of vegetarianism came into my awareness that that’s the thing that people do. That’s an option.

    John: Right. Right.

    Bill: And being around other vegetarians made realize, you know, “Okay, maybe I’ll try this.”

    John: It’s not just salads, you know. Like there’s other things as well.

    Bill: Exactly. Like perfect example, I was at like an Ethiopian restaurant with him in LA and like he bought this beautiful platter of like different kinds of hummuses, and babaganoush, and flat bread. And it looked amazing. And like I was going through them and I saw this like fish with like a fish head and like the head was still on the fish like on the plate. I was like “I want that.” And it came to my table. I’m looking at this fish with its head still on it and then like chewing on the bones. I’m like picking these bones out of my teeth and like I want what they got.

    John: That’s awesome.

    Bill: I was like “Man, why are they ordering this?” But yeah, you know, it wasn’t just like a cold turkey or cold fish stop right there.

    John: I like that. Well-putted. That’s awesome.

    Bill: Yeah. So, I mean, eventually, I just started eating that way and I realized whenever I went back and like had some turkey sandwich or whenever I’d be vegetarian for a couple months and then be like “You know, I think maybe I need to eat some meat” and I’d have like salmon or something, maybe even fish, even some white meat, and just every time I did, when I listened to my body, I was like “You know, I don’t think I need that anymore.” And I’m actually kind of like feeling the effects of that.

    John: With Pop-Tarts still. Pop-Tarts. You would already shed those.

    Bill: Well, you know, it’s a funny thing ‘cause every once in a while, I’d be like hitting the candy machine—

    John: Oh, yeah.

    Bill: …binging. I went through these binge cycles where I was like eating kind of healthy and then I’d be like “Man…” Like something would overcome me. I’d be like “Arggh.”

    John: Just get it all.

    Bill: Like downing a whole pint of ice cream, bam, or whatever, you know.

    John: Totally, man. Like I threw the lid away on those when I was younger and then people were like “What are you doing?” I was like “This isn’t a single serving? Like this isn’t a sit down and just go to town on like those little Ben & Jerry kinda—” It’s like “Why do we have the lid? Like just throw it out. Like why are keeping that?”

    Bill: It is so apropos we call that little, all right.

    John: Exactly.

    Bill: It’s like pints of ice cream, this little pint.

    John: Right. But it’s more than just the eating for you. I mean there’s so much more to it now. You know, it’s groomed to be a bigger thing as well.

    Bill: Yeah. I mean, it’s become a lifestyle really. And you know, I think that’s very much guided from observation, you know, observing like how does this feel in my body, how do I feel, just how is my energy and my well-being, even my mood I notice. As I became vegetarian, I became more interested in things like spirituality and meditation and, you know, ethical lifestyle. Things kind of just started naturally falling away from me. Like I wasn’t enjoying drinking anymore. I wasn’t enjoying like smoking whatever it was I was smoking at that time anymore, you know. I almost started feeling like handicapped when I was doing this.

    John: Oh, okay. Like it was holding you back.

    Bill: Yeah. I thought before I was like gaining something from doing that. I was like “Yeah, I feel good. I can let loose.” It’s like I can have fun this way, but something changed in such a way that it was very natural. It wasn’t forced. I didn’t have to like suppress the desire even.

    John: Right. Yeah.

    Bill: And so, that’s why I feel like there’s no judgment in where anybody’s at in their journey. It’s something that just unfolds if it’s supposed to unfold, you know. So, that’s how it was for me.

    John: I love that, man. And so, do you feel like there’s a skillset that you bring to your work that comes from this? I mean an accidental byproduct. You know, it’s not why you do it clearly, but something that, you know what, this actually makes me better at my job.

    Bill: Well, yeah, a couple things. I mean, one is like I very much pay attention to taking care of my body through food, through trying to do healthy routines.

    Being on a decent sleep routine is something I struggle with, but I still kind of try to hold the reins on it a bit because, yeah, that’s gonna affect my performance and my mood. And so, I mean, that’s more on the physical side. You know, like meditation certainly is going to have an effect on my balance and my ability to just stay clear and productive. I mean that’s just in terms of like internal performance. But in terms of like working with people— Like bookkeeping, there’s a lot of technical aspects of that. But you know, on the more consulting side, helping people understand the reports, there is a lot there because money is an emotional subject.

    John: Very, very. And people don’t really understand it either, which is probably why it’s more emotional.

    Bill: Exactly. Totally. And being an entrepreneur can be very emotionally challenging as well. I almost call it like being an entrepreneur is like a psychospiritual journey.

    John: Yeah, it’s a journey. That’s for sure.

    Bill: Yeah. There’s so many challenges that we would never have to face if we were working for somebody. No judgment—

    John: No, no, no.

    Bill: …on those working for somebody. It is its own journey in its own way. Exactly.

    John: And you know when you step into the entrepreneurial sphere/arena, this is what you’re gonna deal with, you know. You mess with the bull, you get the horns. Sometimes the bull gets you. Sometimes you get the bull or whatever, you know, type of thing and yeah. And there’s pros and cons, but I love how much of that is spilled over into your business. I mean, even calling it Livestream Business Services, I mean that’s not a common name. I mean, clearly, when people approach you or are talking to you, they’re like “Well, that’s clearly from something. That’s based in something that’s pretty deep.”

    Bill: Yeah. I appreciate you noticing that. I did put a lot of thought into the name and I really wanted something that would metaphorically communicate what I feel is the essence of what I wanted to bring to my work, which is essentially, you know, whether it’s through bookkeeping or through my almost like software consultation services, which are kind of more dealing with business and money at a deeper emotional or even spiritual level. But really, the core of what I’d like to do is not only for my own self, but also for others to help us align with the principles of nature.

    John: Nice. I mean, you have a niche, you know, where if this isn’t for you, awesome because now we know way before we started talking because we’re not 6 months into a relationship or 2 years into a relationship where they’re like “Woah, woah, I don’t want any of that.” You know, like “Well, that’s what I do.” So, you know, like that’s how this works. And so, it’s for people that want that and that’s cool that you’re not vanilla down the middle of the road. “I’m for everybody.” It’s like “No, you’re not.” I mean, you’re for nobody in the end, you know.

    Bill: Yeah. Totally. I like being able to be sort of bring my whole self to my business in terms of not necessarily having to hide that part because it’s such a prominent part of myself, but it’s also I’m not pushing it on people. You know, I have like a graphic designer client or like, you know, another holistic client who maybe they don’t like go that deep with emotions or spirituality. Yeah, that’s fine. You know, I’m their bookkeeper, but like I kind of see where people are at. If I throw out a chrome and they’re not into that chrome, I don’t throw more chromes of that kind unless—

    John: “Open your mouth!”

    Bill: Yeah, I’m not that guy.

    John: “He’s involved. Eat it!”

    Bill: Totally.

    John: I mean, clearly now, it’s something that comes up, or you talk about, or it’s front facing. But throughout your career, is it something that— you know, sharing an “and” was part of who you were or was it later in your career that you started to share those outside-of-work things?

    Bill: You know, it’s interesting. It kind of gets into my journey in that I’ve always been afraid of the corporate world.

    John: Oh, okay.

    Bill: Like I went to a good school. It was a very corporate school. University of Rochester.

    John: Oh, yeah.

    Bill: I’m one of those guys who were becoming doctors or they were like being groomed for the corporate world and something in me was like “Am I really in the right place here?”

    John: So, for you, it’s almost the opposite where instead of people being in the corporate world and maybe sharing their “and”, you were in your “and.” Maybe sharing that you had a corporate side.

    Bill: Exactly.

    John: It’s the opposite.

    Bill: And you know, it’s funny. Totally. And I never really fully expressed that corporate side. Like I ended up going to a meditation retreat center and going like fully on into this really internal journey. But what I’m seeing now that I didn’t see 20 years ago or whatever it was— Yeah, 20 years ago I guess. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long. You know, with the changes that are happening with, you know, thought leaders like yourself where the corporate culture is becoming a lot more holistic minded and people can’t— you know, the corporate ideal where, you know, these companies are really there to nurture their employees, like I find that really encouraging.

    And you know, I wouldn’t be opposed to like jumping in with a stellar job with the corporation if the conditions were right. Whereas like before, I just can’t even conceive. It’s like does that even exist? And maybe I loved, it could have, but—

    John: Yeah. But it’s a needle in the haystack 20 years ago. And now, holistic as in, you know, work should not be a net extraction. It should be a net positive for the people. And so, it’s not like I go to work, and then they just suck everything out of me, and then I leave and then come back, and then they suck more out of me. You know, it’s like they should be putting in as well. Sure, some days or some weeks, “Look, it’s extraction time. You got to buckle down and nail it.” But at the end of the year, at the end of the quarter, whatever it is, it should still be a net positive for people. Yeah, I think that some people are starting to get it. I’m not sure if they know how to do that, but they want to at least. And so, you know, I do like how the tide is turning. And certainly, you know, there is opportunity there. And you know, if people are listening now and they’re like “I’ve never even thought about that”, well, now you’ve heard it. You can’t un-hear it, you know. So, there’s that too.

    Bill: There you go.

    John: Yeah, I love it, man. And so, do you have any words of encouragement to anyone that’s listening that has an end that they think no one’s gonna care or it has nothing to do with my job, so why talk about it?

    Bill: Yeah. A couple things. Actually, before I go into that, I wanna speak to what you just brought up ‘cause this is what I call the principle of mutual prosperity. The principle of mutual prosperity is really at the heart of any holistic way of doing business whether it’s corporate, or small business, or personal transactions; having an agreement with your landlord or with your tenant; it’s where we generate prosperity together. It’s that versus an extractive exchange. So, every transaction, every exchange results into happy parties rather than one feeling like “Ugh, that felt off, you know.” You know what I mean? And so, I feel like that’s a principle of nature. We see that nature in terms of symbiosis. Right? Our business relationships can be symbiotic where we’re helping each other. You know what I mean? So, I think that’s a mindset shift that’s happening. I don’t know if you’ve heard of like the permaculture movement.

    John: No, I haven’t actually.

    Bill: It’s fascinating. There’s ways of setting up a garden that different plants actually complement each other and enhance each other’s like performance. Or if you look at like an ecosystem, the system is set that these plants and animals are actually complementing each other and enhancing each other’s chances of survival. And so, as a corporate culture, if you can set up your company’s systems, and crews, and roles in such a way that you’re creating that symphony, it’s incredibly powerful. If you see like a beehive, you know, they’re incredibly productive. They’re working towards a common purpose. And you know, it’s very efficient. So, I feel like that’s the—

    John: No, I love it, man. I love it. that is so awesome. I mean, really a great way to wrap it up ‘cause, I mean, that’s so perfect. I love it. But I do feel like it’s only fair since I so rudely fired away at you with questions at the beginning that we flip the tables. This is the Bill Hershey podcast and you’re the host. I’m the guest. And you can ask me whatever you want, man. Here we go.

    Bill: Sweet. Okay. So, these are nature boy questions if you don’t mind.

    John: Okay. No, all good. Here we go.

    Bill: All right. So, what’s your favorite flower, John?

    John: Favorite flower, ooh, that’s gonna be a good one. I mean, gerbera daisies are always fun ‘cause they’re bright, and they’re colorful and all. That’s always a good one I guess. Yeah. I’ll go with that.

    Bill: Sweet.

    John: Yeah.

    Bill: Daisies are great. Awesome. What’s your favorite season of the year?

    John: Fall hands down. Fall. I mean, leaves are changing colors. That’s always awesome. College football’s happening. That’s always awesome. It’s not hot anymore. That’s especially awesome. Yeah, fall easily.

    Bill: Right on. So, what’s your favorite tree?

    John: Ooh, that’s a good one. Favorite tree, maybe I’ll go ginkgo maybe.

    Bill: Ginkgo, all right.

    John: The leaves are just so cool and like that’s probably why. I don’t know why.

    Bill: It’s good for the brain too.

    John: Oh, yeah. You’re right. It is good for the brain, which is ironic that I don’t know why. It’s like my brain isn’t working, but Ginkgo.

    Bill: Maybe it’s what you need. Maybe it’s calling for it.

    John: That’s exactly it. That’s exactly it. Yeah. So, there you go. It’s awesome. Those are great questions, man. Things I never thought about. So, that’s even better, but very cool. Thank you so much, Bill, for being a part of what you’re in. This was so much fun.

    Bill: Right on. Thank you for having me, John. It’s been amazing.

    John: Everyone listening, if you wanna see some pictures of Bill outside of work or maybe connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. Everything’s there. And while you’re on the page, please click that big button. Do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and don’t forget to read the book.

    So, thanks again for subscribing on Apple podcast 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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