Episode 481 – Ashley Dodge

Ashley is a Strategist & Dog Handler

Ashley Dodge, a Director at Bigwidesky, talks about her passion for being a dog owner and managing the Instagram page for her dog, Hans Gruber! She also shares how owning a dog has changed her perspective in clear communication in the office and how it has helped her live her best life outside of the office!

Episode Highlights
• “The Night I followed My Dog”
• Hans’ diagnosis
• How dogs are conversation starters and ice breakers
• How having a dog can help with consistency and communication
• Why leaders of an organization are important for setting a tone in culture

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    Welcome to Episode 481 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 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.

    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 audiobooks. It 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, Ashley Dodge. She’s the executive director of growth at Bigwidesky where they make brands more human, which I love. Absolutely awesome. And now, she’s with me here today. Ashley, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Ashley: Thank you for having me. I’m so excited.

    John: Yeah. This is gonna be a blast, but I do have some rapid-fire questions to get to know actually out of the gate here. We’ve hung out a couple times and I’ve never asked. And I feel like I probably should have.

    Ashley: Let’s have at it. What are the burning questions?

    John: Okay. Burning question. I’ll start maybe an easy one. A favorite color.

    Ashley: Green. Absolutely.

    John: Okay. Okay. Nice. How about a least favorite color?

    Ashley: Ooh, black. Because it always shows dog hair.

    John: There you go. It is so funny how the least favorite color is always wrapped around something clothing or like what looks good on me, so the dog hair. There you go.

    Ashley: Exactly.

    John: That’s hilarious. How about a TV show that you would binge watch?

    Ashley: I really don’t watch TV.

    John: Okay. No, fair enough. Fair enough. That’s awesome. Very good. I really don’t. It’s not just I don’t. I really don’t.

    Ashley: And I don’t even have a TV. I think the last one I binge watched was Peaky Blinders, but that was over a year ago.

    John: Yeah. Yeah. No, that’s a great show though, but yeah. Absolutely. How about puzzles? Sudoku, crossword, or jigsaw?

    Ashley: Oh, man. Probably Jigsaw.

    John: Okay. The picture.

    Ashley: Yeah. Very old school.

    John: No. Okay. How about favorite toppings on a pizza?

    Ashley: Pineapple.

    John: Oh, just pineapple. Okay.

    Ashley: Just pineapple. Yeah. I’m a vegetarian.

    John: There you go. I mean, cheese and sauce of course, but yeah.

    Ashley: Oh, yeah. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. The cheese is like required.

    John: Right. Yeah. I mean, the psychos with no cheese is like “What? What are you talking about?”

    Ashley: Even if it’s vegan cheese, it’s at least some kind of cheese, right?

    John: Yeah. Something that looks like it. Right? Yeah. Exactly. How about a favorite actor or actress?

    Ashley: Harrison Ford. I’ve always been a huge fan.

    John: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. He is always good in stuff. How about would you say more shower or bath?

    Ashley: Shower. I think only psychos take baths. Why are you just sitting in that? Like what? It’s like human soup.

    John: That’s hilarious. How about Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Ashley: Ooh, Star Wars definitely.

    John: Yeah. Me too, although that’s Harrison Ford. He’s not in Star Trek, so that answers that one.

    Ashley: Exactly.

    John: Right? Duh! How your computer, more of a PC or a Mac?

    Ashley: I’m a Mac user. I feel so unable to do anything on a PC. I’m always very confused.

    John: Huh? Interesting. I’m not cool enough to like go into a Mac store I don’t think. Like I just feel intimidated by the all white.

    Ashley: Microsoft does a really good job of making their brick and mortars look pretty legit too I feel like.

    John: Yeah. They’re coming around.

    Ashley: Right. But most people just still order things online these days. Right?

    John: Right. Exactly. It’s like how do you know they have a store? That’s amazing. How about a favorite season? Sumer, winter, spring, or fall?

    Ashley: Ooh, I really love spring because it’s been cold and windy. You finally get all the warmth that comes from spring. It’s magical especially in Colorado ‘cause you’ll have snow on the ground still and then crocus is popping up. It’s just such a magical contrast.

    John: Right. That is true. Yeah. And it’s like 55 and you’re wearing shorts. You’re like it’s so warm

    Ashley: It’s so warm.

    John: Right? How about a favorite ice cream flavor? I’m a huge ice cream junkie.

    Ashley: Ooh, I really love cake batter. I don’t like cake batter as itself. But as an ice cream, it’s my favorite.

    John: Right. Yeah. ‘Cause cake batter is kind of like what are you doing, but you make it an ice cream and it’s amazing.

    Ashley: Right.

    John: Right? It’s so weird how that is. Yeah. But no, that’s an excellent choice. How about early bird or more of a night owl?

    Ashley: Oh, I’m both unfortunately.

    John: Oh, wow.

    Ashley: Yeah. I like to wake up in the morning really early and wake my dog. But then at night, I also stay up pretty late.

    John: Wow.

    Ashley: I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

    John: Are you like taking a nap in the middle? Oh, you’ll sleep when you’re dead.

    Ashley: Yes. Oh, yeah. Oh, no. I definitely love naps. Yeah. A good 5 p.m. nap is great.

    John: Naps are so underrated. Yeah, naps are awesome. Yeah. So good. How about a favorite Disney character?

    Ashley: Mulan.

    John: Oh! Yeah! Very good.

    Ashley: She was like breaking stereotypes. I love it.

    John: Totally. Totally. How about a favorite number?

    Ashley: 13.

    John: Oh, really?

    Ashley: Yeah, it’s my birthday.

    John: Oh, okay. There you go. I just wasn’t sure how counter everyone you were trying to be, but at least you have a reason.

    Ashley: Yeah. If you can turn it into a lucky thing whatever people say it’s bad, I don’t have a choice. It’s always going to be my birthday. So, turn it into your lucky number.

    John: Right. We’re gonna make it happen. Okay. I got three more. When it comes to books, audio version, e-Book, or real book?

    Ashley: Oh, I really love real books. I both bought your real book, What’s Your “And”?, but then I also listened to it on audio.

    John: Oh, wow. And it is my voice. Right?

    Ashley: I will do both quite often. Right. It’s like it really was him. Oh, here’s a tricky one. How about a cheeseburger or pizza?

    Ashley: Ooh, pizza for sure.

    John: Oh, okay. Okay.

    Ashley: Yeah. That’s a very Denver question, right, ‘cause we got a lot of good burgers in town, but we also have—

    John: Yeah. Yeah. They got some fancy burgers going on here in some of the places in Denver. I just had one the other day. Fried bologna burger. So, it’s like fried Bologna cheeseburger patty, potato chips. It was nuts.

    Ashley: That’s a very American burger.

    John: And of course, I had to get it.

    Ashley: Yeah. You can’t not.

    John: Right? I was like, of course, I’m getting this. The fact you have other burgers on your menu was weird to me. There should just be this. Okay. Now, last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.

    Ashley: I think the favorite thing I have is a dog.

    John: Yeah. And what kind of dog is it?

    Ashley: He’s a lab mix.

    John: Oh, okay. All right.

    Ashley: He’s 90 pounds. His name is Hans Gruber. He’s named after the villain from Die Hard.

    John: Right. That is so great. And 90 pounds, which leads right into your “and”, so we might as well just talk about Hans and let’s get it going.

    Ashley: Yeah.

    John: Yes. So, did you grow up with dogs?

    Ashley: Yeah. When I was a little kid, I loved this book that is called The Night I followed my dog. And there’s this trend on social media right now where it’s like show us your childhood dream dog and then show us your dog. And a lot of people have dogs that they loved when they were kids and they were part of books. And now, they have it as an adult. And this book called The Night I Followed My Dog looks just like Hans. And so, it’s really funny because subliminally I was just like already making that decision 30 years later.

    John: Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah. And then when you’re an adult, it’s like, well, I can actually go get it. Like I can actually have a dog like that.

    Ashley: I’m the adult.

    John: Right? I know. It’s hard to remember that.

    Ashley: Yeah. He’s definitely my passion. He’s definitely where I spend most of my time and effort outside of work.

    John: That’s so fantastic. Like how long have you had him?

    Ashley: I got him in 2017 and we didn’t really know his birthday. So, we just gave him Alan Rickman’s birthday because it was easy to remember.

    John: That’s so great. That’s awesome. With Hans, is there like stuff you like to do with him? Because I feel like he’s pretty active for a dog.

    Ashley: Yeah.

    John: Like he’s living a good life.

    Ashley: He does. He has his own Instagram actually. And most of it is us going to get pastries or going on hikes or road trips, so yeah. Very enriching life.

    John: Right. That’s awesome. That’s so great. And so, is there like one of the more of fun trips that you feel like you’ve had with Hans?

    Ashley: Yeah. We went to Florida 3 years ago and I put him on a plane. He was doing therapy dog training. And so, it was pre— Like you know, they’ve updated the flight requirements. But really, he just needed to go through therapy dog training with a group called The Go Team basically, similar to that. And so, he did all the therapy dog training and then unfortunately he was diagnosed with heart failure at the age of 2. And I was like just devastated.

    John: Oh, my gosh.

    Ashley: And they were like he has 6 months to live. And so, I kind of treated him like a make a wish kid and said we are going to Florida. He is gonna swim with dolphins and that’s what we did. I just put him on a Frontier flight. They let him sit on the floor and then we flew. It was really pretty easy.

    And we just camped and then stayed at a hotel there for a couple days and it was magical. And I realize he’s great on planes, trains, and automobiles.

    John: There you go. There you go. That’s awesome and then he shattered that so like he’s—

    Ashley: Right.

    John: …healthy and—

    Ashley: Yeah. He’s basically lived 6 times the 6 months that he was given. So, it’s pretty awesome.

    John: Yeah.

    Ashley: Oh, yeah. Now, he’s 5.

    John: That’s such a cool story. Yeah. And like he’s telling all his friends like you’ll never believe. Just act like you’re gonna die in 6 months and you get to swim with dolphins.

    Ashley: It’s an elaborate ruse.

    John: Yeah. At the dog party, he’s like whispering to all the other dogs like “Hey, just try it.”

    Ashley: Just cough. Right? My mom has a little pond in her backyard and he loves to chase the catfish in the back of the pond. So, when he saw dolphins, he just thought that that was gonna be something similar. He started chasing after the dolphins that were pretty far away and was like “Oh, my gosh. Come back. Come back.”

    John: Right. Right. They’re bigger, and faster, and smarter.

    Ashley: Right.

    John: Yeah. You’re not gonna catch ‘em. This isn’t a pond. There’s no other side.

    Ashley: Right. He’s also great to like open up conversations with. Like I had to interview a recruiter for the foreign service in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. And I was like “You know, I have a master’s degree in international affairs, but I’ve never really used it because I don’t want to travel and have to give up my dog.” And he’s like “No. Dogs are the opposite actually. Your dog is the conversation starter. It’s how you meet the locals.” And I had never realized your pets can actually do a lot of the talking for you.

    John: Which is such a great point. And so, is this something that’s come up at work? Do people know about Hans?

    Ashley: Yeah. Unfortunately, I bring him with me everywhere. Because of his heart failure status, every day is a gift. Right? He doesn’t come on business meetings. But anytime I’m in the office, he’s just always there. And with everyone working from home all the time, I’m sure there’s plenty of your listeners also have similar relationships with their dogs or their co-workers during the day.

    John: Right. Right. Exactly.

    Ashley: You have a pup too.

    John: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Rocket. Yeah. He’s like a terrier mix like 34 pounds of awesome. And dogs are so smart. They learn your routine. Like you can’t see a clock or know time, but he knows when 5:00 hits. And he’s like pulling under your arm like get out of the chair like we’re done working for the day. And it’s just amazing how he’s so good at that.

    Ashley: And he runs like a rocket. He is so fast. My dog cannot keep up with him because Hans is 90 pounds of pure bulk and Rocket is just gonna do circles around him.

    John: Right. Yeah. Rocket’s fun at the dog park. That’s for sure. He’s not always the fastest dog, but he’s that combination of fast and sly.

    Ashley: Yes.

    John: Yeah. It’s hard to catch him. But that’s so cool like people know about Hands. Like you’re bringing him to work. Like you’re talking about him. Like you’re staring him like it’s a family member basically.

    Ashley: Absolutely. He also is good ice breaker sometimes because like people can really empathize with that. So, sometimes when you have a difficult conversation about to come up, he’s really good. He is a great introduction into that before.

    John: Taking hard stuff.

    Ashley: Exactly. Exactly. It’s like “Oh, let me tell you I’m a human. And at least my dog likes me, so you should too.”

    John: Just look at him. See?

    Ashley: Right? I can keep them alive like I promise. This project has hope.

    John: Yeah. Right. I’ll bring you to swim with dolphins too. We’ll all go swimming with dolphins. It’s like a thing. It’s what we do. Yeah. So, do you feel like— I mean, it sounds like it’s really cool like the ice breaker humanizes you with others as far as having that outside of work interest. Do you feel like there’s a skillset that you bring to work or maybe a different lens the way you look at things?

    Ashley: So, I’m sure you’ve experienced this with Rocket. But if you don’t have a certain level of consistency and clarity in the way that you communicate with your dog, they get confused about what they want you to do. And so, I think that dog training has really taught me a lot about how to be consistent, follow the same rules, and make sure that I’m clear about the words. So, sometimes I have a habit of instead of being like come here, I’ll be like “Come here. Hold my hand.” And he’ll just look at me like “What?” And so, I learned that I can’t just say certain things. He’s like you really have to be clear with your directions and they can be really smart and acquire more language. And like you said, they develop other aspects of your habits, but you really have to start at a very small basic level. And I think that the same can be said when you’re training how you interact with other people, is you have to be clear and concise and then you can build on those foundations.

    John: Right. No. That’s such a great point that I never really thought about because, yeah, we did dog training and I felt it was more human training than it was dog. It was more like teach me to say the same thing every time.

    And imagine if we sent new managers to dog training how much better managers would be communicating and just everything would be better. So, that’s such a great parallel. I never thought about that.

    Ashley: I’m always like “Why won’t he listen to me?” And the dog trainer for the first year was like “Are you excited to do this?” I’m like “No, but what I say matters. Right?” And he’s like “No. You can’t just say a command and he wants to do it. You have to have it be something that you’re excited about too because he can tell you don’t care either. So, you have to both be fully engaged in this experience and make it fun.” And it’s amazing how when I say come in a very flat term, but then if I say “come here, buddy; come here; come here” and you clap and you make it exciting, of course they’re gonna be excited. And I think the same can be said in any kind of professional around no matter what you do.

    John: Absolutely.

    Ashley: If it’s not fun, people disengage and then they’re like “Why do I care?”

    John: Right. Yeah. And sometimes work is not gonna be fun, but you can at least make it enjoyable. You can make it pleasant. You can talk about your Hans and then, okay, now we got to buckle down and get the work done. But no, I love that. That’s so fantastic. And I guess how much is it on the organization to create that space for people to be able to share their answer? How much is it on the individual to just kind of create that space there on their own?

    Ashley: Leaders have to use that as a primary value to say we care about you as a human being. At Bigwidesky, a lot of the work that we end up doing is actually trying to reintegrate appreciation for being human. And it’s funny that I’m talking about like how we have to appreciate dogs to appreciate our own humanity in some ways, but it really is true that there are so many ways that we kind of try to flatten people out in work and then we wonder why it’s not working. But if we actually allow people to be these dynamic wonderful human beings, then they’re able to thrive in the spaces that you have hired them for, but also in other spaces and really help the organization grow and thrive in ways that you haven’t even laid out in some sort of strategic plan, right, if they become stakeholders not only within the lane that you put them in and give them all of those tools and resources to succeed. But if you also give them and empower them to be these full human beings outside of work as well, they’re going to return to work with a lot more enthusiasm and dedication.

    John: Man, that was so good. So many good things there. Yeah. I mean, it’s basically “Are your people living their best life?”

    Ashley: Yeah.

    John: Because it used to be are my people doing their best work? And it’s like “Well, let’s go one step beyond that. And if you’re not living your best life, you’re not gonna be doing your best work. So, how about we focus on make sure that you’re living your best life? And then if you’re doing that, then the work is gonna happen.”

    Ashley: Exactly. I had a crisis of meaning in that way, right? Like I just didn’t really know what drove me in a lot of ways. I was just clocking in and clocking out. I was working in insurance. And everyone knows that that is not exactly the sexiest of industries. That can be really tiresome and feel kind of like you’re just shuffling money and paperwork around all the time. But bringing him into my life really enriched my day at the very beginning because instead of just going straight to work, I had to be outside for an hour and enjoy the sunshine and create new habits and structures into my day that really got me moving and excited about the day. And it changed everything about my life. The way I approach things, the way I want to live the most out of it. And if you think about dogs, like they have so much appreciation for loyalty and love no matter how much you’ve disappointed them in the past. They just always let you get another chance and I feel like if we could take that fresh approach to the people that we work with, I think that that lends itself well to getting a lot farther in whatever we end up at.

    John: That’s rich right there. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I bring Rocket to the vet and he’s not excited and then we come home and he’s like “Hey, let’s play.” And I’m like “Oh, man, I thought you were gonna be pissed for like a month.”

    Ashley: But they do remember the vet. I mean, there are certain people we can’t forget of, but Hans loves his vet. They do a really good job of making sure that he is making the most of that vet appointment because he’s terrified there.

    John: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No. But it’s so good of just giving people the benefit of the doubt. They’re trying their best. And if they’re not, then coach them. And if you’re able to talk with them about their “ands” before and after just in life on a regular basis, then when you do have to pull them aside, that critical feedback isn’t so critical now because it’s just 1 out of 10 conversation where it’s a hard conversation. The other 9 are awesome. So, it shows I care sort of a thing.

    Ashley: And it makes it harder to flatten out your coworkers too.

    So, when things aren’t going well, you can’t be like “Well, he just does X, Y, and Z.” It’s like they’re a whole human outside of the sphere that you’re interacting with them as. And so, it’s easier to be empathetic and invested in their success as well.

    John: Yeah. Because, I mean, you hire the whole person, not just the technical skills part that’s doing the work. So, how about we learn about and shine the light on the whole person type of thing? It’s so confusing to me why that isn’t the default mode.

    Ashley: I think it really is in higher level executive things, but I think that it makes it safer to do it when you think of other people maybe below you as them just being a resume. Right? But I think executives do it all the time. Right? They bond less over the spreadsheets of profit margin. They bond over what watch they both like, or the kind of sports car they have, or whatever it is. Whiskey. They don’t actually apply that more robustly within the organization like they should. But I think when it comes to executives connecting with other executives, that’s already built in. They just need to apply and extend that throughout the organization.

    John: Yeah. Make it vertical because it’s more horizontal like in your peer group. But when a staff person walks in, ooh, everybody acts serious because we’re supposed to be whatever. And it’s like “What are you doing? Like stop. No.” That’s the time to actually not do it more. So then, people “below” you in different titles see that as well.

    Ashley: There’s a book called Creativity Inc. where he talks about how when Pixar and Disney merged, they made a lot of changes to flatten themselves out too, and the things that had been previously celebrated we’re kind of torn down and it caused a friction with morale, but then they realized leadership wasn’t asking them to do that. So, I think it goes back to your question of is it the responsibility of the staff or leadership. I think we just have to have these conversations. I think that’s the actual starting point, is if you are a leader, yes, it is your responsibility. If you’re a staff member, yes, it’s your responsibility. And we all just should take ownership of that.

    John: Right. Yeah. And a lot of times too like organizations that have done work on implementing a better culture— And you know, sometimes a younger staff person has a great idea that leadership is like “I never even thought of that.” Yeah, do it, you know. But if you never say anything, then no one’s gonna know. And so, bring it up. Why not? And I mean, worse case scenario, they say “No, we’re not doing that.” And then it’s up to you to decide if you’re in the right place.

    Ashley: Exactly.

    John: Right? But you know, if you don’t say anything, then they’re not gonna know and not everybody thinks the same way that we all do individually. And so, you know, make it a cool place to be. I love that so much. And so, I guess before we wrap this up, do you have any words of encouragement to someone that maybe has an “and” or that they feel like has nothing to do with my job, so no one’s gonna care?

    Ashley: I think that you’re right. You just have to have a little courage and you don’t have to tell everyone right away and just do this big reveal of this is my “and.” You can start it off as like a slow reveal with someone that you feel like you’ve build trust and rapport with, and things naturally spread too. I think that your book really captures that in a lot of ways of how you said “Oh, I’ll find out has someone heard about my career even though I’ve never personally interacted with them as a comedian, but like word got around.” And so, if you find the people that you really trust that feel like a safe person to share your “and” with, do it and just continue pursuing your passions.

    John: I love that. So many good nuggets in here. So many good nuggets. But I feel like I rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning of the episode. So, I feel like it’s only fair that we turn the table and make this the first episode of the Ashley Dodge podcast, and I’m your guest. So, whatever questions you have for me, I’m on the hot seat.

    Ashley: Ooh, I love it. Thank you so much for letting me pepper you with questions now. The #1 thing I’ve been really thinking of is the passing of Louis. He was a comedian that I remember his cartoon when I was a kid.

    John: Oh, yeah.

    Ashley: And so, when I was reading in your book, you said that you had opened for him and he took a chance on you. And so, I would love to hear a little bit more of that story because I think when people pass, it’s important to honor the ways that they’ve transformed your life and opened doors for you.

    John: Yeah. Louie Anderson, so funny. I mean, legendary comedian. The Life with Louie cartoon of course. He hosted The Family Feud, all this. And then I had a friend who was working with him a little bit and like helping run some things behind the scenes. And so, when I lived in Indianapolis, he was doing a casino in Southern Indiana. And so, he was like “Yeah, John, come open for me and whatever.” And so, he went down and did like 15 minutes at the top. And he was like “Hey, that was good.”

    I mean, I was so new. I was so new like I should not have, but then like I don’t know. 9 months later, he was gonna do two huge shows in Atlantic City at the Borgata, which is like a thousand-seat theater. I mean, it’s huge. And so, he’s like “Come out and open for me.” There was like private school in Connecticut that we did on a Thursday night for like a charity kind of thing and that was like crazy high dollar things and then we drove from there in the night with my buddy to Atlantic City. And that was one of the funniest things I’ve ever been a part of. Like we laughed for 3 hours nonstop. Just straight laughter. And then at like 1 a.m., we pull into like an oasis on the turnpike. And we go inside to like Burger King. We order. And Louis is like “I’m gonna go to the bathroom.” And then like the guy puts our food together and he’s like “Oh, I charged you for a large fries and I just give you a small fries. Let me get in the register and get you your money back.” “I think we’re good. I think we’re good like Louis doesn’t need an extra $1.50. Just you guys keep it. Like knock yourselves out.”

    So then, we get to Atlantic City. My parents flew in and Louis was like make sure they got like VIP treatment and like a suite at the Borgata and stuff. And yeah, he was just so generous and so kind. And like his goal for his comedy was to only talk 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time, he wanted to be acting something out or the audience laughing, which is really, really hard to do. I mean, normally, it’s 90% talking. And he was just so good at that and just so generous and like he was really big on like no negative self-talk. So, if you said anything that was even remotely cutting on yourself or whatever, he would be like “Stop. You can’t do… Say the opposite. Like you have to say the opposite now.” But yeah, so generous, and so kind, and absolutely hilarious. I mean, just such a funny guy. So yeah, it was just cool to have those opportunities when I was so new. I mean, I was so new in my comedy career just to be able to do that. And he would meet everyone and just say hi to everyone. Yeah, he was just super cool. Yeah. It’s just neat to give other people those opportunities as well because we’re all kind of in our own journey here.

    Ashley: Oh, that is such a great answer. One more question I have for you though is when you experience that, did you commit that into your head of like this is how I will open doors for other people because you continue to do that countless ways with having a podcast and giving people an opportunity to share their “ands”, but it seems like it’s informed kind of how you do business too?

    John: You know, I’m not consciously— I don’t think, but probably subconsciously, yeah. You know, it’s just looking at the people that gave me opportunities and it’s like “Well, you know, why not?” You know, we’re all doing our own thing in our own lane and making it happen and why not help each other out? The world is so big and we’re all doing our own thing. This is not a competition at all. And you know, we can all be successful. So, probably subconsciously that definitely creeped in clearly. So, yeah, I appreciate you saying that though.

    Ashley: Thank you so much.

    John: Awesome. Well, this has been so much fun, Ashley. And I just appreciate you being a part of What’s Your “And”?

    Ashley: Thank you. I appreciate it as well.

    John: If everybody wants to see some pictures of Hans and Ashley or maybe connect with her on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. Everything is 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 check out 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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