Episode 505 – Maggie Johndrow

Maggie is a Wealth Manager & Tennis Player

Maggie Johndrow, managing partner of Johndrow Wealth Management, talks about how she got into tennis at an early age, coming back to it after 15 years, how her skills in tennis translate into her career, and much more!

Episode Highlights
• Getting into tennis
• Why she stopped playing in college
• Skills from tennis she applies to her career
• Leading by example
• Why a change in company culture should come from the organization
• Passion hours

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Transcript

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    Welcome to Episode 505 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 award-winning book on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. It was so kind of The Independent Press Awards to name it a distinguished favored a couple of months ago. Really, really cool honor. And the book goes more in depth with the research behind why these outside work of passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. And I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it and then writing such great 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 Maggie Johndrow. She’s the managing partner of Johndrow Wealth Management just outside New York City. And now, she’s with me here today. Maggie, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Maggie: Thanks, John. I’m really excited to be here.

    John: Yeah. This is gonna be so much fun, but let’s do some rapid fire questions, get to know Maggie out of the gate. So hopefully, your seatbelt is buckled, hands inside the car at all times. All right, here we go. How about a favorite color?

    Maggie: Black. Yeah, I know. I know. But as a former New Yorker, I feel like wearing all black is the uniform.

    John: Are there other colors?

    Maggie: No. There really aren’t. Unless they’re on your purse or your shoe, you can have another color. But otherwise, it’s black.

    John: That’s awesome. It’s so good. How about a least favorite color?

    Maggie: Orange. I despise orange.

    John: Okay. Fair enough.

    Maggie: It’s tough. I just I don’t know why it’s like aggressive. And the worst part is my mother-in-law loves orange. It’s her favorite color. So you know, she has a lot of orange in her home when I visit.

    John: Right.

    Maggie: Yeah. We fight on that one, but black and orange is Halloween.

    John: Right. Exactly. I was gonna say it’s like Halloween for her all the time.

    Maggie: All the time.

    John: How about are you more of a talk or text?

    Maggie: I prefer a talk to be honest. I grew up in the generation where texting just started coming out when I was a teen or going into college. There’s nothing like a good talk. And sometimes I’m driving a lot to go see clients. And so, I’ll always call someone hands free being safe of course and just having that long talk with a good friend is good for the soul.

    John: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s so much better and faster too sometimes because if there’s gonna be a back and forth more than three times, I’m calling you. I feel like this is dumb.

    Maggie: Or sometimes it’s like lost in translation, right? Like I’ve said something that I thought was funny and the person on the other hand thought I was being rude. And I was like “Oh, no, that’s not what I meant at all.

    John: Actually, it’s rude you didn’t think I was funny.

    Maggie: Yes.

    John: So actually, now I’m angry.

    Maggie: Exactly. Who’s more mad?

    John: Right? It’s very northeast of you. I think you know I’m angry that you’re angry.

    Maggie: And if we’re gonna be northeast about it, we’re just gonna bury and not talk about it.

    John: Right. Exactly. Oh, my goodness, that’s so good. So good. How about a favorite movie of all time?

    Maggie: You know, I’m not a really big movie watcher in general. And my husband loves movies. And so, you know, he’s trying to introduce me to them more. Okay, you’re gonna laugh. But really recently, I watched the Disney movie, Luca. We don’t have kids I just put it on with my husband.

    John: Yeah.

    Maggie: We loved it.

    John: Yeah, that counts.

    Maggie: So I wouldn’t say that’s my favorite movie probably, but I did love it and it’s what came to mind.

    John: It’s a good one that’s top of mind, so that counts. Yeah, it’s hard to argue that for sure. How about puzzles? Sudoku, Crossword, or a Jigsaw puzzle?

    Maggie: I like the Wordle.

    John: Oh, okay.

    Maggie: The New York Times Wordle. Do you know what I’m talking about?

    John: Yeah. Absolutely.

    Maggie: So I guess that’s more like a crossword if I were to choose that of those three.

    John: Yeah, it’s a puzzle. Wordle is your answer. That works.

    Maggie: I love that.

    John: Totally awesome.

    Maggie: Every day, it doesn’t take a long time and you can’t get too addicted to it because it’s once a day, you know.

    John: Yeah. Exactly. That’s key right there. How about a favorite animal? Any animal?

    Maggie: I love the foxes. I just think they’re super majestic, and they’re kind of you know loners, and they get things done. I just love that, but they also remind me of dogs. So I have to give a shout out to my dog, Ziggy. He’s my favorite person or animal I guess.

    John: Okay. There you go. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, no, totally. That’s awesome. That totally counts. Totally counts. How about more Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Maggie: You’re gonna laugh, but I never saw Star Trek in my life.

    John: Okay. No. That totally counts.

    Maggie: So it’s definitely Star Wars, which I like a lot.

    John: Like default.

    Maggie: So there you go, by default, but I also like Star Wars. I know people in this podcast are gonna be like “What?”

    John: Right. No.

    Maggie: Yeah, I never watched it.

    John: No. Well, you know, it happens. I feel like at least Star Trek there’s the movies, there’s the shows, there’s maybe more ways that you could have accidentally stumbled upon it, but Star Trek counts like totally. How about your computer? More PC or a Mac?

    Maggie: PC. So, just being in the finance world, I think when I was in Wall Street it was all PC, and you kind of get used to it. And I would say that like Microsoft Office is better than I think the Mac Office, right, if I’m an Excel junkie. So I do prefer PC, but Macs have their place. I like them as well.

    John: Yeah. Yeah. Just in case they’re listening.

    Maggie: Yeah. Exactly.

    John: Yeah.

    Maggie: I have an iPhone. Don’t come after me.

    John: Right. Exactly. I have a simulated— I’m part of the Matrix. So your toilet paper roll, over or under?

    Maggie: I’m not one of those that’s picky. I think I inevitably put it under, but I don’t care. I know it’s a big fight. Yeah. When my husband and I were getting married, they told us that we’d fight about it the most, and we have not ’cause I don’t care.

    John: That’s good. That’s good. There are some people that will change it.

    Maggie: I heard.

    John: Like if they come to visit you, they’ll flip it around. It’s like you probably won’t even notice.

    Maggie: That was insane. Maybe people do that, but I have no idea.

    John: Right. Exactly. I got more important things to worry about.

    Margie: If you’re a friend and you’re listening, please tell me.

    John: This is more of an intervention, Maggie, than anything.

    Maggie: There you go.

    John: And the show is over. That was it.

    Maggie: That’s the reason I was here.

    John: Right. Exactly. How about a favorite ice cream flavor?

    Maggie: I love the chocolate chip cookie dough.

    John: Oh, yeah.

    Maggie: Kind of classic, but I love the cookie dough pieces. It’s definitely my favorite. Can’t go wrong.

    John: It’s good. It’s always good. This is a fun one that someone threw at me a while ago and I like to bring it back. Socks or shoes?

    Maggie: Is barefoot announcer?

    John: Yeah! Totally an answer. Neither. Yeah.

    Maggie: Neither.

    John: That totally counts.

    Maggie: I feel like that’s been my answer for all of these things. No, I have to say probably shoes. But in my home, I don’t wear either. So I’m kind of most comfortable barefoot, but I guess outside you need shoes.

    John: Yeah. Unless you’re on a beach I guess.

    Maggie: Yeah.

    John: And shoes maybe are more fun. I feel like guys have fun socks.

    Maggie: Oh, I have some really fun shoes. Yeah. So like I said, I wear all black, but I have really fun shoes and colorful purses. So yeah, shoes for sure.

    John: There you go. How about what’s a typical breakfast?

    Maggie: I like to do smoothies, so I’ll do like almond milk and I’ll put in protein powder. Sometimes that’s enough or I’ll put in some fruits with that as well. So usually, that’s what I’ll do. Yeah.

    John: That works. You have the wealth management. What’s more fun, mutual funds or bonds?

    Maggie: Oh, mutual funds. Oh, man, especially right now. Bonds are so dismal.

    John: Right.

    Maggie: They’re not doing very well for anybody.

    John: Like a savings account almost.

    Maggie: I know. I know. And in some cases, like worse than a savings account with interest rates rising, but I won’t bore your listeners. I’ll stop there. I’m going on and on.

    John: No, no, no, but I knew that would be a fun one just to throw at you like there you go. How about a favorite number?

    Maggie: 12.

    John: 12. Is there a reason?

    Maggie: No. I picked it when I was a kid. I think I liked it because it was even. I prefer even numbers.

    John: Oh, okay.

    Maggie: And I just it out as a kid, and I’ve always liked 12. 12 or 2.

    John: Yeah. Good number. How about books? Audio version, e-Book, or a real book?

    Maggie: I love a real book. Actually, during the pandemic, I started reading again, so there’s another and for you. I was an avid reader. I stopped because of work. I got busy. And then the pandemic, you were home. So I made it a mission starting in 2020 to read one book a month. And I’ve kept that up. So I’ve read one book a month, but I do count out audiobooks as well because, like I mentioned, I’m on the road a lot, so an audio book is really convenient and I love a good story. But if I had a choice, I like to sit down with a real book.

    John: Yeah. For sure. We got two more. Since in your New York City area, different toppings on a pizza? Load it up.

    Maggie: I like a white pizza actually. So I know that’s probably like sacrilegious for some. So I love when like you put on some spicy sausage on there, some really good cheese. I love even like a goat cheese on there. And I love veggies. So you know, peppers, onions sounds to me.

    John: Oh, man. I’m starving right now just from hearing this. That’s so good. So good. And the last one, the favorite thing you have ever the favorite thing you own.

    Maggie: My favorite thing I own, I really mentioned it on the podcast, but can my dog count as my favorite thing I own?

    John: Yes! It totally counts. I didn’t wanna say it is part of the question. That totally counts. And what kind of dog is he?

    Maggie: So he’s a rescue dog actually. We unfortunately lost our first rescue to illness. And so, 6 months later, Ziggy really needed a home. You know, I wasn’t sure if my heart was ready. But you know, he tugged at my heartstrings. He’s all black like my favorite color.

    John: There you go.

    Maggie: And he looks like a Lab, but he’s a mix of Lab, Hound, some Shepherd. And he’s really cute.

    John: That’s awesome. That’s so cool. So cool. So yeah. So let’s talk sports and more specifically tennis. How did you get started with tennis? Is it something you’ve been doing since you were little?

    Maggie: Yeah. So I started my father enrolled me in tennis lessons when I was like 6 years old. And it was something that he and I did always together. No one else really played. There was a point in time where my father had to make kind of a decision. The suggested “Oh, maybe you can send your daughter down to like the Florida training camp.” So if anyone saw the recent Serena and Venus Williams like movie, King Richard, you’d see they went down there. And my dad was like “No. Most people don’t make it. This is gonna be a hobby for her. I want her to just focus on school.” So I just ended up playing most of my life. I probably was not talented enough to go further, but it was kind of cool to say that when I was younger, someone did approach me to do that. But yeah, I started playing when I was young.

    John: Yeah! I mean, at 6. I mean, it’s like wow. I mean. If you watch a soccer field with 6-year-olds, it’s just a massive— like a Hornet’s nest of just running around. I mean, you’re out there playing tennis. It’s like “What?” That’s impressive.

    Maggie: Yeah. I think the rackets is like bigger than your head. When you’re a kid, it’s actually really cute.

    John: Yeah. That’s cool.

    Maggie: You know, I definitely have a people pleasing personality for better or for worse, so I can’t say I love tennis when I was 6, but my dad really wanted me to love it. So I like begrudgingly would go to my lessons like dragging my tennis racket behind me.

    John: Literally.

    Maggie: But I’d have to say I’m so grateful that I can play because now it’s such a stress relief for me now.

    John: Yeah. And it’s something that you’ve been playing ever since?

    Maggie: So, no. Basically, you were in New York City. I think when we first met, we talked about it. It was really hard to play when I lived in New York, and I lived there for a decade. First off, there were no courts available. And if you did get a court, they were expensive. And frankly I didn’t really have many folks to play with. There’s not like leagues or anything. So once I moved out to the suburbs of New York where I am now in Fairfield, Connecticut, I knew I wanted to start playing again. So I looked up a couple of local places and just started in clinics and kinda haven’t looked back since, but it was interesting. I was on a walk with my neighbor and I was mentioning to her they I play tennis. She goes “Oh, I didn’t know you did that.” And we had this conversation because she was a softball player. Similarly, started when she was 5, could have played D1 or played in college and stopped. And similarly, I stopped in college even though I too could have had the opportunity to maybe play in college.

    John: Sure.

    Maggie: It’s something that was such a big part of our identity for so long. It was really cool to hear her feel the same way and then you stop. And I never stopped thinking of myself as a tennis player, but I certainly wasn’t for like 15 years. I guess it’s a good lesson. You can always pick it back up in a way. That’s why we have these hobbies. It’s just to do them for ourselves.

    John: Totally. And I love how you said that of, you know, I never stop thinking of myself as a tennis player. I just wasn’t playing tennis. ‘Cause you can be a tennis player. I mean, you know, Serena Williams isn’t playing tennis 24/7. I mean, there’s actually times where she’s not playing tennis. In your time, it just happened to be 10 years. You know? But you’re still a tennis player. That’s still a part of who you are. You can’t take that away. And so, that’s really powerful to recognize that.

    Maggie: It is. And I think for a while, I didn’t mention that I played because I hadn’t played in so long. And my neighbor said the same thing. She’s like “Yeah, I don’t call myself a softball player, but yet I definitely think of myself as one.” So again, I encourage people to keep that as part of their identity. And I was very intimidated to start again a couple years ago. You know, I didn’t know how good I’d be or how bad or it would be embarrassing. But ultimately, everyone is starting again I feel in these adult leagues in some way, shape, or form. Right?

    John: Yeah.

    Maggie: So everyone was really open minded, and it led to me meeting new people in the new town I was in, and it’s been awesome.

    John: Just watch out for the 6-year-olds. They’ll sneak up on you.

    Maggie: Oh, they will. Yeah.

    John: I don’t wanna play any of them because they’ll beat me and it will be terrible.

    Maggie: Well, the first time I ever beat my dad was a sad moment for him that’s for sure.

    John: Right? Right? He’s like “I was kind of letting you at first, but then I had to try and then you won.” It’s like “Oh!”

    Maggie: Exactly. Exactly. I think any parent who has a kid can appreciate that when the student surpasses the teacher.

    John: Yeah. And then it’s like “Er, uh, uh-oh.” That’s really cool though, but like do you have any more rewarding moments or some of your favorite moments besides the first time beating your dad? I’m sure it ranks up there.

    Maggie: Yeah. Kind of in the context of What’s Your “And”?, it’s so funny. You know, we don’t have a lot of service when I play tennis. We’re in this like bubble, and you can’t really check your cell phone. So walking in, I was checking an email for work because I do take an hour out of my work day to do this once a week.

    John: Nice.

    Maggie: Yeah. Because it’s the only time everyone complies, so it’s on my calendar. You know, my colleagues know that I can’t have a meeting at that time, but I walked in and I got this annoying email from a client that really made me mad.

    So I came in, couldn’t respond (I had no service), and I started playing. And all of the women that I play with started laughing and they’re like “You should get more bad e-mails. This is the best you’ve played yet.” So, you know, that was a good moment I felt because I was like “You know what? This clearly showed I should be doing this more because it’s getting my frustration out.”

    John: Yeah. Right? I mean, at the very least, it gives you a break from more work or a reactionary response. Do you feel like there’s other skills that come to work from your tennis playing?

    Maggie: Yeah. Absolutely. So it was funny. As I mentioned to you, I was kind of talking to my husband. I said, “I don’t know. I have a lot of hobbies. Which one should I talk about?” And he was like “You should definitely talk about tennis” because— He goes “At work, you’re really collaborative.” Right? I’m always listening a lot to my clients or collaborating together with maybe other professionals on their financial plans or their investments. I have to be really collaborative at work, and tennis is the one place where I’m super independent, right, because I’m playing by myself. You’re on your own team.

    There’s no one else on your team unless you’re playing doubles. There’s only one other person on your team. And I think it develops a different side of me that’s also important because now I own my firm and I have to be that leader. And so, to make those really quick decisions on the court, right, and it’s amazing when you’ve done something for a long time, I know where the ball’s is supposed to go. I know what I did wrong when the ball doesn’t go there. I can see the openings. I think that’s something that you learn when you’ve done something for a long time.

    So tennis has allowed me to remind myself to be independent and to trust what I know, which is important for work. It allows me to develop a part that I don’t use as much at work or have in the past, but need to now. And lastly, I think it reminds me to be a little humble. I played tennis since I was 6 years old. So yeah, now I can tell where the ball is supposed to go and why, but it took me a long time to develop that. So, you know, in a new role where you’re managing a lot of new people, it might take a little bit of time before you know how to make that shot.

    John: That’s awesome. And even when you do know, sometimes it doesn’t go.

    Maggie: It doesn’t go.

    John: We’re human, you know.

    Maggie: Yeah. Exactly.

    John: It’s like “What do you want from me?”

    Maggie: Exactly. Exactly.

    John: That’s, man, so powerful. And I mean, it’s not why you play tennis, but it’s cool that there’s these byproducts that spill over into work because you are a tennis player. I mean, for you to go to work not as a tennis player as part of that would be crazy. Like you can’t do that. You can’t unwind it out, you know.

    Maggie: Absolutely. And I mean, it’s opened up conversations with my team to say “What do you like to do?” Right? So I learned that a team member loves taking walks with her dog and also being on her spin bike and another one likes rock climbing. Another one is doing aqua aerobics. It facilitated this conversation of like “Oh, yeah, I have hobbies too.” And the fact that they’re seeing me kind of the leader of the team take time out during the day to do that, you know, if any of them came to me and said “Hey, I would love to like leave early once a week to go rock climb”, I’m sure we can figure a way to do that.

    So I think it’s so important to lead by example. Perhaps in the past I didn’t have those sorts of examples where you could do that, which also led me to not be able to play tennis, for example, when I was in New York, but it’s so important to be that leader and show your colleagues that it is important to do these other things. So it’s facilitated conversations and encourage others to pick up their hobbies.

    John: I love that so much, so much because you’re right. I mean, I remember when I graduated from Notre Dame, started PricewaterhouseCoopers, and then you start to model behavior of the partners because that’s “success.”

    Maggie: Yeah. That’s your track.

    John: Yeah. And then a little bit in, I started to be like “Well, this isn’t actually me. Like there’s more to me that I can bring to this than whatever going through the motions I’m doing right now.” And so, it’s really powerful for leaders to remember what it was like to be 22, and graduating college, and getting your first corporate job, and how influenced you were by those leaders, and how influencing for good you could do now. And I love that you recognize that and are doing that. That’s really cool.

    Maggie: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s kind of what I always say when you’ve had moments where you wish it was different, you take those experiences and apply them, and hopefully create a better work environment for your people, for your colleagues. So yeah, it’s really important. Absolutely.

    John: No, I love that so much. And I guess how much is it on the organization to create that space or how much is it on the individual to maybe just with their peers start a little small circle?

    Maggie: Yeah. I mean, I think if your organization doesn’t have leaders doing that, then you don’t think you can. Right? So definitely needs to come from the top, at the very least a very honest conversation saying “Hey, it’s okay if you leave work on time, God forbid.”

    John: Right?

    Maggie: “Or leave a little bit early. Just keep the lines of communication open and go and pursue what you wanna do. I’m not saying forget about your work.”

    John: Oh, not at all. Not at all.

    Maggie: “But I am saying create that space rather for the ability to do your hobbies.” And again, like it facilitated these conversations. Now, I’m not gonna force somebody to go and do their hobby, but they know that if they wanted to, they could come to me and we could talk about it.

    John: Yeah. No. I mean, it’s so important, but imagine if— Like this is my dream, is where like the organizations that have like billable hours or whatever where there’s actually passion hours. Like you have a minimum number of passion hours that you hit a year because if you’re not playing tennis enough, then you’re not good at your job. Period. And you know, that matters.

    Maggie: Totally. I mean, I’ve heard of firms that actually tell folks that don’t take their vacation— They penalize them almost for not taking their vacation.

    John: Right. Similar. Yeah.

    Maggie: Similar. I mean, if you’re burnt out, if you’re not doing things that make you happy, then what’s the point of the office, right? And you’re certainly not gonna bring your best self to work. So I love that idea, you know, of passion hours. And not to mention, there are great opportunities when you are doing your hobbies. So for example, I met several women when I was playing tennis and we decided to have a kind of wine and hors d’oeuvres night one day after tennis. And then inevitably, the conversation turned around to what do you do and people found out I manage money and financial plan. And all of these questions came up about that. So I got to do my job while doing something that I also loved. And I think that that happens more often than not. I mean, traditionally, you’ll hear about folks on the golf course making deals or whatever, but I think that there’s a lot of other ways these days where you can—

    John: Always.

    Maggie: …have these conversations.

    John: Absolutely. Because, I mean, that’s the thing, is you know who else is human? Clients and coworkers.

    Maggie: 100%.

    John: And they have other dimensions to who they are just like you. And if you can create that connection on an outside of work thing, I find that it’s stronger, number one. But number two, the work conversation then so much easier and less awkward, you know. It’s not sales-y. It’s “Hey, we’re both tennis friends. And now, we’re just hanging out talking.”

    Maggie: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. I like you said, I think it makes such a deep relationship with clients too. So one of my colleagues, Anne, is crocheting. Right? So she does these beautiful crochet pieces, and she started making little baby booties. And now, we send them to our clients when they have a grandchild or when they have a child.

    John: Perfect. Yes.

    Maggie: Do you know what a conversation starter that is and how meaningful that is for people? It’s just something she started doing on the side when she was pursuing her hobbies and her passion. So to your point, I think it’s a great conversation starter, a great connector, and can really just create lasting relationships.

    John: I mean, how many other wealth management companies are sending handmade internally baby booties when you have a new baby? Like yours and that’s it. I think it’s a list of one. But you know, somebody else wants to make cookies. Here’s cookies. But the person who’s doing the crocheting is lighting up and excited, and then the person who is getting it is excited. You’re excited. Like it’s a win, win, win all around. Man, that’s so perfect. I love that so much. That’s awesome. That’s so great. And so, I guess do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that has an and maybe feels like no one’s going to care because it has nothing to do with my work?

    Maggie: Yeah. I mean, I sort of felt that way when I asked to be on here. I said, “Oh, tennis is—” I said that to you. “That’s not that special.” But as we started talking, it’s very clear how special it is to me both for stress relief, connector, meeting new people, and developing skills. So I would say don’t sell yourself short. I also would say if your and was something you did a long time ago, it’s never too late to get back on it as my story shows you. It’s truly the thing I look forward to most every single week. And so, give it a shot. I’m sure there’s a local parks and rec or something that you can try.

    John: That’s great. That’s so perfect. You’re good at your job. You like your job, all that, but what you look forward to is the and. And we’re all just being honest here. Everyone has those things. So I love that so much. And I feel like before we wrap this up though, it’s only fair that I turn the tables and make this the first episode of The Maggie Johndrow Podcast.

    Maggie: There you go.

    John: So yeah, I’m all yours. You’re the host. Fire away.

    Maggie: Okay. So the way we connected is that you use to also live in New York.

    John: Yeah.

    Maggie: So my question is twofold. One, what was your favorite thing about living in New York? And two, and it might be the same thing, what do you miss the most?

    John: Oh, yeah, it is gonna be the same thing. And it’s pizza and bagels. Oh, man. Yeah, I don’t know if it’s the water or what. But man, it’s so much better in New York.

    Maggie: I hear that it is the water or some people think. My in-laws live in Florida part time. And apparently, there’s someone down in Florida literally shipping the water in from New York to try to recreate bagels.

    John: Yeah.

    Maggie: So you’re not alone in that.

    John: Right. And no, that’s definitely what I miss the most, is pizza and bagels. The other food is still good, but you can get a good steak and you can get good Italian, but the pizza and bagels, which, yeah, so good.

    Maggie: Yeah, that’s great. And so, I guess now you’re out in Colorado. What do you like the most about there?

    John: Colorado… That’s a great question. It’s quiet.

    Maggie: Very not New York.

    John: The sun is always out. Yeah, very not New York. It’s always sunny. It’s like 300+ days of sunshine.

    Maggie: Wow.

    John: And there’s no humidity. That is my favorite part of it. I didn’t realize because I grew up mostly Midwest, East Coast. I know, in the summer, humidity is gross because you sweat more and whatever. But in the winter, humidity is what makes it feel like bone chilling cold ’cause here in Denver, it could be 35 degrees and it’s a dry cold, which I didn’t know was a thing. And I’ll be wearing a T-shirt and a puffer coat and be totally fine in the 30s because sun’s out, there’s no humidity, and it’s great.

    Maggie: Wow.

    John: And Denver is also like against the mountains. So up in the mountains, it gets a ton of snow. But in Denver, not as much. It’s pretty moderate. So we definitely get snow, but not the kind of snow that sticks around for 2 weeks like in New York.

    Maggie: Oh, wow. Wow. I didn’t realize that because I ski a lot. And so, I always think of Colorado is lots of snow, so I didn’t realize the city can get as much.

    John: Up in the mountains, totally.

    Maggie: Yeah.

    John: Yeah. Yeah. And then the roads and the sidewalks melt pretty quickly because they’re warm from the sun, and it’s like a movie set. It’s kind of funky.

    Maggie: That’s incredible.

    John: Yeah.

    Maggie: Another question. Skiing, or snowboarding, or some other winter sport?

    John: Yeah. Snowboarding for me. I feel like skiing is too many X, Y, Z axes like on both legs where snowboarding at least we’re both locked in, and it’s pretty much like wrists and knees are going to be what goes, but yes, snowboarding for me.

    Maggie: My sister-in-law was telling me she’s tried both, and she liked snowboarding better too for the same reason. Too many moving limbs, right? And she’s like “When I need to slow down, I just plop my butt on the snow.”

    John: Exactly. You just go down. Yeah. Exactly.

    Maggie: Just go down.

    John: That’s great.

    Maggie: So that’s fair. That’s fair.

    John: Totally. That’s awesome. You got one more?

    Maggie: I do.

    John: Okay.

    Maggie: So we spoke about how at one point in your life you were a comedian, not a comic.

    John: Right.

    Maggie: A comedian. What was the most memorable performance that you ever gave?

    John: Oh, wow. I mean, so many. I mean, probably the cooler ones like opening for the band, Train, in front—

    Maggie: Hmm, that’s really cool.

    John: …of more people that live in my hometown. That’s pretty surreal. Like you’re telling the joke. And by the time it gets to the last row, and then they laugh, and then the last comes back to me, I’ve started the next joke already.

    Maggie: Wow. That’s incredible.

    John: Yeah. It’s a little bit of a different thing. Opening for Louie Anderson at the Borgata in Atlantic city for Friday and Saturday night shows was pretty cool. My parents flew out and stayed in like a suite and like all that, and that was pretty cool. Even like the very first paid emcee week was in Madison, Wisconsin at the comedy club on State Street. And my parents drove up from St. Louis and came to the Saturday night shows. And I was doing the whole week, but yeah. I mean, the first time you’re getting paid. Like I actually still have— because, of course, I took the check into work and I found some blue paper, and I made a photocopy of the check. $125 for 5 shows. So I still have a photocopy of the check of my very first paid— I mean, I got paid to tell jokes. This is crazy.

    Maggie: There is nothing like landing your first client, or your first gig, or whatever it may be where someone actually pays you to do something that you think you’re good at. Right? There’s no greater feeling than that.

    John: Yeah. You’re not crazy. Like I can do this. Okay, cool.

    Maggie: I can do this. Yeah. That’s really cool.

    John: Or even just for fun.

    Maggie: It reminds me of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. So while I’m not a big movie person, I love the shows and, yeah, that reminds me of, you know— I don’t know if you’ve watched it, but she’s—

    John: Oh, totally.

    Maggie: …trying to be a comedian and yeah.

    John: Right? It’s a great show. It’s a little bit frustrating because she’s killing it out front and I’m like “This is not how it starts.”

    Maggie: This is not how it starts.

    John: “This is a lie.” But it’s a show, so whatever.

    Maggie: Yeah. Yeah.

    John: But it’s cool to see all the stuff that she deals with and then, yeah, she’s running it to Lenny Bruce, and she’s all this stuff. Yeah, it’s a cool show to just put to history.

    Maggie: Other than it doesn’t start that good when you’re first starting out, would you say it’s an accurate show or not really?

    John: Yeah. Well, I mean, it was also a different time when comedy was kind of novel and there weren’t as many comedians or even the clubs. You know, when disco started to go down is when, well, what are you gonna do with all these disco clubs and these whatever?

    And it’s like, okay, we’ll make ’em comedy clubs type of thing. And so, it’s like the late ’70s, mid-’70s I guess when that started to blow up and yeah. I mean, it’s a hard life. That’s for sure. It’s definitely not easy.

    Maggie: I think that’s portrayed for sure.

    John: Yeah. For sure. Well, thanks so much, Maggie. It was so cool having you be a part of What’s Your “And”?

    Maggie: Oh, thank you. I’m so glad I could contribute.

    John: Everybody listening, if you wanna see some pictures of Maggie on the tennis courts or maybe connect with her on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. And 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. 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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