Episode 509 – Tonya Moffitt

Tonya is a CPA & All-Terrain Vehicle Rider

Tonya Moffitt, Managing Partner of Merina+Co, talks about discovering her passion for riding ATVs and UTVs, breaking the negative stigma of taking vacations, why it’s so important to have something that takes you away from work, and much more!

Episode Highlights
• Getting into riding ATVs and UTVs
• Unplugging with her kids
• How her ATV riding has helped with her planning skills at work
• Breaking the negative stigma of taking vacations
• Talking about her ATV riding as an ice breaker at work
• Why it is important to take time away from work

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Tonya’s Pictures

Keira jumping her Raptor

Following the leader through trails

Stuck at the top of a hill – it is way steeper than the picture appears

Sunset on the Oregon coast

Tonya’s Links


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    Welcome to Episode 509 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 at work, the who else are you kind of question.

    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 Favorite a couple of months ago. 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 listening to it, and writing such nice reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, 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 Tonya Moffitt. She’s the managing partner at Merina + Co outside of Portland, Oregon. And now, she’s with me here today. Tonya, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Tonya: Thanks, John. I’m super excited.

    John: This is gonna be a blast, so much fun. But before we get started, I have 17 rapid fire questions. Get to know Tonya out of the gates. And here we go. So this probably an easy one. Favorite color?

    Tonya: Black.

    John: Oh, okay. All right.

    Tonya: It goes with everything

    John: It does. It does. How about a least favorite color?

    Tonya: Pink.

    John: Yeah, it does not go with everything. That’s for sure. Do you prefer more talk or text?

    Tonya: Talk. My friends make fun of me ’cause I always call them. I don’t text very often.

    John: They send a text to you and then you call ’em.

    Tonya: Yes.

    John: Right. That’s great.

    Tonya: Or FaceTime them. Yeah.

    John: Yeah. Let’s get it done. I don’t want this back and forthness. I got it. Yeah. How about a favorite actor or an actress?

    Tonya: Reese Witherspoon. I think she’s amazing on screen as well as she’s an advocate for several children and women’s advocacies.

    John: Yeah. Her production company is awesome and the work that they do there. And yeah, it’s really cool.

    Tonya: And her books too. Like she has a book club. And so, I love it when you can discuss amazing books and bring people together around that.

    John: No, that’s perfect. I love it. How about Sudoku, or crossword, or maybe jigsaw puzzle?

    Tonya: Sudoku.

    John: Sudoku. Yeah. That’s how I do my taxes actually. No, I’m just kidding.

    Tonya: Same. Same. CPAs can’t their own taxes.

    John: Right? That’s what I tell people. I’m one of the coolest CPAs that has no clue how taxes work. That gets that all.

    Tonya: Same.

    John: How about a favorite animal? Any animal

    Tonya: Horse.

    John: Horse, solid answer. There you go. Yeah, growing up on the ranch I guess goes back to that.

    Tonya: Yeah. Exactly. Some of my best friends were my horses.

    John: No, I can believe that for sure. How about a favorite movie of all time?

    Tonya: Oh, man. I don’t know that I have a favorite. So my husband and I met working at a movie theater. So I have watched like every single movie.

    John: So you’ve seen a ton. Yeah.

    Tonya: Yeah. And probably heard or watched multiple movies way more times than somebody should watch the same movie over and over again.

    John: Right. That’s funny. In college, I worked at the movie theater on campus, and it was in like a lecture hall that then turned into a movie theater for Friday and Saturday night. It was the reel to reel. There’s a little mark that ends up— like that I can’t unsee now when I watch movies at a movie theater. You start the other projector and it flips over, and it’s crazy. I mean, it’s so funny how no one sees this little mark.

    Tonya: Or if like the film gets burned back when you did have film. And then you’d cut out feet of the movie and nobody would know.

    John: Right. Right. Exactly. You gotta splice it together and then it’s like “Well, whatever. We’ll see.”

    Tonya: It’s fine. It’s fine.

    John: Yeah. Or if you aren’t paying attention on the time and then it’s like ch-ch-ch-ch-ch, it’s like “Oh, my bad, everybody.” And then you like run in the back and like—

    Tonya: Yes.

    John: That’s so great. Wow, that’s super funny. And like a really small percentage of people that are still following, but back on track here, John. Focus. How about a favorite number?

    Tonya: 10.

    John: 10, solid. Solid. Is there a reason?

    Tonya: Just because I think most scales are 1 to 10, and I think that 10s always look good. Right?

    John: Okay.

    Tonya: Typically.

    John: Okay.

    Tonya: Yeah.

    John: I’m gonna tell that to all the 1 people. I mean like, you know, 10.

    Tonya: Just strive to get to the 10.

    John: Right. Right. There you go. How about books? Audio version, e-Book, or real book?

    Tonya: So audio and real book.

    Like your book, I have the physical copy as well as the audiobook, and then I go back and forth.

    John: Wow! Thank you so much.

    Tonya: I go back and forth.

    John: But not at the same time.

    Tonya: Yeah.

    John: It’s just listening. Oh, at the same

    Tonya: I do.

    John: Oh, okay.

    Tonya: I’ll listen to it, and then I’ll pick up the book where I left off, and then I’ll like fast forward to that part on the audiobook—

    John: Oh, got it.

    Tonya: …’cause I like physically having it and I like being able to listen to it like while I’m driving or cleaning the house.

    John: That’s awesome. Very cool. And thank you. That means a lot. All right. And it’s me reading it.

    Tonya: Yeah, it’s awesome.

    John: Okay. All right. I was like I don’t know how that lands. What’s a typical breakfast?

    Tonya: Right now, I’m doing a diet. And so, protein shakes.

    John: Oh, okay. There you go. That works.

    Tonya: Yeah.

    John: Very good. They’re a lot more filling than I anticipated when I randomly accidentally have one.

    Tonya: And I was a skip breakfast kind of gal before that, drink 10 cups of coffee, so this is much better.

    John: Oh, that’s definitely a big step in the right direction for sure. Oh, since you have the accounting background, this will be fun. And then you’re not a tax person, so this is even better. Balance sheet or income statement?

    Tonya: Both.

    John: Oh, full trial balance for you. I need it at all.

    Tonya: Yeah. ‘Cause I like the point in time, but I also need to know where we were at and how we got there with the income statement.

    John: Yeah. What are you hiding?

    Tonya: Yeah.

    John: You can’t just plug goodwill for everything. Right?

    Tonya: Exactly.

    John: Oh, toilet paper roll, over or under?

    Tonya: Over. Under are psychopaths.

    John: That’s hilarious. You’re over at someone’s house and you see it’s under, you’re like “We gotta go.”

    Tonya: Yeah. We gotta change this.

    John: “Take the kids. We’re out.”

    Tonya: In our office, we actually have two rolls in every bathroom. And one is one way and one is the other way. Yeah, we’re all inclusive on our toilet paper roll.

    John: That’s part of the new DEIA initiative.

    Tonya: Yeah, exactly.

    John: Yeah. But are your toilet paper rolls both ways? Okay. That’s beautiful. That’s so great. I’m gonna start asking that actually. That’s great. How about your computer, PC or a Mac?

    Tonya: PC. I’m lost on Macs.

    John: Same. Oh, I’m an ice cream junkie. So when you get ice cream, cup or cone?

    Tonya: Waffle cone.

    John: Oh, okay. Springing for the upgrade. All right.

    Tonya: Yeah. Definitely.

    John: And yeah, just because it’s fun, Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Tonya: Star Wars. Again, going back to the movie theater days, like watching movies before they were out, like a week before and there’s literally people camping in front of the movie theater a week before, and we’re inside with like pizzas and beverages.

    John: So good. So good. I got two more. Socks or shoes?

    Tonya: Socks.

    John: That’s a tricky one, right?

    Tonya: Yeah. It probably depends on when and where.

    John: Yeah. But socks are always fun. That works. And the last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own?

    Tonya: Probably all of my family history and heirlooms that I’ve received. So like from almost all of my great grandmas, I have their candy dish ’cause I remember as a child going to their house, and they’d always have like ribbon candy and things. I’m definitely dating myself, but it just brings good memories and like it’s just something that I hold near and dear, is family heirlooms.

    John: Yeah. My great grandpa always used to have the little peppermints. And so, every time I see him, I mean, I just remember that about him. And for sure, that’s really awesome. Very cool. So let’s talk all-terrain vehicles and how’d you get started with this?

    Tonya: Well, essentially, growing up on our cattle ranch, we had 4 wheelers and 3 wheelers, which are super, super dangerous. And so, that’s kind of how we got started. I remember one time we were taking out what’s called a salt lick. For those of you that don’t know what it is, it’s like a giant salt block, like a foot by a foot. Think like giant— bigger than a basketball. So we are taking out salt licks to some of like basically fields for the animals because then they can get minerals and things when they’re free ranging. And we were on a 4 wheeler. So it was my brother, my stepbrother, my stepsister, and I. And we’re flying. We’re going very fast ’cause the faster we get this done, the sooner we can go back and play, or ride horses, or do whatever. And we come around a corner and that was the first time we had been on the road since the winter, and the road was washed out. Like, I mean, we’re talking like trench. Like I knew we were gonna wreck ’cause there was no way to stop that quickly on the old gravel dirt road.

    John: Sure.

    Tonya: And so, I grabbed my stepsister and I kind of like rolled/like jumped off of the 4 wheeler. And it rolled on top of my brother and stepbrother. And I was able to lift it off of them, but like that adrenaline rush— And of course, we weren’t wearing helmets back then. Now, we do. Now, we know that that’s unsafe and we wear helmets.

    John: We didn’t even own helmets back then. Like they didn’t even make ’em for kids.

    Tonya: Exactly. Exactly. But we all survived and we got the salt licks out there.

    But yeah, that was probably the first time that, you know, a very vivid memory of being on a 4 wheeler.

    John: But that adrenaline rush of I wanna do this more without the flipping part of it, but yeah. And it was either become a stunt woman or a CPA and then do this on the side, so wise choice. So now, how does it play out?

    Tonya: So I think over the years, it’s changed a little bit. And so, that was back on dirt roads and out in the country. And now, we go to the sand dunes. And so, here in Oregon, we have sand dunes. There’s some in like Idaho, all over the place.

    John: And it’s along the ocean, right?

    Tonya: Yes.

    John: Along the Pacific. Yeah.

    Tonya: In Oregon, it’s along the ocean. We do have some that are more towards central Oregon and places. So there are some that are not along the ocean, but where we primarily go, it is along the Pacific Coast. And so, we have been very fortunate that we’ve met some of like our best friends. We have a sand family. That’s what we call each other.

    John: That’s awesome. Yeah.

    Tonya: A sand family. And we go with them as often as we can. And you know, the best part about it is we have these other family members now that are not blood related, but they do anything for us. And like my husband, one of our best friends that we’ve met doing this, he met them at school drop off. So he was chatting while he was waiting for the kids to come out of school with another dad and turned out that they liked to go to the dunes as well. And so, I think about a week later, we had a 5th wheel and we’re headed there ourselves. With my husband, Chris, I can’t ever say “Well, maybe we should” because then it will happen. So I have to be prepared for that it will happen if—

    John: That’s awesome.

    Tonya: …I say okay. Or if there’s an inkling of it being okay, then it will happen.

    John: That’s hilarious. That’s so great. And so, now, it’s kind of a little more substantial than the 4 wheelers, right? Sort of side by side kind of concept.

    Tonya: Yeah. So now, we have all-terrain vehicles and we’ve had RZRs in the past, which is made by Polaris. And we are waiting for a Speed UTV, which is created by Robby Gordon. And so, they’re brand new machines, which we thought we were gonna have a lot sooner. But with the supply chain shortage, hopefully we will get our new UTV soon-ish.

    John: That’s super fun. But I mean it, you could only drive them on the sand dunes. I guess they’re not really—

    Tonya: No. They’re not street legal here in Oregon. But in Washington State, you can make them street legal. And there’s other states where they can be street legal like if you put blinkers on them and like mirrors and stuff. So it depends on each individual state if you can ride them on the street or not.

    John: Yeah. Here in Denver, I don’t think anyone uses their blinker anyway even though they have them. So I’m not sure if that’s mandatory, but whatever. But that’s really neat. And so, do you have like some fond memories or some favorite rides that you’ve done?

    Tonya: Yeah. We’ve done a lot of really fun memories. And you know, I think the best thing for me is that the kids get unplugged. Right? So my husband and I have two children, 11-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter. And they are attached to their devices. I mean, we are too, but they are as well. And so, being able to go places where there’s no internet, we went on a trip in Wyoming and went and visited some friends back there. And we rented a cabin, a national forest, like forest service cabin. And we parked at the bottom and drove our RZRs up to the cabin. The other family has one too.

    And like there’s no internet, no cell phones. The kids thought they were dying and they were like back in the 1800s, but I’d say that’s one of my favorite memories just ’cause we saw all sorts of animals and critters, gotta go chop down wood. And you know, it was a unique experience. My son was on a top bunk and fell out in the middle of the night, and we all heard this like huge crash.

    John: Oh, my goodness.

    Tonya: You know, we still talk about that today. Like half the kids stayed asleep and didn’t even hear it. And all of us adults are like “Now, we can’t get back to sleep.” You know?

    John: That’s amazing, but so much fun. That unplugging I think is really key. I mean, not just to show your kids, but even for yourself. Just something that’s totally different than work at all. And when you’re out on those things, I mean, you really have to focus. I mean, you can’t be sort of half thinking about work or, yeah, you’re gonna end up upside down again. And so, do you feel like any of this—maybe it’s growing up on the ranch or the altering vehicles— gives you a skill or a mindset that you bring to work?

    Tonya: Yeah. I think the biggest thing is planning. So in order for us to be able to unplug while I am going on these vacations, and going to the sand dunes, and riding our UTVs and ATVs, it’s planning ahead. And so, letting my team know. So, you know, communicating with them that I’m gonna be gone and that I’m gonna be unplugged and not available.

    And so, just making sure that I get everything that’s mission critical done before I leave. That doesn’t mean I get everything done ’cause I don’t know about you, but I always still have a to-do list. But it’s getting those mission critical things done before I go and making sure that my team has people they can reach out to while I’m gone. So I think that’s a huge one. I haven’t found anybody in my industry that does the same hobby, but people still ask me about it. So I think that’s great.

    John: Which is great. You know, I mean I did comedy. I mean, it’s not like I was bumping into comedians all the time in corporate either. A bunch of people thought they were and they were terrible. I think that that’s almost— I don’t wanna say better, but it’s stronger because that’s the one. If you said golf or something that was kind of almost generic, then it’s like “Well, whatever. I mean, so does everyone else.” But you know, the UTV is like “Well, hey, yeah, what’s going on? When’s your next trip?” And that’s cool that people ask.

    Tonya: Yeah. People ask. I also put it on my out of office. So like if I’m gone, I put it on my out of office. And part of that is I think there’s a stigma around taking vacation, unfortunately in corporate culture, especially for CPAs. Like most people think of us as nerds, but like there’s a stigma around taking a vacation, unplugging. And so, I’ll put like I’m going on vacation to do X, Y, or Z just because I want it to be normalized. Like we do need to unplug and do these things that we’re passionate about and like recharge our batteries, right, so that we come back and we’re a better team member and more productive.

    John: No, I love that. That’s a great idea and something everyone listening can do right now whenever they do have their next break or what have you. And like you said, being more productive earlier where it’s getting those mission critical things done, then you know you can’t procrastinate. You know you can’t just kind of dillydally around ’cause “Well, I’ll get it done tomorrow.” No, no, tomorrow I’m gone. So, you know, I have to really focus and be all in now. I would argue you’re more productive taking breaks, as well as coming back refreshed and energized, and things like that as well.

    Tonya: Yeah. I would completely agree with that.

    John: Good. ‘Cause otherwise the show’s over. No, I’m just kidding. Totally kidding. Totally joking. But it’s also cool that you talk about it. Is it something that you’ve always shared or— ‘Cause sometimes people get in their own heads about, well, I don’t know if I’m allowed or whatever.

    Tonya: Yeah. So I’m a very open person. And so, I talk about everything because I think that it makes people more comfortable around me. And even if they’re not sharing necessarily back with me, they feel more comfortable around me. And so, I do. I’ve shared this with my team. I have pictures in my office. I have pictures on my screen, on my computer. I even sometimes put it on my background, my virtual background, like in Teams meetings or Zoom now that we’re in a virtual world because it’s a conversation starter. And you know, “What is that? What are you doing?” You know? And so, it’s an icebreaker. It can be an icebreaker to break down barriers with either potential clients or even with team members.

    John: Or current clients even.

    Tonya: Yeah.

    John: And why does that matter so much?

    Tonya: You know, for me, I think it’s because those deep connections, it doesn’t matter. Nobody does what I do anyway, this riding on the sand dunes, but then they usually will open up and share it with me, what’s their end and what they’re passionate about. And then the nice thing is is that we have that connection and we have that deeper relationship where I’ve became friends with some of my former clients or current clients that are not a test client for any of you listening that know about the independence roles.

    John: Right, right, right.

    Tonya: You just have a deeper relationship. And I think that the trust is there way faster when you can open up, even with team members.

    John: Totally. Yeah. ‘Cause, I mean, that’s the thing. I mean, there’s even brain science behind it, you know. I mean, in order to get the oxytocin, which is where trust happens, you have to be around someone. You have to talk to them more. So you have to be interesting. I mean, you can’t just talk about gas prices forever, or the weather, or whatever. It’s like you have to be interesting. And so, you can’t call yourself a trusted advisor or whatever, any trusted whatever, which is like maybe my #2 pet peeve right behind shopping carts left in the parking lot randomly. But it’s like “Ah, you know, you’re an advisor advisor. You’re not really a trusted advisor.” You know? And it’s like knowing all the technical work isn’t— It’s the human side of things that you really have to bring to do that, which you’re doing, which is great. And so awesome to hear that it manifests itself in your world and that it’s legit. It works. For sure.

    Tonya: Yeah. I think that when you can share those passions, it makes it a lot easier, especially in the workplace.

    Like if you’re a supervisor, or a manager, or an owner, whatever, it’s helpful when you have to have those difficult conversations with your team because they have that deeper level connectivity and you can connect with them in another way. And so, it’s more like a friend. And I know you talk about the brain science behind this in your book and on the podcast, but it’s more like it’s coming from a friend. And so, it’s easier for them to understand and take that crucial conversation or difficult conversation that we may be having with them and see it for what it is. We’re trying to make them better. It’s not that we’re trying to like push them down or be derogatory. It’s all about actually bringing everybody up to a new level versus pushing somebody down.

    John: No, I love that so much. That’s so fantastic. And I mean, you’re right. And the fact that you’re living it is even better in experiencing that, so that’s so cool. I mean, you’re the managing partner. How much does that matter that people do take time away from work? ‘Cause the logic, the old school brain is “Well, no, they need to be working more, like why are you even looking out the window” type of thing.

    Tonya: You know, I think it’s so important. I think that mental health issues, especially during the pandemic, have been brought to light. And I think, as business owners, we have to lead by example and talk about mental health. We talk about our paid friends basically, you know, our paid counselors, psychiatrists, things like that because there’s so much of a stigma around it. And as the owners and the leaders of organizations, by us talking about it, it takes away some of that stigma. And so, it is much better for everybody on the team.

    John: No, I couldn’t agree more, and I love that lead by example kind of concept. Certainly makes it easier for the people to look up and be like “Oh, you know—” But even if you’re like in the middle, you have a group below you that you can model that behavior for. So it doesn’t have to be the top down.

    Tonya: Even if you’re at the bottom.

    John: That’s true. Yeah.

    Tonya: Even if you’re at the bottom, you have to have something outside of work that fills your cup up, that makes you happy because like getting the 3 letters behind your name or whatever it is in our industry at CPA, it’s not like the day you get your certificate. You’re happier. Yes, it’s great to get it done and have that behind you, but there’s so much more to each individual person. And even if you’re at the bottom, like it’s important that you have some sort of external and from your work. I don’t want my tombstone to read best boss ever, best CPA ever, you know. I want it to read mother, wife, friend, colleague, mentor. Those things are so much more important than a job title like managing partner or whatever that may be. Like that is not what defines me.

    John: That’s so good. You know, having that and then sharing it is the key part of it. If everyone has hobbies, but no one talks about it, if a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around, sort of a concept. So that’s so great and such great wisdom and nuggets for people to take away and really, really great, Tonya. This has been awesome. I feel like though, since I rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning, that I should turn the tables and make this the first episode of The Tanya Moffitt Podcast. Dududududududududu. I don’t know. Some kind of song.

    Tonya: Perfect.

    John: Right. So I’m all yours and what do you got for me?

    Tonya: Okay. Do you have any suggestions for an individual who has determined their current employer or supervisors do not care about their and, and it’s impacting their motivation and happiness, so they’ve decided to seek a new opportunity? What interview questions can they ask to help them find a better fit where they’re gonna be more successful within their chosen profession?

    John: Holy moly! This could be like a whole series of episodes. Wow! Yeah! I think that it’s totally okay to ask “How does the organization perceive outside of work hobbies and passions? I’m a big college football fan. Who else that works here is also a big college football fan?” It’s totally okay to ask that. And if they’re like “We don’t care, we don’t even know anyone who likes college football”, it doesn’t have to be a random one-off. Just something that’s kind of normal. And then if they respond negatively, well, then that’s just gonna be like the same place that you’re leaving. But if they’re like “Oh, this person over here” or if they ask you during the interview process before you even get there, that’s my favorite thing. If you’re having someone come in as an interview, who’s gonna host them? Not just a random other person in the department. No. No. Somebody who also rides UTVs. That’s who. And then now, you have a friend before you even started. Just straight up ask because in this day and age, we hold all the cards as an employee and so ask.

    And if they don’t, then you know what, this isn’t the right place for me ’cause it’s gonna turn out to be exactly like the place that you’re leaving. And that’s why the great migration is happening, is because people are like “Well, if no one cares about me, I’ll just go to the place that doesn’t care about me, but pays me more.” If that’s the only differentiator, then of course they’re gonna move to whoever pays them more, and then they’re gonna be there for 3 months and then go to the next place that pays them more ’cause there’s always someone that’s gonna pay more. But if you change the game and if you actually care about them deeper and more than the next place, well, then they’re gonna realize that it’s not apples to apples. It’s apples to oranges, or grapefruit, or something gross no one likes to eat type of thing. It’s that sort of thing, so yeah, but really great question.

    Tonya: I know.

    John: It’s your show.

    Tonya: This is my show and it’s all about me getting answers from John Garrett today. So, last question. As an employer, do you have any suggestions for interview questions that we can ask to help ensure that potential new hires have an and outside of work since your research has shown that these outside passions strengthen relationships with colleagues and clients, as well as improves performance?

    John: Yeah. Again, just straight up ask. Besides work, what do you like to do; or when you’re not at work, where might I find you; or do you have any hobbies or outside of work interests that have nothing to do with your job? There’s a pretty large law firm, the office here in Denver, during the intake form, your GPA, where you went to school, whatever, they ask that besides law school, what do you like to do? And if your outside work hobby is reading more law books or something terrible like that, then they don’t even bring you in to interview you. They’re like “You’re not gonna fit, so it’s futile to even talk to you. I don’t care if you have a 4.0 from Harvard Law School or whatever.” And so, ask those on the way in on the intake form and then in the interview. I mean, almost at the top because you’re around this person more waking hours than your family. So I’d like to know who you are and talk about something besides those killer macros you’re doing in Excel or whatever it is. And so, yeah, I mean, I hope that kind of answers the question.

    Tonya: Yeah. I think that’s great.

    John: And it’s also great as “For instance, I like to go to the sand dunes and ride my UTVs with my family. What do you like to do?” ‘Cause that makes it feel safe where I’ve shared. And so, now, almost the universe is out of balance, so reciprocity has to happen almost where I just shared mine and asked you. You got something, you know. Like you can’t just leave me. They can’t go “I don’t know.” And it’s like “Well, now, the world’s weird. Like you gotta say something. Like I’m locking the door until you answer me.” And also, just how do you humanize that interview and how do you humanize that visit and just make it more of like you and me talking here as opposed to formal questions? And I mean, that’s the thing. Like when I speak— it’s funny— especially to accounting groups, I’ll say “You know, do you give them a technical skills test, you know, like I’d like you to sit down and prepare this cash flow statement?” And I go “No, you don’t because you also don’t know how to do a cash flow statement. That’s why.”

    Tonya: Pay now. Pay now. I have to do cash flow statements for a whole bunch of funds ’cause we’re in fund accounting with government.

    John: Oh, well, so you do.

    Tonya: I do.

    John: Well, here’s how you do it. You go to reports and then cash flow print. That’s how you do it. No. But you don’t give them that technical skills test.

    Tonya: No.

    John: You give them the human test of like “Are you somebody I wanna be around?”

    Tonya: “Are you gonna fit with our team?” Yeah.

    John: Yeah.

    Tonya: Yeah.

    John: And a culture add, not just a culture fit, but will you puzzle piece in, but pull us in a unique direction maybe, but you still fit, but it doesn’t have to conform I guess, if that sense.

    Tonya: When I have mentees and I’m talking to them, that’s one of the biggest things I talk to them about like I understand that you’re looking for a job, but it’s as much about are you going to fit and is this gonna work for you as it is from the employer perspective. And so, trying to get that across, I mean, it’s hard when you’re coming out of college and you’re like “I want a job. I want a professional job.” But it really is important to take that step back, and look, and make sure that it’s a good fit for you as well individually and for your family, or your significant other, or your just your lifestyle, whatever that may be, whatever your end is.

    John: Yeah. Are you able to live your best life basically? And that’s awesome. Very cool. Some real hard-hitting questions on The Tanya Moffitt Podcast. Wow. All right.

    Tonya: I know. I know. Sorry.

    John: No. No. That was good.

    Well, no, hopefully it helps. And you know, the people listening, so many nuggets from you. I mean, like golly. So if anybody missed anything, rewind and listen again. Really, really fun, Tonya, having you be a part of this. So thank you so much.

    Tonya: Yeah. Thanks for having me on the show, and I’ve really enjoyed reading What’s Your “And”? and listening to your podcast.

    John: Oh, I appreciate it. Thank you.

    And people listening, if you wanna see some pictures of Tonya out on her UTV or maybe connect with her on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. Everything is there. All the links, and pictures, and everything. 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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