Episode 541- Clint Murphy

Clint is a CFO & Writer/Podcaster

Clint Murphy, CFO of Mosaic Homes, talks about discovering his passion for writing and podcasting, how it has improved his communication skills, why it’s so important to always have an And, and much more!

Episode Highlights
• Starting his podcast
• Always have another And
• How big of a role the leadership can play in workplace culture




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    Welcome to Episode 541 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 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 really quickly, I wanna plug globaldogart.com. Michael Puck was a guest on the podcast last year, and his “and” was dog photography. And he’s teamed up with other dog photographers from all over the world and created globaldogart.com. All the proceeds go to save 1 million dogs by 2030. And pictures of dogs foster social connections amongst people and promote trusting relationships in business settings. And researchers also confirmed that pictures of dogs increase our well-being and reduce stress, all things that make work better. So check out globaldogart.com. All the proceeds are saving dogs. So I just wanted to give it a quick plug here.

    And don’t forget to check out the book, What’s Your “And”? It’s on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indigo, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. And please don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast soon. Don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every weekend. And this week is no different with my guest, Clint Murphy. He’s the CFO at Mosaic Homes in Vancouver, Canada, and the host of The Pursuit of Learning podcast. And now, he’s with me here today. Clint, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Clint: Thanks for having me. Really excited to talk to you today.

    John: No, this is gonna be a blast. And for anyone that didn’t hear me on The Pursuit of Learning, we get to turn the tables, which is super fun. So I had such a blast. So I’m excited to have you be a part of this. And on my show, we do 17 rapid fire questions right out of the gate. So, things that I’m glad you didn’t ask me honestly when I was on your show.

    John: I’m stretching. I’m ready.

    Clint: Yeah, you’re ready. You’re all buckled in. Here we go. All right. Star Wars or Star Trek?

    John: Star Wars.

    John: Yeah. Me too. Same. How about your computer, PC or a Mac?

    Clint: PC.

    John: Yeah, two for two. We might be twins. How about a favorite adult beverage?

    Clint: Oh, gosh. For me, that would be— Right now, I’d say it’s a Coke zero.

    John: Coke Zero. Okay.

    Clint: I’ve given up alcohol. It’s a new one.

    John: Good for you, man. Good for you. Coke Zero. Okay, that counts. How about ice cream, in a cup or in a cone?

    Clint: Always a waffle cone.

    John: Oh, waffle cone even. that’s an upgrade. Nice. Fancy. All right. How about do you prefer more hot or cold?

    Clint: I prefer hot.

    John: Oh, hot. Okay. All right. Since you have the CFO background, accounting background, balance sheet or income statement?

    Clint: Always the income statement.

    John: Always the income statement. There you go. Just show me the number. Let’s get to it.

    Clint: Let’s make some money.

    John: Yeah. Right. How about a favorite sports team?

    Clint: Favorite sports team right now would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    John: Oh, really? Why is that?

    Clint: I love Tom Brady. I mean, he is the epitome of a high performer, and I chase optimal or high performance. And I mean, gosh, he’s 1 year older than me and still playing well in the NFL. That just scares the crap out of me. So, you know, it gives you and me an idea of what’s possible.

    John: Yeah, exactly. Especially when you see his draft picture from the combine.

    Clint: Yeah, exactly.

    John: And then today, it’s like his hair’s gotten better. It’s like what is going on? Like I don’t know what, his diet or the cryogenic something. I don’t know what’s happening, but whatever it is, it’s working. How about a favorite number?

    Clint: 14. Just I think when you’re a kid, my birth date. And so, it ends up sticking.

    John: How about books, audio version, e-Book, or real book?

    Clint: So, if it’s fiction, then I am great on an e-Book. And if it’s nonfiction, it has to be in my hands.

    John: Yeah. No. I agree. Yeah. That works. How about a favorite animal? Any animal at all?

    Clint: Oh, dogs.

    John: Dogs. Yeah. It’s hard to beat dogs.

    Clint: You’re plugged at the beginning. Dogs are just— they’re our best friends for a reason.

    John: Yeah, no, absolutely. They’re amazing. How about puzzles? Sudoku, crossword, or jigsaw puzzle?

    Clint: Out of all those three, I would definitely do Sudoku.

    John: Okay. That’s how I used to do my accounting, so that’s probably why it’s best.

    Clint: Exactly. Exactly right. Exactly. You’re right.

    John: There you go. There you go. How about a favorite color?

    Clint: Oh, favorite color. I’m going to go with blue.

    John: Yeah, mine. Same. How about a least favorite color?

    Clint: Oh, gosh, yellow.

    John: Yellow? Yeah. That seems to be— Brown’s been #1, but yellow’s creeping up lately. It’s too sunny or something. Would you say you’re more talk or text?

    Clint: Oh, text. Only text.

    John: Text. There we go. So my apologies for making you do a podcast.

    Clint: No, it’s a totally different venue. But when it comes to the phone, I don’t answer it.

    John: Right.

    Clint: Just like if it’s important, text me and maybe I’ll call you.

    John: Right. There you go. We got three more. Favorite actor or an actress.

    Clint: It’s had to shift over time. It was Mel Gibson until he started to get into some challenging life decisions. So today, I will go with Keanu Reeves.

    John: Ah, yeah. And also, just a good guy.

    Clint: Yeah. He’s evolved well.

    John: Yeah, definitely. That’s for sure. Yeah. Toilet paper roll, over or under?

    Clint: I think you have to go over.

    John: I mean, I would think so too, but there are people with cats that argue differently. And those people are scary, so I don’t talk to them.

    Clint: Yeah. Problem one was cats.

    John: That’s when I hit stop on recording the podcast and then we don’t release their episode, and I deny it ever happened. No, I’m kidding. I’m totally joking. All the cat people right now are tweeting me “rawr.”

    Clint: We won’t hold that against them.

    John: Right. Right. And the last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own?

    Clint: The favorite thing I own would probably be a sauna that I put in my office at home.

    John: Oh, wow.

    Clint: So at the end of the day, after a workout, long day, I can jump in there for an hour and then you come out of that, hit the bed and just out cold.

    John: Yeah. And sleep is great too.

    Clint: Oh, yeah. ‘Cause your body’s regulating that heat. And so, you just go right out.

    John: You’re just gone.

    Clint: Yeah.

    John: That’s awesome. I love it, man. That’s so cool. So cool. So, let’s talk writing, and podcasting, and how’d you get started in that world.

    Clint: Yeah. So, similar to you, I was in the accounting world, and I was working my way up the ladder, and I got to CFO. And then around 2018, I started to think “Well, what’s the next opportunity?” And where I am, that really is the opportunity, I’m at the top. And unless I leave to start my own business, become a president, or I become an owner of my own shop, then I’m at the top for me. And so, then I started to say “Well, how long can I be at the top?” And I talked to my boss. And I gave him a timeline for how long I could be there and set that around January 2018. And then I started to think “Well, what am I gonna do?”

    And in January 2020, right before COVID, I went on a silent retreat. And I was gone for a week. And on the flight home, I drew a roadmap of what I was going to do when I approached retirement. And a large part of it was write podcast, public speak, coach and consult, real estate and venture capital or private equity investing. But I thought I created a game plan and a roadmap, but it wasn’t supposed to start until let’s say 2024. And then COVID came and my kids’ activities got canceled. I was working from home. I didn’t have a commute. Just the amount of time I had available on a day skyrocketed.

    And I’m not a person who can be idle. And so, I said, “Well, why don’t I do one of these things? Why don’t I just launch a podcast? Like let’s start.” So I thought about that in November, bought 4 or 5 books, read them, how to interview, etc., etc., and pressed go April 2021. And then the idea was “Well, I’ve gotta promote this.” And so, I started to do that on Instagram. And then all my colleagues, some of my colleagues, including all the shareholders, started following me on Instagram. And I thought this is awkward. So I stopped promoting the podcast on Insta and I found Twitter. None of them were there. It’s more my writing style. Short, tight, punchy.

    John: Sure.

    Clint: And after a while, John, I got even better at Twitter than almost anything I’d ever done. And the growth started to scale exponentially. And so, then I looked at it as a flywheel. Grow on Twitter, more people listen to the cast, I can invite on more and more authors, I’m not afraid to reach out to anyone. And so, now, they’re just sort of spinning together and growing together. And so, that got us to here. We hit 155,000 on Twitter—

    John: Holy cow. Wow. Yeah.

    Clint: …yesterday roughly. And we’ve been fortunate enough that we see a bit of a path for all of this. And so, it’s staying my “and.”

    John: Yeah.

    Clint: And at the same time, my wife is stopping her day job in 8 days and will start to work on everything I have on the go full time with me.

    John: Oh, wow. Okay.

    Clint: So my “and” will be ramped up with that additional firepower.

    John: Yeah, no, absolutely. And that’s the thing is like, you know, even if it’s just on the side, if it’s revenue generating, that’s great. If it’s not, also great, you know. ‘Cause, I mean, for most people, to be revenue generating at anything is hard, you know. And especially enough to make a living. I mean, good God. You know? I mean, not everyone can be TB12 type of thing or Clint Murphy. And I made that leap as well. And I’m really hesitant to tell people that that’s okay because, I mean, I don’t want it to not work. And you’re going to find me first and punch me in the face first. You’re like—

    Clint: You told me to do this.

    John: Where is that idiot that told me it would work? I’m gonna go find him. I’m gonna use my last nickel to get to Denver and find John Garrett and punch him in the face and then fly home, but that’s cool, man. That’s cool to hear that. Like it started out as just a hobby. Let’s just give it a go and try my best at it. And then, you know, you start to get some success and then it’s like, okay, well, let’s do things strategically to not just waste the opportunity.

    Clint: Yeah. Exactly.

    John: It sounds like the podcasting and the writing are also a flywheel.

    Clint: They’re definitely a flywheel because the idea now is that the topics that I write about will be the type of guests I invite on the podcast. So the conversations, the writing— and they will also tie— like you were saying before we jumped on the call, they’ll tie to what my skillsets are and where I see my offerings coming down the road. What courses will I offer, what will I coach and consult on, what cohorts or in-person based training will I do. And so, it will all tie to the topics that are on the cast and the writing that I do. And so, all of that’s evolving right now, is an evolution of really picking what are we gonna focus on and refining that message on all the platforms and mediums.

    John: No, no, that’s awesome. And then the thing is, is that as it starts to separate from— ’cause, I mean, I look at it as almost like the Wile E. Coyote, the Road Runner cartoon where the coyote’s got one roller skate on each side of a cliff and then it just gets wider, and wider, and wider as your legs get spread. And then eventually, it’s like “Well, now, I have to pick a side.” And so, when you pick that side, you still have to have an “and” because when your “and” becomes your career, then it’s crucial that you still have something else because otherwise it’s no different than being a CFO and having no “and” at all and “and” being more accounting. And it’s like “Well, that’s impossible. You’re lying.” And so, it’s crucial that there’s that side of it as well, you know, that you think about too.

    Clint: Yeah. To pick up an “and.” If and when my “and” becomes the full thing, what am I doing to release at the end of the day?

    John: And maybe it’s exercising, like you said, you know, or maybe it’s sitting in my sauna. Like that counts.

    Clint: Yes. Yes.

    John: You know? You know? And those are all things that I love to do also. If I told you that you could never sit in your sauna again, those are fighting words. Like you’re like “Dude, no, like that’s not happening.” It’s fun to just test people on “No, no, I’m really passionate about it.” I’m like “Well, if I told you you could never do it again, I’d be all right.” “Okay. Well, then that’s not your ‘and.'” Your and is that thing of if I tell you you can’t do this anymore, you’re like “Dude, we’re gonna fight now.” I’m not even telling you that we’re gonna fight. I’m just gonna punch you. Just it’s on.

    Clint: I think the benefit I may have is definitely a level of ADHD. So my number of “ands” will never be an issue.

    John: Right. There you go.

    Clint: It’s like “Hey, put a couple of those ‘ands’ on the side.”

    John: Slow down on some of those there, Skippy.

    Clint: Totally.

    John: Yeah. And so, do you feel like the podcasting and the writing has given you a skill that you bring to work?

    Clint: It absolutely has because if I look at the 3 or 4 things that I’ve had on the go over the last 3 or 4 years, or 2 or 3 years, I would say the podcast is one, writing is a second, and I’ll add in a third one because I just about finished a 2-year mindful meditation teacher certification.

    John: Oh, wow. Okay.

    Clint: And so, that ties into part of what I write about and part of the way I approach it. And so, I would say over the last 2-1/2 years, I’m a lot calmer, a lot more deliberate. So when you think of as a CFO, probably 5 years ago or 6-7 years ago when I did a 360 and I sort of referenced a frantic energy, which was, you know, Skippy as you—

    John: Right. Yeah. Yeah.

    Clint: And now, I think it’s getting a little more— you know, dare I say, a little more monk-like, a little more calm and present. And so, the energy I give off is more in line with what my role is. That would be one. I’m much better at asking questions whether the people are on my team or off my team. And some of the shareholders, when we were on a road trip, and we were doing an architectural tour, and I was asking questions and the way I was asking them, and as you get, you know, “Oh, I asked this, they said I’m taking them down a path”, and he was like “Wow, I really noticed since you’ve started the podcast, your question abilities are much better.” So that would be two. And then the third one—

    John: Yeah. And you said you’re welcome and here we go.

    Clint: Yeah. Like this is why you should be happy with what I do.

    John: Right?

    Clint: And then I would say the last two would be— So one of the things you realize with writing is when you’re a clear, concise writer and you can logically get across to the reader what you intend, that implies that you have critical quality thinking. And so, by demonstrating better writing and improving my writing skills, my thinking is better. And therefore, my also verbal presentation is better. So as a CFO, if I have to give a talk to our bankers, lawyers, our colleagues, my ability to deliver a speech is way better.

    And I think in general, John, because you know, when I had you on the podcast and we’re talking about What’s your And”?, we talked a lot about colleague engagement and how to keep a team, my ability to be a better leader, and colleague, and CFO, that’s all improved because most of the people I talk to are about personal growth, professional growth, financial growth. And so, that’s all things I can share with the people that work with me. Like I’ll often write a summary of “Hey, this is what I talked about on the podcast.” And I’ll send it to the managers on my team and say “Hey, here’s something for you to think about with your team. Here’s how you should approach a conversation with a new colleague.”

    John: That’s awesome, man. Yeah, ’cause, I mean, it’s all communication skills, which at the end of the day is everyone needs in any job really. But when you’re in school, they don’t really tell you how to get those communication skills. You know, go start a podcast, go write more, you know. Like no one tells you that. And so, it’s cool that the thing that you’re doing, just because you love it and have a passion for it, gives you a skill that that makes you better at your job or several skills actually that make you better at your job, which is an added bonus that always, always, always comes up on this podcast. There’s always some way that the and makes you better at your job and it’s so crucial. Especially that wrinkle that you have that’s different than if someone else were to become CFO just because you both have accounting degrees, or same certifications, or whatever. You have that different wrinkle that they don’t, especially the mindfulness side of it. Like Good Lord. To have a calm, collected, monk-like CFO, like that’s scary. That’s like ninja stuff. It’s like “Whoa!”

    Clint: And a potential during COVID and during— you know, when you start to think about a downturn in the market and a potential recession, which in our industry we both think about and are looking at, is you’re able to just sort of detach from the situation and say “Okay, let’s remove the emotion. Let’s talk about the facts. What’s happening and what do we need to do right now? How do we need to plan? How do we need to prepare? It’s more fun.”

    John: Yeah. Absolutely. And so, as the CFO, are there ways that you learn about people’s “ands” and ask them about them?

    Clint: Yeah. Absolutely. You know, during COVID, it was constrained. There’s a bit of it. And I’ve always been a pretty curious person. So I always ask people a lot of questions. But even over the last month, what I’ve been doing is I’ve been setting up coffee meetings with colleagues who I don’t know yet because part of what happened, we have two floors in the office, my finance team’s on one floor and everybody else is on the other floor. And during the last 2-1/2 years, a lot of people were hired on that floor. We’re about 90 people at head office, so I knew everybody on a first name basis.

    All of a sudden, you come back into the office and there’s 20-30 people I’ve never met. And you have a conversation with them and say “Oh, when did you start?” And they’re like “2 years ago.” And you’re like “Oh, my gosh.” So I’ve been taking them all out for coffee. And you know, I start the coffee with “Hey, I want to get to know you from cradle to today. Tell me your life story.” And then I just start to dig into it, right? Siblings, parents, where they grew up, where they are now, what they love, what they loved growing up, and just really dig into who are they.

    Will I remember 100% of it? Probably not. Will I remember two or three good tidbits, ideally part of it being their “and”? Absolutely. And now, it’s almost impossible to ever forget their name. And that one or two tidbits that you picked up in your conversation, I probably should come back and write it in a notebook or in an Outlook notes. But you know, I just try to commit it to my brain, which is getting slower as we age junk.

    John: Oh, man, tell me about it. But that’s like what’s your “and” on steroids? That’s like next level kind of like cradle to today. It’s like “Woo!”

    Clint: Yeah. They’re always like “Really?” And I’m like “Yeah. “Well, I just wanna get to know you as a person.”

    John: I was born this age and that speeds up that story. I’m a Mork from Ork and there I am. But that is cool, man. It’s basically you’re just saying I care about you and I have a genuine interest in you. And I’m sure you see them and you’re like “Hey, how’s the ‘and’, whatever that is, going? Or how’s this going?” Or you’re going to a concert. “How was it?” You know, whatever that is. And then if you find someone else that also loves Tom Brady as much as you, then you’re super best friends.

    Clint: And we have a blast. Absolutely.

    John: Right? Then we have a blast. Exactly. But that’s such a simple way, especially for someone that’s a CFO, ’cause it’s hard for us to remember when we were 22 and coming out of school. CFO was very intimidating person. And whether you wanna be or not, that title comes with a stigma that people put on you. And so, it’s cool that you’re breaking through that by reaching out and just being human.

    Clint: That’s a good point because a lot of the colleagues on my team have been with me now 7, 8, 9, 10 years. And so, the relationship we have is great, and there’s definitely no intimidation factor for them. Like they’re willing to say anything to me with that type of working relationship. They’re often quite mean to me actually, but then they’ll tell me— They’ll be like, “Oh, this new colleague on our team is totally intimidated by you.” And I’m like “What are you talking about? Like how is that even possible?”

    John: And it is because they’re spreading bad stories about you. That’s why.

    Clint: Yeah, exactly. You’re right. I’m always just blown away by it. I’m like “Really? Okay, well, maybe I should take them out for coffee.” And they’re like “You might scare them if you do that.” And I’m like “Oh, this is so weird. Like how do I overcome this?”

    John: Right?

    Clint: Yeah. So I think it eventually goes away the longer we’re together, but it just takes time. And you go for coffee, ask those questions, get to know them and their family. Eventually, that goes away.

    John: And yeah. And bring down your curtain, if you will, and your suit of armor and whatever. So then it’s like “Oh, no, it’s just Clint. He’s right there. He’s a regular dude. He likes to work out, and sit in a sauna, and do podcasts, and write, and Tom Brady.” So there you go. Like, I mean, just go ask him about any one of those things and you’ll be there for about an hour.

    Clint: We have a Thursday meditation club. So some of them come and join me and get to know me through there, which is it’s helping me do my practicums for the course I’m doing. So instead of doing something outside of work, I just signed up to do my practicum here. And you know, at the last session, I think we had 12 colleagues in there.

    John: Oh, that’s fantastic.

    Clint: Yeah, we started with 6 and then more and more people started coming. And now, it’s at numbers where I’m getting a little bit intimidated.

    John: Right?

    Clint: It’s like “Ooh, I don’t know about if I want to give a talk to 12 people. I thought there was only gonna be 6 of you.”

    John: Right? Totally different.

    Clint: But it’s fun. Yeah.

    John: Totally different. But that is cool, man. That is cool. And how much do you feel like it’s on the organization or leadership to create that space for people to have an “and” or share it? And how much is it on the individual to just maybe start a little circle amongst their peers?

    Clint: I’m gonna say it’s 80/20 on the leadership. You know, it reminds me of when you think about diversity and inclusion, and you start to explore that, and you realize it’s not the people that are marginalized or on the outside that have the ability to change it. It’s the people that are in that position of power that are in the position of privilege. It’s on them to change it because they have the power. And so, if I don’t tell my team that they can have an “and”, and they can share it at work, and they can do X, Y, or Z, then they don’t know they have the power to do it. So I think I put a lot of burden on the leaders to lead in a way that it helps their colleagues understand what they’re capable of and what they can do. You know, I would normally use the word “empower”, but I read something recently that said, well, you can’t actually empower someone because they have the power to do. But I think you get where I’mg going.

    John: Encourage it I guess.

    Clint: Encourage. Encourage.

    John: Yeah. Yeah.

    Clint: And show them what they can do and then give them the leeway to do it.

    And I’ve always been a big fan even of when you look at the survey that the Gallup poll that you do for colleagues and you do that survey, and I equate it almost to being a parent with your children in school. And a lot of people, when they do the surveys for how schools are performing, they say “Oh, well, those teachers teach to the test, and it’s not a good barometer of whether your kid’s learning or not.” Sure. But when it comes to the Gallup survey, I say to my team like you should print out those 12 questions, and you should be leading in a way where the answer on those 12 questions will be the right answer.

    Because if the point of that survey is these are the 12 questions we’ve asked that if people say they’re highly agree that they are happy at work and they’re engaged, well, if that’s what we want and those are the questions, we want their answer to be highly agree. So let’s just lead in a way where they’ll say yes. So sit down with them and say “Hey, do you have the tools to do your job? Do you feel like you’re empowered to perform your best at work? You know, have I praised you in the last week?” Well, maybe don’t ask that one. Just do it.

    John: Yeah. I love that. Yeah, just reverse engineer it and then, you know, the 360 feedback is super, super critical. I mean, I find so many times that feedback only goes top down and it rarely goes sideways or especially not back up. And if anyone needs the most feedback, it’s the people at the top because they’re only getting “yes man” answers or “yes people” answers if you will. And they also don’t think that they have faults. And there’s always room for growth. And so, yeah, that’s such a great takeaway, man. I love that. It’s literally like Gallup gave you the answers in a question form.

    Clint: Yeah! It just seemed obvious and intuitive. So many people are like “Well, why would you say that?” And I’m like “Well, we just reverse engineered the answer.”

    John: Right? Right?

    Clint: We want highly engaged. These questions determine if they are. We want to make the answer yes. Just seems intuitive to me.

    John: Right? There you go.

    Clint: Yeah.

    John: And see what happens and then good things. That’s awesome, man. No. And it’s such an easy takeaway too for everybody listening that’s in any sort of remote leadership-ish type position, which is all over the organization. It’s not just at the very top. So what a great takeaway, man. That’s awesome. Do you have any words of encouragement to anyone that has an “and” that they feel like no one’s gonna care about or it has nothing to do with my job, so why should I ever share it?

    Clint: I think for most people what I would say is— And this is something I heard on Tim Ferriss the first time, and I absolutely fell in love with it. He got it from one of his guests. I wanna say it was Seth Godin. And the idea was this, whenever Tim’s going to do a project, Seth taught him you have to want to do that project even if it absolutely fails. If you’re going to write a book or you’re going to launch a product, you wanna be happy simply with the launch or the start. And if you are— And I’ll give you a simple example. I wrote a fantasy novel with my sister and it’s going to be a series, and I might get emotional on this one.

    John: Yeah.

    Clint: We’re searching for an agent, then we’ll need to find a publisher. You understand the process.

    John: Oh, yeah.

    Clint: You’ve written a book. And maybe we’ll self-publish. But regardless, that manuscript, my dad read it. He’s probably only read 3 books in the last 40 years. One of them being the Bible, one of them being in the 1970s. So he hadn’t read a book probably in 30-40 years. And he read our book. So regardless of whether any person ever reads it or it’s published, like he looked at me and my sister and said like “I’m proud of you too and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t quite follow it like your mom did.”

    And my mom was phoning me as she read it. And she was trying to guess, you know, where things were going. And she is like “Like what about this and what about that? And oh, I love this character. And ooh, I don’t like this one.” And I’m like “Well, that one’s modeled off my brother and that one’s me.” I’d never had been closer to her, John. And I think my sister felt the same way.
    And if we never published a single novel or sell a single one, the joy that we got from doing it together and having mom and dad read it, like, so that’s your “and.” And that’s what you talked about earlier, is it’s so important to you intrinsically. Who cares if other people like it? Just do it. If you love it, and like you said, when you were on my show, rarely is someone’s “and” something so obscure or offside that we say “Well whoa, not that ‘and.’ No, no, no. Don’t do that.”

    John: If it’s distracting and unprofessional, then, yeah, absolutely.

    Clint: Yeah. Yeah.

    John: I’m selling cocaine out of a van down by the river.

    Clint: Yeah. Exactly. No. Don’t do that on the side. Don’t do that.

    John: Let’s do something else. But it’s so true. I mean, so many people put that weight on themselves. Like in this case, I’m an author and it’s like “Well, I can’t call myself an author because da, da, da, da, whatever million reasons.” And it’s like “Well, I enjoy writing. I enjoy podcasting.” Well, now it doesn’t matter. The end goal doesn’t matter. And also, no one judges you for what you enjoy. You know, I enjoy writing. Well, how many books have you sold? No one’s asking you that question. It’s like “Oh, great. What do you write?” You know?

    And then it leads to curious questions as opposed to giving yourself the label and then people may be judge or you judge yourself, but just start with I enjoy and then go with that, but that’s such a beautiful story, man. That’s awesome. It’s so great. Like you and your sister came together and then both found out that your mom loves your brother more. So, I mean, like that’s such a great, great—

    Clint: We already knew it. And I had this conversation with a colleague this morning when I asked that question ’cause she was giving her family— And I mentioned— I said, “When all 3—” ’cause she has 3 people in her family. I said, “Whenever all three 3 agree on who the favorite is, they’re clearly the favorite.”

    John: Right? Exactly, exactly. That’s awesome, man. Well, it was such great words of encouragement and a really great way to wrap it up. I feel like it’s only fair though, since I rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning of the episode, that I should turn the tables and will let you take the reins. And you’re professional. You know what you’re doing. So I’m all yours, man. I’m in the hot seat now.

    Clint: The first one I want to know is what is the strangest “and” anyone has ever told you? Doesn’t have to be on the podcast. Just something someone told you and you thought I’m going to maybe stay a little bit more away from this person than I ever—

    John: No! It makes me wanna actually have them on the show. I’m like “This is great because you’re not the only one.” There was a guy on who was a podcaster and a writer. Oh, wait, that’s you. Never mind. No. No, I mean there’s some— I wouldn’t say strange. There’s just some that I’ve never heard of like kite boarding. I never heard of that. I never even knew what that was. And it’s like “What is that?” That sounds awesome. You know? Or when I’m speaking at a conference last year and a top partner at their firm like to hula dance for fun just around her house.

    Clint: I didn’t even know people still did that.

    John: Yeah. Just for fun around her house. And it’s like “How cool is that?” You know? And it makes me wanna lean in more because, you know, when you hear golf or running,it’s like “All right. Well…”

    Clint: Yeah. Everybody has that.

    John: I mean, there’s a lot of people that are doing that stuff. Now, sure, certain people take it to an extreme level. But either way, it’s still interesting to me. But when you hear that hula dancing, or kiteboarding, or stuff I’ve never even heard of like pickleball at first, you know, things like that, then it’s like “Wait. What?” And it’s sort of that norepinephrine in your brain of you’re interested in interesting things. And all of a sudden, you lean in and you have follow-up questions. Wait, what is that? How’d you get started? Wait, what? You know? It’s all the questions that people would ask me from doing comedy. Like what were you thinking the first time you went on stage? Like what? Like, you know, all those things. So yeah, it’s super cool.

    Clint: And then let’s say you had unlimited time and resources. What is an “and” that you think you could have that you haven’t actually explored yet? Top one or two things on your “and” bucket list.

    John: An “and” bucket list. Okay. I think surfing would be really fun. Plus, it involves being warm and on a beach, so there’s that as well. I mean, I have surfed before, but to be like regularly good at it I think would be pretty fun. I think relearning the piano from when I was a kid. And so, I would like to be better at playing the piano. And what’s great now that wasn’t when I was a kid is there’s the internet, and you can just get any song.

    I mean, of course, you buy the sheet music, but it’s songs you hear on the radio or songs from artists that you care about instead of whatever random music that you had to play in 6th grade and when I was like “All right, I’m not doing this anymore type of thing.” Those are probably two that I’m like, you know, I’m okay at, but I would like to be better at. I enjoy surfing. I enjoy playing the piano. I would like to be a little better so then I can maybe call myself that, you know, like type of thing. But they’re also just really fun to do, and they’re creative and physical, and they just challenge my brain in different ways. So that’s what I enjoy.

    Clint: So you can still say I enjoy playing the piano.

    John: Exactly. Exactly.

    Clint: Perfect.

    John: And that works. Awesome, man. Well, thank you so much, Clint, for being a part of What’s Your “And”? This was super, super fun.

    Clint: Yeah, thanks for having me. It was a blast.

    John: Now, everybody listening, if you wanna see some pictures of Clint outside of work, or maybe connect with him on social media, or get a link to The Pursuit of Learning podcast, you can go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. And while you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and don’t forget to read the What’s Your “And”? 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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