Episode 597 – Michelle Kooi

Michelle is a Consultant & Outdoorswoman

Michelle Kooi, the founder of Confluence Coaching and Consulting in Durango, Colorado, talks about her passion for outdoor activities, including rock climbing, mountain biking, and skiing. Michelle shares how these activities help her alleviate stress, learn new things, and ultimately improve her work and life. She discusses the importance of authenticity and embracing one's passions beyond their profession, highlighting her own experiences in finding joy and fulfillment outside of work. With her emphasis on living a big, bright life and making time for activities that make her better, Michelle encourages listeners to connect with others and truly show up at work as their authentic selves.

Episode Highlights

· Finding joy in outdoor activities helps improve performance in all aspects of life.
· Resilience, resourcefulness, and confidence learned through rock climbing are transferable skills to work and life.
· Making time for activities that bring joy and fulfillment leads to better performance in all areas.
· Authenticity and differentiation in the workplace lead to attracting like-minded clients.
· Connections made on a human level in business are essential for success.

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Podcast Transcript

Michelle Kooi:

Hi. I’m Michelle Kooi. And when I’m not paddleboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, or skiing, I’m listening to John Garrett on What’s Your “And”?.

John Garrett:

Welcome to episode 597 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 as he answers the question of who else are you beyond the job title. If you like what the show’s about, Be sure to check out the award winning book. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at what’s your and dot com, 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 see how much it means that everyone’s reading it and writing such great reviews on Amazon, and more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it. And if you want me to read it to you, that’s right. Look for What’s Your And on Audible or wherever you get your audiobooks.

John Garrett:

And please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast. 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, Michelle Kooi. She’s the founder of confluence coaching and consulting out of Durango, Colorado, and now she’s with me here today. Michelle, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your Aunt.

Michelle Kooi:

Hi, John. I’m excited to be here today. Great way to spend a Friday.

John Garrett:

Totally. Exactly. No. No. This is gonna be a blast. It’s gonna be so much fun, But I have some rapid fire questions here. Get to know Michelle out of the gate here. So, hopefully, your seat belt is buckled and we are ready.

John Garrett:

So, here we go. Favorite color?

Michelle Kooi:

Green.

John Garrett:

Green. Oh, good answer. I like that. How about a least favorite color?

Michelle Kooi:

Oh, may be hot pink.

John Garrett:

Hot pink. Yeah. Yeah. That’s that’s a tough one. Do you have a favorite Disney character or any animated character?

Michelle Kooi:

Maybe The Little Mermaid.

John Garrett:

Oh, yeah. That’s a good one. Yeah. Super fun. What was your 1st concert that you remember?

Michelle Kooi:

Oh, REO Speedwagon.

John Garrett:

Wow. Very cool. That’s a classic. It is. Yeah. I love asking that question because, I mean, I love going to concerts, And everyone’s answers are always, like, legend it. Like, it’s like, what? This is amazing.

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. I love concerts.

John Garrett:

No. That’s great. Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, you’re we’re the same. How about a favorite actor or an actress?

Michelle Kooi:

Reese Witherspoon.

John Garrett:

Yeah. Very fun. There you go. Although her hot pink and Legally Blonde. I don’t know. Well, now I’m also confused, but I get just close your eyes and listen to the movie. Oh, that’s an important one. Toilet paper roll over or under? Over.

John Garrett:

Over. Yeah. No. That’s how it’s supposed to be. There we go. That was a trick one. There’s only one right answer. But all the cat people right now are super angry, but they’ll get over it.

John Garrett:

How about when it comes to books? Ebook, Audiobook or the paperback book?

Michelle Kooi:

Paperback books at home, but I listen to ebooks when I’m on a road trip.

John Garrett:

Oh, yeah. Yeah. The audio version. Absolutely. When you’re driving. That’s that’s great. Yeah. Yeah.

John Garrett:

How about a favorite number? 17. Yeah. Is there a reason?

Michelle Kooi:

No. I don’t know what it is. I’ve just No.

John Garrett:

It’s such a unique number that I was like, oh, wow. It’s gotta be, like, a birthday or something? No. That’s a cool number, though. Okay. Alright. I’ll take it. This is an important one as a you have the CPA background, so I gotta ask. Balance sheet or income statement?

Michelle Kooi:

Balance sheet.

John Garrett:

That’s probably mine too because then you know you’re done because it’s it balances. So it’s like, alright. It’s right. True. True. Or you just plug something to Goodwill and call it a day. And maybe that’s why I’m not in accounting anymore. But, what’s a typical breakfast?

Michelle Kooi:

Oh, a smoothie or avocado toast.

John Garrett:

Oh, wow. Okay. Alright. I see where we’re going. Star Wars or Star Trek?

Michelle Kooi:

That is a tough one. I would say Star Trek.

John Garrett:

I like it. Your computer, are you more of a PC or a Mac?

Michelle Kooi:

PC.

John Garrett:

Yeah. No. Same. This one’s gonna be hard maybe. Oceans or mountains? Mountains. Mountains. Okay. Alright.

John Garrett:

Oh, that’s a fun one. I like this one. Shower or bath?

Michelle Kooi:

Oh, bath.

John Garrett:

Oh, okay. Alright. Yeah. Like, shower’s, like, winning by a mile on this one. It’s like, where’s some bath people at? Come on now.

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. Full on, like, bubbles and Epsom salts and essential oils.

John Garrett:

Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. Let’s go all in on it. Yeah. There you go. We got 3 more. I’m a huge ice cream fan.

John Garrett:

Are you in a cup or in a cone?

Michelle Kooi:

A cup. I’m gluten free, so I can’t eat the cone anyway.

John Garrett:

Oh, well, there we go. Alright. That that works. I thought you were gonna say, and the cup is gluten free. And I’m like, what? You’re eating the cup? Like, it’s that would be amazing. And, oh, yeah, there was just 1 more. Favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own?

Michelle Kooi:

Favorite thing I own is probably my mountain bike.

John Garrett:

Oh, okay. What kind of bike is it?

Michelle Kooi:

It is a Trek carbon, I got it last year, and it’s so fun.

John Garrett:

Yeah. And and it’s carbon is that, like, the lighter weight, but skis, stronger. Is that

Michelle Kooi:

what it is? It’s lighter it’s lighter weight one.

John Garrett:

Mhmm. Very cool. That’s awesome. And that leads right into all of the outdoorsness, like activities. And and, I mean, mountain biking, like, how did you get into that one in particular?

Michelle Kooi:

Well, I I mountain biked a fair amount before I had kids, and then we were also really into skiing, and my kids were into other sports. And so there’s just so many things you could do, so mountain biking had to drop off. I got back into it when I moved to Durango 6 years ago, and I had not been on my bike in 20 years.

John Garrett:

Oh my gosh.

Michelle Kooi:

I know. And I just fell in love with it again. I’m like, why did I stop doing this? So I have just been having so much fun, and it’s so great to be back on the bike.

John Garrett:

Yeah. That’s awesome. And I wanna I wanna revisit that as well, but some of the other outdoor stuff and, I mean, even I’ve seen pictures on LinkedIn of you rock climbing and I mean, and and It’s cliff climbing. I mean, it’s like, woah. You’re up there. Like, this is not like you know, you’re 1 story up. It’s like, no. No.

John Garrett:

You’re wow. Okay. That’s impressive. And, like, I mean, some of these other outdoor activities, I mean, did you just grow up doing these things, or did you just get into it a little bit later?

Michelle Kooi:

I grew up hiking and horseback riding. I got into the other things here. So I just started rock climbing about five and a half years ago

John Garrett:

That’s impressive.

Michelle Kooi:

And, yeah, you know, nothing like taking up something like that when you’re fifty.

John Garrett:

Right? It’s like, well, I’ve always wanted to, and now you can’t tell me swim I can’t. So it’s like, yeah, I think no one no one’s telling someone that’s 50 that they can’t do anything. It’s like, go for it. Yeah. But, yeah, those pictures are so cool. Yeah. It’s also neat how you shared it on LinkedIn, which I think is Really neat because that’s also you. And was there a part of you that thought, you know, hey.

John Garrett:

This maybe doesn’t belong on LinkedIn or no one’s gonna care because it’s not the CPA consultant Side of you?

Michelle Kooi:

Not for a second. Like, adventure is one of my values, and I wanna be really authentic and in, my communication. And so that just seemed perfectly appropriate. And, also, I find so many analogy is when I’m on the wall climbing that took to life, that I get great ideas when I’m climbing. I’m never as more focused on there because yeah. You are just thinking about your next move. You are not worried about that balance sheet. You’re not worried about anything else, you are 100% focused.

Michelle Kooi:

So it just focuses my brain and yeah. I mean, I had an an idea the other day that it’s also similar to of being

John Garrett:

an entrepreneur. Pretty much. Yeah. You’re the only one. One small slip, and it could be A long fall. But yeah. No. That’s awesome.

John Garrett:

Very cool. And so do you have any, like, you know or or even the whitewater rafting, The paddle boarding, I mean, just all the things. It’s just but I would love to see your garage is really all I wanna go. Like, I just wanna see your because it’s probably all the cool stuff.

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. So there’s this nobody really in Durango has a garage that cars go in. It’s a gear shed. That’s what we call it. That’s full of bikes and kayaks and rafting equipment and camping equipment and paddleboards

John Garrett:

That’s awesome. And then when it snows, it snows and whatever. We brush our cars off. It’s fine.

Michelle Kooi:

Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention the skis.

John Garrett:

Yeah. Right. Right. That’s incredible. That’s so great. And, like, do you have any favorite moments that come to mind of any of the outdoor things or some of the trips that you’ve done or or rides that you’ve done or or things that come to mind that you’re like, wow, that was really cool.

Michelle Kooi:

Wow. There’s so many. I mean, for rock climbing, probably the one most exciting ones was climbing in the gunks in New York. We did a 300 foot wall and a free rappel, and that was pretty exciting. I had never climbed that high before, but the views are absolutely gorgeous from up there. The other one is, I did a 21 day raft whitewater rafting trip on the Grand Canyon, and Wow. It was really, like, a life changing experience, being off the grid, totally off the grid, not connected, and just out there under the stars for for 3 weeks, I felt like I came home and I looked in the mirror and I looked like I had reverse aged 5 years because I had just had gotten so much rest and also activity and just being out in the fresh air. It’s very exhilarating and renewing.

John Garrett:

No. I love this. So but, I mean, I’m just doing the math. Like, 300 feet, that’s, like, almost 30 stories. I mean, that’s, like, up there.

Michelle Kooi:

It’s way up there.

John Garrett:

There’s cities that don’t have buildings that tall. And Yes. You know? Yeah. And so that’s incredible. And then 3 weeks going through the Grand Canyon, mean, white water rafting, I mean, that’s that’s awesome. Like, that’s so cool. I mean, it’s the kind of thing where people are like, oh, I should do that someday, and they’re like, well, I did. And, you know, just go do it, you know, type of thing of don’t wait.

John Garrett:

That’s awesome. You know? Like, that’s so cool and, yeah. And and and and I guess just a revisit of, like, You know, like the mountain biking where, you know, you hung it up for a little bit and then you came back or, you know, some of these other activities where there’s a pause in there for you, Like, do you feel like the Michelle doing the outdoor activities is different than the Michelle that didn’t have the ands going at the time Because of work or life or things like that?

Michelle Kooi:

Oh, yeah. Definitely. I mean, they help me burn off stress. It’s like almost a spiritual experience for me, just being out in nature and just calms my nervous system, and it is like calming and stimulating the same time, I not even sure how to explain it, but just the things that you see out there and the people that you meet when you’re on the trail and just challenging myself. I love challenging myself in different ways. So, you know, all of these activities can be challenging. And so I like doing that, I love learning new things, so there’s, you know, I I feel like I I grow and I actually come back to work, you know, better than I was before when I go out and do these activities.

John Garrett:

No. I love it so much because, I mean, at no point through schooling or CPE or all the things does anyone say, you know, hey. Make sure that you go and do, You know, your outdoor activities, Michelle. Because if you don’t, you’re not as good at your job as you could be. And, you know, that’s clearly the case, Making that important part of your life.

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. I mean, taking time, I mean, away to do things that fill you up and bring you joy just makes you show up better in every aspect of your life.

John Garrett:

Yeah. Because it’s more than just work. I mean, you’re just a better you. Yes. Yeah. And people wanna be around you more. Like, I mean, just all the good things. Yeah.

John Garrett:

And then the more people around you, you’re like, the more I need to go outside by myself and, like, just this Endless circle. Like, no. No. That’s how I would be anyway, personally. I would be like, alright. That’s enough people. Let’s go climb 300 feet so no one can get near me.

Michelle Kooi:

I definitely don’t do that by myself. Like

John Garrett:

No. No. I know. I know. You’d be crazy. And so do you talk about these things at work at all or with clients?

Michelle Kooi:

I do. I do. I actually had a client in my profile my website, I’m also a big yogi. And I got my yoga teacher certification about 11 years ago, and I just had a little bit about that along with, you know, all my professional things and the client actually ended up hiring me because of my yoga background. Like, he liked that I had put that up there and just made me more real to him, and they were the clients happened to be into yoga as well, and so they just loved seeing that they could relate to me in that way, and it differentiated me.

John Garrett:

Yeah. No. I love that so much. I mean, because it’s such a simple way To be different than any other CPA or any other consultant or any other, you know, coach or things like that, it’s like, well, You know, I like yoga, and if if you absolutely hate yoga, then I’m not your person.

Michelle Kooi:

Exactly.

John Garrett:

Like, for sure. And, like, whether I put that on the website or not, I’m still not your person.

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. When I was doing my 1st website, like, 10 years ago for a different business, hard a photographer to do my photos, and he was, like, you know, thinking I wanted pictures, like, at a desk or with clients, my computer, or in the conference room, and I was no. Every single picture, I want to be outside.

John Garrett:

No. I love it because, I mean, that’s the real Michelle. It’s that one, not the one that’s playing a part, You know, for 40 hours a week or whatever. Yeah. Good for you because I feel like so much pressure is on people to conform and play the part. What made you just be like, no. I’m not doing it? You know? I mean, I personally, I think I was Too naive to know that we had an option? Like, I mean, I because, I mean, I I I was just me, and I was like, oh, I didn’t even know we were supposed be playing parts here. My bad.

John Garrett:

But actually, not bad. My good. But, yeah, but for you, I mean, you know, you had been working for a while and you just reach a point where you’re like, yeah. This isn’t how I am or how I wanna be seen?

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. I just I’ve always been a little different and felt a little different, and I’m an out of the box thinker. And I just really wanted to, again, be authentic. Like, put the real me out there and not try to be something that I’m not and try to you know, anybody who’s turned off from any of that is not my people.

John Garrett:

Right. Yeah. Let them self select beforehand.

Michelle Kooi:

Exactly. Like,

John Garrett:

You tell yourself no. I don’t have to tell you no. Perfect.

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. If that weeds you out, you know, from the beginning, then we’re both better off.

John Garrett:

No. I I love it. I think it’s fantastic because, first of all, you have to know yourself in order to present it to the world, and I feel like, Sadly, there’s a lot of people that aren’t there yet on that. You know? Because, I mean and and, you know, as far as, like, feeling Like, you’re a misfitter, and then that’s what What’s Your Hand all is all about. Like, we’re the land of misfit toys. Like, it

Michelle Kooi:

Yes.

John Garrett:

But then you you get here and you find out that, like, 92% of us are here, the people that have hobbies and passions. And and, you know, my research has shown it’s 92% of professionals. So it’s like almost all of us are over here, but you don’t know about it until you get here. People are hiding. Yeah.

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. People are hiding. They’re afraid to show their their true self in a lot of ways because there’s, you know, there’s just from past experiences or, you know, being judged or even shamed in situations. So it can be scary to put yourself out there, but it can also create amazing connections of people that you never maybe would have connected with before, and that’s I love connecting with people.

John Garrett:

Yeah. Well, I mean, that’s how business happens at the end of the day. I mean, there’s still humans and other humans connecting. You know? And and if you can create that connection on a human level, Then it’s strong, and no one can come in and swipe clients or, you know, you’re able to provide a better service, and it’s just Things are better all around.

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. I think it also creates more trust and more loyalty as well.

John Garrett:

No. It’s I mean, everything good, basically, And and you’re right. I mean, you know, that is the shame and the and the judgment, and and sadly, some of that is even coming from inside our own mind, judging ourselves, and and, well, I feel like everyone well, has anyone ever told you? No? Well, then why do you like, that’s just in your own head there. Like, let that go, you know, and Ask for forgiveness once and see what happens. I bet they don’t even notice. I bet they don’t even notice. Like, you know, like, it’s well, if I do this like, I mean, some organizations I’ve done, like, some work with, and and they’re, like, well, they didn’t say that we could whatever. And I’m, like, well, did they say that you couldn’t? And they’re like, no.

John Garrett:

And I go, well, then why don’t we just do it and see what happens? And then everyone thinks it’s awesome. Okay. Well, there we go. It’s funny how permission based we get in our own heads.

Michelle Kooi:

It’s amazing how permission based we get and how, yeah, we can be our own worst critic, and we can it’s like almost this protective thing. Like, part of us is trying to protect ourselves by that hiding when when in fact, maybe that’s something that served us in the past when we were little, or you’re not even conscious of it, but it’s there.

John Garrett:

No. 100% very much. I know exactly where you’re going with this. And it yeah. I mean, it gets deep, but it’s true. It’s like the the part of you that’s Showing up in your mind is not your friend. It was your friend before, maybe when you’re a little kid, but, you know, you need a new operating system as an

Michelle Kooi:

adult now. Yes. That’s a great way to

John Garrett:

put it. Little reprogram there.

Michelle Kooi:

A little reprogram. Yeah.

John Garrett:

So do you feel like any of these Outdoor activities, there’s gotta be a gazillion ways, but that you bring to work that make you better at your job. I mean, first of all, it’s relatable, as you said on your side with the yoga as an example but, you know, are there skills that you you bring to the table or a mindset or something that comes from these outside of work?

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. I mean, so one thing about rock climbing. So you get to a point sometimes where you’re stuck and you don’t see your next move. Like, my 1st time trad climbing, and I won’t go into the details of what that is. I was very early on in my climbing journey, and I was scared, and I didn’t know what to do next. And my partner that was climbing ahead of me belaying me was far enough away, he couldn’t even hear me. And so I couldn’t even ask, like, what do I do? Where where you know? And at this point, I was probably 75 or a 100 feet up, end, I was like, well, I could die on the wall here, or it’d be here forever, or I can figure it out

John Garrett:

I feel like it’s a Snickers ad, like, gonna be here a while. Like, can you pull out of Snickers? And, like, it’s hoots,

Michelle Kooi:

well, he just did it, so it’s possible. Right? And that when you think there’s not a way out, you don’t see another option, there’s always other options, and you’re just not looking hard enough. And so I continued to look, and I figured it out. And I I got through that section and then, you know, kept going.

John Garrett:

Yeah. And, I mean, I have to believe just the self confidence that you have Just in life. I mean, it’s like, yo. I climbed 300 feet. So what do you got? Like, I mean, you know, well, I don’t know. Like, Monday’s really hard. Oh, really? Is it 300 feet hard? No. It’s not.

John Garrett:

Okay? So, like, I mean, just all the things that, you know, that just light you up also just give you I mean, 3 weeks completely unplugged going through the Grand Canyon. That’s a small list of people, really, as a percentage of all the humans that have walked the Earth. That’s a pretty small list of people that have done that, and that’s awesome. Like, that’s so cool. You know? And it’s it’s just like that’s gotta be Not just a a sense of pride, but just confidence of, like, yeah, I did these things that are not exactly walks in the park. You know? Like, Yeah. You’re resilient. You’re tough.

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. It builds resiliency. It builds ways of being resourceful, like, you don’t always have exactly what you need and so you find something that works. It, like you said, builds confidence. I think there’s so many things that transfer.

John Garrett:

Yeah. And, I mean, that’s what I was saying is there’s gotta be a gazillion. As I was thinking about, like, for you, I was like, oh, man. There’s a1000000 of them. It’s great to just hear that you’re experiencing that. Like, you’re able to notice, Oh, wait. This does come from, you know, my aunts. My aunts is exercising a muscle that I’m able to bring to other parts of my life, And it makes me better.

Michelle Kooi:

Yeah. And the other thing is, especially when I’m on my mountain bike, I get a lot of great ideas. My mind is quiet, my body is active, but my mind is quiet and I’m just out in the forest or the desert, wherever I happen to be biking, and it’s like, you know, quieting your mind, like, a lot of people say they don’t meditate because they can’t quiet their mind. So it’s in a way I I meditate also, but this is a way of sort of a moving meditation, really, that you clear the mind, you’re focused on the trail, but, you know, things can come in, and I solve problems while I’m biking, like, at work, like work problems.

John Garrett:

I believe it. Yeah. Because, I mean, that’s similar to the climbing where, you know, again, you’re laser focused on that one because, I mean, mountain biking, man, you can mess some stuff up in a hurry, so you’re very, you know, focused.

Michelle Kooi:

I crash about every few times I go out. Like, I’m I’m pushing myself. So

John Garrett:

That’s awesome. Yeah. No. I I love it. I mean, it’s it’s so cool to hear just that how much this matters to you And, like, you know, there were times where you had to put them on the shelf, and then you realized, like, no. No. No. No.

John Garrett:

Michelle is better in life, Not just work, but life with these ands. And so it’s, you know, making time to do them. It doesn’t have to be every day or every week or every month, but just making time when the time’s right to make it happen.

Michelle Kooi:

Absolutely.

John Garrett:

Yeah. And so do you have any words of encouragement to people that are listening that maybe they have an And, but they’re like, well, no one cares or it has nothing to do with my job or maybe they’ve been shamed in the past or in their own mind, they’re shaming themselves or whatever.

Michelle Kooi:

I would say, you know, connection is so important. It’s we’re wired as human beings to connect. And I think with COVID, and everything that’s happened in the last few years, so many people are feeling disconnected, not only I mean, with themselves and with other people. And so, you know, connecting with other people brings out things in you that you can’t even process yourself. It can create, you know, lasting friendships that you did not expect. You can make connections that can help your career or a family member, there’s so many wonderful things that can come from that. But unless you are true and real, people aren’t gonna get to know you. And if they don’t get to know you, then there’s so many parts of your life that are going to be kept smaller when they could be bigger and and brighter.

John Garrett:

I love that so much. Live a big bright life. Right? You get one swing. Like, make it count.

Michelle Kooi:

Exactly.

John Garrett:

That’s awesome. Very cool. Well, I feel like it’s only fair before we shut this down that I, since I rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning, that we flipped it around, Make it the Michelle Kooi podcast. Thanks for having me on. And so whatever questions you wanna ask, I’m all yours.

Michelle Kooi:

Okay. Well, what’s your aunt?

John Garrett:

Yeah. So huge concerts, as we mentioned earlier. College football, ice cream, definitely an and. It’s amazing I have teeth left, to be honest, that’s how much I love ice cream. Like, in travel, travel is always always up there. But, never the life risking kind of things, like, I’m impressed. I’m like, wow. That’s cool.

John Garrett:

I look at the pictures. Like, the 14ers in Colorado, the 14,000 foot mountains that everyone wants to run up, But you have to start in, like, 3 AM because the lightning strikes in the afternoon. They’ll kill you, and I’m like, yeah. You know what? I’ll just look at the pictures. I’m good. Like, you know, like, I I’m good.

Michelle Kooi:

Where did you go on your last trip?

John Garrett:

So my last vacation was to Costa Rica. Oh. Yeah. I’ve been there twice now, I guess. Yeah. Twice.

Michelle Kooi:

Oh my gosh. I went there a year and a half ago. It was amazing.

John Garrett:

Yeah. It’s so nice. And everyone there is super friendly because tourism’s a lot of their economy, But they just know. I mean, there’s good people. It’s a cool place. That’s for sure. And everyone speaks English too. So or not everyone, but

Michelle Kooi:

almost everyone. Yeah. It’s easy to

John Garrett:

get around. Yeah. Very much. So that would be the last trip earlier this year.

Michelle Kooi:

And what’s your favorite thing about your work?

John Garrett:

Yeah. So my favorite thing about my work, I think, is seeing people activate, I guess. I don’t know. Just like you see the switch where, You know, through speaking at conferences or working with organizations where they’ve always thought this, but they didn’t know they were allowed to think it. And then not only that, but then I’m like, no. No. No. Say it and share it.

John Garrett:

Like and, you know, and there’s the part of them That isn’t a job title, and there’s a part of them that isn’t a a family role. There’s a part of them that’s just them. And Like you were saying earlier, we subconsciously put that part in the in the back corner of the basement and, like, shut your mouth and don’t ever come out because nobody cares. And it’s like, no. No. No. No. Everybody cares.

John Garrett:

That’s the only part to bring out. All the other ones put in the corner. Like, you know, like, that’s the that’s the coolest one. Let it out. Like, you know, and And so it’s it’s neat to see people just come alive. In the podcast, I’ve accidentally created a show where I get you at your best. You know, you’re not talking about anything work. Sometimes that’s great to talk about work, but sometimes it’s work.

John Garrett:

I mean, come on. But talking about stuff outdoors, Always awesome. And so it’s so cool to to just you can just hear it in people’s voices. Just they’re alive, You know, and just encouraging more of that and encouraging organizations to create places that that’s the way we do things here is, you know, we value the worker as much as we value the work. And, you know, that’s that’s what I hammer away at on stage is that part of it, and it’s cool to see when that happens because it’s like, you know, work can be a net positive if we make it that way. You know, it doesn’t have to suck the every little little thing out of everybody, you know, your soul and your time and everything. It’s like, no. No.

John Garrett:

It can actually Enhance those things if you do it right and just finding places that care. So, yeah, I think it’s it’s just just making things better and, Yeah. I don’t know. Making a difference, I guess. I don’t know. That was the longest answer I’ve probably ever given, but but it’s, it’s just cool to to make a difference. You know?

Michelle Kooi:

I love it, and that’s so great. And that isn’t that what we’re really all here to do, just make a difference?

John Garrett:

You would think. I mean, like, are we living, or are we just existing? And it’s, you know, like, come alive and, you know, make a difference. And it doesn’t have to be, like, you know, follow your dreams as your job. It’s like, no. No. You being a professional mountain biker, a professional, you know, whitewater rafter, like, whatever, like, I don’t even know what that takes, but it sounds hard. But you can have it as as an and. You know? You’re a CPA and, you know, white water rafter.

John Garrett:

You’re a consultant and A mountain biker, you know, rock climber, like, whatever, and it’s a hobby. It’s a hobby that I love to do, and it doesn’t have to be your your side hustle. Know, that that’s the other thing that I’m I’m just over is this this hustle mentality. It’s like, no. No. No. It’s not a hustle of anything. It’s literally I pay money and go do stuff I like to do, like, that’s it.

John Garrett:

Like, it’s don’t overthink it because people always wanna come to me, and they’re like, oh, well, you know, my and is Something that’s well, that’s a tangent of work. I mean, that that’s literally work related. That’s not your aunt. Then you push back a little bit, and then you find out that they oh, well, I, You know, something amazing. Like, well, I climbed a 300 foot wall, and you’re like, yeah. Maybe that. That might be your end. That sounds pretty awesome.

John Garrett:

You know? And it’s just so cool to And they’re like, oh, that. And I’m like, yeah. That. And then it’s it’s just amazing just to see people come alive. It’s awesome. And being the guest on the Michelle Kooi podcast as well. That’s also my favorite part of my work.

Michelle Kooi:

Well, thank you for being on the show, John.

John Garrett:

Skiing Absolutely. No. But honestly, thank you for for being a part of this and and connecting and just, you know, being such a great example of somebody that’s, You know, living it and and and knows the impact and how important it is to have those hands. So thank you so much.

Michelle Kooi:

You’re welcome. Them. Thank you so much for having me.

John Garrett:

Yeah. Absolutely. And everybody listening, if you you’d like to see some pictures of Michelle in action, I’m telling you, they’re awesome, or connect with her on social media, be sure to go to what’s your and dot Everything’s there. And while you’re on the page, please click that big button. Do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and don’t forget to check out the book. Thanks again for subscribing on Apple Podcasts 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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