Episode 613 – Alice Grey Harrison

Alice Grey is a Communications Consultant & Needlepointed

Alice Grey Harrison shares her passion for needlepoint, which she discovered during a sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands. She expresses the meditative benefits of needlepoint and defends integrating hobbies like this into the workplace, arguing that they enhance energy and spark creativity. She advocates for integrating personal passions into work life, suggesting that such practices can lead to moments of clarity and contribute to overall well-being. She also discusses how organizations can have programs to support employees' pursuits outside of work, helping them be their best both personally and professionally.

Episode Highlights

· the importance of integrating one’s hobbies, like her needlepointing, into work life to foster personal fulfillment and enhance work performance

· how needlepoint is a meditative practice that not only serves as personal expression but also allows for quiet reflection and moments of clarity

· addressing the perceived judgment about engaging in non-work-related activities like needlepoint at work, Alice stresses the value of such activities for personal energy and creativity

· engaging in personal interests can lead to moments of clarity and breakthrough ideas, demonstrating the direct benefits of stepping away from work-related tasks

Alice Grey's Links

Help Make Work Better

I need your help for 2 minutes to complete this important survey on work culture. Your anonymous responses will provide key insights to develop a new program for more positive and engaged teams.

Subscribe Now

Podcast Transcript

Alice Grey Harrison [00:00:05]:
Hey, y’all. This is Alice Grey Harrison. And while I am needle pointing, I am listening to John Garrett on What You’re In. You should tune in too.

John Garrett [00:00:20]:
Welcome to episode 613 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 are things that actually differentiate you at work. It’s the answer to the question of who else are you beyond the job title. And if you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the award winning book. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble bookshop, a few other websites.

John Garrett [00:00:50]:
All the links are at whatsyourand.com. The book goes more in-depth with the research behind why these outside work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. And I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it, writing such great reviews on Amazon. Thank you so much for those. And more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it. If you want me to read it to you, that’s right. This voice reading the book. Look for What’s Your “And”? on Audible or wherever you get your audiobooks.

John Garrett [00:01:13]:
And please don’t forget to 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, Alice Grey Harrison. She’s the managing partner of AGH Consulting Group out of Greenville, South Carolina. And now she’s with me here today. Alice Grey, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:01:34]:
Hi, John. Great to be with you.

John Garrett [00:01:36]:
This is gonna be so much fun. We met so many years ago at a accounting marketing conference, AIM conference. And, yeah, it’s been great. So I’m just excited to have you be a part of this. So thank you so much.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:01:48]:

John Garrett [00:01:49]:
Yeah. It’s gonna be a blast. So I have rapid fire questions, things I probably should have asked you when we first hung out. But I thought, why not wait till we’re doing the show? And, so here we go. This will be a fun one. Do you have a favorite color?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:02:01]:
I have a favorite color. Yes. I would say my favorite color is blue.

John Garrett [00:02:05]:
Oh, okay. Mine too. There we go. How about a least favorite color?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:02:09]:

John Garrett [00:02:10]:
Yellow. Interesting. Okay.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:02:12]:
Even though I’m a fun comic signs kinda girl,

John Garrett [00:02:15]:
like, you’ve told

Alice Grey Harrison [00:02:16]:
me once.

John Garrett [00:02:20]:
That was the next one I was gonna ask you. What’s your favorite font?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:02:23]:
That is not my favorite font.

John Garrett [00:02:25]:
I know it’s not your favorite font. So I do superlatives when I speak at conferences, and I picked you as most likely to have Comic Sans be your favorite font. And the whole audience was, like, oh my. Like, I mean, like, I just, like, made fun of your mom. Like, it was, like, the most insulting one. Like, it was so funny. I know it’s not a comic series. I

Alice Grey Harrison [00:02:48]:
knew all 300 people in the room.

John Garrett [00:02:51]:
It was hilarious. Everyone was just like, oh, you did not just say that. So do you have a favorite font?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:02:58]:
I’m an Arial girl, but I really you know what? Some of my work colleagues probably are laughing because they know that I could care less. A font is a font.

John Garrett [00:03:08]:
Right. Just

Alice Grey Harrison [00:03:09]:
not touch the font. Graphics designers of the world I said that.

John Garrett [00:03:14]:
Absolutely, man. People are really in love with certain ones. Are you more talk or text?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:03:19]:
I think I’m more talk in my career business world. But in my personal life, I probably text because I don’t have the energy to talk.

John Garrett [00:03:29]:
Oh, you used it all up.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:03:31]:
I used it all up.

John Garrett [00:03:32]:
There you go. Fair enough. Fair enough. How about a favorite day of the week?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:03:35]:
Saturday, for sure. I like Saturday. Sunday, sometimes I get the Sunday scary. So we’re gonna go with Saturday because, you know, my chores of the week are done. It’s just my family. We’re hanging out.

John Garrett [00:03:47]:
Love it. Okay. How about puzzles? Sudoku, crossword, jigsaw puzzle?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:03:52]:
None of the above. I do not like puzzles. I always buy jigsaw puzzles, and my daughter and I sit down and start them, and we do the edges. And then I’m like, I got nothing. I can’t do this anymore.

John Garrett [00:04:04]:
You know what you should do is you should create just a puzzle that’s just the edge, like, just a frame of

Alice Grey Harrison [00:04:09]:
the brownies that are just edges. That means puzzles that are just the edges.

John Garrett [00:04:13]:
There you go. And then you just once you do the edge, then you’re done with the puzzle. Like, it’s like there it is. Like, that’s awesome. I bet there’s a huge market for that because I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time for the inside. You figure it out. I love it.

John Garrett [00:04:24]:
How about a favorite actor or an actress?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:04:27]:
I’m gonna go with Meg Ryan.

John Garrett [00:04:28]:
Meg Ryan. Absolutely. Yeah. She hasn’t been around for a while.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:04:30]:
I’m a nineties girl.

John Garrett [00:04:31]:
Yeah. She doesn’t man, so many great movies. Absolutely. Yeah. No. That’s a great pick. Absolutely. This important one, toilet paper roll.

John Garrett [00:04:38]:
Are we going over or under?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:04:39]:

John Garrett [00:04:41]:
Wow. Okay. Within arm’s reach. That’s probably important. But other than that, we’re good. Like, alright. Star Wars or Star Trek?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:04:49]:
Neither. No sci fi for me.

John Garrett [00:04:52]:
There we go. Is your computer more of a PC or a Mac?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:04:55]:
A PC. Yeah. I don’t even know that I could know how to work a Mac.

John Garrett [00:05:00]:
Right? I mean, everyone’s like, oh, it’s so simple. And they’re like,

Alice Grey Harrison [00:05:03]:
25 years in corporate America, like, I’ve never used an Apple.

John Garrett [00:05:07]:
Exactly. Do you have a favorite animal? Any animal at all?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:05:11]:
Yes. A dog. I love dogs.

John Garrett [00:05:13]:
Uh-oh. Okay. There you go. That’s a great answer. Absolutely. How about ice cream? You going in a cup or in a cone?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:05:19]:
I’m gonna be going in a cone with some mint chocolate chip.

John Garrett [00:05:23]:
Oh, okay. Alright. A classic. I like it. Oh, this is a fun one. Planes, trains, or automobiles?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:05:29]:
Oh, I love being on an airplane. Nothing makes me happier than the moment I sit down on that seat and put my phone in airplane mode, and nobody’s bothering me. And it’s just I can sit for days like that.

John Garrett [00:05:45]:
Right? I don’t wanna break it to you, but you can turn on airplane mode when you’re not on the airplane also. Just letting you know. Just pretend like every day is a flight from noon to 4.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:05:57]:
If I could get, like, an airplane seat in my house.

John Garrett [00:06:00]:
There you go.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:06:01]:
If that can be mom’s time out here, I put my phone on airplane mode. That’s it.

John Garrett [00:06:06]:
There you go. You get some family members to bring you some

Alice Grey Harrison [00:06:08]:
Fresh souls.

John Garrett [00:06:09]:
Drinks and some pretzels and peanuts. There we go. I like it. Mama’s in 1st class today. Alright. Here we go. How about a favorite number?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:06:19]:
3. I’ve always loved 3. You know, I grew up showing horses, and the first time I ever won a championship, my number was 33. And so I think I was like 7 or 8 years old. And ever since then, 3 has been my favorite number.

John Garrett [00:06:34]:
That’s a great number. I like it. That’s awesome. Alright. How about your first concert?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:06:39]:
Oh, gosh. We were just talking about that the other day. I think that my first concert well, my first concert that I chose to go to, New Kids on the Block.

John Garrett [00:06:50]:
Yes. Okay. There we go. Like, the original.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:06:54]:
Oh, yeah. Not the not the comeback tour.

John Garrett [00:06:56]:
Not the whatever the I don’t even know if they’re coming back, but I feel like they are because they all are. That’s fantastic. I love it. That’s so great. I love concerts so much. How about favorite toppings on a pizza? You load it up. Whatever you like.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:07:08]:
Pepperoni and mushrooms.

John Garrett [00:07:10]:
Oh, okay. Kind of a classic. I like it. And the last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own? My favorite

Alice Grey Harrison [00:07:16]:
thing that I own, I would say, is my passport.

John Garrett [00:07:24]:
Yeah. There you go.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:07:25]:
Because I love to get on an airplane and go somewhere.

John Garrett [00:07:28]:
Yeah. I love it. That’s awesome. Very cool. And, plus, I would imagine when you’re on an airplane, it gives you some time to needlepoint as well. But yeah. So that leads right into this. So let’s talk about needlepoint, and how did you get started with this?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:07:42]:
Okay. So I started needlepointing probably 10 or so years ago. I was on a sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands. My husband and I and another couple rented a boat, and we sailed for 10 days around the island. And she taught me how to needlepoint. So we just needlepointed all over the Virgin Islands, and I was hooked.

John Garrett [00:08:04]:
That’s very cool. And so do you have some things that you’ve made that are some of your favorite things or more memorable things, I guess?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:08:10]:
Yes. For sure. One of the first big projects I did was a sumo wrestler dressed up as Santa Claus. And so it just it just makes me laugh. And I think back to the early days, some of my stitches aren’t so great, but it it just brings back a lot of fond memories of stitching him, and I pull him out at Christmas.

John Garrett [00:08:32]:
That’s super cool. Yeah. And, I mean, from afar. And if anyone is getting up that close and and critiquing, then they’re not your friend anyway.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:08:40]:
Oh, yeah. No.

John Garrett [00:08:41]:
Let’s see what you’ve done there, Skiffy.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:08:43]:
Yeah. Yeah. So I love it. But I also you know, I love everything that I stitch because it takes so much time to stitch. And I have small projects that I bring with me when I travel. So, obviously, my end is travel and needlepoint. They go hand in hand for me, but I always have something that I’m stitching that represents wherever we’re going. Usually, it’s an ornament.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:09:07]:
And so when I pull those out, I think about where I was sitting while I was doing it or what was happening in my life while I was needle pointing or somebody who taught me a different stitch that I’m doing on it.

John Garrett [00:09:19]:
That’s very cool. Yeah. That so it’s not just anything. It’s something that means something from a time, and then it could take you back to that. And so what’s the difference between needlepoint and cross stitch? Because in my mind, they overlap a little bit, and I know that they’re gonna be very, very different.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:09:34]:
They are very different. So cross stitch, you start with a blank canvas typically, and you have a pattern, and you have to count blocks, and a cross stitch is a cross. It’s an x.

John Garrett [00:09:45]:
You just make x’s all around to make the picture. Yeah.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:09:48]:
In today’s needlepoint, usually, you have a canvas that has been hand painted, and you’re filling in the painting with different stitches on the canvas. Although, you know, needlepoint previous to I don’t know when they started painting canvases, but let’s just go with the Alice Grey needlepointing. I I do know in the seventies, because I have old needlepoint books, they would show you a pattern, and then you would do it on the a blank canvas. But today, they an artist actually paints the canvas for you.

John Garrett [00:10:21]:
Got it. And so there are different stitches to create different textures or different

Alice Grey Harrison [00:10:26]:
Yes. I mean, I have I have books that are 2 inches thick, full of different stitches, and it does. You can have, like, a stitch that actually looks like bricks or a stitch that looks like Santa’s beard or, you know, you name it. There’s a stitch. And there are also different fibers that you use. So you choose a fiber that is gonna look like whatever you’re trying to stitch. So if you’re doing, like, a thatched roof on something, then you’re gonna use kind of a straw fiber. But if you’re doing, I don’t know, a dress on a woman or whatever, it might be a silk fiber to look more smooth.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:11:00]:
So there’s lots of different ways that you can customize it to make it look different.

John Garrett [00:11:05]:
Yeah. There’s a lot more to it than yeah. I thought because it’s like, oh, well, it’s like a paint by number. You just like And

Alice Grey Harrison [00:11:11]:
that’s what my husband says. He’s like, I don’t understand what’s the big deal. You just and I’m like, there is some part of that because it’s very meditative. You very much make it your own by how you stitch it.

John Garrett [00:11:22]:
No. I like that. That’s awesome. And and I feel like the meditative must be a nice reprieve from work, you know, something that that makes you, in a roundabout way, better at your job.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:11:35]:
Yeah. You know what? Actually, somebody told me, and I’ve never seen this, so they might have made it up to make me feel better about my life. But, basically, they said that if you’re on Zoom or watching something, anything, whatever, if you need a point while you do it, you can absorb more and understand more than if you’re just blankly staring at a screen. It’s kinda like people who walk on the treadmill or whatever. Like, if you’re moving and doing something, your brain engages more thoroughly.

John Garrett [00:12:04]:
And I believe that too because, I mean, on the video calls, our brain is having to take in 2 backgrounds, our background and and the other person’s or all the other people’s backgrounds. And so our brain is just completely overworked on that because we’re not all in the same environment. So our brain now has to process all of that where if you’re just deep into needlepointing, you’re then you’re all you’re doing is listening. You’re not worried about figuring out where people are or what’s going on or what’s in their background.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:12:30]:
Although for the record, I’ve never, like, let the world know that I was doing that. So, you know, if you’ve been on a call with me and you couldn’t see me, I could have been doing it.

John Garrett [00:12:40]:
If you were in the future to maybe be doing that, then there we go. Unless it’s like a needle pointing meeting, then, of course, you were doing it because we were all

Alice Grey Harrison [00:12:47]:
exist too. Those exist. You can take needlepoint classes online. You can take them in person. Lots of options.

John Garrett [00:12:54]:
That’s all. And so is this something that you talked about at work at all?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:12:58]:
Not really. I mean, it does make me look very much like a 90 year old lady sitting there needle pointing. But there are some other colleagues that I have who also are needle pointers, so we would talk about it. And

John Garrett [00:13:14]:
But kinda on the down low in the corner of the

Alice Grey Harrison [00:13:16]:
break room? Like, over lunch, we’d pull our canvas out of the bag and Okay. Tell each other about it. So yeah. I mean, yes. But I didn’t walk around. Hey, guys. Look at my new needlepoint.

John Garrett [00:13:28]:
Absolutely. Because there is I mean, there is a line that, you know, I guess a lot of people have to cross internally, I feel like, you know, because, you know, what is it that held you back from, hey, everybody. You know? Check out this canvas.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:13:42]:
I think probably just that that look of why in the world would you sit for hours and do that? Like, you know, if you’re a runner, people kinda people also look at you and go, why in the world would you run 10 miles? I mean, so it just is, maybe a more more known thing that people might talk about or be interested in, really, to be honest with you.

John Garrett [00:14:04]:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, yeah. I mean, I I feel like the judgment happens mostly inside our own heads.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:14:10]:
Oh, absolutely.

John Garrett [00:14:11]:
And when it comes out, it’s rarely even close to as bad as what we thought it was gonna be. It’s it’s often like, wow. That is incredible. You know? Like, it’s it’s the it’s the opposite of where that’s awesome. How did I not know this, you know, type of level. And especially when you find the other ones that do the same

Alice Grey Harrison [00:14:28]:
Oh, absolutely.

John Garrett [00:14:30]:
Then I I would imagine that those relationships with the other needle pointers is a little bit different in the office than with everybody else.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:14:37]:
It is. I mean, one of the girls even has, like, her own Instagram account that’s just her needle point. So, like, she and I can have conversations for days. I’ll be like, how did you do that? Blah blah blah. And, you know, then we can talk about it. But, yeah, it’s just something. It’s I also don’t think about talking about it because it’s just part of who I am.

John Garrett [00:14:56]:
There you go. Yeah. Yeah. Because, I mean, I didn’t tell you what I had for dinner last night. I didn’t tell you, you know, like, you know, how much I spent on gas this week or And

Alice Grey Harrison [00:15:04]:
if you’re a runner, you’re not like, oh, this morning, I ran 12 miles. Yesterday morning, I ran 5 miles. I mean, you may say if you had, like, a race that you did, like, this weekend what did you do this weekend? I ran a race. So, you know, I guess I could say and I probably have said, what did you do this weekend? Well, I listened to John’s podcast and did some needlepoint.

John Garrett [00:15:24]:
Yeah. I mean, it’s just a can opener. Then if people are like, wait. Needlepoint? What? Then it’s like, well, now that you asked, you’re like, go put the floodgates. I mean, I guess how important is it to have those outside of work, you know, those ands to bring into a workplace setting?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:15:41]:
Oh, I think I just watched a TED talk on this and just talking about how to figure out how to make your work and your life become one cohesive thing, that you can’t have work be over here. I wish the world could see my hands. Too far to the left, and my personal life far to the right. You know, they have to intersect. So I also think that we are best at work when we have other outlets for energy so that, you know, if you do anything all the time, you’re just gonna become dull at it. If I needlepointed all the time, I would be dull. I wouldn’t be as good. I wouldn’t be seeking new stitches.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:16:28]:
It would just be like, why? So I think that having these something that ignites your fire outside of work ultimately ignites your fire inside of your work world too.

John Garrett [00:16:44]:
Yeah. I love that. That’s so good. Yeah. Because, I mean, that that enthusiasm, that passion, that energy that you get from other sources, you can then take and bring it to things that maybe traditionally, sadly, a work is in a a negative energy space. It depletes you. It rarely fills your bucket. You leave work exhausted.

John Garrett [00:17:09]:
You leave work worn out. You leave work depleted, and other things fill that bucket. And, you know, it’d be awesome if work was the opposite and work was filling. Sure. Sometimes it’s not, but something a lot of times it can be in and it can be a net even, at least, net positive. So yeah. So that taking that energy, I love that that idea because it it ignites your fire that then you can take that energy and bring it because it like I feel like it’d be great if work was your thing, but it doesn’t have to be your end. And and and my research shows that it’s 92, 93% of professionals.

John Garrett [00:17:46]:
It’s something else, which is totally okay. And so, you know, for the 7 or 8%, cool. That’s your jam. That’s fine. But for the 92, 93% of us, also fine. You know? And don’t be bullied.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:18:00]:
And sometimes you need that blank headspace to really process what’s going on at work, and you can’t do it when you’re immersed into it. So when you step away and you’re doing, you know, your and, your subconscious still has that work stuff going on. And a lot of times, you know, your greatest ideas or clarity will appear while you are in your end and not at work.

John Garrett [00:18:23]:
No. I love that so much. And how much is it on an organization to create that space and encourage people to have ends and share them versus how much is it on the individual to just find out who the other secret needle pointers are and talk with them, you know, type of thing.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:18:40]:
Well, I think organizations that create a culture of sharing and a culture of inclusivity, it enables you to have your hand and to be able to talk about it. I don’t think that it is up to organizations to to shape your personal life and to provide outlets for your personal life. That’s just me. But I think that organizations that support you having those things you know, my predecessor from DHG, we had something that was a program that recognized that you don’t wake up every day to come to work as your reason for being. And so this program was about harnessing your energy in a way that enables you to come to work and do your thing and be the best you can be so that you have the energy for your and. So they built this whole structure of, you know, being mindful, working on your physical well-being, your mental well-being, your emotional well-being, all of these well-being things enable you to have the energy for your end, but also enable you to be the best you can be at work. And I think systems that enable that are the best. And, of course, they also allow you to be able to fully express those things to others in the office as well in support.

John Garrett [00:20:12]:
I love that so much. That’s so fantastic because it’s, I mean, the the phrase that I use a lot is just value the worker as much as you value the work. And they’re looking at you as a as a human being with other dimensions to who you are above and beyond your job. And it is the role of the organization in this case to make sure that you’re living your best life or you have the opportunity

Alice Grey Harrison [00:20:35]:
have the opportunity to.

John Garrett [00:20:36]:
Yes. Exactly.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:20:37]:
You’re not obligated to make you live your best life, but you have the opportunity to be able to do so.

John Garrett [00:20:43]:
Yeah. No. That’s exactly it.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:20:44]:
And I love that. Organizations and people kinda get that wrong sometimes. They think it’s up to their job to provide these things. It isn’t up to your company to do this, but to allow you to do that.

John Garrett [00:20:58]:
Give you the space. Mhmm. It’s up to the company to not suck it all out of you.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:21:02]:
Right. Well said.

John Garrett [00:21:06]:
Like and and I feel like that a lot of that too is is, like, what’s rewarded and what’s encouraged and, you know, is it the burnout culture? Is it the, you know, the badge of honor of working 60 hour weeks every week? Is it the whatever? You know? Or is it the opposite of how you described? No. No. Mindfulness and energy and, you know, like understanding that, hey, this isn’t your reason for being on earth, you know, isn’t this? This is a means to an end that is part of your journey, but there are other things as well. And so making sure that you can, you know, feel fully activated, I think, is is awesome. I love that. That’s so fantastic. And and so do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that maybe they’re needle pointers or whatever their end is, and they feel like no one cares because it has nothing to do with my job?

Alice Grey Harrison [00:21:54]:
Well, you know, I think that what’s important is for an individual to figure out what they need in their life to have the energy, going back to that, to have the energy to perform their job well. When you’re getting paid, you’re getting paid to do a job. This isn’t monkey business, like, you got a job to do. How can you spend the least amount of hours to do the very best job that you can to fully fulfill your obligation to your organization? So figuring out what you need in your life, your space, taking care of your whole self so that then you can spend quality time. That sounds so nerdy. Needle anointing or whatever it is.

John Garrett [00:22:40]:
Absolutely. That is quality time, though. I mean, you know, whatever your and is. You know? Like, some people have nerdy ands like running, you know. Like, I mean, that’s like I mean, the the few times I’ve run-in my life, I’ve either been in trouble, like, at soccer practice in high school and then you gotta run laps, or I did a half marathon once. And I

Alice Grey Harrison [00:23:01]:
thought you were gonna have to have stolen something and we’re running real fast.

John Garrett [00:23:07]:
Well, there was that time, but the statute of limitations hasn’t passed yet, so I’m not allowed to talk about it. But but it’s all good. This has been so awesome, Alice Grey. And thank you so much for being a part of this. And I feel like though since I rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning, it’s only fair that I turn this around. We make this the Alice Grey Harrison podcast. And we’re gonna talk needle pointing or I don’t know. I’m your guest.

John Garrett [00:23:31]:
So I’m all yours. Whatever you wanna ask.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:23:33]:
Alright. My first question is have you ever encountered anybody who didn’t have an ant?

John Garrett [00:23:38]:
Sadly, yes. And it’s something where your hand goes dormant, and then eventually if you forget about it, it goes extinct. And I was speaking at a huge software conference, user conference, and the vice president of North America came up after I was done speaking, and she said, wow, like that was really, really amazing. You’ve got me thinking. I used to love to go running, and I was, like, well, like, you don’t even need a team. Like, I’ll chase you. Like, kick your heels off. Let’s go.

John Garrett [00:24:10]:
Like, let’s run right now. Like, you know? And so it spurred. And now it’s awesome. I see on her LinkedIn, you know, and I mean, she was doing like Boston Marathon. So she wasn’t like running around her neighborhood. She was like legit running with numbers on her shirt. And so now she’s back doing it again. And and, you know, it’s a thing that makes her feel alive, but we we allow work and paying the bills to become the priority when, you know, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

John Garrett [00:24:37]:
And then we put it on the back burner. We’re like, we’ll get around to it when our kids are older. We’ll get around to it when x y z happens. We’ll get around to it. And then you don’t, and then you never do, and then you forget. I I don’t even know what lights me up anymore. And there was another partner at a at a firm where they had mandatory retirement age, and he came over and he’s like, hey. Like, I have to retire next year, and I don’t know what I’m gonna go do.

John Garrett [00:25:02]:
I mean, like, he literally had no idea of why he gets out of bed other than to go to work. And so, you know, just talked to him for a little bit and got him to see, like, well, here’s a couple of things. Like, what did you like to do when you were 5? What did you like to do when you were 12? You know, what did you like to do when you were 22, when you were 30? Like and it’s like, okay. Maybe you can’t do the exact same thing, but you can watch it as on TV. You can coach it. You can whatever it is or find something new. You know? There are people that that don’t have them or they don’t think they do. And then it’s a little bit of peeling back a layer to just to be honest with yourself of, like, hey.

John Garrett [00:25:42]:
If I hit the Powerball, I would just needle point the hell out of everything. Like, I mean, it just feel like there would be sumo Santas all over the or I would travel or I would you know? And it’s you know, no one I don’t think anyone’s ever said, man, I can’t wait to hit Powerball so I can work more. You know, like it it work is part of it, but it’s also a means to the end, and and it’s great that, you know, we acknowledge that we’re humans and we have other sides too. Don’t ignore the work and don’t take it for granted and just milk it, but on the other hand, like work shouldn’t ignore that, hey, I got these other things too that matter.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:26:19]:
Okay. Speaking of things that matter, what’s your favorite movie?

John Garrett [00:26:23]:
So easily I well, I have several, but Dumb and Dumber is hands down. It’s brilliant. I mean, you could turn it on at any point and laugh. It’s amazing. Goodwill Hunting, I think, is great as well. And Rudy, just I’m a Notre Dame guy. Even if I just hear the music, I just start crying. It just happens.

John Garrett [00:26:41]:
Those 3 are probably pretty tops on my list as far as, like, you know, really good movies.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:26:47]:
Alright. Taffood, Chinese food, or hamburger?

John Garrett [00:26:52]:
Oh, wow. That’s a tricky one. I’ll go Thai food, I think

Alice Grey Harrison [00:26:57]:
Oh, yeah.

John Garrett [00:26:58]:
On that one. Yeah. But not spicy.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:27:00]:
Like a one.

John Garrett [00:27:02]:
Yeah. Yeah. I’m like 0 child’s menu. I don’t know. Whatever’s nothing. Like, negative spice. I don’t know. Is that possible? Like, limit the soy sauce.

John Garrett [00:27:11]:
Even that’s a little. No. No. It’s yeah. So probably Thai food, I guess, because it’s it’s not food that I grew up with. You know? So it’s different. It’s unique. It’s plus there’s a huge range when it comes to that.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:27:22]:
Alright. I got one more question.

John Garrett [00:27:24]:
One more. Here it is. It’s your show. I’m on the horse.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:27:26]:
All the places that you have been on stage, what would you say was your most favorite speaking venue? Not the audience, not the company, like, the actual, like, slate.

John Garrett [00:27:40]:
In Portland, Oregon at AIM, when I got to say that your favorite no. No. I’m just teasing.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:27:46]:
No. Seriously.

John Garrett [00:27:47]:
Yeah. So probably comedy at the Borgata in Atlantic City. I got to open for Louie Anderson for 2 nights for Friday Saturday, and that’s a 1,000 people, a huge stage, huge theater. That’s pretty incredible. Also, when I opened for the band Train, you can’t even see the edge of the stage because the lights are so bright. Also too, if that was a huge audience, so that was, I mean, much bigger. And when you tell a joke, by the time the last row hears the joke and starts laughing and that laughter gets back to me, I’ve started the next joke because it’s kind of a timing thing. And so that was kind of surreal.

John Garrett [00:28:26]:
You felt sort of like floating in outer space kind of a thing. And the whole time in my brain, all it was was don’t fall off the

Alice Grey Harrison [00:28:33]:
stage. Right.

John Garrett [00:28:34]:
Because I have no idea where the edge is. I gosh. Literally, like, do not fall off the stage.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:28:38]:
Where the edge is? Like, do they not have some lights or something?

John Garrett [00:28:41]:
Well, I mean, the lights are so bright, but I guess there’s tape. I just didn’t move a lot. You know, I wasn’t doing Robin Williams running around the stage. So I was like, I think we’ll be okay. I’ll stay within this 3 foot radius. I felt like like I’m doing a TEDx talk or whatever. Like, stay in this red circle. You’ll be fine.

John Garrett [00:28:57]:
And it’s, like, all good. Yeah. Those those are ones that come to mind that are like, wow. That was that was pretty cool type of thing.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:29:03]:
Very cool.

John Garrett [00:29:04]:
No. Well, I appreciate you being a part of What’s Your Ann, Alice Grey, and thank you so much for just being a living example of this and your encouragement personally along the journey. So thanks so much for for being a part of this.

Alice Grey Harrison [00:29:14]:
You’ve got it. Thank you for having me.

John Garrett [00:01:34]:
Absolutely. And everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Alice Grey’s work or maybe connect with her on social media, be sure to go to www.whatsyourand.com. Everything’s there. And while you’re on the page, please click that big button to the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and don’t forget to read the book. So 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.

Related Posts

Episode 338- Bailey Smith

Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedInBailey is an Accountant & Needlepointer & Bass Guitar Player...