The Change Your Mindset Podcast

Welcome to the Change Your Mindset podcast, hosted by Peter Margaritis, CPA, AKA The Accidental Accountant. Peter is a speaker, expert in applied improvisation and author of the book 'Improv Is No Joke, Using Improvization to Create Positive Results in Leadership and Life'. Peter's new book, Taking the Numb Our of Numbers: Explaining & Presenting Financial Information with Confidence and Clarity will be published in June 2018.

S4E33. Making Education Entertaining with Bob Dusin

Bob Dusin grew up on a wheat and cattle farm in western Kansas and earned a degree in civil engineering from Kansas State University, followed by an MBA from Rockhurst University. In the early part of his career, he worked as a construction project manager (as well as the co-owner of the construction company) where he guided the construction of the world’s tallest concrete building, the 70-story 311 South Wacker Drive in Chicago, Illinois. He has also been the human resource and training director for a national firm.

Leaving the corporate world 15 years ago, Bob started his own business focused on training, coaching, and facilitating leadership workshops for organizations nationwide. In addition to his work in organizational leadership development and coaching, Bob has spoken at numerous expos, seminars, and conventions. He’s also been a professional improviser for over 25 years and is a professional voiceover and video actor.

One mistake people make about improv is thinking that it has to be funny. It usually is – that’s true, but the point is not to be funny; the point is to reveal a truth about the world. Often, the funniest things come from things that are true.

A benefit of improv and humor when it comes to presenting is that people are far more likely to remember how they feel than what you tell them. If you can make someone laugh, they are going to remember that situation, and they are likely to absorb your message that much better.

Another massive benefit of improv that feeds into leadership is the ability to stop overthinking things. In improv, you can’t keep the stage empty. Even if you’re unsure of how funny what you have to say is, the best thing you can do is to just say it and get it out there. Then you (and those around you) can iterate and work off of that idea until you strike something good.

Anyone can give a presentation, but to give one that truly delivers, give your audience something to look forward to. Give them some fun along with your entertainment, and they’re unlikely to forget it.

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S4E32. We Are All Project Managers with Ann Campea

What does it take to become a project management professional?

Ann Campea, a project manager herself, joins us to discuss this growing profession and why she’s so passionate about what she does. With ten years of experience in the product development, consumer goods, tech, and healthcare industries, she has shown proven results in launching projects in physical retail spaces, onboarding new employees, trading existing ones, and more. She also hosts The Everyday PM podcast.

Whether you have the title of Project Manager or not, we all manage projects in our day-to-day lives. Until we recognize that, it’s hard to improve. Project management is not a one-size-fits-all profession. There’s so much diversity of thought and approach that you should learn from the best and apply whatever works for you.

Most project managers don’t set out towards that role. They work hard in their fields, then, suddenly, they look up one day and realize that they’ve picked up all of the project management skills and experience as they went. But that’s changing. Today, many young people are setting out with the specific intention of becoming a project manager. And that means that there’s now an opportunity for those who have walked the path to pass their learning to others.

If you’re interested in being a project manager, try it out. It’s not a profession that is for everyone, but it can be incredibly rewarding.

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S4E31. My Writing Process for Off Script

Since starting work on my new book, I’ve received a number of questions about the writing process. I don’t have a degree in English, literature, or journalism – yet here I am, about to publish my 3rd business book… with book number four already cooking in my head.

Here are 13 things I’ve learned about writing a book:

  1. If you don’t think you can write a book, you can’t. If you think you can write a book, you can.
  2. You want your book to be between 150-200 pages. That’s around 35-45k words.
  3. Your book raises your expertise, credibility, and authority in whatever you are writing about.
  4. Consider hiring a book coach.
  5. Outline your book.
  6. Create that “shitty first draft.”
  7. Assemble your manuscript and put it in a binder.
  8. If you can’t find a title, ask friends or colleagues who aren’t as close to the project.
  9. Spend a couple of weeks making changes and edits.
  10.  Find a publisher.
  11.  Create an editorial board.
  12.  Create the cover (or have it outsourced).
  13.  Be willing to change the title as you go.

This is an overview of the writing process I’ve used for my last two books. I hope it’s of help to you, and I can’t wait to share Off Script with the world.

S4E30. Making Accounting Education Accessible & Fun with Toby York

Do you think accounting can be fun? Is there a way to make it less boring and more engaging? Do you believe that learning accounting is easy and something everyone should do?

Toby York wants to see if he can change your mindset around those questions. He’s not your typical accounting instructor. He’s the founder of Accounting Cafe, a community for anybody who believes that accounting education can be an engaging and enjoyable experience for teachers and learners alike. He’s a senior lecturer at Middlesex University Business School, teaching Entrepreneurial Finance and Financial Accounting, and is an accredited Color Accounting trainer as well as an advisor to the Color Accounting Foundation.

We’ve been teaching accounting as a functional skill in the same way since the ‘70s. And people weren’t taught to understand why things were the way that they were – just to do them the way that way. Toby found this approach so frustrating while he was teaching accounting that he started looking for a new approach to teaching entry level accounting. 

When it comes to accounting, learning it well requires a certain level of enthusiasm – and that’s a problem, because so many people view accounting as something boring and tedious. We need to bring the spark back. It’s one of the most important social technologies we’ve ever developed and, even moreso, financial statements tell stories. If we can think of it in terms of storytelling, doesn’t that make the whole thing that much more exciting?

If you don’t really understand accounting and financial statements, you can’t ask the right questions. You won’t even know if you’re in good financial shape or bad financial shape. And you won’t know what to do to make it better.

An understanding of accounting is vital to so much of what we do in the modern world, and it’s really not that hard to grasp. We need to stop gatekeeping with obfuscating terminology and start making this profession and this information accessible to everyone. Part of that is making it fun, which is possible.

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S4E29. How White Castle Built an Iconic, Memorable Brand with Jamie Richardson & John Kelley

Guess who turned 100 years old in 2021? White Castle, the famous hamburger restaurant.

One thing is true: Those who love White Castle will always have a story to tell. Jamie Richardson, VP of Marketing and Public Relations, and John Kelley, Chief People Officer, are going to share some of those stories.

White Castle, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, has been making hot and tasty sliders as a family-owned business for 100 years. Currently based in Columbus, Ohio, White Castle started serving the original slider in 1921. Today, White Castle owns and operates more than 360 restaurants dedicated to satisfying customer cravings morning, noon, and night. In 2021, Fast Company named White Castle as one of the ten most innovative dining companies.

Maintaining the culture of a family-owned business over that amount of time and that many restaurants is no small feat, but from the moment White Castle was founded, Walter Anderson and Billy Ingram wanted to build a different kind of company. It was their belief that happy team members led to happy customers, and that was the bedrock of the business. It’s an ideology that has been passed on through the family and through future executives. It has evolved over time, but treating everyone like family has always remained constant.

If you want one piece of evidence that White Castle means something special to people, just look at their grand opening events. When they opened a restaurant in Orlando, Florida people waited 4-5 hours in line to get some food. Of course, there’s the taste of their product, but White Castle means something to people beyond just the food. It’s a testament to their branding and culture that they’re still so well known and highly regarded after all this time.

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