Combating Burnout with Zach Baughan
Randy talks to Zach Baughan, a mindfulness consultant and practitioner, on episode 113 of The Unique CPA. Zach discusses how mindfulness and meditation practices can help reduce stress and increase performance for accounting professionals through techniques like deep breathing and seated, silent meditation, as well as a number of book and app recommendations. Randy also talks to Zach about his own advocacy for mental health in the accounting profession and how he hopes to incorporate mindfulness into his talks going forward.
Today, our guest is Zach Baughan. He’s a mindfulness consultant and practitioner, which I really want to learn more about, and I think we all will today. Zach, welcome to The Unique CPA.
Thanks for having me, Randy.
Yeah, this was pretty cool. You and I met, oh, it was September I think, out there at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, which was not a bad place to be.
Not at all.
No, we had a good time out there, it was for a conference and it was a conference that I was doing a presentation at in the morning, that you sat in on and I appreciate you doing that. But my presentation was on mental health awareness, which is, you know, is important, all over—I always talk about it from the standpoint of public accounting, because we have a profession that tends to have both a perception and the reality, depending on the situation, of you know, high stress, high burnout, unfortunately, and just, you know, people are going through the grind of, I just need to meet this deadline, this deadline, this deadline, and not thinking, you know, getting outside of that box.
And so I was doing this presentation afterwards, you came up to me, which was I appreciate it, and then talked about one of the solutions you think are out there, which was this mindfulness and meditation that you deal with. And so we talked, I thought, you know what, this might be a really nice topic to add to the podcast, especially for our profession. So I guess first off, if you could do this—this is a long question I’m leaving in here, too. A commentary / question.
So I guess the question, part of it is, why don’t you I said, you’re a mindfulness consultant and practitioner. What the heck does that mean?
Well, first, I want to say, that was such an amazing event that I met you at Randy. And I don’t know that you knew this, but I was actually born and raised—well, born—in West Virginia, in Charleston, West Virginia.
And yeah, it was at the Greenbrier. And that was an incredible event. And your presentation was very refreshing, because you really spoke from the heart, and you really spoke from your experience. And so I hope that I can also speak from my experience, I think that’s where a lot of the “life” comes from, from these podcasts, and these episodes, is really speaking from personal experience.
So kind of leading into to your question about what is a mindfulness consultant, you know, practitioner. Mindfulness and meditation is a really hot topic right now in all industries. I’ve worked in sales since I was 16 years old. So my dad is an entrepreneur and a salesperson, in the pharmaceutical industry, and my uncle is actually a tax partner at Deloitte. And so growing up, I would always ask him about his job. He was also a musician. So he worked a ton of hours, but also always made time for playing the guitar with us. So he was a really incredible guy.
And when it comes to mindfulness, and it being such a popular topic in a lot of different industries, you can really personalize it based on what your needs are—your personal needs, your career needs. So for me personally, mindfulness, how I got involved in mindfulness in the beginning was actually while I was a student athlete at Brigham Young University. I’m originally from North Carolina, I got recruited to play lacrosse at BYU out in Utah, back in—end of 2013, beginning of 2014. And what I realized was how hard you had to work in order to have good grades and to be a student athlete, and I wasn’t quite ready for that. In high school, let’s just say I was primarily an athlete. And so coming to college, everything was more competitive. Sports was more competitive’ academics were very, very competitive. And so I realized that I needed to make some changes.
We had to wake up at 4am every day to start practice at 5am in Utah, which I know you’ve been to Utah in the wintertime.
Let’s just say I didn’t have the most high tech car. So I was out there scraping the windshield every morning at 4:30.
So that’s really where the mindfulness practice started for me was being under an intense amount of stress and having a lot of activities and responsibilities that I was supposed to take care of. And so, as this is kind of a long winded answer, and you can cut—
You know, go into practice three hours a day, coming home, my roommates were starting to wake up at this point, like 8 or 9am. So seeing people around me that were having a different college experience than I was having, that also kind of bugged me a little bit. And so I did that for a few years. And I started to listen to this podcast, actually—Tim Ferriss, are you familiar with Tim Ferriss?
He has a podcast called The Tim Ferriss Show, and he interviews high level entrepreneurs, athletes, it’s a really well known podcast on Apple Podcasts. And he also wrote a book called Tools of Titans. And this is a book where he compiled all of the interviews that he had into a short, like one or two pages, each for each person. And it’s called Tools of Titans. And I was always obsessed and interested in what made high level athletes and entrepreneurs so successful, like what are the common threads.
And so I bought this book, I soaked it in—this was back in 2014. So eight or nine years ago, at this point. I read the entire book in like a few weeks, it was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down. And one thing that I recognized and realized of all of these high performers was that they had some type of mindfulness or meditation practice. And sometimes it was really simple, and for other people, it was like an hour to two hours a day.
Right? So there were a lot of different ways and practices. And I’m excited to talk a little bit more about what those are today. But the one that I started with, was 21 minutes a day of seated, silent meditation. And so for me, it was very simple. There was no complication to it at all—it was sitting in silence for 21 minutes each day. So the most important thing was the consistency. So either you sat for five minutes a day—when I say sit or sat, I’m talking about sitting in meditation. Either you did it five minutes a day consistently, or you did it 10 minutes a day, consistently, or 21 minutes. The most important thing whenever I was getting started was the consistency with it.
Yeah. Was it tough to get 21 minutes in at the beginning?
You know, it really was. I think, what a lot of people realize when they start practicing mindfulness or meditation is how busy our mind is.
You don’t realize it until you sit down with yourself. And you’re like, wow, like, I did not realize how busy my mind is, especially for CPAs, salespeople, anybody that’s in a high performer type of role with a lot of responsibilities. It’s almost like you know, in the back of your mind that, okay, there’s a lot going on here, I just don’t want to deal with it right now.
Yep! Oh yeah.
That’s what my meditation forces you to do. It forces you to sit with yourself for a certain period of time, and really start to give attention to those things that you haven’t been giving attention to.
Right. And I could say anybody listening, I’m sure, can just tell when you’re trying to go to sleep, and there’s a thousand things running through your mind. And that’s the way it is you wake up at three in the morning, because you’ve got all these things on your mind. That’s the way it is. And this is unfortunately, an aspect to our profession that is probably a lot more rampant than people want to admit. “Eh, that’s just my work. It’s what I do.” But man, they just they just work, work, work, think, think, think, and don’t give themselves time to refresh. And I’m guessing this meditation is and mindfulness is about refreshing as much as anything else. Am I on base?
That’s a great word, that I’ve never actually heard it spoken to you like that Randy, so that’s, that’s actually a really good way to put it—”refreshing.” Because that’s really how you feel. You start to drop into a deeper state of thinking and of attention. And that depth allows you to, in Zen they call it, take a backward step. So you take the backward step from your mind a little bit, your thinking mind that’s always on autopilot. Always going, going, going. And this allows you to get a little bit deeper and it does feel incredibly refreshing after you do even just a few minutes of it.
Alright, so I really look forward to digging deeper into this mindfulness. And when I say the word, I kind of have my own impression of what that means. But how do you define mindfulness?
Yeah, like I said earlier, there’s a lot of different definitions, and there’s a lot of people talking about mindfulness right now. There’s one definition that I heard recently that really hits the mark for me. And so my definition of mindfulness right now is paying attention to how you pay attention. Paying attention to how you pay attention. And so that that sort of takes away any type of like, striving to do anything in that moment. It’s just simply paying attention to how you’ve been paying attention in your life. That’s my definition of it.
All right. I’m trying not to meditate right now, because you’re getting me going. We’ll finish this first. I honestly, as a side note yesterday, so my wife and I are currently in Sedona, Arizona, we head out of Chicago for the winter. And so we go to nice places to hike or hike mainly, but also there seems to be wine, a lot of places we go. But that’s not the point of the story. The point of the story is last night, there’s this really cool chapel In the Rock, I think they call it in Sedona, which we’ve seen but never gone to. And Monday nights, they have a prayer service, which part of the prayer service is just quiet, you know? Five minutes of sitting and like what you’re saying five minutes of sitting and just paying attention to pay attention.
Now I was there specifically, I found out a friend has cancer last week, hit me hard, and I figure I’m gonna go and do everything I can, and prayer service seemed like a good opportunity. But yes, I could, I felt that five minutes of quiet, one seemed long, that’s why asked you about if 21 minutes seemed long. But two, it really was it did feel, you know, like I said before, refreshing. I mean, it felt like I was able to just clear my mind and think about the one specific thing that I want to be thinking about at that point in time.
And so paying attention to how you pay attention. I think I kind of was doing that yesterday was the whole point.
Well, that’s a beautiful story. And I think Sedona is a special place. I’m sure there’s a lot of mindfulness practitioners over there in Sedona.
To me, what I’ve noticed about that part of the country is that it’s very quiet, it’s very still, when you’re in nature like that, it’s very easy to naturally forget about some of the busier aspects of your life. So I want to tie nature into this a little bit just to say, I think why it’s so easy to drop into a deeper state and more mindfulness state is because there’s less distractions. It’s quieter. And it just allows you to be a little bit more mindful in those situations. So I appreciate you giving that story.
Yeah, it was funny you say that, because last year, my wife and I were here as well. And we did a hike to this old—it was called The Birth Cave. And this, this gave you the climb up to and women, you know, originally from this area, that women will go up there to give birth, but it’s just it’s really quiet place. And when we got up there, into the cave, there was a woman in there meditating, just because it was such a beautiful, like you said, you know, the nature aspect of things, and just so quiet. And I felt guilty being there. And she was fine, just because it was like I didn’t want to interrupt her meditation.
But so I want to get deeper into this because I want to see how we can instill this into practice in our lives, because we are in a stressful profession. But before we do that—you are certified with the aspects of this. And this was, you know, obviously when you dug into this while you’re in college, it became that important and that much of a passionate thing for you. What are the certifications? Or how do you become an expert, I guess, at this mindfulness?
Well, that’s funny because you know, you’re never an expert, you know, you’re always practicing. And that’s the whole point of it.
But yes, when I first got started eight or nine years ago, I did want a platform with which to share this with other people. And so credentials do help in a more of like a teaching and consulting role just to understand the basics and dive a little bit deeper into the minutiae of mindfulness and meditation, because there is a lot of minutiae involved with it. So Jon Kabat-Zinn, he is one of the fathers of the modern mindfulness movement. And so he started the MBSR certification back in the 70s at MIT. So MBSR stands for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. And Jon Kabat-Zinn is well known. He’s a well known author, but he wrote a book called Wherever You Go, There You Are. So that’s a really well known book.
Yep! I’ve heard of it.
And it’s a very easy book, it’s very short, very easy to read. But yeah, so mindfulness-based stress reduction. I got that certification, I think, five or six years ago. And then I also got certified through an integral facilitation program through one of my teachers, Diane Musho Hamilton. So integral is a theory developed by Ken Wilber. And it’s basically a human development theory that was created, I think, back in the 70s, as well—70s or 80s. But it is basically, I’m really going to water this down, and so, you know, the listeners will have to do their research on it to really get the gist of it. But integral facilitation is learning how to facilitate small and large group conversations based on human development—so based on where people are in their specific path of development.
And so instead of having a generic way of presenting material to a large group or a small group, you really have to understand the dynamics of where people are at developmentally. And this integral theory, or this integral facilitation certificate helps me teach mindfulness to anybody, not just people who are at a certain level, but really any level of development. I strive to help people where they’re at instead of like, putting them in a box, saying, here, take this, it works.
And that’s exactly I was gonna say, you know, not making everybody listen to the one way you want to do, it is what’s the best way for them and being able to integrate that. That’s awesome.
Alright, so let’s, let’s dig more into the implementation because in our profession, you support the profession. I support the profession, I guess, in the profession as well. But public accounting, it is a, I mean, we are constantly up against deadlines, and there is this, and I always say perception, but reality too, of a high stress, high burnout profession. And so let’s talk about this mindfulness and how we can implement it. And then in implementation, what’s going to be the benefit for us as CPAs, I guess, in general, because we are The Unique CPA show, we are not “the unique everybody show,” which we could be.
Yeah, no, absolutely. You know, I’ve thought a lot about this. And I’ve worked with CPAs, like I mentioned, my uncle, being a tax partner at Deloitte. When I was a kid, I saw firsthand how many hours he worked. And a lot of people looked at him, you know, they saw all of the accolades, like he was getting promoted quickly, and started to make really good money. But I saw firsthand the amount of hours and passion that he put into what he did. And over the past three and a half years, I’ve been able to work with not just tax professionals, but audit professionals, EBP, really all ends of the spectrum in the accounting industry. And one thing that is a steady thread that I’ve noticed is that the work never ends. There’s always something to do.
And I’ll say that’s very comparable to sales. I’ve been working in sales since I was 16 years old. And so there’s always something to do in both of these industries. And so that idea, I think, is what causes a lot of burnout in both accounting and in sales is because we all want to be the best at what we do. We all want to be better. And so we are very, we have to look at our time, we have to audit our time very very, very closely in this industry. And so the reason why at the beginning, I brought up how important consistency is, is because you don’t need to practice meditation 30 minutes, 21 minutes, an hour a day, in order to see the benefits. Like for instance, right now, whoever’s listening to this episode, if you just took a second and took a deep breath. So Randy, are you open to doing that with me real quick?
Let’s take a deep breath.
So in that moment of four or five seconds, did you notice a difference between how you felt before and how you feel now?
I felt more relaxed, actually.
You’re able to pay attention more to how you’re paying attention. And why this is important for tax professionals for those in the accounting industry is because we are working with people a lot of the time, and they can feel our level of attention. They can feel how present we are. And some of the most effective accounting industry leaders are those that when you’re with them, you can feel that they’re listening to you. You can feel that they’re present. You can feel that they understand your issues, your concerns, you can feel that they’re being proactive in figuring out what you need—looking into the future, and kind of beating you there and helping you with that before you even know that it’s a need.
So this is one benefit of mindfulness, is the ability for any professional to be fully present in what they do and to be clear. Instead of having the mental chatter going on, because in any moment, there’s what’s happening—there’s us having this interview right now, there’s us, we can see each other on the video, we can hear each other, we’re here, present. But then sometimes there’s also this mental chatter going on maybe, oh, how long have we been doing this? What are we going to say next? So these these past and future, mental chatters come in. That’s what adds to the stress of this moment. And that is not necessary. So mindfulness is all about finding what is absolutely necessary in this moment and taking care of it.
Now, that can have a huge number of benefits for tax professionals, accounting industry professionals, stress reduction, it’s been proven—like you can google benefits of meditation, stress reduction, higher performance. This is why Tim Ferriss, the guy that I mentioned earlier, who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek, this is why so many of those high performers are using meditation, because it does greatly improve your ability to perform. And it’s not all about performance, right? But that is one of the added benefits of mindfulness.
So bringing it back to your question, something that a busy professional can do each day is they can take one deep breath every single day. One deep breath every single day is something that every person can do. There’s literally no excuse not to do that every day. And you felt the difference and the benefit, when we just did that practice.
And so I think starting really small like that, Randy, and saying, alright, I’m gonna commit for the next three weeks or the next month, every single day, I’m gonna take one deep breath. And I think if people commit to that, what happens is they see a small benefit. And then that starts to grow and compound and they’re like, you know what, I’m going to actually try five minutes a day. Like I have five minutes. There’s that Tony Robbins quote that says, if you don’t have 10 minutes, you don’t have a life. And so you’re like, oh, well, I have 10 minutes, you know, and then oh, I have 21 minutes. So as you start to see the benefits of meditation, that’s when you start to make it more of a priority in your life.
So I don’t ever ask people to do what I do, which is like 30 minutes to an hour a day. I don’t ask people to do that in the beginning.
But I think naturally, people start to do that, in my experience. They start to get addicted to the feeling to the success to the groundedness that they feel. They start to really get a—I say addicted—but they just start to see the benefits of it and want to practice it more.
Yeah, I think that’s important. Anything we can do to reduce stress in our lives, is going to be extremely important. So if somebody wants to start and you just gave us a game plan there, do the one breath a day, do the five minutes, do the 10 minutes. Do you have tools or anything that you refer people to the say, hey, if you want to jump into this, here’s a good, you know, something to look at. Here’s a book to read. Here’s, uh, whatever?
Yeah, there are a few. There are a few different apps out there. I’m not a big app fan, but a lot of people are. So you know, I feel like I just have to say that there are apps out there. There’s one called Insight Timer. Insight Timer is one, Calm is another. I think that’s the one LeBron James owns and put She says, so there’s a few different apps out there I would recommend if apps are your thing,
I am more of a book and audiobook person. So one audio book called The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, he’s really well known in the mindfulness kind of industry. He was my first, I guess, introduction into mindfulness. So that’s the way that I like to learn, is by reading about it, listening from other people’s experiences, and then trying it on my own. So I would recommend those apps, The Power of Now and then anything by Dr. Joe Dispenza. That one is a little bit more advanced, I would say. So, start very simple. Start with the five minutes of seated silent meditation a day, the basics are making sure that your back is straight when you’re sitting. Because if you’re slouching, your mind tends to be more active when you’re slouched and more negative, because your mind follows your body. So if your body is slouched and moving forward, then you get in this weird like, negative zone. So if your back is straight, you have a more confident posture, you sit for five minutes a day, you do that for a month, that’s going to do wonders for you, especially if you’ve never done it before.
So those individuals would be who I would recommend checking out. But to be honest, if you did a simple Google search of meditation, mindfulness practitioners and information, there’s a lot of information out there, and it all points to the same thing. So that’s what I would recommend.
Yeah. So I had chatter going on in my mind. So I was searching the internet as you were talking mindfulness apps, to see to see what was out there. I figure, I gotta get ready for the next question. So I have to have this chatter in my mind when we’re talking right now.
It’s alright! All good.
But there is a lot out there for sure. And the one thing I was thinking is just your, you know, if you’ve got your Apple Watch if anybody has that, I mean, it’ll pop up with that. Alright, let’s take a minute of deep breathing, which, you know, I tried to do that when it pops up. But honestly, when you and I just did that one breath, I felt more from that than following my Apple Watch, probably because I’m paying attention to the watch, rather than just being in the moment.
Well, the issue with the watch is you got messages popping up on it, and then Teams messages, and texts, and calls, I had to stop wearing mine. Randy, I know that a lot of people like those are good for production. Don’t get me wrong, but yeah, it can be distracting at times, for sure.
Well, I turned off most of my notifications on the watch. So most of it doesn’t pop up on the watch, other than I think phone calls I let come through and maybe even texts, I’m not sure, but just their app stuff. No, I turned all that off.
And you asked about resources. I’m just gonna give a shameless plug for my mindfulness consulting business that I do with busy business professionals. I’ve done a few facilitations at larger tech companies, and wanting to get more into the accounting industry as well. And so it really does help to have someone that has been studying it for a while and has sifted through all the information out there, because there is a ton of information on it.
But also knowing how you can word it to other people at your firm, because it’s all about how you package this information. And what language do you use in expressing it? It’s very important in terms of is this going to take off? Are people going to adopt it? That type of thing, the language you use, the context that you use is extremely important. So if you are looking to implement this either personally or professionally, I think it does help to have someone that works in the industry that has done the research on it and has sifted through all a lot of the information. And that can kind of help guide you along the way.
Alright. And so what is where can they get information on you then to look up your services with this?
Yeah, so I’m on all the social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, I’m pretty heavy on LinkedIn. And then my website is just ZachBaughan.com—they can find my email there, they can find a little bit of information, a few articles that I have. I’m going to be revamping that quite a bit over the next few weeks. But that’s a good generic location where people can find me.
Alright, well, I think that’s a good spot to wrap up. I think that the information is great. I am going to start to implement this—I promise that. I will, in fact, maybe even give some updates on future podcasts of how it’s going and what I’ve done. I think this is important. As you know, I’m very big into, you know, figuring out ways that we can be better mentally as a profession. And that’s my whole mental health awareness presentation I do. And man, it’s even since you saw it, it’s dialed in so good right now.
I’m really happy with where it is right now. But I’m going to the one thing I mentioned to you that I haven’t done yet is build in some of this mindfulness into it as solutions. And now you’ve given me information that’s going to allow me to do that. So I appreciate that.
Before we completely wrap up, a question that everybody gets at the end of the podcast is, you know, hey, we talked about the things you like to do with the mindfulness and everything. But let’s talk about what your passions are outside of work and outside of dealing with mindfulness, where the things you enjoy, what’s the fun things, passionate things you do?
Yeah, that’s a great question. I am very, very passionate about holistic health. So not just mindfulness, but lifestyle, how I live my life. I just moved to Southern California, I just moved to a place outside of Carlsbad called Vista, California. It’s a three acre vineyard. And so I get the opportunity to work outside with my hands in the dirt. We’re building this vineyard, they just moved in, in June of this year. So there’s a lot of groundwork to be done. So I enjoy, you know, gardening, we’re growing our own food, preparing the land for the vineyard.
So anything holistic health. I think there’s a lot of changes going on in the world right now. And one thing that I like to be in control of is what I put in my body, you know? And so that’s something that I really enjoy researching, getting my hands dirty in and reading about. So that’s a big one. Also reading I’m quite the bookworm. And so any type of subject that catches my interest, I tend to read 20 books at a time on it, and hopefully retain 1% of that information. So those are big, big parts of who I am.
Alright, so I’m going to be in—yeah, this is nowhere near where you are. I’m going to be in the Central Coast in about a week and a half, but that’s still far from Vista, California. And I always say Paso Robles (robe-lays). I looked it up the other day, because I think they actually say Paso [Robe-ulls] is how they say it. I think that’s the official way to say it. And I’ve always, yeah, because I had heard a few people say that, but the Templetons technically where we’re staying, which is just south of Paso Robles, north of San Luis Obispo. But yeah, we’re gonna spend about a month out there and there’s plenty of wine out there too. So we might have to sample a few
Before we wrap up, tell me a little bit more of this vineyard winery thing. How are you involved with this? Is? It sounds interesting!
Yeah. So you know, it’s kind of a whirlwind how this all happened. I actually was living in Huntington Beach. Not too long ago, my mom grew up in Huntington Beach. And my grandmother lives in an assisted living center in Aliso Viejo, which is just right next door. I’m also a big yoga practitioner. And there’s a well known yoga teacher down here in San Diego, her name is Tina. And she owns a yoga studio called Communitea Yoga. And she is a yoga teacher. And she just purchased this land back in June of this year. And I don’t know how I found it originally, through a friend of a friend. She has a few homes on the property, and my friend was moving out of this home and moving in and purchasing her own home nearby. So she asked me if I wanted to check it out.
And it just, everything kind of fell into place. Like I’ve been practicing yoga for a long time as well. And really connected well with Tina and with her mission and her vision of what’s possible. And turns out they have a vineyard on the property that they want to start cultivating. And I think either in the spring or summer of 2024 is when the fruits are going to start bearing. And so there’s a lot of work to be done. Yeah, it’s very beginning stages here. But we laid down mulch yesterday and I had a moment yesterday of you know, being out in the sun, laying the mulch down with a bunch of my friends and some of Tina’s family members and just really feeling grateful for life in that moment.
Like really feeling like I was in like my happy place in that moment. You know, like all these things coming together was just a really beautiful moment. So that’s how I found this land.
Alright, well, that sounds awesome. And then one last thing I got to ask you because it came up at the beginning, but and you just mentioned you like into yoga and everything. How about the athletic part of things, the lacrosse and they think, are you still playing any athletic sports?
You know, man, I actually went to the Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins hockey game a few nights ago. And seeing those young players compete at a high level, it really awakened something in me because I was that for so long. I was a highly competitive athlete. And I still have that in me. And I would say that, in my career, I’ve sort of turned that on in my career in a lot of ways, and not necessarily competing with other people, but competing with myself, and really looking at myself in the mirror each day, like come on, is that all you got type of thing, like really, really competing with myself.
But from an athletic perspective, I have considered because lacrosse is actually pretty big here in San Diego. There’s a lot of really good lacrosse teams here. There’s a professional team that my friend is connected with. And so I’m not saying I’m gonna go try out for the professional team. Who knows.
But I am looking at maybe giving back, you know, and go into one of the high schools and I was a face off middie. So I was a faceoff specialist. So the beginning of a lacrosse game starts with the ball on the ground, and you have two people facing off to win the possession of it.
So that was my specialty. And so I’ve thought about that. But honestly, there’s this feeling you get when even when you’re coaching, it just doesn’t quench the thirst quite like competing at a high level does.
So it’s this weird feeling, Randy, that I kind of resist because I want to be in there so badly. I want to be in the game, you know? And so it’s kind of a sad, nostalgic feeling, to be honest.
I know it to me, you’re much younger than me. But I, basketball was my thing and played forever. And ended up coaching after I stopped playing, although I did play into my 50s.
And then I had to get my knee replaced. But coaching did, like you said, we’re going on tangents. Now. Whether we keep this in or not. We’ll see. I’m enjoying it. So but, you know, that competitiveness is just it. To me, that was almost mindfulness being out on the basketball court, it was just, you know, I could, release everything else and just be in that moment of that pass or that shot or that rebound, or that whatever. And I think that was such a nice, relaxing thing for me that I don’t have. Coaching didn’t do the same thing. But the competitive part it did. I was super competitive coaching, although I went through my whole coaching career without the technical foul. So that was, I’m very proud of that. Probably coached 500 games and probably won at least 350 of them. So I think we did a pretty good job with that too.
Alright, enough of my bragging but I would definitely go out and get involved with that lacrosse if you could. It’s just, you’ll miss it, when you’re my age, if you don’t, and you don’t want to look back and think “Man, I could have played longer, and I didn’t.” So that’s my advice to you.
Thank you, Randy. I appreciate that so much. I’ll do that. Thank you.
Alright. And then Zach, I just want to thank you for being part of this. This is awesome. Like I said, I am going to work on being better at this. And hopefully, the listeners will as well. I think it’s very important and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.
Thanks for having me on Randy. And I appreciate your level of listening. I feel like when you ask the questions, you really sit back and listen to the responses and really go on then after we explain them.
Well, thank you.
About the Guest
Zach Baughan is a certified MBSR teacher and Integral Facilitator, with a particular focus on busy professionals. Zach has been practicing meditation for over 7 years and started his sales career when he was 16 years old, selling dress shoes to bankers online. Zach attributes his work in mindfulness to some of the greats in the mindfulness and personal development community including Eckhart Tolle, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Jen Sincero, Gabrielle Bernstein, Esther Hicks, Tim Ferriss, and others.
Zach believes that the greatest opportunity in today’s fast-paced environment lies in learning how to sift through information and take what serves and calls you.
Meet the Host
Randy Crabtree, CPA
Randy Crabtree, co-founder and partner of Tri-Merit Specialty Tax Professionals, is a widely followed author, lecturer and podcast host for the accounting profession.
Since 2019, he has hosted the bi-weekly “The Unique CPA,” podcast, which ranks among the world’s 5% most popular programs (Source: Listen Score). You can find articles from Randy in Accounting Today’s Voices column, the AICPA Tax Adviser (Tax-saving opportunities for the housing and construction industries) and he is a regular presenter at conferences and virtual training events hosted by CPAmerica, Prime Global, Leading Edge Alliance (LEA), Allinial Global and several state CPA societies. Crabtree also provides continuing professional education to top 100 CPA firms across the country.
Schaumberg, Illinois-based Tri-Merit is a niche professional services firm that specializes in helping CPAs and their clients benefit from R&D tax credits, cost segregation, the energy efficient commercial buildings deduction (179D), the energy efficient home credit (45L) and the employee retention credit (ERC).
Prior to joining Tri-Merit, Crabtree was managing partner of a CPA firm in the greater Chicago area. He has more than 30 years of public accounting and tax consulting experience in a wide variety of industries, and has worked closely with top executives to help them optimize their tax planning strategies.