We go behind-the-scenes of some of our favorite interviews, and Liz interviews Jen. Sit back and relax, learn about the Vandal Lounge, Booker, coffee roasting in Italy, and what it’s like to work with Jen.
Behind-the-scenes clips from these episodes:
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About Jen McFarland
For over 12 years I’ve tackled business problems and provided simple, powerful solutions. I’ve led 7-figure projects and helped entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive.
I teach women how to build their business, not around spreadsheets, bottom lines, and formulas, but around equity, leadership, mindset, courage, and resilience — you know, the things we are born to do.
Are you starting a business? Confused about how to grow? Check out my favorite business growth tools.
Jen also loves appearing on podcasts. Here’s her Podcast Guests profile.
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Transcript: Holiday Mashup
Hello and welcome to the Third Paddle Podcast. If you’ve noticed by the tone of this voice, that this is not Jen McFarland, then you would be correct. My name is Liz Zerk, and this week we get to know Jen McFarland behind the scenes of the Third Paddle Podcast, all about it [laughter].
[music] Welcome to the Third Paddle Podcast, recorded at the Vandal lounge in beautiful southeast Portland, Oregon. Why the Third Paddle? Because even the most badass entrepreneurs get stuck up in business shit creek. Manager consultant, Jen McFarland is your third paddle, helping you get unstuck.
Leading up to this episode, I’ve been listening to a lot of clips from old interviews that have taken place over the last year, and I noticed that I typically like to ask people about their names. What does your name mean? Where did it come from? All of these kinds of things, and one of the sweetest ones was with Brian Fouli who was interviewed for episode 19: How to release yourself from limitations with Brian Fouli where I ask him about his name. And then he kind of shares some of his jitters of the episode. So here, have a listen to that.
It’s actually a Scottish name.
You have a Scottish name?
Yeah. It was Foulis, and I have our family crest tattooed on my hip here. And our motto was Foulis Ablazed, and it was F-O-U-L-I-S. And through immigration, so many names have changed through the immigration stations, and somehow I became Fouli and Scotch-Irish, Scottish and Irish. Scotch is drink. Scot-Irish would be appropriate, I guess [laughter].
Yeah. We don’t know.
McFarland. We think it was probably MacFarlene. My dad’s tried to trace it back to find out.
So son of Farlene?
I think it means– or far away land, I think is kind of what we– So we were probably out in the country somewhere probably.
Yeah. But he only got it as far as I think South Carolina.
So my understanding is the Mac’s are son of.
Mac. Son of. Mac. Mc. M-C would probably be short for Mac, right? MacFarland. McFarland.
That’s what I’m thinking. Yeah.
But I don’t know.
Son of a far away land.
Son of Farland? Farland? Farlane?
I know a McFarland in Oregon. That’s why I had asked about your brother.
Oh. Yeah. Probably not my brother.
Are you running right now? You rolling?
Oh. Yeah. I’ve been recording for a while.
Oh. Jimminey Crickets. All right. Now I got nervous [laughter].
I love that you can hear the birds in the background as I’m talking with Brian. So this next clip is with Alison Kinnear. Ali was on the episode about imposter syndrome which is episode 35 for those of you keeping score at home. Great episode. Alison is one of my great friends, and she recently lost her father. And this clip really shows the importance of names and family. So please have a listen to this. Oh. And as a special bonus, I did leave in the part about how hard it is to be named Jenny in the 90s during the Forest Gump movie time. So here, have a listen to this.
Well, that ‘s how my dad introduces me to people. He says, hi. He’s like, oh, have you met my daughter Al? And I’m like, hello, nice to meet you [laughter]. Yes. Your daughter Al, so.
Yeah. So is your mom really relishing this Alison period of your life now?
Since she never got to call you that?
She never got to call me Alison. So she’s kind of enjoying it. She’s definitely happy that I’m owning it. But I’ve been Ali for over 40 years, so Allie is so ingrained in me. So I’m good with Al. I’m good with Allie. And I think because I’ve owned Alison for the last few months, maybe six months, I’m good with Alison.
And you like it.
I do. I like it a lot.
Yeah. It’s different in a good way. Good way different. So what do you want to talk about, Jen? Jennifer? Jenny.
No. I know. I know. That was my Forrest Gump. You didn’t hear my Forrest Gump?
Yeah. No. We don’t do Forrest– the ’90s were hard. We don’t do Forrest Gump. Anyone named Jenny or Jennifer. Yeah. No. Forrest Gump was bad for us.
I know. I’m sorry.
I may not be a smart man, Jenny [laughter]. Yeah. Yeah.
You’re not sorry.
I know. I’m kind of not [laughter].
But this is funny. We’re sitting here and I’m like, “So I don’t get to ask the questions.”
“I don’t have an article in front of me that I did that research on so we can talk about a topic.”
“I am at a loss.”
I am the article.
Yeah. You are the article, [sweet pea?]. Yeah. This is weird.
Oh, my God. I love that. I love Allie. And again, that’s episode 35. And I love Liz, and we are going to do the interview right after this clip. So I am constantly amazed by the magic in this world. It is just phenomenal how we become connected to people and they become important to our lives. And there’s also a question in Liz’s interview about how I work with my clients. So this person actually is not a client of mine, has never been a client of mine, but she did find me all the way from Australia, which is just amazing and awesome for so many different reasons. Sally Foley-Lewis, episode number 23 kind of shows how I work with my clients because when you’re working on technical issues, there’s always something that can come up. And so Sally is in Australia and I’m in America and we are unable to connect on Zoom for a long time. And all I can do about it is laugh and we just keep trying, and we ultimately get, which is– I mean, it’s just an amazing and fun interview in episode 23. Now, the rest of the story with Sally Foley-Lewis is that she is also reading a book and has written books and is part of this program called the Thought Leaders Practice. And after the interview, she sent me not only a copy of her book but also a copy of this book Thought Leaders Practice, which has, in turn, transformed my business. So here’s this woman I do not know from anywhere who finds me from Australia. We have this wonderful, joyous pre-interview time where everything that could possibly go wrong goes wrong. She shows me her entire property from her phone, which was awesome. She lives in just a beautiful part of Australia and has a beautiful home. And then, she sends me this book that has transformed my business. And I think that those things are just amazing and magical and fun and I want to thank Sally for not only finding me but for also contacting me and for just teaching me so much. So here’s this clip straight from Australia.
[inaudible] an error, isn’t it? I’m so sorry.
Why am I standing still? That’s what I want to know. If I move in Oregon is that going to make the phone move? I don’t understand.
The butterfly flaps its wings and then there’s a hurricane somewhere else.
Oh my goodness. Oh, that’s a good start. You’ve made my morning. Thank you.
I love behind the scenes episodes because you get to peek behind the curtain. And I think anybody who has grown up with the Wizard of Oz absolutely loves that metaphor.
I love that metaphor.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So we’re going to peek behind your curtain, but don’t worry, it won’t get too weird.
I promise just the right amount of weirdness.
And I am fully clothed. You’re peeking behind the curtain but just like the wizard, fully-clothed.
Fully-clothed. That would have been a whole different movie.
Much different movie.
Really different movie.
Probably not a holiday favorite.
No, no, not family friendly. Well, let’s start with some of the podcast details that I like knowing about because I know you in real life but people listening to the podcast might not know about. For example, we are currently sitting on a sofa in the basement of your abode.
And we like to refer to it as–
The Vandal lounge.
So tell me more about the Vandal lounge. Because obviously, the word lounge, people understand this word, but why the Vandal lounge? What does that have to do with anything?
Well, and I’m so glad you asked because recently, somebody made the comment that they didn’t know that this was in my house. They thought we were someplace in Portland, Oregon. And I’m like, “Well, we are.” And I thought that there was a bar. And I’m like, “Well, there is.” And she’s like, “Yeah, but we’re in your house.” And I was like, “Yeah, we are.” And so the Vandal lounge is my basement of my house. It is not a– it’s more of a speakeasy. You have to know it’s here. And actually, we don’t charge for drinks either, but there is actually a bar here. And so when we went to buy this house, we came into the basement which is all knotty pine. My house is a 1950s daylight basement ranch in southeast Portland, Oregon. And the bar was on the other side of the room. And I walked in and I was like, this is a big room, I could have parties down here, and I looked at the realtor and said, “If that bar moves over here in front of the sink and we get to keep this, then I’m going to buy this house.” And you have to realize that I had put my realtor through years of finding a house. And she was like, “Are you kidding me with this right now?” And I’m like, “No.” She’s like, “I don’t even know if we can keep the bar.” I’m like, “I want to keep the bar.” And so that’s how it’s a lounge. The reason it’s the Vandal Lounge is my husband and I met at a kegger party at the University of Idaho, which are the Vandals.
And my parents both went to the University of Idaho. My uncle went to the University of Idaho. My brother went to the University of Iowa.
So you’re from Idaho?
I’m from Idaho. And also we are all Vandals.
And to be clear, that’s different from Boise State. There was a time when they were our rivals. We don’t really play them anymore. But I am not not a Bronco fan [laughter]. People ask me that. They’re like, oh, but they’re from Idaho. I’m like, yeah. It doesn’t matter [laughter].
Because that’s Boise State. No.
And I’m a Vandal’s fan. So it the Vandal Lounge and so what I did and I keep thinking I need to talk to the University of Idaho about this, is I went into the archive, we have a digital archive for the Vandal’s and I picked out all these images from the history of the University of Idaho.
Oh, that’s really sweet.
And I said, okay. I contacted them and I said, “I will buy these from you.” which was the unbelievable price of $7 per image.
And I asked them point blank, “If I buy these, can I use them for anything? Because my intention is to mount them on canvas and have them in my house.” and they said, ” You can do whatever you want.” and I said, “Okay.” So I have in here images of the administration building, of Hello Walk which is a very famous place and many of them are from the 1950s and then I also because this is technically a sports bar, the only television we have in the house is down here, and we’re in Oregon, I have football programs on canvas from the places that we’ve lived together. So one for Arizona State and then two for the two Oregon schools and then there are other things in here that are meaningful. I was an editor for the newspaper and the editor of the yearbook which is now gone and so I have images from that too.
And so that is the Vandal Lounge and also we have neon because why not?
So that is the Vandal lounge. I love this room. It’s my favorite room in the house and–
Which is, of course, you would want a podcast down here.
That and it’s a basement so it has the best sound [laughter]. Nothing echoes.
There’s always a practicality to it.
In this concrete chamber.
But it feels really cozy down here. It feels really homey and I love that you said the phrase, knotty pine [laughter].
Yeah. I knew what you meant.
Oh, okay. Sorry [laughter].
So, okay. So you grew up in Idaho.
You met your husband at the University there.
But now you live in Oregon. So tell me more about what does being from Idaho mean to you? What does living in Oregon mean to you? What’s that about?
Well, it’s a lot of different things. So I met John at a kegger party a week before graduation. The previous at spring break he had gone with his friends to Portland and fell in love with Portland.
As you do.
As one does when you visit Portland in the spring and there’s no rain for the whole week that you’re there.
Yeah. That sounds right. That sounds right. Yeah.
Sounds right, right. Because he didn’t know how much it rains here [laughter].
He just visited for a week and was like beautiful trees. I like it. Yes. Thank you, and I was not going to move to Portland. That was not on my radar at all. I didn’t really want to live in Boise again. I’ve always felt like I needed to live somewhere else just my whole life and I met this guy and he’s moving to Portland and I had a friend who was living there and I was like, well, I guess I could do that. So I kind of saved up a minimal amount of money and moved over to Portland and we kept dating and dating and then got married and we did a lot of traveling. We lived in Arizona for a while. Did the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan and then when it came down to where we wanted to live, we started thinking about because John’s company offered him his job back in Arizona. We could have moved to Arizona and–
After the Peace Corps, you mean.
After the Peace Corps it would’ve been super easy. Our best friends at the time lived there. So it would’ve been, in terms of money, stress, everything, it would’ve been the easiest. But then we thought about all of the things we talked about, while we were in [Peace Corps?], we realized how much we really felt at home in Portland and how much we like it here in terms of being able to walk places and do things. Even though it rains a lot, we always regretted leaving Portland. And even in Boise, you have drive to everything. If you’re living in Phoenix, you have to drive to everything. Our best friends who were in Arizona and now live in LA and there you definitely have to drive–
Definitely have to drive.
–to everything. Same with the Bay Area. So all of these other places there are options. Portland was still walkable, and we could still afford to buy a house here and we just believed that we could find jobs, and we did. So I love living here. I wish it rained about 50% less [laughter].
No. Sacrilege. I like rain.
I like rain. I like inclement weather. Days like today are perfect, where you get to wear your parka but also sunglasses. It’s fantastic.
Yeah. But that doesn’t happen here all the time.
No, it doesn’t. But I’m also totally fine with big chunky sweaters and scarves and socks. I like all that stuff. Cue to hot Toddy. Anyway [laughter]. You mentioned that you guys did [Peace Corps?] in Kazakhstan. So that’s a whole life story that maybe we don’t totally have time for today. But maybe tell me one piece of that experience that you think people should know about.
Yeah. I mean, I talked about it on the episode that is called Reckoning, and I talk about how [Peace Corps?] influenced my– how it became the driving force for me to become interested in equity and inclusion and helping women and people of color. And that’s still one of the most important things about it. Yeah. But there are also just a lot of fun and tender moments. And I think it does a lot for relationships and marriage because it wasn’t always easy. So one of the things that a lot of people probably don’t know is so you go through training and then you go live away. And typically, at the end of your training, you go and you live on your own. Kazakhstan has very severe weather. It’s like negative 40.
Negative 40 Celsius and Fahrenheit is the same. So it was negative 40. And then it gets really hot in the summer. So because of when the training took place, we were done right before the weather was going to turn. You actually go and live with a family. And we were handing over a good chunk of the money that we got from [Peace Corps?] to a family to buy food and take care of us. Well, the family wasn’t taking care of us.
So we were eating macaroni and ketchup [laughter] – I’m not even kidding – and hoping that somebody would die, which sounds really bad. But if somebody died, then we would get more food because we were really hungry. And we were sustaining ourselves on Snickers bars and macaroni and ketchup. And I cannot stand Snickers to this day because I ate so many of them. But at the same time, I appreciate them. It’s very complicated. And there’s a lot more to the story, but I think that when you go through experiences like that and you go through experiences like that with the person that you love, everything else stops being a big deal. You kind of realize how lucky you are. And I think that that’s why to this day I stand in the shower a little too long and I appreciate the hot water because I didn’t have that. And I’m grateful to the [Peace Corps?] for giving me that experience and also for moving me out of that family. And ultimately, we left that entire village and lived in the most loving, caring, amazing village of all time. And that story is a blip on the rest. And it’s not reflective of the people of Kazakhstan. It is a reflection of the poverty and the greed that can come out of that. But it is not a reflection of the people. But when you go through experiences like that, it just really diminishes some of that everyday bullshit that can get in the way of marriage or relationships or, yeah, anything else in your life, and I’m grateful for that.
Yeah. And that’s like a real defining experience that you had as an individual and you also had it with your partner. So it’s double-edged, double level, double fold. It’s squared, cubed, whatever. It’s exponentially more defining because even being in a relationship you learn so much about yourself but then you’re adding [Peace Corps?] on top of that. That’s exceptional.
Yeah. And if you can survive the stress of being in a foreign country for two years with the person that you love, then everything else is super easy because it wasn’t easy. Even when it got better, it wasn’t ever easy. And so it kind of– and we’ve talked about it. So [Peace Corps is?] a pretty small community. There’ve been like 300,000 of us, right? And then we all talk to each other and it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’re super grateful and things weren’t a big deal. On the other hand, things aren’t a big deal. So you don’t worry as much about making piles of money and you see things from a whole different light. And those have presented some challenges for me [in?] starting a business because I have this whole other experience of, yeah, but I’ve had it worse. And so you kind of have to fight that. And it is part of just the fabric of experience that I think everybody, as business owners, faces. And I think that that’s why I’m so passionate about helping people get unstuck, get out of their own way, find the path to be the best leader they can because we all have our stuff. It’s just different for all of us.
Yeah. No. At the core of each human, there is sort of the box, the shoebox of stuff that we’re like, “[inaudible],” and it makes us uncomfortable or makes us do weird things sometimes or say weird things, but it’s true, we all have our stuff.
Yeah. This does maybe a good segue. So as a business owner, I kind of, well– and this is, I want to get back to lighthearted stuff, too. But I kind of want to ask you, how it is that you work with clients. Like do you bring that perspective of having traveled in different parts of the world to how you work with clients? Do you bring that ease, that worry-free aspect to it? Or is different for you?
You mean, do I communicate that to the people? Or what do– I don’t understand or–?
Excellent question-asking, Liz. Good job [laughter]. Pat on the back.
So lighthearted. Good job [laughter].
We can skip that one. Okay. We’ll skip how you work with clients, for now. Let’s talk about lighthearted stuff. I know that you absolutely love, and you mentioned this talking about the Vanda Lounge because there’s football playbook fliers up–
Oh my God. A football program.
A football program. Sorry. Clearly, you’re more into sports than I am [laughter].
A little bit.
Little bit. So football. We watch football. No?
Actually, the sport I’m passionate about is baseball.
And I knew that, but I guess that’s why I was sort of like, but there’s football stuff all over your lounge.
I know. Because they don’t have, at least that I could find, they don’t have programs of baseball games.
They just didn’t have the baseball stuff, yeah.
So what is it about baseball that you absolutely love, hands down 100%? No presh.
I mean, I’d be lying if I didn’t say baseball butts drive me nuts.
Oh my God. And the pants and everything.
Yes, the pants, yes.
Oh my God. The pants are– I don’t understand. I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t understand why their butts look the way–
So I am from San Francisco, so of course I have been a Giants throughout my life, but not insanely so. Madison Bumgarner. Mad Bum. That was like the perfect moniker for a baseball dude, especially a pitcher because they have mad bums.
I know, right? So I would say that I always like baseball. Daddy’s little girl, he taught be all about sports as a kid. Like my mom tells me stories about– so I was born in October, and my mom tells me stories about how I would be sitting on his lap and he’d be explaining the World Series and the Super Bowl to me. And so I just came by it naturally and so I always played– and I played softball and I played soccer and those are my two favorite sports. And so I came by it naturally, but then I met John, and he didn’t care that I liked sports. And he encouraged it. And about the time that I graduated from college and we started watching sports, it was when home runs were a huge thing. So like Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and like that whole home run derby time, which was also the steroid era. I get that. But lots of home runs, and we didn’t know that part at the time. But the thing that kept me interested was the butts and the pants [laughter]. And then now, that I’ve watched it for a long time, I really love the strategy. Because there’s all these analytics behind it and all of these statistics. So it’s one of those sports where there’s always something going on. And you have to look at it really carefully to really know what’s going on. And people say that that’s boring, but I don’t really think that it is. I think that if you’re sitting with somebody who knows about it and who wants to talk about it, then the game gets vastly more interesting.
Yeah. I totally agree. I feel that way about soccer because to anybody who’s never watched soccer before, it’s just people running back and forth right.
On a pitch [laughter]. What is that about? But if you really understand what each person is doing, the role that they are playing on the field, then it gets more interesting. The same with baseball. Sometimes it’s like, “Well, they hit the ball. And then they catch it. And then they run around the bases and that’s that.”
“There’s nothing going on. I don’t understand.”
Yeah. No. Then there’s always if you go to a game in person, it’s like you’re sitting in the stands just drinking beer and eating peanuts and nothing’s happening on the field. Not true.
But there is. And a lot of it is that you need to be talking to people who understand the game or paying attention to how people are moving around and the things that are happening. It’s just a lot different than going to a basketball game where they have music pumping all the time. Or a football game, which I find going to football games in person is so boring because you have to sit through all of those commercials in the stands where you’re cold and it’s raining, and they’re having another commercial break. I went to a Ducks game in Eugene, and I was like a drowned rat at the end. And I was so tired of commercials.
Oh my God.
Because they were playing Portland State so it was a blowout. And it was so rainy and gross. And I was like, really, another commercial break. Ugh. In baseball, it’s the same. The length of the game is the same as in football. It’s just a different sport. And I think that, given all the concussions and stuff, baseball could potentially outlast football at this point because it’s just not as dangerous.
Yeah. Well here’s hoping. I mean, it’s America’s game also. I know football is like, we’re all mad about football and stuff in several parts of this country. But, I mean, baseball has always been American as apple pie. Do you know what I mean? It’s one of those Americana things, which I love. And I know you love America too, so there’s like– I just, “America. America.”
Oh, where’d my notes go? Oh my God. Oh, okay [laughter].
So, hot tip.
Ooh, tell me more about your hot tip.
Don’t have that going on when you’re interviewing somebody. “Where are my notes? Oh my God, what’s happening? Uh, uh.” That’s an internal. Okay. She’s looking at me funny now [laughter].
Yeah. But it’s you [laughter].
This is not like a professional job for me right now. This is just, I took some notes so that I wouldn’t lose track and we wouldn’t start talking about eggplants instead of the behind-the-scenes, that’s all.
She’s crying now.
A little bit.
I thought you’d just say, “Because you talk so damn long that my phone went to sleep.” That was the actual answer I was looking for [laughter].
That’s fair. Oh, back to the interview. I have two more things to ask you, but I’m going to give you a heads or tails. We’re going to flip a coin, a coin that doesn’t–
An imaginary coin?
An imaginary coin. We’re going to flip a coin, heads or tails. Do you want to know what the topics are before we flip?
Okay. Then we’re going to do an imaginary coin flip. Pachung.
It came up tails, so we’re going to talk about Booker [laughter].
Okay. I love my Book.
Yeah. I know. So tell me about Booker. Who is Booker? What is Booker? Why is Booker [laughter]? When is Booker? Tell me all the things about Booker just gush. Just go for it [laughter]. You know you want to [laughter]. Just even her demeanor right now. She was sitting all properly before answering all the other questions, and now I said the word “Booker” and she just got all like school-girl blush crush [laughter].
Oh, I just love my dog. He’s so sweet and so–. Okay. So we had a dog, Roxie, and she was a sweet little pumpkin of a pug who we rescued. And probably within three months of rescuing her, she went blind. And it broke her soul because she had bounced from home to home. It’s going to make me cry. She had bounced from home to home. And she finally found the home that she loved, and then she went blind. And it broke her. She just couldn’t do it anymore. And my husband had never had a dog before, so he was like, “Oh, dogs are like cats. Okay. I understand.” And I’m like, “Dogs are not like cats.”
No, they’re not.
She’s just really unapologetically depressed at this point. And she was declining. She was kind of old when we got her. And so she declined really fast after she went blind. And I said, “Well, we need to get another dog.” And he’s like, “What?” And I’m like–
I’m like, “Yeah, we need to get another dog because it’ll prolong Roxie’s life. And it’ll help us when she passes away.” And another phrase of that is, you get a stagger dog [laughter] is what it’s called. Stagger dog, right?
No, it’s true.
So I started talking to friends and my friend Erin had a Boston Terrier named Rocky. Sweetest dog ever and she’s like, “I think you would really like having a Boston Terrier. I know of a good breeder, blah, blah, blah.” And I wasn’t one to get a dog from a breeder, but Roxie was a rescue with very special needs. And so we started doing a lot of research and we’re like, “Okay. Yeah. We could do that.” So we adopted Booker. We got him from a breeder in 2015. And he’s 30 pounds now, which is really big for a Boston Terrier, but he was like 4 pounds when we got him. And he just nestled right up in my little neck. And he smelled– he lived in a farm on Camby and he smelled like a farm, which if–
Like the sort of sweet hay, sweet grass?
Yes. Sweet hay, sweet grass, horses, pigs, the whole bit. And so he kind of smelled like home, even though I didn’t grow up on a farm in Idaho, there’s still farms everywhere. So it kind of reminded me of that. And he just bonded to me. And Roxie had bonded to John. And we brought that dog into [laughter] our living room and Roxie was like, “Oh, hells no [laughter].” And, “Who is this–?” Her nose started going, but she woke up. Right? And she became alive, again, in ways that she hadn’t. And she actually had started to learn to play again because Booker came around. So Booker kind of did his job on that. But he also taught me another gear or level of love. Because of his just complete and utter love for me and adoration for me that I’ve never experienced. I’ve had dogs before. But he is just, I mean, you’ve seen it. He’s just crazy about me and super snuggly and lovey and stuff. And so when I started Foster Growth, I had he was actually on the website as my CFO, chief fun officer.
And Roxie was on there as CEO, which is chief eating officer or something like that, because she’s a pug and that’s all that they do. But that’s really the role that he’s had in my life. Is just bringing me more joy and more love and those are two things that are so important, I think, to all of us – whether we’re business owners or not, but just as humans – is to surround ourselves with things that bring us– things and people and animals, anything that brings us more joy and more love. And so whenever I see him, he just lights me up because the unconditional love and just his zest and joy for life. And it reminds me of where I want to be.
And he’s goofy and funny.
He’s totally goofy and funny. You have socks with dogs on them.
Yes. Boston terriers.
Yes. I have sent you texts of random pictures of Boston terriers that I see. I sent you one the other day that was just hanging out on a magazine rack when I went into Walgreens, and I was, “Oh, there’s a Boston terrier. I know who I shall text this to.” This was kind of a no-brainer.
So you are an official dog mom.
I am a dog mom.
Awesome. Dog mom. You’ve got shirts around– oh, I was shopping for this shirt that I’m wearing now, the Guac ‘n’ Roll, and I say– what was the one I saw? I saw a Tshirt in Target that said something like– it was something about dogs. And you saw it and you went, “Oh. [laughter]” And I saw the look in your eye and I was, “Oh, she might need to buy this Tshirt.”
Oh, I can’t remember it now.
But it was a dog mom Tshirt. Basically.
I’m a dog mom. I don’t think I– we have way more pug stuff than Boston terrier stuff.
For some reason, pugs are on mugs, shirts, hats, everything. And Boston terriers not at much.
Yeah. But, who knows. I’ll get some.
They’re out there. I mean, if they can put German shepherds and poodles on mugs, they can put Boston terriers on mugs.
Just saying. So Booker’s the mascot of the show.
Not that he should be–
He’s not in this room right now?
No. No. Because if he was in– if Booker was in this room right now, while we were recording, he would be growling at the couch because there are no toys under the couch.
There are toys under the couch–
Oh, there are?
–but I’m not going to crawl under the couch and get them for him [laughter]. Not while we’re recording the show.
Oh, I was going to say, “What happened to your love and your joy?”
Not while we’re recording the show.
No, that’s fair. Plus–
And he does it on purpose.
No. He does. He knows when you’re doing something so he’s, “Oh, you’re recording? I’m going to do a thing right now, it’s going to piss you off.”
Well, he does it because he wants all of the attention.
Yeah. Yeah. He does. He wants to just play all day. It’s great. Okay. Last thing I want to ask you about is–
Yeah, heads. The heads side of the coin [laughter]. Is about your recent trip to Italy.
Because you recently went to Italy and Austria, yes?
And you went because it was your 20th wedding anniversary?
That’s pretty awesome. Let’s end on a fun anecdote moment. What’s a fun anecdote from that trip that you–?
A fun anecdote.
Yeah, say that ten times fast.
But don’t, because that’s not interesting [laughter]. I suck at interviewing. Okay. Yeah. A fun anecdote from your recent wedding anniversary to Europe.
Okay. So one of the cool things that we did– so I’m a huge Sound of Music fan. So the reason why we went to Salzburg instead of, say, oh, Rome, which is what people would do on an Italy trip, they don’t typically go to Austria on an Italy trip, is because Salzburg was just as far from Venice as Rome. And I’m grateful that we did that because Italy was very crowded. And it was nice to get away from the crowds and take the Fräulein Maria Bike Tour. Yes, thank you very much. I was riding my bike through the countryside and listening to Sound of Music songs, and it was fabulous. And I have pictures and all kinds of things about that.
But probably one of the more touching things that happened was before we even got to Salzburg, we were in Venice. And in Venice, you actually don’t have to walk very far to get off the [inaudible] path, which is kind of neat. It’s a small island, and you would think the whole thing would be wall-to-wall people. But if you just walk a little bit out, it’s amazing how the guide books and within less than a mile of square footage of where you go. So we didn’t walk very far. And we ended up on this square. I wouldn’t say it wasn’t touristy, but it was far less touristed than other areas.
And there was this neat little coffee shop next to a larger coffee shop that had the same name. And I walk in and I was like, “Oh. They have green beans in here.” I was like, “That’s neat.” And one of the things that I like to do is roast my own coffee beans. I have a little coffee roaster that I like to use. And you buy these little hard green beans. They’re a little bit bigger than a pea and you can store them for long-term storage. And I was like, “Oh, maybe I could just buy some green beans and say I got them in Italy and that would be pretty awesome.” So I go in there. And we also needed an ATM at the same time. I think this is a funny little sidenote of it. So John’s like, “You go in there. I’m going to go find an ATM so we can get some money and we can get some lunch.” It’s like, “Cool. Break.” He goes his way. I go into the store. I come to find out that they don’t speak any English. I, of course, because I’m American, I don’t speak anything other than English [laughter].
Because the Russian from the [Peace Corps?] days is not useful in Italy.
Not useful in Italy. And is fading anyway. So I go in there. We try to communicate. And I try, in the best way that I can, to explain that I wanted to buy some of those green beans and that I like to roast coffee. So the person I was talking to was actually the coffee roaster for that shop. And she’s like, “What?” And I was like, “I roast my own beans.” She’s like, “What?” The second time wasn’t like, “I don’t understand you.” The second time was, “I can’t believe this person is in my store that does this thing that I really like to do.” And she was like, “Why don’t you come in the back with me?” I’m like, “Okay.” So I go into the back of the store. Let’s not forget that John doesn’t know I’m in the back of the store [laughter], and it doesn’t take a really long time to go look for ATMs. So let’s just kind of sidebar that. I go in the back and she’s showing me all of these barrels of beans and all of the different roasts and what one is her favorite and how she likes to blend things together. And I’m just surrounded by all of it and looking at her big roaster, and we’re talking about everything. And she’s like, “I can’t sell you the green beans because I don’t know what I would charge for that.” It’s not what she sells. But we stood back there. I mean, I think we were understanding maybe life 30% of what each other was talking about. And she was saying, “I like to mix.” And I was like, “Oh, you like to blend?” And she was like, “Oh, blend.”
So it was kind of like– yeah. It’s just interesting how we were trying to teach each other stuff and learn. Then, I was like, “Okay. Well, tell me your favorite blend and I’ll buy some of that.” She’s like, “Okay. It’s this one.” I go out to the front of the store. My husband looks in the store and he’s waving his arms at me like, “Where have you been?” And I just look at him and I’m like, “Why [laughter]?” I buy the beans and make my apologies to my husband [laughter]. But it was one of the coolest experiences because it was just this intercultural moment. I mean, I was a tourist, but I wasn’t. And I loved that.
Those moments are fantastic. That’s an awesome story. I like it.
Thumbs up. How should we round down? How should we end this? I think that’s about it. Thank you for sharing some parts of yourself. Thank you, Jen McFarland.
Sure [laughter]. Thanks for having me on the show, Liz [laughter].
The roles are reversed, and Jen doesn’t know what to do.
I don’t know what to do. I guess I should turn it off now [laughter].
No. But honestly, I know you pretty well. And I loved getting to know you even more. And hopefully, all the listeners out there just got a little bit more of you as well. A little insight into who makes the Third Paddle Podcast go round.
Yeah. Mic drop.
So if have any other questions, you know how to find us.
It’s at thirdpaddle.com, right?
Thanks for listening [laughter].
Thank you for listening to our Holiday Mashup. I hope you enjoyed the show. Give us a shoutout on Twitter, Instagram, [@thirdpaddle?]. Thank you to Liz for the great interview. And thank you to all of the guests that we’ve had so far on the show. We’re really looking forward to a fantastic 2019. Be sure to tune in next week, when I interview Senta Scarborough to talk about the stories we tell and how our lives tell these great stories that sometimes we’re afraid to talk about but really we should because it’s part of what makes us so unique and awesome. So please tune in to that. Have a happy holiday season. And talk to you next week.
[music] Thank you for listening to the Third Paddle Podcast. Be sure to catch every episode by subscribing on iTunes. To learn more, check out our website at www.thirdpaddle.com. The Third Paddle Podcast is sponsored by Foster Growth LLC, online at www.fostergrowth.tech. [music]
Jen McFarland ditched her comfy C-suite tech project management job in pursuit of freedom. Jen’s goal is to help business leaders like you vet ideas, take ownership of their projects, and incorporate digital marketing from day one.
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