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Transcript: Interview With Jason Navon, CPA

May 15, 2020

This episode is part of our weekly series on how VSCPA members and partners are managing and even thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maureen talks with Jason Navon, CPA, chief financial officer of Rossen Landscape about owning a landscaping business during the pandemic, shifts they've had to make and building community with clients and employees. Listen to the full podcast here.


Maureen: Welcome to leading forward the Virginia Society of CPAs, podcasts where we focus on innovation, leadership and the CPA profession. I'm your host Maureen Dingus and I invite thought leaders for sure, casual conversations on topics and trends important to the success of the CPA profession. This episode is part of our series on how the via CPA members are managing and even thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks for listening and I wish you all could help.

Okay. Welcome. Today we're here with Jason Navon. He is with Rossen Landscape. They serve the Northern Virginia area and Jason is one of our board members. And I've been, I really wanted to bring Jason onto the podcast because of his business-owning experience, his entrepreneurial experience and just this remote world that we're living in right now. I thought he would have some great insides because how do you have a, a landscape company and a remote workforce at the same time? So there are lots of interesting things going on that I'm sure we can dive into. So welcome, Jason.

Jason: Thank you for having me on.

Maureen: Great. So I assume you're working from home?

Jason: I am working from home. That's an interesting story. I'm actually calling in from Austin, Texas. When this pandemic started and we were in a remote work environment, my wife's job had her working remotely as well and when it became sort of an indefinite proposition, she wanted to come to Austin, Texas where her parents are a shelter in place with them, help protect them, take care of them since she could work remotely from anywhere. And I can as well. My situation's a little more dynamic than that, but I had a conversation with my business partner and we were able to make it work. So we're sheltering in place in Austin for the time being. I'm still able to connect with my team, which I know we'll get into. But we're doing well so far, staying healthy.

Maureen: Great. Well I did, I didn't expect that when we started this. I just thought you were from the home that I normally talk to you at, which is in Northern Virginia. You surprise me on that one.

Jason: That's the beauty of working remotely. It can be done from anywhere as long as you have a good internet connection.

Maureen: Right, right. And that's something that I hope we have for this call, honestly. Jason, before we dive really into kind of the current situation, I really thought it would be interesting to hear a bit about your leadership journey. How did you even become an owner of a landscape company? So kind of started from the beginning.

Jason: Okay. I don't know how, I don't want to go too far back, so I'll give you some information then you can ask me to expand where you'd like. But I grew up in Richmond, Virginia. I went to the University of Virginia. I applied and got my undergraduate education at the McIntire School of Business. That was a two-year program and then I stayed an extra year and got a master's in accounting. At which time I was a teaching assistant during that program, I also studied for and passed the CPA Exam at that CPA Exam. At that time I started my career at Pricewaterhouse Coopers initially in Boston, Massachusetts for two years. And then I transferred down to their Tysons Corner, Virginia office where I worked in their private company services tax practice for six years. So I was with PWC for a total of eight years.

Worked my way up from ESIS, we'll insert and really to a manager at which point my, at which point my friends from high school Jeff Rossen, he had started a landscape company about the same time that I started my career at PWC. So he had been growing his company for that eight-year time period. He got to a point where he needed a business partner, someone to help him grow the business. So he asked me if I would be interested and we explored the opportunity and I left my career at PWC to join him at his landscape company. I did, you know, buy into the partnership. We're business partners. Our roles have evolved over the years, but it's been a great experience for the last 10 years now.

Maureen: So 10 years you've been doing this. Yeah. So you, you didn't think there was quite a change going from the big four to own your own business. How, how, what was that transition like?

Jason: It was definitely an interesting transition. I went from working in a big four public accounting firm to working in a local landscape company. So the differences in work environment were certainly a stark contrast to each other. However, I do feel like the principles remain the same and it definitely challenged me in a good way. And so it definitely helped my growth as a professional. I will say when, when I first made the transition and I would tell people they would respond or react to that as if it was like a big career change and it was, but it really wasn't my role as far as the financial and operations leader would remain the same, but they would say, Oh, my nephew's changed careers, you know? So I think they had the impression that I was cutting grass, so, you know, riding our lawnmowers. And so my tagline, you know, kind of was, I don't cut grass, I cut costs.

Maureen: Oh, nice. So somehow I think that's it. It's just sort of the little work that we've done together. That is a good tagline for you. All right, so we've, I was, when we were chatting, before we started recording, I had you know, noticed that you had been participating a little bit in our online community, the Vack online community connect and you know, posted some information about your company's experience at least initially with the, with responding to the pandemic. And I, I can imagine that there have been so many things that you've needed to think through or potentially change. Number one, it sounds like going to a remote work environment and just can you just give me a little bit of a sense of how that, how you transitioned to that? What's different? What's the same?

Jason: Yes, so this is, this is a big question, but I'll, I'll just, I'll try to narrow in on some key points. You know, first of all, yes, we were adapting and adjusting as information came out. And literally, I know people in the past have been like, things are changing by the minute and the hour. And this was a situation where I feel like for the first time in my life, that was actually true. So we were just paying attention to the news and things that were coming out and just adapting in a, you know, calculated way to, to what was happening. And now with hindsight, I can say how it went down, but it wasn't this seamless or easy, you know, as I'm kind of explaining it. So I did become grateful that we were in the type of business that doesn't gather by its nature.

The times that we gather are for meetings or in our morning huddle with the crew in the yard, but we don't really gather in large groups. So, and we work outdoors. So we were able to another element, again, so many things running through my mind is that safety has always been a priority for us. Our guys are driving all day in trucks. They're riding lawn mowers, they're working with dangerous equipment. So we have, you know, weekly check-ins on safely monthly formal safety training. So PPE protected personal protective equipment. And safety has always been a theme for our company. So, I think we also talked about this before we started recording, but the keyword for me is heightened, heightened, you know, we have a heightened sense of any of everything, communication, safety processes, everything's just on a little bit more high alert.

So, you know, we made some initial adjustments, we continued the safety mantra, but we made some initial adjustments. For example, we have 10 crews, whether they're mowing or pruning or doing our construction projects. They used to all start at the same time in the morning. We staggered start times so that we have fewer people in the yard at one time. And even when they are there, you know, we maintain the six feet of distance. We, in order to communicate announcements, we used to do that in the morning huddle. So the, the opener, the opening manager would repeat himself to each crew. We've since transitioned to doing sort of a, a video message so that he can record a quick 32nd message, which would be the, those days announcements. And he could send that out so that he's not repeating himself. Everyone gets the same consistent message we communicated with our clients.

So we wanted to give them comfort and reassurance that we were taking the steps necessary to protect them, protect us, protect the community to ensure that we were not you know proliferating this violence and that so that they wouldn't have any concerns. Right. So we, we made them aware that our guys would not be approaching them as we maybe normally would to greet them if they wanted to meet one of our sales reps or a client relationship manager. They would need to be done either over the phone or with math and 60 to social distancing. Or we could do video calls where, you know, our representative is out in their yard walking the property while the client sits in their house communicating with them. So I keep, you know, communication is key a heightened sense of communication is important right now. Just not only to give our team comfort that they're working safely, but that our clients get that same confidence setting expectation. Cause it is new for everyone. It's different. It's a little awkward, but it's, it's what we need to do to ensure that we get through the safe way.

Maureen: So did your, did your team members, your crews, did they, they understand, did they, did they have any issues? What, what was kind of their reaction to some of these initial changes?

Jason: So, yeah, and that's one of the, that's one of the challenges that we always have in our business is that most of our field teams speaks Spanish. So we've always got the language to contend to. In the beginning, I think everyone was a little concerned and there was a lot of uncertainty and I, so I think everyone was having that same experience. So I would start, I typically would randomly pop into an opening, you know, at 6:30 AM but I would show up to those every day until this thing sort of stabilized cause I wanted them to, you know, feel the leadership presence. I could be there to answer questions. So we were communicating what we knew so that it was consistent with the information they had. We were answering questions, but I was actually really pleased with the way the team responded.

Everyone's sorta rallied together, we understood the importance of working in these conditions. But I think a situation like this really shows the true colors of your teams, how people respond to it. And you know, I think I knew we had a great team, but I, I really did get confirmation of that. Everyone's sort of rallied together. I think a part of it is there was economic uncertainty and there still is. So certainly everyone wants to maintain their livelihood and as business owners we want to ensure that in teams. So I just want to, I need to say one thing because as I said in the beginning, I am in Austin, Texas and so I'm not able to now be there with my team. So I was there with them for the first few weeks and that was important to me. As a leader, I wanted to be present.

If I was going to ask my team to show up for work, then I wanted to be there as well in a safe way. The nature of our business, you can't do it from home. Half of our company can't do it from home. So we did kind of take two paths of protocol, one for the field team, one for those that work in an office setting. So our office folks are remote working to the best that they can. They're doing their site visits, which they typically would do by themselves anyway. So you know, I've been sensitive to that and before I made the decision to leave to shelter in place here, I did communicate with my business partner who is still local and was able to have that leadership presence. So yeah, that was him. That was important to me.

Maureen: Yeah. Yeah. So that, that is that's an interesting situation because I could see where you're, you're expecting, you're expecting people to do certain things, but and you, and you want to support them and show, like you said, the, the leadership, the leadership presence. But then it sounds like you've got you took some weeks to get a routine settled. You've probably got their confidence that this is the direction we're heading in. And then, you know, things changed and you went in different directions just like you're figuring things out week by week. So this is a new phase.

Jason: Yes. And you know, I think that's consistent with the leadership style that I, I, I like to think that I embodied, which is kind of servant leadership. I don't believe in do it this way because I'm the boss. You know, I don't, I don't want to re, I don't want respect by force. I want, I want to engage everyone. I do believe, you know, we have better ideas and you have better results by allowing everyone to bring their ideas to the table. So being out there with them kinda shoulder to shoulder I hope for, for me and for them, I hope it gives them a sense that we're all in this together. That was the second piece, but I'm blanking on it now. If it comes to me, I'll share it.

Maureen: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well you had mentioned that you have a kind of the in office remote team that meets pretty regularly, it sounds like. So what how, how have you had to adjust or have you had to adjust any of your management for for your team members that are more on the office side?

Jason: So I've actually been pleased with the result. As I said, you know, we do have a very good team in place. They've arrived. The challenge and the mantra of heightened, you know, we're on a heightened level of everything. I feel like the principles that we followed when we were working together in the office have translated to the remote work environment. I do recognize that we're in a very a very different time right now. So there are challenges for those that have kids with homeschooling and trying to work. Those bits don't have kids. You can't go anywhere. So your focus is at home and onward. So we are in a unique place where also with the economic uncertainty, people may be afraid for their jobs. So everyone is you know, bringing the best to the table. So I do recognize that this is a unique environment that this isn't always the way it would be for a remote work situation.

But we transitioned really well. I all the principles that we exercise in the office, we're exercising in a remote work environment. Before we started recording, we talked about the fact that just because someone's in an office doesn't mean they're being productive or that they're on task or that they're working. It's just, it's FaceTime, which I've never been a big proponent of. So even when we do report to the office, we have more of a results orientation to our work. It's not about the activities that you're doing and it's not about the time that you necessarily put in. I want everyone to get things done as quickly as they can, as efficiently as they can. So it's always been about results and especially now we need to be focused on the results because in a remote work environment, we can't see each other and collaborate as we normally do.

So we just need to see those things are getting done and that we're all here to support each other and make that happen. The other thing is with status updates, I was on a, actually, it was a via CPA virtual round table and we were talking about effectiveness in the remote work environment and status updates came up. And I've always told my team, whenever you give a status update it needs to include who, what and when, status updates that are missing. One of those pieces of the who, what and the when make it difficult to set an expectation and to hold someone accountable. So whenever there's a status update, it needs to include a who, what and when. So I'm getting a little into the weeds here, but to answer your question, I think we've, I think we've transitioned I'm pleased with how we've transitioned.

One thing I will share, we've implemented a weekly water cooler session. We're calling it a water cooler session. So it's trying to mimic those casual, that contact you have when you're in an office and you can just talk on maybe a more personal level. So once a week on Thursdays at 4:00 PM we hop on zoom and there's about 13 of us and we just talk and it's not business-related, it's just to see everyone's faces, talk about personal things, just whatever you'd like to share. We've started making a theme. So you know, everyone wore their favorite hat or with Zoom you can put a, you can change your background to a picture. So we've kind of done shot show in town with, you know, a vacation or a pet or a story of achievement or something you're proud of. So, you know, I actually feel like for me, who I engage with my team all the time in meetings and then when I'm not in the meeting, I try to hide in my office to get my work done. So for someone like me who works in that way, this 30 minutes of intentional time to get to know people, it's actually made me feel more connected to my team then than I had before.

Maureen: Yeah. So it's, it's, it sounds like a couple of things. You, you had some good habits with the results-focused work that transitioned easily and now maybe this new, this new cooler is opening up some Greg new intentional relationship building. So I love, I love the idea of the show and sell was the zoom background. That's really neat. Any, any good ones that have popped up?

Jason: Not, not that I can think of us hand, but yeah, we've enjoyed telling each other's story. But I think too, with what's going on, you know, whenever you're faced with challenges or adversity, we talk about how innovation comes into play. So you always want to innovate, but in times like these, you're sort of forced to. So I think a lot of the things that we're doing will continue after this. And that's a good thing. I think we'll be better off because of this. You know, I don't have any children myself, but my sister has two nephews and a niece and she's sending us all the things that they're doing there. They're painting zoo animals and the Kennedy Center is doing production. So I also think we're sharing content and connecting and doing things in a way and that we would have never done or been exposed to. So it's actually just really inspiring to see what's coming out of this.

Maureen: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Kind of changing, changing directions a little bit as a small business owner, you know, going into a pandemic and you know, just an economic situation that's so uncertain. How did you start thinking about that? What actions did you take to make sure that your business could survive?

Jason: Right. So that's, that's where, again, I think this kind of shows our true colors. It escalates everything to a higher level. So I'm one that kind of immediately goes to action. If I, if I'm anxious about something, I take notes. So whatever's on my mind gets out of my head so I can use my brain for processing instead of storing all this information. So I'll take notes and then I'll put into action the things that I can. But in this environment where there was so much uncertainty, I just wanted to gather information. So I already always used the process as CPAs. And former auditing work. Do you want to exercise professional skepticism? I, again, I took that to an extra level. I, you can't necessarily believe what people say, but particularly now when this is the things that we're relying on are so important, I would gather all the information but certainly go and confirm it to be true.

So I was in a very intense place of gathering information. So webinars were coming out left and right from every place company I've ever known. Which was great. And for the first couple of weeks I spent half of each day on webinars. At a certain point it was the same information and new things coming out and that I could navigate what was relevant for me and what wasn't. So so, so I backed down on the webinars now you know, dominion payroll, who's based in Richmond my cousin's company, David frack, and they started doing, coming out with early information on the families first act. So I would listen in on that and it was early and everyone was doing their best, best to give out good, complete, accurate information. But you know, they would always say this is early and it's, we need to wait for more details.

But the point in sharing all that is that I felt like he was in the turbulent, uncertain times we were going through, if we weren't getting information, the coming together on this webinar to help connect all these business owners and business leaders who were, who typically don't have anyone to turn to. So it was just nice to gather, recognize that everyone's in the same boat, that there are people out there to support you. So that was a nice initial feeling of comfort. So in preparing for our conversation today and, and wanting to share that, you know, I was tuning into webinars as a landscape company, we are affiliated with the national association of landscape professionals. They set up a weekly recurring webinar and it was set for the same day in time. And whatever the relevant information was, they were sharing it. They also set up a Facebook group.

So landscapers from all over the country were coming together and sharing their experience, what they were hearing so that we can all learn from each other. I don't typically watch the news, but when it's affecting your day to day in a direct and immediate way as it is now, I was watching the news, I'm watching, you know, each of the governor's press conferences just to hear where we stand. Peers and competitors. My business partner Jeff has connected with, you know, we're connected with not only our peers through the national association of landscape professionals, but also it's just a local community. We actually took a ski trip this past winter with some of them. So we do compete, but we also share information. So there was conversations about contingency plans, you know, if, if they had a crew that couldn't mow because their guys got sick, would we be willing to send a mow crew to help them out?

So, you know, it was just I'm kinda tackling two topics, which is what did I do initially, which was gathering information, but also what was the results of that, which was both figuring out how to navigate this, but also recognizing that like this is a situation where we want to get on the other side. And part of that is just putting aside differences and what would normally be competition and just coming together to make it happen. I will say, I was just gonna say the last thing would be with the via CPA similar to the national association of landscape professionals. The via CPA brought together, brings together the CPA community, but it's been a lot more active right now. You know, the connects community, people are talking about the new legislation, how we're helping our clients, things like that. So for me, being able to get the accounting side coupled with the industry business side has been very helpful in shaping our decisions and how we move forward.

Maureen: Great. Great.

Jason: Okay.

Maureen: So it sounds like with you, you've been able to really lean into a lot of the communities, whether it's your competitors, so to speak, your, your landscape, community, your CPA community. And it's, it's probably maybe one of the lessons in there is to have those communities before you really need them. So it's, it's great that you had identified those and were already active.

Jason: Absolutely. I think, yeah, I think we're just learning a lot of lessons through all this, you know I think as an accountant I've always just felt secure in a career and that there would always be job opportunities. So, you know, all of these things that the world was turned upside down by this. So all these things that we knew to be principals were kind of challenged. And if you didn't think you need a three-month emergency fund, well we've now got an example of a reason that you do. So I think, yeah. And then the network that you've built, how valuable has that been? In our business, we have both maintenance and design-build work. So everyone talks about how valuable the maintenance work is because it recurs. And yes, I understand that. And it's valuable. It's proven its value through this as well because while the design-build side of the business may have dropped off a little bit or a lot a bit, you know, the phone's not ringing right now the way it normally would in the spring. The maintenance has pretty much sustained itself. And so it's proving its value. So all these principles that we know to be true, they're being tested right now. So everyone living through this will point back to this as a reason why we need to continue to comply with it.

Maureen: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That's great. I hadn't really thought about some of the things you know, there are ideas like the three months reserve or you know, all, all of the things are like, Oh, is that too extreme? Or Oh, you're just, I can think of many of those where it's the things you don't want to do, but now thank goodness. Right,

Jason: Right. Absolutely.

Maureen: So you have some initial things and then I know that even at the via CPA we were on a lot of webinars actually and there was so much information and then trying to figure out with all the legislation what applies to you, what doesn't apply, what should you move forward on? How did you make some decisions on where to move forward on any legislation or opportunities that were available to you,

Jason: You know, and listening to these webinars and all that. We were just kind of, I felt like we were on top of it as far as knowing what was, what needed to be done. So I guess the first thing that I did was we applied for the SBA disaster loan. Cause that was the first thing that was available to pretty much everyone in the country with certain qualifications. The three, the three main ones that I'm aware of. And I think, you know, there's things at the federal level, the state level, the local level. I haven't gone that far. But you know, the, the main things that I was aware of was we started talking about the family first act and that was just about how do you approach from an HR standpoint, your team that's impacted by COVID-19. So just having an awareness of what we would need to accommodate or provide or change policies just to make that happen. That was the first thing. But from a financial standpoint, it felt like there were two things available, which would be that the SBA disaster loan.

So I've, I did apply for that. I actually woke up at four in the morning to do it at a time when no one else in the country would be on. And the website moved pretty fast at that hour, whereas if you tried to do it during the day, it moves at a snail's pace. So we applied for that. That was at the end of March. And then when the paycheck protection program was rolled out we applied for that. So, you know, I think we did what every other business that qualified did was apply for whatever was available to you. The reality is, is that

It was uncertain, right? You know, in the middle of March or even the beginning of March. And we're sitting here at the end of April and it's still uncertain. So I'm hoping we're seeing this trend of we took the accelerated action and now we're going to slowly move back to whatever the new normal will be in the, the protocols that will need to remain in place. However, it's almost like no one knows with oil prices going to where they are in the stock market and schools and businesses. So we still don't know what the future holds. And so we just did whatever we could to ensure that we're prepared with whatever was available to weather this.

Maureen: Right, right, right. Yeah. So it sounds like you guys are on top of it and you know, fingers the Academy's out of our hands. Right. You know, you just gotta try to keep working. Keep, keep your folks out there. Hope the business keeps coming. And I know a lot of people that I've talked to are trying to use this time to be strategic on how can we think about our business when we do come out of it? How do we I heard one people, one person call it how do we trade up some of our staff? And there might be some folks available that work with the, with the job market. So, you know, just different ways to kind of keep yourself out of that more so that the toughness of that. It's like, yes, we're going to have to get through it, but how can it be, how can you move forward with it and come out better on the other side?

Jason: So yes, I was just taking some quick notes. I don't lose my thoughts, but absolutely I think everyone's reassessing everything. You know, when they say too much, too low, unemployment is a bad thing. Your initial reaction is really like everyone's got jobs. But that also means there are people available if you need workers you don't have as great of a talent pool. So I'm not an economist or a politician, so I don't know what that sweet spot is for unemployment. But there are opportunities through this. So you know, on the landscape site, the H two B, the H two B visa program is something that landscape companies leverage to bring over temporary workers from outside the U S and that program was pretty much canceled as far as I understand it, at least suspended during this. So a lot of them landscape companies that relied on DBAs to be visa workers weren't getting the manpower that they thought they would be. So that's a problem for them. However, with these people that now were newly unemployed, there was an opportunity if they're willing to do the work to find, you know, this, this job opportunity. So, you know, someone mentioned that on the peer group landscape a part of, so you know, that was just an interesting connection. If it works that way. The other thing, you know,

It is to get an opportunity to rethink how businesses are doing things. You know, I think as far as, you know, I mentioned, I took a note about kind of marketing where we're not, I think a lot of companies are being sensitive about what's going on. There's probably some companies out there that are maybe trying to capitalize on things. So I think this is the time for us to just be sensitive to what's happening out there. So we're not actively selling, we're, we're available, but we're not actively pursuing sales. So we want to be sensitive to what's going on. You know, my business partner another thing that came out of this is he is making calls to our clients that may be at a higher risk for contraction or having adverse effects from the virus. So, you know, he's offering to help. Is there anything we can do? Can we bring groceries? So, you know, using our capabilities, which is that we're driving around and servicing our maintenance clients. While it's not our core focus, there's ways we can be helpful to our community right now to help us get through this. So that was one kind of offshoot that he came up with.

Maureen: That's great. That's great. I love that. So it's, it's, it's keeping that community connection and, and really a service. But the people will remember that, that, that, that will be, that will be remembered. So Jason, we've covered a lot of ground and I'm sure we could keep going. But what, what I, what I'd like to, I'd like to wrap up with a couple things. So the first thing I really would want to hear from, or the first thing I want to ask you before we wrap up is what lessons have you learned so far? You know, I really would like to connect with you in the fall when there may, maybe more through this about what lessons have you really learned, but are there any, you know, just quick things that you feel like, yeah, I, we've already learned this and just a few, a short time that we've been experiencing this pandemic.

Jason: I think, you know, being prepared for anything that's tough to do. I think we talked about before when you don't know what the possibilities are, but if we've learned anything, it's that anything's possible. So I guess you can take that in both being prepared for whatever's possible, but also being open to the idea that anything's possible. Meaning remote work arrangements. Because I think until this point, we've been hesitant to move in that direction, but I don't think there's any way, any reason we couldn't work that into, you know, our, our company. So it's interesting when you're forced to do something, it's been on our radar, but when you're finally forced to do something, you truly see what's possible.

Maureen: Yeah. Yeah. I liked that anything's possible. You could be, yeah, anything's possible in the worst possible way, but anything is possible in the best possible way. So that, that's probably the, what a lot of us was driving us crazy right now is that that low and that high of life. Yeah.

Jason: And I think the third thing I would say in addition to communication and realizing the possibilities, both good and bad would be technology. We didn't really talk about that, but I would say a year ago to 18 months ago, my company was not in a position where we should have been with technology. So we were fortunate that this came at the time that it did because we've implemented this technology for the landscape company for us or landscape industry, it's called aspire and it's a production management software. So it's helped us manage our business, stay connected with our team in a way that's paperless and remote. Anyway. So without that, you know, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about what, what would have been because it's not, but you know, I'm just grateful that we, we got to the point with our technology where we are and this pushed us to go even further. So, you know, I'm always open up technology, but now it's, it's really got my attention and you know, it'd probably be an accelerated priority going forward whenever we come across something that would, would take our business to another level with technology.

Maureen: Right, right, right, right. Great. Great. So Jason, to wrap it up, I want to know what you've been doing personally to either control your stress, manage that energy that you have, get through this pandemic.

Jason: Well I guess all my friends that might listen to this would be annoyed to hear me say this, but I think I have to revert back to the heightened sense of things because I already tried to lead a, a healthy lifestyle. So if anything that's become more important I will admit that I typically attend fitness classes, orange theory, core power, yoga, Pilates, which I haven't been able to do. So I did admittedly take like a four-week hiatus from that. So I'm trying to get back into, you know, doing some video fitness classes and I like to do breathing exercises or meditation. I rarely the time out of my day to do it. But you know, just trying to eat well, drink water, get to sleep, get your sleep. Yeah, just, I think we didn't talk about this, but this pandemic both personally and professionally has kind of stripped away the noise of our lives.

And really what's comes to the forefront are the priorities and the things that are important. So, you know, this has been, this is a tragedy in a crisis and it's affecting a lot of people. So we, we have to be compassionate and sensitive to that. It's also made us aware of being fortunate each day, living day today. Like literally a month ago, I was living day to day, right, because we didn't know what the next day was going to hold. So it's, it's us, a lot of those core principles that we know and just maybe haven't done, which is be grateful for your relationship, grateful for your health and just taking each day, one day at a time. So I think we need to, you know, protect ourselves, mitigate the damage, but also be aware of the silver linings and all of this.

Maureen: Yeah, that's well said. That's well said. Thank you for that. I have to tell you that some days my goal for the day is to drink my water. Those habits and routines that I had in, I almost call it my previous life, which was just, you know, two months ago or so natural and now it's, it's retraining. It's almost like, you know, when you're, I can imagine when someone's been in an accident and you have to relearn to use everything. It's like a relearning my habits and routines and it's, it's just not, it's not the same. Some you have to go back as basic as did you drink water?

Jason: Absolutely. And I think that's absolutely right. We had a routine now we actually, we're all adjusting to a new routine, which this was starting to feel normal. Like just like anything that's new. It's awkward and it's uncomfortable in the beginning, but now it's a little bit second nature. So through conversations that I've had with my wife, we're actually don't want to go back to all the, the ways things were. So, you know, we're fortunate enough to be in the position that we are, but some of the things we, we don't want to go back to running around from place to place. It's like we've just got more time and more appreciation for just, you know, being, being comfortable with being,

Maureen: Yeah, just being, well, Jason, this has been really great. We've covered a lot of ground. Like I said, I'm sure we could. We could keep going, but I'm going to let you get back to running that business. All right.

Jason: I appreciate it.

Maureen: You take care alright.

Maureen: Thanks. Stay healthy and appreciate the conversation.

Maureen: All right. Bye. Bye, Jason.