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Chris Ekimoff and Accounting, Courtroom Testimonies and Content

CJ sat down with longtime friend and former college roommate and teammate Chris Ekimoff. Chris is a forensic accountant based in Washington, D.C. Chris specializes in investigating things like tax fraud and ponzi schemes. He does a lot of work with attorneys and frequently is asked to stand witness in court cases. In addition to his work, Chris has a strong presence on social media and recently started a podcast. Enjoy!

Chris and CJ Discuss Forensic Accounting, Courtroom Testimonies, Creating Content & Starting Podcasts

01 - Chris Ekimoff

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Conversation Highlights

Chris and CJ spoke for about 30 minutes. Together they covered the following topics:

  • How Chris got to participate in a panel discussion with Simon Sinek.
  • The "why" of making content and CJ's "Podcast."
  • Chris explains a little more about what a forensic accountant does.
  • Chris shares some of his experiences serving as a witness in courtroom testimonies for trials of white collar crime cases.
  • Chris shares how he got started producing content by developing a social media presence.
  • Chris talks about the podcast he recently started and his plans for producing and promoting it.

Full Conversation Transcript

CJ Maurer: (00:01)
What's up everybody. CJ malware here with the just and I am super excited to be talking to my longtime friend college teammate, college roommate and forensic accountant in Washington, D C Chris [inaudible]. Chris,

Chris Ekimoff: (00:15)
How's it going? Great to see. And I like the way you ordered that list of modifiers for who I am because I think college teammate, roommate and then forensic accountant is a good way to prioritize how I rank, uh, in the world.

CJ Maurer: (00:28)
I am way more in touch with you now because of our history in college. Then a hundred percent are decided profession.

Chris Ekimoff: (00:36)
Yeah. I mean, our wives joke that we're, uh, that we're work husbands, even though we don't work for the same company or interact in a super professional setting, even remotely the same industry, exactly. Remotely

CJ Maurer: (00:47)
the same industry. So, um, Chris told me that I needed to start with why my, why, uh, uh, at the beginning of this podcast because little fun fact, um, Chris, a lot of people have seen the V the famous Simon Sinek, um, TEDx video where he did the golden circle and start with Y. Um, Chris, I remember when you posted on social media a couple of years ago that you met him. How did you meet him?

Chris Ekimoff: (01:13)
Yeah, so he, uh, was serving on a panel for a very nuanced segment of a conference for what the AI CPA puts on the American Institute of certified public accountants, national advocacy, uh, you know, um, uh, membership, uh, association for CPS. Uh, the digital CPA conference is kind of a forward thinking, or at least was when it started 10 years ago. A really cutting edge view of how accountants need to transition from, you know, the, the green visors and the 14 column worksheets to a more digital presence and being a thought leader in kind of not only the futurist thinking that that, uh, Simon Sinek talks about, but also just how to take that CPA mentality across mediums is really where we served on, on the panel together. So I was kind of in the younger set, kind of representing a little bit of the younger generation along with some other problem solvers on that panel. Uh, you know, who've streamlined, you know, third party billing processes and payroll solutions. And things like that, so very kind of wonky, but he was a, you know, I don't want to downplay my own participation in the panel. He was definitely the guy that everybody came to see.

CJ Maurer: (02:20)
Yeah. Well, I mean I think he has, I think it's like the second most viewed Ted talk video of all time. I think I want to say, this was probably a couple of years ago when I read this, if my memory serves me correctly, it was sir Ken Robinson did a Ted talk about how schools are killing creativity and children and then I think Simon Sinek from Puget sound with the golden circle and start with why was number

Chris Ekimoff: (02:47)
to that. That's endearing to me. You know that that fills me up CJ, because the way the internet is, it's good to hear that the Ted talks are the most watched Ted talks are about meaningful instead of, you know, God knows what else has gone on yet.

CJ Maurer: (03:01)
Right, right. Well, since you, Ingrid, humanity to me to start with my why, this is kind of interesting because this is a quote unquote podcast. I always have to disclaim it because it doesn't have a name and it doesn't have a strategy yet. Um, uh, I recently started my own business a handful of months ago and, um, that required a lot of planning and strategy and my clients hire me to create marketing campaigns, content and a whole bunch of other things to help them grow. And all of those things usually require a significant amount of planning and strategy and, and why-ification of everything. Whether, you know, I'm just pitching my clients and how to do things or then going about and actually doing them. And so for me, I saw this as an opportunity to be refreshing me. Unplanned. Yeah. I think, I think through the casual nature of this series, I have, I think a why so far has revealed itself, which is really just, I'm doing it because I can cause it's fun, uh, with the hopes that, you know, by having interesting conversations with interesting people, other people might like it, whether that's, you know, uh, a thousand people or a hundred people or 10 people.

CJ Maurer: (04:11)
And I'm okay with that because right now it's fun. And I can do it. And I think the larger point is that, um, is to do something. I think it's healthy to do something not because you have to or because there is a particular incentive for you. But I believe in the practice of doing something simply because you can. And that's why this has been really, really fun for me. And I would say that is, that is my why right now

Chris Ekimoff: (04:36)
I think, you know, to TJ and a lot of the efforts in, in the topics that you focus on in your business, you know, you say find your voice and I always harken back, there's a great, um, I'll try to send you a link if I can find a, the podcast itself a great discussion that I think Malcolm Gladwell was a member of where he was talking about the value of the tone and tambour of an individual's voice and storytelling. Obviously Malcolm Gladwell has written New York times bestsellers international, you know, whirlwinds of thought and everything. But even he was saying, I'm limited in writing a book. I can only put words on the page to describe what's happening when I can, you know, talk to you about the salty dog that came in off the fishing boat. But to hear him speak and tell that story after a long day is so much more meaningful. Right? So exploring this medium I think for for you specifically C J and all the enthusiasm that you bring to the work that you do, it's a natural extension of who you are and where you're going. So I'm excited to be a part of it.

CJ Maurer: (05:33)
Thank you. Well, one of the reasons why, um, I asked you to do this is not just because I thought you would have no choice but to say yes cause we're friends. Classic is also because a couple of things. One, you work in a completely different line of work for me, which I find interesting. Um, and too, you have, um, a little bit of a history now of a

Chris Ekimoff: (05:58)
content producer in your own right. So before we talk about that, once you, um, share with everybody who's watching however many people who's watching and listening, um, what you do for what you do for work. Yeah. So TJ, you kind of cute it up. Forensic accountant, which a is a, is a sexy phrase to describe what we try to accomplish. And in our line of work, in the accounting world, there's a variety of different services. You know, you do your tax preparation, you've got annual audits, uh, you know, compilations, you do all kinds of different either regular or or ad hoc, ad hoc type work. Forensic accounting is nuanced because I like to describe it that it is a, anytime that financial information requires a heightened level of scrutiny, um, and, and you get an audit done every year. If you're a major company or even if you're, you know, getting your audit, your audit done for your bank, that's something that happens regularly and there's the appropriate amount of scrutiny applied to that on a regular basis.

Chris Ekimoff: (06:50)
Hey, let's make sure your things are in order. Uh, you know, on every quarter or every year, the forensic accounting piece is really, we've got a problem. You know, I used the phrase Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall. We're being sued, we're being pursued by a regulator related to a very specific accounting or finance issue. We need specialized and focused help. So in the, you know, age old ACSM, you know, it is not a mile wide and an inch deep. It is an inch wide and a mile deep. We're looking at a very specific issue, uh, you know, to almost a hundred percent of a degree. So for example, we were hired last year, a group of colleagues and I were hired to help a company understand why very specific inventory reserves were basically falling out of whack. You know, they had a certain amount of, of product in their warehouse that they thought was worth a hundred dollars.

Chris Ekimoff: (07:36)
But then at the end of the quarter, they, they did all their accounting and lined up what the inventory was worth at the beginning of the quarter and the end of the quarter. And the numbers didn't make sense. The company's doing fine. They're selling the inventory they need to sell. Their customers are happy. They don't get from a books and records standpoint why things are going wrong. So Chris and his team come in, we look very detailed at all of the, the inventory in the warehouse. We look at the systems that are happening to account for that inventory and we try to help them understand what, if anything's going wrong in the assumptions they're putting into their systems and the operation of those systems or in the value of their inventory. So very small example, kind of on what we call the consulting side for forensic accounting.

Chris Ekimoff: (08:11)
The flip side of that and where I know CJ, you always ask me a lot of great questions about is the courtroom side, you know, you get it, a fraud investigation, an allegation of abuse or misappropriation of assets. Uh, guys like me get hired to sit on a, on a stand and to testify as an expert on a court of law to help the jury or the judge understand very technical accounting issues. Uh, you know, everybody knows what a Ponzi scheme is, right? But when it comes down to a court of law, how do you prove that the individual was actually operating a Ponzi scheme and defrauding investors or just making bad investment decisions and trying to cover his losses? You know, there's a, there's kind of a gray area there that, that, uh, courts of law attorneys and clients are very interested in exploring from a financial perspective. And that's kinda where I get into it. So a lot of very sexy and cool words and I always try to backpedal a bit and say, guys, I am also staring at a computer screen for 10 hours a day, just like my accounting brethren in audit and tax. Uh, but that's kind of a good rundown of, of the type of work I do on a regular basis.

CJ Maurer: (09:09)
On a scale of one to 10, how nervous are you to testify in a courtroom?

Chris Ekimoff: (09:13)
Uh, I think if it's not a 10 out of 10 every time, uh, you're either not prepared or you're not looking at the situation. Right. Um, oftentimes, you know, you kind of find yourselves in the tail ends of, of experience in that the, the legal case will either be so supremely focused on accounting and financial issues that it all hinges on the testimony of two kinds of war. They call war of the experts right? At my expert says, it's 10, your expert says it's five, let's Duke it out. Or the other side of the spectrum is there are so many legal machinations in between the way the contract is written or the lawsuit was filed or the other witnesses that are involved and maybe everybody agrees the accounting was wrong, but nobody knows who did the wrong accounting, right? That's less of a spectrum, you know, less of a, an emphasis on Chris's specific activity and work as an expert and more so on kind of the general facts and circumstances of the case. So as long as you understand where you fall on that spectrum, it can help manage the, uh, the nerves. But I mean, you're, you're sitting in a place to be asked questions that the other side wants you to get wrong. That's a, that's a tough nut to crack.

CJ Maurer: (10:17)
So, um, I like your analogy about, uh, an inch wide and a mile deep. Um, it would stand to reason that perhaps like, um, although you know, in the financial accounting world what you represent, um, uh, what you do represents a smaller percentage of professionals, but it stands to reason that maybe that same analogy applies for, um, how unique it is and how potentially other people within your line of work might engage with it. Um, I know that you, uh, started producing content or curating content in the past, you know, getting on social media, which at the time I don't think a lot of accountants were doing, doing some email marketing. Um, how did that work for you and how have you noticed that any of those efforts have, um, informed where you are now in your career?

Chris Ekimoff: (11:04)
Yeah, so I kind of got into the social media craze, if you will, back in the early 20 teens, uh, mainly to interact with new services and, and, and courts of law and, and attorneys that I knew that were operating the space. You know, part of my job as a, as a consultant, basically as the litigation consultant is to know what's going on in the market, what other cases are happening that have similar fact patterns to cases I might be working on. So I relied on social media and some of the more broad based marketing avenues for, for competitors and potential clients to inform me of that. And I realized that I was kind of in a very nuanced group of um, content consumers. You know, I'm interested in the wall street journal, but I don't really care about the foreign currency exchange price between the Euro and the dollar.

Chris Ekimoff: (11:50)
I care much more about the instances of, of um, financial statement fraud then maybe somebody else does who's in Forex trading. Right? So I would take those pieces of content from the wall street journal and the New York times and the Washington post and kind of focus more on those. And then I would also be following attorneys generally, but mainly white collar crime defense, government investigations and trial litigators more so than, um, you know, M and a attorneys or corporate guys, uh, who also do great work but just isn't in my, my purview. So that really kind of supported me and saying, you know, Chris, get out there, read this stuff, but also share what's interesting to you because that's going to help identify in those mediums, ways for potential clients, other collaborators, good friends from college, uh, to understand in, in kind of a crib sheet what you're interested in and what you're focused on, to really narrow that down.

Chris Ekimoff: (12:38)
So that's kind of how I got started in it. And it's really just been a handful of tweets a day for, I don't know, what, eight, nine years now. Um, but it's given me the foundation and the comfort to explore a lot of other, uh, you know, content creation, uh, applications as well. The easiest example I give if you guys are Netflix fans out there, uh, the documentary series, dirty money, uh, just came out with its second season where they kind of focus on a very specific set of court filings, documents and potential fraud cases, uh, that have gone on in the past few years. You know, me and my staff, we kind of write up a quick summary of, of that documentary and then we support that with all of the underpinning, uh, you know, open source legal documents related to that. So they say, you know, the, the defendant pled guilty, we'll give you a link to the guilty plea.

Chris Ekimoff: (13:23)
So if you're a person who's interested in, I remember from season one, the, uh, the maple syrup pricing, uh, conglomerate or a cartel up in Canada, you know, very cool story, both from a breakfast perspective as well as from a forensic accounting perspective. Uh, getting to read those documents might be interesting to you. Or you might just like to watch the 45 minutes on the documentary and then, and then flip back to reruns of parks and rec. So we kind of wanted to give that service to folks who wanted to get to that next level and, and re review those things. So one of the examples, CJ, I know that we've talked about related to, uh, you know, some of the content I try to put out there in the world for for interaction.

CJ Maurer: (13:59)
Yeah. Um, for me it would be going back to reruns of the office mainly because I think it's, I think one, I love it, but also it's apparently leaving Netflix at the end of 2020 because NBC is coming out with its own streaming platform where you office fans get your, gets your office bingeing while you can, you have to go to another platform. But yeah, that's a great example and that's really cool. So I also know that you've started a podcast, so give me the backstory of what led you to starting your podcast.

Chris Ekimoff: (14:29)
So I'm gonna try to say this in the least nerdy way possible. I met a guy who's a good friend of mine now through Twitter at a securities enforcement conference. Okay. I guess I didn't do a good job of explaining that in a non nerdy way. Uh, but for those of you who go out and hit the conference circuit again, uh, in, in times outside of global pandemics, uh, we used to get together and the conference would support a hashtag. So if you saw something interesting or caught a quote, you'd share it on Twitter and hashtag securities conference. Uh, there were basically only two of us at this conference interacting about three or four years ago. Uh, and, and my good friend now, Kurt Wolff and I got to meet each other at the networking happy hour afterwards and kind of identified kindred spirits in each other and that we were interested in, uh, overlapping issues in the securities enforcement, forensic accounting space, but did very different things.

Chris Ekimoff: (15:15)
So we often had great conversations about this. Um, ended up getting in touch with a legal education service called PLA, the practicing law Institute, uh, and discussing efforts that we could do together to collaborate, not only to share, uh, you know, Chris's personal brand as well as the companies and firms that I work for. Uh, and, and with, but also how to give POI something that maybe they aren't offering their, uh, 300,000 attorney members at the time. And we kind of married that up with the idea of a podcast. So I posited with Kurt and crisp and all this time tweeting at each other about arcane securities law. Why not just put a microphone down and have that conversation out loud? And so we started, uh, started looking into that in the spring of 2019 and launched our first episode in January of 2020 through, uh, PLA who has a great staff in terms of production, editing, you know, content development and things like that.

Chris Ekimoff: (16:05)
So by no means a, a, you know, a lift of just curtain me. But to your point, CJ and starting this podcast, we spent, uh, Kurt and I spent about 10 months planning what our episodes were going to be like. And then by the end of the second episode said, crap, we gotta do something different. This isn't fitting. So I think you're taking a much more level headed view of, of where we should go and what you should focus on then. Then all that prep work that's turned into what I think is a very interesting conversation we're having, but they're very different than what we planned.

CJ Maurer: (16:30)
Yeah. Yeah. I kind of intuited that I think the best way to learn is by doing, you can't learn how to ride a bike by watching YouTube videos. So I kind of came in with a similar mindset. I don't have the luxury of spending 10 months, uh, landing and strategy strategizing a podcast right now, of course the business to run. Thankfully it's doing well. I'm adding clients, right? I'm figuring out, um, how to, how to grow and scale responsibly. Also, you know, I have two little kids at home plus a pandemic and then it's like, okay, maybe I need to be efficient with my time. And so, um, so yeah. Plus for all the reasons why I said I'm just winging this. All right, so stop asking. So many questions. No, no, that's cool. So tell me about, tell me about why you felt like you had to pivot after one or two episodes.

Chris Ekimoff: (17:17)
We had had it in our minds that we were going to be able to provide insight beyond, uh, you know, the, the legal cases in the headlines. And we found that we became just another voice in the cacophony of voices responding to the most recent announcement from the Bernie Madoff case or, or the, the last big FCPA engage, you know, settlement, uh, other news outlets and things. We're already covering that way better than we were, uh, in a faster time period. And with more journalistic gravitas then, and two guys in a microphone could do. We saw that the conversations we were having with others in the industry, we're really diving into not only the insights related to those specific cases, but some of the guiding dynamics to that. So, not only what happened with company ABC when they settled with the department of justice, but how is the department of justice changed its posture in the past five or 10 years to foreign bribery or corruption overseas and getting guests on that have had experience either with those specific cases or in the market generally as well as Kurt and I having served on some of those, uh, you know, facts and circumstances based cases.

Chris Ekimoff: (18:22)
That was a much more fulsome and interesting discussion for us. And I think, uh, POI agrees, uh, you know, in terms of not just reading back the news to people, but providing a deeper conversation, it's gone, gone much more that way. So it turns out I don't think we were as smart as we thought we were. Um, but, uh, we're still, you know, finding our way to, to provide some interesting insight hopefully to, to our listeners. About how many episodes have you done now? So we just recorded episode 10, which will come out on this Thursday, made a seven. So 10 episodes in everyone's had a little different style and flavor, a lot of great guests. Um, and we've, we're, we're scheduled to tape episode 11 later this week too. So how, so are you doing it on a weekly cadence or what's your plan for, for recording?

Chris Ekimoff: (19:06)
Yeah, we've got about a two week turn around time. Generally we've compressed that down to seven or eight days when we've needed to and it's been a little bit longer when we've had some more time to plan. Um, but what's our kind of view is record listen, you know, get a guest buy in or PLS buy-in, um, you know, based on what they think it is over a couple of days, refine and then kind of have PLA put the kibosh on, on the niceties around the production of the music, the sound effects, uh, some of the scoping. So we've got probably three episodes that are in a variety of pieces of developments that are yet to be taped. Uh, obviously the one we've got this week is pretty close to being all set and ready to roll. And then we've got three or four episodes down the road that we're thinking about, you know, broad based topics with a couple of potential guests in mind.

Chris Ekimoff: (19:52)
Uh, so it really is kind of whatever pops up and thankfully the team between the work that I'm doing, you know, in my practice as a forensic accountant, the work that Kurt does is a securities enforcement attorney. Uh, as well as the guys at PLA who have requests for knowledge and insight from there again, 300,000 attorney members on an almost daily basis. We've kind of got this, uh, you know, cycle of discussion on a weekly basis. Say, okay guys, we've got the next two episodes down. We're covered for a month. What are we going to want to talk about in July and August? You know, we've kind of did you know, two weeks ago, episode nine I believe was our episode related to how, you know, the Corona virus pandemic has kind of impacted our, our view and really thought we're not going to be able to update that in a meaningful way to people beyond just commenting on it. Once you know that the world is changing so fast and things are closing and reopening, I mean having a two week lag time is going to give us a lot of time to touch base on at 19 issues again. So we're kind of focused on some of those broader discussions as we, as we roll throughout the summer because we think that's what's going to be most meaningful to the folks who are listening.

CJ Maurer: (20:54)
Yeah, two things. One of the things I just realized is this is maybe the first time that I haven't had a pretty focused conversation where we begin with small talk about how you're fairing global pandemic work from home, whatever. So I think that's just emblematic of how we're starting to come out on the other side of that. And secondarily, I would imagine planning the content would have to be some type of marriage between, you know, foresight. Okay. To your point, what are we thinking about two months from now, six months from now? But then also I guess being flexible enough to follow what's going on and be responsive to things that may be relevant that weren't planned for. I don't think anybody in December was planning to, you know, be talking about work from home. Um, unemployment, uh, you know, infectious disease and global health, things like that. Right? All, all of these things. But, you know, you adjust and, and, um, you know, you figure out a way to, to engage people based on where you think they're at.

Chris Ekimoff: (21:56)
Yeah. The, the other kind of timing issue that we come up against, I don't know if you're familiar with attorneys and accountants, are very risk averse people. So oftentimes we've got,

Chris Ekimoff: (22:06)
uh, guest speakers or content we want to talk about that we need to get approved through the firms that we work for or through the guests that, that are going to speak. So I know we've got an episode lined up about probably six weeks from now. Uh, and, and our guests said, Hey, I need to have a pretty solid idea of what I'm going to say out loud because my firm is going to want to make sure that I'm in line with the current messaging from the firm and I'm not overstating anything and I'm not providing an opinion on cases that haven't settled yet. Kind of all those, those wonky issues that affect attorneys and accountants. So that's been one of those, Hey, yeah, let's get on the phone, let's do it. And everyone's like, well, no, I really can't do that. I'm going to need to get approval from these 11 people before I even talked to you about potentially doing this kind of thing. So on the flip side of all of the, you know, world related issues we're dealing with, there's some of those nuanced, uh, you know, bureaucratic type things that we're, we're struggling with isn't the right word. We're taking into consideration as we try to roll out a more episodes of the podcast.

CJ Maurer: (23:00)
Yeah. That to me in, in your industry, whether it be law practice or accounting or financial services, right. Financial advisors have to deal with this, um, you know, general, we'll just call it general compliance is usually the biggest barrier to marketing. Forget about just content but, but marketing the business and that's really hard. So I got to imagine that the, you know, the marketing team at POI must be really jazzed that you guys are giving them that content that they can work with.

Chris Ekimoff: (23:29)
Yeah. It's, you know, it's kind of a, it's a, not to lean into some of the terrible business jargon we all fall, fall apart if it's a win win, you know, for example, PLA gets free content. You know, Kurt and I are doing this because it interests us and we get excited about it and enthusiastic for it. Uh, and so PLA kind of walks away with a 45 minute podcast every two weeks that they can take to their membership. From a selfish perspective, Kurt and I get to talk to those 30 300,000 people, right? Whether they want to buy into it or not. We've got a platform where we can kind of talk about some of our experience and expertise. So if and when someone needs to, you know, a consultant or an attorney to come and help them out, uh, you know, we're kind of on a list of people that might, they might have heard of before. Uh, you know, so from a marketing perspective, that's really, you know, one of the selfish reasons where we're excited to do it.

CJ Maurer: (24:15)
What advice would you give for somebody who's in your situation, meaning they work in an industry that is heavily regulated, especially when it comes to marketing and content. What would you say to somebody in that industry that might be interested in either starting a podcast or producing their own content?

Chris Ekimoff: (24:32)
Yeah, I'll answer that two ways. The first being from the expert witness perspective, part of serving as an expert in a, in a court of law is to not only have the skills, knowledge, education, experience and technical training to, uh, to testify, but also your reputation and your, uh, professionalism over your career matters. You know, for example, if you come out in a court case and say, uh, you know, first in first out inventory accounting five full accounting is the only way that this type of company should ever do their accounting. Full-stop. I'm an expert, I'm right. End of story and you win that case 15 years down the road you might get asked to testify and present a case about last in first out inventory, accounting, life accounting. Um, and the attorney is going to be sitting on that opinion that you gave 15 years ago that says fight is the only way to do it, man.

Chris Ekimoff: (25:19)
And say, were you wrong then or are you wrong? Now? Completely impeaching your credibility. So as an expert witness and in the litigation world, you always want to be conscious of what you're putting out into the world because it might come back to you on the stand or in future discussions about potential sales opportunities or, or the ability to serve clients. Secondarily, uh, in a general kind of content development perspective. Uh, one of my favorite, uh, maxims that I learned early on in my career from, from some of the great mentors I've had is admit when you are wrong or admit when you don't know, and I can tell you admit when you were wrong, is something that CJ Mauer founder of the just taught me in a Devereaux dorm room at Saint Bonaventure campus many years ago. I won't tell you how many cause that's going to say how old we are.

Chris Ekimoff: (26:04)
Uh, we had, we had some trouble as a, you know, men growing up in a sports environment, being able to talk about being incorrect and how that didn't make us, uh, you know, less, uh, impressive. But, you know, interacting in a, in a public forum or in a, in a, you know, social media or a podcast setting saying, Hey, I don't know that answer. I'd love to look it up or tell me more. You know, guests, I want to hear what you have to say about that because you know, I'm, I'm generally aware of what you're talking about, but I don't know the details, you know, and getting into those kind of educational conversations, whether it's for the other person who is looking into marketing or content production or just from a, you know, enhancing the level of, of understanding your audience might give. I mean, those are the best nuggets that heard from, from podcasts that I've been a part of as well as listened to a generally.

CJ Maurer: (26:47)
I think that's really great advice. And one of the things that it reminds me of is, um, something that I, that I think is really important right now to, uh, on personal levels when it comes to recent events or political stances or whatever. One of the things that I think is really virtuous is saying, I don't know enough about this issue to have an opinion on it. Yeah. Right. Um, and I, and I've seen that research oscillating now, now that all of a sudden everybody went from, you know, depending on, you know, what side of the political spectrum you are. But a handful of months ago there were a lot of, you know, armchair constitutional law experts on Facebook and now there's a lot of armchair, uh, you know, public health and infectious disease experts on Facebook. And what you just said though, through the lens of producing content and protect, protecting your credibility, professional reputation I think is something that all of us could use as a reminder. Um, realizing that it is okay not to, not to know something. There are plenty of things that are discussed in public forums that a lot of people have strong opinions about that I very comfortably don't because I have not spent the time nor gained the expertise to have a qualified opinion in them. And, uh, I think that's a really good example.

Chris Ekimoff: (28:03)
Yeah, it's all that self-awareness. You know, it's funny on the street that my wife and I live on, we've got neighbors on either side of us that are also on either side of the political spectrum. So one of my neighbors, you know, when I go take the trash out and says, you know what Chris, you know, I really hope that there's a protest here in Washington D C to get people to reopen things, you know, what do you think? And I say, I mean, I don't really know if that's the best option for the people who live in the city or not. And then, you know, my neighbor literally on the other side of the, um, our building here says, you know, Chris, I don't, I don't really feel safe going back to work ever. You know, it's going to be so different. What do you think?

Chris Ekimoff: (28:36)
And I said, no, I don't really know. I understand where you're coming from, but there's a part of me that feels that way and there's a part of me that thinks that, you know, I'll be okay. You know, going to the office that I went to, you know, for months prior to the pandemic. So it's literally in between those two houses is kind of a, you know, an interesting way and I've had to admit to them, but you know, I don't even really have a strong stance on, on where we sit from that perspective. So that self awareness I think is super important.

CJ Maurer: (28:57)
I think everybody can agree that the ideal outcome is that everybody goes back to work and everybody is healthy and safe. That's right. When, when, when those two, when those two are at odds with each other, uh, then, uh, there's a lot of unknowns. Um, Hey man, uh, I gotta get going in a minute cause, um, it is Cinco de Mayo at this recording and I have promised my family a full fledged Mexican feast for dinner. Excellent. I have to start making soon, but, um, I just wanted to say thank you again. I really hope that we can do this again someday. Thanks for sharing some information about what you do. Um, your experience creating content specifically. Um, you know, starting your podcast, which sounds awesome and I can't wait to follow along. Um, and, uh, you know, I really appreciate your just, you know, general enthusiasm for, for interesting topics. So, um, thanks so much for your time and, um, you know, hopefully we can do this again soon. I'm proud to be a part of it. CJ. Good luck as you continue on this journey and, uh, you know, from one work husband to another, I know it's going to turn out great. So cool. I'll keep it on. All right, man. See ya. Take everybody.

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