Heads up, this content is 16 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

The following things are entertaining the pants off me right now…

Now where did I put those pants…?

Heads up, this content is 16 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

Nic Askew put together a video interview of Seth Godin speaking on curiosity. It’s so great to see Seth‘s animated face and voice speaking on the topics that I usually get only from him via text.

Here’s my quote mashup of the interview, for those who don’t have five minutes to watch:”What’s a fundamentalist? A fundamentalist is a person who considers whether a fact is acceptable to their faith before they explore it. As opposed to a curious person, who explores first and then considers whether or not they want to accept the ramifications.”

“What we’re seeing is that fundamentalism has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with an outlook, regardless of what your religion is.”

“These are the people who still have a 12 flashing on their VCR. They are fearful, they are stuck, they’re not interested.”

“What we’re seeing is about a 5 or 10 or 15-year period where people start finding their voice, and they start realizing that the safest thing they can do feels risky, and the riskiest thing they can do is play it safe.”

“These people are the curious. Curious is the key word. It has nothing to do with income, nothing to do with education. It has to do with a desire to understand, a desire to try, a desire to push whatever envelope you’re interested in. Here’s the reason these people count: not because there’s a lot of them, but because these are the ones who talk to the people who are in stupor. They’re the ones who talk to the masses in the middle, who are stuck. The masses in the middle have brainwashed themselves into thinking it’s safe to do nothing.”

Heads up, this content is 16 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

goshennh3.jpgMy family sells bridges. Real ones. The kind you drive your car over. This is where I come from.

My dad was an engineer. When he and my mother first got married, he was working at a company that manufactured bridge parts. Several issues with authority later, he struck out to start his own small bridge sales firm (“small” meaning the kind that goes over the sort of river you would swim in). When a town’s bridge needed replacement, my dad showed up to evaluate the situation, give them a quote, oversee the transaction, and take a commission. The company was called Dopp & Dopp Associates.

Meanwhile, my mother started a sister company called Bridge Pro, where she sold parts to large bridges (“large” meaning the kind that goes over the sort of river you would drown in). She was, of course, the only woman in the industry. Combined, my parents dominated the entire east coast in bridge sales.

Major perks: Both of my parents worked from home while I was growing up, and they let me play on their 40 MB hard drive Macintosh Classics. I was installing software when I was three.

Major downsides: Every time we drove by a bridge we had to stop and look at it. Vacations and business trips had little division between them.

Time went on and my dad was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He passed his business to his brother before he died, and Dopp & Dopp is alive and well today. My mother remarried to the man who builds the bridges, so this means my step-father is the owner of a bridge construction company. Having exhausted her interest in bridge work, my mother finally traded in her galvanized steel sampler packs to become a minister.

I was told all my life that I was going to become an engineer and take over the family business. When I refused, they compromised, and said I would go into marketing and take over the family business. I refused this notion, too.

Recently, it dawned on me that I did go into marketing. And some of the work I do is considered engineering. And all of my vacations are business trips.

But the icing on the cake? I was hanging out with Deb Schultz recently — a fellow social media consultant — and she brilliantly summed exactly what we do:

“We’re connectors. We seek out people who are different from us. We’re bridge people.”