Five Things

Dominic Evans started this meme – five things you may not know. He sent it to Chris Brogran, who you wouldn’t think would take the time to answer it. I mean, come on – Chris is busy with writing his new book, blogging, leading Podcamps, following his Tweets, his family – and life. Here’s the thing about Chris, he’s got an uncanny knack for knowing what’s important and what is not.

Dominic Evans is important. Dominic has dived into the social media pool and is learning to swim. Chris believes it’s really all about helping out the other guy. Chris is truly a golden rule kind of guy. He is one of my heroes. Chris, who didn’t know me from Adam, spent some time doing an interview with me for my paper. It wasn’t until it was published that I realized just how busy Chris is. And he took time out for me, one of those new swimmers out there with Dominic.

Lesson for today: pay attention and help somebody else. You never know when a smile, an ‘atta boy’, a compliment, can make a difference in somebody’s life. It’s not all about you.

With the object in mind to find out new things about me so we can make a connection, here are my five things you may not know about me. (I’m doing the sales edition, like Chris did).

1.I look up words in the dictionary. I need to know the origin of the word. One year of Latin in high school taught me this valuable trick. If you know the origin of the word, you’ll never forget it. Meme (rhymes with dream) – a relatively new word. Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins used it in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene. Meme consists of any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another (wikipedia).

The Straight Dope (just search for meme for the link) says this: “Dawkins proposes that the meme is to culture what the gene is to biology. A meme is a reproducible idea and as such is the basic unit of cultural transmission. In his words: “Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperm or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation.”

2.I was a bartender in a neighborhood bar in Chicago in my youth. I believe that if everyone bartended for six months in a blue collar bar, this would be a better run world. If you can handle drunks with money, you can handle any sales position. You learn what people like, you learn how to talk to them, you get to see what alcohol and drugs can really do to a person, you listen to a lot of stories and learn to empathize, you look for the good in people. If we all just looked for the good in people, our experience of living on this planet would change. Really.
3.My favorite movie is Shirley Valentine. Shirley is a middle aged housewife in Great Britain. Her kids are grown, the hubby works all the time. She talks to her wall – “hello wall”. She’s bored and feels unwanted, unneeded. Shirley goes on holiday with a girlfriend to Greece. Shirley finds herself. She’s a pretty good person. She’s helpful. She waits tables there for a friend. She refuses to go back to Great Britain. Shirley knows that in order for her to live her good life, she has to like herself and be in a place where she can be herself. Gutsy broad. I like Shirley. You gotta do what you gotta do.

4. I worked in corporate America (insurance underwriting) for a number of years. I thought I would die. Hated it. I was good at it, but I hated the environment. Everyone sat in cubicles (some were bigger cubicles, they called them offices). You had to go down 34 floors to breath outside air. Your opinion really didn’t matter. You were just a little robot. Doing the same useless thing day after day. I went into retail management – I managed a luggage store. Took at 50% paycut. I thrived! I got to talk to people all day, help them make decisions that mattered to them. Within in a year I had replaced my previous salary. I was back in my element. You won’t find me in an office anymore – that is just not who I am.
5.I love penguins. I have a penguin tattoo. I own the movie Happy Feet – I watch it when I need cheering up. Penguin mothers lay the eggs, and the dads watch over the eggs while mom goes in search of food. That’s the kind of mom I am. My husband had the boys (previous marriage) and I got to help raise them. How lucky am I? In the end, penguins make me laugh. And we all need a good laugh.

Follow Dominic Evans at @DominickEvans Visit his website He might tell you your future. All kudos to Chris Brogan, see his blog at I promise it’s addictive. Enjoy.