Erin's Dad

(This is one of a series of posts we’re running on what inspires us as facilitators and designers here at Collective Next.) 

My dad is visiting, which seems appropriate since I’ve been assigned to write about inspiration. From the minute he arrived, we have been generally kicking ass at getting lots of stuff done while having fun. He is the sort of person who is willing to just dive in and do stuff. He may not always know whether he can do it, but he will try, possibly mess up, redirect, and usually come out on top.

There is a sense of adventure to that. I believe that came from his father, who trusted his sons enough to let them go from Ohio to California in his Ford Galaxie 500 convertible when they were 16 and 17. I carry a legacy that, if you think you can, you most likely will. And if you trust yourself, others will, too.

In the years since I bought a house, my father has taught me how to change light fixtures, fix the sink, and generally maintain my own household. He happened to be visiting when my furnace went down, so we watched YouTube videos and tinkered until we realized we needed to call an expert. Even though my parents divorced years ago, it’s not uncommon for me to get a “call your mother” from my dad when it’s appropriate.

We succeed at accomplishing what we set out to do by working together. We put in a large stone patio a couple years ago. It was only through teamwork that my dad, my partner Nora, and I still have 10 toes each. We also remember to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We have enjoyed many a beer on the patio that we built together after a day of ass-kicking, sharing how nobody ever wants to do another stone patio ever again in their lives as long as they live.

I am happy to have this spirit of adventure, trust, and teamwork instilled in me. At Collective Next, this is exactly the sort of stuff that makes us succeed. When Dave calls me up and asks, “Hey, Erin, can we do this thing we’ve never done before?”, I can say “yes” because I know we will figure it out together.