Dan Naden

What a tapir and termite taught me about the power of interaction

There are just some days that you’ll always remember.  Months, even years could pass, yet a few singular days remain.

My family and my parents had one of these days recently in San Antonio, Texas.

The six of us ventured to the San Antonio Zoo for a day of animal watching.

The sun shone bright and true on a Sunday afternoon, tricking us into thinking the calendar read April not January.

  • The crocodiles lounged near a pond’s edge.
  • Spider monkeys swung from vines while a baby monkey was just getting coordinated.
  • Mighty elephants used their long trunks for a snacktime of hay.

The day became memorable, however, when we switched from ‘watching’ to ‘interacting’.

Mountain Tapir
Even Mr. Tapir craves interaction.

The San Antonio Zoo smartly had a number of kid-friendly ‘touch it’, ‘feel it’, ‘smell it’ stations throughout the zoo.

Our daughter gazed in wonderment at a life-size termite hut and played with replicas of the soldier and queen termite as a zoo worker told of the remarkable termite family teamwork.

Our son calmly petted a sample of tapir fur while a lady compared the skull size of a giraffe with the Brazilian tapir.

It was in these moments that the zoo became an educational laboratory waiting to be discovered, not just a place to passively view animals behind glass. Our children’s energy level skyrocketed; smiles appeared on their faces; they wanted to learn more.

As a business owner or professional, are you doing all you can to get away from lazily selling or pushing your products onto customers? Can you rethink how you do business and start to interact with customers in a way that helps you:

a) learn more about their unique pain points and their business
b) build a better ‘mousetrap’

Your days will soar when you interact with life (and animals) instead of watching from a distance.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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