The worst question you ever get asked is, “and what do you do?” here’s what to say and how to say it when you are have a networking opportunity.
This week, I’m showing a networking tip to get across that awkward moment when someone asks you, “Oh, what do you do?” I’m John Paul Fischbach. I’m the Chief Alchemist and CEO here at the Auspicious Arts Incubator.
You know, there are so many preconceived notions around the label: artist or actor or painter or sculptor. Now, there’s a little caveat to this tip. Sometimes we need to claim that label, and we need to wear it and speak it proudly. I’m not talking about those times. I’m talking about the one-on-one networking opportunities. So this tip is part of my effort to help artists engage and inspire and intrigue others.
Now, as I’ve mentioned in previous tips, your story is what’s interesting, right? The challenge is to find a way to start the story. So when someone asks, “Oh, what do you do?” And you say, “I’m a painter,” they don’t really know how to respond. Because we’re artists, we’re cool, we’re exotic, we can be a little bit intimidating. But you can talk passionately about what you are doing. So I encourage you to start there. Have a conversation about what you’re working on. Have a conversation about your enthusiasm. Have a conversation about your passion. It’s called sharing, not selling. It’s called pulling, not pushing, right?
So here’s a different way to engage the conversation. We worked with an artist who was a wood carver, right? And when people say, “What do you do?” He’d say, “I’m a wood carver.” Well, no one knows what that is, no one knew how to take the conversation. So we worked with him, and now when someone says, “Well, what is it that you do?” He says, “Well, right now, I’m trying to figure out a way to make a chainsaw move as fine as a scalpel.” “Wow, that’s interesting. What is it that you do?” “Well, I’m working on this large piece…,” right? And there you go, you’re on sharing your passion and it’s very exciting, right?
So the next time that someone asks you, “Oh, what do you do?” Please, I give you this phrase. Start with, “Well, right now, I’m…,” and fill it in. Draw them into your world. You don’t have to be as clever as using a chainsaw like a scalpel, right? “Well, right now, I’m exploring…,” “Well, right now, I’m in the final stages of…,” “Well, right now, I’m looking for…,” “Well, right now, I’m gathering ideas about…” You know, you can passionately talk about what you’re doing right now. So just start that phrase. Draw them into your world. That’s the goal of networking.
So when someone asks you, “Oh, what do you do?” Please don’t throw the label out. Share the story. Get them into your story. Draw them into your world. Now, we’re gonna go into a lot greater detail in the ASAP program so you can have a look at that. Join that community who digs a little bit deeper, learns a little bit more, grows a little faster and I’ll see you next week.