You know how when you sometimes have nothing to say and it’s a real battle, especially at a drinks party or a network do and you are asked, “So, what do you do?”

You want to help people, you want to be more interesting and you want to make money and live your dream, don’t you? You feel the blood drain from your face and you try not to stammer and stutter. You know on some level that what you say should and does really count, because it could lead to interesting things, heaven knows, it could even lead to someone being interested in doing business with you!

What comes out is, “well, basically, I am err, am an accountant/ coach/ marketing consultant/ banker etc.” (Basically means you have no idea what you are talking about or illustrate to the listener a complete lack of confidence, belief and understanding in what you actually do and the value you provide for others.)

The next time this happens, try this (thanks for the great tip, Rich;):

The conversation goes like this:

They say: “What do you do?”

You say first: “You know how when you…?”

Then you say: “Well, what I do is…”

Here’s mine:

You know how when you…get a great idea and you know that what there is to is take action, then you don’t and you find a bunch of excuses, but you really you know you are just being scared?

Well, what I do is… coach, teach and guide you to make sure that never happens again and you know how to tap into your courage and take a chance.

I have, as a storyteller, a longer one that goes like this:

Can I tell you what I do as a short story? You know how when you…really want to something or you really need to do something but you are scared and you keep putting it off; it might doing a talk or meeting someone new or having a difficult conversation with your partner? And you know that at best you’ll produce a great result that will have you high-fiving all round or at worst, you’ll just be really proud of yourself for giving it a go and stepping up, but instead you put it off, make excuses and scuttle out the back door, convincing yourself that the timing wasn’t right?

Well, what I do is… coach, facilitate and run courses to equip you so that that never happens again. I will show you how to achieve breakthroughs in your levels of confidence, courage and self-belief, so that the next time you get one of those good ideas; you won’t hesitate for a moment.

A variety of responses will follow:
Oh my God, that’s me!
Wow, you and I really need to talk!
I can’t believe you just described me!

Whatever happens, mostly an interesting conversation will follow, rather than the usual polite, “oh, how nice”, that has you both wonder off, lives unchanged, in the direction of the lavatories or someone potentially more interesting.

My reflections:

What’s so great about this is that you are effectively telling a story and helping the listener to visualise and relate to what is going on in their own lives. You create empathy for them, so that they can relate and say, “oh, me too! I thought I was the only one!” What’s especially great is that you are showing them a typical problem that your clients face and how you help them solve it, all the while, enabling them to see how it applies in their lives and how much you can help them.

Yoga teacher? No problem…

You know how when you get really stressed, tired and overwhelmed and life just feels really uncertain and blurry?
Well, what I do is teach yoga, allowing my students to create peace, freedom and joy in their lives on an ongoing basis.

Accountant? No problem…

You know how when you… look at your wallet, draw, shoebox or spreadsheet and you feel that anxious, nervous feeling of wondering how much tax you’ll need to pay, because you don’t have a clue and you are utterly confused?

Well, what I do is… take your accounts and bring order, simplicity and clarity to them, so that you are absolutely clear how much money you have coming in, going out and how much you’ll need to pay the taxman. I’ll also help you to set up a high interest account where you can put tax aside each month so that you won’t be able to get your sticky fingers on it, bringing you peace of mind.

Challenge/ invitation:

Why not give it a go? I’d love to hear yours. Add your comments!

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