Here, Let Me Show You What I Do

Everyone constantly gets this question.

So what do you do?

Especially when meeting new people. Unfortunately, for me I always find myself at a loss for words when trying to explain what I do to someone not in my industry. It is just the nature of the web. It is complex, diverse, and overwhelming at times. I can only imagine what someone must feel like when I begin to explain what I do. Confused? Lost? Geek? I don't want to sell myself short by only saying "web designer" or get long winded and list everything I do.

I was in a situation when I was telling someone my hobbies. I started listing off gear head, gym rat, blacksmithing, etc. I could see the reaction in their face as their eyes started to glaze over, but then they said, unenthusiastically, "blacksmithing? Oh, that's neat. So you hit metal with a hammer right?" Stunned, I could only nod and say "yes" as I thought to myself, how could they not find that interesting? Even if they have no desire to trying it I would have at least expected a better reaction.

The next time I ran into that person I was prepared to show pictures. So during our conversation I pulled out my phone and said, "let me show you what I do blacksmithing." Sure enough, their eyes lit up with fascination as they said, "oh wow! You made this?!" What a night and day difference that photo made. They were able to make a better emotional connection to that photo than my words could explain. So from now on, anything I make by hand will be shown, not explained.

We humans have the incredible ability of imagination. We dream and think of ideas and things that fascinate us. However, it seems to fail us when trying to imagine what other people are explaining to us. So the next time someone asks you, "so what do you do?", don't just tell them, show them. Not only will they truly understand your craft, but it will get the reaction it deserves. Plus, who doesn't like an ego boost every now and then?

Written on April 24, 2012 by Blain

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